Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Parable of the 28th

Long ago, when the province of AMA was being established in the land of Paraguay, it was deemed by the High Council (known in the common vernacular as the Board) that for every 3 months of service, a day of relaxation be given without infringing on the personal days off of the denziens of that province. This day was seen as a help in trying to keep and maintain morale. It is also seen as a day of releasing the stress of the past 3 months. Now, the Paraguayan Pilgrim will admit that the stress levels in the past 3 months have been low. But he will contend that this day can also be used to ward against future stress as well. Heretofore was this day planned. “For”, he doth ask, “do we not have visitors coming whose stay shall span the majority of the month of July? And do we not have person(s) coming who have interest in residing in this fair land for the next 2 years?” The common consensus is, therefore, that this is the proverbial calm before the storm.

Twas in this state of mind that we sallied forth on the morning of the 28th, in the month of June of the year MMX. Our destination was the province of San Bernardino. This is situated near a large body of water, the name of which doth escape the memory of the writer. Ordinarily, this lake would have been the main attraction but for the fact that the day remained clouded over and a stiff breeze blew for most of the day. This did discourage the Homo Sapiens with designs of becoming amphibious. Indeed, most activities were centered around the creation and retention of heat. For this purpose, we enjoyed close proximity the flames after they had served their primary purpose of roasting flesh. In conjunction with this, we engaged in the sport of volleyball. Of course, other sundry activities were accomplished as well.

Making a retreat for our beloved home province, we returned, having accomplished the goals outlined when this type of day was first conceived. Simply this, the expenditure of a day in other parts outside our home province, where nothing is done but only that which we want to do.

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The Parable of the Bull

One day, in a far off land, as the inhabitants were gathering for the consumption of lunch, it was said to those that had gathered, “I’m ready to slay and consume a steer”. This is indeed was odd as it came from their Administrator. It was not in his nature to be disposed to such fits of violence. But, verily, his words proved prophetic. For, in the first year of year of Maynard, administrator of the territory of AMA in the far off land of Paraguay, news reached the ears of the inhabitants from the 2 cooks. They said, in one accord, “Verily, we have no meat!”. This did cause distress. For we (indeed, I write as observer and participant of this parable), adopting the mannerisms of the people in whose land we dwell, consume a great portion of meat, and if indeed, the storehouses be barren of all meat, where doth come our milanesa, our asado, and other dishes of savory meat such as we love?

After pondering this for a day or 2, it was decided that a bull must be slain. And so, in the sixth month of the year MMX, I, the Paraguayan Pilgrim, did find myself a onlooker as the chosen bull lost his life. But I soon became a participant. For lo, ’tis one thing indeed to say and yet another to do. This is a truth, there is work involved in the slaying and flaying of bullocks. Having worked on my share of wild meat, namely the North American white-tailed deer, I did have some experience. But this occasion was unlike to any I have ever had. In the days prior to his murder, the doomed animal had had his parts bidden for. Indeed, an assistant in the medical field wanted the brains, the food preparation technician had pleaded successfully for his tongue and a sojourner in a neighboring territory had wanted his uncomely parts, namely those inner wonders and mysterious workings which we were usually accustomed to disposing of. This, she was allowed to have on a promise that she would return the favor by cooking a savory dish in accordance to her manners and customs. But, verily, there were certain persons which held a remnant of dislike to the dish made and did not partake. This did cause some to doubt their sincerity in enjoying their sojourn to far away lands. For behold, in partaking in the manners and customs as those in whose land we dwell, do we not become more like them? Does this not assist in establishing friendships which make for peace? But since she, of whose “special” cooking we did partake, was a friend, the offense was passed over. Towards the latter end of the week, I was invited to partake of a dish that was created, in large part, from one of the stomachs of the slain bull. It did surpass my expectations. Savory meat indeed. In addition, I was served with a drink, which in the Castillano tongue, is called gaseosa and which is known throughout all the civilized regions as “cola”. And thus did end my experience with strange and savory dishes, in the land where I’m a pilgrim 

The parable: That which others call food, do not thou call unsavory, unclean or disgusting until thou hast proved the taste to thine own mouth

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Close call

 A recent journal entry reads like this:

