Another idiot check

Every two weeks I check my PO box downtown. I don’t check it more often because I rarely receive anything, and 99 percent of what I do receive is from the United States. Today I got my second idiot check.

And this one was for twice the amount of the previous. It’s more moolah to ease my financial pain caused by the Kung Flu, financial pain that, for me, never happened.

Why do I call it an idiot check? Because it comes from the idiots who run the U. S. government and are fond of tossing money in all directions regardless of need or logic. Much goes overseas, and I’m not referring to me but to foreign nations in the form of aid. Some of that aid goes to China, which catapults the idiocy to unbelievable heights.

China. Really? I just learned of this lately.

Meanwhile, the United States sinks deeper into its Red Sea of Debt.


Mexican mail

But there is good news here, and that’s the Mexican postal system. Yes, it’s still slow, at times miserably so, but the fact that I received this check and the previous, which were in window envelopes with U.S. Treasury as the return address, making it crystal clear that a check was inside, is cause for celebration.

These are the first two checks ever mailed to me, but I’ve read horror stories of checks being stolen in the Mexican postal system, and the advice that one ought never have a check mailed here. I did have a credit card from above the border vanish years ago, and that is why Mexican banks do not deliver credit cards in the mail. They know better.

Express services deliver them, or you can pick them up at the bank.

I was surprised when I received the first check a couple of months ago. I thought it was a fluke. And now I get another one. I suspect one reason may be that cashing it nowadays is very difficult. Check-cashing services require lots of identification. Lots. And most Mexican banks will not cash a dollar check, or let you deposit it.


No new eye

The check amount is exactly the cost of my second laser eye surgery, and I had considered using it for that, but I have decided to leave my second eye in peace. It works just fine. I had a cataract removal in February, which I wrote about here.

The reason I did the first one was that my ophthalmologist said it likely was the cause of my diminishing night vision, which made driving after dark unwise and inconvenient. But the only post-op change that I see — no pun intended — is that colors are now a bit brighter in the repaired eye, which was the worst of the two, the doc said.

So the worst eye is now the best eye. Might that be enough?

True, I have not driven after dark since the surgery because the hour changed, and I don’t leave home after 9 p.m. I’ll see how it goes when we switch hours again in October, but I suspect I’ll leave well enough alone, and I also suspect that it did not reduce my problem. But maybe it did, so I still won’t need to go under the laser again.

Maybe years in the future when I get really old.

Plants, birds & plugs

This morning.

After assaulting three arrogant bougainvillea bushes and two of their allies with sharp clippers early today, I rested on the downstairs terraza, atop a rocker, and enjoyed what remained of the morning. As I sat there with a juice my child bride had made, a black-vented oriole landed on the edge of the birdbath for a sip. I did not have my camera.

He flew away.

I remained on the rocking chair. A few minutes later he returned for more water. I still did not have my camera. I cursed my luck. He flew away. I remained on the rocker. A few minutes later he returned and sat on a bougainvillea near the birdbath. Still, no camera. I cursed. He flew away. I stood up and grabbed the Canon which was on a table just inside the front door. I sat on the rocker again. The bird never came back.

Also this morning.

Spring has been strange. After about a week of warmer, stuffier weather, which is normal for spring, it changed its tune and got cool again, so my wife caught a nasty cold three days ago because she was dressed at night for a normal spring. She’s feeling better today.


And now, a plug

Few passersby notice, I think, but there is quite a list of links nearby to other fascinating elements of The Moon. It’s to your right on a PC, but I suspect fewer people use PCs these days, favoring phones and tablets where those links are less obvious.

One in particular that ran as a series here years ago but now has its own website is The Old Marbol, which is the name of a hotel in Dark City. Many strange people work at The Old Marbol, people like Billy Lancing who’s a red-headed negro; Lenny Slick, a dim-witted desk clerk addicted to phrenology; Maxence, a retired mercenary who loved Chloë Jomo-Gbomo; and Beauregard Lee Johnston, a gay guy from the Old South.

Most importantly is Kristanbel Wasoo who was born bad, beautiful and heartless. She loves dark ale and bloody roast beef sandwiches. She murders people. Here is a full cast of characters. I used to write short fiction, but I have stopped because my well ran dry.

But the Old Marbol Hotel lives on in Dark City.

Big, fat raise

new-imageCAN YOU HEAR the Gringos cheering?

When I moved south in the year 2000 the peso-buck exchange rate was about 10-1.

For every buck you’d get 10 pesos. This made it easy to calculate how much you were spending in “real money.”

It stayed that way for years, spiking up to 12 on occasion and even dipping a bit below 10 now and then. Some years later, it would rise to about 15 or so, but that usually didn’t last long, a week or so, and it would fall back to the 12 range.

A couple of years ago, it started going up and up, and nowadays, depending on the bank, you can get 20 pesos for a buck.

Here’s what that means for those of us whose income comes from above the Rio Bravo: a 100 percent pay raise. Well, for those who’ve been here since 2000, that is.

While this is not good for Mexico, it is very good for those who live on dollars that sail south electronically.

And it’s very good for Gringo tourists.* If you’ve been dreaming of a Mexican vacation, phone your travel agent.

Of course, prices have increased since 2000, but they sure have not risen 100 percent, so we’re far ahead of the game.

Some people attribute this situation to Trump’s rise, but it started before that. Being stupid in these matters, I don’t know why we got this big, fat pay raise, but I like it.

And it’s easy to calculate again how much I’m spending in “real money.” Just halve the 10-1 calculation and voilá!

* * * *

* But it’s bad for Mexican tourists in the United States, just one more reason for me to stay put. Both my bank accounts are Mexican. Pesos, not bucks. Pesos are “real money” now.

The long table

kitchenBW

SEE THAT CHAIR down there, just opposite? That’s my chair, and it’s where I sit when I eat a morning bagel or an afternoon pozole. The King’s Chair, and I’m the King.

The Queen sits to my right. The Princess and her Prince by marriage live in Georgia and have yet to visit the castle.

Perhaps one day.

Nobody sits at this table for the evening meal, which at the Hacienda is always a green salad with diced chicken on top. I make that, and we go upstairs and watch something on Mexican Netflix, a great service.

We have side-by-side recliners separated by a tiny table.

But this is a view I rarely see, which is why I photographed it. What I always see is what’s behind the photographer’s back. That would be me at this moment.

There’s a big window to the left, and another behind, both of which provide great outdoor views.

But it’s uplifting to view life from a different perspective now and then. I think so, and I want to stay uplifted.