Tuesday, January 31, 2006

6AM - Found the Rosetta Stone of Spanish!
For way over a year I've been looking for a magazine or newspaper that publishes in both Spanish and English. Nothing could be found. This morning I found that Rosetta Stone of Spanish. It is Google!

Attached to Google's search page is a translator for webpages. Using this translator, two windows may be opened for the same page. One page in Spanish and one page in English. This is so great, because not only does this teach the way to speak Spanish, but also the way to spell words. Fantastico!

9AM - Lassie Came Home.
Chito's dog Lassie is forever slipping his chain and getting loose. This morning he was walking around near Hill Top Camp. After awhile, Lassie gets tired being loose, and returns to Chito's patio and takes a nap. In the pics below, Mr. Mavica caught Lassie in the garden.

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Lassie at home.


11AM - Studying Spanish in The Park.
This morning we are in The Park studying Spanish using our newly found Rosetta Stone language system. Thanks to Ms. GQ's and Mr. Datastorm's wireless capability, we are able to connect to the net outside. Don't you just love these high tech miracles?


George studies Spanish as Lassie investigates flowers.

Google AdSense questions.
Many readers have written asking about Google ads that you see on the right side of my blog and on MsTioga Magazine pages. Perhaps other readers are curious about this ad program?

Here is how it works. There are publishers like me, who put webpages on the web. There are also advertisers who want to sell things. Google dreamed up this fantastic method of allowing advertisers to put ads on publishers webpages. But the thing about these ads, is that Google figured out a way to serve ads relevant to the content of the webpage. For example, if a webpage were about plumbing, the ads served to that page would also be about plumbing.

Let's say that you are interested in buying a digital camera, OK? You go to Google and do a search for digital cameras. If you look at a webpage that comes up in that search and that page has Google Ads, you may click on an ad to get additional info. When you click on a Google Ad, the publisher gets paid for that click.

The advertiser determines how much a click will pay for a particular ad. The advertiser bids for a search term. In this example, the search term is digital cameras. If the advertiser bids 50 cents for the search term digital cameras, then the publisher will receive a portion of that 50 cents for readers clicking on that ad. Some ads pay 5 cents, and some pay $2 or more. The advertiser is provided with reports which tell how much the advertising is costing, and compares that ad cost to the sales generated from these clicks in order to determine if the program is paying for itself.

2PM - El Boleo Museum.
Do you remember that I loaned Museum director Jose, my copy of Minerolgical Record? This is the issue which focuses on the El Boleo Mine and the Pueblo of Santa Rosalia. Jose wants to make a copy of this issue for an exhibit. Copying the pages has been stalled however, because the copying place in the Pueblo was too expensive. Jose will do the copying in La Paz where he can get copies for less money.

I was very surprised when Jose asked me to do some research for him on the Santa Clara and Guadalupe Mountains. Perhaps most of the web information is in English, making it difficult for Jose to do himself? Back home on my computer, my initial research showed that I did not know what Jose actually wants. Language problems! I will have to return tomorrow to get additional info on what Jose is looking for.


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Monday, January 30, 2006

9AM - A Gift for Alty's kitchen.
This morning I checked under Alty's kitchen sink to see if the drain was leaking. It is dry under the sink.

While in the kitchen, I saw a few cut plants in small plastic containers. There are no growing plants in the kitchen. I would like to buy a gift for Alty's kitchen. A planter with a nice growing green indoor plant. In the United States, this would be easy to find. However, here in Santa Rosalia, plants are not for sale. Ms. Planty Green came up with a suggestion. How about if she went to live in Alty’s kitchen?


Ms. Planty Green in her new home in Alty's kitchen.

Secrets of the Joys of Boondocking.
Have you read MsTioga Magazine's Secrets of the Joys of Boondocking? Boondocking in wild places is absolutely wonderful! Boondocking free is the best! Take a peek, OK?

Secrets of the Joys of Boondocking.

1PM - The Biblioteca (The Library).
The Biblioteca has a wonderful computer room. There are about 20 late model computers with XP operating systems. Nice programs with encyclopedias, music (rock and roll), sound systems. Hardly anybody uses this marvelous computer room.

I went to the Biblioteca to see if I could interest anybody in learning how to write HTML code so that they could make webpages. Although these computers are not connected to the internet yet, webpages can be made and these pages looked at with a browser. A couple of boys watched, while I wrote code putting pictures on a page, moving text around, etc. However, they were not interested enough to sit down and try to write some code themselves.

