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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. There is much chatter on social media these days about safety issues at lakeside. For a frame of reference, or to just compare similar sized communities in the US, I checked out some crime stats from three typical towns from across the country: Altoona, PA, Auburn AL, and Farmington NM. These numbers represent the average for one year of the three towns. Some were better and some worse in certain categories. violent crime 260 murder 3 forcible rape 42 armed robbery 33 aggravated assault 274 property crime 1,572 burglary 320 larceny theft 1,180 car theft 193 I know that much crime goes unreported here at lakeside but that is also true NOB especially crimes like rape, assault, and theft. But these three towns, for which I found stats, are considered normal and quite safe communities. Their populations are about the same as our expat numbers here and are much smaller than our total lakeside population if you include locals. So just try to do your best to both prevent crimes and report them if they happen and follow through with denuncios when applicable. In the meantime, try to relax a little and grasp the fact that this area is still relatively safe and understand that there are not only local but also international political and financial elements in play concerning reporting on this issue. Alan
  2. In response to Jack's comment about Mexico's possible reliance on expats, lets just take a quick glance at some "out of my a___" numbers. Mexico says there are about one million expats in Mexico. Possibly more in the winter and possibly fewer in the summer. Just from talking to some friends living and wintering here, we all spend about 2,000 USD/month. Some a lot more if they rent and some less if they own. These same folks do buy real property, cars, insurance, medical care, food, entertainment, pay taxes, etc. which pay wages to the providers and that money gets spent and re-spent many times here as well. So lets say one million folks spend two grand every month. That is about 25 billion dollars a year. And where there are happy expats, there are tourists who spend their money as well. In expat communities the unemployment numbers are much lower than the national average. So does Mexico rely on us? Who really knows? But I'm guessing Mexico is quite happy to have that money spent here and the US and Canada are not quite as happy. I'm guessing that unhappiness might trickle down a little to banking, tariff, and immigration issues NOB as well as here. Alan
  3. As has been stated, we all have the right to try to make the place we live in better in any way we see fit. Keep in mind that the normal first reaction that locals have to being criticized (even if the criticism was meant to be a constructive suggestion) by gringos is to ignore it, at best. Most of us come from cultures where we think that if something could be better, or cleaner, or prettier, or longer lasting, or more efficient, etc. then we work to make it so. In Latin America (not just Mexico) the general feeling is to only make things good enough that they continue to work that way until the problem needs to addressed again in the future (near or distant.) Also try to remember that the normal reaction for locals, when asked for help, is to do so willingly. So please try to describe a problem or situation calmly and non-judgmentally and then ask for help to make it better. The resolution you might want to achieve will likely not happen exactly how you envisioned it but progress can probably be made. Alan
  4. Could be an old battery, could be a bad ground, could be an alternator, could be corrosion on the terminals. Any decent mechanic should be able to solve the problem but if the mechanic replaces an item and it doesn't solve the problem, make sure he will stand by his work and not just start replacing things until he finds the problem. Alan
  5. I am pretty sure that most Mexicans could not pass the history portion of the citizenship test. I'm positive that most American citizens could not pass the citizenship test in the US! I think the test for us "old folks," which seems to be a basic fluency test, seems fair. I might give it a try. There isn't really a lot of advantage in being a citizen over being permanente but since I'm never going back to the US, I'd feel more comfortable knowing I coudn't be forced out of Mexico if the animosity between the two countries ever gets to that point. Not likely...but strange things seem to be happening every day. Alan
  6. If you are not trying to get there as fast as possible, there are free roads all the way to Manzanillo. It will take quite a bit longer time but some nice scenery and interesting towns both on the highways and just off the highway maybe an hour detour or less. Tapalpa, Sayula, Colima, Comala, and Cuyutlan are all worth seeing. Maybe catch one place going down and one coming back. The toll roads are way faster, safer, and easier. You could actually take toll roads part of the way and free roads part of the way. The two options run parallel for much of the trip. The "dry" lake does have some shallow water right now and quite a few wading birds. Alan
  7. What is El Gordo's actual name? Folks might have been asked for a mordida and know the officer's name but most of the transitos are are on the chubby side so many of them could be called El Gordo. Thanks, Alan
