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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
took the RV into CJ's in Yuma for repairs. I needed the
roof AC went out, it was time. The extended warrantee from Good
covered most of the damage. CJ's kept the RV for a month although
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
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
water, it ran down the inside of the bathroom wall. The levelers
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
that it was flat and off the rim. I borrowed wrenches and went to
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
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
cleaner. For what I can tell I can make it work. I had to
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
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
integrity, workmanship, etc.? I think the owner of CJ's tries
hard. Wes seems like a good guy but. that is just an illusion.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.:
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
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.
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
There should not be a problem getting it to Megan's and back.
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
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.