Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best News Of The Day!!

The Canadian rvers that were hijacked have seen their truck and rv, very minor damage and the best part is that they caught the six bandits. Read their message here:

We went to see our truck & trailer at noon today at the army base compound. The damage to the trailer is minimal--after all the bandidos lived in it for only 1 day..the arrest was made at 3-4 p.m. Sat. 6 bandidios are in custody.

The truck has damge to the front bumper and grill from the chains of the tow truck that the army and police used to tow the truck with the trailer attached from the bandido camp to the army base. How far we dont know. They did not have any keys for the truck so they must have towed it in Park......If they did not have dolly wheels, I imagine the transmission and rear end are which case the truck is toast!!!!!!!!!!!
All the papers, books, wallets are gone except for 1 copy of ownerships which we think the army found after they brought it back. A copy of the ownership is very good. All the good stuff is, camera, 2 GPS, generator , maps ...all of Michelles clothes!
Jewellery, medication..etc! All of Jacks tools are gone. Safe & all its contents.
Unbelievably the new TV & SAT receiver are still there!!!
and it will not be released for another 5 working days. Everything shuts down in MX on Thursday until MOnday!
WHAT A MESS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just To Clarify

As being reported on the Rv.Net, civilians were killed in attacks with the military. In Mexico, in Spanish, the term civilian most probably and always refers to the criminal element. Just to clarify things. Our friend Moisheh is again trying to provoke fear among the masses. I can't understand his motive as he lives many months in Mexico. Why would he try to sabotage himself????

I can't help but read the Rv.Net to see what they are saying, but most of it is fear mongering and bullshit. Trying to stir up the masses. Why would someone post something like "Crime Along the Border" just for kicks. As if we all don't know it. The forum is about rving in Mexico. More and more I say, stay tuned to bloggers in Mexico, not to say I am one of those that you should listen to. There are many, many bloggers living and working in Mexico.

This is similar to the tactics that Republicans use. The likes of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. As I have said before, they would be tried for treason if this were 1955. Should we try those on the Rv.Net for treason too???

Preparing For Semana Santa

Vacation is here and the crowds are coming. The highway from Monterrey to Santiago is packed as kids are out of school and are on vacation for two weeks. They say the beaches on the east coast are filling up and advertising by states are appearing on television.

The military continue to pick them off one by one but life goes on and everyone is out and about enjoying their vacation time. Wait until this Thursday and we won't be leaving the quinta. Too much traffic and noise for me but good for local merchants. If we need to do some shopping, I will go to Walmart and HEB at 5 a.m. in the morning to beat the traffic.

Here at the quinta today, workers were painting the side of the pool (i don't know what you call it in English, la orilla) and touching up the kitchen cabinets. Tomorrow they will be filling a crack in the driveway and I will take down all the miniblinds and wash them, wash the windows inside and out and on Thursday cut the grass. So if we have company the quinta is ready.

Wow, isn't retirement fun!!!!!

Let's go back to last Friday for a minute. We drove to Saltillo because Croft and Norma were spending a couple of nights at the Imperial Hotel before crossing the border. We drove up to spend the night and since we have no rv we rented a room at the hotel. We arrived at 4 p.m., had drinks outside their rv and a couple in a Roadtrek from Connecticut showed up. We invited them over for a drink and they were a fabulous couple. That night we went out for a dinner that was embarrassing to say the least. I guess we are just cursed when it comes to picking a place to eat. It was awful, Croft paid a lot but we enjoyed the company.

The hotel in terms of the rv park, is very good. Nice parking, hookups, pool, shower and restrooms. The hotel rooms are from the 60s however, the mattress was to die for. I couldn't pry Juan off the bed but then again, based on the bottle of vodka we almost killed the night before (shame on us) it was a wonder we made it back home. We left early in the morning, stopping by Croft and Normas rig to say goodbye, but they were both still asleep.

We headed back to Monterrey for a 50th birthday breakfast that a good friend invited us to. Croft and Norma are great folks and I am so glad we were able to meet up before they took off. We love chatting with them and exchanging stories.

The birthday boy playing the accordian along with his two violinists.

