Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday 28th February 2015…..a busy day!!!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record but here it is the last day of the month..the sun is shining and I started my day with breakfast whilst watching a live soccer game from England….the game finished in time for me to get down to the tennis courts for two hours of wonderful tennis always enjoy these mornings.

After tennis I went to help transport Sara and her stuff to her new house sit and then came home.

Made lunch and packed up food and drinks and went to get the kids an we went to the swimming water park they enjoy so…..the weather was perfect and they had a blast!!!!!

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Andreas coming off the slide!!!

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Leonardo getting some air!!!

They were so well behaved and enjoyed the sandwiches and fruit and their juice.  We stopped again at the market on the way home and bought some fruit for them to take home…..they were a delight today!!!!

I called in at my favorite pizza place and took home a nice pizza for supper. 

Now relaxing watching the first of two hockey games…life is good!!!!

 

Enjoy this I did!!!!!

Written by a 90 year old

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you
read to the end!!!!!!
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
..
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It
is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short - enjoy it.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will.
5.Don't buy stuff you don't need.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never
blinks.
16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many
ways.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one
else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an
answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive but don't forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or
didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Yashi Kochi!!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday 27th February 2015….an almost Pearson Day……

Boy the Fridays get here really fast and today the first part of the day was a true Pearson day…..It was lovely sunny and warm and I got packed up and left just after 9am for an eco park on the road to QuerĂ©taro….it was an easy 45 minute drive to the turn off

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It was about 7km up hill

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lovely scenery

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This area is not only a park but also a really nice camping area

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There are many trails to chose and I went on one that gave a great view of the valley

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After my Camino I love it when I see arrows pointing the way!!!

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As I was siting having lunch in the middle of the trail these two couples came by and stopped and talked and one of the ladies said I met you two years on a hike near San Miguel..I had no recollection but she even told me that I had given her the desire to go to the Baja and see the whales and that I had given her my blog site…I still did not remember her but said of course now I remember you…small world!!

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This is the church back in the town

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It was a great day and I was home before 5 o clock in time to get ready to go get Sara and four of her friends to take them to the Botanical gardens to see the migration of the birds..I have seen this before and it is a wonderful sight…enjoy these great shots!!!!

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We were enjoying the sights when the birds arrive and there were hundreds of them….

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It was a great evening!!!

Now home and watching live tennis…had a really wonderful day!!!!

 

Mexico captures Knights Templar drug lord Servando 'La Tuta' Gomez

 

Mexican police say they have captured the country's most wanted drug lord, Servando "La Tuta" Gomez.

Mr Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, was arrested in Morelia in Michoacan state without a shot fired, police officials said.

Previously a school teacher, he became one of Mexico's most powerful drug lords and took control of Michoacan.

His capture is a coup for the government of Enrique Pena Nieto in its fight against the drug cartels.

A police spokesman told local media the arrest followed months of intelligence work in the region.

Police reportedly seized nearby properties in the weeks leading up Mr Gomez's capture and arrested several of his associates.

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Analysis: Katy Watson, BBC News, Mexico City

Police in Mexico City, 27 February

There are lots of theories as to the origin of the nickname La Tuta, but it seems that for most it's just another mystery.

While La Tuta's capture may be a coup for the administration of Enrique Pena Nieto, the fallout in the state of Michoacan is not clear. It is a poor and violent part of the country, the battleground between drugs cartels and vigilantes trying to oust them.

As one security expert told me, this was a man who was not just in charge of a drugs empire, he wanted political power too - and in politics you gain as many enemies as you do friends.

Perhaps that is what led to the net closing in in the end?

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Meth trade

Known by his nicknames "La Tuta" and "El Profe", Mr Gomez ruled over much of Michoacan state as head of the Knights Templar cartel.

"El Profe" refers to his career as a teacher, while theories abound about the origins of "La Tuta".

Mr Gomez evaded capture for years while other senior members of the gang and rival drug lords were captured or killed.

By the time of his arrest, he had a $2 million (£1.3 million) bounty on his head.

Knights Templar was primarily a drug cartel and it controlled a large part of the lucrative methamphetamine trade in western Mexico.

But it was also known for mixing in business and politics in the region and even took effective control over the state's international port, Lazaro Cardenas, making millions of dollars from illegal mining of iron ore.

