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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. If the construction is on the property line then no windows are allowed if they look out onto the neighbor. With all the two, and now three, story houses along with miradors on top, it is likely that somebody will be able to see into your yard even without being on the property line. Alan
  2. Yes they can...and yes they did! Actually, for me it was an illegal U-turn on the highway to the airport. He was very polite and professional and I was polite to him. He explained what I had done wrong and I was guilty. We visited in Spanish for a couple of minutes and he then offered to write me the cheapest ticket he could which was a "no seat belt" instead of the turn infraction. He showed me on the ticket how to go online to get the numbers I'd need to pay at Bancomer for 1/2 price if paid promptly. He showed me his name and badge number on the ticket as well. He never asked for a mordida and I never offered one. I didn't mind getting the ticket since I have bent my share of traffic laws over the years. Figured I was due... Alan
  3. Here is an idea. If you still have the old container with it's pump sprayer, you can buy a package of "Cynoff" at almost any hardware or lawn and garden supply store and mix your own. I think the little pack costs something like 40 or 50 pesos and mixes with water. Not sure of ratio for gallon size jug but I think one pack makes about two gallons. I use a small spay bottle and add about 1/2 tsp. Same kind of chemical...odorless, non staining, long lasting, and works on any kind of crawling bug. Roaches, ants, scorpions, spiders, etc. Safe for pets once it's dry but don't spay on the floor where pet beds or food bowls live. They should not lick the floor where applied. I normally spay around entries, areas where walls meet floors, under and beside fridge and stove, etc. Seems to work very well except for those tiny little ants that seem to materialize from thin air. Alan
  4. I thought this forum existed for discussions about topics that affect us here at lakeside. This topic does that. When I used the term "new money" it was meant to be sarcastic. There is no new money from this little scam. All of the money will just come out of the legitimate economy someplace. People only have so much to spend and that money could be spent over and over as it circulates through many hands. The money collected by transitos will be spent that way. But the money collected by the government and some German company who sets up these stations is likely gone, for the most part. That's about fifty million dollars a year taken out of the local economy and that represents perhaps ten times that much of economic activity lost as that money won't circulate. Those who don't like the topic and think it is a waste of time should also not waste our time posting complaints about it...maybe just go do something else. Alan
  5. According to the Reporter, there are three testing stations each with four lanes. It takes fifteen minutes to test each car meaning four per hour each lane. 4X4 is sixteen cars per hour at each station. 16X3 is 48 cars per hour. If they are open 12 hours a day that is 576 cars per day. If there are 177,000 cars with plate ending in "7" then, if they are open Sundays also, it will take them 308 days just to get the first number done. They need to get busy with new stations or this will soon become another income stream for Transito cops asking for mordidas. They should also exempt car models newer than 2011 models. Those cars will all do better than the minimum test standards and the state knows it. But that would cut into the revenue stream they have created with the testing. What will the "new money" be spent on? Probably not on road work, trash collection, sewer and treatment plants, etc. I'm guessing it will just disappear into the money funnel that is government everywhere. There might be a slight improvement in air quality but they could achieve the same improvement by only targeting the worst offenders by impounding vehicles with visible smoke coming from the tailpipe. Alan
  6. I wouldn't put much money in any Mexican bank...but that's just me. Might be a place that does dollar accounts but not sure if it's insured and there has been theft from accounts. If you have a peso account, the rate of exchange could nullify any interest income as peso falls to the dollar. Those insecurities are why they offer to pay more interest here. Most folks leave most of their funds in the US or Canada banks and if you need pesos here use an ATM. Some banks waive ATM fees. Opinions vary widely and so do recommendations on how to handle cash. I'd let the owner decide all of that or get a legal document in addition to POA that removes you from any responsibility if things end badly. Alan
  7. When the average depth of the lake is only twelve feet the total volume can change quickly...both increase and decrease. If the shoreline has moved out, say, thirty feet it could represent a total volume loss of 50% which is where we are now. It could mean only a drop in level of four or five feet but over the large surface of the lagoon, that is half of the lake volume. Most of the drop seen every year is from evaporation not draw-down from Guadalajara. If the depth of the lake was averaging 150 feet the lake would only be abut 1/10th the area it covers now and you would hardly notice the dry season change in level. Cedros is correct in that the level is very much dependent on rains and inflow from areas east of here. You'll notice it when the lirio starts showing up when dams are releasing water. Some day it will all be wetlands and then slowly become a seasonally verdant plain. But not this year. Alan
