Let’s have a chat!

New Image
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.

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.

My father’s copy of a Winslow Homer piece from 1899.
winslow homer
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.

27 thoughts on “Let’s have a chat!

  1. Enjoyed the blog. Was Sparks from Lake Chapala area? I remember reading his comments on MexConnect, I think. If he is the correct one, we went to his house while we were visiting there. He had COPD.

    Was John Calypso part of a couple who sold their house in Colorado (I think) and moved to a SMALL town in Mexico with a big pickup truck. He later bought a scooter. He and his wife bought and moved into a one-room place, later adding on. No indoor plumbing! His posts were very vivid. He never mentioned his wife complaining. They came back and forth periodically to stay with relatives in Las Vegas to handle business and comply with nonresident status in Mexico.

    I quit reading their posts when we moved to the McAllen area. Just never got back with them, like I did with you.

    So many of our friends and residents where we live have died just in the last two weeks. We are in our 70s and some are in their 80s in our retirement park.

    In fact I am in the DFW area, seeing a neurosurgeon for bad back pain again. I am going to get Epidural injections again, before I go for the big rods and screws. July 8th I had knee-replacement done. It was awful. My quality of life is very poor because of lower back pain.

    Two years ago, we did the two-month Puerto Vallarta visit. It was bad then, but much worse now. I think I am made with all used parts. They are not holding up!


    1. Beverly: Sparks lived on the beach somewhere. I’m not sure. His blog had him all over the place in Mexico. He was probably the same fellow you’re thinking of, however. Yes, Calypso was who you remember. He was an odd one, a Christian hippie sort. I think that caused his death. He did not trust doctors, preferring “natural” solutions to health issues, which “naturally” did him in, I think. He too was younger than I am.

      Sorry to hear (again) of your health issues. I wish you well.


      1. Sparks (Scott Parks) lived in my area. He was a close neighbor for the first year I lived here. He eventually moved to a small village about two miles from the beach — to escape the northerners. That is where he died.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Felipe, I do enjoy your blog and Steve’s also. I think I lead an interesting life in Mexico. Writing is like any other endeavor, some we are good at and others we are not. I read something interesting and think I have interesting thoughts. Maybe I could put thoughts to paper, but alas it doesn’t seem to flow very easily for me.

    Not all Canadians are oddballs as I am proof of that, I think. Some are easily offended (whiners) and some are not.

    Most of my friends and acquaintances are in the same age bracket or close to it (old coffin dodgers) as I, so it is part of the old circle of life and not much to be added to that.

    I like the bougainvillea, but if you cut it I will not be offended or outraged. I would have to agree with you about President Trump. He does go full steam ahead, and damn the torpedoes, and has little care for what others say or think. You would need thick skin to work for him, but you would get things done if you stuck with it. Guadalajara is a great place to visit.

    I hope you continue your writing.


    1. Kirk: Thanks for the positive words. As for continuing here, I find myself with greater gaps between posts than before. Who knows what the future holds? Oh, I know all Canucks are not oddballs. Some of you are fine folks, but you did recently reelect that pansy Trudeau. Tsk, tsk.


      1. When you say you, you cannot mean me. I come from the Midwest of Canada, and we didn’t elect any liberals. That was them Easterners. They came out of their safe places and voted for the drama teacher.


        1. Kirk: Excellent point. I imagine the middle of Canada is like the middle of the United States, the area where the genuine folks congregate, the ones with common sense. Jordan Peterson is a good example.

          Drama teacher. I like that. But I’m sticking with pansy. Trudeau is actually worse than Beto, and that’s saying something.


  3. Hi Felipe. I understand your comment about Canadians being oddballs. A lot of us must be because we voted for that idiot Trudeau again. Not all of us are, however, but like in the USA we are under assault by the far-left, deranged crowd that get in your face and won’t take no for an answer. This might interest you as some of our bravest are fighting back against the theory that people born male can somehow become female.

    Link: t.ly/zkl7X

    Meghan Murphy and Jordan Peterson are fighting the good fight and getting lots of flak for it, but as they say, “If you’re getting lots of flak you know you’re over the target.”

    Interesting about blogs. When we went to Melaque many years ago I discovered the TomZap message board where I ran into Sparks, Tancho and others. I also discovered Steve Cotton’s blog from which I discovered yours. Congratulations on keeping up writing about stuff although it must be a challenge. Many blogs I’ve followed have just dried up and died. I would probably be writing about how I lost my underwear at the lavanderia or some other nonsense.

    Yes, death is inevitable, but I see no point in thinking about it. We lost about five good souls on our little island of a thousand last year. Make that 995. Some were ancient, but a couple of them were way too young. My sister died at 6, so I’ve got some perspective. Maybe a little too much perspective. Yet here I am at 63, busing around the Yucatan like I was 20. We’re now in Valladolid for the Day of the Dead, so we’ll see how that turns out. I already fell down due to my inattention and a crooked piece of pavement. No damage but will have to be more careful. Have fun on your trip to Guadalajara.


    1. Brent: You’re likely a Canadian oddball too, but of the best variety. Thanks for the link. Never heard of Meghan Murphy.

