Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ecuador's Real Religion

Holy Week has come and gone. As I showed in my last post thousands of Ecuadorians were visiting local churches and celebrating the holiday in various ways. But while the population is 95% Catholic, we learned yesterday what the country's real religion is.

We needed to go to the IESS (Social Security) hospital for some follow-up appointments.

Since it was mid-afternoon we were surprised that our normally busy street was almost deserted and it took awhile to flag down a taxi. Once we arrived there wasn't the normal hustle bustle of patients and doctors, but the lobby area was unusually packed. What was going on?

We looked up at the TV on the wall and immediately got our answer. Undefeated Ecuador was playing Columbia in soccer. I have a blasphemous confession to make--we're not fans of the sport and had no idea the game was in progress.

My British son-in-law has tried his best to get me interested in soccer. But as I've explained to him, Americans generally support sports that we invented. And on a personal level, I'm no more a fan of a pitchers' duel in baseball or a defensive struggle in football than I am of a game where guys kick a ball around for an hour and a half to end up with a 1-1 tie. Give me points and lots of them!

Ecuadorians live and die by their team, and I'm sure this attitude is reflected throughout Latin America. When a game is being televised during the day business grinds to a halt and locals are crowded around television screens all over the city.

There were so many people watching the game in the lobby that someone at the hospital finally turned off the TV so doctors and patients would return to the health care business they were all there for. We saw our physicians much quicker than normal and were soon on our way.

So here's an "insider tip" for you--schedule appointments on game day for super-quick service. If your doctor actually shows up and isn't watching the team somewhere else, that is------.

P.S. Ecuador lost 3-1, but somehow the sun came up this morning and life goes on.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Visit to the Seven Churches

Every year before Easter as many as 10,000 Catholics hit the streets of Cuenca to participate in Maunday Thursday. This tradition dates back to Roman times when Christian pilgrims visited the city's seven basilicas as an act of penance. Cuenca attracts thousands of visitors for this event because of the proximity of churches in the historic district.

Cynthia and I happened to be downtown on Thursday at a going away party for friends who are moving to Spain. When we left the restaurant at around 10 PM we were stunned to find the streets absolutely packed with pedestrians. We'd never done the seven churches walk before and spontaneously decided, "What the heck, we're here--let's do it!"

I happened to have my camera with me so here are some photos:

Vendors were everywhere making sure no one was hungry.

Here's the New Cathedral under a full moon.

As this is by far our biggest church there were tons of people going in and out.

Some other shots from churches along the way.

Many of our churches are beautifully lit at night, but we discovered they must be on timers that go off at 10:30. I wish I had a better photo for you.

We made it to five churches before heading home. On the way we crossed the Tomebamba river

and walked down our very quiet street after a busier than expected evening.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Joys of Wandering Around

One of the joys of pedestrian life is you never know what you might encounter when you're out wandering around. I offer you last night as a prime example.

We met great friends for an amazing meal at Trattoria Novecento, a gorgeous restaurant in Hotel Santa Lucia.

I don't throw around words like "amazing" when it comes to the food here in Cuenca because quite honestly the cuisine doesn't often measure up to U.S. standards. But Cynthia's salmon and roasted veggies and my pepper-encrusted steak with mushroom risotto were both spot-on. Here's a shot of our mozzarella and prosciutto salad.

Afterwards the plan was to attend a special choral production nearby in the Old Cathedral that we had read about. When we got there about twenty minutes early the church was dark and the gates were locked. Not promising----

While waiting outside "just in case," we noticed well-dressed people coming in and out of the beautiful building across from the church.

Were we mistaken about the concert's location? Curious, we went inside and found folks standing around chatting and sipping wine.

Looking into the empty auditorium we discovered a presentation had just taken place for members of the Judicial Council. Not sure what that organization is but we figured, what the hell, the concert's not happening and we're here, so let's have a glass of wine and do a bit of chatting ourselves. Which is exactly what we did.

We soon parted company because our friends had an early start the next day. Cynthia and I weren't really ready to call it a night and decided to walk to a symphony performance that was on the way home anyway.

En route we bumped into a fab new art gallery, Galeria del Artista, and detoured a few minutes to check it out.

The owner was quite gracious and invited us to the gallery's grand opening next Friday night. Art--live jazz--wine--cheese--put that one on the calendar!

