GoT Real?

Hey there, sports fans!

The NFL Draft was held last week. The Minnesota Vikings drafted a lots of offensive players, especially linemen. Hopefully, that works out for them. It’s hard to win many football games if you have a porous offensive line. There are sixteen games in the regular season. I think the Vikings will be fortunate to win half of them.

I might end up being a Detroit Lions fan before the year is over…

As a guy, I tend to mark the passing of the year by sporting events. The Super Bowl. March Madness. The Masters. The Triple Crown. After that, it’s just waiting for football to start. So, if I’m already this pessimistic about my team’s chances of success, well, that’s something I’m going to have to work on. At least until they start playing and prove that they suck.

* * * *

I went golfing last Sunday with the intention of shooting my best round ever. That lasted two holes. After that, I could settle down and hope I didn’t shoot my worst round ever. But I regrouped on the back nine.

That’s another thing I’m going to have to work on…

* * * *

I’ve had a few people question my theory about Guys versus Men. I think I can best explain it this way. Bryan Baeumler has a couple of home renovation shows on HGTV. Disaster DIY and Leave it to Bryan.

In the first show, a home owner started a reno project by demolishing a room or two, then realized that they had no idea how to put it all back together, and the house sat unfinished for months, sometimes years. Those are guys.

In the second show, home owners want to renovate their house, but they hire a professional to do it for them because they know they don’t have the skills to do it themselves. Those are men.

If you’re still confused after this, there’s nothing more I can do to help you.

* * * *

The final season of Game of Thrones has reached its halfway point, and it has not disappointed. Seventeen and a half million people tuned in to watch the season premiere, a record for HBO. Two weeks later, that record was shattered when almost eighteen million viewers sat glued to their seats to watch The Long Night, the epic battle of Winterfell.

Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and the Armies of the Living faced off against the Night King, the White Walkers, and the Army of the Dead.

Everything I know about planning a battle I learned as a dental x-ray technician when I was in the Army. I think Jon Snow went to the same school of combat that I did. Prior to last Sunday, Jon had commanded two major battles. The Battle of the Bastards, and the expedition beyond the Wall to capture a wight.

* * * *

I always thought the idea to capture a zombie warrior was stupid. Until Danerys said that it was something you had to see in order to believe it. That was definitely true.

Jon Snow: “The real enemy isn’t the person sitting on the Iron Throne. It’s the Night King.”

Pretty Much Everyone Else: “And who is that, exactly?”

Jon Snow: “Remember the Snow Miser? He’s like that, except he can resurrect the dead, and he’s really good at the javelin.”

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The Hound: “Shit. This guy is a fucking cunt, too.”

Pretty Much Everyone Else: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

However, once he captured a zombie warrior, Jon was able to convince his Queen/girlfriend/aunt that the threat was real, and everyone stopped wondering if he had stopped taking his Haldol.

* * * *

Back to Jon’s battles. He lost them both. I pointed this out to my wife, and she told me to shut up. She has kind of a celebrity crush on Kit Harrington.

Jon Snow was saved both times by outside interventions. The knights of the Vale rode in to save his ass at the Battle of the Bastards. Daenerys and her dragons flew in to save his ass beyond the Wall. And he was going down for the third time when Jon’s half-sister/niece saved everyone’s ass by killing the Night King, which killed his entire zombie army. And an undead dragon.

All I can say is there better be two women that are Knights of the Seven Kingdoms after this. And whose idea was it to shelter all of the women and children down in the crypts? 

Jon Snow: “We’re fighting against a magical king who can reanimate the dead as warriors in his army!”

Somebody: “Okay. We’ll send all of the women and children down into the crypts during the battle to keep them safe.”

Somebody Else: “What’s down there?”

Sansa Stark: “Nothing much. It’s a cemetery…”

Pretty Much Everyone Else: “Brilliant!”

* * * *

Sadly, several of our favorite characters didn’t survive the Battle of Winterfell, most notably Ser Jorah Momont and his cousin, Lady Lyanna Mormont.

Ser Jorah was an honorable man who did some very dishonorable things, and was trying like hell to redeem himself. He kind of reminds me of me. Except he was tall. And handsome. And a great warrior.

Lyanna Mormont was ten years old. She was maybe four feet tall, but that kid was made of Valyrian steel. She definitely made the most of her brief screen appearances. Westeros will be a lesser place without her presence.

Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised that I’m a huge GoT fan. Anyone who knows my lovely supermodel wife would be very surprised to find out that she is. But she has even been researching the series on the Interweb and listening to all of kooky theories about what happens next.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this is as good as it gets.