  8. I was told that HSA will honor insurance like Medicare if there is also a supplemental plan that insures for emergencies while traveling outside the USA. They then bill for services at a much higher rate for reimbursement from those companies. Problems arose when "emergensies" turned out to not always be the truth. Patients were caught taking advantage as were doctors and the hospital that made more money than if they were charging local prices for local services. If it was all above board the insurers would end up paying less for expats' medical care if they would just insure for local care. Big corp and politics on both sides of the border take priority over what is logical and compassionate. Never forget that the US does not really want us spending our money in foreign countries. Local insurers also don't want things to change because those corporations can charge what the market will bear. For an aging population with money and few alternatives that seems to be to demand higher prices, provide less coverage, give more denials, and cancel policies for anybody with even a slightly higher risk factor. If insurance, as it now stands, was a good deal for the consumer they would not be selling it. Alan
  9. I like Tapalpa. The drive there can be interesting because you can see the dry lake bed, an elephant, a rhino, and if it's the rainy season there are birds wading in the shallow water. The winding road up the face of the mountain is a bit of a pain but the views out over the lake bed are amazing. The town itself is more traditional. The church is the largest brick church in Mexico and is made only of bricks and mortar...no rebar or concrete supports. The piedrotas just outside of town are quite interesting. On the other side of town in a golf course/subdivision that has a great hotel, bar, restaurant with outside seating and a view of the lake, volcano, and the golf course. There is also one of the tallest waterfalls in Mexico but that requires a bumpy ride and a fairly long hike. You can arrange a guide. Mazamitla has a more vibrant feel due to it's location as a trade and commerce center. Tapalpa is pretty much on the end of the road. Mostly tourists and locals just hanging out. There is a second route for the return which takes you across the top of the mountain and through some beautiful pine covered hills and interesting little towns. That route takes a few minutes longer but it's a nice change. The last time we were in Mazamitla, and tried to get into the subdivision where the little Japanese style garden and waterfall are located, we were not allowed in by car...only on foot or horseback. Of course the horses are there for renting and if you are younger and fit enough the hike is nice. I think the homeowners didn't like the car traffic and noisy 4 wheelers in their neighborhood. That restriction now makes Mazamitla less interesting for me. There are a couple of other little towns near Mazamitla that are pretty and interesting. MC has been to all of them on his bike and might have some suggestions that could make a day trip there more interesting. Alan
  10. These comments just prove to me that all that is needed there is one four way light with left turn arrows for all four directions with opposing sides all doing the same thing at the same time. Just get rid of all of the extra trappings. Allow right on red after stopping, when safe, at all times. Pretty much what EVERYBODY said was needed and what most assumed would happen. Any officials out there with the guts and influence to make it happen? It would be a very popular decision that might even have future election ramifications. Alan
  11. I wish I knew exactly how the money stream is working. Does the Federal Govt. pay to the local government which then hires locals to do the projects? Is it only state money that has been received from the the feds and the state hires the work done? Who is deciding what this is going to look like in the end? I know the entire Pueblo Magico program is now something different from what it was when Tapalpa was designated. Is there different oversight now? I just feel like whatever was decided was going to be spent to "improve" Ajijic is not what is actually being spent. I have been asking since the start who was going to be responsible for sidewalk repairs when poles are removed. Where are the extra cars going to park? Who is going to pay for improvements and changes to utilities once they are buried under the streets? How are CFE, Telmex, Wizz, etc going to access the infrastructure once it's buried and who pays for all that? Has any thought been given to the local businesses that will be adversely affected by changes like increased traffic and less parking, street closures, infrastructure interruptions during changeovers, restrictions to access to the plaza for seating, etc? Anyway, I'm hoping logic begins to play a major part in this mess but I'm afraid corrupt ineptitude will continue to prevail. MC is correct...charm and character are losing out all over this area and Pueblo Magico status is not going to help. Alan
  12. We recently saw the Ajijic plaza project and what a mess! And no surprise either. We had a chance to try the new benches just before they were removed. Badly placed, ugly, uncomfortable, and already breaking. Again, no surprise. The final project doesn't look like the rendering that was shown either. No surprise. And it is starting to sound like, just as I predicted, that there might not be a lovely patio for the Jardin restaurant and perhaps the coffee shop and bar might lose their plaza space as well. Next would be the craft vendors on the Guadalupe Victoria walkway and the evening taco, hot dog, and tamal vendors. Pretty much everything that makes the plaza "magic" could go away in the name of sterile Pueblo Magico" regulations. Ajijic has never had portales or other architectural elements to make the plaza a commercially viable or person friendly space without using some of the plaza footprint. That was why they decided years ago to close streets on two sides of the plaza. It made the space a more user friendly destination. What they have done now does the opposite. There is soon to be a committee supposedly made up of locals to help direct future issues like buried utilities, increased car traffic, sidewalk repairs, street closures, wall painting, etc. It would be good to know who those folks are and how input could be provided ahead of another mess of a project. And maybe revisit the entire Pueblo Magico designation. Alan