Oops-time for the concert to start. We hustled down the street and luckily snagged two great seats on the first row of the balcony just as the lights went down. We were treated to an Easter extravaganza featuring the full orchestra, a beautiful violin virtuosa, 60 member mixed choir, and four solo vocalists. Wow! And as usual, completely free of charge.

Strolling home afterwards it would have been easy to conclude we were under the spell of the full moon overhead. Except the truth is, because we often find ourselves walking around in such an interesting city, cool stuff like what I've described happens to us all the time.

Photos courtesy of Cheri Edwards and Jadwiga Rytych.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Best Advice about Ecuador

I've written before about the sage advice given to me years ago by a Cuencana: "Try to get one thing a day done here. Everything else is a bonus."

But sometimes there's more than one thing that needs to get done. We had a busy afternoon planned a few days ago--eat lunch, purchase a baby gift for the baptism celebration featured in the previous post (if you didn't see it for sure go back and take a look!), buy groceries, shoot home and put them away, then turn around and leave again for Cynthia's followup eye appointment. Trust me, trying to get that much done in only a few hours is asking for trouble.

Sure enough, as we ate at San Pedro, the organic restaurant I wrote about recently,

rain started falling in buckets. We lingered until it tapered off, then headed over to the children's clothing store in the small mall on the ground floor beneath the Supermaxi.

Even though we've lived here a long time we sometimes forget we're actually in Ecuador, which in this case means we neglected to remember that all the retail stores are closed from 1 to 3. (Sigh) This immediately threw us into scramble mode, because now we had to skip the gift buying and double back after the doctor's appointment. (Double Sigh)

So--new plan. Grocery shop---oh, quick aside. After months of being MIA, Peter Pan peanut butter finally arrived back on the shelves. Don't know how many gringos are fans of the honey roast variety but even at this ridiculous price I'm guessing it will all be scooped up.

---taxi home--haul everything upstairs--back downstairs--taxi to her appointment at Exilaser. Dig Cynthia's groovy post-op sunglasses.

Doctor Miotto declared the surgery a complete success, which Cynthia demonstrated by easily reading so much further down the eye chart than ever before that I was blown away. After she gets the other eye done in a couple of months she'll never need contact lenses again (which she's worn since her early twenties). Now that's impressive!

After the appointment we trudged through the rain, which had started again, back to the clothing store, then walked home as the precipitation had thankfully stopped.

Nobody felt like making dinner after all that running around so we had a margarita, went up the street to a Mexican place for food and another margarita to celebrate Cynthia's good news plus just making it through the day, came home for an episode of Downton Abbey and an early bedtime.

Mi amiga was right, but sometimes you have to suck it up and pay the price.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Dear friends invited us to a luncheon celebrating the baptism of their grandson. We didn't really know what to expect. I'll let these photos tell the story.

Needless to say, we had an amazing day and are so grateful to have been part of this fabulous event.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Eyes Have It

The last couple of days have been a blur. In a way that is a play on words, at least from Cynthia’s viewpoint (there I go again!). You see (counting the title that's four puns already. Dude----), she had cataract/lens replacement surgery yesterday morning, and I’ve been doing my best to take care of her. All went well, and when she has the other eye done soon she will never again need contact lenses, which she has worn since her early twenties.

I’m scrambling to pull a last-minute presentation about blogging together for the Cuenca International Writer’s Conference. Friends have said, “Oh, you’ve been writing your blog for years. You can just wing it.” Sorry, kids, that’s not my style. All the paying attendees deserve from every presenter more than “just winging it,” so I’m hunkering down here at the computer.

I did take time to attend the opening cocktail party for the event last night and the keynote address this morning. The organizers have really done a fantastic job and everyone I’ve met has been delightful. This is a great addition to Cuenca’s cultural scene.

OK, let me get back to work. I’m up to bat at 2 PM tomorrow, and time’s a’wastin’. Wish me luck and more later.

P.S. Hey, see those social media icons on the left of the page that you never pay any attention to? If you would take a second to click on any and all of the ones you participate in each time you read my posts it would mean a lot to me and help build readership for this blog. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I've Got Gas

No, not that kind, silly. Propane gas. We almost ran out of it yesterday, though, and it was all my fault. Let me explain.

