[meteorite-list] 'The Art of Collecting Meteorites' auction- last chance
From: Kevin Kichinka <marsrox_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:13:01 +0300
Writing on a sunny day, high up a mountain in my home in Costa Rica.
As this post regards a book about collecting meteorites, I hope that as we
together wander off-topic, you'll share a little holiday tolerance with me.
Last Sunday, friend and retired NY hedge fund manager Tom and I were
sitting under the rancho sipping beers after a four hour hike on a nearby
mountainside. Views there to the Pacific Ocean were spectacular. A common
sight, we were casually thrilled when two scarlet macaws flew by flashing
Tom, wealthy beyond a thousand lifetimes of need and practiced at avoiding
any form of work, challenged me to locate 'flat mountains' to climb for our
In the year since I moved to this tiny, remote pueblo I've taken out the
struggling, unprofitable coffee plants and begun to aggresively re-forest
the mountainside behind my house. That means that the hearty,
maintainance-free, 'rain forest' trees I planted of multiple species,
suited to the soil and climate, are getting pampered with year-round
fertilizer and are watered during the dry season. I've managed to control
the leaf-cutter ants, a miracle. The birds and butterflies seem to agree
with this plan and are incredibly diverse and abundant.
We were sitting surrounded by hummingbirds that playfully chased each
other, jetting around making whoosh noises during geometrically impossible
A Chestnut-mandibled toucan, its bill half brown, half yellow, landed in a
tree scant meters away.
"There will be another one" I insisted, knowing their habits.
Nostrodamus should be as prophetic, as hardly a second later a second
toucan landed in the same tree.
Then a third.
And a fourth.
And a fifth.
They kept coming until there were eleven toucans sitting in this tree,
decorating it for a tropical Christmas.
Thanks to those that took me up on this book auction to offer an opening
For anyone who missed the announcement, please refer to my first message a
couple of days ago to review the conditions and books that are up for sale.
The present highest bids appear at the conclusion of this message. The
auction closes at 7pm EST tonight.
This auction is one of several ways I am disposing of property to raise
money to fund some 'good deeds' which will help my little town. I enjoy
working together with my neighbors much more than sitting around alone
watching TV, so its a mutual benefit. It's also a different, more joyful
vibe than the two homeowner's associations I presided over in Florida.
Costa Ricans are a humble lot, 'Happiest people in the world', its a
priviledge to be accepted in their company.
These following projects are active. Some require supplemental money for
small items that can't be purchased by the various entities without
unreasonable delay due to bureaucracy, some projects only require a push
forward by outside expertise not limited by local political and/or social
influences. This is not a plea for donations, nor is it meant to be about
me. It is just something different to think about during this reflective
time of year.
1. Learning and speaking English is nearly everyone's dream here. For my
last forty visits to Florida since 2002, my first stop has been to the
retail stores for the Salvation Army and Goodwill where I buy two used
suitcases (no reason to pay airline fees to bring back two empty ones)
using one to hold the english-language books and magazines I can buy there
in bulk. Sports equipment, binoculars, computer-related accesories, dvd
players will fill out the space until I hit the allowed 'forty pounds' for
a second checked bag. Once back, I'll drop it off to the principle of one
of the nearby local schools who will distribute the contents. I'll wonder
if a young, precoscious boy looks at the moon with binoculars for the first
time and chooses his life's work...
2. The main cities in Costa Rica are sucking the aquifers dry. They then
pipe down water from areas in the mountains, leaving those folks without.
No permits or public hearings are held. People living where water drips off
of the mossy trees turn on their faucets and nothing comes out.
My local water board of good-intentioned, but unqualified neighbors are
aware that 30,000 residents of the nearest town are without water from
January through April when the rains return. Being the busy-body that I am,
last March I interviewed the city mayor and the head of the national water
utility. What's your plan going forward to provide water to these people?
They had no plan.
My town of Grifo Alto- 'High Faucet' -sits on a mother load of water. If
pipes are built to tap it, this town could literally turn high and dry,
devastating the cattle, fruit, coffee and ornamental plant industries.
Vigilence to this threat is necessary.
Because of the lackadasical security to our water resources I have
purchased locks and chain, solar security lighting for pump facilities, and
barbed wire and the labor to install it around the facilities. But this
fencing needs to be replaced with chain link. They asked me for $500....
3. The 'canton' I decided to invest in was judged 'safest' in all Costa
Rica by the government in 2013. I was amazed that most homes lacked window
bars and walls weren't crowned with barbed wire.
This tranquility was broken when a couple of men introduced cocaine in
powder form a few months ago. This business is only new here. Between the
CR police and US Coast Guard, an average of 450kg of coke are 'captured'
daily as it passes through on its way to Gringolandia.
There are no police in this pueblo. At an emergency meeting with the police
chief from the nearest city,
people talked of being terrorized in their homes by the tinny buzz of small
motorcycles delivering $8 baggies of powder at all hours. There have been
daylight robberies. Normally it is so quiet and boring here that the
crickets go to bed at eight o'clock. Most of the campesinos join them as
work begins anew at 5am.
Because some dealers are selling their product nightly outside my gate, and
neither my gentle persuasion nor chocolate bar bribes have changed any
behavior, I have worked especially hard to get a police station opened.
This happy event occured two weeks ago with part time officers. But without
providing these policemen with at least 'burner' cellphones, a copy/fax
machine, new tires and fuel for their vehicles, they will leave. While I
alone won't be providing these essentials, chipping in with others is
prudent. I am designing and purchasing 'neighborhood watch' signs along
with the posts and cement needed to install them. 'Residents only' on a
sign gives the good guys an excuse to clear the bad guys off of a public
road. The first is going in as I type.
Being charitable is easy when you observe the direct effects of your
So monies paid for these two books, along with sales of stuff here I don't
need are being earmarked to help/solve/avoid things that matter to me.
BF is presently high bidder at $55 for one of the last existing new copies
of 'The Art of Collecting Meteorites'. Do I hear $60?
MS is presently high bidder at $60 for a signed copy. Do I hear $65?
Please email bids to Marsrox at gmail.com. Bidding ends at 7pm EST.
Gracias a todas.
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