Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yesterday's amazing coincidence?
Our XM Radio wants to replace his connector cord. The cord's 12 to 5 volt transformer makes whistling noises that are heard over MsTioga's speaker system. So, we did a Google search and found three Radio Shack stores in Guadalajara.

We looked at the Garmin Nuvi GPS map of our Nite Camp neighborhood. Amazingly a Radio Shack is located is only about a 1/2 mile away! The Radio Shack is inside a medium sized shopping center. Amazingly, the shopping center, has a pet shop at the entrance, and I walked in to ask where the Radio Shack store is located. Then I asked the clerk if they had any birds for sale?

The parakeet cage was still covered from last nite. When the clerk took off the cover, there was a blue parakeet. A boy adult bird! Exactly what I'd imagined our next Team Member to be!

Returning to the pet store with our cage, I looked at the little blue bird for about ten minutes. He seemed to be pretty calm. Not afraid of me.

Isn't it amazing how things turn out?
Our newest Team Member, a Blue Boid.

Chicken enchiladas.
Yesterday evening, chicken enchiladas were on the supper menu. However during an afternoon walk, a ripe avocado was bought. So, supper turned out to be guacamole and totopos [corn chips].

This morning, the chicken was still waiting to become enchiladas! But not for long!

This batch of chicken enchiladas has a bunch of Herdez Salsa Casera roasted on top, Isn't that Herdez Salsa great? Hmmmmmm?
Chicken enchiladas for our next supper.

10AM - Blue Boid's cage door.
We have opened Blue Boid's cage door. It's been open for about an hour. In February, 2008, when we got Boid, he did not know how to exit his cage door either [link]. It was not until Boid's second day with us that he learned to go in and out of his cage.

We have put Blue Boid's seed dish, just outside his cage. So far, Blue Boid is just looking!

DuPont Paint.
MsTioga uses DuPont automotive paint. This is a single paint system not requiring a clear coat, as is done in the USA. We need more back-up paint for repairs. As MsTioga was leaving Zapotlán, we spotted a small DuPont store.

We bought three 1/4 liter cans, one for each of MsTioga's colors. Each color was matched by taking samples out to MsTioga. It took about 45 minutes to prepare the mixed paint.

Cost=$195 pesos [$15.20US].
DuPont in Zapotlán.

Mixing our paint.

6PM - Exploring his World!
Guess who figured out how to exit his cage-home? Guess who is exploring his new World? None other than Blue Boid!

Now Blue Boid has to figure out how to go back into his cage-home.
Oh! The brave Blue Boid.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Garmin Nuvi GPS is fantastic!
Yesterday afternoon on entering the huge City of Guadalajara, I went looking for a radio repair shop. When the XM Radio is playing [link], a static sound is heard. Sometimes that sound is very loud and annoyoing. Stopping at an electronics store, I asked for a recommendation. A salesman told me of a shop, and gave directions.

Such directions are almost impossible to follow. So, I brought in my Garmin Nuvi GPS and asked him to show me where the shop was located. You can put your finger on the Nuvi screen, and move the map in any direction. With the map located on his store, he told me where to go. When he found where the repair shop was located, I made that location my destination.

My Garmin Nuvi GPS took me there! Without my Garmin, there would be no way for me to find that shop in a city as huge and complicated as Guadalajara!

Boid in Campeche.
Do you remember when the border guard would not let Boid go into the Mexican state of Campeche last year? This morning I was doing some MsTioga Magazine writing and stumbled on the story that was written as a result of that incident.

The story is called "Mine Zaida and his bird." [link].

3PM - Nap Camped.
We have made a Nap Camp inside a huge parking area behind a Pemex gas station. Jorge needed to take a nap! We have headed east out from the City of Guadalajara and are about five miles from the City of Zapotlanejo.

Although we are at an elevation of 4,910 feet, everybody on The Team is very surprised how warm it is! The temp inside MsTioga is at 100°F. Wow!

6PM - City of Zapotlanejo.

MsTioga and The Team have found our Nite Camp in the City of Zapotlanejo. We are inside a tree lined parking area. A popular highway is close behind our Camp. So, if it is noisy during the evening, we may move.

Chicken enchiladas are on he menu for supper. However, MsTioga says that her oven will NOT be turned on while it is still in the 90s°F inside. So, we might have a late supper, this evening!

The area surrounding our Camp is filled with shops! You know how much we love to shop!
MsTioga and Jorge in Zapotlanejo.

PS: Little Mavicita says, "Try saying Zapotlanejo five times real fast!


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Remembering Boid.
Many Readers have written about Boid thru email and posts in ShoutBox. Some wondered how I could leave Boid behind, if I loved him. There is a discussion in Tioga-George Forum that was begun the first time Boid flew away and continued this last time Boid left us. [link].

