Category Archives: Doc’s Pub & Resort

Thankful


Have endured a tough emotional, physical and mind blowing week.

Thanks to all for help and I’m lucky to be here.

I am thankful for a wonderful life.

Thanks to my friends who care.

Thanks to my fabulous family. We are a small family.  We do family well.

Thanks to the wonderful women who have shared their time and energy with me.

Thanks to my neighbors who have shared their resources and experiences to ease my pain.

Thanks for every sunrise, sunset, fog, cloud, moon glow and raindrop.

Above sunset Friday is by IRE.  THX!

Time wounds all heels, so I’m hoping my walk will ease through the cosmic debris with time.

Thanks.

 

Propane and Other Utilities


My humble home in Ensenada requires the services of 6 utilites: Electricity, propane, water, internet, tv and cell phone. Drinking water, unlike general household water, could be considered #7.

Because my full 300L propane tank lasts me 6 months, if I forget to send an automated calendar alert, that tank is easy to forget.  When tank is below 10% levl, it’s a good idea to get some gas.  Can’t remember the last time I called for a propane truck, as they usually patrol our ‘hood a few times weekly.  They either honk or I can hear their diesel engines approaching.

My tank was at approx 7% level today, when I heard the Z gas posse coming to the rescue.  It’s approx 75 feet from the street to my tank for their hose to reach.  Guessing they were only at half spool.  Will have to ask next time.  “How big is your hose?”.

For kicks, I did a spreadsheet a while ago comparing living expenses during my 30 years in Colorado vs. here in Baja.  My 6 utilities here are well under $200/month, as I’m not a big consumer.   Utilities in Denver were triple that number.  Heating in winter, running an evaporative cooler in summer and watering plants in the desert air cost muchos pesos.

No, I’m not going to jump up on the table about how much less expensive Mexico is vs. US.  Your mileage may vary according to your lifestyle, entertainment needs and shop till you drop fetish.

But, my 200peso per month cell phone for unlimited texts/calls to/fro Mexico and U.S. is a whopping 12 bucks.  Almost everyone I know still working in the U.S. is paying $100+++/month for their cell service.  One hidden trick is that a lazy non-working slob like me doesn’t need a lot of data to get through the day.

I know several people who are even more remote than am I and their solar investment is significant.  Glad I’m on the grid as solar technology still does not have the ROI for my low kilowatt use.  $30USD/month is a taco per day to fuel my frig, tv, internet and lights.

Food and beverage?  I’m guessing those expenses are the same in Baja as in the USA.   There are expensive restaurants to enjoy, as well as tacos.

One of my favorite quotes was from my favorite and only niece visiting a few years ago.  At Trailero’s Tacos on north side of Ensenada, she was amazed at the flavors and buffet of veggies and salsas to add.  “Hey, Unc, why would you ever need to buy grociers here?”.  !

Biggest savings here is housing.  Just had a new friend casually asses my property as $2 million in SoCal, because of the water view.  Dunno about that and there are inconvenieces and inconsistencies in Mexico that blow up that propheltactic argument.

At 10 years here, I’m thrilled with my choice and would change very little of the choices made.

Now if we could just get a consistently good restaurant out here, I would patronize it often.

Frig Wars Sequel


Three weeks ago, noticed that my referigerated beer was on the lukewarm side.  That Luke guy must have been a charmer to get all of that recognition for so many years.

Deployed my handy frig thermometer to see what was happening.  52F-ing degrees?  Ouchees.  My Frig wars from December/January are back!

Freezer was doing its job freezing ice and at 0F degrees.  Reading various diy articles on the cold freezer + warm frig diagnoses, most likely air is not moving properly due to ice blockage.

Thought it must be simple, but, a bit beyond my screwdriver skillset.  Against my better judgement called repairman “N”, who helped me years ago, but, failed me this past January.  He shows up and says “needs freon”.  Well why the heck is the freezer compartment working?  Then he tells me he forgot to bring his freon can and charges me 200 pesos.  He did not forget to bring his girlfriend with him on his visit to the clouds in our panoramic neighborhood.

Per my January story of frig drama this winter, I think many of these frig dudes have two paths of income.  One is their freon can.  The other is swapping compressors.  Essentially they can prescribe drugs(freon) or do heart surgery(compressor).  They know nothing else in between.  New compressor is likely a $300USD fix.  I went through 4 “recommended” frig repair guys in December and January before finding someone who knows refrigerators.

