Sunday, May 31, 2015

Calling up spirits

Mexican children treated for nervous breakdowns is hard to believe but has been reported in Oaxaca. A priest there is also warning about calling up spirits or demons. A silly little game that has gone viral in social media and kids play in school. The poor man's Ouija board game has a long history and why it's suddenly popular is anyone's guess.

How to play ....
Step 1: Draw an X on a piece of paper.
Step 2: Label two of the resulting quadrants "no," and the other two "yes."
Step 3: Place two overlapping pencils on each axis of your grid, crossing them in the middle.
Step 4: Say "Charlie, Charlie, are you there?" and ask a question. 
Step 5: Scream at the answer probably.

Also called Charly, Charly and Lapicera

Some more sensible versions of the game


Why should I care? (Should I even care?!)

I mean, you should definitely care if you're seeking supernatural answers to your life questions. (Excepting questions about love, death and money, which - per certain versions of the legend - Charlie will not answer.)

Even if that doesn't exactly describe you, though, Charlie makes a killer case study in virality and how things move in and out of languages and cultures online. You'll notice, for instance, a lot of players and reporters talking about the game as if it were new, when it's actually - and more interestingly, I think - an old game that has just recently crossed the language divide.

This is also, pretty notably, yet another example of the power of the teenage Internet. Write off their little games as silly, sure - but we never trended Bloody Mary or Ouija board.

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's mango time again

We're surrounded by mango orchards and lots of people working in them. Many tractors pulling trailers over to the packing houses in Jaluco. A few large trucks sitting around waiting to be filled before they take off for another part of Mexico. They pick them very green for transport so there are not a lot of ripe ones around yet. The mango below is on the tree next door and I could pick it but it's not ready. Our gancho (mango picker) broke and I was going to buy a new one but the trees next door don't have much fruit this year.

Next door from my roof

Mangoes going by from my roof

Not mango related but I picked it yesterday and it's very sweet
Pineapple


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Smell that rain

Tropical Depression One-E Has Formed; The First System of the 2015 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season



Tropical Depression One-E has formed about 685 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.

Tropical Depression One-E is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm soon, and a hurricane Friday.

Rapid intensification - an increase in sustained winds of 30 knots or more in 24 hours or less - is possible over the next day or so, due to low wind shear and warm sea-surface temperatures.

Once it strengthens into a tropical storm it will receive the name, Andres.

This system will likely remain well off the Mexican coast, eventually weakening over colder water early next week.

High surf appears to be the most likely indirect impact along the Baja peninsula, including Cabo San Lucas, this weekend into early next week.

The First System of the 2015 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season

Had a nice rain this morning and expect quite a bit more through the weekend

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pastel y Pozole

Yari turned 13 on Sunday and we had a great party. A yard full of kids and a huge pot of Pozole. She got the face in the cake treatment again but it was dark and nothing like last year. Most of her school friends couldn't come to the party so they had a second party on the Melaque Plaza last night after school.

She wanted chocolate this year

My Pozole

Kid stuff

Yari and friends doing Facebook

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Costalegre in 1955

According to this map there was only a primitive road as far north as Chamela and nothing south from Vallarta. I'm sure Tomatlan and El Tuito were there but possibly very difficult to get to. I found this interactive map (link at bottom) years ago on a site that lets you store lots of data free. I snagged the graphics and the web page (HTML) that makes it work thinking the site may go away ... which it did.

This old Pemex map reminds me when Texaco and other gas stations in the US would give away maps  free. We always needed them about 1950 as we cruised around eastern Oregon and northern California in the old 1949 Studebaker.


Caminos De Mexico
Mapas Pemex

Aerial view of Melaque - 1955

Full Mexico Map - Caminos De Mexico -1955

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lot's of Wasps

Had three of these in the last week and always one every couple of months. I found the first in the palapa when I was putting a tarp over it. Too far embedded inside to do anything but spray one more in a small palm in the yard and one in the palm on the street. If they are accessible Hugo puts a plastic bag around them and has a small fire in the lot next door. I have a flowering Palm that is full of feeding Wasps so probably another nest soon.

Wasp Nest
Nido de avispas

Sunday, May 17, 2015

This should be fun

Not sure where I got the idea to try this except that the fresh Ginger (jengibre in Spanish) (hen-hebrey) I buy at Parisani has little "eyes" similar to potatoes. I had not read about the plant (annual or perennial), flowers or not, climate, soil, ornamental only or amount of sun.

Turns out it is a hardy plant that likes heat, humidity, water and fertilizer. I'll see how it does in the pot but  it may end up in the garden because plants with rhizomes spread (put it where it can be controlled I read). Interesting to read about the history and origin of Ginger and how it got to the Americas. Haven't yet figured out the difference between common and ornamental. Ginger in Mexican cooking -- I heard in a certain Mole but nothing more. A continuing story I'm sure.

