Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Market Square San Antonio


We took a break yesterday from home repairs and went downtown. Fiesta was last week but we weren't in the mood for big crowds. From our house here in San Antonio, it is only about 10 minute via freeway to the Riverwalk area. We found parking right away in the Market Square on the second floor. You park and walk down to the shops and the streets that are pedestrian only.

We had a great time looking at all the Mexicans imports. One woman said they used to travel to Monterrey to make their purchases but now they order on line and the merchandise is delivered to them.

The place had quite a few tourists considering Fiesta was now in the past for this year. We walked around the streets of Market Place remembered some of the famous places we have visited and eaten at. It isn't Mexican food but Tex-Mex is pretty good stuff too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mexican Drivers


Wow, I didn't realize Mexico was such a dangerous place to drive. Having lived in Mexico for 20 plus years I have had two fender benders and towing an rv for ten years no accidents. I have seen some pretty bad accidents and this last week I can compare those in Mexico to those in San Antonio. There have been an average of two major accidents, deaths in both, each day for the last week. Last night three persons were killed in a one car accident, alcohol involved.

I guess it is everywhere, but those darn Mexicans, they just have to be the worst drivers in the world. Why they don't have to take a test or anything.

The last two sentences are gross exagerations. Mexicans in general are good drivers. In Nuevo Leon (which is a state) you have to take a written exam as well as a driving test. In fact, we even have a driving range to practice driving. You have to be accompanied by a licensed driver to use it.

For what it's worth. . . . . .

I just hate hearsay and speculation!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Could This In Itself Be A Terrorist Plot?


You can tell I'm getting bored here in San Antonio. We got the house ready for rent, put the sign in the front yard and people are knocking and calling. That is good news as we are just a week away from the first of the month. You see these programs on television about hoarders, and filthy houses and you wouldn't believe you would ever see it in your lifetime. It is amazing how many people live as pigs.

I miss my Mexico mucho. I miss going to the gym where people actually talk to strangers, talk to one another and carry on conversations. I have been at this new gym called Planet Fitness, nice place and a great philosophy. But no one talks to anybody. They are literally robots or zombies, not to mention the tatoos that people are wearing, can you imagine a guy who leaves the gym in a suit and tie but has a paragraph tatooded on his torso?. I also miss going into to town and seeing real people on the street, sitting in the plaza, men chewing the fat and women talking about the local gossip while they sift through produce in a street market.

I did manage to get a wave from one of my San Antonio neighbors, nothing more and nothing less. What a drag. And I hate to rag on people or places but this town is depressing. I have seen more poverty, drug addicts on the streets, and general undesirability that I can't wait to get back to Mexico. As bad as it may seem to some, that is my Mexico and I love the sh-- out of it.

So what about the terrorist plot? I have been receiving emails that literally denigrate the fabric of the United States, its President and his cabinet. Ministers who refuse to recognize the President, people who say his health care plan has been established to protect non-Christians from paying taxes and giving them free health care and charging Christians extra taxes for their health care. In addition, an additional tax for selling their house. (so what, the U.S. needs to find ways to generate income, finally they eliminated deducting interest on credit cards, that was a foolish one to begin). Americans need to step up to the plate and realize that they cannot continue to spend frivolously and need to belly up to the bar on this one. 12,000,000,000,000 dollars, that is twelve trillion dollars. It is such a ridiculous number it means nothing. And believe me, Obama didn't generate even a third of that. Go back to the root source.

So I have digressed, the terrorist plot. All of the above could possibly be a terrorist plot to destroy "one" and I repeat "one" of the greatest nations on this planet (as there are many others). Imagine the Taliban, Osama, ETA, FARC, and the endless list of others, who would enjoy destroying the U.S. I believe it is being done via emails, news media including my best friends O'Reilly, Beck and Limbaugh, to infect and infiltrate the very fabric of the U.S. and slowly but surely see the image of Americans and the country fall to its knees. Who sees any credibility in the U.S. at this point with the Republicans mocking the very office of the President, the office that as we say in Spanish, entre comias, holds the highest honor in the world.