      Now go watch your step before you take another tumble. Looking down nonstop in Mexico is always a good idea. It’s not the level world that laws create above the Rio Bravo. Mexico is full of unmarked holes and other obstacles, but you know that, especially now.


      1. Thanks for the advice. I do know about the appalling state of some of Mexico’s streets and sidewalks but temporarily forgot. We were about to cross the street, and the light changed, and I turned to warn my esposa and that’s when my foot entered a small hole. I used my judo skills to do a shoulder roll rather than sprain my ankle which would’ve really been bad. Fortunately, I received just a small scrape.

        That video is great and while I’m not American I was thinking along the same lines in 1980. I was more of a Jimmy Carter fan. I wasn’t that deep into politics at the time, and most Canadians I knew didn’t seem to like Reagan. I wonder how many former Democrats are like her and have had enough and are warming up to Trump. Hopefully, a lot. One certainly won’t get any idea from listening to the mainstream media that is obsessed with bashing Trump on a daily basis. I prefer listening to the likes of Candace Owens, Mark Steyn, Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Dice, Tucker Carlson, Paul Joseph Watson and anyone else who thinks for themselves. Thanks for clearing up my punctuation and shortening that link.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Brent: All those folks you mention are good people. Yes, I shortened the link. URL shorteners are great browser extensions.

          As for fixing punctuation, yes, I do that. I follow the AP Stylebook from the old days, before it went and got all PC, which it has. Appalling.

          I have the best-looking comment section on the internet.


            1. Brent: What is happening in the U.S. and Canada defies explanation because it is so bizarre. A large part of the problem, I think, is that leftist thuggery, both physical and online, has created so much fear in normal people that they keep their mouths shut. That, of course, is what leftists want. And the fear is very justified.

              One of the top reasons there is so much ongoing hysteria against President Trump is that he is not cowed in the slightest and, given the bully pulpit that he has, he blows raspberries at the left on a daily basis. It’s great to see. It drives them wild, but I don’t know how much good it will do in the long run. He’ll be out of office in 2025 and, since historically the opposing party almost always wins the presidency following a two-termer, Lord knows what will happen when the Democrats take over again. Bottom line is that Western Civilization is cracking up.


  4. Señor Felipe, you have the gift of identifying the mundane and describing it as fascinating. Not many have it. Further, you have the gift of transporting that to the English language so that the rest of us gringos can identify with it and enjoy the ride.

    I have to wonder if that gift transfers to español.

    Interesting video, by the way. Should be required viewing for all gringos everywhere.



    1. Ricardo: Dang, now I’ve gone and blushed. Glad you cannot see me. Thanks a bunch.

      Does my incredible word talent transfer to Spanish. Hoo, boy, God no. Wish it did.


    2. Ricardo, P.S.: Yes, the video is interesting. She seems to be a very sharp woman, which explains why she has abandoned the Democrats and jumped enthusiastically on the Trump Train. She’s 65 years old, and I think she looks like Sally Field. Here’s another video of hers, a brief one:


  5. Felipe, your father was very talented and, of course, you are as well. Hope y’all have a great time in Guadalajara. I really enjoy your blog!


  6. Blogging is, in a way, presenting your views as potentially interesting to other people. Being in unusual circumstances would be one of the ways to be interesting. Would you say that being an expatriate motivated your blog? If I were to make a huge change in my life, I might start a blog too.


    1. Creigh: That’s an interesting question, and I have no answer to it. I started this in January of 2005, almost 15 years ago, but five years after I moved over the border, which is about when blogs came on the scene. Had I stayed in Texas, would I be doing this? No clue. Possibly. Of course, the move opened up a wide range of topics that I likely would not have had if I had stayed put, perhaps working to the traditional retirement age.


      1. Creigh asks a question I have often asked myself. But, like all hypotheticals, it is a question that can never be answered with even a modicum of certainty.

        I came to blogging because I was moving my entire life to a new location. (You may recall the first name for these essays.) That did offer me potential writing material as I planned the move south. But, even after I settled into my new-found routine, I have continued to write. Most of the topics are objectively mundane. But knowing I may find something to write, I tend to be a bit more focused on life around me during the day. My camera helps me to do that, as well. I am always looking for The Kill Shot.

        You once noted that if bloggers could not think of anything to write about, they just were not paying attention to their lives. I think that is correct. If blogs did not exist, I would still write — if only in a journal.

        By the way, thanks for the very kind comments.


  7. I too am sorry to hear about Ken. Maybe you can email me with some particulars, if you don’t mind. I’m sorry to see him go. He wasn’t all that old, and a nice guy to boot. Sad!


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where cold could be a cause of death if one weren’t careful this time of year.


  8. Kim: I don’t have many, if any, particulars. I got the news from Ms. Shoes who saw something on Facebook. He was real quiet about his health issues for the past year or so. I don’t even know if he died in Mexico or his native California which he visited quite a bit. And yes, he was not all that old, depending on one’s perspective, about three years my junior. That’s quite young, from my perspective. He was a real nice guy.


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