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About NoVaDamer

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  • Birthday 10/21/1960

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    History, world travel, security, running &exercise

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  1. Three years ago, we bought four sets of "loveseat" style, synthetic rattan chairs from their store on Lopez Mateos. Very comfortable and they show no signs of wear and tear.
  2. I have US Dish Network via satellite. Maybe I misunderstand what you wrote, but I have only one, small (probably 4') dish. I get around sixty channels (including all the major networks and ESPN) for about $90 USD a month. Reception is excellent, with the exception of heavy rain. To put that in perspective, I lose satellite lock probably two or three times a year, usually for ten minutes or less.
  3. Terrible site. No one should be grading countries at this point. It is still too early. Did you know that the data on the 1919-20 Spanish Flu is still so disputed that the numbers of cases and deaths include an order or magnitude range (each)? That site lists China as a place "winning" when no responsible group accepts the Chinese data on total number of cases or deaths. That site also says "massive testing" is one of the keys to "winning," yet winners like South Korea and Taiwan are not doing massive testing. If you want good coronavirus coverage, stick with these sites: For the raw numbers: Johns Hopkins: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 For visualization, Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-48f8-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441 For comparisons, Worldometer: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries For testing, Our World in Data: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing
  4. My apology. The New York Times has a good piece on this today, confirming the original claim about American citizens not receiving the stimulus based on their spouse's ITIN use. I should have known better than to respond as I did: Mea culpa! I got so tired of correcting other people's comments ("it's just a loan" "it's only for residents") that I failed to research BEFORE I shot off my mouth. Again, sorry! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/us/coronavirus-undocumented-immigrants-stimulus.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=US News
  5. 1) yes, 2018/19/20, all (minimal) refunds, all filed with TurboTax
  6. Nonsense. There is nothing on the IRS website stating such a condition. There is a statement saying "non-resident aliens" are not eligible, but that does not change the status of a US citizen spouse. And there is no condition that one be a US resident. I am a US citizen with a permanente here, and my wife and I already received our stimulus checks. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions
  7. This website from US Customs & Border Protection has wait times for border crossings. I bet they will also show other restrictions/changes/etc. https://bwt.cbp.gov/
  8. Second the notion to check with a tax advisor/attorney. As a US citizen, you have a tax domicile whether you choose one or not. It is the last place you resided/paid taxes to, unless you made a positive effort to change it. Some expats claim you don't need to pay state taxes, but it all depends on your last state of residency (tax domicile). For example, I am an Ohio resident and I pay taxes to that state. I can file an affidavit stating I don't live in Ohio anymore (and pay no taxes), but then that state has the right to revoke my driver's license, voter registration, etc. Each state is different. Also, even if you owe no taxes, if you ever plan to have a will probated in the US, the state where that happens will want to know where you paid taxes, or they will attach a lien against your will. Just FYI.
  9. I listened to their promotional pitch, because I was interested in their business model. I don't recall the exact costs, so I don't want to throw something out there; anybody interested can get a quote from them, I am sure. I am also sure there are cheaper places in the States; you get what you pay for in either case.
  10. It's a continuing care retirement community, modeled on many similar successful communities NOB. You buy-in once for a level of service (meals, health care, utilities, transport, etc) and then pay a monthly rent for the type of dwelling you want: home, apartment, etc. The idea is you can start off in independent living, move to assisted living when you need it, and end up in full time (nursing) care at the end, without leaving your community. Some % of the original buy-in is redeemable by you (if you leave) or your heirs (if they carry you out). What makes this interesting is the model is being imported to Mexico, where costs are much less. La Pueblita is the first of several planned communities in Mexico, and is much less expensive than the communities NOB. It is not a timeshare. The developers are professionals with a good track record NOB. Whether it works here, or not, TBD!
  11. According to their webpage, they are at Gate K, international departures. https://www.aicm.com.mx/en/government-entities/inm
  12. Look at the bright side! Some of the topes near Chantepec have become simple bumps due to the repaving. Now that is progress!
  13. Several suggestions. 1) You can get pesos from any ATM once you cross the border, at a much more favorable rate. However, you do face the possibility of an empty ATM, or your card not working (any of the problems which can happen when relying on online banking). If you need to feel secure by having some pesos, contact AAA and you can buy some through them. Just get enough to cover you to an ATM. 2) Don't rely on one form of travel info. Get a good Mexican road atlas delivered to you in the States. If you use GPS, make sure you have the most recent update downloaded to it. I suggest you also get the WAZE app on your phone. It uses Google maps but is augmented by real-time data from all WAZE users. You create a (free) account and it gives you immediate updates on police, road debris, accidents, etc. You need more than one source of travel data in case one isn't working. 3) In picking where to cross, consider what Mexican States you will travel through. For example, Tamilaupas is under a "do not travel" advisory from the US State department, with the following comment: "Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state in marked and unmarked vehicles and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa northwest to Nuevo Laredo." I have crossed at Nuevo Laredo several times without incident, and you are quickly out of Tamilaupas. 4) Travel times in Mexico are much longer. You just can't drive as fast, and you do not want to travel after dark, so many people use two days to get from the border to lakeside. Some make it all the way in daylight, so it is possible. It all depends on your druthers. 5) If you're not in a hurry, take a little time on the US leg of your trip and visit some of the country. Many people make a smuggler's run of 12 hour driving days to get to the border. Taking shorter drives and visiting some places can be more relaxing and rewarding. There is a lot of country, history, culture, and cuisine you're driving by. The same goes for the Mexico leg. 6) Use Mexican toll roads (Cuotas) whenever possible. They are expensive, but faster, safer, and with better services. Also less prone to that Mexican phenomenon of a massive bovine-induced travel back-up. They also have the Green Angels ("Angeles Verdes") who patrol and help stranded motorists. Enjoy!
  14. First of all, the topes they installed on the libramiento are the warning kind: not large enough to do serious damage, but they do jolt you (in a car) and make a loud noise. You can drive over them at speed (40 kmh) in a well maintained car (I have repeatedly) without damage to the vehicle. In a large truck, they would be barely noticeable. Second, if your large truck does not have functioning brakes, hitting a series of noisy topes is just going to move WHERE you have the accident, not prevent it. If cars in front of the truck slow down and crawl over the topes, the truck (without brakes) is going to rear end them, or veer off right into the small buildings, or veer off left into oncoming traffic. If the truck is alone on the libramiento, the same conditions apply: they will zoom over the topes and plow into the intersection. So topes add nothing to the equation if the problem is runaway trucks. If the problem is people speeding on the libramiento as they come into the commercial area near Walmart (which is a problem), warning topes will slow them down, at the cost of some damaged chassis (due to poor maintenance and surprise), some rear end collisions (you stop, I don't), and some bad driving (passing on the left/right to avoid the topes and slower drivers). Such is the nature of all warning topes, yet that is the way Mexico chooses to control traffic speed.
  15. And we use Sky Fitness, which also has everything, including classes. Seems most people choose the gym closest to their homes.
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