I do believe the U.S. has been invaded, and it is we the Americans ourselves who are the offenders.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pastry Judging - St. Philip's


A good friend of ours, John McGintey, is a chef who teaches at St. Philip's College. John is actually retired from the school district in San Antonio and started a new career a couple of years ago. He took up culinary arts as a hobby and ended up teaching.

He invited us to judge his evening students in their pastry course. We were surprised at the delicious treats we were invited to taste. Some of the students have chosen pastry and baking as their major and others are required to take at least one semester of pastry as part of their major in culinary arts.

We went around and spoke with the students while they prepared their cakes and pies. Surprisingly enough, these guys are really good and they are responsible for the great restaurants we visit while we are here in San Antonio. Yes Croft, we really do know some good places :).

We brought home samples of just about everything and you can be the judge of some of the cakes we tried.

Chef McGintey

This is how I should look as I am prepped for plastic surgery.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Deportation Statistics For Mexico


Friends here in San Antonio wondered if Mexico deports illegals. I said, "boy you bet". They really know how to do it.

Just for the two first months of this year over 10,000 people had been deported. For all of 2009 it was over 67,000 and it covers the globe, obviously with a concentration in Central America.

Here is the website for statistics:

INM Estadisticas

¿Ya no te gusta Mexico?


No le gusta el país

en el que vive?

¡¡Cámbielo usted mismo!!

Y si no participa....


¿Encuentra absurdo el robo de camiones de carga, a veces hasta con asesinatos de los camioneros?

Solución : Exija la factura en todas sus compras.

¿Usted encuentra absurdo el desorden causado por los vendedores ambulantes?

Solución : Nunca compre nada a ellos. La mayor parte de sus mercaderías son productos robados, falsificados o contrabandeados.

¿Usted encuentra absurdo el enriquecimiento ilícito?

Solución : No lo admire, ni lo practique; repúdielo y no de mordidas ni pequeñas ni grandes.

¿Usted encuentra absurda la cantidad de mendigos en los semáforos y/o en las calles, y/o en cada esquina?

Solución : Nunca les dé NADA. Canalice su ayuda solidaria directamente a las instituciones de su confianza. (PERO, SI NO CUMPLE CON LO SEGUNDO, NO SE SIENTA BIEN HACIENDO LO PRIMERO, NO SIRVE PARA JUSTIFICARSE, SEA HONESTO CONSIGO MISMO)

¿Usted encuentra absurdo que las lluvias inunden la ciudad?

Solución : Solamente tire papelitos y basura, EN LOS CANASTOS DE BASURA, barra su banqueta y si construye, no eche la basura en las coladeras...

¿Usted encuentra absurdo que haya revendedores de entradas para espectáculos?

Solución: No les compre, aunque eso signifique perderse el evento. Mejor trate de comprar con oportunidad.

¿Usted encuentra absurdo el tránsito en su ciudad?

Solución : Nunca cierre el paso; respete las normas; estacione en los lugares habilitados, practique la técnica de paso 'uno por uno'.

¿Usted Considera alarmante el índice de criminalidad en este país?

Solución: invierta en México si es empresario; trabaje con calidad si es empleado y ambos paguen sus impuestos. No sea aviador, ni lo permita. ¡Produzca con calidad y pague sueldos de dignidad! Con ello, podrán darles una educación de calidad a sus hijos y evitar la formación de delincuentes. No hay criminal que no salga de una familia.

¿Usted Encuentra terrible el problema de la drogadicción?

Solución : únicamente atienda bien a sus hijos y ni siquiera tendrá que vigilarlos.



Y si no participa....


Estamos pasando por una etapa de falta de cultura ciudadana y de patriotismo.

Necesitamos cambiar nuestro comportamiento para que podamos vivir en un país donde tengamos el orgullo de decir: YO SOY MEXICANO.

Estando quieto, Usted no contribuye con nada; por lo tanto, no puede reclamar.

Practique los puntos con los cuales Usted concordó e intente practicar también aquellos con los cuales no concordó.

Y, sobre todo, divulgue este mensaje, (por lo menos entre sus amigos), pues así estará contribuyendo para un México mejor.

