FROM CITY TO FARM or I'VE GOT THE COCK, NOW WHAT .... Ramblings political, humourous, opinionated and/or creative writing from a man in flux


2011 08 31

Guarded warfare continues, although Shadow has decided that his Two-legger allies are to be tolerated and that Bruce is his bosom buddy once more.  Oh goody, cat hair in the sheets once again.  We are hoping that the situation continues to improve and that detente is reached among the herd in short order.

Where were we?  Oh right, Las Vegas.  Did you know that the name means 'fertile lowland' or 'meadow'?, actually the plural thereof, but you can manage that on your own.   Kind of obvious to anyone who has visited Las Vegas that the name is a joke.  Anyway, brand-new tyres, 114F, no air-conditioning and our intrepid travellers hit the road.  Leaving Las Vegas is always more fun than entering Las Vegas, in my humble opinion.  The sense of relief ...  The road rapidly takes one to the Hoover Dam, over which one drives.  On a two-lane road, with millions of tourists.  The fun in that is not immediately apparent.  However, the scenery is fun, sand-coloured rock hills surrounding sand-coloured concrete dam with a lot of blue water off to one side and a precipitous fall to the other.  The G and the Mutt suffered the heat for many miles until the belt on the fan for the air broke.  Changing the belt required a step-tool, padding on the hot radiator and still resulted in a third-degree burn on Gary's arm.  Finally reached Phoenix, where G thought they might find somewhere cool to hang out until evening.  This proved harder than he had anticipated, but they survived until cooler temps and then got to our friends' place in Tucson.  Our chums made them welcome, and happened to know a mechanic who, for a reasonable fee, did what he could to repair the air.  Oooo, that rhymes!  He also did something else to the truck that I can't recall, and things were looking up for the remainder of the trip.  After a few days' rest and recuperation, they were once again on the road, heading for Nogales Arizona/Sonora.  At 114F.  With the windows open the interior temperature was probably only 130F.

There were a couple of snags that we expected to complicate the crossing, so G was prepared to spend some time sorting some bureaucratic shite in Nogales.  The first of these is called 'menaje de casa', which is either required or not required or being phased out.  It is a list of everything that is being imported into Mexico, with serial numbers and ages of the articles and maybe cubic size of container but maybe not and is required to be in quadruplicate, translated into Spanish, and approved by the Mexican consulate.  This G duly wrote up and translated and printed and copied and submitted.  The Consulate added its stamp of approval and a cover letter.

Trip One to the border

Under the current American state of permanent paranoia, American customs agents stopped G at the border, asked all the usual asinine questions and then made him exit the vehicle, remove the bicycle from its rack at the back door, unlock the truck and then wait 'over there'.  They opened the door.  They gazed in awe at the solid wall of things that greeted them.  They conferred briefly with themselves and then waved him away.  G closed the door, mounted the bicycle, caught the cat, got in the cab and proceeded into the almost Mexico zone that exists between the two countries.  There was a man standing in the middle of the road, leaving G the option of running him down or stopping.  He chose to stop, which in retrospect he might change.  No uniform, no identification, no proof that the man was what he claimed to be:  'working with' Mexican Customs.  He instructed our hot and tired Intrepidness that he would have to drive 12 kilometres along this road, where Unidentified Stranger and his partner would meet him and deal with the rest of the process of entering the country.  Twelve kms and 88 pesos toll later, the G pulls up to a parking area and gets out to talk to these guys.  At 114F.  With no shade.  They glanced at the approved menaje.  They said:  380.00 US fee, please.   They then escorted G to Aduanas, where G continued through the identification process, the wait around and see process, the I don't know what to say process and the maybe this maybe that process.  During one of these mysterious goings-on, the Customs agent discovered that the Consulate had used the legislation that applies to Mexicans returning to live in Mexico, not foreigners moving to live in Mexico and refused to accept the menaje without alteration.  Meanwhile ...

Problem Two.  There are some strict rules about importing a vehicle into Mexico.  Drugs, slaves I mean illegal emigrants, guns, bombs, gangsters and prostitutes cross the border with impunity, but if a foreigner manages to leave Mexico without returning the Temporary Vehicle Import sticker, all hell ensues.  At 114F.  With no shade. Guess who left Mexico without returning his sticker three years before?  The Unidentified offered to fix the problem for $600US and three days.  Banjercito, the company that actually is responsible for the issuance and control of said stickers said well, no, maybe, sometimes, in the future, or maybe never.  How the Unidentified intended to deal with this in three days remains unknown, as by this point, the G-man had decided that this was nuts.  He returned to the truck, paid 88 pesos to drive the 12 kms back to American Customs.  Usual asinine questions, park over there, remove bicycle, open door,  take cat and go wait in there because we are using dogs. At 114F.  With no shade.   Sniff, stare at wall of things, talk amongst themselves, and wave G back to the truck.  Close door, mount bicycle, enter truck and the G is back on the road to a motel on the Arizona side.  Next day, visit Consulate, get proper wording on paper.  Be really fed-up with treatment at Nogales crossing and decide to drive to Douglas Arizona/Agua Prieta Sonora, where the problem sticker was issued in the first place.

Stay tuned!  Coming Soon!  Will our Intrepidness really get across the Border?  Trip Two next time!