A federal government offensive in 2013 saw the Pena Nieto administration wrest back control of Michoacan state from the Knights Templar and rival gangs.

As leader of the biggest cartel in the region, Mr Gomez became the prime target of Mr Pena Nieto's crackdown.

The administration has been criticised for failing to tackle the drug gangs, with vigilante groups forming to take on the dealers illegally.

A vigilante stands guard on a bridge during a blockade on a highway near the town of Uruapan in Michoacan state Vigilante gangs formed to combat the drug dealers have also clashed with police

Mr Gomez's arrest comes just over a year after the capture of the country's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Shortly after Guzman's capture, Mexican security forces killed two of Mr Gomez's senior deputies, Enrique "Kike" Plancarte and Nazario Moreno, known as "The Craziest One".

Unlike many rival gang leaders who carefully avoided the limelight, Mr Gomez regularly gave media interviews and railed against the government in Youtube videos.

Mr Gomez began life in the drug trade as an small-time marijuana dealer, before joining a Michoacan gang called La Familia and rising to a senior level. A split in La Familia led him to form Knights Templar.

A father of at least seven, Mr Gomez was also wanted by US authorities in connection with the 2009 murder of 12 Mexican federal police officers.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday 26th February 2015…a good day and a fun evening!!!

Back to the tennis courts this morning for two great hours of fun and exercise I cannot really tell you how much I enjoy these 3  mornings a week starting my days like this..I am so lucky and blessed!!!

I went straight from there to my Spanish lesson and for the first time in weeks the class was wonderful I did not feel overwhelmed and Marysol gave me a hug and high five and said I did really well.

Went to the market and the butchers and spent the afternoon cooking..I now have three frozen meals and dinner for tonight!!!

Then it was time to relax in the sun with my book before I went back to town and to the class room but for a change not my students…..the teacher of level 6 which were my students last year could not attend class and she asked me if I wanted to sub for her so that is where I went.

It was great to see them again and all we did all class was talk and talk and talk…loved seeing them again!!!

Now on the couch tea in hand watching tennis the dinner I made was very tasty…been a week with no cookies or cakes and I don’t really even miss them……..

 

My friend Carol sent me this I enjoyed it so I trust you will too!!!

My Own Life

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

By OLIVER SACKSFEB. 19, 2015

 

 

A MONTH ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver. Nine years ago it was discovered that I had a rare tumor of the eye, an ocular melanoma. Although the radiation and lasering to remove the tumor ultimately left me blind in that eye, only in very rare cases do such tumors metastasize. I am among the unlucky 2 percent.

I feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since the original diagnosis, but now I am face to face with dying. The cancer occupies a third of my liver, and though its advance may be slowed, this particular sort of cancer cannot be halted.

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. In this I am encouraged by the words of one of my favorite philosophers, David Hume, who, upon learning that he was mortally ill at age 65, wrote a short autobiography in a single day in April of 1776. He titled it “My Own Life.”

“I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution,” he wrote. “I have suffered very little pain from my disorder; and what is more strange, have, notwithstanding the great decline of my person, never suffered a moment’s abatement of my spirits. I possess the same ardour as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company.”

I have been lucky enough to live past 80, and the 15 years allotted to me beyond Hume’s three score and five have been equally rich in work and love. In that time, I have published five books and completed an autobiography (rather longer than Hume’s few pages) to be published this spring; I have several other books nearly finished.

Hume continued, “I am ... a man of mild dispositions, of command of temper, of an open, social, and cheerful humour, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity, and of great moderation in all my passions.”

Here I depart from Hume. While I have enjoyed loving relationships and friendships and have no real enmities, I cannot say (nor would anyone who knows me say) that I am a man of mild dispositions. On the contrary, I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.

And yet, one line from Hume’s essay strikes me as especially true: “It is difficult,” he wrote, “to be more detached from life than I am at present.”

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time

that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

 

 

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

 

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, is the author of many books, including “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday 25th February 2015…..blink and the day is gone!!!

The usual lovely weather continues and my Spanish lesson was again moved from today until tomorrow and I decided to have the morning off from yoga so stayed home and did laundry, worked on my Spanish homework, started the preparation for a day out with my tennis buddies to a town about 90 minutes away where next month there is a Futures women’s tennis tournament being staged all week,,,,,I went last year for the day and really enjoyed it so I will see how many want to go and work on the details.

