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Sunday, December 28, 2008

RE: David McCallum

In the fall of 1964 a new spy drama premiered on television. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starred Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin. It was my favorite show on TV at that time. My friend, Doug, and I used to play "spy" with our guns and gadgets from the TV show.

I was nine. And, I had a crush on Illya Kuryakin -- David McCallum. I didn't quite understand it at the time, but it was then that I discovered my attraction to men. Yep, and they tell me that I chose to be gay....

WTF do they know?

Nothing.

I found this compilation and decided to share it. Enjoy.

JibJab - 2008 Year In Review

Saturday, December 27, 2008

WTF?




You have got to be kidding me!

On Friday, the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug that promotes the growth of eyelashes.  Yep, eyelashes.  And, I want to know -- Who really gives a shit?

It seems to me that the "medical condition" known as hypotrichosis of the eyelashes is such a minor ailment that ANY monies extended to research and develop a product to grow hair where hair has not grown is just plain silly.  Surely, the resources used could have been used to create medications that serve a better purpose.  And, I trust that my taxpayer dollars were not used to help develop Allergan's new drug.

Wasteful.




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Friday, December 26, 2008

Knuckle-Dragger Award Nominee

I really should start a Knuckle-Dragger Award.


The first recipient would be one of the white guys running for the position of Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  His name is Chip Saltsman and the headline from Talking Points Memo -- "Candidate For RNC Chair Sends Out CD With Song Called "Barack, The Magic Negro"

This is Reason #16 of Why I Am NOT a Republican.  The racists in the South moved from the Democratic Party to the Party of Lincoln (go figure) after President Johnson proposed and passed the Civil Rights Act.

And, some of them still attempt to disguise their racism and anti-women stances with faithful and dutiful Christianism.

Chip Saltsman -- JERK.


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My Box in a Box

Fair is fair. This was a clever response to "Dick in a Box".

Enjoy.

Eartha Kitt -- Where is My Man

ggrrrrrr

Saturday Night Live - Dick In A Box

I'd almost forgotten about this one -- ENJOY!

Warning -- ADULT content

Chiron Beta Prime

Hat/tip to AMERICAblog.com

RIP Eartha Kit




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Thursday, December 25, 2008

ScribeFire

Bipolar Disorder sucks.

It seems that you may be able to determine the severity of my mood swings by looking at the number and frequency of my posts.  Unfortunately, that is like looking at the results of a flood and not being able to do anything about it.  Yes, you can predict it to some extent but those damn broken water mains or extraordinary storms come along and whoosh...

Right now, my blog editor, ScribeFire, has several screeds in progress.  How many will ever make it to this blog?  I just don't know.  They represent another indicator of where the damn bipolar coaster has taken me.  I don't even know how to check when I began the bellyaching....

Working Titles and Subjects:

Reenact  --  childhood trauma & sexual addiction

Diet  --  brain healthy eating

Dr. Daniel Amen  --  brain health

Jon Stewart  --  the Mike Huckabee interview

Choice  --  I'll be damned if I can figure it out....just words and phrases (missionaries, black white, up down)  Maybe the url listed will help (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE4BE0JL20081215).

Rick Warren? Yes.  --  exploring the possibility that Obama asked Warren to do the deed to expose him for the hypocrite, liar, and fraud that he is

Christian Country Club  --  the Saddleback Church compared to those exclusive places that sometimes occupy a lot of some folks' time

Monkey  --  the monkey on the back of government is religion and it may be difficult for all Americans to enjoy their Constitutional Rights when Chrisitianists insist that Constitutional Law be the same as their interpretation of God's Law

The Rule of Law  --  Monkey II, I'll take the Constitution of the United States over the various and nefarious interpretations of WWJD

I've stated before that I would like the bipolar coaster to have a very very long stretch of level track.  I'd like to be slighty hypomanic but not to the point of insomnia and crazy thoughts and actions.  So, as far as blogging is concerned, I'd like a daily routine of writing...

We'll just have to see where this ride takes us....

Hang on.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Noche Buena

It is Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena as folks here call it.  We had a great morning and afternoon.  We slept in, ate lunch at Salvadore's, visited the Anita's Animals tiangius booth, and walked to our new Wal*Mart.  Now, we are just farting around and will probably watch a DVD or two.

The trip to Wal*Mart was our first since the store opened.  We really weren't impressed with its size.  It's electronics department sucks.  I so wanted a new external DVD player/burner to replace the broken one on my laptop.  No luck.  They had very little in computer hardware and accessories.  I did buy a badly needed cooling mat for my laptop.

Our visit to Wal*Mart's pharmacy was worthwhile.  We probably saved 500 pesos on the few meds we bought compared to the prices we've been paying at the Farmacia Jessica.  (Sorry, Doc)  So, we'll no doubt return to Wal*Mart with more of our med needs in the future.  And, the really nice thing is that for Welbutrin, my blood pressure meds, Criam (my alternative for Lamictal for Bipolar Disorder), synthetic thyroid medicine, and another med I use were all bought without a doctor's prescription.  --- The crappy thing about living here in Mexico is that the insurance that I pay for monthly out of my pension check will not reimburse me for any of it.

So, Merry Christmas -- Feliz Navidad!

Oh, tomorrow..... breakfast or brunch?  Who knows?  I do know that we will be wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts.  The forecast is for sunny weather with temperatures in the low 80's......


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DumpRickWarren.Com




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Less Warren

From Richard Cohen -- a Washington Post editorial:

"I can understand Obama's desire to embrace constituencies that have
rejected him. Evangelicals are in that category and Warren is an
important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, 'we're not going to
agree on every single issue.' He went on to say, 'We can disagree
without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold
in common as Americans.' Sounds nice. But what we do not 'hold in
common' is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in
common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their
sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common
is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to
discrimination and violence. Finally, what we do not hold in common is
the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be
treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that
we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to
provide. For some people, that's nothing to celebrate."

