Events of the day

MONDAY DAWNED chill, gray and ugly. And in the afternoon, it started to rain, which is blasphemy here in February. Climate change. We should do something!

People wonder about folks who retire to Mexico. They ask, “What do you do all day?” The first thing to remember is that chores take longer here than they do above the border. This was very true years ago, but it’s becoming less so now, due to the internet.

After whole-wheat biscuits covered with honey at 8 a.m., I sat before the H-P All-in-One and loaded the website for the state government, specifically the page dealing with car taxes. Dial in the serial numbers and print out the page you take to the bank to pay.

The fee for each of the cars, 926 pesos or about $50 U.S., was the same even though one is a 2009 model and the other is 2014. Twenty years ago, it was necessary to stand in a long line to pay at a government office. Now you take the printed form and go to the bank. Much easier. The bank also has the sticker for the car window.

But the bank visit was for the afternoon. The morning still required other activities like the exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. Just as we were heading out afoot at 10, José Sosa drove up. He’s the guy who did lots of painting here a few weeks ago.

Now he’s painting my sister-in-law’s coffee shop downtown, and he wanted to borrow one of my ladders. You’d think a painter would have ladders. He has plenty of other gear, but not the ladder he needed, so off he went with my ladder.

I have lots of ladders.

After the second breakfast at 11 a.m., I entertained myself with YouTube videos, and my child bride knitted. Lunch happened at 2 p.m., as always. We had meat pies she made on Saturday plus minestrone I made last week. Mexico life is thrilling.

Then we killed 90 minutes watching a show on Netflix. At 4 we headed downtown in the two cars. She had to pass by a cousin’s house to pick up rent for our Mexico City condo. The cousin is footing that bill for a nephew attending a university in the capital.

I parked on the plaza and walked to the bank to pay the car taxes only to find the bank closed due to a national holiday I had neglected to notice. We have so many holidays, it’s tough to keep up. They usually entail a long weekend no matter the day on which the holiday falls. The holiday weekend is called a puente, a bridge.

It bridges from the weekend to the holiday, and you get more days off. We embrace reasons not to work.

The puente also caused my Social Security payment not to arrive at the bank. It’ll arrive mañana, I suppose. My car tax errand stymied, I headed to the coffee shop, sat at a sidewalk table, ordered a café Americano negro, pulled my Kindle from my man bag, and tugged a scarf tight around my neck. It was raining, cold and nasty.

There were wool gloves on my hands with the fingertips missing. My child bride knitted the gloves. You must have skin showing to flip pages on the Kindle.

crawdadI’m reading a book titled Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, her first novel. It’s very good and, at one point, gave me a chuckle. I knew something Delia did not because I am old, and she is younger. In referring to a school lunch served to one of the characters, she mentioned a “carton of milk.” This was 1952.

There were no cartons of milk in 1952, neither in schools nor delivered at dawn to your front door. Just bottles. Cartons came years later. I miss the bottles.

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Tomorrow we’re off to the nearby state capital for our weekly shopping trip, but we’ll have a passenger, our nephew, the kid once known as the Little Vaquero, whom we are taking to an ophthalmologist. He’s not a Little Vaquero anymore. He’ll be 17 next month.

His eyesight is extremely bad and has been for years. His glasses are old, and so are his contacts, which he prefers because he thinks he looks dorky in glasses. His mother’s approach to this situation is: mañana. She does nada. So we’re stepping in.

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As I left the coffee shop this afternoon and walked through a light rain to the Honda, I stopped at pastry shop to buy a brownie. It was not as good as my child bride makes — few things are — but it was darn tasty. These were the events of the day.

Now, at almost 7 p.m., it’s still raining and ugly. I blame Greta.

Life of little things

elephant
Elephant on our plaza.

FEW MEN lead lives like James Bond’s. Maybe none do.

Most lead lives that are a string of chores and small events. I am no exception. Here’s how it went on Monday. The morning hours went as always. Eat, walk, read news.

The real thrills began in the afternoon.

I headed out at 4 p.m. after tossing three bags of trash in the trunk of the Honda. We have neighborhood trash pickup almost daily, but it’s not like you put your garbage can on your curb where its contents get dumped into a huge truck with a mechanical rear end.

No, you have to keep your ears peeled for the clanging of the bell, which announces the trash men are nearby. Then you have to grab your trash bags, unlock the gate and dash down the street where the garbage men wait none too patiently.

It’s a bother, so I rarely do it.

Instead, I toss my junk into the Honda and drive to a spot near downtown that’s behind a large market. A trash truck waits there daily from 4 to 6 p.m., primarily to dispose of the market vendors’ garbage. I take advantage of that.

I’ve become buddies with those trash guys over the years. They love to see me coming because I’m a better-than-average tipper. And there’s my good nature too.

Just before dropping off the trash, I stopped at a paint store nearby and purchased lots of paint that set me back $1,800 pesos, which is a little under $100 U.S. bucks. Later this week, two guys are coming to start some major refurbishing at the Hacienda.

The most noticeable will be the whole front wall facing the street, which is currently a garish, almost orange, shade. It will morph into the color of adobe. The rest of the work will be primarily touch-up in various spots inside. And the entire roof over the dining room and kitchen will be scrubbed and a waterproof paint applied.

