Home

Year 2006 – They Try to Kill Me but I am Still Here

This Year                       Current Events

January

March

May

July

September

November

February

April

June

August

October

December

Political Commentary

This year I have kept the political commentary in a separate location.
This year also I have moved thoughts and observations to a separate file.
This file will attempt to stay restricted to current history.

JANUARY                           Commentary

I guess you have to look at the end of last year to see why this is titled as it is.

Right now I am sitting in my RV in EL Golfo listening to a dust storm going on since early this morning.  It was cold and windy at 4:30 so I did not go down and see the grunion run.  BUt then I rarely go down to the beach to see thousands of little fish beach themselves.

The Wi-Fi is doing OK but could be better.  The failure rate of the D-Link equipment is frustrating.  I need to pay Patricio the profits from the Wi-Fi -- but that happens after I update the spreadsheet from the income and expenses.

Sara has been calling all week.  I shall try to call her when I am there.  I need to buy some Pesos.

I go to Yuma once a week to get my blood tested.  I think maybe some day they will get it right but not in the short term.  The problem is that the INR number is 50% too high right now and the pills they have me on are 5 mg which can be cut to 2.5 mg.  So they have to come up with a number of days of each size (including 0.0 mg) which will get my INR number to 2.5.  If they took the pill size to 3 mg they stand a chance of this but the day count versus the granularity makes the 5 mg coming out at the correct numbers is not likely.

I had always thought that living to be 100 would be a good thing.  Now I realize that I have problems with my pancreas, my kidneys, and my heart.  If my pancreas fails, I have insulin injections instead of taking pills.  If my kidneys fail, I go on dialysis or die.  The diuretic pills I take now  will sooner or later not be sufficient to offset my kidney weakness.  I have already had congestive heart failure.  I doubt that I can survive this multiple times.  Heart failure does not result in alternative medicines or treatments.  Heart failure results in being placed in a box.  This is a passive event.  They say diabetes subtracts 10 years.  This would take me down to 90.  If kidney failure takes another 10, this is down to 80.  Heart problems take at least 10.  This takes me down to a 70 year life expectancy.  I had better finish this book soon as that is only 8 years away.  And this presumes no other organ gives up.  With all of the chemicals going through my system, my liver is vulnerable to something.  I mean several of the pills have warnings in my pill book concerning liver testing.


FEBRUARY

It is the middle of February (Happy Birthday, Megan).  My family from Yécora has moved to San Luis.  I found the Calexico East gate yesterday.  It took me a while and I figured out that it is closer to downtown than I thought.  This means that I shall take the same route as to the old gate except turn east instead of west when I come to the border road.  The east gate has a long line as does the west gate but the east gate moves much faster.

I had errands all day long.  I returned to the SuperCuts where I got my last haircut and found the same barber woman.  She remembered me -- I did not remember her.  Her last haircut for me was super.  This one was barely tolerable.  Who would have guessed.

Errands took all day and I ended up at my friends San Luis house.  This has got me thinking along the same lines as you may have already seen.  I mean last week Sara left a message on my telephone phonemail: 20 21 Dahlia, San Luis (Vente Vente Uno Dahlia).  That is all she said.  So at nine o'clock last night I go wondering around the southwest streets of San Luis, in the dark, asking people I meet standing on the street corners where is Dahlias.  I know where 20 and 21st streets are.  After asking about 5 people, I get to the right street and the right block.  I ask a young woman watering the street in front of her house if she knows where Sara and Gordo live.  She does not know them  I can understand this -- they just moved there last week.  I ask her what her house number is: she does not know.  I do not know if 2021 is east or west of her house.  I see numbers 3855/3857 on the electric meters.  I figure the house numbers must be about double the street number.  I drive back to 12th street.   The man on the corner tells me to go back. I go back, past the watered house and see a woman and two kids.  I ask her about Sara and Gordo.  I get a confused (confusing to me) answer but it is not a yes..  I ask the little boy if he knows where Chelito lives.  He runs to the house next door and tells me that this is their house.  I spend a couple of hours with the family.  I had already taken KFC to them.  I had already taken a pizza to them.  I had already taken a couple of broiled chickens to them. 

So this time I was desperate.  I had bought 10 Jack in the box tacos just north of the border.  This meant that the 7 of us had 10 tacos to split.  These tacos were so bad that we had 4 left over.  Sara thought that the meat was chorizo and I had to tell her no, it really was beef.  I really wonder how these fast food hamburger stands continue to exist.  These tacos were so thin that they look like their seams had been ironed together to keep the tiny bit of insides from getting lost.  Whatever happened to real, solid, tacos with the guts spilling out and a real layer of ground beef that you could see without having to pick the thing apart until you found a little layer of brown goop in the fold.  These tacos made KFC look good.

In any case, I drove home from there realizing that I still have not aimed my headlights down from the accident at Christmas.

But now we are at what I started to talk about.  When I was young, like most boys, I did a lot of things that were really dangerous.  I have written about some of them.  I fell off the cliff in the limestone quarry and rescued by my friends before I fell a couple of hundred feet.  I was shot at while deer hunting two years in a row.  I had a car accident head on at 60 mph.  I had all sorts of minor scrapes that could have been major and survived with all of my body parts.

While my kids were growing up I realized that it is a miracle that any child survives to adulthood.  Now my health is not good.  It is strange because I feel better than I have in a couple of years and have just survived a heart attack.  I am adjusting my diet again.  It was adjusted for the diabetes two years ago.  And I must say slipped some.  I need to adjust it again for the Atrial Fibrillation.  And again for the heart failure and now I do not think that there is anything other than RO water that is good for me to drink and eat.  I know that I shall die from these things and that it is probably not too far in the future.  And you know,  I sort of think about it but I think about it in the same manner as I used to think about being killed or hurt while walking through parts of the world that could kill me.  And I still do this too.

