The Odd Pot

A day in the life

HAVING STOPPED working for “the man” many years ago — in 1999 actually — one would think I’d have plenty of time to fill, and sometimes I do.

Sometimes not.

lifeI took a shower this morning in the pre-dawn darkness. It was the first trial of the solar water heater after it had sat on the roof under moonlight. Would there be hot water? Yes. Not as scalding as that boiled under daytime sun, but quite adequate.

I am happy for that.

And why would an unemployed geezer shower before dawn? To be at the bank door at its 8:30 opening downtown. I had business with one of the “executives.” If you get there later, expect quite a wait. I was No. 2 in the door, and was sitting next to an “executive’s” desk in a nanosecond.

What was my business?

Last week the bank (BBVA Bancomer) phoned me about suspicious activity on my spanking new credit card, a card I have never used anywhere except online. (Yes, I have beefy computer protection.) To make a long story short, I opted to cancel the card. I was told that in five business days, a replacement would be awaiting me at the bank branch. That would have been today.

The “executive” told me it had not arrived. I was not surprised because I’m in Mexico. Come back next week, so there’s another predawn shower on my dance card.

Permit me to tell you an amusing story, something I’ve never witnessed at my other banks, HSBC-Mexico and my former Banamex. When Bancomer opens every morning, the branch manager and the other “executives” all gather at the door and greet you as you come in.

¡Buenos dias! ¡Buenos dias!  I’ve never had a bank so tickled to see me.

The credit card thing is no big concern. Connected to that same account is another credit card with my wife’s name and a different number. It still works fine. I just had to switch a number of monthly online payments to the second card.

While sitting at the exec’s desk at 9 a.m., my cell phone rang. It was Ramón, my contractor guy, who told me he and his crew would be at the downtown Casita at 10 a.m. to install a metal door to the second-floor balcony. Perfect timing. I had enough minutes to walk through the outdoor market nearby to buy avocados, tomatoes and strawberries. And to check my PO box.

When Ramón and his crew pulled up outside the Casita just before 10 a.m., I was sitting in a chair on the balcony reading a book on Kindle. Apparently, that amused Ramón who hollered up that he hopes to live that way one day.

I hope he gets to live that way too. He works hard.

The metal door replaces a silly plywood number installed by the home’s builder five years ago.

I left the Casita in the hands of Ramón, and I returned to the Hacienda, about 15 minutes distant, for breakfast No. 2. Since I’m writing this shortly after High Noon, the headline here would be more accurately written as “A morning in the life.”

The day is scarcely half over.

The Odd Pot

Bat neighbors

MOST EVERY morning, after café, bagels and Philly cream cheese, lite, I wash the dishes and step out to the downstairs terraza to sweep. This is especially necessary in Springtime because the season creates plenty of dust.

broomIn July or August the terraza may be awash with blown-in rainwater, but that’s not an issue in Springtime, which is a time of dust. And bats.

This morning I arrived out on the terraza, took a look to my right and there on one of the wooden shelves was an ample supply of dry bat shit, guano they call it.

My gaze traveled upward to the red clay roof tiles, which is where the bats hang out during the day in Springtime but summer too.

I know they’re up there, but I’ve never seen them up there, just the proof — there on the shelf — of their presence. And if you’re on the terraza around dusk, you’ll spot them flying out and high on their nightly dining expeditions. However, they do it so quickly you can’t see where they start from, specifically, their hangar. No matter. The guano spills the beans.

Getting a brush, I flipped the little turds to the floor where they were included in the sweep.

We once found a bat hanging from the ceiling fixture in the downtown Casita’s back bedroom, just above the bed. He couldn’t have been there long because the bed was still unsullied by, well, you know. My lovely wife had gone to the Casita alone, and I quickly received a phone call informing me, hysterically, that “something” was hanging from the light fixture.

What is it? I inquired. She did not know, she responded. Some sort of beast.

I hurried to the Casita — about 15 minutes from the Hacienda — and immediately saw what it was. Nothing confusing about it. Women are funny.

I got a shoe box, donned a pair of leather gloves, and “encouraged” the little bugger to move into the box, which he did with little fuss. For lack of any other solution, I tossed him into a grassy area nearby. I hope everything turned out well for him, though I doubt it did.

How did he get into the Casita? I scratched my noodle, figuratively speaking, for the next few hours. It’s a modern construction, well sealed, and I was puzzled. Later, downtown on the plaza, sitting at a sidewalk table with a hot espresso, it hit me. The chimney! Well, duh.

There’s a small, non-functioning fireplace in the living room.

The next morning, I went to the roof and closed the opening with screen.

