Saturday, July 30, 2016

Zacatecas International Folk Festival

With limited places to park for the festival we are at the Hotel Baruk.   I'm not thrilled paying for a place but it's level, has good power, and believe it or not, the best wifi signal we've ever had in any part of North America.   We have a good view of the city from our spot and the showers and hotel services are pretty good. 

We left San Miguel de Allende on Thursday morning.  We stayed another nother day because a friend from Monterrey was in town with her friends.  We went out for drinks and stayed up until 1 a.m.  We left Thursday morning late around 11 a.m.   I've never done that unless it was a short trip of an hour or so.  Great scenery.  We passed through Guanajuato, Jalisco and into Zacatecas.

Yours truly taking a mirror pic at the theater of the city.

Yesterday was spent walking around town, finding a place for the laundry and wonderful 35 peso breakfast that consisted of huevos rancheros and coffee.  The best salsa and refried beans I've had on this trip.

The Alameda park where we met the dancers for the callejoneada.

In the afternoon we went to the Alameda to wait for the arrival of the dance groups.  Groups from Panama, Nicaragua, Estonia, Argentina and Luxembourg showed up in time for the callejoneada.  We walked through the streets with a wonderful band drinking small cups or jarritos of mexcal.  The dancers from the other countries took tons of pictures and we did too. 

The groups from Panama y Nicaragua.

We like to do crockpot cooking while we're going down the road.  This dish was easy.  Two large chicken breasts, potatoes and brocoli.  The brocoli sat on top for the last hour and it turned out beautifully.  Everything is tender and tasty and with the potatoes it makes its own gravy.

Tomorrow morning I'll be making cinnamon rolls in the crockpot.   Great thing is, you can do this while going down the road or on solar.  One pot for easy clean up without using a lot of water.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mexico City and Back In Three Days

A quick three-day trip to Mexico City for work and it was great!   We started out taking Little Bit to the cattery out on the ranch at a place called Creature Comforts.  He loved it.  The cattery has a small house just like home with a sofa and furniture.   All the cats have their own carriers to take refuge if they want a taste of their own place.   We came home last night and I picked up LB first thing this morning.  Very happy to report he was well-acclimated, made friends and was well-taken care of.

We took a more expensive touring bus to D.F.  This one was a doble piso (double decker) and I have waited for two years to take one.  The experience was top drawer.  Only 25 seats on the the bus.  3 on the lower deck, and 22 on the upper deck.  One seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other.  The seats recline into full beds, television with movies, video games, television, music and most importantly internet that truly works while in route.

Lower deck, great for sleeping.  Has a reading light as well.

Staircase to the upper deck.

Great for nighttime travel, bring a blanket though.  Sandwiches, cold drinks and a sweet are included along with hot coffee during the whole trip.  I guess you could slip in your own cocktails.

Meetings are meetings but this was a good one.  A great team, downsized but even better.  More work for us and a more knowledgeable and experienced group.   I will be working for two weeks, starting August 8th, in D.F., Guadalajara, Tampico and Reynosa.   More air miles on AeroMexico.

It was raining when we left the office Monday night, it was raining cats and dogs and we didn't have the umbrella with.   We darted over to the World Trade Center to wait along with others hoping the storm would die down.

That's when I got the idea to go to the top of the tower to the revolving restaurant for some pictures.  We ordered one drink, I'll never tell what it cost but it was worth it.  I've stayed there for years and have never been to the top.   It was nice.   We watched the storm pass along with a jet passing every two minutes during rush hour.

We made our way up to the 45th floor to Bellini's Restaurant.  Very nice place and the service was the best.   

The trip home was equally enjoyable.  We watched a good movie, Saint Vincent, with Bill Murray.  Great scenery on the way home.

Turns out that a friend of ours is here for the night in SMA so we are leaving tomorrow for Zacatecas and the festival.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Excellent Dinner And . . . A Dog Bit Me!

The nice neighbor's dog bit me yesterday on my way to the showers.   He apologized and shortened the dog's leash.   He has his vaccination papers and all.  I guess I scared the dog.  I went to Similares for a 35 peso exam.  He gave me antibiotics.  I then went to the Centro de Salud where I have my universal healthcare and the gave me a tetanus shot no charge.  Took all of five minutes in and out.

We went out for dinner last night.  A great Italian restaurant on the way to Dolores Hidalgo just 15 minutes from the center of San Miguel de Allende.