Good friends of ours, Rolando y Suzanna

The gang after stuffing ourselves and having a great time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Real Thread Stopper

I just got home from the gym to find out that the Canadians who had their rvs hijacked were contacted by the Mexican Federal Police. The rigs have been recovered and are still connected to the tow vehicles. We are waiting for confirmation as to the condition of the vehicles. Some mystery surrounds this event and we are hoping to get the whole story. Good news for both the Canadians as well as the Mexicans.

As for the threads on Rv.Net, they came to a screeching halt once the news was announced. You see, on a forum, people can say whatever they want pitting people against each other, some presenting facts that are so far from the truth it is impossible to decifer the truth. Forums are great if there is no trolling going on and that is common on the Rv.Net. Here is the thread I am talking about:

RVs Hijacked Near Ciudad Victoria

Croft and I have been in touch with a good friend of the victims who is traveling in Mexico, so once Croft posted the update the thread died. Why? No more speculation. No one could opine about how bad things are, or people are lying, making up stories, one place is better than an other, and on and on and on through ad nauseum.

So my friends, contrary to others beliefs that bloggers are full of hot air, it may be wise to tune into Mexico bloggers as we are on the roads, living, working or fulltiming and have that "first-hand" experience.

Tengan un excelente día!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Merida - I Must Be The Worst Blogger

I have to apologize, I have more interest in self gratification than anything else. I went to Merida with the idea that I would meet the infamous Jonna and Mimi, which I did, but I took very few pictures and have yet to post anything. So here is my story.

Jonna called me while I was on the highway to Merida. It was late and she said not to worry about calling when we arrived. They came by my hotel and we went out for a few drinks. These guys are great. If you are ever in Merida, stop by and say hello. They live downtown and have remodeled a casa antigua. A very well done job by any estimate. A patio to die for, complete with lighting, comfortable furniture, an evening breeze along with a cocktail anyone would pay 100 bucks for.

Their fur friends are a reflection of their owners. There are really great human beings on this planet.

The second day, Wednesday, is when I broke my tooth. Jonna had read the blog and instantly we were off to her dentista. The tooth was fixed in less than 45 minutes and I was ready to eat delicious tacos de marlin and a small shrimp cocktail. You see, I didn't take any pictures of the food. George would have done that. I was too enthraled in the magic of those tacos dorados.

A blurred picture of Mimi in front of their kitchen refrigerator. The coolest design and cabinetry I have ever seen.

We also went to the house that night for cocktails on the lanai, verando or patio, whatever you want to call it. One word of caution, Jonna pours without a spout. We later went out for tacos Árabe that were out of this world. To find them, just show someone a picture of the cohete or rocket which is a landmark nearby.

Jonna was in the kitchen when I took this photo of their living room. She was pouring the fatal double vodka on the rocks. What a cool looking house. I said I could take a nap in this room.

Find this rocket, and you will be led to some of the finest tacos Árabe in Merida.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Charo-If You Want To Post, Reveal Yourself

Charo, I don't have a problem with you commenting on my blog with newpaper articles. However, I will continue to delete them until you reveal yourself.

Contact me via email which is listed above on my blog or make yourself available via blogger. If not, I have no other choice but to delete your comments. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bloggers Beware!

Another failed attempt to reign in power over one of the Mexico forums.

The regime has failed. Mexico was better off before Calderon and his war. Why did one poster want Mexico to legalise drugs. It is the USA that has to do that. Will never happen. The only difference between Columbia and Mexico is that Mexico borders the USA. If the increasing levels of violence continue to escalate we can all forget tourism in Mexico. I still say that many on this forum dont have a clue when it comes to the current situation. I am also amazed that if you go to some of the blogs by forum members they paint a rosy Polyanna picture. One would think Mexico was a Jane Austen novel. NOT!! RV'rs have nothing other than time invested in Mexico. Some of us own poperty and have a social investment as well. Very sad! BTW: I happen to think that most bloggers have a narcasisstic personality disorder. Is anyone really interested in your political views and your daily routine???

Somebody must be attracted to our blogs and our daily lives. We share our real life experiences with the world. Things we do everyday related to living and rving in Mexico. My mailbox is full asking for information regarding immigration, permits, fuel prices, boondocking locations, and much more. They refuse to post on the forums because people are so evil and rotten that they feel attacked and the information they receive is many times exagerated or not factual in an effort to reinforce point which in reality does more to affect the poster's credibility.