Necesitamos mejorar nuestro país.

Vamos todos a vivir con ÉTICA y VALORES eso tiene que comenzar con cada uno.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quiet On The Home Front


Here we are in San Antonio working on the rent house getting it ready for the next tenant. What a trip!

We have learned a lot about property management. I don't mind doing the work, I expect things to be not so perfect and to see some sort of mess. Not everyone lives like I do. Some people are not very clean.

Sure there are things we need to fix and repair that suffer from use and then there are things that we have to clean and fix that shouldn't be our responsibility. This is our first round and we have had the same tenant for three years who paid on time and did, more or less, their part.

We plan on purchasing more homes and renting them and (I was going to say "we") I need to be more strict and not be Mr. NiceGuy. Rules are rules and business is business. This has been a good test and we will get better at it with time. One thing is that this isn't the best location for a house and not the ritziest neighborhood in San Antonio. Plus, it is a bit far from where we live. The Rio Grande Valley is just two hours away and we will be looking for homes there.

We went out for dinner with good friends Saturday night. We love the Tres Trattoria restaurant on South Broadway. They have excellent food and the service is very good too. Here is a picture of us with our friends. We hope to get together again next Sunday for drinks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Throwing Numbers Around


People love statistics and they love to throw them around. The media loves to twist them and satisfy their sorted needs and exploit their viewers for better ratings. Then there are individuals who do the same thing because of "oneupsmanship" and why one is better than another or one place is safer than another.

So today here are my statistics that I would like to throw around as the media and people have been emailing me and constantly reminding me of the number of people murdered in Mexico because of the drug war.

U.S. murder statistics for "the last four years": 64,000

Mexico's murder statistics for "the last four years": 27,000

Read them as you wish and make all the justifications you would like. Numbers are numbers and please don't remind me of the larger population in the U.S. which would statistically drop the percent per capita in the U.S. Why?

A dead person is a dead person.

The same holds true for the poverty rate in each country:

Mexico 37,000,000

United States 37,000,000

Any kid that has to go to bed hungry is a criminal statistic and per capita doesn't mean squat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Happens If . . . . . ?


Basing this on what has transpired to a small group of foreigners over the last three weeks lets suppose that a Mexican is traveling to the U.S. for vacation. The Mexican and his family stop at the border and are required to supply the following for "each" adult or person over the age of 18:

  1. Mexican passport
  2. U.S. Visa which costs 180 dollars
  3. 6 months of salary check stubs
  4. 6 months of one of the following: gas, electric, water or phone bill
  5. cash in the amount "to be determined" by the U.S. immigration officer (lets hope he likes you)
  6. in some cases proof of home ownership
  7. six dollars permit charge
The six dollars is exact change only. They don't make change and there are no ATMs at any of the bridges.

If grandma is with you and she doesnt have a utility bill in her name, shes not going on vacation.

So the family crosses the border and heads for Houston where 19,000 cars were stolen last year. First stop is the mall to do some shopping for American goods, unaware that most the goods they are buying are from Mexico and China. After shopping and a big lunch they head back to the parking lot to find that their Suburban has been stolen.

What documents will they need to prove that the vehicle was theirs? First off they need to have a title. In Mexico, a title as such is not issued. What is issued at the time of purchase of both a new and used car is a "tarjeta de circulacion" which gives the owner the right to use the vehicle on all roads, streets and highways. The title per se, is actually the original invoice from the dealership of purchase. This invoice is handed down from one owner to the next, not a copy, but the original document. This document is guarded as it is the only proof accepted by any Mexican government agency. So this document is never carried in the car.

The couple has filed a report and called the insurance company. But, many Mexicans dont realize that the insurance they buy at the border is strictly liability. They may not be covered for theft. Should the care be recovered which in most cases it isnt, they need to show proof of this original document which is in their native country locked away for safe keeping. They have to go all the way back to their country of origin, pick up the document and return to show proof of ownership. If they are lucky, someone can get access to the document and send it via Federal Express.

