Saturday, March 31, 2012


6AM - Why don't you get an FM3?
A few days ago I was schmoozing around with my friend Pete Schuster, and he asked me, "Why don't you get an FM3?" Since I have been living in Mexico, I only have gotten a tourist visa. An FM3 is for persons who want to move to Mexico permanently.

I am going to ask Pete to do an interview video with me about an FM3. That way we can all benefit from Pete's long experience in Mexico.

9:30AM - At the gym
I've just finished working out at the gym. I've been coming here about 3x each week for an hour workout each time.

I think that I am getting stronger. No doubt that a senior such as myself does not build muscle easily, as I used to do when I was younger.

Blue sky

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mr Datastorm

9AM - Shipping Mr. Datastorm
You may have read in yesterday's post, that we are asking for help in getting Mr. Datastorm to California. And, you may be wondering why Mr. Datastorm doesn't simply stay on MsTioga's roof on our trip back north.

This is a very good question! You see, Pete and I were talking over the past week about our decision to return to California. Why do we want to go back there? The answer to that question is, "To do a bunch of maintenance things to MsTioga." Take a peek at our 2012 Trip Plan to get a better idea what this is all about.

Both Pete & I  agreed, that it is MUCH less expensive to do all of this maintenance work here in Mexico. Mechanic labor in Mexico costs a fraction of labor in the USA. Also, a round trip from Tequisquiapan to San Diego, California would cost a minimum of $2,000 in gasoline alone. And there would be wear and tear of this 3,500 mile trip.

One last but very important thing. We are heading into the months where MsTioga wants to be in the highlands of Mexico in order to not be overwhelmed by summer heat and humidity. That is exactly where we are right now, here in Tequisquiapan.

So! Back to the challenge of getting Mr. Datastorm to California. What we want to do with Mr. Datastorm, is give him to our friend and Motosat Dealer, Steve O'Bosky. However, it appears that shipping costs will be well over $1,200US! That is why we are asking for help in doing this shipping.

If we cannot find somebody who is willing to take Mr. Datastorm from Tequis to San Diego, maybe we can find somebody who will come to Tequis and receive Mr. Datastorm as a gift.

So, now you know the extent of the Mr. Datastorm challenge. Any ideas? Hmmmm?

12 Noon - BBQ chicken sandwich
This morning we camped near the Bardol auto repair shop here in Tequis. MsTioga has gone for repairs at this shop before, and found the mechanics to be knowledgeable and very thorough. Using our Auto Maintenance Pro software, we made a list of things to be done. MsTioga has an appointment for Monday morning.

After leaving Bardol, MsTioga was driving down the highway thru Tequis. We remembered the chicken place that Jimena had recommended. Jimena told me that this chicken place sold, "Pollo Jugosito" [Juicy Chicken]. So, we stopped and bought a BBQ chicken.

We made an Afternoon Camp behind the Soriana store, and I prepared a BBQ chicken sandwich!
My BBQ sandwich lunch

4PM - Blood pressure
You may recall that I visited my cardiologist Dr. Espinoza last Tuesday, March 27th. At that appointment, Dr. Espinoza prescribed Tenoretic 50/12.5 for blood pressure control. However, when the doctor took my blood pressure in his office, it was 110/70. I wondered then if I even needed blood pressure medication anymore with this blood pressure reading. But I did not tell the doctor of this concern.

Anyway, I began taking Tenoretic, and have taken three daily doses so far. Lately I noticed that my urine stream is very small. And this is one of the side effect warnings for Tenoretic.

I phoned Dr. Espinoza this afternoon and informed him of my current blood pressure and reduced urine stream. I asked to stop taking this medication, and he OK'd me stopping. I am to call him if I have any symptoms, or if my blood pressure reading changes.

My weight has reduced quite a bit over the past two years. I used to weigh 187 lbs. Now I weigh 172 lbs. Could it be that my reduced weight has affected my blood pressure?

Never a dull moment!

Mostly cloudy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pete Jimena home

8:30AM - Pete & Jimena's home
Remember when we promised you a video of Pete & Jimena's completed home?

Well, we changed our collective minds about doing this via a video. And decided to present their home this way!

