Friday, October 30, 2009

The last hour of the last day of work...

And the phone rang. A call I'd been told to expect for the last several months. I'd forgotten about it, but as soon as the person told me where she was calling from, I knew.

Was I available for work? Hey, I JUST became available, I'm hot off the press. The timing struck me funny and since it was all spontaneous, I was unguarded in my conversation.

I'd been recommended by a friend. She wanted to know about my background, and my skills. And so ensued a very pleasant chat with a woman I felt an instant connection with. She used to be a consultant, she 'got' what I told her about my work. I've sent her my entire life story, I'm chatty like that. Ok, not quite my entire life story, but hopefully enough to answer her questions and assure her that I am more than capable for the project.

So we'll see. I would love to keep something percolating. Nothing full-time. And I'm not in a hurry. I was looking forward to thinking I was retiring.

But that proverbial door that closed may have allowed the other one to open. Time will tell...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cat got your tongue?

I don't know, but something got my tongue. Wow, I have a really sore spot on the side of my tongue, way at the back. It hurts to talk, it hurts to eat, it hurts to swallow. I can feel a rough spot back there. Not sure if I bit my tongue (I've had to bite it a lot lately), or if I have a small infection.

The immediate concern is swelling and respiratory obstruction. So I took anti-inflammatory meds before I went to bed, and I mandated Miguel to sleep in the same room as me in case I obstructed. I demonstrated how I would poke him in the ribs if I got into trouble and couldn't talk. Perhaps I was over-reacting, but I like to be prepared.

Miguel is a weird sleeper. He can be in a conversation with me and if I pause for any longer than a minute between sentences, I'll look over and he'll be sound asleep. Sometimes I go up to bed and leave him sleeping on the couch or in the other room, and often he ends up just spending the night there. Which means I get the bed upstairs all to myself, and double the pillows (four pillows is just about right, no?). I also get all the sheets, it's really quite a nice arrangement.

Miguel requires less overall sleep than I do, which means he is often awake by 3 or 4 am. So on those nights when he has made it upstairs, when he wakes up early and can't get back to sleep, he will often tip-toe out of the room and head to the living room to work on his schoolwork, watch tv, or browse the internet.

This morning I woke up late - 7 am, and the spot on the bed beside me was empty. So I guess Miguel decided that I had survived enough of the night to reassure him I would not obstruct, and he trotted off downstairs.

And here I am, still alive, still able to breathe. I can even still talk, although it sounds a little funny and it hurts when I do so. Miguel and the animals will get to enjoy a quieter home front until this thing clears up. They'd all better behave, because I don't want to dole out a tongue-lashing with only partial use of my tongue. When I go on a rant, I want them to feel the full effect and to THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY DID. My message might lose some punch if I can only yell, I mean speak, at half-volume, and with a mouth full of swollen tongue.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Am I sad?

This is my last week working for a company that I've been associated with for 13 years. A company where I worked under the most incredible mentor ever (that would be you, Linda!). A company where I had the pleasure to work with someone who became a life-saver (that would be you, Bennie!). A company where I will still have friends even after I've gone.

Last week I was asked if I'm feeling sad about leaving the company. My response - "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"

Many people think I have been living the dream. No, not yet, but give me time and I will!

My goal was to retire by the age of 55. Guess how old I'll be in December? Yup - 55. I cannot WAIT to get to post-work life and not be tied to my computer all day long for 5 days a week. I have a life to live yet, nobody else can live it for me. And so I intend to get on with it!

Sure, I still need some sort of an income, and I am in the process of figuring out how I will make that happen and STILL HAVE A LIFE. But I have no doubt I will figure it out, and I have a bunch of people laying odds that I will be just fine.

The only thing I will have lost is an income. I did not lose job security (I never had it - it doesn't exist). I have not lost friends, they will still be there (Hi Guys!). I have not lost my health, in fact maybe I will actually have time to take better care of my body (and my mind?).

The most precious thing I will have gained is time. Something that can never be recovered once lost. I want to spend more time with my home, my family (I might even become a grandmother!), my animals, with my passions and hobbies. I want to write, I want to knit, I want to sew, I want to cook. I want to organize. I want to learn. I want to think. I just want to BE.