Called my #1 frig tech, Angel, from El Primo appliance store in Los Globos segunda district.  He was busy that week, but, would get back to me.  He did call me back later that week to let me know he would get back to me next week. Nada.  Angel truly knows appliances.  But, he is difficult to engage for a service call in my remote part of the universe.

Are they clever enough to slow walk my frig repair to parlay that into me buying a new frig?  Hmmm.

Having penciled in my mind the $1,200USD for a new frig, what should I do?  The drama is not urgent, as I have a freezer full of good food, lower drawers in that frig that are at 40F cooling veggies and a spair dorm frig taking care of me.  But, the 2.5 weeks of frustration is clawing at my attitude.

Picked up my vehicle this Wednesday from our neigborhood mechanic who is the perfect technician.  He does what you want, usually is down within 24-48 hours, calls you with options and will also offer advice on other diagnoses for future repairs.  Wish I had a guy like him for all of my other repair needs.

With my fixed car on my way downtown Wednesday, decided to give Angel, frig tech expert, one more try.  Headed to El Primo appliances(Angel’s shop) with flan and watermelon for Maria, the owner.  Wrote a letter in Spanish explaining my frig diagnosis of cold freezer/warm frig and stapled 500mnp to the letter.  Added a 12 pack of cold Tecate for Angel.

Maria had Angel on phone immediately.  Friday visit was promised.

Friday 5:30PM, Angel calls and says he’ll be at my house in one hour.  But, he also asks me questions about the frig behavior.  My Spanish is sufficient to explain the congeledor frio/refrigerador caliente aventura.

At 6:25, I see Angel’s smiling face.  Angel looks like a MLB shortstop who should have plenty of groupies attending to his needs.  Like most good techs, he is small on bullshit and quick and curious on what is wrong with my frig.  In January, he guessed what was wrong with a bad upper coil, took the frig on a Friday at 6PM and had it back with new coil on Monday at 6PM.

On today’s visit, he opened up the panel behind my frig veg drawers to show me the glacier of ice covering the lower coil.  Chopping with a screwdriver, using a paint heat gun and boiling water, we cleared the ice.  Angel, guessing the fix, brought a spare fan to replace the bad fan that was causing the ice buildup.

 

This little guy, approx 4″ x 4″ was causing me all of this grief.  Looks like it costs $5 bucks in China. It is an evaporator fan.  “Evaporator fan motor W10395278 circulates air through the fresh food compartment for efficient cooling.”    The fan is approx $45 at SearsPartsDirect.  Use PARTS17 for a 15% discount.

Angel charged me a whopping 1,000mnp(that’s a whopping $60USD) for the 1 hour of work, plus 45 minute commute to/fro my house.  OK, add on the 12pk of Tecate Roja, the gas money and the sweet goodies for Maria, and I’m likely paying $110USD for the service.  Could not get that deal in USA.  And I would have missed out on practicing my Spanglish and learning more about Mex cultura!

Simple things make life so happy.

El Primo, Maria, 646-177-3177.  El Primo sells and services major appliances.  Español solamente.

May your appliances enjoy a wonderful Independence weekend!

Crime Hits Home


Colonia Puerto Escondido, center right, is my neighborhood.  We are on the south side of Ensenada Bay in Baja California.

My morning usually begins around 6AM with coffee, music and reading.  This Wednesday morning added a new ingredient.

Heard some noise as if a worker was doing some type of construction around 7:15.  Walked out to my 2nd floor patio to see a white van and 2 guys taking stuff from my lower level.

Shouted at them and stupidly went down the stairs to confront them.  One more guy was half asleep in the back of the van.  They took off.

What was stupid was me not having any weapon at hand and attempting to do what??? My lucky news was that only one of the three, the lead dude, appeared to pose a physical threat.  Number two was scraggly with a bandage on his neck. #2 was Tommy Chong’s brother.  Number three was nearly in dream state.  Guessing they were drugees.

Called 911 and gave them all of the information.  Approx 1990s Quest(Nissan) van, smashed in right rear and side, California plates.  The 911 call was at 7:40.

Called a friend/neighbor for whatever reason after that.  I was surprised at how upset I was and still had adrenaline running 30 minutes after the confrontation.

7:15 in the morning?

