Tell us what's happened to you recently (that's interesting)


We got approved for our Mexican residency visas today. We’re hauling a load down Sunday but will actually be moving down for keepsies next Thursday


Congratulations! I hope the move goes smoothly.


Thank you. We also got the health certs for the dogs and cats earlier this week, as well as auto insurance covering us in Mexico. The only thing still inducing stress is our inability to reach the guy that will be setting us up with the internets and Dish Network.


Well dammit you better get that shit sorted out, because otherwise how will we get our updates from you?

Seriously, this has been fascinating following you through this adventure, and I need to know what happens next.


We are now officially residents of Puerto Penasco, MX. OUr friends helped us move, and while it took two trips over two days, and we STILL couldn’t fit everything in the truck, it was worth it. Since my friend goes through customs all the time for his business, and his worker speaks the lingo, they were able to bullshit customs into believing that all of our stuff has a value of $500, so we only had to pay $120 to bring it in.
The dogs were well behaved despite having never gone for a car ride this long before. The cats had spent 14 hours in the carrier before they could be let out, so they were very happy about that.
Now starts the process of going through everything and unpacking, I did a bit of that today while waiting for the Telmex guy to come out and get my WiFi going (so far I don’t see a difference between what I have now and what I had in the States, other than the need to run a VPN to stream anything). And that the cost is $318 pesos/month (approx

Speaking of which, I paid my electric bill today. It was $5, but of course we haven’t been here for the last month. I did have to pay for a full year for trash collection. That was a whopping $25. Oh, and $10 to refill the propane tank for the water heater.

The only downside so far is road conditions. Mexico has no state, city, or sales taxes, and property taxes are minimal, so roads are not always kept up very well. The one highway I’ve driven seemed ok, but potholes are everywhere once you get into the city, and some are pretty deepso you have to keep an eye out.

That’s about all I have the strength to write, since I’ve gotten a total of 6 hours sleep in the last two nights, but more to come.


Congrats to you and your family!


Good luck to you man, sounds like an adventure!


Congratulations! I’ll arrive on Sunday to crash on your couch. Shouldn’t be more than four, six weeks tops.


Gracias, all.

And AWS you’ll have to share with the pooches.


$8500. Total amount so far that this shutdown has cost me. And increasing.

Picked the wrong dang time to transfer.


That sucks, Hal. If that amount is mostly pay, I think the last few shutdowns have all ended with backpay legislation that gets that over to you. Doesn’t help with any related expenses caused by cashflow issues, though.


Stupidly I won’t get backpay like most people. I tx’d to a new facility as the shutdown started. HR couldn’t in process me as a new trainee, so I defaulted back to my last facility in a LWOP (admin leave without pay)/non-furlogh status.

I’d love to be furloughed, but instead I’m on unpaid leave. It’s not unfair–I’m not working–but it is frustrating. I have plenty of money to pay for my house, surgeries, etc. and my new boss found several 0% loans, which shows that he wants to look out for his controllers, even though he hasn’t met me, and technically isn’t in charge of me yet. He and the union at my new favorite have offered me a free place, so that’s good of them and makes me happy, though I don’t need it.

Just really wish that I’d stayed controlling at my last facility and not moved and gotten a house just to be put in this status.

Good news… I’m well enough to ski! Makes me sneeze a ton though. Enough whining from me. I just have plenty of time to do it…


That really sucks.


The non-minifig scale models have never interested me as much. I need my little people!


Fair enough! I don’t mind the lack of little people (and anyway: this one had tiny cars! ;-) )

Finished the Tower Bridge last week, found it very satisfying to build something like this. It’s not rocketscience, obviously, but the way the designers have made sure it’s all solid (you can lift the whole thing with one hand, nothing would drop of) is quite smart and fun to discover, often together with my youngest daughter. Made for a nice, much needed writing-break every now and then.

Tearing it down will take some time though, it really are a lot of pieces…


I am sorry to hear about your troubles. It does sound like you are joining a great boss though!


