Monday, April 30, 2012

Organized

7AM - Being organized
When the TiogaRV Team were moving around every day, we did not think much about accomplishing things. We got a sense of accomplishment simply by being vagabonds! Now, it is different. We want very much to be accomplishing the many tasks that we have assigned ourselves.

This means, "being organized" We cannot afford the luxury of frittering away our time during the day by simply wandering around doing things. That way does not work for us. For example, the AdSense people have suggested a better way of displaying their ads on our site. Since we have way over 100 pages, this task would take weeks to complete. We do not want to spend more than 1/2 hour on this AdSense update

So, we have come up with a way of organizing our day without doing one of those Franklin Planner things. We are more relaxed than that! This morning we went over every one of our tasks, and prioritized them into "Tasks that we want to do today" and "Tasks that can do another day".

Since we got organized, our workstation desk is so neat and tidy!.
Our tidy desk!

Jorge at forward desk


8:30PM - 1&1 Internet
Just after making the above "Being organized" post, MacBook tried to upload the two pics that you see above. Our FTP [File Transfer Protocol] program could NOT connect! Without that FTP connection, we cannot show pics to you.

So, using our new cell phone, we phoned up 1&1 Internet at their location in New York City. It took about 1/2 hour before FTP began to work again. We have used many web hosts before settling down to using only 1&1.

Our experience tells us that 1&1 is the best web host in the world. Their customer support is always highly trained AND, customer supports speaks English AND Technical Support answers their phone promptly.

We on the TiogaRV Team highly recommend 1&1 Web Hosting Service.

2PM - Workstation rebuild
This morning MsTioga traveled to central Tequisquiapan. First we dropped off our laundry at Zamiri Lavanderia. Then Ferreteria San Juan, large hardware store that has a big lumberyard behind. I like this place because they will mill up wood that I buy very inexpensively. Also, the lumberyard has the right equipment, such as radial chop sawing machines, which many lumberyards do not have.

After selecting one piece of 1/2 x 4' x 8' plywood, the plywood was cut to the widths necessary for the entire rebuild. Cost=516 pesos [41US].
Wood for workstation rebuild

93°F
Clear



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peluchita

7AM - Peluchita
Two dogs live next door, Peluchita and Jack. Peluchita gets to roam free. Jack has to stay in his yard, often tied up in the corner. I am not really sure of Peluchita's name. I have a hunch that they call her Peluchita because she has weird strange fur.

Peluchita was barking at MsTioga this morning, and I went outside to say hello. Peluchita is timid, cautious. It took a lot of coaxing until she came close enough to sniff my hand. Then she came closer for me to pet her little head.

Last week I bought some dog food for Peluchita. This morning I gave some of that food to her in the bowl that I bought especially for her. She ate everything!
Peluchita is not so afraid anymore


10AM - Want to see some flowers?
Reader Ochelle asked to see the flower she saw in one of New Mavicita's pics. So, New Mavicita went outside on our lot [that we want to buy] and took pics of all the flowers she could find! Some flowers are really tiny.


4PM - The land
We have named the two pieces of land that we are interested in buying. The lot with the sloping terrain we named "Arroyo". The lot next to Arroyo we have named "Cerca", because there is a fence around this lot.

The lady who owns Cerca knocked on MsTioga's door this afternoon. She arrived with her grand daughter who knows some English.

I had anticipated that the lady landowner would drop by today. It is church day, and the church is not too far away from Home Camp. I had planned to serve iced tea, while we had introductions. I figured to chat awhile, to get to know each other.

However, what happened was not according to my plan. The lady land owner launched right into price negotiations by announcing that she wanted 300,000 pesos for her property.

After their talking slowed a bit, I offered my iced tea. This is really iced tea too! Made with five tea bags. Mr. Dometic has a door tray filled to the brim with ice. I apologized for not having any lemon. And then began to chat, asking questions about anything but the land. But the grand daughter just put down her tea, and refused to sit down. The lady landowner was sitting, and took a few sips of the iced tea. What could I do?

