Category Archives: Geek/GangGreen/Tec

Forward U.S. Phone to Mex Cell Phone

by staff Telephone Editor Tippi Telly  

I’m updating the instructions to connect your Mexican Telcel cell phone to your U.S. phone number.  Just assisted a friend on this procedure this week.

If you want to keep your old U.S. # for this, follow these instructions.

There are many ways to connect/forward international phone numbers.  This is how I have been forwarding my U.S. phone# to my Mexican cell for more than 2 years.  Works without hassle and your caller will experience no delay on the call connection.  Take these four steps:

1. Get a Telcel plan. FYI, if you do not yet have a phone, you will need an unlocked GSM phone.  Take it to Telcel in Mexico, buy a chip and select the paquete that fits your needs.  I have the sin limite 200, that gives me 30 days of free calls to/fro Mex/US/Can and 1500MB of data(not a big data user via phone) for 200 pesos, approx $11USD/month.

2. You will need a Google Voice account.  I set up mine many years ago and have been using that number as my main phone #.  FYI, you will not be able to set up a Google Voice account using your Mexican based internet, as Google Voice is only for U.S.   There are some workaround for this, but, I won’t get into that depth of geekdom here.

3. Setup a account.  Get a free phone # on You will be given a choice of New York phone #’s(likely area code 914), but nobody other than you will ever be aware of that phone #.  This the “bridge” that allows Google Voice to forward to your Mex cel.  Ordinarily, Google Voice will not forward to an international #.

In your CallCentric setup, decline the 911 service(saves you $3) and throw in $5-$10 on a credit card to get the service started.  Your per minute rate is currently $.0165 per minute to a Mexico cell phone.  This will include robo calls, telemarketer calls, etc.  My account generally burns through only  $1-$2USD per month.

Do not opt for any of the other CallCentric services like their rate plans.  You won’t need them.

Click on Forwarding and type in your Mexican cell #, as shows in graphic below:

4. Go to your Google Voice account and hit the 3 dot icon in lower left.

Then scroll down to SETTINGS.  Select Add new linked # and plug in your Call Centric 914 area code #.

Click the “verify by phone” link…

That will take you to this screen(below) and click CALL!

You will get a call on your Mex cel with a 6 digit #.  Write that # down.  Plug that into the screen on Google Voice that will ask for the 6 digit #.


Just maintain your Telcel $ and your CallCentric $.

For new Telcel users, maintaining your account is a bit tricky as it is 2 steps.  You need to replenish your regular balance via credit card(major hassle, but, I’m doing it) or purchase at most Mexican convenience stores(OXXO/7-11). Then you need to purchase your plan each time OR setup recurring purchases for plan of your choice.

You now have a tri-country telephone that works to/from Mexico, USA and Canada.


Baja Bans Plastic Bags

by staff Plastics Editor Pablo Plastico  

Okay, but, when does this plastic bag ban begin?  Will there be exceptions to this rule?  Restaurants?  Did these congress critterpersons allow a lead time so that stores could use their already purchased inventory of plastic bags?


The businesses and companies that operate in the municipalities of Baja California should use and give away biodegradable bags and completely exclude plastic bags made of low density polyethylene, linear polyethylene, high polyethylene. density, polypropylene, plastic polymer and any other derivative. In addition, the gift, sale or delivery to the final consumer of plastic bags in supermarkets, self-service stores or convenience stores, markets, shops of various types and in general any type of commercial unit is prohibited.

This decision was approved in the plenary session of the Congress of Baja California under Opinion number 15 of the Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, which contains the initiative to reform the Law on Environmental Protection with the purpose that businesses must deliver bags of biodegradable plastic.

The opinion read before the Tribune of the Legislative Power reforms articles eight and 141 of the Environmental Protection Law that operates in Baja California, in which it is proposed to formulate and execute ecological ordinance programs, of a regional nature, as well as plans and programs that derive from them, in coordination with the municipalities of the entity, which are Ensenada, Tecate, Mexicali, Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito, and includes the participation of society.

The opinion also refers to establishing the criteria and rules of sustainable production that will aim to establish and describe the criteria and good practices of sustainable production that plastic bag manufacturers must implement in their processes, operations and products.

