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Posts posted by henrylaxen

  1. I have just the guy for you.  His name is Victor, he speaks very good English, and he is knowledgeable in all things construction and engineering.  I used him for many projects when I lived in Chapala, including, sealing my roof (because of leaks), removing mold (that turned out to ants), installing a drip system, painting the house, totally replacing the gas lines, etc.  Here is his contact info:

    Victor Francisco Lopez Valencia
           phone (cell): +52 (333) 179-1210
           phone (home): +52 (387) 763-1023
                   mail: victorvalencia1@live.com

    Give him a try.  You'll be glad you did.

    Best wishes

    Henry Laxen

  2. Hi Guys,

    Well, I was hoping to write something amusing, to bring a chuckle or at least a smile into our lives.  I guess that failed.  Did you notice the "funny" tag?  That probably didn't help.  Anyway, in my mind, (yes I know, you don't have access to that), I was trying to (humorously) point out some of the absurdities of "the system" Namely:

    1. How little Mexican banks trust their tellers.  All of the information they needed to complete the transaction was available to them, but the guy behind the window couldn't access any of it.
    2. This was a deposit, n'est pas?  I would sympathies more with "the system" if it were a withdrawal, but I was trying to put money INTO their bank, and INTO my own account.
    3. Once the teller had my name, he should have been able to pull up my passport on his screen to confirm that it was really me.  The account information, including my account number should have been there too.  The transaction would have taken 2 minutes instead of 20.  Who designs a system like this?
    4. Five separate fingerprint scans?  Really?

    On other occasions, I have written what I thought were perfectly valid checks that were rejected by my bank for what I think are "bogus reasons."  I have two examples of this.

    1. I once left out the word "pesos" on the check.  Everything else was correct, the date, numbers (both numeric and in Spanish) the signature etc.  But the bank refused to cash it because I left out the word pesos.  I'm sure the poor guy I was trying to pay had to stand in line for half an hour to get his money was very happy.  I'm sure some of you will point out that I was an :() and wrong and should learn how to write an f**ing check for leaving off the word pesos, but really, who is the bank protecting with this kind of stuff?  Could there possibly have been ANY QUESTION about what I was trying to do?  Could the teller, (or the bank manager) possibly have thought: "Hmmm, I wonder if he wants British Pounds, or Euros, Albanian Leks?"  I don't think so.

    2. I once wrote a check, in which I did include the word pesos, for Una Mil pesos & 00/100 M. N.  along with the numeric $1000.00 in the proper box.  Apparently the teller could not decipher what I wanted, and the check was rejected.  I was told that I should have written Un Mil pesos, not Una.  Has common sense left the planet?  I can understand rejecting a check if the amount is ambiguous, but in this case what else could I have meant?

    I feel sorry for Mexico about this.  I would like to see Mexico become a wealthy and prosperous country, but with this kind of obstructionist system, which happens not just in banking but almost anywhere in "officialdom" that is going to be a long and difficult road.  Wouldn't it be nice if banks, and other institutions, went out of their way to assist customers and promote commerce, instead of finding ways to impede it.

    Best wishes,

    Henry Laxen

    So now, everyone, please feel free to point out my shortcomings.  Helpful comments like:

    "What is so difficult to understand about that." sic
    "Perhaps it is just me, but there's nothing interesting enough to read that could get me to click a hinky link like that."
    -- I might point out that if that link hacks your computer, at least you know who to blame.
    "And if you walked into your NOB bank with 20,000 Mexican pesos in cash to deposit would it really just end up being a quick and easy operation?"
    -- I have walked into a US bank with $1000USD = $20,000Pesos many times, and received quick and efficient service with a smile.


    • Thanks 2
  3. Here is the contact info I have for him:

    Francisco - Miramontes Transfer
           phone (home): +52 (376) 766-1142
      phone (Francisco): +52 (333) 157-8060
       phone (LuisCell): +52 (331) 307-8289
         phone (Miguel): +52 (331) 095-2185
           phone (home): +52 (376) 766-4917
     phone (FranciscoJr): +52 (331) 303-4298
        phone ((Chema)): +52 (331) 600-5175
         address (home): Angel Flores No 22
                         Ajijic, Jalisco
                   mail: miramontes-transfer@hotmail.com
                  notes: Chema = Jose Miguel = cook
            attribution: Luis

    I hope this is helpful.


