Thursday, November 30, 2006

6AM - The big wind.
It has been soooooo windy! You would not believe. MsTioga has been buffeted by strong winds from the late afternoon and all thru the nite. Strong winds continue this morning.

During early yesterday evening, everybody on The Team urged Mr. Datastorm to come down out of the wind to safety. He refused, and stayed up there on MsTioga's roof being buffeted without mercy. But when the wind gusts got even stronger, brave Mr. Datastorm could no longer cope. And he retreated to the protection of his stowed position.

8:30AM - Trying to understand Blogger.
Wise old Mr. Chips has tried to explain to Jorge about the new Blogger Beta. Jorge just cannot get his mind wrapped around Blogger Beta.

Anyway, we recommend that you enter our website thru our homepage. That way you will be viewing our blog thru Blogspot, and reading the latest update. Here is our homepage:
9:30AM - The wind is soooooo strong!
MsTioga is rocking so much, that Jorge can barely keep his hands on Ms. GQ's keyboard. Man-O-Man! This is really something.

When we open MsTioga's door, the wind nearly rips the door away!

12:30PM - Mountains are hazy today.
We cannot see the famous Tres Virgenes volcanoes from our Camp. We can see the mountain range a bit south of the volcanoes however. The view from our breakfast table is hazy. Dust from the windstorm is obscuring our usually bright and clear view of these mountains.

The very strong wind is bending the trees near Camp. But the trees are strong. They bend, but do not break. In that way, the tress are like the people who live here.

3PM - Mercandito Fanny.
A few weeks ago, our friend and neighbor Alty mentioned to Jorge that there was a nice grocery store nearby in Colonia Bella Vista [a neighborhood just behind our Camp]. Yesterday Jorge went over to this tienda [store] and bought a few things. This afternoon we returned to find more about this little grocery store.

"Mercandito Fanny."

The owner of "Mercandito Fanny" is Loli, a very friendly woman. Loli worked for a number of years as a cashier "Centro Commeciales", a large Mexican grocery chain. About a year ago, "Mercandito Fanny" was opened. In a very short time, the two other grocery stores in Bella Vista closed down because of the competition. Loli is a success story.

When asked why her store is successful, Loli replied, "We are open seven days a week, many hours each day. Our prices are the same as other grocery stores in El Centro. "

Loli, our Spanish teacher.

As we talked, Loli began to speak a little English. When Loli expressed her interest to learn English, a remarkable thing happened. Jorge and Loli made a deal to teach each other. Is this not the greatest thing?!

Jorge had been looking for someone to teach him Spanish for over a year, and nobody was interested. Now he found Loli. ¡Perfecto!

6:30PM - Staying in Camp for supper.
Little Mavicito wanted to go to El Centro and look around and maybe eat out tonite. However Jorge thought staying in was a better idea. It is really nice and warm inside MsTioga. And there is a nice piece of salmon for supper!

The wind is still shaking MsTioga, and the gusts are pretty strong. Not as strong as before however. Mr. Datastorm says that he is doing just fine up on MsTioga's roof!

7:30PM - What's happening with Chito's repairs?
We have received email from readers wondering what is happening with plans to repair Chito's home. Little Mavicito took a bunch of pics last Monday, so that you would be able to see the condition of the house. The plan is to publish these pics in the page linked to the "Chito Fund" button below.

Some repairs will be made tomorrow, however. The strong winds of the past two days, have blown electric light wires down in the yard. Jorge is planning on re-mounting these electric wires so that they will be at a proper height above the ground.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

7AM - Adsense Webinar!
Jorge is very excited about attending his first online webinar. This event is called:
"AdSense Webinar: Increase your visibility to advertisers."

Description: Members of the AdSense and AdWords product management team will provide insight into what advertisers want to see from publishers and how to increase your site's visibility to advertisers to improve your revenue opportunity.

Jorge tried to sign into the Webinar at 5am. He likes that promise to: "Improve your revenue opportunity." What a guy!

