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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. I have been there twice recently helping others. Both times somebody had an "appointment" and were then directed to the back of the line. So don't go assuming you'll get right in. Don't schedule anything soon after on the same day. Alan
  2. Anybody have a recommendation for a good swimming pool maintenance company? We have been using a very reputable company for many years but due to unknown issues his quality and dedication have recently dropped off. Maybe too many pools to look after? Maybe trouble getting and keeping good help? Maybe both creating too much pressure for him? In any case, we want to explore other options. Please don't complain about somebody... just give us ideas of somebody you have used who does a good job for you. Thanks in advance, Alan
  3. Not sure what part of Riberas had work done on a sewer system since there are not any sewers in Riberas that I know about. Many folks have septic tanks that they aren't aware of. They recently did some water supply line work and installed a balancing valve that was supposed to help parts of Riberas that were always running out of water. Maybe that's why you were having to save water. The truth is that SIMAPA is underfunded like most infrastructure in Mexico. The wells are old, poorly kept, and water quality is bad. Yet the folks in charge keep giving permits to build without any thought to future needs or even current needs. It has been years sine new wells were created. Our water comes in as a trickle and full of sand and mud. You need a big aljibe, a good filter system, and a lot of patience. And you will still need to buy water from a truck on occasion. That is just one ugly truth about living in "paradise." Alan
  4. There is a difference between legal and tolerated. Technically, I think they are not legal. They can't be licensed or insured in case of accident. Recently the local government stipulated that if the carts are only on side streets they will not be bothered. In recent years folks were given tickets or had the carts impounded. Logic seems to have prevailed since folks who drive them create a safer environment for the rest of us on the busy streets. New topic seems to be motorized bikes and trikes on bike/pedestrian path. They are quiet and fast and might be dangerous to folks who are out strolling. The ones with large balloon tires seem to work well on the cobblestone streets but don't seem as safe as a golf cart. Whatever you decide just don't assume cars are going to see you or follow traffic rules so be very careful. Alan
  5. Rainy season weather is generally from the east. This little storm came in from the northwest. Predicting a rain occurring can happen by just checking the weather stations which gave long range forecasts. Rainy season may start "early" as Delfino suggested but that could mean by one or two days near the middle of June. We almost always have a rain shower sometime during the dry season but not this time. That makes everybody especially happy and hopeful that the rains come "early" but don't bet on his "spooky" prediction. Alan
  6. The reality at both hospitals seems to be that after normal office hours there are no specialists available. They are more like an urgent care place in the US where you can get a cut treated but no help for a serious heart or stroke emergency. They have shown to be nice little clinics but slow to deal with real problems after hours. Even to call a specialist for an opinion or to get an ambulance to a hospital in Guad where real help might be available. Best bet seems to be to call your own doctor and have them advise your best course of action. They all give out 24 hr cell numbers and know your medical history and can arrange an ambulance and tell you what hospital to go to and which doctor to see when you get there. For some things they even might tell you to use a local hospital but for some issues time is critical and could be wasted locally. For instance if one is suffering a stroke there is no clot buster drug stocked in either hospital and if imaging is needed to determine if the stroke is due to a bleed or a blockage, there is a fair chance that there is nobody to run the machine or evaluate the results. Just get tGuad fast after talking to your doctor. Alan
  7. Camping along the lake shore is a long held Easter tradition. I have seen temporary bars and food stalls erected in years past. Some stay for the week following Easter Sunday. It will all be gone soon. Alan
  8. Here in Riberas, there has been almost no water since Friday. Pipa truck driver says problems abound. Odd that SIMAPA (Still-Implying-Might- Actually-Provide-Agua) says they are having well pump problems since about two months ago they did a week long well service and nobody had water in this area for over a week. This was done to avoid water shortage problems in the near future...now. They should be drilling more wells and better maintaining ones they have. Of course we are now in the Easter time of year when nobody does anything so I'm guessing this problem will be ongoing until after the spring break...when SIMAPA workers return well rested from the beach. Alan
  9. First of all , the will doesn't say she gets our assets. Nor does the contract. It simply says she has the right to handle sales of assets, arrange distribution to listed charities, and after the notario handles the house sale she will get a small % for handling it for us. Secondly, how do any of us, once dead, know if anybody is going to do the right thing with assets once we are gone? Lots of stories about loved ones fighting over and even faking will information for personal profit. I feel like we've done what we can to insure our wishes will be met. I think faking a will to change beneficiaries will be close to impossible since only one notarized will exits and several folks involved with our deaths have copies of the same will. I'm not going to worry about it anymore. Alan
