Thursday, July 31, 2008


How hard is it? Why is it so hard for some people to give up a place in the line at the supermarket? Why can't they let the car in the other lane get in front of theirs? Are the two seconds you'll lose really going to make a huge difference? What is it about some people that just won't allow themselves to be courteous?

Courtesy is contagious, and if somebody gives you some try to pay it forward. Courtesy is something you can give plenty of and best of all it's free, it won't cost you a dime. And it will give you a feeling of satisfaction that cannot be bought.

Have you extended some courtesy to someone lately? Have you made someone smile? I would love to hear your stories if you care to share.

Yesterday I took my mom to The Ranch Market here in Phoenix. This markets have been so successful and are usually packed with people, on Wednesday the have their weekly produce sale and you can rest assured that if you go it will be packed regardless of what time of day it is.

My mom only had about half a cart full of groceries, nothing major but the guy standing behind me only had four items, there was no short checkout line at all. If the person behind me has a few things I will only let them get in front of me so I instructed him to go ahead and place his things on the conveyor belt. He said thank you as he passed me, he said thank you as he put his things on the conveyor belt, then he said thank you again as his things were being bagged and as he left he said thank you yet one more time and also good bye.

Darn, that made me feel good, I got four "thank yous" and a "goodbye" out of a stranger only for letting him get in front of me, not a bad trade off if you ask me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stimulus Money

Remember that so awaited check sent to us by the government to inject back into our economy. The infamous stimulus check. Well mi chica and I decided this is where it was to go. So I am showing you some "before" and "after" images of our backyard.



And today they started on the front walkway of our house. I liked how the backyard came out so I told mi chica we needed to make it match. It should be ready by Saturday. I'll show you later the end result.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 11 Cuernavaca

Day Eleven from our Mexico trip.
Part Two

Was it 5:00 p.m., maybe close to six, I don't really know. All I know is that we finally made it to Cuernavaca. I soon found out that to go from point A to point B in Cuernavaca takes a long time. It's unbelievable the amount of traffic that goes through those one lane streets.

Our friends knew we were coming and were waiting for us. As we entered their gorgeous home we were greeted by the smell of food. You have to understand that we had been on the road and by this time the barbacoa and tinga tacos were long gone.

It was a 180 turn compared to Santa Maria, Pilcaya, Tetipac, etc. Here we got a bit of the good life. See the story goes like this, back in the early 70's one of my sisters went to high school and met this guy whom she brought home and immediately he became friends with the whole family. My parents loved him as he was a nice centered individual that they knew could be trusted.

Soon after their graduation, he decided to go back to Mexico as he now was able to speak English, he thought he would have it easier there. One morning I received a phone call from him asking me if I could let him use my car for the day and also if I could pick him up from the airport.

Of course my answer was yes so off I went to the airport to pick him up. We had breakfast there while we said hi and caught up on the goings on and I finally asked him what was he doing there? It had been at least a couple of years since he had left Los Angeles and his visit to me was surprising. I thought maybe he was coming back to L.A.

He then told me that he was actually at work, I still didn't know what he meant and he just laughed and said, "I am working for the airline, I have become a steward".

After this his first visit, many followed only he never called me for my car anymore as he now rented one at the airport. It was during one of these visits that my sister (not the one that went to school with him) asked him if he and his mom could become her daughter's godfathers. This is how he had now become more a part of our family.

Fast forward to our current Mexico trip tale. Is is this friend, and his sister, along with his mom and a friend that picked us up at the airport in Mexico City, and now we were to spend the last three days of our vacation at their house.

Going back to the food, they had cooked the most delicious chicken stew that was literally finger licking good. They went all out in setting up the table, and making sure that we enjoyed our meal.

As he is now retired, he lives of his pension while still being young enough to enjoy life. His tales of going downtown in the morning and meeting all his friends (also retired) there for coffee get from the funny to the outrageous, as he puts it, "we are a bunch of retired people with too much time on our hands".

Right after dinner, his sister comes in and tells us to come out. She found this kids that were playing a marimba and brought them into the patio. For the next hour we enjoyed marimba music as they played every song we requested.

My mom listening...

