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barrbower

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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Rather than checking your usage by turning off or unplugging things to check for theft, turn off all of your breakers. There should be absolutely nothing moving on your meter. If you just turn off everything or unplug things and you still show usage at the meter you could have a short or ground fault in the wiring which is buried in your walls. It could also be somebody is tapping your power but that is very hard to do without being detected. Tapping into an outlet on your side of the wall means going through two layers of brick, block, and concrete without you noticing. Few homes have exposed overhead wires running anyplace except from the pole to the meter but I suppose it could happen. Should be very easy to spot any visible tap on your wires. It might just be some problem with CFE that they don't know how to fix. Either in reading, billing, or wiring. We all know CFE stands for Can't Fix Electricity. Find a guy in a truck and pay him cash to look at your problem with an eye on correcting it while he's there. Alan
  14. The old free road 54 is your worst option of the three. 54 D is the toll road and it was explained to me that the road portions with the new bridges will be all one way...I think heading down to the coast...and the current 54 D will be one way coming back. That will mean that the current two lane portions will both be going the same direction heading back north. Should speed things up quite a bit. Probably will be some pretty amazing scenery from some of those bridges. Also will probably increase the cost of tolls for all of 54D. Alan
  15. By the way, I'm also pretty sure that the little package of lube that sometimes comes with o rings is also silicone grease...even for drinking water applications. Alan
  16. Some petroleum products will degrade some rubber products so be careful. The dielectric silicone is not water soluble and the surfaces where it is applied on the threads are not exposed to water. The o ring is quite compressed and very little surface is exposed to the water. After a year of use the o ring still has the same light feel of silicone grease as when I applied it. You probably have move degraded polyvinyl chloride getting into your water than grease. I think in the USA PVC is no longer legal for use in drinking water supplies for that reason. Only used for drain, vent, waste, and irrigation. They now use CPVC, PEX, or copper but PVC still used widely in Mexico. Alan
  17. I use dielectric silicone grease which is available at Autozone. I use it for the o rings and threads on my water filters as well as a variety of automotive applications. Alan
  18. No, I read it. Just not fact/science based, in my opinion. As to my comparison to the other "choice" hot button issue it was only an attempt to show that some folks are able to pick and choose which life is worth saving and which choice should be protected by one's own beliefs. On both sides of both issues, by the way. We humans are a fickle bunch. Alan
  19. I must admit that I am a little puzzled by those staunch (or semi) anti maskers, who in spite of medical evidence saying masks can help prevent infection that might kill somebody, claim it is their constitutional right to have a choice about their own health. Many of those same folks are also "pro life." So seems to me some lives are worth worrying about and some aren't. Remember, masks are mostly to protect others not just yourself. Same with hand washing and distancing. Just be nice out there. Alan
  20. Yeah, next time you are in for a surgical procedure, just explain to the doctors that you don't need them to wear masks since you understand it is no longer medically recommended and it might be uncomfortable for them anyway...Forget the gowns, gloves, and all that hand washing beforehand. It probably dries out their skin anyway and those gloves just get all messy and they make the hands sweaty. And those gowns on top of perfectly good clothes? Please, read an article on the internet if you want the real (Q) truth! Alan (being sarcastic)
  21. Just over a week ago Saturday we went to the Akron Stadium in Zapopan, after several friends went the previous Friday, to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. There was nobody there and the guard said the Friday turnout was so low they didn't think it was worth doing it on Saturday. 52,000 doses left unused. I don't think those lakesiders who went on Friday "stole" any vaccines from any Zapopan locals. The object of all of this effort is to get as many vaccinated as possible as soon as possible no matter how you do it. The same is happening in the US...doesn't matter where you are from just get it done. Hopefully Mexico will feel the same at every location the vaccines are being given. Alan