6PM - Washing MsTioga MsTioga and I spent much of today with Pete & Jimena. When you visit in Tequisquiapan, and go to Pete & Jimena's home, you will find out why I like to go there soooo much! Anyway, we headed back to the center of Tequis and decided to visit Tx Wash, the car wash that is right next door to La Fogata, the burger store. You may recall the first time we visited here. I told you about the one employee who works here [link]. He is only 16 years old and has been at Tx Wash for one year. His name is Erneto and he has complete responsibility for running the wash. This means giving quotes for cleaning big RVs, such as MsTioga. It costs 150 pesos [$12US] to wash the exterior including vacuuming and cleaning the front of MsTioga.
Erneto - Manager of Tx Wash

11PM - Shipping help We need help to ship our Mr.Datastorm from the State of Queretaro in Mexico to the State of California. Are you able to help us?.

75°F Lotsa clouds

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breaking stuff

8:30AM - Breaking stuff!
It is a constant source of amazement to me that stuff around MsTioga keeps on breaking.

Recently I have been receiving emails from Reader Phil who is certain that MsTioga has electrical grounding problems. A little while ago I went to check out a few things that Phil wrote about. I had to remove a couple of our computer workstation desk panels in order to do this checking. Upon removing the left panel, I was shocked to see that our big inverter had broken loose from its mounting and now was lying askew. Fortunately, none of the electrical cabling to the inverter was under stress or had broken due to the inverter moving.

I went outside to open our big sliding drawer to get some tools and got another shock! The latch that keeps the sliding drawer in place while MsTioga is driving had somehow broken the latch board!
Broken inverter mounting

Broken latch board

1:30PM - Repairs completed!
The big Heart Interface inverter/charger was moved back into position. Only one of the support boards is damaged, but this damaged board is still usable. Although this is a temporary repair, it will hold well enough for now.

The entire wood frame support for the computer workstation needs to be completely rebuilt. During the past nine years, rough roads have taken their toll. When we do this rebuild, the new Heart inverter supports will be much stronger.

Outside drawer repair
The latch board has been replaced. At a local lumber yard, we were lucky to find a board of the exact thickness required. The latch board's riser has to be the exact thickness of the cabinet's lip. The first latch board lasted 9 years. This one is a better design and should do a good job.
New latch board & remounted latch

5PM - Old clothing and hats to the church
Our regular Tequis Nite Camp is across the street from the Best Western Hotel. There is a very nice lady who lives nearby. Today I told her about my spring cleaning and all the clothing that I had to give away. I asked her, "Is there a place around here that could use old clothes?"

"Yes! My church would very much like to have your clothes" . She handed me a large plastic bag, and I returned to MsTioga to load up.

You may recall from yesterday's post, that David's two Indiana Jones hats are among the clothing that is being discarded. When I came to those hats, I put them aside and kept loading other clothing. Then when everything was loaded into the bag. I looked at those two hats!

Man-O-Man! That was a tough moment for me! But I picked up the hats and the bag of clothing and brought them into the lady's home. I told her that they were my Uncle's hats. I did not want to get into why I would be giving away my son's hats.

Lotsa clouds

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Old hats

5AM - Old hats
This morning I cleaned out three of MsTioga's bedroom cabinets. Threw out a bunch of stuff. That is where I kept two of David's old hats. These are Indiana Jones hats. David got a kick out of wearing an Indiana Jones leather jacket and the hat that goes with it.

I put the two hats in the pile of stuff to take to a thrift store. It's time for me to let go of those hats.

I am keeping David's Indiana Jones leather jacket. It fits me perfectly! Also, I bought an Indiana Jones style hat for myself. One that fits me. David's hats were a bit snug on my head.
David and his hat

8:30AM - Dr. Ricardo Espinoza
You may recall that Dr. Espinoza is my cardiologist. Today I went for an appointment to see the doctor. I have no complaints. I am seeing the doctor because I have not visited him since August, 2010.

The doctor gave me an electrocardiogram. There is some change in my echo readings. I'm returning for a 2nd electrocardiogram on April 10th so that comparisons may be made.

My blood pressure today is 110/70. This compares to 150/90 in June, 2009 at my first appointment with Dr. Espinoza. Apparently my blood pressure medication has worked for me. I was taking Biconcor 5.00/6.25. But Biconcor is not available lately. So, the doctor changed my medication to Tenoretic 50/12.5.

12 Noon - Gorditas de Bernal
As most people who live around here will agree, the best gorditas are made in a restaurant located in the Town of Bernal. Do you know what is a Gordita? In Spanish gordita means "chubby". But a gordita is also a thick tortilla. In Bernal they have perfected the gordita and make it out of blue corn. Which is soooo good.

Here in the City of Tequisquiapan, a restaurant recently opened named "Gorditas de Bernal". What many do not know is that Gorditas de Bernal is actually an offshoot of the very same famous restaurant. Each morning two ladies from Bernal load up a van with food from this famous restaurant and drive 33km in less than one hour to reach this new restauarant in downtown Tequisquiapan.

