Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Life in Ajijic

The power just came on after nearly 28 hours without electricity. Thank goodness the gas and water tanks were full and that we have an old fashioned corded telephone. We played cards by candlelight.

Kinda kewl, really.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Good Bye, Soupy Sales, 83.


More Photos of the Day

I had a very peaceful morning sitting along the shore of Lake Chapala. Ajijic has a new and incomplete boardwalk. The beautiful shady park of over a year ago is now gone and in its place is something new and different. More needs to be done to make the malecon inviting and more pleasant. The Great Recession has hit us hard. Projects such as our malecon and even the 2010 PanAmerican Games athletes' village in Guadalajara are hard pressed to raise the capital needed for completion.

All things considered, I am glad that I am here in central Mexico while everything seems to be going tits up everywhere else.......

The photographs above were taken this morning while I sat along the shore of Lake Chapala. God knows where the donkey belongs...... and the view of our little amphitheater with the clouds hanging low over the mountains was just too kewl not to take snaps of.......

Photos of the Day

I sat along the malecon this morning and watched some birds hop along the old seawall and feed on insects in the waters. It was interesting to watch, especially when some very young birdies joined the adults in retrieving their breakfasts. I'll identify the species of birds later.....

Another quiet day in central Mexico.....

Your Moment of Zen

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Health Care

This morning, like many other mornings here in Ajijic, we hung out at Doctor Polo Ibarra's office/pharmacy.  Polo literally has a hole-in-the-wall business like many others near and around our town's main plaza.  In the "room" open to the street, Polo has medicines and medical supplies behind a long counter, a desk and cash register, and the chair he rolls around on while serving his customers.  (Now that Polo's broken foot is healed he'll likely serve more of his clients on both feet.)  The next room is his exam room and beyond it is a supply room.  Through the back door of Farmacia Jessica, named after Hilda's and Polo's oldest daughter, is a small outdoor courtyard/patio/garden.

The pharmacy has a loveseat style bench for waiting customers or bullshitting gringos and Mexicans.  It is there where Memo and I often kill an hour or two visiting with Dr. Polo.  We talk about everything.  Everything.  And, it is there that we have had the unique opportunity to observe a small snapshot of what health care in small town Mexico is really like.  We don't pry into anyone's business and have only on occasion assisted the doctor with translations, though Polo's command of the English language is probably better than my English speaking nephews and nieces.

An American lady came in today with some laboratory results that she wanted Polo to interpret for her, and then recommend to her a course of action to correct her current medical problem.  Doctor Polo first apoligized to her for having to charge her for an office consultation.  He read the lab results and offered her the treatment and medication needed.  The consultation or what we'd call a brief office call cost her $150 Pesos.  Medication -- $150 Pesos.  The dear gringa left the Farmacia Jessica with instructions, a medication, and a request to return in 4 days -- all for a mere $300 Pesos.  Today, that equals about $22.79 USD.  Yes, twenty-two dollars and seventy-nine cents for a medical consultation, with a real doctor, and a "prescription" medicine purchase.

"Prescription" medicine is not the same here in Mexico as in the United States.  Back in Michigan, I can not walk into a pharmacy and buy thyroid medication, heart and blood pressure medication, and an antidepressant without prescriptions from a doctor.  Of course to obtain the prescriptions, I would have to pay for an office call.  Here in Mexico, I may buy all my medications without a doctor's note.  "Sin nota?" I used to ask.  Yep.  All you have to do is tell them what you need.

When we first arrived here a little more than two years ago we consulted with Doctor Polo.  When our medications from the States were gone he switched us to Mexican or European equivalents and/or some of the same, but still expensive, American brands.  Now that we have a Wal*Mart, it is more difficult for Polo to compete with the low low prices of some of the generic brands of medicine that Wal*Mart has in its stores.  We now buy most of our maintenance medications from Wal*Mart.

We save money.  We do not pay for unnecessary physician office calls.  We do not pay deductibles.  We do not have to pay some un-godly amount of money towards our health care before an insurance company will start to reimburse us for our costs.  Medicine is cheap and readily available.  And, if I were smarter, I would pay the less than $300 USD per year to buy into the national health insurance of Mexico.  If I were to become a policy holder, in 3 years the plan would pay for all of my "pre-existing" conditions.

Yes.  While all the Democratic politicians are squabbling over whether or not the poor should have the same health care as the rich, we are paying for our own routine care with less dollars than what we would pay in the United States.  The Republicans have already decided that the poor are unworthy of equal medical treatment.  The Republicans have already agreed to the concept that the almighty dollar determines who will live and who will die.  And, it really is disheartening that the Democratic Party does not yield the power that they have right now and get things fixed.

For now, I am content and healthy living in central Mexico.  I do not see donations jars in restaurant and businesses seeking support for someone's medical bills.  I do not see notices for the pancake breakfasts or spaghetti dinners to raise money for someone's medical bills.  I do not drive by the parking lots where teens and adults wash cars to pay for someone's medical treatments.  Those are American values.  And, really, what a damn shame it is.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Music Video Monday

Photos of the Day

With the end of the raining season comes "the growing season" here in the mountains of central Mexico. Soon, our emerald green mountainsides will change colors. Eventually, the mountainsides will be brown and thirsting for another rainy season. The photograph above shows the beginning of the changes in colors. We do have "seasons" here in the arid tropics.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Baseballs

I found the link to this YouTube video on one of the "alternate lifestyle" sites that I occasionally visit. This German group does covers of 50's and 60's RockNRoll and Rockabilly music. I like the energy of this song. The guys are pretty easy on the eyes as well.


Your Moment of Zen

In Your Face Fridays


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Struggle for Life

On Sunday, we traveled to Wal*Mart for a quick couple of purchases. Our best buddy, Christian, drove us there after a great lunch in the nearby town of Jocotepec. Unfortunately, we parked next to a small pickup truck that had a beautiful little Chihuahua locked inside. He was excited to see us and yipped and panted as we walked into the store.

When we returned to the car the dog was lying on the seat. He was panting more heavily. I felt terrible then, and I still feel badly that I did nothing to help the dog. I kept praying that the dog's owner would soon come out of the store and realize how utterly stupid he or she had been in leaving a dog in a locked vehicle on a hot sunny day.

I cried several times that day. I should have done something. Anything.

I'll probably never know what happened to that pooch. Sadly, it may have a short life if it's owner continues to be as thoughtless and cruel as he or she was on Sunday.

The following YouTube video is making the rounds through the blogs that I read. The birth of elephants has rarely been filmed and this footage is worth your time to view it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rachel Save Us!

A tribute to Rachel Maddow............(H/T Firedoglake)


Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh, Baby!

September sucked.

I know from the number of posts in the month of September that I was not riding any highs on the bipolar coaster. Some little things like SKY representatives lying to me and simple confrontations of any kind always send me into depressions or extreme hypomania. I'm either writing a scathing letter or wallowing in Numbville. This past month was lost to my willing escapism. And, 10 days of house sitting...... alone and away from my best friend and loving pride of miniature lionesses.


We may all have seen the original viral YouTube of that baby dancing to Beyonce's Single Lady --- here is someone's response video:


Don't Get Sick

A new hero arrives on the scene............. Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL)


Your Moment of Zen

Bamboo Zen Dog Leash

In Your Face Fridays