Saw running water coming from under my garage doors.  My lower level has an apartment and a 2 car garage. Unbelievably, these guys tried to detach my water pump, which was now spraying water from its location in my garage.  More good news was that they did not break the connections.

I have been away much of the spring and had not visited that lower level apartment in months.  When I looked around, I realized that I had lost quite a few items, including 2 bicycles, a Yamaha keyboard, a table saw, a spare water pump and lots of hand tools.  It will take a while to realize the inventory missing.

But, I also understood that to get all of that stuff, this morning’s shopping was not their first at my house.

Stuff is low on my list, so I really don’t care about losing it.

My peace and health and that of my friends and neighbors is vital.

I would change many things on my behavior yesterday morning.  WTF, no photos?  I was in full defense/fright/flight mode and was not cool under the pressure.  Told a friend that I would have an embellished story in 10 years about my bravery and how I took down 6 thugs with my bare hands, hah!

Our neighborhood, Colonia Puerto Escondido is a rural, secluded, quiet spot.

We have been discussing neighborhood security a lot recently as crime has increased in Northern Baja, Ensenada and our area.  There have been at least 5 buglaries in our neighborhood in June.

More good news is that we are working on our overall neighborhood security.  Any and all layers of security are good ideas.

Lighting in our hood is weak.  At night, the entry to the neighborhood is very dark with only a few exterior lights lit on houses.  I added dusk to dawn lights to my house this spring and will add more.

We are working on radio communication, walkie talkie, push to talk(PTT) smart phone apps, individual alarms, individual protection and more.  Heck, what took us so long?  Well, you have to start some time.

We also hope to get an access gate with entry technology that will meet our needs.

Colonia Puerto Escondido housing map

Back to that 911 call, I saw a police car roll by my house at 1PM.  Because my shouting talent from my terrace worked so well at 7:30AM, I thought I could shout down the patrol car.  Nada.

Called the police # in Maneadero at 154-1724.  “No, call this number, 154-0088”.

For police press 1.  For trouble press 2.  For big trouble, press 3.  For really big shit trouble press 4.  Ok, I’m kidding.  But, why can’t the police main # handle my burglary report? Obviously, my 911 call went nowhere.

Patrol car showed up in approx 25 minutes.  It was great Spanglish practice for me and handled all well, except that I could not come up with “bandage” in Spanish as the one unique characteristic on Tommy Chong’s neck.  Vendage!  “Cinta para sangre” could have worked.

The police questioning took on a repetitive nature.  My guess is that they were trying to catch me in a lie, because there was no sign of damage or forced entry.  I had left the door to my apt unlocked.  My fault, youbetcha.

At one point, one of the cops was so interested in my story that he was checking out his teeth in the driver’s side exterior mirror of the cop car.  Must have a hot date that afternoon.

They took my residente permanente ID info, phone #, address… .  BTW, they indicated that there was no info on my 911 call at Maneadero police station.

After much chatter throughout Wednesday, two neighbors saw the van approaching.  Two other neighbors walked right by the van in front of my house, including 1 seeing the guys getting out of the van.  No blame here at all.  Looks like workers starting their day at a house.

Careful and good luck out there.

Airline Adventures


                                                                                 by staff travel editor, Crusty Curmudgeon

Recent travel in the USA has me slapped around like a rag doll in a Cuisinart food processor.  Here are my recent experiences from June flights.

At 6AM, before my caffeine fix, howtheheck am I supposed to read, leave alone execute, the instructions on peeling the correct amount and spot of the luggage tag and affix it without it looking like a jet lagged shar pei puppy? Friday morning, I simply handed the tag to the agent and asked her to do it.  She happily showed me the way, including perky instructions.  She failed miserably and it looked like hell.  “Well, I guess I need more practice”.

LOVE TSA PRE lines, except when jeweled, pocket changed and big metal belt buckled passengers ahead of me can’t get the idea that the scanning machine you walk through is designed to detect metal.  “But, it’s just water in my water bottle!”.  Remember, these are the TSA “pre-approved” smart passengers, top of their class.  …says the guy who can’t affix a luggage tag.

I usually have little drama vs TSA.  My only problem is forgetting the corkscrew in my backpack.  Backpack always has my essentials of laptop, phone, laptop accessories, car key(+1 extra), tequila, assortment of condoms.  I have lost at least SIX corkscrews at TSA junction.  My 99 cent corkscrew made it due to stowing in my checked bag this trip.