If people weren't interested in our blogs we wouldn't be receiving checks from Google Adsense on a monthly basis.

The person who wrote the statement above suffers from a narcissistic disorder.
The term narcissism refers to the personality trait of egotism, which includes the set of character traits concerned with self-image ego.

Cancun to Merida

I worked with the University del Caribe in Cancun yesterday afternoon. This is a public university and has a library and English self-access to die for. The student body is young, vibrant and happy. A great bunch of kids. The same goes without saying for the teachers in the English department. I was surprised that the tuition is practically free and easily accessible to all the population.

As I said earlier in my "fear mongering post", we had a quick dinner at Applebee's which by the way stank. The pasta was way over-cooked and the sauce like water. But my coworkers wanted to eat there so I gave in. I would have opted for a carnita torta on the road.

We took the autopista which is as straight as an arrow. It had practically put me in a trance. We arrived two hours later to Merida and to my hotel in the picture. An old hotel that has been remodeled many times. Very nice but not the Hyatt.


First things first, I called Jonna and Mimi back. They had called me while I was on the road. They buzzed by the hotel and we went out for a couple of drinks, me being the early bird I still woke up before six a.m. and am about ready to get an hour of shut eye. We had a great time chatting it up and I hope we get together for dinner.

First things first, I broke a piece off of a front tooth at breakfast. Not because of the food mind you, the same tooth was broken when I was in eighth grade and has seen been resined about four times. The last two times it was just like today, right before I need to give a presentation. Murphy follows me.

Stop Feeding The Fire

Alas! they had been friends in youth; but whispering tongues can poison truth.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I know this will turn bad and people can post what they like but enough is enough. The fear mongers have hit there all time high. Our confident leader from the Kino Bay area has spoken and if you don't believe the expert you must be a nut. Only he knows Mexico better than anyone else and if you dare to defy him you will fall as his prey.


And now the Mara SalvaTrucha have infected the ranks of Mexico. Sure they have, just like they are operating alive and well within the prison gangs in the U.S., gangs within the Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago areas. Everyone knows the prisons in the U.S. have created alliances with the bad elements of other countries and are operating freely within their walls with support of prison guards. This is not news but it feeds the fire cutting off more and more tourism of which a great part of Mexico finds its livlihood.

As I have said before, anyone who purchases illegal drugs is directly responsible for the death of a Mexican. The same holds true for those that continue to weave the gossip and fear, for these same people are responsible for the demise of tourism within the country and the welfare of those that depend on the industry.

Have a wait and see attitude about rving in Mexico next year, that is a smart idea. If I were you I would do the same thing. But please, don't paint the country with a wide brush. Sightings of military and federal police. If we didn't see this the reaction would be that Mexico is doing nothing. A damned if you do and a damned if you don't. For some unknown reason people are digging in deep to extend the fear among travelers.

Millions of people are flying the skies and taking to the highways of Mexico. this Semana Santa. With precaution? Of course, but life goes on.

Don't dig your own grave regarding travel in Mexico. If you enjoy it, and want to continue, a greater presence of rver is necessary to reduce fears that are not based on fact. Our loyal leader insists that Kino and Peñasco are safe but everywhere else in the country isn't. Okay, I will state the same for my area.

I am in Merida now. We drove two hours from Cancun. We weren't stopped harrassed, pointed at, robbed. Could it have happened? Just like anywhere else. Last night we drove around the avenues of Merida at 1 a.m. We saw plenty of police. Great, they are doing their jobs.

Remember one thing. They want us to be afraid, that's what terrorism is. I would be more afraid of flying in the U.S. than traveling the highways of Mexico.

Lighten up people, "Ignorance is the mother of fear."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doesn't This Look Inviting!

Sure does, but that doesn't mean I have had time to use it. This morning I went to the gym and prepared for my talk at the breakfast. Teachers from many universities in the area attended. We had a lot of fun, they were interested and eager in the coming changes in education in Mexico.

I returned to my room, took a nap as I am recovering nicely from my cold and cough. Still there but each day I am improving.

Now it is off to a private university to teach a course and after we drive to Merida. I am hoping to get some nice pictures of the trip.

