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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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