Sunday, December 28, 2014

Iguana in my Moringa

Iguana in my Moringa tree

I don't get very many due to my vicious cat.  Hope he picks a proper time to come down.  There's a dark grey one next door but this one is a pretty green. Wonder if he's eating the leaves as they are supposed to be healthy.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Counterfeit $100 US here in Melaque

A taxi driver took it but banks wouldn't. He might have even given some change from it. Good quality but looked like it had gone through the wash 20 times. Frayed around the edges. My neighbor bought it for 100 pesos with hopes I could help. All I could do is send it to Seattle to have it checked out. Sent registered mail on the 9th of November and it just arrived on the 24th of December. Sister took it to a bank and sure enough it was fake. I thought Mexican mail was slow but it took 15 days to get from LAX to Seattle.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A little bit of Christmas flavor

Gotta have a little bit of Christmas flavor even though I'm not doing anything today but staying home. I doubt Hugo and family will come over because music was still blaring when the sun came up. Same with my neighbors across the street. It's some kind of an obligation to party all night on certain dates.

We were going to have dinner at my place yesterday but the road out here is still too sloppy so we took stuff over to Ron's. We brought a roasted chicken and Lorena made breaded shrimp (camaron empanizado). Ron bought two chickens and Dora made a couple salads.  Harris brought a couple buckets of beer. Great time and we came back with lots of food ... mainly for Hugo and family.

Found this on Facebook

Moon last night with IPhone

Moon with cheap camera - behind the cloud

Christmas Eve dinner

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the R&R Hall of Fame

My friend Glen just posted this on Facebook and I hadn't thought of them for awhile. After seeing them at Winterland in San Francisco Paul became my harmonica teacher.  I used to play along with their records for hours. Pretty good story in the article below.  Didn't know he died so young.

The latest batch of artists bound for induction into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been announced, which means that for the next few months, you’re going to read and hear a lot of arguing about who deserved to make it and who didn’t — and this year, that’s going to include plenty of head-shaking over one act in particular: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

One of his best - poco loco
Well we were a little loco in the 60's

Friday, December 19, 2014

Homework translating Spanish to English

Yari has been getting quite a bit of English homework and rather than me doing it all I have them using Google Translate. They either get a paragraph from the teacher or create something themselves like 2 Christmas cards we did yesterday. I have them type the Spanish and a close translation appears in the English box next door. Google is not good enough to always make sense, Yari or Lorena may misspell or not leave spaces between words, or they may use an informal Spanish that Google has no idea about. They still like to use BOY instead of VOY and this may help convince them what is internationally correct.

Generally they both are getting pretty good at searching the Internet, finding articles and cutting and pasting text and graphics into a word document. I still fine tune the translations and help with page formatting in Word but now they just call me rather than me doing it myself.  Very Good !

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UNAM Biological Station in Chamela

UNAM Biological Station in Chamela had an open house Dec. 6th

It was probably eight years since I'd been there and it was the time of year everything was brown and dry. This year all was green and pretty. The last time there wasn't much to see except a short walk on their loop trail with plants marked. This year they really put on a show. At first we thought it was going to be too dry and educational but the more we walked around we found neat stuff for the kids, a puppet show and some very nice displays.

The girls decorated a paper butterfly on a stick, made a parrot mask, made pinwheels and got some nice coloring books. Surprised there was no food or drink available but we brought a cooler with sandwich makings and a coke. Pretty long drive up there but glad we went.

Butterfly booth

Puppet show

Don't buy parrots - it's illegal

Nahima and Lorena decorating a butterfly  

Butterflies native to this area

Monday, December 15, 2014

Listón rojo for an eclipse

A listón rojo is a red ribbon

I was watering my lime trees and was amazed to see hundreds of new blossoms for the first time in almost a year. I suddenly realized limones like sunshine. Two weeks ago  we cut down the huge Neem tree that was shading most of that back corner.  Also cut down a large flowering bush that shaded them a bit.

