Friday, July 31, 2015

Pool attractions and Pan

Saw these reflections in the pool last night and had to try to capture it. Pretty close

Interesting how bugs have seasons for activity. The last couple of days it's been Dragonfly's collecting in the pool. A few weeks ago it was flying ants. Dragonfly's do it during the day and the ants were at night. I assume they want a drink and misjudge how to get it. Seems I remember Dragonfly's dipping down over lakes and ponds up north. I've saved a few but 20+ didn't make it.

Palapa and palm reflection 

Dragonfly in pool - what's the attraction?

We have a relatively new street vendor that I assume goes all over the area. A couple of months ago was the first time I've heard him. I checked out his wares a few days ago and he only sell sweet breads so I passed. He's not quite as entertaining as Tin Tan but I like his music.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mushrooms, the pool, shrimp, watts and politics

But I'm gonna start with politics .......

Steve posted on his Blog about some poll/quiz you can take to tell you who to vote for or at least which candidate you lean toward. I'm not gonna take the "Test" because I know it's Bernie or Hillary for me but afraid Hillary is too middle of the road. 

Political discussions are going drive me nuts this coming year with people claiming Libertarian, Green, Independent or Constitution Parties leanings. I mean there are two parties in this country unless super nut-ball Donald Trump runs Independent. All these "alternative" candidates are running Republican and they are all certified nut cases. There's one wing-nut in Steve's conversation that still likes to throw around words like Commies and Socialism like they mean the end of the world. I get MSNBC News, Bill Maher, Bernie, Robert Reich on Facebook and besides a comment about the latest GOP WingNut that's the extent of political discussion for me.

Actually a fungi rather than a mushroom

There is no street water today so it's buckets of water out to the plants/trees in front of the house. Plus cleaning up the mess from the extremely dirty Almendra/Almond tree. That's when I noticed this mushroom/hongo growing behind the little palm. First of it's kind I've seen.

This past weekend we had a pool and shrimp party and a very relaxing afternoon. The girls are over 3-4 times a week with this warm weather and summer vacation. The shrimp are one size down from large and are 160 pesos a kilo or about $10us

Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo - Garlic Shrimp - Yum

I dug out this little meter I bought on Amazon a few years ago because my neighbors electric bill has been higher than normal. I'm noting the Watts and Amps used on my various appliances and will later compare with theirs. I kinda suspect their refrigerator that is not that old but still is rebuilt. My electric is never real high so I had little reason to use the meter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Knock, Knock

I fell asleep rather early last night watching Pirates of the Caribbean which is really a terrible movie but I'm sure it made billions and I had to (try to) watch it once. I awoke about 11 with the Blue Screen of Death on my TV which happens when rain clouds are rolling in. Shortly after the rain began I hear someone yelling out side my gate, no idea what he was saying but he came over to my open kitchen window and asked if I had ordered pizza. Of course I hadn't and off he went into the downpour and thunder  to continue his search. I should have said if you don't find your house I'll buy it but I was half asleep. From the level of my pool and others observations I'd say it totaled close to 3+ inches rain.

Friday, July 17, 2015

I hate to see this

But these doves around here need to wake up

This is number three in four days. My cat Tomas brought the second one up to me and I took it away from him. I was sure the bird was finished but took it upstairs and held it on the railing for a few minutes. It shook it's head, spread it's wings and flew over to my neighbors roof. 

Normally Tomas kills frogs, small snakes and bats just for entertainment but that bird is all gone. There's also a couple of iguanas on the neighbors wall that he stalks but they are fast and one is almost as large as the cat. That too may just be the Hunting Game he likes to play

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Who said an old IPhone can't zoom

I simply talked myself into thinking that without trying enough

We were sitting around at the monthly old farts breakfast and Steve was showing his fancy Smart-Fone to Don who is thinking about getting one. They were talking about the camera and how well it worked. Nice to have an extra camera around if it's any good. I asked Steve if his would zoom and he sad yes so I tried mine again. The squeeze screen thing didn't work but just dragging your finger made a Zoom Bar show up that looked like volume control.  WaaLaa .... my camera zooms.