Amen.

I could not have stated this better.


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Wee Bit of Humor


The BBC News reported today about a prank pulled on the good folks of Nottingham.  Someone created official looking signs that indicated where and when it is permissible to pee in public.

They feature a toilet sign and include the words: "Public Urination Permitted After 7.30pm".  Nottingham City Council is now urging the public to ignore the notices as it sets about removing them.

How cool is that?  Clever.  Very clever.





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Censored

Pastor Rick Warren has censored his website to remove the information above.  This screen capture was done on Friday.  This "page" is no longer available.

Tsk tsk.  Embarrassed are we?


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Monday, December 22, 2008

Fair is Fair

Hilzoy shares my own sentiments about the Wall Street bailout and the LOAN begrudgingly given to Chrysler and General Motors.

Honestly: what sense does it make to stick it to a bunch of auto
workers while letting the financial executives off scot-free? How can
Richard Shelby get all upset about the fact that some blue-collar
workers have, gasp, health care, and not about the fact that financial
executives, on whom we have spent a lot more money than the Big Three
ever asked for, get financial planners and chauffeurs? Just imagine the
furious oratory we might have heard had the UAW succeeded in
negotiating benefits like the ones people get at Goldman Sachs. (I'll
bet chauffeurs would help auto workers concentrate more on their jobs...)

Really?  How F'ed-up is all this nonsense spewed by the Southern Senators?

And, FAIR?  Tell me....Would a minister that belonged to an exclusive country club that excluded Blacks and Jews be invited to give an invocation at the Presidential Inauguration?  No.

Would a minister that espoused anti-Semite views be giving the Inaugural Invocation?  No.

Would a racist or sexist minister be invited to give the Inaugural Invocation?  Hell no.

Well golly gee, Rick Warren is a homophobe that preaches that my 19 1/2 year old relationship with Billy is akin to incest, polygamy, and pedophilia.  He preaches that I am an abomination before his god and should suffer now and in the next life for being who I am.  He preaches that his god's law is supreme and the American Constitution needs to be changed so all of America can live according to the rules Pastor Warren supports.

No fucking way....

Fair?  It seems that it is acceptable to bash gays and discriminate against them.  That is wrong on so many levels.

Alas, no one seems to care...




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The Expiration Date

Funny and informative.....

What's in your storage?

Sunday, December 21, 2008




no.





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Rick Warren is a Liar

Pastor Rick Warren is a liar. Surely he must have known that the California Supreme Court declared, in its landmark ruling about same-sex marriage, that the California Constitution would be violated if same-sex marriage was not allowed. In the same proclamation, the CA Supremes noted that religion was irrelevant in their ruling. They wrote that "no religion will be required to change its policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

The Proposition h8te folks started their campaign after the CA Supreme Court ruling. Pastor Rick Warren joined the anti-gay coalition. And, a major plank of the propaganda used to pass Prop 8 was the LIE that ministers would be forced to marry same-sex couples in their churches on penalty of law -- imprisonment -- loss of their special tax status, etc. (Elisabeth Hasselbeck continues to drop into her bullshit on The View some nonsense about a European minister allegedly jailed for refusing to marry a gay couple.)

Rev. Warren boldly told Ann Curry, in a Dateline NBC interview that he "joined the fray out of a concern that if Proposition 8 wasn't passed, pastors would lose their right to preach about the biblical definition of marriage." More bullshit that he enjoyed spreading. Idiot. He must know that the Constitution of the United States says something about Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. Jerk.

What part of "no religion will be required to change its policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples" did he not understand?

And, yes, Pastor Warren may continue to exclude gay folk from membership/communion with his christianist church (and its franchises).


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Knock On Wood

I spoke too soon.  I just got back from visiting Dr. Polo.  I had been feeling poorly all week and it seems to have worsened....

I started to describe my symptoms to the doctor when he asked if I had eaten any fish lately.  Yes.  I had the fish plate at a newly opened "gourmet" restaurant on Sunday.  The doctor told me two things:  I'm not the only patron that got sick after eating their fish.  And, he's not the only doctor that has treated patients for whatever the hell I've got....Well, $30 dollars later, I'm taking two complimentary anti-infection and anti-microbial medicines.

Oh, joy.

Doc Polo seems to think that the restaurant folks aren't to blame.  They have a clean place and he seems to support them.  My problem is -- they choose the fish......  Oh, well, new restaurants are always opening and closing around here....  If the fish story is widely known, that place will close as fast or faster than the last place that tried that same location.

And, only by coincidence, we suspect that Billy got his case of typhoid from eating at the previous restaurant....

Oh, joy.

Well, a couple more days in bed.......

Happy Holidays

Not likely.

I stopped enjoying Christmas some 22 years ago.  My mother is the one that made Christmas so very special for me.  I miss her traditional decorations, her version of Grandma Harris's Date Nut Bars, our recycled gift tags, and the annual gift of socks.  I've missed them for a very long time.

None of my family has ever been able nor it seems inclined to recreate an "Irma" Christmas.  Yes, I can do a pretty good job of making the traditional Date Nut Bars and some of the other Christmas treats.  Yes, Mom gifted me various tree ornaments that once hung on the family tree.  Yes, I have the little elf gift tag that always found its way to the outside of one of my Christmas presents.  And, socks, yes, I need a few new pairs.

This year, we continue to mourn the loss of our two oldest cats.  Fergie and Di were with us for 15 Christmases.  Our troop of rescued kittens can never replace our girls but they do manage to distract us.  Christmas is for families.  And, by choice and happenstance we are separated from ours.  Yet, if we were closer in distance and friendship (and we had the money for the jet plane) we'd still have a more solitary Christmas celebration.  Its been that way for a very long time.