I told Lorena about them and she said that I need to tie a Listón Rojo around a branch so that in an eclipse the flowers won't fall and the fruit will mature.  We stopped at the papeleria and bought a meter of red ribbon for one peso. I don't know when the next eclipse will happen but she also mentioned a strong moon .... so lets be safe.

Literally hundreds of blossoms 

I thought I had a before and after ... but now they have sun (back left)

"A custom widespread in Mexico is that when it is announced that there will be an eclipse, people put red ribbons or any metal object in the fruit trees in order to prevent the fruit from falling or not maturing".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Time for the Weekly Bugle

Glen and I had a relaxing day at the beach with almost nobody there around 2 in the afternoon, more came later. We solved most of Canada's and the US political problems, talked about local characters, water problems and a few medical issues that older folks like us are supposed to have.

Carnitas El Sorry

Couldn't resist this. I bought carnitas a number of times here in the past but never noticed the sign

I posted earlier about Lorena and the two girls fishing in the street but didn't think you could actually catch these little things. Yesterday two nieces gave these two to Nahima. I don't think they will last that long but Lorena says they last awhile and get bigger. How these things get here or why they would even want to live where it will be totally dry in another month ?? 

A Yari built mailbox to Santa - she made it for school

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Elizabeth Warren's wake up call

The Speech That Could Make Elizabeth Warren the Next President of the United States

Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke on the floor of the Senate on Dec. 12, 2014 about the provision that Citigroup added to the omnibus budget package.

I was going to post about a few things that have happened around here lately but I came across her speech so small stuff is gonna wait. I will add this one little graphic as of this December.

Not slowly, no E-Cigs, no patches ..... just quit !!!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Oregon Renaissance Faire

Oregon Renaissance Faire 1969 in Eugene 

Picture found on a foto archive site
Metal frame and parachute

Actually I thought before 1969 but I'll go by others memories on this. The reason this was a bit of an issue for me was I told the story of first setting up this fair, clearing a little ground, helping people make shelters and and sheds to show their wares. On some message board or Facebook somebody challenged me and said it's always been the Oregon Country Fair. Now it a documented part of history

Friend and I didn't quite get the Renaissance part of it and we had been playing with Geodesic Domes so we built one. Back then they threw away re-sawed lumber (1 3/4 by 1 3/4) and the heavy plastic covers put on on flatbed rail cars. Tie all your struts together with screw eyes and bolts and cover with plastic (Georgia Pacific label inside). I had my homemade candles and a friend his ceramics.

A University women's group was struggling with a shelter so we built them just the frame work and they covered it with tie-died sheets.  Sun shade and attractive was most in demand.

The guy that built the dome above we only met there and he hadn't gotten the Renaissance thing either but there were lots of people playing with Domes in Eugene back then. We originally thought it was an Arts and Crafts Fair which it really was. Hippies and Arts and Crafts. We were asked later to not do the same next year as they wanted an "Ol' English" style to it. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Corrales Beach in the Municipio of Cabo Corrientes

Road from El Tuito

In the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, 58 kilometers from El Tuito, is Corrales Beach

I've been to Tehuamixtle and beaches south but didn't venture north. I don't remember if we ran out of time after all the back road driving, were tired or just didn't know there was much further north to see. I've since run across two Blogs from that area probably run by the same people. They have a big chunk of land and it's run "loosely" like a hippy commune. At least you can work for your stay and they sometimes have caretaker openings. Gonna have to take the time for that trip and probably over night to make is relaxing.

In the village, where President Porfirio Diaz, early last century ordered the construction of a ocean lighthouse. Fishermen inhabiting offering fresh seafood.

