Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I missed what must have been a really cool site as the QE2 was on the
horizon on it's fair well tour. It pulled into port but I don't think
many people knew that either.

Cruise ships in port

I meant to mention the other weekend the city hosted 3 cruise ships.  One of them was HUGE, the Star Princess (Princess lines of Love Boat fame).  Let me tell you this ship looked like an aircraft carrier pulling into port!  Maybe bigger.
Of course with cruise ships, thus tourists!  And where to tourists go?  The mall, I don't know why.  I went to the mall for some items and you could definately pick out the tourists from the shoppers!

A slow day

Wow, the day started off with a bang.  Stayed busy until 12:00, then I don't know what happened.   These last 6 hours have been painful!
Ever have one of those days!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Whatever happened to that big yellow bell pepper you ask? Well Chris
shredded up some Nandu (Earlier post, it's a cousin of the Ostrich) and
added some grilled vegetables, stuffed the peppers with it and topped it
with Parmesan cheese, popped it in the oven. I could barely eat one
half! They were HUGE! And delicious if I might add!


Here they are, washed and drying and now in the freezer.


One thing about the cars here n Uruguay is that they are usually very
small and almost always European. Cars that you would never see or
hardly see in the USA, such as Peugeot (French) Citroen (French), Fiats
(Italian) and a host of other cars that I can't spell! Oddly enough
many of these cars are made in Brazil. I would have to say that the
most popular car on the road are old Volkswagen Beetles, made in Brazil,
after that the newer Peugeot 206's.

You rarely ever see Japanese cars nor do you ever see big American
SUV's. You can't go to the end of your street in the USA without seeing
a Hummer, here I've never seen one.

There are also lots of old cars held together with duct tape and bailing
wire, I'll try to find a picture of one soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008

New sneakers and blueberries

So after my 11km "march" I have to admit my feet hurt a little. My Hitech hiking boots (That I wore everyday in Baghdad) didn't cut the mustard. So I broke down and bought some cheap Chinese made sneakers. I don't think you can buy anything not Chinese made here in Uruguay.
So I've been walking to work in them and I think I enjoy the difference.

We just brought home a dozen containers of fresh Uruguayan blueberries, very big and tasty. When they first came out they were very expensive, over $4 per container. Good, but not that good. Now they are only $1 a container and just had some in my cereal this morning, mmmmm.
The peaches are in season too, let me tell you they are just as good, if not better than any peaches you would get in Georgia! And cheap, 29 pesos per kilo (Don't feel like Googling that, but say around $1.40 for 2 lbs).

Pictures soon!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Long walk to Mercado de puerto, and back!

Just returned from a crazy long walk! I say crazy long because I would have it was around 11,000 meters, give or take about 7 miles! When I say walk I'm not talking about a Sunday stroll through the park, Chris has a fast pace! All in all around 2.5 hours. My feet still hurt : )

Our destination, Mercado de puerto which means Market of the port. It was, past tense, supposed to be a train station but that never panned out, instead it's full of neat small parilla restaurants.
Of course my camera batteries had to die when we got there! It was pretty crowded.

On our way back we heard a the loud whine of a scooter, we jumped and turned around thinking we were going to get run over. As it turns out a two teenagers wiped out on some lose gravel going around a corner and dumped their scooter. The scooter got a flat front tire but they were all right. Good thing here they have helmet laws!

I have a mean editor

Mi esposa, Chris, is the Doc Report editor. My old email version of the
Doc Report readers of the Doc Report will recall that I frequently
mentioned that that there would be bad grammar, misspellings (Although I
run spell check they tend to slip by now and then) and the like. But
since the Doc Report has gone WWW she's pointed out quite a few blunders

Case in point. I mentioned in one post that Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had an
awful dry heat, but also said in the same sentence that it was hot and
humid there. So which was it she asks? Well, it!

Cat food rebellion

The other day we received some cat food from the States that a friend
had sent us. The cat food choices here are limited at best, although
fortunately our cats will eat it. Well at the first snap of the can of
Pro Plan our new Uruguayan gatita (Female kitten)"Tawny" came running
for the food dishes, our older expat cat "Cricket" could tell by the
distinctive "snap", this could possibly be "The good stuff". Let me
tell you, you have never heard more grunting sound then when these two
went at the food bowls, the cat food disappeared in less than a minute.
There was some hissing from Cricket as she didn't like the idea of the
new kid getting the good stuff, but it passed.

