Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Barra beach and the Raya plant

Mostly just a bunch of pictures of the Barra de Navidad beach project but we also stumbled across the multipurpose plant they are using to hold down the beach sand. The guys working the nursery called the plant Raya and it's the same used as medicine for sting ray stings.   Boil to make a broth for soaking and a poultice to apply.

The other most obvious use is to stop beach erosion. "Ipomoea pes-caprae, also known as Beach Morning Glory or Goat's Foot, is a common pantropical creeping vine belonging to the family Convolvulaceae. It grows on the upper parts of beaches and endures salted air."

From near hotel Alondra

In front of Hotel Alondra

Sign says Ipomoea pescaprae - Raya
Stabilizer of sand

Waves over the reef

Raya plant nursery

Lagoon side beach

Lagoon side beach

Under water tour of the reef

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spay and Neuter clinic in Jaluco

Pro Animal Melaque does it again this time with a Spay and Neuter clinic in Jaluco.  One of our neighbors dogs on Saturday and this one was way overdue by the size of her tits .... and not that old either.  Lorena's cat on Sunday along with a small sick puppy the neighbors wanted checked for free.

Sadly the vets said nothing they could do and needed a real Vet. Took the dog and girls to Mi Mascota in Barra who was open until 2 on Sunday.   The dog had been loosing liquid from both ends and needed to be re-hydrated but it was too much a shock for his system.  We got a call a few hours later the dog had died so we let the Vet dispose of the body.

Municipal office near the highway

Christine seated running the show with people waiting

The Score

Monday, July 28, 2014

Busy, crazy, sad weekend

A Spay and Neuter weekend and more.  All operations went well

Saturday a young pretty dog that looked like she had had 20 liters

Sunday a cat but also a sick puppy for Vets opinion.  Opinion was take to working Vet in Barra at 'Mi Mascota' and he said very, very sick and wanted 500 pesos to try to save him. One hour later we got a call that the puppy had died.  The 2 young girls that owned the puppy, plus Yari and Nahima were there and only Nahima cried. We think the puppy was sick it's whole life and only two weeks with the family.  We decided to let the Vet bury it in a "Pet Cemetery" in Cihuatlan.

I talked to the Vet today and took some fotos of the new beach and Malecon in Barra.  A few more notes and fotos soon.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Running Dry

I never leave the cistern to tinaco pump on automatic for fear the pump freezes and needs a kick, pump looses it's prime or the cistern just runs dry. For some reason it was on Auto yesterday, I heard it, and realizing we hadn't had street water in awhile I checked the cistern and tinaco. 1/4 tank in tinaco and cistern basically empty. That is the driest I've been in almost 3 years.

We used a lot of water during construction and street water supply was even flakier back then so we sunk a well.  A submersible pump worked best here but after construction it just sat there unused while my neighbors kept running out.  They had a well but no pump so the pump has been theirs for the last 2 1/2 years.

I've been close to bringing the pump back before but this time it was necessary. Changing wells didn't make the pump real happy so it was stuck at first.  Finally moving it around and starting it in a bucket of water it fired up. Running into the yard for 20 minutes was all it needed to be super clear.  Filled the pool which is about the size of a tinaco (1100 liters), the cistern (11,000 liters) and ran the secondary pump to top off the tinacos (2). Packed up 12 meters of support rope and electrical cable and 20 meters of hose in the wheelbarrow and took them back to my neighbor.

Filling the pool

Opening to cistern

The hose, electrical, support rope and pump

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Non Proactive CFE

It took me 3 weeks and mutiple tries to get CFE out to cut a mango tree that was growing around my power lines to the house. Has to be done twice a year because they won't cut the whole tree down that is almost growing in the street.

Ok so they miss my house or a few others because they are less important than the main power lines .... but they are ignoring the main lines as well.  After the Monday morning storm there were close to 30 CFE guys out with chain saws and machetes cleaning up the mess and making a mess. CFE never cleans up after.

So power went out about 5AM and it took them 'till after 10 to fix the problem.  Power back on for a 1/2 hour and out again until after 4PM while they cut many, many trees down to a safe level. Just for good measure they cut the power again about 6PM for 10 minutes. I went outside and bellowed my feelings at CFE and they may have actually heard me.