Naranjitos, Mayto, Tehuamixtle and other beaches are located on the coast. Corrales is the last beach that can be reached by land.

and text from Spanish

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island BC

Thanks for the memories talking about eating lamb.
It just came up and reminded me of my sheep ranching days
This Ariel photo is from the 1950's when I used to spend summers there

The spread 
Large 2 story almost log cabin/country home left of the pier
Caretaker to the right
Three sheep barns that are hard to see off the clearing behind
High tide would come into the enclosed patio on the water

My grandfather was a retired (ship captain) gentleman sheep rancher and grandma looked after the purebreds along with most of the other household chores. They had a house in Seattle but spent close to six months at "Long Harbor".  I guess they could call it Long Harbour because they owned the whole 900 acre peninsula. Perfect way to corral livestock is put a fence up across the base of the peninsula and the water does the rest.

So my parents would get rid of me and ship me off to the grand parents for the summer and I couldn't have been happier. Me and Pete, my best friend the Black Lab. We walked the beaches, the dirt roads and went crab fishing in the row boat.

Neighbors were an interesting character that lived just outside their property gate. He built a 3 level log cabin up the hill with dirt floors ... that's all I remember about him or the house.  Not a rich man at all but my grandparents liked interesting people.  Also "birders"  like in Audubon Society.  Grandma was one and her friend had an Eagles nest next to her house and binoculars. 

I remember soft boiled eggs (English style), dry English mustard and the best English butter cookies that I would hide in the dresser to eat later.  Really liked that squeeze thing to squirt out a star shaped cookie.

Long Harbour

So back to the eating of lamb chops or rack of lamb. I made a comment because every spring we would go out on the tractor and gather up abandoned lambs and bring them back and bottle feed them for close to a month.  A little hard to think of eating them  They were almost pets after a month but forget you as soon as they can survive without the milk. They grazed in the field but also were grain fed. Sheep are not real smart.

Old enough we cut the tails off, slapped tar on the wound and kicked them out with the others. Shearing the adults was another interesting project but required professionals. Salt Spring was quite a sheep raising intensive place back then .... I don't think so much anymore. Professional shearers may be hard to find now days.

Those two Islands in the harbor were supposed to go to my dad ... but they somehow got lost.  Would have been only a money pit anyway so welcome to whomever owns them now.

Now a million bucks to buy anything in the area .... so farmland in Mexico is my choice !!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cohetes and things

Cohetes that are church procession related are an all year thing depending on your local communities religious celebrations. They are sky rockets larger and louder than those normally sold to the public. The big time for public sales that the kids wait for comes the month before Christmas and New Year. We found these for sale in the Tianguis Wednesday and in a few weeks we'll see roadside stands. I'm sure each explosive type has a name but cohetes are cohetes and those little white/pink things are "cebollitas" (little onions).  Don't know the name for fire crackers or sparklers. We'll fire off a few a couple times a week up until New Year.

Tamale breakfast

Yesterday sunrise at 7 AM

Friday, November 21, 2014

A reason for bottles on the Re-Bar I'm sure of

Not everybody is walking on their roof on a regular basis but I have a washroom and clothes line on mine. Ideas are lightning protectors (glass), keeps them dry and extra sign your house is not finished so you don't pay taxes. All may be a little true.

Neighbors have been washing and drying clothes at my place more often lately because I have a lot more water and two fully automatic washers.  When ever Lorena is here washing, Nahima is here helping.  For those that haven't been following, Nahima is a super energy 4+ year old that has been known to run and fall down ... or just run into things. Her two upper teeth are missing prematurely to verify that.

For those two sets of re-bar that are lesss then a meter high, our sensible solution is like bumpers in a pinball machine. Also makes them more visible for anyone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wanna try Correos de Mexico?

One of my neighbors works as a taxi driver on Sundays and was given a US $100 bill that he's unable to cash. I'm assuming the worn condition of the bill is why nobody wanted it .... but it also could be counterfeit? Trying to cash worn or marked up US bills in Mexico will most likely fail.

If I could get the bill to family up north they could try to deposit in my bank account .... or be told it's not real. I got no response from anyone that could mail a letter in the US so decided to try the Mexican Postal System. The only mailing options are regular and registered and registered lets you track. Problem is that little local Post Offices can't enter the tracking info so I was told it has to reach Mexico City before tracking begins.