So, I asked how many square meters was this land. The lady answered 25m x 25m [625m²]. Now I had a price and land size. I also had a comparison!

The lot next door to Pete and Jimena's home sold just last month. And coincidentally, that land is 1250m² in size, exactly double the lot named Cerca. And, the lot next to Pete and Jimena's home sold for the exact same price that the lady landowner began negotiations at today. Further, the lot that sold last month already had sewer, electricity and water and was on a paved road. Also, that lot had a little house on the land. The lot named Cerca had none of these. Well, you get the picture!

The lady landowner told me, "You probably want to talk to your friends about this offer". And with that, she  said, adios.

When I told Jimena about what happened, she suggested that I chat with my next door neighbor Teri about the facts of the two properties. Jimena told me, the word will get back to the lady land owner.

90°F
Clear






Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knowing myself

10AM - Knowing myself
Long time readers who have a good memory, may recall that I struggled with psychological/emotional issues most of my life. It was not until September, 2003, when a post appeared on the RV.net forum, that I finally got a lead about what was going on. You may read that RV.net post by clicking [here].

My problem was that my behavior was controlled by what went on in my subconscious mind. I did not know why I did the things that I did. Back then, my behavior included being: judgmental, critical, opinionated, argumentative. I was a real bummer to be around!

And then I read the above linked RV.net story. How could all of these RV.net readers write these wonderful things about me?! At that time in my life, most people found it extremely difficult to even be around me, let alone like me.

It took me months of trying to answer this question before I found the answer. And the answer was: when I was face to face with others, I was the judgmental, etc. person that I wrote about above. However, when I posted to RV.net forum and my blog, I edited out all of these rotten characteristics of mine.

It would sometimes take me an hour to prepare a post back then. Now, that same post might only take 5 minutes. Why the difference? Because it took me all of that time back then, to identify the bad things that I had written and change them into what I knew to be the right way to relate to other people.

All of my life, up until reading that RV.net post I did not understand what was going on. I used to say to myself, "I know that I am bad, but I cannot be THAT bad". In truth, back then I was THAT bad.

After the monumental collision with myself in September, 2003, it took me years of constant effort in order to condition mind to be the kind of person that I wanted to be.

I am one of the luckiest people that I know. Without the catalyst of that one RV.net post, I am sure that I would have never found out who I really was. And, I would never have been able to make the changes that have been responsible for turning my life completely around!

12 Noon - Why am I being so open?
You may be asking yourself, "Why is George being so open here in his very public blog?"

The answer is: I believe that one of the biggest problems we face is being open about ourselves. Being closed about what is going on inside means to me, that we are ashamed of revealing our true selves to others. Without being open, our problems are extremely difficult to resolve. Likely, impossible to resolve.

My son David very likely would be alive today, if he had opened up and confided in others.

2PM - Battery tie downs
This afternoon we installed battery tie downs in Mr. Sunny's solar battery bank. That meant that all six batteries had to be moved out on MsTioga's carpet. Moving those beastly batteries is a tough job for me. However, I was very surprised that I handled this battery moving job much better than I did two years ago!

Even Little Honda got into the action when we needed 120 volt AC power to run our hand drill motor.

You may be wondering why Mr. Sunny did not have battery tie downs before today. Beats me!
You won't see this often inside MsTioga!

Jorge and Little Honda

7PM - The best thing!
It took about three hours to do the battery tie down job. After finishing, tools and materials were all over MsTioga. In a short while, everything was back in place. MsTioga was neat and tidy once more.

The best thing about putting all the stuff away, is that there is a place for everything. It has not been like that inside MsTioga for a long time. We let our housekeeping slide. But no more!
Evening view from MsTioga's bedroom/office

Note: The [Evening view] pic above is very large. Click on it and when it gets big, click on it again and it will get even bigger. Use your right/left/up/down arrow keys to scroll.

89°F
Mostly cloudy

Friday, April 27, 2012

Frying

7AM - Frying
Yesterday evening for supper, I wanted to make fried fish for the main dish. Also, maybe some onion rings. Remember a couple of days ago when I prepared tempura for Pete and Jimena? That was the 2nd time that I had prepared tempura. And to tell you the truth, that tempura that I made for Pete and Jimena was not what I had hoped it would be.