Propane in our apartment is needed to heat our water, cook our food, and wash and dry our clothes. While the other utilities, electricity and water, are automatic--as long as you pay the bills all you do is flip the switch or turn on the faucet--propane comes in tall cylinders that must be swapped out when empty.

There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Some people have a regular service that they call; others listen for the beeping horn of trucks filled with cylinders that slowly drive through neighborhoods peddling their wares. We depend on gas delivery from Santiago, the owner of a tienda a block behind us.

All the tanks for the tenants of our building are in a small laundry room in the basement. We have two (like the tanks you swap out for your grill, we bought them originally), using one until it's empty then switching over to the spare. There's no warning when that's necessary, and more than once the discovery has been made when one of us was in the shower. YIKES!! It's my job to remember to go downstairs and check after 10 days or so, depending on how much laundry Cynthia has been doing. The highly scientific method for performing this test is to lift the empty one, then pick up the other one to approximate how much gas is left.

It's also my responsibility to go to the tienda and pay $2.50 for a replacement as soon as the first one runs out, and here's where I messed up. Santiago has become a friend and I like to patronize local merchants as much as I can, but punctuality isn't his strong suit. Sometimes he brings the tank pronto but usually---not so much. That's why ordering a new one immediately gives him ample time to show up before we're totally out.

This time I meant to follow my usual routine but somehow got distracted and didn't get around to dropping by last week until we were a little too deep into the second tank. When time is of the essence I convey the urgency by mentioning Cynthia's name followed by pantomiming a knife being drawn across my throat while pointing at him with my other hand. Our communication is limited because of the language barrier but this he understands.

Since we were running so low I ordered two tanks and really wanted the transaction completed before we left for our weekend getaway. Bumping into him on the street Saturday afternoon I begged him to come before we left. He said it was impossible but promised to show up early Monday morning.

Well-----. At 11 on Monday I walked over to the tienda. We still had enough gas to heat water for tea but neither of us was willing to take a chance on showers. He was alone in the store and said as soon as his son showed up he would zip right over. 5 o'clock--no Santiago. Back to the tienda. I was told he was off to get the gas tanks and to please wait a half hour more.

At six the buzzer rang and there he was with the tanks as "promised." Showers were taken, dinner was cooked, and all is well in Casa Staton again.

Until next time------.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Adventures in Suburbia

Saturday afternoon we were picked up by friends and driven to Challuabamba, Cuenca’s ritziest suburb. Mutual friends had invited all of us to a dinner party, after which Cynthia and I were spending the night and being taken back home the following day.

Challuabamba is about a twenty minute drive from Cuenca, but when you don’t own a car that’s a long way. We were traveling on the autopista, which is basically a wide road with a median and no painted lanes where drivers get to make up their own rules.

None of us had been to our friends’ house, so we were sent detailed directions which I read out as we proceeded. “Turn right on the dirt road immediately after the first gas station.” Sounded easy enough. OK. there’s the station. There’s the---oh no, that can’t be the road!” Before us stood a steep, muddy (it has rained a TON here recently) dirt incline. Yep, that’s it.

Welcome to suburbia, Cuenca-style. In spite of living here almost six years, our familiarity with this neck of the woods was nil. We’ve visited one other couple who reside in Challuabamba, but they live right off the autopista we were exiting, not up in these hills we were about to climb. Four wheel drive engaged, up-up-up we went, dodging potholes and gingerly easing through deep gullies filled with water.

Along the way we’d pass a series of large, modern houses, then a vacant lot with a couple of cows grazing, then more nice houses followed by a small shack followed by a row of brand new townhomes. It’s quite surreal and bizarre, but by the time we reached our destination it was obvious that this was in fact the norm. The network of terribly maintained dirt roads in these hills connects a crazy quilt of everything from poor, rural families to incredible 10,000 square foot McMansions in gated, guarded communities.

The site of our dinner and spend-the-night party falls somewhere in between those two extremes--a lovely, almost new 3 bedroom, 3 ½ bath home with spacious rooms and a huge kitchen that would fit nicely into any similarly styled U.S. subdivision. Except for the dirt road, the cows, and the roosters.

After a fantastic meal and lively conversation, the friends who drove us left and we headed off to bed. Lying there we immediately noticed, “Wow, it’s SO quiet out here!” Our neighborhood is normally pretty calm at night, but there’s a bit of traffic and the occasional car or house alarm. Here---silence.

