Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Why I like Mexico



The other night we were walking the Playa Norte in Ciudad del Carmen and we saw this small outdoor restaurant out towards the beach. All the others in the area were closed and this one was closed too but still had some people at one table even though the lights were off. We walked up and asked where we could get two beers because we just wanted a drink and the waitress went in the darkened kitchen and brought us two, telling us that we could not leave with them. She let us sit at a table there, at which point, Guadeloupe, a wonderful woman at the occupied table, came over and began talking to us in broken English, which was about as bad as our Spanish. She wanted to try to converse with us and we obliged. Next thing we know, she asks us if we want food and summoned the waitress over take our order. “Shrimp or fish?” She asks. “Yes!” We reply. So she goes over to a cooler, pulls out a whole fish, and takes it into the kitchen, returning shortly with two plates, one having probably the best shrimp I’ve ever had in my life, and the other holding that same fish, still whole but now wonderfully seasoned and fried. 




We thought Guadeloupe owned the place or the waitress was her daughter by the way she was calling the shots but when I asked her it turned out that she’s just a regular customer who has pull enough to get this girl to open up the kitchen again and prepare a huge meal past closing time. She and her husband talked with us while we waited on the food, and we were almost family by the time the dinner came. And we sat there and ate this incredible food under the stars, the only two customers on this beach patio. And this is why I’m loving Mexico. These people, policia notwithstanding, are often wonderful. 

And yes, we tipped very well indeed.

Monday, October 19, 2020

1600 miles later...


In Merida, Mexico now. Got in last night. Been busy eating phenomenal food, seeing majestic natural and incredible historic sights, and being shaken down by local police, one of whom actually took my credit card and charged if 4800 pesos ($256 USD) after telling me that he'd keep my license and tow our car if I didn't pay. I already called my bank to stop that charge. And when he saw my friend Beth Anne filming him, he ran around to her side and demanded her phone, but she was finally able to convince him that she hadn't filmed him while still retaining her phone. Of course it meant deleting the video...sigh.  And then the very next toll booth, another one ran across multiple lanes of traffic to get to us and hit us up again, but he settled for $20 US. It was pretty clear that someone had called him and told him to watch for us so I went off the toll roads for a bit to try to break that cycle. There will be an official complaint filed of course but I'm sure that it will go nowhere.

Here’s pyramids at Teotihuacan, built about 400 years BC. It’s a massive complex covering over two miles  beautiful work, but hordes of vendors in there trying to see you everything imaginable and they block your path, follow you or approach as soon as you stop to look at something. Still, beautiful and awesome to contemplate the man-hours required to do all this just to please Quetzalcoatl, some serpent sun god. 













Then there was lunch in this 4 star restaurant in a cave, with linen tablecloths, servers all in white, and incredible food, so much that we couldn’t even finish it, for about the equivalent of $30 US each. 









 Spent that night in Veracruz and had terrific steak tacos and beer while enjoying live music in the Zocalo, or city square. Our hotel looked down on that square so we got to enjoy the music all night but it was good  





They are taking COVID seriously here  social distancing and masking are required and most every place you go into they check your temperature and make you sanitize your hands and shoes. Masks are mandatory even outside. They’re trying.

I do love this country  I just wish they’d get their corruption problem and the cartel gangs under control  this country has the GDP to become truly first world and take care of their people and infrastructure but So much of it all gets siphoned off by the crooks in and outside of government.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

El hustle

 Pemex gas station on 57D north of San Luis Potosí Attendant pumps 360 pesos worth of gas I give him a 500 peso bill. He shows me change of two 50 and two 20 bills, folds them together and hands them to me. I thank him, tip him, then park to go in the store and realize that I only gave 90 pesos now. He palmed one of the 50’s. I walk back over to where he was and he’s gone but the other attendant who was with him is there.  I say “Mas dinero” (More money) and without even asking me how much or why, he steps around the pump to where his partner had ducked and returns with a 50 peso bill and a big grin. They were both in on it and treated it like a game when I caught on and went back. Ah, Mexico...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Off on an adventure

 The next two weeks promises to be interesting. 