Gotta run!  We take Little Bit to the cattery in about 30 minutes but I need some breakfast.  We then catch the bus to Mexico City at 3 p.m.  Our hotel is four blocks from the office.  We don't need to be there until 11:30 tomorrow morning.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When You Don't Fit In

I've never really fit in.  This picture is another example.  I can wear the suit but it's just not me!

It's really quite interesting how life is.  I spent almost a month boondocking.  As you know, I moved here to the rv park because of the storms coming and the fact that we need to leave the rv somewhere while we go to a meeting.  I feel like I've been a bad boy and I'm being punished being locked up in this weird environment.   

The funny part is that it's hard to restructure the brain.  I had difficulties reaching the electric outlet even though I had calculated the distance based on the best spot.  I tried different things to no avail.  The neighbors on both sides aren't here this weekend.  That's a good thing.  So I came back inside and pondered my options.  I saw my beloved extension cord but thought, " if I use the extension cord I won't be able to hookup the electric blanket".  Why not you might ask?  Because I was thinking I was still on solar.   I swear, I have become so addicted to being off grid that I could do this forever.  The solar works so well.   I would make some upgrades but other than that I have had an absolutely incredible few weeks boondocking.

However, the impending storm looms overhead and not being very level I didn't want to take on water through the bottom of the front door.   Did I mention that I took the door jam across the bottom apart only to find out it had never had any sealant of any kind?  Unbelievable.  The rv industry is highly unregulated.  That is fixed now and it was well-tested during the other nights storm.  Funny, a tree next to the bedroom slide started to grow onto the rv.  I had to move the rv forward a bit with the slide halfway out.

Another thing is the internet.  I have become used to using my Telcel USB stick that now with a connection, I'm still thinking "conserve the megabytes".   I'm free to use the internet signal but the mindset has changed.   I'll get used to it shortly.  BTW, the best sites I have found that consume the least amount of megas are FaceBook and Rv.Net.   Rv.Net I can read all night and it uses very little bandwidth.  

Well, I'm settled now and waiting for the big reunion tomorrow night.   Can't wait.  We have dinner planned at an Italian restaurant here on the road to Dolores for Saturday night.  

A lot has changed at home.   All good but we're back to, "it's time to move on".   

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Big Storm - Time To Move

A huge storm is heading into southern and central Mexico this week.  Mexico City has already had severe flooding along with other states.  Guanajuato is next.   The winds are picking up and will hit 40 kms per hour by tomorrow night.  The forecast keeps changing but it looks like torrential rains by this weekend.

I think I will put off the move to the San Ramon Rv Park until Thursday afternoon.  I went by today to check.  It's summer so they have room although there were three rigs parked there.  No special discounts.  I guess not when you're the only game in town.  That's okay, we have to move anyway while we are in Mexico City.   What the heck, I've been lucky for the last three weeks being parked here at the botanical gardens.   Tanks are probably starting to burst anyway.

It's been fun.  The rains have been almost everyday making it hard to get out and do much hiking in the canyon.  Warnings have been out since the middle of last week about hiking, walking and driving.  The showers are isolated and seem to hit at anytime making it difficult.  

Anyway, we're looking forward to Friday and the rest of the summer trip.   I can't wait.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tourist weekend SMA

A pretty exciting weekend.  I had my farewell party for the kids at school.  Some of the mothers brought tostadas, flautas, pollo con nopal, sandwiches, and I brought the cake.  We had music and played musical chairs as well as a game where you tie a balloon aroun your ankle and chase each other trying to pop the balloon.  I forgot the name.  A good time had by all and I’m sorry to see it over.  I think I got more pleasure out of it than the kids.

Saturday morning I got up early and as usual headed to the gym.  I’ve decided this last week to go later in the morning.   Less people and the body builders are not there to groan and grunt.  I don’t need to get out of bed everyday at 5 a.m. and get going.  What?  Could this be a lifestyle change?

In the afternoon I had big plans.  There was a gourmet food fest going on and everyone was talking about it.  It was in the local newspaper, a poster at the gym, even on social media here in SMA.   I thought it would be fun tasting different types of food and rubbing noses with a few people.  A friend from the gym sent me a link to the invitation.  First off, the good ole gps sent me one direction.  That wasn’t it.   The webpage was sketchy anyway so I stopped to ask.  Turns out it was right here on the highway to Queretaro about 6 miles away at a resort hotel.  The place was packed.  I pulled up and the guy said that valet parking was 20 pesos.  Sounds reasonable to me.   He asked if I had my ticket yet.  I told him no and asked how much it was.  500 pesos.  Que?  I turned around and headed home.  Sorry, I would have still had to buy drinks.   I opted instead for a great dinner of a pork chop, steamed broccoli and cheese pureed potatoes with a glass of wine.

