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sambrit10 last won the day on November 29 2015

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  1. I have been involved with dog shelters for many years, both here and in the US, and I am just so FED UP with people who have done little themselves to deal with the unwanted pet situation but are full of criticism for those that do! I invite those of you who apparently know it all to start their own shelters and show everyone how it's done. Until then please keep your negative opinions to yourselves. Mtn Mama, your posts are full of wisdom -- and also with much more patience than I have for these people. Every shelter has the right to make its own decisions about what dogs to take. Here at Lakeside, they aren't government funded agencies. They're private non-profits with VOLUNTEER staff working hard to make life better for Lakeside animals. The different shelters have different philosophies but I can safely say that all of them make their decisions based on what they feel is best for the animal population. I have a friend whose friend worked in an animal shelter in Texas. It was a city pound, and the city council voted that the shelter MUST take every animal left there and MUST NOT euthanize except for extreme medical or behavior issues. Within six months the shelter was full of unadoptable animals. Leaving no place for adoptable animals to be left, to be able to find new homes. It had become a warehouse for unadoptable animals. Needless to say, the city council changed the policy. Everywhere, there are way more unwanted animals than there are homes for them. Tough decisions simply must be made, and I give full credit and kudos to the people who don't shy away from making them.
  2. Tomas, unless you are willing to take this dog (and the next one after that, and the next one after that...) into your home until an owner is found, you have no right to judge the people who dedicate hours and hours of effort each week to animal rescue. Shelters have to draw a line somewhere. Without ALL the lovely rescue shelters in the area we would be overrun with sick and starving and sometimes dangerous dogs. Unfortunately, there just aren't places for all of them. In the USA, shelters euthanize 1.5 million dogs a year, the vast majority due to human irresponsibility. Nobody should "rescue" a dog unless they are willing to keep that dog until the owner or a new home can be found, in case the shelters can't take the dog. The shelters can't do it all and some of the rescues are, as mentioned before, simply free-range dogs.
  3. A "de paso" water heater would be called in English a "pass through" water heater. As others have said, it has a small tank. It does have a pilot light and periodically turns on a flame to keep the water in the tank at whatever temp you have it set out, just like a traditional water heater. Then when you actually use the water, it begins by delivering the preheated water to you, and goes on to try to keep the flowing water at that same temperature by turning on a large flame. It is NOT a "normal" water heater but neither is it strictly on-demand. Kind of a hybrid. We just replaced ours as it couldn't even begin to keep up with the flow of water, to keep it hot or even more than lukewarm. We would end up using the 6 liters in the holding tank, then waiting several minutes for the refilled tank to heat up again, then using that, until we had as much as we needed. A real pain. Luckily we only used it as a backup to our solar water heater, after a cloudy day. It is a pretty basic setup. The idea is to save gas by not keeping a large tank of water hot all the time. We have replaced it with an on-demand heater which here is called "instantaneo". This lights its own pilot and heats the water as it moves through a serpentine pipe. It is only burning when the water coming in is cooler than the temp it is set at. We went with this because it seemed like a good way to augment the solar. When the solar doesn't deliver hot enough water, the heater raises its temp the rest of the way. (This is the theory, anyway. Ours is not working as advertised, or at least only works correctly some of the time.)
  4. I turned 60 this year and was 55 when we moved here and I have to echo what others have said. Whatever you are interested in, or think you might like to try, there's probably a group here that does it, or someone that can teach it. This is the first time I've had to have a calendar to keep track of my personal life (as opposed to my old work life). I have friends in their 20s and friends in their 80s. I have friends who don't speak English and friends who speak 3 or 4 languages. Of course there are grumpy old people here but they're thankfully a minority. In the main there are a lot of friendly, interesting and adventurous people here.
  5. I do a group Spanish class called "Exploring Spanish" at LCS on Saturday mornings. Each week we cover a topic or two related to the Spanish language and then practice it with conversation, simulations, games, etc. We keep returning to and repeating previous topics because it takes a lot of repetition to really have it sink in! So, it doesn't matter when you join or if you miss some sessions. A lot of people in the group are also taking lessons elsewhere but come to practice and build up their confidence. It's free but you should be an LCS member because we do use their facility. (You can check out a session or two without being a member.) I hope to also bring in some Spanish speakers who are learning English for an intercambio, but that may be a separate session. Anyone who's interested can PM me for more info.
  6. Yes, Christmas Eve (la Noche Buena) is a wonderful experience. We celebrate with our Mexican neighbors and live in a privada so we set up a table in the street and everyone brings food so we have a feast, usually at about midnight. All evening people are walking back and forth to visit their families that live on the street and we're all wishing each other "buenas noches" and "feliz Navidad". There are bonfires, people dropping by for a drink, pinatas, and just in general a warm feeling of comaraderie. Walk around and take it in. You won't be bored!