I do not miss the annual severe sinus infection and bronchitis.  It seems that all those dusty moldy boxes kept in the attic (or school storage areas) were part of the cause.  Why the heck didn't I ever equate my allergies to dust and mold with my Christmas illnesses?  Yes, stress was always a contributing factor, especially when I was still teaching.  [My June (pollen) and September (more moldy boxes and dust) sinus infections have gone away as well.]

So, bare with me as I flounder through another December.  We have no less than 3 birthdays, Mom and Dad Harris's wedding anniversary, and who knows whatever dates to celebrate in December.  It's an eventful month that I'd just as soon skip over.

Maybe, I'll wait until February 28th to celebrate the new year.  That's when they used to do it.......


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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Bombs Bursting in Air

Cohetes are constantly being set off during the village's celebration of it's patron saint, San Andrés.  They begin as early as 5 AM and numerous bombs are shot into the sky in quick succession.  At 12 noon, the church bells and the rockets can be deafening if you find yourself in any canyons formed by the buildings around you.

These rockets are of simple construction.  A rocket engine like those used in model rocketry is tied to a thin wooden dowel and topped with a wad of paper containing gun powder.  And, as with rocketry, a fuse trails out of the bottom of the rocket engine.  When lit, stick and all shoot off into the sky and explode.

I was told that these "fireworks" are tightly controlled, yet somehow a gringo friend was able to gift me 5 of those noisy babies from his stash.  I had been slightly fearful of setting them off, but the election of Senator Barack Obama as the next President of the United States had me sending 3 of them into the night sky.  My last two are being saved for New Year's Eve.

Nearly every night of the 10 day festival sees a traditional "ground" display of fireworks based on a two story high wooden contraption called a castillo (literal translation -- castle).  By the time the castillo is fully constructed it is covered with giant wheels and other moving parts with hundreds of individual firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers, and flares.  Additionally, standard fireworks are set off on two or three special nights.  Presently the town square is ringed with beer and liquor tents, food stands, and even a couple kiddy carnival rides.  Here a gordito is a rather large glass of cerveza or a very sweet bread, not some faux Mexican dish served by Taco Hell.  Ajijic knows how to party.

This morning, as on other mornings this past week, we awoke to the sound of the cohetes and the sweet sounds of a band in a pilgrim's procession going down our street and ending at the main church.

The celebrations continue.


Mental Health Break

Breaking News

The Onion: Bush Pardons Scooter Libby In Giant Turkey Suit

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We Have a WalMart

Today is market day in Ajijic. A half mile stretch of road on the eastern border of our little town serves as the location for numerous booths selling clothing, spices, nuts, candies, music CD's, computer software, fresh vegetables and fruit, meat and seafood, small electronic gadgets, cosmetics, ART, and other stuff. Local and regional artisans have all the obligatory Mayan masks, paintings, pottery, and tourist kitsch. Several small eateries are also set-up there selling pizza, tacos, and other delicious food.

Our friends at Anita's Animals have a used book and clothing booth whose proceeds are used for the care and feeding of the shelter's cats and dogs. Of course, that's our favorite booth to visit. Victoria Guadalupe, Evita, Isabela, Eenie Meenie, Moinie, Mo, Abby, and Ziva found there way to our house (just a block away) from the cages of puppies and kittens that Anita brings to the tiangius each Wednesday for adoption. We've brought home more kittens than used books or clothing.

I'm told that our market day experience is quite small compared to the tiangius in Guadalajara and the one held in a town across the lake. Someday, I may visit them. Right now, I am content with "small town" life.

The opening of a new WalMart* last week will probable not have any effect upon the sale of items at the tiangius. Our local supermarkets and bakeries, though, now have stiff competition for the hearts, minds, and stomachs of the local Mexican population, American expats, Europeans, and Canadians. We will probably continue buying all of our fresh chicken and carne molida (ground beef) from El Torito's, a supermarket that is on the next block (with Salvadore's, the Cinemas Del Lago, Christina's Pharmacy, Ajijic's Boston Deli, and several small shops). And, if and when we really have any extra pesos we will probably walk the mile or so to shop for household goods and other staples. (Yes, we have a great bus system and there is always a cheap cab ride.)

Yes, we have all the "comforts of home". Before moving to Mexico, we both visited Ajijic and were convinced that we would find few barriers to our pursuit of happiness in this corner of North America. Living in an area with "the best climate in North America", good and inexpensive food, Canadian satellite TV with the Detroit and Seattle local and networks' signal feeds, high-speed Internet, reliable telephone and electric, and more -- is just plain fantastic. Did I mention the people?

Have we yet to regret our move to Mexico? No, nada, ninguna duda --- Never.


Learning Something New: Typing in Spanish

It really is a wonder that with minimal research on the Internet we can find almost anything that we might believe we need. Yesterday, I finally searched for a way to type/print the “extra” symbols and letters that we use in writing Spanish words correctly. My frustration with having an English language alphanumeric keyboard is over. Now, instead of being content with the writing of the word corazon without its proper accent mark, I may use a chart found through answers.com to type/print corazón. ¿Kewl, eh?

¿Why did it take me so long to figure this all out?


To produce the desired character(s) hold down your Alt key while entering the numeric sequence. The character will appear after the Alt key is released.



UPPER case lower case
Character ALT sequence Character ALT sequence
Á 0193 á 0225
É 0201 é 0233
Í 0205 í 0237
Ñ 0209 ñ 0241
Ó 0211 ó 0243
Ú 0218 ú 0250
Ü 0220 ü 0252
¡ 0161 ¡ 0161
¿ 0191 ¿ 0191

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Corazón de Pollo

Learning something new every day is an activity that is good for the health of your brain.  Even silly things like puzzles can keep a brain active.  So, Old Folks, keep doing those Sudoko Challenges.  And, maybe while you are at it, learn a foreign language.