This morning, no gym.  I watched a great program that was dated from 2008.  It was about the German woman who actually won half the battle over the lands surrounding the pyramid I went to at Cañada de la Virgin.  She was one of the local land owners and apparently there were plans to make it into a super tourist attraction complete with hotel, restaurant and shops.  She was able to get it stopped so that it is now an anthropological site.   Glad I have the television for this local station and news as well.

Off I went on my walk and I will just say I left at 9 a.m. and got back to the botanical gardens at 2:30 this afternoon.  I love watching tourists.  I’ll do it with pictures.

El Mercado Centro a few blocks from the Jardin.  Much better produce than the weekend and Tuesday market on the road to Queretaro and even better than Soriana or Mega.

Down the street from the mercado is this nice plaza where the locals hang out.  

As I was sitting in the Jardin this morning have an OXXO coffee for 14 pesos (Starbucks is double), I saw this group of kids, about thirty of them.  They were on a tour.  Sad to say, one of them came over by me and starting shouting, internet, internet.  Needless to say, they all rushed over and pulled out their cell phones.  End of the tour.

This makes for a great stroll through time.  In the Choperia near the Jardin are very interesting photos of San Miguel dating about to 1870.  Great to see the then and now and how few things have really changed in the historical center of town.

I had a small sandwich for my walk in the morning but by the time I was heading home up the hill I ran out of steam.  Midway, I hopped on the bus and went to the Sunday market.  I found these great enchiladas.  The nap after was priceless.

So, Juan arrives on Friday night.   We will move to San Ramon and keep the trailer there until we get back from Mexico City on Tuesday.   I found a great cattery on the road to Atotonilco called Creature Comforts.  Little Bit will be very happy there.  I was not expecting to find this type of place.  More on that later.  Can't wait for our trip to Zacatecas, Organ Pipes Natl Park and Durango.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Concrete Houses

A new neighborhood is going up just a few blocks from the botanical garden.  It will be a gated community with prices from 3 million to 5 million pesos.  They are working frantically to get the perimeter walls up so that when people come to few the plans they have an idea of what things will look like. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a concrete house built in Mexico.  Here in the south they use bricks that are made with wooden molds and fired in ovens where they burn just about anything including plastics.  Most of that practice though is coming to an end. 

Concrete block houses are labor intensive as well as a huge waste of materials.   I know, we built a house in Monterrey.  It was three stories and 390 sq meters.  It’s quite impressive to watch the construction.  The walls go up fairly quickly.   We watched the construction day by day thinking, wow, these guys really work fast.  Then came the big shock of shocks.  They began doing the wiring and the plumbing.   The walls and roof are on and it looks great.  A bit sloppy because they are going to cover the outside with a cement finish.   Then it began, all new to me.  They started chiseling through all of that newly set concrete block that we paid good money for.   They chisel canals for the electrical and plumbing.   The plumbing for the drains and water were already set when they did the foundation.   All those good blocks being destroyed.  

Then they began to plaster the walls.   They say good yeseros (yeso is plaster and the plasterer is the yesero) work best when smoking pot.   I wasn’t happy about visiting and smelling pot but hey, that’s what they do and I stayed out of the way.   The plaster is spread on the walls and then leveled.  They use a plumb line and it looks great.   For every kilo of yeso, about ¼  gets thrown out the window.  They scrap and level and once the excess hits the floor it can’t be used.  And don’t let anyone tell you that termites don’t work on concrete houses.  They do!  The plaster is mixed in big wooden tubs that have been used for years.  Scrapping and slopping around the mixture causes wood fibers to get into the job.  We had termites.  They have to drill holes in the walls and floors and inject the poison.
Today there are many alternatives to block.  New cement materials that make what we call thermal blocks that are better for insulation.  Concrete houses have an insulation factor of about an R -5.  The only true insulation is the Styrofoam blocks that go into the ceilings to reduce the weight.  They have even developed a cement block that is translucent and light can pass through it.  They look like cloudy ice cubes. 

At the end of this story, the workers up the street are finishing the outside walls of the gated community.  They have beautiful columns that are made from brick.   There are also mechanized brick companies but those bricks are made for aesthetic exterior use.  After the bricks went up, they covered them with a rough cement.  Once that dried, they chipped away at the cement to put a finished coat of cement (more wasted cement).   The decorative bottoms and tops went on which required chipping off the two coats they just put on.  Well, you get the idea.