Postal cost is $11.5 pesos for regular ... and $39 pesos registered

So in the mail it goes November 11th and on the 14th it shows up in Guadalajara. That's 3 days for what I could drive in 5 hours. Next notice was today saying they sent it somewhere. That's 5 days sitting in Guadalajara. Next question is does it still need to go to Mexico City or can it fly north from GDL.

Shipment Tracking
Date Hour Office Event
19/11/2014 10:03:00 Oficina Operativa Registrados Nacionales, Guadalajara, Jal. - Enviado a destino
14/11/2014 13:37:00 Centro de Distribución Guadalajara, Jal. - Recibido en destino

Total records: 2

I should have taken a picture of the bill for 'ol time sake if nothing else. I imagine updates will be quicker if it can fly north out of GDL but we'll see.  Just go to Correos de Mexico, click English and you'll find Track and Trace

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Too cold for the pool but right for Xmas

We haven't used the pool in almost 3 weeks because of temperature. Get's pretty warm at mid day but nights are very cool and not enough sun to warm the pool. So I drained the pool yesterday and we took it apart today for cleaning and storage.

A little early for Christmas decorations but I wanted to see if both ropes of lights worked so I put them up on the posts like last year. Kinda like the lights and they use very little electricity. 

Drained pool with two hoses

Pool after washing and Xmas lights on poles

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mom, if I disappear, where will I go?

Mom, if I disappear, where will I go?

I don't know, son.
I only know that if you disappear, I would look for you everywhere on earth and below the earth.
I would knock on every door of every house.
Asking every single person who I find along my way.
I would insist, every single day, at every moment, that I was obligated to look for you until I found you.
And I would want you not to be afraid, because I am looking for you.
And if they didn't listen to me, my son,
My voice would grow stronger and I would shout your name in the streets.
I would break glass and tear down doors to search for you.
I would burn buildings so everyone would know how much I love you and how much I want you back.
I would paint walls with your name and I wouldn't let anyone forget you.
I would look for others who are also searching for their children, so that together we could find you and them.
And my son, I would want you not to be afraid, because we would be looking for you.
If you didn't disappear, my son--oh, I want that you not!--I would shout the names of those who have disappeared.
I would write their names on walls.
I would hug, even from a distance, all of the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who are searching for their disappeared.
I would walk arm in arm with them in the streets.
I would not allow their names to be forgotten.
I would want, my son, for none of them to be afraid--because we would be looking for them.
--Marcela Ibarra Mateos (ixca cienfuegos)


Mamá, si desaparezco, ¿adónde voy?

No lo sé, hijo.
Solo sé que si desaparecieras te buscaría entre la tierra y debajo de ella.
Tocaría en cada puerta de cada casa.
Preguntaría a todas y a cada una de las personas que encontrara en mi camino.
Exigiría, todos y cada uno de los días, a cada instancia obligada a buscarte que lo hiciera hasta encontrarte.
Y querría, hijo, que no tuvieras miedo, porque te estoy buscando.
Y si no me escucharan, hijo;
la voz se me haría fuerte y gritaría tu nombre por las calles.
Rompería vidrios y tiraría puertas para buscarte.
Incendiaría edificios para que todos supieran cuánto te quiero y cuánto quiero que regreses.
Pintaría muros con tu nombre y no querría que nadie te olvidara.
Buscaría a otros y a otras que también buscan a sus hijos para que juntos te encontráramos a ti y a ellos.
Y querría, hijo, que no tuvieras miedo, porque muchos te buscamos.
Si no desaparecieras, hijo, como así deseo y quiero.
Gritaría los nombres de todos aquellos que sí han desaparecido.
Escribiría sus nombres en los muros.
Abrazaría en la distancia y en la cercanía a todos aquellos padres y madres; hermanas y hermanos que buscan a sus desaparecidos.
Caminaría del brazo de ellos por las calles.
Y no permitiría que sus nombres fueran olvidados.
Y querría, hijo, que todos ellos no tuvieran miedo, porque todos los buscamos.