If anyone doubts that God exists, just note that I am still alive and kicking.  I mean I drove around last night in sections of San Luis that many people would not venture into during the day.  When a group of young men asked me for my money, I gave them a blueberry muffin.  They did not want it but they went away.  Thirty years ago while walking on the west side of South Bend and accosted similarly by a group of young men (black instead of Mexicano), I offered them some cashews.  They went away -- with no cashews and no money.  I felt safe at night waiting for Amy and walking around east San Jose.  20 years ago, I was accosted by police in the tenderloin area of San Francisco at midnight.  They asked what I was doing there and I told them that I was waiting for my ride (Jeanne).  The police watched until Jeanne showed up.  They told me that white people in that area did not last long standing on the sidewalk at midnight.  Since then I have walked at about the same time of night from the wharf, through Chinatown, to the BART at Market street a couple of times.  I have been accosted several times by men wanting to mug me and I was never hurt.  I have driven through areas in the middle of the night that people I know have told me that they would not drive through in the day time.  I took a date into Harlem on a Saturday night and there were no other white people that we could see.  I thought this was a great way to see how the people in New York lived.  She had me take her back to Queens and never went out with me again.  I really liked her.  I sort of feel like the line in the movie Troy where Achilles accuses his friend of being afraid of the king and his friend tells Achilles that his problem is that he is not afraid of anything and fear can be a good thing as it keeps your thinking clear to avoid unnecessary dangerous situations.  I guess I am too dumb to be afraid.  But then I am writing this and I admit to being afraid but I just do not act that way.  I am not suicidal so I wonder if God has this umbrella over me such that I am too trusting and they have not gotten me yet.  Or maybe the rest of the world just thinks that there is danger on every street corner when mostly there are just people there that would like to be respected as people.  I just do not know.  I did accidentally insult poor Liz again today and she will probably be angry with me again.  I am that kind of stupid.  I ramble but the whole idea of me writing this is to put my history and thoughts in one place.

Don Adams has it right.  What is the reason for the Universe?  42.  or was it 41?  I think it does not matter which.  I think that we shall survive this president and his stupid appointments.  There is already one state passing a law that will require the new court to either uphold or reject Roe Versus Wade.  It does not matter.  I shall not have an abortion.  No woman will have an abortion because of me.  No women are in my care that have this choice.  So it only concerns me theoretically and I guess it would be better for me to worry about whether or not I have taken the right medicines today and leave the laws to people who are impacted by them.  If the Americans want to ruin the country I grew up in, I am at least happy that they are doing it after it no longer matters to me.  My daughters can fight for their own rights.  They are good fighters.

MARCH

This month is going as expected.  The members are slowly moving north as the climate up there changes for the warmer.  The computer clinic has devolved into adding a  few new arrivals to the Wi-Fi.  This is the longest season in my history.  Easter comes late this year (April 16) but the long term people must leave by the end of the month.  Most will want to because it gets pretty humid and hot by then.

I have moved my doctors down to El Centro.  Now I am starting to meet them.  This will take a month.  In the meantime I hope my Coumadin level is maintained.  I have two things that I must improve upon:  more exercise and more Spanish.  The same two things.  This year I noticed that many people learned more Spanish than myself.   Many have more Mexican friends.  I have spent too much time at this computer and not enough time socializing.  The members consider me sort of a hermit.

My family friends have moved into their own home in San Luis.  No more need to go to Yécora.  Trips used to be El Golfo to Yuma and back.  Now they are to El Centro then Yuma then back.

I blame my doctors at Samaritan Medical CEnter on the Heart Failure.  I know -- no exercise.  But I complained last year at this time that the fluid in my feet and legs were painful.  The legs turned out to be the Actos which I quit over their initial objections.  The feet were because of fluid retention which requests to Dr. Wiley were said to not change my meds.  A simple change from hydrochlorothiazide to Lasix would have resolved immediately.  Instead the fluid got worse, I started Atrial Fibrillation and then heart failure.  All a direct result of improper meds -- which I had questioned at least 3 times in office visits.  Now I shall die sooner and have to eat rat poison and have to have my blood regularly checked for clots.  The doctor says that my chances of a clot are so much higher than my risk of internal bleeding that the rat poison is necessary.

One of the members threatened me a couple of days ago.  He threatened me physically, he threatened damage to the Wi-Fi system, and he threatened to have the system removed from me and given to someone else.  It is the season end -- I am almost ready to take him up on giving up the system.  Threatening my health puts him on the short end of the stick:  my health is already an issue -- it does not need help.

March 20

I went back to the doctor today.  The blood test shows I need more Coumadin not less.  The doctors here do not take the level as seriously as the doctors in San Jose.  This worries me.  .The doctor today was a urologist.  He wants me to take more tests and do more things.  Now it is two baths every day.  The only trick is the hot water and I guess I can figure out how to do that and also to fix the leak in my bath tub.  When the water warms up, the pool will be good enough.  But no caffeine and no chocolate.  Like I say: I think that there is nothing left that I can eat.  He will have to forget about the Ibuprofen that he wants me to take -- Ibuprofen went out with when I started taking the rat poison.

I saw my family in San Luis and stayed a couple of nights. That made my trip to El Centro easier.  I shall do that again this next week when I have 4 doctor appointments.

I guess I am rambling.  When I went through the Mexicali gate, the woman guard asked "donde va?"  I did not respond and she asked "Where are you going?"  WHen the man asked last time, I was a little surprised at the question in SPanish but gave him an answer.  The woman no.  It took me a while to figure out the difference: she said "Donde va" and he said "Donde ba".  She said the Spanish words but pronounced it in English.  No wonder the Mexicans look at me strangely.  I work hard at speaking the words like the Mexicans but I am a gringo and for them it is just sounds -- even if the sounds are Mexican words.  A this rate I may understand a lot but I still cannot speak the language well.  I do get spoiled though.  I mean "yes" is gone from my vocabulary on either side of the wall. "Que" has replaced "what" and a few other phrases in Spanish come out on either side.  I get caught off guard when people like the urologist just look at me when I say a SPanish word and I have to repeat it in ENglish.  His staff all speak SPanish and I suspect he does too.  I think he is just a control freak.