If you’ve made it this far on this long and maybe uninteresting read, you wondering why I wrote this.  I’m sitting here waiting for the plumber to come and fix the toilet.  So if and when we build our final destination, we are using the narrowest block and putting metal framing, insulation and sheet rock on the inside.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Slight Itinerary Change - D.F.

Right now it's raining like crazy.  Typical afternoon shower to bring the temperature down to 14C.  I love saying that.  At home it's been a constant 40C.

Juan has reservation for a flight on Friday evening to Leon.   I got my agenda for the work I'll be doing in Mexico City the week of August the 8th.  Publishers are notorious for last minute changes and I got one today.  They want all of us in D.F. on the evening of the 24th for dinner and training on the 25th and 26th.   I started to respond to say, "sorry, but I have plans".  The money for the week of the 8th is really good plus my hotel and airline points.  I decided to wait and talk to Juan .  I sent him a message and just when he was calling me he received an invitation to join our consulting team.

Looks like we will have to find a place for the trailer for two days and a kennel for Little Bit.   I know that Flamingos Hotel doesn't take rvs anymore but what we really need is just a place to store it.  I was thinking about the rv park outside of Queretaro north of Juriquilla but I think Kevin said it had turned into a dump.  I wonder how safe it is?  Hmm.  Dilemma.

Other than that, it's been a perfect day with lots of activity including a $2.80 haircut that turned out really nice.  Better than the guy at home who cuts my hair.

Any ideas or suggestions for our trip.  I guess we could leave it here at San Ramon and the cat at a SMA kennel.  We can't drive to D.F. though and I hate taking a five hour bus drive because we will have to return on Tuesday night with us getting to the rv park at midnight.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Archaeological Site - Cañada de la Virgin

This is supposed to be a vacation but it felt like a regular work week.  Too many errands and running back and forth.  I decided yesterday that the weekend would be for me.   Apart from that, the botanical garden is having a 25th anniversary celebration this weekend.   It started out with a bang, literally.  Fireworks this afternoon were perfect for waking me from a great nap.   Not a complaint but just the way it is.   I am participating in some of the events tonight and tomorrow. 

So all these years we have been coming to San Miguel de Allende I never knew that there were archaeological ruins nearby.   In fact, today I learned there are over 1200 in the state of Guanajuato alone but only five have been completely restored and open to the public.
Cañada de la Virgen (the name has nothing to do with the site itself other than the fact that this is the current day name for the area) is located 30 miles from SMA heading towards the city of Guanajuato.  What a beautiful drive.  The highway heads toward Celaya and then cuts right going by the far end of the presa.  

Signs clearly mark the way and before I knew it I was parking at their visitor´s center.  Very well done.  I thought I would drive to the ruins and just walk around.  They have scheduled tours that leave every two hours.  I took the 11 a.m. tour.

Comfortable tour vans took us 8 kms to the site.   We got off and walked a kilometer up over the hill.   On the walk we stopped halfway at a covered area where the tour guide began telling us about the area.  The pyramids were built in 540 A.D. and the site was abandon like so many others around the year 900 due to the supposed drought that covered much of Mexico at the time.

As we continued up and over the hill there it was.   An excellent restoration that is constantly being maintained.   To keep the blocks together and in place they use the original mixture of baba from cactus (the slimy juice and I saw workers making it, they don’t by agave juice from health stores), cal or gypsum and rich black top soil.  The top soil is on one side of the pyramid.  This dirt was what covered the mound over the last 1000 years from wind, rain and dust.  

The foundations of rooms surround the main pyramid where the royalty lived.   Of the 15 tombs they have uncovered there is no sign of human sacrifice.   One interesting detail is that those they did discover were all missing their feet and no one has found any remains of those feet.  Yikes!

The detail of the main room on top of the pyramid still has some of the original painting on the wall.  It is now under conservation.  The site wasn’t discovered until 1985 and the land was owned by a German woman who refused to give it up.   Finally, the government used imminent domain to obtain it paying her for the land.   Since the 1800s and the advent of haciendas in the area the site has been pretty much looted although they have managed to find many artifacts. 

As I looked out over the plains I tried to envision what life would have been like.   As all other archaeological sites we have visited in Mexico the realization is the same.  Over the last couple of thousand years we haven’t changed much.  We still live in square houses with doors, windows and roofs.  This site even has a system of water canals. 