I'm not particularly concerned about losing my mind.  There is no history of Alsheimer's Disease in my family.  Unfortunately, there hasn't been much of a "history" of old timers' aliments.  Very few, if any, Harris grandparents, aunts, or uncles lived beyond the age of 65.  The medical history of any of the men on the Fuhrwerk side of the family is practically non-existent.  I do know that Diabetes Type II is rampant among my Harris cousins.  And, of course, my mother, her parents, and at least three of Mom's siblings have fought cancer.  My oldest brother lost his fight with cancer far too early in his life.  Chances are, then, I will not have to worry about losing any of my mental faculties.  I do want to stay alert and mitigate any brain drain by exercising my brain.

Moving to Mexico was a brain healthy thing to do.  I'm learning.  I'm exploring.  I'm keeping my mind active.  You can (or cannot?) imagine the amount of stimuli that is here in this place.  This small town boy is occasionally overwhelmed.  Those are the times, it seems, that my faith is strengthened.  Living on a side of a mountain, next to Mexico's largest freshwater lake, in the arid mountains of central Mexico, with a rainy season and a dry season, with tropical flowers and fruits growing right in my backyard, is the experience of a lifetime.

And, I want that lifetime to be long and comfortable.

I learned a new Spanish expression today.  As I visited with Doctor Polo, he described himself as having the corazón de pollo --- the heart of a chicken.  In English -- American slang -- I know that I'm not a chicken shit.  I give my chicken feed to the beggars outside the supermarket.  My chicken legs are more noticeable now that I've lost 40 pounds (a bit less than 3 stone or about 18 kilos).  And, I don't play chicken with anybody or anything.  My wobbly eyes (a British reference to nystagmus) cause me to have an occasional problem with judging distance and speed, so I will not be racing to cross any tracks to beat a train.

I do have the heart of a chicken.  I'm proud of that fact, if indeed that's allowed.  It is who I am and how I always want to be.  Women love it about me.  Some men haven't a clue that it is a very positive thing.  I was a better teacher because of it.

You know what?  I'm gonna be a turkey and not give you the translation.

Exercise your brain.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

LMAO

I just read another hilarious blog entry by MarmiteToasty.  She had a remarkable journey to a physical therapy session at the hospital.  Oh, Shit!  Yeah.  I enjoy reading her blog because of her dry and sarcastic humor.  She makes me smile.

I sure can use more smiles these days.  I'm trudging along.  Phreaking mood swings.  I understand my recent obsession with Age of Empires.  It is replacing something else I was doing and it will be replaced with something else soon enough.  That's how it goes.

I understand real clearly why I always seemed to thrive when I was forced (layoffs) or chose to change grade level assignments and/or schools.  If the change coincided with one of my bipolar swings, then I was lucky.  Imagine all my hypomanic energies being directed at becoming a better teacher.  The creativity always seemed to flow.  That's when I had fun.

Oh.  Before I forget to throw out a counter-story to the "Whoo Flung Poo" story -- the crap they make from yeast, Marmite, is really vile.  It is an acquired taste for those of us growing up just far enough from our British and Canadian roots.  Thank goodness of flavors that the folks didn't bring that treasured treat to our childhood tables.  They can have it.  And who is responsible for that Nutella crap?

Anyway, the poo story reminded me of a time in my senior year of university.  Graceland is located in the middle of a corn field in south western Iowa.  Was it heaven?  No, just Iowa. ---  One day a buddy drove me to the bank downtown.  We parked in front, completed our business and when we went to leave there was a cattle truck double-parked beside the car.  As I started to get in the passenger side Chris yelled, "That cow peed on my car!"

Oh, Lord, he carried on for the next hour or so.  It was funny.  Only in rural Iowa.

Maybe, tomorrow or Monday will be the day that I re-start my walking routine.  I was doing so well...... And, I'll be damned if I let all that body weight back on!  Pictures soon.


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Blog

Ziva and Abby are sleeping on my lap as I write.  Do they love me?  Chances are they are here for the body heat.  We have had a few cool days and nights.  All of our gatos (cats) have been in bed with us.  It is certainly fun trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night without sending a cat or two flying off the bed.  Thank goodness for our California King.

The November 4 election and the American (and now world) economic crisis has sent me right off my routine.  I haven't done any of my "power" walking for at least three weeks.  Pathetic.  I can't concentrate on TV.  All I want to do is play my old old old game -- Age of Empires.  I can be absorbed in that game for hours.  Unfortunately, afterwards, my neck and back ache for hours.

My mind has been in overdrive and at times outright stalled.  A half dozen essay ideas have come and gone.  Stuck, again.  My bipolar world can suck.  I'm living with it.

Email -- I'm still receiving racist crap from some folks and it isn't appreciated.  President-Elect Obama hasn't even been sworn into office and the idiots are full-steam-ahead on slamming his presidency and him personally.  I'm hardly reading any of the mass mailings that are sent out.  Why get upset about someone else's ignorance and cynicism?

The rainy season in the mountains of central Mexico is past.  The mountains are becoming more brown every day.  Its "growing season".  We will wait for nearly 6 months for cloud cover and rain.

We really do have the best weather in North America.  Many of the Canadian "snow birds" haven't returned.  Many Americans from the U.S. haven't made it back as well.  My advice:  Sell it all and move to Mexico.....


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

9 Lives


Did I mention that we have adopted two more kittens? Oh, Lord! We've become a couple of old poofs.

Oiy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Doing

Yes.  I haven't written.

It seems that the days are just running all together.  I cannot wait until this election is over.  The rhetoric is getting disgusting - from the Palin * McCain camp.  Assholes.

