Long-john day

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The kitchen view at 7:15 a.m.

OTHER PEOPLE in Mexico give you sunrises over beaches and palm trees. Not me. I give you a sunrise through the kitchen window.

But that’s not the topic for today. It’s just decoration. The topic is long johns. I normally live through winter with thermal long johns under my jeans. I only take them off to bathe and switch to clean ones when needed. I have many pairs.

I do this because there is no reliable heat in the house. I never wore long johns in Houston where it gets colder than here, but I had central AC/heat there.

The date on which I don my long johns varies widely. I have pulled them up in December some years. That I’ve waited almost till February this year is a good sign. We’ve had only two light freezes so far. Knock on wood. I just did. My desk.

Part of my impetus is that I am fighting off a light cold that began about three days ago with that itchy feeling in the nose. I started overdosing on Vitamin C, which always seems to help if you catch it early. My kind reader named Creigh recommended zinc tablets. I ordered them about six weeks ago, and they’re still in transit.

They do me no good in transit. Alas, I ordered them from a Mexican firm that imports them from the United States when you order them. Better a Mexican firm that has them in stock. That’s what I will do in the future.

I also do a routine you may have heard of. Take a glass of warm salty water and snort it up your nose and out your mouth. Sounds gross, but it’s very satisfying. And it helps. A doctor told my mother decades ago that it was a useful thing to do.

Perhaps if I’d donned my long johns earlier, I would not be facing this problem.

Life lessons.

The X-ray routine

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WE USUALLY get chest X-rays once a year. It’s easy to do and cheap to boot.

This is where we do it. You need neither a doctor’s referral nor an appointment. You just go inside and request it. It can be a bit crowded in the morning, so we always show up after 5 p.m. when there is little chance of waiting.

The place is open till 8 p.m.

You tell the receptionist what you want, pay 250 pesos (about $13 U.S. nowadays), wait a few minutes and get ushered into the X-ray room. The technician does his thing, and you return to the waiting room for a brief sit.

Ten minutes later, you get the results that have been interpreted by a radiologist. Yep, for that $13, you get not only the X-ray, but a doctor who tells you what it shows.

Our relatively new socialist president, he who shall go unnamed, has said he’s gonna give us a healthcare system like Canada’s, i.e. “free.” Let us pray not.

And we sure don’t want the type of system that plagues Americans.

We both got X-rays on Thursday, and we are free of problems. Good to go.

A cold, waning day

IT’S 6 P.M., and cold in the house. I’m in flannel pajamas, a heavy coat, a snazzy scarf around my neck and a watch cap on my grizzled head.

There is nothing to be done. It’s late January, and we’ve actually been lucky so far. There were light freezes on two consecutive nights earlier this month, but it’s not dipped below 32º since. Other winters have been far worse. But some have been better.

I never weary of marveling at Mexican thought processes. Of course, it could be just my wacky relatives, not Mexicans in general, but I tend to project family nuttiness onto the nation as a whole.

Last week we enjoyed about three beautiful, consecutive, mild days, so my sister-in-law stated one afternoon with a straight face that she thought winter was over. My child bride agreed. A couple of nice days, and seasons are redefined for them.

I chuckled at the absurdity, and I’ve been proven right, not surprisingly. A few days ago, it got ugly, cold, and it even rained, which is not supposed to happen in January, not here anyway. It’s the dry season. Cold is one thing. Cold and wet is worse.

A few nights ago we watched a movie on Netflix titled The Bookshop which is set in England in the late 1950s. It stars two of my favorite actors, Bill Nighy and Emily Mortimer.

Ray Bradbury is mentioned repeatedly, and it occurred to me that I have never read anything by Ray Bradbury. I downloaded a Kindle sample of Death Is a Lonely Business, and it became clear why. He’s too cutesy and wordy for my taste.

Before coming home and slipping into the flannel pajamas, I was on the main plaza downtown with a café Americano negro and a raspberry muffin from a nearby pastry shop. I pulled out my Kindle and began the Lonely Business sample.

I couldn’t cut it. One of the many great things about Kindles is that one can order free book samples. Ray Bradbury will remain alien to me, and I don’t care.

Before writing this post, I opened the Gab social media website where I have an account. Gab is the free-speech alternative to Twitter. Leftists say it’s a white-supremacy website or alt-right, whatever that is, but it’s not, although you will find lunatics there. Most are not. One of the downsides of free speech is you have to let everyone speak.

The lunatics are easily blocked.

Big Tech has done everything imaginable to destroy Gab, including barring ways to financially contribute. Just recently, Gab found a way to accept credit cards again, and I used that route today to donate a small sum plus buy a Pepe the Frog sticker for my Honda.

pepe-the-frog-sticker-telegram-meme-frogIt is en route, Gab told me. I will have the only Pepe sticker on the mountaintop although in a field between here and the nearby capital city, there is a huge boulder that appears about eight feet high and wide, and it’s been painted to look like Pepe! I keep meaning to pull over and take a photo.

I briefly read Gab daily, rarely post anything but, amazingly, have over 1,000 followers. I do use Gab’s excellent and relatively new browser, Dissenter.

Pepe the Frog has been used as a freedom symbol by those Hong Kong protesters, and everyone knows those Chinamen are white supremacists and alt-right crazies.

Well, I’ve gone on long enough. It’s dark now, and my child bride will return from the gym very soon, expecting her salad to be ready. I cannot disappoint her.

The window treatment

before
The “Before” shot.

WE HAVE THIS window, you see, from the dining room out to the garden. It provides a nice view in the morning while we’re enjoying biscuits, honey and café Americano negro.

But for some reason it’s the window that attracts far more rain in the monsoon months and sun in the sunny months than any other window. Both elements play havoc with the wood, which we must refinish with an unholy frequency.

A refinishing was done just a few weeks ago during other paint work.

Plus, there are a few weeks of the year when the sun sits just so in the morning sky, aiming its rays directly into my eyes while I’m trying to enjoy those biscuits and honey at the dining room table. It forces me to sit in odd positions, seeking comfort.

For years, I’ve been saying: Something must be done.

At last, I have done it.

install
Nico does his magic.

The man known as Nico, who custom made and installed the canvas curtains around the upstairs terraza last spring, came to the rescue. We now have an awning.

Didn’t cost much either. Should have done this years ago.

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The “After” shot.

It looks quite spiffy, I think, and will go a long way to protect the wood from rain and rays all year, plus my eyes during those certain months at breakfast.

Speaking of changes, I have also installed a new photo in the website header, replacing the ancient church that’s held that spot of honor for quite a spell. I took this new photo myself downtown yesterday, a mural in an interior patio.

The entire photo does not fit in the header. To see it all in lovely color, click here.

I am fond of skulls. Bones in general. They remind me of mortality.