Thursday, September 10, 2009

making a list -- checking it twice

In just over a week, I will be heading north to replace my long-lost Oregon driver's license, and to participate in the grand opening of a Salvation Army facility in Salem.

During the two weeks I will be in Oregon, I hope to catch up on lost socializing time. Most of my time for the two weeks I will be there is already booked.

But one thing I need to do is to put together a list of items to bring back to Mexico.

This is one of those perennial blog topics. What do you miss most in Mexico? After being here for only five months, I will have the luxury of schlepping some of my favorite things back to Mexico.

I am not yet done with it, but this is my first draft.

  • sandals -- my good pair literally disintegrated in the heat and humidity (something from Rockport, I think -- and not like the photograph above)

  • deck shoes -- my faithful pair are so torn that they collect sand and biting insects

  • casual shirts -- I brought a large stack; every shirt is now torn or spotted with bleach, oil, or grime; Mexico is not kind to clothing

  • head lamp -- not for the truck, for me; one of those hiker-style lights to let me read at night

  • camera and associated paraphernalia -- something with a big zoom, probably a Panasonic FZ38

  • Samuel Adams: A Life -- by Ira Stoll

  • The Rogue's March: John Riley and the Saint Patrick's Battalion, 1846-48 -- by Peter F. Stevens (as part of my research on how the neighboring village, San Patricio, got its name)

  • Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the war in the West, 1941-1945 -- by Andrew Roberts

  • Eat This Book: A Conversation in Spiritual Reading -- by Eugene H. Peterson

  • Driving Like Crazy -- by P.J. O'Rourke (there is no way I will miss reading another O'Rourke book -- especially after it gets an outstanding review from Florence King)

  • DEET in travel size containers

  • battery charger (my wireless keyboard -- thanks to the briny air -- is eating two AA batteries every 6 or 7 days)

  • AA batteries (I still need them when I travel)

  • FrontLine (for Jiggs -- tick and flea medicine)

  • shampoo (a bow to vanity and marketing)

It is a short list. Some things I can get in Mexico -- at increased costs. The camera is an example. I can buy it here for almost 75% more than I will pay in The States. For some reason, my Polo shirts are extremely expensive, as well.

I will not find the deck shoes or sandals I want in Mexico. Simply not here. That surprises me. But I had some problem with deck shoes in Salem, as well. That is why they have not yet been replaced.

And I suspect the list is not going to grow much. I have been able to find substitutes for almost everything I need. Other wants, I have merely jettisoned.

I am taking a small carry-on north -- enough for my laptop and a change of clothes. I have a large suitcase I can bring south to carry my booty.

In October I will return with my new driver's license, and it will be as if I had never been parted from my wallet.

Even better. I will have more O'Rourke to read.

And, Jennifer. If you lived on the beach, I could lend it to you.


Anonymous said...

I am excited for you. We are having beautiful weather here in Oregon now. Who will be taking care of Mr. Jiggs? He will miss you.

Inmigrante Rentista said...

Put me down for a case or two of each:

Bush’s Baked Beans, large and small cans (assorted styles)
Hormel Tamales, Beef in Chili Sauce
Beaver Brand Extra Hot Horseradish (Prepared Grated Horseradish Roots)
ICB Root Beer (four cases)
Polident Denture Cleanser Tablets, Overnight or 3 – 5 minute

Please check your email accounts prior to your return for any add-ons I may have forgotten.

DanaJ said...

"Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the war in the West, 1941-1945 -- by Andrew Roberts"

Steve, thanks for the great reading tip! I checked Houston Public Library online, and they have it and are shipping it to my local branch for pick up!

Here's my tip to you.
Bring a woman back with you from up Oregon way!
Happy trails,

Calypso said...

We are here completing our list of things to bring back to Mexico. Yesterday a milestone in that quest - a new computer for our stuck truck - hopefully that will get it going.

S very different list here and more stuff as we are driving out Jetta back.

Two 24" tv/monitors, 1 terabyte outboard drive, shoes, shirts and three new pairs of blue jeans etc.
Oh and I am going back with social security payments secured as of November ;-)

No special food stuff?

Christine said...

Wak! Does that mean no blogs until you get back? I might go into withdrawal.

Anonymous said...

i too am wondering about jiggs. also, you must not like peanut butter because that is an item that i have found on quite a few others' lists.

well, the big day is under 24 hours away. at 5:00 a.m. we will be bussed from our hotel to the opening ceremonies-that's early even for me. then two nights of tenting and 3 days of walking and i will be exhausted. i already told steve i want pizza on sunday night. this will be a fun and emotional weekend and one i wouldn't miss for anything.

thank you again for your very generous support and again i ask for your prayers and good wishes.


Chrissy y Keith said...

I recall you pining away after real popping corn.
Also, if you find the Book, The Bear and the Porcupine, I think you will really enjoy it.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

Kinda curious about some of your choices, but maybe things are more expensive down your way.

I buy well made polo polo shirts here for around $90. We use Frontline and it's much less expensive here than up north; around $75 for dogs between 20 and 40 kilo.

Think about a camera that takes AA batteries, then you don't have to worry about finding and paying for an oddball special. If you can even find it. Been there, done that. Also, rechargable batteries and their chargers are much less expensive here than up north. Two AAs seems about right; more than two and the camera is too heavy.


Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- Jiggs will be staying with his veterinarian in Manzanillo. He will not even notice that I am gone.

Imigrante Rentista -- I wonder if a shipping container can be used as carry-on luggage?

DanaJ -- Jiggs objects to any new companions in the house.

Calypso -- The last time I tried to bring food stuff through the Puerto Vallarta airport, customs confiscated everything -- including my bag of potato chips from the airplane. But you have reminded me that I need another backup drive. My passport drive is just not muscular enough for the task.

