The Journey to Casa Madera – Technology and useless twits….

A couple of months ago our Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/CasaMadera started to get likes from a lot of people we did not know.  We have found over time that this does happen sometimes but we can generally follow the trail as to how they found us.  A friend, relative or a surfer who saw a picture of great looking food.

This time we could not discern where they came from.  However, we liked seeing the amount of likes go up higher so we did not think too much about it.

We are not techies.  I have enough computer intelligence to get by but if things go south I am screwed.

I had just arrived back in Canada at the beginning of September for a visit when Heather, who was still at home, let me know that people were not able to access our website.  They were being redirected to either Google or a page full of Malware.  Now there is a great way to get clients!  Infect their computer.

This needed to be fixed.  I went to work and did what I could but it was not much as I had absolutely no idea what the problem was or where to find it.   We contacted our web designer to see what he could do.  He got the page working again and with people clearing their recent history the page was loading and operating correctly.  Yay!

Then last week it was happening again.   This time however I could not even get into the files, it was redirecting so quickly.  I contacted the host who were very helpful and deleted the appropriate files.  The website was working again except for a couple of minor glitches which I could fix.

An hour later, it was redirecting again.  I put in another support request and one more time they cleared the files.  The website is still working correctly but the source files need to be updated.  This involves a lot of stuff that should wear the brain of this useless twit out.   I could ask our tech to do it and pay the fee but I am stubborn.

I have to for the same reason people climb mountains.  Because it’s there.  Technology is not going away and it is Heather’s and my lifeline.  Most of what we do here revolves around the computer.   We look for clients on the computer.  We see the grandchildren on the computer.  We keep in touch with family and friends on the computer.

And for that reason I have to fix the website issue myself.  If I can do it, then it is one hurdle that the technologically challenged (aka useless twits) won over todays youth.  The question is can I get this old brain over the hurdle.

And the questionable Facebook likes, we deleted them all.  I cannot help but figure they were involved in this somehow.

The Journey to Casa Madera – Watching the Olympics!

August 5, 2012 – The skies are greying and the distant sound of thunder reminds us it is still rainy season here at Casa Madera Bed & Breakfast in Nuevo Vallarta.  Last night we had a doozy of a storm.  3 or 4 inches of rain and spectacular lightning.  It takes your breath away watching it and now it looks like we are going get to enjoy it again.

Today we decided to do something different with the blog and Heather has taken the time to put her thoughts into cyberspace.  We hope you enjoy it!

Watching the Olympics – Heather Wood

To say that we have felt removed from “real life” since we moved to Mexico would be an understatement.  We do listen to the daily news on CKUA radio, which gives us the highlights, and honestly that is about all I have ever really been interested in.  I have made it a habit since I began living on my own to not watch the evening news.   Call me silly, but I always felt it emphasized the negative, rather than the positive aspects of the world in which we live.  However, even without my daily dose of  the evening news, I was still able to have an idea of what was going on in the world, thanks to everyday conversations I would have with friends, co-workers and family.

Now, by our choice, we live in a different country whose first language is Spanish, not English.  We can watch the evening news, if we choose, and we can choose to buy several newspapers, in Spanish, at any street corner with a traffic light.  That does not mean that we will be able to understand everything spoken or printed.  Even though our language skills have improved 200% since moving here, we still have a long way to go.  Fully understanding a newspaper article or Television broadcast is still far into our future, I am afraid.

Which is why I was so surprised when my friend who lives in the UK started commenting about the Olympics in her Facebook posts.  I used to take major news events like this for granted.  Things like this were something everyone was talking about on every corner, in every newscast, and it was written somewhere in every newspaper for months leading up to the big event.

Perhaps it is the same way here.  I really don’t know, for reasons already stated.  🙂

I can tell you that we are watching the Olympics daily and that I am having a difficult time picking a country to cheer for.  I am torn.  Of course, I will always cheer for Canada, my homeland and where my heart lies.  But, I have a soft spot for Mexico as well.     I am and always will be, a proud Canadian. I  also remember that  Mexico accepted me and my husband when we decided to experience life away from the 9 – 5.  With that acceptance, comes  a certain pride in my adopted country and its achievements.

I am loving watching the  Olympics and consider myself very lucky that Mexico and Canada will not battle it out for the medal in  all events.

GO TEAM CANADA!!!

Julio, We Told You the Tree had to Come DOWN!

May 27, 2011 – It has been quite the eventful day here at Casa Madera Bed and Breakfast in Nuevo Vallarta.  We have a mirador or in english a lookout tower.  We have always wondered why.  The view is spectacular but really it performs no other use and we are really not sure how they got it built anyway as it seems to break every rule the homeowner’s association has.

Mirador up at the top and the TREE!

