Sunday, September 28, 2014

Down from the clouds

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Just descending into the clouds over Los Angeles

Down from the clouds in more ways than one.  Mexico is down and on the ground is down. There seem to be clouds everywhere.  Seattle was overcast and raining much of the time.  There are plenty of  clouds here in Melaque but no rain yesterday or today. 

The annual week long Pinal Villa Fiesta starts tomorrow and our little church is a favorite of many in the area. There will be a Peregrinación (religious parade) tomorrow afternoon but our road is a real mess from past rain and lack of attention from the Municipio. After a heavy rain it is almost impassable. I just gave enough for 2 loads of road fill and the guy will donate his front-loader for smoothing it out.  That is if it does not rain tonight or tomorrow morning. Road improvement will make my daily bus driving into school a lot easier.

Feels good to be back down in Mexico even if  under the warm humid clouds. 

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Starting decent into Manzanillo


Thursday, September 25, 2014

When Lite Shows were organic

Sitting in the gray Seattle mist I've been thinking of the 1960's and '70's and how much has changed. Our old hangout around First and Pike and the Pike Place Market is all cleaned up for the tourists. In the '60's they were even thinking of tearing the Market down but someone came to their senses. The market lower levels were hardly used and in disrepair, below Place Pigalle was a huge pottery studio and home to the Mexican potter and family, the Market Theater was only open for "special" events. Starbucks Coffee opened their first store in '71 and we used to sell the Helix (underground) Newspaper on street corners in the area.

These were the hippie days and we did hippie things like music fests in the parks, closed the freeway with an anti-Vietnam march and listened to music, music, music. I had just come up from the San Francisco area where I had done lite shows in the Santa Cruz mountains. The Retina Circus was the lite show for the Eagles Auditorium where all the big touring groups came and I helped them out from time to time ... at least got in free to see my favorite groups. Nice video of their story at the bottom here.

My first job was with Pat O'Day, the KJR disk jockey, that did weekend dances at various Roller Rinks. Turns out 'ol Pat wasn't brave enough to try all the colored lights at the Lynnwood Roller Rink so only allowed a strobe-lite.  Next I tried the Show Box that was then called The Happening and that became a weekly Fri/Sat show. The Happening is almost First and Pike so we were back in our old stomping grounds.

The Seattle Police eventually put an end to lite shows by bringing up a 1914 Blue Law that said so much "candle power" of illumination had to be on the dance floor. About 5 of us sat in a detectives office while he told us the real reason was they wanted to stop the hippie invasion from California.


Show Box - 1426 First Ave
Built in the 1930's

The Happening back in the day

The Show Box now

The Barn in Scotts Valley - Santa Cruz



Our show was similar in that it was layer upon layer of shapes and colors

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Seawall and a Viaduct for Seattle

After dropping off family at the SeaTac Airport I decided to take the East Marginal Way route rather than I-5 as it's always been more relaxed and less traffic. Wanted to do some shopping and go to my bank downtown or I would had headed back north on I-405. I got a surprise to find part of the Viaduct had been taken down in the Pioneer Square area and you drop to street level for maybe a 1/4 mile. They've been talking about taking down the built in 1950-1953 Alaskan Way Viaduct for years because it's a major Earthquake hazard. It seems like the work has actually started.

The Viaduct will be replaced by a 2 level tunnel that some say is the largest tunnel project ever. They may be forgetting the English Channel and a recent one going under the Alps?  They will use one of those large circular boring machines.  Don't know which direction it will take in the Denny Regrade area

The street level loop I took headed north

Entrance to Tunnel that will replace the Viaduct

Seattle Viaduct Demolition Time Lapse


What I hadn't heard when I was living here was that the Seawall along the waterfront is as much or more of a Earthquake threat as is the Viaduct. Not only was the waterfront built on filled in swamp that will easily liquefy but the Seawall was built in the early 1900's with  additions in the 1930's. It is currently a hodge-podge of wooden pilings, steel and cement. Here's a picture of the mix partly under the sidewalk and partly under the piers.

Seawall under the pier
""Fifteen businesses on Piers 54, 55, 56 and part of 57 will close down for nine months during the construction of the Elliott Bay Seawall. The city has provided those businesses $15 million to compensate them for the money lost due to the closure"".
Alaskan Way Viaduct - Earthquake Simulation

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Woodinville Farmers Market

Sure enough the Farmers Market was where it was a few year ago, near the City Hall.  The season is winding down and the final Saturday will be the 27th of this month. Growing season is relatively short up here in the north. There were only about 10 booths which is less than half the number of mid-summer.

District Farmers Markets in Seattle are fairly new and something I wasn't able to enjoy in Ballard back in 2005. Probably 4-5 years ago they began closing Ballard Avenue on Sundays for a Farmers and Artisan Market. Fun place to hang out. The real Farmers Market of course is the Pike Place Market downtown and it's been around forever.

Bautista Farms from Yakima

Bautista Farms from Yakima - nice veggies

There were 3 flower booths

Blue Berry and Raspberry

Friday, September 12, 2014

La Princesa Market - Woodinville

My sister told me this was a new store in town so I stopped by to check it out. Not that Latin American restaurants and stores are rare around here but this is new and the only one I know of in Woodenville. The woman owner greeted me in Spanish as if no big deal.  I told her I was just checking it out in Spanish ... and her attention was quickly taken by 6-8 customers that came in. Very much like a Mini Super in Mexico except brands found mostly in the US. There's a farmers market here this weekend and I'm told a Mexican from Yakima shows up so looking forward to that.