The Webinar starts at 12 Noon! Jorge got confused with GMT! So, we are going on our trip to the propane place now. Then down to the RV Campground to dump MsTioga's tanks.

We are soooooooo excited about taking a ride!

7:30AM - GasPasa.
MsTioga drove very carefully out from our Camp. Then thru the very narrow section that goes passed the two water tanks, and down the steepest part near our friend Poncho's home. We got thru safely. The trees along the dirt road need a little trimming. Branches scrape MsTioga.

Alejandro at GasPasa knows Jorge and MsTioga. We have come here many times to fill up on propane.

8AM - San Lucas RV Camp.
We parked for a bit when we returned to Santa Rosalia. A man was standing nearby, and asked for a ride to San Lucas. What a coincidence, because that is where we are going! His name is Luis Alberto Martinez, and he is a guard for some of the stores in San Lucas.

Luis Alberto Martinez.

Luis talked about the history of the mines near Santa Rosalia. He has a lot of knowledge about the history of this area.

9PM - San Luis RV Park.
When we arrived at San Luis RV Park, MsTioga dumped her holding tanks. There is a dump station on the hill that overlooks the park. The park appears to be located within a bay. There are about 20 RVs staying here.

MsTioga empties her holding tanks.

Little Mavicito wanted to take a pic of San Lucas RV Park, especially where the RVs are located. So Jorge walked down the hill to get a better view.

San Luis RV Park viewed from hill.

We saw some people talking where the RVs were parked, and walked over and introduced ourselves. We met Eric Moroney and Lee Houston. These men have been coming here for a several years, and really like this Park. They told us that it is very quiet here. The fishing is not as good as it has been in past years.

It costs $8US per nite to stay here. The Park provides fresh water, showers and toilets besides the dump station. There is no electric power. Most RVs here have solar panels.

Eric Moroney & Lee Houston.

10:30AM - Desert volunteers.
We were driving north on Hwy #1 and came to a place with a zillion cactus growing. We stopped to look closer, and MsTioga asked if any of them would like to come live in our garden. Well, would you believe that some did want to go with us? Hmmmm?

Volunteer cactus for the garden.

11AM - Shopping in El Centro.
Since MsTioga was running around, we decided to stop and shop for heavy things. We love to shop, but stuff like a 5 gallon water bottle is a bit heavy to haul up the BIG hill in the shopping cart. 5 gallons of purified drinking water costs 80 cents US. Is that pretty inexpensive?

Mini Super Moreno has a nice selection of juice. So we stopped there and bought a bottle of mandarin and one of pink grapefruit juice. Those juice bottles are pretty heavy too.

11:30AM - Back at our home on the BIG hill.
Mr. Levelers brought MsTioga level, and Mr. Datastorm zoomed up to go online. Jorge is anxious for the Adsense Webinar.

12:00 - Webinar has no audio feed.
Jorge was surprised that the Adsense Webinar had no audio. A notice came on the screen telling us that a phone audio feed was available. Since our phone connection costs $1.49/minute, this was not an option. At our next Webinar, we will get a VOIP service, which is much more reasonable.

Jorge did learn some things about this new Adsense program though. Video displays appeared on MsGQ with info about what advertisers see when searching for publishers to place their ads.

Adsense is not an easy program to understand. And this new "Targeted Ads Channel" thing is no exception. Jorge is very happy about it, even if he doesn't know how it works completely. Because our Adsense revenue has gone up sharply since we began using it.

5PM - Winds are shaking MsTioga.
Big winds too. Maybe 35 miles per hour in gusts are coming in from the northeast. Dark clouds to the southwest. No big storms though. MsTioga is shaking a lot. But Mr. Datastorm seems unaffected.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2AM - Reading Spanish online.
Jorge reads Digital Granma International [Spanish] and then translates this online newspaper into English using their [English] button located top left. Each page occupies 1/2 of the screen. He first reads Spanish. When a word is not known, the English translation is read. Really works out well.