So many things have been on the back-burner. I will finally have time to putter and do things the way I want to do them. I might finally clear the stuff off the dining room table and keep it off instead of just shoving it into a nearby suitcase or cabinet when people are coming (only to be dragged out again once they leave so I can try and find a permanent place for it).

So I am not sad. I am excited, I am thrilled, I cannot wait for this week to end. Because I have a dream, and nobody can live my dream except me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where would I like to live?

Yesterday we were out for a drive and went past one of my favorite houses on the island - Casa del Sol al Sol. The house has been on the market for at least a year. We met the owners a few months ago and they previously owned another cool house on Sac Bajo near Villa Rolandi. They have great taste in houses, if you ask me.

Something I've never seen here before is "Open House" on properties for sale, but yesterday there was an open house at Casa del Sol al Sol. Miguel has been lucky with the Mexican lottery lately and I was thinking that if he was really lucky, we might be able to buy the house.

But then I thought - it is on the east side, where the wind almost never stops blowing. Great breeze in the hot summer months, but too much wind for my taste on that side in the winter months - you can't get away from it. And during hurricanes, it's way too exposed on that side for my comfort. Nope, I would not buy a property on the east coast of the island.

My mind moved on to Sac Bajo - the west side of the island. Lovely calm waters, but almost no breeze most of the time and in the summer, it is just plain hot with too many bugs. And sometimes the intercoastal waterway mangroves smell funky. So even though those are multi-million dollar properties, I wouldn't want to live there.

What about Punta Sur/Garrafon? Too hard to get down to the edge of the water, too far out, and too dark at night. I would not feel comfortable home alone, it's too remote for my taste. So I wouldn't buy property there either.

The north end? Either the beach itself or in town? No, not in town - too congested, too noisy, and too commercial. Playa Norte? No, not for a private home - wedged in between hotels along the beach, there wouldn't be any privacy in my own yard.

So I've ruled out buying property here on any coast. That leaves the central part of the island. An island that is only half a mile wide at best. My home is in the center of the island, and the location suits me well. Sure there are things I don't like about my neighborhood, but I do like:

- being more protected from some of the wind and salt;
- that my street has street lamps;
- that the lagoon near my house does not smell;
- that there are families near me;
- that our home is private;
- that we live amongst other local families.

But would I buy another piece of property here if it was not on a beach? No, probably not. Many tourists are really looking to stay at places on the beach - that is prime rental property. There are "For Sale" signs all over this island at the moment, but to invest in more property that is not in high demand doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. And so, on that short little drive past Casa del Sol al Sol yesterday, I came to the conclusion that my land-buying days here on the island are over. I will keep what I have, but if Miguel ever gets that big windfall, we'll be looking elsewhere to build my dream hacienda estate. Maybe Oaxaca?

Friday, October 23, 2009

You probably had to be there (but I'm telling it anyway)

The other morning Smokey was lying on the floor beside the coffee table, taking a doze and minding her own business. Miguel decided to torment her by calling her - he didn't want anything other than acknowledgment that she heard him. He called "Smokey" several times, no reaction. He told me to call her - and I sweetly said "Smo-key" and she turned her cute little face towards me and gazed at me with her beautiful eyes.

Annoyed that Smokey favors me, Miguel started to say nasty things about her. "Smokey gato feo" (ugly cat) resulted in Smokey quickly swinging her head around and glaring at Miguel. As if to say "what was that you just said?". The look in her eyes dared him to say it again.


Last night Minina was perched on the edge of the kitchen bar counter, looking towards the top of the fridge. I told her to 'go for it', and with that, she jumped and landed right in the center of the top of the fridge. She turned to me and said something that sounded like "Like that?". She understood me when I told her to go for it, but unfortunately I didn't quite understand her words back to me. Although I did understand her meaning. I think.


Also last night, after we'd gone to bed, there was a crash from somewhere outside the bedroom. Getting up to check, I found Maya laying on the top of the ledge overlooking the staircase. I asked her what had happened and with that she leaned over the edge of the counter and looked down. As if to say that the noise was from down there. I thought maybe a cat had fallen, and Smokey was at the bottom of the stairs, but upon further investigation, I found that Minina had knocked something off the counter while searching for night-time geckos. As I looked up the staircase, Maya was still leaning over, watching and listening. I tried to get a picture but it was dark and the flash was off, and that attracted Maya's attention and she came down to see what I was up to. So sorry, no picture.


