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  • Los Cabos International Film Festival Finally Releases Schedule (2017/11/08 14:08:14)

    There's nothing like waiting until the last minute to create buzz for an event. The Los Cabos International Film Festival starts tonight and organizers have JUST released the schedule! (Scroll down to see each day's events.)

    Yes, we know it's hard to read, but it's all we got. Really, you should be happy there's a schedule at all. Now, whether or not they'll stick to this schedule is another story. And if you were hoping for ticket prices, well, that would be a miracle. 

    The film fest starts this evening at the cultural center in Cabo at 6:00 p.m. with a red carpet, followed by an opening night gala. The first film of the festival, Battles of the Sexes, will be shown at 8:00 p.m. There will be a full schedule of film screenings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with movies running for almost 12 hours, mostly at the Cinemex at Puerto Paraiso and it's VIP lounge, and a few at the cultural center. The film festival wraps up on Sunday, with about half as many films showing that day.

    While previous film festivals have focused primarily on Mexican films in Spanish (meaning most of you Gringos couldn't understand a thing), that's not the case this year. A new film festival board director, along with the return of the festival's original founders) means this year's festival includes plenty of films in English.

    For the full story on the film festival's chaotic history and the changes made to this year's festival, click here.

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  • Eeek! What's That Growing In Your Home? (2017/11/02 10:53:05)

    Jose Lima knows mold and mildew when he sees it. And he wants you to know a few things about it. The first is that mold spores are everywhere. Mold spores in general aren’t a problem, but they can become a problem very quickly given the right ambient conditions (heat and moisture).

    mold.jpgThe other thing he wants you to know is that if mold has infiltrated your home, it’s going to take more than the old home remedy of hitting it with bleach to get rid of it.

    Jose is a mold home inspector and ozone machine operator. Ozone is a gas that’s created when oxygen molecules are split into single atoms. These atoms combine with nearby oxygen to form a three-oxygen molecule. Ozone is good for killing mold and mildew because, at high levels, it deteriorates the mold’s cell structure and breaks down its ability to reproduce. According to Jose, ozone is 3,200 times more effective than bleach at killing mold. And because it’s a gas, it can kill the spores in the air that you can’t see.

    Jose’s company uses machines (which look like something out of a sci-fi movie), to pump ozone throughout the homes they treat. As the ozone fills the house, every interior surface - including floors, ceilings, closets and furniture - gets sanitized. While ozone isn’t able to go through solid walls, it goes where normal air can go, even down into cracks and

    crevices. In houses that have central air conditioning systems, Jose will put the ozone into the air ducts, so it goes throughout the system.

    “That’s when ozone is fantastic,” he says. “It’s one of the very few things that you can put inside the system that won’t damage the equipment.”

    The ozone machines take about 12 hours to kill the mold. No people or pets can be in the house at the time. Jose’s clients usually leave the house for the night while the machines work, but you can also choose to have them start early in the morning, so they’ll be finished by the evening.

    Jose’s inspection services start at $350, depending on the size of the house. And it’s not just a visual inspection; he also uses an endoscope camera to go inside different areas and behind walls.

    Ozone treatments start at $200, depending on the size of the house, and how many machines. For mansions, they have to go by sections. Jose says they can also treat boats and yachts. According to him, he is the qualified mold and mildew treatment provider in Los Cabos.

    For more information, contact Jose by calling (624) 141-6627 or emailing him at clients@lahuertadelsol.com. To see how you can tell if you have mold in your home, see our full article here.

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  • What's Happening For Day Of The Dead? (2017/11/01 16:26:04)

    Day of the Dead is a very festive, traditional Mexican holiday. Every November, on Day of the Dead, Mexican families wait for their deceased loved ones to pop back up so they can welcome and entertain them with the dishes and drinks they enjoyed in life. The Mexican tradition says that the deceased make a long journey every year to visit the living, and are welcomed with festivities, food and some elements before they go back to their resting place.

    The altar de muertos (altar of the dead) is the main attraction of this event, as its purpose is to help the souls find their way home. These are often huge, multi-tiered affairs, with lots of decorations, including candles, flowers, pictures of the deceased and their favorite foods and drinks.

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    They are truly a sight to see, and there are several places in Los Cabos where you can view them. At the Puerto Paraiso mall in Cabo, 10 hotels will each set up their own alter, vying for best. You can view them from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

    And going up on the marina now are 10 Day of the Dead altars, being set up by students from the state college here in Cabo. You can see them in front of Captain Tony’s and this rag’s local worldwide headquarters.

    Another alter (pictured left) is at Plaza Mariachi downtown Cabo, the plaza across from Giggling Marlin on the main drag. While you’re there have a cold one at Rip’s bar, and the American style BBQ ribs at Taco Loco.

    Over in San Jose, the organizers of the weekly Art Walk are hosting a Day of the Dead altar competition this evening, along with a La Catrina costume contest. She’s the skeleton lady all dressed up in a dress and hat that you see everywhere. You can find all this downtown in the art district, on Morelos and Obregon streets.

    Flora Farms, just outside of downtown San Jose, hosted its Day of the Dead altar contest on Halloween, but you can see all 15 of their entries now through November 6. 

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  • He Wants To Suck Your Blood! (2017/10/31 17:11:50)

    Casa Dracula in Todos Santos from Gringo Gazette on Vimeo.

    The weathered mansion known as “Casa Dracula”  was built in 1852 by Don Antonio Domingues. He was one of the great sugar barons of Todos Santos. The house took on its haunted persona after remaining empty for many years; generation after generation  reported bats flying in and out of the gothic windows. Children are even reputed to hurry past the house or cross the street rather than be near it.

    According to one of the current owners, Rex Weiner, "Domingues was a very rich man and when he died, there were rumors that he hid his treasure, his gold, somewhere on the property and in the years since then many people have been looking for the treasure of Casa Dracula.” Weiner recounts holes being dug around the courtyard where people searched for a safe containing gold. He even tells stories of a very heavy 19th century safe being stolen from the second story of the house.

    Generations of squatters and more recently owners have reported spooky noises inside the hacienda, “Sometimes footsteps coming up the stairs and nobody arrives, sometimes things moving around. We understand that it’s the original owner who is restless in his house” said Weiner. And there is other folklore surrounding the home's relationship with Dia de los Muertos, “The legends talk about a giant chicken, un pollo grande. They also talk about the enanitos which are elves scurrying around.” 

    Most of the myths surrounding Casa Dracula are related to Don Domingues’ reputation for greed. Weiner recounts, “he exploited his workers, he literally sucked the blood of his sugar cane workers. In Mexican culture, the vampire, the blood, these things are very common in folklore. Here in Mexico there is a long history of blood. Sangre (blood) goes all the way back to Aztec times, where people were sacrificed and blood was shed from the tops of those pyramids. Dracula was a very popular cinematic character so the idea of the Casa Dracula, the house of Dracula was very much in their minds when they (locals) saw this place and the bats.”

    The present owners of Casa Dracula purchased the house in 1985 from the great grand daughter of its original builder.

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