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Posts posted by feewee

  1. Thanks so much for this, Go Solar and Mostly Lost -  the solar panel guys are coming this week to "reinstall".  An animal of some kind  (squirrel?) seems to have chewed through the panel wires and there is an opportunity to improve on the original installation at the same time.

  2. Many thanks for explanation Go Solar.  This is helpful.  I am still wondering about the installation though -  is it direct from invertor to CFE meter or from invertor to house wires to CFE meter. Based on what you have answered, I believe it is the latter.

    Muchas gracias



  3. Interesting reading!  

    I am interested in hearing about how others' panels are installed. Is your inverter connected directly to the CFE meter on a dedicated line?  Or is the invertor connected to your existing house electrical lines ?  If I understand it correctly, your panels create solar energy that can either be: 

               1) 100% pushed back to the CFE grid and CFE only charges you for what you used in excess of what you generate. 

               2) Or you can use the solar energy directly for your household consumption through existing house lines and then push back to CFE what is in excess to your needs - or if you need more that what you produce you can buy it from the grid. 

    Would like to know if I have properly understood the two options and hear if one is more beneficial than the other.

    We have 8 panels on the roof and I do no feel we are getting the production/benefits (last bill was $2624 Dec 9 - Feb 8 )  Granted there have been some cloudy days and the panels have been completely off for ~10 days due to work at the house) 

    Thank you!



  4. Thanks everyone - For sure not having liquids around electronics is the best way to ensure these kinds of things don't happen.  In this case, horse has already left the barn. 😞

    The "patient" is undergoing surgery with Luis Algavin - his shop is in the same complex as Pancho's Deli and Market. No prognosis yet...hoping to at least recover the data if not the actual laptop. 

    Recommendation for Ruben is much appreciated.  I am sure he is very good but we had already made contact with Luis, who appears to also know his stuff. 




  5. UPDATE: 

    We sprayed with power washer (just water) before I posted for advice.  I agree this has the risk of breaking down the bricks - some weren't in great condition to begin with but I can see where good bricks are now pitted.  Suggest going easy on power washer -  if you can turn down the dial or use a less powerful alternative.  A long handled stiff or wire yard brush might have been handy but I couldn't find one in local shop. Stiff scrub brush (handheld) -  used it on small test area and it worked ok but the elbow grease required to do whole pool area and patio was just too overwhelming and Gardener would probably quit!

    We followed up with diluted bleach (chose to forego the muriatic acid solution based on the above advice from Stream) and it did seem to soak into the bricks and so far they remain fairly clean and less moldy (some are good, some are still blackish but in a less dramatic way). The areas in the shade took days to dry out but now that they are dry they look better.  The best part is that the acrid moldy smell has dissipated (although I can still catch a whiff from time to time ). Getting rid of the smell was the reason for all this effort in the first place.

    I can see that this is not a "one and done" kind of chore but will need to be added to the growing list of regular maintenance post rainy season...just a reality of life in this area.  I also think staying on top of it as one poster remarked is a good idea.

    Thanks all for your help, everyone!  


  6. Thanks everyone -  I appreciate the insights.  I discussed the bleaching option with my gardener. He has power sprayed all the bricks to remove the black mold and now he is going to try a bleach/water solution.  He also mentioned Muriatic acid/water solution  -  I am not keen to use anything toxic but apparently this is safe. We are going to test both out  -  I will post with results. 

  7. I am coming to Lakeside in Dec for two months and will need to get a cellphone and cell service.  Wondering if others have any advice/experience on where to get reasonably priced smartphones (doesn't need to be a super fancy one but would like to make/receive calls, text and check emails) and more importantly a cell plan that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  

    Thank you!






  8. This is for those looking Lakeside for a COVID-19 PCR test.  Just to clarify, this is NOT the same as the COVID-19 Antigen test.  PCR is a molecular polymerase chain reaction test and it is not as widely available Lakeside as the antigen test, therefore I am sharing the information I gathered as it may help others.

    At time of writing, a PCR test is required for entry into Canada and your test results will NOT be accepted at the Canadian border if they are older than 72 hrs.   You should check the Canadian Gov't website for most recent info.



