Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lots Going On - I'm Being Lazy

I really haven't been lazy but trying to get over a sinus infection/allergies.  The molds in the air plus all the pollen have made my head a one huge dizzying stopped up piece of mush.  BTW, as I write this I have had my first sneeze.  Maybe it's good to talk about these things.   At one point I had to keep my head tilted back as water was just pouring out of my head.   My hearing is impaired and my ears are starting to ring.   Is that a good thing?  I spoke with the doctor and he said, "learn to live with it".  I have most of my life.  I got away with it last year though and I thought I was on a roll.  Damn rain.

I had many school invites and evernts this week.  May is a busy month with all the possible days you could imagine from parents to students to teachers.   Not much learning went on this month but everyone had a good time.  I guess that is important.  Here is one of the events I MC'ed.  It was a banquet and show for Family Day.   There were six hundred guests.  The show was a tribute to Michael Jackson and all the students danced, sang and even had a Jackson imitator as the show host.

Yesterday afternoon we went into town for a dinner and family get together.   It was nice but we could see the storm a-comin' (you only use the "a" before a verb for something really big :) ).   When we got to Monterrey you could see it coming, 60km per hour winds and lots of pressure in the air.   We only found out later that the storm had only hit at home.  Huge downpour.

We spent the night at the house in Monterrey.  It was a late evening, at least for me.  I didn't get to sleep until about 12:30 a.m.  I wasn't any good all day today especially with the head problem but I am a real trooper.  

After a typical Mexican breakfast at a restaurant called Chilo's, we headed downtown to the convention center for the annual Mexican crafts show.  Lots of junk and then a lot of really nice stuff.  Several Egyptian stands as there are lots of Egyptians in Mexico and they came mostly after the revolution.  They bark back and forth at each other from stand to stand.  They are very friendly and accomodating.  Most live in Guadalajara.

Main hall of Cintermex.  There were three shows going on; dog show, VW beetle show and the crafts exhibition.

Some of the many 200 plus stands.

Me with a native Wixaritari from a region between Nayarit and Durango.

We talked during our tour of the exhibition about maybe doing something like this as a way to travel and also earn some money.  We spoke with several vendors as well as the organizers who sponsor vendors in shows all over Mexico.   We have an rv, we could sell a Mexican product like clothes from the south and have some fun.  It's on the table for discussion.  Worst case is we learn something new.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Weather, A Lonely Cat, And Then Me

Another vegan whole wheat I made today.  I mixed two different flours together, one finer and one on the course side.   Provided more body yet it's still soft and I think it will stay moist longer.  I've gotten pretty good at this.   If I had more yeast I would make another loaf tomorrow.

The weather has held up the last two days.   Mostly overcast but the sun has shone it's face in the mid-morning or early afternoon.   More is on it's way and the humidity is unbearable.   This afternoon I turned on the A/C in the bedroom for a nap and this is where I have stayed.   The pool is nice now as long as you can stay in the water.   Mosquitos are everywhere.  We may have to purchase the mosquito killer that Kevin and Ruth have recommended from Amazon.

Found this guy on the road working away.  Wouldn't budge no matter how close I got.

Little Bit is lonely these days without Missy.   He sleeps while we're gone during the day and then when we're home he is like glue on paper.  I like that and I am glad he wants the attention.   I think he is getting used to the idea though.   I check the cameras and you can see he doesn't go outside much.   But when he here's the gate open he comes running out to greet me.   Good cat.

As for me, summer is here and I still haven't found anything interesting to do.   School is winding down and I have told them that December may be the end.   It's time to do other things besides working at least what now feels like a regular job.   Although I make my own hours and usually only go 3 hours per day, I feel like I'm tied down.   Not sure what will come next.   I still have a few more years to catch up with social security and I want that to be done so that I know we will have some additional income.  

I was thinking the other day that we should sell the SUV and the trailer and just take short trips to places we like.  I think I was feeling sorry for myself and by the time the day was over all that b.s. had passed.  I wouldn't let this baby go for anything.   We may get a good rv cover though, I don't like it just sitting there in the weather.

Hurricane season is upon us, early this year.  They are predicting six big ones  and they are already making preparations in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.   Great, I love rain.  :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Clintons And Their Money

I'm having a hard time grasping the media rage over the Clintons and their money.   I'm neither Dem or Rep so I think I can see things a little bit straighter than others especially since I have lived outside the country for so long similar to our Canadian neighbors.

It's a fact that the Hillary and Bill are the highest paid politicians on the speaking circuit.  What does that tell us?  They are in demand by major companies such as:

Why the demand over other politicians from the same or other parties including Bush and Cheney?  They have something people want and they are willing to pay them to hear what they have to say and what they have to offer.

