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Oaxagringo

Sep 2, 2014, 1:16 PM

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Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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After 35 years as a leading expert and consultant in a number of fields for many government agencies, universities and Fortune 500 corporations both in the US and overseas I decided to pull the plug on the hectic life I had been leading and reinvent myself in Mexico. So off we went, my wife being Mexican and belonging to a well-connected family and well educated in a number of fields and endeavors, (one recipe of the famous 7 moles de Oaxaca was developed by her great, great abuelita, a second cousin of Juarez himself) , her prestigious Oaxacuena famila helped us transition into our much deserved and wholly earned place of prominence amongst academics and government officials in the quaint colonial outpost of Oaxaca, Oaxaca.


Having had traveled innumerous times deep into the heart of this country, I had acquired sufficient experience and knowledge of the pitfalls, scams and cultural idiosyncrasies that would undoubtedly be encountered on our journey. Plus thorough and exhaustive research into immigration and customs regulations (Mexconnect proving to be an invaluable resource) guaranteed a safe and pleasant sojourn.


Lists were made, preparations began. One of my main concerns was the quality of gasoline and the ramifications of contamination at the pump and lower octane levels that could lead to a possible breakdown of our vehicle. So I immediately ordered a portable GC-Mass Spectrometer on Amazon along with some glass beakers to give me the ability to do “on the spot” checks of the gasoline at each Pemex fill up. I was going to do my best to eliminate hydrophyllic, hydrophobic additives that together with butyl ethers can lead to catastrophic engine failure. As an added precaution I installed an Osculati centrifuge with stainless steel filter ( http://www.osculati.com/.../Scheda.aspx?id=1368 ). With these steps I felt fully confidant my Pemex worries were over.


When we notified our NOB relatives and friends of our relocation intentions, we were unsurprisingly met with all types of foreboding, worries and concerns for our personal safety. Some even guaranteed our demise in any one of a number of grisly acts of violence. In order to dismiss these unfounded fears I used not only empirical evidence from our many prior trips but also applied an analytical formula (I was once the top actuarial scientist for the US guided missile systems employed on the nuclear sub fleet). Taking a myriad of data into account, (presence of military and federal police along route, number of foreign visitors traveling along the same exact route we were to take, how many occupants per vehicle, time of departure from the border, month of the year, the year, make and model of the vehicle, hours driven per day, age of driver, driver fatigue, daily amounts of medications consumed, types of medications, history of traffic violations and Spanish fluency) I was able to assure them that regardless of what they may see or hear in the extremely biased American media, our trip would be safer than going grocery shopping at 10am in most any major American city.

To be continued……



ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 2, 2014, 2:47 PM

Post #2 of 46 (3797 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I was going to reply to the reply to this post, only to find it has been deleted. Post any sort of criticism at your own peril, I guess.


cbviajero

Sep 2, 2014, 2:52 PM

Post #3 of 46 (3795 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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That is a very interesting post,Oaxagringo,welcome to the forum.
What were the results of the mass spectrometer tests on the gasoline?


RickS


Sep 2, 2014, 3:05 PM

Post #4 of 46 (3784 views)

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Re: [ifyoucanttakeajoke] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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"I was going to reply to the reply to this post, only to find it has been deleted. Post any sort of criticism at your own peril, I guess"


??huh??


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 2, 2014, 3:06 PM

Post #5 of 46 (3783 views)

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Re: [RickS] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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"I was going to reply to the reply to this post, only to find it has been deleted. Post any sort of criticism at your own peril, I guess"


??huh??

There was a reply to the original post. It disappeared within minutes. It was, how you say, a little critical.


Oaxagringo

Sep 2, 2014, 3:22 PM

Post #6 of 46 (3774 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Thank you for the warm welcome, cbviajero.

The results were mixed, depending on the location, just as you would expect. Besides running the analysis at the necessary fill up stops (7 all together) we also monitored random stations at the major cities along the route. This added considerable time to our trip but we felt necessary in order to arrive at a more accurate and objective conclusion. One result was especially interesting. At a station in SLP, besides the normal organic compounds and additives the spectrometer revealed the following:

primarily water, with organic solutes including urea, creatinine, uric acid, and trace amounts of enzymes, carbohydrates, hormones, fatty acids, pigments, and mucins, and inorganic ions such as sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), magnesium (Mg2+), calcium (Ca2+), ammonium (NH4+), sulfates (SO42-), and phosphates (e.g., PO43-).

When I showed this to my esposa (a clinical pathologist at a leading US university) she immediately replied that those were basically the chemical contents of human urine!!

