New an amazing!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Topaz Impression

I am sick today, cannot go out and play, time to have fun with Topaz Impression, I picked an image that I took in Canmore before leaving Canada.
After cleaning the image using layers in Photoshop I open Topaz Impression filter, and transformed my image in about 5 sec. using charcoal et voila!!!

I used Van Dike Brown Collection in Topaz BW filter to get that tone. Took me about 45min. to clean the image and  2 minutes to add the effect from Topaz filters.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Mendoza Week 6

My first video "a Starbucks moment"

Let’s start the week with a bit of bla, bla, bla, on Monday I went to Carrefour to buy 2 chairs for our balcony and one rack to dry my stuff as our washing\drying machine is very slow on the drying side!
I got the stuff and asked for delivery, and the answer was NO, I was surprised as we got them to delivered our TV and office furniture, I try to explain that I couldn’t bring it home, no car, too big for a regular taxi and bla, bla, bla, they got tired of my complaints, call the store manager, and like any store manager that want to please the customer he agreed, did all the paper work himself, and I received the goods the next day at exact time the manager told me, fantastic service from Carrefour.

Marc relaxing on the balcony, really like the new chairs.

I spoke with my friend Craig on Tuesday he told me that his purse had been stolen, he left it in a public bathroom on Mendoza DT pedestrian street, a very busy place, he said that he went back after 2 hours a bit late, anyway he was pretty upset not that he had anything in it, but the purse itself was very expensive it’s a fashion trend here and it’s very expensive. Few hours later Craig called me back and told me that a business man found the purse bring it home to make sure it was safe and called him and told him that he was going back to DT and will be please to bring it back. There is a lot of thieves everywhere but a lot of great and honest people too!

Wednesday night we went to Leon to meet with another of our friend Karl, I was telling him that I was looking for an ice pack to do my shopping of ice cream, meat and fish, he told me that I will not find such item in Mendoza, but he got an idea as he is also doing a lot of shopping on foot, he used an injury icepack from the pharmacy, inexpensive thinner and more flexible, never thought about that, I am going to get a couple!

I asked Karl if he knew where I can find a crockpot, he said that he never saw one, and he lived here the past 16 years, my chance to get one are extremely limited, but Karl told me that he was going to ask custom if it’s possible to buy online and get stuff from Alibaba, it will be great. It way too expensive to bring items from the US or Canada, but from China it’s another story.

I am trying to get information on the Real Estate market in Mendoza, they are building a lot of new condo, but it’s not easy to find out pricing, I sent request for pricing, not sure I can get answers if I don’t have a meeting with the builder, but so far I found that the price for a new one bedroom, one bathroom, 450sq feet non furnished Condo in my neighborhood, “La Quinta” goes from $75USD to $85USD, for 700sq it’s about $95USD, I couldn’t find nothing for a 2 bedrooms, 2 baths unit, I asked around for our own unit, and as it is fully furnished it is probably around 150, 160USD.
A lot of new construction in Mendoza

I guess it’s very difficult to put a price in pesos as the pesos is not stable, that’s probably the reason they won’t give any pricing. 

That’s bring me to my next topic Argentina Blue Dollar, since the government limits how many dollars anyone in Argentina may obtain, an informal, parallel or black market exists where people may also exchange pesos for dollars. People are willing to offer more pesos for each dollar in the informal market than is required to obtain dollars in the formal market. This informal exchange rate is known as the Argentine blue rate and it is getting out of hand as the blue dollar rate is now over 15 pesos per 1USD. I don’t know what the government will do, but they may act before the touristic season. It’s not legal but in a way it’s also not illegal as there is no law on the matter as now, thing can change rapidly, as the government may decide to make it officially illegal!!!

I took the bus and went shopping to Palmares “Mendoza open air shopping mall”, a lot of Palm trees, great summer fashion, Starbuck, great restaurant, very neat a bit too far for me, 45min bus ride, the city is planning a new expansion of the Tranvia, Mendoza surface train to get to Palmares and more wineries by 2015.

Summer Fashion is out

Quite expensive, a lipstick for 399pesos!

Starbucks at Palmares

The weather change, getting darker and windier

Have a great week, we have meeting with our new doctor tonight, great coincidence, I am feeling sick another Mendoza cold.

To get Perfect Effect 4 for Free click on the link on the right of the page

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Topaz Impression New Software

I Just got the latest Topaz Software, Topaz Impression it's a painting filter software, one of the best I ever try, not very expensive either. 25% discount right now only $74.99 a real bargain.

My first image using it

The before
That was done at Plaza Independancia, Jpeg from my Panasonic Lumix

 After two minutes playing with Topaz Impression, I also change the hue and saturation and enhance some of the color.

The after.
I really like the look, not that I will stop using Corel Painter, even better using both software toghether!

I am sure that I will use it a lot especially for trees, and Mendoza is the right place for it!

To get Perfect Effect 4 for Free click on the link on the right of the page

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mendoza Week 5

Monday morning Sept 15, already a month since we left Okotoks! 

Mercado Central about 15, 20min walk from my place.

I got an addiction to the delicious ham that I buy at the Mercado Central, every Monday morning I have to get some for the week. This time I got both the regular and excellent traditional ham and some crudo Del Parma “Prosciutto “that is very expensive but the best I ever had.