* * * *

One of the struggles of being retired is finding something interesting to watch on TV, especially during the day. There is seriously nothing worth watching 99% of the time. I rarely actually watch TV, even though I rarely turn it off when I’m awake. I’ve discovered that I need the noise to keep me from going crazier.

A couple of weeks ago I started watching The Good Witch, mostly out of sheer desperation. For one thing, it’s on the Hallmark Channel, so I’ve probably seen most of their Christmas movies. Another thing, it stars Catherine Bell. And I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen all of her Christmas movies. And there’s one more thing, I’ve kind of developed a celebrity crush on the fair Catherine.

For those of you who don’t know what this means, a celebrity crush is someone famous that you find immensely desirable/attractive/sexy and, if given the chance, would be more than happy to sleep with, or more accurately, have a lots of sex with.

As a result, I decided to do some research on my celebrity crush, you know, just in cases Catherine Bell decides she can’t live without me. And I was crushed. It seems my celebrity crush has been cheating on me. With her girlfriend. Yeah, my secret sweetheart doesn’t even like guys.

And there’s another thing. Catherine Bell is tall, like, 5′ 10″ tall. She’s a fucking Amazon Princess compared to me. If she ever tried to hug me, my face would end up

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Yep. Right about there…

Given the fact that I’m a very happily married guy, and I’d hate to lose my lovely supermodel wife to a celebrity lesbian, I’m going to hold off inviting Catherine down here to visit.

Though that hug looks like it might be a lots of fun…

Bat Out of Hell

Life is strange sometimes. Okay, life itself might not be strange, but the stuff that happens certainly can be. It’s also possible the stuff that happens after you’re no longer living could be equally strange, but no one has ever documented it.

If the concepts of reincarnation are true, then we strive to improve on our past performances until we achieve enlightenment and no longer need to improve on anything. In that case, I’d expect a fair amount of the afterlife would involve having to read How Not to Fuck Up Your Next Life–for Dummies.

* * * *

As you’ve probably guessed by now, we survived Holy Week.

According to the Bible, Jesus entered Jerusalem as a hero on Palm Sunday, and five days later the same people who had cheered for him were demanding his death.

No one has ever had such a precipitous fall from grace, except maybe Howard Dean…

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Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

The timeline is so improbable that it would almost have to be classified as one of Jesus’ miracles, and possibly his greatest. Or his worst, depending on your point of view.

It never made any sense to me. The only explanation that makes sense is that the actual events took longer than a week to unfold. Probably several months. Then everything makes sense, especially the conversations between Pontius Pilate and Jesus.

I’m not sure if Pilate hated the Jews, but he certainly wasn’t the most sympathetic Roman prefect of Judea. On at least two occasions he appeared to go out of his way to antagonize the Jews, and was eventually removed from office for dealing with his subjects too harshly. The fact that he would’ve had any hesitation at all about killing Jesus is another miracle.

And yet, in all four of the Gospels, he clearly doesn’t want to execute Jesus. A timeline of several months would, at the very least, give Pilate the opportunity to meet with Jesus more than once, probably after he had Jesus imprisoned. By all accounts, Jesus was a very charismatic guy. It’s not inconceivable that Pilate found himself liking the preacher from Galilee. So much so that by the time this scenario had reached its climax, Jesus had become the only Jew Pilate didn’t want to kill.

Yeah, I know. It’s all speculation.

Some of you might say, You know, for a guy who claims to be a Christian, you spend a lots of time questioning everything you’re supposed to believe.

Yeah, I do. But then, I used to believe in American democracy, too.

* * * *

The cicadas have started singing their strident songs. In the Lakeside Area, cicadas are called chicharros (waterbirds) because the rains generally start a few weeks after they start singing. And I found a tree frog on the patio last night. Another sign of the rainy season.

The rains will be nice. They’ll knock all of the dust and pollen out of the air, and that should lessen our allergy symptoms. Maybe.

But it will also make the velcro grass grow thicker at the golf course, and that’s not good for my score.

* * * *

A lots of people that retire here do a lots of research about the Lakeside Area before they uproot and relocate. The good thing is that there’s a plethora of information available on the Interweb. I’m going to guess that most of the articles accentuate the positive. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read any of them.

I doubt there are many articles that mention the flying buffalo ants. And I know there aren’t any articles about the flying scorpion spiders. Another thing you won’t find much information about are the bats.