That said,  I wouldn't vote for Hillary because she is a woman.  In fact, personal opinion here, I didn't vote for Obama.  I'm not a party man, I wouldn't  have voted for him because he was black.  I know how this works and people will vote for Hillary because she is a woman, or another female candidate.   After that, it will be a gay candidate.   That's not a reason to vote.  Vote for the best candidate.  That's the problem with party loyalty.   We're talking about a country, a population, and much, much more.

Just my two cents for the day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Isolated Shower? - Nobody Saw This Coming

 Early afternoon!

Just breaking and that wsa before the winds.  Did I mention hail!

Worked from 7:30 to 1:30 today getting the backyard in good shape.  I power washed the patio, deck and the palapa roof.  Scrubbed down the patio furniture and the place was a shining example of pride in ownership.   We even swam in the pool for the first time this year.  We celebrated with a cold beer which I rarely drink and then a long 1.5 hour nap.  I've been sick the last few days with either a head cold or allergies.  I think it is the latter.

At four p.m. while I'm leisurely waking from my afternoon nap I heard the first clap of thunder.   We knew we were going to have an isolated shower or two but not what was coming next.  I Spanish we call it a tromba.  It's like a torrential downpour with tornado winds.    It literally destroyed the trees and the yard.  Tree limbs down, patio furniture scattered around and the pool, oh lord what a mess.  Water is still standing in most of the yard at 3 to 4 inches.

Monterrey is reeling from it now with downed billboards, flooded streets and I can imagine downed power lines.   Our power stayed on but just barely, lights flickering on and off.

I long for Guanajuato.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Need A Summer Job

It's been five months since the rv has left the driveway.  The road will not be paved tomorrow, but they have made progress and the water lines are in.  Now we are waiting for the bidding on the sewer and drainage.   The road is in good enough shape to take the Funfinder out.  

I need a summer job for two reasons.  One is to get out of the heat for the summer so it could be in the U.S. or Mexico.  Second, it would be best in the U.S. so that I can get a W2 for the hours I put in.  That would go towards increasing my social security which, by the way, has increased by 400 dollars since I have taken on work in Texas high schools.  This Spring was very very slow though as the SAT and ACT tests are being changed to computer-based tests.  

I had found a job as a camp director for overweight kids.  The HR person was very interested in me, so much so she put me in contact with the camp owner (they have several camps around the U.S.).   I started to interview with him via Skype but the signal wouldn't keep up, he got busy and so did I.  It was good money though, five weeks for $7000 plus room and board and expenses.   

I've been checking Craigslist. The stint we did at Hacienda Contreras was truly the best because the weather was fantastic.  Cool summer air and thunderstorm every afternoon at nap time. 

So if you know of anything I am willing to travel. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Busted By The Federales

One's turn will always come up and it did yesterday.  After celebrating teacher's day (Friday, May 15) with one of the schools I do consulting, I peeled out of the parking lot and headed home.  It was a long day and I was looking forward to my nap.  The luncheon was fantastic with live music and a truly delicious meal.  

The ride from Allende to home is through a winding highway that takes you through the mountains and to be honest it is fun to drive in my little 5 speed VW GT.   I usually drive 120 to 130 kms per hour and the zone is marked at 80.  Most people drive like I do anyway, afterall, we're out in the countryside.

I know these boogers hang out and they have really been on the prowl the last month.   Their tactics are getting better and they have found some good hiding places.   I keep a keen eye out for them but they nabbed me.   

Very nice police, we shook hands, he asked where I was going and if I was in a hurry.  He checked my driver's license and my car registration.   He said he would write me up.  This is going to hurt.  He charged me 60 minimum salaries, our about 3600 pesos.  If I act in the next 15 days, I can get it discounted to around 1500 pesos.  

So when you hear of federales stopping a foreign plated car and asking for a few thousand, that really is the ticket amount for speeding.   Thirty years of highway driving and my first violation.  

Live and learn.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lazy Sunday and Basketball

I goofed a bit yesterday and paid the price.  I've done some major diet changes since the end of the year.  I've left many food items that I used to love and really don't miss them.  Then yesterday, after a hectic morning driving around Monterrey, I decided to pick up Chinese.  It included meat (not on the list anymore) and greasy food (oil is out of the picture as well).  About four in the morning I got the call.   I was up after that.  Sorry for the details but I learned my lesson.  Back to what I now enjoy and have lost weight and lowered my blood pressure as well.