  13. Well, the traffic control lights at the intersection of the carretera and libramiento have been off for a few days. Guess what! No problems with traffic jams, accidents, and no transito cops trying to direct traffic or stopping cars to ask for bribes when they can't figure out the WalMart entrance. People seem to be careful and polite and Mexican anarchy proves once again to mostly function OK if you can keep government and other "experts" out of the situation. Think how many uncontrolled intersections are in our area and folks make them work fine on their own. In several places in Europe, traffic controls are being removed and results are similar. People enter the intersections with caution, they let pedestrians cross, and traffic flows much easier. I like to think somebody is looking at that mess and trying to decide how to best change (and hopefully improve) that intersection. I could be wrong...it could just be a faulty light controller. Alan
  14. I do remember the short window of time when they were stopping motos and golf carts. It lasted about a month and then back to normal. I daily see both of these in open violation again. I was recently stopped by a Guardia Nacional after making an illegal U turn on the highway near Cajititlan. He was very polite, did not ask for a bribe, I knew I was wrong (and it was a dangerous turn) and he gave me a ticket. But because I spoke to him in Spanish and didn't try to argue with him he wrote the ticket for no seat belt which saved me several hundred pesos. I paid the ticket at Bancomer after going online to print a copy of the incident. This new level of cop is supposedly required to pass some honesty and anti-corruption tests before being given a job. The guy I dealt with was quite professional. State Transitos not so much... Alan
  15. Here is a little tip that might help. If the cop asks for a mordida then ask for the ticket. He will not want his name on a ticket knowing you can the tell his boss that he first asked for a bribe. They will probably just let it go if they can't make any money. There is a reason that motorcycles, for instance, which don't have plates, the riders don't have helmets, the driver is lane splitting or passing on the right, and probably speeding through a red light doesn't get detained. The cops know he probably doesn't have any money so it isn't worth their time. If the cop doesn't ask for a bribe then just take the ticket and pay it promptly for your 50% discount. Never offer a bribe and never pay a bribe. Even if you are traveling out of town. Offer to follow them into the station. Especially if they have already asked for a bribe. Either way it will be a little adventure that will make a good story later. Just like most places in the world (not all) traffic control by cops in Mexico is not really about public safety...it's revenue. Alan
  16. There will likely never be much improvements to infrastructure in most of lakeside. Like most things in Mexico, it is all "designed" to function at minimum standards and will be repaired the same way when it fails. There are no building standards, no home inspections, no licensed plumbers or electricians, no enforceable codes, no concrete or brick standards, no civil engineers, and almost no wastewater treatment facilities. The government knows that there is massive corruption at all levels and so even if property taxes were to triple (in our case that would move ours from six dollars per month to 18 dollars per month) that increased money would just get siphoned off by local folks in charge at every level and services would not improve. There is actually not raw sewage in the streets of Riberas but there is a lot of gray water which if left standing can get funky. The roads are not great but they are not better anyplace else except in some downtown streets in Chapala. Our water comes from the same well that serves much of San Antonio and Mirasol and it does come in unfiltered but our coto pre-filters it and the individual homes have filters and we all drink it without problems. On the plus side, the local water doesn't have chloramine or chlorine dioxide in it. Google those things sometime. Many cities in the US provide drinking water that is treated wastewater. Nothing wrong with that but I'm not sure I'd like that option here locally... I always say that Mexico is not for everybody and one needs to adjust expectations to keep from going crazy. Alan
  17. They are June bugs. The larvae are called grubs and they live on the roots of your lawn grass. Yes, they will cause the yellow spots you might see. If you have a bad infestation you can actually grab the yellowed grass in your fist and it will lift right off. You likely will see the larvae still in the area. Granular Diazinon works best and it should be applied in April or early May to kill the larvae and prevent the hatching of the June bugs. Once they emerge they start to breed and lay more eggs for next year. The adult beetle will be drawn to water (swimming pools and fountains) and to lights at night. They are harmless to humans. They can completely destroy a lawn if left untreated. If you are seeing the adult beetles then you probably need to treat your lawn asap. Alan