To this guys play.

I found this marimba music over at youtube, this is a good sample of what we listened on that night. Don't mind the commercial at the end.


After a long tiring day and to finish up a great night, he treated us to a movie in his living room. At first I thought it was going to be boring but he kept saying that we would really like it. "Elsa and Fred" the story of two souls that met too late but lived more than they had lived up to that point in their lives. The caption on the box reads, "It takes time to become young". The movie is in Spanish with subtitles but it's totally worth watching. We liked it so much that my sister and I bought our own copies. I highly recommend it.

Click Here for youtube trailer.

Remember in Santa Maria I was sharing a room with my tios. Well in Cuernavaca I got a room for myself complete with restroom and shower. Ahhhh! Welcome back to civilization.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 11

Day Eleven from our Mexico trip.
Part One

With this picture we said good bye to tia Alfonsa and to Santa Maria. From left to right, tio Eliseo, my niece Maryita, tia Alfonsa, my sister Elena, then the coolest of them all namely me, tia Ofelia and last but not least my mom.

Day eleven of our trip was emotional because we had to say goodbye to those tios and tias that we hadn't seen in so many years. But we had spent ten glorious days with them and we had gathered many memories that will stay with us for many years to come. During these ten days we visited five or six different towns and we saw many relatives, we said "hi" to the ones we knew and "nice to meet you" to the ones we had never met before.

Here, tia Alfonsa poses in her little convenience store. A small store like this will never make her independently wealthy but will allow her and her husband to have a decent life. Stores like this in a town like Santa Maria are few and far. Her store is a blessing for the town as it is very well stocked.

Tio Eliseo told us that the trip back to Cuernavaca would take almost four hours and that he was taking a different route that would take us to the small town of Tenansingo where we could make last minute purchases, and also to see yet another beautiful church.

In Tenansingo we found another jewel of a church. This one just like the one in Sacualpilla was a sanctuary and you could also go all the way up to where the image of the Holy Patron is displayed. The church was so beautiful it showed signs of being remodeled while still keeping it's original integrity. I went shutter crazy here too as I took lots of pictures.

Tio Eliseo is not an architect and yet he has built some houses from the ground up. He built this beautiful house in Piedras Negras and lived there for a few years. Now that they decided to move back to Santa Maria he left the house to his son and his wife. The two story house comes complete with a convenience store too.

While I didn't have a picture of his house I did managed these of the convenience store.

There in Piedras Negras we decided to have lunch. My tio's neighbour has a small restaurant and the tacos there were really good too. They advertise the barbacoa but to me the tinga tacos were way better, not to mention hot, hot, hot. I had to drink a beer to put out the fire left by the tinga. They are conveniently located right next to the highway so small businesses like these see a lot of traffic.

, a lively, tangy stew made up of pork, chorizo, tomatoes and chipotles.

Pictures borrowed form the internet.

I took this picture from the roof of my tio's house. Notice how close the highway is.

Once we were on full stomachs we decided to continue on our trip to Cuernavaca. Tio Eliseo only had one more stop planned. Ten minutes from his Piedras Negras house you will find a canyon of astonishing beauty. The impresive view is second to none, granted a Grand Canyon it's not but it's so beautiful never the less.

If you suffer from High Anxiety then you don't want to even get out of the car. You can literary stand at the edge of the abyss, really one false move and you can sing "good bye cruel world" because it will be a long fall down. While they do have some safe view points where you can stand behind a fence made of stones, we dared to take a peek they way the locals do it. Maryita asked tio Eliseo to hold her hand while leaning forward. Me I took a quick peek too and the adrenaline rush just made my entire body tingle with anticipation of what could happen should we slip.

This place was beautiful, way at the bottom the Balsas river (I believe that's the name) runs and suddenly dissapears as from that point on the river continues under the mountain as an under ground river.

This image was taken from the very edge, see the river running way at the bottom of the canyon.

Here my sister Elena says, "That's close enough for me" while tio Eliseo shows us that in order to lean safely you can put a foot out front while the other foot remains back, this way when you lean your body forward you'll keep some balance. I just think it's pretty insane but we had to do it. lol

Non daredevil smart people will stand behind this protective stone fence and will fully take in nature's beauty.