Jorge says, "I have to use Spanish in all the ways possible, in order to learn best."

Reader Ted wrote email mentioning that Granma is Cuban based Communistic propaganda news. Jorge did not even know this. His Spanish has a long way to go! However, Jorge likes the stories he reads in Granma. "Seems pretty balanced," says Jorge.

11:30AM - Ms. GQ & Jorge working.
Would you believe that Ms. GQ and Jorge have been working all morning on their blog and especially Calendar Beta? This "work" is sooooooo much fun for these two. They love this stuff. Doesn't seem like work at all.

Reader Thomas who kick-started the Calendar Beta project from Canada messed with the code for FIVE hours this morning to get it to look right. Isn't he the greatest thing? Hmmmmm?

Calendar Beta now includes three months. Do you like it? We are actually using Calendar Beta to do our daily setups for the "Yesterday/Tomorrow" thing.

2PM - Google Adsense seminar.
Jorge and Ms. GQ are very excited about attending an online Adsense seminar tomorrow. We have never been to one of these before. The seminar will explain a new program that helps advertisers find our website in order to place their ads. We love that.

3:30PM - Bougainvillea propagation.
From readers we learned a lot about growing bougainvillea. Use hardwood cuttings and place in a very humid place. We chose to place our little pot inside a plastic bag, and put the bagged pot out in the garden. We have three cuttings with 2-3 branch ends each.

Wise old Mr. Chips believes that we will be lucky!

5PM - MsTioga on working.
MsTioga was talking things over with wise old Mr. Chips this afternoon. These two both agreed, that working
a little bit everyday is the important thing. "Gets stuff done!", said MsTioga.

They were talking about Jorge working everyday in the garden, and how things are coming along very nicely. Little Mavicito caught Jorge working with one of his pics.

5:30PM - Tomorrow's trip.
Everybody on The Team is soooooo excited about tomorrow's trip. At a Team Meeting awhile ago, MsTioga announced that her propane tank is low and also her black water tank needs dumping.

That means that MsTioga is pulling out of Camp and going on a trip in the morning! Wow! We love to travel. We are vagabonds, you know!

6PM - A word from Mr. Chips.
Mr. Chips, has a message for you. "I want you to know that our blog is published from both our 1&1 webhost servers and from Blogger's BlogSpot servers. Of these two, BlogSpot updates itself much faster. If you tune in by going thru our Home Page, you'll be reading us on BlogSpot".

Wise words from Mr. Chips, who knows just about everything.


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Monday, November 27, 2006

5AM - Studying Spanish.
For the past three years when we asked to stay overnite in a place in Mexico, we would ask, "¿Yo puedo a esperar aqui por la noche?" However this is not right, because "esperar" means "to wait for. " Now we use the "quedar" which means "to stay." If you look these two words up in the dictionary, they appear to have the same meaning.

Please excuse if the words are not perfect Spanish, OK? Jorge is still a student.

7AM - Is winter here?
This morning MsTioga turned on her heater for the first time since arriving in Santa Rosalia. It is 61°F now. How did it get so cold? Hmmmmm?

11AM - Re-publishing 2003 images project.
It took a long time this morning to re-publish one week's worth of the deleted images. MsGQ was really slow, her hard drive whirling away while Jorge waited. We are soooooo happy to let you know that we are almost finished with the entire month of August, 2003!

12 Noon - The amazing calendar story!
We would like to tell you about our amazing Calendar Beta story. For years, Jorge has been wanting a calendar for you to be able to access MsTioga's archives. A few days ago while searching around on the web, Jorge found some HTML code which appeared to be a calendar that might work.

Jorge has some understanding of this code, but not much. Somehow thru many tries, a calendar was published. It was not good though.

A few days later, we received an email from Canadian reader Thomas Thibodeau. He had re-worked our calendar into a nice looking one. Over the next few days, emails went back and forth between Thomas in Canada and Jorge in Mexico. Calendar Beta began to look pretty nice!