The Stock Market crap is depressing.  Money matters in any form act as a trigger for my depression.  I've had a great month, eh?

Thank God for "defined benefit" pension plans.  If my pension were subject to the fluctuations of the economy, I'd be up shit's creek.  The State of Michigan owes me a set amount of money per month for the rest of my life.  The young folks that are stuck with a "defined contribution" plan had better manage their monies wisely.  I sure as hell couldn't ever... 

Anyway, I'm still walking and losing weight and inches...

I love Mexico.  I love Billy.  I love living here with my companion.

Later.


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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Buns of Leadership!

I do not endorse many products. Here is one that you may find interesting.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Still

Day and night
sunrise and dusk
noon's blistering sun

Seasons
tilt and
spin

Polar
tropical
equatorial

When you are where your mind is?
Does it?
Help?


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Note to Self

I saw a Republican talking head on Chris Matthew's Hardball this afternoon.  The LIAR stated that Senator John McCain was "vindicated" in the Keating Five Scandal.  And, no one rebutted him and called him out for such a clear lie.  If calling a formal Senate reprimand was vindication then the guy is an idiot or a liar.  John McCain stood on the the floor of the Senate and admitted his guilt.

Let's see if any other Republicans try this shit.  They love to re-write history.  Sorry, you young asshole, I was alive at the time and I remember Mr. McCain's dishonor.

Dishonorable.


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Cynical

Check Up



Swings used to be fun.

I have to admit that this time around I'm having some cycling that seems quick to change. It's those darn triggers. Money and lying liars. Black Monday and the weeks that followed have put me in a right mood even though my pension shouldn't be affected by all the turmoil. We will be okay.

Liars. John McCain and Sarah Palin sure take a lot of liberties with the truth. Verifiable. Frequent. Dishonorable.

I tried a change in antidepressants to save money. No deal. I'll skip a few meals out to take the chemicals that have been working for many years. My doctor agrees. He was concerned when he hadn't seen me in several days and actually sent my brother over to my house to get me to call him. I showered, dressed, and rode on the back of big brother's 4-wheeler, a popular mode of travel in town, to see the doctor. I'll be checking in with the doctor tomorrow after my exercise. The very end of my walk takes me by his farmacia on the plaza so we exchange pleasantries nearly every day.

I love to walk in the morning. My old routes are impassable due to the rise in the level of the lake. The beautiful and peaceful public park west of the pier is under water. I'm making 6 trips from the lake to the plaza now. I need to take a detour somewhere to make the walk more interesting. With my current rate of down-down days, I seem to be able to get out of bed and out of the house about 4 mornings per week. Yeah, me...

Muscle are being built and inches have melted away. I'm still somewhere around 95 kilos, but I've lost so much fat that I can get into some more of Billy's clothes. I just can't wear those extra-large shirts anymore. My goal is to get down to just under 90 kilos. If I carry my "extra" weight in my leg muscles, I won't feel bad. Nor, do I feel bad about cheating with an occasional sweet treat now that I'm walking off 26 years of being overweight and obese.

I got my monthly vitamin shot (injection or Jab for Brits) last week. I want some more carnitine ..... It gives me a little boost in energy while burning fat. Not to worry. I know when to stop serious dieting. I'll be addicted to walking then, and I'll be able to eat all the tacos, tamales, and bacon-wrapped hotdogs I desire. Mmmmm, maybe tomorrow, I will stop by one of the food stands near the big pharmacy on the main drag and indulge in something new.

I'm too depressed to rant about the election. I want it over.

I have some other ideas.

We know how that can go.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quick Hit

Shuckin' and Jivin'

It was a shuck and jive.  Right from the start and includin' all the fuckin' g's she dropped.  The cutesy accent was phoney.  Go and watch a YouTube of Governor Palin when she debated other candidates for the office just two years ago.

And, the lies!  Jimminy Cricket, she sure does tell some whoppers, too.  Ask Andrew.

Look at this Wiki definition:

Shuckin' and jivin' (or shucking and jiving) is a slang term primarily used by African Americans. It refers to the speech and behavioral mechanisms adopted in the presence of an authority figure [1]. Shuckin' and jivin' usually involves clever lies and impromptu storytelling, used to one-up an opponent or avoid punishment [2]. Such behavior is believed to have originated in the era of slavery [3].

These folks are truley evil.  And, it seems, desperate.

Yessiree, cynical.



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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What?

I don't know why the United States Senate has "dropped in" mental health parity as part of the Wall Street/Main Street Bailout Plan.  It seems more appropriate for the parity issue to be voted on by its own merits in a single bill or insurance reform package.  Anyway, it just seems strange.  Welcome, but strange.


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Monday, September 22, 2008

I Am Pissed

While John McCain was falsely accusing Senator Barack Obama of calling Palin a Pig -- did anyone notice that China has a problem with baby milk?

4 dead.

13,000 in hospital ---

13,000 infants!

oh, the same crap that was added to the pet food that killed all those cats and dogs was put in the baby milk....

Maniac

Who knew that Black Monday would be a freaking bipolar disorder trigger?  The day here began rather shitty as I was hopped-up on some amino acids and unable to walk.  Rained-out.  It rained all day.

Boom.  I was down.  Even my doctor worried.  That's a story for another day.

I got out and walked yesterday and today.  I've had to revise my route, again.  I can no longer walk along the lake from the end of the downhill street.  Nor, can I walk along the shore of the lake from the end of the street next to the Nueva Posada.  I've been making the latter deviation for the last two weeks or so.  In fact, I can no longer walk along the side of the lake from the end of Juan Alvarez to the Ajijic Pier.  The lake has risen over 2 meters since the beginning of the rainy season.  And, the park that I was pacing through with every other trip up the hill to the plaza is now completely underwater.