APRIL

MAY

Nothing much happened so far this year.  I have the usual: the IRS has billed me for $2400 for 2004.  There will be a similar bill for 2005.  There would be another for 2006 but I can pay ahead for this one.  the others will include interest and penalty.  Money wise nothing ever goes how I want it to.  I think I shall be lucky to have any left rather than the $1 million I was hoping to leave behind for my daughter.  For sure, I shall leave these high paid money-merchant  stock brokers behind and either go with mutual funds or with the online traders.  Probably the latter. since my current moner-managers have invested in such things that I would lose my shirt if I sold.  They "invested" in these things promising great results.  All lies and the market value of my investments has gone from $750,000 to less than $500,000 in 6 years.  It will take the rest of my life to recover the $750k let along exceed that.

But yesterday I had an interesting experience.  I went to town (El Centro) to see my doctors.  Just as I arrived at the cardiologist office on the far north side of town, I saw onions, purple onions, scattered all over the road.  Not just a few.  50 pound bags of them.  THere was a double trailer truck at the side of the road.  His load of onions had shifted and spilled.  I stopped and asked if I could help.  He said help was on its way but I could have some of the spilled onions.  I took the most promising bag: not smashed, not even broken open.  I talked with the fellow for a few minutes.  The usual creeps came along and stole some without even as much as a thank you.  When the tractor/shovel arrived, I left for the doctor.  After seeing the doctor's nurse, I left for WalMart and then back to Sara's house in San Luis.  I gave  onions to a few people I had met that had been kind to me.  After  a few more stops, I arrived at Sara's with some chicken and groceries.  Sara passed out some onions to here neighbors.  I took about 8 home with me and she had about 20 left.

Sara gets so much gratuitous food and items from her neighbors that she and they were happy that she could return something.  I love the Mexican sharing culture.  Even my friend Amy has promised to send some children's clothes to me.

Amy?  I called her because the heart congestion is back.  I have to see the cardiologist again -- not just his nurse.  WHen my primary care doctor nurse took my blood pressure she had a hard time as there was not enough of a heart beat to measure it.  I am seriously worried that I shall not live much longer and must take some serious interest in writing the remainder of my biography.  I have put this off for several reasons.  One of which is that I am afraid that I shall offend some people and also cause some hard feelings from others who did not always know that I shared some of their life through their families.

In any case, I need more exercise.  I need more protein and less carbohydrates.  And I really need to get rid of the excess fluids.  I think I shall angle my bed so that my feet are higher than my head.  I went swimming today and hope to be able to keep that up now that the pool is warm and the weather is hot.  I can also take night walks so that I do not overheat.  I guess the additional perspiration would be good for me but I have trouble living in this high of heat.

I wonder how you make onion soup.  I would make french fried onions, if it were not for the carbs.  Oh.  I found a recipe for onion rings using soy flour.  I took the short cut and added seasonings and soy flour to an egg dip.  Now I wonder if the poor results are due to the flour or to the purple rather than yellow onions.

JUNE

It is the middle of June.  Nothing has happened this month so far except I am waiting for another letter from the IRS.  The Social Security check should come this month.

I am now making weekly trips to San Luis, Yuma, or El Centro.  Yesterday on my return trip, I saw something that I have not seen in 50 years.  I saw one of the old fashioned speed traps with the two hoses across the road and a police car parked nearby.  I do not know what speed he was looking for.  The trap was at a very small poblado -- basically a beer store and a bus stop and not much else.  The speed in the poblado is 60 KPH -- this is a little less than 40 MPH.  I was going 50 and his lights did not come on.  Most people are driving faster than that at that location.  This is probably the reason for the trap.  I think that the reasons speed traps disappeared in the EEUU was that RADAR became more cost effective and much more accurate.  Expecting air hoses to respond to a speed level when the distance between them must be precise is a tough trick.  The further the distance, the more accurate the time and the less accurate the pulse.  But it was there and I was not happy to see it.  Most people will not still have the instant panic when they see the twin rubber hoses.  These days, the highway department puts out two closely-spaced hoses to get a more accurate traffic count -- not to measure the traffic speed.  By the way, an effective way to ruin the speed measurement is to jam on your brakes at the first hose and release the brakes immediately after it.  Now you have broken or twisted the hose beyond repair and hopefully opened the air line due to breakage or  disconnection.  This will, of course, draw the instant ire of the policeman who may have more than strong words to say about the destruction of his equipment.  From the ragged looks of the tubes I saw, this had been done previously.

Ah.  My first Social Security check came.  Now I can pay off bills as my income now exceeds my expenses.  I hope that this will continue until the debts are paid and before Dr. Parkinson shows up at the door

Next week I go to visit Megan.

JULY                                    Commentary

I  just spent a week in learning more about the downside of people.  The daughter of the sister of one our staff asked me to find a computer for her.  She said her divorced parents would split the tab.  They wanted the "best" computer for her.  Her mother is know to be a deadbeat but I was there for a couple of the phone calls so this sounded like it was OK.  The order sequence with Costco Online was negative.  That was enough trouble -- the hard part comes Monday.  The girl was supposed to call me to make the arrangements.  I did indeed find the "best" computer.  There are computers and there are computers.  This is software and there is software.  Picking the "best" one becomes a matter of timing, luck, knowledge of the intended usage and many things.  I found a 64-bit Acer laptop with all of the latest goodies.  This includes the double-layer DVD writer and Windows Professional and Microsoft Works.  I like Office for students better but Works is a good package for beginners.  The telephone agent pulled out all of the stops for me including sending the package second-day air for free.  Memory upgrade for high-speed memory and 1 Gigabyte of it.  Student discount.  First time buyer discount.  I think he even made up some for me.  I got the used computer price for the new computer" $1399 delivered.  Everything.  I waited two days for her to call.  Nothing.  I have to call the company to send it back for a refund.  This will cost me more than driving time.  My fellow staffers tell me that I should never have gotten suckered into this deal.  They are correct.  No good deed goes unpunished.  I cannot even bring the thing home as if I got caught by the Mexican border patrol I would pay a $400 tariff.

