Sunday, December 27, 2015

Carne Asada party

I should have taken pictures a little earlier because this one just barely worked. The table full of Oscar and his family out in the garden didn't come out at all. A bunch of kids were using my computer for the Internet. Five gringos and nine Mexicans had a great time and dinner. Lorena did her famous butterflied and breaded shrimp and Hugo did the grill cooking. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Nahima's Kitchen

It's got everything
A stove, fridge, sink and coffee maker

Nahima with Linda's doll present

There is nothing religious or sacred about Christmas for me. It's just vacation time and time to make some kids happy with a few presents, especially the younger ones. We went into town yesterday for a number of things including a trip to the Mirador and that is where Nahima is standing. Lorena had put the kitchen on "lay-away" and they snuck it into the back of my car so Nahima wouldn't see and then hid it in my bodega. I had a vague idea what it was so bought a large package of kitchen utensils. 

Linda brought the hippy doll down from Canada and a pair of long pants. Nahima wants to sleep in them. Yare got a colored pencil set and some clothes .... and Euriel got a Hotrod magazine.

Gonna have about 15 people over tomorrow for carne asada and shrimp and I think we have most everything, but I need to pick up friends tomorrow so will get what we forgot.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A coral Christmas Tree

This is very cool and just popped up on Facebook as something I posted last Christmas. I still don't remember where I found it to give credit.

Sad night last night. A sweet old lady neighbor died two days ago and they held the velorio (wake) last night at their house. Lorena and I drove into Melaque earlier to buy flowers. Huge and very warm family. The announcement truck went all over Melaque, Ranchito, Jaluco and Pinal Villa. They brought her coffin in a little after nine and when we left after 10 there were nearly 100 people. It took 6 months for cancer to take her.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pet Adoption on Melaque Plaza


We've got puppies & kittens as well as adult dogs looking for new families. 5:30PM in the Melaque Jardin.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Valvula Check or Check Valve

Tricky little buggers these and I've got a few of them. This time they were not the original problem. It started with the hurricane taking the lid off the tinaco and then the wind then beat the float around until it broke. I bought a new bronze float valve but couldn't get it to seal. Bought a plastic one and my brain went dumb and I couldn't figure how to install it. Called a plumber that a friend knows and wa-la. He only wanted 60 pesos (about 4 dollars) but I gave him 100.

Before it got dark I had more water spilling but this time out of the breather pipes. Called the plumber again and he knew right away it was the check valve. The flapper valve inside closes to the tinaco when there street pressure and when there is no street pressure it opens and the tinaco becomes the water source. Sure enough the flapper was stuck open. Take that plug on the top off and a little grease and a screwdriver loosened it up. He also capped a breather pipe he said shouldn't be open.

While he was there I had him look at another valve for my pump house that has been leaking for over a year. We shut the water off  and he just put new teflon tape on the plug threads. It's dry now. He wanted 120 pesos for this trip. Two things at 60 each I guess. Nice guy but no English.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Last call for a pool party

The pool is usually packed away sometime in November but it's still in operation. Problem is nobody is using it except me when I get in to vacuum it out. I keep hearing the kids want to, but they haven't shown up for almost a month. Water is definitely getting chillier but mid-day in the sun it feels good.  Last chance for a pool party is this coming Saturday and then it comes down.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A new front-end

Voyager Suspension

Well, our friendly little country road finally beat my cars suspension into submission. It was making lots of noise and had a little wobble at slow speeds. First I took it to Servicio Automotriz (Michelin) near our entrance road. I like the woman that ran the place before but she's not there and there's a new manager. His solution was to replace just about everything and that was 5000 pesos only for parts. After that he would have to check the struts, align it and add his labor. I could see that going to 8-9000 pesos so I took it down the street to Pancho, my usual mechanic.