The Spanish word for bat is murciélago. There are a lots of bats in Mexico. I won’t go so far to say that I’m afraid of bats, but they do kind of give me the willies. The little flying mice bats that eat insects aren’t so bad. It’s the larger, flying rat bats that eat fruit that freak me the fuck out.

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Admit it. You thought I was was making this up, didn’t you.

Oddly enough, the most common fruit bat in Mexico is the Jamaican Fruit Bat. We had encountered these bats at our first house. They drank all of the nectar out of Lea’s hummingbird feeders. Retrieving her feeders with a herd of flying bats swooping around my head wasn’t a pleasant experience.

When a fruit bat finds a ripe and desirable fruit, it swoops in and plucks it from the tree, then it flies to a temporary dining roost to eat.

There is at least one desirable fruit tree growing on the hillside of the golf course just below our backyard, and there’s also a very desirable temporary dining roost near that tree. That place is our spacious patio. At night, our spacious patio probably looks just like a cave, which is no doubt very inviting to a hungry bat.

Bats are voracious eaters, so our patio floor looked like unto a disaster area in the mornings when we first moved here. Little Known Fact About Fruit Bats: they can digest an entire meal in about fifteen minutes. Any guesses about what else bats are really good at?

Yep. They shit like there’s no tomorrow.

Bat shit is slang for someone one step beyond totally crazy. Guano is the technical term for bat excrement, which is highly desirable as a fertilizer. If the bats only shit  in our yard, I’d probably love them. But they’ve been shitting on our patio walls, and I really don’t love that.

Our walls are white. Well, they were white. Now they’re white with greenish brown streaks and spots, or white with pink streaks and spots. It’s not a great color combination.

I don’t know how long the bats have been using our patio as a restaurant/restroom, but it’s clearly been going on for a while. I tried washing the walls. Guano is some tenacious shit. It doesn’t wash off easily, and some of it doesn’t wash off at all.

I have no intention of trying to kill all of the fruit bats in the Lakeside Area, though that would certainly solve the problem of them crapping in our patio. And that’s the first step I encountered in trying to solve this problem. Cleaning the walls doesn’t accomplish anything if the bats just come back and crap on the walls again.

So, how does one get rid of bats without killing them? No one seemed to know. We did have an exterminator come over and spray the patio with something non-lethal, but noxious to bats. It didn’t work. I set up a sonic blaster device. It was supposed to emit frequencies the bats wouldn’t like and they’d stop dining in our patio. That didn’t work either.

We usually go to bed around 10:00 PM, give or take. There are no bats on the patio when we call it a day. Lea sometimes has trouble sleeping. On those occasions she likes to sit out on the patio, except the fucking bats freaked her out, too. It seemed that peak dining hours for bats were between midnight and 2:00 AM. I usually don’t have any trouble sleeping, but I’ve been on the patio at 3:00 AM, and there were no bats.

It might have been a month ago, maybe. Lea went to bed, but I stayed up. I was probably writing one of my blog posts…  At any rate, I finished some time around midnight, and I went to check on the world before I went to bed. And there were no bats on the patio. Not even one.

Hmm. Why do you suppose that is? I wondered. And then it occurred to me that the lights in the living room were still on, and maybe that’s why there were no bats…

We’ve been leaving some of living room lights on at night for the past couple of weeks. No bats! They’re apparently very sensitive to light. It makes sense. The fruit they eat doesn’t look that appetizing to me, and the bats themselves are butt-ugly. Darkness is their only friend.

Having accidentally figured out how to discourage the bats, the only thing that remained was getting rid of the Technicolor® walls of our patio. Simple! I’ll get some white paint. But there’s something like unto three hundred shades of white. Not so simple.

In the States, you can bring in a color sample and it can be computer matched. In Mexico, you can guess which shade is the closest and hope you’re not too wrong. I suck at this kind of thing, but Lea is a supermodel, and she is spooky.

She picked out a shade that wasn’t exactly the same as the paint on our walls, but it’s so close that you barely notice the difference. Most of the guano stains have disappeared, but some of them are still visible after three coats of paint. If only our walls weren’t white…

I told you that shit was tenacious.

* * * *

There’s one other bat in Mexico.  El Pinche Murciélago Gigante! That’s right, Cupcake. The Fucking Giant Bat of Mexico. They probably live in the Lakeside Area. There’s some really big caves here.

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You thought I was making this up too, didn’t you.

The Giant Bat is probably about the size of a Labrador. Maybe larger. Some of them have interbred with chupacabras, resulting in something like unto the closest thing to an actual vampire you’d ever want to meet. Not the cute vampires from Hollywood that make women cream their jeans. These are savage bloodthirsty monsters that will make you shit your pants.