Kuyima Whale Watching. Tour.
An email was received from Kuyima. Remember that last nite we wrote and asked about going there to see the whales. Kuyima has a van to take people to the San Ignacio Lagoon. However, the price is for the van, not per person. The van costs $120 and I guess if one person goes, it is $120. If six people go, each pays $20 for the ride. This van/price thing is a deal breaker for me. I have written asking which day I may go to see the whales in a full van?

There are tortillas and then there are TORTILLAS!
I used to believe that all tortillas were the same. Boy! Was I wrong. I am crazy about Tortilleria Santa Agueda, whose tortillas are soft and moist and taste absolutely wonderful.

I will not mention other tortillerias here in the Pueblo that do not measure up. There are people in Santa Rosalia who read my blog.


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Sunday, January 29, 2006

8AM - The Saguaro Cactus.
Dreams of propagating a Saguaro Cactus in my Hill Top garden are vanishing. It appears as though Saguaro is propagated only from seeds. My two small Saguaro plugs were in vain. I am still going to try with these plugs, because I am an incurable optimist.

Even if I could get a Saguaro to propagate, their rate of growth is only about 1” per year. Hmmmmm? I have much more respect for these giants now.

12 Noon - Is there shade in The Park?
Even at noon, there is still some shade in The Park's clearing. Each morning in addition to raking the entire Park, which includes The Garden, we pull some weeds and prune back a bit of the growing things. The plan is to prune back a bit more of the growth. We want to have more shade and have the shade last until later in the day.


Enjoying the park on a gorgeous Sunday in our Park.

Retiring on low income.
Some of us reach retirement, and find that our income is too low. Does that apply to you? Living in Mexico could be the solution to allow you to accumulate savings, even with low income.

According to my expense report, I have spent about $650 in each of the last two months. Staying at a nearby RV Campground, would add another $200/month. It seems that there are great opportunities here in Baja California, Mexico, for low income retirees.

12:30PM - Invited for lunch.
Chito came over to our Camp. He told me that he wanted me to come over to his home. As we walked over, he told me that I was invited for lunch. Wow!

In the kitchen, Alty was cooking fish for tacos. Man-O-Man! We all sat in the kitchen eating the tacos pescados (fish tacos) and talking about everything. We talked until 2PM! I feel so welcome at their home.

6PM - Discovering Whales.
We have been making plans to go see the whales at San Ignacio Lagoon. Just a few minutes ago, we emailed a reservation request to Ecoturismo Kuyimá, the company that conducts whale tours and a lot of other stuff from the Pueblo of San Ignacio. This is sooooo exciting!



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Saturday, January 28, 2006

8AM - MsTioga wants to go for a drive.
MsTioga's propane is getting a bit low, so she wants to drive out to the Gaspasa propane place north of the Pueblo today. Mr. Wave6, our noble little catalytic heater has been working hard lately, keeping The Team warm at nite. When Mr. Wave6 works often, the propane level goes down pretty fast. Temperature outside last nite reached a low of 51°F. Mr. Wave6 stayed on all nite and even in the early morning.

It is almost laundry time again. So MsTioga may make a visit to the Lavanderia Amalia (laundry) while we are out in the Pueblo.

11PM - Shopping in El Centro.
Since MsTioga was in El Centro, she suggested that we do some shopping for the heavy stuff. That seemed like a good idea. We bought a large bottle of apple juice at Mini Super Moreno, and filled up with drinking water at the Aqua Purificada store.


The Aqua Purificada Store.

12 Noon - Gaspasa Propane.
We pulled into the Gaspasa place, and one of our readers walked up and introduced himself. His name is Don Hoey, a Canadian from British Columbia. Don has been following our Adventures for a couple of years. Don said that he recognized MsTioga by her Tiro Williams Mine mural. The Team is always soooo happy when we meet one of our readers.


Reader Don Hoey at the Gaspasa.

1PM - The Cactus Search.
We went a bit north of the Gaspasa place, and pulled off where a bunch of cactus are growing. We made a Day Camp here. One of the cactus that we really want to grow, is the Saguaro. But they are so big. So, we cut off a couple of small pieces to propagate.

You probably are going to think that a big mistake was made, because we are bringing home a Cholla Cactus. Those are Jumping Cactus, the ones that stick like crazy. We found one Cholla that had a bird's nest! Wow! What a smart bird. What animal would stick its nose in there.

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George about to harvest a piece of Cholla Cactus. Bird's nest inside this Cholla.


3PM - San Lucas RV Park.
We are heading to the dump station south of the Pueblo of Santa Rosalia. It is in the San Lucas RV Park. We've gone there three or four times. Since MsTioga is out on the road today, we are going there to empty our holding tanks.

