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New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.

Scheduled to begin in November with completion expected by
January 31.

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Progress Report

April 17-22, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #80

Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203

Costa Rica:
Cell: 506-305-3965
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101

NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.


Pictures: 101/2 and the lockers, mosaic mural, roadway w. trees trimmed,

Note: Last week Yahoo instituted new software (in their quest to reduce spam) which had not been perfected. It made mailing difficult. We'll see how it goes this week.

The Story: It has to be the internet, rough beginnings, and the Keystone Cops

CONSTRUCTION

Weather: calm, sunny with daily overcast and periodic afternoon rains-hot for us.

Units 101 / 102: Block walls are progressing; substrate is being added and compacted Columns are nearly finished.

Lockers and Locker House: Columns are all finished and the collar tie is being prepared.

Landscaping: We continue to devote more manpower than what I want the long range steady state to be. Some of it is playing catch up, some is finishing of what was started, and the rest is just plain ongoing mtnc.

We called in the professional gardener to review some of our problem areas. I had received some advice re. using more natural products and less chemicals. We have not used many chemicals over the past year. Nevertheless, we are going to be using more natural, products and reduce the use of chemicals. We are not going to be "organic" but to use no more than we absolutely need and use only when at a loss to otherwise achieve the goal.

We had the tall ficus benjamina trees topped on the east side. This opens the views for Units 121 and 122 and helps prevent leaves from clogging the drain water pipes. I didn't like the idea of cutting the canopy of these magnificent trees and hesitated but I had made a promise to 121 and 122. Now that the trees are topped and I can see the results from the roadway, it was the right thing to do. I know it has opened the vista for 121 and 122 so that now each as at least a 180 degree view of mountains. (Note: in the process we disturbed two bee's nests-our workers suffered their anger-and we have managed to break every single garden light standard regardless of how well we protected them. This is the nature of construction..)

Rain water drainage: We had a good downpour and found some of the systems worked; some need more attention.

Electrical System Upgrade: some movement but we still aren't there. We are still working our way out from the screw up of the first contractor. We had to replace the PVC standard up the utility pole because it was spliced and it had to be continuous and we had to add 6 meters of high voltage wire which means we had to throw away 30 meters and buy 36 meters, and the transformer has to be lifted off the pad, taken to ICE to be tested (this was supposedly done once but somehow there are no records). We're hoping that in two weeks we will have 30 electrical meters and this story will be history.

Mosaic Mural: it progresses and is nearing completion. (See picture.) It should be finished next week. A number of the neighbors are watching is progress. The two guys doing it are understandably proud.

Dish TV: we've decided to keep this system and to rejuvenate it with more connections and channels. We can now receive all the sports and pay-per-view. We will be able to resell it for only slightly more than for what CableTica provides as a basic package. It will be of interest to those who want the N. Am. sports and movie networks. This will not be a money maker but it will be a service / amenity.

Water reservoir tank: We've let the contract for the controls and pumps. It should all be finished next week. We are getting our well water tested for bacterial count and mineral content. Should have the results by Monday. We are not expecting any problems; this is routine testing-there have been reports of aquifer contamination -we want to be sure.

Transition: We had an incident where the security alarm in the tool room malfunctioned probably due to high temperature. We needed to turn off the alarm. No problem, get the key which I had labeled only two days before, enter the code, and . Well, the key wasn't the same as I had labeled, tested, and had written the alarm code on. Went to the site superintendents' office; couldn't find his keys. Couldn't reach the Site Superintendent to find out where he had his keys... an hour later he arrives, finds his keys, opens the lock and kills the alarm. We had a discussion... the next day one person was assigned to check every bloody key, and label, and to ensure that no one, absolutely no one takes and does not return the master to the master board. The whole thing reminded me of the Keystone Cops-we were running around, bumping into things, everything we tried failed, and it was all suppose to work. The first test of the key management system failed... Life goes on ...

Internet: Three steps back on this one!!!!!! We have continued to experience instability and unreliability problems over the past three weeks. We've bought new equipment, we've rebuilt the telecommunications room and cleaned up the wiring rats nests and secured connections, we air cooled the room so no equipment overheating -our instability has continued. Our system finally failed completely. It seems to have been a combination of problems: (1) system design -it finally occurred to Paul (he's not an expert but reasoned his way through it) that there was a systemic design fault-we had a small router meant to split VOIP from Internet before the newly purchased heavy duty router. We had a weak link at the very beginning, right after receiving ICEs signal our signal started breaking down. We had ICE in to configure the new, stronger modem: they didn't have a clue. We subsequently found a fantastic guy who, within two hours, had configured the modem, diagnosed another problem and solved it, determined that our wireless system was still operable (despite the first person's assessment), and recommended getting a second service provider, (in our case it would be CableTica) and then we have redundancy (two service providers) which increases our reliability. In addition, we have decided to hard wire ALL those houses which were not hardwired (about 8 houses) in order to better keep that commitment of reliability. I'm now beginning to breath easier and see the light at the end of the tunnel. This has been a nightmare for both Paul and I since we promise to meet N. Am. and European performance expectations-to date, this aspect has lagged. Through all of this, we have been plagued by people who claim competencies which they do not have. Hopefully, in this process, we have identified a great computer and systems support guy-the PC Doctor -he also knows MACs.

Dog: Training has started. Mack is now one week into it. He's a Grade 5 "heeler" and "stopper"-he still needs a lot more training on both. Next week, he learns to sit, stay, and more heeling. We have our chief mtnc. person working with him twice a day along with the trainer once a day. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to work with the dog; I need to and will on Saturday and Sunday.

Marketing: We closed on 120 this week and the resale of 108 is on track.

We leased 118 as per the owner's wishes and have a viewing to lease 119 on the 25th.

We understand that 106A has resold with a closing scheduled for the middle of next month. Next Project: No progress on this.

OUR LIVES

Micky left after a quiet and restful holiday; Terry arrived for a 6 wk. contract break and moved into his home (105).

With Paul gone, I've had to pick up issues which he designed and dealt with... a learning curve for me. With the internet system going down, he was going berserk being in Canada and trying to problem solve and give instructions by phone... Each day was full, busy and frustrating but not that stressful. I continue to hope and believe that some of the frustrations we experienced this week were teething problems and that they will disappear when we get our act together -so far, an elusive goal.

Lita and I took off a couple hours mid day and visited friends and former residents who now live in Atenas. It's nice to see there is life after Los Jardines.

Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot

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Unit 101
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East roadway
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Lockers
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Mural
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