Provides to exempt from the above restriction those bags that have been produced with a minimum percentage of 30 percent recycled material and that the manufacture of such plastic bags is with technology materials and processes that allow their agile degradation according to the environmental standard NMX-E-267 number or those that replace it.

The proposal was presented in the framework of World Environment Day, held on June 5 and is a worldwide campaign against the use of plastic bags due to its high accumulation in the seas of Planet Earth, The initiative was initiated by the National Geographic organization with the slogan “Planet or Plastic ?, ie Planet or Plastic?

The organization estimated that around the planet there are some 5,700 million tons of plastic waste that does not pass through a recycling plant, which represents too high a quantity if we take into account that each year eight of them go to the sea millions of tons of that waste; and this is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem, they point out.

The organization added that they are aware of the problem and decided to act, in addition to the Campaign, the magazine they produce was sent to their subscribers this month wrapped in a cloth bag that is reusable and made of cotton.

They added that this global initiative against the abusive use of plastic, has created the hashtag #planetaoplastico to receive and share examples of sustainable practices, proposals and opinions to promote awareness on this issue in all citizens through social networks, as well as by email

The campaign is already carried out worldwide and it is worth noting that in stores in California, the United States no longer stock plastic bags in stores like Wal Mart.

Tijuana to Wine Valley Aqueduct


With a private sector investment of 1,300 million pesos over a period of twenty months, a 110-kilometer aqueduct will be built that will bring treated water from the southeast of Tijuana to the Guadalupe Valley.

The governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid subscribed yesterday the agreement that officializes the beginning of the work that will be in charge of the company Odis Adversa, of Israeli origin.

As explained by the representative of that company Fabián Yáñez Carbajo, the investment will go from 1,100 to 1,300 million pesos and in its first stage will be sanitized and will drive 300 liters per second to Valle de Guadalupe and in the final phase – by June 2020-, a thousand liters per second will reach this region.

He reported that the first water deliveries are projected to be carried out by October of next year.

He also assured that these treated waters in terms of cost and quality will have better conditions than those that are currently extracted from the Guadalupe Valley aquifers.

Historical fact
Vega de Lamadrid highlighted in his message the importance of the aqueduct, since not only will it be possible to guarantee the survival of the aforementioned wine region, but to increase its production and growth.

The effort of three generations who managed to convert the Valley of Guadalupe not only into a successful wine region, but also into one of the most important tourist areas of Baja California and Mexico, is being preserved.

Likewise, he said, the emissions of treated water that were made in the coasts of Tijuana will be reduced and the aquifer mantles of the Guadalupe Valley will be protected by reducing the extractions of the subsoil.

He acknowledged that making the reuse of treated water a reality was difficult, since it was a project that had been working for fourteen years.

The governor added that parallel to these efforts for the supply of water, has also been promoted to improve the legal framework for the development of the wine sector, particularly in the production and marketing of Baja California wine.

BP Fuel Storage in Ensenada


Energy giant BP signed a long-term contract with IEnova, Sempra Energy’s subsidiary in Mexico, to utilize the remaining 50 percent of storage capacity at a $130 million liquid fuels marine terminal to be built near Ensenada.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday afternoon, BP will have storage capacity of 500,000 barrels of liquid fuels to supply BP’s growing number of gas stations in northern Mexico.

Earlier this year, IEnova reached a long-term agreement with a local unit of Chevron to utilize about half the terminal’s capacity. Like BP, Chevron has moved into Mexico’s fuel sector in recent years, supplying service stations and other commercial and industrial customers.

Called Baja Refinados, the project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020. The terminal will be constructed at IEnova’s La Jovita Energy Center, which includes the company’s Energía Costa Azul liquefied natural gas facility.

“The Baja Refinados project is an important part of our growth strategy,” Carlos Ruiz Sacristán, chairman and CEO of the Sempra North American Infrastructure group and chairman of IEnova, said in a statement. “This new terminal will increase Baja California’s energy reliability and will foster competitive prices for gasoline and other refined products on the West Coast of Mexico.”

BP will have the option to acquire up to 25 percent of the terminal’s equity after commercial operations begin.

IEnova is responsible for developing the terminal, including its financing, construction, permitting as well as maintenance and operations.

Sempra management considers IEnova a crucial piece of its North American portfolio and its subsidiary has become an aggressive player in the expanding Mexican energy sector.