As for what it eats, I’m guessing it eats anything it wants. Cats, dogs, kids. Volkswagen Beetles. And they’re particularly fond of tourists. If we can tell who the tourists are, there’s no reason to think the bats can’t.

So, just remember that the next time you’re planning a vacation to Lake Chapala. It could be the last vacation you ever take.

To Serve and Protect

In my last post I mentioned that we haven’t had any major issues to deal with here at the Chula Vista Resort and Spa. And the next day the temporary faucet in our kitchen exploded and flooded the floor.

Thank God for tile floors.

Tacho, our general handyman guy, came over Saturday morning and installed a new temporary faucet. According to Jaime Mendoza, our property manager, our new permanent faucet is supposed to be installed on Wednesday.

We’ll see how that goes. It’s Holy Week, and not a lot gets done here this time of year.

Easter in Mexico is vastly different than Easter in the United States. In Mexico, Easter is when everyone goes to the beach. Except for the people that come here. Something like unto twenty thousand people will start flocking into the Lakeside Area today, and will be here through the weekend.

Unlike the United States, you can’t find an Easter basket in any of the stores here. I’ve looked. Only Halloween surpasses Easter in terms of candy sales in the US. But in Mexico, there are no jelly bean eggs, no chocolate bunnies. There will be no manic hunts for brightly colored Easter eggs by sugar-charged children on Sunday morning.

Just sun, bikinis, sand, and beer, and possibly beach volleyball. From my point of view, it beats the heck out of hard boiled eggs.

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Happy Easter Bunnies!!!!

I’ve never celebrated Mexican Easter before, but given my affection for bikini clad females, I’m starting to think I might be missing out on something.

Easter is the most Christian holiday there is, but American Easter traditions have next to nothing to do with Christianity. The Egg Thing and the Bunny Thing are rooted in Pagan traditions, not Christian. It’d be cool if they came from Scotland, but I can’t find any evidence to support that.

* * * *

The other major issue we’re facing here involves curtain rods for the master bedroom. We chose a local ironworks shop to make them for us. The old guy who runs it is an artist. We’ve purchased some of his stuff before, and were very pleased with our acquisitions.

However, when we took Lea’s measurements and designs to the shop, the old guy had one of his arms in a cast, and it appeared the business was being run by a couple of kids that I have named the Moron Twins. There’s a reason for that.

One of the kids looked at Lea’s designs, and he seemed to understand what we wanted. Lea suggested that he come to the house and make his own measurements, which he did. Last Friday, he delivered our three custom curtain rods, and none of them were the correct size. In addition, he had added finials that looked like mutant insect antennae. Lea hated them.

The kid said someone would come to our house the next day, Saturday, to install them. Yeah, that didn’t happen. We went back to the shop on Monday with a new set of measurements and designs. Lea handled most of the transaction in Spanish, which was impressive. Once again, the kid seemed to understand exactly what Lea wanted. He even showed her that he had the finials Lea wanted in his shop.

We thought we had sorted that problem out. Later that afternoon, the other moron twin arrived at our house to install the curtain rods we didn’t want installed. 

As of right now, we still have the incorrect curtain rods stored on the far end of the patio. We have no idea when, or even if, we’ll receive our new curtain rods. I’m planning on asking Jaime to go down to the ironworks shop to advocate for us when he delivers our new kitchen faucet, possibly later today. More likely next week…

* * * *

We watched the first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones Sunday night. My long list of horrible people who need to got dead has shortened considerably because most of them have been killed to death already. Those who remain are Ser Gregor Clegane, Cercei Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, Qyburn, and the Night King.

It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out. And how many of my favorite characters will get killed to death in the process. Then I’ll be depressed until Hallmark starts playing Christmas movies again. But long before then my lovely supermodel wife will have to tell me to grow up or she’ll really give me something to cry about. I haven’t seen Captain Marvel yet, or The Avengers: Endgame. So I still have something to live for.

* * * *

For those of you who are wondering how my golf game is going, it still mostly sucks. I attribute part of that to seasonal allergies, high pollen counts, and dust. The Rainy Season won’t begin for a couple of months, so those conditions are likely to increase in intensity until then. The rains start around the middle of June, followed by the invasions of the Flying Buffalo Ants and the Flying Scorpion Spiders.

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Eek! Hideous monster bugs!!