While I sleep at my window seat, why do my fellow passengers feel the need to put snacks in the seatback ahead of me?  “These gourmet crackers and pretzels are must treats for your taste buds and we did not want you to miss them.”  This happened on 3 of 4 flights on last trip.  I must ooze “lonely bachelor that can’t cook” look.  How about some Publisher’s Clearinghouse forms next flight?

Which do you prefer, crying kid or kicking kid?  Crying kid is too young to control.  Though my reading or sleeping peace has a hard time with the infant testing his operatic skills, the kicking kid obviously has shitty parents.  Had a kicker this trip.  I raised out of my seat, turned around and said, “Hi, I’m enjoying your child’s percussion skills on my back.  Any way to take off his shoes to lighten the body blows I am receiving for the next 5 hours?”.  Law enforcement met me at destination, tazed, cuffed and dragged me away.

Which do you prefer, chatty pilot/crew or unintelligible pilot/crew?  “Once again, thank you…” for the 8th time before we take off means that we are going to be hearing a lot from this team today.  “Once again, sit back, relax…”.  Where is the mute button?  And how do I mute and darken the must see video screen in front of me?

More video fun, why do airports need to connect me to “news”?  If you catch my trend, I’m not big on getting random audio and video barking at me while traveling.  Heck, even gas stations pelt me with news or advertising while I pump gasoline.  Intercontinental at Houston airport likes their CNN televsions in gate wait.  Maybe they could mute the tv?  Bring back the hare krishnas!

Loved the United Airline CEO mea culpa in their May magazine after the April passenger pummeling at ORD.  “We will do better.”.

Airport construction is at an all time high.  The quarters weren’t nearly cramped enough before, so add construction and walled areas of development to limit seating areas for gate wait. “Hi, I just got off a tube squeezed next to random strangers with odd habits for 3 hours.  Can I sit on your lap and have you tell me your life story, while waiting for next flight?”  I found a gaggle of wheelchairs in a corner and pulled one out for my lounge “safe space” this trip.

Airport food?  Hmmm.  How many different ways can you throw 500 calories of starch at a traveler for $12 USD?  I usually fly with an apple and almonds, but forgot my snack kit on this trip.  This little spot near gate E2 at IAH was a reasonable deal for a turkey, veg, avocado wrap for $11USD.  Most of the time, I avoid airport culinary delights.  This wrap was fresh and would do it again.  $11?  Yeah, but, I was hungry.

San Diego airport, my home runway, used to be a small airport.  It is still not ORD, IAH, LAX, but, the remodel has turned SAN into another shopping mall, disguised as an airport.

Google flights is my favorite tool(x-Southwest)

Didjaever reserve a flight with 7:30 as a takeoff time and not catch the “PM” tag?  I have never served in the military, but use military time(19:30) on my watch and in many other ways.  It works for me.  But, in a late night haste, caught a great deal for my return flight from MCO to SAN.  Tried checking in 24 hours before and caught a “your checkin attempt failed because it is more than 24 hours before your flight” error message.  WTF?  Realized I mistakenly reserved a night flight.  Had enough time, airline miles and a small fee to get a different morning flight to escape Mickey Mouse land as needed.  My good fortune increased as I was able to get my treasured window seats, not available on my previously goofed flight.

Last time I flubbed pm vs. am was in 2006, on my flight attempt to view, and hopefully, buy my lot in Ensenada.  That too was an inexpensive and lucky fix.  Bought my lot 2 days later.

Punta Banda International Airport photo courtesy of I.R.E.

Did I mention how thrilled I am to be home in my monastery?  Safe and easy travels wished to y’all.

Sensual Storms


Thanks to friend, the “Coolest Bean”, here is a peak into my excitement, could be lust, for big storms.

I have never experienced a recorded hurricane, but, my now neighborhood, on the south end of Ensenada, Baja California, has seen at least three 80+MPH storms in my 10 years of residence.

One of my favorite storm memories was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with my girlfriend in 1987.  We enjoyed a huge dwelling at Kutuk Lodge with big windows viewing south on a summer weekend.  While wining and chopping veggies for a salad, the wind became fierce.

We stopped our butcher block bingo dance in favor of the view through a huge window showing a dark grey wall of water in the sky approaching from the south with a decent-but-no-recuerdo bottle of grape juice.  It was at sunset. The storm event likely lasted a total of 30 minutes.

