Tag Archives: WordPress

The satellite

SOME WHILE back, I got irritated at WordPress and began searching for other options to mouth off.

That led me to Tumblr where I started a website. It didn’t pan out, and I haven’t posted anything there in quite a spell. The big problem with Tumblr is that it takes too long to load.

So I stayed here on WordPress.

The Tumblr website, dubbed the Satellite Moon, still sits there, in blazing color, with some fun and interesting stuff, mostly about Mexico, but not entirely.  It’s eclectic. And no politics!

So this is a plug. If you have free time,  take a look:

http://unseenmoon.tumblr.com/

The modern Felipe

capI HAVE UPDATED the Felipe page, the first significant makeover in years.

It includes a recent photo, replacing the one taken a decade back while I was sitting in a rocker on the veranda with an orange juice. I am now sporting what I call a bebop cap, a new style I adopted recently after cutting my silver locks significantly shorter. I embrace neat.

The face one presents to the world should be honest. Recently, I picked up the mugshot that will appear on my Mexican passport renewal, and I was gobsmacked when I held it next to the mugshot on the passport issued 10 years ago.

Time marches on.

In addition to the current photo, the updated  Felipe page contains some new information that will give Felipe Fans (See Facebook and Twitter — just kidding) much to chatter about.

Also available is my email address if you have something to say that doesn’t relate to a specific post. The Felipe page, along with separate pages of Library, Art, Hacienda and Web Roll always rest up there in the header on the right side.

Just so’s you know.

In closing, I offer a heartfelt tip of the sombrero (or bebop cap) to those of you who dance along with me here on the dim Mexican fringe of cyberspace. I appreciate it.

Moon sets on 2015

New ImageWORDPRESS SENDS stats every December.

The Unseen Moon welcomed 75,000 visitors in 2015. The busiest day was January 15 when I posted Just plain nuts. It looked at the goofiness of the United States, a favored theme here.

I get into politics now and then, and cultural issues too.

My top commenters were Kim G, a gay Bostonian, and Robert Gill, a straight Arizonan. Kim tilts to the left, and Robert leans to the right. I like that. The ballyhooed diversity.

The most-visited post, as it is every year, was Havana sex, etc. This has been the case since it was first posted after our anniversary trip to Cuba in 2012. This happens due to Google searches, of course. You naughty people.

By the way, Havana sex, etc. was the second of two posts about our Cuba adventure. I have since joined and deposited them on their own website, Cuba: a communist hellhole.

For those of you who think it’s a good idea for government to set things right and make people “equal,” I recommend a visit to the collectivist heaven in the Caribbean.

The top referring website was Mexpatriate — in the key of Steve. A tip of the sombrero to Steve Cotton. Gracias.

Other data reveal that most readers are not in Mexico but in the United States. I knew that already, and it’s why I discourage comments in Spanish.

Next month will mark the start of my 12th year doing this, first on the defunct Zapata Tales and, since 2011, on The Moon.

Being a former newspaper editor, it lets me keep my hand in the word-and-opinion game.

I appreciate everyone who passes by here, especially those who leave feedback, which most people do not. This is normal on blogs everywhere, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I hope 2016 is a great year for all of you. Thank you for paying attention to an old coot who ended up atop a mountain in the middle of Mexico with time on his hands.

I never planned this. It just sorta happened.

Ice cream stand

helado

WHAT’S BETTER than cool air and ice cream? Hot air and ice cream, of course. But we don’t have that hereabouts, and in 98 percent of circumstances, the cool air is preferable.

Most afternoons, after we’ve done lunch at 2 p.m. at the Hacienda, I head downtown just to get out of the house, sit at a sidewalk table, enjoy a nice espresso and watch the girls go by.

After the espresso and ogling, I sometimes stand up to walk to another side of our broad and beautiful plaza — to purchase ice cream, for which we are famous. There are a number of ice cream stands over there outside City Hall, and they’ve been in business for decades or more.

There, in the photo, is my favorite stand, La Pacanda. Like all the ice cream stands, it sells two styles: milk and water. The milk version, which is closer to standard ice cream, I find a bit unpleasant. It has, to my tongue, an oily consistency. So I always order the water style.

Sometimes I vary, but being a fellow set quite firmly in his ways, I normally order limón, which is a dead ringer for the lemon ices I used to buy many years ago at Angelo Brocato’s in New Orleans.

I get the small cup, 12 pesos, and then I cross the street and do one of two things, sometimes both. I slowly circle the plaza, or I sit on a stone bench, listening to the music softly playing through outdoor speakers.

Then I go home.

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Unrelated material: A few days back, after getting irked at WordPress, I started a blog on Tumblr, thinking perhaps I would abandon this WP Land, high-tail it. I linked to the Tumblr then, even though it was mostly a casual endeavor. I have since decided to stay put here, but I like it over there too. I have gussied it up considerably, and will run with it.