Pancho said no ..... crazy prices and he could do it for much less. Brought it in the next day to check and it ended up needing 2 parts on the left side and 5 parts on the right. Left him with a 2000 peso deposit for parts and the next day the total was 3500 pesos .... that's 205 dollars at the current exchange rate. He also adjusted my rear brakes and took it down the street to be aligned. Guess what that would cost in the US.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

I've got Lirio

Water Hyacinth

In our little lagoon with the Crocodile on the road to Pinal, we also have some very pretty Lirio. While Lirio may be a plague in places like Lake Chapala or even our Laguna del Tules .... our Lirio is just pretty. Lorena wanted to pick some flowers and I noticed they were coming up with roots and a bit of soil so I suggested we take a few whole plants.

Mine had a big flower that disappeared the second day. This is day three and the flower is back or it's a new one. Not sure? The bucket just has water and the little soil that came with it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Whale watching season begins

CONANP (La Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas) reports that the 2015-2016 season for watching the Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) started from December 1st this year until March 23, 2016 in Bahia de Banderas, located in Jalisco, Nayarit and covering Marietas Islands National Park and Isla Isabel. 

Of course that only means you may see more of them north of our area but if you've ever been out fishing here in the winter you know they come here as well. I've seen some nice fotos taken from the beach in La Manzanilla.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Policia municipal cihuatlan jalisco.

Somebody made a statement about the Municipal Police of Cihuatlan on Facebook and lots of people agreed. There have been complaints about their response time and their general effectiveness. They are also not very well funded. Funny foto anyway.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hurricane Sandra now a CAT 4

Watch out Baja and Mazatlan - maybe eventually Texas

So far here only overcast for two days and a very light rain this morning. This late season activity is caused by a very strong El Niño which is also strengthened by Global Warming. You Global Warming deniers like most of the US GOP candidates can leave your heads in the sand but don't come crying to me when your life is seriously disrupted. 

Sandra became the latest major hurricane on record to form in the central/eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans Wednesday afternoon. 

There have now been nine major hurricanes in the eastern Pacific this year, a record for the basin.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What's Love Got To Do With It

Everything evidently

Tina Turner
Hope it's a good sound track - speakers died on this machine

A friend arrived last Saturday after a seven-day drive from Victoria and he told me about almost not coming down due to a new relationship. She told him to go and didn't want to be the reason he skips Mexico for the first time in 3-4+ years. So seven days down, seven days here and he just told me he's leaving tomorrow. Guess they both don't want to be apart.  I wish him luck and he better get her retired soon so they can both come down. Winters in the Pacific North West are not my favorite thing.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jaluco Kinder has a Revolution

The Jaluco Kinder where two of my neighbors attend had their Día de la Revolución celebration a day early. Most of the other schools in the area will have theirs today with marching/parading in the streets. The Kinder stayed on campus. 

We bought Nahima's outfit earlier this week and I didn't want her riding on the back of a bike with her mom so I volunteered to take everybody over and to take pictures. I don't know if the kids had a rehearsal, but it looked like a first time for all of them. Basically like herding cats. 

In the past I've only seen the kids dressed up for war but this included the warriors, the campesinos and the elegantes. My best guess is the elegantes are the Spanish landholders and kind of strange to see them celebrated for the Revolution.

Nahima enjoying herself

Eiker the character and his sister

Kinder Plaza

A mix of culture

Los Elegantes

Making tortillas


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Russell Wilson spends his BYE Week in Mexico

Seahawk Trivia

Don't think I would let Russell Wilson manage my bank account after him spending $100k to rent a beach house in Cancun for a week. Yes I'm a Seahawks fan and they had this week off (BYE).

I have no idea who Ciara is but this has been all over the news this week,,

Ciara and Russell Wilson just might be one of the cutest couples out there. And they seem to be going very strong, because the 30-year-old singer and her 26-year-old beau joined her family, including little Future, for a getaway to Mexico.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Oil removal equipment arrives

COLIMA, Mexico, in November. 06 2015.- This Friday, at around 5 pm, the RMG 302 barge and the tugboat "Resolve Comander" both flag Vanuatu, from Panama, arrived in Punta Graham, facing Barra de Navidad, Jalisco.

They were connected to the ship "Los Llanitos" which ran aground 22 days ago in front of Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, driven by hurricane "Patricia".

These two vessels will carry out the transfer of 425,000 liters of fuel and about 11 thousand 484 liters of oil in three tanks containing the ship "Los Llanitos".

