Tag Archives: Amazon dot com

Watch your step

THERE’S A street project right off the main plaza downtown that’s been going on since last autumn, which is a long time because the renovation is just two lengthy blocks.

This project interests me, and I take a stroll by there almost every weekday after sitting at a sidewalk table with my Kindle and a café Americano negro.

In the United States, it would have been done far faster, and the entire work site would be blocked off so pedestrians and gawkers like me could not walk all over the place.

Around the workmen. Hopping over wet cement.

Here, no effort is made to keep pedestrians out of the work area, and none of the workers sports a hard hat. The main reason the project is taking so long is that there is little mechanized about it. It’s strictly manual labor.

If a passerby trips on something, falls and busts his noodle, he should have watched where he was going. He does not sue the city. We are not litigious that way.

The work started last year with an extensive excavation. New sewer and water lines were buried deep as were electric cables and wires in fat orange conduits.

Part of the reason the project is taking so long is the detail work, primarily on the sidewalks.

I should have photographed some of the detail, but I didn’t. This is fine rock work that will last a century.

There is sunken lighting for a nice nighttime look.

About the only nod to modernity are wheelchair ramps.

This photo shows the area where most of the stone is being worked to make it usable. It was a rose garden outside the church/hospital to the left before the renovation began.

Big stones are cut to size by hammer and chisel.

The scenes of the first two photos are at the end of the block down thataway, the far side.

We don’t have the reams of rules and regulations here that are so prevalent above the Rio Bravo, rules and regs made necessary by lawyers and government meddling. No environmental impact study was required.

Bugs were just squashed.

Here, if you need something done you hire some guys and do it. There are always guys available, plenty of idle hands of men who never grasped the need for schooling.

Just around the corner from the renovation I noticed this sign outside a tiny pharmacy. Look what you can have done. (Excuse the photos’ blurry edges. I had the camera set for that effect, but I did not notice till later.)

You can measure your blood sugar and blood pressure, or get a pap test.

You can get a medical certificate, maybe to get out of class. A problem with your toenails? No sweat.

A wound will be bandaged, and if you need an injection, they’ll stick you with the appropriate needle.

And all will cost next to nothing, and no pricey doctor reference is needed, but a doctor is likely there. Just go in, pay a buck or two if you want some medical advice or a prescription.

Living here is easy. Even if renovating a street takes forever. It will last forever after it’s finished.

The library

New Image

I’M A READER, and I always have been. This lifestyle amplified in 1996 when I went on the wagon. When you’ve got a snoot-full, you’re not much inclined to open a book.

Most of my life I’ve preferred histories and biographies, factual stuff, over novels. That preference remains in place, but I’m a bit more open to novels than I once was.

Since moving to Mexico, I’ve read War and Peace and Anna Karenina, but I still lean more to histories and bios.

When we constructed the Hacienda in 2002-03, we had these shelves and cabinets specially made. The cabinets extend a good bit farther to the right. It all cost just $500.

It used to be a library, but now it’s a museum, a focus of interest. The books are dead. We buy them no more.

There’s a warm feeling to a library, no matter its size, so this will stay put. The shelves are good spots to place pictures too.

If you click on the photo, and then enlarge it, you’ll get fuzzy views of the two of us, my child bride’s father, her brothers, my daughter and mother, and so on.

Against the right-side wall is a wooden holder with smaller shelves where music CDs sit. The same carpenter — a guy named Angel — built that too, all to my specifications.

As with paper books, we no longer buy music CDs. Our music comes to us digitalized, and so do books, which fly through space and land inside our Kindles. We both have one.

I know people who continue purchasing paper books. I find this cute and amusing, and I attribute it to their not really having tried the Kindle option, which is so much more convenient. You can even bookmark pages!

They will, of course, get on board in time.

Hanging on the wall there to the right is an artwork that I purchased my first month here on the mountaintop 16 years ago. It’s titled Vendor of Hearts, but in Spanish, of course. It was part of an exhibit on a hotel restaurant wall.

It’s painted on butcher paper. And standing atop the old record player in front of that art is a witch doll. Lordy!

The cameraman

I’M INTERESTED in taking better photos. I’ll need a new camera. My current ride is a Kodak Easyshare, inexpensive, but it works fine.

Except for one thing: It only zooms to 3X, which doesn’t get you very far, literally. It does have 16 megapixels, which means the photos are pretty sharp, but the zoom’s gotta go a lot farther.

I’ve asked some good photographers I know for camera recommendations. The Gold Standard is Billie Mercer, but that was like asking Donald Trump for a restaurant recommendation: First, take the Learjet to Paris … have the limo waiting on the tarmac.  Billie is way past my pay grade.

I’d have to rob a bank.

I ran into the same problem with Kim G. and Steve Cotton, good photographers both. But wealthy guys with sterling gear.

1406627638-md-canonpowershotsx520hs4
The Canon

I’m just a poor, humble Mexican.

A recommendation more in my fiscal comfort zone, a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200, came from Angeline, but I opted for a Canon Powershot SX520, which is similar.

A slightly pricier version, the SX60 HS, had been recommended by Jack Brock who is, by the way, one of the world’s premier wood sculptors.

Then came the issue of getting the camera into my hands. I looked around my mountaintop to no avail. I imagine I could have found it down the slope in the state capital, but this is 2015, so I looked online.

First, I went to Mercado Libre (Free Market), a longtime website that connects Mexican buyers and retailers. I found the Canon readily available and was on the verge of buying it when I thought of Amazon, which just weeks ago opened its Mexican operation.

I love Amazon, capitalism at its finest. I found the camera for just a few pesos more, free delivery, and ordered it. They promised it by Friday.

One of the reasons I decided to get a better camera is a new photo website, Eyes of the Moon, I’ve opened on Tumblr.

At the moment, I’ve added a few of my older photos, but when the new camera arrives, expect more. They will all be black and white, which captures a certain elegance, plus it reflects my grim personality.

Maybe I’ll become a papparazzi. I’m so ancient, with white hair and glasses, perhaps nobody will punch me out.

* * * *

(Note: Also on Tumblr, you’ll find my other recent addition, Satellite Moon, progressing nicely. It’s a politics-free zone, all sweetness and light.)