Main road mess - partly storm and partly CFE

Huge tree near my house

All machete work

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ayn Rand Disease

Most of my friends and contacts on Facebook lean to the left or way to the left .... so even though there is some good news, much of it is exposure of some totally insane plan from the Tea Party GOP.  Can't stand ObamaCare because it has his name on it, wanna sue Obama for Benghazi or some minor detail of ObamaCare for the 10th time.   Bitter unhappy people that are willing to bring the whole economy and government to a standstill rather than find solutions that work.

Since the GOP won't move beyond "get rid of Obama" it's really hard to tell what agenda they would try to follow if elected. The closest I can come is they are afflicted by the Ayn Rand Disease,  at least GOP up-and-comer Paul Ryan is hooked.  Problem is he didn't see the complete person and her view of Religion as Evil is not go well with the Christian Right.  The me-first, trickle down economics may have been what he had in mind.

These me-first, anti-socialism sad examples of humanity are still everywhere but I'm always hoping there will be less and less. One of these jerks really got to me yesterday on a friends blog about a Andrés Manuel López Obrador visit to Melaque.  This jerk's reply was -- AMLO is a semi-literate demagogue. I do so wish something unpleasant would happen to him.  It's not anti Obama but it's just his ever present nasty negativism that he displays on his Blog as well.   This YoYo has been off my Blog Roll for a long time.

I'm the only one who challenged the jerk including the Blog owner so had to have my say here. I hope pier review or a popularity contest wasn't why something wasn't said.  So here are a couple of ant-GOP and anti-Rand videos you should enjoy.

The Ayn Rand Disease on America - Paul Ryan's hero

Stephen Colbert vs Ayn Rand?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Three hours of thunder and lightning brings out UFO's

About 5 AM this morning I awoke to huge bangs of thunder right over the house and what sounded like a few things falling. About 10 minutes later the power went out and I knew my night's sleep was over. I don't remember 3 hours of a constantly lit sky with every type of lightning there is just one after the other.    Was a memorable night.

Sleeping without a fan in this weather is just about impossible for me and at least I wanted my flashlight.  My most favorite house keeper had just finished the whole house the day before and she moves everything if only a little bit.  In total dark a few inches was too much for me. Then I thought of candles but I needed matches. After our carne asada yesterday the matches were left out but I remembered another box in the bodega ... maybe for the plumbing torch? So with the candles I found the flashlights so staying cool and entertaining myself 'till light was all that was left.

I usually have two security lights on outside so thought a candle or two would replace. I was going to jump into a hammock under the palapa so I put one candle on the table and another on the swing next to the pool. That's when things started to get weird.  Now I could have been swinging in the hammock for these fotos, the wind was blowing the swing ...... or the mighty storm awakened a couple UFO's

Lightning illuminated candle over the pool

I have no idea

I did find a mess in the yard, my palapa lost 1/2 it's palapas, the extension ladder was almost blown off the roof and a plastic storm window was blown out.   Over all not much rain which would have only complicated recovering from the wind damage.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren should go for President with Bernie Sanders as a running mate - the only two people on Capital Hill who tell it like it is. The rest - in both parties - are corporate sycophants.   Main problem is running as an Independent.  The Dems won't nominate her, the Repugnants sure won't.  Bernie is an Independent and isn't going to change

Eizabeth Warren has been crystal clear about her plans. The Massachusetts senator says she is not running for president in 2016, and she hopes that Hillary Rodham Clinton will. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of liberal fans out there hoping she’ll change her mind.

Ready for Warren Website

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This is a Florida Governor

Rick Scott - psycho dude

And we wonder what has happened to the USofA

Another one from Arizona
Frank Riggs, Arizona Governor candidate,  who promises to strongly repeal Common Core, strongly stop Medicaid expansion so that the poor's won’t be burdened with health insurance, etc   He works out so he can say strongly on his issues.   Just another psycho dude !!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fixin' fans and fans and fans

Copacabana fans are my favorite for simple, cost, quiet, easy to clean, air movement and have an aluminium blade option. Aluminum blades are not only lighter and easier on the motor but won't rust and throw an amber ring around your living room at fan level. I have 6 ceiling fans and keeping them clean is enough without having to look for rust .... then sand and paint them.