The oil transfer start this Saturday and will be supported by several local boats.

One of these vessels is a tugboat who was hired by the shipping company, to support the work of extraction.

The aim of this operation is to prevent an oil spill at sea that could generate an environmental emergency.

With special hoses, fuel will be removed from the ship's tanks to the barge.

Drone video of Los Llanitos

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Great post from Robert Reich

Robert Reich post on Facebook

Last night with two friends over dinner:

Fred: I trust Bernie. He hasn’t waivered on these issues in forty years. Hillary is all over the place. And she’s taking money from billionaires and big banks.

Linda: But Bernie can’t be elected president. Americans will never elect a 74-year-old Jewish socialist. Hillary can be elected. And we can’t risk this election. If any of these Republicans is elected we’re all f*cked.

Fred: Bernie can be elected. Polls don’t measure enthusiasm. And it’s enthusiasm that gets people to the voting booths -- and is turning Bernie’s candidacy into a national movement to take back our economy and reclaim our democracy.

Linda: Movement shmovement. “Occupy” was supposed to be a movement, too. Your movements are bullshit. Politics is about discipline and organization. That’s Hillary.

Fred: People don’t trust Hillary. They don’t like her. They won’t vote for her.

Linda: They will if her opponent is Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, or any of the other right-wing fanatics Republicans nominate.

Fred: What good will it do to elect a president whose principles shift like a weathervane?

Linda: What good will it do to have a nominee who can’t get elected?

What’s your view? Who won this argument?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fuel spill feared for Llanitos

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) reports that the shipping company responsible for the ship "Los Llanitos" stranded on the borders of the states of Jalisco and Colima after Hurricane "Patricia", started the installation of barriers containment to prevent spillage of 11,484 liters of oil and 489 m3 of diesel on the ship in their fuel tanks.

Plans are also under way to remove both oil and diesel in case the ship breaks up. It's not likely the ship will ever move again.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hurricane Patricia claims a ship on Isla Navidad

Patricia claimed a whole lot of palapa and lamina roofs, almost all outside signage including businesses and highway, many ramadas and awnings and some lessor buildings. This ship is definitely the largest object moved by the wind.

Barra de Navidad

The 215 meter / 705 foot long, 71665 dwt (dead weight tons or metric tons or 2200 pounds) bulk carrier Los Llanitos ran aground in Pacific Ocean near Barra de Navidad, Mexico. The Los Llanitos had left Manzanillo one day before Hurricane Patricia approached, but had been blown ashore unable to withstand the strong winds by the hurricane. The bulker went ashore and sustained severe hull damage as it’s hull dragged along the rocky shoreline. The engine room and several sections of the hold suffered water ingress. Fuel tanks were also ruptured releasing pollution along the shore. Authorities were alerted and a Mexican Navy helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The helicopter rescued 19 of the 27 crew on board with the remaining crew voluntarily staying. No reports of injuries. Reports state the vessel was directed by port authorities to depart rather be in port when the hurricane made landfall. Later reports state the Los Llanitos has suffered a large crack in the hull which may result in the vessel being scrapped.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Will the wind blow it down

My crazy neighbor snowbird Canadian built this monstrosity saying he wanted a Canadian looking home, not a Mexican one. That also includes sloping roofs that slant toward the neighbor on the other side and this year he wants to slant one toward my property. I complained to Obras Publicas and they never came out to look. He also has windows opening directly onto two properties. Part of the problem is engineers only worry about foundations and not roofs or windows.

Anyway the only thing that monstrosity did for me was block my view of sunsets. We haven't had a storm this year to test his aerodynamics and with hurricane Patricia on our doorstep we might find out if his wing flies away. I just hope it stay in his yard and doesn't damage other people properties

The monster next door

Hurricane Patricia expected to be a CAT 4 on our doorstep

Friday update ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

English is difficult

There was a Junta (parent teacher meeting) yesterday for Yari in Secondaria. Yari averages a 9 in all her classes but she got a 7 in English this quarter. Parents very unhappy and promise nothing for Christmas. She came over early this morning I think because Mom sent her but for computer use only. She said her problems are in class ... not homework ... but she was using Google Translate. If pronunciation in class is the problem we're going to have to figure out a way to practice. She is shy just to ask but also to show how difficult it is for her.

