Friday, April 26, 2013


Ah, yes.  My old friend, logistics.

I got the tracking number for my DHL eyeglass shipment, this morning.  With it, I headed out to the Antigua DHL office to chat, again, with the (eyeglass-wearing) DHL employee with whom I had previously spoken.

She remembered me and my story, and -- despite looking up the tracking info for my package -- was pretty sure that my plan (since she told me that -- without a LOCAL phone number -- they wouldn't deliver the package to me at my hotel) wouldn't work.

To my understanding, she indicated that having the package shipped using DHL as the addressee was a plan doomed to failure.  She explained that they were a COURIER, and not a BUSINESS.

Okay.  I'll bite.  None of this made sense.  I basically said ... if you were a BAKERY, as long as the address was valid, shouldn't DHL deliver the package to you ?

"But we're not a bakery" was her answer.

Okay.  That explains the really mediocre pastries.

But I digress.

This stuff doesn't frustrate me.  It's the sort of thing I did for a living.

But it IS where the plot thickens, the tempo of the theme music quickens, and the tension mounts.  In film noir, a narrator would be saying all kinds of ominous things.

Rather than do that, though, we went directly across the street to the Texas bar-b-que restaurant that Blake (from Austin) opened.

Donald ate ribs.  I ate mashed potatoes.  We talked retail with Blake before learning that he was also involved in a solar electricity firm, whereupon, we switched the topic to Pulse Width Modulation and MPPT charging controllers.

So, I did study Electrical Engineering, and DO enjoy a good geek-fest as much as the next guy.  I surmised that ... Blake's solar powered, lithium-ion battery-equipped lighting gizmo was extremely cool, but wondered about the impacts of either photovoltaic efficiency or enhanced mAH battery capacity on his business model.

"That is a really excellent question," said Blake.

Hm.  I thought it was pure BS, but ... I guess I slid one over the plate.

We talked about efficiency of LEDs vs. CFLs vs. incandescents, and about the cost-effectiveness of paying for further miniaturization of his IC units.

You see ... I don't eat ribs, and HAD to do something.

Good guy, Blake.

I also met Alvin ... up on the roof.  He just finished Medical School on Long Island, and would soon be moving to Albany, New York to do his residency in Family Medicine (see the theme, here ?).  He was from Queens.  We talked about the business of medicine, the estimable value of mid-level practitioners, and the sui generis nature of surgeons -- all of 'em -- for a while.

Then his counterparts -- doing a rotation in Lake Atitlan -- showed up.

The rooftop terrace, of Casa Cristina, truly IS proving to be The Place To Meet People in this town.

So ... I just sent an e-mail to DHL Guatemala, pleading my case.  I used a phrase something akin to "You see....." and followed it up with "because I really can't."

I hope it translates ;-)

The bespectacled Antiguan DHL employee told me to come back on Tuesday (or Wednesday), and ... in essence ... see what happens.

And I shall.  I mean ... I really don't have much else to do.  At this point, I need to see how this particular story ends :-)

Because that's how we roll ... in the infinitely complicated, transnational commerce-driven, photovoltaic-powered branch of ... The Gulag.

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