We were eating at La Bruja this afternoon. Loco, as always, was sitting on the golf cart. Along came a little male dog. As he passed the cart I expected Loco to lunge at the little dog to tell him to get away from his space. But Loco was in a friendly mood, and got down from the cart and both dogs eyed each other, wagged their tales, and had a good sniff of each other's most private dangly bit.

With that checked out, it was time for the pee-ing contest. Loco went first, decorating the front tire of the golf cart before getting back up on the cart. The little dog went up to the puddle, licked up a few drops, and urinated on top of Loco's 'sign'. With that Loco went back and sniffed, and added some more liquid to the mix before getting back up on the golf cart. The fourth and final pee-er was the little dog, who went over top of Loco's puddle and then trotted off.

We declared the little dog the winner.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seen in the garden yesterday

A pretty weed...

Front garden bougainvilla...

Chong (we renamed him after the original Chong disppeared - too hard for Miguel to say "Cheech"). We hope to catch him this week and send him to be neutered...

Pool terrace...

Back terrace...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who turned on the tap?

Last evening a strong fresh wind blew in. Usually the cats stay on the back terrace until bedtime, but with the wind and a little rain, I opened the back door and they all shot in like they were being chased by a ghost.

At about the same time Miguel showed up after a hard day's work. He had finished his day with a beer (or three). While he made coffee I read on the sofa in the living room.

Sometime after we'd finished our coffee I noticed some water in the middle of the living room floor. Where was that from?

Then I noticed Maya walking around the edge of the dining room floor, and as I investigated further, I realized that water was overflowing from somewhere in the house. Following the river - I mean stream - it led me to the bathroom.

The tub was full, and the bathroom floor was flooded. The floor has a lip so there was a small pool on the floor, but once it reached the top it over-flowed its banks and started flowing through the rest of the house.

I did not turn on the tap and Miguel swears he didn't. However, the effects of alcohol make his denial suspicious. But whoever turned on the tap didn't close the drain and didn't turn on any hot water, so that is odd. Maybe one of the cats bumped against the tap as they chased each other through the house, all worked up from the wind? Maya is pretty heavy - I imagine if she knocked against the tap she might be able to open it.

Who do you think did it?

1. Slightly tipsy Miguel
2. One of the cats
3. Our aluxes

I'm going with #2.

Since the tub was already full, I told Miguel he might as well jump in and have a bath. I didn't exactly mean at that precise moment, but before I knew it he had stripped down and was relaxing in the tub. Which meant I was left to swoosh the water through the house toward the drain in the laundry room using a great Mexican invention - the rubber side of a large squeegee. In my rush to stop the flow from spreading farther, I neglected to take the plug out of the drain in the laundry room, so as quickly as I pushed the water in, it ran back out again. Sometimes I'm not so smart.

Once I got everything figured out, it took about 30 minutes to clear all the water and mop the damp spots. Smokey laid on top of the suitcase to stay clear of the rising flood but once I lifted the suitcase out of the water, she and Maya thought it was great fun to run through the river as I pushed it along, slipping and sliding and tracking their little paws over the dry areas. Minina mostly sat on the edge of the banks and watched, but occasionally she ran across too - the challenge to scale the river banks was too tempting for a curious cat.

This weekend is the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma, and I was pushing flood water through the house at that time too. Today is also the two-year anniversary of Miguel's near-electrocution. Last night we were on the alert for possible poisoning in the streets. I am thinking I'm not really fond of October, maybe we need to go somewhere for vacation next year at this time.

Any volunteers to come and baby-sit? I can't guarantee that everyone will behave, that a cat won't turn on the water, or that an aluxe won't lock you out of the house. But I can guarantee an adventure! (this is my life every single day).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Did you mean to 'Google' me?

Part of the stat package I subscribe to shows me the link people clicked on in order to arrive at my page. Most people come to my blog via a saved favorite, a link from another blog, a link they have stored in email, or through our rental site.