Does this story sound familiar? The same applies to their personal documents for U.S. immigration as well as their Mexican documents. The scenary turns into a nightmare.

So it doesnt matter if you are American, Canadian or Mexican, and if you are traveling in any of the three countries, you will be met with their bureaucracy. I feel bad for our Canadian friends and the scare that they suffered but I believe they need to persist and understand that all three countries perform and ask for the same tasks and documents to release property that has been either seized or stolen. Also, the language barrier plays a huge role in the process.

I say, they should hang in there, be persistent and get their property back.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Follow the Money: Why the U.S. Mainstream Media has Mexico Under Seige


Thanks to Russ from the rv.net for posting this interesting article. Food for thought.

Follow the Money: Why the U.S. Mainstream Media has Mexico Under Seige

April 11, 2010 posted by Johnny Punish · 58 Comments


by Charles Simpson, Mexinvestnow.com

First: A reality check on Mexico

Mexico is in a unique position to reap many of the benefits of the decline of the US economy. In order to not violate NAFTA and other agreements the U.S.A. cannot use direct protectionism, so it is content to allow the media to play this protectionist role. The U.S. media – over the last year – has portrayed Mexico as being on the brink of economic collapse and civil war. The Mexican people are either beheaded, kidnapped, poor, corrupt, or narco-traffickers. The American news media was particularly aggressive in the weeks leading up to spring break. The main reason for this is money. During that two-week period, over 120,000 young American citizens poured into Mexico and left behind hundreds of millions of dollars.

mexico-us-relationsLet’s look at the reality of the massive drug and corruption problem, kidnappings, murders and money. The U.S. Secretary of State Clinton was clear in her honest assessment of the problem. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent the weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” Clinton said. The other large illegal business that is smuggled into the U.S.A. that no one likes to talk about is Human Traffic for prostitution. This “business” is globally now competing with drugs in terms of profits.

It is critical to understand, however that the horrific violence in Mexico is over 95% confined to the three transshipping cities for these two businesses, Tijuana, Nogales, and Juarez. The Mexican government is so serious about fighting this, that they have committed over 30,000 soldiers to these borders towns. There was a thoughtful article written by a professor at the University of Juarez. He was reminded of the Prohibition years in the U.S.A. and compared Juarez to Chicago when Al Capone was conducting his reign of terror capped off with The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. During these years, just like Juarez today, 99% of the citizens went about their daily lives and attended classes, went to the movies, restaurants, and parks.

Is there corruption in Mexico? YES !!! Is there an equal amount of corruption related to this business in the U.S.A.? YES !!!. When you have a pair of illegal businesses that generate over $300,000,000,000 in sales you will find massive corruption. Make no mistake about the Mexican Drug Cartel; these “businessmen” are 100 times more sophisticated than the bumbling bootleggers during Prohibition. They form profitable alliances all over the U.S.A. They do cost benefit analysis of their business much better than the US automobile industry. They have found over the years that the cost of bribing U.S. and Mexican Border Guards and the transportation costs of moving marijuana from Sinaloa to California have cut significantly into profits. That is why over the past 5-7 years they have been growing marijuana in State and Federal Parks and BLM land all across America. From a business standpoint, this is a tremendous cost savings on several levels. Let’s look at California as an example as one of the largest consumers. When you have $14.2 billion of Marijuana grown and consumed in one state, there is savings on transportation, less loss of product due to confiscation and an overall reduction cost of bribery with law enforcement and parks service people. Another great savings is the benefit to their employees. The penalties in Mexico for growing range from 5-15 years. The penalties in California, on average are 18 months, and out in 8 months. The same economic principles are now being applied to the methamphetamine factories.

FOX News continues to scare people with its focus on kidnapping. There are kidnappings in Mexico. The concentration of kidnappings has been in Mexico City, among the very rich and the three aforementioned border Cities. With the exception of Mexico City, the number one city for kidnappings among NAFTA countries is Phoenix, Arizona with over 359 in 2008. The Phoenix Police estimate that twice that number of kidnappings goes unreported, because like Mexico 99% of these crimes were directly related to drug and human traffic. Phoenix, unfortunately, is geographically profitable transshipping location. Mexicans, just like 99% of U.S. Citizens during prohibition, go about their daily lives all over the country. They get up, go to school or work and live their lives untouched by the border town violence.