But that Colorado evening of thunder, wind, rain, food, wine and ensuing frolic have stayed with me for more than 30 years.  I have lost track of D.A.S. and hope she is well.

Having lived most of my life in the desert of Colorado(28 years) and now the desert of Baja, rain is a sensory rich event for my soul.  My home in Ensenada receives approx 8 or 4 or 6 inches(must be a guy thing) of precipitation annually.

The mini squalls of approx 1 mile diameter that dance across Bahia Ensenada during “winter” are amazing entertainment.  They excite me more than a tv sit-com…do they still make those, or am I too old and white?… or a reality click bait program…or the “my politician is better than your politician” gaggle of adolescent baby bummers.

My friends are as different as each storm cloud formation.  Eccentric buddies are a postive energy field for me.

If I am lucky enough to enjoy a front seat to a storm, a bottle of wine, a simple dinner and share it all with good friend, I am lucky enough.

My wish is reality, as I am in Florida sharing my dream today with my favorite girl: mom. Two inches of rain fell today.  Two bottles of wine are also down. A.C. Jobim is playing.  Buena suerte.

Bajadock’s Little Paradise


Got these shots of my hood from a 15 mile round trip hike in 2011.  Missing my monastic lifestyle there now, as I have been away almost 2 weeks. Hope to return this week.

Surprise Panama trip with good friend in 2006 completely changed my ideas about money and the stuff filling my closets and garage.  Ok, I still enjoy several comforts that many lack.  But, my idea of needs vs. wants adjusted drastically toward simplicity.  Those 10 days in Panama cleared a path for my moving from Colorado to Ensenada, Baja California in 2007.

The simplicity theme pops up this week, because I notice homes that have been collecting stuff for 30 or more years.  Photos, souvenirs, what are all of these electronic adapters?, coins, holiday decorations, tools, and whatnot are on the scene.  My buddy who invited me to Panama liked to use the word “whatnot”.  “This, that and the other” are more of the same.  When is the last time you took a good look at your t.t.&o storage spot?

Just witnessed a weekend garage sale for an entire neighborhood.  I’m not the wealthiest guy on the block, but, I would rather pay someone $100 to haul away stuff than sell dozens of small items for $1 for 8 hours on a Saturday. “This pair of garden shears was only used on Sundays after church, so they include a special blessing for the next user.”  Gadzooks, I’m such a spoiled gringo!

One of the best feelings of my life was my homeless period of 2006-2007 after selling my Colorado house and emptying its contents to craigslist, friends and Goodwill.  We are possessed by our possessions.

I am so thankful for my simple little life that includes family, a few friends and lots of adventure.

You just do not know what changes the cosmic debris will throw your way.  Hope yours is fun.

Open That Bottle Night Feb 25


Bajadock: Discovered this little holiday, “Open That Bottle Night“, last year.  I forget what bottle I opened that night in 2016.  Grab your best friend(s), family or neighbor(s) and enjoy an informal feast.  I may move beyond my $10-$12 bottle comfort zone and try something new that I have been saving.  “Release your wine prisoner”. Saludos!

Whether it’s the only bottle in the house or one bottle among thousands, just about all wine lovers have that very special wine that they always mean to open, but never do. This is why “Tastings” columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle Night, the world-wide celebration of friends, family and memories during which all of us finally drink that wine that is otherwise simply too special to open.

On OTBN, which is celebrated on the last Saturday of February every year, thousands of bottles all over the world are released from prison and enjoyed. With them come memories of great vacations, long-lost loved ones and bittersweet moments. The whole point of the weekly “Tastings” column is that wine is more than the liquid in the bottle. It’s about history, geography, relationships and all of the things that are really important in life.

If you plan to participate in Open That Bottle Night, here are some tips to help you make the most of it.

1. Choose the wine. This is the all-important first step. You don’t necessarily want to open your “best” wine or your most impressive wine, but the wine that means the most to you, the one that you would simply never open otherwise. Maybe it’s Grandpa’s garlic wine. You’re looking for a bottle full of memories. On the other hand, if you have, say, a 1929 Lafite that’s just sitting there, it’s tough to argue with that.

2. Stand older wine up (away from light and heat, of course) for a few days before you plan to open it — say, on Wednesday. This will allow the sediment, if there is some, to sink to the bottom.