It's raining now.  Meds are tweaked, again.  I'm not blue.  And, I'm not pissed off enough about anything to write about it.

And, I'm glad I live on this part of the mountainside.


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yes,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

They Must Be Stopped

This is why we must have a Democrat in the White House --- from the Michigan Messenger, "Lose your house, lose your vote":

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a
key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of
foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election
as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election
Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people
aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli
told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He
said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral
procedures were followed.


Heartless pricks are going to stand at the polling booths asking if you made a house payment lately.....


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick Hit

"No way, no how, NO McCain!" --- Hillary Rodham Clinton, August 26, 2008, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not Ready to Make Nice

To the rapists

To the letter writing bullying homophobes

To the Christianists

To the incredibly corrupt condohooligans

And

To He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Listen Closely



and FU

Making My Mark

I guess that I successfully dodged a lingering episode of depression. --- Where's the damn wood?" --- And, I feel great about it. I was considering this as I walked this morning. A year and a half ago I was an over-medicated zombie. I actually believed that I would have to forever put up with shaky hands, thirst, frequent urination, agoraphobia, and weight loss, only to name the most severe crap. Yes, I am still agoraphobic, but I really don't mind being out in public too much except that I have noticed that I grind my teeth if I am not moving. Weight loss? Woo Hoo!

The severe depression that got me off to a doctor is over. I am over my extreme grief following Dad's and Gary's deaths. Whatever else compounded the misery in my life at the time has lessened. I no longer need the entire psychiatric cocktail that I once took daily. Now with a new medication cocktail, the goal is to manage my bipolar disorder and all my other craziness.

Currently, I am taking only one atypical antidepressant and Criam, an inexpensive lithium/lamictal substitute. I no longer take any medications to sleep. The doctor and I have added Modiodal (Provigil in the U.S.) to the mix. It seems to have supplied the energy that I needed to finally adopt a serious exercise program. Less drugs and more exercise seems to be best for me. I also believe that the massive and potent shot in the ass that the doctor gave me last month contributed to my wellness. Those vitamin (and did he add a steroid?) injections are now on my monthly to do list right after paying the rent.

Today I walked my usual route in less time than yesterday and the day before and I even walked an extra lake to plaza lap. I may have been pushing it a bit. It's all good. I also got a good laugh, between huffs and puffs, as I walked past my left shoe print near the intersection of Morelos and 16 de Septiembre. A road crew has worked for two days on a 2 block stretch of my walk and by accident I stepped on one of their curing cement puddles yesterday. LMAO. Oh, well.....

Life is good. I live in Ajijic. I am not here to slowly decay and die. I live in Ajijic.

Vaya con Dios

There have been some tragic events in my blogger world in recent weeks. I cannot begin to describe the horror and sadness that I feel. The operative word here is "feel". I'm not numb. I'm not a zombie. And that's a good thing only for me.... I am having the hardest time expressing those feeling. Words are inadequate.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home

Yes, the water is always that blue....



Monday, August 18, 2008

Trigger


I spent most of Saturday in bed depressed. Yep, after nearly a month of riding "high" some lame-ass trigger sends me into a brief depressed state. I've climbed back up and am ready to resume the exercise and other good things that keep me healthy and sane. That is -- I'll get going as soon as I make a point or two....

I've been waking up in the morning earlier than my alarm and original routine expected. I guess I can blame some of my risings to the kittens. They love me and happily show me with head butts and wet Eskimo kisses. I am forever swiping the back of my hand across my face to wipe away their slobber or snot. These kisses are annoying at times, but I love every one of them....even if they come while I am trying to sleep.

Waking up early is a good thing.

Anyway. Even with the best medications and happy talk with the Doctor, I am still able to have mood swings and depressed moments. Unfortunately, life throws curve balls at those of us riding the bipolar coaster. Some "triggers" can send me into a depression or into rapid cycling. Ain't life grand? All that I can ever do is wait it out/ work it out.....

Last night as I watched ABC's Extreme Home Makeover I cried tears of joy and sadness. Did I need some sort of catharsis? I don't know, but it may have helped. I can never watch that show without some tears flowing.

Now, I feel great. I got up early (Thanks, Evita.), put out the trash, and waited for the water guy. He's been here and gone. Now, I'm off for my walk. Later.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now They Tell Me!



Did I mention we have a mango tree in our backyard?
.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is Brutal

Andrew Sullivan shared this YouTube video on his website with the title "If Rove Were a Democrat". Yep. It's Rovian. You know, up is down and down is up.....



.

This Is Important

If money talks, the troops are saying, ‘Vote Obama’

from Crooks and Liars.

Draw your own conclusions. I can't wait to hear that Rush or Hannity accuse the troops of not supporting the troops. Do they wear flag lapel pins?
.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Adios



While walking through the streets of Ajijic, I often hear "adios" used as both a greeting and a farewell. Villagers passing on opposite sides of the street smile, wave, and declare to each other "Go with God" -- "Adios". "Hola" is frequently used as a quick "Hi". "Buenos Dias" or "Bueno Dia" (swallow the final "s") may follow the "Hola" greeting.

It isn't always easy to get the older women of the village to look up and greet you. A warm smile usually does the trick. The most difficult folks, it seems, are the gringas viejas. The older American (and sometimes Canadian) women are the toughest nuts to crack. They seem the most self-absorbed and unwilling to look at passersby. I see more of them as my walking/exercise time is now in the mornings.

I really can't comment on the Mexican men in the village. I don't see as many on the streets as most are off working through the day. The street vendors, most of whom are men, smile easily and greet you with enthusiasm. After all, they want to sell you a cheap watch, sunglasses, lace tablecloths, fruit (What are those red spiny things?), nuts, roasted corn, or cotton shirts that everyone says come from China and are modestly decorated with strips of ribbon.