1 o clock I was at the poker group and three hours of good fun and very happy to report that my little setback last week was only a temporary thing as I won a massive 300  pesos.

Home in time to have dinner and get cleaned up and down to my English class and again what a great class……because one of the girls started talking about the Bermuda triangle in class on Monday and I know they all have computers I gave them home work to research the triangle and then talk about it in class…they know I used to live in Bermuda for ten years.

They came up with really interesting facts and I found about 20 photographs from my time there so showed them and we talked about that and I told them some stories   …it was great and I know they enjoyed the time and I finished off  telling the class about today being paying it forward Wednesday and told them the story of the lady in the States who started this by going through a drive through restaurant and then paying for the customer behind  and then that driver did the same and it went on for three hours and now almost a National event…..so I told them their homework was for next Wednesday to pay it forward to someone…they were really interested in this…we finished with a quick game of charades for the usual Wednesday class chocolates….

Home now relaxing with tea and NOTHING  else and watching a hockey game!!!!

 

 

Hope you enjoy this article!!

 

Mexico City weighs bullfighting ban

By Will Grant BBC News, Tlaxcala

Bullfighting practice at Rancho Seco Put to the test: Rancho Seco's stock are tested for their aggression

Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

It may be the rainy season in Mexico - but Rancho Seco, meaning Dry Ranch, lives up to its name.

Tucked away in the countryside of the central state of Tlaxcala, the 1,000-hectare (2,500-acre) hacienda is reached by a dusty road dotted with nothing but cactus and cattle.

Despite the arid ground under foot and the punishing sun above, the air inside the farmhouse on Rancho Seco is cool.

As we are ushered into the wood-panelled living room by Don Sergio Hernandez, the 73-year-old owner, the mounted heads of bygone bulls look down on us from the walls.

"These are the heads of our most famous bulls," he says, drawing us towards a powerful-looking black head with curved horns.

"This animal was called Pajarito," Don Sergio says, "which means Little Bird. The name was a good coincidence because this bull flew. He jumped right into the stands."

Sergio Hernandez and his son Don Sergio and his son say they are trying to keep traditions alive

There are also dozens of framed newspaper clippings from around the world showing Pajarito in mid-flight, his forelegs outstretched, his hind legs pushing off from the wooden barrier behind him.

But while Pajarito's leap made international headlines a few years ago, the next headline about bull fighting in Mexico might be about its demise.

Last year, the animal rights lobby proposed a ban on bullfighting in Mexico City to the capital's legislative assembly.

Following a similar move in Catalonia in Spain and recent restrictions on the controversial practice in several Latin American countries, including Ecuador and Peru, Mexican activists are confident a city-wide ban will be passed during the new legislative session.

"Catalonia was the starting point for us," says Gustavo Larios Velasco from the Mexican animal rights organisation, Meta.

"It was the moment which showed that an organised society is capable of persuading its parliamentarians to respond to the wishes of the people and not of a privileged elite."

The "privileged elite" he is referring to includes Don Sergio and his family.

Bravery test

But Don Sergio's son, also called Sergio Hernandez, argues that bullfighting helps to sustain the rural economy in states like Tlaxcala.

"About a million people in the country depend directly or indirectly on this activity," he says.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

Gustavo Larios

In Mexico City, the bullring is a constant failure”

End Quote Gustavo Larios Animal rights campaigner

"On this farm, we have 12 to 14 employees plus their families. That's about 60 people who rely on bullfighting right here."

Bullfighting is not as profitable as it once was and although the Hernandez family have run the business for five generations, Sergio Jr works as an accountant.

But when he is not in a suit and tie, he heads straight for Rancho Seco.

"Every Friday, I look forward to leaving my office, to come to the farm, to get up on a horse and take in all this beauty."

It is indeed a beautiful spot, with 1,000 cattle roaming the grasslands and hillsides. But most of the cows will not be dedicated to producing future Pajaritos.

That is reserved for a selected few with the requisite aggression.

Inside a small bullring on the ranch, Sergio Jr and his father examine a heifer to decide if she has what it takes to become a breeder.

