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barrbower

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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. If they are tapping into the "power lines" I don't think it would show extra usage on the bill. They are robbing the power before it gets to the meter. I think the bills reflect only what travels through the measuring device (meter) and not what is traveling through the overhead lines. I have seen many carnival operators, welders, and construction crews drape a bare wire end over a hot power line that is nowhere near a meter or in some cases to work on a house that doesn't even have electricity yet. Not sure how it is being billed to anybody else. Alan
  2. I have no idea why, but our last few CFE bills have been lower than ever. Most recent one was 222 pesos (5.50 USD per month) so not worth getting solar. We have lots of light bulbs, 5 ceiling fans, TV's, and computers/chargers, dishwasher, washing machine, etc. Some folks in our coto have similar homes and use about the same things we use and their bills are much higher. Our meter is fairly new and was installed by CFE when we did a remodel. There is no "diablito" device installed and we are not really all that careful about usage. Sometimes I think we are just lucky. But I'm not going to question CFE about it...sleeping dogs, etc. Alan
  3. There is the smell of smoke in our neighborhood on a regular basis. The need to burn is partly for ag reasons as the local farmers clear brush this time of year in order to plant for the rainy season. It is the way it's done here and I don't begrudge them for continuing to do it. But most of the stinky smoke comes from trash and brush from construction sites and gardeners tasked with getting rid of yard debris. This I can partly blame on the local government for not providing places and ways to eliminate trash without burning it. Most of the construction guys don't have the ability to haul to the sanitary landfill out past Santa Cruz and there is no green waste dump site for creating compost and the regular trash truck won't pick up garbage at the building sites. So that leaves them having to burn trash and green waste. If the city wants to enforce the rules (which they should but probably never will) then they should have alternatives in place for the offenders. Alan
  4. The Chachalaca birds I've heard but at lower elevations nearer the coast. First time I heard one I thought somebody was using some kind of power tool at the crack of dawn but not the woo woo bird. Alan
  5. The nightjar call is pretty annoying but nothing compared to the "woo woo" bird. It's call is much more regular, louder, and sounds pretty much like a car alarm. More like woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo...that NEVER stops! It pretty soon becomes like somebody poking you in the chest. I'm pretty close to becoming a character in a Bill Murray movie. You know, a simple frustration that soon leads to explosives. Alan
  6. Strange as it sounds, there are birds that make a "car alarm sound" that occurs only at night or very early in the morning. They will go on for HOURS. If you get fed up at 3AM and go out to throw a stick up into the tree, they just pause the "woo woo woo" long enough for you to get back in the house. They are taunting me, I swear. Some nights it is just one and some nights you can hear their counterparts all over Riberas. I have no idea what they look like but several neighbors have suggested a cash prize for the first one that brings home a dead one...just kidding, maybe. They are seasonal only at this time of year so we're hoping they migrate the heck out of here SOON! Or you could just have a car alarm going off someplace...Alan
  7. Isn't this political? If not, here is my opinion. AMLO, an unqualified populist...like a recent US prez, and is in over his head but doesn't know it...just like a recent US prez. In any case, daylight savings time is obsolete and isn't popular anymore on both sides of the border. Alan
  8. If he really has dementia, and not just forgetful like the rest of us, he probably shouldn't be driving. Hoping you were joking a little. Alan
  9. Less than average rains here for the last couple of years. More ag use in the area. No rain since Oct. and we normally get a few showers even in the dry season. Well levels lakeside are dropping as ground water drops. Do what you can to save a little. Keep pools covered during the day to slow evaporation. Use buckets or pitchers to collect water while waiting for hot water to arrive at sinks and showers. Use that to water plants. Limit run time on decorative fountains. We all know these things...just try to help a little. The city of Guadalajara will be pulling more water from Lake Chapala and combined with the really warm weather just starting you'll notice the lake level will begin to drop pretty quickly. The lake loses more water to evaporation than gets used by humans so don't blame the city dwellers alone for the drop in level. Alan
