Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat in Mexico

I just got done feeding (candy I know) to about 20 Trick or Treaters thru my front gate. About 4-5 had costumes and masks which I didn't expect. Earlier today some neighborhood kids were putting white cement (grout) on their faces pretending to be ghosts and asked it I had candy (wish I'd had my camera). I said not now but maybe later.

Rather than going downtown to buy bags of mixed candies, I went to the local store and bought 30 pesos of 1 peso candies, mostly suckers. Didn't really expect them to come back because I've never experienced Trick or Treat in Mexico.

About 7:30 the 20 showed up all yelling whatever it is (give me candy now - probably) and I was ready. Even had a mom with them and I had to hand her one. They must have been scouring the neighborhood but this is Mexico and Día de los Muertos is not here yet. Is this a local phenomenon ... and what do they 'cry out'. I'll ask some moms tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Talpa from above

After picking up my new passport in Vallarta last year I drove up highway 70 thru Mascota intending to overnight in Autlan. I came to the Talpa turn off to the south and had to take a look but after a mile or two was presented with this site. Overlooks or viewpoints on Mexican highways are rare but here was a good one.

Anyway it looked too far to just visit and just turn around so I headed back to highway 70 to continue. What I would like to know is if there is only one entrance to Talpa ... or is there another from highway 80.

Talpa Talpa Jalisco off highway 70

Monday, October 26, 2009

A lizard's life

We had a birthday party here yesterday with about 15 people and all day I saw this guy hanging on the wall just outside my front door. Of course all the people left him alone, the dog can't see that well and the cats were hiding from the crowd.

This morning he was still there so I went to check if he was just nailed to the wall or what. I touched his tail and he didn't move - what more can you do. About an hour later one of the cats noticed him and just could not resist. On the 5th try and a good jump the cat got a paw on him and they both came down knocking over a bucket and a broom - distracting the cat and off went the lizard.

Very few iguanas up here is the lake Chapala area and lots of lizards. Sad to say the cats have killed a few and try to bring them in to show me.

Jocotepec Lizard on my wall

Link to Birthday Party fotos and story

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jocotepec and Lake Chapala

They are building a bypass highway around Jocotepec on the side of the mountain. It looks like there will be a lot of stop and go as there is no sign of recent work right above town. In the meantime it's a great little hike with access in a few places. In fact a number of locals have adopted it as their jogging path.

Marilyn and I walked up the other day to see progress and the view ... and it's worth the effort (not that much really). I caught this foto as the sun was going down across Jocotepec with the lake and Mt Garcia in the background

Jocotepec with lake Chapala and Mt Garcia behind

Jocotepec, Jalisco Mexico

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daylight Saving Time Mexico

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April. On the last Sunday in October areas on Daylight Saving Time fall back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time. Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth. The state of Sonora does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

As opposed to the US from 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March to 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.

That would be the 25th this year in Mexico so if you have schedules to keep. This time of year you'll only be early but I've missed a flight in April

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Solar water heaters are cool

Never taken solar water heaters seriously but my new house has one and I'm impressed. Even with 2 days of overcast I can stand under the shower as long as I want with hot water that has to be cooled with the cold. My only gas bill is from the stove use.

There is also enough street water pressure to fill the tinaco so I don't have a pump going on and off all day. Don't need 2-3 showers a day like I did on the beach in summer ... but still.

Took my 3 meter ladder upstairs to look through the Cupola dirty windows and this is what I saw. A large unit. Not that I'll have another building project in the near future ... but I would seriously consider a solar heater if I did.

Why they didn't make one of the Cupola windows as a roof access with hinges I'll never know. Almost impossible to get to the roof on this house.

Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jocotepec Malecon Weather

We got chased back to the car soon after from the weather/rain you can see across the lake. Another holiday day in Mexico and more people in the park than we imagined.

The green band along the shore is lirio (water hyacinth) that has been filling the lake lately. A few weeks ago there was none and the beaches were clean. I hear they opened a dam or two up the Lerma river and the lirio is washing down into Lake Chapala. Just off to the right in the little harbor sits the Lake Chapala tour boat that seems to be trapped by the floating green

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Mexican Bank Targets Expats

CI Banco targets foreign nationals


The News

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE - A year and a half ago, currency exchange house Consultoría International (CI) got the green light from the Finance Secretariat to operate as a banking institution. In this short span of time, CI Banco has rapidly spread throughout the nation and now boasts 47 branches and three corporate centers.

The News caught up with the San Miguel de Allende branch manager Josefa Jonguitud while she made a sales pitch during breakfast on Wednesday to local real estate vendors group SMARE led by John Hendricks.

Ms. Jonguitud said that true to its currency exchange origins, CI Banco has targeted the English-speaking communities as primary customers, offering them the basic financial services expatriates need.

"Our main service is exchanging personal checks from their accounts in the United States, and we give them pesos or dollars, depending on their requirements," Jonguitud explained.

CI Banco is still not a full-service industrial bank as it cannot issue products such as letters of credit, but Jonguitud sees CI Banco moving in that direction.

Article from The News

CI Banco Website

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pomegranate - Granada

When you have a Pomegranate tree in your yard and a nice red one falls off now and then ... whatcha gonna do. Don't think I've eaten them since I was a kid in California with red stained hands and clothes. They were just too much work for little results. The only exception since has been chiles en nogada a few times in Mexico.

So today a nice red one on the ground made me want to learn a little more .... and the water trick below in the YouTube video looks like a clean approach. According to the Internet they come ripe in cooler months and my tree is full of green ones

In Mexico, pomegranate seeds are an essential ingredient of chiles en nogada, a favored food symbolizing the red component of the national flag.

A green one on my tree

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

'Smart' speed bumps being developed in Mexico

By Chris Hawley, USA TODAY

TOLUCA, Mexico — Speed bumps are so common here that residents sometimes decorate them for the holidays, painting "Happy New Year" or "Happy Independence Day." One rock band, The Sam-Sam, even has dedicated a song to them.

Yet concerns over the environment — and the utter annoyance of having to brake and accelerate frequently — have prompted one Mexican state government to embrace a "smart" speed bump that could make driving smoother, without sacrificing safety.

The device, being developed by Mexico-based Decano Industries, automatically lowers into the ground when drivers go the speed limit or slower. Drive too fast, and the bump stays up.

The rest of the article

Topes in Mexico

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wild Flowers near Tapalpa

Wild Flowers near Tapalpa

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Read the book for your camera

We spent about 4 hours enjoying a Charreada (horsemanship show)(not a country rodeo) today .... but this is the first time I've tried action fotos with this new camera. After reviewing a few fotos on the camera that looked like the first one below ... I knew I needed a faster shutter speed. I found a Icon of a runner in motion and went for that. While some blurry fotos can be artistic they don't document the action very well. The bottom foto is getting there but still could use some tuning. Part of the problem was this is a covered arena and not the best light.

More on Charreadas later

Bad camera

Good camera

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Rained out in Amacueca

We made a big loop from lake Chapala to Tapalpa yesterday with the idea of seeing a few things I've not seen before First stop was Ferreria de Tula, just outside Tapalapa, which has a very interesting Colonial era dam. On to Tapalpa which is a story itself ... and on to Amacueca.

Amacueca is back down in the valley where the dry lakes are (not so dry now). It was supposed to have some good organic coffee, a museum and a skeleton of a mastodon or dinosaur of some type. Sadly just as we pulled up to the coffee place the sky let loose and the street became a river. That was enough for us and I was the only one to get out of the car just for pictures.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

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