IEnova has invested more than $7.6 billion in U.S. dollars in assets and projects and boasts of being the first energy infrastructure company listed on the Mexican stock exchange.

In addition to liquid fuels, IEnova develops and operates investments in solar, wind and natural gas projects across Mexico.

El Niño Rains Coming to Ensenada


ENSENADA BC AUGUST 26, 2018 (AFN) .- The Municipal Civil Protection Unit of the city council announced that there are possibilities of heavy rains in the region due to the probable presence of the phenomenon known as “El Niño”.

The head of Civil Protection, Jaime Nieto de Maria y Campos, explained that according to the information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, for its acronym in English) and the National Meteorological System there is a high probability of heavy rains for autumn and winter in Ensenada.

“The next rainy season could be the strongest and most anticipated in the region, because we have been monitoring the forecasts in a timely manner. These warn that the pluvial indexes will be above the average in a 20 to 40 percent, “said the official.

Jaime Nieto mentioned that there is a 60 percent probability of presence of “El Niño” in the fall of the year 2018 that covers September to November, increasing to 70 percent during the winter of 2018 and part of 2019.

He said that it is important that the population remains alert to avoid ravages by rainfall, while the municipal authority will be responsible for cleaning rainwater, canyons and ravines, among other measures.

Therefore recommended to prevent at home by reviewing the roofs of homes and thus avoid the transfer of water within them, as well as safeguarding personal documents and other belongings, mainly those residing in high-risk areas.


70 Earthquakes Rattle Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire MAP: Earthquake BLITZ hits Pacific triangulation points – MEGAQUAKE fears

THE PACIFIC Ring of Fire has been hit by a series of strong earthquakes with a triangle area formed by Oregon, Vanuatu and Venezuela rocked in the past 24 hours.

More than 70 earthquakes have rattled the Ring of Fire, a huge swathe of geologically active tectonic plates stretching from South America to Australia via the western United States and East Asia, in the past three days.

First Venezuela was struck by a major 7.3 earthquake last night, with citizens across northern South America and parts of the Caribbean reporting strong shaking.

In Venezuela’s picturesque palm tree-dotted northern coast, residents said the long quake was terrifying.

The tremor made residents nauseous, caused lamps to swing and led people to dash into the streets.

The quake was also felt in the capital of Caracas, where residents rushed out of office buildings, as well as in nearby island nations like Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia, to the west and north.

Residents in Trinidad and Tobago shared video online showing some damage to buildings.

Then Vanuatu, located in the western Pacific Ocean was hit by a strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake.

The shallow quake’s epicentre was located just a few miles off the northern tip of sparsely populated Ambrym.

Pacific Ring of Fire earthquake

Pacific Ring of Fire: Venezuela, Vanuatu and Oregon have all been hit by strong earthquakes (Image: BING)

Officials at Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office in Port Vila, roughly 120 miles south of the epicentre, had no initial reports of damage.

“We felt small shaking for 15 or 30 seconds but we’re all good here,” spokesman Presley Tari told Reuters by phone.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said there was no tsunami threat from the quake and authorities in Australia and New Zealand also gave the all-clear.

A third earthquake then struck off the coast of Oregon, United States.

An offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 hit 188 miles west of Bandon, Oregon, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Pacific Ring of Fire earthquake

The Pacific Ring of Fire has been rattled by several strong earthquakes (Image: GETTY / REUTERS / BING)

The quake was recorded at a depth of about 10 km, according to the USGS website.

No immediate tsunami warning was posted.

And today Venezuela was again hit by a strong earthquake.

A 5.9 aftershock hit the north of the country this afternoon, sparking more panic in Venezuela.

Pacific Ring of Fire

The Pacific Ring of Fire is the most geologically active region in the world (Image: USGS)

Venezuela earthquake: Windows smash as shock felt in Trinidad

One citizen wrote on earthquake monitoring website EMSC-CSEM: “I was in the office and went straight under the table.”

Another said: “I was in a boat moored to a dock and felt the waves ripping the engine.”

It comes after dozens of other smaller earthquakes rattled the Ring of Fire, with more than 70 striking in the past three days.

It has increased fears for the ‘Big One’ earthquake in the western United States, or another megaquake elsewhere in one of the heavily populated Asian or South American cities on the Ring of Fire.

