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Archive for March, 2008

New translation!

March 27th, 2008 at 01:18 pm

This one is Spanish into English. About $140!
woo-hoo! (I was starting to worry!)

Deadbeat customer- part II

March 26th, 2008 at 04:04 pm

Ok, so I kept calling until the receptionist knew my voice/number and refused to take my calls...no problem, I just dialed a different number and got someone else (it's one of those "rescue services" provided by a local cell phone company to its customers, so they HAVE to answer). I even had a bit of a spat with her, because she said: oh, yeah, I know, we will give her the message. And I asked: are you sure you got my last name right? Sure. Ok, could you spell it for me, just so I make sure you got it right? I can spell it, lady, don't worry. Really? go ahead, spell it for me! ...you catch the drift (only the people that KNOW me get my last name right...everyone assumes its either Lazo or Larios or Claros...)
Anyway, I called again today (gave her 3 days to respond to my last message)...since I was told she's not in, I asked for her boss...I was told HE's not in (not sure I believe it, it might just be the secretary trying to cover for the girl that contacted me)..ok, so I ask for his e-mail...would you believe the secretary "doesn't know what his e-mail is"?...yeah, me neither. So, I asked for a fax number (she couldn't withhold THAT from me, could she?) I wrote a very nice memo explaining that I had been contacted to do the job on 2/26, agreed that terms of payment where "immediate" and that I had delivered the work on 2/27...I also added that I normally deal with the person that contracts me directly but, that since I had fruitlessly tried to contact this girl (didn't use that expression, of course!) for the past month, I felt I had no other recourse but to contact him directly. I stated the amount I was owed and asked for a speedy payment. I included a copy of all the translated documents, a copy of the email I sent the girl and a copy of the fax transaction report...
Of course, I also added my phone # and email...

I hate this!...I should have asked to get the original documents (birth certificate and other legal docs) and not release them until I had the $$$ instead of making things easier for her by telling her she could scan them and send them to me via email/fax!

Bakers on strike!

March 26th, 2008 at 09:48 am

small bakers have gone on strike in ES over the price of flour...they will not bake for 2-3 days...
they are asking for a government subsidy to help them cope with rising prices in flour and lard without having to increase prices to the public...

Meantime, bus owners and other transportation business owners are asking the government to place a ceiling of $2 for diesel prices...

Troy will burn! (there WILL be trouble, one way or the other!)

The homework box

March 25th, 2008 at 04:19 pm

I'm thinking of putting together a "homework supplies" box...using stuff I already have, but adding some stuff, I was thinking:

1. pencils (Ale tends to lose them!)
2. eraser
3. sharpener
4. colored pencils
5. box of crayons
6. watercolors
7. white glue
8. 2 or 3 brushes
9. old magazines (for cutting up)
10.glitter glue (we do have some leftover from the school supply sale)
11. colored bond paper, letter size
12. white bond paper, legal size (we have about 10 reasms!)
13. yarn in different colors (leftover from knitting projects)
14. ribbon
15. gift wrapping paper (I do have some small scraps left over, too)
16. construction paper (from school supply sales)


Anything else you think would be good?

Finally!

March 24th, 2008 at 04:14 pm

I managed to get my letters to be able to file my taxes...oh, and while I was there, I ran into someone that, upon hearing what I was doing there, asked: did you also get the letter from the coop?...I hadn't even thought of that! and I made $46.66!- I imagine it was paid towards my loan (fine with me!), but, of course, this would have made my tax information inaccurate!...I'm glad I have all the letters/documents I need now!...
Now I just have to find the time to go to the Ministry and file! (er, no, you can't NOT go!...even if you file via internet you're required to print a copy of the declaration and bring it to the Ministry!- how silly is THAT?)
oh, well....joy of joys!....I'll go play with the numbers a while to see if I can figure our how much I have to pay!

Well, that's got to be a new record!

March 24th, 2008 at 11:59 am

There was a very famous tourist spot with natural spring pools that people loved to visit...the place was severly damaged by the 2001 earthquakes (besides damages to the actual facilities, the road was also badly damaged)...7 years later, they re-opened March 14th. They had expected about 17,000 to 20,000 visitors per month: they had over 5,500 that first day...And, remember, we were not "fully" on holiday until Wednesday!
The sad part is: by Wednesday there were already reports on the news that the facilities had been damaged. Apparently, the so-called authorities at the park did NOT close the park once the allowable number of people had entered, but allowe more people in than the park can handle...since there were no rest areas available, people just went ahead and held picnics in the gardens...they also threw trash into the pools, so that by Friday, the pools were filthy! (remember I mentioned that we don't have a "no littering" culture here?)

So, apparently it takes Salvadorans just 3 days to ruin something that cost $1.5 million to fix! Things like these not only make me indignant, but also make me ashamed for my country! Frown

Back to reality!

March 23rd, 2008 at 06:31 pm

Ok, our 4-day holiday is over, and tomorrow we all have to go back to work!
It was nice, while it lasted, and, for a change, I DO feel rested!...Our lunch is already packed in containers in the fridge (leftover Aztec pie) and I only have to add the milk, juice, yogurt and an apple for Ale's lunchbox (I pack a snack for recess and a full lunch for noon)...oh, and I'm sure she'll want to pack at least a piece of Easter chocolate! (but I have to remind her to eat it at recess, rather than waiting for lunch, otherwise it'll melt!- the Easter bunny always gets "real" chocolate!)