  10. We had a Mexican will made by a local notario and have a well known local attorney as our executor for Mexican assets. She has a copy of our notarized will and will take care of distributing assets to listed charities. The funeral home has the notario's info as well as the executor's info and they will be notified at the appropriate time. In the contract we have with the lawyer, it is spelled out a small % that will be earned for handling the estate on our behalf. We don't have children nor any other family who is remotely interested in coming to Mexico to handle this for us when the last one goes. Our US assets have a US will and family beneficiaries. Seems like an easy method to insure our wishes are adhered to but this is Mexico so...just do the best you can. Alan
  11. I spoke to an officer yesterday and he said they were guarding the man who owns the blue house. Not sure if he was being threatened or is a witness to something. Also not sure if the homeowner is paying some off-duty cops to park in front of his home or if they are on the city clock. They seem pretty relaxed (napping, eating food off the hood of the truck, not carrying a sidearm on a couple of occasions, etc.) to be on official duty. They are there 24 hrs. a day though which I guess acts as an appropriate deterrent. Alan
  12. If you are going to try for the border in one day, the shorter and faster way to Saltillo is through Aguascalientes. Then loop around Zacatecas and head to Saltillo and whichever crossing is closest and fastest. That is the Columbia crossing. If you are going to spend a night and cross the next day you can take the route already mentioned in order to spend a night in Matehuala. Or if you plan to do the run to the border in two days you could plan to spend a night outside Saltillo and then head farther north to Piedras Negras or Ciudad Acuna. Both easy and faster crossings than Columbia but would require a couple more hours of driving in Mexico. No matter which way you go, watch for guys trying to cause a small wreck or crooked cops. Both will cost you money. We used to drive to Colorado and so we crossed in Ciudad Acuna which we did in one 13 hour day of 770 miles or about 1200km. Couldn't do it these days...knees are older and bladder is smaller. Alan
  13. Wayne, I live very near to Havehammer and will come see you Monday afternoon. My skills for video production, social media, etc. are so severely lacking that my contribution could possibly only be the equipment donation. Alan
  14. Good idea about the tech school. Will try them on Monday. Any other ideas? Alan
  15. A friend recently gave me an pretty large collection of Canon brand digital camera and lenses. I will not ever use these items so am looking for ideas for who might need an equipment upgrade. Any school or local agency or aspiring young photojournalist, etc. will be considered but I'm not looking to give it all some entity or individual who would just sell the equipment for a profit. I'm hoping to make somebody's life better...no strings attached. All ideas welcomed, Alan
  16. We are back in business finally. Simapa did send one truck and we paid for others. I'm not seeing any increase in quantity or quality of the incoming water. I think they need to start thinking ahead and create a new well in this neighborhood (and probably others) since there seems to be no constraints on new large developments in this area. The current infrastructure is already overused in most of lakeside. Simapa, CFE, Telmex, Jalisco, and the federal government need to take a look at real world issues that affect everybody and start planning for the future not just reacting in an emergency. I know this is very un-Mexican thinking but to get ahead one must think ahead. Alan
  17. Early last week the water coming in from the street was completely stopped. It took several days for the aljibe to run dry before we noticed the stoppage. No notice from SIMAPA about their plans to shut down the water supply. They said originally it would be back Friday then Saturday then today which is a holiday. I knew that wasn't happening. We have been buying pipas of agua but with eight homes it runs out pretty quickly even using pool water whenever possible. They say they have been working on the well behind Mirasol...hope the volume and quality of the water improves as a result. It would be very surprising if they were planning ahead and improving the infrastructure. I just hope to be able to take a shower soon...people are starting to complain. This seems to have affected much of Riberas del Pilar...even restaurants, stores, vets, and doctors. Haven't talked to anybody yet who knew it was going to happen. We would have really appreciated a little advance notice to better prepare. Alan
  18. Well, MC, you'll be PAYING a lot more...what you'll get is yet to be determined. I'm betting what you get will look more like the s..t end of the stick. Based on history, the new found riches will just wither away. Alan
  19. If the state government is involved I don't think it will get better. They are the ones who installed the dangerous bollards instead of just short rubber bumpers like all the bike paths in Guad have. Also were the ones who designed and built the Walmart/libramiento intersection. Also built the libramiento with no shoulders or walking paths. Also are the ones who thought spreading loose gravel on the highway somehow made for a long term improvement. Now working on making Chapala downtown more unfriendly. The new textured pavement is more noisy than the old bricks. The avenue through La Floresta could be better utilized but the traffic will still bottleneck in Ajijic centro. San Luis Soytlan still has the downtown bottleneck even though I heard years ago that the state was building a bypass for through traffic...and there is at least enough flat land south of their centro to make that work. The state also built the Joco bypass without proper roadbed preparation and no consideration for drainage or unstable land movement. That section of road requires constant repair as a result. Not sure if they have EVER done a proper job around here. Decisions seem to be made based on whose friend or family can profit instead of what is best for the community. MC is correct...when the traffic lights go out, the traffic flows much more smoothly. I do not pretend to have any answers but the state's history in this regard is tough to ignore. Alan