So, yesterday when I went to make tempura again, some changes were made! And look at the pic below to see how my 3rd attempt at tempura came out. Perfect! The fish was tender and coated wonderfully. When frying, the coating did not stick to the bottom of my cast iron skillet at all. The onion rings came out perfect as well.

New Mavicita and I want to share with you in a video how we now make tempura. Maybe soon, OK?
Perfect tempura!


1PM - Squabbles?
We figured that FedEx would be used for our USA to Mexico shipment. However, Bongo [our freight forwarder used DHL. When the DHL driver arrived at our shipping address, he found at that this address is the FedEx terminal in the City of Queretaro.

Well! It turns out that DHL will not deliver to a FedEx terminal. Hmmmm? Squabbles amongst the carriers? Hmmmm?

9PM - Visit with Memo and Teri
Just after sundown, we heard a child laughing at Memo & Teri's home next door. We love to hear people laughing. Especially kids. So, we went over to their gate to see what's what! Memo heard me talking to Jack, their dog, and he came out into the yard to say hello. Memo told me that it was his niece, Michelle, who was laughing. Then Teri came out and invited me in to their home. First visit!!

They introduced me to Michelle, who is a very quiet six year old. But Michelle did talk with me a bit. Teri prepared a pitcher of cold water with lots of limon. The water was sweetened. Yumm!

Before going to visit with Memo and Teri, New Mavicita went outside to take a pano pic. Mavicita wanted this pic because the view is soooooo beautiful at this time of the evening. The pic does not do justice to this fabulous place.

New Mavicita made the pic especially large. So try zooming in a bit. You will see a "+" sign in you mouse pointer if you are able to zoom. You will be able to scroll side to side when you are zoomed in by using your right and left arrow keys.
Pano from rear of lot just after sundown



92°F
Clear

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doing business

9AM - Doing business in Mexico
Things are really breaking well for me lately!

Since I found my home-base in Mexico [the camping place at the end of a dirt road in Colonia Santellán] my already wonderful life has climbed to new levels! Tioga and I would like to share with a little about what is going on. And why it seems so wonderful to us.

You already know that I have an advertising business. Most of that business comes from Google's AdSense program. Also, we get advertising from other sources. Not much income, but some. This advertising business requires me to do a little work. Not "real" work. Just HTML coding and FTP uploading. Stuff like that.

What kind of work?
Recently Google AdSense sent me an email suggesting that if I would change my AdSense ad layout on about (100) of our web pages, that additional income might be earned. I really listen when Google talks to me. Their suggestions are really good!

For example, about three years ago, Google assigned an advertising specialist to my AdSense account. This specialist suggested that I change the color of my text ads to match the color of my Blog's titles. If you look at the titles on my blog page that you are now reading and compare the title color to Google's AdSense text ad color, you will see that they both are the same color. Which is blue. I worked with the AdSense specialist for a couple of weeks thru email communication. And sure enough, my ad income increased!

Yesterday an email arrived from an advertising company that represented a client wanting to advertise on our website. The client wanted us to change "one word" on one of our web pages. This change would make the word "appliances" into a link to their website that reads, "appliances and electrical devices in your home". For this change, the client would pay $50 for an annual placement. You may view that page by clicking [here] and then scrolling down to find the hyperlink.

All of these orders/requests from our advertising clients require some work. And, we are now able to do this "work" here in our beautiful new home-base in Mexico.

What can be better than that? Hmmmm?
Jorge working
In his pajamas at 10am!


12 Noon - Can I learn this advertising business too?
After reading what I posted above, you may be wondering, "Can I learn this advertising business too?" The answer is, "Yes! You can!" However, it is much easier to learn the online advertising business than to conceive of and develop a website that will attract an audience.

I would like to introduce you to a couple of websites that have made a fortune for their owners. Take a peek, OK? These two sites are fascinating!

