SENTRI License Plate Change

foto por SDUT

Yes, I am a frequent border crosser and enjoy the challenge of the San Ysidro border crossing.  SENTRI pass makes it a lot more fun and efficient.

Passed through SENTRI twice without incident recently.  Third time crossing in a month, received a puzzled CBP agent asking “Where do you live?”.  He then motioned me through with a “For some reason, I don’t see your vehicle registered.  But, go ahead.”.

Most of the time, CBP is asking a question to see HOW you answer, not caring what your answer is.  But, the confused look on this fellow’s face was new to me.  After all, CBP likely knows how many times I have visited Commercial Mexicana in Ensenada and Lowes  in San Diego.  In the 2+ hours it takes me to get from my house north to the SY/TJ border, I am usually in a fog and ready for coffee, food or other relief.

About 2 hours later during shopping, the CBP agent’s attitude became clear to me.  South Dakota had just issued new license plates with new #s/letters for me in February.  I was fortunate that I wasn’t thrown into the secondary stalag.

btw, I preferred the red/white/blue SoDakota plates vs the blue and tan 2016 issue.

So why no mention those previous 2 crossing with my new plates???

Wanting to keep my precious SENTRI status unblemished, I went into the GOES/SENTRI website.  Gotta love the hidden website design for changing your license plate.  From the website:

I am a current SENTRI member and I have new license plates. How do I report it?

To avoid potential delays in processing, you must verify and update your vehicle license plate information. SENTRI members who do not update their license plate information may be delayed as CBP Officers attempt to verify license plate information.

Login to the GOES website and go to your home page and click on the link provided for your SENTRI program. After you select the program link, an additional link is provided to Update Vehicle License.


Where the flock is the link to Update Vehicle License?   Oh, you, have to hunt and peck and back and forth and luck out by hitting the Manage Membership button.

The next screen also provides no clue.  Only by hunt and peck do you find the magic passage.  It is hidden under the “U.S. Programs” sub menu choices.  C’mon Doc, anyone would clearly know this, eh?

sentrilicenseplateNext challenge in the website navigation test is changing the license plate.  Can’t think how many times I hit the “next” button with no progress.  If I had more than one vehicle, my error would have been more intuitive.


Gotta hit the tiny little button on right side before proceeding.

If CBP happens to see this post, I’m certain to be thrown into secondary on my next trip.  Would love to help their web designer come up with a more customer friendly process while there.


Ensenada Portable Aquarium

ensaqumobileAcuario Oceanico Trip Advisor Ensenada



Ensenada Malecon Construction

Bajadock: Sunday afternoon traffic was high from Ens toll booth south through downtown.  The “rebel ride” bicyclists were riding 2 and 3 abreast in right lane.  Some were accompanied by their “team support vehicles” crawling along at 10mph.  Apparently the “rebels” were riding in protest of the high registration fees for the Rosarito-Ensenada bike ride on Saturday, May 7.  WARNING!!!  Ens toll booth to downtown traffic will be a painful traffic crawl from approx 10AM – 5PM on May 7.

Ensenada’s big flag is still hiding in retreat.  But, the new “space needle”(fka “big flag pole”) is available.  Workers and service providers located on the boardwalk in Ensenada, requested the authorities of the Port Authority (API), to avoid shutting because of the renovations to the site, as this affects the arrival of tourists and consumption in the zone.

Valente Padilla Arce, a member of sport fishing, David Salvador Ortega Padilla and Elizabeth Piña Aguilar, explained that since November last year closed the work at the site, a situation that has come to affect them during the weekends.

“Being that we agreed that we would support that the weekend had access for tourism. And on Monday again were to begin their work. Every weekend something happens”, they told.

They explained that the last case was shut off with a wooden door at the height of the pier and the “Black Market” seafood, a situation that forced many tourists to make unnecessary detours, or desist from visiting the place.

“They have to make an access for people to pass. During the week it was open. Now the weekend, they come up to close the door. People could not pass and played, they said ‘our car is on the other side’ I’traigo my mom and can not walk far. “

“(The guards responded) ‘can not turn’. To us, as servants, we stalled the work,” he stressed.