Tropical gingers, whether common or ornamental, require at least one year of undisturbed growth to bloom. Generally, the flower stems grow directly from a mature rhizome, although shell ginger's flowers grow directly from leaf stems. When growing new ginger plants from seeds or transplanted plantlets, they may require up to three years of growth before producing flowers. Planting ginger in a large, wide flowerpot and taking it indoors during winter gives the rhizome time to fully mature.

Sprouts from both ends of tuber


Think it's in a number of gardens around here

Wikipedia on Ginger

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tribute to a great one

Great musician that I thought I saw at Winterland in San Francisco ..... but it was Muddy Waters I was thinking of. Some of this new music we are left with really turns my stomach and it's so sad to see old timers go. 


B.B. King passed away

Clapton has been known to use his platform and large fanbase to promote King, whom he believed didn't sustain the recognition the blues legend deserved in the twilight of his career. "If you're not familiar with his work, I would encourage you get an album called B.B. King Live at the Regal, which is where it all really started for me as a young player," Clapton says in his tribute. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 15th in Mexico - 15 de Mayo en Mexico

May 15th in Mexico - 15 de Mayo en Mexico

Dia del Maestros - Teachers Day
No school Friday and no bus driving

First day of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season 
La temporada de huracanes iniciará el 15 Mayo

It's raining north and south of us but only partly cloudy here with no sign of precipitation. Humidity is really creeping up

Al mismo tiempo, funcionarios de la Comisión Nacional del Agua (Conagua), dieron a conocer que este año se espera una temporada de huracanes muy intensa, por arriba del promedio histórico en el Océano Pacífico por lo prevén mucha lluvia para esta región.

La Conagua en su primer cálculo de la temporada de ciclones para este año, pronostica 19 ciclones para el Pacífico, de los cuales, 8 serán tormentas tropicales, 11 huracanes moderados y 4 intensos, por lo que las autoridades ya están tomando las precauciones del caso por tanta actividad ciclónica en las costas del Pacífico Mexicano.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Necessary improvments

My front sidewalk was in need of some help. Not that it wasn't well built but we just didn't think of everything. Three downspouts dump water on it causing erosion, ants build caves under it, chickens excavate the edges looking for bugs .... and then there's the kids who like the sidewalk and the dirt in front of it. I told Hugo generally what I wanted and let him make the design decisions. I like what he came up with. A little more on the driveway to go.

Then there is my north wall.  Because someday (maybe never) there will be a house up against that wall I didn't worry too much about the stucco and it is pretty sloppy and very ruff. I also cut corners on properly sealing and painting it. Shoe had a couple 5 gallon buckets of cheap paint that was old so I mixed that with a little sealer and some decent paint but not semi-gloss. I'll only paint with semi-gloss from now on.  

So I figured I'd clean it up, primer a few areas and let Hugo go at it with a roller. Turns out I have wire brushed and/or cleaned with Clorox almost the whole wall. Also it's so ruff that doing a good job with a roller is almost impossible and you can't see your holidays 10-12 feet above you.  I will end up painting that whole 20x4 meter wall with a brush. Plenty of other painting for Hugo.

The second sidewalk

North wall mostly painted - sealed the bottom section today

20 meters by 4 high

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Pool and Free Mango time

It's that time of year that the neighbor kids want to cool off in the pool and people drop off mangoes because they have too many of them. Just had the one below with some unsweetened yogurt.  Yummm ... very good

Jania and Nahima -- got crowded later

Small but very sweet

Friday, May 01, 2015

A Crazy Weather Year?

Many people are expecting an unusual weather year mostly due to ocean temperatures being high. The Pacific is supposed to get well more than the Atlantic for named storms but an Invest just popped up off the East coast of the US. At least the Weather Underground labeled it as a Invest but no number yet.

The Atlantic hurricane season doesn't start until the end of May so the National Hurricane Center may not become active even with an early storm. On our Pacific side we have two more weeks before the season starts. Tracking storms is interesting and exciting but you can end up very sorry when they land on your doorstep. Let's hope this year is not too crazy.


The first week of May is usually too early for the Atlantic to see its first named storm, but that is a possibility this year, according to the Friday morning runs of the GFS and European models. These models predict that an extratropical storm will form along an old cold frontal boundary over the Bahama Islands just east of the coast of Florida on Tuesday, then drift slowly northwards towards North Carolina during the week. Ocean temperatures are near 26°C (79°F), which is about 1.7°C (3°F) above average for this time of year, and just at the limit of where a tropical storm can form.

An Atlantic Named Storm Coming for the First Week of May?
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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