The first website is named "Dooce", and is owned by Heather B. Armstrong who founded her business after being fired by her former employer for writing online about what happened at work. She labeled such a firing as being, "Dooced". And so a website was born. Click [here] to read about Heather in her own words.

The second website is "The Internet Electrician". His name is Terry Peterman, a Canadian electrician who became an online publisher. Read about Terry by clicking [here].

Are you able to do what these people did? Or, what I did? I think that you can!

4PM - Studying Spanish
Awhile back I mentioned to my friend Jimena, that I was interested in studying Spanish. I want to be much more fluent in Spanish th an I am now.

Jimena made arrangements for me to study with Gina, who is a teacher of Spanish as well as a friend of to Jimena. I have an appointment to meet Gina this afternoon at 4pm at the Plaza Hotel, here in Tequisquiapan.

Pretty neat, huh?

7PM - The lesson
I've just returned home from my first Spanish lesson, and I want to tell you about that. But first Tioga and I want to tell you about our two friends, Jack and Peluchia. These two are dogs, and they live with our neighbors, Memo and Terry.

Jack is the big dog. I think that he is a golden lab. Peluchia is small and has very funny looking fur. Maybe that's why she is named Peluchia? When Tioga was backing into her Nite Camp position, Jack came running over. He must have escaped by crawling hard underneath the gate. I had asked permission to feed the dogs, and Terry gave me the OK. Wow! That Jack was hungry. He wolfed down two bowls of Purina Dog Chow!

Now, back to the lesson! My teacher's name is Gina, and she has been in the teaching profession for maybe 30 years. We talked about what I wanted to achieve. We agreed on a plan. We would just chat
together. Gina leading as she learns where I need practice most. When I do not understand a word that Gina says to me, we discuss that word. If it is a verb, Gina teaches me to conjugate the verb and also learn the present, future and past tense. When I use a word incorrectly, we do the same thing.

I take notes writing down the words that I learn. During the week, I'll practice what I learned. I believe that this is the fastest way for me to learn Spanish.

Gina charged me 100 pesos [$8US] for the lesson. Sounds pretty inexpensive to me. We will be doing a one hour lesson each week. I may give Gina a hefty raise in pay next week!


92°F
Clear sky


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shipment shipped

8AM - Shipment shipped!
Yesterday afternoon on the way home from San Juan del Rio, Tioga pulled over for awhile to give Jorge a little nap time. After the nap, Mac [MacBook Pro] went online to find out the status of our first shipment from our freight forwarder, Bongo International. And guess what? Our shipment shipped!

Here are the stats for our first shipment:
  • Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Shipping cost: $232.54 [Including insurance]
  • Items include Tioga's new Bilstein shocks!
  • Where is the shipment now: DHL picked it up yesterday in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Right now it is at the Cincinnati, Ohio hub.
  • How did it get from Bridgeport to Cincinnati so fast? The shipment is flying! Wow!   

12 Noon - Tempura menu change
Our menu for the supper that I am preparing at Pete & Jimena's home this afternoon was going to be, fried chicken, pasta and a mixed salad. However, Jimena told me that she and Pete are trying to cut down on stuff like pasta. So, we have made a menu change.

Everything will be tempura. Chicken and veggy tempura. Have we told you that our tempura is to die for? Hmmmm?

8PM - Shipment reached Mexico City!
When I conceived of being able to shop in the USA and have what I bought shipped to Mexico, it never dawned me that my shipment would go by air! But that is exactly what happened!

My shipment is now in Mexico City. Wow! Double wow with sugar on it!


89°F
Clear



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Computer workstation rebuild

6AM - Computer workstation rebuild
It was about 9 years ago this month, in our beginning year of 2003, when the TiogaRV Team built the computer workstation you see in the pic below. The design proved to be perfect. But the execution left a lot to be desired!

The design consisted of a build up from the bed that used to occupy this space. As you may see, the workstation is made of three sections of equal width. In the pic the sections appear unequal. That unequal appearance is due to the distortion of our AutoStich Pano Software.