Displays list of affected
Affected showed El Vigia a list of 41 people affected by the closure, who sell food, drink, snacks, clothing, and curiosities; despite the report to the authorities they have not done them proper case.

They added that neither have had understanding of an architect in charge of the work, besides the billboards were placed just on Sunday.

Nor they have known a completion date, and while they have had to face declining sales.


New Maneadero Mall

Ensenada, BC – Representatives of Ejido Nacionalista Sanchez Taboada and businessmen from Sinaloa, signed an agreement to build a shopping center on the first level delegation Maneadero, in early November.
Raymundo Carrillo Huerta, president of the ejido, reported that the project is covered in the area of the “Y” site that would cover two hectares, with this, Casa Ley will be installed at the height of the road to La Bufadora and the top of Maneadero.
“Ley will be the ‘anchor store’. Beside it plans to install another appliance store, furniture and clothing sinaloenses origin, although the latter is still in talks,” he said.
According to information disclosed on social networks, Maneadero mall will house restaurants, department stores, and some areas for tasting wines and cheeses of the region, as well as various shops.
Carrillo Huerta said that the work will start during the first days of May; currently already they have soil studies and completed architectural project.
“It will be a great achievement for the ejido and its members see this work completed. For many months were in negotiations.
“Today we concluded the legal part, now giving way to the execution of the work,” the ejido president when he unveiled the project.
Bajadock: artist’s rendering from our Nov 2014 story on the proposed Maneadero Mall.

New Telcel Rates Explained



from Baja Nomad forum 

Baja Homicide Rate

FulanoForum  This is from Semaforo Delictivo (Crime traffic light)

This chart shows the homicide rates by Mexican state, compared to the national average in Mexico. The dark red is more than twice the national average. The bright red is above the national average, yellow is states between the national median and mean, and green is below the mean and median.

Keep in mind, that the national average homicide rate in Mexico is 30 per 100,000, which is seven times the national average of the United States. So where, for instance, the chart says Baja California is 65% ABOVE the national average, that makes it some 12 times higher than the United States.c

San Diego Video Tour

Mexico Self Image

DURING my many years as a correspondent in Mexico, some of my best reporting happened around dinner tables. So on a recent trip back, I dined with a range of old contacts to catch up on how Mexico was handling its most pressing challenges, like the 2014 student massacre in southern Mexico, which shocked the world and ignited protests across the country.

But all anyone wanted to talk about was Donald Trump.

My dinner companions were not alone in their fixation. About a week later, the Mexican government announced that it was shaking up its diplomatic corps to address the anti-Mexico rhetoric spewing from the Trump campaign, which a Mexican official told The Washington Post threatened to “damage the image of Mexico in the United States.”

On Sunday, however, Mexico showed that the deeper damage to the country’s image is self-inflicted.

An independent investigative panel released its final report on the massacre in the state of Guerrero, which left 43 students of a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa missing and presumed dead. Its findings were devastating.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, whose work has led to high-profile prosecutions against the Colombian military, a Guatemalan dictator and American oil companies, not only provided the most chilling account of what the students had suffered one night in September 2014, but it also showed that the Mexican government had, at the very least, badly mishandled the investigation, and quite possibly attempted a cover-up.

As reported by The New York Times, the panel described a night of “confusion and terror,” with police officers using an official communications system to monitor a caravan of buses loaded with undergraduates. A bus driver recalled police officers pointing a gun at the students, saying, “We’re going to kill all of you.”

One of the group’s theories was that the students had unknowingly boarded a bus loaded with drug traffickers’ heroin. To help the traffickers get their drugs back, the authorities set up roadblocks to intercept the buses, then shot at them.

Panel members expressed deep frustration that they were unable to get to the bottom of this hypothesis or others because of stonewalling and foot-dragging by Mexican authorities. They also accused the government of being suspiciously silent during a vicious media campaign seeking to discredit their work.