I am discovering more about village life as I walk (and walk and walk and walk) in the morning. I usally make it to the Plaza before the shops surrounding it are open. It is quiet there, then. The streets and sidewalks along the main tourist drag are empty except for the maids sweeping and washing the walks in front of the shops, realtors, hotels, restaurants, and bars. I enjoy the quiet and appreciate the fact that I can take long strides up and down the hill from the lake to the Plaza without having to stop for or avoid tourists.

After my walk today, I sat in the shade of the trees in the public park next to the Ajijic pier. The sky was mostly clear and I watched the clouds drift over the peaks of Cerro de Garcia across the lake. The villages resting in the shadow of the "little mountain" were more visible than usual, as were the distant farm fields. The vistas here are breathtaking.

What a start to a beautiful sunny day!

The pictures above were taken a few days ago. I was on the roof and I climbed up on the base of one of our two water tanks. That is Cerro de Garcia and Lake Chapala. The first picture is without the zoom. See, I told you I live in Paradise.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

OMG


You really can't make this shit up!

Picture an old man, a hammer, and some motor oil......

then, again, don't.

Why I Walk

Your Brain On Exercise: How Working Out Makes You Smarter is an article on HuffingtonPost.com ---

A review of studies published earlier this month, in fact, found that a balanced diet and regular exercise can protect the brain and ward off mental disorders.

Other research has focused just on the effects of exercise. The bottom line: Exercisers learn faster, remember more, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as a stroke. They are also less prone to depression and age-related cognitive decline.

.

Bully

The last few years of my teaching career were difficult on a number of levels. One of the things I had to endure was a bully. You see, unfortunately, I spent more than half my week in a computer lab that was across the hall from the classroom of a bully. Yes, a fellow teacher and professed Christian(ist) is/was a teacher that bullies/bullied her students. From time to time, I would hear the things she said to her class and to individual students who were in the hallway or sitting in the classroom. Disgusting and horrible.

Robert Greenwald has a short film about another and more famous bully. He also has a website here to tell you more ---


.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

John McCain: Pathetic

Quick Hits

John McCain has taken the low road, despite his promises, with campaign commercials that not only are factually wrong, but also fail to address any issues of importance in the 2008 Presidential Election. John McCain also laid down the race card claiming Senator Obama did it first in an attempt to deflect criticism of the racist overtones in a recent campaign commercial. Shame on you, John.

Senator Obama responded with the claim that John McCain and his campaign are not racists, just cynical. That was kind.

Cynical -- adj.
  1. Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others: a cynical dismissal of the politician's promise to reform the campaign finance system.
  2. Selfishly or callously calculating: showed a cynical disregard for the safety of his troops in his efforts to advance his reputation.
  3. Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness: a cynical view of the average voter's intelligence.
  4. Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity: cynical laughter.
I've received a couple more anti-Obama emails. I really hope those sending me this shit are just cynical and not racist. One question I should ask since one of those folks also sent me anti-Kerry crap is: You voted for George W. Bush, how did that work out?

Lucky Day


I found the equivalent of a penny on a sidewalk today. The shiny 10 centavos coin was in my path as I was returning home. Of course, I picked it up. It was a rare find considering the almost neurotic cleaning of sidewalks and streets in Ajijic. Lucky me. I decided to put it in a "pocket" in my wallet. I don't believe in luck, mind you, just some folks seem to have dumb luck.

I've been walking every day for the past two weeks. I've changed my path to the Plaza and now have a very long trek that takes me down a beautiful tree-lined street directly to the lake. I walk along the lake to the Ajijic pier, up the main tourist drag, and onto the Plaza. I rest, rehydrate, and walk back to the pier. I have been enjoying sitting in the park next to the pier. It is so peaceful. My final leg takes me up to a street that runs parallel to the lake. I go down that long street, then up the tree-lined Calle de Juan Alvarez to Guadalupe Victoria where I live.

I went out without Billy today and was able to really stretch my long 33" legs. The sidewalks going and coming are in excellent shape. I don't feel like a goat climbing our mountainside while walking along them. I was doing so well that when I was a little more than half way to the pier that I felt the endorphins kick in and give me the extra boost I needed and the shit-eating grin that I always get when exercising.

Now, with my exercise and eating kilos of apples, chicken, and tuna I am bound to deflate the spare tire hanging over my belt. I feel great. If I have been neglecting this blog, it is due to how tired I am when I return and how happy I've been. How can I get upset about what I can't change? Why bother?

I took the photograph above yesterday. This is the spot where I reach the lake and begin to walk towards the Ajijic pier.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Read

I was directed to this article by one of the blogs I read that are written by folks living with Bipolar Disorder. The article reveals so much about me that I don't really know what to think.... Except, maybe more of my family and friends should learn about Bipolar Disorder. I have hidden my life from friends and family. Fear and shame are hard feelings to beat.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wonderland II

A new blogger friend from the UK asked:

"How did you end up living in Mexico, if that's not to much of a personal
question? And..... its so beautiful there, so what makes all the Mexicians leave and run the border to get into America?"

So, Marmite Toasty, I had always believed that I'd leave my hometown and teach somewhere else. My plan was to retire with a pension in Michigan and teach another 10 years in Florida or Arizona, then retire for good. Having two teacher pensions and a Social Security check would have made retirmement very comfortable. That all changed when I was involved in two car crashes. My neck injuries made life difficult. As soon as I was eligible for my Michigan teachers' pension, I retired. Unfortunately, I needed to spend some of my retirement savings to buy enough service time to retire with a "30 year" pension. I only taught for 25 years.