We do not know if the dump station is free or not. Never found anybody at the park who worked there. Maybe we will find somebody this time.

4PM - Pemex Gas Station.
Remember a few weeks ago we told you that we would no longer be concerned about the Pemex cheating us? Well, apparently we must have thought that one thru again, because MsTioga is carrying our 25 liter gas can today. On the way back from San Lucas RV Park, we stopped at the Pemex, and filled the can. The price on the pump when the 25 liter can was filled showed $172 pesos. The quantity on the pump was 27.8 liter. Hmmmmm?

However, when we punched in the numbers on our calculator, the price was different. Wow! We were sooooooo surprised! The price for the gas is $6.21 pesos per liter. So 25 liters should be $155 pesos. The attendant told me that I would have to speak to the manager.

I carried the filled gas can into the manager's office, and showed him that the mark on the can was 25 liters, and showed him the calculator was $155 pesos. And that is what we paid. Not one bit of an argument.

When the gas from our can was emptied into MsTioga's tank, the gas meter moved just about the same amount as it moved last time. About 1/4 tank. However last time, we paid $500 pesos, instead of $155 pesos. So the Pemex is still way ahead of us.

Larry at the gym.
Larry is the American who owns a gym here in the Pueblo. He is going to San Diego in about a week, and pick up the two bronze nuts that we ordered for Mr. Levelers' broken jack. Larry has been doing this pickup service for years, bringing back stuff from the USA that people need.

Today I ordered 12 lbs of real butter from Larry. Also, a case of Beef Rice-A-Roni. Cannot wait until Larry comes back so that another batch of chocolate chip cookies may be baked. Cookies baked using the margarine sold in the Pueblo does not cut it..

5PM - Lavanderia Amalia.
We are letting the lady at the Lavanderia do our laundry. This is the first time since we have been fulltimers, that we have not done are own laundry. We had a lot to do today, and so this will save us a little bit of time.

6PM - Desert Gold.
We laid out our cactus harvest for you to see. The Cholla is on the left. The two pieces are Saguaro Cactus. Can you imagine how big these Saguaros will be, sometime in the future. Wow!


Cholla, Saguaro, and two Senitas Cactus.



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Friday, January 27, 2006

3AM - Income Tax.
Late last evening I was reading the news online, when an ad caught my attention for electronic filing of income tax. I had been wondering how I was going to file, because my plan was to start back north during April. Perhaps I would arrive in the USA too late to file?

So I clicked on this ad, and the next thing I knew I was downloading stuff for e-filing. Now, it is four hours later. 3AM, and I just finished filing my electronic returns with TaxACT. Paid the tax online too. Cost me about 75 bucks including the tax that I owed. But it is all finished! Federal and state returns. And it was sooooo easy. Just took a lot of time, more than I thought it would take.

I am amazed that I've earned enough from Google AdSense to have to pay some income tax!

8AM - The park benches.
Mr. Mavica took pics that he promised you of the two park benches that were constructed yesterday evening. Mr. Mavica found that the day is overcast. Interestingly, our weather forecast link shows clear. Hmmmm?

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The benches in Parque Jorge.


1PM - Lunch with Raymundo.
Things are going really great, and Mr. Mavica and I decided to have lunch at a the Restaurante Muelle (Pier Restaurant) to celebrate. On the way to Muelle's, we ran into Raymundo. Do you remember him? Raymundo is the fellow who works for the Ayutamiento (local government) and wants to learn about making his own website. I invited Raymundo to lunch. We had a good time, and good food.

We made a date for Raymundo to come to MsTioga's to learn about websites. He will be here at 5PM today.

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Raymundo and Jorge at Muelle's. Do you see the bag on the wall?


6PM - Raymundo's first lesson.
Do you remember when you first met Raymundo a few weeks ago? Raymundo wants to learn how to make webpages, and I have volunteered to teach him how to do it. This evening, he learned how to make a webpage, and upload the page to the net. He learned some simple tasks, such as making words in intalics and underlined.

I printed out for him to take home, a list of HTML tags. We plan to meet in the pueblo's library next Monday, for another lesson. The library has about 20 computers.


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Active Volcano.
Readers have written wondering if the Tres Virgenes Volcano shown on our location map (link below) is an active volcano. Tres Virgenes is an active volcano which last erupted in the late 1700s. Active volcanoes are those volcanoes that have erupted at least once in the last 10,000 years.

Search for Rice-A-Roni.
The Team has received offers from readers to ship us Rice-A-Roni. Isn't that neat? As you may have read in our blog, we cannot find Rice-A-Roni here in the Pueblo. However, yesterday in the Issste government grocery store, we found a similar product for sale! It is manufactured by Noor. We prepared some last nite for supper, and it was pretty good.