Most of tomorrow should be free especially the afternoon and evening.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cancun Here I Come

Update: Arrived to Cancun after my stopover in Mexico City. Streets are full, my hotel is booked and the taxi driver, front desk clerk, waiter, bellman all tell me business couldn't be better.

It's a bit on the cool side but I am looking forward to some sun although I won't be hanging out around the pool or the beach. Too bad, work is work!


Sitting here waiting at the Monterrey airport for my flight to Mexico City and then on to Cancun. Sounds like a fun trip, huh? Well, I will only be in Cancun this afternoon and tomorrow. We leave tomorrow afternoon for Merida where I will be staying for two days. I will update later on the tourist situation and Spring Breakers.

There is a march for peace next Sunday here in Monterrey and I will be reporting on that the next day or two. We need an rv, I've got rvitis and am ready to hit the road.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Going To Allende

Sunday morning. I've read my RvTravel newsletter and had my coffee. We are off to Allende to see the progress on the fence. Juan is designing a wall for the front with the gates, one in and one out and a space for the new rv, whenever that will be.

We will be going to San Antonio for a couple of weeks in April. Our tenants have given notice and we will be there painting and cleaning the carpets while looking for a new tenant.

Bill says they are going to be in San Antonio until mid April. I hope we get there before they take off so we can have a dinner together and find out about their winter trip.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Wrap Up of My Week


I started out this week with a bad head cold. It settled in my chest, got a bit better yesterday and now this afternoon I feel like I lost ground and am back at zero. Like all else, this to will pass.

The interesting thing is I have received well wishes from everybody. I know you have read the Pie Lady. I met Beth when she was living in Saltillo. Her life has changed a lot since then and she now lives in the states. She a good egg and one hell of a pie maker. She sent me a mail saying that if she were here she would bake me a pie. Reminds me of my mom. Whenever there was a problem mom made me a sugar sandwich. Needless to say I don't have many of my own teeth anymore :).

Wayne just posted me well wishes too. I have never had a cold as bad as this one. Tomorrow I am doing a seminar for over 100 teachers at the Holiday Inn and I will make it through. The show must go on.

As you can see by the picture at the top, Spring has sprung and tomorrow is the first day. By the looks of the backyard and the pool we are just about ready for a two week break (from what?). I cut the grass and trimmed. I found that one corner of the yard is being invaded by different plants. (I can't say weeds, my neice is a botanist and she would kill me). For the life of me, I can't find anything to spread on the grass to promote growth of the good and eliminate the "plants" I don't want. This weekend I am buying more wood chips to lay around the palms on the side and flowers to surround the palms by the palapa.

I went to Home Depot this morning. I found a material to fill a crack that has taken over the driveway. There are just some things you can't find here. When we were in Florida I saw many commercials for a "crete" product that acts like a glue and dries like cement. I know the product I bought will not match. What I have learned, is that when you do cement driveways and sidewalks you do them is smaller squares. It makes it easier to replace when it does crack.

I did odd jobs around the house, I made it to the gym a couple of days running on the treadmill in hopes of burning this crude out of my head. During the day when I am down in bed I search on line for rvs. The Fundfinder model we want is becoming more and more scarce and further and further away. I guess when you really want something you do what you have to do to get it.

We finally joined AARP, I know it has its pros and cons but everywhere we were this last trip people accepted it. We also want to join the Escapees.

En fin, if anyone knows of two products that will help solve our "weed" problem and the "crete" product for filling cracks please let me know. Thanks fo sharing.

Oh, I almost forgot. Next week I will be working in Cancun and Merida. I have already contacted Jonna of Blah, Blah, Blah, Ginger and we hope to meet up while I'm in Merida. I have been in touch with them over the years. They own a Lazy Daze. It doesn't get much better than that in a Class C. By the way, whatever happened to Bill and Sharon that we met in Veracruz last Christmas?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poster Charo

My blog is for boondocking and living in Mexico. If your interest is other than that I encourage you to start your own blog. When you do, please invite me so I can read your interesting opinions on Mexico apart from the internet articles you continually post.

I have attempted to contact you, you are not listed as "anonymous" but yet you have no characteristics attached to your name "Charo". You could also email me at the address listed at the top of my blog.

I encourage people to post what they like on my blog but Charo has a cause that is different from mine.