Happy Easter!!

March 23rd, 2008 at 06:41 am

The Easter bunny came at the break of dawn...Ale woke ME up at 6:11am...wondering whether the bunny had already come...I told her to wait until the parakeets flew by- we live between the place where they rest at night and the place they live in by day, so we hear them every morning and afternoon, or would, if we were awake... (about 6:15am)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........Z!

I think I'm going back to bed! (I got up to make sure Ale didn't eat all the chocolate in one sitting!)

Throwing food away! ugh!

March 22nd, 2008 at 03:07 pm

I was feeling so good, having made 2 full meals from leftover chicken (so, 3 meals total from the same chicken!)...and, as I went to look for something in the cupboard, I noticed.... there are those nasty bugs that eat pasta/grains in there!...ACK!...went through everything...had to throw away A LOT of stuff!... Frown At least, I fumigated the cupboard and managed to save some of the stuff (I need to talk to Nanny, this is precisely why I bought all those plastic containers, so NOTHING would be exposed!)...ugh!

The beach club

March 21st, 2008 at 11:06 am

was really nice!...It must be a lot better if you can come in your own yatch or small plane ...the access road was terrible!...we only dared go in because we had already driven for 2 hours to get there! It's unpaved and narrow ...those last 10 Km took us 30 minutes to complete!...even if I had the money for the membership, I wouldn't be able to take it ( 3 or 4 times taking this road would probably kill my car!)...PLUS, it's far away (117 Km or something, sis said)...good thing one of the benefits sis gets is unlimited gas for her car, because otherwise it would have taken us about $50 for the trip...it really is not worth it for a day trip...if you were staying a couple of days, yes...

OK, back to the good part! The place is beautiful, the employees were all very nice (at other places they make you feel bad when you come with a free invitation - which is totally stupid, if you consider that people are given those free invitations to try to entice them to sign up for membership! Go ahead, alienate the potential customer!)...but her people were very nice...
They had a wading pool, a small pool and also a jacuzzi... they have cabins for 4 or 8 people if you want to spend the night...if not, you can stay in your "palapa" by the pool or by the marina (and, they do not have a beachfront, as they are further inland, but they will take you on a 2-hour tour to a nearby beach if you want to...free for members, $113 to hire the boat if you're not a member...needless to say we DIDN't take the tour...the food was also very good and, not really expensive (each plate cost $9, your choice of fish or meat- good, tender meat and really good fish- potatoes and a salad...sodas were $1 and beers $2...we didn't bring a cooler, but saw many people HAD brought their own drinks)
The place was very clean (worth noticing because, unfortunately, we still don't have a "don't litter" culture here in ES!)...oh, and that also applies to sound pollution...generally, if you go to the "popular" beaches or resorts, it seems they are trying to drown the surf sound (??? isn't the sound of the ocean one of the reasons one goes to the beach??)...here, they had some soft playing music (as in: if you were sitting next to the bar, you could hear it, but if you moved 2 or 3 meters away, you could hear the sound of the birds louder than the music- bliss!)...hmmm, so this is how the other half lives! we could get used to it!- and, honestly, at $300/year for the membership, it would be "doable" ...but, besides reasons 1 and 2 mentioned above...well, it's not a necessity, so, of course, it's not happening!- it was a nice excursion, though! - total cost was $25 for Ale and myself...I consider them well spent!

Here's a link to their website:

Text is http://www.barillasmarina.com and Link is
http://www.barillasmarina.com

Deadbeat customer!

March 19th, 2008 at 11:27 am

This is ridiculous! ...
I call at 9am, she's not in yet, I call at 10, stil not in...I called at 12 (yesterday) she had just left for lunch...I called at 2, she still wasn't in...I called at 3, she hadn't returned and they didn't expect her back for the day...

today, the same thing...I emailed her (from 2 different addresses, just in case she has me blocked) and sent the translated documents again via fax (together with the original transmission page from 2/27)....

We are being dismissed early today...I'm still hesitating between going to her home tonight (I know where she lives because she originally contacted me through the owner of the translation agency, and they're neighbors) and waiting until after the holidays to contact her boss directly (who, after all, is the owner of the documents, so he's the actual end customer) and refusing to deal with her anymore...

hmmm....another option would be to just try to get her boss directly today after lunch (it's already 12:30)

Needless to say this isn't someone I'd like to work with in the future...(all this over $53! can you imagine if it were more than that??)

Payday!

March 19th, 2008 at 09:59 am

because of the holidays, payday was early (today, as opposed to Friday)...the bad news is...that gives me 3 more days to spend the $$$...

So, to avoid temptation, I already paid my share of the rent and the personal loan... I do have $25 allocated for "holiday spending" - we are going to the beach tomorrow and to the movies on the weekend!

Non-financial: we ditched the training wheels!

March 16th, 2008 at 05:12 pm

Woo-hoo! I finally convinced Ale to take the training wheels off her bike...just as I suspected, she didn't really need them, but was just afraid to try!...

She still drives as if she just came from the Happy Hour at some bar, but, she didn't fall or bump into anything...so it's just a matter of (more) practice!

I never learned to ride a bike, so this is twice as exciting for me!