An amazing selection
My two favorites!

I never eat that much ham in my life but down here it’s so good I cannot stop myself and this became my everyday lunch, “ham and cheese sandwich”. 

I also bought some veggies that I never found in Canada, kind of a mix between spinach and kale, looking for the translation and I got Swiss chard, it’s very good and inexpensive, I came back from the market with a full bag of Swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, onions, fresh peas, fresh herbs, yellow peppers, butternut squash, all of it only cost me $4USD, a real bargain, enough supply for a week. The price right now for 2k of spinach just to give you an idea is 5 pesos, yeap about $0.50USD.

After my shopping I came back home, had lunch and headed out to meet my friend Craig at ADT office as Craig accepted to become the account titular, in my way down I stopped by Carrefour to pay my bill, down here you can pay all your bills cash at a kiosk called Pago facil, or Pago Rapido, no need to show any identification, only the bill and the cash, it’s very practical, everything can be paid there from your gas to your gym.

After our meeting with ADT  we took the cab back to my house to have coffee and chocolate, I found 70% coco chocolate at the Brillat Savarin the owner bring coco beans from Equator and Brazil, it’s expensive but it’s real homemade dark chocolate.

David the Terminator!
That night we went to Leon for a beer, and David the owner had a big problem “wasps” a lot of them they got a nest on top of one of the light on the front of the building. David knew what to do to “terminate them” he used a torch and burned the nest down, dangerous way of doing it but very effective.

Tuesday, a relaxing day contact with my new doctor from Mendoza, working with my new software, listening to the radio #1 English song  Bang Bang my baby shot me down new version, has no lyric at all,  it plays every where "shopping mall, train station the Mercado etc..".

Wednesday morning my friend Alejandra came home for coffee, after what we went for a long walk at San Martin Park.

We are very green in Mendoza!
Later Marc and I went to the office to exchange money the rate is very good on the blue market right now, but even if we got a lot more I still divided by 10 it’s easier!
After we stopped at the Downtown Church and spoke with the priest Padre Marcello, he is Spanish but speak perfect English, he worked in Detroit in the pass. Marc asked him to come to our house for coffee, to discuss how to bring the Knight of Columbus in Argentina that Catholic organization is very strong in North America.

Marc taking care of his shoes.
In our way back Marc had his shoes shined, we finish the evening at Leon, the owners David and Jessica told us that they decided that they will close every Sunday, they have been working 7 days a week the last 4 months and needed a brake to recuperate, we were very happy for them, now they will have time to go out and meet family and friends on Sundays, they are coming for diner Sept, 28!
After diner that night I called my mom, and learned that my father was at the hospital, very bad news, he is 85 years old, I felt very bad that I wasn’t there with them. We found out that he has numerous tumors and will get treatment starting next week, he is not doing well, and I hope the treatment will help him, we will pray for him.

Thursday was my first trip on Mendoza transportation system, I took the train to Jumbo, a Mega store like Walmart, it was a great ride, here in Mendoza we use a rechargeable card, the card cost 10 pesos and most transportation, train, trolley and bus cost 3.5pesos per way, really inexpensive and effective. The train passes every 6 min. during the week, no wait time.

The old train, in display at the main station.

New modern and effective Mendoza Metro Tranvia
I did some shopping at Jumbo and walk around the small shopping mall to look at the summer fashion, it’s always fun to have a look, I am planning to go to Palmares Shopping Mall a bit farther from the city and apparently the best place for fashion.

Jumbo shopping mall

Shopping at Jumbo

Jumbo shopping mall

A dress for an evening out.
I may go for that one!!!

Like a second skin!

the weather changed in my way back from Jumbo, got very dark but no rain.

Stay home that night and watch Ice Age 4.
Friday waked up early, cooked my pasta for the week end, and get ready to go out, got my reference for the gym.

I am getting lazy making pasta for the whole week end.

 We went back downtown in the afternoon to get more cash exchange, on our walk there we passed by Plaza Chile, we stopped to watch a public Asado, a big one cost 100 pesos per person “all you can eat ”, it’s part of South America Traditional Food Celebration.
We thought about coming back to try it and decided that we will do it next year, our Spanish is not polish enough to ask for meat, especially at an Asado as they cook and keep everything from the head to the tail, not ready for that yet. 
To do Asado at home.

Public Asado, Traditional Food Celebration.

Public Asado, Traditional Food Celebration.

Public Asado, Traditional Food Celebration.

That night we came back stop at Leon for a beer, got some wine and watch TV.

Saturday I had a meeting with one of my friend that bough an image from me, he got it framed and I wanted to see how it looked. Great result my friend was very happy. 

My friend was very happy with the frame work, it looks very nice.

Coming back I stopped by the best chocolatier in Mendoza, the last time I stopped there was in 2008 for an Easter Egg, I was under the impression that they were very expensive, I was completely wrong,  I tried their homemade helado “Cappuccino and dark Chocolate” and will come back next week to buy ½ kilo mixing 3 flavors not sure yet witch ones, the cost 45pesos, they also make 80% coco homemade chocolate bar, I bought one, just amazing and the cost only 34 pesos a lot less than Brillat!!!

Came back home spoke with my mom, it’s so hard for her, after so many years living with my father she miss him a lot, that night we went to Mass to pray for him.


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