When I first got this Phone it was with the full Internet package but I can't stand the Internet on a super small screen with no mouse or keyboard. I had a contract so had to wait it out but changed to a normal pay as you go Amigo plan as soon as I could. Still a Smart-Fone will eat up your minutes if you don't have everything turned off except the Phone. 50 pesos was lasting two weeks instead of a month. I had to get a Telcel store person to find the offending app. I text because it's cheaper and leaves a message and talk and that is all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What to do with a rainy week

Make Bread

We've had clouds like these for the last 4-5 days with rain off and on. Hurricane Dolores passed well offshore but we got a little before and after weather from her. Working in the yard is not a lot of fun when everything is wet and there definitely is no painting or sealing the roofs. Last night we may have had the most rain and Melaque had it's normal flooded streets this morning. Took Yari into town for her next years school fotos along with a bunch more shopping.

Our rain clouds

Sitting in front of Foto Geity 

Followed a Ciabatta recipe

Really the best bread yet although a little moist/heavy inside. I even made a sour dough starter the day before which didn't get very sour so neither was the bread. This was a no-knead process that only took 4-5 hours rather than overnight like most others. I fed the starter after using some and it looks like what was described. I tried a little sour no-sugar yogurt to see if that will help

Sunday, July 12, 2015

102 years since the skies were this dark

102 years since the Volcano de Colima has darkened the skies like this last eruption

The eruption of 1913 Colima Volcano began the 16 of January , reached its climax on 20 and ended with small pyroclastic flows (hot mixtures of gases , ash and fragments of rock ) on 24 January. The inhabitants of villages near the volcano, is remembered simply as "La reventazón".

To get an idea of the scope of this eruption 102 years ago an article explains that in January 1913 there were reports of ashfall in Saltillo, Coahuila, a city located 725 kilometers away; and Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, 262 kilometers from the Volcano of Fire.

Infographic area pyroclastic flows, lahars and lava Colima Volcano

COLIMA The Interior Ministry published the infographic area pyroclastic flows, lahars and lava volcano of Colima, pointing in three areas of risk: red color as the area most endangered, orange as less dangerous area and the yellow and low risk. Colima volcano is located at an altitude of 3860 meters from sea level and 32 kilometers from the capital of Colima.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rain and buggy bread

That really looks like rain to me but stick your head outside and it's a high overcast. What is over us now is not connected to Invest 98E further south which has a 90% chance of becoming a Tropical Storm latter today or tomorrow. The Eastern Pacific's last named storm was Ela but it ended up near Hawaii so we didn't notice it. Another storm using the letter D must have done the same thing. Guess that means this next storm will begin with an F.

According to the Weather Underground I am wrong about the names. There may be a Central Pacific area with a different set of names.
Tropical Depression Five-E formed Saturday morning and is currently located about 265 miles south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico.
Tropical Depression Five-E is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Dolores possibly as soon as later Saturday and may strengthen into a hurricane next week.

On my last bread excursion I noticed little black specs in the wet flour and I picked them out as I saw them. Never saw any in the dry flour. Just in case this time I decided to sift the flour from a new bag and sifting is probably a good idea anyway. Sure enough at the bottom of each sift were 10 to 15 of these little critters and most were moving. Google "bugs in flour" and I found it's rather common and are called Weevils and Mites. They could have been in the flour at the store because I seem to remember a tiny flour leak when I bought them. 

On the other hand something was eating my Faba/Fava and Garbanzo/Guasanas beans a few months ago. I'd see little holes in the beans and powder in the bottom of the bag. Anything kept in plastic containers seems immune but plastic bags don't stop them.

My flour Mites
BTW - this try was another brick

Friday, July 10, 2015

Yari y Nahima - sisters

A joy to be around most of the time
Not always

Fotos from a few days ago while I play with another bread experiment 

Monday, July 06, 2015

I can finally call this bread

I spent the last 3-4 days with unsuccessful attempts to make bread. Wanted to stick with it rather than quit for a month like the last go round so decided on a totally new recipe. The main difference with this one was they said a packet of yeast rather than 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon like others. Still I had to almost double the amount of flower which I should have done with the others. Is it the temperature or humidity that make all bread recipes not work here ??

I'll spare you all the flat, wet piles of dough that didn't work and will only post the foto below that looks very much like Artisan no-knead bread I was trying for. Attractive but hard as a brick like my previous two.

