Tag Archives: travel

New and improved


LOTS OF related websites are connected here. There are links in the right-side column. History has shown me that few folks pay them any mind in spite of their often being more fascinating than what you see here in the middle space.

I’ve not been happy with one of those related pages for quite some time. Newspaper Days. Recently, a nice woman clicked “like” on it, and that brought the page to my attention.

Still didn’t like it, so I zapped it.

In its place is a new and improved version of my Newspaper Days. More info, more photos, better written. Think of it as a Prius instead of a Ford Fairlane.

For folks who’ve been passing by the Moon for more than a short spell, you already know that I am a retired newspaperman. Not a journalist, a newspaperman. Having never taken a journalism course in my life, how could I be a journalist? I did work for newspapers for 30 years, however. Newspaperman.

I never had delusions of grandeur.

When I got into that now-discredited occupation, having studied journalism frequently was not a requirement. Being fairly sober and being able to stand up straight and construct a reasonably coherent sentence often was enough.

And being male. Getting hired in newsrooms if you weren’t a guy was pretty much impossible with one exception: society pages. Lots of ladies in the Society Department.

It’s called Lifestyle now. Or simply Style.

In Newspaper Days, I follow my checkered career from New Orleans to San Juan, back to New Orleans and then to Houston, Texas, where I spent the entire second half of my newspapering life. It was a good gig, so I stayed 15 years.

The best was San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was the briefest even though I worked there on two separate occasions in the early to mid-1970s for a bit under two years total.

This is a photo of where I lived the second stay:

My penthouse was just off to the left, one or two buildings. Sweet, huh?

You can see the news business was good to me. The pay was okay too. I did not get rich, but I did retire debt-free to Mexico when I was just 55 years old. Wife-free too.

Take a look at the longer version, which gets into booze, suicides, mangy bars, mangy dogs, Cuban coffee, the effects of political correctness, the effects of Watergate. And there are my mugshots on all my press passes save one. Cute!

The other direction

New Image
Pirates buried here?

THE BEST-LAID plans often fly awry. Our plan yesterday of doing lunch on the shore of a nearby, high-mountain, lake was thwarted by a huge traffic jam caused, it appeared, by the balloon festival downtown.

So we went in the other direction.

We ended up in a restaurant just past a village with the cute name of Tzintzuntzan where we had fish and chicken and mole and guacamole and sopa Tarasca.

Instead of returning directly home after dining, we continued all the way around our local high-mountain lake, a jaunt of just under an hour, depending.

This route is a rural two-laner with spectacular views of mountains and lake. One passes wandering burros and indigenous women toting this, that and the other.

During the ride, I snapped the above photo of a cemetery gate. The photo might have been better had I not forgotten that I’d put the camera on video mode earlier.

It was on video mode because just as we were leaving for lunch, it started pouring rain. I stood on the veranda and used the video of my Canon camera for the first time.

The rain ended quickly, and we had a great afternoon. At times, the other direction is the best route.

It’s a good Rule of Life.

Rambling man

THIS MORNING, shortly after  dawn, I stepped out onto the upstairs terraza, as I often do at that hour, looked at the thermometer and saw 60 degrees. That rarely varies a degree much of the year at that hour.

The moment brings the standard thought: I’m lucky to live here.

I pause. I listen to the roosters. I listen to the burros. I listen to the dogs, all distant enough. Sometimes I listen to a passing freight train. It’s music to my ears, as someone famous once said.

Almost every day I head downtown in the afternoons for café at a sidewalk table, and there are options for baked sweet potato, lemon ice, shrimp cocktails from sidewalk stands and hot fig bread from a woman with a basket on the small plaza two blocks away.

Truth is, I rarely am interested in going elsewhere. When you’ve landed in a sweet spot, as I have, why climb out of the bowl? I’d just as soon not, but sometimes it’s necessary.

We’re heading to Mexico City shortly for as brief a visit as I can manage. We have to air out and dust the condo, plus my wife is going to try to make a hair more headway toward getting the deed to that place.

We paid it off years ago.

And then we’ll come home. Bus both ways. And the following morning, just at dawn, I’ll step out onto the upstairs terraza. There will be sounds of dogs and burros and roosters, and the air will measure 60 degrees.

And the red sun will just be creeping over the mountains.

Details, large and little

It’s nice to share, so here are some odds and ends.

* * * *


Let’s begin with bugs.

cricketCrickets live in the kitchen, and they have lived there for years, behind the stove. They sing at night, which is fine as long as they stay in the kitchen, which is far from the bedroom.

Occasionally, one develops a wandering spirit and boldly ventures into the living room or even the hallway near the bedroom. Then action must be taken due to the racket. These are true Mexican crickets, which is to say quite noisy.

A drinking glass is dropped over her, a sheet of paper slipped beneath, and the wanderer is tossed outside. But she will find her way back inside somehow, or someone she knows will. Hard to tell them apart.

* * * *


Let’s turn to internet browsers.

I’ve been using Opera for a few months now. I lke it a lot. I was using Firefox for a year or more, but it got temperamental and pokey. Opera is better.

Opera appears most popular in Europe.

I have also used Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, which have their advantages. However, I object to Google’s politics, and Apple iTunes once destroyed all the music on my computer, so I shun them.

It’s difficult to shun Google.

* * *  *


Let’s look at the aging process.

I’m about 13 months shy of turning 70, absolutely astounding.

So I’m not quite the muscle man I once was, and it shows in little things, like lifting a 10-ton water jug up onto the dispenser. I can still hoist it, but it’s getting harder, not so much the weight but that final flip.

I bought a different sort of holder that’s nearer the floor, and I think this new delivery system will serve me as I progress further into decrepitude.

A related problem is the Weedeater, which has a gasoline motor. It’s not hard to start, but if it dies in the middle of the cutting process, it can be a real bear to restart. I have a blister on my finger at this moment, and sometimes I think I’m gonna yank my arm from its socket.

So I bought an electric one this week from Sears, a nice Craftsman on sale for about 45 bucks. Craftsman makes great tools.

Electric means I need outlets. The yard had two places to plug this baby in, but it needed one more. I called my man Jorge last weekend, and he installed a new plug against the property wall in just the right spot.

Forty-eight bucks for that, labor and materials. I’m wired.

* * * *


Let’s turn to international travel.

We have not been in the United States since the Bush administration.  I think that if I step into Obama’s America, I will erupt into a ball of fire.

Spontaneous combustion. Or maybe not.

Here’s the problem: My child bride’s 10-year travel visa expires in October. It’s a real pain to renew, and I don’t even want to go above the border again, ever. But she loves to go there. Restaurants and shopping.


* * * *


Now, socks and pyjamas.

For most of my life, I wore no pyjama pants because they ride up in the night, and it’s annoying bunched around your butt.

Recently, I found a solution. Tuck the pants into the top of the socks. It provides one a military air, and the pants don’t ride up by midnight.

* * * *


ElvisLast night before bed, I heated a croissantito. I shared it with my child bride. We ate it with orange marmalade and cold milk.

Elvis was singing on the stereo, Are you lonesome tonight?

I wasn’t.

And that’s the best way to live, hand in hand.