Yari in back with school friends

Nahima's birthday present to me
She brought it over this morning on way to Kinder
A frowny mood

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Got some rain coming

Both Weather Underground and NOAA agree on timing, strength and direction so we may not escape the rest of the season with no serious weather. Many are hoping for just a little rain to battle this 90 degrees and 85% humidity. The last week or so I haven't had to do anything to be soaking in sweat when away from my house fans.

Tropical Depression TWENTY-E

50 knots is above Tropical Storm level
Hope they've over estimated on that


Weather Underground

Sunday, October 18, 2015

This was a quiz on Facebook

What are these?

Manzanita de Coco -or- Coconut Apple

They grow inside

I wondered why you never see them in fresh coconut and with a little research I find they only grow in older coconuts. Leave a coconut full of water (milk) sit for 8-10 months and these will grow. They are popular in Colima and Michoacan.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Get ready to be confused

Get ready to be confused between this and ten peso coin. I assume they will be similar in size like the last twenty peso coin.

Les presentamos la nueva moneda de 20 pesos que conmemora el centenario de la Fuerza Aérea Mexicana y que pronto estará en circulación. 
Banco de México

We introduce the new currency of 20 pesos commemorating the centennial of the Mexican Air Force and will soon be in circulation. 
Banco de Mexico

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Just had to do it

That was a three level Almendra and if you are familiar with that kind of Mexican Almond tree you know what I mean by three levels. It was almost up to my incoming electric and up against the wall if I didn't keep cutting. Main problem with against he wall was ants like Almendras and they would go up the wall rather than climb the truck of the tree.

The other thing is Almendras are extremely dirty trees and are constantly dropping fruit and leaves.  I've been paying a neighbor to help keep it clean but I'm lucky if they come over once a week and it really needed every other day.

The final problem was local kids like the Almonds and if they were not climbing the tree they were hitting. it with sticks or rocks. Kids falling 3 meters onto the cement sidewalk is not something I need. Then they have to mash them with rocks on my sidewalk to get to the nut.  Tons or work, makes a huge mess and stains my sidewalk purple .... and then they might draw on the wall.

Just called my neighbor Juan with a chain saw and it took him 20 minutes including cutting it up on the ground. BTW .... these Almonds are nothing like North of the Border Almonds I'm used to

No mas Almendra 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Little rain and then too much

I say too much because if this rain keeps up I may refuse to drive to school tomorrow. The roads were already terrible and I'm not going to be using my car as a boat. It started raining in the middle of last night and hasn't stopped. Someday I'm going to get a rain gauge but for the moment my pool is over 2 inches fuller. Someone suggested this is the remains of Hurricane Marty but I'm pretty sure Marty is long gone

According to ConAgua it is remains of Marty
CURRENT SITUATION: Zone instability, remnants of "Marty", now with 10% potential for cyclone development in 48 hours.

ConAgua Web Site

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Predaceous Diving Beetles

Every couple of days I find one or a few of these in my pool and the other day a big one so time to Google and find out what they are. My neighbors think all unfamiliar bugs are or could be dangerous and I've always scooped them out before they get here. Turns out they are all over the US, Canada and Mexico plus the rest of the world. I assume they live in all these rain water ponds around here and are attracted by my security lights near the pool.

Habitat and conservation:  These beetles prefer quiet water at the edges of ponds and streams, floating gently among weeds. Before diving, they trap air between their wings and body, prolonging their time under water. Because predaceous diving beetles are strong fliers, they can fly away to new water if the pond they are in dries up, or if electric lights lure them away from “home.” This is why water beetles are sometimes found in birdbaths and swimming pools.

There are many, many different species of beetles, including hundreds of different predaceous diving beetles. If you are having trouble identifying them, congratulate yourself if you can say for certain that it's "some kind of a beetle"!

