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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. Here is an update on a new traffic headache about to happen. Allen W. Lloyd street, which is the intersection in San Antonio by Cafe Negro, will soon be a two-way through street connecting the libramiento and the carretera. It is designed to help reduce the flow of traffic through the horrible WalMart intersection designed by Jalisco state government. The city thinks this shortcut will help overall traffic. If you have ever gone to El Parque, Lakeside Little Theater, the San Antonio panteon, or other places along this street, you know it is already a bad intersection. The street narrows as it heads north and also there is always traffic on the restaurant lateral trying to get out to the highway. People can't seem to figure out how to leave room for cars turning from the highway. There are new "no parking" signs on the east side of the street but cars still park there. Now you will have cars and trucks taking the shortcut from the bypass near El Dorado to get to San Antonio and WalMart, as well as the reverse, to add to the traffic knot that already exists. Sorry for those who attend the theater, school, and residents of El Parque because your lives just got harder. The state should just admit failure and bulldoze the WalMart intersection and just install a traffic circle. What a waste of resources... Alan
  2. Not too long ago, the Chapala driver's license place was closed due to corruption and it remained closed for several years. Now they have reopened and, since payment is made at a different location, "there is no chance for corruption since no money changes hands there." I have helped several folks with the license process and I've witnessed some new drivers not having to take the parking test, some taking it with the cones moved close enough together to make passing very hard, and I've heard from several folks that paying the parking examiner 500 pesos gives you a pass even though you didn't really pass the parallel parking test. Supposedly, if you come with a paid Mexican facilitator the test is a guaranteed pass. Based on the way many folks drive around here, I think better training and real testing would be a good idea. I'm not sure why they recently made folks with a valid license from US or Canada start taking the parking test...except to create a mordida based revenue stream. It certainly is not a good way to determine driving qualifications. I tried on a couple of occasions to stand close enough to the parking test area so I could watch and listen and was told pretty quickly to move back over to the building. It all just seems hinky again. Now with the health certificate required for those over 75, there seems to be another revenue stream operating. The health exam doesn't check eyesight, reaction time, memory, medication reactions, mobility, etc. They check your blood pressure and collect your money and stamp your form. Now you are safe to drive...and if you are in an accident or stopped for a traffic violation just pay the mordida. Gotta love it! Alan
  3. Nope. Just a signage test and parking test for new Jalisco drivers. Renewal is just pay in advance, get info updated, take a photo, and wait until it's done. For new license if over 75 they might ask for the medical evaluation. Alan
  4. I had a stent placed in the LAD artery (widow maker) about six years ago at total cost was 7,500 dollars (about 100,000 pesos then.) Diagnosis was done first with Guad doc but at local office. Final diagnosis done at his office at Guad hospital the next day. One day later the stent was done at a different hospital that was less expensive. I was in a space age operating room with about eight docs and other staff and watched the entire process on a large TV. Was able to see the dye stop at the point of the blockage, watched the medicated stent being inserted and opened, and watched the blood flow begin normally. They were ready to place a pacemaker if needed but until such time I was not even sedated. Felt no discomfort and spent a quiet evening in the hospital. The next morning the first person I saw, other than my wife, was the surgeon. He went over the hospital portion of the bill to make sure I was billed only for what was done and then they ran my credit card and we were headed home in a cab. All of that happened in four days and I was not having any symptoms related to the heart. Our GP heard a pausing in my heart beat and recommended a cardio doc. I feel pretty lucky about the entire experience. Alan
  5. Rafa's car wash is not in operation..at least not when I drive by there. But he has a business selling used cars which I have seen being detailed. R&R car sales and rentals is next to the Sherwin Williams paint store. There are at least a couple of other used car places here in Riberas as well. Alan
  6. Recently got a tip from a neighbor. Any papers that you don't want anybody to see (and if you don't have or trust a shredder) can be safely discarded like this. Get a bucket of water with a little detergent in it and soak papers for about an hour. Remove the mushy papers and wad them up one or a few at a time into a very tight ball. They can be ripped apart a little as you remove them from the water. Once you have a softball size wad of mush just leave it in the sun on the patio until it dries. Might take a day. Once dry, nothing can be removed except in very tiny and unreadable scraps. Then throw the balls into your regular trash. I've tried it and it works great. Alan
  7. The old car wash is now being built in Riberas as stated earlier. They bought the land. The theater is being renovated but not permanently closed...or so the sign says. The Bugambillas theater has been nicely updated which has improved attendance. You can even get a cocktail to take into the sala. The Laguna Mall owner has had several legal problems lately but not sure how that translates to vacancy rate. Alan
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Good idea about the tech school. Will try them on Monday. Any other ideas? Alan
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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