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Posts posted by utilitus

  1. 2 hours ago, John Shrall said:

    There are many restrictions on the books regarding adding a structure to an existing property. There's height, boundaries of adjoining properties and the percent of the new footprint to the total lot size. To do it properly you need to apply and get approval for a building permit.

    You should also consider consulting with neighbors that might be affected by a new structure especially if a view will be compromised. I went through a long process last year with a neighbor that started building a casita right up to our adjoining walls and boasted to a another neighbor it was going up 5 stories. The end product turned out to be marginally invasive but only after involving a lawyer and the department of transparency in Chapala to finally produce public record drawings and the permit. 

    JS, would you care to share the name and type of contribution made by those professionals who assisted you?  I'm getting ready to build on a very small (1600 sf ft) view lot in SJC early next year, and need to know how in detail how to best balance the 'viewshed' interests of all who might be impacted, and to understand the sort of restrictions you detail above.  Also, I hope to engineer the place for an elaborate roof garden and solar array, and want to do everything to an unusually high technical standard, as well as within conventional code.  It would be great to engage an expert English speaking advisor asap. Thanks.

  2. Don't remember littering as a prominent feature of CR (especially compared to, say, Bali), but the lack of both (tax-expensive) police services and road maintenance did result in a different kind of environment than gringos are accustomed to.  At night, a sort of petty-criminal demimonde seemed to emerge, and several years ago anyway, the law sanctioned 'squatters rights' to the point that house invasions and appropriations could and did happen (after a few years of owner neglect), compelling foreign owners to employ caretakers.  My overall impression of the Ticos was very favorable - went out to the very edges of different cities and towns (looking at real estate), and even shacks seemed to have all the basic utilities, and bespoke a modest but decent and casual sub-tropical lifestyle.

  3. Gallo Pinto, CRs' national dish, even when made with good L&P Worcestershire sauce rather than fresh spices, is so simple and delicious.  See https://hispanickitchen.com/recipes/gallo-pinto/

    It's said that CR was very thinly populated with indigenous communities when it was colonized, resulting in more European genes per customer.  So maybe bland taste is genetic, though I once participated in a poll on a bus in the Bolivian Andes that determined that white kids from around the world favored Mexican. Here in California, that was certainly true 50 years ago, but as Asian influences jumped the border, Thai, Indian, Sichuan, Hunan and all manner of hot stuff has been easily assimilated.




  4. Jack, inferring that you have established a household already, I'd guess that the greatest opportunity for the development of specific then broadening opportunities in any category of education, but particularly technology, would involve a fast and dependable net connection at home.  There is a universe of resources online, and immersion in the real thing is the real thing.  

    I don't know anything about it, but there is a technical school of some sort on the Libramiento Chapala Ajijic Highway at # 202.   See: https://conalepjalisco.edu.mx/web/index.php/conocenos/planteles-jalisco/planteles-metropolitanos-2/plantel-chapala 

    A few years ago, the U. of Guadalajara was supposed to be remade along with the city into a digital media oasis;  AFAIK, they sponsored one class in Python.  See: https://ciudadcreativadigital.mx/en_US/ .  Welcome to Mexico.

  5. 8 hours ago, gringohombre said:

    I would highly recommend a lady named Rosario. She is right in the heart of Ajijic. When i first got here full time 12 years ago i needed window dressings for my house. I wanted a very Mexican look and not full drapes but top and half sides. She does not drive but you can pick her up and she will gladly look at your house and listen to what you want. Her shop/workshop is on Ocampo west of Colon on the North side almost to the next block. You will see an open front and counter and she will be on her sewing machine in the corner. Sorry, I do not have a phone number, but you cannot go wrong with her and tell her Dennis sent you!  

    (Reading from her card from two years ago here) - Rosario Marquez at 15 B Ocampo, again, west of Colon about half a block, and on the north side of the street.  No sign, just a small open storefront. Pretty busy in 2018.

  6. As happyj seems to describe and as I was told by a professional licensed 'termite inspector' in California, the posthole beetle class of infestation of a wooden structure requires expensive pressurized tenting which penetrates far deeper than the tent fumigation required for drywood termites.  I had such beetles in a unpainted garage structure, but they eventually went away on their own. I found it worthwhile to secure a professional diagnosis.  Lakeside, brick construction might obviate serious structural concerns, but I'm consciously designing a new house down there without wood as far as possible, and only where exposed and not structurally critical...

  7. Here in northern California, at each of two houses, there are recurring but manageable termite situations, one in the redwoods involving flying swarming termites and another burrowing variety in wine country, where the species builds earthen 'tubes' across hard surfaces to bridge between softer tunneling media such as soil or wood.  The woodland/airborne variety produce a distinctive, sharply faceted dropping that requires something like a jewelers' loop to see clearly, and twenty years ago I had the place tent fumigated, and AFAIK, they never returned, though they might be throughout the structure and only manifest through their distinctive droppings (at first), that and detached wings which are all over the property exteriors seasonally. 

    There are something like 2000 species of termites, and a bit of research online concerning local conditions is probably prudent, and even interesting when you get to admire gem-cut drywood termite droppings.