Marcela Ibarra Mateos (ixca cienfuegos)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It rained so much last night

It rained so much I have fish in my pool and a bridge washed out just south of Emiliano Zapata north of Tenacatita. There is an alternative route from near Punta Perula up to the Villa Purificacion area and back down Highway 80 but it will double the distance lost on Highway 200. Primera Plus said they will be using that alternative.

We also did our shopping in Cihuatlan today to avoid Buen Fin .... the Mexican equivalent of Black Friday shopping in the US. Cihuatlan had more sand in the streets from last night than I've ever seen except when the river flooded. Heavy rain last night.

Fish in pool
Getting too cold for a pool anyway

Washed out bridge

And on to the Nahima tooth adventure ...

Sad to say she has a mouth full of bad teeth and the first of them became infected a few weeks ago. She wasn't able to sleep nights the last few days. I got a message about a woman dentist in La Manzanilla that would work on kids but she was on her way to a 2 week vacation. We had to try Dentista Woo Junior or drive to Manzanillo.  Woo Senior does not want to work on very little kids.

So Woo Junior agreed but she had to be on antibiotics for 5 days before he could pull the tooth. Yesterday at 1:30 was our appointment and we knew it would be traumatic but how traumatic ??  The whole procedure required mom holding her feet and me holding her hands above her head against the chair top.

First the topical numbing stuff and then 3 separate injections .... crying and fighting all the way.   That took by far the most time with waiting in between. The extraction is actually very fast and was no worse than the rest of it for her. Yogurt, ice cream or just about anything soft and not greasy for the next few days. Sadly she is going to suffer more of these over the next year or two but at least none are permanent teeth.

Tired out after dentist ordeal

a Raton Perez to put her too in

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We Are Seeds

I certainly hope so

Somos Semillas

The young people were 'normalistas', that is they attended a so-called Escuela Normal, schools which were set up to train young people from small farming families to become teachers and to help to emancipate their communities from oppression and poverty. They have a long tradition of fighting for democratic education and of training new young teachers to work with their communities. More recently they have been in the forefront of the struggle against the kind of reforms which see education as a purely economic process, to produce 'human capital' for corporations.

For this reason many normal schools have been closed, those that remain have been starved of cash and students have been subject to oppression by local and national state forces. It was to collect money to keep their school viable that the young people had gone to the town of Iguala on that fateful September day.

Friday, November 07, 2014

A trip to the Panteon

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) observance at the Panteon was last Sunday and it was decided there would be too many people on a non-working day. We went Monday on the way to school so the kids could visit and Euriel left a small shrine he made. Lorena makes her own wreaths (oferta) rather than buy the expensive ready made. I've done this a number of times but it's always interesting.  Lots of dedication and money some people have put into the grave sites .... while others extremely basic and seemingly forgotten.

There was lots of evidence of a party the night before and two groups were still at it. Passing time with old friends or family!!

Panteon entrance

Lorena's oferta for abuela

Interesting new roof

Nice clean ones

Size of a house for husband and wife

How basic can you get
No visitors this year

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A new way of dancing

At least I haven't seen this before. Maybe because the houses that host the dancers for the day have not been in my neighborhood. This time three were hosts all within two blocks of me.

The first day they start at the plaza and dance to the first hosts house with the hosts leading the way carrying a small shrine of the Virgin.  When they get there they are treated to a large pot of pozole.  The second night they dance from the first house to the next house hosting. Third night they dance between the next two houses. The number of nights might be limited by the number of willing hosts .... or it's always three? This could be indirectly connected to Dia de los Muertos. I'll have to ask.

Pinal Villa does have a "professional" dance group with fancier uniforms, kids more uniform in age and of both sexes.  I assume these kids/girls are only for our community.

Host couple carrying the Virgin

Very little kids in this group

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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