Oh, on a side note, Tawny's favorite toy is a wine bottle cork. It
keeps her entertained all day and night for that matter!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Turning heads

One funny thing about going out in the city or going for a walk is
watching people turn their heads when we come their way. Why? Because
we're speaking English. Can't hide that here. And when I go to the
store and use what little espanol I know everyone knows that I'm a
"gringo" because of my accent, so that turns heads. It doesn't bother
me, kind of funny actually : )

The great bands of the 70's

You know what I like about many of the bands from the 70's? They had
those great three word names that made neat acronyms and you just
referred to them by that. For instance?

LRB - Little River Band
CDB - Charlie Daniels Band
ARS - Atlanta Rhythm Section

And those that didn't you could just refer to by their last name.
For instance?

Floyd - Pink Floyd
Skynard - Lynard Skynard
Purple - Deep Purple.

Can't do that with the groups and band these days? I mean, does anybody
really say, hey are you listening to some Taylor (Which Taylor?) or
crank up the Spears!

So whats some of your favorite 3 word bands of the 70's?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Isn't it ironic

That someone (me) who spent one year in Baghdad and another year in
Saudi Arabia would come to South America and find that it's really hot
here, in January!
Saudi had this awful dry heat, hot and humid but you could handle it.
Here the sun just seems to burn right through you!

The consensus is that because Uruguay is below the equator the sun is
more potent, the conspiracy theorists say that there is a hole in the
ozone, or you can believe both.

Get to know "Doc" - Part 2

"Doc" The Marine Corps Drill Instructor, just like "Full Metal Jacket"?  Well not exactly.  But yes, mild mannered "Doc" was a Marine Corps Drill Instructor.
Both the most rewarding job in my life and yet the most difficult. 

The time was 1994-1996, the place, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina (Yes, 2 p's in Parris).  If you visit the Drill Instructor school there you will see me in the class picture for DI class 4-94.

The most difficult part of becoming a DI is the school, mentally and physically grueling.  Sometimes I can hardly believe what shape I was in back then!  It wasn't common to go running in "boots and utes" (Camouflage pants + t-shirt or sweatshirt and boots), M-16 rifle and cartridge belt with 2 full canteens and run 3-5 miles.
If that wasn't enough you would get called out to sing chants, you know "C-130 rolling down the strip yada yada" and all of the other favorites.

With the advent of the internet I have been able to find and contact fellow students of my DI class, a DI class instructor and one of the first DI's I worked with, but none of my Marines.

Attached picture is not me, but pretty typical of what it was like :  )

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dad on a bicycle

My Dad sent me this picture of him riding a bicycle, he labeled it "His
ride to work while his van is in the shop!"
I think it's a pretty cool picture! That and I'm proud of my Dad and
his good health! :-)

Food shopping in Montevideo

Just returned from are usual trip to the mercado to pick up the usual staple items.  Our refrigerator is a bit smaller than it's USA cousin so we can only get so much.
The prices are generally reasonable, as I had mentioned before the beef prices are by far the best.

As you can imagine the fruits and vegetable that are not South American or grown locally can be priced anywhere from wow, to oh wow!

Other food items can also be quite expensive, case in point.  I noticed there was only one type of whipped cream on the shelf, around $7USD.  Most likely locally made too!

The peaches and strawberries are in season, mmmmm.  Priced cheap!

One vegetable that always makes us laugh is the bell peppers, be it red, green or yellow.  They are always HUGE!  I took a photo next to a 2 liter bottle of wine to give you an idea how big it is.

Blog tip

For my fellow bloggers who are a little bit Geek 101, drop by this blog
and see the tip to put the Share This button in your blog posts, like me

Friday, January 11, 2008

Visitor locations

I just looked at my map that pinpoints my visitor locations and it's just exploded!
I remember when it only had two dots, and one of those was mine!

Drop a comment and tell me where your from!

Cheers from sunny beautiful Montevideo, Uruguay

View Larger Map

New Years Eve photos slideshow

Reading through the Bible

Did you know that if you read 3 chapters of the Bible a day you can read through entirely in a year? I have done it at least 5 times and read through the New Testament twice in the past 7 years.

So with New Years day I have started my quest to read through the Bible again, I am at Genesis 37 so as you can see I read a few more than just 3 chapters.

The neat thing is that I pick up more and more things each time I read it and gives me a better understanding overall of my faith.

I'll be posting more blogs in the future and tell everyone where I'm at.