Here’s the Rio Grande at Laredo. The lights are America, the dark is México. 



Going south. Way south. Keep checking back and come  along. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Still Clumsy after all these years

With apologies to Paul Simon.

 So I awaken a night back because I hear a rustling in the kitchen, and a chomping noise. I know that sound--it's a dog eating something. But I haven't fed the dog anything at 0134hrs so clearly something is amiss. 

My initial suspect is Murphy, because he's the main food thief. (Merida's giving him a run for his title but she's on the bed with me, a perfect alibi.) I get ip and head for the kitchen and I hear a loud CLANG! followed by the thump of something hitting a wall. What the hell? And here comes Murphy from behind me. It's not him! I turn on the kitchen light and it's Belle. Apparently she opened the pantry door, which doesn't shut well because this house was put up shoddily post-Katrina, and she made a run at the open bag of food for the porch cats. Now she's got her head stuck in the cat food bag and she's stumbling around the kitchen, tripping over her metal dish and banging into the wall.  She shakes it off as I get in there and looks at me like "Uh....I can explain."

Murphy would never do this. He's a food-stealing ninja dog who will take things off the counter while I'm in the next room and I'll never hear him do it; He's that good. Merida just takes unapologetically and makes a ton of racket doing it because three-legged dogs are not stealthy but she's too small to get into these bags. But Belle...usually above suspicion because she's the "good" dog and clumsy enough that she still trips over this bowl--or most anything else on the floor--after almost a decade. I swear that dog could trip over smoke and she's forever stumbling over the water bowl that no one else trips over, usually turning the kitchen into a lake in the process. Murphy never trips over the water bowl. Merida fell face-first into it once when adjusting to her new three-legged normal (I shouldn't have laughed but I did) and even I have been known to kick that bowl a time or two in the dark, but Belle hits it about once a week on average and she shows no sign of stopping. 

These dogs are lucky I love them...and I'm luckier that they love me.




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

You're leaving? Well let me help you with that!

 





Bye. Don't let the door hit you. 

But you don't get those whole states; you get the parts that voted for you. 

  • You get Detroit, Pontiac and Flint but Michigan is otherwise red. 
  • You get Chicago and the rest of Illinois stays in America. (You can have Gary, Indiana, too though.)
  •  Milwaukee and Madison are yours judging by the poverty and ceaseless demands for more free stuff but the rest of Wisconsin works and pays taxes and belongs to America. 
  • Enjoy Minneapolis too. You made that mess but the rest of the state is still good people, aka: Red-state Americans. 
  • The Northeast has never been loyal to America as far back as our war of Independence when they still traded with the British. (I think they reprovisioned German U-Boats in World War Two as well.) Keep those with our compliments, especially as all the coal for the power grid comes from us. 
  • California is only blue from San Francisco down the coast to Los Angeles and San Diego so you can have that because frankly we don't want them anyway. We will of course be pulling all of our military out so get ready to welcome your new Mexican overlords. (We've let them know that we're no longer interested in retaining New Mexico as well. Hasta la Vista, Cucarachas!) 
  • Oregon is solid red except for Portland and Eugene, and you've ruined those so you're not getting out of here without taking them with you. 
  • Hell, take Seattle too and good riddance to the lot of you. 

But poke so much as one blue-dyed head up over the Sierra Nevadas and we're cutting the water from the Rockies right off.  Oh--we'll be sending you a few dozen trainloads of Boulderites and other hippie freaks out of the once-great state of Colorado too, because we're making Colorado great again and we can't do that with liberals in it.


Signed: America.

Donald J. Trump, President.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Gun gal pal

In the "Girls with Guns" department, at a bar one night, I found Dre.