These same protectionist news sources have misled the public as to the real danger from the swine flu in Mexico and temporary devastated the tourism business. As of May 27 2009 there have been 87 deaths in Mexico from the swine flu. During those same five months there have been 36 murdered school children in Chicago. By their logic, if 87 deaths from the swine flu in Mexico warrants canceling flights and cruise ships to Mexico, then close all roads and highways in the USA because of record 43,359 automobile related deaths in the USA in 2008.

What is just getting underway is what many are calling the “Largest southern migration to Mexico of people and real estate assets since the Civil War” A significant percentage of the Baby Boomers have been doing the research and are making the life changing decision to move out of the U.S.A. The number one retirement destination in the world is Mexico. There are already over 2,000,000 US and Canadian property owners in Mexico. The most conservative number of American and Canadian Baby Boomers who are on their way to owning property in Mexico for full or part time living in the next 15 years is over 6,000,000. Do the math on 6,000,000 people buying a $300,000 house or condo and you will understand why the U.S. Government is trying to tax this massive shift of money to Mexico through H.R. 3056. The U.S. government calls this “The Tax Collection Responsibility Act of 2007”. Those who will have to pay it are calling this the EXIT TAX.

Mexico: A better economic choice than China

Another large exodus from the U.S.A is high paying skilled jobs. The job shift in automobile sector, both car and parts manufacturing, is already known by most investors. In the last few months as John Deere and Caterpillar have been laying off thousands of workers in the U.S.A., and hiring equal numbers in Mexico. The most recent industry that is making the shift is the aerospace manufacturers. In the city of Zacatecas there is currently a $210 million aerospace facility being built. With the 11 U.S. companies moving there, it is estimated to provide over 200,000 new high paying jobs in the coming years. One of the main factors for the shift in job south to Mexico instead of China is realistic analysis of total production, labor and delivery costs. While the labor costs in China are 40% less on average, the overall transportation costs and inherent risks of a long distance supply chain, and quality control issues, gives Mexico a distinct financial advantage.

Mexico’s real economic future

Mexico has avoided completely the subprime problem that has devastated the U.S. banking industry. The Mexican banks are healthy and profitable. Mexico has a growing and very healthy middle and upper middle class. The very recent introduction of residential financing has Mexico in a unique position of having over 90% of current homeowners owning their house outright. U.S. banks are competing for the Mexican, Canadian and American cross border loan business. It is and will continue to be a very safe and very profitable business. These same banks that were loaning in a reckless manner have learned their lesson and are loaning here the old fashioned way. They require a minimum of a 680 credit score, 30% down payment, and verifiable income that can support the loan. In most areas of Mexico where Baby Boomers are moving to, with the exception of Puerto Penasco (which did not have a national and international base of buyers), there is no real estate bubble. The higher end markets ($2-20 million) in many of these destinations are going through a modest correction. The Baby Boomers market here is between $200,000 and $600,000. With the continuing demand inside the Bay of Banderas, that price point, in the coming years, will disappear. This is the reason the Mexican government is spending billions of dollars on more infrastructure north along the coast all the way up to Mazatlan.

The other major area where America has become overpriced is in the field of health care. This massive shift of revenues is estimated to add 5-7% to Mexico’s GDP. The name for this “business” is Medical Tourism. The two biggest competitors for Mexico were Thailand and India. Thailand and India’s biggest drawback is geography. Also recent events, Thailand’s inability to keep a government in place and the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, have helped Mexico capture close to half of this growth industry. In Mexico today there are over 56 world class hospitals being built to keep up with this business.

Mexico is currently sitting on a cash surplus and an almost balanced budget. Most Americans have never heard of Carlos Slim until he loaned the New York Times $250 million. After that it became clear to many investors around the world what Mexicans already knew: that Mexico had been able to avoid the worst of the U.S. economic devastation. Mexico’s resilience is to be admired. When the U.S. Federal Reserve granted a $30 billion loan to each of the following countries Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Brazil, Mexico reinvested the money in Treasury bonds in an account in New York City.