She is put through a mini-bullfight complete with a matador, picadores (lancers on horseback) and banderilleros (who thrust barbed darts into the animal) to test her speed, strength and instinct to charge.

For the cow, this is a life-or-death moment.

"Depending on how brave she is, she will live or die," says Sergio Jr, before adding optimistically: "So far, she's doing well".

Brutality and bloodshed

If bullfighting is outlawed in Mexico City, it will mean an end to the practice in the world's biggest bullring, the Plaza Mexico, which can hold more than 40,000 spectators.

A young bullfighter takes part in the Under-14 Apprentice Bullfighting Competition" in the Arroyo bullring, Mexico City, 8 September 2012 Young bullfighters compete in Mexico, but critics say bullfighting should have no future

But activist Gustavo Larios says bullfighting's popularity has been on the wane for some time.

"In Mexico City, the bullring is a constant failure. For a bullfight, they might fill it around five times a year. But whenever it is used for a musical group, it's full every time."

The anti-bullfighting arguments in Mexico are much the same as in other countries where they are still held - that the practice is barbaric, out-dated and has no place in a modern, forward-looking society.

But in Mexico, the animal rights lobby has a potentially powerful ace up its sleeve.

They have linked the brutality of the bullfight to the bloodshed of Mexico's drug war, saying that watching animals being killed for sport contributes to a wider desensitisation to violence in Mexico.

It may be enough to tip the balance in favour of a ban.

At Rancho Seco, the cow has passed the bravery test and will be spared. But the practice of bullfighting might not fare so well.

For Don Sergio, nothing less than Mexico's cultural heritage is at stake.

"At this rate, we're all going to end up only watching NBA [US National Basketball Association] games. We have to defend our traditions."

 

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday 24th February 2015……a nice and easy day!!!

It was foggy whilst I was having breakfast and when I left the house at 8.45 am for tennis but by the time we started playing a few minutes later the sun broke through and it was a brilliant day…we had a great 2 hours of tennis and I must say we all made some great shots…..went to town to do some errands and then home for lunch and then back to town and went to Rita’s house for our usual chat and then Roger come over and we played cards the difference this time for me is that Rita makes this wonderful banana bread but I am not allowed it as I am on my Lent thingie…Rita bless her said she would freeze some for when my 40 days are finished….Roger was the winner I cannot remember the last time I won!!!!

Home and just relaxed did some of my homework and then had a nice long soak in the tub and had dinner whilst watching live tennis from Acapulco….my tennis buddy Loren is that at the event this week.

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So to end an easy day I am watching a recorded soccer game from earlier today!!!

Not a bad life!!!

 

The silent enemy of Obama's migrant plans

President Barack Obama is already facing strong and very vocal opposition in Congress to his recent immigration overhaul, but he will also have to confront a more silent enemy.

That enemy is the fear that many undocumented Hispanics have about presenting their personal information to the immigration authorities for a programme that could be reversed by a new administration in a matter of years.

"This deferred action is a temporary permit," says Claudia, who fled from violence in her native Mexico and has been living in the US since 2000.

"What is going to happen when Mr Obama is no longer president? They are going to know where I am, where my family is. Is it possible that we will all be deported?" she tells the BBC in El Paso, Texas.

Undocumented child immigrant Over 50,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were apprehended at the US-Mexico border last year

In November, President Obama announced a series of unilateral reforms that will allow about four million unauthorised immigrants to apply for provisional work permits, and for deportation proceedings to be deferred.

Claudia explains that she is eligible because she has been in the United States for nearly 15 years and has three sons who are married to American citizens, making them legal residents.

“Start Quote

With this announcement, there is no hope, you don't know where your future lies”

End Quote Claudia Undocumented immigrant

She says she plans to apply for relief, even though she is still very sceptical of the programme because it will not resolve her legal situation in the long term.

"With this announcement, there is no hope, you don't know where your future lies," she stresses.

"Before, you knew you were undocumented and you had to be on the lookout for the immigration authorities. But now you don't know, because you're going to say where you are and who you are, so it is even more uncertain."

Claudia's case is in marked contrast to the images of cheering and optimistic Hispanics shown in the media after the November announcement.

And her situation is far from unique. The White House has acknowledged that there is a challenge in trying to get people "out of the shadows", as president Obama likes to say.