Not only does she have tattoos of guns permanently on her bod, but they're a couple of my favorites, the Thompson SMG and the Browning Automatic Rifle.


In the past few weeks I've taken her out to get a new handgun--she got a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in .45--and we've hit the range a time or two. She really loves my S&W M&P 15-22...and I mean to the point where I have to check the safe every night to make sure that it's still here.


Even in New Orleans, it's still possible to find a decent gun gal every now and again, a refreshing change from all of the wanna-be Antifa kids who are running around asking where to get guns and body armor these days. (I usually tell them that they needn't worry...come that day, the guns will come along and find them. Not surprisingly, a lot of them grin because they don't get it. But they'll figure it out in the end. (Smile and wait for the flash, kiddoes.)



Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Housewolves

 The Wolfen are still here too.

Murphy's doing well. 


Slowing down a fair bit because he's ancient, but still very much his own dog and official protector of the realm. Just ask the handyman who stopped over to give me an estimate on some work; he left with two bite marks, both of which were fortunately minor, when he surprised Murphy in the yard. But where I'd been planning to get three estimates on the work, this guy got the job right there because I don't need to get sued. So you could say that Murphy hired him.



Belle is still my prima donna.

Queen of the castle and without a doubt the most obedient of the three. In fact Belle is usually the one who goes to the bars with me now, since she, also getting up in age, prefers to just go sleep in the corner or the unused DJ booth while I have my drinks. Sometimes she even gets a solo trip to the park because she still likes longer walks than the other two and there's no reason to hold her back just because.


And then there's Merida, aka Rat Dog, Little Weird Dog, and Baby Murder Dog.

This little hellion has really come into her own. She's banned from the dog parks because she fights every dog she sees. And even though she only has three legs and no front teeth, She clobbers dogs twice her size, even if muzzled, and she's also killed two of my chickens so far. (Yep, I decided to try the egg thing while sitting idle during the Coronabore.) I love this little dog to pieces, and she's cuddly and sugar sweet around people, but she can't be around any animals other than Murphy and Belle, whom she adores. I don't know what her life was before I got her, but clearly violence was a part of it. We're going to keep working on it though. Meantime, she's found her spot here and has literally no fucks to give.


They've been getting lots of attention these past few months and are likely beyond spoiled, but they still know who the boss is, or at least they pretend to when I'm here.




Friday, September 25, 2020

Sometimes it pays to be a squirrel

 Sorry for the prolonged absence. Things have been what things have been here. But I'll try to do better now, especially with a pending international trip coming up to give me stuff to post about.

But today's post is about squirreling stuff away, and how sometimes it gets you a guest spot on the reality show "Hoarders", but other times it really pays off.

The last couple weeks or so, I've been working on a kit-build Glock pistol. I like the idea of building one up from scratch and putting in all the stuff that I want in it. Accordingly I got a frame and a slide and a quality barrel and started building. 


Did anyone else notice a scarcity in gun stuff lately? Turns out that Glock parts are now in demand and many are now apparently made from "unobtain-eum", meaning back-ordered or unavailable everywhere. But for once, my pack-ratting paid off. I recalled doing a bit of upgrading on my first Glock--a Model 23--back about 20 years ago. (Where does the time go?) It occurred to me that I might have a couple of old odd-bits around from that work that I could use as standy-by parts just to get this one complete and functional while I wait on back-ordered parts. So I went to the old tool box where I have always tossed carefully stored extra gun parts and what did I find in a little pull-out marked "Glock" but damn near enough brand new, factory-packaged internal small parts to build TWO Glocks! WTF? Where did these come from?  All I can figure is that once upon a time, I decided that I needed to put in a cache of small easy-to-break-or-lose parts for the one Glock that I had (I used to do that a lot) and I forgot that they were there.Now I have several Glocks but thanks to their engineering foresight, many if not most of these parts are universal across the Glock family and every one of these parts put away for my old G-23 is a perfect fit in my new-build Glock 19. Freaking yes!


