Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Warning - Political Post

You heard it straight from the man's mouth.   Things couldn't be better and the U.S. is the greatest country in the world.   Well, not quite so true.  The U.S. seems to be struggling with immigration both legal and illegal, the stock market, tax reform, severe drug addiction, terrorism threats, and wages.

None of the above have been resolved by either the Democrats or Republicans.  I'm sure you were expecting me to rip the Republican party to pieces but I really see no difference between the two.  The system is antiquated, relies on the electoral college to elect a president, and hasn't seen bipartisanship in ages.  Many Americans were amazed to find out that the electoral college overrides the popular vote.  The electoral college has been in place since 1787 and was originally called the Virginia Plan.  

Immigration reform has been in the process since 1985.  What does that say?  The two-party system doesn't work very well or they would have reached an agreement by now.  It also says that politicians have decided that their positions and salaries, along with kickbacks and lobbying fees, are much more valuable than the populous at large.   Their indecisiveness has created a population of 12 million illegals living in the country.   There are pros and cons to the issue.   As everyone knows that if they were removed from the country there would be severe underemployment which is not good for an economy.  I have to admit that although I live in Mexico and support my country I think that the U.S. has the right, under certain conditions, terms and laws, to deport the majority of illegals.  That said, no one ever did anything about the issue.  Big government is to blame and I have always said that we need to reduce government.  Let the natural laws take hold such as eliminating minimum wage.

For any of you who have traveled to other countries, you well know that everyone loves their country or at least the majority of its population.   If not, ships would be lining up to get into the greatest country in the world.  For me, Mexico is a great country.  Some of you readers live here and travel here.  If it were so bad, dangerous, and overall an undesireable place to live this wouldn't be true. Why some of my own family members, the majority, have never even visited and some never will for whatever reason they choose.  That's a mentality issue and lack of education.

Drug addiction in the U.S. has been blamed on Mexico and South America.  Absurd.  No one has been forced to use or take drugs.   There are many reasons people do drugs and if the last year is any indication, one might think that it is a conspiracy or plot being carried out by other nations or a covert group looking to take over the country.  I could believe that as we have Trudeau, Trump and Peña Nieto in North America and it could very well be a plot by the infamous Chinese to take over North America and shove their cheap and worthless products  on them.   Tongues in cheek I'll leave that for another post.  China bombs if you're an rver!

I could go on but I'll leave you with some facts about Trump's infactual facts along with visuals.

Trump even falls short in comparison to Barack Obama’s first year. The S&P 500 gained about 33.3 percent from inauguration through Jan. 29 under Obama, compared with 25.5 percent under Trump.
Only about 50 percent of Americans own stocks directly or through retirement funds, according to a Gallup survey. And most of the value in stocks is held by the top 10 percent.  This is an indication that very few Americans actually have a 401K.

Trump once again takes credit for something that began to happen before his presidency. Wages have been on an upward trend since 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in fact their growth slowed during the first year of Trump’s presidency.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Real Deal And Other Thoughts


We're kind of moving along at our own speed here.  The weather hasn't improved, still cold, wet and gloomy. 

A couple of good things going on.  We paid our tags on the vehicles and the rv along with a juicy 15% discount for paying in January along with our property taxes.  I won't say what our property is valued at but our taxes this year with a early-pay discount come to $112.  OTOH, we have shitty roads in some places and things aren't maintained quite as well as other countries.  As I've always said, you get what you pay for.  Foreigners like cheap but at the same time don't b"#$% about it.

Speaking of the ¨real deal¨ I sometimes hear and read about products or services  people find in Mexico but ¨they just aren't the same as at home¨.  Of  course not my dears, this is Mexico and we have much different tastes.  Chinese take out is one of those.  It's loaded with meat and fried items because that's what we like and Chinese immigrants are smart enough to cater to the desires of the masses.   Have no expectations, I always say. 

As a good example, we went to the movies tonight.  People are pigs.  They leave there trash behind for someone else to pick up.  Trash cans everywhere on the exits and inside the theater salon.  Juan said, ¨they should put a notice on the screen during the previews or at the end¨.  It's just not our culture and people would actually complain and feel insulted if they did.  Try it sometime in Mexico if you see someone littering.  The response will be something like CTM an acronym for something not quite polite.

The SUV got a smart makeover.  The bumpers were repainted, some dents removed and a major deep surface cleansing and waxing.  She shines like new!  Ready for adventure.

It's a 2005 with over 350.000 kms.  It had a slight tick in a sticky valve which is endemic to this model.  We have been using an additive to the oil changes and surprisingly, it has made a huge difference.  I expect it to disappear in another oil change or two.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Merida - Wish I Could Have Stayed Longer

I was in Merida two years ago for a local ELT convention.   I returned again on Monday but didn't get a chance to really enjoy the city.  It was a work trip and it was less than 24 hours.  That's what I do and I could always extend the tickets and stay longer but I'm just not into hotels and sightseeing by myself.

I worked with a group of sales people this time around.  It was definitely a different experience and I would have to be creative to hold their interest.  It worked.  The day flew by and they asked that I come back again.   Not sure how it happened, but I ended up with a first class ticket coming and going.  Very relaxing.  I have enough miles now on AeroMexico that I could always ask for an upgrade but we're already at two round trip tickes in Mexico or the U.S. so I prefer to continue saving.

