This is Bistek al la Mexicana a common dish found many places. There are several places I get this some better than others but all real decent! Kind of a tomato based sauce with generally pretty tender pieces of beef and a fair amount of it. The rice is pretty generic but the frijoles can be something else. This also includes as many fresh made in front of you tortillas you want and brought to you with a smile. Something like this costs around 50-60 pesos or $3. The squeezed as you watch orange juice is 20 and brings the price up a bit but worth it. Nothing in the States I've ever had compares to this not even close plus it'll cost 7-10 smacks. I don't know what I'm going to eat when I return. It will be an adjustment as I do this so much that is go into Puerto Vallarta on the south side and have me a excellent lunch with "real" Mexican food not the slop I get back there. I do not plan on eating out much at all only at maybe three select places. Pricey yes but worth it because it's so good. I threw away so much money last summer eating way overpriced shitty food. Several times the food got thrown away as well. The whole of Mexico is an eating machine I tell you. I'm gonna miss this.

I feel good and and think the higher temps and humidity contributes to that. It's the same every time. After a month or two you realize and say " Hey I feel pretty damn good!"

Just as important I believe the food made fresh with wholesome fresh ingredients as well contributes to that. Get off the bus in town the food smells everywhere make me hungry just like that.


Old Friends Are Back

I swear these flowers spring up overnight some times. Columbines are my favorite flower. I specifically looked in this spot no less than two days ago for the first of the year and there were none. You can't help but feel better when walking through fields of columbines and other wild flowers. It amazes me how many there can be at times.


  1. Those are beautiful flowers! It looks like you live in a paradise.

  2. It is a perfect climate but not during the winter. 440" last year on the mountain and I hate winter.

    When I first arrived 17 years ago someone told me you put up with the winter to enjoy the rest of the year.

  3. Another nice pic. My internet service provider just restored service a bit before 5PM today - been out since June 11. Some company idiot had all their equipment in a basement three blocks from the river and it got exposed to several feet of water at street level here in Cedar Rapids. I called them this morning to see if they had a restoration date set and learned they moved to the fourth floor. Better late than never.
    I'm a big fan of columbines too. The native ones here in Iowa are cream and red. I'd sure like to swap you some seeds - the blue & white are really nice!

  4. Jeg-good to hear from you. You are in the thick of the shit for sure. I have enabled my e-mail in the profile because if you have any stories you want shared get ahold of me as I'd like to hear something from there.

    Spoke to my brother who lives in Warsaw,IL yesterday who told two grain elevators just collapsed into the river and that a levee failed that is flooding what is called the "Warsaw Flats" thousands of acres of farmland along the Mississippi.This is not over by any means.

    Do not remember ever seeing a columbine in Iowa. The pictures are of wild ones and would try to collect some seeds for you.

  5. The cream and red columbines we have came from wild seed here in Iowa. I first saw them in NE Iowa near several trout streams and later found them in several state parks in the east central area of the state. They re-seed themselves readily but aren't a dependable perennial here. Be glad to send you some.
    Don't have much personal about the flood (we were high and dry and stayed home with our heads down) but here are a few. . .
    1) wife missed a half day's work due to leaving to come home at noon 6/11 - before I-30 was closed east of the north-south I-380. Really wasn't critical as I-30 didn't close until later the next day, but I was glad to see her home.
    2) We had a corn silo fail too - spilled corn derailed a railroad car or several.
    3) Two rants: There were mandatory evacuations that were not touched by flood waters that had electricity shut off by the power company. Before those folks could return to their homes and have electrical power restored, city government stated that each home owner would be required to have a "licensed electrical contractor" inspect the home, then have the city electrical inspector do another inspection, and if the city inspection was passed, the city inspector would inform the power company to restore power. Can't imagine either inspection to be free.
    Many house boats broke away from their moorings (some sank or partially sank at their moorings) due to the sudden high water and floated down river to end up checked by a railroad bridge just above the downtown area. The aerial photos I saw on local TV showed them - I counted more than fifteen (heard the count of over twenty) in the brief clips, some damaged, some not. Local TV stated that fire department(?) officials were preventing all owners from any attempts to move their house boats away from the bridge during the flood - even with professional help and equipment. I'm sure unnecessary damage was caused by this "safety" rule - I haven't seen any follow up report.
    4) The exact river level was unavailable for two days at the height of the rising flood because the water level rose above the official USGS river gage at Cedar Rapids.
    5) Selfishly, I'm really pissed only about the loss in the main branch of the city library downtown - a block from the river. No timely warning of the potential height of the coming flood and thus no time to move many books out of danger.
    6) As far as I know we suffered no deaths directly caused by the high water but the clean up is a massive job even in this one area. The loss of one's "things" - either partial or completely is a shattering blow which no amount of insurance will ever replace - and many had no insurance.
    7) No official word if any of the destroyed homes or commercial property owners would be prevented from rebuilding in the same location.
    8) What tiny section of flood levy that exists in the area was a joke and was over-topped early. There is no room available to build a levy system that would prevent another flood of equal or greater level from repeating the damage in the future.
    As you well know, flood damage is one of the most simple events to avoid yet is perhaps the most often repeated. The vast majority of people affected by floods foolishly ignore the threat or have no clue what living in a 100 year flood plain means. I've said it before, I'm sorry for their loss, but pretty short on sympathy.
    Take care.