I went to eat lunch at Gorditas de Bernal. The gorditas are wonderful, just like in Bernal! One gordita was filled with carne adobada and the second gordita had frijoles.
Gorditas de Bernal
Center of Tequisquiapan

My gorditas cooking

My gordita waiting to be eaten

Clear sky

Monday, March 26, 2012

Video lavanderia

9AM - Video editing at lavanderia
This morning at a bit after 7am, MsTioga drove to the Zamiri Lavanderia here in the City of Tequisquiapan. We have a load of laundry to do! Zamiri does not open until 9am. But we have plenty to do while waiting!

It took about an hour for MacBook and Jorge to produce a rough cut of the video that we have named, "Pete & Jimena's Home". We just brought our laundry in to Zamiri. Now, we are off to show the video to Pete & Jimena.

We are sure that Pete or Jimena will want to make some changes to the video. When the video is ready, Pete will describe his home in an audio recording that will play with the video. When it's all done, we will publish the video on YouTube for you to see!

2PM - Plaza Hotel
Pete and Jimena sprayed the inside of the house for spiders and wanted to go away for awhile because of the odor. They invited me to go with them to the Plaza Hotel for lunch. Being not too hungry, I ordered a bowl of tortilla soup. Good flavor, but a bit spicy for me.

5PM - Maintenance on MsTioga
Yesterday while doing lighting maintenance on MsTioga, two of the rear clearance lights were found not working. The light bulbs were OK! We thought that we would have to buy new clearance lights.

We sprayed both light sockets with Caig DeOXit. After the Caig DeOXit worked, on the lights sockets overnite, the bulbs began working again. We love that Caig stuff [link].

Inverter story-Part 2
I believe that we told you that a couple of years ago we bought an Aims Pure Sine Wave 1000 watt inverter as a backup to the Heart Modified Sine Wave 1000 watt that has been in service since about 2004. We had problems with the Aims. Right after purchase it did not work and was returned to the factory for repairs.

When we got the Aims back from the factory, we did not use it right away. As I wrote, the Aims was bought to be a backup inverter.

One day several months ago, we decided to give the Aims a test. It worked terribly! Produced noise thru MsTioga's sound system. Also, our MacBook Pro's trackpad was jumpy when being powered by the Aims.

We decided to scrap the Aims inverter out, but did not ever trash the thing. Good thing too! A couple of days ago our old Heart Inverter died on us. We had no choice but to re-install the Aims Inverter.

What a surprise we had when the Aims now performed perfectly. No buzz in the sound system and MacBook's track pad is not jumpy anymore. Really weird!

Note: Read the original Inverter Story [here].

Misty blue

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Assisted living Mexico

7AM - Assisted living in Mexico
A couple of days ago an email arrived from Reader Roger who asked for info about assisted living places in Mexico. I had not come across any such places during my travels. However, going online with a Google search found several.

I am guessing that there are a growing number of seniors who find it difficult to afford such care in the United States when they no longer feel comfortable living in their own place.

My search turned up a lot of places offering different levels of senior care. All over Mexico too! Especially in Mexican towns that are popular with ex-pats such as, the Lake Chapala area [Ajijic] and San Miguel de Allende. I even found a place in Rosarito Beach in Baja California!

10AM - Doing our Trip Plan again!
You may recall that we used to do annual trip plans with monthly updates. We stopped doing those monthly updates in September, 2010. That was the month that my Son David died.

Well, this morning I published our 2012 Trip Plan. It is a different format then before. No monthly updates.

Take a peek and you may see for yourself. The Trip Plan link may be found on the Tioga and George Home Page. Every one of our web pages has a Home Page link.

However, you may just click [here] to view Trip Plan today!

11AM - Going online without Mr. Datastorm
Reader fstephens asked in ShoutBox about me posting in the 2012 Trip Plan about not using Mr. Datastorm to go online anymore. This is a very interesting subject!

Mr.  Datastorm was installed on MsTioga's roof in 2003. At that time, there really was no other way to get on to the internet every where that we traveled. And that continued to be true for several years. However, things in the electronic world were making big changes.

We began to see great advances in WiFi technology. Companies such as Verizon in the United States and Telcel in Mexico were attempting to cover everywhere with a WiFi signal. We actually purchased a Verizon WiFi Modem stick in June, 2011, You may read about that by clicking [here].

It became abundantly clear after using the Verizon stick for awhile, that we could get online with this tiny device almost anywhere. And without the huge maintenance issues that accompany the HughesNet/Datastorm system.