Living overseas was a dream that my partner and I shared. When my older brother actually made his decision to move to Ajijic, Mexico we thought more about that dream. After my life started swirling in the toilet bowl, it became easier to leave Michigan and move to where my meager pension would stretch enough to take care of both of us. We were struggling. Now, we watch our centavos and love every minute we are here doing so.

The very poor are desperate to live better lives in Mexico. One local teenager recently killed herself after telling friends she would rather die than be so poor and have to beg for help. We have quite a few folks that live hand to mouth in town. Those folks beg or sell junk to try and live. Some can't even afford to live here and take a bus from Guadalajara where the cost of living is less. After seeing how some of the "better off" folks live, I have a better understanding of Mexico and why some go North with some fragments of hope.

Surprisingly, we have met numerous Mexicans that had lived in the United States. They moved, didn't like the American lifestyle, and moved back to Mexico. Life is simpler here. Values are different. Time is different. And, here in the Lake Chapala region, there is a unique culture and lifestyle because of all the Brits, Canadians, Europeans, Americans, and "wealthy" Mexicans.

There are many reasons why folks retire and live in this community. We all have a story to tell. I'll share mine freely. And, with joy.

.



Wonderland




If I ever lose the sense of wonder as I travel about my part of Mexico, well, I'd be dead or an ungrateful wretch. Forget all the stereotypical images you may have of Mexico. The real Mexico is diverse in its climate, geography, languages, and culture. Nope, no snoring Mexicans leaning on a wall and covered with a large sombrero around here. The closest thing to the stereotype is the old American with Alzheimers that dresses in native garb and rides a donkey through the streets.

We walked about a lot yesterday. We, of course, enjoyed the weather, our beautiful surroundings, and watching the tourists. Yep, we've been reduced to gaining some of our entertainment from watching the pink-skinned folks from Europe, Canada, other areas of Mexico, and the United States. I found myself muttering to a family of "white" people that they mustn't forget their sunscreen. I don't think they heard me.

Ajijic and the Lake Chapala region are like Ontario's "cottage country" for rich and poor folks that live in Guadalajara. The really rich Mexicans own vacation homes here and may only visit a few weekends a year. Of course, when the snowbirds leave, the amount of rental property and hotel efficientcy apartments increases. Right now is the perfect time to scope out rentals. Tourists love the beauty of this area and enjoy the closeness to Mexico's 2nd largest city. The local pyramids, volcanos, butterfly forests, agave plantations, and the town of Tequila are favored attractions.

The first picture, above, was taken yesterday. I was on our sidewalk in front of the neighbors' empty lot. Facing south, you can see Lake Chapala and the mountains across the lake from us. The second photograph was taken with the zoom.

The third photo was taken from the lake front facing north. I will never tire of looking up at those mountains.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Low Clouds



We had quite a bit of rain the other night. We seem to have plugged the major leaks with the roof sealer and only found one leak. Unfortunately, that leak is in a new location. Crap. Well, I wasn't done with the roof anyway. Now I just have to wait for a few dry days.

The clouds hung low over the mountains for the better part of yesterday. We couldn't see any peaks. We had a brief period of mugginess but it blew off with new winds coming across the lake. The Pemex station in the first photograph is on the street behind our house and halfway down the block. God, I love the GREEN mountains and those wispy clouds. The second photograph, also taken yesterday, is looking uphill from the edge of the lake. The shot didn't capture the incline of the street going up the hill to the town square. Trust me, Ajijic is no San Fransisco, but it is plenty hilly. Some streets are steep.

I am continually amazed and grateful for the opportunity to live near the clouds. I think that I have adjusted pretty well to the altitude and climate. I am certain that come winter I'll need a sweater or a jacket sometimes. We won't be laughing at the acclimatized anymore. We'll be just like them...

I asked the doctor to take my blood pressure yesterday. It was 130 / 80. Not bad for an old guy. I'm maintaining my weight loss and hope to drop some more. Yep, all is right in my world.

Avarice

I read a "letter to the editor" yesterday that was published in the Times Herald. Here is the money shot, err, money quote:

"First, I think it's impossible to believe the city charter intended
people who were voted off the council to be appointed to council
vacancies."

Okay, hang on Ralph, the first person to whom the vacant city council seat was to be offered only failed to be re-elected. I think that it is presumptuous to believe that the VOTERS didn't want Ms. Sample-Winn on the city council. Didn't she receive the highest vote count behind the, what is it? -- seven? -- folks ahead of her? To say that she was voted off the island is inaccurate. She had more people vote for her to be on the city council than the two outsiders illegally appointed to the council. They didn't even run for office!

If anyone really follows these little conversations with myself, you know how pissed I am
about the Port Huron City Council. In the beginning, I thought that Mayor Brian "I-got-fired-from-my-police-job-in-Port Huron" Moeller was just stacking the city council with his friends. Ignoring the clearly written and well-understood City Charter was easy if any legal hack said you could. Asshole. Anyway, it seems that the motivation for this corrupt coup was more sinister.

I love Math. The rules don't go wonky. I hate it when some jerks try to tell me that two plus two doesn't have to equal four because some phreaking lawyer told them so.... It's almost like the Port Huron Area School District officials bragging about an award given to them by the folks THEY PAY to audit the books. Well, maybe that doesn't track, but the point is -- it is self-serving. In these cases, its just plain ignorant.

So, the self-righteous arrogant boys that hood-winked the electorate believe that they have some sort of "mandate" to rule the City because just another alleged tax-payer revolt occurred. Those guys know that these anti-council groups form on the drop of a hat in Port Huron. It's gotta be the water. They stir people up and thrust a "trusted" candidate in the lime light. Yep, ya'll got a couple of winners.

And, they believe they have all the answers.

I'm just waiting for the shine to wear-off.

The re-call petitions and future candidates are just on the horizon. Just another day in that little little town.