I also realized when comparing that some of the internal parts that I ordered that did arrive were actually pretty shoddy when compared to OEM Glock parts, so all the new off-brand slide parts that I'd already installed got replaced with new old stock original Glock parts. The slide now works noticeably better when installed on my older Glock 19 frame for testing. If course most of the main parts and springs are Apex and Wolff but those that aren't will are now Austrian-made stock.  




The gun was finished last night and tested this morning. After the first magazine filled with Federal factory rounds all fired as they should have, I fed it another couple of magazine filled with older misc. Federal and Winchester defensive rounds that I'd rotated out of other carry mags. Those also shot flawlessly. Then the acid test: A magazine filled with assorted junk rounds that just accumulated in my "loose rounds" can. Everything from Blazer to foreign military to loose hydrashocks. And but for one bad cartridge that refused to fire, the pistol digested everything and put them all right where I wanted them. The Apex trigger is short and crisp and resets briskly with a tactile click and I think I'm in love with it.




Only downside to the range trip was being swept twice by the only other shooters on the range, first by a guy with a new shotgun (but at least the action was open and empty...and after I suggested that he keep that thing pointed downrange at all times, he apologized and it did not happen again.) Second time was by a girl shooting with her boyfriend as I was walking out. She fired one round then turned with the gun in her hand and swept both he and I, and that firearm was still loaded. I was less nice in my admonition about that and then her boyfriend began to dog her out for it and she got upset and I decided that it was just time to keep going. This is why I hate this particular indoor range and just use it for testing now.


I promise to start posting again and putting up more pics of the housewolves, porch cats and back-yard chickens that I now have here. (Yep--got chickens.) Also another drive through Mexico is pending and there will be stories and pics. Stay tuned, and if you want me posting more, comment more and let me know that I actually still have more than three readers. (Hi Mom!) 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Range!

Yesterday I snuck out to the range for a bit with the lovely Paige. It was only one of her first few times out and for some reason she'd apparently forgotten the basics of sight alignment so we had to work on that for a bit with the Glock 22. Eventually after some discussion and some pen-and-paper "this is what you should be seeing" demonstration, I got her back on paper. Eventually she put one smack in the center of her target, hitting the center orange dot from 5 yards out. Baby steps. She was so proud of herself after all of the misses and thrown shots that I told her "Just do that fourteen more times and put them all in the ten ring (the first circle around the orange center) and I'll buy you a margarita on the way home."

Paige is motivated by alcohol like dogs are motivated by Milk Bones. She drew a deep breath, took the proper two-handed stance we'd worked on,aimed deliberately, and smoothly broke the trigger, hitting the center again.  And again. And again. And again...

It took her over five minutes to put those fifteen rounds on the target but she shot it clean and all fifteen were in the ten ring. If I didn't know her shooting history I'd swear I got sandbagged.

Next we did some one-handed shooting,. strong hand and support hand. And she got most of them on the target. She's very slow, but she's deliberate, does everything I taught her to do, and if she starts to get shaky or tired, she stops, relaxes, and sets up again instead of trying to yank the shot. But I told her that "a slow hit counts more than two fast misses" and she took it to heart, not wasting a shot. (I also told her that every time you rush or use bad technique and wank one off the target, some poor person at the ammo factory who loaded that bullet just for you gets a little pain in his heart.) 

She did good.

Then we hit the rifle line for a but. I finally put a proper mechanical zero on my Smith and Wesson MP-15/22 and gave her that to shoot while I worked on doing the same to my Springfield Scout Squad. She was loving the .22 and doing well with it but eventually she wanted to try the Springfield.

She wasn't as fond of this one. "Too heavy and too noisy."

But a good time was had, followed by a stop for a margarita or three on the way home--a bet's a bet--and then after we got back to my place we took a bike ride down to the end of the Bywater for a late dinner and a couple more drinks because Paige loves her alcohol enough to ride a bike to get some.

It was a good day.