Some clouds

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Movie changes

7AM - Movie changes
The storyboard for the movie about Pete & Jimena's home that I have in my head included videos and still pics. When I showed an unedited video of the movie to Pete yesterday, he made an excellent suggestion! "Why don't you use only still pictures, and not use videos? There is nothing moving in your videos."

That is exactly what I'm going to do. This morning MsTioga and I are heading out to Pete & Jimena's home again in time for the morning sun to give New Mavicita the right light. We need to re-shoot pics of the front of their home. Also, an interior pano-pic of the kitchen needs a re-shoot.

Have you ever made a video? Hmmm? They are really a lot of fun to make. We use Microsoft's old version of Movie Maker. This old version really is a wonderfully easy way to produce videos. So intuitive! [link]

2PM - Comida China in Amealco
Jimena said, "Lets go to Amealco for Chinese food!" Both Pete and I thought this to be a fantastic idea!

So, we climbed in the car and headed out for Amealco. I ordered garlic shrimp. Jimena beef with vegetables and Pete ordered sesame seed chicken.
Amealco Chinese Restaurant

My garlic shrimp

A few clouds

Friday, March 23, 2012

Davids blog

7AM - David's blog
A couple of days ago while I was staying over at Pete's home, he asked me why I still kept a link to my Son David's blog on my own blog page.

This is a good question. It's been about 18 months since David died. I have thought about removing the link. But it is a "pic/link". And that would mean removing David's face from my blog. I just am not ready for that yet.

I still have David's phone numbers listed in my Skype directory. And his emails remain in my email list. I do not know if I will ever remove them.

Do you do this kind of thing too?

Buenos dias, Señor!
Lately I've noticed that when people here in Mexico greet me in the morning, they add "Señor" after the greeting. For example when I am taking my morning walk they will say to me, "Buenos dias, Señor" instead of the usual, "Buenos Dias".

Is this just a coincidence? Or did something happen to me to cause this greeting change?

It must be that I now look older to these people! Hmmmm?

12 Noon - Pete & Jimena's movie
This morning MacBook and I have been editing Pete & Jimena's movie which will attempt to show all the many features of their lovely home.

The first thing we had to do, was to convert the videos from the AVI format that New Mavicita produced to the WMV format that Windows Movie Maker uses. This was not too difficult. There are many converters to be found on the net.

After loading these videos and the still pics into Movie Maker, we see that we will need more pics of the garden in the front yard. So, we phoned up Jimena using Skype to find out if they will be home.

It is amazing that all of this video editing and Skype phoning can be done using a computer and the net.

Clear sky

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Walk MsTioga

10AM - Walking to MsTioga
We spent a really nice morning schmoozing around with Pete & Jimena. I made myself a nice breakfast. Corn flakes, strawberries and banana. Pete made coffee. What a good time!

Now, it's time to pickup MsTioga at Panchito's Body Shop. I told Pete and Jimena that I'm walking to Panchito's place. It's only about a mile away.

Do you remember that I promised myself that I would walk more when I returned from the Guatemala trip?

11AM - Pics of paint job!
After leaving Panchito's Body Shop, we returned to Pete & Jimena's place. Then, New Mavicita took some pics of the finished work for you to see.

Panchito completed other repairs besides the pics below. MsTioga's hood had three places that were badly corroded and this corrosion was ground away, filled in and painted. Also, there was a bashed in place on MsTioga's cabover that was repaired.
Fender repair

Skirt & bumper repair

Rear corner repair

1PM - Why repair MsTioga?
You may be wondering why we would repair MsTioga? After all, MsTioga is now 21 years old. Why do body repairs on a 21 year old RV?

We spent $450US to repair MsTioga at Panchito's Body Shop. Isn't this like pouring money down the drain?

Well, to us on the TiogaRV Team, keeping MsTioga looking cherry is an essential part of our life. We take pride in how MsTioga looks. And we believe that MsTioga takes pride in her looks too!

Blue sky

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painting day

5AM - Painting day
Today is MsTioga's painting day. Pete, Jimena and I will drive to Panchito's Body Shop this morning at 8am and I'll move MsTioga into the shed area where they do the painting.

As you may see from yesterday's pics, MsTioga's repairs are looking pretty good!

11AM - San Miguel de Allende
Pete and Jimena have an appointment this morning at their tax lady's office in San Miguel. I am going with them for this trip.

After the tax lady, we plan to go out to a fancy/schmancy restaurant in San Miguel. I don't remember the name of this restaurant. But Pete told me it's the best food in Mexico!