Yesterday evening, Thomas sent an email with some improved calendar files. At the end of his email, he wrote: "This is simply amazing that you are in Mexico and I am on the atlantic coast of Canada and we can work on a project like this."

Everybody on The Team agrees completely with Thomas. Being able to work with Thomas Thibodeau on the Calendar Beta Project is a fabulous miracle.

3PM - Our destiny is Santa Rosalia.
Many new readers do not know why Tioga and George are living in Santa Rosalia. So, we tell a little about that, OK?
At 4PM, Thursday, December 30, 2004, Tioga & George arrived in Santa Rosalia for the very first time.

From our blog post of that day:
George never knows where to go when we enter a new town, but MsTioga always knows. We arrived as if by magic, at the city center. The town was alive with the sounds and sights of fiesta. It is New Years, and the streets are going to be filled with dancing, happy people tomorrow."Here is our first pic of Santa Rosalia. George is looking up the main street in El Centro. We did not know then how much we would come to love the Pueblo. Not until we were traveling in the USA in the summer of 2005, did we know.

But destiny is very powerful, though not understood at all. Shortly after we returned to Santa Rosalia in 2005, we met Chito, his wife Alty and the family. We asked permission to Camp next to their home. And that is why we are here today!

4PM - Victor and the flower.
Jorge went looking for plants for the garden over at La Casita, the little house very close to MsTioga. He found a flowering bush, and snipped off a small branch.

Victor was riding his bicycle near MsTioga when Jorge returned, and he told Jorge that this plant is called, "girasol".

Do you know what this flower is and how to make it grow?

Victor decided to ride down the small slope of the garden path. Victor has fun doing everything. He is a fun kid.

He told Jorge that his birthday is on November 21, just a few days ago. Victor asked, "When is your birthday, Jorge?" "My birthday is today, Victor."

Victor did not believe that today is Jorge's birthday, but it's true! 

Nite Camp Location


Sunday, November 26, 2006

4AM - MsGQ & Jorge uploading images.
Don't these two ever sleep? They are hard at it uploading and publishing the 2003 images that the dastardly Blogger people deleted a few weeks back. Actually, it is a good time going over those days in 2003! Wow!

5AM - Thinking about work.
It is likely clear to you, that we on The Team spend a lot of time doing work. But what is work for us now? It isn't a traffic commute, or starting at a certain time. It also is not supervisors, deadlines, or anything like that.

Our work is doing things that we love to do, in the exact place that we want to be. Everybody on The Team talked it over, and we hope to never stop working. Because we believe that work in the Tioga & George style is the very best thing.

11AM - Guess whose coming to dinner?
Yes! Alty invited Jorge to Sunday dinner. We are going to eat at 3PM when Chito comes home from work. Wow! Jorge loves dinner invitations!

1PM - New cactus in the garden.
Remember the cactus that we were given yesterday by the nice man in El Centro. We have potted this little cactus, and now it has a new home in the garden! Do you see it in the square plastic pot?

Of course it may take a little while to start growing. Everybody on The Team is happy for the little plant

3:30PM - Dinner time.
Victor was riding his little bicycle around MsTioga when Chito called out, "Tell Jorge it's time for dinner." And what a great dinner it was too. Shrimp, fish, salad, rice fried banana. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, Little Mavicito took a nap in Jorge's pocket and forgot to come out to take pics!

5PM - Garden weeds.

Jorge used Chito's large machete to cut back the weeds this afternoon. We are now able to see a little of the path to the East Garden.

When Chito came home from work this afternoon he saw the growing pile of cut weeds and said, "Mucho trabajo" [A lot of work]. We knew that Chito would say that.

5:30PM - Google Adsense new program.
Adsense gives us the ads that you may see to the right side on our blog. A few days ago they came out with a new program that permits advertisers to search descriptions prepared by publishers. Tioga and George are publishers.

