Translation for 140 languages by ALS
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail.
Explore. Dream. Discover
---Mark Twain


European landlord a duck in the wrong Pond

Some landlords have Gov't complexes when it comes to renting their spaces: they want to know everything about you and be all up in your business. Or you can think of it as playing Mother; with their house rules regarding what the renter can and can not do under "their roof."

grandpa this ain't 1952 anymore!
While apt-hunting in Baja California I came across just such a post on Craigslist. The building is listed in Playas de Tijuana - supposedly the nicer area of town seeing as how it is near the beach (playas is Spanish for beach), populated with English-speaking foreigners and, subsequently, charges higher rents - and advertised as U.S. STANDARDS. But, according to the long-winded ad, renters can't have company over -- unless they fork over an additional $60USD per night. Wtf?! The wanker is charging $400/month for a supposedly private apartment and has the gall to dictate the limits to how one socializes -- like he's running a YMCA?! Wake up grandpa this ain't 1952 anymore!

Anglo-Francophile landlord should return his pink hide across the Pond and live under Big Brother since he approves of it so much
A check of the personal contact of the advertiser reveals a United Kingdom email address with a Frenchy handle. The U.K. is one of the countries with the most prevalent surveillance. It was also, you might recall, the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984. And France is, well, French -- and socialist. It sounds like this Anglo-Francophile expat landlord should return his pink hide back across the Pond and live under Big Brother socialism since he approves of it so much. Don't want families/pets/smokers/children? Then stipulate it. This is Mexico for fuck's sake not litigious 
USA/UK/Germany where political correctness forces people to lie. 

I wasn't interested in this ad - apart from a geriatric who in the hell would? - but was put off enough to email the owner about his hubris. This is how he replied (do notice the funny characters alongside the iPhone. Suddenly the greediness all makes sense):   

FUCK OFF YOU BLOODY BASTARD! If I don't like u r not obligated to stay with us. We charge extra to prevent tenants from bringing the entire family as many of u tried to do it in the several occasions. Do u get it stupid!
iPhone Россия/אןלימןר גיירמן 

Well! Wonder what finishing school the poor chap went to.


The cyclical sickness of trusting coyotes

Seems to me if you can scratch together thousands of dollars you can improve your lot where you are -- unless you're running from the mob or gov't or some organization bent on killing you. Otherwise, with that much money, one can develop a business (with oodles of marketing/public relations frills), go to college or take correspondence courses, hire private tutors, or, at the very least, move his ass to a better part of town -- anything but give it away to human traffickers to sneak him into AMERICA so that one can live the good life of being a human pack mule and indentured servant. 
Latin Americans risk life to get to USA to live the "American dream." Can anyone say stupid?
Latin America makes a helluva lot of noise against capitalism yet Latin Americans risk life, family estrangement and sanity to get to USA to live the "American dream" which is, apparently, rooted in capitalism. Can anyone say stupid or full of shit? Because that is just what it is when, time and again, these people put their faith and cough up THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS into the hands of scumbags who they know to be dishonest, ruthless, cold-hearted.

But America/Americans are the bad guys? Bitch, please. 
Sad, pitiful, insane, and pathetic come to mind. This running to America via human smugglers amounts to a cyclical sickness.

I get the for-a-better-life argument; what I don't get is why that argument is only plausible to U.S. soil. And why, upon settling in America, do these desperate peoples refuse to acclimate, to become Americanized, to leave their pasts, which they so earnestly run from, behind rather than cluster and morph into a hyphenated and pseudo America? Where are the shouts of Viva America! Instead, local gov'ts and schools, in the name of multiculturalism, patronize Independence Days for this and that sovereign nation. And, years later, Juan Carlos still pays arbitrary interest to the coyotes (human smugglers) who made his American slavery a reality. And he still can't speak English. Viva...!   


What Boston Marathon bombing?

A year since the Boston Marathon bombing?
Wow, really? It does not feel like 365 days have gone by. When the bombing happened I was on the other side of the nation in Los Angeles. In fact, I was walking around Hollywood. As I passed the open door of one or two bars I caught that the televisions were broadcasting BREAKING NEWS having something to do with Boston. It didn't seem to be a big deal, though...there was no cluster of people riveted to the newscast. The ticker tape on the CNN building on Sunset Blvd also left much to be known. 

Maybe, I figured, a Kennedy died

Some time later back at the hostel I learned what all the excitement was about; only, I have to admit, there was no excitement in the overly large city on the West coast. Not one person did I overhear chatting about the terrible finale of the race. There were no exclamations of "Oh my God!" "Can you believe it!" or "Another terrorist attack" The folks in L.A. were blissfully unaware (or desensitized, but that seems sadly cynical even for dog-eat-dog L.A.)
As the manhunt took weight so, too, were people's attention arrested. Or, at least, coverage of it dominated the news shows and blogosphere. That's one thing news networks and Hollywood have in common: If the show draws an audience, they'll just keep banging away at it. 

Murals in Tijuana (Playas)

Most of these murals in Playas de Tijuana line the boardwalk along the beach. I think you'll agree it is much more appealing than graffiti; there is some graffiti art, though, and it, too, was commissioned. (While writing one afternoon I saw the artists completing it. Truth be told, graffiti art (and it can be art when not done to damage people's property) is fascinating when you actually watch the spray-painting in progress.)  
outdoor gallery along boardwalk in Playas 

talk about home decoration!

 "We must eliminate all that you think of freedom."
"But I want to be free..."
"Shut up!"

 creepy doll in doll house.
(...well looks creepy to me)

Facebook pages of Steve Jobs & Julian Assange.
(This is on the streets of Mexico?!)

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