Let’s have a chat!

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Motion-sensor light that was poorly aimed.

A CANADIAN who goes by Kris because that’s his name mentioned on another blog today that he does not have a blog because his life lacks events that are sufficiently interesting to merit a write-up. Truth is, you can write about anything.

It’s often not so much the topic but how you present it.

Steve Cotton who lives inexplicably in Casa Cotton in the sweltering, insect-infested, Mexican beach town of Melaque often writes on potentially boring subjects, but his manner of writing makes it interesting. I’ll return to this theme down the way.

* * * *

Steve’s latest post was not on a boring topic. It was a death.

Yesterday, Steve wrote about Ken Kushnir, a first-generation American whose family hailed from Russia and who retired to Mexico many years ago from California with his Honduran wife. Ken died a few weeks ago.

I knew Ken, and I liked him. He was always smiling.

Ken, like Steve, like me, wrote a blog. His nom de internet was Tancho. His is the latest death among a group of Gringo bloggers who moved to Mexico in the last 20 or so years.

Another went by Sparks, but his real last name was Parks. And there was John Calypso who wrote an interesting blog dubbed Viva Veracruz which has been taken offline. Also, not long ago, Michael Warshauer died of cancer. The focus of his blog, My Mexican Kitchen, was, not surprisingly, on cooking and eating. He was a retired baker.

It seems we’re dropping like those proverbial flies.

Ken Kushnir, R.I.P. And, a tad tardy, Michael Warshauer too. Another good guy gone.

* * * *

But back to the topic of blog-writing and how having an interesting life is not required, though it surely helps. A bit of imagination can put, with luck, a fairly engaging spin on most dreary doings. Let’s look briefly at my fascinating day so far.

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A neatly trimmed bougainvillea!

I noticed recently that the motion-sensor light attached to the outside of our bedroom was not coming on when I walked up the Romance Sidewalk from the most critical direction at night. I climbed a ladder to adjust it this morning. Can’t test it till tonight.

I do incredible things.

(Update: The adjustment worked! Just so you know.)

Also today, I stopped procrastinating about trimming the bougainvillea you see in the photo. It’s one of four bougainvilleas in the Hacienda yard, plants I wish I’d never installed here way back when, about 16 years ago.

I went so far as to skip my customary exercise walk around the plaza this morning in order to adjust the light, trim the bougainvillea and write this blather for you. I did complete my gym routine at 7:30, however. I have a gym set here upstairs, and I use it.

The Canadian Kris (see first paragraph) used to leave good comments fairly frequently here, but he decided to stop when I took issue with a positive comment he made about the communist dictatorship of Cuba. Quite a few Canadians seem to have a positive view of Cuba, incredibly. Commenters come and go. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

Kris is welcome to come back. But Canadians are oddballs.

You never know who is reading your stuff. I recently heard from my daughter after a very long absence. She used to read my website years ago, and maybe still does. And she’d leave comments on rare occasion, sometimes to cuss me out.

Yes, I am a defective dad. As was my father before me.

She said that she’d uncovered some of her paternal grandfather’s artwork tucked away in her home. My father liked to paint. And she noticed for the first time some were reproductions of famous artists. Like my father, I also was an artist of sorts.

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My father’s copy of a Winslow Homer piece from 1899.
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Here is how Homer did it.

About the same time, I received an unexpected email from my last ex-wife. Aside from the occasional birthday greeting, I never hear anything from her, so this was a surprise. She wanted to know why I am a Trump fan. She seemed genuinely mystified, and she asked politely, as most Trump foes do not, so I sent her a reply that went something like this:

  1. Trump thumbs his nose daily at Political Correctness, a movement that is quite literally destroying Western Civilization.
  2. He knows the need for borders, and is doing what he can about it.
  3. He’s fighting the Regulatory State and making headway. I don’t recall any other president even mentioning the growing threat of the Regulatory State. Do you?

My response to her was a bit more detailed on those three points. Of course, there are numerous excellent reasons to be a Trump fan, but those are the three I mentioned.

I also mentioned to her the #WalkAway campaign, a movement of former Democrats like me who have abandoned that nefarious party. It’s most visible on YouTube.

Here’s a thoughtful video by a woman who worked in the Clinton Administration. She states why she’s abandoned the Democrat Party and is now a Trump supporter.

I’ve long wondered if my ex-wife reads my website, so she does. I’ve never mentioned my Trump love directly to her. I invited her to join me on the Trump Train because there is room for her. We do not discriminate. We’re a diverse bunch of cheerful folks.

Some of us make moonshine and marry our cousins, but most do not.

It was strange that I received communication from both my daughter and my last ex-wife in the same week. It’s always nice to hear from them, rare as it is.

I think our chat has come to an end. I probably should pack my bag for Guadalajara.

Any ole thing

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BEACH DENIZEN and blogger buddy Steve Cotton recently wrote about the tendency of some Mexico expatriate bloggers to run out of material, letting their blogs lie dormant.

When this happens I think it reflects a lamentable lack of imagination and/or lack of a camera.

Just this morning, while resting on the throne in the upstairs bathroom, I noticed this scene, one I spot daily about that hour. But today it hit me that it’s a bathroom scene rarely seen above the Rio Bravo, so I photographed it.

The upstairs bathroom is colonial tile, floor to ceiling. We have two other spaces that are colonial tile, floor to ceiling.

That would be the downstairs bathroom, which is far larger than this one, and the spacious kitchen.

Making this photo black and white instead of color caused nothing to be lost because the colonial tile is black and white, which was my idea. It was a favorite accent I used when I painted art furniture in a previous life.

The mirror over the sink reflects what’s behind me as I shoot the photo. The light in the mirror is on the ceiling.