If you’re freaked out by giant, poisonous insects, you’ll hate it here, so you should probably just stay at home and not even think about visiting here. And you sure as hell won’t want to move here.

But I did beat Cheryl last Sunday.

I golf at least every Sunday with my golf wife, Phyllis, and Tom and Cheryl. Cheryl is a very good golfer. She was the reigning Woman’s Champion at the country club we’re all members of.

It’s been a goal of mine to beat Madame Champion at least once before I get dead, but I’m not sure this one actually counts. Cheryl messed up her hip on the third hole. By the time we hit the back nine, she was way off her game.

I ended up beating her by one stroke, the same margin of victory Tiger Woods had at the Masters®. Now that I’ve kinda beat Cheryl, I need to beat her when she’s having a good day. Then it’ll be real.

* * * *

Our purebred Mexican street kit-tens, Mika and Mollie, are about eight months old now. They rule our house, and they know it.

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They’re no longer little, which is kind of sad. They were so darlingpreshadorbs! They were a laugh riot with their antics. They’re still entertaining, but in different ways now.

They’ve developed very distinct personalities. Mika is a fearless tomboy, always looking for some mischief to get into. She’s our Arya Stark kit-ten. Mollie is a Sansa Stark kit-ten. She’s more of a lady, unless you drop an ice cube. And she’s more of a lover, especially at night. She always snuggles with us when she comes to bed and hugs us goodnight. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

They are easily the two most finicky felines on the planet. I had to buy two more litter boxes because the two they already had just weren’t enough.

Lea used to go to every pet shop in the Lakeside Area, plus the Petco® in Guadalajara just to find the canned food they liked, until they stopped eating it altogether. They don’t like people food. Whoever heard of a cat that won’t eat chicken? Or pork chops? They only eat kibble, and they eat plenty of that. Hence, the need for more litter boxes.

I remember the day we brought them home and first time they pooped in the litter box. I was so proud of them! Yeah, I’ve pretty much gotten over that by now.

Little did we know when adopted our rescue kit-tens that they would become service animals, but they are. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

They’re kind of like unto psych nurses, except people actually like service animals.

Probably the most familiar service animals are guide dogs for the blind. Evidence suggests they’ve been around since the Roman Empire. Around the 1990’s, people started training service dogs to help with a wide range of disabilities. Various species of dogs were trained to assist children and adults with autism, people with diabetes, veterans and others suffering from PTSD, and a plethora of other disorders.

Unlike every other service animal on the planet, our kit-tens didn’t require any special training because they evidently already know everything. There’s some dispute about just how much service they actually provide, but that hasn’t stopped them from poking their noses into everything we do.

No matter what we’re doing in the bathroom, the kit-tens have to be there. To be truthful, I’m not sure they’re all that interested in what we’re doing. It’s more of their fascination with running water. They think it’s the coolest thing, ever.

Mika and Mollie help me floss every day. Okay, all they do is play with the dangling end of my dental floss. Whenever I shave, Mika practically climbs on my shoulders for a closer look. Neither Lea nor I can take a shower without the supervision of our service kit-tens. I’m no longer sure how we survived without them.

Lea can’t cook a meal without the kit-tens’ assistance. They climb inside of the cabinets to help her find pots and pans. They help her with recipes by sitting on her cookbook when she’s trying to read it. And they play with the water in the sink.

Oddly enough, the only time our kit-tens don’t like water is when I give them baths. I have the scars to prove it. I’ve thought about tossing them into the swimming pool the next time I want to bathe them, but I’m pretty sure Lea would kill me if I did, so I probably won’t try that.

It’s not just us, Mika and Mollie supervise everyone that comes inside of our house. They help our maid, Monica, sweep the floors. Okay, mostly they attack her broom and scatter everything she’s already swept up. When Tacho installed our new temporary faucet, the kit-tens sat on his chest to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes.

I assume that they would be equally helpful if anyone ever broke into our home. I’m not sure they’d actually attack anyone, unless they were barefoot. They would certainly come running to rub against the shins of any burglar, and he might trip while he was sneaking off with our stuff. But their most effective defense would be if a potential thief had an allergic reaction to cats.

I’ve thought about getting them official service animal vests, but I’m not sure I’d survive putting them on our ferocious, not-so-little kit-tens. We’ve started trimming their needle sharp talons of death about every two weeks, out of sheer necessity.

Neither of them are especially fond of being held, so I can only imagine their reactions to being dressed in cute service outfits. I’d probably end up looking like I had tried juggling chainsaws.

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Yeah, not the best idea I’ve ever had…

Well, that’s about it from here for this week. We hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Easter weekend. And that you find the perfect summer bikini.

The Glamorous Life

It’s been a quiet week here in the Lakeside Area. Most of the weeks are quiet here. It’s kind of a bucolic place. That’s probably why so many people decide to retire here. However, it is Mexico. And it comes to celebrating just about anything, the locals don’t take a backseat to anyone.

Holy Week, Semana Santa, is coming up. Ajijic hosts a passion play every year. I hear it’s very good. You could check it out if you’re interested. Just in cases you don’t know what a passion play is, it’s a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering, death, and resurrection. It’s a very Catholic tradition. Mexico is a very Catholic country.

During Holy Week, the Lakeside Area is going to be packed with tapatios, pilgrims, and tourists, which is why I’ll be at home. There’ll be the passion play, and bands playing at the bars and los eventos, and the eruption of cohetes will fill the air.

Tapatío, in general terms, is a colloquial Mexican term for someone from Guadalajara. In more specific Lakeside terms, it’s someone from Guadalajara who comes down here to escape from the Big City for the weekend.

We used to do something similar when lived in the States. When we lived in Minneapolis, we’d go up to the North Shore. It’s still my favorite place on Earth. When we lived in Phoenix, we’d go up into the mountains to Prescott or Payson.

Urban living certainly has its advantages. Jobs. Entertainment. Shopping malls. Fine dining. Paved roads. It also has it disadvantages. Air pollution. Traffic jams. Crime. Mostly, all of the other fucking people that also live there. The population of Guadalajara is around seven million people. If you lived there, you’d want to get the hell out of there, too.

* * * *

We go to Guadalajara every couple of months to shop at Costco. Or the high end malls. It’s an adventure every time, mostly because of the traffic. Guadalajara was a little town that became a huge city with little to no civic planning. If you live there, you’ll eventually learn your way around. If you don’t, you hire a driver, or you have to depend on GPS to get from Point A to Point B. You are not going to just drive around and hope you find what you’re looking for.

We’ve lived in big cities before. We’re not daunted by traffic. And we have a system. Lea drives and I navigate. I’m a better navigator than she is. And Lea loves to drive. She’d probably love it more if she still had her sportscar. But the roads here make a vehicle like that impractical. And you can’t load a lots of stuff into a 370z.

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Our current vehicle is a Buick Encore. I’ll probably keep it for a couple more years, then get an Audi Q3. I’ll have to get rid of my American plated car and buy a Mexican plated car at that time. The Audi Q3 isn’t a sportscar, but it’ll still be a lots fun for Lea to drive. And it has a great stereo system, which is the only thing I care about when it comes to cars.

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I actually bought a car once because of the stereo. I didn’t even take it for a test drive. I played with the radio for a couple of minutes without ever leaving the sales lot. I told the salesman to write it up, I’d take it.

“Don’t you want to take it for a test drive?” he asked, a bit dumbfounded.

“No. I want to drive it to work. Today. My shift starts at 3:00. You have two hours. You better get busy or you’re going to miss a sale.”

* * * *

I still have no idea what I’m going to write about. Maybe this will end up being a general update on our glamorous retirement lives…

We haven’t had to deal with any major issues at the Chula Vista Resort and Spa lately. Jaime says he’s still looking for a replacement faucet for the kitchen, but the longer this goes on the more I think he’s decided he’s decided he can live with our temporary faucet, too.

It’s not a big deal. We love it here. The most annoying thing about living here revolves around our satellite TV service and the download speed for our Interweb service.

As I’ve said before, we don’t actually watch a lots of TV, but we almost always have the TV on for background noise. Silence might be golden to some people, but it drives me crazy. After thirty years as a psych nurse, I’m accustomed to noise. The absence of noise disturbs me greatly.

Wow. I can’t believe I just said that. I don’t think I had realized how much I hate silence until now.

We have Shaw Direct for our satellite TV. Shaw is a Canadian company. We had next to no problems with them at our last house. Here, our satellite feed seems to be somewhat sketchy at times. Again, not a huge deal. I’ve become very skilled at rebooting our PVR box.

If there’s one thing that seems to drive all ex-pats crazy, it’s a slow Interweb connection. Hey, we’re spoiled. We didn’t have this issue before we moved here. There aren’t a lots of options when it comes to this suddenly vital service. Basically, you can go with Telmex® or Telecable®. Compared to speed-of-light fiber optic cable, they both suck. And neither of them seem to care.

