Naked palm, or birds lose again

Lamont Dozier liked to use childhood memories for song titles. The phrase “Sugar pie, honey bunch” was something his grandfather used to say when he was a kid.

IMG_3875While I was in the U.S. there was a significant rain here accompanied by high wind and it took down one of the larger palm fronds, which the landlady struggled with clearing from the patio. So, the decision was made to clear the palm of its old fronds:  it’s no longer as bird-friendly as the fronds used to provide significant cover and nesting territory.  I could hear birds rattling around the fronds in the early morning.  No more.

I’m not blameless in this attack on birds’ lives as I pulled out much of the “shrimp flower” plant that had taken over the garden. I thought the potted versions of the plant would attract the hummingbirds, but they don’t like them: whether it’s the plants’ locations or perhaps that the plant’s chemistry changes when it’s out of the ground, I just don’t know; but the birds know the difference.

Retail news

In a reverse of product scarcity, Santa Clara Creamery has been running out of—not milk—but yogurt.  The first time I went in after my return there were only two one-kilo containers of yogurt.  The other day there were none.  Yet there were plenty of 1.89 litre (half-gallon) containers of milk.

Poor strategy

I took many things north on my last trip including my French press for making coffee.  That was jumping the gun a little and so I bought a replacement, a pretty thing all flowery in decoration, made in Russia. The plunger assembly comes apart differently than others I’ve had and I struggled putting the thing back together after washing it.  All the printed material was in Cyrillic. The whole design made clever use of a beaker that might be used in a chemistry lab.


Since I’ve been back it’s been terribly chilly, terribly rainy, terribly hot, and terribly humid so the mosquitoes are out.  It’s not zika to be feared, but dengue to be respected and daytime zebra mozzies to be avoided. The heavy rain on March 9 brought—for only the third known time—snow to the higher parts of San Miguel.


Today is the Friday of Sorrows so homes with altars will be open to viewing and this year happens to coincide with the procession of children that marks spring’s equinox. Five to six hundred pre-schoolers paraded up Insurgentes and down San Francisco streets dressed as lions, tigers, fish, pandas, black bears, butterflies, ladybugs, princesses, leopards, elephants, rabbits, bluebirds and angry birds.  The little ones were accompanied by older children playing drums (mostly girls) and horns (mostly boys).  Each pre-school was led by its banner, followed by a balloon arch, which was often color-coordinated with the costumes.  Tourists were oohing and aahing:  they may see nothing more precious than that parade in all their time in Mexico.  A few parents and grand-parents made photographs using I-pads.

A Finn’s take on Bernie’s Nordic strategy

Conservatives in the U.S. like to think of Scandinavia as a land of welfare-serving socialists. The Atlantic has an article by a Finn, now a U.S. citizen, and his take on Nordic social strategies are that they are self-serving and not altruistic.

MORE, or less

The March issue of MORE magazine contains four essays that evolve around Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in which she espouses going through one’s things category-by-category and keeping only the things that “spark” joy. The book was written before she gave birth to her daughter, so I wonder if there will be another book in a few years that will modify her theme.

Kondo is Japanese, so she knows personal space can be a premium as it can be in France. Mireille Guiliano (author of French Women Don’t Get Fat) wrote several years ago that you can save money, time, and effort by buying only the things that you love.

Like I take any of this advice. I’m still trying to determine how to squeeze the remaining things in San Miguel into the remaining suitcases.

It still sounds bright at 51

G, remember the The Four Tops concert?


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