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Mike Wettlaufer
Taxi,guitar,rants,amateur musician,storytelling,lifehacks
Taxi,guitar,rants,amateur musician,storytelling,lifehacks


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The Cuban Chronicles.
I recently had the good fortune of vacationing in Cuba.People go down there for the weather mostly,especially if you are in the middle of a good old Canadian http://winter.It is paradise to say the least.
Enjoy the ride.......Flight down to Veradero was a little unsettling to the stomach.You are jammed in with the other island hoppers who had the same intentions as you do......into the warm...out of the cold....anyways,we made it down to this beautiful place and the weather didn’t disappoint.The flight actually arrived earlier than expected(2:30 pm)......let the games begin.
Mel and I had been up since 4 am and our energy level left something to be desired but what the heck,after all,we are on vacation for 9 glorious days.We managed to settle into our room then head down to the 24 hour snack bar for a bite.Not surprisingly,our meals were a little out of whack.I should say,despite not eating breakfast,I did manage to wrangle a muffin and 2 coffees at Pearson for only $18.00......I hadn’t intended on buying shares in their thriving cafe but at least it was something to eat.......good way to start a vacation....anyways,getting back to the snack bar,I ordered a hamburger and fries and Mel,a tuna on a baguette.I was pleasantly surprised to find out they served lucky day...not......nobody....and I mean nobody goes to Cuba for the food....Mel’s baguette was fine however the hamburger and fries left something to be desired.....and the not....I not order the milkshakes....they are not of the Canadian kind.....I am not sure who drinks shakes that taste that bad...lesson learned.
Tuesday,Feb. 15th......we set the alarm for 7:30 and head out to the balcony and enjoy the view and soak up the sun.This is why you pay the big bucks so you may as well enjoy far,so good......we are due to meet a representative from our airline at 11:00 but before that,we head to the breakfast buffet.There is no lack of food in this place.You may not know what it is but hey,let’s be adventurous.The only food I recognize are the eggs and some fruit.I must point something important out.....I remembered from my last time here to bring my own salt and pepper and most important....ketchup....that last one will be your salvation....take my word for it.......they made not know how to cook but the service is great.....most of the time.
Finally met with our Air Transat lady......she was scheduled for 11 and got there at soon find out about Cuban time.Heck,we are on vacation....who cares.Mel has never been to Cuba,so because I had,We decided on a few side trips......a tour of Havana,the catamaran and the last but not least....swim with the dolphins where you can interact with them....this was Mel’s dream.
Mel is still trying to wind down so we decide to stay close to the hotel today so she can rest.With any luck,we may wander down the “Beatle”bar tonight to take in some good old rock and roll....there is so much about this island.....old cars,the weather,the culture so meanwhile I am taking lots of pics.....I will share some here.....and more stories to come...
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I am leaving the snowing ,cold Canadian weather for the warmer climate in a couple days and have been having some interesting thoughts and discussions .about the destination.You see,I am off to Cuba and although
I have been there once before,Mel has never had the pleasure.It is a very popular Canadian destination for Canadians at this time of the year and if you have never been there,I recommend a few things to is a communist country,so behave yourself.That isn’t a very big problem for most of us.Early in the planning stages,beware that you have to obtain travel insurance to get into the country.That is a must in Cuba.That should be a no brainer for anyone travelling outside of Canada anyways.They have two types of currency in Cuba....peso and convertible peso which is what visitors to the country do business in.It is easy to convert to their money at the airport or syour resort.If need be,a local banking ( make sure you take your passport) institution.Do not engage in conversations about politics or the government.You never can be sure who is listening and you don’t want to be brought in and questioned about it.They will not bother you if you do not bother them.Other than that subject,the people are very polite and friendly and will go out of their way to make sure your stay is memorable.As we know their economy has lacked trading partners since the 60’s,certain goods are lacking in their lives live.Staples that we take for granted are very much appreciated when you visit.They can be purchased in Canada cheaply enough but may be lacking for any amount of money on this island.A little research on the internet goes along way on this subject.The average wage in Cuba amount to around 30 pesos a month so anything you bring down with you will be greatly accepted I am sure.I have heard that the people are provided by the government with the necessities such as health care and education and in all honesty,on the last visit,I never seen one homeless person.
I have often commented,since my last trip to Cuba,if you could see in black and white instead of technicolor,you would imagine yourself living back in the 50’s,for those of us who are old enough to remember.Perhaps a safer time to walk around and leave your doors unlocked while you went out for a few hours.A time when people respected one another.
On my last visit with a buddy,because of the beautiful warm evenings,we found ourselves exploring the Main Street and back ally’s at 2 in the morning feeling completely safe.I remember walking past a factory with a nightlight on and doors wide open and nobody around.That,my friends,is something to experience.There are many more adventures I could talk about but will save for another time.........Cuba is calling me once again....later