The reason we spent the night is because we were invited to tag along Sunday afternoon to engage with other neighbors in the sport of boules. Never heard of it? Neither had we. A quick Youtube video revealed it’s a French game similar to bocce from Italy where you toss out a little ball onto a long, narrow field of play, then teams try to get their metal balls closest to score points. Seemed easy enough, plus lots of food and drink were involved, so this looked like our kind of sport!

Turns out it was, as Cynthia and I were astonished to emerge the afternoon’s undefeated champions. Chalk it up to beginner’s luck on full display. Win or lose, we had a good time and got to meet lots of new and interesting people. We’ll see how much they liked us by if we get invited back (just kidding--while there we were kindly asked to come to a big birthday bash later in the month).

So we stayed in a beautiful home with friends and met lovely people. Could we happily live in the ‘burbs? In a word---no. #1, we’ve been there/done that many times in our previous life and #2, we hope to never again live anyplace where we must climb into a car to do anything and everything.

We love having all of our basic needs within a fifteen minute walk. Our apartment, while fantastic, isn’t perfect. We have no terrace or outdoor space and we’re in a four floor walkup. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s damned noisy sometimes. Still, neither of us has ever brought up the subject of buying a vehicle because we enjoy our pedestrian lifestyle so much.

Our weekend in suburbia was an absolute blast, and we were grateful for the experience with good friends. We know they’re happy with their choice, just as we were glad to return home Sunday evening to city life. How great to have fun wherever you go!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Feeling the Love

I begin this post by expressing my sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support I have received from you readers these past few days. The comment section here and especially my email inbox have been filled with encouraging messages, many from folks who have never commented before. Thanks to all of you who take time out of your busy lives to sit down and write to me. I honestly had no idea so many people enjoy this little blog I've been sharing for the past seven and a half years.

Yesterday didn't get off to a very good start as Paul Bunyan fired up his damn chainsaw next door at 7:30. I couldn't stand the noise so I went to the gym a day early just to get the hell out of here. After I returned home and showered, Cynthia and I both escaped to have lunch and run some errands. We ate at a unique new almuerzo spot called San Pedro near the Supermaxi.

As you can see, the restaurant serves only organic food, a rarity in Cuenca at any price point. They offer a choice of three entrees daily, and since it was Friday we decided to "go Catholic" and order corvina (sea bass) and shrimp. From me and other bloggers you're aware that an almuerzo is an inexpensive fixed menu lunch that includes soup, juice, entree, and dessert. You may be thinking, "That all sounds great, but what kind of meal do you get for $3.00?" Check it out:

Chicken, rice, and vegetable soup topped with potato strings and cilantro; a pitcher of fresh squeezed orange juice; fried fish or shrimp; rice and beans; fried plantain chips and cold mixed veggies. Almost forgot--AND a bowl of popcorn. The dessert of a tiny poached pear came later. There was so much delicious food that we couldn't even finish it all!

A siesta beckoned but the afternoon was just getting started. Splitting up, I went to a short business meeting nearby while Cynthia got started with our weekly grocery shopping. Once I got to the store, as is often the case I bumped into friends and got a chance to catch up. In the old days we regularly went to Gringo Nights as a way to meet people. Having more friends these days than we can keep up with, trips to the Supermaxi invariably turn into "Gringo Day."

We love our apartment and have lived here the whole time we've been in Cuenca. There is, however, one downside--our residence is a fourth floor walk-up. When we invite folks over for the first time we laugh hearing them huff and puff up the stairs. If they accept a second invitation we know they are real friends.

But, trust me, toting groceries up all those stairs is no laughing matter. I always have a choice--more trips with less bags or less trips with more bags. I always pick the latter option, telling myself, "This is good for me--this is good for me--." It doesn't help that the bag boys have no concept of weight distribution. They'll often put two containers of milk, a bottle of rum and two bottles of wine in the same bag. Why? Who knows--because they're all liquids?? Since Supermaxi is by far the highest end food store in the city, my best guess is the boys assume that live-in help, not the purchaser, will be doing the actual unloading at home.

Oh, a quick aside. You know all this talk among the Presidential candidates about free trade, trade imbalances, and import taxes? As North American consumers your daily life is unaffected by any of this. You go to Trader Joe's and happily buy cool stuff from all over the world at cheap prices, right?