  18. Many homes in the Lake Chapala area are not connected to any sewer system and this includes many "high end" neighborhoods. So people put in a septic tank but most do not have the space to install a leach field pipe so the tanks sometimes just overflow if not pumped out. To reduce the volume of waste water entering their septic tanks, they many times just run their gray water from sinks, washing machines, etc. out a drainpipe that lets this water flow downhill onto the street. The problems with waste water treatment facilities are the expense to build, dependable operation and maintenance, and "nimby" (not in my backyard.) In addition, large areas lakeside which already have septic tanks would have to pay for the pipe to carry the sewage as well as the connections to their individual homes which sometimes have drains to the back where any new pipe would probably be in the front street. And that is if there was even a treatment plant downhill from their homes. If not, then pumps would have to be added into the cost. So like many things in Mexico (not just lakeside) it becomes an issue to kick down the path to the next administration to deal with...or not. I don't think any complaint is going to change much. Alan
  19. I also don't think that the the recent weather is the actual start of the seasonal rains. But still quite nice. The lake level changes very dramatically as the year progresses and from year to year. I have personally seen the water level as high in Ajijic as the intersections of 16 de septiembre and the old pier was completely covered. I have also seen it so low that there was at least a kilometer of dry ground before you could catch a boat to Scorpion Island. They put up barbed wire fences, soccer fields, and planted crops which fairly soon went back under water. The name of the "lake" in English is actually "Lagoon of Chapala" and when the level drops a meter or two it actually could represent a loss of half of the total volume of water. The deepest place is something like six meters and the average depth is only about half that. It continues to add silt from the runoff of volcanic soil in the surrounding mountains. The murkiness that is always present is because of that silt which never settles out to form mud but it does end up displacing water. Because of that, the laguna eventually will become wetlands and then a seasonally verdant plain....but not in our lifetimes. Most of the water lost every year is due to evaporation which contributes to our lovely micro-climate. Alan
  20. I'd take it to Mama's Bar in San Antonio. I think they can replace the tip for you and they have several nice pool tables, good food, and nice bar. Alan
  21. Just guessing but probably not before 10am of after 6pm. I think the 72 hour rule is still in effect...but who knows by the time he's leaving. We have two friends who traveled recently and the only person to look at the test was at the boarding gate. You'd think they would do it at check-in in case there was a problem...Maybe each airline has its own rules. Alan
  22. Dan, I think the cheapest and easiest place to get the required test is Soriana. You pay inside and take the receipt out to the kiosk in the parking lot. They do the test right then and as soon as you get home there will be an email with results. Print that and take it with you to check in. Alan
  23. https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news Allsides News is a good source for different viewpoints on the same topic. Click on the story for more details and then compare to another version of the "truth." Quite interesting to see different headlines from left, right, and center about the same story. This site fully admits there is bias in all news but they seek out different sources so you can see all sides. Alan
  24. Bisbee Gal, Sounds like common sense to me. I do the same. I'm currently waiting for my second Pfizer. We truly do live in a wonderful area where pretty much all restaurants are either outdoors or at least open air. Keep in mind that even after vax you can still get Covid and could still spread it to somebody who might be in a high risk category. Best to follow common sense protocols and keep yourself and others as safe as you can. Alan
  25. I like seeing somebody who is approaching me wearing a mask. Here is why. Covid virus is spread primarily through wet particles expelled during speech but more in a cough, sneeze, or loud shouting where a large volume of air is expelled. Wear a double layer mask and from two feet away try to blow out a candle...difficult. Then try it without a mask...easy. Slow motion videos with back lighting show the amount of particulate expelled with vs without mask. I've seen several. It's just physics. Now, there is no excusing folks who wear them under the nose or even the chin or insist on wearing a non washable mask until it's a dirty mess. There are $%&/()s everywhere. Just like the many people who won't get the vaccine but since the start have been promoting herd immunity. Now with herd immunity within reach they won't do their part to make it work. They'll die defending their right to not be told what to do on this issue but when sick with heart conditions, for instance, they will take a doctor's instruction on how to avoid future health problems. They will certainly do what their spouse tells them to do...And I'd bet all of them got vaccinated when they were kids not only because their parents were smarter than they are, but because it was required by school boards everywhere to prevent the unnecessary spread of disease. I really can't explain it... but if you go online you can find "peer reviewed" papers on flat earth, faked moon landing, and the superiority of the male brain. I know that last one isn't true...just ask my wife. Alan
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