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manofthecoldland last won the day on October 12 2019

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About manofthecoldland

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  1. Pretty much home bound these days, and bored to tears with life in 2020 right now, I have found some escape in history and old film footage of eras past. Nothing like a bit of perspective to make you appreciate where you are in the here and now. Today I watched "Britain in 1900" and "The Early 1900s" while I was looking for docu's on the farming life that preoccupied most of our most recent ancestors. I like seeing how life was in the time of my parents, grandparents and great grandparents, as I'm sure most of you would, if for no other reason than to take time to count a few of our modern blessings and regret some of the things we've lost to modernity and the changing times. If you find any interesting Youtube vids re older lifestyles and times, let me know.
  2. OK, Peter. I plan on going to El Maria's late in the week with the wife. Let me know if you check out any more of the local restos. Too bad they still can't serve up beer..... or we could all resume some socially distanced expat gatherings again. I know re Tsoki's and might make it there some late afternoon. Guess we could meet up for buko juice..... but it won't be the same. Haha
  3. I see in the news videos and other vblogs that the plastic barriers are emplaced in jeepneys and trikes and the reg. temp checks and sprays are being used in places. Any personally experience this yet, or have a family member report on how it is working out for them? No more canned sardine rides for awhile it seems. Don't know what the profit margins are now, if any..... and haven't heard about any rate increases...... except the stories my wife tells me about exorbitant demands from trike drivers if you try to use one coming out of the mall.
  4. Born right after the War, in a Wisconsin industrial city, into a mixed neighborhood of German, Polish, Italian etc. ancestry, I loved taking the family shoes to the nearest shoe repair shop. The aromas of worked leather, glues and polishes stays etched in memory. Resoling was the main business then since good leather shoes cost quite a bit and it was worth resoling them. Men's and women's shoes were resewn, glued and nailed where needed. Metal lasts and a large lathe with a variety of wheels were some of the few tools needed. The era ended when cheaper imports started arriving and other materials became mainstays. An old man would push his knife sharpening pushcart down our dead end street a few times each summer. One of the large spoke side wheels had an 8" metal bell attached with a clapper that would fall and ring it as it was pushed. All the many housewives would bring their kitchen utility knives out to him when he came through. Maybe it was easier than getting their husbands to hone them with with a whetstone like we still do here in the PI..... at least my wife does since she cuts up fish and vegetables daily. People would also save worn out clothing in gunny sacks. It was a source of washrags, etc. Every month or two in summer, an old man would travel the alleys with his trucks, which had a scale to weigh and buy the excess rags. He would idle along, singing out.... "Ah-Raaag, Ah-Raaag " till someone flagged him down. He'd weigh it and pay you. Us children would make small money by taking our coaster wagons around to collect old newspapers which people would pile up near their garbage cans/bins and sell them for the pulp value. The last time I did this with my buddies was around 1960 when we filled up one of the kid's parents unused garage and by then you had to phone the scrap man to come with his truck. He didn't pay much for the huge load and we quit doing it after that one last time. We also made small money as children by collecting empty bottles and returning them to the grocery stores for their deposit value. 2 cents for the 12 0z. and 5 cents for the quart sized coca cola bottles. It saved the housewives from hauling them back when they did their weekly shopping on their husbands payday.... which was often cash pay packets. By the early 60's home heating coal was disappearing, but I remember hauling the coal furnace ash buckets every morn for my dad before school, when he cleaned and restoked the coal furnace for the day so my mother would have a warm house for her homemaking chores. He'd restoke it again when he came home from work. City Ash men would drive down the alleys and open the brick ash bins side door and shovel out the ashes every few weeks. Heating oil and then natural gas pipelines ended that era and cleaned up the air considerably. When the coal trucks came to restock the coal bins, it was as good as watching a circus, for a small child. The trucks had scissor lifts for the bed load, and the swarthy, sooty coal carriers would put down planks so span any outside stair flights, and then set up portable metal chutes to dump the coal down so it filled the cellar coal bin. The winter's coal arrival was always a spectacle for a small boy. The men had leather shoulder gear and packed the metal rod frames with either leather or canvas sacks up the planks and to the chute. It was a dirty, sooty job. A lot worse than packing the charcoal sacks from the trike to the dirty kitchen here in the PI. Good memories of another bygone age. Glad I lived through it. A time when a man's muscles earned him his livelihood and women weren't the least bit interested in doing what a man did for a living. Also vice-versa.