Thanks and have a great day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mexican Peso - Something Good Must Be Happening

I went into town today to visit the cardiologist. He has me strapped up to a monitor for 24 hours so he can determine what and how much medication I should be taking for elevated blood pressure.

I passed many banks along the way and the dollar is quoted at 12.75 buy and 12.25 sell. La Bolsa Mexicana (Mexican Stock Exchange) is at record highs looking like it may reach 33,000 points by Friday.

Talk to people on the street and we are living in a financial crisis. However, they don't realize what the U.S., Greece and other countries are going through. I really believe it hasn't or didn't hit Mexico as hard as people believe. We always look for the worst. Problem is, most people aren't educated enough to see the signs of a good or bad economy and appreciate the level and quality of life.

I was having a discussion with one of the construction workers who is working next door building a wall. He bought a car and the plates are still from 2005. He asked me why they haven't paved my street yet. I told him because he didn't pay his tag renewel and neither did the previous owner. I had to explain to him how the system works. But, this guy has never paid a peso of tax in his life becuase he always works under the table, unless it was sales tax on a product he bought. He can't grasp the concept of taxation in relation to public works, infrastructure, etc.

So you may be wondering how he drives around without getting caught. He doesn't. He never goes outside of our local rural area and he knows the 8 or so transit police we have so they never stop him. Anything to avoid paying for his plates and use of his vehicle. Don't even ask if he has insurance.

If truth be told, many people think the government just makes money when it needs it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Is What Scares Me About Humans . . .

I found this on an rv forum, this attitude scares the s--- out of me:

You can have Mexico. For starters, there is just too much to do in the USA. There are 50 States to visit and vacation in. Millions of attractions. Thousands of Parks. Lakes, rivers, streams, and two oceans and the gulf. Mountains, hills, and flat lands. Deserts and swamps. More than one person could see in a lifetime for sure. Personally I think all Americans should stay out of Mexico period. Yeah we got our own problems here with drugs, crime, and violence and I suspect that it will be the same in every other country too.
But I have no desire to ever go to Mexico, never have and never will. I'm American by birth and Southern by the Grace of God, and plan to stay that way.
So enjoy how safe you are, and I hope you stay that way. I wouldnt wish any harm to you. But as far as I'm concerned you can have it.
Boy, that good ole U.S. of A! Love it or leave it :) :) :)

Excellent Holiday Weekend

Yesterday was national holiday in Mexico. We celebrated Benito Juarez Day! Benito was a Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872. Benito Juárez was the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background, and also the first full-blooded indigenous national ever to serve as President of Mexico and to lead a country in the Western Hemisphere. For resisting the French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, as well as for his liberal efforts to modernize the country, Juárez is often regarded as one of Mexico's greatest and most beloved leaders. Several towns, schools, parks, streets and monuments have been named to honor and remember him. (taken from Wikipedia).

Tourism here in Monterrey was at an all time high which we are hoping is an indication of what Semana Santa will bring in terms of Mexican Spring breakers. On our way back from Allende yesterday morning around 10 a.m., you could see traffic building. In fact, it was backed up for over 1 km heading into Santiago and El Cercado. Fortunately, we were heading in the opposite direction.

On the news this morning they showed footage here in Los Cavazos and Presa de la Boca. People were excited to be out knowing that their real vacation was just two weeks away. The traffice heading back to Monterrey from here was deep, heavy and extremely slow for the complete 20 km drive. I wouldn't have wanted to be in that traffic but we know that people are not afraid to venture out for some weekend fun and that the merchants here along the highway that sell buffets, artesanias and rustic furniture made quite a bit of cash.

Let's hope this continues as we get closer to Holy Week and Easter break.

I'm still down and out, flat on the bed, a heavy cough and I am taking an expectorant which is bringing up all that nasty stuff. The good news is that I can now focus on what I am looking at and I don't feel dizzy. My ears are ringing a bit and my chest is completely covered in Vick's VaporRub. Life goes on I guess!

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Is A Bummer

I've been in bed now for two days, well, almost. I have a bad head cold and crud in my chest. I went to the Family Day outing last weekend and out 0f the 50 people, half we kids under 15 and I am sure I got the bug from some unsuspecting rugrat. It was fun and this is the price I have to pay for not having kids. Too much hand shaking and kissing.