And these images show what you can see beyond that fence. Isn't it beautiful?

We saw so much on this day that I couldn't possibly do it in one post. As we reached our destination in Cuernavaca the second part of the day was just as interesting and fun. Stay tunned for that soon. For those of you that are bored to tears with these, don't despair only three more days are left... except knowing me I'll continue to blog about it for a long time to come, he he he!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenteen, eleventeen, twelveteen, thirteen, fourteen… Yeap, I will hear that a lot tomorrow as we have our mid-year inventory at work. I hated inventories until I came to this company. Here each team is assigned a shelf and the most it should take any given team to count their shelf should be around 45 minutes. Prior to counting everything must come off the shelves so they can be cleaned. All products are dusted as it is placed back on the shelves and that is that. It's a simple, and fast task. And for our troubles they'll buy pizza for the whole company. Doesn't that sound like fun?


Last night, I took another great bike ride. This time I expanded the ride distance. I have to ride at night because the afternoon is just way too hot. Actually, even at night is way too hot but at least you don't have the sun hitting you. This was the second day I rode and I was expecting to be like in total pain this morning, but I actually feel great. I think I'm riding again tonight.


I've been wanting to show you where our stimulus money from the government refund went but I haven't had a chance. I will post something next week for sure. It was totally worth the moulla.


Has anyone been following "So You Think You Can Dance"? Wow! This show is to dancing what American Idol is to singing and this season the dancers are all great. I have been saying that the girls were the stronger performers but there are some guys there that have shown that they are true contenders. My top three girls in no particular order would be Chelsi, Courtney, and Katee. And the top guys to me are Will and Joshua. I personally pick Joshua over Will but with the girls I would like to declare a three-way tie.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beach Cruiser

I know now my bike is a Huffy.

You all may remember that I used to walk during my lunch hour. It used to be a nice two mile 35-minute walk around my work but here in Arizona and specifically in Phoenix all of a sudden is like the city remembers that it's charm and personality reflects in being a desert and when the three digit temperatures make it's appearance walking at noon is pretty much out of the question.

About a year ago I was at my father in law's house and I noticed he had a nice bike hanging from the wall just gathering dust. I always meant to ask him if he used it and finally last week I did. He said, he was not using it, he bought it because it was nicely priced and thought he may use it but the truth was it had been hanging there unused.

I offered to buy it but he said that I could have it if I wanted it. He said it had a flat tire but other than that the bike was in excellent condition. So, last Sunday he brought it to me and let me tell you this bike is pretty awesome. I have no idea if it is old or new but the look of it is pure classic beach cruiser. (Since I am in Phoenix I'll dub it Desert Cruiser)

I had my son in law fix it the following day and when I came home I took it for a spin. I was totally surprised to find out that even though the bike has only one speed it goes pretty fast. The seat is super comfortable and I get absolutely no pain on my knees. The beach cruiser bars are positioned high enough that again the ride is very enjoyable and I am going to make it a point to ride almost every night around the neighborhood for at least half an hour if not more.

One of the reasons I like riding a bike and wonder why I don't do it more often is that I get so see and appreciate what’s around me, landscapes automatically pop up at you and when the bike looks this good I even catch jealous stares. It should save some money if you run small errands and it's fun to ride alone and with the family. One of the biggest effects is that it should keep me fit and healthy. I am really looking forward riding it tonight.

I am hoping to get into shape; I am kindda tired of the current shape I'm in... round.

I do hope I loose some weight riding this bicicle around the neighborhood. Now tell me, is it or isn't it a cool looking bike?

Totally unplanned this bike is pretty similar to the one I saw at Costco last year that I really liked and didn't buy because it was $175.00. If you don't remember that post or are a new reader to my blog then click here to refresh the memory.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Milestone

Pretty soon I will reach another milestone. My blog is only a few visits away from 40,000. I would have never thought I would reach this many and I am just amazed that I actually do have some readers. To me it's not about the quantity or people that visit my blog but the quality, and all of you my friends out there and you all know who you are, thank you once again for coming back over and over again. I wonder who will be my 40,000 visitor?