It will be lighter in tone, and it will have no political polemics. It has a new name, Satellite Moon. Tumblr surprised me. It’s well organized. There are lots of free blog templates and even the ones with price tags are reasonable. I bought one for $19. It absolutely beats the pants off Blogger.

A declining day

streetTHIS IS WHAT late Monday in my hardscrabble neighborhood looked like. It’s the first corner down from the Hacienda.

It’s not Beverly Hills.

Recently, when I got irritated by WordPress, I started looking for some blog alternatives only to discover there’s a reason that WP is the big cheese. The competition isn’t even in the running, at least the free options.

First, I considered returning to Blogger where I opined for years, but on checking that option out, I thought: Yuck! It hasn’t improved a lick.

I really don’t understand why people use it when it’s easy to jump to WordPress. Well, that’s not quite true. I do understand. It’s inertia.

So I will be staying here at WordPress. But during my investigation, I discovered that Tumblr, where I  opened an account years ago and saw nothing of interest, has developed some interesting options.

I have updated my account there, opened a blog with the name of Satellite Moon, and will be posting things there now and then, even though this will remain my main website, Moon No. 1.

At present, I have dropped a few of my favorites from the Pearls of Zapata there, and I’ve added a video and photo, which is what I likely will do more than anything, videos and photos, and Lord knows what else.

The internet is fun. It keeps me off the street and clear of a life of crime. I’m thinking of buying an iPad, for Pete’s sake.

Election day

voteI WENT TO the voting place on the neighborhood plaza Sunday morning and cast my Mexican votes. It’s really fun to be able to vote in two countries, something I’ve been eligible to do for a decade now.

There won’t be another presidential election for three years, but we got to choose a mayor, a governor and some representatives. I voted the straight PAN party ticket with one exception, our mayor.

I vote PAN due to its officially being the conservative party. I left the plantation, however, in the mayoral vote and went with the PRI, the party of dinosaurs that ruled Mexico for seven decades till 2000.

I did that detour because an old-timer here, a Mexican guy who’s worked in various city administrations for years and who’s a friend of a relative, gave me this advice: They all take advantage, but some do so less than others while doing some positive things at the same time.

In other words, just like in the United States.

He spoke kindly of candidates of both the PRI and the left-wing PRD. I chose the PRI, of course. No left-wingers for this boy.

Here’s how it works. The polling place is just up the street on the neighborhood plaza. You go in, show your official, government-issued, voter identification card with color photo to a fellow with a big book where all the registered voters are listed alongside another mugshot.

This system is a no-brainer even though you find collectivists above the Rio Bravo who don’t think proving your citizenship or even your true name is just and fair because it discriminates against po’ folks who don’t have a car or enough to eat or something like that.

After your identity is verified, you are handed ballots like those in the photo above, which I took while hunched inside the voting booth. There is a pencil in the booth, and you make a big X over the candidates of your choice. You then fold the ballots, leave the booth, and drop them into cardboard boxes. Then your thumb gets inked.

There are no hanging Chads or dangling Josés.

Representatives of the major parties are present at all or most polling places to keep an eye on one other. At the end of the day, the boxes are opened and counted, and the results sent to a central station where totals from all polling places in the area are counted for a larger total.

And so on and so on across the nation.

When each polling place closes and its votes are counted, the results are taped to a wall outside for all in the neighborhood to see. It’s a good and wise system that works very well.

GRINGO POLL CAPTAIN?

Each polling station has a boss who oversees the process for the entire day. Three years ago, I was asked to be that person. Aside from not wanting to sit there all day, I thought that having a Gringo captain of a Mexican polling station was a lousy idea, so I declined.

It would be unseemly. They still remember that we stole Texas, plus diversity and multiculturalism are not embraced in Mexico.

I know my place.

THAT VOTER ID

Yes, you must have a voter identification card in Mexico. It also serves as a national ID card. In the United States, the Democratic Party opposes such atrocious impositions. Here is a fun take on that:

card* * * *

The Moon has a new look, again. I change now and then because it’s free, easy and fast. I’ve been doing it so often lately — a couple times a year — that I don’t even make an issue of it anymore. I always think the last change will be it, but like a shapely lady in a closet full of clothes, I waffle.

I like this look, but I always like the new looks. It’s clean. The column down the right side has vanished, the one with the quotes and other stuff. I have erased all but two of the quotes, and most of the other items and links are there when you click on Menu at the top right.

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UPDATE: Both my candidates for mayor and governor lost, it appears. Another fun report on this situation can be found at Better than bacon.

Tenth birthday

paper

THIS WEBSITE BEGAN a decade ago this month. Not specifically this website because it has changed frocks and faces a few times, but the sole fingers on the keyboard have been mine, 10 years running.

The appearance and tone have morphed significantly — some say for the worse — reflecting the fact that my appearance and tone have done the same over the decade. Change is eternal, often downhill.