Some people stumble upon my blog by accident. This morning I see two such 'stumbles'.

The first lady, from the UK, naively entered this into her Google search window:

"I am 70 years old why do the soles of my feet feel like paper"

Now, I have never written a blog about the soles of my feet (that I can remember). However, putting so many words into a search window is bound to bring up some odd suggestions. My blog being one of them.

Google suggested the blog I wrote about turning into an old lady to this poor soul over there in the UK looking for help about her feet.

To the lady in the UK - even though my blog didn't help you with your feet, I hope you enjoyed the story.

This morning another reader from California stumbled upon my blog while looking for information about the "Mexican Beep Song". My blog about sounds in the street, beep beep being one of them, caused Google to point that reader to my blog.

A tip to people using searches on the internet - use keywords, not sentences, and start with fewer words and add more as necessary if that search did not give you what you wanted. I typically use about two words, at the most four. Remember, in the world of search engines, less is best.

I have to say though - I have quite enjoyed some of the sites suggested to me by search engines. One can get lost in a world of following link after link. Sometimes I don't even remember what I was really looking for to start with, and some sites I end up adding to my favorites so I can check back later. Sometimes I come upon things I never even knew existed. I have been educated by Google.

But alas, in the case of my two unwitting readers above, they did not stop to enjoy my blog - they exited on the same page they entered on (yes, my stats tell me that too). Sadly, they did not get so engrossed in my silly stories that they couldn't stop reading. My blog will not be a new bookmark in their Google list of favorites. I was just a detour on the internet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

You don't want to be a lizard here

Lizards and iguanas seem to be prey for many around here. The smaller lizards playing in the garden are often scooped up by passing birds. If they manage to escape the attention of the birds, they rarely escape the notice of cats.

Our three 'house' cats spend a lot of time on the back terrace. Unfortunately, small lizards like to visit back there, and it's the last thing they ever do because once one of the cats spots it, the hunt is on and there is no chance of escape.

Last evening one of the cats hit the back door. I thought they wanted in, so went to check. None of them wanted in, they were all interested in what Maya held in her mouth. Little feet sticking out on both sides of her mouth told me she had a lizard. The sound I'd heard was Maya jumping up at the door to catch the little guy.

I used to try to take them away from her, but she is not like our other cats - she chomps down on them right off the bat and severely injures or kills them. I've tried shaking her, yelling at her, chasing her - no luck, she won't drop the lizard. Smokey and Minina are more gentle, because they want to play with the poor creature before they eat it, and I can often rescue the lizard from either of those cats. But not Maya, she just wants to eat it.

Once I had the situation summed up, I went back inside, leaving Maya to fend off the other two cats that were doing their best to check what she had in her mouth. How it ended up I don't know - there were no bits and pieces left lying around.

The stray gray cat out in the front garden often catches the little lizards out there. Since I can't even touch that cat there is no hope of prying the lizard away from him. I just have to go back in the house and try not to think about the lizard.

With all these hunters, I'm surprised we have any lizards at all - thankfully they must breed like rabbits, because I do enjoy watching them hop around the 'jungle' in the front garden and there are still some out there despite all the hazards.

Luna has caught the bigger lizards and small iguanas. Before she came to live with us I'm sure lizards and birds were her main diet. Luna is a terrific hunter, and we suspect that she's the only one capable of killing the odd rat we've seen around here. A rat is not a small beast, so it takes a courageous cat to take it on. That would be our Luna.

Loco and Negra love going after iguanas. Before Negra came to live with us, I saw her eating an iguana once, so I know she had to learn to find food after she'd been abandoned down the road. She still tries to chase them and I'm sure she'd kill it if she got one. Loco - he has caught a few iguanas, but he just catches them and then runs home with them, and they often bite him on the nose and he drops them. So far we've been able to rescue all the iguanas that Loco has caught, even if one or two lost part of their tail in the process (iguanas can grow another tail - a little stumpier, but another tail it is).

Loco lives to watch and chase iguanas. The other day there was a dead snake on the road. We had just returned from a tour on the cart, so I held Loco on the cart while Miguel found a stick and scooped the snake off the road and threw it into the jungle. Loco had been watching intently, and as soon as I let him off the leash he leaped off the cart and tore down the road.