Yep! He sent me an extensive list of suggestions today. Not usually what you see with the “company” vs union mentality. Below is a little bit (some redacted for brevity/privacy) to give you an idea.

PASS: redacted

Arizona AFL-CIO: redacted

FAA: – Shutdown furlough guidance – Loan payment info – info on premiums – See their fact sheet

Local Food Banks
Flagstaff: and
Free Food and Discounts at Various Restaurants:

Cox Cable:

Mobile Telephone Service Providers
AT&T: Will assist with adjusting late fees, providing extensions, and revising payment schedules.
Sprint: Will provide short-term payment solutions. Call 1-888-211-4747
T-Mobile: Offering short-term assistance, and can spread out service payments over time. Call 1-877-746-0909 or 611 from a T-Mobile device.
Verizon: Offering flexible payment options and has a Promise to Pay program to set payments for a future date. Call 1-866-266-1445

Rental Home Assistance
National Rental Home Council: Represents many of the nation’s largest operators of single-family rental homes. They’re offering deferred rent payment options with no late fees to any renter who has been furloughed.
OPM Sample Letters for Creditors and Mortgage Companies: OPM created these sample letters for Federal workers to contact their landlords, mortgage lenders, and utilities, to request help during the shutdown.

The best and worst ways to borrow money during the federal shutdown

Mortgage and 0% Loans
Union Plus Members:

Navy Federal Credit Union:

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group (PRMG): Log into your account and you will see this in the Alert box: If you have been impacted by the Government Shutdown, you may qualify for mortgage-assistance options. For more information, please see our Government Shutdown FAQs.

TSP Loan Payment Information:
Bank of America:
Chase Bank: or 1-888-356-0023 for assistance.
U.S. Bank:
Wells Fargo:
Sun Trust: SunTrust didn’t make a specific offer, but they did make a public announcement that they have programs in place to help clients affected by the shutdown.
Fed Choice: They’re offering quite a number of different options to assist – for existing and new members.
Capital One: Card holders should contact 1-800-622-2580.
Sky One;

PayPal: Paypal has made a very generous offer. They’ve allocated $25 million to fund interest-free cash advances to our furloughed Federal workers that need assistance right now. This is for both new and existing PayPal Credit customers. Minimum loan is $250 with a maximum cash advance of $500. Your account does need to be in good standing if you’re an existing PayPal Credit customer. Existing customers call 1-877-689-1975. For new accounts, apply here first, then after approval call 1-877-689-1975

Automotive Finance Companies
Toyota Financial Services & Lexus Financial Services: Affected lease and finance customers in good standing with their accounts may be eligible to take advantage of up to two months of finance contract payment extensions or lease deferred payments. Toyota Financial Services call 800-874-8822 and Lexus Financial Services call 800-874-7050.

Hyundai Capital: Hyundai will extend all Hyundai Capital auto loan and lease payments for 30 days for current Hyundai owners who are federal government employees furloughed during the shutdown. Impacted consumers should contact Hyundai Motor Finance at 1-800-523-4030 to take advantage of this offer.

Kia Motors Finance: Kia has announced they’re offering deferred payments of 30 days. If you’ve been affected by the current Government Shutdown and need assistance from Kia Finance, please contact us at 1-866-331-5632.

Ford Credit, GM Financial, & Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: It has been reported that these companies are among those providing qualified customers options such as payment deferrals, late fee waivers and special care lines to address their individual problems, though official announcements from these companies have not been released online.


Wow, that’s a good boss.

This is all due to Trump’s ego. It’s shameful.


Yeah, I’m constantly shaking my head that it has come to this.
All due basically to a damn tantrum.
Donald Tantrump.


Several state insurance departments are now requesting that insurers in their state use forbearance in collecting premiums from federal workers in the same manner that they would for natural disasters. Note: Insurers tend to interpret “requests” from their insurance departments as orders.