3. Both reds and whites are often better closer to cellar temperature (around 55 degrees) than today’s room temperature. Don’t overchill the white, and think about putting the red in the refrigerator for an hour or two before opening it if you’ve been keeping it in a 70-degree house.

4. With an older bottle, the cork may break easily. The best opener for a cork like that is one with two prongs, but it requires some skill. You have some time to practice using one. Be prepared for the possibility that a fragile cork may fall apart with a regular corkscrew. If that happens, have a carafe and a coffee filter handy. Just pour enough through the coffee filter to catch the cork.

5. Otherwise, do not decant. It’s safe to assume that these are old and fragile wines. Air could quickly dispel what’s left of them. If the wine does need to breathe, you should have plenty of time for that throughout the evening.

6. Have a backup wine ready for your special meal, in case your old wine really has gone bad.

7. If you are having an OTBN party, ask everyone to say a few words about the significance of the wine they brought. This really is what OTBN is all about, sharing.

8. Serve dinner. Open the wine and immediately take a sip. If it’s truly, irretrievably bad — meaning vinegar — you will know it right away. But even if the wine doesn’t taste good at first, don’t rush to the sink to pour it out. Previous OTBN participants have said they were amazed how a wine pulled itself together and became delicious as the night wore on.

9. Enjoy the wine for what it is, not what it might someday be or might once have been.

10. Drop Dottie and John a note at wine@wsj.com about your evening. Be sure to include your name, city and phone number, in case they need to contact you so that they can share your account with other readers.

This article was adapted from a Tastings column by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher published in January 2007.

Refrigerator Repair Wars


frig16

Hello, I am Doc’s frig.  I have not been feeling well.  Decided to go through a painful 12 step rehab program

My refrigerator, a scratch/dent Kitchen Aid of of bodacious cooling capacity became ill in December.  It had served me well since 2015 purchase and was a huge upgrade from my 2006 model purchase.

Had used a local frig repair shop for a previous model and was not satisfied with the service.  On to another shop, that I will call “A”.  “A” showed up later that same day and diagnosed the problem as likely a bad compressor.  Estimate was approx $250USD.  But, he had another tech available and would come out next day to check it out.

“A” showed up with 2 guys.  The “expert B” fussed, added one part near a valve, added freon and let me know all was good and expect freezing in 24 hours.  $75USD was the charge for the 2 calls.  Had ice for approx 3 days and left for an east coast Christmas trip on 12/24.

Upon return from Christmas vaca, frig was no longer cooling.  Who to call?  “A” for warranty work or should I simply move on to a more qualified repair tech.  Slow learning me called “A”.  He showed up next day, could not figger it out and gave up.

Looked through our local online resource for frig repair.  Called tech “C”, who was busy with other work and not available.  Called “D”, who said he would get back to me.  zzzzz.

Kept searching and talking with friends about what to do.  Apparently there are two major factors for selecting local home service providers.  1. The “lady of the house” likes him   2. He speaks English.  ?  Finding any review/referral on professionalism regarding estimate, parts availability, cash flow contract, cleanliness, promptness and other business basics were mostly non-existent.  Perhaps because our area is 45 minutes away from the city center, we hillbillies are left to beg for whatever service we can scrounge.  Or maybe this a part of Mex boycotting USA?  hah.

Back to my frig.  Decided to head down to Los Globos segunda appliance shop “El Primo” where I have purchased all of my appliances and ask for service help.  My Spanglish is sufficient, but, always better face to face than on phone.  Maria, the El Primo owner, got her tech on phone, handed phone to me and I explained the problem.  I brought a map of directions for my house and got a day and time of guesstimated arrival.

Major rain and wind storms delayed arrival.  Had to call El Primo and “Que tal?”.  New date and time.  zzzzz.

frig17truck

Off goes my frig in El Primo’s service truck

When the tech arrived, he asked me for details of the symptoms again.  He did something that all of the other techs never did.  He opened a compartment for the interior coils in the upper frig section and told me I needed a new one.  I asked how much time and how much money.  “Two or three days and 4,000-6,000MNP($200-$300USD)”.  VAMONOS!!!

Every other tech did the proctologist maneuver on my frig.  Back/bottom end was opened, futzed with it and diagnosis/fix was no bueno.  Felt like I was in a Chevy Chase “Fletch” scene with “It’s all ball bearings!”.

