Octubre 16-21, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #106
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
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.
NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
The Story: A sad note, closing down, an Auction and Paul’s new job title, and technology... and a NEW house (probably).
Weather: quite a bit of rain and overcast skies.
Unit 102: The bathrooms would now be finished IF the granite installer would have installed the right colors in the right bathrooms. I told him he was wrong (the owner negotiated with him/I wasn’t part of the conversation) but the supplier insisted he was right. I said the owner will tell you if you are or not. He now has to redo two bathrooms. The deposit on the wall fountains was actually refunded –surprise, surprise— but I really wanted the fountains. Will have to look elsewhere. Why didn’t she make them?…just bad management skills... The carport is done. All will be done next week.
Unit 109: nearing completion. The owner is arriving early next week and it should be finished and decorated by then. This will complete all the furnishing contracts. Those who have seen it are amazed at the difference the built in furniture makes. We have an offer to lease it; we’ll see.
Irrigation system: no progress
Sad Note: Canuk, the long time German Sheppard guard dog, passed on. He was suffering from old age ailments and cancer. He died in his sleep and will forever continue to watch over the property. He was an incredibly smart dog and somehow could tell the good guys from the bad guys (or perhaps we never had a bad guys). In his prime, he was absolutely the greatest! Mac, the new dog, has big paws to fill and a lot of growing up to do as well.
Closing Down: We “liquidated” most all our workers today. While the term “liquidate” sounds sinister, it means we paid them all the vacation pay, “aginaldo” (13th. month prorated), severance pay, etc. that was due and owing. Most of them will be reallocated to the Rio Oro property and work under a different company.
Paul’s New Job Title: We had a lot of surplus items that were perfectly good but not required or likely to be used in the future of Los Jardines on the next project. We assembled all items —gas cook tops, new and used cooking pots/pans/plates/cutlery, bedding, beds, mattresses, chairs, refrigerators, used clothing, lamps, etc.— We held a “mock” auction... We gave each of about 30 employees packets of 50 beans which Paul had counted out —thus he is now “CHIEF BEAN COUNTER”. Probably the only time in their lives that they had a level playing field-- each had the same amount of ”money. In a land that lives on rice and beans, we thought the choice of “bean money” was very appropriate. Since they had no idea how an auction worked, we first had to explain the process to them. A few questions later and one trial, they were ready and raring to go. They bid for the items they wanted on the condition that they get it off the premises. The “maestro de obra” was the auctioneer. —Paul and I put the parcels together and made sure everything got auctioned off. It didn’t take them long to figure out side deals and coalitions—at the end, one bean was selling for 500 colones (about $0.95 US). There was lots of wheeling and dealing going on---watch out Donald Trump!!!!!! This will be the subject of stories for all participants for sometime to come. The distribution was fair and transparent. It was great, great fun!!!. And we achieved our objective doing it.
A new house: It’s not yet official but it looks like we will be converting a building we built last year as a furniture storage/laundry/employee bathroom into a studio house. Now that we have the lockers and each has a storage space and now that we are out of the furnishings rental and storage business, we made a proposal to the shareholders to convert that space into a “higher and better use” and to sell it. All but one of the respondents to date have voted in favor of doing so... We have three offers to purchase the unit if it is converted.
Rio Oro Development
I’ve received a landscaping proposal. We’ve authorized a surveyor to establish the perimeter lot lines and to stake out the proposed roadways so as to help us better visualize the resulting lots. The clearing of underbrush continues and the more detailed planning of foot bridges and walkways along the stream began.
A draft of the prospectus and pro forma including an executive summary is out for review and commentary...
An associate from Toronto stopped in while he was here reviewing his new house plans. He was amazed at Los Jardines and is seriously considering becoming involved in our next project. He would be a good fit since his N. Am. business is marketing... that’s what we really need.
Hooking up the plasma TVs became a major undertaking. They did not come with stands nor with connectivity cables. Sourcing each was an undertaking. I now have 3 remote controls and I know I’ll never be able to figure it out which one controls which device —and Lita who can’t see... well... I don’t know how we are going to work this out. I’m not sure this was a good move for us.
The parrot and I are learning to live together although we have no love for one another. He gets his food and put into the tree and taken in out of the rain and night air —if he doesn’t bit me. To save his little ass and my marriage, I use a long stick. I have to keep the little bugger alive or I might as well shoot myself before Lita gets back. She’ll never accept any “accident” —especially with Canuk now gone. I would be just dead meat —move over Canuk...
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot.