Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Why The Rush To Reopen Schools In Mexico?


It's going to be one of those blog posts.  The question raised is, "Why the rush to reopen schools in Mexico?"  The state and local elections are coming up on June 6th and they are going to be fierce.  Many political parties are vying for the same slots.  Sr. Presidente wants schools to open right away for a couple of reasons.

1)  To show he has the pandemic under control.  440,000 deaths and only 15,000,000 doses of vaccine applied.

2)  Polling stations are in schools.  He needs them to be opened, cleaned, and ready for voting.

3)  Rushing this week to administer a single dose vaccine to all teachers so that he can keep his promise of opening the schools, the economy, and by doing that keep his party in power.

There are now six candidates in his party that have been accused and a couple of them jailed for sexual abuse against women and minor boys and girls.  He has kept one of the candidates, Salgado Macedonio, in the race even though he has been officially kicked out by the federal and state election boards in the state of Guerrero.  He has been accused of raping three women.  Another candidate, who is now in jail awaiting trial, supposedly drugged and abused young men while luring them with promises of jobs and money.

Parents are not in favor of returning to school as we are expecting the third wave of the coronavirus.  Sr. Presidente says we are in the all-clear and returning to normalcy.  Okay?

Why would you want to return to school now in the month of May or even mid-May (waiting for the vaccine to kick in) only to have one month of classes before summer vacation?  Don't take away the summer vacation, there will be riots all over the country (students, parents and teachers).

On a lighter note, we sold our land in Allende.  I'm not sure I mentioned that.  We signed a contract at the notary and received the down payment.  The deal will be complete in two to three weeks more.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Rv Repairs And Upcoming Trip


Wacky weather continues here.  Today it will be 104F and tomorrow it will drop down to 55F.  We have a saying in Spanish, "Febrero loco, Marzo otro poco" which means, "Crazy February, March a little bit more".   I don't know what we say now that we are in the middle of April and it's just as crazy as it was in February.  

I bought a 100-pound bag (bulto) of Triple 17 fertilizer.  The weather for the weekend is 70% chance of rain and 40% on Sunday.  Ideal for putting down the fertilizer.  I have a spreader so that will be my Saturday morning project.  I figure if it is already raining I can cover the spreader so it doesn't get gunked up.  If I were to put it down today with the 104-degree heat, it would burn the grass.  So what if I get wet.

The cheesecake I made last week was a success.  Today I'll try my hand at chewy brownies with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  I noticed that some recipe websites now offer an adjustment calculator that allows you to adjust the recipe size.  Works great and I usually don't follow recipes very closely.  The cheesecake crust turns out much better being doubled and doubling the sugar in the crust but using brown sugar.  I used strained non-fat yogurt as well and it was smooth and light but with a lot of flavor and a crunchy crust.

As I said in an earlier post, I cleaned the roof of the rv and did some caulking.  The area around the never used antenna was looking a bit cracked so instead of filling it in I removed most of the old caulk and put down new.  Looks much better and sealed beautifully.  

I ordered new outer seals for the slideouts.  After a fiasco with the delivery of the seals, they arrived in Monterrey last week.  They were exactly the ticket I had hoped for.  It was a pain to remove the old ones as they had been glued on there for 13 years.  They were pretty much toast.  The saving grace is the additional gooey tape on the slide is still well-adhered and very sticky.  The seals I bought include a taped backing so it was double stick.  They went on pretty easily and they look great.  

Now that I've had my first jab I feel more comfortable outdoors.  I take my long walk to Santiago, still 10k.  When I get to the town I turn around at the 7 Eleven.  This little girl has a tag, scared to death, and very hungry.  I have been feeding her every day this week attempting to get close enough to read the tag but without any luck.  She may have gotten lost while tourists were visiting from Monterrey or escaped, I'm not sure but the tag has her name on one side and what appears to be a phone number on the other side.  Let's see if she hangs around long enough to help her.

We may have a two-week house sit coming up at the end of May in San Miguel de Allende.  A lot depends on second jabs and matching schedules.  For me, it's a done deal.  Anything to get away for a while.  Hopefully, we can do a hike with Les since he knows the area extremely well.

An update on el Presidente.  He is dead set on fossil fuels and spending 8 billion additional dollars to the already 24 billion dollar PEMEX debt.  He swears that gasoline prices are inflated by the station owners.  Prices have gone up 34% in the last year.  We are now averaging $4.50 a gallon USD.  Most of it is in hidden taxes.  The president has destroyed the energy business by now changing the energy reform kicking out private investment.  Those that are still here have decided to leave because they see the writing on the wall.  It's spelled V-E-N-E-Z-U-E-L-A.  The president has no interest in renewables and he will pour whatever funds he finds into PEMEX.  

He is also unhappy about the gubernatorial candidate from the state of Guerrero.  Salgado Macedonia has been accused of sexually abusing women who have come forward.  The president says it shouldn't affect Salgado's candidacy.  However, the INE (Instituto Nacional Electoral, National Election Institute that regulates and controls elections to ensure fair elections) decided that because of the accusations, Salgado shouldn't be allowed to run for office.  Well, Presidente Dingus thinks otherwise and has decided to create a constitutional reform.   

This is factual and you can check the information. Truly a sad situation we are in and the state elections on June 6th will either make or break the country.   Also, Netfli, Dinni, Apol as the president says them (Netflix, Disney and Apple), will now be charged an additional 7% tax and those funds will go to indigenous groups.  Wow, we've been working with indigenous groups now for 120 years, they receive everything for free, bilingual schools, food, monthly incomes, grains, fertilizers, farm equipment and much, much more but don't contribute to the nation or the economy in any way.  I'm slowly changing my views on these issues. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

She's Not Happy With Us - Cheaters and Liars


Mother Nature is not happy with us and it shows.  It rained lightly for six days last week.  We knew it wouldn't last very long but sure didn't expect what was to come.  At this moment, 16h30 on Tuesday, April 7th, it is 42C, 107F.  It's not pretty outside.  I was smart enough to get an early start.  Not hard for me since I'm always awake by 5 a.m.  I don't do weights on Wednesday, only the other four days but I do my 10k every morning.  

I returned home and did my two jobs for the day.  The first was to clean the roof on the rv.  I want to inspect it and seal around some areas where the caulk is getting some small cracks.  When we took the rv out two weeks ago, I was in bed looking at the ceiling.  I noticed that the ceiling paper was pulled a little bit above my head.  It has a soft spot but there is no tear in the rubber roof and all the sides are well-sealed and hard as a rock.  A minor issue, you can't expect a lot from a cheaply made travel trailer versus a $300,000 motorhome.  That doesn't mean we can't keep it in shape but it is cheaply built and has served us well.  It's now 13 years old.  

I also had the usual weekly sweep, vacuum, mop planned for today and got that out of the way while we get through this next couple of days of high temps.  They say it should last until next Tuesday before a cool front comes through again.

On to the liars club.  I was so excited to have found the van that I showed you in the last post.  I spent two days talking about it, planning it out, but I really didn't have my hopes too high.  These types of things rarely pan out and I was right.  You know, my dad never used bad language, well hardly ever.  It took something or someone to really piss him off to get him to say something.  And when he did he would say, "that SOB".  

We drove 50 km and upon arrival, the guy wasn't there.  He called though and said he would be home in ten minutes and he was.  Sounded good so far.  He lives in a very nice three-story home in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, all on the up and up.  A huge wall surrounds his home with an incredible picture window that overlooks Cumbres Natl Park.  I even commented to his wife what a beautiful home they had.  

He said, "meet me around the side of the house and I'll open the gate".  You never know what you'll find in someone's home.  (Mine is spick and span).  I was in utter shock.  Behind the gate, in this nice neighborhood, he had a junkyard with about 12 cars in it.  My jaw dropped.  He pointed to the back and said, "there's the van, look it over".  I was pissed.  He had used a picture of the same van, same color, same rv type decals on the side, just like the picture I posted the other day.  We asked no questions, we didn't even say goodbye.  Juan and I looked at each other and marched right out of there.  When we got in the car, I said what my dad would have said.  I reported his ad to the newspaper which also appears online.  

On a lighter note, we met the couple who are sure they want to buy some land from us.  They live in Mission, Texas, and have the MIL's house here where they come to every couple of weeks.  Turns out we know some of the same people here and there and it turned out well.  We will meet again this Saturday when they return.  These things take time and we are more than willing to work with them.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Got The Vaccine and Other Good Things Going on


For starters, last Monday we got the vaccine.  It's called SinoVac and has a varying efficacy rate depending on reports from countries that have used it so far.  

They opened at 8 a.m. so we arrived at 7:15 a.m.  People were already lined up and going into the gymnasium.  You had to have your registration form printed out or on your phone, an official ID such as voter registration, driver's license, or the INAMPAM card (Official retiree discount card).  I used the latter and we were ushered in.  This has to be the most well-orchestrated event I have ever attended.

We were ushered to our seats and doctors and nurses passed through the rows taking info and filling out the official proof of vaccine shot one; illnesses, disabilities, age, etc.  It went fast.  We said hello to people we knew from town and our Monday group was only letters A through G.  Still, over 1000 people showed up.  They had an additional staging area set up outside under a permanent covered area.  

At 7:55  the military, in pairs, carried in the refrigerated vaccines and set them up at each of the eight stations.  Five minutes later they started sending one row (front to back) up to the stations.  As a row finished, they ushered in another row (same number of people) from the outside staging area to take the empty sits.  It was constant motion.  Once we got our shots we were sent over to another area for a 30-minute observation.  

After, we were asked to exit, and on the way out all of the event workers thanked us for coming and participating and handed us a bag with vaccine information, bottled water, and a snack.  Again, I have never seen such organization.  This went on for four days and then they moved on to Laguna de Sanchez which had been evacuated a week earlier because of the fires.  They finished that group on Friday.  

On the home front, we have an appointment with a couple who are interested in buying a piece of land we have for sale.  Construction is booming here in Mexico and people are buying.  In the north, the formal economy hasn't suffered as much and banks are loaning at great rates.

Before that though, we are going to see this van.  I'm tired of keeping the trailer up to snuff and as you know the SUV is now 16 years old and although it runs well we are looking for a change.  Not sure if we would sell the trailer or not at this point.  We want to be more mobile and not have to skirt cities and take sh---y bypasses or libramientos, and also be able to park just about anywhere we want.  I've been reading and watching videos on van life and how to DIY.  Of course, I have some limitations on the DIY and would have some of the work done.  It's not a big van but it has some good things such as a fold-down bed in the back cabinetry and 12V throughout.  I'm taking the tape measure with me and we'll check it out.  Priced right.

If we were to get a van and we didn't like it, fine we can always sell it and buy another rv.  Nothing is forever.  Besides, its fun just to dream a little and experiment.