Ice on the mountaintop

This is not our yard, but it sort of feels like it.

We awoke this morning to the first freeze of the season. January First, how appropriate. There was frost on the grass, and the birdbath was a skating rink.

The terraza thermometer indicated about 40 degrees at 8:30 when I stepped out there, but the other indications made it clear that an overnight freeze had occurred. This is not rare in January, and the good thing is that it warms up quickly as the sun rises.

Occasionally, we pass through winter without even one freeze, but that does not happen often. I prefer to dodge freezes because the plants get walloped, especially the banana trees that turn brown and require heavy trimming, which is a bother.

A cold front came through overnight, obviously, and yesterday announced its imminent arrival none too subtly with blustering winds. We were blowing all over the place. Three clay tiles even sailed off one of the carport roofs.

But let’s move on to other topics.


Old dogs, new tricks

Like most people, I enjoy music. I am not an aesthete. I just know what I like. I’m the same with food. I am not a foodie. Music enters the ears with pleasure as grub goes down the gullet pleasantly too. I am a simple man, raised on the red-dirt roads of Georgia.

Like most people of advanced age, I once listened to music on vinyl. For some reason, it comes to mind that I had a few records — that’s what we called them — when I lived in San Juan in the Caribbean. I did not have many. I had a Willie Nelson, maybe his first. I also had a few of the Argentine Atahualpa Yupanqui and the Brazilian Vinicius Demoraes that my Argentine girlfriend had brought up from Buenos Aires.

Flash forward more than a decade, and I was living in Houston. I remember my debut compact-disk player and the first day I used it. I heard Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. CDs are better than vinyl no matter what Luddite aesthetes tell you.

Here at the Hacienda, we have tons of music CDs, almost all of which I toted over the Rio Bravo years ago. And we have the players. Alas, the players are going belly up, and new ones are more difficult to find.

More difficult, not impossible, and the available ones aren’t that good.

One of the three we still have in the house committed suicide last week, leaving two others with somewhat evil tempers. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. It was then that a word popped into my feeble, aging brain. Bluetooth!

This is a technology that’s about 20 years old, but I had never used it. The only thing I knew about Bluetooth was that if you put one device near another, they could communicate. That was the totality of my understanding. I knew people all over the place were using Bluetooth to listen to music, but I had no clue how. I went online to investigate.

Let’s make a long story short. Cut to the chase, as they say.

I am now the owner of a Sony Bluetooth portable speaker via Amazon Mexico. It’s only about four inches high, but it produces a great sound to my unaesthetic ears. It cost about $60 U.S. I can buy a second to provide stereo sound, but I doubt I’ll do that. I am happy with what I have.

I also subscribed to Deezer, a music app that has a gadzillion tunes, including Vinicius de Moraes and Atahualpa Yupanqui.

So, bye-bye boomboxes. The old dog has learned a new trick.

Bluetooth. Who knew?

Why I left the Democrats

fat
Sports Illustrated “model.”

AND WHY YOU should do the same.

It started for me in 2007 when it came to light that the Obamas had sat for 20 years in the church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he of the “Goddamn America” sermon. Wright was quickly muzzled by Obama’s handlers.

It went downhill from there between me and the Democrat Party for which my entire family had proudly voted for decades.

There was Political Correctness, that ham-fisted ideology that blossomed in the 1990s and just got worse. Later, the lunacy kicked in. Putting fat gals in the Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated in the name of “equality.” Obesity is a serious health issue, not something to be glorified. Obesity isn’t just another valid lifestyle choice.

And there is Cancel Culture. Share our opinion or be fired. From the disturbing, it’s descended into madness. Take Aunt Jemima off the syrup jar. Change the names of sports teams. Don black clothing and masks to march and riot in the streets.

Can’t dress like Pancho Villa for Halloween unless you’re Mexican. Actors can’t play disabled people in movies unless they are themselves disabled.

Last night at the restarting of the NBA games, every player and coach on both teams, 100 percent, took to their knees before the national anthem, thumbing their noses at the flag of the nation that made them wealthy and privileged.

Conservatives are squelched online by Big Tech. Black Lives Matter — which consists to a great degree of white leftists whose aim is Marxism, a word they wisely removed from their website not long ago — still laughably states on its website:

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family.

The film classic Gone With the Wind is blocked from online streaming. Statues are toppled, not just of Gen. Robert E. Lee but the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln himself, which demonstrates a dizzying level of ignorance.

And nincompoopery.

The owners of a Michigan Bed & Breakfast were browbeaten recently into removing a Norwegian flag outside their business because it resembles a Confederate flag.

Defund the police! Imbecilic.

Speaking of nincompoopery, here’s a very smart and brave girl who goes by Cringe Panda online. Her internet fame has skyrocketed since the first of the year. Watch her address the appalling state of public education.

No need to watch the entire thing. The first five minutes will educate you.

All of the above and much more flows totally from the left side of the political divide, those people who vote Democrat. All of it, 100 percent.

And if you are unaware of the things I mentioned, consider finding news sources other than The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffpost and MSNBC.

You’re being duped.

If you are aware of the things I mentioned, and you still vote Democrat, that is far worse, and I’m ashamed of you. But let’s move on to:


JOE BIDEN

The presumed Democrat presidential nominee is that hated thing, an old white man, and decades-long political hack. How did this happen?

It happened because actual Democrat voters, most of whom are not Marxists, participated in the primary elections, and apparently grass-roots Democrats were not happy with the radical choices they saw on the debate stages. Every Democrat, for instance, raised a hand when asked if they supported “free” healthcare for illegal aliens. Even Joe.

Voters opted for the old shoe they knew, smelly as it is.

Tulsi Gabbard, the best of the sorry lot, would have shot her candidacy skyward had she the bravery to leave her hand down to the question of healthcare for illegals. The move would have stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb but in a positive way. She killed her chances with that one raise of the arm.

She was the only one who had a prayer of beating Trump.

Biden is old, older than Trump, and plainly has cognitive issues which makes his vice-presidential choice far more important than usual. If you vote for Biden in November, know that you’re actually voting for the vice president to be president.

He will nominate a radical woman “of color” because the leftist party bosses have him by the short hairs. He’ll do anything to be president. He’d get on all fours and bark.

Take a close look at the vice-presidential nominee, and think hard about how Democrats are running cities and states these days. The riots, lawlessness, Antifa, BLM, high taxes, vagrancy, high-priced housing, tent cities, and so on.

Again, if you’re unaware of these things, consider finding news sources other than The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffpost and MSNBC.

You’re being duped.

Consider doing what I did in 2007: Leave the Democrat Party.