The tour came to an end and the two hours were way too short.  Cost of the tour was 39 pesos for the guide and the ride.  It made for a great day outing.   Tomorrow is Sunday and market day so I will have to juggle the events here along with that.  Fireworks here at the botanical garden will start at 6 a.m. so I will probably be up if not that will be my alarm.  A long walk down to the centro and then up the hill to eat something delicious at the market.  I’m already thinking about next weekend.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Caguama, Antenna, CellPhone And An English Class

Wow, what a day!  I didn't sleep worth a darn last night.  Thunderstorms and heavy rains kept the cat jumping off and on the bed.  He doesn't like to be held or under the covers.  He's a cat and has his own way of doing things.   Plus I think I had a bad bit of something in my porridge.  Anyway, I got back to sleep but didn't wake up until almost seven.  Sinful as far as I'm concerned.  I mean really, who sleeps until seven.  The cows can go dry in that short of time.

Went to the gym anyway and picked up my 4 kilos of laundry which included two blankets.  Usually, blankets are charged separately.  The whole deal was 56 pesos.   She even let me pick out certain items for line drying only.  What a deal.

FedEx said my package wouldn't arrive until 2 p.m. so I headed back up the hill.  BTW, if you don't know, SMA is undergoing several road projects.  Yep, you can conserve the historic center but the rest of the city demands growth.  It's actually faster to walk than drive these days.   I have to say, I used the GPS coming back from the school today and it showed me a route I didn't know existed.  Much faster but also interesting.  Looks like a good hike while I'm here.

So now you know that I am teaching.  It is a small group of kids and the are taking summer classes in Español, English and Art.  Today I worked with the Spanish teachers.  They are seventh semester university students studying pedagogy.   They like me showing them new ways of teaching and how to make the classes interesting.  They were a bit leery at first with me being a gringo and teaching Spanish.   We´re talking elementary basic Spanish so it´s not hard.   It´s the approach they need to learn.

Back to the laundry.  I came home and stopped by a construction site.  I offered them two caguamas (two liters of beer) if they loaned me a ladder to climb on the roof and fix the antenna.  Sure enough, they scurried right over willing to help.   I found the cable was broken in two.  I spliced it and the television works.  Now I can watch Mexican national news in the mornings with my coffee.  What a life!  What more could a person ask for; a warm bed, a hot cup of coffee, my  mascota (pet), and national news.  Wait!  Something or someone is missing.  18 days now.

I got the house cleaned up, changed the sheets and swept the floors and rugs.  That was my duty (deber) before enjoying a plate of enchiladas at the Tuesday market.  Way too many gringos.  I guess frizzy hair is the "in" thing now.  Oh well, I did what I wanted and goofed on gringos.  The enchiladas were the best.  

After, a quick nap and a stop by FedEx.  Messenger service in Mexico is very reliable.  I told Juan not to put insurance on the phone.  Packages always arrive.  I have used Estafeta, Red Pack, DHL, FedEx to send reports, books, materials and personal stuff since 1994 when I started working for publishers and have never lost a package.  For a few years it was a weekly event.  Even the Mexican post office with their special MexPost is very reliable and trackable.   I now have my old phone with camera that fits easily into my pocket.  

I watched a good movie last night; Marie's Story or in French it is called Marie Heurtin.  A great French movie about the savage deaf and blind girl who was taught by a religious order and became a teacher herself.  Similar to the story of Helen Keller.  European movies are more romantic and story-line driven. It was very good.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July Weekend - San Miguel de Allende

No fireworks going on here except for those at the cathedral every morning at 6 a.m.  I'm up so it doesn't bother me.

The weekend was pretty good.   Saturday I had a minor inconvenience.  I had gone to the gym in the morning, showered and decided to go goof on gringos at the organic market.   Never made it.  I went to Mega first to get a yogurt and a piece of bread so I wouldn't pig out at the market.  Big mistake.  It was a descuido (lack of care) on my part.  I set my cellphone down on top of the bread bin to keep my charola (tray) from sliding and falling.  I picked them both up and went to the counter.  Heading to the cashier I thought, "oh shit".  Sure enough, it was gone in a matter of 2 minutes.  No one saw a thing.  I'm still convinced it was the girls at the bakery, they sure looked guilty enough when I went back to ask them if they had seen it.

My fault, water under the bridge.  I ended up  going to Dolores Hidalgo to file a report and recover the same number and get a new chip.  Juan is sending my old phone and I will have it tomorrow.  The manager at the Movistar in Dolores told me it is non-stop.   Even he has had his stolen three times.  In the U.S. last year, 5 million were stolen.  Big business I guess.  Enough of that.