I do not look forward to returning it for several reasons.  The first is that I shall never have in my possession such a great computer again.  The second is that I was really pulling for the girl -- and so was the agent who sold it to me although he knew nothing about her.  If he did, he probably would have sent me a "Here's your stupid badge" instead of the computer.  After ordering the computer and it was delivered, intact, by UPS, a couple of my friends told me that the mother is such a deadbeat that I should never have considered helping the girl.  I am sure they are all correct.  I am that stupid.  But I have always had faith in young people.  And this girl was so sincere and it was such a good opportunity for her mother to show some respect for her own daughter.  But no.  No money. No computer.  Nada.  I shall send it back.  There will be the drive.  There will be the shipping costs.  Maybe a restocking fee.  An argument to get an RMA.  And sadness on my part that this girl will live with the knowledge that even when the chips were down her mother could not show enough interest in her daughter's education to stay off drugs for one week.  Drugs and alcohol are serious problem in Mexico.  There are rehabilitation centers in every  and many not in cities.

And another thing.  There is a little, tiny settlement about 50 km north of here called El Doctor.  For as long as I have been coming here, there has been an army checkpoint there.  This is a boring posting for soldiers and they are always very young and they just check cars for drugs and off-season fish.  They have a string of orange cones in the road, a little temple to the virgin, pit for inspection under cars, and other signs of existence.  All gone.  Nothing left but the topes in the road.

I mention this because the soldiers are usually nice guys.  After they recognize me, they usually let me pass quickly.  That is until the next posting arrives.  They find very few contraband items and there is usually a traffic backup on holiday weekends.  This is a holiday.  The real issue here is that the crime incidence rate has been going up along our little highway.  I no longer pick up hitch hikers.  I have not this year.  I have even heard from my friends on staff that they been bumped by other cars to get them to stop.  Even I am not that stupid.  If I stop in the desert somewhere, someone will find me a few days later -- dead.   With no police (except Riito) and the army checkpoint gone, it is very likely that the incidence rate will go up.  The tourists using this road are increasing rapidly.  The Riito police are more interested in finding traffic violations than they are in locating criminals.  I suspect, they are also afraid of the rateros (banditos to you Gringos).  Sad.

Right now I am listening to fireworks going off about 15 meters from me and the same 60 second music clip being repeated for the last two hours.  I need some protein,  I am drinking everything I can drink as I got dehydrated and my system is complaining and I am still recovering from too much heat so I do not want to eat anything valuable.  But in a few hour I shall feel better and will not be able to sleep through the noises.  Hopefully I shall have to pool to myself and they will not have messed it up enough to make me feel sick just by going into the water.  The high chlorine should take care of the germs and a little soap will take care of the crud when I get out.

I guess something is missing from me.  I do not have "fun" like these people.  I never have.  I mean they enjoy breaking their ears with psuedo-music.  They are drinking enough to flood the bathrooms although the penalty-fine for drinking today in Mexico is $70 dollars and 30 days in the local jail.  It is election day for Sonora.  The gringos are hoping that the Mexican laws do not include them.  Sorry guys but my concept of fun does not include the Russian Roulette game that has a 30-day downside in a Mexican jail.  I already kicked one Tecate beer can away from my car.  I hope their fun doe not include damage to my stuff.

The current group includes a rig with  about 12 little ATV Quads parked all around it.  All parked in the middle of the main drive.  Some of them have the pirates skull and crossbones.  I have not seen the hated (At least I hate it) Stars and Bars.  The group includes some disrespectful children, some well-built women, and some athletic and dumb looking men.  Of course from the distance I can see that the women are well-built.  Dumb-looking?  I am not a good judge of that when all I see is the parts below that.  Even if they were fully clothed we all know that I am a lousy judge of character.

I hope I can survive until August.  Megan says that is the earliest that I should visit her -- and certainly not next week.  My new AC unit (GE 8000 BTU -- What ever happened to ton ratings?) is working better than I could have asked for.  It makes me wonder about the standard RV roof AC units.  Mine would work hard all day, use wondrous amounts of electricity and not keep the RV cool.  I know it used a lot of electricity because the load leveler would first kick off the rear unit and then the front one for just running the microwave.  Well, the front unit is turned off but just to see what would happen, I turned on the back unit.  If the leveler failed, the circuit breaker would blow.  It did not blow.  It would have if both roof AC units managed to get past the leveler.   It did not even shut down the rear AC unit!  The new AC is on the same circuit as the refrigerator.  15-amp breaker.  Not blown.  The entire RV is cool and it is not working full time.  If it keeps working, this is a really great $160 investment.  Then when I do not need the capacity, I can use the roof AC.  Obviously the company that makes the roof air could have made it more energy efficient and could have made it strong enough but they did not.  Just another RV rip off -- who would guess that the roof AC is so poor.  They all look alike under that white hood.

And the new room AC?  It says it has a rating of 9.8 EER.  This means that it is 98% energy efficient.  That is, for every pound of cool inside, it generates a pound of heat outside that is 2% warmer than the cool it produced.  2%.  I had no idea that they could make a heat pump that efficient.  I used to think that 10% was as good as it got.  Now with a 2% overhead, I have to re-learn my concept of entropy. I was always poor with the three laws of thermodynamics.  But then at least I know what they are.  I am sure Megan could explain them to me but I would not ask.  Even I do not want to sound that stupid. 