  8. You can use 2-4D, which when mixed correctly, will kill any broad leaf plant but not grass. You can probably buy it ready to use in Home Depot or maybe Haro's hardware store probably called "Weed-B-Gone" or you can buy a one liter bottle at the garden store just east of the 7-11 in Riberas. Buy a cheap spray bottle and mix about 1or 1 1/2 tablespoon of concentrate to a liter of water and spray on when it will stay dry for a day. It is absorbed through the leaves and takes several day to begin to show the leaves wilting or turning yellow. It will kill or injure any broad leaf plant including flowers or trees if sprayed on the leaves so use it on a calm morning and keep pets off of it for a few hours. Alan
  9. Just because you bought tires in the US or from Costco with a "name brand" on them does not mean they are American made. Worst tires I ever owned were Coopers made in Mexico followed by US made Goodyears. Sorry. Bridgestone, Cooper, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli, Firestone, Hankook, Sumitomo, Nexen, Kuhmo, and other respected and well reviewed brands are also made in places like China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Korea, Philippines, and Poland. If you buy off the shelf at a retailer that stocks a lot of popular size/brand tires, you could a set of four which were not all made in the same place. Generally you get what you pay for but not always. Alan
  10. Keep in mind that PVC is not legal for pressure/potable water systems anywhere in the US anymore. Pex type tubing, copper, or CPVC are all legal. PVC is only used for drain, vent, and irrigation applications. Galvanized has not been legal for clean water applications for many years either. But both are still used frequently in Mexico. They also still connect copper threaded fittings directly to galvanized which is also dangerous because it will cause rust and leaks and is also illegal in the US. Also copper is not recommended for gas, and in some cases banned, but they use it here for that as well. I don't think there is such a thing as a licensed plumber or an inspector with enforcement powers here so buyer beware. Alan
  11. I'm sure the Ojeda guys do a great job sharpening knives but they are not they guys who walk around whistling who will ruin a good knife. The Feria is a terrific idea and I'd not thought about that option. Alan
  12. Some folks always say Costco which works fine for them. I don't like Costco and don't have a membership. I also like to do comparison shopping online where I get choices for all makes and models along with side by side comparison as to wear, price, traction, satisfaction ratings from consumers, etc. Then just take the info to a local tire shop and have them order the tires you want. They will give you a price that includes balancing, mounting, stems, etc. Costco basically requires you buy only what they sell which are mostly Bridgestone and Michelin and tend to be expensive choices. You might see if you can work your way through their website or drive in to the nearest store and see what they would cost for the size you need, if they sell that size, and then look on the internet to compare. Take the Costco info to a local dealer and see what he can do for you for the same tire if that is the tire you want. I found that the prices on Mercado Libre were higher for the same tire than if ordered by the dealer. Alan
  13. Even if you could use "the whistle man"...don't. They are OK for a hoe or shovel but I wouldn't let them sharpen a machete much less a good knife. The all do it the same way but with a few variations in equipment. But they all do a bad job. I sharpen our own knives, garden shears, loppers, and machete but won't tackle scissors. That is even harder to do correctly. Hope somebody has a good idea for you. Alan
  14. The Tansito police are operating all along the carretera, not just west of the panteon, becuase I've seen them handling accidents, towing illegal quads and golf carts, and doing other traffic stops. So it seems to me that somebody is either misinformed, lying, or committing crimes while in uniform. Can you please clarify for us, Harry? I'd suggest to folks to read Spencer's recent post about Jalisco traffic regulations. It might save you some grief. Also, remember, laws are one thing and law enforcement is another. Don't assume anybody is going to obey the rules or enforce infractions. Harry, thanks for all you do. Alan
  15. barrbower


    According to most current news sources, the new deal is almost exactly what the TPP would have done for US, Mexico, and Canada but without the other countries involved (which would have helped curtail China's influence in the region.) But the prez also said the TPP was the worst deal ever...Curious to see if Mexico pays 40% of its auto workers 16/hour. That would put them in the top 1% of wage earners. Generally tariffs increase costs to consumers and make corporations richer. Countries don't pay tariffs...people do. Alan
  16. I read the article in the paper which says there will be new limits on drones and only citizens of Mexico will be able to legally fly drones. Also some more strident limits on really large drones. But as we all know, Mexico has MANY laws that are not enforced. To the local non-citizen drone operators...be aware of the new laws and be ready to pay a mordida if somebody catches you. Otherwise, enjoy living in a functioning anarchy! Viva Mexico! Alan
  17. Yep, Jan and Manuel Rivas moved to the big building on the corner of Colon after many years at the old location. I think they moved around 1975.