2011 08 30

So, we got to Zamora the end of May, and suffered through the heat with lousy creeping lung crud, and then actually started to feel human.  There was a bit of a deadline in returning to California to move the truck, as the registration was valid only until the end of August.  About July 12, we attempted to get the G-man his Michoacan driver's licence, but the bureaucunt in the office insisted that she could do nothing without his birth certificate.  Americans hardly ever carry this document, and their bloody passports state that the carrier was born in State, USA.  Not sufficient for Bureaucunt. This put us a day late for the flight reservations, but Volaris offers a flexibility option for a small fee, and we had availed ourselves of same.  Our Santo Paul drove us to Guadalajara aeroport and we dropped off the G-man in plenty of time to catch his flight.  However, the staff didn't understand the flexibility thing and refused to let him on the plane.  After much yakking and phone calling and shortening of temper, he was finally on-board a flight to Oakland - arriving three hours later than expected by our friends there.  That worked out because our Fox is a bit of a saint herself.  G spent some time with her and running around the Bay Area, and then headed north to the truck.

We had hired a neighbour, supposedly well-versed in the maintenance of diesel engines,  to get it prepped and ready for the road. We paid the pendejo to change the oil and fix anything that needed fixing and get it to the storage place G had arranged.  He assured us that he had done so.  Well, he is a liar.  And a cheat.  And an alcoholic.  However, the G-man collected the cat and finally got the truck started and on the road.  The first time he turned it off there was someone close to jump it back to life.  The second time he turned it off, he had to call the AAA.  The third time he turned it off was in the parking lot of Costco, where he bought a new battery.  End of that problem.  However, the air-conditioning didn't, and I don't remember everything else it couldn't, so the first leg of the journey was a little uncomfortable, but not that bad.  The poor old thing (I mean the truck) climbed the 7,000-foot range between California and Nevada very slowly, but the poor old thing (I mean my husband) managed to get it to limp into Nevada.  He got a couple days' rest in Carson City for two reasons:  the tyres and the heat.  As you may realise, as one descends from the heights, the ambient temperature increases - to 104F and higher in this case.  In August.  In the desert.  Without air-conditioning.  The G-man thought the cat was going to die, he was so hot he was panting and throwing-up any water he drank.  The G-man thought he was going to sweat to death.  He finally drove, to grossly misuse the term, into the parking-lot of a casino, encased the cat and hit the cold inside air.  Muttney was so grateful to be cool he didn't make a sound.

After recuperating (and losing $2.00), he walked outside to see the truck leaning to one side.  Upon inspection, the tyres revealed their true inner selves:  if you've ever wondered if steel-belted radials actually have steel in, they do.  And it ain't pretty.  About $1,200.00 and several hours at 114F later, all six of the tyres were back in fighting form and the passengers were in Las Vegas, TKO'd.  More resting in cheap motels ensued because by this time the G-man was not only frustrated, he had a sinus infection.  Muttney likes air-conditioned motel rooms.  Many calls back and forth to his Medicine Man in California, and the G-man had antibiotics and a better temper.

And here we leave our intrepid travellers to rest and regain their composures.  And I can therefore call the next instalment 'leaving las vegas' ha ha ha



2011 08 29

Well, things have been rather interesting lately.  I went to Oakland for a week and saw my (girl)friends and ate sushi and generally did not much.  It was great fun and thanks to the Fox for the roof and NP Val and her husband for the fun dinner and lift to the airport.  The flight was delayed because the Volaris staff doesn't know how to count.  After sitting in the plane for 45 minutes, they called roll - 92 passengers and they couldn't sort whatever their problem was in any other way.  Flying Elementary School is now in session.  We finally got to Guadalajara at 07:50 without incident - no-one got sent to the Principal's office - and interestingly enough, arrived "on time".  I take it that they meant the flight was actually 3 hours 50 minutes as planned, rather than that we got there at 06:50 as scheduled.  G was supposed to be on a flight from Hermosillo with the cat, arriving in Gdl at noon of the same day.  His aeroport staff didn't like the carrier, so he spent the day trying to find a carrier that they would accept and caught the flight the next day.  I spent the night with my friends in Gdl, met him at the aeroport and we caught a ride home with my Doctors, who were in Gdl for classes.  We are tired and very glad to finally be here.  There will be a return to Arizona in the near future to actually get our shit to Zamora, but some of us need to rest up a bit first.

The cats are another story.  They lived together for three years in California, and then apart for three years with Bruce and Shadow here in Zamora.  Now that Muttney is in the house, we have spitting and hissing and hurt feelings all 'round, and it is a pain in the ass for the two-leggers in the place.  Second day of guarded warfare - I hope they get their shit sorted soon, this pussy-footing around is boring.  They slink about the place in a crouch with their hackles up expecting to be ambushed at any second.  Shadow has a fabulous growl, though.  Unfortunately, he uses it at everyone, regardless of former amiable associations.  Felis e mobile, music by Verdi.

That is about it for now, the saga of getting the truck from California to Arizona will wait for another day.  Have to go buy food for the hissers now.


(Non-opera people:  fickle is the cat)


2011 08 08

Hello, we're back up and writing.  Or blathering, depending on your opinion of what I write.  We have moved to a new house about 4 doors down from the first one.  It is three bedrooms, so we have room for visitors as well as a room for the computer/work shop/whatever.  They are a little smaller than the two in the other house, but we like the colours of this one much better.  I still hate the kitchen, it is a little smaller than the other, or at least feels it because there is a wall between it and the living room.  Gary is in Arizona with our truck, getting all arranged to cross the border and drive down here.  I am trying to arrange what is already here, and even though I am capable of organisation, it is not all that much fun so I end up doing other stuff, like cooking, instead.  I don't have time to share all the gory details right now, I need to get some things done.  More pearls of wisdom to follow.  I originally typed 'pears' which actually suits me better.



About Me

recently retired to southern Mexico from Canada