Dog Days

Boom! Sunny days arrived on July 1 and we in the middle of a dry heatwave. All the rain we had in June was great for the plants and while the roses have waned there are still plenty of blooms all over the garden.

Aimeé is working five days a week at John Henry’s Resort and I keep myself busy in the garden and my shed reno. I decided to reroof the shed this summer as I have the time and the low-slope portion has leaked for years.

The dog days of summer are upon us.

Shed Reno II

The weather for the past two months has been cool and mixed. After cleaning up the garden, I kept myself busy with phase two of the COVID shed renovation. In this photo you can glimpse a window and door inside the greenhouse. Under the overhang roof I built shelves for large items that used to be stored inside the shed.

Besides the door and windows, the big improvement was covering the last outside wall and the inside surfaces with sheathing plywood. Not only does it look better, it provides convenient surfaces for hanging tools.

Things are not completely well organized but I am very satisfied with the result. It was a great opportunity to sort everything that was in the shed and discard the junk that will never get used.

The project was fun and it involved creative problem solving as I progressed. Above is an example; I framed this opening to facilitate the construction and cut panels to seal it up, but it is quite convenient and have decided to add a screen door for summer use. The opening is non-standard and thus a custom screen door is my next project.

Back to Winter

We travelled to Garden Bay on February 22 and it was a very long day. We are both happy to be home, earlier than usual as Aimeé is anxious to renew her permanent resident card. As you can see from the weather forecast, it is still winter although signs of spring abound in the garden. As weather permits I will work on cleaning up the garden in preparation for the coming season.

Isla Mujeres

We just returned from our beach break in Isla Mujeres Jan. 16-24. We had mixed weather with rain and wind, clouds and sun, and a fairly constant temperature of 27C. That suited us fine as Cancun can be unbearable hot with searing sunshine. The photo above shows both Playa Norte and Playa Centro, which are truly beautiful and excellent for swimming. Playa Norte is better as it doesn’t suffer from boat traffic and offers some shade most of the day.

I visited Isla Mujeres for a day in the early 80’s and don’t remember much, but I’m sure it has changed radically in 40 years. I would say a ruined paradise as the development attracts hoards of people, the prices are high, and the feel of the downtown core is very modern. The laid-back side of the island still exists but requires exploring to encounter. We stayed in a low-end Airbnb at the south end of el Centro, a great location with the necessary comforts.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, especially the natural beauty and excellent beaches.

Late Adopter

About two years ago Aimeé was given an XBOX 360 system. I was dead set against the idea but turned out that she had always wanted to play video games. At first I was a reluctant observer but Aimeé persuaded me to try some games, nothing interesting until she started playing Assassin’s Creed II.

Up until this late stage of life I had avoided video games because I considered them time wasters. Back in the late 70’s I played some text-based adventure games and found them addictive, so for me the best life strategy was to ignore the whole industry.

According to recent datathe gaming industry is now making more money than the music and movie industries combined.

I was very impressed with Assassin’s Creed II: the graphics, the sound, the story, the game-play; and I played happily for hours, especially while Aimeé was in Mexico this summer. In October here in Guanajuato we bought the latest generation XBOX system and the Assassin’s Creed Ezio Collection, which comprises three games.

As of early December I had finished all three games as I have lots of free time in Mexico. Choosing the next game required research. I liked everything about Assassin’s Creed except for the violence, which is pervasive in video games. I decided on The Talos Principle and will have finished that game very soon.

I need a break from gaming as I feel the weight and guilt of playing so much, but finding the next game to play is on my to-do list. Not only am I a late adopter of video games, I was unaware of the demographic trend of video gaming for seniors and its benefits for healthy aging.

Sunny Guanajuato

We have been in Guanajuato one month now. Besides the good weather we have enjoyed Cervantino, Día de Muertos, and a three week visit by Blair & Jennifer. CineClub resumed yesterday with the start of the French Film Festival and the OSUG concerts have also returned. There will be lots of entertainment available until the end of the year. Aimeé is busy with family and personal projects, including driving lessons.

Aimeé’s Car

Aimeé is the proud new owner of this 2013 Smart ForTwo car. Its small size, automatic transmission, and cute looks make it the perfect car for her to learn to drive. It came with lots of little problems that I am enjoying fixing.

The Ford Escape that I ordered arrived in BC on August 14 and I eagerly awaited its arrival at the car dealership in Sechlet. One month later I still did not have an ETA due to local transport issues in the industry. Besides the uncertain deliver time that threatened to exceed the time of our return to Mexico this year, I was disappointed by the market’s valuation of my Jeep Patriot . These negatives allowed me to realize that the new car was not the best option for Aimeé, so I cancelled the order and helped her purchase her own vehicle.

We will be flying to Mexico on October 16.

Another Painting Project

Aimeé has gone to Guanajuato for six weeks for a plethora of reasons and I am taking the opportunity to paint the living room. I took me two days to remove all the furniture and cover the floor. Moving my 500 lb piano by myself while protecting the hardwood was an interesting puzzle. Today was my first day of surface preparation. While I like making progress, I am not enjoying the work.

The new car is scheduled for production on July 26. The Jeep is still available and its sale will be more feasible once I have an ETA for the new car.

New Car

I have a new Ford Escape Platinum Hybrid on order. Today I was informed of a scheduled build date of July 31 so I hope to take delivery early September. These are different times where there is little inventory on the lot, limited production and dealer allocation, and we are happy to pay MSRP.

My 2016 Jeep Patriot has only 51,000 km and is in excellent shape, a great used car for the right buyer. The Ford dealer has offered a low trade-in price so I am trying to sell the Jeep privately. The sales manager said it would be difficult to sell because it has FWD manual transmission but I am encouraged by the responses so far to my ads.

The primary reason for getting a new car now is to have automatic transmission for Aimeé to drive. She wants to learn and I think the latest safety features on the new car will help us both. I have to admit that I am attracted to all the latest technology as well.