  5. You might consider hiring an authorized agent to get your visa renewal for you. I just had another 2 month tourist visa extension granted to me via / through my travel agency representative a few days ago in MNL.
  6. Tangigue/tanggingi or Spanish Mackerel is our first choice. The wife serves up two or three crosscuts for diner twice every week when available at the market. The skin is very thin and edible... when breaded you barely even detect it (unlike fish with a thick skin and fat layer..... some eat and I don't).
  7. Out of curiosity, I typed in " Philippines + camping " for a google search. Turned out even worse than I thought it would when I came across the co-mingled "camping and glamping' sites. A new term for me. Camping as we have known it over the last century in North America and its European variations seems to be an alien cultural practice here. Due to population density, its not exactly like floating down the Amazon and hanging a jungle hammock at a decent spot along an unpopulated stretch of brush. Here, there are people... everywhere. I have seen a video of a group of young people doing a hike with overnight tent camping when they decided to climb the highest peak on Mindoro. The pre-arranged trip (with national park permits and fees) took them by van from Calapan to the park and they hike in. There may have been a rest house near the peak, but I do believe some had tents. I laugh when guys tell me that they want to go to the PI and travel around, RVing, van or bivouac camping like they do in the US where we have an established infrastructure for it. Same for long distance bike camping. If you want to camp out here, you just go to one of your poorer relative's huts with your mosq. net and maybe a woven mat and camp out on any empty floor space. Then you use the charcoal or stickwood stove to cook your meal up. If you've the money for a nylon tent, primus stove and cook kit, inflate-a-pad or tent cot and the personal transport to move you around, they'd think you a nut case not to stay in something as cheap as a local love hotel for the night..... with running water, security and a fan at minimum. Unless you're a stranded, broke and begging, friendless, hungry unfortunate whose luck finally ran out.... foreigners are not seen or expected to be 'camping' in the PI unless its at exotic pay sites..... like the 'glamping' resorts. Sleeping out in a tent might be seen as one step above sleeping on a piece of cardboard with a sheet of plastic or a scrap of netting over you. Its not considered adventurous here or interpreted as a desirable experience if you can afford other options. A fellow could give it a try, if he was determined to figure out some workarounds, I guess. But given the norms and situations in most places here, it just doesn't seem practical or worth it. Whether by road or water....... i.e., coastal cruising camping in a small bangka, the problem is that there are people where ever you go and very few places or areas that would allow for it.
