I've been getting a few new faces stopping by here, and so I thought I'd probably clarify my position on the Comments section.
The way I see it, the Comments section is for the readers' use. Generally, it is anything goes unless I start getting really terrible, hateful comments or if I start getting spam. At that point, I'll reassess the posting process, but let's hope I don't have to cross that bridge.
Also, because I view the Comments section as your territory, I generally do not comment in that section. My feeling is that I've already stated my opinions or views on the topic, and I don't want to be trying to get the last word in. That said, I'll post in the Comments if someone asks me a question directly or if it is apparent people are not understanding my message.
But I do read all of your comments, and they are much appreciated. I enjoy getting some of these conversations started. I also receive e-mail notices when a new comment is left, so even if you are commenting on a really old posting, I still am aware of it.
Now, on to some bullets:
• It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here. There has been a ground/surface/sea packages spotting in Nogales, and the sleigh...er...truck is loaded and ready to make the trek south. Just because they are a bunch of sadists, they are making us wait until Monday to deliver the goods. I assume it works this way at all posts, but Natalie will take a Home-unpacking Holiday Event (HHE...dead to me, except when it is a holiday) on Monday. There will be dancing in the streets! And coffee for everyone!
• Today is the day I've been dreading ever since right before we left Crystal City for the long drive southwest. On just about the last day possible, I got a very short haircut, secretly hoping it would last two years. Alas, I made it almost two months, but I concede it is time. For my entire childhood and into young adulthood, only one man cut my hair. It was a bit of a traumatic experience when I went to college and finally had to get someone else to do the job. It almost felt like I was cheating on my barber. Then I moved to D.C., and for the first time, I had a woman cutting my hair. Another unnerving event for me. But today, when one of Natalie's colleagues takes me to visit Miss Arizona (not the beauty-queen contestant, I assume), it will be the first time I will get my hair cut by someone who doesn't speak English. Maybe I just need to shave myself bald and avoid this stress.
• Here's a little leftover item from looking back at our arrival here. Would it be too much to ask to get the Internet ball rolling before we arrive. I'm guessing in some of these developing nation posts, there is probably only a single provider, so there really isn't any reason why someone at post can't make the necessary phone calls or whatever so the Internet will be waiting on us instead of vice versa. We actually had two options here, sorta. There are two providers, but if you want anything close to American service, you have to go through TelMex. And TelMex has three plans, but if you want anything close to American service, you have to buy the most expensive plan (about $85 USD per month). Still, we didn't have to wait terribly long - less than a week - but still, this seems like an unnecessary amount of dead time.
• Google AdSense received Strike 1 a few days ago. The ads, apparently, aren't the same depending on where you are reading from, so what I see here in Mexico can be different than what you see in the States or where ever else you might be. But I saw an ad for a quasi-religious group that almost made me pull the plug on this operation. Without repeating its name and accidentally give Google an excuse to hit me with it again, it is a group that serves Hollywood types that believe you have to give the organization money to learn stuff. Oh, and it was founded by a former Si-Fi writer; if you need more clues, Tom Cruise is a member. Anyway, in case anyone else noticed this, let me say that I do not endorse said group, and I will trying to see if I can't block future ads from them.
• Mexican culture, like several European cultures, dictates that when a woman is involved in a greeting, there is cheek-to-cheek air kissing. A little awkward, but when in Rome, right? I still find myself forgetting time to time and there is either an awkward pause before I remember my manners, or an even more awkward handshake only because I forgot my manners altogether. That is when I greet a Mexican woman. What is the protocol for greeting an American woman in Mexico? I've seen Natalie's male colleagues approach it either or, so I suppose it is a preference thing.
• Finally, I think a marketing genius invented the slogan, "It's a dry heat." This is the first or second most common marketing expression I've heard, with "What Happens in Vegas" being in the running as well. So in D.C., the summer is high 80s to low 90s (barring a heat wave) and humid. And it is miserable to go outside. You feel like you are getting steamed. Here, it is mid 100s to mid 110s (barring a heat wave) with just a little humidity (we are in the rainy season, after all), and it is miserable to go outside. You feel like you are getting baked. So either way, you're cooked and better off staying inside, which, by the way, is what most people do here in the late morning through early afternoon. So much for that dry heat baloney.
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