  20. Of course I have been seeing similar comments in different places. In our case it had to do only with the home's evaluation which last year was way below market value and is now pretty close to, but still below, market value. Two years ago I did discuss an increase based on square footage and it was adjusted a little. I don't feel like the current evaluation is out of line so am only hoping the extra money gets used wisely and doesn't just disappear...as stated in the original post. It was not a complaint about the amount we are being charged. I haven't spoken to many expats yet but all I have spoken to had similar increases based on new, more accurate, home evaluations not disputes over square footage. In this way expats are paying a larger % of the overall increases also as stated in the original post. Alan
  21. Our predial went up about 300% for this year. Still low compared to US or Canada but we also don't get much for our money. New comers are primarily responsible for the home values skyrocketing. We are also mostly to thank for many quality of life improvements in this area and we continue to add millions of dollars to the local economy every month and most locals understand the trade off. The average increase for a typical Mexican homeowner's predial was much lower because the average value of those homes is much lower. We all understand that. I asked the clerk at the moment I was paying if folks were complaining about the increase and she confirmed that they are. I asked what improvements in services would we see with all the extra cash flowing into the local budget. She laughed and said it wasn't her department... But it is somebody's department so I'd like to know. I think a list of proposed items should be published, discussed publicly, then generally agreed upon. We all have hope things like road/street repairs, lighting improvements, trash collection, policing, traffic management, etc. will get some additional attention. But not many of us have much faith that will happen. We mostly expect the additional funds to just disappear by the time the current administration is out of office. I hope I'm wrong but history is a powerful teacher. Government at all levels in all countries doesn't usually prevent or solve problems...it administers problems. There is profit in that process and most of the time it benefits the administration and friends and families who want to stay in power or have access to that power for financial gain. It would be wonderful if our local government would be the exception to the norm and we could start to see some cooperative efforts that benefit the local community. Alan
  22. I guess that a lot more people will walk in at the new location than drove in at the old place. Plus they are a little farther away from the newer SA hospital location. Alan
  23. We drove past the Farmacia Guadalajara, just as you enter Chapala from the west, and it appeared to be closed. Sign was down and no signs of life. Anybody heard what is happening? Closed or maybe just remodeling? It's hard to imagine it would just close due to slow business but I guess it could happen. Alan
  24. A compromise was suggested only because Mexico is generally famous for having lots of laws which are mostly ignored by almost everybody...even those tasked with enforcement. Sometimes a little gain is better than nothing. Mexico is basically a functioning anarchy which mostly works most of the time...almost in spite of itself. I'm generally OK with that and I have, on occasion, committed all of those traffic infractions previously mentioned. Alan
  25. Just because something is a tradition does not mean it has to continue being one. Loud bar music until the sun comes up was "always a tradition" until it wasn't. Killing sea turtles and eating the eggs was a tradition until quite recently. Letting your dogs just roam the streets was a tradition. Getting drunk and beating up your spouse used to be fairly accepted behavior...they are working on making that less traditional. In 1972 I witnessed a hog being slaughtered on the plaza in Ajijic. They don't do that anymore either. Things can change and sometimes for the better. Mexico banned slavery years before the US did. That was the primary reason for the "Texas battle for independence." There was a need for another slave state in the Union which happened just a few short years later. It was also a "tradition" in most countries to prohibit certain people (women, the indigenous, etc.) from voting or holding public office. These last ones are extreme examples but even those well entrenched traditions were changed in the face of public support for just doing the right thing even if some were opposed. The cohetes probably began as a way for the church to prove their version of religious truth was more powerful than the way locals had been worshiping prior to the arrival of Catholic Spaniards. The rockets carry your prayers up to the clouds where our true God lives. The tradition of the church buying, storing, and using cohetes continues to this day. The church is still quite powerful and still holds sway over the indoctrinated population on which they depend. I'd say some kind of compromise is more likely rather than an elimination of the cohetes. Maybe just one day and limit the number. I have never understood the general tolerance of cohetes but I arrived late to the cultural indoctrination. If I live another 70 years maybe I'll get it...Alan
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