  10. Andy's right. Forget WalMart...it is symptom of the problem. Traffic and the government's inability to help resolve the problem is the issue. They had a chance here to make a simple correction and instead created a huge problem. Forget trying to get into the large traffic generator that is WalMart and concentrate on the traffic itself which continues to get worse daily. Now this area from West Ajijic into town is a mess. The area from La Floresta to Riberas is a mess. They spent a LOT of money on a ciclovia, which in and of itself is not a bad idea, and then a lot more on this major intersection. In both cases designs were created with no local input or discussion or evaluation and all who live here will continue to pay the price for their recklessness. Alan
  11. Originally it meant non-aligned with either first (USA and western allies) or the second (soviet union and allies) worlds but now implies a developing country in terms of socio- economic indicators. Those might include, but are not limited to, things like high mortality rates, especially infant mortality, due to war, diseases, violence, and lack of access to medical care. Other indicators are high national debt and a dependence on other countries to maintain economic viability. Could also include poor or failing infrastructure like power grid, postal service, clean water, public transportation, etc. Also usually indicates extreme income inequality with those in power dedicated to keeping it that way. Also normally means high rates of incarceration especially among those less economically fortunate. High poverty rates in both urban and rural settings, a shrinking middle class, and failing public education systems are normal indicators. High rates of personal indebtedness and people living in nutritional deserts where food options are limited. And a government in charge that shows little commitment to giving up power in order to help the masses in need. I was talking mostly about the failing post office. But the country is so divided right now that it seems, to me, to be sliding into 3rd world status in a variety of areas. A tipping point, if you will. Alan
  12. As the USA sinks into being a "third world" country the crappy postal service is but one indicator. Legislation in recent years has hamstrung the operations in order for the union to be sure that pensions are prepaid into the future. Add to that Dejoy's determined efforts to slow things down even more during the election and the effects Covid has had on staffing and it is almost unusable. A first class stamp used to get something sent anywhere in the lower 48 in two or three days. Now things just disappear or take even months to arrive. The tipping point has been reached and I'm not sure it will ever be the same. Alan
  13. It's not just to and from WalMart. It is going from Riberas to Ajijic or Costco on the west side. It is an ambulance trying to get from Chapala to La Floresta. It's a delivery truck trying to make a living taking product from San Antonio to Ajijic. It's a person from Chapala trying to get to Tony's Meats. It's visitors trying to get to restaurants in San Juan Cosala. It's people trying to get to CI Banco or Sterens or Telcel. It's not just about you not liking WalMart. Bad traffic affects everybody as you will see the next time you drive through the area. Really bad when logical options were available. Alan
  14. The problem really began when they decided to put in a bus priority lane. They should have just left the bus pull-off area like it was. Then they could have just made lights at the main intersection with left turn lanes. Both left arrows E and W go at the same time then both straight at the same time. Then both N and S left turns at the same time then both straight at the same time. Simple. Once the eastbound bus passes the light it pulls over just as before. WalMart exit on the east side could be only for traveling east. Exit at the light to head west or straight up the libramiento. How f'in hard could that possibly be? People are going to die at this intersection. I've already see one accident. They will never admit they were wrong in their designs and much less fix this mess so just add it to the list of things that will make the expats who are thinking about retiring here to take a second look at other places. I'm glad I'm old enough to not be here in twenty years to see the place. I was first here fifty years ago and it was a fairly charming dumpy little fishing village with almost no infrastructure and a few writers, hippies, and artists. Over the ensuing forty years it improved in many ways but the last ten years it has been sold to the highest bidder regardless of the adverse impact on the quality of life...especially for the locals. We seem to be able, as a species, to find paradise and "love" it to death. We are from Colorado and the same is happening there. My 2 cents worth. Alan
  15. The problems are as follows. Much longer traffic delays. Making a u-turn across a busy libramiento from a parking area where people already make up their own rules. Having to travel through twice as many traffic lights where more accidents occur than any other place. Expecting Mexican drivers to know/obey the rules (even if you are) is a pipe dream. And this is why I won't go there unless I have to. One plus of the whole disaster is that there will certainly be fewer folks traveling to see the newest Pueblo Magico and fewer folks moving here once they get a look at this hot mess. If that is what the state govt., local officials, and businesses had in mind then...job well done! Alan