Three plywood panels cover each of the three sections and provide access to the area below for maintenance. Back in 2003 when the workstation was constructed, it never occurred to anybody on the TiogaRV Team to use contact cement. As a result, all of the sticks that you see in the pic are fastened with wood screws. And wood screws do not hold well to the inexpensive paneling that Fleetwood Industries used to when constructing MsTioga.

We plan to use wood screws and contact cement in this workstation rebuild. The contact cement will greatly increase the flexibility of our new design. And should hold the new workstation in place very well. The new design will not change the completed look of the workstation. However, the new design will be much, much stronger and should require very little maintenance to maintain it.

Lots of stuff will be removed. For example, the (5) duplex receptacles that you see in the pic will be removed. Those receptacles were installed to provide electric power when Mr. Chips, our desktop computer, was a team member in 2003 [link]. Now with the advent of the laptop computer, all of those receptacles are not needed anymore. No big, heavy computer monitor. No power supply for the big heavy desktop computer. No power for a printer. In fact we do not even have a printer onboard anymore!

The rear panel will be replaced. This panel contains two output readout devices, the electronic switch assembly for Mr. Levelers and four bat handle switches that control various onboard devices. The rear panel was constructed from inexpensive particle board panels and will be replaced with much stronger plywood.
Pano pic of unmasked computer workstation


3PM - MultiPack
Tioga and The Team are in the City of San Juan del Rio, about 20 minutes south of Tequisquiapan. We heard that FedEx purchased the MulitPack company. So, we came here to check MultiPack out and see about this company receiving our shipments from the USA.

Before we only knew about FedEx in the City of Queretaro, which is over one hour away from Tequis. MultiPack does accept shipments to be held for pickup. One more thing knocked off our things-to-do list!

While we are here in San Juan del Rio, we are going shopping for the supper party tomorrow. Did I tell you about that? I am preparing supper for Pete and Jimena. The menu is breaded and baked chicken, tempura veggies, and a nice green salad. I will use Jimena's kitchen to do the prep and cooking.

It would be uncomfortable to do this shin-dig inside MsTioga. Much to warm there to be comfortable in the late afternoon.

92°F
Clear magnificent sky!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Great Flood

8AM - The Great Flood!
Has Jorge led MsTioga and The TiogaRV Team into the path of a great disaster? There is talk among readers that our present camp is too close to a huge arroyo. When the Great Flood comes, will Tioga and The Team be washed away? Never to be heard from again? Hmmmm?

This morning New Mavicita and Jorge are putting on their hiking boots to go find out what's what! The daring duo plan to descend down to the flat-lands and hike around to the dangerous arroyo. Then, while in the path of danger, the courageous New Mavicita will take pics of MsTioga up at Hill Camp.

Perhaps by looking at these pics, we all may get some perspective of the danger we face from the coming Great Flood!

10AM - Back from the wilds!
Jorge and New Mavicita hiked off into the wilds not knowing what dangers lay ahead. Armed only with some kind of machete, the two intrepid souls marched on!
Heading into the wilds

We hacked a path thru the dense jungle, thorny branches reaching out from everywhere to do us in. But we made it thru! The first pic below is a view looking back at MsTioga from the north. The second pic below was taken while New Mavicita was standing in front of the plowed field, east of our Camp.
Do you see Tioga way up on the left?

Looking up at Tioga from the east
New Mavicita captured this pic right in front of the plowed field


5PM - Battery hold-down for Mr. Sunny
A couple of weeks ago we picked up a nice looking battery hold-down. Mr. Sunny, our noble solar electric system, has been complaining about his batteries get jostled when those bad topes show up unexpectedly.

Now, we are installing that hold-down. The cross-brace on this hold-down is made of rubber. So, the hold-down is somewhat adjustable and keeps constant pressure to hold the battery when we go over topes too fast. BTW, it is almost impossible to keep from going over a tope too fast. Very often the tope is not marked, difficult to see, and is placed in unexpected places [like the middle of a block].

If this battery hold-down works out, we plan to buy hold-downs for all of our batteries.
Ready to install hold-down
The hold-down is marked by red arrow

Hold-down installed


83°F
Clear blue sky