Which bemused us to no end. Could the station owner have plumbed the men's urinals directly to the Premium tanks? We ran the math, supposing that this was the true source of the urine and came up with the following figure:

Normal urine volume (with a specific gravity of 1.015) of .3 liters x 50 rest room users daily = 15 liters per day. Add to that the water entering the tank from each flush, we conservatively used 1 liter as the figure, so an additional 50 liters gives us 65 liters of liquid contaminant. If you multiply that by 13.8 pesos (the approximate cost of Premium) the Pemex franchisee is making a profit of nearly 900 pesos a day! That comes to the nice sum of around 25,000usd a year!!

Could they have plumbed it so?

Would they?

If future findings of the spectrometer reveal the presence of urine in the samples, I think we may have stumbled upon a heretofore unknown Pemex scam to beat all Pemex scams.

Stay tuned.


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 2, 2014, 3:35 PM

Post #7 of 46 (3765 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Thank you for the warm welcome, cbviajero.

The results were mixed, depending on the location, just as you would expect. Besides running the analysis at the necessary fill up stops (7 all together) we also monitored random stations at the major cities along the route. This added considerable time to our trip but we felt necessary in order to arrive at a more accurate and objective conclusion. One result was especially interesting. At a station in SLP, besides the normal organic compounds and additives the spectrometer revealed the following:

primarily water, with organic solutes including urea, creatinine, uric acid, and trace amounts of enzymes, carbohydrates, hormones, fatty acids, pigments, and mucins, and inorganic ions such as sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), magnesium (Mg2+), calcium (Ca2+), ammonium (NH4+), sulfates (SO42-), and phosphates (e.g., PO43-).

When I showed this to my esposa (a clinical pathologist at a leading US university) she immediately replied that those were basically the chemical contents of human urine!!

Which bemused us to no end. Could the station owner have plumbed the men's urinals directly to the Premium tanks? We ran the math, supposing that this was the true source of the urine and came up with the following figure:

Normal urine volume (with a specific gravity of 1.015) of .3 liters x 50 rest room users daily = 15 liters per day. Add to that the water entering the tank from each flush, we conservatively used 1 liter as the figure, so an additional 50 liters gives us 65 liters of liquid contaminant. If you multiply that by 13.8 pesos (the approximate cost of Premium) the Pemex franchisee is making a profit of nearly 900 pesos a day! That comes to the nice sum of around 25,000usd a year!!

Could they have plumbed it so?

Would they?

If future findings of the spectrometer reveal the presence of urine in the samples, I think we may have stumbled upon a heretofore unknown Pemex scam to beat all Pemex scams.

Stay tuned.

And all this is going to change Mexico how?


jreboll

Sep 2, 2014, 3:47 PM

Post #8 of 46 (3753 views)

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Re: [ifyoucanttakeajoke] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I think Oaxagringo has his tongue firmly in cheek.


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 2, 2014, 3:55 PM

Post #9 of 46 (3750 views)

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Re: [jreboll] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I think Oaxagringo has his tongue firmly in cheek.

Or is a troll ROTFLHAO.


cbviajero

Sep 2, 2014, 4:04 PM

Post #10 of 46 (3746 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question about the gasoline,in other words my Tacoma has been running on gasoline adulterated with urine for the last ten years without a problem,que guererras son las Toyotas!


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Sep 2, 2014, 4:06 PM)


Oaxagringo

Sep 2, 2014, 4:55 PM

Post #11 of 46 (3721 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question about the gasoline,in other words my Tacoma has been running on gasoline adulterated with urine for the last ten years without a problem,que guererras son las Toyotas!


Remember, cbviajero, this was just one station out of 32 we checked. We have been running sample here locally in the city of Oaxaca and on our numerous sojourns into "los valles" and have yet to encounter the same results.

When our many Zapoteca friends emphatically encouraged us to fill our tanks in the city before our visits because of all the problems with the gasoline quality found in their areas we decided to set up the spectrometer and see what may be the problem. After running samples from 6 different stations we found one particular common contaminant.

Clay! The famous barro de Oaxaca! Clay particles, which can measure 4 or less microns in size, apparently have filtered into the underground tanks and mange to remain suspended in the gasoline. Perhaps due to the constant seismic activity in the area? We took samples in the 3 valleys and found a shared result. The spectrum indicates a low octahedral iron content. A silica phase (band at 790 cm-1) was also detected

The clay, being subjected to the high temperatures inside the engine's cylinders was turning into hardened material much like pottery!! The engine was basically the kiln. This hardened material was being deposited on the exhaust valves and keeping them from seating properly. Compression checks showed ratios of 4:1 or worse.


tashby


Sep 2, 2014, 5:04 PM

Post #12 of 46 (3710 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Quote
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question about the gasoline,in other words my Tacoma has been running on gasoline adulterated with urine for the last ten years without a problem,que guererras son las Toyotas!