In the afternoon, I almost put the red cycle, as well as myself out for the duration. I had gotten Mario’s angle grinder for a little bit of work on the bench but I needed a bigger disc. Hopping on the cycle, I headed for Mercantil. It hasn’t rained in awhile and I ate some dust on the way out to Ruta 7. Getting of Primalina, I turned right to head into town. Cresting the hill going down into town, I opened the throttle and picked up speed. Ah, life was good, especially in a open air 70kmh! Spotting a cycle pulling out in preparation of entering the Ruta from the right side, I automatically backed off but there was no need to hit the brakes, yet. She, yes it was a female driver, wanted to head across the Ruta and obviously didn’t see me or think about me after the initial glance. After the traffic lanes were clear of traffic she heads across, not seeing my wildly fishtailing cycle headed on a collision course with her scooter. Let me back up. Seeing her blocking the shoulder of the road and knowing that I was cruising mighty rapidly, I came out into the traffic lane and was thinking of passing her in that fashion. But she wanted to cross and when I was about 75, mas o menos, yards away, proceeded to do so in a very relaxed manner. I almost flipped out of my skin when I saw her begin that action as I knew it would be very close. Squeezing the front brake and pressing the back brake, I temporarily locked my cycle up but I was still headed for a collision. Coming of the front to give me maneuverability, I dove for the shoulder behind her. I was still riding my back brake and this caused the back end to gain on the front end, putting me into a fishtail pattern. But, after 3 hard shakes, the back end of the bike came under control again. My handlebars also did a shimmy or two before settling down and 3 minutes later, I was walking into the Mercantil hardware store on weak legs. So close, I had put both of our cycles, as well as someone else’s, down and out for the foreseeable future, never mind the collateral damage done to my frame in the meanwhile.

But it didn’t happen like that and I was able to complete the days events…among which was eating supper at my friend’s house and unknowingly eating cow tongue. It was good and there will be more coming. Butcher day is set for next Monday.

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More photos of the trees

Just 2 more shots.

 

 

 

I happened to be out and about when I took these shots. The afternoon sun made the opportunities irresistable. 

EJ

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The Butchering of the Trees

 

We are all aware of that from time to time plants need pruning to be more profitable. Humans need this as well but we won’t talk about that in this post. Instead, here are 4 pictures from our pruned and now denuded trees.

 

Hey, look a monkey! Better look again cuz I don’t think monkeys wield hatchets and this one did. That little piece of sharpened steel caused the majority, if not all, of the branches to fall.

This was the end of the day last Monday. They had only worked a half day. By the end of the week, the yard was chest high in branches….until Saturday (see the last picture. But wait no peeking!)

In times like these, you appreciate long extendable ladders. They get you to high and lofty places. But what goes up, must come down. Throughout the week, you’d hear the crack  and crash of the branches being hewn from their respective perches?.  And thankfully, no one lost their perch during this project.

By Saturday afternoon, this is how it looked. Maynard and his brother, who is here visiting, spent a large chunk of Saturday’s time cleaning up the branches and hauling them off. One nice thing about all those branches is that after they are dried out we’ll have a roaring bonfire. Make that 2 as there were enough to make 2 separate stacks. There to the left of the picture, just above the raspberries bushes, is the one stack, which is a good 7-8 feet tall. Gonna make for some good hot coals to roast some hot dogs.

Anyway, I gotta run and go through my pictures from today. Who knows, maybe they’ll end up here?

Drop me a line if you can.

EJ

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Life…

keeps speeding on. I keep getting more busy. Changes occur. Around here, changes have been ocurring at the same rate as I’ve been kept busy. But why write about them when, in 3 pictures, I can have 3,000 words?

So here’s a 3000 word post. This project was done about 3 weeks ago. The siding had been a little wa-oo and needed repairing. It had threatened to rain the day we did it but never did, fortunately.

Installing bird prevention, a.k.a. soffit.

And finally, after it has been installed awhile,  the painting process begins. Por fin!

This is only one project out of a handful that was done or is being currently completed. Fear ye not, I may have dropped out of sight into a land below my homeland but I’m still surviving.  And I shall yet post.

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