Christine -- If all goes well, I will continue to blog from the north. I suspect my writing will be cooler.

Teresa -- You have my prayers. I thought about this event as I was leafing through your dictionary gift last night. No peanut butter for me. Don't care for it -- or peanuts in general. Not to my taste. Jiggs should be fine. Last night I thought today would be his last. But he has had another great recovery.

Chrissy -- Thank you for reminding me about the book. I forgot to add it to the list. I have found some good popping corn down here. Now I need a heat source strong enough to pop it properly.

IreneAdler said...

You won't need an air conditioner or fans to help you sleep in Oregon, the evenings have been cooling off to the mid-50s for the last two weeks or so. It's almost time to get out the fleece jackets. What is the weight limit on luggage these days, books are heavy (not just figuratively). Can you order books from Amazon or is mail service not reliable in your town?

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you're making good use of the dictionary. thank you for the prayers. sorry to hear that jiggs is continuing to have problems but i'm grateful he recovered from his difficulties last night.


Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- I can get a good selection of genuine Polos for about $39 up north. That is worth bringing them back. I did not check on battery chargers here; I will. I need to take Jiggs to Manzanillo. He is having another bad spell. But Frontine (the brand I use; I am not certain why I said Advantage) is much cheaper at my northern vet. I may look around for that, as well, while I am in Manzanillo. Thanks for reminding me about the camera's battery capacity. I forgot to check on that. The Panasonic FZ35 uses a Li-ion battery with a charger. Something to ponder.

IreneAdler -- If only I could bring Jiggs back to Oregon. But the flight would be far too rough on him for such a short visit. It is theoretically possible to get books from Amazon. But the logistics are a bit tricky. I simply stick the books in my carry-on where there is no weight restriction -- yet.

Teresa -- The dictionary has saved my tocino more than once.

Anonymous said...

Proper people say "I could LEND it to you."

But you said "LOAN".

(This is your 8th grade English teacher speaking to.)

A. N. Moose

Steve Cotton said...

ANM -- Indeed, I did. But the record has been amended. Along with my odd "Advantage" error. If I dove into the ocean, I am certain you would be there to remind me I am not a small bird; because I would have dived into the ocean. You could go on marming me like that all day.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

Steve - My numbers were in pesos. Given the exchange rate this morning, I've never seen Frontline up north for a large dog (80 lbs)at $5.50 USD.

Sorry about the shirts. I was talking polo-style, not the Polo brand. I think my tastes have relaxed in the last three years.

Good luck on your trip. All of us will watch out for Jiggs.


jennifer rose said...

You might save room for a stash of Tide to go sticks. They're sold at Superama here, but at twice the price as in the US.

Candied ginger dipped in dark chocolate.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

Have a really great trip. On the drive back from our trips nob I always start making my list for the next trip (which I hope does not occur too soon). FYI Bill had his WA drivers license renewed and sent to him here in Alamos, did car tabs that way as well. Maybe we were lucky? But they both came within the month after ordering them.

Croft said...

Batteries were responsible for most of our frustrations in Mexico the first winter. They are very hard to find, especially good ones and are very expensive! Last year I stocked up before we left the USA and this year I bought a dozen rechargeable AA's to take down. Now I just have to remember to buy a box of size D for the short wave radio.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

What day do you get into Salem and where should we go for dinner? It is another beautiful day here in Salem...not too hot...not too cold...

Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- You are correct. That is inexpensive, but I have never seen it with that price at my veterinarian. And that may be the issue.

Jennifer Rose -- What I need is something that will fix bleach spots. Either that or I start dressing in tennis whites -- and that will last about an hour.

Linda Lou -- Oregon was the last state to join the the "are your papers in order?" driver's license law. Washington implemented it years ago. As a result, I need to show up in person. When I lose it again now, I will be able to get it replaced by mail.

Croft -- I wll bring a Costco pack or two of AAs back along with my new charger. If I do not find a chargher in Manzanillo.

Cynthia -- I get into Salem around 2 AM on 20 September. I will get in touch with you.

Anonymous said...

saved your tocino, that game me a good chuckle ;-)


Anonymous said...

Get a Kindle and the issue of picking and bringing books goes away. K books cost about 40% less than HB or P books. Keep getting your magazines and newspapers however you get them now. The Kindle makes reading faster and more pleasant and comfortable.

Whose leg is that??? I think I recognize it....

Anonymous said...

Here's my 2 pesos on your battery problem. I had a similar problem with a wireless mouse. Problem? It was "on" all the time, even though it was only used a couple hours a day.

Solution? Unplug the USB jack that goes into the computer, and snap it back into the mouse when done. That turns it off. I haven't replaced a battery in months. Your keyboard may have a similar solution.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we are delighted to see you aren't planning to ship back a bunch of dubious gringo junk food like pop-tarts.

Arnie B said...

Can I make one suggestion:

Columbia outlet store in Lincoln City.

Durable clothing materials that are made for the outdoors plus a very good shoe/sandal collection. At a fraction of retail.

All my fishermen relatives/amigos love it when I bring Columbia down. I never tell them what I paid though........let them think they are wearing a $90 shirt or $100 shoes.

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- Customized just for you.

Anonymous -- The Kindle fascinates me. But not while I am dealing with the briny air on the coast.

Kim -- For a conventional system that would work. I have a laptop stand with the antenna for the keyboard and mouse in the stand. No USB antenna to stow. Good idea, though. Wrong technology.

Arnie B -- Good suggestion. There is also a Columbia outlet store in Woodburn. In fact, two pairs of shorts I ruined with bleach spots came from there. I will pay it a visit. My deck shoes are Columbia. Some of the best I ever owned.