Not so here, amigos. Imported goods are crazy-expensive, no more so than with wine and spirits. Our climate isn't conducive to grape growing since we don't really have seasons, so all of our wine comes from somewhere else, mostly Chile and Argentina. Even though they are South American neighbors, the prices for identical wines at your local Kroger or Ralph's are WAY lower. And U.S. wine? Anybody here besides me old enough to remember Blue Nun, the upgrade from Boone's Farm? It's still available, folks, and it can be yours at Supermaxi for---

---a pittance. Only $23 a bottle! See what I mean? We've pretty much switched over to decent dark rum and tequila that costs around $12-13 for a fifth, and Cynthia has turned into a bad-ass mixologist!

OK, so after catching our breath and getting the groceries put away we were running a bit late so we jumped in a taxi and went across town to spend the rest of the afternoon with a dear friend who recently lost her husband of over 50 years. Since he and I were roughly the same size she was kind enough to give me some of his really nice clothing when we left.

After a bus ride home we were beat and still pretty full from that huge lunch, so we settled in with a cocktail, an egg salad sandwich, and another episode of Downton Abbey before crashing.

We're off this weekend for a spend-the-night outing with friends in the suburbs. Should be a blast, but you may not hear from me again until Monday. Hasta luego!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Isn't It Ironic?

I'll be so happy when there are no longer Frederico Flintstone updates. This morning he switched hats and became Paul Bunyan as he put down his hammer and chisel and picked up---a chainsaw! My God, the noise! Before it was like a dripping faucet; now it sounds like someone is revving a motorcycle in our apartment. Add to that the racket from the three guys a couple of buildings over installing a roof over a condo's terrace and we're not exactly singing the Eagles "Peaceful, Easy Feeling."

I got a surprise message inviting me to speak at the Cuenca International Writers Conference next week. The topic? What else---blogging! The timing couldn't have been more ironic given that I just re-dedicated myself to posting more. Otherwise I would have felt a bit disingenuous, but with this new energy I accepted and look forward to giving an informative and (hopefully) entertaining talk.

Yesterday was an extremely chill day. I did yoga in the morning and spent most of my time catching up on writing assignments (except for watching an episode of The Voice). Somehow we even managed a nap in spite of all the hullabaloo going on. Our maid comes on Thursday and we're always happy to see her come through the door. We plead guilty to a cultural no-no: all three of us always sit down for lunch together. To do otherwise would feel weird to us, plus we get an opportunity to practice our Spanish.

I didn't even leave the apartment until dinnertime when I walked up the street to get a takeout pizza. I always order the same medium pizza, but I hadn't been there in awhile and, surprise, they've changed the menu. AND the regular girl doesn't work there anymore. Sigh---. When you've been drinking margaritas and you have to suddenly deal with something unexpected it can throw a guy off his game. Somehow one of our normal ingredients, pepperoni, is no longer a choice (how is that possible?), so I scrambled and ordered El Jeffe--"The Boss"-- which pretty much included everything else they had. With pizza and margaritas on the menu we dubbed our meal International Night at Casa Staton.

We couldn't bear to watch yet another debate (is there really anything else to talk about?) so we settled into Season 2 of Downton Abbey before calling it a night.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trivial Pursuits

Frederico Flintstone update: upon taking a closer look, the poor guy is taking his hammer and chisel to boulders! Is that what you'd call a rock the size of the base snowball on a Frosty the Snowman? I couldn't help but think of that old song, "I Fought the Law and the Law Won"---a'bustin' rocks in the hot sun----. This cat doesn't look like an Ecuadorian Rodin, so who knows what the final result of his efforts will be. But it seems our 7:30 alarm clock isn't going away any time soon.

Mornings in Casa Staton are devoted to fitness, and yesterday was one of three gym days each week for me. After beating my legs, arms, and abs into submission, I ran (not literally) a couple of errands downtown before meeting Cynthia for lunch. My gym is a 10 minute walk from home on the edge of the historic district, so I usually take advantage of already being in the area to take care of other business.

I saw in Cuenca High Life, an excellent local online news and information website, that the owner and chef of La Cuchara Magica is having a special performance of close-up magic. Since the announcement said seating was limited to 40 people, I thought it would be a good idea to drop by and make reservations.

The restaurant is on Gran Columbia, which at present is an absolute war zone due to construction of the light rail system scheduled to open---eventually. I feel so sorry for the merchants suffering through what has already been months of chaos--no cars, fences around the work areas, dirt everywhere. I regretted not having my camera to show you the scene and realize I must always have it with me in the future to give you glimpses of life here instead of just telling you.

Anyway, I finally get there and--surprise!--the place isn't open during the day. Oh well, that's only about the 1000th time something like that has happened. Onward to my favorite video store. There are tons of merchants all over town selling bootleg videos of just about anything you want to watch for $1.00-1.50 each. Don't judge. In a country with a minimum wage of $366 per month few people could afford legitimate $20 movies.

This store I like has "real" copies, not those hold-up-a-camera-in-the-theater versions, and the owner has always been gracious with exchanges in the rare instances of a poor quality disc or no English. We're latecomers to the Downton Abbey party, and I bought Seasons 2 & 3 before crossing the Tomebamba river (super high and fast after all the recent rain) for lunch at one of our favorite almuerzo spots, Black Coffee.

After a $3.25 lunch that included a big bowl of lentil soup, fresh juice, spaghetti Bolognese, salad, and a small dessert, we went together to an ATM to get some cash and the pharmacy for Cynthia's eye cream, and then enjoyed a leisurely stroll home. My favorite part of Latin American culture, a long siesta, followed.

Trivia Night at Cafe Eucalyptus was lots of fun. Having participated in these events numerous times I've realized you don't get smarter or dumber from week to week and that it's all about the questions. Sometimes we've won and other nights we've sucked. Our group finished a respectable 3rd place and everyone contributed, but (for us at least) it's not about winning as much as camaraderie with good friends.

Coming up tomorrow--absolutely nothing planned. Let's see what transpires.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

So You Really Want to Know What We Do?

A friend of mine asked yesterday, "Why aren't you writing more blog posts?" After running through a number of excuses I finally admitted, "I dunno, dude, it doesn't seem like our daily life is that interesting."

"Maybe not to you because you're living it," he said, "but your readers really like to know what you're up to in Ecuador. Every post doesn't have to be awe-inspiring or inspirational--just write!"

Is he right? I guess the only way to find out is to let 'er rip and see what happens. Please give me some feedback on what you think. Here goes----

Every morning for the past few days we've been awakened by Frederico Flintstone in the back yard next door. No, that's of course not his real name, but this guy has been clink--clink--clinking away with a hammer and chisel all day long six days a week from 7:30 on. What's he doing? Seems like he's leveling a short wall that's the rim of a fountain. With a jackhammer the job could have been completed in an hour but "caveman style" is usually the way we roll in Ecuador. Can you imagine doing a mind-numbing job like that for 10 hours day after day?

After the holidays we brought back a converter to turn one of our bikes into a stationary bicycle, and I've been steadfastly pedaling away for two months. I decided I had built myself up to the point of trying a Youtube spinning class video. They usually run for an hour, but I picked a 20 minute one "just to be safe." My God! I barely lasted ten minutes before I had to stop because I felt like I was going to puke. Must be the altitude here, right?

We've been having some really volatile weather lately in Cuenca, which is saying something in a city with the slogan "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour." In the afternoon a BIG thunderstorm (with hail) came rolling in. Cynthia was talking to our daughter on Skype and the lightning was so intense it was reflecting off her face! Our apartment is awesome but the building isn't exactly constructed to North American standards. A constant breeze blows through the place even with the windows closed because of the gaps around the frames.

Rain falling straight down isn't a problem, but when it comes down at the wrong angle we grab towels because water leaks in under said windows and recently a couple of places in the ceiling. The landlord has had workers come to fix the problems numerous times over the years but obviously their efforts have been unsuccessful. We used to get upset about this but it's happened so many times we now just smile and jump into action.

Regardless of who you favor in the Presidential race, can we all agree that this year's election has been the most interesting and entertaining ever? Both parties are in such disarray. Watching the primary returns a couple of analysts were opining about adjustments SeƱor Trump needs to make to be a viable candidate. Huh? Didn't he just win three more states? That air time would have been better spent discussing what, if anything, the other guys can do before the clock runs out. And who could have imagined that an avowed socialist would be giving Hillary a run for her money in our capitalist country? As shown in 2008, a skilled campaigner she is not.

Trivia Night tomorrow. Stay tuned----.