Detention centre 'Keep calm, and wash your hands' - Immigrants are detained after being apprehended near the border

At a town hall meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, the president stressed the need to give people confidence so they can apply.

"The real question is, how do we make sure enough people register so it's not just a few people in a few pockets around the country," Mr Obama said.

"And that's going to require a lot of work by local agencies, by municipalities, by churches, by community organisations."

The president is interested in getting people registered because that is how the programme's success will ultimately be measured, but also because his previous decisions on immigration have faced similar challenges.

In 2012, Mr Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which allowed young adults who were brought to the US illegally as children to temporarily stay and work.

DACA was expanded as part of the November announcement, and it is seen as a blueprint for the more recent unilateral actions.

Both measures are limited in scope and in time, do not offer a pathway to citizenship, and were unveiled by President Obama without support by Congress.

Undocumented immigrant woman and child Gang violence in Central America has driven migrants and their children north

Around 1.1 million unauthorised immigrants were thought to be immediately eligible for DACA, and slightly over 700,000 have had their applications accepted for review, according to data analysed by the Pew Research Center in December.

This means that nearly two-thirds of eligible candidates have submitted their personal information, but tens of thousands have not been able to change their status.

Many may be unaware of the programme, do not know they meet the criteria, or have had application problems. But it is the fear of deportation that may have played a role as well for those who have decided not to come forward.

A bar graph of child migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

Now, with the new executive action, the Obama administration hopes many immigrants will provide their personal details, and it is confident the initiative will not be overturned when a new president comes to the White House in 2017.

"Every time a US president has created a new immigration programme, it has been respected by other presidents," said Leon Rodriguez, the head of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

"If you qualify for the deferred action programmes, this means you are not a priority for deportation," he added.

For undocumented Hispanics like Claudia, though, there is still deep uncertainty as the plan starts to be implemented and she prepares to present all her documents.

"There is fear, but this action is everything we have, it's all we can hold on to," she admits.

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday 23rd February 2015…another week!!!!

The start of a busy day and yoga was first and then straight to my Spanish lesson….now I have not mentioned it but I am trying to get my head around direct, indirect and reflexive verbs and I did study hard this week gone but could not really understand the concept…….I went to English websites to see if they could help and I got really down on myself I felt that I was incompetent and very despondent…Marysol my teacher calmed me down talked to me about how hard it is and  how good I have been in class and then she slowly explained the whole process and has given me homework to make sure I understand..she thinks that I am over thinking and to remember that the Spanish language is different with different methods I do not have to question them but accept them and learn them..the lesson went well and I felt so much better when I left.

I cane home and felt I needed to get out of dodge an  so I packed some food and got on Little Blackie and went out into the country to a nice hiking area and enjoyed the hike and my lunch…pretty cool hike don’t you think!!!

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This is a dry river bed

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Had my lunch here a great spot!!!

The lake on the way home

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I was home just in time to get a shower and change and get down to school for my English class…..I so enjoy these evenings and none more so than tonight when all the worked I had prepared for them was placed on hold as we got talking about all sorts of things from love, to family, to oceans to Bermuda…..they are such good students and I have them talking all the time here is Javier being teacher!!!

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Just a great evening!!

So now finally home and relaxing watching TV enjoying a cu of tea and not even missing my cookies and pastries!!!!

 

From the BBC website!!! 

Less than 10 years ago Jordi Munoz left Mexico for the US and is now boss of one the of world's biggest commercial drone makers

 

Mexican immigrant Jordi Munoz says that waiting for his green card after he first moved to the United States made him feel as if he was living "in a big jail".

At the time he was 20 years old, and he and his girlfriend had set up home near Los Angeles.

Yet he could not legally work, or even enrol at a college, until he got the identity card that proved his right to live and seek employment in the country.

But instead of just sitting around during his frustrating seven-month wait back in 2007, Mr Munoz, a keen model plane enthusiast and computer programmer, started to build his own drone in his garage.

A drone, technically an unmanned aerial vehicle, is essentially a very high tech and stable version of a remote-controlled plane with a camera attached to take aerial photographs or record videos.

Using what parts he had to hand, Mr Munoz made the drone's autopilot system by taking the motion sensors from a games console remote control.