So as much as I like Copacabana, they installed a massive amount of bad capacitors.  These are the start/run capacitors just above the motor, not the speed control on your wall switch. At first I had no idea why I had only slow for speed so I took the whole fan to an electrical motor guy.  He changed the capacitor for 100 pesos.  I took the second, third and fourth to him as well.  The fifth I was moving from my bodega to my palapa patio so it was already down and easy to take to the mechanic.  Number six I decided to just ask the mechanic if he would sell me a capacitor and I'd change it myself.  He didn't have any but suggested an electrical store that would. Sure enough and I bought 2 at 25pesos @ because my neighbors had the same problem.  We both now have fans with a full variety of speeds.

The favorite but one speed fan

New capacitor in place

Right above the motor is the white cup that just covers connectors and the capacitor. It's kind of easy to push the cup up the shaft to expose the capacitor. Cut the plastic Zip Strap, pull out the capacitor, undo the wire nuts and install the new one in reverse order. That is really all there is to it.

A two wire rectangular like the one on the right

Then comes the tricky and more expensive fans .... those of my car. I followed a delivery truck back from Colima a few days ago and thought he had the problem the way I heard the noise. As we dove up our quiet road the noise was still there. This morning I confirmed a bearing was gone in one motor and the blades were flopping around. My air conditioning and electrical guy said better to replace both as a pair and he can pick them up later in the week at a Manzanillo Junk Yard (yonke) for 800 pesos.

Radiator and Air Conditioning Condenser fans
for a 2000 Voyager

I unplugged the one fan for no further damage but when I got home the temperature spiked. First time since new that the car has over heated. No more of that !!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Use up those air miles

Sounds like a wonderful deal until you actually try it. Someone in my family has a bunch of air miles they offered saying anyone can use them so I went shopping.

A Mickey Mouse plane for me?

To use air miles you have to go through a given airline .... not a discounter like Orbitz.   I went to Alaska which I always use from Manzanillo to Seattle.  All they were offering with air miles was via Mexico City and an 18 hour layover somewhere.   Thanks but I was not interested in a flight that takes two days when it can be done in 7 or 8 hours.

So back to Orbitz and the usual Manzanillo, Los Angeles, Seattle run ... but for some reason all I could find was an over-night (sleep in the LA airport) on the return.   Usually my trips are same day in both directions and take about 8 hours.

Back to Alaska to see what they really had and found the same offered on Orbitz ..... except Saturdays. Saturday had the same good connections that I was used to and prices about $20 cheaper than Orbitz. The mystery is solved.  Now I get an email a day from Alaska trying to sell me something else. Can I order a Mickey Mouse plane?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

To see a specialist in Tecoman

I'd only been to Tecoman passing through to the Michoacan coast or to go to the beaches of El Real and Boca de Pascuales so I didn't really know my way around or how large the city is. Tecoman is not small, it's not a rectangular grid and it's very spread out.

Lorena had found a foot specialist for Maria that might give different options to skin grafts which were logistically and financially impossible. I relied on Lorena to get us there but she only had an address, no directions, didn't know Tecoman and the doctor was not answering his phone. It was near Cruz Roja so after asking many times we finally found the 600 block of Morelos which was about 15-20 blocks from town center.  Finally the doctor called back and said he would be in his office around 2-2:30 but it was noon and we were already 4th in line.

I had planned on running over to Boca de Pascuales to check out the surf but my city orientation was non existent at this point so I decided to walk back in the direction of the plaza and Mercado. Tecoman is totally flat so there is no vantage point except from upper levels of buildings and that seemed to be 2 stories at most. The city was once the Colima capital so is old but I found very few remains except for a few adobe structures still standing, often protruding into sidewalk space.

Was told the Mercado's name is Cuauhtémoc and is next to the plaza. It's interior is small and dark but lots of outside booths, stores and restaurants. There's a whole market area on the blocks surrounding the Mercado. A large modern church sits on the plaza and I hear it was finished in 2010 .... after the old one was damaged by the 2003 earthquake.  Can't find fotos of the old

Tecoman Plaza from the 2nd floor of the Municipal building

Street booths near the Plaza

Sidewalk store in the Mercado

A walk only street with booths and restaurants 

The famous Tuba vendor of Colima

One of my old Pascuales surf fotos - another day

A very long day in Colima after stopping at Burger King and Soriana in Manzanillo.  Soriana has started their school discount for many of the things kids will need for the following year.  We got back at 7:30

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


I awoke this morning to find the outside sink had fallen off the wall. I first thought of a person in the middle of the night but you don't accomplish anything by standing on the sink. I also wondered why I didn't hear it as it's not far from my bedroom door that has a screen in it. All I can think of is my cat or it fell off of it's own weight. Simple white sinks are not expensive and only part of the drain pipe broke.

