The bone corner

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SITTING IN THE living room on the scarlet sofa thinking about life.

Looking across the room at the bone corner.

No gainful employment, no money concerns, no health worries, just creaky, that’s all. My own bones. It could be worse, far worse. Sunday morning, and I already did some gardening, trimming the bothersome bougainvilleas, cut a few branches from the neighbors’ fruit trees that are hanging over to my side. Lousy, surly neighbors.

We’re doing more stuff away from home these days, weary of this Kung Flu hullabaloo. Tomorrow I’m taking the Honda to the garage for an overdue servicing, plus replacing the water pump and the AC Freon. This afternoon we’ll be lunching at a restaurant downtown that’s been closed for weeks but now is open weekends, just weekends. Gonna eat Sloppy Joes and French fries. I love anything you can dip in ketchup.

I crave raw oysters dumped into a cup of ketchup and horseradish. Problem is that there are no raw oysters on the mountaintop, and I wouldn’t eat them anyway, not anymore. Too much pollution. Plus, you need Dixie Beer with raw oysters to do it right.

Sitting on a stool in the dim, air-conditioned bar at Schwegmann’s supermarket on Airline Highway in Metairie, Louisiana, while the summer sun buckles the street tar outside would be the ideal setting, but those days are gone. For me, at least.

Made some rounds around downtown yesterday afternoon, hunting biscuits. Went to my usual place on the big plaza. No biscuits. Drove to another pastry shop, a newish one near the Downtown Casita. No biscuits. Drove back near the plaza to yet another pastry shop on Romero Street, and bingo! Biscuits. I bought six. Whole wheat.

Biscuits are the Staff of First Breakfast at the Hacienda. Costco sells biscuits too, but they are ponderous with butter, and I don’t like that.

Sloppy Joes, French fries, raw oysters and biscuits. Three out of four ain’t bad.

A history of cars

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The Hellacious Honda poses at age 11 by the Alamo Wall.

AS I AM NOT a foodie, I am not a car person either.

I bought my first new car when I was 50 years old. Actually, it was a pickup truck, a 1995 Ford Ranger, bottom of the line, color green, and pathetically underpowered.

With the A-C turned on, it accelerated like a ground sloth.

Before that, I always purchased used cars or drove one I was gifted, way back, by my parents, or I used the car that came with a love interest. For considerable chunks of my adult life, I had no car at all, and/or I used a bicycle.

I love motorcycles, however, and I’ve bought them new. The first was a 1977 Harley-Davidson Sportster, a chic, black, rumbling thing. Wish I still had that beauty.

When I moved to Mexico I left the Ford Ranger parked in the driveway of the home I had gifted my second ex-wife because I did not know if Mexico would be a keeper, and I didn’t want to return to Houston, of all places, with no ride.

After deciding to stay in Mexico, just a few months after moving south, I asked my ex-wife to put an ad in the Houston Chronicle and sell it. She refused, just didn’t wanna bother, and I was forced to fly to Houston, and drive the Ford to Atlanta where I stayed with my parents while I advertised the truck. It sold quickly.

My plan on moving to Mexico was to be car-free. Public transportation is great here, but I was too addicted to Gringo mobility. After seven months, I bought a car.

It was the second new car of my life, a 2000 Chevy Pop, which is sort of a Geo Metro clone, not sold in the United States. It’s a great car for what it is. Not long after I married my child bride in 2002, we drove the Chevy Pop all the way to Atlanta. Straight shift, manual windows, no A-C, no stereo, no power steering, no airbags, no nada.

In 2004, we decided something bigger and with A-C would be nice, so we bought a Chevrolet Meriva, also something that’s not sold in the United States. The Brazil-made Meriva was — maybe still is — sold in other parts of the world as an Opel or Vauxhall.

But in Mexico it was a Chevrolet. Neither the Pop nor the Meriva are sold in Mexico anymore. It appears the Chevrolet Spark replaced the Pop. The Meriva just vanished.

We loved the Meriva, but after five years we decided something even bigger, with A-C, power steering, cruise control, airbags and automatic transmission would be more fitting for our age and station in life, so we bought the 2009 Honda CR-V you see up top.

