The morning light

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DEPENDING ON the season, sometimes I begin the day in the dark and sometimes not. I prefer starting with light. For instance, this is the scene that faced me this morning as I walked from the bedroom through the living room headed to the kitchen.

The hour will change, alas, next weekend, and I will be plunged back into darkness when I hop from the king bed about 7 or so. This is not good, but there’s nothing to be done about. It is ongoing foolishness that I do not control.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Here at the Hacienda, we’ll be initiating changes for the upcoming month due to the Kung Flu.  We will eat in restaurants less. We will still drive once a week to the nearby state capital but earlier, getting to Costco and Chedraui just after they open.

There will be fewer pesky people.

There is also the matter of my afternoon visits to the big downtown plaza where I sit at a coffee shop table, admiring the passing babes and reading my Kindle. It gets me out of the house. One element of that routine that has bugged me is being served café in questionable ceramic cups by the hodgepodge of employees.

Solution: Take my own coffee in a thermos. And tote my cup from home.

Of course, this would be discouraged in any other coffee shop, but this is a family establishment, so I can implement my plan easily.

Sadly, there are far fewer passing babes now.

Speaking of the Kindle, I’m now reading the second of two books about the White House permanent staff. Few people think about the White House’s employees, many of whom work there for decades, passing through many presidencies. Interesting stuff.

The first was Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West, who was a head usher. Don’t be fooled by the movie-theater job title. It’s akin to being a hotel manager. The second, which I’m still reading, is The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Brower.

I was surprised to read that it was not Hillary Clinton who was the biggest First Lady harridan in White House memory. It was Nancy Reagan. I wager that Hillary came in a close second.

Jackie Kennedy, Betty Ford and Barbara Bush were good guys, especially Barbara Bush. Did you know Jackie was just 34 when Kennedy was killed?

This afternoon I’ll be at the coffee house. Come join me. I have java to share, but you’ll need your own cup. And sit over there at the next table, please.

Kung Flu vs. Normal flu

AS OF YESTERDAY, the Kung Flu had allegedly* killed 1, 814 people in the United States.

The seasonal flu, on the other hand, has killed over 23,000 this season.

In the United States alone. And it hasn’t ended.

New ImageWhich one is sending us into paroxysms of hysteria? Which one is causing us to hunker down at home behind barred doors, close businesses, lay off employees and inflict serious damage on the economy? Yes, the teeny-tiny flu.

This is nuts.

But I have good news from China. Starbucks is reopening 95 percent of its shops in the communist country. While honest information about the Kung Flu is questionable from the Chinese government, the Starbucks reopenings are important.

Starbucks is not a government propaganda outlet. Their reopenings indicate the Kung Flu is winding down in China after a three-month surge.

As of two days ago, if one is to believe China, 3,292 people had died there from the Kung Flu, which is still far less than the seasonal flu in the United States alone.

Yes, the commies will soon be able to order a smoked butterscotch frappuccino with a sprouted grain vegan bagel and avocado spread. Or most any of the trendily named offerings from the Seattle corporate behemoth. Cause for joy.

Now let’s all head outside. Hold hands, kiss and hug.

* * * *

* Read this. Interesting take on things.

Quiet on the mountaintop

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Looking up thataway.
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Looking down thataway too. Very few folks.
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Cops keeping the peace, but it’s very peaceful already.
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Kid I know, 17 years old, who’s a high school dropout. Sad.

WENT DOWNTOWN yesterday afternoon to sit a spell with my Kindle and a hot café Americano negro. There were parking spots all over the place, which is not common, but it’s becoming more common now in the Plague Year.

Usually, I sit alone and read, but yesterday I shared a table with my child bride and her sister who were talking nonstop because that’s what they do. It’s a marvel. Hours can pass, and they never fall silent. It’s a woman thing. Talk or die.

The streets were far less congested than usual due to folks staying home. I do enjoy easy access to parking places. All clouds have silver linings.

Our mountaintop town has officially canceled Easter Week, known hereabouts as Semana Santa, and it’s a huge input of tourist cash.


Let’s move on now to bashing the Democrat Party. As you may know, Democrats blocked financial relief legislation from the White House because it came from Trump. Pelosi has a “better” solution, which is stuffed with unrelated pork.

Below is an interesting video from the ever-sharp libertarian John Stossel. It shows why there is a shortage of coronavirus tests in the United States.

Rules and regulations! President Trump promised to reduce rules and regulations, and he’s delivered in that department. But there is much more to be done, if something can be done, which I doubt. This is the problem with Big Government. The Democrat Party is the party of Big Government, of course. And “democratic” socialism!

Why anyone continues to support the Democrat Party, my former party, is beyond me. Their goofy, handsy, sniffy presidential candidate, for example, likely will not remember what position he’s running for when November rolls around. Sad.

Now roll it, Stossel!

UPDATE: China says it’s going to lift its quarantine on April 8 due to the situation stabilizing there. While I am skeptical of anything the Chinese government says, I would like to think this is the beginning of the end of the global scare. Let us pray so.

The plague year

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This is not how it is.

THINGS ARE moving along relatively peacefully in my end of the world, plague-wise. Four cases of Kung Flu have been reported in our state just recently, the first ones. All four people had returned recently from Europe.

There are many advantages to living in Mexico. One is that stores still have merchandise. This morning I drove down the mountainside early to the nearby capital city to visit Costco and Chedraui, which is a Walmart-like Mexican chain. I arrived at both just after they opened because they open at different hours.

Few people were waiting at either door. I rapidly passed through both well-stocked stores, paid, hopped into the Honda and headed home. There was plenty of T-P in both places. I bought a few more rolls just in case.

Meanwhile, I see photos of supermarkets above the border stripped bare.

The reaction down here between Gringos and Mexicans is quite a contrast too. The Gringos are hunkering down in their houses, quivering in their Crocs. The Mexican reaction is far calmer. The Gringo- and Canuck-infested pueblo of Ajijic is almost a ghost town, I hear. Probably San Miguel de Allende is too.

Yesterday we ate in one of our favorite restaurants downtown, Casa del Naranjo. We were the first customers to arrive at the traditional 2 p.m. Mexican lunch hour, but by the time we left about 45 minutes later, there were about 12 other diners, all Mexicans.

No one was quivering in their boots. Jollity prevailed.

The waiters wore face masks and gloves, and the restaurant gave customers a 20 percent discount on paying with cash, which I did. I’m a cash man, as are most Mexicans. There was a big bottle of disinfectant gel at the register.

Later we walked across the plaza to my sister-in-law’s coffee shop. No one there was wearing face masks or gloves, and there was no hand gel. It was business as usual.

I had a nice café Americano negro.

Looking at this year’s plague I see engaging elements.

  1. Political. The U.S. news media, mostly an arm of the Democrat Party, are going wild. That affects the media in other nations and even the conservative U.S. media. Sad. I do not know to what extent, but to some degree their aim is to torpedo Trump. This is causing grievous economic damage.
  2. Hysteria. Do you remember the 2009-10 swine flu epidemic in the United States? Likely not. There were 60 million cases and over 12,000 fatalities. In contrast, the Kung Flu has killed to date about 500 Americans out of about 41,000 cases. Sure, it will get worse, but that much worse? Ninety-five percent of cases are mild.

And how will it end? Here is an interesting look by a prominent physician familiar with the situation. He outlines various possibilities.

We’re eating at home today, chicken and rice. Later we’ll head downtown for the customary sit on the plaza. Then we’ll come home and wash our hands.