We did drive down to Allende this morning and out for breakfast. The 40ft travel trailer is still in good condition and we would like to use it during our Spring break. The three-sides of the lot have been fenced in and we are starting the front this week. I think we have decided on the fence columns we will use across the front including the electric gates.

This week I have to clean the trailer so that the carpets and furniture can be steam cleaned plus I need to get a new mattress. I don't like sleeping in someone else's bed, that's why we have an rv and I have spent way too much time over the years working out of town and sleeping in hotels. Doesn't matter to me if it is a five star resort or not, people are people and they do the same things wherever they go. (I call that monkey business, you know, the animal side of people that we don't like to discuss).

We have planned a space with a gate for the new rv so it has a place to sit while we are home and living in Allende. Next step is put the house up for sale and that will happen after vacation.

Sitting here in bed, I realize how worthless television is. I thought the idea behind cable tv was to eliminate commercials. Now there are commercials even on education channels such as History, Animal Planet, etc. On top of that, we have about 100 channels and at any given moment there doesn't seem to be anything of interest. I like news but our only provider out here in the woods only offers CNN International and it's rival channel Fox News. I watch Glenn Beck for about 30 minutes a week or until I can no longer hold my food down and then I go back to doing something else. I still say that if this were 1950 Beck, O'Reilly and Limbaugh would be tried for treason.

Sorry, I guess my cold is going to my head!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adios Fufi!

Sad, sad day! Fufi was sold today to someone who will give him a good home. We did the paperwork at the city office this morning. It took all of about 10 minutes, only one copy of the title, importation permit, driver's license and my FM2 and a cost of 112 pesos to the new owner. It was done. We returned to the house for the farewell . . .

Six years of loyal service, we have gone just about anywhere we have wanted without a problem, a "you can't park here", people who offered us posada or went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. We even had small towns that insisted we stay in front of the school and offered us water and electricity. We have been to beaches, mountains, and deserts including the majestic Copper Canyon. We have stayed in the following states; Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Durango, Chihuahua, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Queretero and Hidalgo. So many states and not enough time and now no rv.

For six years, Fufi has happily parked in the driveway serving as my Sunday get away where I had my coffee, watched the local news and read my Rv.Travel newsletter.

Adios amigo!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Richest Person In The World

Mexico now lays claim to the richest person in the world, Carlos Slim. To some, he controls a telecommunications monopoly. For me, it is good to have the richest person in the world belong to Mexico. We need all the rich people we can get. We live in a society where some people think we should take away from the rich. A twisted philosophy that would lead to a poorer country than the one we live in.

I remember back in the 80s when I contracted my first telephone line. It cost 532 dollars at the time and took six months for the installation. Today, thanks to that giant telecommunications company, a new line cost 500 pesos and is installed and operating in less than 72 hours. In addition to that, a contract includes a landline, high-speed internet, 100 minutes of national long distance calling for a low price of 389 pesos or less than 30 dollars a month.

Telmex used to be a government owned and operated company. If people want to know what's wrong with Mexico part of the problem is government owned and operated companies where unions receive the majority of the money but do little for their workers. This telephone company is now a well-run and organized operation. Last year when they dismantled Luz y Fuerza in Mexico City and the state of Mexico, Mexicans finally put a face to corruption in the workplace. Imagine, almost 4 billion dollars a year in subsidies most of which went to the union and employee benefits. Don't worry about the poor employees. They all received severance packages that explain why they were so corrupt. Employees with 30 years of service received over 150,000 dollars plus rehire with the CFE.

Thank goodness we have some examples of what one can do with hard work, education and determination. If we could just get this message to our youth that their are alternatives and education is the best choice. A college degree is for life, it can't be taken away from you and you are only as limited as you want to be.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

The weather has really taken off and today we reached 30C. The trees are all in bloom, I've already cut the grass once and we are into Spring cleaning mode. You never know when it might be time to move and we are getting ready. We have lots of things planned for 2010 and among them are selling the house, flying to Cincinnati in June for my brother and sister-in-laws birthday party, Spring break vacation which we haven't decided yet, working on our new place in Allende. Allende has all of a sudden taken off and we should be able to live ther by the end of April. Some construction will begin this week, security system installed and some work on our 40ft travel trailer which has sat pretty much unattended for over two years. Time to take action.