And the new AC unit does not have a water drip.  I hear the gurgle.  I know the water is in there.  That is a function of cooling air: remove the excess water first.  And the water keeps increasing but where is it going?  I have sat and watched closely.  There is a pool of water in there.  It goes somewhere.  And it gurgles.  But there is no water dumping out.  The water dumping out of the roof air is a problem.  It stains my roof rubber.  It stains my RV walls where it decides to overflow the little drain gutter that they build into the rood edges.  Do they really believe that 1/4 inch gutter will make it straight enough to get to the front or the back of the coach so that if you are smart you have installed little plastic shunts to keep the water from staining the RV siding.  I mean this is a lot of water.  I have a mud puddle on the side of the coach wherever the water decides to drain on any given day.  If the coach is level, this puddle is almost random.  The coach is never that level and I like to keep the nose down a little rather than the other way.  So the drip is about where the room AC sticks out of the driver window.  And the amount of water will not change.  Another corollary to the rules of Thermo. Darn.  The GE air conditioner quit and I had to fight with GE Customer Service.  Now I have a Daewoo.

I shall miss the air filter that I keep over the roof air intake.  It does not take long to get dirty.  Maybe I should put one on the front of the room AC.  The room AC is hiding next to the driver's chair but we shall see.  The room air filter unit I have sitting next to me serves two purposes.  It filters the air and it circulates the air around the PC stuff so the PC does not overheat.  With all of the junk I have attached to the PC, this is a problem..  And I hope it will at least get dirty faster so that I know that my air is clean and maybe that will help keep the carpet clean.

I just checked outside.  Some kids have dug a hole in the sand on front of my RV.  It is a good-sized hole.  They are pulling amazing scraps of history out of the hole.  Hmm.  It is 11:00 at night.  Parents? Do you know where your children are?  Oh.  And the music.  There are about 12 of them sitting on their quads looking at a guy playing on his trumpet the same music over and over.  Maybe he is practicing begging for the long lines at the border at the end of the weekend.  The do that there but mostly I thought it was poor Mexicanos with no other income.  And I think that they have to have permits.

The border.  The new scanners are in -- except at Algodones.  I do not know what they can see in the scanner.  I have no people in my car except me and I think that they would not be impressed with seeing me without my clothes.  But I also noticed a drug sniffer attached to the scanner.  This thing generates a bar graph of yellow to red lights as you drive by.  It takes a few seconds to settle and then they know if the scanner has smelled anything.  I suspect this is better than dogs but not as much fun.  I think that they are really working to improve border security at the crossings.  This makes me wonder what they know was getting past them.  I think they know what is crossing the border outside of the official crossings.  I suspect that the current attorney general has decided that there is no such thing as privacy rights when it comes to crossing the border.  I suspect the determination that any privacy, if any is left, is reserved for the bedroom and not outside anywhere and certainly not outside or at the borders.  And there are those. a large number, who feel that anyone crossing the border is a criminal.  I am sure that just hearing people speak Spanish upsets this group.

July 4, 2006

I am sitting here wondering what to do.  The computer company has an exorbitant restocking fee.  Along with shipping, it will cost me $250.  They have reduced the price by $200 as an incentive for me to keep the computer.  This makes a $450 dollar difference between keeping it and returning it.   Megan needs a new computer but this is way out of the price range I expected to help her with -- and it is a laptop and she is used to having a desktop.   This is a Cadillac computer.  Megan is a Cadillac daughter.  She deserves better than she has gotten so I shall deliver this computer to her.  The only serious problem is getting her hard drive files to the laptop.  This is not a problem: we shall buy an IDE to USB adapter to transport the files.  Then Megan will have everything she needs in one transportable unit and it will support an external video at high resolution.  This is the plan.  I leave next week for Berkeley.  In the past I have bought Megan second-class tools and resented my poor judgment.  I have been trying to improve upon this by getting better things for her when I can.

Carole is staying with Megan for a while.  Megan is so desperate for a new computer that Carole has volunteered to stay in a motel while I am there.  I really wish that were not necessary but Carole and I would cause more problems together in the same room that we could resolve.  Sometimes I really hate the world I live in.  All I ever wanted in this world was to have a family that loved me.  I shall die not knowing how to have done that.  I know it is my values and my failure to communicate (to quote a famous movie line) but that does not make it better.  Having failed to do this is not my concern.  Having failed to understand it is.

My name is on the list for a lot at Park Sierra.  It should take about two years for my name to percolate to the top for me to get a lot.  I should have my debts paid off by then and maybe even be able to drive my RV there.  In the mean time I have no desire to move from where I am.  Things should be getting better.  I need to make more friends.  I need to learn more Spanish.  I need to repair many things in the RV.

And I really hate the 4th of July.  I hate the noise and the rudeness of people as a whole.  I have jumped out of my chair over a hundred times in the last few days.  These firecrackers and fireworks are going off within 100 meters of me.  Some as close as 10 meters.  They could go 2 meters toward the beach to be on the beach side of the wall and things would be safer and quieter for me.  But no, that would be in real Mexico and these Gringos are afraid to be outside the park boundaries unless they are trying to shred the sand with their quads.  It happens every year.  I have hated it every year that I can remember.  This year it falls in the middle of the week.  This is great for me since otherwise we would have ten times the people down here.  As a matter of fact I wonder why we have anyone left tonight -- they all have to work tomorrow and they will not be driving back to the EEUU in the dark.

I drove up to see Megan.  I presented her with the computer and we got it working with most of her things.  I do need to send her some additional equipment.  We signed up for the wait-list of an Alaskan Cruise.  Maybe.  I also need a new car.  I really do.  I just hate to give my Tercel up while it is still alive.  If we go on the cruise, I shall need a new wardrobe.  The literature clearly says that t-shirts, shorts, and sandals are not appropriate attire.

