News of Springtime

Shot

IT RAINED YESTERDAY, which it should not have. April showers isn’t an expression that normally applies to our Mexican mountaintop. April drought is more like it. The forecast says it’ll do it again today, but the sky is blue so far.

I used to dread Springtime rain because it — unless brief — would rouse the lawn, and that would require mowing that big baby. But since I quit mowing a couple of years ago, it doesn’t matter if it rains. Our yardman, the dour Abel, just makes a bit of money.

Easter Week ended. That’s a big deal here, the resurrection of Jesus, so I mostly avoid it. Mobs of tourists arrive downtown. There’s a big artisan market on the plaza, and some of my Mexican relatives come visit. Fortunately, they stay downtown with my child bride’s sister or we let a chosen few stay in our downtown casita. The boozers, chain smokers, cheats, children and irresponsible can sleep elsewhere.

This year we gave the casita keys to a favored niece, about age 30 and married a year; her husband, a very nice fellow; and the niece’s papa, a good guy, and stepmother, whom I do not know. Four people, we thought. Of course, Mexicans often arrive with hordes of human baggage, and the papa and stepmother showed up, without warning, with their other two adult children.

None proved to be boozers, chain smokers, cheats or irresponsible, so it was okay. The casita has only a queen bed and a double bed, so God knows where they all slept. There was a small, fold-out mattress in a closet, leaving just one bedless. Probably snoozed on the sofa.

They were there only two nights, and they left yesterday afternoon. Later we passed by the casita and found it spic and span, which is how we like to find it after guests depart. There were neither cigarette butts nor dead bodies.

Next week we’ll be enjoying the Pacific beach at Zihuatenejo. Most Mexicans will be back at work or in school, so we should have the place pretty much to ourselves, which is how I like it. It’s a slightly late anniversary jaunt. We hit the 12-year point just two days ago.

This morning, under blue skies and enveloped in cool air and optimism, we walked our usual exercise laps around the neighborhood plaza. On returning, we sat a spell in the downstairs terraza with orange juice and grapefruit. That’s when I snapped the photo above.

Bazookas, Black Hawks, barbecue

BILLY BOB Pickering hoisted the bazooka to his shoulder when he saw the Black Hawk helicopter heading his way.

BushmasterBubba Thornton stood at Billy Bob’s side with a Bushmaster nine-millimeter, fully automatic, the kind of peashooter that gives Nancy Pelosi the vapors and makes her want to wash the feet of illegal aliens for Easter, which she actually did do. Neither of our boys’ weapons were legal, strictly speaking, but they really didn’t give a sticky chaw of Bloodhound Plug about that.

Bubba and Billy Bob had gone to junior high together. They had almost finished high school when they dropped out to serve together in Vietnam, which means the boys were not young. They were old boys who had killed lots of communists.

On hearing about the federal government mistreating a rancher in Nevada, Billy Bob and Bubba tossed the bazooka, the Bushmaster and lots of Budweiser into the bed of Bubba’s old Studebaker pickup and hauled out of Tupelo, heading west. They drove straight through.

And here they stood on this hot day atop dry scrub land in Nevada, the kind of dirt where you need plenty to graze enough cattle to make a living. The rancher’s family had done that for 100 years, and now here come federal cops to put a stop to it all, which was not right.

All because of some gol-durned endangered tortoise that can’t hold his own.

Billy Bob and Bubba had not gunned down little, slanty-eyed communists to live in this sort of Tom-fool America.

Billy Bob and Bubba watched the Black Hawk approach. Flap, flap, flap. Written in big letters on the side was BLM. Billy Bob triggered the bazooka and watched the Black Hawk explode. The two boys gave one another a high-five, and there were huzzahs from other hillbillies nearby.

The following week they were charged namelessly with a hate crime because the helicopter was black. The Studebaker, however, had barreled back to Tupelo, and Billy Bob and Bubba told a great story over Budweisers at LouAnn’s Barbecue Shack out on Highway 6.

Very Good Friday

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, about 4-ish, I was walking solo down a narrow Colonial street strung above with banners colored purple and white. Are those Good Friday colors, or Jesus colors? I am not versed in the traditions of the Catholic Lord.

My destination was a coffee shop on the main plaza, which is jammed with an Easter market selling all manner of stuff — clothes, the works of artisans, tacos, burritos and sombreros. It’s similar to what transpires here on the Day of the Dead.