To attach the microchips to circuit boards he heated them up in a domestic oven.

Fast forward to today, and Mr Munoz, now 28, is the co-founder of the largest US-owned manufacturer of commercial drones.

The business, 3D Robotics, is expected to enjoy sales of $50m (£33m) this year.

Key investment

Back when Mr Munoz was working on his first prototype, he started to put up posts about his progress on a website for other DIY drone enthusiasts.

In addition to the advice and encouragement he got from fellow hobbyists, one man was so impressed that he sent Mr Munoz $500 (£325) to help carry on his work.

A 3D Robotics drone in flight The drones are mainly manufactured in Mexico, with additional production now being done in China

The person who provided the money was influential journalist and author Chris Anderson, who at the time was editor in chief of technology magazine Wired, which is based in San Francisco.

The two men started a regular email and telephone correspondence, and Mr Munoz eventually built and sold several dozen prototype drones.

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Then in 2009, Mr Munoz and Mr Anderson decided to go into business together, and co-founded their own drone-making company.

So despite not actually having met in person at that point, they started 3D Robotics.

Jordi Munoz flying one of his drones Jordi Munoz relied on the help of other drone enthusiasts to develop his drone software

Mr Munoz, as chief technology officer, would be the engineering brains while Mr Anderson, as chief executive, would focus on the business and investment side of things.

The co-founders eventually met, their partnership worked, and the company started to quickly grow rather quickly - as global demand for drones has risen strongly over the past five or so years.

'Google PhDs'

Being the joint boss of a fast-growing corporation was however a cultural shock for Mr Munoz, who had no prior business training nor leadership experience, and had not been to university.

He had instead been used to working on his own, and learning from the internet.

Jordi Munoz and a colleague in the workshop Engineering work and product design is done in San Diego

"I come from a generation where we have Google PhDs, we can virtually figure out everything by just Googling around and doing some reading online," says Mr Munoz.

 

“Start Quote

It doesn't matter what is your background - if you work hard and do the right thing and you're honest you can always do what you want in the US”

End Quote Jordi Munoz 3D Robotics

"But in my case, the company started growing so fast I couldn't keep up... It was just 'boom' and finally I have a big corporation."

Thankfully, says Mr Munoz, he realised that he needed to bring in "super-experienced people" to do the work that he couldn't.

The company now employs 357 people across four main sites. Mr Munoz is based in San Diego, southern California, at the company's engineering centre.

Production takes place just across the Mexican border in Tijuana, Mr Munoz' home city, while the company's sales team is based in Austin, Texas.

Mr Anderson, 53, leads 3D Robotics' business operations centre, which is located in Berkeley, near San Francisco.

He stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area to be both close to his home, and the all important investment community of Silicon Valley, which has helped fuel the company's growth.

A 3D Robotics drone flying over a river The drones have cameras attached to film or take photographs

3D Robotics now makes five different types of drones, with prices ranging from $740 to $5,400. Mr Munoz says that sales first reached the $1m mark in 2011, before hitting $10m in 2013, and being on target for $40m this year.

To meet increasing demand, additional production is now being done in China.

Open-sourced software

For all 3D Robotics' success, there is one part of its business model which might unnerve bosses in other industries - the operating software of its drones is freely available to any other company that would like to have a go at making its own.

A man launching a 3D Robotics Aero-M drone The company makes drones which hover like helicopters and others which glide like planes

The software is publicly available or "open sourced" because ever since his earliest efforts in his old garage, Mr Munoz has published his work online, and asked for help and feedback from other drone enthusiasts.

 

 

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While this means that any competitor can use the software, such as a number of Chinese copycats, Mr Munoz says that the operating system is better as a result of all the input of others in its development.

"I wouldn't be able to sell as much if I had prototyped it alone," he says.

As 3D Robotics continues to grow, Mr Munoz says that despite a tough start dealing with immigration authorities, the US has been good to him.

"It really is a land of opportunities," he says. "So it doesn't matter what is your background. If you work hard and do the right thing, and you're honest, you can always do what you want in the US.

"You get a lot of support - 'hey, this is awesome! Keep doing it!' - that is a different mentality compared to my [home] country, which is the opposite way around."

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday 21st July 2017...Catching up!!!!

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