I began on Blogger.com with a theme that had the look of parchment paper. The first title was actually the address here at the Hacienda, the street and number, which was kinda dumb, but did not seem so at the time.

Those were more innocent days before the world went wild.

I soon eliminated the street number but continued with the name, Zapata Street, but later it changed to The Zapata Tales, and it was very popular, loved even by some. It got a mention in the popular People’s Guide to Mexico and a number of other more widely read places. The street name inspired my nom de plume, obviously.

The Zapata Tales was often romantic and lyrical, and its focus was living in Mexico. After six years, I wearied of it. Living in Mexico had lost its novelty, so I killed that website, and The Unseen Moon debuted in July 2011.

Fact, fiction and opinion stirred in an odd pot.

I still write about Mexican life, but I prefer to address other things, political things, especially politically incorrect things from my astute, fearless, oft-conservative viewpoint. Sometimes I write very short fiction, which is what I prefer most of all. Alas, the muse visits me infrequently, and I don’t force it.

The Zapata Tales’ run of seven-plus years inspired some interesting feedback. Here are some of my favorites:

Infectiously personal.

Pretentious dolt.

Wise, wry writing from a beautiful place.

You’re like a drunk uncle.

You’re a right-wing wacko.

God, you are hysterical.

I love the intimacy you share.

I’m proud of these and the scads more I did not include here.

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This website is for diversion. I make no money. Of course, I am dead set against Mohammedans, a recurring theme. And collectivists too, but the only harm I wish upon collectivists is that they lose elections resoundingly.

They are dreamers, sometimes dangerously so. Mohammedans are simply dangerous, period.

I also strongly oppose efforts to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Not because they are not lovely notions — they surely are — but because they run counter to human nature. Far more often that not, multicultural societies wallow in mayhem and murder. Global examples abound. Close the iPad and look around you.

Gaze no farther than within the United States these days.

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I abandoned Blogger.com in 2010 and switched to WordPress, which I find superior. And I favor a clean, simple look, which is easier to read. I prefer two- or three-line paragraphs and a space between them.

Some blogs (a dreadful word) look like someone loaded a shotgun with words, bolts, nails, scrap metal, hand grenades and paint, and fired at the computer screen. You won’t find that here.

Neither will you encounter literary allusions nor theatrical references* nor ten-dollar words few people know. And you won’t see Spanish, though I speak Spanish. I’m here to impress you, but not in those ways.

I favor simplicity and clarity. Both on The Moon and here on Earth.

The longest post, actually two tandem posts, was the report on our 10th anniversary trip to the communist horror of Cuba. That report was serialized in the fun and informative The Weekly Bulletin of Brazoria County, Texas. That the publisher is a former coworker on the Houston Chronicle is pure coincidence, of course.

My best efforts over the past decade are immortalized in a separate website, which I humbly titled The Pearls of Zapata. Two of my favorites are The Broken Staircase and Victoria and the Cowboy.

One is fiction, but the other is true.

Often I think of packing it in. But then something pops up that annoys or fascinates me, and I feel like sharing. I was 60 years old when I started this, and now I’m 70. I wonder if I’ll still be doing it at 80 … or even breathing.

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* Since I know almost nothing theatrical or literary, this is an easy vow to keep.

(Note: WordPress tells me that about 80,000 people viewed The Moon in 2014. Come again, bring your friends and neighbors, and feel at liberty to leave a comment.)

The new frock

IT’S SPRINGTIME, and a girl’s desires turn to a new frock.

The girl in question is me, stroking my feminine side, and the new frock is right here. The Moon’s new look, which I change now and then, depending on mood.

dressEverytime I don a new dress I think: This is it! This is the one! But, in time, I tire and want to move the furniture around, another way of dress-up.

It seems that every switch moves in a somewhat simpler direction. I embrace simplicity, and the name of this WordPress theme is called Zoren.

Another clean theme is Manifest, and I used that for a spell. I still use it on the related websites, Pearls of Zapata, The Old Marbol, and Dark Girl in the Blue Dress.

Yes, I am plugging myself because quite a few folks have signed on lately, and from past experience I know that few actually look at related pages, now listed up in the header.

While I’m in a plugging mood, I’ll steer you toward another website that uses the minimalist Manifest theme, and that’s Words Not on Paper. That little gem comes to you from the backwoods of Alabama, and the author, Ray Clifton, might be another William Faulkner if he didn’t have to actually work for a living.

Maybe later in life. Like me.

WordPress is a great place to start a blog, far superior to Google’s Blogger. You can change frocks fairly quickly, and its comment system is much better than Blogger’s.  You can easily substitute the Disqus comment system on a Blogger site, but lots of folks are too lazy to do that. I urge them to get off their duffs and quit annoying readers with that Captcha, plus other evil issues.

In closing, I say: I like this dress! This is the one!

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Tip: WordPress’s free themes work well while the themes you must purchase often come with bugs.