I left the paint store with the floor of the Honda’s passenger seat jammed with paint cans. Then I headed to the main plaza where I parked near a pastry shop before walking two blocks to my barber. I just got a rim job, and she charged me 15 pesos, a pittance.

I gave her 20 instead.

Returning to the main plaza, neatly trimmed and with a wool bebop cap atop my head, I went into the aforementioned pastry shop and purchased a chocolate muffin. I then walked to the family coffee shop, sat at a sidewalk table with a hot café Americano negro and my Kindle, and finished a short bio of Paul Newman. Then I drove home.

It appears the monsoon season has ended. It lasted longer than usual this year. Must be that “climate change.” I filmed the short video below this morning because it was a beautiful day, “climate change” or not.

I planted that palm when it was about 18 inches high, and the same goes for those pole cacti, some of which are, I suspect, of the hallucinogenic variety, but I don’t eat them. I just enjoy seeing them. It’s a visual high.

At the end of the video, you see one of the canvas curtains we installed last spring to block rain from entering the upstairs terraza. I’ll be raising the curtains soon, and they’ll stay up till next June when the monsoon descends again.

What’s that elephant up top? Part of a humongous Nativity scene that’s being installed on the plaza. It’s an annual Christmas event. The Yule elephant is larger than an actual beast. I shot the photo with the chocolate muffin in one hand, the camera in the other.

Multi-tasking.

Little things. James Bond would be bored if he walked in my shoes.

We have beautiful women here but no Aston Martins.

Smart young German

IT’S AN OVERCAST, cool morning here at the Hacienda. I’ve been outside doing chores like cleaning the birdbath, wiping the patio table and chairs, chopping up banana leaves, that sort of thing. Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes mañana for what likely will be the final grass cutting of the season. The rains seem to have ended.

Back indoors now, and I found this video and a few more featuring this young German woman. She’s 19 and apparently making quite a splash online with straight talking against the excessive leftist nincompoopery in the Western World.

She is Naomi Seibt.

Some are calling her the conservative answer to that unfortunate, manipulated, uninformed, mentally ill, strident, Swedish girl Greta Thunberg. I am not badmouthing Greta. All of those adjectives are lamentably accurate. Her hippie parents should be jailed.

I enjoy bringing intelligence to your attention. If I had a Patreon account you could reward me financially, but I do not have a Patreon account, but thanks anyway.

While on things political, I would like to point you again to the just-published Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of his Presidency by Doug Wead, a former adviser to two U.S. presidents. I mentioned this book in passing on another post recently. I had just begun reading it then, but now I’m on the home stretch of the 448-page work.

It’s incredible and sad that so little is known about the very significant accomplishments of the Trump Administration due to the news media’s deliberate obfuscation since Trump took office almost three years ago. As I’ve mentioned here repeatedly, about the sole source of accurate info has been White House newsletters. You must subscribe.

But now this excellent, informative book is available.

Wead points out that the Trump phenomenon is unique in that his election win was not the traditional matter of one party defeating the other party. It is more accurately described as the Outsiders defeating the Insiders. The Insiders include Republicans and Democrats both, which explains why so many establishment Republicans oppose him still.

And it explains why the Insiders, particularly hysterical Democrats, are still pushing anything they can invent to eject the Outsider Trump from the Oval Office.

The book cites the huge economic successes, the defeat of ISIS (heard much about that?), the release of numerous American hostages, the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, the big employment gains, getting NATO nations to pay their “fair share” for defense, the improved NAFTA (still not ratified due to Democrat stonewalling) and the considerable reduction of federal regulations that gets government off your back.

The list is very long, and most of it is ignored by the partisan news media and their apoplectic clients in the Democrat Party.

Buy the book. If you’re a clear-headed conservative, you’ll love it. If you’re a confused leftist, well, you’re not going to buy the book, are you? I’ve led you to the water trough, and now it’s up to you to insert your snout. You’ll be a better person for it. Trust me.

The morning overcast is burning off now, and it’s time to go downstairs for cereal and banana. Lunch at 2 p.m. will be smoked chops, stir-fried zucchini and tiny pasta.

Did you listen to Naomi?

Nuttier by the day

THE DEMOCRAT Party, that is. My former party!

There’s bug-eyed Sandy Occasional Cortex’s silly Green New Deal. There’s Nancy Pelosi’s wanting to lower the voting age to 16. (The video addresses that beautifully). There’s Fauxcahontas’ wanting to abolish the Electoral College (because Hillary lost).

There is potential Democrat Party presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s support of Sandy’s saying the world will end in 12 years if we don’t end climate change by, well, ya know, like, grounding airplanes and not letting cattle pass wind.

Lordy me, what is wrong with these colossally ignorant people?

Meanwhile, President Trump soldiers on with solid work, not perfect by a long shot, but he’s making progress considering the powerful, evil forces aligned against him in both parties. Since he will be re-elected handily next year, we can rest easy in the knowledge that planes will still fly, and cows will still fart, at least until January 2025.

After that, God knows. Historically, with very few exceptions, after a president of one party has been in office eight years, a president of the other party replaces him.

There have been, if memory serves, only two exceptions.

That means the Democrat Party has until 2024 to lurch even more toward Loonyville before they retake the reins of power. I shudder to think.

Cows, prepare yourselves! They’ll be coming at you with butt-plugs.