If a human is able to love a bird, I loved that little guy. As I type this to you, I am tearing up because my emotions are still very raw. Little Boid was a special bird. I have had many parakeets in my life starting when I was 12 years old. Boid resides at the top of the list of my bird friends.

Can a bird have a sense of humor? Boid seemed to have one! Often when I was driving or at my computer, Boid wanted my attention. Boid's preferred way of getting my attention would be to fly on my head and walk around up there. Having little claws dig into my head is very attention grabbing.

Sometimes driving MsTioga and having Boid walk on head would be very distracting. Especially if I was in heavy traffic, making a turn, etc. In those situations, I might brush him away. Boid would not be put off. He often flew back immediately making funny squawking sounds. Again and again Boid would fly on my head. I know in my own mind that he thought that this was great fun!

Boid loved looking out of MsTioga's windows. When I would go outside, Boid would see which direction I would be walking and then fly to a window to see me pass. Boid would look out those windows for hours. His little claw feet never tired gripping the window edge. Often while we were driving, Boid would fly all around MsTioga from window to window.

Boid knew when I was making preparations to head out. He would get excited, stop pruning his feathers, eating or whatever, and fly over to MsTioga's passenger seat back. Sitting on that seat back was his favorite place while driving. Often while we were on-the-road, Boid would sing while sitting on that seat back. Sometimes he would do his feather pruning. Glancing back from the driver's seat, I would often see him in his cage eating. Boid was a great eater!

Boid learned words easily. It would only take about two weeks for Boid to begin to mimic a new phrase. "Jump, jump baby bird." "I love you!" "Give a kiss!" I had begun to teach Boid to say, "One two three four five six seven." He never spoke this phrase, because last Saturday he went away forever. [link]

I first met Boid in the pet shop outside the WalMart in León, Guanajuato. There were about 15 parakeets kept in the store window cage. Boid was the only one sitting calmly on a perch while all the other parakeets flew around tweeting and messing around. I had not planned on buying Boid. It was an impulse thing. Boid seemed so serene among all that bird activity. I just knew that he was a special guy.

The last pic that I took of Boid was taken last Saturday morning, the same day that Boid flew away. Boid was playing around on my desk while I was on the computer. Boid loved to chew up my note paper, and he was happily chewing when I captured the pic below.
Arrived: León, Guanjuato 13 February 2008

Departed: Magdalena, Jalisco 25 April 2009


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Monday, April 27, 2009

Boid is around here somewhere!
In all of the many hours that I spent looking for Little Boid, there is little doubt that I walked right by him. Boid is a sort of non-aggressive guy. Outside, he would not fly to me. He would wait for me to find him. To walk right up to where he was. He would wait for my finger to come close. Wait for his cage to be brought near. Only then would Boid come to me.

Boid was last seen as he flew into the tree behind MsTioga at just around dusk Saturday nite, April 25th. Now it is Monday morning. Could Boid survive so long without food and water?

This morning I walked all of the streets around our Camp in Magdalena. I likely walked right by where Boid waited for me since he flew out of MsTioga. The place where Boid very likely passed away.
Boid and George.

Boid's cage hangs outside.
Even though I really believe that Boid has passed away, deep in my heart I hope that he is still alive. So, while MsTioga is still here in Magdalena, Boid's cage hangs outside, waiting for Boid to return.
Waiting for Boid.

12 Noon - Where we last saw Boid.
We have made a Camp near the place where we last saw Boid. There are trees all around this Camp. One of these trees is the last place Boid was seen.

Boid's cage is hanging outside MsTioga's rear window. The arrow in the pic below is where Boid flew the last time that he was seen. We are waiting for a miracle to happen.
Camping for Boid.

2PM - Heading out of Magdalena.
We on The Team have decided to head out of Magdalena. We've accepted that Boid is not going to be traveling with us. We have had a wonderful year+ with our Little Baby Boid!

4PM - Camped in El Arenal.
MsTioga and The Team have made our Nite Camp in the Town of El Arenal. There was a small abarrote store around the corner. We bought an avocado to make guacamole for tonite's supper.

As you may imagine, everybody on The Team is in a somewhat somber mood because Boid is not here. How could a little guy like Boid give us soooooo much happiness? Always doing something interesting. Looking out MsTioga's windows. Singing his songs. Saying his words. Flying on my head and walking around up there. Man-O-Man!


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

6:30AM - Waiting for the dawn.
It was only possible for me to sleep perhaps an hour last nite. I watched movies to keep my mind from thinking about Boid being gone. When the morning light comes, I'll be out there with Boid's cage, whistling the sounds that he learned to mimic. And calling out, "Jump, jump baby bird" [the first words Boid learned to say].

8:30AM - Boid is still out there.
Boid did not return to me. I walked the neighborhood, whistling his song and calling out his words. On returning to MsTioga, I looked for some solace. The words of poet William Wordsworth came to me. They are below, although somewhat paraphrased.

Sing you birds, sing a joyous song!
We in thought will join your throng,
What radiance which was once so bright,
Has been taken from my sight.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
Boid's first day with us, February 13, 2008.

9AM - Jesus the mechanic.
As you may recall, MsTioga has a problem with her fuel pumps. So, we have Jesus the mechanic changing out the pumps.

One fuel pump is inside the gasoline tank and the other pump is on the frame rail. In order to change out the pump inside the tank, the gasoline tank must be removed. Jesus claims that he will be able to do the entire job today.

Martha the Gypsy.
An email arrived from Reader Martha the Gypsy. I would like to share part of that email with you:

"Boid is a child of the Universe, just as you are, and he is playing out his destiny as surely as you are yours. No matter what happens to him, would his life have been better with someone who had held him more firmly captive? I doubt it."

1PM - MsTioga's gas tank.
Jesus the mechanic removed the gas tank. However, the low pressure gas pump from inside the tank not the same as the pump that we bought this morning. The size and electric connections are different. Jesus has gone to the auto parts store to exchange.
Gas tank removed.

4:30PM - MsTioga running again!
MsTioga is all put together again. It was a hard job putting the gas tank back in place. So, I helped Jesus. A third hand sometimes is very helpful.

The cost of labor to remove and replace the gas tank, replace the inside and outside fuel pump and fuel filter is $900 pesos [$70US]. The parts cost $2,120 pesos [$165US].
Jesus the mechanic of Magdalena.

Showed Boid's pic to the neighbors.
I printed a color pic of Boid and went around the neighborhood asking people to let me know if they hear anything about a parakeet being loose. Nobody has showed up yet. I've pretty much reconciled myself to Boid being gone for good.

I am very sleepy from being up most of last nite. When I try to sleep, I am not able.

Jesus the mechanic offered me a parakeet. He has several of them. I told him no. Boid is the last bird for me.


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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spectacular success!
Our new blog layout is a spectacular success. Blows me away! So, we had a Team Meeting this morning and it was decided to put the same layout on our MsTioga Magazine stories. This would be a BIG project if we were to convert all of the stories. However, some of the MsTioga Magazine stories are very popular. Why not start out with these?

Our story about Slab City [link] is our first conversion. This story is popular because Google searches for "Slab City" result in this web page being displayed 3rd from the top on the very first page! Also, the Wikipedia story which is the 2nd Google result, links to our Slab City story.

Pretty neat, huh?

10AM - Boid is the boss!
When our parakeet Little Boid joined The Team over a year ago, he was pretty timid. It took a couple of weeks just to get Boid to be less afraid of my hand. Those days are gone! Not only is Boid unafraid of my hand. He is not afraid of me at all.

Sometimes when Boid is in the mood, he lets me hold him, my hand completely around him. He doesn't even try to fly away. He just makes a sound which tells me, "Watch out or I'll bite you!"

Boid often is very much into mischief. One of the things he likes to do a lot is chew up the papers on my desk.
Boid chewing papers on my desk.

3PM - Broken down in Magdalena!
Señorita Tioga broke down in the City of Magdalena! It is a fuel problem again. We have a hunch that the problem is the fuel pump located inside the gasoline tank.

You may recall that La Señorita had a fuel problem a couple of months ago while driving to Tepic. We thought that the problem then was the fuel filter, and changed the filter out. However, we continue to have intermittent fuel problems, so the pump is now suspect.

Señorita Tioga and The Team are soooooo lucky!
You may not believe that we are lucky. However, we broke down inside a big town. That was very lucky! And, when we broke down, we were in the middle of an intersection. But with a mighty exertion of her tremendous will, Señorita Tioga managed to move herself from the intersection to a safe place.

Isn't that the greatest thing!
Broke down in Magdalena!

7PM - Boid flew off into the fading light!
A taco stand a few feet away from our Camp looked good. As I stepped out of MsTioga to get some tacos, Boid flew on my shoulder for just a second. Then we were both outside and he flew towards a tree. I called out to Boid in the tree, but I could not see him. I quickly got his cage and went to the tree and called for him.

With Boid's cage, I called out for over an hour. Soon the dark of nite came. Boid likely was perched on a limb, and probably could see and hear me calling out. But Boid gets disoriented at nite and would not fly to his cage.

I never saw Boid again.