The weather in Santa Rosalia.
Hi! This is Ms. GQ and Mr. Chips typing at you. As you know, we are the The Team's two computers. Have you been wanting Old George to post the temperature everyday here in Santa Rosalia?

George has these senior moments and often forgets stuff. So, we decided this morning to add a Santa Rosalia Weather link to our daily post.

1PM - Making do in Mexico.
What a wonderful experience it is helping my friend Chito. I am learning why Mexicans are so enterprising. Why Mexicans have a knack for figuring out ways to get things done.

I needed an extension for the drain in the kitchen. This extension will run thru the wall, and then go down into the drain. See the pic below and you may understand what I am doing.

When I went to the plumbing store, I could not buy a straight PVC connector. It was not available in the size that I needed. However, the guy in the plumbing store showed me another PVC tube, that was just a little bigger than my tube. He told me that if I heated up this bigger tube, it would fit into the smaller tube, and I would be able to make the extension needed. Would you believe that this method worked great?!

I am waiting now for Chito to return with a right angle connector in order to finish the job. The vertical and horizontal PVC tubes will be cut off, and joined to complete the connection to the sewer.


Plumbing to drain project in process.

4PM - Alty brings plants for the garden.
There was a knock on MsTioga's door. Alty came over bringing a gift. Three plants for the garden. It seems to me that this is an important thing. Alty is the central person in the family. I think that Alty likes me a lot. Alty told me twice what these plants are called. But I forgot!


Alty's plants, a gift for the garden.


6PM - Dos bancos en parque Jorge.
Yesterday, reader Gary emailed with a suggestion for a chair for the garden. We have been thinking about that suggestion all day. This evening I built a banco (bench) in the garden, and invited Chito to come over and sit on it with me.

While we were sitting on the banco and talking, Chito told me that he had an idea for a 2nd banco. We both walked into his backyard, and Chito showed me two logs, perfect supports for a 2nd banco. We set up the 2nd banco in front of the little wall of bricks in the garden

Now we have Dos bancos en Parque Jorge (Two benches in George's Park). It is too dark to take a pic of these bancos this evening, but Mr. Mavica has promised to take a pics of the bancos in the morning.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

5AM - Working on MsTioga Magazine again.
My friend Terry of Camping Journal fame sent me an email about her reworked webpages. I loved these changes sooooo much that I was encouraged to rework MsTioga Magazine.

I am guessing that these changes to MsTioga Magazine made reading about all of the stories much easier to understand. That must be the reason that my Google AdSense income shot up thru the roof yesterday!

10AM - Plumbing or cactus pics?
Mr. Mavica thanks readers who emailed wanting him to take pics of the completed plumbing projects. Mr. Mavica claims that although he would rather take pics of our garden, he understands those who are interested in plumbing.

Below are pics of the fregedero (kitchen sink) and lavabo (bathroom sink) plumbing and our newly planted (just this morning) Senita Cactus.

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11AM - Our Park.
A few days ago, Mr. Mavica promised you a pic of our park. You may have to use a lot of imagination to see a park here. Our plan is to clear out the brush so that we may sit beneath the trees. Lots of those cut down thorn bushes have been trashed here, so the park will be a work-in-progress for awhile.

On the right side of this pic is a pile of discarded wood and an old stove. Chito who dumped this stuff there is working to clear it out. Chito also has helped with the park, by cutting down the evil thorn bushes with his machete.


Our park.

4PM - A nice conversation with Alty.
All of the family took off down the hill in Chito's car. Only Alty, Chito's wife stayed in the house. Alty called out to me, and I stood in her kitchen door while she cooked supper and we talked.

Alty told me that she worked for many years as an employee in this very house. Her employers were a husband and wife. Alty lived in a small room between the kitchen and the garage. Her job was to prepare meals, do the shopping and keep the house clean. Alty began working here when she was very young, only 12 years old. Many years later, the wife died. The husband lived into his 90s, and died in his home country of France. The lovely home on the hilltop over looking Mesa Francia, was given to Alty as a gift. A thank you for her many years of service.

This is the second time that I heard of employees being given homes as gifts by their employer. My friend Poncho who also lives on this hill, was given his home by his employer.

5:30PM - Chito and his machete.
When Chito came home from work, I was in the garden. Chito saw that I was trying to clear out weeds with my tree trimmer. Hard to do. A few hours later, Chito came over with his machete, and cleared out in only a few minutes a bunch of these weeds and some terrible Junco plants that have the thorns. The garden is moving right along!


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