AUGUST

The computer we got does not work properly.  It has USB problems and touchpad problems.
Hassles with insurance and the IRS.
I made a second trip to see Megan.  Bought a used Superlight Mobility Scooter off eBay: piece of junk.  WIth another $200 it should be as good as new.  I think we could have found a new one for the effort and cost of this one.  My brand new windshield cracked -- they said it was not their (Speedy Glass, Yuma) fault and that it was a rock that caused the damage.  I find it hard to believe but they seem like honest people and they charged me very little for the new glass.  By the way, my first replacement was clear because the blue strip across the top is actually in my field of vision on the tinted glass.  I loved the clear glass but the amount of heat that the shading keeps out is unbelievable.  I asked that the new one be shaded.  I do not like the yellow signal lights looking green but I dislike the extra heat worse.  From now on we always get tinted.

SEPTEMBER

Labor day is here.  I was able to rest for a day before the holiday traffic started.  I am of the belief that for tourists having brains and owning an off-road vehicle are mutually exclusive.  There are 5 year old kids out there running laps around the RVs in the park.  The older kids are worse.  Their parents are worser.  And the noise -- louder is better -- if it does not make enough noise just riding, they re up the motor every time they go by just to amuse their friends.

In another month the members return.  We already have at least one this week.  In that respect, summers are too short.

Hurricane John passed us by today.  It hit Cabo San Lucas (southern tip of the Baja) hard and then traveled up the Baja.  It missed us altogether.  It had some scared though.  The biggest problem is that NOAA does not bother with Pacific hurricanes like it does those in the Atlantic.  Trying to get a real-time track was impossible.  The latest map from NOAA was 6 hours old as the hurricane went out to sea after travel up the Baja wiped it out.

My congestion went away on the California trip.  Two days here and it is back.  It must be the heat.

OCTOBER

CJ's

The reason there is not much under October and November is that my RV was gone most of the time -- along with the computer where I maintain these files.  On the consistent advice of other people here, I took the RV into CJ's in Yuma for repairs.  I needed the repairs.  When the roof AC went out, it was time.  The extended warrantee from Good Sam covered most of the damage.  CJ's kept the RV for a month although I went up three times to pick it up when they said it was ready and it was not.  I visited it a couple of times.  I do not keep a clean house but they kept the windows open and the place was filthy.

I had commented at my second invitation to pick up the RV that they were getting a bad reputation where I lived.  Why?  Because I was very visibly living in a tent in an RV park.  When my neighbors asked when I would get my RV back, I had to answer them "Someday".  After a month of putting off the question, this was the only answer that would not make me as dishonest as  CJ's.  I  did have an appointment earlier but the hurricane storms shut down the road out of El Golfo.  When I was able to make it in, the woman asked me where I could stay now that they were seasonally very busy.  I informed her that I had to get back to my job in El Golfo.  After a month and I commented that my tent was bad advertising for them she told me that I could have lived in the RV.  Right -- and be like the other depressed seniors sitting in lawn chairs on the front drive, day after day.  No thank you.  And of course there is the commute: driving from Yuma every day to work in the park is a little prohibitive.  But they might have fixed it faster and better had I been watching over their shoulders.  Somehow I do not think so.  THey would have just found other ways to hide what they were up to.

They broke almost everything they touched.  When I turned on the water, it ran down the inside of the bathroom wall.  The levelers did not work properly, the refrigerator did not work, electric circuits were not connected. The inside left rear tire was flat and by the time I got home, off the rim.  I fixed everything that I could myself because I did not want to go back but the water running in the wall was outside of my abilities.  There was nothing wrong with the tire except that it was flat and off the rim.  I borrowed wrenches and went to the local tire shop to get it remounted -- it still needs balancing but I can do that later.  I took the RV back and they fixed the water in the wall.

When I went to clean up I found that they had used my vacuum cleaner like a shop vacuum: removed the bag.  This almost ruined the vacuum cleaner.  For what I can tell I can make it work.  I had to order new parts and filters because with the old ones, it just sort of makes a wheezing sound.  The new parts cost $15 and should arrive this week.  Along with the bag they tossed the retaining clip so I cannot use it at all until the new parts arrive.   What ever happened to honesty, integrity, workmanship, etc.?  I think the owner of CJ's tries hard.  Wes seems like a good guy but. that is just an illusion.

NOVEMBER

I lived in the tent for the month the RV was gone.  I lived in it the two weeks that I got it back since I had no water and I had to run to the bathroom (my medication does that) often in the middle of the night.  The tent goes back to Costco.  The very first day the door zipper pulled out and I had to put a blanket of the door.  Now I have a refrigerator that I have to figure out what to do with.

Does anyone remember that this is the month that Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas?  Many years ago when my family lived in Dallas, my wife and I rode the motorcycle downtown to a spaghetti restaurant.  When we got near I had a sense of deja vu and drove around in a circle in the middle of the street -- I had been here before but that was not possible.  Finally I recognized the famed book depository and the grassy knoll.  We sat for a few minutes and went off to the restaurant.  I do not think things like that had any impact on my wife.  Maybe she was too young in 1963 to remember.  Maybe shooting the President is more significant to me than to others -- we did live in Boston that summer.  Maybe only the good die young.

DECEMBER

Well,  it is the second week of December.  Not much has happened.  Planning my trip up to see Megan for Christmas.  The Wi-Fi network is overloaded.  The clinic is doing well but spending too much time with network connections.

I did have one negative experience.  People are always knocking at my door to be let on the network because they are too lazy to come to the clinic to sign up.  Some are not lazy but have legitimate reasons and have immediate health or family issues.  There I walk up with and connect.  But with the overloaded system and with Tuesdays being the caravan day (many leave) and the new caravan arriving after my office hours, I like to push new clients off until Tuesday.

But again with the system overloaded and knowing I would be gone on Monday, I spent the weekend cleaning my system of pirates.  On Friday evening a very rude man came and insisted that I put him on the network immediately because he may have mis-estimated paying his bills which he always did online.  I told him to wait for office hours on Tuesday.  He went away saying bad things about me.  And he said them to others as it turns out.  He got the password from someone and became a pirate.  I cleaned out his two computers in my cleanup on the weekend.

CJ's in Yuma

Monday I took the RV back to CJ's.