1PM - Hecho en Mexico
After the meeting with their tax lady, Pete, Jimena and I headed out walking toward Hecho en Mexico, the restaurant that I told you about before. We did not see even one customer in the restaurant who did not look like an ex-pat from the USA!

Pete and I ordered "Dedos de Pollo" [fried chicken fingers]. Jimena ordered Fajitas de Arrachera". The food was very good. And, there was lots of it too! After the meal, we shared a large piece of apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top! [388 pesos=$31US]
Jorge, Jimena & Pete
Hecho en Mexico Restaurant

5PM - Back in Tequisquiápan
It's a 170 mile round trip from Tequisquiápan to San Miguel de Allende. Not bad for me, because I got to nap during the trip. But for Jimena who did much of the driving, it was tiring.

When we arrived back in Tequisquiápan, we stopped at Panchito's Body Shop. The cream color is completely painted. So is the dark brown stripe. All that remains is the bottom grey color which Panchito was just getting ready to paint.

We plan to pick up MsTioga tomorrow morning.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


9AM - Shooting the videos
This morning New Mavicita began shooting the videos of Pete & Jimena's completed home. Six scenes have been shot so far. All taken outside in the yard. Later this morning the inside scenes will be shot.

It's going to take a lot of editing to produce the completed video. Pete is going to describe his home in a recording which will be overlaid on to the edited video.

Out here in the neighborhood of Pete & Jimena's home, the Telcel Wide Band is very weak. I do not believe that a video can be uploaded here. If this proves to be true, we will have to wait to do the uploading until MsTioga's body work is complete and we are able to return to central Tequisquiápan where the Telcel signal is much stronger.

5PM - Checking on MsTioga
Pete and I just returned from checking up on MsTioga's body shop work. Looks pretty good! Panchito will be ready to paint MsTioga tomorrow morning.

New Mavicita took some pics of the body work for you to see.
Big hole repair

Fender repair

Very light clouds

Monday, March 19, 2012

Panchito body shop

9AM - Panchito's Body Shop
Pete and Jimena drove to Panchito's Body Shop along with MsTioga and myself. Panchito is going to do body repairs on MsTioga's hood and along the entire right side of MsTioga.

Jimena interpreted between myself and Panchito. Although my Spanish is OK, it is not perfect. Easy to mis-communicate. So Jimena's help is very valuable.

Panchito has estimated two days to do this body work. However, we are figuring close to three days. Cost is going to be 2500-3500 pesos [$200US - $280US].
Panchito the body guy

5PM - Time with Pete
During the day, Pete and I spent a lot of time talking about philosophical things. Our progress thru life. Stuff like that.

In the late afternoon we watched an interesting documentary about India on the TV.

What a pleasant day here in Tequisquiápan!
Late afternoon at Pete & Jimena's

Blue sky

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Next three days

7AM - The next three days
The next three days will be filled with events which alter and illuminate our times. And you will be there! [I've always wanted to write those words from Walter Cronkite's "You Are There" series!]

Anyway, MsTioga is going to the body shop tomorrow. She will be getting her right side repaired. It seems that I focus on MsTioga's right side when I bash into things. Her left side needs paint repairs, but no bashed-in repairs.

While MsTioga is in the body shop, I will be staying at Pete and Jimena's home! They built a casita [small home] for guests. And I will be their very first guest! The casita was completed only a few weeks ago, and is unfurnished. I was planning on bringing my mattress from MsTioga and just set it in on the floor for my bed. However, Pete and Jimena went out yesterday and bought a mattress and frame which should be delivered this afternoon! Wow!

Another thing that we plan to do is shoot a video to update you on Pete & Jimena's home. You may recall that we hung out with Pete for many weeks watching the construction. Now, we want to let you in on how their finished home turned out.
MsTioga's biggest bash
Right rear near the ladder

Pete's home construction videos
While Pete's home was under construction in 2010, Little Mavicita shot three videos interviewing Pete.

We wanted to learn why he and Jimena picked Tequisquiápan for their place to live. Also, we wanted Pete to tell us about Mexican home construction, costs to build and live in Mexico, stuff like that.

Blue sky

Saturday, March 17, 2012


8AM - Recharging Banda Ancha problems
Our WiFi stick, called Banda Ancha [Wide Band], has problems. When we recharge it [buy time], the time that we buy does not stick. Somehow, the online balance gets screwed up.

Also, we do not get the proper credit balance at the beginning. We are supposed to get 5GB and get only 3GB.

So, this morning we are going to the local Telcel office here in Tequisquiápan to get everything straightened out.