Guess you could say you've been driving the piss out of it.


cbviajero

Sep 2, 2014, 5:19 PM

Post #13 of 46 (3702 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I'm very impressed with the time and effort you have put in to this research,what's your take on Mexico's new energy reforms,do you think they'll have any impact on the quality or the price of the gasoline Pemex is selling us?
One more question before I forget ,did you measure any of the samples to see if they were really selling you"litros de a litro"?


chris cooper

Sep 2, 2014, 6:05 PM

Post #14 of 46 (3684 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I{d also be interested in the short liters at Pemex stations. I have checked the Profeco lists of violators during my travels around the country but more than once it seems like I'm getting shafted at the pump. The gas gauge needle just doesn't go high enough.


Oaxagringo

Sep 2, 2014, 8:23 PM

Post #15 of 46 (3660 views)

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Re: [chris cooper] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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I{d also be interested in the short liters at Pemex stations. I have checked the Profeco lists of violators during my travels around the country but more than once it seems like I'm getting shafted at the pump. The gas gauge needle just doesn't go high enough.


Well cb and Chris, I can only tell of my experiences here in Oaxaca and that probably won't be of much use to you wherever you are in la república. Well, assuming you aren't where I am!!! LOL

I did have a fairly recent experience with PROFECO and their attempts at forcing filling stations to comply with proper liter measurements.

Upon our arrival in Oaxaca, we were hosted at an extraordinary dinner party given in our honor. We shared an incredible meal of traditional Oaxacan fare. My late mother in law was renowned for her culinary talents and extensive knowledge of la cocina Oaxaquena y Zapoteca . These talents were passed on to others in my family and I feel blessed to have partaken of many excellent traditional meals that only the most fortunate foreigners have shared.

We were also introduced to a number of leading academics and government officials. One was the local delegado of PROFECO. We also had the pleasure of being invited to several social gatherings held by the delegado, both official and private. On one occasion I had discussed our research into gasoline quality both on our trip down from the States and locally in the city and outlying areas. He showed great interest and asked if we would share our findings. He promised he would have his people act upon any irregularities and wanted to send the information we had collected on to the main PROFECO office in the DF. We were later thrilled to receive an official letter of appreciation signed by the soon to be ex-procurador Humberto Bénitez .

While discussing our findings with the local official I was asked if I may lend a hand to their measurement verification program. It seems their calibration instruments had suffered from acute neglect and were no longer functioning properly. Their officers had taken to using a graduated plastic measuring container purchased at the local ferreteria for checking the liters at the pumps! Well one thing that I love is a challenge.

The first thing was to check in with my good friend that is the head of post graduate program at the school of engineering , Universidad Anahuac Oaxaca and to see if he could steer us towards a supplier of steel stoppered pycnometers we would be using to collect samples. The next problem was deciding whether to utilize gravimetric or volumetric methods for our measuring. Shaking the cobwebs inside my head I recalled a class in advanced physics at the University of Chicago the volume measuring system for a gasoline pump at the servicestation is calibrated at 20 degrees C. If the temperature of the gasoline varies what percentage of the amount of mass of gasoline do you receive when making purchase? The coefficient of volume expansion for gasoline is 9.5 x10-4/K.

So leaving aside some of the more technical aspects of accurate measuring of gasoline we were off with some very dedicate, young PROFECO employees for several days of visits to franchises in the area. Blah, blah, blah……..fast forward to our findings. Only 20% of the stations we visited were pumping litros de a litro but get ready………………………………….nearly half were actually dispensing slightly over a full liter!
The problem outside of a few blatant rip offs was more of the inability to assure proper measurement due to lack of accurate instrumentation for calibrating the pumps. So warnings were issued to eliminate the shortages along with the offer to provide technical assistance in proper calibration.


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 3, 2014, 6:59 AM

Post #16 of 46 (3615 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Where is Yucalandia when you need him?


joaquinx


Sep 3, 2014, 9:08 AM

Post #17 of 46 (3575 views)

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Re: [ifyoucanttakeajoke] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Where is Yucalandia when you need him?


There is a need to add more obfuscation to this thread?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


chris cooper

Sep 3, 2014, 9:15 AM

Post #18 of 46 (3566 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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In Reply To
Where is Yucalandia when you need him?


There is a need to add more obfuscation to this thread?


Oh, I don't know. Everything seems pretty clear.


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Sep 3, 2014, 9:19 AM

Post #19 of 46 (3561 views)

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Re: [chris cooper] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To
Where is Yucalandia when you need him?


There is a need to add more obfuscation to this thread?


Oh, I don't know. Everything seems pretty clear.

There's the problem with the USA. All the geniuses moved to Mexico.


