RE’s Excellent Mexican Dental Adventure: Part I
Background Music courtesy of “The Voice”, Jay Black and the the Amerikans
I’m currently sitting in a Luxury Hotel Room in Yuma, AZ after an exhausting Red Eye flight down here from the Last Great Frontier. Reason for the trip? Tomorrow I will walk across the border with Mejico into “Los Algodones”, a town of Dentists, Optometrists and Pharmacies that makes its living on Amerikans making day trips there to buy prescription drugs and get affordable dentistry.
Its soooo much cheaper there that the cost of the flight from Alaska and the luxury Hotel Suite and the Rental Car is more than made up for by savings on the Dental Work, if you have a decent amount to be done and I have a LOT. I may end up having them all pulled and get dentures, but I will try to get Implants instead, or at least implants that will help stabilize the dentures. For most people, if you just have a couple of Root Canals and Crowns to get done, this is enough to justify the trip. My Dentist comes to me Highly Recommended by numerous Alaskan friends who have used him.
Anyhow, every trip I make down to the Lower 48 these days brings me some new insights into how things are progressing with the spin down. Needless to say, up in the Mat Valley of Alaska, you don’t get a real feel for what is going on down here.
For my first new experience on this adventure, I got my first Molestation from the TSA Perverts. Ted Stevens International Airport finally got its Full Body Scanners and mine showed up “too many hot spots” so I got the full Blue Glove exploration of the Family Jewels. LOL. The pervert doing the job had a rehearsed Patter as a constant drone explaining what area he would touch next, when he would use the Back of his hand instead of the front, all almost unintelligible its spouted off in a monotone with no inflection to the voice. Anyhow, after coming up Clean I asked him just why I had “hot spots” that needed the pat down when nothing was there. His response was that sometimes the machine gets confused by folds in the clothing etc. Anyhow, its just freaking stupid, everybody knows you will get scanned so nobody will be carrying weapons this way. If you want to carry something, you will do orifice stuffing. Until they start doing Anal and Vaginal cavity checks, this is just a waste of time. I could come up with a zillion other ways to creatively turn the average Wheely Bag into a weapon also.
Anyhow, this bizness doesn’t bug me or embarass me and it certainly does nothing to keep me from carrying my weapons along for the ride. My weapons are words and ideas, and I carry them inside my head, not outside my body or even in my body cavities.When Fatherland Security bans Laptops on Commercial Airlines, I’ll have a problem. Until then, “ Have Keyboard, Will Travel”.
The next BIG Difference I saw or rather heard was Militarization Propaganda. First off, now in addition to First Class Passengers and Handicapped people and people with small children getting first Boarding Priviledges, Military Personnel in Uniform travelling also get to board first. I saw many more Military in fatigues travelling this go round then I ever have before. There were also numerous announcements about supporting our Troops defending our Freedom and so forth. Tourist and Bizness flying may be declining, but I suspect it is being made up for by the military using the commercial aviation system as a troop transport and redeployment mechanism.
Upon my arrival as I drove down here and saw the sprawl across the Arizona Desert, it drove home to me once again how appallingly unsustainable the model is here, there just is not enough WATER around natively to support towns and communities that are really dropped intot he middle of NOWHERE. They are only there because they serve as waypoints between the very few places that there IS enough water around, like in Yuma which sits right on top of the Colorado River, though by the time it gets down to Yuma its a pretty pathetically small river. Then of course you have the fact that down the line here the water needs of this side of the border are balanced against the needs on the CA side of the border, not to mention the Mexicans.
The water avaialble from the river does make Ag possible around here, I passed numerous Green Farms surrounded by Brown Desert. However, such irrigated Ag has salinization problems over time, and I doubt without liming the soil and the constant input of fossil fuel based fertilizer you could continue making this ag land productive. Then you have the fact its so far from everything and surrounded by vast stretches of Desert with NO water. Even if you can grow stuff around here, how will you move it from here to anywhere else without the Trucks and the Oil?