The movie shows three mating attempts including the two species Acilius sulcatus and Acilius canaliculatus, where the first two attempts are followed by matings, while in the third the female escapes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My mom in the day

Back when the family had a boat they used to go fishing in the Canadian San Juan Islands and even further north. Almost all that time I was in the Navy or living in California so never went with them. Today is Nancy's birthday and she's in a retirement home so no more fishing. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The logistics of water and sewer

Very confusing working with the Municipio workers via the bungalow owner on the corner who also works for the Municipio and two lot owners who are not here via email. We heard at the last minute that if we buy the pipe they will run sewer up the road in front of the lots. This is just as I'm ready to call in a backhoe to dig for a water line. So we get the 8" sewer pipe and the water project goes on hold because you can't have two ditches on the road. 

Saturday was supposed to be the last day the workers could be there so a few people were getting frantic. That was simply bad info from the bungalow owner because when I showed up on Saturday the news was they will work until the work is finished. Now that makes sense!

Friday we were there to mark the water line and mark off the lot for the backhoe who might be able to trench for the wall foundation. We were just about finished when the workers showed up and started digging a registro in the middle of the intersection. I told the bungalow owner we could pull our cars out now so we could leave when we wanted and he just shrugged he shoulders and we were trapped for 2.5 hours. I finally asked the backhoe driver to smooth a path for us to one side and he did. Now we just wait until the sewer is finished and work on the water later

Incoming 12" sewer line

Registro on the corner

Us waiting in our trapped position

Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Zones in Mexico

Don't think I've seen a map before, only verbal descriptions

Found the map on while looking for Daylight Savings info.  Can't ever remember the dates. It turns out it's not the same day every year and is different than the US. Mexico changes the last Sunday of October and the US changes the the first Sunday of November.

Sonora and Quintana Roo don't observe Daylight Savings Time and the first 20 KM's of border states change their clocks at the same time as the US. Sonora doesn't because Arizona doesn't. Quintana Roo dropped out when it changed Time Zones this year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nahima turns five

Strange that the neighbor kids didn't show up for this very good cake and pool time on a hot day. It was a small party with a big salad before the cake. Nahima blew out the one candle 3-4 times but it kept re-lighting. I finally pinched it with my fingers.  Lorena says she'll keep the candle for when Yari turns 15 in two years.

Nahima trying to blow out the candle

One candle is better than five
Birthday cake

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sawdust and Shrimp

Or the other way around -- just sounded right

A couple times a month we have a shrimp dinner and today is one. We were in Melaque checking on my water project and we decided today was it. Butter and garlic with shells (mantequilla con ajo con cascaras) ... a big YUM

A couple days ago Nahima was helping her Papi sand a board that is going to be a shelf in a small project he is working on in Jaluco. Hugo is a good teacher

Friday, September 04, 2015

Some people worry too much

This started out as helping the guys that built my house do the work on a project in Melaque this winter. All were in agreement but then I realized the lot had no water and all the paper work and actual work might delay construction by a week or two if we waited for the snowbirds to arrive. I volunteered to price it all out and that progressed to I would try to deal with the government and the water contract, arrange the backhoe and buy all the parts. This is not a simple connection because first we need 60+ meters of 2" pipe run from a block away before we connect to the lot.

So bit by bit it has been coming together. All the property papers and ID were faxed down from Canada. Money has been sent to my bank up north and the Delegacion says I have everything I need except an address. 

The Presta Nombre, who is in Seattle for a couple more weeks, worried that I needed a Carta de Poder (Power of Attorney) or at least a letter of permission to set this up.  I asked the Delegacion and they say none needed with all the paperwork I have. Then we have an address vs. Ejido lot number issue. I have no idea where the Presta Nombre came up with the idea that the address has to be the Ejido lot number but that is pure fantasy. I drove up and down the street trying to make sense of the house numbering and it makes exactly zero sense. The fact is people make up their own addresses mostly without even looking at what is next door. The adjoining lots on the papers are 74 and 76 so I said why not call it 75.  I could have picked anything but the Presta Nombre thinks I can't guess because lot number has to be the address. So I'll drive over to the Emiliano Zapata Ejido (El Ranchito) to double check the lot number just to calm the worrier.  I should have chosen 175 and stuck with it. Addresses are used for water contracts and the electric company and Ejidos could care less. You are a lot number to them.

A little over half of the 60 meters

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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