  16. Well, the expected has happened. Coming from the east to WalMart, the traffic was at a standstill beyond the hospital at Chula Vista. There also doesn't appear to be any legal way to enter the parking lot after waiting 30 minutes to get there. We waited where the light is now working that lets cars go across in front of Autozone from the libramiento and just waited until there was a small break in traffic and turned left with no left turn light. I guess the only way in legally is to turn right at the libramiento, make a u-turn and go straight at the light. The only way, out if heading west, seems to be to exit at the light at the east end and turn left heading west, if the cars aren't blocking the intersection, and then wait through a couple of light changes to continue west. When leaving we saw several traffic cops directing traffic about as efficiently as the lights were operating. I asked a WalMart employee how we were supposed to enter from the east and he suggested (seriously) to turn left where the construction east of WalMart is and the drive up the lateral the wrong way and then enter the east side exit illegally. I told him we would probably just shop at Soriana when we need a trip to a large store. Thankfully we have a very nice abarrotes near our house for much of what we need and Pancho's is not too far. Can't wait to see what high season and midday rush hours looks like! Alan
  17. When things are green 80 is some of the prettiest scenery in western Mexico. Lots of blind curves and up and down so passing can be difficult. If you are not in a hurry it's the way to do it. 80 takes you right to the edge of Melaque and very near Coastecomates and La Manzanilla. Both worth checking out. Alan
  18. Like I said, just buy good synthetic oil of the correct viscosity and the appropriate filter. You don't have to use a filter that says "for synthetic oil." Those filters are better only at trapping smaller particles for higher miles between changes. Some companies don't even have a synthetic filter available for all cars. If you change oil once a year, I doubt you would ever go over 10,000 miles (16,000 km) on an oil change. Just buy a good brand oil and filter but don't use Fram filters...they are the worst on the market. If you doubt anything said here, look on the internet to confirm. Alan
  19. Just go to Autozone or Orma and ask what kind of oil is recommended by the manufacturer if you don't have the owner's manual. Buy a name brand synthetic oil and a good oil filter (not Fram) and then go to any mechanic in town. They might charge you a couple hundred pesos for labor. You can watch then do it. Check the level on your dipstick when you get home as it might drop a little. They all seem to return any unused oil so you can use that to top off if you need to. I've used Escalera in Riberas near the Food Lake Container place a couple of times and they did a fine job. You only need to do it once a year. Alan
  20. There are now three lights at the intersection in front of Autozone when you head east instead of one and still no light when exiting Walmart to head up the libramiento or turn west. The light at the east exit appears to be so you can exit there to turn west. ????? Alan
  21. A little head's up. You prepay for everything at the recaudadora office where you pay refrendos (car registration.) They give you a receipt which you take to the license building. I think you will need to make an appointment,which in true Mexican style, will be loosely adhered to. Alan
  22. The Texas power grid was mostly designed for hot weather which drives usage in the summer. They were woefully unprepared for extreme cold. The wind turbines not being winterized was a mistake which they probably won't make again. The turbines that did continue to operate still provided their normal percentage of power to the grid but could offer nothing extra once the gas and coal fired plants went off-line for the same extreme cold conditions. Try to imagine what wind turbines in Denmark or Norway would be facing if their summer temps went to 110 F and stayed there for three months. I'm betting they'd have some heat related issues due to unusual demands. As weather extremes worsen around the world, money needs to be spent for worse case scenarios. Pay me now or pay me later...Alan
  23. We just got our paperwork and circulation card but it seems that windshield stickers are not being used this year. Not sure if that means they have eliminated that completely...or maybe the Chapala office just doesn't have any. Alan
  24. Does that mean that the book library will be open for browsing? Is that considered a scheduled activity? Or will the library only be available online as it has been? Message is not too clear so you might try explaining in a little more detail what you actually mean. I'll renew my membership when the library is back to normal operations with appropriate protocols in place like other businesses have been doing. Thanks, Alan
  25. Seems that the UNOTV is owned by Carlos Slim...so good luck trying to get rid of it. Alan
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