Back to Merida, it has become a beautiful city.  Everyone mentions the fact that it is the safest city in Mexico and I don't doubt that.  It is also one of the cleanest cities and you see that everywhere you go.  The colonial architecture is well-preserved with avenues and streets in excellent condition.  Don id I mention the local cuisine?  Good eats!  Some how we need to find our way down to the Yucatan which would require quite a bit of time off.  Someday.

Don't ask me about the weather here at home.  It's not getting any better.  Yesterday and this morning I woke up to 1C.   This week it will be rain and -2C for two nights so we can expect some type of white stuff.  This is the coldest and longest winter we have experienced in my 33 years here.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Meeting Up With A Caravan - Start To A New Year

What a great ending to a Christmas vacation.  Yep, we didn't rv this last month but we now have a bit more freedom to do so.  The house is sold, we start back to school tomorrow and I hit the work road also heading to Merida for a day.   

However, an important pair of wagon masters crossed the border today and we just couldn't help ourselves but meet them as they passed not 30 kms from our house.  

The timing was amazing.  We arrived at the same time.  I had called Ruth at around 9:45 to see if all went well at the border.  No issues to speak of but you can get the scoop from them.   We agreed that about two hours was a good time and it all worked out.   Only downside was that they have a schedule to keep and the wagon master gave the wagons 30 minutes to gas up and hit the road for Saltillo and all points south.   It was great seeing them.   We are so accustomed to seeing them every year that it was great having a few minutes to chat.  Who knows, we could meet up with them as they exit the country later this Spring.

Over the holidays, mostly spent here at home, I hit the baking again.  I let the oven go though and have adopted using the crockpot.   I have discovered that I need a larger, oval-shaped pot to accomodate bread pans.   I made a loaf of whole wheat, pumpkin bread, and yesterday, a loaf of banana nut.  They're all vegan recipes but you'd never know it.  A little flax seed soaking in water makes a great egg substitute.  So easy and I stuck the crockpot in the rv and let the solar pay the tab.   Slow cookers and electric blankets do well on rv solar.   

Happy hours this last week were held in the rv.  I figured it was better to driveway camp then not camp at all.

Monday, January 1, 2018

I Asked The Question - This Was The Answer

I always have so many things I want to blog about but they seem petty or uninteresting or at least I think so.  Readers have told me in the past they like to read whatever I post.  

Today being the new year and all, I wanted to post but not the same old thing.  Fireworks pictures, a shiny gold ribbon and the script letters of Happy New Year.  

I made the mistake of asking what would be a good post for the new year and this was the response,   "Write about fake people".  Here goes. 

This last year was a year full of fake people in my life.  I'll be honest, I'm cynical and sarcastic but I think most of you would agree that overall I'm a pretty nice fellow and very  helpful when it comes to rving, Mexico travel and information about living here.  No bullshit from this guy.  I blog based on facts and not some two-week experience I might have had ten years ago in Baja California.

Mexico is a big country and there are many cultural differences within the country not to mention those that clash with the U.S. and Canada.  We've had lots of guests over the years both family, friends, and also unknown rvers who look for a place to stay and maybe glean some travel information or get a good feeling from us about what they're doing and if it's safe, smart, or on target.  Some people don't get it and do just the opposite or they complain about why things aren't the way they are in their country.   Many of those over the years guests and general inquiries were pretty fake though.  They would shake their heads in agreement around a campfire and then walk off and think I was a nut.  Let's face it, I tell it like it is and that's the best I can do.

We've helped many an rver stranded, lost, injured or accidented and some have been thankful although we don't expect it.  Others have moved on, and we've never heard from them again.  Some I may have offended but it was only because they didn't like the advice or help they received.   

One thing I have learned to be true over the years, and if we have ever done that then I plead guilty, is the fish rule.  "Guests are like fish, after three days they start to stink." That has only happened a handful of times but they knew who they were and well, we'll just leave it at that but they know who they are.  Then there are the users and abusers.   But hey, another old saying comes into play, "Sometimes being too nice is dangerous, you have to show your mean side once in awhile.

So, here is list of a few things that define fake people.

Sneaky people who go behind your back to find out information about you or what you've said.  The recent incident of a blogger comes to mind.  That's a good example of someone who is a plotter.

They'll be your friends with you, party with you and drink with you when you're together.  But when you need help with something they're nowhere to be found.

If someone suddenly and magically disappears or moves on when you need them most, that is fake.  Don't even bother getting in touch with them again.  Fake people love to ignore situations where they might have to get involved.

When someone claims to never get mad or upset about stuff then they're fake.  Why?  Because fake people have zero emotions.  Real people have passion, get upset, mad and get pissed off.  I do that because I'm a real guy.  However, most of the time it is passion or frustration not anger.

There you have it.  Of course, most of  you readers aren't any of the people I would refer to as fake and that is why we have maintained close and keep in touch.   We have a mutual passion for Mexico, rving, having fun, talking about politics, religion and sex and sharing a great bottle of scotch or fixing a big Mexican breakfast for everyone or hosting a party in their rv for 16 people.  

Happy New Year!