The new recipe called for milk, I used yogurt ..... and shortening, I used olive oil. Also sugar and butter to butter the pans. A little fancier than Artisan bread that just uses flour, salt, yeast and water but I had to try something new. Anyway after adding about twice the called for amount of flower I could finally handle it and let it rise in a bowl. Then punch it down and knead it for 5 minutes. Divide it in two and put it in two buttered pans and let rise again. Pop into preheated oven at 375 for about 40 minutes. Not exactly Artisan/French bread style but still very good and I have one success to my name.

Attractive bricks

First rise

Left to rise in buttered pans

They have risen

Just out of the oven

Both I and neighbors were impressed
Real good with my home made humus

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Waves over the beach

After circling the lagoon on an uneventful Cocodrilo hunt for Nahima we stopped by the Tourist Police office in Villa Obregon. Lots of wave action in the bay and the ocean colors were the prettiest I've seen in a long time. There was evidence the water had been nearly up to the road but difficult to tell how recently.

Standing on the high ridge out by the water we were suddenly surprised by a wave that did come nearly up to the road. Water was only a few inches deep but we had extra concern because of Nahima who is 5 years old. The third foto is of Lorena as we turn around with Nahima's sandals in one hand and Nahima in the other.

So we end up back by the Police office in the little lake the wave left behind. A policeman stuck his head out to check us out and didn't seem impressed that we were playing here with these waves. We might have woke him from a siesta. Nahima wastes no time cooling off before the water drains back to the sea. A little excitement on a quiet Saturday.

Checking out the bay and those colors

One of the large waves

Wave topping the beach

All the way up to the Tourist Police office

The lake aftermath

Nahima takes advantage

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Another bread adventure

I started this batch late in the morning so I could put it away until tomorrow morning. A couple things surprised me and the first was only a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast for 3 cups of flour. The other was using plastic wrap. It's been years since I've used a brand like Saran Wrap so no idea how easy it was to handle. All I know now is you can not pull out how many inches and cut it with scissors or expect the builtin cutter to work. After 3 to 4 tries that ended up in balls on the kitchen floor .... I finally figured out if you "glue" one end you can pull the roll over it's target and cut after it's in place. I assume problems come from an inexpensive process of manufacturing this plastic. I considered just using a plastic bag of which I have millions but air-tight might make a difference.

Only me emotionally

Of course one was not wide enough
I'll check on this first thing in the morning and continue

Many bread recipes use a dutch oven to bake and I've never seen an all metal heavy pot in this area. I imagine in Manzanillo but I seldom go there any more. I picked up this pressure cooker for nothing at the going out of business sale of CocoCabanas restaurant on Playa de Cocos. Even though I cleaned it and checked the valves I've never used one before and would prefer using a new one as a first experience. It's heavy aluminum and a good size so I figured if I removed all the plastic and rubber it just might work. It looked pretty tired and I was amazed at how well it cleaned up.

The removed parts

Only metal left

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

All in a days work

Despite the heat today I got a lot done. Finished the last remaining section of the roof with sealer and reduced my lime trees by almost half in height. All the tree energy was going to suckers shooting straight up and not enough to the fruit. One tree had very little fruit this year and the other was slowing way down.

The Hoja Santa was not doing very well and I can only assume they don't like lots to sun. It's now on the shady side of the bed. The Albahaca which I want to call Albaca (Basil) is coming along best. The chard, peas, onions and tomatoes are really slow.

I ran out of brown rice last week so time to buy some more. Only problem is Parisani no longer has their prepackaged brand, Herradura may never carry it, even Super Hawaii had none. Yesterday the last option was Chely's and they had it in bulk in about 1/2 kilo bags. They also had "Saran Wrap" which I wasn't finding elsewhere. The plastic wrap was to cover a bowl of rising bread dough sitting for 12+ hours.

The bread dough I may get started this afternoon but I wanted Curried Fried Rice with Shrimp so I headed off to the local store to see what they had I could add. For sure the cilantro, celery, tomatoes and maybe an egg. I have broccoli and onions in the fridge. The cucumbers (pepinos) are for snacks later with lime and salt. Nahima's favorite.

Hoja Santa


Rice is ready to fry

You can buy stalks of celery (Apio)
Total 22 pesos or $1.50US

Yikes ... at 11:30

Manzanillo Airport, Mexico

Elev 26 ft 19.14 °N104.56 °W | Updated 43 min ago

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
95 °F
Feels Like 120 °F
Wind from South
Today is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as yesterday.

Weather Underground - ZLO
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

Archivo del blog