Saturday, April 30, 2011

Elephant and Piggie go to Buenos Aires!

Well, not exactly...

I was invited by my youngest daughter's teacher to come in and read in English to their 2nd grade class. Since they are learning English, and they are in 2nd grade, I thought the Elephant and Piggie book series would be the perfect books to read.

It's a good thing I took several books (I was then going to lend some to a friend afterwards), because they demanded that I read more.

Yep, I finished reading the book and they started chanting: Uno Mas! Uno Mas! Uno Mas!

These are my absolute favorite easy reader books. They are not just for the little ones either. They are a joy to read as an adult. And if you ever have to read to little kids and you want to be a rock star, these are the books to read to them.

There is lots of repetition, as there needs to be so that the kids can get used to the words and help pick them up, but there is lots of humor and there's lots of exclamation points! The dialogue, while very simple, is just very funny. Remember, these kids were laughing it up.

These books just so happen to be the very first ones that my eldest started reading. In fact, we bought them at the book store because she picked one up and started reading right then and there. We were so in love with that moment that we bought several of those books.

The other Mo Willems that I really love is the Pigeon series of books. Both of these are great!

Doing a little on-line research I found that there is a new on-line dancing game!

Click here for the link to the game.

I have not tried it yet, but so far, like everything else he does, he is getting great reviews.

I just found out that he is also starting to offer the books in Spanish.

I will leave you with some helpful links:

Mo Willems Blog
Teacher's Guide and Event Kits (which I also used to prepare a little gift to the class)
Jean Little Library Blog (A Librarian reviews the books)
Mo Willems Stuff...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roman Numerals

Just last night my daughter decided that I needed a brushing up on Roman Numerals. I had told her previously that 'yeah, I knew them'.

Although when I had told her, I wasn't exactly sure if I really did know them.

I remember learning them, but how much did I really remember?

It turns out that I remembered quite a bit. But, I hope she didn't catch on. For her sake, I forgot quite a lot.

As it turns out they are useful beyond figuring out how many Superbowls have been played. And I found a great resource that has everything you ever needed to learn about roman numerals.

I also found this one that has a nice little graph that is a bit more detailed than the one my daughter used on me.

On one of the sites there was a comment from a mom saying that she did not want her kid learning Arabic numbers. That one made me giggle a little.

And after all of this you are still not sure how to use them, you can convert numbers here.

And of course, there is an app for that.

Now if only I could remember where I left my keys as well as I could remember that today is April XXVII, MMXI

One little disclaimer. Don't pay too much attention to my picture; it has some mistakes. After all, it's from a 9 year old who just saw them for the very first time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yanqui Mike is Leaving Buenos Aires!

Achievement seems to be connected with action.
Successful men and women keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don't quit.
- Conrad Hilton

Yes, that's right, Yanqui Mike is leaving Buenos Aires. I first heard about him, or actually read his blog back around 2006. He had, and actually still has, a very popular blog.

He has also been very busy in real life. He is a character, and I am glad to have gotten to know him and his wife and count them as friends.

But life is calling for them to move on to greener pastures and I mean this literally not figuratively. He is a cattle rancher, a greengo gaucho you might say; and he's going to be closer to his little dogies (and the rest of his herd). You can read a little bit of background on him from his Huffington Post bio.

Like the bio says, he became the founding chairman of Democrats Abroad Argentina. He reached out to me to be one of the founding members as well.

He eventually roped me into running for office and although I really looked forward to working side by side with him, it was not the greatest experience, but that was not really his fault and that whole experience would require a series of blog posts on their own.

If all that was not enough, he also started the Buenos Aires chapter of Drinking Liberally.

Throughout all of this, he has kept us entertained, informed and has sparked spirited debate several times through his popular blog. If you have never read it you should. Here are just a sampling of some of his posts:

Mary McCunne
The Authentics
Uber Alles   
My last post... for my own safety
Martin Varsavsky
The Lexington Incident - This is a four part post on the United States role in the Falklands / Las Malvinas. This is one of my favorite posts.