9AM - San Juan del Rio
While asking for directions to Telcel in Tequisquiapan, I learned that the Telcel office here is not open for servicing customers. I'm going to have to go to the Telcel office in San Juan del Rio, about 10 miles to the south.

We went online and found the address to the Telcel office in San Juan. The Telcel location in San Juan is now programmed it into our Garmin Nuvi GPS. MsTioga is heading down there now.

Note: While walking in the street in Tequis a few minutes ago, my shoe snagged on a street brick that was slightly raised, and I tumbled into the street. Tore my pants at the knee. I just hate falling down!

12 Noon - Banda Ancha upshot!
After talking and talking and talking to the people at the Telcel office, I finally got transferred to a lady who was able to explain what is going on.

Apparently there are TWO balances on the Telcel website. One balance shows how much money is in my account. The other balance shows how many gigabytes have been used and the balance GB remaining.

This lady happened to know where the GB balance is located on Telcel's website. Lucky for me!

There are actually two money balances. One balance is named "Balance Friend", and is the money available for conversion into gigabytes of bandwidth.  When a customer buys [recharges] their Banda Ancha, the money paid increases Balance Friend. When you want to use Balance Friend, you convert it to gigabytes.

Does this sound bit complicated? Maybe it is!

The other balance is called "Balance Gift". And I believe that this balance may be used in Telcel's promotions. But I am not sure about that.

If you understand how "Balance Gift" [Saldo Regalo] may be used, please write to me and explain, OK?

1PM - La Fogata with the gang!
I've been telling everybody who will listen how great are the burgers at La Fogata. So, today 5 of us went down there to check La Fogata out.

Although New Mavicita did not take a pic of the gang, you may know some of these folks by name:
Pete, Jimena, Art Barker, Sara and myself [Jorge].

The burgers were great. Art Barker stated, "Best burger that I have ever eaten in Mexico!"

7PM - A wonderful gift
I've been given a wonderful gift. That gift is the perception to see how fantastic is my life. Even during my times of agony when I lost so much, that view of my life never left me.

My son David and I shared the love of stories, especially movie stories. One movie that we both loved a lot was, "Local Hero". Not a popular movie. But a movie that has beautiful music. Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits was engaged to write the music for "Local Hero". And what a miraculous job, Mark Knopfler did!

This evening I took a shower inside MsTioga. And while I was in the shower enjoying the pleasure of warm water, I listened to "Local Hero" music.

Please click [here] to listen the music that David and I loved.
April 20, 2005

Blue sky

Friday, March 16, 2012

Body shop

8AM - Body shop
You may recall that MsTioga got her giant fiberglass and paint job in early 2007 [link]. We all knew back then, that MsTioga's cherry condition would not last. Not with Jorge being the driver! And sure enough, that dents and scrapes came. So, from time to time, MsTioga went to the body shop for repairs. [Body shops in Mexico are called, "carrocerias".]

I mentioned to Pete and Jimena that I was looking for a body shop, and they told me that there was a really good one that opened up recently located along the highway to their home. "It's the place with the giant yellow door gates", they told me.

I stopped there yesterday, and talked to Panchito, the father of the owner of the shop. Panchito told me that his son would be here today at 6am. The son's name is also Panchito. Hmmmm? We are going this morning to talk to Panchito about making MsTioga cherry again!

2PM - Over at Pete's place
Panchito at the body shop quoted a price of 2500 pesos [$250US] to do the repairs on MsTioga. It will take two days to do that work. So, I am going to be staying at Pete & Jimena's place while the body work is being done.

I will be the first guest at Pete & Jimena's guest hacienda. There is no bed there. Sunday afternoon I'll move my mattress from MsTioga into the hacienda so that I'll have a place go sleep.

Monday morning around 8am, MsTioga gets driven over to Panchito's body shop.

Hazy blue sky

Thursday, March 15, 2012


11AM - Taxes
I'm tardy making my blog post this morning. Spent a lot of time getting a handle on tax withheld from dividends. Apparently, when a person invests in a foreign company that pays dividends, a portion of the dividend is withheld and paid to the foreign country. Isn't that something? Hmmmm?

It seems that an American tax payer is able to get back some or all of that withholding by claiming a Foreign Tax Credit on IRS Form 1116. TurboTax provides this form. So I will be using Form 1116 to get back my withheld dividends when I file my income taxes next year.

Question about taxes?
Wouldn't it be easier if all government income was obtained from sales tax? Instead of income tax and all the myriad of other taxes?