Bought a new sink for $240 pesos (basic white) but think I'll change everything including the handles/faucet., drain, wall fastener and larger screws to hold it on the wall.

Oops !!

The other is my tinaco is suddenly overflowing.  I climb up and find the float overextended in the up position and the tank full.  I lower the water level  and I can not over extend the float manually. We have moderate street pressure today so I'm eliminating possibilities.

The mystery float

My unnecessary "don't drop them in the tinaco trick"

Hugo came over while I made the school run and figured out the water was not coming from from above at the float valve shut off but from the bottom of the tank. I knew with this strange system that could happen but it never has in 3 years. My plumber thought with the good street pressure we have much of the time, why not have street pressure in the house rather than just gravity from tinaco.  So he installs these check valves that will change with pressure levels. Problem is the valves get stuck and this one usually gets stuck where tinaco pressure is not enough to open it so I bang on it to get water again.This time it got stuck in the opposite direction so that street water was enters the bottom of the tank.

Check valve - valvula check

Obviously something has to be done someday but I'm afraid it's gonna take pipe cutting, rearranging and even turning the tinaco to give more room for adjustments now and in the future.   In the meantime a couple whacks with a hammer or large wrench fixes the valve.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Skin grafts

Maria has had what I thought was a serious foot infection and with treatment it was getting better.   It seems it hasn't been infected for a few months but she still has 'open sores' ..... and by open sores I mean you can see a bone and a few tendons. Doctor says at the age of 86 and thin as a rail she just does not have the energy to grow more skin like younger person might. I'll let you search for photos if you really want to see something similar.

Intentional missing picture

So after using 3 doctors in the area including Dr. Rosa for cleaning, dressing and pain control we finally visited the head doctor of Centro de Salud // Seguro Popular in his private practice.  He was the first to tell us that skin grafts were the only way to close her wounds. He even said that Seguro Popular would do it for free ..... but at their Guadalajara hospital.

Problem is Guadalajara is 5 hours away requiring an overnight in a hotel the day before, probably using a taxi, very possibly a second hotel stay after, lots of gas, maybe tolls, food .... so we are talking  5-6000+/- pesos a trip   Total treatment is 3 visits a month apart.

Now comes the money issue.  Family can't and won't contribute.  It's really a combination of both but one side of the family hasn't helped with small things in the past.   Really sad and I can't help any more than I do. Maybe a "not free" doctor in Colima could cut the housing and gas out of the equation but it's still a couple thousand pesos.

I'm used to "if you really want it .... get it done".   Looks like this may not get done

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Civil Rights Act today ?

Could the Civil Rights Act pass today?

Mark Updegrove, historian and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, joins Joy Reid to discuss the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and whether the same law would pass in today’s 113th Congress.

"This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our states, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country."
- President Lyndon B. Johnson, July 2, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 enacted July 2, 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public

Stealing mangoes

Well not really because the owner of the lot next door lives miles away and most of the fruit just falls. Two huge, very old mango trees fill the whole lot and almost overhang my second floor. I have to call CFE (power company) a coupe times a year to cut one tree away from my electric lines.

The first picture is an older one in an orchard but it's basically what I look at from my roof.  I noticed a few were almost ripe and got the "gancho" off the garage roof.  The gancho is just a long bamboo pole (also a hook) with a bag tied to the end for snagging fruit. I got one and Hugo noticed a few more.   Multiple large mangoes was too much for the old bamboo pole and right about mid-point it snapped.  No major damage to the fruit and Hugo says we might be able to get a new "fruit picker" at a hardware store.

Mangoes in nearby orchard

Gancho for mangoes or avocados 

Our score

I did a Google search for "stealing mangoes" and the instances are many and the consequences very serious. Even ran across a game called Steal The Mango which might end in death.  I didn't play it so you are on your own.
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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