Felipe’s been distracted

GOTTA INQUIRY from a reader today, Dave Davis, wondering why it’s been silent here for a week. I’ve been busy with other things. That’s all.

For instance, yesterday we drove down the mountainside to the nearby state capital to see the movie Joker, especially since so many leftists are hysterical about it and the bad example they say it sets. People might even shoot up the theaters, they howled and wept.

Crazy people do bad things with guns, you know, and it’s the fault of the guns.*

jokerI fail to understand the hubbub about the movie. It was reported to be very violent. It isn’t.

There are four murder scenes, no more. In two of them, a pistol is used, and I didn’t see any blood whatsoever. Also, a suffocation. Again, no blood. A knife was used in the fourth, and it got a bit grim, but by modern, anything-goes standards, the flick’s almost PG.

You want to see violence? Watch Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 cult classic The Wild Bunch. Now there is a violent movie, one which I love, by the way.

Joker is similar to the 1976 movie Taxi Driver in that both are about losers who descend into homicidal madness. Taxi Driver and Joker are about equal on the violence scale. And Taxi Driver‘s star, Robert Di Niro, has a role in Joker. Coincidence?

Joker is very dark and grim, not suitable for young children for that reason. It’s less about violence than it is about insanity. The movie’s finale was too drawn-out. Otherwise, it was interesting, and Joaquin Phoenix is a very good actor.

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I’ve also been busy with time-consuming computer matters. A word-processing program I’ve used for years, and on which I had some important documents saved, decided recently to display everything garbled. I could find no solution. Luckily, I also have hard copies of most of the documents, but they’ll have to be typed all over again.

Now I’m using Zoho Writer. I gave other options a test drive, but Zoho won out. It’s an Indian company if you don’t know. Nice document program. Free.

I also investigated browser options. I’m a browser junkie. My primary goal always is to dodge anything Google, and that includes the Chrome browser. I had been using it a short spell due to my previous browser, Comodo Icedragon, disappointing me.

First, I decided on Brave, and it worked well for a week or more till one morning I turned on my H-P desktop, and it simply was not there. It wasn’t anywhere on my desktop machine. Poof! Gone! How strange. I liked it too. Lovers disappoint you.

I downloaded it again, but now I cannot trust it. It’s a backup.

I returned to Chrome, short-term. It is reliable, reliably good, reliably evil. Chrome is a nosy parker. If you open Chrome, take a moment to open your task manager. You’ll find a long list of Google Chrome things running quietly in the background like mice, and if you close Chrome completely, they keep on running. They don’t close when the browser does.

Your life is their cheese. No other browser I’ve tried does that. Not even Firefox.

I’ve settled on a new browser that’s working quite well, a lot like Chrome. You can even use Chrome extensions, which is great. My new browser is Yandex, a product out of Russia. I had tested Yandex a couple of years ago, but it was too Russian, the language.

But it’s improved a lot!

Now you can set it to come up in English nearly always. Occasionally, it will display something in Russian, but it immediately translates it into English. It works very much like Chrome but with some nifty, additional features.

I imagine you’re using Chrome or Firefox and always will. They’re like Facebook and Twitter. They get their claws into you, and you submit like a putz. Sad.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, Dave. Movie-going and online investigating: word-processing and browsers. Also, some yard work and the afternoon visits to the plaza downtown to sit with coffee and my Kindle. It keeps the old boy busy.

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* A parable: A flock of sheep noticed that wolves came into the pasture at night and ate some of their fellow sheep. The sheep noticed that wolves have teeth, so the sheep decided to pull out their own teeth. They felt safe after doing that. But not for long.

The eternal, infernal racket

PERHAPS THE most jarring cultural aspect that hits people in the face and ears on moving to Mexico from a calmer country is the stunning amount of noise.

Mexicans, to a great degree, are like six-year-olds. They are constantly screaming in one fashion or another. It is noise for noise’s sake. You often want to slap their backsides and tell them to shush! Or no dessert.

I found this video that highlights the issue well. It was shot by a vacationing Gringo who rented an upstairs apartment in the State of Jalisco.

Where we live isn’t quite so bad. The Hacienda property extends one block from our hardscrabble barrio’s main street out front to a dead-end street out back. The actual house abuts the back street where traffic is virtually nonexistent.

So the noise-making is usually a block away. However, as I write this just after 7 a.m., I hear the loudspeaker of a propane truck, and someone is blowing into a tuba somewhere. I am not making this up.

For my first few years here, the noise drove me nuts, but I’ve become accustomed to it. When fireworks blast before dawn or a band blares on the nearby plaza, if I wake up, I just turn over and go back to sleep.

The great and the ugly

AMERICA HAS lots to be happy about due to wide-ranging improvements made by the Trump Administration. Economy up, unemployment down, wars down, regulations down. Things are looking fine. Here’s a four-minute video highlighting the pluses of the Trump presidency so far. Enjoy:

Meanwhile, Democrats still are flailing on the floor kicking their arms and legs, screaming like toddlers and advocating violence. It would be laughable were it not perilous. A pundit recently observed that this is the first time since 1861 that Democrats have refused to accept election results.

The Republican National Committee has released its first campaign video for the midterm elections. It focuses on the lunacy of the Democrat Party.

Again, enjoy: