Friday, July 31, 2009


Several emails came in surprised and wondering how a seemingly square guy like myself ever got to like the music of Kurt Cobain and the rock band Nirvana. In 1996 I talked the owner of a cabinet shop in Martinez, California into giving me a job as an apprentice cabinet maker. Imagine that?

There was a teenage apprentice working there who was very much into Cobain's music and would play Nirvana's songs while we worked. His name was Chris, and he had long hair, a beard, played the guitar and sort of looked like Cobain. After awhile, I got to like Nirvana. I am intrigued by poetic lyrics in music that actually have no meaning, but get me to wondering about what the composer had in mind.

If you have been following MsTioga and myself for awhile, you might be wondering how I got to be an apprentice cabinet maker in 1996 at the age of 59. Well, when my 21 year marriage ended in 1985, I got lost. For 10 years I sort of drifted thru life. When I finally began to get back to reality, I had no job, my restaurant business was gone. I was a mess!

I took a job selling a business advisory service door-to-door. It only took a day for me to figure out that this service was a scam. I was still on that sales job when I walked up to the rear of this cabinet shop. I saw a bunch of guys inside working and it looked to me as though they were having a good time. The shop manager walked up and asked if he could help me? I asked if he would consider giving a man my age a job as an apprentice cabinet maker. He told me that it was possible.

I remained working at that shop for five years. During that time I got myself back onto my financial feet, saving as much of my paycheck as possible. I subscribed to Motorhome Magazine, never dreaming that someday I would actually own and live in an RV.

Destiny! What a remarkable thing is destiny!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Early this morning I was messing around with a Nirvana CD, "Unplugged in New York". While using Windows Media Player I noticed there was a "Slide Show" option. Wow! That is really neat! The slide show searched my computer for pics and showed them as a slide show with a background of Nirvana's "Come as you are."

That got me to thinking of all the memories that I've shared with you over more than 2,200 blog posts since May, 2003. Ms. Vaio and I decided to publish a slide show, and we hope that you like it. We don't have rights to use the music, but feel that if Kurt were still alive that it would be OK with him.

12 Noon - The park.
You may recall that several times here in the City of San Juan del Rio, MsTioga made a Day Camp in a field. Well, that field is located next to a very nice park with green, very well watered grass. There is even a little stream flowing thru the park!

MsTioga and the Team have made a Day Camp in the field, as close to the park as we can be!
MsTioga next to the park.

Weng and Fran's Honeymoon.
Today, Weng tells the story of her honeymoon. I have to admit that I get quite a kick out of Weng's writing style. She is sooooooo adorable! [link]

Both Weng and her husband Fran are really great people to know. I am very lucky to be able to call them my friends!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to the doctor!

Back to the doctor!
My plan this morning was to head north to the high mountains, staying there for several days. However, this morning while shaving, I noticed a new and separate growth about 3mm from the initial basal cell carcinoma [BCC] growth. At my examination last Monday, Dr. Robles identified a 2nd BCC 15mm from the initial BCC.

Although metastatic BCC is rare, my having three separate growths in such a short period of time is alarming. So, this morning I am heading back to Dr. Robles' office again for another examination.

11AM - Doctor is out.
Upon arriving at the office of Dr. Robles, his receptionist informed me that the doctor is out of the office and will return at 3pm. So, MsTioga and The Team made a Camp in a field nearby to wait.

Our friend Weng.
While waiting, we took the opportunity to go online and visit the website of our friend Weng. Have you been following Weng? Her last post was really terrific. Very interesting as she described how Fran arrived and all that happened.

You should really take a look! [link]

3PM - Dr. Robles.
Back in the office with Doctor Robles, I explained my concerns about what to me appeared the rapidly growing carcinomas. Dr. Robles examined my nose once again. He reassured me that I should not be concerned. I have a lot of faith in Dr. Robles. As I told you before, the doctor comes highly recommended by my friends in Tequisquiapan.

So, I will wait for 10 August which is the date for my appointment to have the cancerous growths removed.

Dr. Robles visits MsTioga!
You may recall that Dr. Robles is very interested in the RVing life! During my initial visit, I gave him a Tioga-George business card with our internet and email address. The doctor has been reading our blog and many MsTioga Magazine pages too.

I invited Dr. Robles to visit MsTioga parked a short distance away. However, I forgot to let Little Mavicita take the doctor's pic during his visit!

By the way, Dr. Robles has been reading your ShoutBox posts, and commented to me about several of them!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

But not today!

But not today!
In yesterday's post I told you that I have cancer again. The doctor says it is basal cell carcinoma. This is not a life threatening cancer like non-Hodgins lymphoma that I had before. There are two of these skin cancers on my nose, and they will be removed on 10 August. So, what should I do until that date?

I am going to live completely in the now of time. I am going to enjoy every single second of today. Exercising, taking a nice morning walk, a warm shower, doing maintenance on MsTioga. Perhaps we shall visit our Tequis friends, Pete and Jimena Schuster and their house guest Papa Jean. Later, we may take a ride in MsTioga to the other side of Tequisquiapan where there are hills that we have not explored.

I am mortal. Sometime in the future I will not feel as wonderful as I do right now. But not today!
View from the hills above Tequisquiapan.
Temperature at 5pm: 72°F - Elevation: 7,424 feet

Monday, July 27, 2009


10AM - Dermatologist
MsTioga and The Team drove to San Juan del Rio looking for the office of the dermatologist that our friend Jimena Schuster recommended. However, we only had the doctor's approximate location and his phone number. I bought a phone card and called the office. Only got a phone answering machine.

Leaving MsTioga in a large field, I walked toward where I believed the office would be. I asked a lady in a store if she knew a Doctor Robles and she pointed me in the direction of his office. After asking about four more people, I arrived at the doctor's office.

The sign stated that the office opens at 11am. So, I went back for MsTioga and drove her back and parked around the corner from Dr. Robles.

11AM - Basal cell carcinoma.

I waited in the doctor's waiting room for about 30 minutes. The doctor was in consultation with another patient. When I met Dr. Robles, I found him to be a 50s something man dressed in a T-shirt, short pants and running shoes. My kind of guy! When he asked me my address and learned that I lived in MsTioga, he was very interested. "I would like to live that kind of life!", the doctor told me. I gave the doctor a Tioga-George business card and invited him to read my website.

The doctor and I communicated in both Spanish and English. We are both just about the same in fluency with each others language. He gave me a full body examination. Afterward, he told me that I have two basal cell carcinoma growths on my nose.

I have an appointment to return to the doctor to have these two cancers removed on 10 August at 6:30pm. The cost of today's doctor's visit is $300 pesos [$23.40US].

2PM - Mary's Restaurant.
Off the main drag thru San Juan del Rio is Mary's Restaurant. A very popular place which daily at lunch time often has more than 100 customers thruout the afternoon. I ordered Pollo A La Plancha [grilled chicken breast] followed by Fresa con Crema for dessert. Sooooo good!

Cost, $85 pesos [$6.63US].
Mary's Restaurant.

Pollo a la Plancha

Fresa con crema

Sunday, July 26, 2009

News on the radio

News on the radio
Much of my news comes thru my XM Satellite Radio. Very often now, there are several news contributors talking in a group forum. This morning I was listening to such a forum on CNN. I found myself having difficulty understanding and following what was being said.

The people talking compete with each other for time so they speak very, very fast. So fast that often I cannot follow. There is a lot of interruption. People over-talking each other.

I long for news broadcast like it used to be years ago.

Going to dermatologist

Several weeks ago a sore appeared on my nose. The sore scabbed over, but did not seem to heal. A couple of days ago the scab fell off and the sore is now healed.

However, that area of my nose is very suspicious looking. I am concerned. So, I got the name of my friend Jimena's dermatologist. The doctor has an office located in the City of San Juan del Rio, not too far from where I am in Tequisquipan.

MsTioga and The Team will be driving to San Juan del Rio tomorrow so that I can find out what's what.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Perspective and expectation!

Perspective and expectation!
Reader Carl wrote wondering how we on the TiogaRV Team seem to be always living the high-life! Do you ever have down days? Don't you ever get depressed?

Man-O-Man! These are great questions. Well, the first thing is our perspective. Our perspective is based on one moment in time in November, 2001. That was when a doctor at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, California spoke these words. "You have cancer!"

Since that moment, every problem, every challenge, has been less formidable.

The second thing is expectation. We on the TiogaRV Team believe that every problem, every challenge will be resolved. There is no doubt. In addition, we believe that every day will be wonderful. We love everything that we do.

We are excited about shopping for groceries. We are excited about driving down the road and seeing new things. We love eating and drinking. Taking a shower in MsTioga is a wonderful event. Because all of these simple everyday things are compared to that moment in 2001.

2PM - Visiting in Tequisquiapan.
We went over to visit with our friends Pete and Jimena in Tequisquiapan. They live in a wonderful home near the center of town. Pete has written a terrific story of interest to you if you are thinking of living in Mexico [link].

When we visit with Pete and Jimena, we always park next to the new Best Western Hotel and then walk the few blocks to their home. This hotel opened this year and is very modern. If you are thinking about visiting in Tequis, you may want to stay here. But it is not cheap. $1,249 pesos per nite for a double [$97US].
Best Western-Tequisquipan.

Friday, July 24, 2009

In love with romance movies.

In love with romance movies.
As you may know, I love movies. Especially romance movies where they live happily ever after! Heartbreak! Strangely, I love stories where there is heartbreak as long as the heart mends into love.

Last nite's movie, "Definitely, Maybe" is such a movie.

Rain has turned the land green!
Nearly every afternoon and evening, the rain begins. And a good thing too. The people of Mexico depend on the rain to grow crops and nourish sheep, cattle and goats.

A month ago much of the land was brown. Not anymore. The rain has turned the land green. Flowers are everywhere.
Flowers everywhere!

Corn growing.

Sheep eating grass.

2PM - Chinese restaurant in Amealco.
I've eaten in Chinese restaurants all over the country of Mexico. The very best Chinese food in all of Mexico, is "El Mandaryn" in the Town of Amealco. The owner of the restaurant, a Mexican man, worked for ten years in a Chinese restaurant in the USA. After returning to his hometown of Amealco, he built his own restaurant and used his experience to prepare delicious Chinese food for his customers.

This is the 2nd time I have eaten at El Mandaryn. Today I ordered Almond Chicken, and it was wonderful.
El Mandaryn in Amealco.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Crazy for history!

Crazy for history!
It is absolutely true that I am crazy for history. If my memory were excellent, I likely would have been a history teacher. Unfortunately my memory is terrible.

This morning I was reading about the life of Walter Cronkite who died recently. This led to reading about William S. Paley who took Columbia Broadcasting System from a small network to the giant it became in radio and television.

That led me to read about Edward R. Murrow who worked for CBS all his life. Murrow became famous during World War Two and his reports from London. I personally remember listening to Murrow's "See It Now" program where he criticized Senator Joseph McCarthy who was behind America's terrible "Red Scare" era.

Internet researching.
Being connected to the internet as I am anywhere that I travel is truly a miracle. And being able to do history research using the internet is just plain wonderful for me!

4PM - It's how much gas you use.
Are thinking about being an RVer, and concerned about the price of gasoline? Well, MsTioga has a thought for you. "The important thing is not the price of gasoline. It's how much gas you use."

For example, take our 33 mile trip today. MsTioga gets about 8 miles per gallon. So, today's trip used a little over 4 gallons of gas. The cost of gasoline in Mexico is now $2.21/gallon which means that MsTioga's gas today cost about $8.80US.

Could you afford $8.80/day for gas? Hmmmm?
TiogaRV Team in Coroneo residential neighborhood.
Temperature at 5PM: 73°F - Elevation: 7,464 feet