Monday, September 15, 2008

That big package from the store.. (Pt 3)

As anyone with a modern laptop knows, they run hot. So hot in fact, that manufactures no longer call them laptops, but instead 'notebook' computers, because unless you are wearing asbestos pants, having them on your lap just isn't going to work.

As Eric pointed out, a real part of this trip is to get some work accomplished as well and sometimes there just isn't enough counter space. These MacBook pros run so hot that often having them even on a tablecloth seems a bit unwise. Commercial cooling solutions are available but we are in Mexico, so we had to come up with something else.

Which of course wasn't hard, since we still have a giant bag of inedible wafers. A little bit of carving with the knife, and presto, we have an elevated platform to help our high performance computing run as cool as the night.

Thanks inedible wafers!

Modern Conveniences

Walking through Sayulita for the first time it definitely feels like a town that time forgot. I can only imagine what it was like a short 10 years ago before it was generally discovered as a tourist destination. A few different times we've discussed what we would miss the most if we picked up and just moved here. Jen focused on supermarket item variety. It's true that the scant amount of items in the grocery store can get your attention. However, I think I would gladly forgo half of the aisles at Safeway for fresh pineapples, mangos, and avocados. Throw in some warm tortillas waiting for you by the register and it makes it easier to forgive the store for not having 30 different kinds of napkins.

Nic seems to feel perfectly safe taking the plunge especially knowing a big town like Puerto Vallarta is only an hour away by bus. I personally think I would miss the fresh cool air of the pacific northwest the most. That, and I'm pretty confident that I will never be an accomplished enough surfer -- or at least I'm not willing to put in the time to become one.

Even with its homes sans walls, poor plumbing, and plethora of beach peddlers, Sayulita still provides enough for even this geek to feel comfy. I mean, with WiFi and a laptop it's hard to feel too terribly disconnected. I've not let it interfere with my goal of feeling unplugged for the brunt of this trip. However, this is the first time since I've had kids that I've been away from them for more than a weekend and being able to video conference with them by virtue of the internets is good for all of us.

This town almost forces you to have a laid back vacation. So much so, that my number one goal for the day today was to do some laundry. And by do my laundry, I mean pay some nice lady $45 (that's $4.50 USD) to do it for me. It does make me feel a little bit guilty. I guess I should try not to feel too much guilt as my tourist dollars are greasing the wheels of this small town economy. Between the daily housekeeping, eating around town every day, and the laundry service we are doing our part to help folks provide for their families.

There are many parts of Sayulita I wish I could bring home with me. While Sayulita may be short on modern conveniences and variety, what it does provide it does so very well.

Hard at Work

As most of you know, none of us down here have a job. I guess we are all a bunch of lazy lima beans.

That's not to say we are without responsibilities though. While we spent a good chunk of our first week relaxing and letting the lazy flow like a busted sewer pipe into the Pacific, eventually we will start spending some time actually doing something that perhaps might resemble productivity. While some may say it's a shame to spend even a minute on anything other than hardcore vacationing, it's not fair to call a lot of what we do here "work."

One of the beauties of working for yourself is you work when, how, and on what you want. This allows you to work at a higher level than what is possible when work is shoved into a cubicle at a typical nine-to-fiver. Not only does this generally yield higher quality, but higher productivity as well. And besides, we've got the best office around.


With Joya's arrival we have now moved to the second floor of the building. It's quite a bit more spacious and has two full bedrooms at the sacrifice of not having as much outdoor space under palapa roofs. One night just before we left and as Eric was going to bed he commented that he had found a scorpion skin in the bathroom. Although we knew they could be found around here, we hadn't seen any signs of one yet. I went to check it out and sure enough it looked like the carcass of a scorpion moving up in the world, but I thought just maybe I saw it twitch a bit. I quickly nudged it with my finger and it was off, starting to scurry about. This was hardly a large specimen, but they do say the smaller they are the more dangerous, so we made sure to give it its proper respect.

In the end we used a door stop to put it out of its misery like the overgrown bug it was. All this served a nice reminder as to why flip flops are the footwear of choice here, as scorpions can't go hide in them at night for a morning surprise.