But not to where the snake had been. No, while I'd been watching Miguel, Loco had spotted a small green lizard walking along the sidewalk of the house next door. He was on it in a flash, and the lizard bolted this way and that way to escape. Miguel and I dashed over and Miguel grabbed Loco just as he was about to pounce. The lizard disappeared, and Miguel let Loco go.

The silly lizard had just gone into the grass, and in no time at all Loco's nose sniffed it out and he was pushing into the grass looking for the lizard. I grabbed Loco and Miguel picked up the lizard and threw it into a tree. It sort of dangled there - looked dead to me but Miguel insisted it was hanging on with its feet and it was just pretending to be dead. I hope that was the case. I checked the tree the next day and did not see the lizard, so either it was not dead, or it was dead and another creature came along and ate it up.

Early this morning I was woken up by a commotion outside our bedroom door. Smokey and Minina were looking around and sniffing - I knew it meant a gecko was around. After moving a few things I found it - a baby not more than an inch long, hidden under the coffee maker. I put a glass over it while Smokey watched, and then I lifted it and carried it outside and put it in the plants. It might stay outside, it might not - but at least I saved it. For now.

There is an iguana that lives in the base of the wall down at the corner, and both Loco and Negra dart down there to try to surprise the iguana. So far the iguana is ahead, he dashes into a hole in the wall and despite heavy digging by Loco, the iguana is safe.

If you are are ever driving about the island around 5 pm, take a look at the planted parts of the wall along the airport, on the west side. Those walls are covered with iguanas - one day I must remember the camera to get a picture. Loco's eyes just about pop out of his head and he gets a cramp in his neck as we pass - he just can't believe his eyes that there are so many iguanas all in one place.

The other day as we were driving along, a big iguana was at the side of the road waiting to cross. We knew his chances of making it to the other side were slim. Miguel stopped the cart and while Loco and I watched, Miguel took off his cap and swished it at the iguana to make him run back to the wall. What the iguana did after we left we don't know, but we do our part to try to keep them from turning into road kill.

We did the same thing along the main avenue near La Gloria. An iguana was across the street. Miguel pulled over and waited until he could safely cross, and he waved his cap at the iguana. It took a few swipes and sidesteps to convince the iguana to change his mind, but finally the iguana took a flying leap into the plants at the side of the road. A young man was standing beside our cart watching Miguel, and I could see he was wondering what Miguel was doing. I explained (in Spanish) that Miguel didn't want the iguana to cross the road, and the guy just grinned - he understood. I don't know how many people would stop on the road to convince a creature it isn't wise to cross, but it's nice to know that people understand it, even if they wouldn't do it themselves.

We hate coming across dead animals in the road. Doesn't matter what it is, it was a life that was snuffed out. If there is any way to take the animal off the road, Miguel stops and removes the animal into the plants, to let it be in peace and not continue to be road smush. Respect for all life, that's our motto.

But Miguel and I are the only ones in our house that seem to have a soft heart. The rest - they just want to eat them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I just can't help it

I've been an aspiring detective most of my life. As a child I thrived on Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and The Hardy Boys.

As an adult a co-worker got me hooked on Agatha Christie and I own her entire set of paperbacks, as well as her autobiography. I was never much interested in autobiographies before, but I loved this one and now I look for autobiographies of people that I think are/were interesting. No second-hand biographies, thank you - I want to hear it from the 'horse's mouth'. Dame Agatha was one fascinating lady and I loved reading her life story.

Another group of detective stories I enjoyed was the Perry Mason series. I never liked the TV show, it was too serious and dramatic for me. I did enjoy the books, although lawyers and the courtroom really are not my preferred arena for detective stories.

I also enjoyed Bertie Wooster and Jeeves - not really detective stories, but I liked to follow along with Jeeves in order to get Bertie out of his predicaments.

I flexed my 'detective skills' in many ways. I solved logic problems by the hour. I learned computer programming which required days and nights of debugging code. Sometimes I'd solve the problem in my sleep, waking up in the middle of the night and going over to the computer to try out the 'solution', and more often than not, it was right, or it got me on the right path to the solution.