I really do not think I have done my experience to CJ's justice here.  This place is a travesty and what I took for trying was a ploy.  THey really do not start work on anything until you expect to pick up your RV.  This occurred three times so I know it is not just imagination.  In fact the first time I took the RV to CJ's. it took three visits to get the RV driveable to take back home with their promise to fix everything when I brought it back again.  THey never did fix the things that they were paid to fix.  Not even close.  The place is criminally negligent and lies are the norm  My roof AC -- three times and it still does not work.  I shall need to get it repaired elsewhere.  Oh.  Now it cools but the fan clatters so much that it does not function.  I think I can find someone who can fix a fan.  Oh.  WHen I asked about the flat tire, the vacuum cleaner, the hole burned in the sink: I was was informed that the person who did these things (including not connecting the plumbing behind the tub) no longer worked for them.  Repayment or help with fixing this malevolence?  Not a chance.
Wes, asked me what I did to the sink.  A standard ploy to put the injured on the defensive and not correct their malevolence.  The employee being gone does not absolve them of his destruction.
The repaired refrigerator works but when it get hot, it just turns off.  Their response:  they gave me a warrantee notice to have it repaired elsewhere.  They do not stand behind their replacement parts.
While there the third time, they discovered the battery was dead.  Again  Wes accused me of driving into the shop with a dead battery.  We are talking about the battery that runs the engine.  He accuses me of driving with this dead battery?  I am glad I take anger management or I would have hit him.  He had put into the coach a miniature battery after having the total coach dead for several days.  All of the meat in my freezer was thawed and I lost about $50 worth of meat.  I always have what I call a cold bank.  Before I travel I fill the freezer and refrigerator with bottles of water and soda.  THis removes the air and makes sure that people like Wes do minimal damage.  That is how I know that they did not insert the little battery until I returned: it takes days to do the damage they incurred.  I was lucky that they still had the original battery and I took it back to Costco for a replacement.

Oh.  They were supposed to do some easy things on the third trip.  Instead they caused more damage (i.e. the dead battery).  They had installed a shock to assist holding up the bed.  The shock was too weak and too short.  They knew this.  Since it was too short, they just installed it too far forward on the bed frame.  This meant that the bed rose to the proper height but could not close (remember triangles from geometry class).  Wes fixed this since his boy could not figure it out and just ignored the work order.  Wes fixed it by moving the connection back to the original location.  Now, again remembering triangles, the bed closes but it does not open.  It does not open because this is the wrong part and is installed wrong.  Between the two, it does not stand a chance.  In order to raise my bed, I had to throw out the new strut.  I may break my back and I am back where I started but the bed does go up and down.  It does not take a genius to figure out that you cannot replace a 3 foot strut with a 2 1/2 foot strut and get the same results.  This is just dishonest.  And since the new strut was designed for a lighter load, had they repositioned it such that it did work, it was not strong enough to hold the bed up anyway.  Cheats, liars, and thieves.

When they fixed the bathtub from their malicious employee, that is ex-employee, they reverse plumbed the faucets.  I asked that they put this right.  Needless to say, they did not change this at all.  But they did replace the sink.  I was promised that this would be done at their expense (after all it was their guy who burned a large hole in it) -- their reluctant expense since Wes had accused me of ruining my own sink by burning a 6 inch hole in it.  Sorry but I do not keep a torch in my bathroom.  They replaced the sink all right.  Wes also charged me for doing so.  He claimed that I needed to pay for it because in the three months awaiting my return he had never attempted to purchase a new sink and he now had difficulty in finding a replacement in one week.  Therefore I had to pay for his ineptitude.  I paid just to get out.  To replace the sink, someone felt the need to empty the cupboard beneath it.  This was done by dumping everything from the cupboard into the bathtub.  This included multiple big gobs of plumbing putty which apparently missed the seal on the sink.  I use the word dumping because the cupboard contents were spilled all over the tub.  This way I did not notice the gobs of putty until I got home.

The levelers.  I had a broken spring on one of the levelers.  I even had a new spring.  All they had to do was install the new spring.  But no, they discovered a seal leak on the other rear leveler.  I believed that this leak was because I had had to force the fluid back into the system and it found another place to go rather than the reservoir.  When asked when I first brought it in, I said, fine if the insurance covered it otherwise, wait to see if it really were a leak.  Oh no.  I would know better now but then I thought they were honest.  They charged me for rebuilding the leveler since the insurance did not pay for it.  They did not rebuild it: they replaced it with another that they rebuilt and it, like the bad shock, was the wrong size.  It seemed to work but now we had another problem.  The squealer than notifies you that the shocks are not all of the way up squealed continuously.  They decided that this was due to a faulty switch inside the reservoir.  They ordered a new one and I drove home with the squealer disconnected.  When I brought it back, it still squealed with the new switch.  Like the other problems, they did not attempt to fix this until I returned to pick up the coach.  They also lied about fixing it.  It is still disconnected and will not squeal if the levelers extend while I am driving.  They broke, they hid it, they refused to fix it.  I think this qualifies for fraud.  It is certainly less than honest.

Of the 6 things that I brought the RV back the third time for, none of them were fixed.  Oh, the sink was fixed at my expense.  I had to drive 150 miles to replace the battery.  If they had informed me that I needed a new battery, I could have picked one  up on the way there.  They were mostly interested in charging me for their miniature replacement at full price.  The RV was again dirty, filthy is a better word.   I would live with the problems not being fixed and not return for more of the same abuse of me and my motor home.

They were paid a lot for work that was not done.  They had the motor home on three occasions, one for 5 weeks, the second for two weeks and last for 10 days.  The third visit I figured out their strategy: they do not attempt to complete the work by the time they say.  They hope that you will leave with the work incomplete and forget to come back.  The third time I told them I was returning a day before I actually planned to return.  This helped a little.  But since they did not do the work, I am not sure that it helped much.