Problem solved.

The Odd Pot

The anniversary

patios

I’VE HAD THREE wives, and yesterday the third and best helped me celebrate our 13th anniversary, which is far longer than I was hitched to the previous two brides, though I actually lived with No. 2 for more time — 19 years — and I’m now striving to crack that record.

To mark the occasion, we had a nice lunch downtown, walked around our 500-year-old Colonial burg, then took a ride out in the countryside. Here are some highlights from the day.

The top shot is self-explanatory. That’s the sort of town in which we live. It’s old.

Then we hopped into the Honda, heading to the countryside. On the outskirts of town, we spotted this ice cream parlor, which is not too far from where we live. It’s a fairly recent addition to the neighborhood. What’s a celebration without ice cream? We stopped and ordered.

nieve

Sitting at an outdoor table by the highway and railroad track, we enjoyed the lovely day. The sky was blue, the air was cool, the company was spectacular, and the ice cream was good.

cupsMine was not actually ice cream. It was lemon ice. My child bride ordered that dark stuff that looks like crap in a cup, but she liked it.

After that, we took a trip along a little-traveled route abutting our high-mountain lake. I should have taken another photo because it’s a spectacular ride, but I didn’t.

Then we came home. We’re not big party people. Thirteenth anniversary has a certain ominous ring to it, which is why some hotels skip the 13th floor. But when you think about it a moment, you realize that the 13th anniversary actually marks the end of the 13th year and the beginning of the 14th. If there was cause for concern, it was a year ago.

ship

Yesterday evening, like most all evenings, we watched a movie on Netflix, supped on a nice salad and went to bed around 11ish. Passing through the living room, I saw this sailing ship that sits on a table. It’s a symbol of my continuing voyage to God knows where.

The Odd Pot

The young organizer

THIS RECENTLY discovered video shows the young Barry, in his mid-30s, delivering a talk on his book Dreams from My Father. It’s long, almost an hour, but well worth the watch.

It’s very revealing. It shows how very smooth the man is.  Of course, he’s long had a reputation for eloquence, something I utterly fail to see. I find him quite wooden. But here, not being president or even running for office, he’s more natural.

His racial conflicts are clear. A perceptive observer easily concludes that he’s not comfortable with having white grandparents. He obviously identifies with his black half, not the white. I have a theory about mixed-race people, especially when the two sides are such stark contrasts. My belief is that these people have a big bunch of inner turmoil.

Everybody wants to belong to a tribe, to feel they have “their people.” It’s our nature. This can be manifested in many areas, occupationally, economically, educationally, nationally and, of course, racially, perhaps the most blatant, certainly the most visually obvious.

My tribe is white Southern American Gothic, subset of educated and above-average smarts.

What is Barry’s tribe? Hawaiian, Indonesian, black, white, American, Kansan, Chicagoan? He seems not to know, but for whatever reason, he’s chosen the black tribe which comes with loads of baggage, especially in the United States.

This confusion led Barry into radicalism. He refers in the video to a man named Frank in Hawaii “who schooled me.” Frank, it turns out, was Frank Marshall Davis, an angry, black, journalist, poet and labor activist and, according to some, a communist. At least the FBI kept an official eye on him.

Barry’s life, as we all know but many choose to ignore, has lots of links to unsavory, left-wing, sometimes violent, extremists: Davis, Ayers, Alinsky, Wright, et al.

America these days is awash in racial and sexual conflict and adolescent attitudes. As America anguishes ad nauseam about who is racist and who is not, who is sexist and who is not, who is anti-gay and who is not, the shrinking world beyond its borders spins increasingly out of control.

This will end badly.

I’m reading Dinesh D’Souza’s informative book America: Imagine a World Without Her. Let’s look briefly at two words that D’Souza focuses on: guilt and theft.

America feels guilty about its slavery days.* This was the primary reason Barry was elected twice to the presidency. His economic policies are based on the leftist notion of theft. Wealth is a zero-sum proposition. The successful have what they have due to its being stolen from the less successful.

Thus, redistribution, “fairness” and the infamous “You didn’t build that remark.

To these people, wealth is not created. It is simply stolen. Indeed, Barry’s conflicted worldview runs counter to liberal democracy, wealth-creating capitalism, and liberty.

The video is an hour well spent. He’s mighty smooth.

* * * *

* Slavery has existed through most of history across wide swaths of the Earth, and it still exists today, especially in the Middle East and Africa. It was hardly a phenomenon restricted to the American South or even to white owners. Indeed, 19th century American slavery was enabled by African blacks who captured and sold rival Africans.