Tag Archives: Fun Stuff

The 12 Yats of Christmas

Okay, so it’s a day or so late, but so what. This was sent to my by my cyber friend, Linda, who hosts The Task as Hand.

People who have followed my blog since its inception, or who have rummaged around in its archives, know that I grew up in the small Cape Cod town of Orleans, and though I lived for more than a third of my life in Broward County, Florida in and around Fort Lauderdale, my spiritual home is, and always will be New Orleans where I lived for nearly 10 years.

New Orleanians are often referred to as “Yats.” Most specifically those who come from the Gentilly area out by the Fairgrounds race track and home of one of the greatest musical events in the world, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the people who live in the uptown area around Magazine Street known as the “Irish Channel.” They have a unique accent. It’s much like a Brooklyn, New York accent, and probably because the immigrant mix of Irish and Italians to New Orleans is similar to that of Brooklyn.

The reason they’re called “Yats” comes from the manner in which they greet each other. They don’t say, “Hello,” “Good Morning,” or anything like that. They say, “Where y’at?” The response to which is, “Fine,” “Okay,” etc.

Linda sent me the following video in the comments section of this blog, but I’ve put it “Up Front,” so to speak to share it with all my readers.

Looking at the YouTube comments some of the things mentioned no longer exist in New Orleans. The K&B pharmacies, Schwegmann’s supermarkets, and of course the Lower Ninth Ward which still hasn’t been rebuilt. I will never return to New Orleans. Katrina destroyed it. Much of it is still in ruins, and it would break my heart to see the place so near and dear to my heart in such distress.

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Filed under New Orleans, New Orleans Music

The Ultimate Slacker’s Boat!!!

Murray Stevens instantly became my hero when he designed and built this –

Once again, another fine find from reading:



Filed under adventure, Boat building, boats, Floating Homes, Houseboat, Living off the grid, Living Small, Microcruising, Minimalist Cruising, Shanty boat, Shantyboat Living, Small boat cruising, Tiny Homes, tiny houses

Coolest Boat Ever!

I ripped this off while “Tag Surfing” the WordPress site. It was on http://thealterrealist.wordpress.com/ who found it at:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/GoodbyeForeverFatty which is an awesome site and definitely deserves your attention.

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Filed under boats, sailboats

It’s GOOD To Be The Captain

“Walk the plank,” says Pirate Jim.

“But Capt. Jim, I cannot swim.”

“Then you must steer us through the gale.”

“But Capt. Jim, I cannot sail.”

“Then down with the galley slaves you go.”

“But Capt. Jim, I cannot row.”

“Then you must be the pirate’s clerk.”

“But Capt. Jim I cannot work.”

“Then a pirate captain you must be.”

“Thank you, Jim,” says Capt. me.

Shel Silverstein

But it SUCKS to be the crew!

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Filed under boats, Classic Boats, Minimalist Cruising

Another Perspective On The Rain In Potrerillos Arriba, Panama

When it’s said that an “inch” of rain has fallen it’s considered that an acre of land (.4 hectares) would be covered with one inch of water.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey that’s 27,154 GALLONS! (102,789 liters for you mathematically challenged people stuck in the metric system. Don’t get me started on THAT rant.)

Here it is the 22nd day of July and it’s raining right now. Twenty two consecutive days of it this month. In June we had 43 inches of rain OR, 3.58 FEET, OR 1,167,622 GALLONS. And that’s just over ONE acre of surface area. I can’t begin to calculate the entire area of Potrerillos Arriba.

So now, in July as of the 19th we’ve received 39.5 inches of rain…3.29 FEET…1,072,583 GALLONS.

There are about 600,000 gallons of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, so from the first of June the water that has fallen on each acre of land here on the mountain would have filled 3.73 Olympic pools!

No, I don’t think I’m getting a little stir-crazy shut in the house because of the rain, do you?

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Filed under Potrerillos Arriba, Rainy Season, Retire in Panama, Retirement Abroad, Uncategorized

Señor Richard’s Excellent Adventure

The other day I met Jim “Jet” Nielson, holder of four world land speed records and getting ready to try for a fifth here in David on June 6th  hoping to set a fifth at 500 mph. I’ll be writing more about him in coming days. Jim is a longtime friend of my friend Frank Hilson who, himself, was an up and coming race car driver in the Sterling Moss era until a horrible, fiery crash ended his career. Frank was the one who pointed me in Jim’s direction.

Jim is also a sailor. He grew up in Hawaii and at the age of 19 was delivering boats that participated in the TransPac races back to the States. He said he had a trimaran in the Port of Pedrigal only a short drive from David. I was down there on my last trip and decided, yesterday, to go scope out Jim’s boat.