My grandparents were always calling upon my detective skills to help them find stuff in their house, or to work through a situation and put the pieces together. They claimed I was the family detective, and I wore that distinction with pride.

I still have a curious nature, and I still question things that are illogical to my way of thinking. No, it couldn't have happened that way - it's not logical - this is probably more how it happened.

This morning I was looking at a map that showed the location of my readers and up popped Japan. Hmmmm...the one spammer I've had on my site was spamming me in Japanese. So I zoomed into the location...

And I find that the spammer must be a machine just sitting out there in the mountains. I can't see a village or anything...

Probably an automated program, or someone sitting elsewhere working the computer via remote control. Seeing this lonely dot out there in the middle of nowhere brings up all kinds of questions - is it a spy station? The detective instincts just can't help being curious, but common sense tells me I probably should just drop it and leave well enough alone. Maybe I've been reading too many detective novels!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sad news, Happy news, and "Ahhhhhhh"

First the sad news...

The other night the dogs in the colonias were making a huge fuss over something. It sounded like they were on our street, and I wondered if the three dogs over at the shop were involved. There was lots of barking and one dog was howling as if it was cryinig. The next day none of the dogs from the shop were around. Over the last several days two of them have straggled back, but the third - the black and white terrier with one lame leg, was not to be seen. I instinctively knew something had happened to him, and today Miguel got confirmation from one of the guys at the shop. They'd found the dog dead on the main avenue, assuming he was hit by a car. I don't know if I buy that, but in any case, the poor little guy is gone, and I am haunted by the sound of that howling and thinking it must have been him. The constant sad things on this island just tear at your heart. I'm angry with the owner for not taking care of his dogs, and I want to take the other two off the road and over to Alison's house before something happens to them too. But I'm reminded that they are not strays, I can't just grab them and run. But I'd like to!

Now the happy news...

The little puppy we picked up off the road 2.5 weeks ago and took to Delfino's has been adopted. His mange is being treated and he has a new owner. I am so happy for him, and just hope he was adopted by someone who will protect him.

And now for the 'Ahhhhh'...

Loco is itchy, he has something going on and we are waiting for a visit from Delfino to see what is making him so itchy that he is chewing his skin (no, it's not fleas or ticks, he is actually clear of those for a change).

And I'm itchy too. The rash on my chest is mostly cleared up, not sure what that ever was. But the puppy mentioned above might have given me his mange. The fronts of my shins have developed bumps and are sooooo itchy. Miguel diagnosed it and blamed the puppy, who had casually rested his mangy head on my legs as we drove him into town and then over to the clinic. I washed my legs as soon as we got home, but the 'rash' showed up and I've been wondering how long I'll put off getting it treated. I always like to give my body a chance to do its job and heal itself before butting in with medical treatment.

I looked it up on the web and if it is mange it has a limited life on humans - our skin just doesn't support all the cycles needed to develop into much. I have decided if I ignore it, it will go away, and ignoring it means not scratching it. I managed to go one whole day and not lay a single fingernail on my shins, but the next day, I just gave it a little scratch and that was all I had to do to get a good digging scratch going for a couple of minutes.

Yesterday I was prepared to give in and go to the doctor, but Miguel was away all day so I didn't get a chance, and today I think it looks like it's finally starting to subside. However, I am still treating myself to one good scratch a day. Today I did it in the tub...and oh, it felt soooooo good. I can't wait for scratch time tomorrow. Both Loco and I enjoy our 'oh what a relief it is' time by getting a good scratch going. Loco also chews, and if I could reach my shins like Loco can, I'd probably chew on them too. It feels THAT good. Ahhhhh...

Monday, October 12, 2009


I had a bunch of great ideas float through my head this weekend. But I didn't take the time to write, and guess what? They've gone.

They might come back, that happens sometimes, usually when I'm trying to work on something else. Like looking for stuff - I find things I lost a long time ago while looking for the thing I really want to find right now.

At the moment I'm looking for my Canadian wallet. I have three wallets - one for Canada, one for the US (when I'm there working), and one for Mexico. I have a vague memory of pushing it into some corner one day, but the corner I thought I tucked it into does not contain a wallet.