According to oil traders, Mexico’s Pemex wisely as the price of oil shot to $147 a barrel put in place an investment strategy that hinged on oil trading in the range of $38-$60 a barrel. Since the beginning of 2009 Mexico has been collecting revenues on hedged positions that give them $90-$110 per barrel today. Mexico’s recent and under reported oil discovery in the Palaeo Channels of Chicontepec has placed it third in the world for oil reserves, right behind Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The following is a quote from Rosalind Wilson, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on March 19, 2009. “The strength of the Mexican economic system makes the country a favorite destination for Canadian investment”.


The answer is simple and old fashioned: SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

The area of Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit inside the Bay of Banderas is an investor’s dream. This area has the comprehensive infrastructure in place, world class hospitals and dental care, natural investment protection from the Sierra Madre Mountains, endless future water supply, low to nonexistent crime, international airport, and limited supply inside the Bay, first class private bilingual schools and higher than average appreciation potential. Like many areas in Mexico there is large demand for full and part time retirement living and a lot of construction underway to meet this demand. Pre construction of course is where the best bargains are available.

I would offer a word of caution for investors in Mexico. Do not be seduced by the endless natural beauty that is everywhere, both inland in colonial towns and along thousands of miles of beach. Apply conservative medium and long term investment strategies without emotion. The demand for full and part time living by American and Canadian Baby Boomers is evident throughout the country. The top two choice locations are ocean front, and ocean view. The third overall choice, which is less expensive, is inland in one of the many beautiful colonial towns or small cities.

Mexico, with the world’s 13th largest GDP, is no longer a “Third World Country”, but rather a fast growing, economically secure state, as the most recent five-year history of its financial markets when compared to the U.S.A.’s financial markets suggests.

DOW JONES AVERAGES MAY 2004 10,200 MAY 2009 8,200 20% LOSS IN 5 YEARS

MEXICAN BOLSA MAY 2004 10,000 MAY 2009 23,000 130% GAIN IN 5 YEARS

Monterrey to San Antonio


We woke up at "whenever" and got a late start. By the time we packed up the car and got on the road it was already after 10 a.m. We stopped by the bank to make a payment and get some cash, that took another 40 minutes of piddling.

As we entered the autopista to Laredo the rain started to come down. It rained off and on most of the trip to San Antonio. It was a nice rain and it would come and go. Everything is in bloom including the flor de palma which is a tasty treat. We passed kilometer 99 just meters south of the caseta de cobro and we came across a nasty accident between two tractor trailers. We received warning on the radio about 15 minutes before hand. Not much left of one of the tractors, the cab was accordianed into the trailer and the engine just sat there like it was never touched. Two lives lost.

On we went towards the Columbia bridge. I would say highway traffic was more than normal for a weekday morning. We passed the Km 26 without a hitch and on we went to the Colombia bridge. We pulled into the patio of the bridge zone and we met a military checkpoint. They were concerned about all the vitamins so I showed the guy what they were and what they did. He finally said that it appeared they were working (ha ha).

Got to Mexican immigration and was met by my two friends from the Monterrey office. They were happy to see me. They said with all that was going on it had been slow. We chatted for awhile and they filled me in on the new changes. I was assured none would affect me but if you come on a tourist visa you will be tracked by your passport of origin and 180 days a year means just that. No more than 180 days a year.

What a difference between the American and Mexican sides of the bridge. We got to the American side and then the trouble began. Juan had to get a permit and was hassled for quite some time. He hadn't turned in his expired permit because we hadn't been to the states. He always turns them in when we get to the border. He was warned that it is a violation and he could have his visa suspended. So what was the solution they wanted? He needs to come to the border before it expires and turn it in. Bullshit. We won't change what we do. They were rude and very unkind. Can someone tell me why U.S. border agents need to be jerks to do their job? They even made my friend from the Netherlands cry one time. Real good for foreign relations.

Well, we got over that, bitched about it for about 35 miles and that went away. Same thing everytime we cross the border.

