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Band practice

Rock and roll…

Zach has been in a band for three years.  Having stretched the definition of “being in a band” to its limit, yesterday Zach’s band got together in his bedroom and had their first ever practice.  I did my best to stay out of the way, nevertheless I managed to overhear the following:

“Musician” #1: Whoa Zach, where did you get this pick?

“Musician” #2: Yeah who is the hot babe on the pick?

“Musician” #1: Did you steal it?

Zach: It’s my mom.

Everyone: OMG

You see, Capital One allows you to put any kind of picture on their credit cards.  And when I’m bored with the picture I cut the card up and turn it into guitar picks.  If we go way back you might recall the circumstances surrounding this family picture:

So there’s that.

Our best family photos always end up being, well, not Christmas card worthy.  Here’s the best shot from Buenos Aires:

Never mind the background…

It was taken at the Recoleta cemetery, easily on par with Paris’ Père Lachaise, if you’re in to that sort of thing.  Asia wandered off and snapped a few cell/tablet shots…

A month of wheat…

Gateway to happiness?

These days I eat little wheat and drink almost no alcohol.  Both give my stomach issues.  Wheat is a big deal, because, well, doesn’t just about everything good have some wheat in it?  Alcohol has never played a major roll in my life, so its abolition was no biggie.  So imagine my surprise when I ate a few medialunas (half moons…sweet crescent rolls) in Buenos Aires, and felt fine.  Was it a fluke, or what?  My inquiring stomach had to know.  So I ate lots more the next day.  Still no problems.  Well!  As you can imagine I went buck-wild eating every wheat product that caught my eye.

The water is Buenos Aires tastes no worse than home, but restaurants refuse to serve tap water.  You have to order bottled water.  Funny thing though – water, beer, (house) wine, and soft drinks all cost about the same ($1-$2).  And for an extra $1 you can supersize that beer into a full liter!  Yikes!  Well you know where this is going.  I tried a beer.  And…again nothing, no stomach pain.  It was a month of wonderful eating.  And to top it off, Elise and I somehow lost a few pounds over the course of the month.  Perhaps all the walking?  Who knows…

I’ve been home for a week now.  Almost immediately wheat was as problematic as ever.  Dunno about alcohol…haven’t bothered to try any.

So, what’s the deal?  The fluoride in our water?  GMO’s gone wild?

Cambio, cambio, cambio…

Money is a problem in Argentina.  Credit cards, ATMs and banks are bound to use the official dollar/peso exchange rate.  To get a more honest exchange, one must use the black market.  Thus I entered the country with a wad of $100 bills.  Every week I hauled my three kids downtown in search of the least thuggy looking loiterer yelling “cambio, cambio, cambio”.  The gentleman would take us down a side street into a shady looking place of business to meet with his associates.  For my efforts I received an exchange rate around 50% better than the official rate.  I’d show a picture of the exchange, but I’d be writing this from a hospital had I taken one.

Despite the stress, our money trips downtown were fun.  Much of it looks straight out of Europe.

Like this…

Also there were a number of pedestrian-only streets…

Oh, and they took graffiti to whole new level

It’s important not to get your car tagged when parked too long in one place!

Nice doggie, nice doggie, nice doggie…

Nothing to see here…

What have we here?  It would appear to be an unleashed, pit-bullish mutt.  In the background, a man is reading, unconcerned for his safety.  As the cellphonetographer, I couldn’t have been more than a few feet from the beast.  Such is life in Buenos Aires, where docile dogs freely roam parks and walkways, pooping everywhere.

Meanwhile, a jazz band plays on…

While Katt cheers them on…