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.

AirBnB sinks further into P.C.

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WE OCCASIONALLY rent our Downtown Casita to vacationers via AirBnB. I say “occasionally” but “almost never” is more accurate these days.

We purchased the place in 2010 with an inheritance I received after my mother died in 2009. We had no plans to rent it. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, an investment, and it has increased in value. Also in my mind was that my child bride might move there after my demise because the Hacienda is a handful for a single inhabitant.

Initially, we planned to overnight there on occasion for the fun of it — it’s walking distance from the main plaza — and we did for a while, and then we didn’t. We never do anymore. That’s when AirBnB came to mind. That mega-business was just gaining traction all over the world. We began to rent fairly often via AirBnB.

There were about 30 AirBnB properties in our city of about 80,000 residents when we started , and now there are over 180. That’s a whale of a lot of rentals in a relatively small tourist town, and it’s affected our business a lot. We don’t get many bites anymore.

AirBnB is based in San Francisco, California. It was launched in 2008, and the current name debuted in 2009, so you see we signed on fairly early.

Being a San Francisco company, AirBnB is firmly committed to every silly detail of politically correct nonsense, and just recently they debuted a new policy: When someone requests a reservation, AirBnB hides the profile photo from the property owner.

That’s right. Even though customers fill out a profile that includes a photo, AirBnB won’t let hosts see it until the reservation is approved. This is to avoid “discrimination” on the part of property owners. You might not want to rent to a Mexican, a gay couple, or two young women with purple bangs, nose rings and an attitude.

And they’re right about that, but if you’re a property owner, you should have the right to cull. That’s my opinion. We do cull by age, but that’s legal in Mexico. It’s not old people we don’t want. It’s young people. We embrace old people.

The way I see it is, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” You can tell a lot about looking at someone’s photo. It’s very helpful in deciding yea or nay, and I’m rather picky. We’ve had 18 rentals, ranging from two weeks (our minimum) to three months (our max) and every one has given us five stars in all categories. I’ve returned the favor.

We’ve had good people. Buena gente.

AirBnB has a written policy, and it reads like a SJW Manifesto. Diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, respect. All that leftist hullabaloo. And now you cannot even see what potential guests look like, a very bad idea. This so-called fairness move is 100 percent in favor of guests and 100 percent against property owners.

I’ll likely be looking into other rental options, ones that favor the property owners over the tenants, ones that stick to capitalism, not Social Justice.

But we’ll stay put on AirBnB, at least till they boot me for being a Trump fan.

More leftist lunacy

JUST WHEN YOU think they can’t get any nuttier, they do.

When our (relatively) new, leftist head of state, whom I refer to as el Presidente Moonbat, took office in December he initiated a number of numskull moves, one of which was to gut the previous administration’s reform of the educational system.

There’s lots of bad things you can say about the previous administration — and Moonbat does that on a daily basis, sowing discord — but it did good stuff too. Like the education reform. Here’s how it worked before the reform:

alfred_E_Neuman_400x400No need to prove you’re qualified to be a teacher. Indeed, your Aunt Guadalupe, on retiring from her teaching post, could have named you as her replacement in spite of your having no teacher training or talent whatsoever. Aunt Guadalupe likely became a teacher in exactly the same way when her Cousin Luis retired.

This is what unions do.

The previous administration’s education reform put a stop to this, and also initiated tests to prove teacher competence. Moonbat has ended that, and we’ve returned to the past.

There are teacher unions in Mexico. Sometimes they battle each other — literally, like throwing punches and chairs, etc. One of these unions, which goes by the initials CNTE, is little more than an arm of the Communist Party, and CNTE is particularly powerful in the State of Oaxaca, which brings us to today’s main topic. At last!

The union in Oaxaca has announced there will be no more teaching of English. Instead there will be classes of  indigenous languages. This is akin to, say, Arizona ending Spanish or French classes and teaching Apache or Navajo instead.

How do you say nincompoopery in Spanish?

And there’s more: All classes will have not one but two teachers. One will provide academic instruction and the other will teach extracurricular subjects, however that plays out. How do you say “staff padding” in Spanish?

And there’s even more: Teachers won’t be issuing grades. Students will grade themselves and that of their peers. The CNTE has also come up with “alternative textbooks,” books which badmouth capitalism and heap praise on famous communists.

More details on this indoctrination here. Pathetic.

Meanwhile, the rating agency Moody’s recently issued a pessimistic report about Mexico’s economic future, citing the federal government’s lack of “public policy coherence.”  Of course, leftist economic “thinking” is inherently incoherent.

And there’s even more: The overwhelming majority of Mexicans think el Presidente Moonbat is the cat’s pajamas. They just adore him. He supports “the poor,” you know.

Unbridled democracy. Just gotta love it!

Confederacy of dunces

THIS IS hilarious. And I’m a sharing sort of fellow.

The Democratic Socialists held a convention in Atlanta last weekend. I would say they all came out of their parents’ basements to attend, but there are old people visible too.

I wonder if my sister flew in from her home in the Socialist Republic of California.

Just so you know, I’m a he/him. “Guy” is fine too.

Below is a slightly longer clip if you want to howl some more. Part of the longer one repeats some of the above clip, but there’s quite a bit of additional hilarity available.