RickS


Sep 3, 2014, 10:12 AM

Post #20 of 46 (3542 views)

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Re: [ifyoucanttakeajoke] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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OK, all.... that's enough wandering.


cbviajero

Sep 3, 2014, 10:40 AM

Post #21 of 46 (3527 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Well cb and Chris, I can only tell of my experiences here in Oaxaca and that probably won't be of much use to you wherever you are in la república. Well, assuming you aren't where I am!!! LOL
……..fast forward to our findings. Only 20% of the stations we visited were pumping litros de a litro but get ready………………………………….nearly half were actually dispensing slightly over a full liter!
The problem outside of a few blatant rip offs was more of the inability to assure proper measurement due to lack of accurate instrumentation for calibrating the pumps. So warnings were issued to eliminate the shortages along with the offer to provide technical assistance in proper calibration.

With all due respect,Oaxagringo,I think it's YOUR measuring instruments that need to be re-calibrated,I know my gas gauge very well and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I've gotten shorted at most of the gasolineras I've bought gas at.


Oaxagringo

Sep 3, 2014, 12:01 PM

Post #22 of 46 (3498 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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With all due respect,Oaxagringo,I think it's YOUR measuring instruments that need to be re-calibrated,I know my gas gauge very well and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I've gotten shorted at most of the gasolineras I've bought gas at.


No offense taken, amigo. I am sure that you know that things may be far different in your part of Mexico (where would that be, btw??) than elswhere. Just as most bureaucracies here seem to differ in their application and interpretation of rules and regulations from one place to the next.

But.........LOL, our instruments were calibrated according the Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-011-SCFI-2004 and reviewed by the Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion (EMA). Make NO mistake. We were aware that any error in proper and accurate calibration could compromise PROFECO's prosecution of any violations in case they were challenged in court.


Oaxagringo

Sep 3, 2014, 12:09 PM

Post #23 of 46 (3495 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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Let me, as I promised, continue the cuento of our relocation. My wife and I, refusing to settle into the mundane existence suffered by so many of our friends and acquaintances upon retirement, had long before planned a new beginning in my wife’s hometown in Oaxaca. As I said earlier, we had made numerous visits, some lengthy, some short, over the past decades. During our lengthy visits we kept our minds engaged in a host of different cultural and recreational activities, from mountain biking in Valle Nacional, (infamously known as the Valle de la Muerte or Valley of Death, where common criminals and political enemies shared the same fate during the porfiriato. Few lived to tell the tale of the horrendous cruelty they suffered. I had first heard of the region when I read John Kenneth turner’s magnificent narrative, México Bárbaro. Highly recommended work for Mexican history enthusiasts.) to extensive exploration of the impressive archeological sites scattered throughout the region, museum visits and making a concerted effort to learn a Zapoteca dialect. A very rewarding activity as over the years and after gaining the trust and affection in several villages I was known amongst the inhabitants as bixhoze bida gringo ….abuelito gringo!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Obviously we weren't going to spend our later years on a beach in Mazatlan, eating plates of steamed shrimp and knocking down ballenas de cerveza Pacifico.

Not to be judgemental but cada quien su onda!

The gracious and warm reception we received in these villages wasn’t totally derived from my bewitching personality <grins> but due to the legacy of my wife’s grandfather. Soon after the revolution ended, social programs spawned by the conflict, such as universal health and education were very slow in reaching many of the remote areas of the isthmus. Don Adalberto was tireless in bringing aid to these forsaken areas, from delivering government supplied agricultural tools to building schools to drilling wells to guiding medical teams to the regions poorest of the poor. The travel was arduous,on horseback and burro, to say the least. On more than one occasion, they lost their stores to banditry as the rule of law was also lagging far behind that of the more urban ares


(This post was edited by Oaxagringo on Sep 3, 2014, 12:16 PM)


mcm

Sep 3, 2014, 12:53 PM

Post #24 of 46 (3477 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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This is great! Can't wait for the rest of the story....


cbviajero

Sep 3, 2014, 1:25 PM

Post #25 of 46 (3461 views)

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Re: [Oaxagringo] Relocation Oaxaca, the beginning

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In Reply To
]

No offense taken, amigo. I am sure that you know that things may be far different in your part of Mexico (where would that be, btw??) than elswhere. Just as most bureaucracies here seem to differ in their application and interpretation of rules and regulations from one place to the next.

But.........LOL, our instruments were calibrated according the Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-011-SCFI-2004 and reviewed by the Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion (EMA). Make NO mistake. We were aware that any error in proper and accurate calibration could compromise PROFECO's prosecution of any violations in case they were challenged in court.

Well,now I feel kind of silly for questioning the accuracy of your instruments,you're probably right about the regional differences,in answer to your question about where I live, my esposa and I along with our hijo live in Guadalajara also known as the (Perla del Occidente),we also maintain a Casa de Campo in my wife's ancestral village San Pedro de los Saguaros where her great grandmother affectionately known as Doña Lupe was a renowned businesswoman.
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