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Puertorriqueño (28 Feb 2015 at 20:29)
Ah, another month gone by with nothing to report here on El Radar. Probably the most interesting thing this month is that I went on a proper vacation (that is, there was no purpose to this other than to relax in a warm place) for what I think is the first time in my life, to Puerto Rico. It's a pretty good place, though weirdly ensconced in like 1990, at least from my city boy perspective. Like for example we went to a brew pub, the only one on the island as far as I could tell, and the waiter told us this,

Welcome! This is a brewery. So we don't have all the beers. We only have the beers that we make here [gestures to the obvious brewing equipment everywhere]. Let me tell you about the beers. This first beer, light beer. Do you know Medalla [Puerto Rico's pride, Medalla is a corn-syrup based light beer, like any sports beverage, totally devoid of soul, achieving the coveted "1 point" (out of 100!) rating on RateBeer]? Same thing. This beer is a fruit beer [? it's a pale ale or something, says so right on the menu]. Have you ever had Sam Adams? Same thing. [When he says it's the same thing, he makes a horizontal karate chop move with his hand, to indicate "end of story. I totally explained it."] Well, not the same thing, it tastes the same. This beer. DARK BEER. Tastes like coffee. This beer, Heineken. This beer, we don't have. [He's referring to the rotating seasonal slot, not even properly a beer. When we order a sampler, he tells us that they'll replace this one with a mix (!) of two beers.]"


It was like, not only was it hard to find a place that served anything but sports beverage, but even the folks at the brew pub were prepared to be apologetic to the cruise ship patrons that they didn't have sports beverage. (For what it's worth, the beer there was decent, but if you didn't believe me about 1990s, see completely earnest Flash website with Yacht throb soundtrack.) Same went for coffee, too.

The old city was beautiful, though, with lots of semi-wild cats roaming around to enjoy the fish smells and rub their cheeks up against tourists, and the oceanfront fortress was really neat too. From the fortress we could see across the bay to another fortress, and since lying on the beach is not actually really that fun for me, I decided that I'd try to do an adventure run around the bay to the next fortress. Google assured me that there was no route on foot. I was like "nonsense!" and did the old trick of asking for routes between intermediate points to verify that some of the choke points (bridges, etc.) had pedestrian passage. Looked good except for one highway bridge, except that one I could sort of see on the satellite map that it looked like it had a sidewalk. So I went for it. The run got off the rails immediately; that bridge had a sidewalk but I had to go through the brambles to get to it, and it was like peatones prohibito. también bicicletas!!. Then I was running on grass and marsh on the side of this major road and it just kept getting crappier and crappier, like the gravel would turn to piles of discarded mattresses and there were semi trucks parked all along the road, then semi trucks idling with hot semi exhaust blowing onto the mattresses, and then the semi truck drivers are hanging out because I'm in this shipyard and they are like wtf r u doing dood. Google's route wanted me to like climb this fence into the Port Authority of San Juan's Active Shipping Container And Industrial Accidents Zone, which fence btw had razor wire on the top, so I thought maybe that wasn't the right way to go, and backtracked for a while. I found this nice restaurant,
It was only open in July I guess
It was only open in July I guess
Speaking of telefonos, I also saw a pay phone with a big sticker on it that said FUNCIONAL, and I tested it and did indeed get a dial tone. But do you think that someone comes around and removes the stickers when the phones stop working??

Still it looked like I might be able to get to the other fortress if I took an alternate route—I had to eyeball it though because Google kept saying "turn around and go to that shipyard!", and I kept getting deeper into territory where I didn't really want to have to go back the way I came. I think after that I was running through a water treatment plant. I got tangled up in some rusty barbed wire, fortunately not cutting myself. But the thing about adventure runs is that you shan't give up! And eventually I made it to the other fortress, and it was nice, and there was a beach but I don't really like being on the beach all that much.

I have been doing a lot of work on projects, despite having nothing to show off yet. Since the SIGBOVIK deadline is coming up, expect some hacks soon!
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jcreed (74.65.203.48) – 03.01.15 14:01:40
This is a good post. I like this post a lot.
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