  8. Yes, currency is not only the largest but also the most complex market, like twenty Keynesian 'beauty contests' being run simultaneously, where one or another can motivate a large move for a day or two and then the subject suddenly and usually inexplicably changes...

    - 'Emerging Market' currencies are often difficult/expensive to actively trade; but the MXN, because it floats and has long 'association' with the US, has been said to serve as a proxy for EM currencies generally, which prosper as the USD declines, as the world economy stabilizes.  Sure beats the Brazilian Real, which is getting slaughtered as the fascist darling president of international investors fails on every front.

    - 4% interest paid (rollover or "carry") on USDMXN.

    - There is some speculation that Mexico and maybe something like the maquiladoras might replace supply chains displaced from the PRC.  (S/SE Asia seems more likely, as Chinese firms themselves branch out, even into India.)

    -  I attempt to keep a healthy MXN position at all times (for the carry and to pay for my planned house Lakeside), but I have recognized that you really have to day-trade the effing thing because capitalist mechanisms such as forex are all about what Marx called 'reproduction', i.e., capital begetting more capital, not necessarily for any human purpose or benefit.  Worldwide, central banks themselves are now reduced to issuing massive 'papal indulgences' to paper over the failure of such artificial late-capitalist financialization.

    • Like 1
  9. 18 minutes ago, ea93105 said:

    The downside is that they won't have any water during an electrical outage unless you also install a battery backup system.

    Right - here in the redwoods up the hill from Mendocino any older house such as mine has or will have had a 24 foot tall water tower topped with a large redwood tank, water fed by a well and pumped up by a windmill.  We took down the tank, still have the parts, disassembled  like a huge barrel. 

  10. I'm about to build a house with wonderful vistas Lakeside, and the only obstruction to a perfect view is a neighbors' roof tinaco sitting on a booster frame, as is so commonly found.  I absolutely respect his situation, but would gladly fund an alternative system that would lower the profile of this obstruction, yet maintain and hopefully improve his domestic water system, possibly including introducing some very basic solar electric components if necessary to add pressure.

    There are 'low profile' tinacos available, but again system pressure is a function of height and pipe size.  Can anyone provide any quick comments or online pointers specific to this situation?  Thanks.


  11. If an auxiliary USB wired keyboard is under consideration, go Bluetooth or similar and select a model with a built-in touch pad.  Models like the Logitech K400+ or its' successors are cheap, light and easy on the batteries.  Using similar but better models I control multiple HDTVs connected to networked laptops with HDMI ports running Windows 10 from across a room or around the house.  It's easy in English, though for all I know there might be a Spaniard in the works....

  12. ICE Brent crude is currently trading at $26.  The NYMEX WTI figure around $10 is an artifact of the related futures contract which is about to settle when there is a requirement to take delivery and there is no storage capacity.  Petrol prices at the pump should reduce, but not to such absurd levels.  Commentators point out that low prices are the greatest motivation for american consumption, now obviously suppressed, and suggest that US refiners could be a good investment into the fall.

    • Like 2
  13. Somewhere, some years ago, I got the impression that if a gringo bought or built a home in Mexico that a vehicle plus a trailer-full of 'used' household items including furniture and major electronics was allowed across the Mexican border tax free.  This might also be related to Mexican visa status, presumably Permanente.  Without expecting a comprehensive answer, if this is this the case, what might such current legal provisions be called, for future research?  Thanks.
  14. In preparation for wanderjahr in 1976, my pharmacologist Dad put me on a proper course of anti-malarial Chloroquine in preparation for India and southeast Asia (and Bangkok was the worst, with maybe 20 species of mosquito, of course not all vectors for malaria).  He had contracted malaria during WWII in Spain, and knew it was no fiesta.  As I recall, the large pills referred to above had to be taken for some weeks in advance to bestow some limited resistance to the disease, the mode of action unknown to me.  This prophylactic treatment has probably evolved or been superseded by now... See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroquine

  15. Right, thus the  Peso is getting whacked doubly hard by the Euro.  At 7am, USDMXN is 20.35.   (In case it isn't obvious, the reason some folks write posts like this is to implicitly suggest anyone interested hightail it to their preferred cambio.   I'm in unfamiliar Centro CDMX and have to scare up an ATM for Mr. Schwab...)

    • Like 2

      8 hours ago, Jreboll said:

    Dollar index has been dropping the last couple of weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the exchange rate turns around. 

    Gonna be tough to push above 20 range, a tough resistance level.


    The USDMXN rate is about 20.15 (per Forex.com) at 5:20 am Lakeside, up about 3% in recent days.  This is in the context of worldwide 'financial' hysteria surrounding the spreading virus, and now a fast decline of the USD against most majors, as the Fed cuts rates but other Central Banks don't.  The Yen especially is rising. Gold, expressed in dollars, is 1684/troy oz, is perhaps now no longer a record in some currencies.  But 'exotic' currencies like the MXN and Indian Rupee are falling along with the USD.


  17. 17 minutes ago, DeborahM said:

    I signed up last month, in Las Fuentes...so far so good! My internet speed is five times what it was with TelMex, for the same price. Currently they have a special promotion..pay in  advance, get twelve months for the price of nine

    Wonderful! May I ask, what net speed is consistently achieved? 

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