Though it has some annoying details — touches the cheaper Meriva possessed but the Honda does not — it’s been a wonderful car. In 11 years, nothing of note has broken. Like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps on truckin’.

A couple of times I’ve considered selling it for no reason other than to have a new ride, which is a dumb reason to sell a car. At first I considered replacing it with the highly rated but goofy-looking Kia Soul, but I’ve decided that, when necessary, I’ll buy a Kia Seltos.

As recently as six months ago, I was giving serious thought to the Seltos, but I’ve decided against it because it would be a stupid waste of cash. The Honda is wonderful, and I want to remain faithful even if she is old in car years.

Fidelity is an admirable trait, and she’s never two-timed me.

I love her.

A Wednesday rundown

AT 8:30 A.M., I was parked in my post-pajama attire outside a tire outlet on the ring road with the intention of buying four new tires.

I arrived just moments before the joint opened and purchased Goodyears. My previous tires lasted the kilometer equivalent of about 30,000 miles and 2.5 years. I would have preferred more of both those measures. This new set cost the peso equivalent of about $367 U.S.

Having no point of comparison, I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

The new tires mean one thing:  I will be keeping the 2009 Honda indefinitely, not switching it for a new Kia Soul, which I’d been thinking of doing.

The Honda runs fine, so …

* * * *

Perhaps you know that a cabal of social media providers simultaneously threw Alex Jones, the Infowars fellow, into oblivion this week for no reason other than they do not like what comes from his mouth.

This is a very bad thing.

Jones is an objectionable fellow, I’ll grant, but the left-wingers crushed him because they disagree with his opinions. I heard something interesting this morning. It’s that virtually all of the world’s social media comes from within 300 miles of San Francisco.

Chew on that.

Some are calling Jones the canary in the mine.

Though Trump sits in the Oval Office, the Bolsheviks still control most of the important sectors of society in the Western World.

It’s a good time to be old and approaching death.

* * * *

It’s a lovely, cool August day here. After picking up the Honda at 10 a.m. and smooth-riding back to the Hacienda on new rubber, we ate cereal. My child bride cooked pinto beans for lunch this afternoon. We always have roasted chicken and beans on Wednesday.

I showered and dressed, did some plant trimming in the yard, swept the veranda, and now I’m going to the Jesus Patio and put my feet up.

* * * *

The news from yesterday was that I had a gold crown fall off one of my back molars. A few hours later I walked into a dental office on Romero Street, and a pretty young dentist reconnected it lickety-split for about $15 U.S.

 

Gimme a hand, por favor

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What I want. A new Kia Soul.
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What I have. A 2009 Honda CR-V.

I AM ON THE horns of a dilemma. Feel free to chime in.

I’ve been thinking of buying a new car, but I can’t come up with a very good reason to do so other than it would be nice to have a new car. Does that justify the financial outlay? Not really.

The 2009 Honda CR-V we have owned for almost a decade runs great. It’s never given me a lick of serious trouble. Honda makes wonderful cars.

In the last year or so, two large plastic covers have come loose beneath the car. They were easily and cheaply reconnected, but is that a hint of more serious trouble ahead?

I’m concerned about the airbags that have been packed tightly in there somewhere for 10 years. Will they still deploy correctly if needed? Mexicans drive like lunatics, so airbags are wise south of the border. It was the primary reason I bought the Honda in 2009. Our previous Chevrolet Meriva lacked airbags.

There is the matter of the Honda depreciating every year, and a new car increasing in price every year. Would it be cheaper to switch now? Most likely.

The Blue Book value of the Honda currently sits at 125,000 pesos. The price of the car we would buy, a 2018 Kia Soul EX TA, is 332,000 pesos. The difference between those two at today’s exchange rate is a bit over $10,000 in U.S. bucks. I would use dollars from above the Rio Bravo.

The exchange rate is very favorable now due to Trump and AMLO, and may it continue that way at least until January.

I would have to wait till January to make a purchase due to Gringo tax issues. The 2019 Kias would be available then, one supposes. Maybe I can get a deal on a leftover 2018.

What would you do in my spot, and why? Gracias in advance.