Flawed Interactive Systems...

ISSUE #438: Dec. 16-22, 2012


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

More and more, the content will be dominated by events of our new project, "El Dorado" for short. While the future is always uncertain, I again aim to tell it like it happens -the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what follows.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines / https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Hacienda El Dorado / https://www.eldoradocostarica.com


Construction Log
Updates about Hacienda El Dorado

Rio Oro: A New Beginning: We've reached an agreement and inked a deal with a very strong developer from Venezuela. El Dorado will be reborn with a different vision. That new vision will be created over the next year.


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Saturday saw a broken water supply pipe which had to be fixed but other than that, everything continues to work.

Shareholder Meeting: the annual general shareholders meeting is Saturday. There are only two items on the agenda and there has been no discussion re. them... the proposed budget and a special work program.

Painting Touch-ups: Our main brand of paint -Glidden or "Protecto" no longer makes an eggshell finish due to lack of demand. I can get only flat or satin. Flat doesn't wear as well and satin has a higher gloss than desired. Neither match what we have so touch-ups are now more difficult.

Market Activity

Sales: one viewing.

Rentals: no calls.



Unit #109: $215,000 See Unit
Unit #114: $250,000 See Unit
Unit #121: Sale Pending  
Unit #125: $140,000 See Unit


Unit #106C: $1,250mo. Available IMMEDIATELY See Unit
Unit #114: $1,600 mo. Available IMMEDIATELY See Unit
Unit #123: $1,650 mo. Available IMMEDIATELY See Unit
Unit #124: $1,000 mo. Available IMMEDIATELY See Unit

Site Plan-


UNIT #109

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1506
Total Area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: all appliances and lots of furniture

This single story home (1506 sf. + parking for one car) is detached, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, home office, living room wall / entertainment center along with a built in office and a semi-private terrace. In addition, it has a vaulted ceiling in the “great” room and two skylights. The covered entrance way is suitable for two chairs located next to a covered garden area. Once through the impressive front door, you enter the “great room” which houses the kitchen, dining room, office and living room. Upon entering, there is a built in wooden hutch surfaced with granite—it matches all the built-in furniture in the great room. There is a clothes washer and dryer off the 2nd bedroom. The owners have added many personal touches and have done a supurb job in decodrating the home.



UNIT #125
Private financing may be available

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total Area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + parking for one car and 33sf locker is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple—or investment property.




UNIT #106C
FOR RENT $1,250 mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total Area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.



UNIT #114
FOR RENT $1,600 mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom,1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation—new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool.



UNIT #123
FOR RENT $1,650 mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1516
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This two story, detached 1,423 sf home + parking for one car has two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a 2nd floor covered terrace.

The open railed wrought iron cement stair case leads to the 2nd level where the master bedroom with en-suite master bathroom as well as 2nd bedroom and en-suite bathroom are located. Also accessed from the 2nd floor hallway is the covered terrace.

This is a very nicely furnished home with a good floor plan for those wanting two floors.



UNIT #124
FOR RENT $1,000 mo.

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.





Our Lives

WEATHER: dry, very windy and seasonal temperatures.

All in a Week's Living in CR:

Flawed Interactive Systems: This has been a very frustrating week due to what I'll describe as flawed interactive systems... those telephone, do it yourself system which make certain assumptions and which also don't have "feedback loops" so you know if what you did was accepted or rejected and if rejected, why??? and poor staff training... employees who don't understand their own product...

Background: I wanted to change my Internet phone system from Vonage to Magic Jack... simply because the quality was the same but MagicJack is a lot cheaper -the $43 a month would become $20 a year.

MagicJack Installation... it's now very simple but after two -two day sessions of about 2 frustrating hours each, I finally got it done. Why so difficult... payment!!!
The payment wasn't being accepted... I first used my Canadian CC... MagicJack's business system wouldn't accept it... for reasons unknown and there was no feedback so I didn't know the problem. After a 45 min. on line chat with their representative, he said my Canadian bank refused to process it. I thought this strange, but phoned the next day... no, that was not the problem... my account had never been charged so there was no rejection. I returned to the installation process the next day... same result... no account was created because no payment was being processed... after a 1/2 a drink of scotch, I had an epiphany... try my CR CC... that worked and instantly, I had an account. Evidently, the MagicJack business system didn't like a Canadian based payment for a CR installation... and rejected the transaction but didn't let anyone know why... we were all left to guess...

In the meantime I had consulted Bell Canada to change my call forwarding number... I wanted to eliminate Vonage an now use the MagicJack number. After hours waiting on the phone and beening given the run around... it finally got it done -but it took hours over two days. The company representatives kept insisting I could do this myself by dialing *71 to delete the call forwarding number and then dial *73 to install the new number. They system itself had no "feed-back loop". I went to their technical / repair department and asked them to do this... they said they did... at which point my home number which I'd had for 45 years, did not work. The next day I was still working on this and concluded that their self control system of *71 / *73 required that the call be made from one's own phone... how else would the system recognize the source???? Back on line to the technical repair department... on-line chat... I finally got it sorted out... and they could / did make the change from their control center. This problem I attribute to poorly trained staff who didn't know or assumed I was phoning from my home phone... I had to figure out their system...

In the meantime, the Vonage system screwed up while I had been in discussion with the Bell Canada -a conversation which wasn't going anywhere- we had a power blip while I was on the phone and it crashed the modem... I later determined what the cause was, rebooted the modem and it was working again but that took a day to figure out -largely because of all the other variables I'd been working on...

Three days of frustration finally resolved... all because interactive systems didn't have feedback loops, had built in assumptions, and staff hadn't been trained...

Traffic: it has been horrible this past week and unfortunately, I had a lot of running around to do. People preparing for Christmas, preparing for leaving the Central Valley to the beaches, spending their aginaldo...

Brian, Lita, the Late Hugo IV, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, Chico II and Chica II

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