Got to San Antonio to find the rent house is in good shape on the outside and the yard was cut and trimmed by the tenant. We meet this week for the final inspection.

More on San Antonio later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Couple of Things


First off, the rain has come and it is wonderful. It started yesterday and continues, not a heavy rain but one that hits the ground softly, cools down the air and makes it great for sleeping with the windows open. We lost power this morning but right after that we heard sirens so I assume some one hit a power pole. By the time I got home from the gym power was back. I was in the middle of my Judge Judy show that starts at 5 a.m. when it happened. What a downer that was. Good thing is, all JJ shows are available on YouTube.

I went to the Cardiologist on Friday for the results of my 24 hour blood pressure monitor. I have peaks when I wake up in the morning and from my naps. I started my medication on Friday to stop the peaks which he says are caused by adrenaline rushes. I feel a difference already when I wake up.

Regarding the registration of Mexican cell phones: no one has lost service yet, but the weekend was a mad rush to register in person, via cell phones and the internet. Millions more have been registered since Friday.

So we are off for San Antonio in the next couple of days and I will be working like a dog getting the house rented. Not a big deal, I already have some firm leads. One is a neighbor who lives in front who wants a place for her daughter and another is a Mexican friend's cousin who is working and studying in San Antonio.

One nice thing is we will get to hook up with our San Antonio friends who we have known for years.

Yesterday we went to Blanca's house. Blanca is Juan's sister and we bought her a kitchen cabinets for her new "little" house. Her kids are all grown now and it is just her husband and one of her seven kids. Since it was Sunday, everyone came by and we drove from house to house visiting relatives.

Great nieces and nephews. The girl on the far right, Valeria, never smiled. She additional teeth in her mouth and very crooked teeth. After removing the extra teeth and putting on braces her whole attitude and appearance has changed. She is getting ready for her quinciñera next year.

These photos are just one side of the kitchen, the other side was still under installation.

I have been lining up rvs to look at while in San Antonio. I would like to come home with a new one. We already bought our tickets to go to Cincinnati for my brother's 70 birthday in June but if we have an rv we can drive there and use the tickets some other time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

House For Rent San Antonio 3/1/1 NEISD


House for rent in San Antonio, Tx. This is a 3/1/1 located off of Austin Hwy and Lanark. Three bedrooms, recently refurbished, high efficiency central heat/air, wall to wall carpet, auto garage door, screened side porch and fenced back yard. The house will be available for move-in May 1st. $850 per month.

Email qtla9111@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Think It's Just A good Idea


Every year rvers head into Mexico some with experience and others without. Some come with the attitude "nothing can happen to me". Murphy's Law is always at our backs and can prove us wrong.

Among things that can go wrong are stolen articles, documents, trucks, cars and rvs and there are accidents and fires. Heaven forbide if it happens to me. But it can.

Do yourselves a big favor. Scan all your personal documents. Take photos of all your possesions including the VIN numbers of your vehicles. Insurance in Mexico is worthless unless you have a copy of the policy. One person had an accident and the rv was totaled. He only had a receipt from his credit card showing he had purchased it on line. It won't work.

I have had the personal experience of helping people with accidents and stolen vehicles while here wintering. In all the cases they had either the documents or scanned copies. In one case, a check was cut in less than two weeks when Mexican law dictates a 30 day waiting period for the vehicle to be found.

My personal recommendation is to down load the scanned documents to memory sticks and have each person carry one on their person via necklace or in their pocket at all times and also have them on your email so they can be printed on a whim. Also have a back up CD with someone who can FedEx it to you overnight.

Don't get caught with your pants down. Mexican law is different. It isn't necessarily guilty until proven innocent although those are the concepts generated by rumor mills. The law is precise in proving ownership and I think it has to do with a lack of overall trust because so many people, and not just government, have their hands in the pie.

I am working on a list of national 800 numbers that we can all use for emergencies while on the road and enjoying the good life here in Mexico.

Let's hope all this mess settles down and we can look forward to a great winter experience. My motto has always been Know Before You Go! Get the facts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Another Record Day


This was another record day for the peso and the Bolsa Mexicana (Mexican Stock Market).