  22. I don't have a smart phone but do have a cheap cell phone in the car for emergencies. Personal rights and societal needs, including fighting crime, have always been fluid situations. Think about gun laws. Think about banking policies. International travel. Health mandates. Eminent domain. Seat belts. There are countless examples. In any "democracy" or representative republic like these North American countries, people are elected to try to represent the wishes of the majority using socialist ideals. That is the way it has worked since the start. I never use the fire department but I pay taxes to support it. I never had kids but pay taxes to cover the cost of public education. Again, countless examples. As individuals we can vote to put in place folks we think will better support our views on how money gets spent. Nobody likes waste or fraud or corruption but those things also have existed since the start. Humans aren't perfect. There are satellites overhead watching pretty much everything we all do and the NSA has been caught listening in on private cell phone calls. There is a chip in your passport that tracks where and how that passport gets used. All of that put in place by governments trying to do the best they can for the majority as represented by elected officials. As permanent residents in Mexico we have all decided to give our personal data including photos, fingerprints, etc. to a government that we hope uses that data correctly according to how we, individually, understand what "correctly" means. We have less input on how any official policy, like the cell phone issue, is handled since we can't vote. We can try to voice opinions to those who can vote in an attempt to influence policy but we live in environments where things might not always go as we'd like. Countless examples. Better to just worry about the weather...something we can better control! Alan
  23. In Ixtlahuacan they are giving the Cansino (one shot) not the Sinovac they gave out here. As to mixing vaccines for the second shot, there seems to be some research just starting on the topic. I'd probably stick to the same brand if it's a two shot type. Efficacy after one shot of the Pfizer is higher than the one shot Cansino (or J&J) but for some folks the extra hassle of getting a second shot outweighs the possibility of less protection. After two shots of Pfizer or Moderna they claim 95%. After one shot of either they now say 80%. All will probably suggest a booster after six months. I'm guessing the vaccines will be a part of the annual flu shots from now on. The 1918 Spanish flu variant is still part of the annual flu shot formula. Yep, it's still with us over 100 years later...Alan
  24. All they wanted to see was the vaccine registration which has your CURP number on it. We took all the other stuff with us just in case but it wasn't needed. I'd take it just in case. Google "best route Chapala to Universidad Politecnica Tlajamulco." Take road to airport and turn off to go to Cajititlan. You have to use a returno. As you approach Cajititlan there will be a sign directing you to the right towards Tlajamulco. The 4 lane road goes to town but if you look at the map you turn off before getting into the busy town center The UdeG is on the east/northeast side of town out in the farm land. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Chapala,+Jalisco/Universidad+Politécnica+de+la+Zona+Metropolitana+de+Guadalajara,+Carretera+Tlajomulco+-+Santa+Fé+Km.+3.5+No.595+Lomas+de+Tejeda,+45641+Tlajomulco+de+Zúñiga,+Jal./@20.45583,-103.4281593,11z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x842f40b1771f4cb7:0x73c1721b67d87f53!2m2!1d-103.1846016!2d20.3051576!1m5!1m1!1s0x842f515676ce60d1:0xf6f1b0add14f8875!2m2!1d-103.4135878!2d20.4645456!3e0 There are students on the road directing you where to turn into the campus and they will walk you through all the rest. This is the link to the map. Hope this helps. Alan
  25. We were there today as well. No sign-up required. Just drove in and showed our registration form. VERY well organized with lots of high energy and helpful students who are all volunteers. Tomorrow will be the last day for first shots and second round will be in 4 to 6 weeks. All shots are Pfizer from coolers on site. Didn't hear anybody talking about running out of vaccine. Folks giving the shots show you the vaccine in the syringe and then after use, they show you the empty and then break the syringe where you can see it. All folks are directed to tent garage to wait 20 to 30 minutes where folks will come by to check on you. Not all spoke English but many did. All done without leaving the car. All of Mexico should be doing the vaccines the way these amazing young folks do it. No questions about where you live; only a variety of health issue related questions. Takes an hour to get there on good roads. The UdeG is outside of town and from the Chapala side of lakeside it can be reached without really going into Tlajamulco. Kudos to U de G and others should learn from them. Alan
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