  8. Re Boracay as a possible Philippine retirement destination. I am most pleased that Snowy has found a good fit for his needs and enjoys all the advantages of living on the island. Since the improvements and re-opening, access is more controlled now. It has become an enclave of sorts. People retire to the Philippines for different reasons, looking for different things and with differing amounts of retirement income and accrued wealth. For some, retirement in Boracay, may be exactly what they are looking for. For many others, it may not be the type of Philippine lifestyle they are seeking, nor as affordable as a host of other desirable options. Others might prefer places that are more typical to Philippine cultural norms, socially and economically. Boracay is an outlier and I would think that one's experiences living there would be quite different than living in a more economically mixed location where transient tourism isn't the central focus. I would hope that future Philippine retirees take the time to survey all the lifestyles that are available here before buying in to anything, no matter how attractive the initial impression may be. The reason I make mention of this is because I enjoyed living in Puerto Galera in 2003. When we returned several years later to visit friends, increased tourism and big money had completely revamped the character of the place to the point that I would NEVER consider living there again. We stayed on Boracay for a brief while in 2010, landing on the back side of the island in a bangka from Looc on Tablas Island. At the time we were sightseeing, visiting Romblon, Romblon and Tablas. (My closest friend of 45 years has been living in Odiongan on Tablas for the last 10 years and used to get his visa renewals in Boracay, but now finds it easier to go to Kalibo..) I knew right away that we were not on a typical Philippine Island economically, when we began bargaining with our trike driver for a ride to the western side of the island. My 40 yr old wife, a very skillful bargainer and negotiator, then quieted me, telling me that this wasn't like other places.... not even P. Galera, where the trike drivers were extremely high pricing people traveling between the muelle dock and White beach.... only a few kms away (we walked it once). I shut my yapper and deferred. She had him take us to 2 or 3 low cost accommodations to check out and choose from, and then show us where the local market was and where the local Filipinos buy their meals. For the money, we got nowhere near the level of what we could get even at White Beach near PG. Yes, Boracay was priced for foreigners and White Beach on N. Mindoro for Manilenos tourists. I don't know how much has changed since then, but I do know that some places are meant for visiting and others for long term living. Boracay was truly exceptional and did indeed live up to its reputation at the time,
  9. A family member had one in the states, but only used it one summer. I don't remember it as being particularly superior in airflow to the much cheaper standing fans we use here. I prefer standing fans because they are easy to clean and lubricate every two or three weeks. If you take the time to place a few drops of light machine oil on the motor shaft while its laying on the floor with the 2 part guard and fan off during cleaning, and spin bobble the shaft so the oil works down, hopefully all the way to the back bearing as well, it will truly extend its lifespan. The thing I learned over the years, is not to trust anyone to do this simple disassembly and cleaning, since they inevitably strip the plastic threads on the fan knob. When I leave and return, I usually find a piece of plastic or paper or thread..... you get the picture.... under the fan holder knob since the knob was stripped out. It still works OK,, though. I had to teach my wife how to apply a minimum of oil on the shaft and work it well (no nasty jokes please....ha ha.) If you over oil it, use a twist of tissue or paper towel to absorb excess oil before turning upright. A tweezer makes the excess oil absorbing paper packing around the shaft easy to extract before standing upright to reassemble. Also the fan guard holding latches usually need to be moved with a real or makeshift tool since they are cheap pressed metal that corrode easy and don't respond to lubricant. With home sewn mosq. net shrouds that I clean every several days, my standing swing fan is the primary gnat and mosq. filter catcher in the room...... maybe the wall and ceiling lizards catch more though, judging by the amount of droppings they leave about.
  10. Several years ago while reading a science volume ( I don't recall the title, but I habitually read items in the 'new books' section from my local US library while there during the N. hemisphere's summer months), I came across a chapter or section re the science of 'false positives'. What I took away from that in the end was...... if you get a 'positive' that indicates bad news...... retest again and again to be certain.... because of the mathematics involved. This is the first search article I found on it now, but there are many others, better written I am sure. https://www.mathsisfun.com/data/probability-false-negatives-positives.html
  11. They work better than their predecessors...... which were basically a rain capped snorkel with a wind vane. But many now use ridge line venting, which is passive and extensive...shortest path from soffit to apex. They are considered the most effective and economical when installed properly.
  12. Re bathroom vent fans..... I don't believe I've ever seen them used in any of half dozen apartments and houses I lived in before we built our place. The ones I come across in restos are usually kept off or are broken. People here rely on small jalousie slatted/louvered bathroom windows for CR ventilation when near an outside wall. Despite the outside air having a high humidity content to begin with, the water on tiles still evaporates quickly as long as there is some natural air flow. In temperate and cold climates you get humidity build up in enclosed bathrooms with potential mold and mildew growth, but not so much here. Here, my wife clorox saturates and scrubs our 2 tiled CRs every few weeks to prevent that, as well as to clean and sanitize. Since many people prefer some natural light in the CR that a small window can provide, It usually serves to both ventilate air and provide light..... all without electrical cost. Bathroom doors are often slatted near the bottom section for natural ventilation flow and many door threshold are considerably gapped also. But if you have an interior bathroom, and don't mind the small costs and fan maintenance involved, it would be worth it I would think. But then you'd have to consider where the educted airflow is going. Things are usually kept as simple and low cost as possible here in most cases. No tech/Low tech is preferred or the only affordable option for many. But if you have enough money to try out other options, you are welcome to try. Passive systems are preferred due to electrical brownouts, corrosion, difficulty with part replacement and skilled workmen.