Telmex® is essentially the Mexican version of the American communications giant, AT&T, before it was broken up into a bunch of smaller companies. Telmex® is a telecommunication monster down here. It owns eighty percent of the telephone lines in the country.

We had Telmex® service at our last house. I guess it was okay most of the time, though we consistently had issues whenever we wanted to stream movies through our KODI box.

We have Telecable® at the Chula Vista Resort and Spa. I wasn’t enamored with our service when we first moved in. So I tried calling the office, and that’s when I discovered there isn’t an office phone. You actually can’t call the office unless you have the cellphone number of one of the service reps, and I doubt they give their numbers out to anyone.

On their website Telecable® lists two levels of service available in the Lakeside Area: 5 Mbps and 10 Mbps. So I went down to the office to talk to one of their service representatives about upgrading my package. That’s when I met Carmen and Marisol. And I wasn’t quite so pissed off anymore. Okay, they’re young, and beautiful. And they have really big eyes. And nice smiles.

Carmen said yes, I could upgrade my package, except for one small detail. They only offer 5 Mbps in the Lakeside Area. I’d have to live in Guadalajara to qualify for the 10 Mbps service.

There is a fiber optic cable company that is getting started in Lakeside. ILOX started running lines in specific areas late last year. I have no idea when there service will be available here. Maybe I’ll wander into their office one of these days, except I doubt their service reps will be as attractive as Carmen and Marisol…

Given the limitations of available Interweb service, and the sudden sketchiness of our satellite service, we talked to one of our friends, Donald Stordahl. Donald has a streaming TV service here in the Lakeside Area. We rented one of his boxes for a month, and then I remembered I already had two streaming devices, and they were already paid for. I hooked them up and gave Donald his box back.

And everything was great until I blew up my Amazon Firestick. I had tried to download the latest update, and after that it wouldn’t work. I have no idea what went wrong, I only knew that I felt like I accidentally hit that red LAUNCH button, and there was nothing I could do to stop the missiles.

Seeing how I couldn’t repair my Firestick, I decided to buy another one, you know, eventually. But then Donald bought a used Firestick and asked me if I wanted it, seeing how I had just destroyed mine. He seems to be a pretty savvy businessman, from my perspective.

My previous Firestick had been jailbroken. The one I bought from Donald wasn’t, so I channeled my inner Millennial, and went online to learn how to do stuff.

There are a lots of online tutorials about tweaking your Firestick. I didn’t have much confidence in my ability to do this, given that I’d just destroyed my last Firestick by trying to update it. But all you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions, and I’ll be damned, it worked!

I’ll tell ya what, I was pretty goddamn proud of myself for a couple of days there. I successfully downloaded and installed the most recent KODI app, and the Mobdro app. Then I got my lovely supermodel wife addicted to Game of Thrones, and the rest is history.

* * * *

The final season of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday. Like every other fan, Lea and I have been speculating about who’s going to win the Great Game and sit on the Iron Throne. I don’t care who it is, just as long as it isn’t Cercei Lannister. She needs to got dead, soon.

Will the Golden Company help her maintain her grip on the reins of power, or will they break a contract for the first time ever and go fight against the Night King and his army from Hell? And how many of my favorite characters are going to get killed to death…

How are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen going to defeat an army of animated dead warriors, White Walkers, and a zombie dragon? And what will they do when they discover that they’re related? Will Jon freak out when he finds out he’s been having sex with his aunt?

Who will kill The Mountain? What the hell is a Three-eyed Raven, and what sort of spooky superpowers does Bran Stark really have?

The good news is we’ll all find out soon. Unfortunately, that’s also the bad news.

Ship of Fools

Good morning, faithful reader. It’s another disgustingly beautiful day here in the Lakeside Area. Spring has sprung. I’ve been working in our gardens planting flowers and stuff.

Little Known Fact About My Lovely Supermodel Wife: Lea loves gardens. And Another Little Known Fact About My Lovely Supermodel Wife: Lea hates to garden.

As a result, I’ve kind of become a gardening guy. It’s one of the many services I provide to keep my wife happy. Studies have shown that if your spouse is happy, they are much less likely to try to kill you. Or hire someone else to kill you. I’ve watched enough murder mysteries to know that it’s always the spouse.

The temperature here is in the mid-80’s. It’s the peak of the Dry Season, so it’s also the peak of Allergy Season.

The jacaranda trees are all in bloom.

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See? They really are pretty!

While they’re incredibly beautiful to see, they also produce a type of pollen that effects almost everyone down here.