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Government officials appear to be more concerned with Mr. Trump’s sweeping statements about their country and its people — among them, referring to Mexicans as “rapists.” These are, of course, unfounded and offensive. But how can Mexico’s image really improve when its leaders fail to demonstrate some level of commitment to ending the abuses and impunity that matter most to its own people?

After the report was released, condemnations poured forth. “If this is how Mexico investigates high-profile cases, imagine what happens when no one is looking,” wrote Eric Witte, a former adviser to the president of the International Criminal Court. Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director for Amnesty International, told The Associated Press, “There seems to be no limit to the Mexican government’s utter determination to sweep the Ayotzinapa tragedy under the carpet.”

Mexico scholars, lawyers and others I spoke to in recent days marveled at how much had changed for the worse from just two years ago, when President Enrique Peña Nieto was hailed on the cover of Time as his country’s savior.

Portraying himself as a new kind of Mexican politician, Mr. Peña Nieto focused on sweeping economic reforms and played down the security issues — like the tens of thousands of people who have been killed or are missing as part of the country’s fight against drug traffickers — that had defined his predecessor’s agenda. He responded to the broad outcry over the student massacre by agreeing to invite the independent panel of experts to review the case, an unprecedented move in Mexico. But once it became clear that the panel would not serve as a rubber stamp, a carefully calibrated smear campaign began, and the panel’s request for more time to finish its work was denied.

What came across in conversations with Mexicans I spoke to — and these are mostly people who live in cities, not rural communities — is a cynicism toward the idea that things can get better, and an exhaustion with stories about abuses and corruption. Mr. Trump’s campaign, on the other hand, may be less relevant, but it pushes Mexico’s nationalistic buttons. Mexicans are taught from grade school to be leery of Uncle Sam. It’s easy to take Mr. Trump’s rhetoric as a personal attack, and demand that the government do something about it.

Mr. Trump is partly used by the government as a distraction. It’s simpler to focus on foreign demons, rather than on internal ones, particularly when the foreigner spouts the racist attitudes they suspect many Americans share. “It’s always been easier for the Mexican government to unify people around concerns about outside intervention than around the hard work that needs to be done to reform the country,” said Andrew Selee, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

That dynamic plays out most vividly in the media, which relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in government advertising. The day after the panel issued its report, one of Mexico’s leading dailies, El Universal, published a story about it on the bottom of its front page. Splashed across the top was an interview with Mexico’s new ambassador to Washington describing his plans to respond to Mr. Trump. The headline read, “Mexico Is Not Going to Be a Punching Bag.”

Simple Pay Mexican Utilities

Thanks, “Z”, for the info.

Ice Cream Churros

Bajadock:  No fan of churros am I.  But this recipe may turn me into a churro burro junkie.


Makes 8 churro bowls

¼ cup butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
Cooking-oil spray
Oil for frying
Cinnamon sugar
Ice cream
Hot fudge and caramel topping (optional)

Piping bag with a small star tip
Muffin tin (6 to 12 cups)


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter, brown sugar, salt, and water, and bring to a boil. As soon as the butter has fully melted and the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and add in flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough comes together to form a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step (to prevent accidentally cooking the eggs).

Mix in the vanilla extract and add in the eggs, one at a time, being sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next. Once all the eggs are incorporated, transfer it to a piping bag with a small star tip.

Invert a muffin tin and spray thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Pipe the dough around the inverted cups in spirals to form the bowls. Immediately transfer the tray to the freezer and freeze until solid (about 3 hours or overnight).

Heat oil in a deep pot to 350˚F (175˚C). Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and flex it to release the churro bowls (you may need to also use a small knife under the bottom edge to initially release them). Return any extras to the freezer while you wait to fry.

Fry them in batches, until nicely browned, no more than 3 at a time. Be sure to carefully tip them into the oil so they sink to the bottom. Once desired color is reached, remove them from the oil to a paper towel–lined plate. Dab off any excess oil then roll them in cinnamon sugar. Fill with your favorite ice cream and toppings. Enjoy!


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