Before leaving the States I bought a chip for my GPS with Panama maps. For some reason it wouldn’t accept Pedregal as a destination. So I went to Google earth, got the Lat/Long coordinates and entered those and received routing. The instructions told me to go to the end of the street where the hostel is located and hang a left. It directed me through a few city streets and within 15 minutes I was at the marina. During the drive I spotted several decent looking restaurants and thought I’d go have supper there. Now, I love eating at the tiny restaurant across from the hostel but their menu is extremely limited. A whole fried fish ($5), a fillet of fish ($3), and the best sopa de mariscos (seafood soup) ($2.25) I’ve had in all of Panama to date. But my mouth was telling me it wanted to taste some shrimp that evening.

Dinner time arrived and when I turned on the GPS I went to the “coordinates” and hit “Go” without verifying them. I figured they had to be the same, right? Wrong.

When I got to the end off the street this time it told me to turn right instead of left. Okay, a different route. I drove and drove through city streets I’d never been on, but who knows, right? Wrong. No more street lights and the road narrows every kilometer. Eventually the pavement ends. Now I’m on a dirt road but the checkered flag indicating the destination is visible up in the upper left corner of the screen. The dirt road kept deteriorating with huge rocks and pot holes filled with rain water. Even a four wheel drive would have been going along at the five kilometer per hour pace. The map indicated that the road would be making a couple of switch backs on itself and then I came to a huge iron gate with a massive chain and padlock. Nothing to do but turn around and go back the way I came.

When I finally made it back to the paved road I pulled over, plugged in for the destination for the airport. The road to Pedregal is right along side the runway. In under five minutes I knew where I was. I stopped at the “Mar y Mariscos” (Sea and Seafood) restaurant where I had Camarones Criolla (Creole shrimp) which was delicious. The waiter gave me the 25% Jubilado discount without my asking for it, too. I love Panama.


Filed under adventure, Living Abroad, panama, Pedrigal, Uncategorized

Not A Bad Idea

Yesterday I got an email from a friend who lives in Panama with a link to a site I don’t often visit primarily because the person, Don Winner, who seems, to me, to be a major shill for the real estate interests there. I will give him credit, though, he doesn’t sugar coat a lot about the bad side of Panama reporting on crimes and murder as well.

The link my friend provided led me to this story:

By Rodrigo Campos, AFP Writer- Ciudad de Panamá – Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli signed into law Wednesday a controversial measure requiring all visa applicants to pass a Spanish test before receiving residency documents. The new law, which will go into effect when it is published in the government´s Gaceta Oficial early next week, will likely affect thousands of visa applicants who come from non Spanish speaking countries. The new rules require everyone requesting a new or renovated visa, including those already approved for permanent residency status, to pass a state issued test and demonstrate the grammar and speaking abilities equivalent to that of a 5 year old. The test, which is similar to the aptitude test given to preschool children before admittance into elementary school, will be created and administered by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Immigration office. The test will be half written and half oral, and will cost $30. Under the new law all applicants for non tourist visas, regardless of country of origin, will be required to pass a Spanish test before being issued their residency permits. The law covers nearly all residency statuses, both permanent and temporary, with the lone exemption being given to foreigners living in Panama under refugee status. Those either failing the test or refusing to take it will have their visa status downgraded to the same regulations given to those carrying a tourist visa.

The new rules come at a time where the Central American country is seeing an influx of foreigners who are moving there for retirement and investment. Proponents of the law say that the new requirement will assure that people who decide to move to the country can assimilate with more ease. Opponents say the law can cripple the real estate and investment market, still recovering from the world recession, by discouraging retirees and investors from moving there. For a complete transcript of the entire law translated into English, please visit http://tinyurl.com/2ht3po.

Now, I actually think this is a great idea. When I read posts on some of the Yahoo Groups I subscribe to and people are asking where they can hook up with other gringos I always tell them they need to learn Spanish and try and integrate themselves into the culture as much as possible or stay in the States. Lots of gringos there.

I wouldn’t have a problem with having to do what this new law proposes, but I did write to my lawyer in Panama City and asked her if she had heard anything about this.

She wrote back in about an hour and said: “I found the article in a yahoo forum and at the end there’s a link that will take you to the definition of April’s Fool Day? Do you know of this day?”

WHAT A CLASSICALLY GREAT JOKE. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker.


Filed under Living Abroad, panama, Pensionado, Pensionado Visa, Retire in Panama, Retirement, Retirement Abroad

This Will Drive You Nuts

Take this simple test and feel REALLY stupid…


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Filed under Uncategorized

Dylan Winter Scores Again

It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything by the video blogger Dylan Winter. I enjoy his short films about sailing around Britain in a 19′ boat and his shots of classic and working watercraft on his voyage. Also a passion of mine. In this contribution of Dylan’s he gets to ride in a West Mersea Winkle Brig (isn’t that a wonderful name for a class of boat?). This boat is a plasticized version of the old working boats. One of the things I especially like about this is the balanced lug , an old rig I find both beautiful and have done a lot of reading on. My next sailboat will be fitted with one.

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Filed under boats, Classic Boats, Sail, sailboats, sailing

A Good Time Had By All

I found this on the Duckworth site this morning in a post by Paul Cook of Las Cruces, NM.

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Filed under boats, homemade boats, PDR Racer