We filled out about 30 of these descriptions, and were very surprised when our ad revenue began to surge upward. There must be a lot of competition for our pages, because Adsense is paying much more for every click now.

Perhaps this new program is the reason?

7PM - Baking cookies.
Is there anybody who while mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies is able to keep their fingers out of the mixing bowl?

This the first time experimenting with using baking powder instead of baking soda for cookies. Always wondered about that. The recipe calls for 1-teaspoon baking soda and we used 1-tablespoon baking powder. Cookies came up bigger and just as soft as with soda.

Wise old Mr. Chips, looked at the cookie box and commented, "I wonder how long those will last!" Jorge has a reputation onboard MsTioga.


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Saturday, November 25, 2006

6AM - Searching for cactus.
This morning we are going to go searching for cactus in the hills behind our Camp. MsTioga believes that there are cactus in those hills. Last year hardly anything was growing up there, and the hills were so brown. Now they are green because of all the rain this past September and October.

When we find cactus, we will bring some back to plant in our garden.

8AM - Calendar Beta.
If you look at the bottom of this Blog page, just below the Archive window, you will see a link titled, "Calendar Beta." Take a peek, OK?

12:30PM - Our hike in the hills.
We were walking by a small home on the hill behind our camp. This home is at the edge of the desert. We spotted a lovely small cactus in the the front yard. Jose Gilberto was at home, and told us that his mother had found this cactus maybe 20 years ago. We asked permission for a small leaf, and Jose asked that we return to ask his mother this evening.

Jose says that when he was three years old, he touched this same cactus and his hand got red and hurt a lot. Jose says that this cactus grows very slowly.

As Little Mavicito and Jorge walked up the hill, we entered the desert.

Last spring when we were here, everything was dry and only a few hardy plants grew. Today the desert is green, and tons of flowers are growing.

One kind of plant grows like a blanket covering the hill. This plant has zillions of tiny violet flowers. Wow! It is gorgeous up here on the hill.

We climbed to the ridge of the hill. Little Mavicito is looking east toward the the Sea of Cortez. MsTioga is very small, but we can see her in the panorama. We wonder if she is looking at us? Are you able to find MsTioga in this pic?

Hint: MsTioga is just to the right of the famous Hotel Frances, the building with the large red roof on the left side of the pic. She is very small. Did you find her?

We looked all around the hill, and could not find one cactus. Jorge believes that the cactus were taken from these hills over the years because it is so close here to Cachania. We saw many cactus near the mines when we searched there last winter. Big ones too!

When we walked to the edge of the hill, there was a grand view of El Centro below us. We are looking southeast in the pic above. Do you see the road curving down to the right in this pic? That's where we will walk now.

As we were walking down the curving dirt road, a young man approached. He spoke in English very well. He is Carlos Sanchez, 17 years old, and a resident of Cachania (Santa Rosalia) for many years.

We had a very nice talk while standing in the dirt road. Carlos' father owns Reterkko's Restaurante in El Centro. Carlos will be studying at the University soon, probably in Ensenada, maybe La Paz. Carlos gave Jorge his email address, so now Jorge has another person to write to in Cachania besides his friend Raymundo.

We continued walking down the dirt road. Then we took one of those paths that winds between houses and led us downhill to El Centro. These paths are an amazing tribute to the culture of the people of Mexico. They make do. As a twig that bends in the storm makes it thru to the next day, the people of Mexico endure.

4PM - El Centro.
When we entered El Centro, Jorge wanted to introduce himself to Jose, the father of Carlos who we met on the dirt road. Jose Sanchez was at work in his restaurant, and we had a nice talk, mostly about his son Carlos.

At Super Mercado Cachania, we bought a flat of eggs and some other stuff, and headed for home. On the way guess what we received? A man who has a lovely cactus garden at his home in El Centro, gave Jorge a small cactus leaf! Wow! This has been a special day.


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