  7. This comment strikes me as very disrespectful to the 80% of people in Ajijic who have lived there all their lives, don't speak English, and celebrate their holidays in very traditional ways. The "live nacimientos" in the church courtyard on Christmas Eve, and the mass held that evening, are very touching and are NOT put on for the gringos. But the people are lovely enough to welcome the gringos to observe the celebrations. It is very easy to integrate into the local population here if you speak Spanish and make it obvious that you want to know them. I'll admit I know many that don't, but it's their loss.
  8. I've started using that new service Simple Pay and it appears to be working great. I use an American credit card and so far am paying Telmex and CFE. No fees -- I'm not sure how they make their money. But everything appears to have been applied promptly. They have even emailed reminders when the same time rolls around the next month. So far I'm a satisfied user of the service.
  9. I don't know whether it's legal or illegal, but I know I've seen it EVERYWHERE we've driven in Mexico. On our trip north to Nogales there were long stretches of cuota with extra wide shoulders and everyone used them to move aside to allow others to pass. The passing vehicles would straddle the middle line so you could end up with trucks coming at you, half in your lane, and you had no choice but to move aside. Some of the slower vehicles always stayed halfway in the shoulder to allow others to pass. The road really looked like it was intentionally set up for this so it seems strange that it might be illegal. I see it often on the road to Mezcala also. I've definitely gotten into the habit of moving aside if I can when faster cars are coming up behind me.
  10. amazon.com.mx has many options to choose from for soaker hoses. The prices seem a little steep, even after the exchange rate, but then I haven't bought one for years so don't remember what they go for. Also you would have to check the shipping cost, which in my experience has been quite reasonable unless the product is labelled "importacion".
  11. I'm certainly no expert on this subject, but I remember Spencer posting to the effect that if you are re-entering Mexico with a Temporal, BE SURE they process you as a Temporal and NOT a Tourist. I remember him saying that if they processed you as a Tourist it would invalidate the Temporal. I know when we drove out and flew back we did stop at Immigration as we drove out (this was at Nogales) and they stamped all over the form that we were Temporal, and entered our Temporal visa info in the computer. If I remember right they gave us the big part of the form and kept the small part. When we arrived back in Guad on the flight we gave them back the big part AND our Temporal visas and all seemed to be fine. Not sure what to do if you missed getting recorded on the way out. It may not be a problem but maybe you should contact Spencer directly and get some totally reliable advice, just to be sure.
  12. I frequently have to wash the mealybugs off my gardenia and use my fingers to rub them off the leaves after spraying with water and alcohol. Have never had a bite.
  13. I just wanted to add ... I made it sound like we live in a cacophony all the time, but that's not the case. Right now it's afternoon and all I can hear is birdsong. And it's extremely rare for us to have enough noise at night to keep us awake. Of course it's not rocket season, but we've learned to sleep through the early morning rockets. Unfortunately our dogs haven't gotten the memo.
  14. We live in central Ajijic, a few blocks from the plaza. Yes, it's noisy, but after three years I've adjusted to it and to tell the truth I hardly hear it any more. We have a one story house with a roof patio and have a beautiful view of the hills and a peekaboo view of the lake due to all the trees in the way. I have been in two story houses that have excellent lake views. It all depends on what you want from your life here, which of course is why it's great to have such a variety of responses on this thread. We love that we can walk everywhere. The pharmacy, El Torito's grocery, the movie theater, the horse ring, the malecon, the plaza, El Granero (my favorite little food shop), and many good restaurants / cafes are all within 4 or 5 blocks. During the big San Andres festival we walk out every night to join in the festivities. Whenever we're a little restless we pop out to see what's happening in the plaza or on the malecon. All the parades go by nearby. A lovely Mexican family on our block has adopted us and we attend all their celebrations, and they come to ours. We've had no problems with crime, I think in part because our neighbors look out for each other. We've been parking our car on the street for over two years and it's never been bothered, but neighbors have dropped by to let us know we left a window open. But yes, it's noisy. We have roosters crowing at all hours, dogs barking, neighbors throwing parties, sounds of construction, trucks with loudspeakers cruising through selling their wares. We get drifts of music from the horse ring, Plaza Bugambilias, Number Four, La Bodega, El Barco, the plaza, although because our bedroom is on the first floor it very rarely keeps us awake. I blanked out the rooster noise within days of moving here. Now I barely notice the rockets or the vendors. But that's me. Other people may find it a source of constant irritation. To me they are the sounds of Mexican life.
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