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Everything posted by CHILLIN

  1. Al - does Best Doctors treat for short term memory loss? You already told us that Best Doctors raised both your premium and deductible by 30%. Also, if they are covering in Mexico, you should be paying the 16% tax. If you are not, you soon will be. At that rate, within three years you will be paying the more than the "big boys", but a with a lot less coverage.
  2. In my opinion, it doesn't matter whether the company is Mexican or not. I thought it mattered, but was proven wrong - as someone has already pointed out, they are all greedy corporations, staffed by those whose bonuses are based on saving the company money any way they can. We were told/warned that the premiums for Mexican companies were restricted to the rate of MEDICAL inflation. I looked up this rate for Mexico and found: 2012: gross 6.6% - net 2.5%, * 2013: gross 6.5% - net 2.9% 2014: gross 6.9% - net 3.9% GNP raised their premium by 16%, this is on top of the 16% I.V.A. tax, which does does not apply to medicine, and many doctors avoid paying it. The big insurance companies, or the big medical unions in Canada, can move around the goal posts at their whim. The devil is in the details - always. * source: Towers Watson 2014 Global Medical Trends
  3. I think you miss my point Natasha, living in Canada full time is considered to be, if I remember correctly, 183 days. You are then eligible for GIS benefits on an annual basis, and provincial health plan on an annual basis. They do not care where you go for the remaining 182 days. This is entirely legal. If people are prepared to commit insurance fraud and theft of services, that is a whole different matter. They are lucky to stay out jail, or they must spend the rest of their lives in Mexico, or wherever will have them ( I doubt that Canada would ask for extradition for something like this). The scary trend now is that private pension plans are quickly disappearing. Even most Universities, with their much vaunted tenure system, are rapidly doing away with pension
  4. Yes - insurance paradise - Andre puts a group together and offers WEA insurance. I will ask him about this next week. He knows we are shopping around.
  5. They should be tested as positive for "mathematically challenged". The flu shots, lab work, doctor visit all under $100 here. To return to B.C., where I am from, it would cost many times more in travel and accomodation. They would then have to lie to a doctor (if they could find one) - "annual checkups" are not allowed in B.C., not officially anyways. Low income Canadians would be better off allowing the Federal goverment pay them a generous Gauranteed Income Supplement, on an annual basis, and they can still visit Mexico, and collect that income while in Mexico. Almost free medical and a nice annual government income for the "torture" of living in Canada for 6 months and a day. SWEET!
  6. I don't know where everyone is getting the idea that provincial health care plans are somehow being used in Mexico - they are not. All plans that I know explicitly warn you that the amount of coverage is limited to what they would pay in that Province. For example, the maximum amount for a hospital stay is $75 per night/day. This is not enough in Mexico and way, way off for the U.S.A. They recommend that you get travel insurance from a private insurer, which works about the same as private Mexican medical insurance - about $2,000 per year, per person. The problem is that if you are outside of the Province for more than six months (or two years every five years) then you are no longer a resident of the Province and would have to wait, and pay for, a 3 month period to get back on. The only potential abuse is that one of the pensions allows a minimum 10 year residence to receive that pension - as long as you collect that pension in Canada. If you want it outside of Canada, then it has to be the 20 years. The new Prime Minister Trudeau will be very cautious about having the Federal government snooping around people's medical records and travel habits. Afterall, it was his father who said "the State has no business in the bedrooms of it's people" in 1967 when they decriminalized homosexuality. The Federal government will not do anything about this because it is only the United States they are sharing information with, and any Canadian overstaying their six month limit there will be having a much bigger problem with I.C.E. than anything the Canadians can dish up.
  7. dupe again - I think Chapala.com's server is flaking
  8. Important correction GNP cutoff age is before 64 - no exceptions. They raised the premium by 16%, no explanations, no apologies. At that rate your annual premium will be double in about 5 more years. Focus Group/Best Doctors raised their annual premium and deductable by 25%. at that rate everything will be double in 3 more years. WEA is saying their increase will typically be under 6 to 8 %, but this is precisely what GNP and Focus Group said. In the meantime, Social Security in the U.S.A. is saying there will be no increase in payment amount because there was 0 percent inflation.
  9. google "non slip floor treatment" - 3.8 million hits
  10. This part of their website describes installation and materials to a very professional level. There are many possible shortcuts - but...., you take your chances. This is floor which will last for 100 plus years - if properly installed and maintained. http://originalmissiontile.com/cement-tiles-installation-guidelines/ They ship from San Luis Potosi - which is a drivable distance.