  4. I hesitate to respond this given the kind and generous responses I've received in the past.  In particular I would appreciate a non-response from:

    Fred Habacht
    More Liana

    So I went to the meeting last night.  I don't think they (the city
    representatives) wanted an open meeting.  The reason I say this is
    because about a week earlier a policeman knocked on my door and asked
    if I was the president of our frac.  I wasn't, but I signed for the
    invitation anyway and said I would deliver it to him.  He was out of
    town, so I went in his stead.  As far as I could tell, the people
    attending were mostly other frac presidents/board members and local
    business owners.  They had about 100 chairs set up and about 100
    people showed up.

    The meeting started pretty close to on time, around 5:10PM.  It
    started with the mayor explaining how seriously the government takes
    people's security.  Mostly just 10 minutes of platitudes.  There was a
    representative of the state police who spoke for a few minutes,
    basically more platitudes.  Then the microphone was turned over the
    the people attending.  My Spanish could not keep up with the native
    speakers, but there was one gentleman who had a hard time speaking
    because he was overcome by emotion.  I believe he was one of the
    victims of the home invasion.  The president of La Floresta used the
    occasion to speak directly to the mayor, saying he had tried for
    months to arrange a meeting with him, to no avail.  He suggested that
    La Floresta would pay to outfit and pay the salaries of two police
    units whose job would be to protect the La Floresta inhabitants.  I
    believe he was told that the city is not allowed to do this, but the
    guy from the state police said he may be able to arrange it and that
    they should talk later. An English speaker spoke passionately about
    living here for twenty years and this being the first time he was
    frightened.  Apparently an organized crime element has moved into the
    area and they are involved in the uptick in assaults, burglaries, and
    robberies taking place these days.  Someone, perhaps the same guy,
    told about the deliveryman ruse mentioned above.

    I stayed for about an hour and twenty minutes, and would have stayed
    longer if they were serving margaritas 😉 but all they had was water and
    coffee.  I recorded everything while I was there, though I can't vouch
    for the quality of the recording.  It is available here if you are

    Best wishes,

    Henry Laxen



    • Like 1
    • Thanks 3
  5. Dear fellow web board members,

    Let's review:

    I originally said:

    Here is a helpful hint:

    Sometimes I go in the store with just my credit card.  In order to tip the bagger, I buy a Snickers or Milky Way and give it to them when the are done.  I always get a nice smile in return.

    After which More Liana said:

    Pardon me, but when children and elderly people are working for tips, they need money.  They can't pay their bills with a candy bar.  You like the smile you get back, but you're interpreting it to your benefit.  Not necessarily so.

    followed by:

    Of course I noticed.  What I said still stands: take enough cash to give a tip to your bagger.  How hard is it to stick 10-20 pesos in your pocket AND take your credit card?

    then Yo1 said:

    This reminds me of the aguinaldo at Christmas.  It is supposed to be paid in cash, not in gifts.  I heartily agree with More Liana.

    Let's pause here so hopefully you guys can learn a lesson.  Never assume the worst about other people.  I have learned the hard way that when I do that, I am wrong 99% of the time.  Rather than assuming, why not ask?

    Here is some background.  I like to go for long walks and listen to books on my iphone.  It is about 2.5 miles from my house to walmart.  I don't like to carry around a lot of stuff, so I have a credit card in one back pocket and the iphone in the other.  If I could pay with my iphone I would, and leave the credit card at home.  Usually when I leave the house I don't have any intention of going shopping, but sometime my sweet baboo calls me and asks me pick up something on my way back.  So I walk in, buy something, and to make sure the bagger doesn't work for nothing, I buy her/him a candy bar.

    Could I have left the house with some pesos in my pocket?  Sure, but I didn't.  I don't know if I am the only person who has ever gone shopping with just a credit card, but I doubt it.  So suppose you do, and you find yourself checking out of walmart with no real money.  As I see it, you have only two choices.  1. Give the bagger nothing. 2. Buy something with your credit card and give it to the bagger.  Sadly, I hate to admit, for quite a while I did option 1 because I never thought of option 2.  Then one day I did! Great, now I know what to do.  Perhaps the idea of buying something with your card and giving it to the bagger is obvious, but it wasn't to me.  When this discussion arose, I thought to myself, "I'll bet other people have found themselves in my situation and just walked out without tipping.  Here is an idea for them that they might find helpful."

