Mexican life

Work & Glitches

patch
Space awaits its cement.
mix
Cement gets mixed on the floor of the carport.
new image
And the cement goes in.

WORK PROGRESSES on the replacement of the Jesus Patio.

At top, the space is cleared for the cement. That metal grid is to put bones in the concrete, making it less likely to crack in years to come.

The guys arrived shortly after 8 a.m. — we barely had our bagels down — and started mixing the cement with water and gravel. Where did they do that? Right on the floor of one of the two carports.

In the top photo, on the right side, you can see a grass circle that’s a different color than the other grass. That’s where the cursed peach tree once lived. Aha! And on the far side of the square just above the smaller pile of rubble, there is another circle.

That’s where the damned pear tree resided. Double aha!

* * * *

Gasoline shortage

On New Year’s Eve, word began spreading around the area that gasoline was disappearing in stations in the nearby state capital.

I immediately jumped into the Honda and filled up.

Two years ago, as one year segued into another, this also happened. It got pretty serious and lasted a couple of weeks. And it happened last year too, but not nearly so grievously.

Strange thing is that no one seems to know exactly why. The government offers various excuses, and then there are rumors.

Mexico always has rumors.

This year it’s reported to be affecting four states, and guess which one is the worst. That’s right. It’s mine. And this morning I read that propane gas shortages were also beginning to appear.

I called the LP gas company, and I’m awaiting a delivery.

(And it just arrived!)

So our propane tank is full. That should last a couple of months, so we will survive winter with hot showers.

Mexican life. Never a dull moment.

15 thoughts on “Work & Glitches

  1. Felipe; I’m just a little surprised that you didn’t put some color in the concrete. Is it going to be tiled? Whatever you do, I’m sure it will end up being an artistic adventure.

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    1. Kris: Yes, ceramic tile will go atop the concrete. One of them leans against the orange wall in the top photo. It has a pebble look to it. What they are installing now is just the base.

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    1. Leisa: I have never witnessed such a thing. Must be happening in other parts of Mexico. What they do here is drive around with a recording blaring from a loudspeaker attached to the truck. But that is for homes that do not have the larger, permanently installed tanks. Those trucks carry the big cylinders that can be switched out on the spot. I have to phone the company, and they send a tanker truck that fills us up. They are always very prompt too.

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      1. Came down Dr. Coss street all the time. Perhaps not the big tanker as you speak of, but the pickup truck with cylinders in the back bed. Nonetheless, an extreme attention-getter.

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        1. Leisa: In that case, it’s quite probable that what you heard was not someone using a megaphone. It was almost certainly the recording via the loudspeaker. It sure can be loud, but that’s the objective, of course.

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  2. I have personally experienced the gas-man-cometh syndrome in Oaxaca de Juarez. It is unsettling to say the least on the first experience. Down there it is the amplified recorded sound of a cow bellowing that gets your attention. Nobody explained to me what the exact connection between a cow and gas is.

    You obviously have wonderful plans for the newly revised yard. Am watching with great anticipation.

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    1. Ricardo: A cow bellowing!? Well, that sure takes the cake. As for the connection with gas, there is the methane problem with cow patties, or so they say. Maybe that’s it. One’s eyeballs roll.

      Yes, the house work continues unabated. Next week, I’ll be getting some estimates for the new roof on the upstairs terraza. We’re gonna be so fancy.

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  3. Those guys sure work fast. Send them my way after they’re done.

    I’ve heard the Z Gas trucks’ recordings on both the west and east coast. The jingle goes something like: “Z gas, Z gas, Zetas gas.” At least that’s what it sounded like to me, in contrast to the jingle from the Oaxaca queso guy.

    Speaking of “the gas man cometh,” I’m not sure if you came across a song by that name from “Flanders and Swann,” a now deceased British comedy duo. I was raised on this stuff, which perhaps explains my warped sense of humour.

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    1. Brent: My guys not only work fast, they work good and cheap. It’s being done for a song compared to what would be charged above the Rio Bravo, just another of the millions of advantages of living where I live.

      Cute video, and very British it is. My father would have chuckled at that. It’s old-school humor or, as you would say, humour.

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  4. You would not get this work done so quickly here in the States, if you could get it done at all. Most contractors wouldn’t even consider such a “small job” to be worth their time. If they did, it would be weeks or even months before they came.

    I have a small roof leak. I’ve called eight different contractors (or “handy men”). All have promised to give me a call “later in the week” to make sure that I’m home when they come by. It’s been three months now, and none of them have. I’ve called several of them multiple times. One has worked on my house before — two big jobs (several thousand dollars) including installing the same roof with the leak. I’ve also referred him to others (also big-money jobs), so you would think that he would be appreciative enough to come and do the work, or just be honest and say “I’m too busy to help you out.”

    It’s frustrating.

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    1. Ray: You would be amazed at the ease, speed and cost of home maintenance here. I owned a home for nine years in Houston, and I never tried to get anyone to do anything in large part because I knew it would be a major headache and a huge expense if someone did something.

      Your story is incredible. What you need maybe is a few illegal Mexicans!

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  5. Felipe,

    As my stepfather, who remodeled homes, used to say, “There are two kinds of concrete, cracked and soon to be cracked!” No amount of rebar will prevent it, just maybe lessen the severity of it.

    Hope all is well with you and the child bride. Happy New Year!!

    Regards,
    Troy

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    1. Troy: No doubt your stepfather was correct, but concrete, especially the reinforced variety, can last decades, even centuries.

      All is well here, thanks, and New Year felicitaciones to the two of you too.

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