(Sept. 2007) Oh.  And the warrantee card they made sure I had for the rebuilt refrigerator -- they were right.  The rebuilt refrigerator lasted about  8 months after my final visit.  They were correct on that point: you must be wary  of their  replacement parts -- but then I already know that about them.  Their "rebuilt" jack caused more trouble than the broken spring on the other jack.

Enough about crooks for one day.  I shall get too angry if I complete the tale.  Just be warned: they claim to be better than their competition.  I hope so as I would hate to encounter worse.:

Back to Life in the Computer Clinic

Tuesday I open my clinic to a crowd of people with connection problems.  My friend the belligerent pirate is one of them.  He keeps interrupting the work with questions.  Usually when the room is crowded there is a positive spirit of cooperation.  This man raised the tension level to unbearable.  I also could not get to him that day as he was one of the latecomers.

Wednesday he was back and playing with my laptop. and noticed that his computers were on my pirate lost.  I did not associate him with pirates until he got bent out of shape disrupting the entire class.  I thought it interesting that his two pirate computer names were both "Raptor" and his face and attitude were both hawkish at best.  In any case I informed him that I could not help him.  I used those words.  He called his wife up to the room and both slandered me and ran off to see Patricio.  I expected that.  This is the first time in the history of the workshop I sent someone to the boss but these people are below the dignity of the worst of society.  Pat has to deal with the dregs when they come to him.  I would have dealt with them when I had finished with the honest people.

By Thursday I had everyone fixed up and working.  Pat dealt with the pirates (I think that is too good of a name for them) giving them better treatment than my paying customers.  When I commented on this to Pat he seemed to think that I held a grudge or something as his attitude was defensive.  As manager he needs a defensive attitude or the park would be overrun with good wishes.   But I was just doing my best to defend the network operation by asking about the pirates getting two computers for the price of one when I am spending hours every day trying to level the network load.

What I do in the clinic is magic.  I have people who just come in to watch.  Like a chess master I walk around the table solving multiple problems simultaneously.  I finally understand how they do it.  The chess masters, that is.  How I solve the problems is magic.  Mostly it is trial and error.  Many times it is repeating an operation with slight differences until WIndows finally gives up and lets something work.  Many times it is simply getting people comfortable with pushing the buttons on their computer.

By the way, when you get a chance to install Windows Internet Explorer 7, don't!  I have seen a computer where it worked.  On all others (including both of mine), I not only had to uninstall it but I had to use the software recovery  program to get rid of changes the uninstall missed.  This is a bad news release being released without testing just to catch up with the competition (Firefox).  I have now gone to using FIrefox for fear that the IE7 will continue to invade my computer.

In any case, things are pretty much back to normal.  Sometimes I wish my boss knew more about the network but then if he did he would not need me.  He delegates well and does not micro manage.  I am sure he did well professionally.  Anyone did better than me.

Tercel

I took the Tercel into the local Toyota dealer to deal with the squealing belts.  They charged $600 to fix things and the belt still squeals -- not as much or as often but it is there.  The fixed problems were things left over from last year that I am lucky had not been worse.  I knew I was living on borrowed time.  Last year I was happy the Mexican mechanic was able to get it running at all.  This year it is finally safe to drive.  Oh, it needs another $600 but I no longer have to worry that it will blow up in my face.
  There should not be a problem getting it to Megan's and back.

Christmas

I know.  I let the little things get to me.  I went to Yuma today and had the Tercel looked at.  The squealing belts were the issued.  The service manager at Alexander Toyota had asked me to come back and see him because I had responded to a follow-up phone call with negative comments.  They did not fix the problem today and assured me that any remedy would cost me more money at $77 per hour.

But this was expected.  What caught me off-guard was a really rude woman in Wal-Mart.  After being given conflicting locations of where to find a clock, I finally ended up in a rather narrow aisle with a man and woman with their cart parked in the middle of aisle.  I came up to them expecting that they would move on.  Instead the man told me to back up so that he could inspect the merchandise on the other side of me.  The aisle was narrow and it is not surprising that an Arizona winter visitor would be rude enough to plant his cart such that he tied up any other traffic.  Arizona residents can tie up traffic anywhere.  And with senile snow birds it is amazing the city can move any traffic at all.

But to tell me to move out of his way when it was he that was blocking the way caught me off guard.  I politely suggested that he move his cart 6 inches to the side and I would happily leave his life.  He was about to do this (he was just not too smart with his complaint but was willing to correct the situation) when his wife piped up that I should have a different cart and should be walking with the merchandise outside the cart so that I would have not gotten into their aisle at all.  Now -- I had a child's bicycle in the cart.  The front wheel extended a foot or so beyond the front of the cart.  This had caused me some concern when approaching corners but did nothing to change the width of the cart -- and cart widths were the issue here -- and the rudeness of the bitch this poor man was married to.  She was still complaining about my cart as the man moved his a little to the side and I was able to leave -- suggesting that my cart was not the problem -- Arizona just needs t have friendlier visitors.  Shit people: it is Christmas -- show a little respect for the season.  I know we do not get snow and it may not feel like Christmas but not being in the Christmas spirit is  your fault and not mine..

But I got sick this week and cannot go to see Megan.  I first caught a bad cold.  Then I caught the flu (from a little girl visitor).  Then I go food poisoning from a bad torta.  By the first week of January I am so sick that I can not stand up.  I have not eaten in three days.  I throw up water and my meds.  But then I get up Tuesday morning and it is all gone except that I am so weak that I cannot stand up.  I pack the car for a trip to the hospital and wait hour by hour to see if it comes back.  It does not.  The weakness is fixed by Wednesday and we go into the year 2007.

Summary

Not much happened this year.  I am alive and well and have spent the first entire year at El Golfo.  My Spanish has marginally improved and I have a few women friends in town.  Not much but it is a start.  The Internet network weighs heavily on me.  I shall contact the Escapees park in Coarsegold and ask that my name be moved down on the list.

Suggestions?  Questions?  Comments?  Push the Home/eMail above.
Written:  2006          Updated: December 15, 2006                Back To Top