  18. My memories are from about September of 1973 which was one of the years when the lake was highest. But since there were only a few places to drink and dance in those days, The Posada was always busy...just a little wetter than normal. Anybody remember the original Tejaban on Ocampo where the furniture store is now? Alan
  19. I don't have any photos but when I lived here 46 years ago the water rose up to almost the bottom of the windows of the Posada and the lakeside entrance, between the old restaurant and the bar, was bricked up over half way to prevent water from coming into the buildings. All patrons had to enter from the street side hotel entrance and pass through the grounds to get back to the bar. I remember sitting near a window and we'd have waves come up onto the window glass and a little water would splash through the gaps onto the table. The lake came up almost to 16th of Sept. Everything where the malecon, pier, and park are now would have been under water. So be careful when you wish the lake would fill up! Alan
  20. Two or three generations ago most Mexican homes had the main living area and kitchen on what we would call a porch or veranda. Completely open. So these days "good enough" is all they strive for in the building trades. Most windows and doors don't keep out all of the dust, wind, rain, cold, or bugs. But that seems fine with most of us. We live in a paradise where we never have a hard freeze so bugs are plentiful all year. Something is always under construction or repair and most streets are dirt/rock so there is lots of dust. Big wind storms before the rain blow in dust and debris. Something is almost always burning so smoke and more dust. But if you are retired and not working 40+ hours a week, it makes all the extra little chores that life in Mexico bring to our lives, a little more tolerable. I wouldn't trade it for life in the US! Alan
  21. We rented a three bedroom, two bath place not far from the center of town for 750 dollars/month. Not bad...but that was 25 years ago. I bet that place would be 2000/month now. Main difference I found between the two places was the level of perceived sophistication and the resulting snobbish and unfriendly behavior of the gringos. Locals were OK. I don't hear much from folks today to change my opinion. Alan
  22. We have a new neighbor who just bought place in our coto received his first CFE bill and it was really high. In addition to that he was charged a 2,500 peso deposit. Anybody else had this happen? Worth talking to Lake Chapala real estate agent or better to just visit the CFE office in Chapala for explanation?
  23. FYI, according to the Guad transito head honcho who visited the LCS a couple of years ago, this is not an infraction for which a car can be impounded. He told those present to take the officer up on his threat because he will not have any place to take the car without facing some problems of his own. DUI, drug offenses, accidents with injuries or death, etc can be cause for impounding. Also says illegally parking where a hazard is created is a impounding offense. Had to laugh at that one because I see cars double parked and blocking traffic on a regular basis. Alan
  24. I don't go to Superlake often because of all the things mentioned by Computer Guy and other issues I have personally encountered. A gripe I have almost every time I have had to buy something there is the price at the register is different than what was on the shelf. Always more. Excuses are "there has been a price increase but we haven't changed the shelf sticker yet" or "somebody moved the price tags and these row of items belongs to the price on a different shelf" or just a shoulder shrug and a "do you still want to buy it at the higher price?" And this happened before Pancho left as well. To me it has always been a poorly run and overpriced store so I just spent my money someplace else if at all possible. Parking, fender benders, and beggars just made it worse. Having more space to park probably won't entice me to change my mind. Alan
  25. Yep, About 1/2 block north of the intersection of Marcos Castellanos and Guadalupe Victoria very near the Ajijic plaza. The store is on the west side of Marcos Castellanos street. Alan
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