So if one runs out of good material to write about, just grab the camera and shoot any ole thing. It’s fun, and then you can blab about it down below … or wherever.

* * * *

To  Mexico City!

Switching gears now, tomorrow my child bride heads off to Mexico City for three nights with a nephew, age 13.

I had planned to go too, but at the last moment I changed my mind, plus they will have more fun without the old codger in tow. It will be the boy’s first visit to the capital.

They will ride the Turibus. They will visit Chapultepec Castle. And they will spend nights at the Casa González just off the spectacular Paseo de la Reforma.

I’ve been in Mexico City a million times. It’s a hassle to get there, and it’s a hassle getting around while you’re there.

It will be the first time in almost 15 years that my wife and I have been separated more than one night.

I’ll be like a bachelor again.

A declining day

streetTHIS IS WHAT late Monday in my hardscrabble neighborhood looked like. It’s the first corner down from the Hacienda.

It’s not Beverly Hills.

Recently, when I got irritated by WordPress, I started looking for some blog alternatives only to discover there’s a reason that WP is the big cheese. The competition isn’t even in the running, at least the free options.

First, I considered returning to Blogger where I opined for years, but on checking that option out, I thought: Yuck! It hasn’t improved a lick.

I really don’t understand why people use it when it’s easy to jump to WordPress. Well, that’s not quite true. I do understand. It’s inertia.

So I will be staying here at WordPress. But during my investigation, I discovered that Tumblr, where I  opened an account years ago and saw nothing of interest, has developed some interesting options.

I have updated my account there, opened a blog with the name of Satellite Moon, and will be posting things there now and then, even though this will remain my main website, Moon No. 1.

At present, I have dropped a few of my favorites from the Pearls of Zapata there, and I’ve added a video and photo, which is what I likely will do more than anything, videos and photos, and Lord knows what else.

The internet is fun. It keeps me off the street and clear of a life of crime. I’m thinking of buying an iPad, for Pete’s sake.

Tenth birthday

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THIS WEBSITE BEGAN a decade ago this month. Not specifically this website because it has changed frocks and faces a few times, but the sole fingers on the keyboard have been mine, 10 years running.

The appearance and tone have morphed significantly — some say for the worse — reflecting the fact that my appearance and tone have done the same over the decade. Change is eternal, often downhill.

I began on Blogger.com with a theme that had the look of parchment paper. The first title was actually the address here at the Hacienda, the street and number, which was kinda dumb, but did not seem so at the time.

Those were more innocent days before the world went wild.

I soon eliminated the street number but continued with the name, Zapata Street, but later it changed to The Zapata Tales, and it was very popular, loved even by some. It got a mention in the popular People’s Guide to Mexico and a number of other more widely read places. The street name inspired my nom de plume, obviously.

The Zapata Tales was often romantic and lyrical, and its focus was living in Mexico. After six years, I wearied of it. Living in Mexico had lost its novelty, so I killed that website, and The Unseen Moon debuted in July 2011.

Fact, fiction and opinion stirred in an odd pot.

I still write about Mexican life, but I prefer to address other things, political things, especially politically incorrect things from my astute, fearless, oft-conservative viewpoint. Sometimes I write very short fiction, which is what I prefer most of all. Alas, the muse visits me infrequently, and I don’t force it.

The Zapata Tales’ run of seven-plus years inspired some interesting feedback. Here are some of my favorites:

Infectiously personal.

Pretentious dolt.

Wise, wry writing from a beautiful place.

You’re like a drunk uncle.

You’re a right-wing wacko.

God, you are hysterical.

I love the intimacy you share.

I’m proud of these and the scads more I did not include here.

* * * *

This website is for diversion. I make no money. Of course, I am dead set against Mohammedans, a recurring theme. And collectivists too, but the only harm I wish upon collectivists is that they lose elections resoundingly.

They are dreamers, sometimes dangerously so. Mohammedans are simply dangerous, period.

I also strongly oppose efforts to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Not because they are not lovely notions — they surely are — but because they run counter to human nature. Far more often that not, multicultural societies wallow in mayhem and murder. Global examples abound. Close the iPad and look around you.

Gaze no farther than within the United States these days.

* * * *

I abandoned Blogger.com in 2010 and switched to WordPress, which I find superior. And I favor a clean, simple look, which is easier to read. I prefer two- or three-line paragraphs and a space between them.

Some blogs (a dreadful word) look like someone loaded a shotgun with words, bolts, nails, scrap metal, hand grenades and paint, and fired at the computer screen. You won’t find that here.

Neither will you encounter literary allusions nor theatrical references* nor ten-dollar words few people know. And you won’t see Spanish, though I speak Spanish. I’m here to impress you, but not in those ways.

I favor simplicity and clarity. Both on The Moon and here on Earth.

The longest post, actually two tandem posts, was the report on our 10th anniversary trip to the communist horror of Cuba. That report was serialized in the fun and informative The Weekly Bulletin of Brazoria County, Texas. That the publisher is a former coworker on the Houston Chronicle is pure coincidence, of course.

My best efforts over the past decade are immortalized in a separate website, which I humbly titled The Pearls of Zapata. Two of my favorites are The Broken Staircase and Victoria and the Cowboy.

One is fiction, but the other is true.

Often I think of packing it in. But then something pops up that annoys or fascinates me, and I feel like sharing. I was 60 years old when I started this, and now I’m 70. I wonder if I’ll still be doing it at 80 … or even breathing.

* * * *

* Since I know almost nothing theatrical or literary, this is an easy vow to keep.

(Note: WordPress tells me that about 80,000 people viewed The Moon in 2014. Come again, bring your friends and neighbors, and feel at liberty to leave a comment.)