I planned to sit there with an espresso and watch the throng of tourists, admiring some, chuckling at others, rolling my eyeballs at times.

But I was still walking on that narrow street and I passed a pastry shop. About 10 paces farther on, I thought: Get something to go with the espresso, so I backtracked, entered, picked up a tray and a set of pincers, which is how you go shopping in pastry shops here, and looked about. The shelves held the typical fare, which normally is good to mediocre.

donutMy eyes stopped on doughnuts. There were chocolate-covered ones and sugar doughnuts too. My first inclination was the chocolate-covered, but I detoured to the sugared. Nearly every doughnut I have eaten in Mexico has disappointed me.* Dry and tasteless for the most part. If you can’t pour cheese over something, they seem to lose interest.

I put one sugar-coated onto the tray, walked to the counter and paid. Three pesos, which ain’t much.

Later, sitting at a sidewalk table with my espresso, I ate the sugar doughnut. To my shock and glee (because I know where the pastry shop is), it was one of the best of my life. It’s good I did not buy a dozen. I must remain sleek.

The doughnut, the throng of passing tourists, some of whom were quite lovely, the blue sky and and cool air made it a very Good Friday.

But especially that doughnut.

* * * *

* Note to Don Cuevas: Yes, I know the shop across from La Bodega has great doughnuts. But I have not been there.

Going for Guinness

Nopal

I HAD A NOPAL cactus growing in a whiskey barrel planter in my Houston yard in the early 1990s. It only had about four fronds, and it was notable for its lack of enthusiasm, no zest for life whatsoever.

After my wife tossed me out on the street in 1995, she got rid of it because it was “bad feng shui,” she claimed. I don’t believe in feng shui. I can’t imagine that the Goddess cares any more about which direction your door is facing than she does whether you eat fish on Friday or pork on any day whatsoever.

She is not so superficial.

She has more important things on her mind, like what those Mohammedans will do next to make peace on Earth dang near impossible. Mohammedans are a burr in her beautiful backside.

My nopal never did squat in Houston.

Flash forward two decades. A few years ago I planted a small nopal, consisting of only two little fronds, in the yard of our Hacienda. It went berserk, and now it’s just shy of 13 feet tall. Yes, I did measure.

I trim it now and then, with ladder, clippers and much trepidation, mostly to prevent its spreading horizontally, which it hankers to do. It wants to spread in every direction, but I keep it pointed heavenward. It’s height that interests me. In time I want this spikey baby to be in the Guinness Book of Records.

An old coot dreams of fame. I will be very proud.

Cactus

Figs and knives

Fig

FIGS HEREABOUTS have been quite pricey of late, but that has not caused a price increase in this fig bread that I like to buy warm from a basket on the smaller downtown plaza. About $1.25 or 16 pesos.

There are two versions, the integral and the other one, called nata. I always get the integral because it’s a bit better on the healthy scale. I buy it, bag it, and walk to a sidewalk coffee shop on the big plaza, sit, slice and eat some. I never eat it all because it’s too much. But I’ve been known to share.

I slice it with that knife, which I tote in my pocket. I’ve carried that knife in my right pocket for many years. It is very sturdy and has but one blade, which is all you need. I bought the knife in a street market for about three bucks, and it’s served me very well. It has a snazzy, wood handle. Well made and heavy.

When we bought the property where the Hacienda now sits, back in 2002, there was a fig tree in residence. Alas, we had to remove it a couple of years later to construct a carport for the second car, the little Chevy, which we sold last year to buy the new Nissan March.

But that has nothing to do with either figs or knives, just to let you know what happened to the fig tree. A few months ago, my child bride came home with a tiny fig plant in a little pot. It’s now in a planter in the yard, growing sweetly. One day it will be a tree planted in the ground, full of figs.

So I sit at the sidewalk table with warm fig bread that I’ve cut with my snazzy knife, and I admire the brown-skinned beauties passing by, and I think, Jeez, I wish I had done this when I was far younger.

First family: race-baiters

The guys

BARRY OBAMA will give the keynote address tomorrow in New York City at an annual conference sponsored by race hustler and profiteer Al Sharpton. Good Lord Almighty!

Sharpton, as you likely know, has made a highly profitable career out of promoting racial strife and ill will in America. His best-known escapade was that of pushing the bogus accusation in 1987 of a black teenager, Tawana Brawley, who claimed she had been raped and brutalized by a gang of white guys.

