Guarding The Truck

My Chevrolet Pickup is a favorite vehicle, and here in Aruba it sits under the carport much of the day. There are a number of small creatures from the field in back and surrounding properties that might have designs on getting under the hood and chewing up the wires or the seats. No chance. I have a reliable guard on duty. You met him before. His name is Tux. Here he is on the roof, keeping a keen eye for trespassers.

He’s a tough little cat who takes no prisoners and has a snazzy uniform with the white trim. Once in a while he’ll take down a bird flying low, too. Amazing. Good job Tux!

Published in: on July 31, 2010 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Aqua Grill, Aruba

Aqua Grill Restaurant is located near the high rise hotel area on Aruba’s Palm Beach. You can walk there in a few minutes from any of the hotels and if you’re staying in the low rise area it’s barely a five minute drive. This place is known for seafood. We sat down for a nice supper at a place that I’ve passed many times but had not had the opportunity to give a try. Well, one appetizer was crab cakes.

Plenty of real crab meat there and not the least bit greasy. Another appetizer was a mixed salad. You have to eat your greens every day!

Then came the main course. A sea bass from Chile with the trimmings.

And a top sirloin, too, because I really don’t like fish.

The meals were tasty and well presented by a caring staff. Service here is well worth the 15% service charge. I tried to snap a photo of the room, it didn’t come out so well.

There on the left is a massive wine cooler. Look over the wine list carefully and you’ll surely find something you like. All in all, Aqua Grill is a solid seafood house worth your money. It’s at the upper limit of my budget so I’ll have to save up before coming back.

Bon dia from Aruba.

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Before and After

My shack in Aruba has gone through a number of repairs lately. The most recent project is the replacement of the windows. The old windows were aluminum framed, set in wood, which was fitted to the concrete walls. They were no longer completely serviceable, the screens were broken, and I wanted to do away with the divided lights. Here’s a look at an old one first.

Looks good enough, but they were leaky and had to go. A company called Builder Systems here in Aruba made the new, vinyl framed single light windows for me. Here’s the new one in place.

That’s a better window, more energy efficient, and the installer did a great job fitting it into walls that are approximately 80 years old. That’s no easy job, nor is the finishing up with the stucco. It’s gone well so far, especially given the challenges. I look forward to wrapping this up and getting a nice coat of paint on the place.

Bon dia from Aruba.

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Things Happen, book review

Bad Things Happen, written by Harry Dolan, is one of the most complicated crime novels I’ve ever read. The plot centers around the death of Tom Kristoll, a literary journal publisher in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There’s a precursor murder, too, that figures deeply into the chain of events, and it’s this primary act that sets the main character on his journey to find out what happened, how it happened, and who made it happen. David Loogan is the main character and he has some secrets of his own. You’ll have to jump a hurdle in the beginning of the book, one that’s not easy to get over, but if you do, you’ll be richly rewarded with a convoluted experience worth your reading hours.

As Loogan sniffs out the trail of Kristoll’s killer, he finds himself enmeshed with a number of minor and major literary characters, all with ties to Kristoll, all with potential motives, and they include Kristoll’s widow who uses Loogan for some fun of her own. Loogan is not alone in his quest. The book is set in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA and Detective Elizabeth Waishkey is on the case. She’s got detective talent, a daughter, and no husband. Her emotions can get confused at times (this is the weakest part of the story but don’t let it knock you out of the narrative). Working toward the same goal but for different reasons, Loogan and Waishkey uncover the facts and track down the killer(s) in a highly readable thriller. But thriller is not the best way to describe this book. It has thrilling elements, but it also has intricacies that pull you along, that make you turn the page.

There are enough twists to satisfy any crime novel lover and the best part is every one is believable. It’s rare a book like this achieves that mission, but Harry Dolan does, and my hat is off to him. Enjoy the ride!

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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