On the other hand, the rv is almost sold. Tomorrow may be the day. Buying a new one may be put off for awhile. I'm trying to avoid a major funk which is being brought on by all the shit that is happening. Below are pictures showing the reasons we like to boondock. I don't want it taken away from us, we enjoy the solitude so much. We meet so many great people, see so many beautiful sunsets, and don't forget the great happy hours, long conversations out in the wild with no television or internet, long walks in the mountains or along desolate beaches.

Tonachí, Chihuahua

Barra del Tordo, Tamaulipas

Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi

El Divisidero, Chihuahua

We are making some tough decisions now about our future. I'm not a pessimist nor an optimist. I try to look at things at face value. Please don't take my Mexico away from me.

Mexico Lindo

México lindo y querido
si muero lejos de tí
que digan que estoy dormida
y que me traigan aquí
que digan que estoy dormida
y que me traigan aquí
méxico lindo querido
si muero lejos de tí

voz de la guitarra mía
al despertar la mañana
quiere cantar su alegria
a mi tierra mexicana
yo le cantoa sus volcanes
a sus praderas y flores
que son como talismanes
del amor de mis amores

México lindo y querido
si muero lejos de tí
que digan que estoy dormida
y que me traigan aquí
que digan que estoy dormida
y que me traigan aqui
mexico lindo y querido si muero lejos de tí.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rumors and More Rumors

I'm not going to post anything that may get me into trouble. However, reading the forums some people have some very twisted ideas of what the world is made of.

"Why would anyone ever want to go to Mexico?"

"What is wrong with you people, don't you see the amount of crime that is occuring and the danger you are in?"

"I'm staying right here in the good ole U.S. of A where I know I'm safe".

The only true comment that has been posted but it was meant for the contrary was:

"Some people have their heads stuck in the sand".

One thing I am learning is that the "bad guys" don't like to come out in the rain. I have been tracking the local weather along with all the activities and it seems to hold true. I will continue to do so. No negative or positive comments here only observations.

Yesterday was "Día de la Familia" here in Mexico. We had a great time at a family gathering. There were about 40 of us, oldsters, youngsters and everything in between. We each brought covered dishes, watched dvds and videos of all the family gatherings past including quinceñeras, weddings and parties. Wow, I used to be a pretty handsome guy and the worst part of it is I never knew it. That was 20 years ago. We laughed and talked, had a few beers (not me, I was designated driver) and had some really good home cooking. We took a vegetable tray and a fruit tray thinking no on would be interested, the little kids ate both trays in a matter of 30 minutes. Good news on the health front.

The streets and the stores were packed. The psychosis appears to be just that. Self-induced, fed by the media and those involved. Nobody seemed afraid or scared yesterday. As I have said before, get out, know who your neighbors are, talk to people, bring back the "la convivencia familiar" (family togetherness).

Looks like we need to take control of the situation, have more days like yesterday and not let things around us put us in a tail spin of fear.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Different Take - Interesting Article

I received this intersting article from Roc who is a reader on my blog.

Mexico Conference Calls for New Direction in Drug Policy, Says Prohibition Has Failed

I am in Guadalajara and have just finished my four hour seminar. I am free until 7 p.m. and I can't get an earlier flight. I guess I'll just have to be a tourist.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why People Make Comparisons

Lots of talk these days on all the Mexico forums about safety issues and security within the country. People visiting or living in Mexico are more likely to make comparisons and those outside the country ask the question why?

The answer is quite simple. It is based on perspective. Also, some people live in a country that they "believe" is the greatest country ever or one that has been designated by God. First, it doesn't exist and secondly, I doubt seriously that God would create a planet, solar system, galaxy or universe and designate one specific place as being the best and then screwing the rest of his creation.

Mexico gets beat up pretty badly. It is always the fall guy. By choice or not I'm not sure. It is surely different than the U.S. but no much different than many of the other 20 Latin American countries. The funny part is that Mexico provides so much to the U.S. as a partner in North America. Mexico is the second-largest consumer of goods from the U.S. outside of itself. Mexico provides billions of dollars in tourism to the U.S. as Mexicans enjoy visiting their neighbor to the north. So why the bad rap?