Pacific Ring of Fire

Pacific Ring of Fire: Venezuela was hit by a strong 6.9 earthquake last night (Image: REUTERS)

Richard Aster, Professor of Geophysics at Colorado State University, warned recently California is in an “earthquake drought” and overdue a 7.0 quake.

He said: “Although many Californians can recount experiencing an earthquake, most have never personally experienced a strong one.

“For major events, with magnitudes of seven or greater, California is actually in an earthquake drought.”

The Pacific Ring of Fire is the most geologically active region in the world.

More than 90 per cent of earthquakes occur here, as well as 22 or the 25 biggest volcanic eruptions in history.

Desalination Water Cost Unknown

Bajadock: Yes, translation is always fuzzy, but this is baffling.  880,000,000mnp = approx 45 million US Dollars to build the desal plant.  Now that it is completed, we don’t know how much the water will cost.  But, we’re not going to charge more for it.  ???


By Gerardo Sánchez Ensenada, Baja California, July 17.- Although it was officially opened a month ago, it is unknown how much it cost and what will be the rates for the seawater desalination plant, assured the director of the State Water Commission (CEA), Ricardo Cisneros Rodríguez. The state official could not explain precisely why the Development Bank of North America (Bandan) said that the plant cost 987 million pesos, and both the CEA and the National Water Commission, announced that the cost of that work was of 880 million pesos. Questioned about the discrepancies in these figures after participating as an exhibitor at the weekly meeting of the Enshower Group of Ensenada, Cisneros Rodriguez said: “It is a VAT issue, we handle an amount without that tax and the Bandan does, and also updated its costs with the mechanisms provided in the contract according to the consumer price indexes to update the amount, we have not done it, we are waiting for the financial closure, which is where the adjustment mechanisms are applied “. However, the figure publicly managed by the CEA and Conagua, if added VAT does not coincide with that reported by the bank, because the 880 million pesos with 16 percent of the Value Added Tax would add a total of one thousand 20 million pesos, that is, there would be a difference of 33 million pesos with that managed by the Development Bank of North America. Cisneros Rodríguez also did not accurately report the cost of the tariffs at which the desalinated water will be sold to the State Government and said that this will be defined until the financial review of the work is completed. However, he assured that no increase in water rates is contemplated for the industrial, commercial or domestic user of the city of Ensenada.

Frig Wars 3

by staff appliance repair editor, Maynard Maytag 

This is a real photo of my frig.  The view is of the coil that has frozen over because of a faulty fan not circulating air.  It is odd that more frost here actually creates a warm frig chamber, while the freezer section cools properly.

Had the same issue last summer and was fortunate to find a technician who knew how to fix it quickly.  That tech warned me that he was installing a used fan and that it would work for short term.  I should buy a new one asap was his advisory

This is the little guy(approx 4″ x 4″) that fits in the space just above the iced coil(see 3 black rubber pegs).  Ordered it last July.

Have been traveling a lot recently, but, noticed my frig temp warming slightly 2 weeks ago.  Upon return from my trip frig temp was all the way up to 48F.

Great news is that I had served my frig repair apprenticeship last summer.  Boiling water and a hair dryer are key tools for this fix.

Had to figger out a way to rig in the new fan as it did not come with the black rubber connectors.  Pipe cleaners, used for wine glass personal markers, are always a handy household tool and were perfect for attaching the little fan in its tight compartment.

Brimming with machismo I plugged the fan into its wiring socket and…hmmmm.  No hum, no whirling blade, nada!  After 90 minutes of work defrosting and my ez fix is not working?

After a few deep breaths, I plugged in the old fan.  Nada!  WTF?  Did I detach or crush a wire during my ice crushing?

Patience is an amazing thing.  It took the frig a couple of minutes to cycle and the whirring fan blades were a happy sight.

What a great excuse this was to clean my frig shelves and drawers.  But, it did ruin a hair dryer.

One of the most frustrating little details of my frig is reinstalling the two veg/fruit drawers.  What a mouse trap contraption to assemble.

Thrilled to see my interior thermometer read 45F after a few minutes and settling down to 40F after about a half hour.