1PM - La Fogata Hamburgers
This afternoon we are at La Fogata, a new hamburger store that opened in Tequisquiapan two months ago. The owner of the store is named, "Cuco Garcia". Cuco is a retired engineer who worked for 28 years at Delphi, the former automotive parts company for General Motors.

When Cuco was a boy, his parents used to bring him to Tequisquiápan. So, when Cuco and his wife retired, they knew of the serenity of Tequis. And they decided to retire here. But Cuco had always wanted a business of his own. So, he opened up "La Fogata", which in Spanish means The Flame.

You may know that I was in the burger business myself from 1982 to 1989. And I believe that I spent enough time in-the-business to know a good burger when I find one. Cuco's "La Fogata" burgers are not only good! They are terrific burgers. Perhaps among the best in all of Mexico!

Cuco buys sirloin steak and has it ground special for his business. His pattys are hand formed. The burgers are cooked Al Carbon on a charcoal fired grill. Can it get better than that? Hmmmm?
La Fogata in Tequisquiápan

Cuco waiting on customers

Clear sky

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Food taste

8AM - Mexican vs American food tastes
Ever since I began traveling in Mexico, I have been amazed at the differences between Mexican and American food tastes. First of all, most Mexican people love hot chili peppers in their food. But that is not all! Go into any panaderia [bakery], and you will see a huge variety of pastry that Mexican people love. But that pastry is sooooo different from what is found in American bakeries.

Take the donuts, for example. A raised donut in Mexico is sort of dry and although sweet, not too sweet. All over Mexico it is the same. A raised donut in an American bakery is gooey and amazingly sweet.

An enchilada in America is filled with cheese and sauces. In fact, American enchiladas are swimming in sauce. Mexican enchiladas are dry. Hardly any cheese. Sort of tasteless compared to American Tex-Mex.

Foreign Mexican restaurants
It is an amazing experience for me to go to foreign restaurants in Mexico. Does not matter where you go in Mexico, it is mostly the same. Take Chinese food restaurants in Mexico, for example. There are no Chinese people working in those Chinese restaurants. The people working in Chinese restaurants in Mexico are Mexicans, "dressed up to look like Chinese people!" Japanese restaurants in Mexico are the same. Mexican people dressed up to look like Japanese people.

The food in foreign Mexican restaurants is very much like the people working in those restaurants. It looks like Chinese food or Japanese food. But it is NOT Chinese or Japanese food. In fact, Sushi restaurants in Mexico have invented a whole new kind of food that the Mexicans believe is sushi. But this food is not even close to being sushi.

Most Mexican people do not have a taste for "wasabi" [green colored Japanese horseradish]. Most Mexican/Japanese sushi restaurants just do not offer wasabi anymore! But Mexican people "love" creamcheese. So, sushi rolls in Mexico are filled with creamcheese. In fact, many Mexican/sushi restaurants offer ONLY these kinds of creamcheese filled sushi rolls and have not a clue what nigiri-sushi is.

Speaking about nigiri-sushi. As you may know if you lived in Japan or America, the rice used for nigiri-sushi is special. Light, sticky and extremely flavorful. It takes special knowledge and experience to prepare this rice. And special knowledge and experience to hand form the rice. In Mexico, rice is rice. I have received a nigiri-sushi that was 4" long with a huge slice of fish on top! The rice just fell apart.

In fact, I can make the generalization that Mexican restaurants that serve hamburgers, pizza, sushi, pasta. Hardly any of them "really" understand these foods. What they serve are imitation foreign foods.

Whoops! I am being terribly judgmental with today's post!

12:30PM - Tx Wash
I walked up the street from MsTioga's Day Camp next to the Best Western Hotel heading for a new burger joint that opened recently called, "La Fogata". However, this burger joint is only open from Thursday thru Monday. We will come back to try La Fogata. Maybe tomorrow!

Right next to the burger joint is a car wash. I walked in and asked the only fellow working the car wash how much to wash MsTioga. He told me, "150 pesos". Hmmmm? I told him that I would drive over in a few minutes. [150 pesos = $12US]

This car wash is called, "Tx Wash", and actually is only a lot with a concrete pad. There is water and a electric here. But no power washing equipment. The fellow who will wash MsTioga, told me "puro de mano" [hand washed]. Frankly, this young man looks like a boy to me. But people begin working full time in Mexico at a young age, so who knows?.
La Fogata - the burger joint

Tx Wash

Blue sky

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stick vs RV

10AM - Stick vs RV homes
Have I written about Stick vs RV homes before? Hmmmm? Wow! I don't even remember. But the subject has been on my mind lately. I have to tell you though, that from my perspective and experience, RV's are the giant winner in such a comparison.