A lots of people suffer from seasonal allergies. Sneezing. Runny nose. Sinus congestion. Scratchy throat. Watery eyes. Sound familiar? Seasonal allergies are rarely fatal, but they can make you miserable enough to make you wish you’d get dead.

Possible Little Known Fact About Allergies: you can develop an allergy to practically anything at any time. Once you have an allergy to something, you’ll probably have it for the rest of your life.

If you don’t have any allergies now, you might have something to look forward to…

* * * *

It’s April Fools’ Day! Just in cases you were wondering, this day is an annual worldwide celebration of playing practical jokes on each other and spreading hoaxes.

As someone posted on Twitter the other day, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me fourteen times, you’re Gonzaga.

Back when I was a psych nurse, I once started a new job on April 1st. It might have been the longest day of my life. I got pranked all day. By the time my shift was over, I pretty much hated all of my new coworkers. It was a new hospital. New policies and procedures. And psych nurses tend to have a twisted sense of humor. Some of them even enlisted the help of their patients.

The only good thing about that was they didn’t have any of their patients stick anything up their asses. That’s not something psych nurses usually have to ask their patients to do. It’s something they’ll do all by themselves.

* * * *

“I need a new bottle of shampoo.”

“What happened to your old bottle of shampoo?”

“It’s up my ass.”

“How did it get there?”

“I sat on it. Accidentally.”

It’s always an accident because things just naturally tend to slide up into your ass when you sit on them.

* * * *

April 1st is a common day for companies to get in on the fun and pull their own brand of special pranks. Among the most famous were Taco Bell claiming they had purchased the naming rights to the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. Amazon claiming it had invented the Petlexa to allow pet owners to communicate with their animals. Burger King unveiled the Chocolate Whopper. And the Left-handed Whopper.

Perhaps the greatest April Fools’ joke in history was pulled off by the BBC in 1957. It ran a report on one of its current affairs programs, Panorama, about a bumper crop of spaghetti being grown on trees in Switzerland. The film showed women plucking strands of cooked spaghetti off of branches. Voiced by respected British news anchor Richard Dimbleby, it was so convincing the BBC received calls from viewers weeks later asking how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.

As Abraham Lincoln said after watching the show, “You can’t believe everything you see on TV.”

* * * *

The origins of April Fools’ Day are somewhat murky–

Oh, man! Are you going to give us another history lesson, Herodotus?

Yes, I am. And if I weren’t already writing this, I’d suggest that you take notes.

Some historians believe the April Fools’ customs began in France. New Year’s Day used to be celebrated on April 1st until the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the 1500’s, and the new year started on January 1st. The people who still celebrated the new year on April 1st in France were called April Fools.

Also in France, April 1st is called Poisson d’Avril, or, April Fish. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends’ backs. The origin of the fish thing is pretty much a mystery, but I guess the French must think that fish are stupid.

Other historians believe that April Fools’ customs began during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine–1200 years earlier–when a group of court jesters and fools told their ruler that they could do a better job of running the empire than he did. Fortunately for them, Constantine was amused and allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

In Scotland, April Fools’ lasts two days!! Victims of pranks are called gowks (cuckoo birds). The second day is known as Taily Day, and pranks involving the backside are played. Supposedly, it is the origin of Kick Me signs.

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Thank you for that, Scotland

At least they don’t lift your kilt…

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Oh. Never mind. You owe me two beers, ya great gowk!

Whatever the truth might be, April Fools’ Day pranks have been around for a while. You know, in the same way that stupid people have. If I were able to choose one day to celebrate the stupidity of people, I would’ve chosen Election Day.

Mexico celebrates April Fools’ Day on December 28th, the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents. Día de los Santos Inocentes commemorates the biblical story of King Herod’s order to execute all of male infants in Bethlehem to kill baby Jesus, the prophesized King of Kings. Herod wasn’t in the mood to be removed from his throne, and seeing how all babies tend to look alike, he had all of the competition murdered. You know, to decrease the odds that he had the wrong kid killed to death.

In Mexico, on December 28th, people play jokes and pranks to trick friends and family. The media also gets involved by reporting false news stories. When somebody falls for the false news or prank they say, “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar hoy por ser dia 28 en nadie debes confiar.”  

Roughly translated, “Neener, neener, you’re a weiner and only a fool would trust you.”

They tie a dead, bloated fish to your back, lift up your serape, and kick you in the cojones. Then they beat you with tree branches until the dead fish explodes. If you’re still conscious by this time, you get to drink a shot of tequila. If not, you’re left laying in the street to die.

April Fools!!