I might have left it in a suitcase, knowing I really wouldn't need it again until I go back to Canada. But I might not have left it in there, knowing I might not use the same suitcase anyway. I really don't remember what thoughts went through my mind when I carefully put the wallet in a safe place, I just remember thinking that it was a good place to put it.

I don't really lose stuff, I just don't remember where it is. Miguel - he loses stuff. He loses keys a lot, and he has lost his wallet at least three times in the last three years (that he admits to). Stuff falls out of his pockets - those floppy things that don't really close properly, especially when things are carelessly shoved into them in the first place.

The first time Miguel lost his wallet he didn't do anything about it. I told him to go to the police to see if it was turned in. He wouldn't. He said he would give it a few days to turn up. I thought he was crazy. However, 8 days later he was driving through Salina Chica when a guy called out to him - he had his wallet. He'd found it in the street and was waiting to see Miguel at the lottery to tell him he had his wallet. No thought to go to his house to turn it in - the guy just knew one day he'd see the owner again and he would keep it safe until then. So Miguel was right, and I learned a lesson about Mexican culture and thinking.

Luckily, since I rarely go anywhere I generally know that my stuff is lost in the house. So I don't panic, I know it will turn up eventually. Maybe too late for my next trip to Canada, but surely I'll stumble upon it once I've given up looking.

I do have a theory, because often things turn up in a place that I've turned upside down more than once. We have aluxes here - mischievous little elves that like to play tricks and make me think I'm losing my mind. Some days I think they're on to something...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Doesn't seem to matter if the body belongs to a golf cart, a laptop, or a human - age takes its toll.

I'm not even going to go into details about the golf cart, there are enough blogs on here about that and it's just something that one has to expect with a 14-year-old golf cart that was never intended to be driven on the road, over topes and through sand, grass, and rocks. Oh, and over curbs...

Our poor golf cart was never designed to haul loads of cement blocks and bags of concrete. Or washing machines.

My laptop is 3.5 years old. It is a high-end model. I recently added memory and a larger hard drive because the hard drive that came with it 3.5 years ago was getting full and I was getting the odd error that made me nervous about its health. And I needed the extra space.

My last blog was about my weekend computer woes. Here's the follow-up:

My laptop worked fine all day Monday, with the hard drive that was supposedly not working (according to the diagnostics). But yesterday morning when I turned it on, I was greeted with the error that the drive was an unmountable, unbootable drive - or something to that effect. No number of reboots or attempts to bypass the problem could convince it otherwise. So I swapped out the new drive for the old drive, and at least was able to work all day. And this morning? I was greeted with the error that there was no hard drive - this was the old drive that worked fine all day yesterday, and the computer hadn't been moved all night. Yet this morning for some reason it didn't work. I took out some screws and reseated the drive, and thankfully it worked, but now I'm afraid to shut the darn thing off. I need this drive and its programs for the next 17 working days (oh yes, I'm counting down...). I'm actually suspicious the problem is not the drive but the hardward of the computer. Who knows? Just please get me to the end of the month and then I hardly care.

I'm getting older too. I'm old enough that the female hormones should be retired - everyone else my age and some even younger (like my sister) have ceased being fertile. My body has been doing this for a lot of years, and it's time to stop, I say. Finally this year I thought I'd reached the end; I went a few months without experiencing any monthly visits by the female hormone fairy. Then a surprise in June, and another one at the end of July. And this morning, signs that I was in for another sneak visit. Looking back I think these visits are triggered by stressful events. So there's the key, just avoid stress and all will be well.

I hope the golf cart and my laptop are listening!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Facts of Life?

As I head into my final month of work as I know it, I really need my computer to tie up multiple loose ends and hand-off some projects. If not for that, I would have thrown the computer from the highest point of the house today, gleefully watching it smash into hundreds of tiny pieces on the terrace below. Only for the sake of doing my job have I spent 4 hrs last night and ALL day/evening today trying to fix something that apparently started from something that seemed normal. Here's what happened:

We went to see the turtle release last night. I discovered a movie option on the camera (yeah!), so along with the pictures, I took some video (I think) of Miguel releasing his turtle. Here is the little cutie:

When I calm down I will post more pictures with a little blurb about our adventure - it was fun. When we got home I was anxious to see the pictures and movies. When I clicked on the movie, it brought up a message that I didn't have the correct version of QuickTime to play the movie, and it took me to a web page where I could download the software. While it was doing that, I tried to open the movie using RealPlayer, and got the exact same message, and a page where I could download that too.