    The following was accurate on Aug 30, 2021 (you should double check)

    The PCR test is available at:

     - San Antonio Hospital  -  $6800+ pesos, results were offered in 72 hours -  not willing to guarantee anything earlier

     - Ribera Medical Centre (Libremento)  - $4800+ pesos, results in 72 hrs but testing was not available on Sunday so this can make it tricky to plan, 

    - Laboritorio Clinico El Lago (behind bus station in Chapala) - $2800+ pesos  - results same evening as test, I triple checked this and was told I would receive test results via email within 12 hrs of the test.

    You can also get a PCR test at the Guadalajara Airport -  2nd level of the parking lot -   I did not speak to them as I wanted to get a tested Lakeside.  I also did not research anything west of Ajijic.

    The discrepancy in prices, did not appear to have anything to do with timeliness of results or level of service. 


    Lakeside locations that did NOT offer PCR test:

    - Ajijic Hospital

    - Chopo Lab 

    - Go Lab

    - Best Lab


    My Experience:

    My husband and I went to Laboritorio Clinico El Lago because of their pricing and their multiple assurances that we would have the test results the same evening.  We called for an appointment and chose to take one a day earlier than they suggested just so we would have a buffer day if something didn't go as planned. (Our back up plan was Guadalajara Airport). 

    This is a very small clinic and the place was hopping first thing on a Monday morning but the process was very efficient. We speak very little Spanish and the staff were helpful and kind.  You have to check in at the window upon arrival and they took us right on time.  I felt that they knew exactly what the process is - if there was any confusion at all it was due to our lack of experience and language skills. 

    Once inside, we had to fill in a simple form with our address and passport info BRING YOUR PASSPORT (or at least the number) WITH YOU.

    They will create a sticker with your name and passport number on it - make sure your name is spelled correctly and exactly the same as it appears in your passport.

    The test itself takes place in a little closet-sized office and is done by a technician in full PPE - hazmat suit, googles, ventilator.  The technician sprays and disinfests everything - including you. The test is not pleasant but not terrible either -  a swab in each nostril all the way to the sinus and a swab at the back of your mouth.  The technician spoke very good English and explained each step before proceeding. He told me the samples are driven to Guadalajara in the afternoon for processing that evening.  The whole thing took less than 5 mins and was very professional.

    We paid cash after the testing and asked for a receipt which was created immediately on an official receipt pad and signed by the head nurse. Turns out we never needed to show it to anyone but it was just another piece of documentation if something went wrong along the way.  The whole process for two of us took about 30 mins.

    Good to their promise, our results arrived the same evening via email -  actually earlier than the 12 hrs advertised. They were PDF attachments which we downloaded to our mobile devices and we also printed them.  Having a paper copy turned out to be the easiest for airport purposes. We were asked to show them at the AeroMexico check-in counter and we had to present them to Canadian Customs and Immigration upon arrival in Canada.  

    It cost us $5600 pesos for two people, plus ~$400 pesos for taxi from Ajijic to Chapala and back.  So all in, $6000 pesos for the two of us.

    Hope this is helpful to those heading back into Canada.

    Stay safe!




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  9. hi Zeb

    If you want to skip the trip to Tonala, I suggest the Indigenous run shop on Colon in Ajijic - it is called Arbol Magico.  They have a good selection of authentic Oaxacan rugs on offer. They do not always have the really large ones, but you could ask them to have one brought in for you. They replenish their stock on a fairly regular basis.  Or if you really want to fall in love with Oaxacan rugs -  take a trip to Oaxaca City/Teotitlan de Valle  - Felipe Hernandez is a master weaver and makes all his own natural dyes.  He is a Zapotec native and has been weaving since he was 13. This family has been making rugs for four generations. His work is some of the finest in Mexico and he will tour you through his home/studio.  He speaks perfect English and runs a very reputable business. I have several of his rugs. They are a fraction of the price that you would pay in the US galleries where he shows them.

    I don't have it on hand at the moment, but if you are interested, I will send you his contact info.






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