  11. I think you mean these tiles http://originalmissiontile.com/ They are sure beautiful. It's a great look, pattern and colors on the floor, keep the walls and ceilings minimal. It gives a room an illusion of soaring height. Soaring I like. Read the product info for details as to proper installation. There are so many concrete sealers today, many are very high performance. You can also choose flat, semi gloss or gloss. Gloss is the hardest to obtain and maintain. Gloss is very slippery when wet - same as stone, marble and limestone (travertino). There is a non slip treatment which is used extensively in the U.S. and Canada on stone floors, tubs, tiles etc. - but I have never seen anybody offer it here. That is too bad because there are just way to many slips and falls in Mexico caused by slippery surfaces. edit: Before I forget, it says to clean the floor with neutral detergent, water and a "capful" of liquid wax. Neutral detergent is difficult to find now, since they discontinued "Ivory Detergent flakes". Luckily, it is available from large animal supply stores as a horse shampoo, containing Laurel Sulphate. It lifts the dirt but leaves the natural oils the horses need to keep their coats healthy, especially in the rain. It is non-alkaline so it does not burn the cement like normal soaps would.
  12. The OP might not know that there is still a source of hand made concrete tiles in Mexico: http://originalmissiontile.com/ The advantage is that the colors are quite thick, so they can withstand a chip or two without losing their good looks. They can also be sealed, or polished, in a variety of ways. High gloss polished concrete and high gloss ceramic (actually meant to be wall tiles) can be extremely slippery when wet. The magnesite floors are extremely durable and are still used today on battleship decks. They were also on the flooring of the Maginot line in France and on at least one major subway stop in Paris (the art nouveau, one I believe). It was invented in France where it was called Sorel cement
  13. The guarantee is a very good question. A "polished" floor usually ends with a 2,000 grit gloss. This process requires some very specialized equipment, and your first question to the contractor is "How are you going to control the dust?". Should be a vacuum extractor attached to the polisher(s). Do not let a contractor talk you into "wet" polishing - that only creates a big mess of mud, which will turn to dust. The second question is to set the standard as to the level of "gloss". There are meters which measure this, and a professional contractor will have samples. Kemiko, is a very good company, and there are many others, but many of them rely on chemicals (acrylic, polyester, epoxy, polyurethane, etc) for the gloss. They look beautiful when first applied, but they do not stand up over time. They are just not hard enough or resistant to U.V. They require stripping and reapplying, an expensive and messy job. A good polished concrete (or stone) floor will require repolishing every few years, depending on use. You have to realize that concrete is actually quite a soft material. Neat (no aggregate) Portland Cement starts at something like 600 p.s.i., granite is something like 8,000 (too lazy to look it up!). So any polish of off concrete is going to depend on the aggregate. Silica sand (glass) is much harder than marble chips used in terrazzo floors. The very best floors I have seen are in California, miles of what people think are terracotta, are actually sculpted Magnesium Oxychloride, as used and installed by the Hills Brothers. Unfortunately the company was more or less gutted by a class action law suit because they recommended and sold asbestos fiber as the filler! Again, it will be hard to find a contractor. Architects and Interior Designers often hitch their wagons to new, emerging looks/techniques for which they, not the contractor, become widely known for. They often tie up a small contractor for years in this unholy marriage which makes it tough for independent homebuilders. They are often left to deal with the "wannabees" and "think I cans".
  14. Polished concrete floors are durable, beautiful, and economical, especially when compared to natural stone. I doubt if anyone is doing this locally - even the guy who could polish travertino has moved on. You will have to look in Guadalajara, searching in Spanish language. There is a lot of commercial applications for polished concrete. Warehouses use it for floors that can handle robotic equipment. Large retail stores use it because the polish reflects light, and their lighting bill goes way down. If you have not yet installed the floor, make sure you look at radiant heating as well. The hose can be run into zones. Can run cool in the summer, warm in the winter, easy to hook up to solar.