Regardless of all these very obvious problems, in these last 20 years or so Arizona was very attractive land for RE Developers on the Suburban Sprawl model. There is a lot of land, all very FLAT and easy to layout a road structure on and drop whatever kind of structure it is you would like on it, be it Mcmansions or Malls. The prices could be made attractive to aging Boomer Retirees since the land itself was so cheap. They love the nice Warm and Dry climate also, long as they have HVAC in the Malls and McMansions of course.
Even MORE than McMansions though, what you have down here are a PLETHORA of Bugout Machine Communities. This actually makes the most sense of anything done down here to date. All you need to do to set up a Bugout Machine community is provide Hookups for water, electric and sewer, a Pad to park on and the Retired Boomer can live cheaply down here most of the year, and then occassionaly drive the Bugout machine to visit Grandkids sprinkled all over the rest of the lower 48.
Besides the Boomers living in classy Diesel Pushers, you also have many more lower class older Mobile Home parks which are home to the local Ag workers, and the Service Personnel who staff the restaurants and Malls that serve the retired Boomers. Basically, an economy has developed here which takes the Social Security checks the Boomers live on and then filters it out to the rest of the community through the Malls and Restaraunts. Sense a problem with this?
Really, the economy here depends on the Transfer Payments made through Social Security. The overall cost of living for someone on SS is sufficiently cheap if you live in a Bugout Machine that even with JUST SS you have surplus income to spend at the Mall and Restaraunts. Since aging Boomers looking for cheap places to live on SS is a Growing Demographic, Yuma’s Future was so Bright you Hadda Where Shades if you were an RE Developer, and so they built up yet another one of those MONSTROUS Mall/Hotel complexes, where I am currently writing this missive from. It looks new enough to me that it was likely built in the last decade. Got your Dillards, Target, Sam’s Club, Olive Garden, Red Lobster et al, along with several redundant 3 star Hotels where in theory I suppose the developers figured Grandkids would stay when visiting Boomer Grandma and Grandpa, since they can’t all fit in the Bugout Machine. Also of course trying to attract the Convention Biz, so these hotels have the meeting Rooms and the Spas as well.
Know what I PAID for my spacious and comfy Hotel room here? $40/night on the Travelocity “Super Secret Deals” plan. On this one, you don’t get to know the name of the Hotel until AFTER you pay for it in advance, but I figured what the hell I would take a chance. In my trucking years, I stayed in many Roach Motels, I have no problem with this as long as the place has a working shower, a fridge for my beer and wireless internet I don’t mind sharing the space with a few roaches and spiders and having Welfare Moms for neighbors. I just paid the SAME price I paid for that kind of stay in a Roach Motel at this place! LOL. Its a freaking palace.
Obviously, my $40/night is not going to pay the mortgage on this CRE. This sucker has to be losing money hand over fist here.
In this respect, the Bugout Machine paradigm is pretty good around here these days, and probably for a little while yet to come also. Its certainly better than anyone who bought one of the Fixed Retirement Homes in the neighborhood, at least when it goes south here if you keep enough Gas inthe tank you’ll have enough to unhook and drive up into the Rocky Mountains where maybe you can find a spot to park it for good that actually gets some Rainfall.
For the older folks who need Medicines also, you can cross the border over to Los Algodones whenever you need to and buy your medications at 20% of what you would pay here for the same stuff. Of course, you will need Gas to get to the Border Parking Lot, and once the dollar goes south or Mejico completely collapses, this system will stop working also.
In the long term, most of the stuff built up around here is an ENORMOUS Ghost Town in the making. Those SS checks are not going to keep coming in perpetuity, and Gas to move around the vast sprawl of the Desert won’t be available either. The Water will get diverted from here to other places also. What this area can support sustainably is FAR less than the number of Bugout Machines you see parked all around the neighborhood. Until the Seneca Effect Sudden Stop occurs though, the economics here work a bit better than they do in some other places like the Rust belt and Inner Shities.
Until this occurs though, you can enjoy a first class Hotel stay and get your Teeth fixed up on the Cheap in Mejico down here in Yuma, and go visit the Prison also, which is a Legendary One and is one of their biggest Tourist Attractions. Culturally speaking of course, if a prison is your big Tourist Attraction, there is something seriously WRONG with your culture to begin with, but let us not dwell on that one too much here.
More tomorrow after I get back from over the Border.