    Did anyone say, "Henry, that's a good idea.  I'll do that the next time I find myself in that situation."


    So with that backstory in mind, let's classify the discussion in terms of helpful vs not helpful.

    Henry's original statement: helpful
    More Liana: unhelpful
    Yo1: unhelpful
      By the way, we pay the aguinaldo in cash on the first payday of the month along with a full month's salary so our employees have plenty of money for Christmas, rather than paying them weekly as we usually do.  Again a helpful hint, in case you haven't thought of it, though aguinaldo has nothing to do with the original post.

    Maybe I'm too thin skinned, but while I was expecting kudos, I felt like I received nothing but censure.

    This was then followed by me saying: Okay guys.  Wow.  I'll be sure to think twice before trying to be helpful in the future.

    After which Xena said: What a strange take away. You could have said, “I’ll think twice before leaving the house without change.” You could have said, “I never realized other people had such strong feelings about this.” Or, even, “I’m surprised people think giving a candy bar is not a kindness.” But, no, you decide to think twice about being helpful. Such an odd response.

    timjwilson said: Sometimes very difficult if you have no cash and the ATMs are sold out. Not all that rare. A candy bar beats nothing right?

    More Liana said (responding to timjwilson): No.  And frankly, when was the last time an ATM spit out a 10 peso coin or a 20 peso bill?   ... Be a mensch.

    pappymarket said:  Genius score-100 Common sense score-0

    Let's rate these:

    Henry's second statement: unhelpful
    Xena: maybe helpful, but I felt phrased in a snarky way I think.  Was that your intention?
      I did think "I’m surprised people think giving a candy bar is not a kindness." and that is what I should have said, but I chose snarky.  
    timjwilson: helpful
    More Liana:  unhelpful and snarky
    pappymarket: ? I don't know ?

    I have often seen people on the board be snarky towards others, but this is the first time I've experienced it myself.  It is quite unpleasant, and I can honestly appreciate why some members drop out or just don't bother posting.  My advice: If you are posting something that could be helpful to others, by all means do so.  If not, just skip it.

    And please, don't assume the worst about someone you don't know.  You will almost always be wrong.

    Best wishes,
    Henry Laxen



    • Like 4
  6. Well, here is the end of the story.  I ordered a 1 quart bottle from slipdoctors above.  They sent it fedex, and when it arrived at customs in gdl, it was flagged because it was a liquid.  Fedex was singularly unhelpful, just repeating that I needed to hire a customs broker in order to import it.  I told fedex to tell customs that if they have any slippery spots in their offices they now had a way to prevent injuries.  Thank goodness the brave customs agents are protecting the poor Mexican citizens from such dangerous products.  Cost of lesson learned: approx $100 USD.

    Best wishes,

    Henry Laxen


  7. Dear MtnMama and AjijicBound,

    First thanks for the suggestion.  I stopped by the store today and ran my foot over the drilled tiles.  It was somewhat effective for human feet, which are large and span several stipes, but I don't think it would work for our dobie.  She needs traction everywhere, and her hind legs are very weak and any slippage makes it very difficult to get up. 

    Tim J Wilson! 

    Thanks for the pointer.  I ordered a quart and with shipping it comes to $114 USD.  Kinda pricey but if it works my Athena dog will be forever grateful.  I'll post a review once I see how it goes.

    Best wishes,



  8. 1 hour ago, sue said:

    Henry they can drill lines in the existing tile and put in additional group lines .  Gustavo did this for us at the Riberas Pet store on the areas where the tile was covering a sloop It is a much more permanent and attractive solution to the problem at a surprising low cost.  Drop into the store and you can take a look at this solution.

    I will.  What is your address?

  9. Just now, Tiny said:

    You may want to ask around if there are any tile layers locally.  They may be familiar with using that product or something like that..

    I will do that too, if I don't get any sage advice from this forum.  Futhermore, if I find an acceptable solution, I will post the result here in case anyone else needs it.

  10. 18 minutes ago, mexjerry said:

    Thank you for the link, but I don't really want to change the color of the tile.  I'm looking for a clear non-slip coating for the inside of a house.  I don't think deck paint is going to be the right product here.  Plus adding sand to something would make your whole floor feel "gritty" which I doubt would be very comfortable, though I'm sure the dog wouldn't mind.

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