The Bolsa Mexicana reached another record high of 33,801 and take a look at the peso in relation to the dollar.

In addition to all this good news, something is happening in the national legislature. Three reforms are waiting for a vote:

1) national 911 service for all emergencies and crime reports

2) crackdown on pirating of music, video and name brand merchandise

3) instead of 1500 municipal police departments, 33 state police departments that handle all calls including traffic accidents, robberies, murders, etc.

Change is in the wind. Don't expect it tomorrow but I suspect it is coming as we can see the good overpowering the evil. A great stock market, a strengthening peso and a crackdown on crime. Let's hope it works.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Earthquake in Baja California Norte


I was shocked by the news today about the earthquake in Baja Norte. Seems like the Earth just keeps shaking and there is no spot that is free from its interior rage. This one started some 10 kms down and shook many far away places.

On a good note though, here is a quote from the SSN (Servicio Sismológico Nacional) in UNAM Mexico City: (translation below).

El sismo de 7.2 grados Richter que se registró ayer domingo en Mexicali, Baja California, fue un poco mayor al de Haití, pero el respeto a los códigos de construcción evitó un desastre como el ocurrido en el país caribeño, afirmó Carlos Valdés González.

The earthquake yesterday in Mexicali, Baja California which registered 7.2 on the Richter Scale was a bit worse than that of Haiti, but because of the implemented constructions codes a disaster like that which happened in the Carribean country was avoided , said Carlos Valdés González.

Amazing yet unfortunate, only two persons lost their lives.

Mexican Cell Phones


The apparent extension for Mexican cellphones has been rescinded. You must have your phone registered by next Saturday April 10th, 2010.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Family Outing - Cola de Caballo


Friends came last night to spend the evening and swim in the pool. We sat around and enjoyed the quiet. No neighbors this year, at least the noisy ones didn't come. Amen.

We sat outside most of the night enjoying the stars and sky having a few drinks and listening to the girls practice their English.

This morning we got up at 6:30, had coffee and off we went to Cola de Caballo with a trip to El Manzano, a place half way up the mountains between Santiago and Laguna de Sanchez.

The girls had never seen the waterfalls and were exciting about the trip. Before we left though, we got the bad news that a good friend's mother had passed away after a long illness. We decided to go to the waterfalls and then head into Monterrey for the velorio and leave our friends to fend for themselves. It wasn't hard they were very content to be here in the quinta. The weather has been great, up to 95 every day and cool evenings and even cooler mornings.

The traffic into Monterrey wasn't bad as we were going the opposite direction. Same thing coming back home. We did hit a snag when we got to Los Cavazos, todo el mundo, was in the lineup to take the turn around near our house. It took longer to take the turn around to our house than the trip from Monterrey.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Breakers Are Here!


Before I say anything else, if someone wants to know what I gave up for Lent the answer is an rv. Haven't I suffered enough?

Today is Jueves Santo and the highway has been packed all day. East coast beaches are seeing record numbers from Baghdad in Matamoros to Madero in Tampico down the coast to Barra del Tordo.

Buses are coming and going from our bus station in downtown Monterrey and reports from the Tapo station in Mexico City (there are three different bus terminals in D.F.) have a record 450 buses leaving hourly. There not going to get the best of us.

Here at home I took on the job of doing yard work and finishing my chore of taking down the miniblinds, washing them, washing the windows and the protectors. I'm done until next week. Friends and family are coming tomorrow to spend a couple of days and do some swimming. Only thing they don't know is that the water is still very cold.

So clean you can see the reflection of the truck in the window!

New trim aournd the pool along with a well-manicured lawn!

Last night, I was home alone and walked out to close the gate. It was almost an eerie feeling, the only street light on our road was off, no neighbors had arrived and it was so dark the only light was from the moon and the LEDs on our front porch spot lights. I loved it, had the rv been in the driveway I would have set up camp. A great boondocking spot.

After working like a dog today, we had tostadas de pollo. They were delicious. Of course, all this followed by a nap.