La Princesa Market

Pinatas and Pan

Veggies

La Raza and other Spanish language papers

They (Wash. State) have reduced the number of drivers licence places dramatically and when looking online for the closest location there was a link to a "Renew On Line" page. A little info and $54 later I was renewed and told they would mail it in a few weeks.  Another thing to cross off my to do list.

All my Amazon stuff arrived including the "good enough" Sony Cyber-Shot camera I used above. Nice cute little camera about the same size as my IPhone but takes better pictures. Shopping at second hand stores is going well with lots of sheets and a few clothes. Between a senior discount and the discount colored tag of the day prices are reasonable.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Handling Crocs here s fairly common

This big boy was in the Jaluco Canal near houses and kids playing

Putting him in the La Manzanilla lagoon

Below is a capture close to the beach where tourists pass

Crocodylus acutus or Pancho the Croc is 3.83 meters and was in a body of water where there is a high traffic of people,Tourists were scared as they should be but they were still getting too close. It was re-located as a preventive measure. Armando Rubio and Biol. Luis Angel Tello along with enthusiastic people of Ejido La Manzanilla performed operation. La Manzanilla works in S.O.S. Program DGVS crocodile conservation, care, rehabilitation, rescue, environmental education and conflict prevention in the Crocodile Lagoon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Storm I Will Miss

Tropical Storm Odile
a French saint


Because I'm up in rainy Seattle.  Sunday was bright, blue and almost warm. Now I'm waiting for a little sunshine so I can do some sightseeing, shopping and business.

The flight Saturday was pretty uneventful except it had been awhile and I was not prepared for uncomfortable seats and cool temperatures. No longer do flights supply blankets and pillows I was happily informed by the Stewardess. The plane on the leg to LA seemed new with nice seats and a not out of control air conditioning. The flight to Seattle was not as comfortable but I grabbed some warm clothes out of my suitcase when we switched planes. BTW - the flight is Alaska

One odd thing that happened entering LA was that I was told by security (TSA) I was "flagged" for the alternate security lane. The procedure was the same except I didn't have to take my shoes off and no waiting in line. I asked the TSA people and they had no idea why. Whatever sets the flags for TSA is total BS since I've never given them a reason.  Oh well, I went through security before most people on our flight.

Well ... two more weeks here and I'll see if I can find a few interesting things to do and get a few fotos.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

After the storm - Norbert

More water than I have seen since Jova ... but I wasn't in Pinal for Jova. Looks to be the Agua Portable pipe for Melaque and Pinal has been uncovered. About a foot of earth has been removed from the road bed. Further toward Melaque that is usually a road, not a river.  A neighbors dad lives on that road and said water was over a foot higher and came through his house.  I didn't drive into school in Melaque because water was bumper deep on the road ... and there are holes a foot or two deeper.

Water pipe showing

River by flooded house

He wanted me to see the mess

Another 100 yards and that truck was bumper deep

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Rain, rain, rain from Norbert

Well not that close and not that big but closer than other storms this year and big enough. I don't know where Norbert gathered all it's water but it's been plenty so far.  La Manzanilla reported 7.5 inches since noon yesterday at 8am this morning. Barra de Navidad just reported 16 inches in the last 36 hours. That is some crazy rain. No thunder and lightning ..... just never ending rain

School was closed today and will be tomorrow.  We can'r get to Melaque due to water levels on our road. The lagoon was opened to avoid flooding. All the water from Pinal Villa heads for the lagoon as well as Jaluco, much of Melaque and anything in the mountains behind us. Neighbors said the erosion on their street is so bad the water distribution pipes have been uncovered

My yard with drain below gravel but earth is saturated

A flat street next to my house

Street with slight slope becomes a river

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Dog days of summer

When you stop by a neighbor to see their six new puppies think about it when they ask you which one would  you choose. I was advised they needed to be with mom until about a month and a half old but the neighbor kids took/stole a few and the owner was worried they would all disappear. 

Sitting at my computer three days ago, 4 year old Nahima walks in with this puppy in her arms. After agreeing how cute she was Nahima told me it's my new puppy. "That's the one you chose when we looked at them". 

Oh boy, now what .... so we stopped by Beto the vet to see how old and what to eat and drink She is only 4 weeks and no milk because it will giver her diarrhea. I bought an especially nutritious dry food for young dogs to the tune of 160 pesos a kilo.  So it's kibbles and water. Now she sleeps and wanders the yard, molests the big dog Coyota and cries when she can't get up the patio steps. Seems to be doing well.

Chata in her bed (Chata means flat face)

Puppies with mom a few weeks ago

Very, very cool and wet weather

Monday, September 01, 2014

A Weather Sandwich

We get storms on opposite coasts now and then and sometimes the weather becomes pretty interesting. These two don't look all that serious but really you never know. It is something to think about when you are gong to fly out within the next week. Seemingly unrelated to the distant Invest 93E is today's weather in the bottom graphic. Actually not all that uncommon this time of year and the wind and rain has started from that big red/pink blob.

Pacific 5 day potential

Atlantic 5 day potential

Today Monday the first of September
Melaque is right in the middle of graphic


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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