El Primo tech was only guy who went to the ventral view and coil suspicion fix.

frig17

On the second business day after pickup, the boys delivered, showed me the new coil, replaced all of the drawers and shelves and I had my frig back in biznez. Where were these guys 6 weeks ago?  4,500mnp, approx $220USD.

El Primo, Maria, 646-177-3177.  El Primo sells and services major appliances.

Oh, yes, we are on day 3 and frig is working.  I have ice, ice, baby!  Must have been the anti freeze?

Planes, Trains, Automobiles


Enjoyed my time in Florida with family last week.  Flew out to Orlando on Christmas Day and have had good success flying this date dozens of times.

My return trip to San Diego, just before New Year’s thrills, was a bit of adventure.  Biggest influence on that drama was the monster that had invaded my skull, aka head cold.  I’m also on drugs and woozier than normal.

My return trip morning started at 50 to get showered, pack and get my Uber ride hitched.  As the city I was visiting is a bit rural and the demographic is older, Uber is brand new.  Guessing there are only a few Uber drivers there.  Few is defined as 1 or 2? Lit up my phone to see that my Uber driver at 06:45 was available within 9 minutes of me.  Clicked “pickup” and waited for the countdown map magic.  Ummm, welll, no go.  Let’s try again.  After 3 tries and my time getting critical, gave up on GUber.

Called a taxi.  Now in this little town, taxis are also not readily available.  My call at 7am found voice mail.  Surprise, surprise, they called back in 5 minutes.  Driver showed up in 25 minutes and I was off.  Wait.  “Where are we going?” asks the seasoned citizen driver.  a) I gave that info to dispatch with difficulty as I have little/no voice.  b) Wrote the address down for the driver.  He begins to fill out a form, presumably, some type of trip report.  I point to my watch, as I had emphasized to dispatch that I needed to be at my destination at 7:45 to meet an Orlando airport shuttle.  “Oh, okay.  By the way, you really need a spray for that sore throat.  Chloraseptic is the one to get.”.  We still were not moving.  Grrrr.  Someone smarter than I could create a workflow chart showing the human steps eliminated by the Uber app vs. taxi cabs’ glacial process.

Lucky me and taxi arrived at my stop 5 minutes late to catch my shuttle van to Orlando airport.  The service I use, Villages Airport Van, is excellent and covers approx 60 miles for $40.  It’s not door-to-door for me, but, beats all other options and is comfy and professional.  Caught a nap in the back and arrived 2 hours before my flight.  Tugged out my wad of dollars and pesos to give the driver a $5 tip and got in a line of about 40 passengers at curbside checkin.  Wait.  Reached into my left front pocket for my cash.  Nada.  Against TSA spanking threats, I abandoned my bag and went back out into 3 lanes of traffic.  Fluterring on the concrete were 3 separate folds of cash.  It was approx $300usd.  Lucky recovery.  Trick was that I was wearing golf rain pants with pocket openings.  Apparently, I stuffed my wad back into the rain paint opening, but, not into the true pocket of my shorts underneath.

Orlando can be quite a thrilling airport this time of year.  Love TSA pre with coats, shoes, belts and laptops not needing special treatment.  Makes you wonder why the regular TSA lanes need to jump through those hoops.  Settled into my seat in back row of Southwest direct flight to SAN to minimize my cold’s impact.  Chatty seat mate wanted a “first date” style interview.  Pointed to my throat.  Wait for it.  “You know, Chloraseptic spray is the only thing that works for me”.  Where do they find these people?

Arrived in San Diego on time, checked bag appeared with 20 minutes and Uber was working at SD airport.  Man, that place is a cluster.  Every other Uber driver in San Diego has a Prius?  Got to my car park easily, did my grocery shopping and crossed the border at 4PM with approx a 20 minute wait to get into Tijuana this Friday.  Got home at 6pm-ish and settled into an electrified home.  Had reports of a power outage early in the day.

Thrilled to be healing and resting at home.  I have a newly repaired frig full of food and plenty of time to catch up with my friends.  Oops.  Went to my freezer to get some ice for my knee.  It was great if you like your ice at room temp.  Looks like I need a different frig repair dude.

peset23feb16

Great news is that my dog did not die and my wife has not left me.  Cheers to your health in 2017.

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