  13. If it is your intent to live here, it may be better to first find a PLACE you would want to call home. One that meets your needs within tolerable limits. After you're reasonably satisfied with where you're living, then the search for a suitable woman, of which there are no shortage of unless you have vastly different standards than most men, can commence. The primary reason I state the above, is because when you settle down with a woman here, its almost a given that she will want to stay close to family and a myriad of necessary social relationship webs. Her success in life often depends on that. If you become emotionally connected to a woman before experiencing living in her home area, you may have to tolerate living in a place you normally would rather not, if given other options. For me personally, there are many, many more places in the PI that I would NOT want to live, than there are places that I would. All of these places have nice, desirable and available Pinay living there or are from there. So the odds are that the lady of my choice, if met at random, would be from a place I would prefer not to live. Just a thought for your consideration. [ Robert U. T. Jr. , PhD. might approve ]
  14. I enjoy living here because the people are foreigner friendly in the provinces. They are quick to smile and have a positive disposition when politely approached. They focus on living in the present and are appreciative to secure the survival basics of human life. The majority of people here do not feel entitled to much of anything, unlike citizens of western societies, where the list is endless. You can live a simpler life here if you wish, and choose the level of technology and complexity to engage in. That's not always possible anymore in many advanced countries. You do have to either adapt to, or ameliorate the discomforts that may come with the tropical climate. Solutions exist. But that's a universal problem set that you have to deal with, no matter where you chose to live. Living in a place with a high heat index (see air temp + humidity % charts) can be a challenge if you haven't confronted them before in a continuous manner. Likewise re dealing with insects. Seasonality means something quite different than the places most westerners are accustomed to. You, yourself have already encountered many of these factors during your SE Asian travels to date, and probably know what to expect.... so I am adding comment mostly for others contemplating moving here who may not have spent time in the tropics. Good luck with your future trip here.
  15. As I watch the global news feeds, I feel more assured that I am far safer living here there in most other Western cities. Precautions here in my city and province are draconian and seemingly over reactive to the nature of the current threat status within my local city and province, but I will just have to live with it and not complain despite the level of irrationality at times..... since the virus is under control where I live at this time. New cases are listed in the Panay TImes, and almost all of them are coming in from other islands and quickly hospitalized and/or quarantined. I myself do not bother to go out at present. My wife is exposed to whatever risk there is when she goes out and uses good protocols, so all I can do is hope she doesn't become a carrier, as I continue to do a lot of hand washing, take my vitamin D, and wait.... and wait...... and wait into the indefinite future on a steady heading. Our local barangay started a two day fiesta yesterday..... we had fireworks last night.... and they roadblocked off our barangay for the event, requiring a proof of barangay resident pass and ID to gain access for these 2 days. The mayor signed off on it and also closed our beaches. The wife tells me that the military and coast guard personnel are patrolling the beach for these 2 days. Sort of like a gigantic semi-private block party with the blessing of the larger Gov. Unit. I really don't understand it, except that they don't want the residents exposed to 'outsider's during the fiesta. Go figure. Before and after everyone mixes at will anywhere in the city and province since there are no longer barangay passes in general use now and the checkpoints are gone within the city. The malls have different levels of standards, and most people are compliant when necessary, but after sounding the alarm bell for so long, and no real threat appearing, people are understandably a bit more relaxed...... however, they are not openly defiant or purposely ignoring general health protocols like I see in other places on the news feeds. I expect area isolations to be something we will have to live with for a very long time. Despite the inconveniences, I am very content to be living where I am right now.
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