Tijuana to Wine Valley Waste Water Aqueduct

Bajadock: We reported on this proposed aqueduct last week.  In that report, we also published an article from 2010 about getting the aqueduct out for bid “soon”.  BTW, what is it about Mexican journalism/culture that almost always prefers to publish a photo of the politicians discussing the project at the press conference over the actual project at hand? If a bomb explosion occurred at the San Ysidro border crossing, rather than a photo of the damage, they would have a photo of officials at a press conference.

I added(as I often do) the above map for those wondering what the deal is all about. Here is the photo attached to the waste water aqueduct article.  The boys have that “when do we get out of here?” look as Baja Governor Kiko speaks.


The governor, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, confirmed the construction of the aqueduct that will bring treated water from Tijuana to the Guadalupe Valley, which will triple the surface of vineyards and guarantee tourist activities in the most visited region of Baja California.

The state governor indicated that the work has an estimated cost of one thousand 500 million pesos, will be made with resources from the private initiative and has already begun the bidding process of the work.

He pointed out that to guarantee the clarity and legality of this project, the civil organization Transparencia Mexicana was invited to supervise the bidding and construction of the system that will bring the treated water from the La Morita plant from the city of Tijuana to Valle de Guadalupe.

This aqueduct, said Vega de Lamadrid, will have a capacity of up to 1,000 liters per second and the projected cost will be just over 10 pesos per cubic meter, a price that was already accepted by the winemakers who will use those waters.

The governor of Baja California said tentatively the work could be completed in 2019, and of the nearly three thousand hectares of vineyards that are currently had could exceed ten thousand hectares to be provided with this water resource.

He added that parallel to the construction of said aqueduct, the XXII Ayuntamiento de Ensenada works in the Sectoral Program of Ordenamiento del Valle de Guadalupe, which will allow for an orderly growth of urban growth and services in the region.

Regarding the quality of the water that will be brought to the wine region, the Secretary of Agricultural Development of the State, Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras, indicated that the project and tender for the aqueduct was made with the aim of guaranteeing and even exceeding the highest quality standards in treated water.

According to a report from the State Public Services Commission of Tijuana, during the last three years, experimental vineyard cultivations were carried out using these waters.

These works were supervised by the winemaker Camilo Magoni, the State Water Commission, the Technological Institute of Tijuana and the Center for Research and Development in Electrochemistry of Conacyt.

The Cespet informed that the tests done on water, soils and grapes were satisfactory when they were met and were at levels above the technical standards established in the management of this type of water resource.

Baja California Drought Continues


Due to the persistence of dry weather in Baja California, the growth and emergence of extreme drought was observed according to the Conagua report as of March 31st.

It adds that Baja California presented its driest fifth quarter (January-March 2018) since 1941, that is to say in 77 years according to the Drought Monitor disseminated by the National Water Commission. Baja California showed a strong advance in the area affected by drought, the second largest since 2014. The affected area reaches 80.5% of the territory with 22% in the ranges of severe drought and extreme drought.

With respect to the same period of 2016, the difference is worrisome. According to a report from the Economic Studies Center of Baja California, the absence of rain and the announcement that this will be a very hot year puts the problem of water in the State back on the agenda. He recalled that just last February the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been the warmest ever recorded and that last year the average temperature on the Earth’s surface exceeded by 1.1ºC the temperature of the preindustrial.

Although 2016 remains at the top of the list of warmest years, 2017 is the first warmer without the El Niño effect. The intense episode of El Niño 2015/2016 contributed to record unprecedented temperatures in 2016. The global average temperature in 2017 was approximately 0.46 ° C higher than the long-term average of the period 1981-2010 (14.3 ° C), highlights WMO, adding that temperatures only account for a small part of history.

Parallel to the warm temperatures of 2017 extreme weather events occurred in many countries of the world. The United States had to face the most expensive year in terms of meteorological and climatic disasters, while in other countries slower economic development was observed, and even a setback, as a consequence of tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.

For this year, the global average temperature would be between 0.88ºC and 1.12ºC above pre-industrial conditions (average temperature for the period between 1850 and 1900), according to the National Meteorological Service of the United Kingdom (Met Office). . If this forecast is fulfilled, 2018 will be the fourth warmest year since 1850. In this context, Baja California must already work on actions to cushion the impact of this year, since important regions such as the Wine Route have already been affected for several years, concludes the CEEBC report.

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