The charges were proven to be totally fabricated. In spite of Sharpton’s doing severe damage to the reputation and career of County Prosecutor Steven Pagones (a racist!), and of being ordered to pay thousands of dollars in damages, Sharpton never apologized to Pagones, and he never paid the damages.

And just this week, it came to light that Sharpton was an FBI stool pigeon in the 1980s.

He is, in short, the sort of spectacularly unsavory individual that any president should keep at arm’s length. Barry, however, embraces him. And Michelle is no better.

Last year, the first lady was the keynote speaker at the annual convention of La Raza, a racist Latino organization, many members of which support illegal immigration and promote the return of large swaths of the southwestern United States to Mexico from which it was “stolen” in the 19th century.

La Raza means The Race. How clear can it get?

The First Family should be national unifiers. This family is precisely the opposite.

* * * *

Here’s a nice piece on Sharpton.

Remains of the day

Train

THIS DAY DAWNED gray and cold. Upstairs, reading the morning’s ever-grim news from above the Rio Bravo, I shivered, and it was not simply the weather’s chill.

I heard the approaching freight train, so I picked up the Kodak Easyshare and stepped out to the terraza on the second floor and snapped this shot.

After doing exercise on the gym set across the room, the hour of 8 was upon me, so downstairs I went, calling out — as I always do — Let’s eat!   The cry is echoed back to me from the bedroom where my child bride is either still in bed, reading, or making it. The bed, that is.

I serve everything at that hour. The bagels, the cream cheese, the coffee, plus I set the plates and knives out, napkins too. I do it all, not being a real Mexican man who simply waits to be coddled.

After my child bride gets pinto beans boiling, we bundle up a bit, and walk 20 minutes around the nearby plaza. On our return, we sit on the downstairs terraza. I drink fresh orange juice squeezed before we departed, and she peels and eats a grapefruit, unsugared, which is just one step shy of sucking a lemon.

Women can be hard to figure.

Sitting there, we phone the propane company down the highway. Our tank is near empty. We’re told the truck will be here ahorita, which literally means pretty soon, but which actually means someday before you die.

Chores begin. I sweep the upstairs terraza and the service patio off the kitchen. I do some updates on the computer during the sweeps. I take a shower and dress. The propane delivery still has not arrived, but then I have not died yet. No matter. We have enough for many days more.

It’s almost time for Second Breakfast, which arrives at 11 a.m. I am scrubbed and installed in fresh clothes. My hair is combed, and I smell pretty good.

The ninth of April has not arrived at noon, but that’s all you get today. The remains must remain a mystery. I will say this much: Pinto beans and roasted chicken. Espresso on the plaza.

And the sun is now shining.

PC terrorists

A profile

A profile

THE GREAT STATE of Arizona is in trouble again. The ACLU says police profiled a couple of Latino dudes. Well, duh, I say. That’s smart. Keep it up!

Whenever someone is accused of profiling, they invariably deny it. This is a poor reply. The proper response is yes, I profile. It makes sense. It is an effective law-enforcement tool.

I touched on this matter hereabouts a couple of years ago, so I will not repeat myself. Click here if you want a fuller explanation of the perfect sense of profiling.

That the PC Legions have effectively gagged all conversation about the value of profiling is sad, pathetic and dangerous. They are a terror group. Just ask the former CEO of Firefox who contributed $1,000 to support traditional marriage in California in 2008,* booted from his job last week for the sin.

It’s lamentable that the PC Brown Shirts (no pun intended) have such an innocuous name. Politically correct. Sounds perfectly reasonable, something that might appeal to any end of the belief spectrum. Everybody wants to be correct, and most of us are convinced we are. The PC name is a sweet deception.

What we actually have is a Gestapo, a Stasi, a KGB, a Red Guard in miniature, still in sour-faced, angry, youth mode, having yet to attain adulthood. This Movement is now running America.

It is made up of two sectors:

1.  Belligerent Leftists. This is the smaller of the two groups, but their anger and sense of total righteousness drives the Movement and makes it dangerous. They abound on campus.

2. The Pawns. This more numerous segment consists of people across society who are poorly informed (no sense of history or human nature) and basically aren’t paying attention. But supporting “the oppressed” sounds nice to them and fair. They voted for Barry not once but twice.

These are the sort of people who, when Dachau was liberated in 1945, lived in a nearby town and who claimed they had no idea what was happening behind the razor wire down the road. And many were telling the truth because they weren’t paying attention, didn’t care.