Americans are the largest consumer group of cocaine yet it appears there is no decline in the consumption making one think that the use of the drug is legal in the U.S. Has anyone ever thought how the drugs get into the U.S.? They sure as heck arent going across the U.S. / Mexican bridges, pack mules, or stuffed up the rear ends of innocents victims. We are talking about a 30 billion dollar business., equal to or greater than that of General Motors . This sh-- is coming in on airplanes, submarines, cargo containers, trailer loads. Where is the DEA in all of this? Why can't the "greatest" country in the world control their subjects . . . If you want to pull the constitution card on me it wont work. Because if that is the excuse, than it is time to change something that apparently isnt working very well.

Admit it, both countries are in deep shit for one reason or another so there really isnt any need to point fingers, make comparisons or say one is better than the other. What does appear to be true is that the solutions cannot be made individually, we need to both accept our faults and most of all, work together to find solutions.

Sorry, I hit a key on my keyboard and cant find my apostrophe or question mark.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clear Skies - Monterrey to Saltillo

Yesterday afternoon I drove up to Saltillo. I had a breakfast this morning with a group of coordinators from different schools in the city. The skies were clear and the ride on the new autopista was very relaxing.

The distance between Monterrey (Santa Catarina) and Saltillo is shrinking as more and more homes are being built. The good the bad and the ugly of progress.

Looking back towards Monterrey the valley continues to fill.

I was listening to "Look To The Rainbow" sung by Astrud Gilberto (click on the link and go to the song if you are interested in hearing it). There was no rainbow but as you can see the scenery was fantastic.

Once out of sight of the city the landscapes take on a new look.

After reaching the turn off for Saltillo the autopista continues on to Monclova.

Last night we went downtown and had dinner at El Tapanco, an international restaurant that has very good food serving desert favorites.

Tomorrow afternoon I fly to Guadalajara for a seminar I'm giving on Saturday afternoon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Good and Bad of Mexico

The Good

The Goldman Prize honors grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk.

Jesus Leon Santos a Mixteco from Oaxaca leads an unprecedented land renewal and economic development program that employs ancient indigenous agricultural practices to transform this barren, highly eroded area into rich, arable land. He is the winner of the Goldman Award for 2008.

The Bad

I just finished watching an episode of Judge Judy. Not that it is the most informative or educational show in the world but I find it entertaining that so many idiots would appear before an audience of 10 million persons and show the world how stupid they are.

Today, there were two guys who were suing another girl for some silly business. These two guys work full-time; one is a messenger delivery driver and the other is an all around electrician. The kicker is that both are on "medical marijuana". One for back pain and one for chronic arm pain although both do physical labor. What makes it even more disgusting is that for the audience it's just one big joke. Right, one big joke that is responsible for the deterioration of two nations. Ha ha ha!

That's what's wrong with Mexico. The system in the U.S. allows jokers to use "medical marijuana" and other illegal substances when in reality they are the least likely candidates but know how to massage the system. I stand by my firm conviction that the U.S. is partially responsible for the disaster that is taking place in Mexico. Everytime someone buys illegal drugs they are supporting organized crime and the death of thousands of drug runners, drug soldiers, drug users, drug sellers and those related to all of the above. Is this some kind of conspiracy to reduce the population of the North American continent? Is it a plot between governments and and extraterrestrials? If it isn't any of the above than what other kind of sick society would allow what is happening today; the disintigration of society as we know it.

They executed Saddam Hussien for crimes against humanity when in reality he did things that many governments have done over the ages up and into the recent decades. Yet, what is happening today in the U.S. is a direct threat to the sovereignty of Mexico as a nation. They are responsible for the deaths of thousands of young people who are being recruited to fight in the drug war not to mention the hundreds of police and military that have lost their lives in the battle and all the destroyed lives of drug users and their families in both the U.S. and Mexico.

It is shameful, heartless and disgusting to think that the greatest, richest, most educated country in the world cannot control its population from the use of illegal mind altering substances that affect society as a whole, destroys lives, not only of their own person but those from the bottom up, babies born with addictions to drugs with an array of birth defects.

However, Mexico feels so dependent upon the U.S. that they cannot confront the U.S. and make them clean up their mess. Shame on them. Shame on both of them.