And the winner was... drumroll please!


From dysFunctional

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 10

So close and yet so far. I mean I should be done with this trip a long time ago and yet I am only on day ten. By the way, I have added pictures to my previous post. If you care to scroll down go and check them out.

On this occasion mi tio asked me if I wanted to go with them to Pilcaya. You may remember Pilcaya from day three. My mom, sister, and niece decided to stay and take a much needed rest. Until this day we had been out every single day and when I was given to option to stay and rest or come with, I decided for the later.

The government was selling roof sheets for a super low price and the plan was to take advantage of the price and buy a few, but as usual if the government is involved it's not an easy task. In any case, I walked around town with my cousins and ate some more of those wonderful fried taquitos that they sell over there.

I was introduced to some more people that turned to be my relatives and even met cousins I didn't know I had. All the while taking pictures like crazy. Up to this day the weather had been nice, it had been somewhat hot during the days and humid at night but on this particular day, the sky got angrily gray and we knew that soon we would have heavy rains.

I took a picture towards Santa Maria where it had already been raining. It was decided to cut the day short as the roads to Santa Maria are very dangerous without rain, so can you imagine how the get with rain. It didn't take but a few minutes after we left town when the rain caught up to us and in a matter of seconds we couldn't see past a few yards in front of us.

All of my cousins had ridden in the back of a mini truck coming to town but going back we all got into my uncles pick up truck, I think it's safe to say we resembled a can of sardines. Going down the cliff, we were afraid that the dirt would avalanche and cover the road, a previous rain a month back had done that and for two days no one could drive through.

Luckily it didn't, we got all the way down to the river and cross the bridge one car at a time. To go up the bridge and then up the cliff took some experienced driving. The trucks would fishtail and the wheels spun in the mud but none of us got stuck. It took us longer than normal but thank God we got home in one piece. It turned out to be quite an adventure. The rain however left as fast as it came and later that day we got more visitors.

My cousin Migue knowing how much I like rabbit had a neighbour of his cook one and he and his family brought it over. We all feasted on it and let me tell you it did not disappoint. It was delicious. Tio Nacho another of my dad's brothers also showed up if only for a little while. I was just happy we were able to see him as he lives in Morelos some four hours away. I thought it was nice he took the time to come and visit.

This was the last day we spent in Santa Maria as the following day we were going back to Cuernavaca to spend the last three days there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 8

On this day my aunt and uncle decided to take us to a special place. In the tiny but beautiful town of Sacualpilla you'll find a sanctuary that is said to be visited all year long by the faithful people in need of a miracle.

To get there we had to go up the mountain in a very narrow dirt road that people here would only take if they had a four wheel drive truck. However my uncle showed me some skills as he maneuvered the tight curves and inclines with experience and ease.

As if by magic as soon as we reached the top of the mountain the road was totally paved, it was like entering a totally different place. The houses were beautiful and some were really big. However the streets were empty, only once in a while you would see someone walking by. I was later told by my uncle that most of the men from there were here in the U.S. most of them working the fields. As most of them intend to go back to Mexico they are building themselves this fabulous houses.

When we finally arrived to the sanctuary I was expecting a small chapel but to my surprise it was just as big as a church. People were working on the roof as a restoration is taking place.

Upon entering the sanctuary we noticed how beautiful and clean it was. As you walked in you would notice that there is an image in a glass cage and you can go up to visit by using a set of stairs that will take you up there. Many people come here and offer a manda, in other words it's a promise they will keep if the saint will grant them the miracle.

The poeple here may not have tons of money to offer but with all their heart they'll write a heartfelt thank you note, draw an image then frame it in a simple frame and bring it here to give thanks. They still have to fulfill their "manda". Their promise God.

There is no shortage in faith here, there is a room full of offerings taken there by people that are grateful as their miracles took place. It's amazing to see and read the amount of thank you notes as people whom were very ill had been cured and people that had operations healed very well.

Miracles do happen, all you need a little faith and the belief that God has no limits.

View from the inside looking out.

Some more images taken from the surrounding areas of the sanctuary.
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