The previous owners of the house which became Casa Madera had not kept the maintenance which has required a fair amount of work on our part but that is a story for another day.  Today we are talking about the mirador.  It was in severe need of painting probably about 4 years ago.  It was also something that Heather and I debated about for quite a while.  Do we really want to keep it?  What do we do with it.  Either way it needed paint.

How the heck are we going to do that?  At the top it is 4 stories high.  There are areas that will probably require scaffolding.  Where are we going to get that?  There are areas that are not the easiest to reach even with scaffolding.  Either way we had to do something about it.

So today I had nothing better to do that would pay me money so I decided to paint it.  It was a good idea at the time.  It was cloudy and not too hot so I set up gear and went to work.  What a pain in the butt.  The stucco covering is streaked with gaps that make it extremely difficult to fill with paint.  Oh well it is not perfect but I did the best I could with a pole that could reach 18 feet.

The problem is the sun came out so after 3 hours I had to pack it in.  I had drunk 5 16 ounce glasses of water and a liter is rehydrating liquid (not sport drinks but actual medicinal rehydrater) and was dying up there.  I was half done so I was reasonably happy with what I saw and cleaned everything up.

The rest of the day was to be spent lounging in the pool with a cold beer and a good book.  That was going to be after we went to the print shop to print off a letter for the homeowners association about things that needed to be done to the lot next door and the farm land behind us as we have some tree issues.

I got myself cleaned up and ready to go but Heather was still tweaking the letter so she was not ready.  I sat myself down at the computer to deal with my email and check twitter and Facebook.  About 4 minutes in to that I heard an odd noise.  I did not think much about it as we hear lots of odd noises throughout the day with the various work that goes on throughout the neighbourhood during the day.  I kept reviewing the days events on the computer.

It was then I heard a much louder odd noise that sounded like a crack and then the sound of crumpling metal and breaking glass.  That was enough to get me out of my seat.  I made the 3 steps to the balcony to see the pine tree that we had asked the agricultural engineer from the Homeowner’s association to remove 3 weeks ago lying overtop of our Jeep Grand Cherokee.

ouch!

We were heading to Guadalajara for 5 days to do some shopping, some sightseeing and reconnect with our friend Marco who is living there.  Well so much for that.  Glass was all over the ground, I could see the roof was caved in, we were not going anywhere.

So while Heather called the Homeowner’s association I emailed the hotel, the kennel for the cat, the friends who were taking the dog and Marco to tell them that fate is not allowing us to travel tomorrow.

Once Heather was done with the Homeowner’s association we called our insurance broker, Juan Pablo.  I explained our problem and he said I needed to call the company in my best Spanish and he would call the adjuster and let him know what was happening.

I know we never used air conditioning but it would nice to be able to close the window every once and a while!

My best Spanish is just like my best French so I deferred the call to Heather who is better at it than I am.  She did the report and we went back outside to survey the damage.

While we were on the phone the Tourist Police drove by doing their usual rounds.  They slowed a bit and had quite the look at the car but did not stop.  I found it quite funny when a second set came through about 5 minutes later and again slowed to get a good look but did not stop.  What, were they thinking it was a new accessory?

The best was when the school bus driver brought the boy from down the street home after school.  He dropped the boy off and was coming back, he slowed to an absolute crawl…and then stopped about 30 feet past the house and I am pretty sure got out his phone to take a picture.  He could have backed up we really would not have cared!

It was about 5 minutes later the workers from the Homeowners association showed up.  Looked at the tree and started cutting.  They were then faced with the task of how to get it off the car without damaging the garage door or the palapa.  That was when the insurance adjuster showed up.

The insurance adjuster showed up!  One hour after the tree had fallen the adjuster was at our house.  I was involved in insurance claims for 20 years when Heather and I started this odessy and we always strived for excellent customer service but this was something else!

He looked at the Jeep and told me what was going to happen.  Did I have the policy?  I explained it was in the car as we have been told to do.  Until they moved the tree I could not get it at it.  It was then the workers motioned us over to get the tree out of the way.

One guy on the front end loader and two Fibba (homeowner’s association) workers and the adjuster were on the tree.  They lifted it up enough for me to get into the Jeep and back it out in the street.

No, the Christmas tree should be centered on the roof!

The Fibba men started cutting the rest of the tree up while the adjuster and I looked over the mangled vehicle.  He announced it could be repaired!  Damn.  In Canada it would have been a write off for sure which would have made us both happy.

This is a problem with low labour rates ( we like them everywhere else, our problem I guess).  Oh well.  He wrote the appraisal sheet, told me where to take it.  They would order the parts and it would be repaired, I only had to pay my deductible.  5% of the value of the vehicle.

So tomorrow we will take the car to the repair shop, they can see the appraisal, order the parts and the car will be repaired.

The interesting point in the entire dissertation is that the tree fell at 3:00 pm this afternoon.  The tree was cut and in a pile by our house and the repair order was done by the adjuster by 4:30 pm.

90 minutes.  Unbelievable.  I love this country!