Some good friends of ours, invited us to their son's basketball game.  He plays for the state of Nuevo Leon (high school).  They played against Sinaloa here in town.   I wanted to go and hem hawed around about it.  The game started at 8 a.m.  At 8:10 I said, "let's go".   I hopped in the shower and off we went.  It's not far as it is on the southern edge of Monterrey.   We got there for the second half and what a game it was.   I'm not big on American football, soccer is okay but basket has always been a sport I liked.   Good memories as a kid and also my years in San Antonio and being a Spurs fan.

Cheerleading team with the star player!

After game wrap up and major pigout.

Great game and Nuevo Leon won.   We headed out for a celebratory breakfast with our friends and that was Sunday.  I came home, took a very long sleep instead of a nap recovering from my malady.  I got up, and believe it or not, my blog post yesterday on procrastination got me off my butt and I have been working for the last three hours.   Sometimes that's what it takes. 

BTW, if you have time and want to hear a great podcast, log into The Rv Summit and listen to Kevin and Ruth about how they got their start in fulltiming along with their full story.   You'll love it.  There are some other good talks on there too, if I may recommend one with Mike & Marcia Neundorfer.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Procrastination - A Wonderful Thing

You reach a certain point in life where you just really don't give a hoot about whether things get done or not.  I realize now that they do get done and that some guilt for not having an agenda, a list, or some other b.s. excuse doesn't affect me anymore.

I can think of four things that I said I would do this weekend and I haven't even touched them.  They are all about work stuff and getting paid.   So what if the money isn't in the bank.  If I don't need it, then does it really matter when I get paid?   

Put off until tomorrow what you could have done today.  If you die today, let someone else figure it out.

On another note, the rain just doesn't let up.  This week though, they got most of the water lines on the street tested and they all prove good and ready to go.  Another contractor will be here soon to start on the drainage.  That won't be good.   That will run down the middle of the street and that means blocking things off for days at a time.   Oh who cares, we can always move to the house in town and be done with it.  Not my worry anyway.   I got them to agree to pave the street after 12 years of fighting, let somebody else take up the sword.

The only downside to all of this is that there is an rv sitting in the driveway that isn't getting any use.  We're already talking about summer but waiting for the elections on June 7th.   We may have an independent candidate winning the slot for governor of Nuevo Leon.  This guy is a fighter and has a reputation for honesty.   Once elections are done, we can make some decisions about the next couple of years.   If I repeat myself mea culpa.   If things go the way we are hoping, he will be asking for a six-month permit every year which will allow hims six months working and six months off.  Yahooo!!!!

But for now, summer and a few weeks are good for me.  It is probably going to be Real de Catorce, San Miguel de Allende and somewhere in Jalisco with a few days in Guadalajara.   Texas is way too hot but at the same time, the west Texas mountains are attractive too.

I found this company, Jucy Rentals that offers a low-cost camping option.  They have three pickup locations in the western U.S.  Maybe a California escape would be fun too.  There rates are lower than a motorhome or Class B but still a bit high.   Time is still an issue for us.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

Beat The Thunderstorm and Hail

We had a great weekend with friends celebrating birthdays.   We also had a chance to visit our tenants only to find out that they love the house and it is in pristine condition.   They purchased their own lawn mower and weed eater saying they want to do the yard work themselves.   They have made some minor improvements and I am ordering an a/c maintenance tuneup.   

They showed me their new washer dryer acquisition in the garage.   They told me there was no dryer vent outlet.  What?  Not sure what the other tenants did but no one ever said a word.   I went to Lowe's and bought a longer vent hose and a vent wall outlet.  

There is also a lot of ground movement in the area, always has been.   I don't like cracks and like to stay ahead of them.   Sure enough, there were the normal settling cracks in the corners of the windows in the master bedroom.   I found someone to fix that and replace the sheet rock.  The last two attempts to tape and float doesn't seem to have done the job.

We did some shopping, bought some grass seed and fertilizer only because we were there and it hit us in the face.  "Do it now" is the slogan.   We hit some garage sales and picked up a few things to further clutter the house.   We saw an estate sale as well and it was a gold mine.   

The hotel in Laredo was exceptional and the one in San Antonio marginal.  I'm pretty critical of hotels and I guess the San Antonio was pretty good but could use some minor improvements or suggestions.  

We drove home with an overcast sky.   I started out a bit sleepy but by the time we hit the border I was wide awake.  We took off at 8:25 and arrived at 2:35.   It was a fast trip and a good one coming home.   No issues of any kind on the road except for after we unloaded the car.   A huge "tromba" or downpour hit.   Soon I could hear ice hitting the dome in the entry way.  Sure enough, it was pea-sized hail.

That's all for now.