Innocent Boid - Ignorant George.
Boid was an incident waiting to happen. And, I am the reason for it happening. I could not bear to have Boid locked up in his cage. I could not bear to have his wings clipped. Boid was soooooo happy flying around inside MsTioga. And I was soooooo happy seeing him fly.

Boid really did not want to be outside. I know that for sure. Boid had chances to escape a thousand times. He did not take that chance. Not even once!

Both times that Boid escaped, the way that it happened was identical: Boid flew on me just as I was going outside. And when Boid was outside, he flew away. Because of the way that Boid and I lived, his escape in that manner was inevitable.

The first time that Boid got loose, I convinced myself that such an incident could not happen the same way again. I was wrong. And now Little Baby Boid is outside at nite. Alone. Afraid. And I am to blame! I feel very low tonite.

Nite Camp Location Link


Friday, April 24, 2009

Reader Rosalie writes.
Rosalie, a senior from Canada writes, "Happy to hear you decided to go for it. At this age we must follow our dreams." That got me to thinking whether I could begin this kind of life now at my age of 71.

My reply:
"I understand how it is very possible for people to pass the age where they feel able to do boondocking and have the "go-for-it" attitude. I myself am like that. If I were not already doing boondocking and "going-for-it", I likely would not be able to begin this life."
The Team Morning Camped in Ixtlán del Rio.

Note: I've stayed in Ixtlán del Rio before! [link].

4PM - Staying in Ixtlán.
We had a nice day in Ixtlán del Rio. We washed MsTioga's front end in the shade of the trees in the park. While in the park, we found a crack in the leg brace for MsTioga's table. One of the men tending the plants in the park told of a welding place just around the corner.

MsTioga drove around the corner where we met Ginio Lara who owns a truck spring repair shop. While the leg was being brazed, Ginio visited inside MsTioga.

We returned to the park and had lunch in a little restaurant across the street. Camarones al mojo de ajo [garlic shrimp].

We had a Team Meeting, and decided to stay the nite in Ixtlán. We like it here. Only traveled eight miles today!
Jorge and MsTioga at the park in Ixtlán del Rio.

Note: Temperature 90°F inside MsTioga. Elevation 3,402 feet. We have been posting temp and elevation because we are traveling into the mountains to find a cooler climate. And, we thought you would be interested in this stuff.

8PM - Abarrotes!

I just got back from a walk around the neighborhood. There was an Abarrote store and I bought some groceries. Abarrotes means groceries in Mexican Spanish.

During my little walk, I came across two tiendas de abarrotes [grocery stores]. One of them was soooooo small! I've been living in Mexico at least part time since 2003 and I still do not fully understand how a person may earn their living from a tiny abarrote store.

Some abarrotes are so tiny, that customers may not enter. There is not enough room. So, customers tell the clerk [or owner] thru an open window what they want and their purchase is brought front to the counter.


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hungry Jorge!
Not having a lot of income has been a terrific thing for me. Keeps me sharp. Keeps me thinking. Keeps me hungry. Very stimulating, for sure!

This morning because of income, I was thinking about my blog's layout. You may know that Google's AdSense has paid me a considerable amount of $money$. However, lately although traffic to the TiogaRV Team's website is on the rise, income from AdSense has been falling off. This income drop is caused by advertisers apparently paying less for ads appearing on our site.

In order to boost earnings, we want to try other advertising programs. We would still continue to use Google AdSense. However, our blog's layout was not suitable for this change. There was not enough room for ad placement in the locations where ads do best.

This morning before sunrise, while still in bed, it came to me what that blog layout would look like. The layout that you are reading is the result. There is now room for other advertising programs. Pretty neat, huh?
MsTioga Breakfast Camped along the toll road south of Compostella.

3PM - Camped in Ahuacatlán.
This morning we traveled along the toll road from Compostela to Chapalilla. Then took the free road. We may have told you before, that we like the free roads. Not only because they are free! Mostly because we travel thru little towns which make our journey interesting. The toll roads pass by nearly everything.

We traveled 37 miles today. Just about right for us on The Team. Mr. DeLorme reports that our Camp is at an elevation of 3,304 feet. The temperature is 90°F. The altitude has brought the temperature down quite a bit during nitetime. I had to use my extra blanket last nite.

Why my blog looked weird this morning!
I use the FireFox browser to write my blog. This morning after I made all of the changes descibed above, I forgot to check how those changes looked in the Internet Explorer browser. Wow! Really weird!

There was a width parameter that was NOT accepted by Internet Explorer. That's why all of the blog text appeared squished up to the left. I've corrected the width now and Internet Explorer users should see my blog the way that it was intended to be seen!


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