I clicked on the download to install the new version and disaster struck. My system froze, and it has taken me 24 hrs to get my system back up and usable. I've fixed my registry, I've scanned for viruses, I've done hours of diagnostics, which tell me that I apparently have a bad hard drive (which is just 3 weeks old). I have backed up my files on a different drive than my usual one (in case a virus is lurking somewhere), but right now everything is working so I'm hoping it lasts for the next month. Then it won't matter, I can use any computer that has internet and will be fine.

Except Miguel's computer isn't an option - it is so slow it is worthless for anything I'd need it for. I did a scan on it today and found a trojan horse, so it got the works on cleanup. After running all day, it still has 50% to go with defragmenting.

When I finally got my computer stable enough to connect to the internet and read my email, I got news from my daughter...

Call the tax department, they want to ask you some questions about last year's taxes.

And by the way, you got called for jury duty.

And I got an invitation from a former guest to join him for some online dating (which I suspected was sent by a virus and did not react to - he later sent out a message to please ignore the email...).

And this news from Miguel...the used piece that was put into the golf cart the other day has already shorted out and we'll have to buy a new one, to the tune of $100.

About the time we went to see the turtles I broke out in a rash on the front of my chest, and now it's going around the back of my neck. It's itchy, I have no idea what it is.

I WAS having a great weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not much of a Tweeter

Or is that Twitter-er? Not that I don't have lots of short blurbs that come out of my mouth. I just don't know that anyone would find it very interesting. Let's see, what did I talk to myself about today?

Wow, it's almost 7 am, we are late getting up today.

Darn that Maya, she was kneading my stomach with her sharp claws through the night - I shoved her away several times but she kept coming back.

One cat was sleeping on my chest - it felt like Minina, but later it felt like Smokey.

Were there two cats sleeping on my chest?

What are we going to make for breakfast? Eggs in red sauce, and what else? Bacon and cheese empanadas seems to finish the plate nicely.

Darn, no mangoes, I hope Miguel finds some at the market.

What is taking Miguel so long? I've chopped all the fruit, set the table, and now I've cleaned the garlic cloves for him.

There he is...he arrived walking...means the golf cart broke down somewhere. Explains why he's so late. And no, the market didn't have any mangoes.

Can mango season really be finished? If so, it went out with a bang, not so much as a warning with less-than tasty fruit. The last mango I ate was so sweet, like candy.

Guess I'd better go feed Donna's cats before I get into working and forget about them. Funny how they can hear me coming, they recognize my footsteps.

Hmmm...someone did a major trimming on the bougainvilla, I wonder if Miguel would like some cuttings so he can grow some new plants.

Nope, he doesn't want any, he has enough going right now.

I see the garbage is starting to accumulate on the side of the road again. Why can't people keep it clean? Don't they care? Are they that lazy?

Just don't look at it Sue, you can't change it anyway.

There's the black dog, and Short Guy - where's Tres Patas? Oh, there he is, under the truck.

Good, they're all safe. Nice dogs, even if they do make a mess of the street.

I'm not sure who makes more of a mess though...the humans or the dogs.

Just don't look at it Sue, you can't change it anyway.

There - aren't you glad I don't tweet? I amuse myself with my thoughts, and I do talk to myself out loud, but I can't imagine that anyone else gives a hoot about most of what I think about during the day.

Changing comment settings

Sorry to do this to everyone who wants to comment, but there is one post that keeps getting a spam comment (in Japanese, no less). I translated the comment and it was geared to leading people to an 'adult' site. It was not a valid comment.

So for now I'm turning on word verification, which I personally hate because I have trouble reading those letters a lot of the time and I get them wrong at least once, usually. When I want to write a comment, I just want to write it and be done, not mess around trying to decipher goofy looking letters.

However, the spammers of the world want to make it unpleasant for the rest of us, so for now I will play their game. I am hoping after a couple of weeks they will give up and find another playground and I can take word verification off again. I don't like letting them win!