I took advantage of my day in Dolores to comfort myself with a rose petal ice cream in the main plaza.   I watched the goings on and took a well-deserved break.  Darn I really liked that phone.  I headed home and took a short nap and then a walk down to the lake.  Happy hour followed and I ended up finishing a good movie, "Young Guns".

Sunday was a blast.  I slept a full eight hours, not common for me.  I woke up at six a.m. I guess with the fireworks.   I decided to fire up the generator and make java in the Mr. Coffee.  Funny how my mind works.  I had a shorter cable made for a project that still hasn't been completed.  I used it with the generator and no 110.  Oh poop.  So I used the original cable and no 110.  Oh poop again.  What could be wrong?  I flipped all the breakers and bingo.  I guess being on solar so much you never think about those things.  Wasted energy in the long run.  I like my French press better and I didn't need any charging.

I showered and walked downtown to the plaza.  Headed back to San Antonio and had breakfast at an outside cafe for 50 pesos including coffee.   I enjoyed sitting back and watching people coming and going.  Off I went back up the hill.  I figure it was a 9 km walk round trip.   I went to the Sunday market purposely full so I wouldn't pig out.   Gringos only go to market on the hill on Tuesdays.  Weird.  I guess it's a cult thing.

Had a great afternoon nap and had a good chat on Facebook.  Fixed a nice pasta dish and listened to the rain.  If you've got solar you've gotta get an electric blanket.  I swear it is the best thing since whit on rice.  Uses very little power.   I keep it on low and put it under the sheets.  Traps the heat inside and sleep like a baby.

Well, I hope to be posting pics again anyday now.  BTW,  happy Fourth of July.   I got an automated email from my accountant in San Antonio saying they were closed for the holiday.  I had forgotten all about it.   Guess I've been here to long.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Today Is Quincena

Pretty much settled in here at the botanical gardens in San Miguel de Allende.  The trailer is performing at its best.  Two small glitches but  they really do no harm.  One is the antenna.  I need to fix the coax connection on the roof.  Getting up there is a bit difficult without a ladder.  I’ve used the SUV before but it’s not the safest.   The other is a drip from the toilet, fresh water.   I capped it and will just pour water when needed.   I plan on going through the Thetford parts list on line and maybe I can find a piece, order it and have Juan bring it down in a few weeks.

I had a great encounter last night.   I spotted a very nice Class B motorhome in the parking lot.  Towards closing, a couple from Quebec with their two daughters approached wondering if it was safe to spend the night out in front.   I told them yes and they pulled in across the road.  They are taking a trip from Quebec to Panama and back.  Lucky kids to experience this at such a young age.   They said they are selling their motorhome on the way home.  Next trip they need something a bit bigger with the family.  I would love to have that to travel to Chile. 

Today was managing “pendientes” (things to do).  I have a refund from my medical insurance I no longer carry as I am now in the social system.  Not a big amount but enough to pay the house insurance for the year.  The bank won’t honor the letter because the name doesn’t match my U.S. passport.  You’d think they would accept my Mexican residency card.   Oh well, that looks like an easy fix.  Went to our bank to pay the house insurance and today is “quincena” or payday.  The lines were way too long.   As they say, put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Showers at the gym.  Did I mention a sauna?  Nice!

I started at the gym and it will work out beautifully.   Although I like to shower before and after the gym I will use the facilities after workout.  Saves on water and I don’t want to have to pick up and move for a day to dump and then come back.  Hopefully now, I can put it off until we take off for Zacatecas.  I even rinsed out my workout shirt in the shower.  

I’ve always said, if we were to boondock in the U.S. for any length of time, we would take out a Gold’s Gym membership.  Most of their gyms are open 24 hours.  We can park overnight without any hassle, I mean what do I tell a cop, “sorry, but I’m here to work out, I have odd work hours”.  Another good and inexpensive source for overnighting.  It’s not in a pine forest but it serves dual purpose.

I wanted to see PBS News Hour update but didn’t want to use up my Telcel stick.  I went to cyber café and downloaded the hour program via aTubeCatcher for 7 pesos.   I had a great happy hour tonight watching the news.  Once the antenna is fixed I can have local Mexico news in the mornings.  Not a big television fan but I do like my news.

Tomorrow I’m heading down to centro for some early morning walking after the gym.   Maybe I’ll have a sidewalk brunch after workout J  Instead of goofing on bums, I think I’ll pick on a few snobby noses.

This place is like a labyrinth, I could walk here all day.