Se habla

I had the toughest time in my Spanish class yesterday!  Part of me wants to learn as much as possible, the other part just gets confused and tired of it!
When I first got here Chris and I would always ask for someone to call a taxi for us, in fact almost everywhere you go someone will call a taxi, i.e. the host or cashier etc.  I learned how to ask someone to call a taxi for me in Spanish, but then it occurred to me, I can go one step further!  I can learn what to say when you call the taxi company!  Big difference though speaking to someone on the phone versus face to face, but guess what, it's pretty easy.  After I made my first call I realized how easy it is and I do it all the time :  )
So what do I say?  Un taxi para (And my home address) - "A taxi for ,,,) and that's it, that simple.  Of course a gracias and ciao afterwards, but no big deep confusing conversation!

Get to know "Doc" - Part 1

Just thought I would fill in the times and places for my new readers. Where do I begin?
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA, although pretty much after 1982 I have called everywhere else BUT Virginia Beach home. That would because of my time in the Marines.
After the Marines I've been a contractor, mostly overseas work and lots of travelling. Here is a list of places I've lived:
Twentynine Palms, CA
Jacksonville, NC
Okinawa, Japan
Beaufort, SC
Culpeper, VA
Manassas, VA
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
My suitcase
Baghdad, Iraq
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Montevideo, Uruguay
What place would I call my favorite? I liked Sarajevo, but Okinawa is also a nice place. But small towns are great, and you can't beat the southern hospitality and small town feel of Beaufort!
Here is a picture of me in Baghdad in front of the crossed sword, great photo opp place!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It was a fast week

Thursday already! I can't believe how fast the week has gone by. Thank
goodness my sunburn has gotten a little less painless, albeit now scratchy!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The lobster man

I forgot to mention that I am sunburned from head to toe! Went to the
beach Sunday and although I knew better, didn't put on sunscreen and I'm
paying for it!

100 degrees today!!!

It's official!  100 degrees!  HOT HOT HOT!!!  Somebody please remind me I'm not in Saudi Arabia anymore!

Heroes fan

If you told me a few years ago, for that matter a few months ago that
I would be hooked on your run of the mill sci fi drama I would think
that you were nuts. Confession time. I'm hooked on Heroes as is
Chris. We are nailed to the couch when it comes on. The echo of
"IT'S BACK ON!!!" When one of us is in the kitchen is routinem. Would
like comments from other Heroes fans! My favorite Hero? 'Hiro'

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Darker Shade Of Green Zone

BAGHDAD -- Several dozen soldiers and embassy staff members relaxed on the patio around Saddam Hussein's old swimming pool, shivering in the desert chill, as a boombox blared Latin rhythms over the racket of low-flying helicopters. It was Salsa Night in the Green Zone, but on a Friday evening in...For those of you who don't know I spent from 12/04 - 12/05 working in the very place the author is writing about, namely the Republican Palace in the Green Zone. There is probably only a million little tid bits and facts I could fill anybody in on, but she did a great job.From her description and from what I have heard things have changed quite a bit. I did hear that after I left the the rocket attacks had increased.I'll post some pictures from my Baghdad days soon.

read more | digg story

Friday, January 4, 2008

Finicky stray cat

"Tawny" our beach cat (Because Chris found her on the beach) is so funny
because although she was stray for who knows how long, she will not even
take a sniff of "human" food, not a bite, not a lick. She'll come
running at the sound of a pouch being opened though! What I don't get
is how a cat that spent who knows how long living on the beach, eating
who knows what, can be so finicky!

The other Spanish teacher

My usual Spanish teacher is on vacation so I had a substitute. Usually
there are a few other students (1 or 2) in the class, but this time I
was by myself. She said from the beginning, "No English", and she
proceeded to do just that. Gave me a one hour class in Spanish, in
Espanol! It was surprised I understood as much as I did.
It was mentally draining though! But I liked it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Free internet t-shirts

So it's come to my attention that almost all of the t-shirts I own are
free internet t-shirts, be it for filling out a survey, just asking for
one or winning some contest. Does this necessarily make me a geek?

Don't answer that please : )

Nandu burgers

Mmmmmm. Chris put a nandu filet in the food processor and made
hamburgers, they were out of this world! :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Eve 2008 Montevideo

This video hardly captures the sights and sounds of New Years eve here as there were fireworks to be seen in what seemed like every block of the city!

Some came frighteningly close to the apartment rooftop.

Countdown to 2008 from the rooftop party room in a Pocitos apartment (Montevideo)