Currently, disobeying edicts of the Politically Correct Brown Shirts will only get you fired from your job and often shunned from society, depending on where you live and work. You won’t be shot or gassed just yet.

The Movement hasn’t reached adulthood. But it’s working out, popping vitamins.

It’s still pre-1932.

One of the loudest platoons of Sector No. 1 are gay activists who will sue your pants off if you won’t bake their wedding cakes or photograph their Rainbow events. It can get uglier if you criticize their marriages. This “difference of opinion” is what put Firefox’s CEO out on the street. Unacceptable ideas.

Interestingly, journalist Andrew Sullivan, quite gay and liberal, said this about the Firefox case in a post titled “The Hounding of a Heretic” on the popular blog The Daily Dish:

The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Gay bullies are PC Brown Shirts, but so are other permanently aggrieved segments of spoiled America. Many are minorities because it’s attractive to be aggrieved if you’re a minority. It can also be convenient and profitable. (See Al Sharpton.) But many in Sector No. 1 are well-off, white, belligerent Leftists.

And their willing pawns live their lives, not noticing the razor wire growing higher just up the road.

* * * *

* The same stance as Barry Obama in that time.

The superior nation

bougainvillea

MEXICO IS A SUPERIOR nation, especially when stacked up against the United States.

To start with, plants grow better, as this photo illustrates. I planted that big mama bougainvillea when it was knee-high to me, or less. It was in a little pot. You may see a floating head behind the maguey.

Peek-a-boo!

That bougainvillea is going to give me problems. On the right, it has gripped the wall, falling over to the other side, providing a pretty view to the sex hotel. On the left, however, it is leaning this way and, in time, will collapse in all its prickly glory. There are two steel support chains in there somewhere, but they’re not enough.

Plants grow better in Mexico.

* * * *

Our economy improves daily. There are lots of help-wanted ads in newspapers. And Help Wanted signs on restaurants and storefronts. Setting up a small, street business is pretty easy and can be profitable. There are bountiful post-high-school educational opportunities. And scholarships. Trade schools too.

So why do we sneak into the United States? Cultural issues. We’ve been doing it for so long we don’t know how to stop. We’re imperfect and must work on that.

The economy in the United States is stagnant and promises to worsen due to stunning debt. Its cultural defects are growing, and people are at one another’s throats. I’ve seen more street people in America than in Mexico.

Our economy points upward. The other side? Nah.

* * * *

There is less violent crime in Mexico. Say what? you exclaim. Yes, you are less likely to be a victim of random violence in most of Mexico than you are in the United States. We are a peaceable people. All the nasty stuff you read stems 99 percent from the narcos and government fighting one another, plus the narcos fighting each other. Stay out of it. And you easily can.

Side issue: The “War on Drugs” prompts the narco violence in Mexico. America is the cause.

You are safer below the border.

* * * *

Our healthcare system is effective and affordable. The U.S. healthcare system is a mess. With ObamaCare it will simply be another sort of mess. You will stand in line. And taxes will increase. You may die in line.

For good medical care, head south.

* * * *

The Mexican government pretty much leaves you in peace. The American government grows more intrusive by the day (See ObamaCare. See Socialism). In Mexico, we are left to live our lives as we wish. Mind your own business  is a basic component of the Mexican culture. And smile while doing it. Say cheese, amigos.

* * * *

Taxes, utilities, labor, etcetera, are far cheaper than in the United States. While we generally earn less than in the United States, we also pay less. And there are ways for the ambitious to earn more. And still pay less.

* * * *

Mexico is not multicultural, and does not want to be. This contributes to peace in a society. We are unicultural, a  blend of original natives with the post-Conquest Spaniards. We are brown, and we speak Spanish. Oh, we give lip service now and then to the indigenous, but nobody really cares. And no one gets “offended.”

We understand that a nation is a group of people who are basically the same.

If you don’t speak Spanish in a Mexican school, you will flunk out. Period. Absolutely no one will “celebrate your roots” if your roots sprouted elsewhere. And if you’re caught here with no visa you are deported lickety-split. No tears are shed over your “rights” or how “oppressed” you are.

* * * *

Mexico realizes that men and women are very different. Mexico would never elect a nancy president who rides a bicycle with a crash helmet, smokes in secret, and wears mom jeans. We would die of embarrassment.

* * * *

It is great to live in a superior nation. We grow stupendous bougainvillea.