And if I am correct about this comparison, why is this so? Well, here is the thing! When folks get older, their world begins to contract. Older folks pull in their horns. Travel less. Stick in one place. And if such a person is living in a stick home, won't they be living a less exciting life as their years roll by?

Now, let's think about the RV home folks. Don't the same things apply for them as well? Could be! But maybe not. People have a tendency to be habitual. If an RV person moves around, they should continue to move around even when they get older. I know that this is how it is for me.

For us on the TiogaRV Team, moving around = excitement!

11AM - Moving around
Last nite MsTioga and I Nite Camped across from the Best Western here in Tequisquiápan. Best Western's WiFi was particularly strong last nite, and we watched a neat movie, "Rescue Dawn" starring Christian Bale [link]. [Note: Get rid of the "ad" in the middle of the screen. The movie will stream much better! ]

This morning we moved to one of our favorite places in Tequisquiápan. Behind the Soriana Grocery Store. Looking out of MsTioga's window from this camp, we see that the waters of Centennial Lake are at a high level. Higher than in recent years. Tequisquiápan has gotten a lot of rain this winter.

We have shared the view in the pic below with you many times. We never tire looking at this view. Maybe you do not mind seeing it once more too?
The waters of Centennial Lake

3PM - Heading to the gym
I've spent much of this morning on the net doing research about financial stuff. Then in the afternoon, catching up on sleep that I missed last nite.

Now I'm heading over to the gym to workout. On the way to the gym, MsTioga wants to stop by the Pemex gas station to fill up her fresh water tank. Sounds good to me!

5:15PM - One hour workout!
It takes about an hour to complete my workout routine, which has 10 exercises. This afternoon I added a leg machine. My legs are my weakest part. Sometimes I have trouble going up the 18"+ high sidewalks that are found occasionally in Mexico.

Mostly blue

Monday, March 12, 2012


10AM - Hurray for TurboTax!
I just filed my 2011 taxes with the IRS and used TurboTax to do it. Because of my Google AdSense business, my taxes are somewhat complicated. Soooo many schedules and forms. All needing to be linked together. Entering amounts in different locations. What a nightmare!
  • Schedule-C, Business Profit and Loss
  • Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses 
  • Form 8949, Sales of Capital Assets 
  • Schedule SE, Self Employment Tax
  • Form 1040, US Individual Tax Return
In only three hours, all of these forms have been completed. I can hardly believe it! And they have been all electronically filed with the IRS. My taxes have been paid. 

And, my taxes were "less" than last year when I did my taxes myself! Wow!

Beautiful Adobe PDF
One of the best things that I liked about filing taxes using TurboTax, is that after everything was completed, TurboTax downloaded onto my computer the entire set of 1040 schedules and forms in beautiful Adobe PDF. Adobe's forms look exactly like the actual 1040 forms. This set is the copy for my files.

There is even a page detailing all of the instructions for filing including a thank you letter! And, I received an email from TurboTax confirming that my taxes have been filed. In a few days, the IRS will send an acknowledgement too in a few days.

Very light clouds

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pete Jimena

7AM - Pete and Jimena
Because of my close relationship with Pete and Jimena, I'm in contact with the ex-pat community here in the City of Tequisquiapan. [By the way, it is pronounced teh-keys-kee-AH-pahn].

Yesterday afternoon I went over to Pete and Jimena's home. When I got there, ex-pats Richard and Marta were there and and Richard was busy taking pics of the flowers in the garden. Richard loves flowers and photography.

Jimena informed me, "You invited to go out to eat 'comida corrida" [a lunch meal with 2-3 courses at a fixed price]. "Noami and Michael are going with us", Jimena added.

That's how things are over at Pete and Jimena's. Always busy and doing stuff. I like that a lot!
Noami, Michael, Jorge, Pete, Jimena [L-R]

9AM - Going shopping
Yesterday evening Jimena said to me, "We're going shopping at Home Depot in San Juan del Rio. You want to come with us?" Of course I replied, "Yes!" Because I love to go shopping. Especially shopping with Pete and Jimena. Because they are usually shopping for additions to their new home. And I love that kind of shopping.

The Town of San Juan del Rio is larger than Tequisquiapan, and located about 20 minutes to the south. There are bigger stores in San Juan than in Tequis, and more stores too.

PS: Last nite MsTioga camped in front of Pete & Jimena's home. That is where we are right now. This is the very wonderful thing about RV life. Wherever you go, that's where home is located!

PPS: Turned out that we went to Queretaro, NOT San Juan del Rio. We all feasted on the special big hot dog at CostCo!

Some clouds