And the one post that he wrote back in 2007 and makes him look like a sage since it's pretty spot on with how the beef industry has evolved (or imploded might be a better word).
I am become a farmer

So Mike and Alicia, let me take a moment to say thanks and that we will miss both of you around here. I also wish you two the best in your new life out in the campo.

I just realized I don't have any pictures of us, but I do have one of Alicia at least. By the way, she also blogs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Beer Scene in Argentina

“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.”
--Czech Proverb

I have been meaning to post about this and then I saw that just came out with their post listing their top 5, basically kicking me in the ass on this topic.

I do happen to like most of the beers they mentioned and I would have to add that they missed out on some others. In all fairness though, she did have to come up with only five.

This is not a hard thing to do since micro-brewed beer here is still curving up, it´s still up and coming. This is a country where the majority of beer drinkers think that there are three types of beer: Black, Red, and Rubia (blond would be the literal translation).

I have written before on the subject of variety and a nice back and forth ensued between me and Fernando of the now very popular local podcast called

This is an interesting article (in Spanish) that mentions the per capita consumption of beer to be 33 liters, but that in Santa Fe that number jumps up to 60 to 70 liters and that in Rosario, which happens to be within the province of Santa Fe, the consumption there is 52 to 58 liters.

They related this phenomenon to two things: First that there were two large breweries that merged (today it is Schneider) and secondly the high temperatures there drives people to order beer over wine in the summer.

Another article pins the consumption at 44 liters. This article goes a step further and breaks down the market share. This is a very interesting point:

74% goes to Quilmes
23% goes to CCU
03% goes to Isenbeck

As you can see, there is no considerable segment assigned to the small microbrewery. In fact, there are two companies that demand 97% of the total volume!

However, it´s not so gloom and doom. Remember, I said this was still an up and coming segment. There is a lot of excitement over micro-brewed beers. The following article from Clarin goes further into this.

In Mar del Plata they just had their third annual Beer Festival and Randy Mosher did not just attend, but he made a Porter with Dulce de Leche for the occasion! This actually sounds like a pretty good combination if you ask me.

And Peter Slosberg, who also attended, said that the Argentina beer scene of today reminds him of the US beer scene of 25 years ago. This is definitely a positive perspective.

But, back to the point at hand. What was missing from that article? I say missing, because I can´t possibly just mention five. Maria you had a very tough job limiting yourself.

1. Cossab - Bohemian little place that brews six varieties and has all you can eat pizza on Wednesdays to go with some of the finest beers in BA.

2. Buena Birra Social Club - This is a closed doors micro-brewery. If that alone does not peak your interest then you have wasted your time reading this. Great place, great beer, friendly people, it´s like beer heaven.

3. Una Mas - This one I tried at Buena Birra Social Club and they only had the Cream Ale and it was great. I am curious enough now to try the rest of their line-up.

4. Gulmen - This is another little brewery (not a microbrewery) that you would need to buy their beer at pubs or bars. I especially like their Weiss beer (ceveza de trigo). You could also order from them and they will ship directly to your house.

5. Otro Mundo - I have written about them in the past and we even paired some of their beers with Sugar & Spice savory cookies.

From Regalos 2009

And this is just Buenos Aires. In the rest of the country the same thing is happening and there are great microbreweries in Bariloche and the 7 lakes region for example.

And finally, there is a blog that is a great resource for beer in Argentina called Logia Cervecera. It is in Spanish and they do write about foreign beers as well, but they also write about local ones and they even have a list of bars that have microbrewed beers.

And finally, finally? I could not help but leave you with this image of a home made beer. I was so fortunate enough to have from James Foster. I sure do hope he gets back to making beer because this was one of the finest beers I have had.

Update: I can´t believe I forgot to include this list. Joy Magazine came up with a pretty good top 10 list as well.