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Today’s post is all about acquiring knowledge and information....something I hope to continue to do until I go on permanent sabbatical from this lifet...just in case youn are curious ,I do plan on coming back some day.I have had way too much fun in this life and I plan on signing up for a new tour of duty when it is all said and done.There is one stipulation though.....I plan on coming back rich instead of good for thought.....getting back to the subject I have been fortunate in this life to have held some unusual jobs where I engage myself in some deep and interesting conversations with various people of all walks of life.That part of my life I never tire of.Another thing I have l was lucky to acquire was my love of reading from a very early age.These traits,I can thank my father for.I am sure it was in his genes.
I have to tell you that there were 6 siblings in our family and although we all grew up leading different lives(as people do),we all have shared some of our fathers “good points”,whether it was reading,music,writing etc.,it has enriched our lives to say the very least.
My personal interests were in music,being self taught on guitars since the age of 15,reading and late in life writing(a blog).i feel most fortunate to grow up in the age of computers and”the internet”,where you can research and read about anything imaginable.I spend more than my fair share of time on the computer doing both of those....I often say...”I am a wealth of useless information”
Other places I would highly recommend for intelligent learning is the CBC radio programs and my personal favourite,Ted Talks...CBC radio is full of programming that is quite different and informative which you are unlikely to hear on regular radio stations and Ted Talks which has easy to listen to speeches on subjects for everyone’s taste’s and interests.These talks can be enjoyed while you are doing dishes or other tasks where you can multi task.

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Happy Tuesday......the last couple of days I have been researching topics of which to blog about.....I kinda think I am overthinking this one......I’m taking the second instalment of a blogging course today and the instructor wants a subject or topic to blog about....really?....just one topic....not sure if I can narrow it down to one subject.The trouble being is that one subject cannot hold my interest for more more than one day at a time.....there is too much going through this little pea brain at any given time.That is a big reason why I could never get it together with my music.....I cannot force myself to be that narrow minded enough to want to play just one genre of minute I like to play a rock song and the next,who knows,the Theme song from The Godfather.I have not found another musician to buy into my craziness but just think about how interesting that idea would be....when I get back from my vacation I plan on renting some space at a band hall just to go jam with myself.....I have some nice equipment that has never been tried out and since I plan on liquidating,I will give it one more shot.....they build these instruments to play,not to sit around and collect dust.My dream would be to have a band room big enough to set all of my equipment up and then maybe I could show people just how much fun we could have.......perhaps in another lifetime.....
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My original blog was about downsizing all your kitchen pots and pans and whatever it is that takes up room in a kitchen when room is at a premium.A while ago I came across an interesting pan called a “Copper Crisper”....see pic...I have used it several times and I must say that it does a wonderful job cooking foods that usually I would do in a fryer.....I can ditch the fryer does everything it says it dies...hands down....and the best part is,nothing sticks to it...I paid $20.00 for this pan and have since bought a second one....the design of this pan is amazing.You put the food on the tray and you don’t even have to turn it or watch it for that matter......I made fried chicken last night and could hardly believe how moist the beasts came out(I usually eat the dark meat because the white meats gets to dry)...not here folks.....and if you like french fries....this is a healthier option.......the other product we have just bought is....The Instant Pot.....we haven’t opened yet but it too will replace many of your current small appliances as well......just because it has all the capabilities to do what these other ones do....all in one the videos on YouTube and you too will become a believer.....I do not make any money endorsing these products....I do it simply to enlighten your lives in the world of cooking......these two products and an electric frying pan might be the only pots you may ever need in your kitchen freeing up space for all the foods you are gonna wanna cook up....I better go getting hungry with all the food talk...
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Well......I just spent an hour writing a very interesting post only to have half of it disappear and I am not going to re-write it least not now......that is precisely why I am taking a blogging course on I can prevent making these useless bonehead mistakes....’s the deal.....Mel has been sick and off work this week and my week routine is not as it should be....that being said,it give’s me time to sit around and think of the meaning of life.If I happen to come up with some meaningful answers,I will be happen them with all of my non existent audience.I am at a loss as to how anybody gets an audience with at least 100 billion blogs out there.I have made people aware of my blog and very few neither read or comment on my intelligent stories from the naked city.I happen to think I write witty and interesting stories that would pique peoples interest.Maybe I am looking at it all wrong.Maybe what I should be posting is naked pictures of gorgeous women or writing about losers in life(watch Jerry Springer or Maury Povitch shows) or perhaps riches to rags stories....people love misery and will go to great lengths to seek it out.They don’t want to hear uplifting stories or ways to improve your life,save your marriage or the lasted fad way.....welcome to the real world now.....back to the meaning of life......just not quite sure who’s life I would be talking about......over and out

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Holed up yesterday playing with my newest guitar effects pedal....rightly named “cool cat tremolo”......I was very fortunate to snag one of these being as they are out of production......I really have to curtail my can get expensive but much fun.....

Sorry....sort of lost my sense of direction....thought I lost this blogspot forever but apparently not.Still not convinced anybody reads these posts however my brother attests to it.....good enough for me......
Canada has a new fight on its hands (January 1st. Minimum wage goes up to $14.00 an hour)....should be an interesting argument from both sides...some Tim Horton’s franchises crying poor already.Meanwhile,they have not ran a sharp operation in years...
I have booked a vacation to Cuba next month and the excitement has not even sank in.....much like the Christmas this old age setting in?....God....I really hope not......can’t seem to acquire that kind of excitement in anything I do lately.....anyone have any idea’s.....I’m all ears.....

6:45 Sunday morning.......I love the quiet and peacefulness of this part of the day.......well....I did it....I have registered a domain figure out how I am going to make some money with it.....I know it is out there to be made...and I do know that you just have to do lots of tablet is truly acting up this morning so I must sign off and fix it...
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