Sunday, February 10, 2008

Web Album

I took some pictures of the area yesterday to give you some idea of where we are. They aren't great shots because of the way the sun moves across the sky here. It's very strange. The sun rises over the gulf and sets behind us on the mainland side. It's as if the sun is moving from south to north, but clearly that isn't possible. Perhaps we've entered the Twilight Zone or been abducted by aliens. The problem is that it stays low in the sky all day, and so it's difficult to take a good image on the beach without blowing out the highlights. I think you'll get the idea though. Here is the link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/threecatsranch/Gulf

We're just spending our days hanging out, reading, sitting by the pool. The pool could be a little warmer, so we just sit in the sun until we get too warm, and then the water feels good. We usually swim a little, or do some aqua jogging, and then get in the hot tub, which feels good on old bones. We've decided to eat out tonight since we are almost certain that the seafood will be excellent.

We're starting to feel very comfortable here. There is generally someone in the hot tub, and we've had some interesting conversations. One man was wearing a hat from Costa Rica, and since that's some place we'd like to see before we die, it was nice to hear that they had enjoyed their trip very much. Yesterday we talked with a couple from Ontario, Canada. It was interesting to hear their take on our presidential campaign and some of the things they'd noticed about our country. We had a good laugh when they pointed out that John McCain had made a comment about "getting away with" using Canadian quarters in the Senate Lunchroom vending machines. He said it as though he was getting a better deal using Canadian money when, in fact, Canadian quarters happen to be worth more than American quarters at this point in time. They got a good laugh out of that since the joke was on McCain and he didn't even know it. (This is not a paid political announcement, and John McCain did not approve of this message.)

We talked about the differences in our political systems and also about our respective systems of taxation. They have until the end of April to file their returns, but their equivalent of our W-2 form was not required to be in their hands until the end of February. What interested me most was our discussion about their national healthcare system. I asked them to estimate what percentage of their income went to taxes. Even with national healthcare, he estimated the percentage to be at 15%. I don't know about you, but I feel fairly certain we pay more than that. He also told us that they were required to purchase supplemental health insurance if they travel to the United States since Canada will only reimburse at the rate Canadians would pay. Under their Canadian plan, they (the citizens) pay $4.11 for every prescription no matter what it is. Also, he said that if they needed some kind of procedure while they were here, the Canadian government would be just as likely to pay them to be on a jet for home rather than have the procedure here.

So that's about all I know about Canada for now. I'll continue my sleuthing while I'm in the hot tub as I plot to overthrow the Canadian government. (Just checking to see if Canada is up on my blog.) So that's about all I have for now. Tomorrow we're planning to drive into Corpus Christi to do some grocery shopping; but before that, we'll see one of the attractions I have marked to see before we go. I'll have more for you then.