  15. Maybe the OP means Radon gas? Haven't hear that one come up for years.
  16. Here's Richard Feynman on the subject. A brilliant scientist (one year after this video he shared the Nobel prize for Physics) but also a brilliant educator. But like all great minds, he also had a healthy sense of play, he learned to play the "frigideira", which is a Brazilian percussion instrument which looks like, and probably is, a frying pan. He joined a samba school/club where the men beat their sticks on percussion instruments, and the women swayed their hips and developed beautiful, and elaborate costumes. A lot more fun than a square dance club and a lot more more fun than staying up all night hoping to photograph imaginary spacecraft. Let us know if you start a Samba club -I'll be there! http://amiquote.tumblr.com/post/4463044318/richard-feynman-on-the-likelihood-of-flying
  17. O.K. - here, they are not showing up at Lake Chapala, or anywhere else. If there were "alien exploration aircraft" they would not need lights and would most certainly not make any noise. The nearest "earth like planets" are 450 light years away.
  18. You do know that one of the fun things you can do with drones, especially in a club, is to fly very tight formations - sort of like choreography. The drones are not like RC controlled craft, they are/can be programmed with very precise flight plans. Drones are a magnet for all types of technology right now - some of it is downright scary!
  19. Professor Micho Kaku, a brilliant and well respected scientist, explains your 'higher dimensions' in terms of science, especially quantum physics. He is one of the few who can explain clearly and simply on this topic. Proving once again that truth is often stranger than fiction. http://mkaku.org/home/articles/test/
  20. As both a science and science fiction fan ( I most enjoy the fiction that has at least a whisper of probability), a truly functioning space travel craft would have to employ quantum based technology. This is because the origin of these travelers would be beyond the limits of our already known universe. Scientists have already acknowledged the possibility that there may exist "wormholes" throughout the universe, even the possibility of parallel universes. They also know there is something faster than the speed of light - they just don't know what, and they are spending billions to find out. Which brings me to the fatal flaw of the typical U.F.O. sighting - why would they need running lights, especially when they travel faster than light? They could also pass through solids, the way atoms and energy travel through glass.
  21. I can see that now Lori. This company is very large, and offer seven types of flour. One of them specifically for pizza. http://www.munsa.com.mx/producto.php?prid=6 The flatbread dough is rising now - let me know if you want one to sample. Are you gluten free? - I might cheat a little bit and roll out the dough with a bit of wheat flour, or I could give you some raw dough and brown rice to grind into flour.
  22. I feel your pain! This flour is only available from hard wheat - which grows in Western Canada and the Northern U.S.A. So right away there is a geographical problem. The next problem is that this wheat is in high demand in Europe, especially for pasta. There was a price rise of 10% this year due to shortages. Final problem - flour spoils very quickly without chemical additives. It would be best shipped as "wheat berries", full grains, then run through a grain grinder and a chaff filter (otherwise it will be 100% whole wheat flour). There is another pizza maker on this forum that owns a grain grinder and has seen wheat berries in Guadalajara abastos. They are probably soft wheat and she thought there was a lot of debris in them. About your only hope is to ask the bakery "Peter Panaderia" who makes a very good bread, which tastes of hard wheat to me, or the French bakery near the Huerta shopping complex in West Ajijic. See if they will sell you flour, at a profit of course. They should be cooperative if they don't think you are potential competition. I am going to make this flatbread recipe. Oat flour, white/brown rice flour, are hard to find. I plan on soaking the grains overnight and then running them through my wet stone grinding machine. http://mattikaarts.com/blog/gluten-free-flatbreads-hot-pepper-lonzino-and-mizuna/
  23. So no one has traveled the highway 15? I just remember an "Aha!" moment heading towards Guadalajara, into a peaceful valley, with so many colors, and I said to myself "I wouldn't mind living in this country some day". Didn't realize it would take forty years to accomplish.
  24. In the spirit of RV Gringo - who is truly one of the world's great adventurers - I will research the old road from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara. Our family traveled it in 1974 by bus, and I remember some truly memorable valleys and mountains. I have not seen these scenes on the toll road. I know the bus stopped in Tequila and the two lane highway went east/west from there. Does anyone here know if this route is still open? Edit: here is an article on Mexconnect from 2000. It sounds like the route I remember after all these years is Route 15. http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/3352-driving-from-puerto-vallarta-to-guadalajara
  25. Sorry RV - I don't agree. That back road is insane. It adds at least 1.5 hours drive time. I has been barely maintained, full of holes in the pavement, usually right after blind corners of which there are hundreds. Lots people use the road - because they have to - but most of the vehicles are in very poor repair. It does have beautiful scenery but the driver had better keep every ounce of attention on the road ahead. Take the toll road the whole way - it is well worth it.
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