Popular Post

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cable News vs. Christmas sprit

      Waiting for the start of today’s athletic contest I cruised some of the Sunday morning talk shows. The following is a professionally crafted tease designed to keep me tuned into the coming Cable News shows.

      “Welcome to Cable News, today we will entertain you with relentless outrage, anger, despair, frustration, fear, indignation, fury, resentment, injustice, scandal, shock, horror, insult, loss of honor, offence, wrath, disgust, and all other ungodly acts of mankind.

      We open today’s show with “The War on Christmas”, followed with stories about the destruction of our blessed American Exceptionalism. Our special panel of experts will debate how civilization is collapsing. We have started coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, as a bonus we will review the candidates for the 2020 race.

      The Ebola fear stories played out weeks ago, and now news about Ferguson is getting stale and repetitious, so we have brand new shocking narratives to titillate your fancy and arouse your deepest anxieties.

      Shows calibrated to appeal to the superior intellect of our audience, those few who pride themselves on being the best informed citizen. The assault on your liberty, freedom, Christianity and wealth is documented in a fair and balanced way.”

      After watching the promos I fled into my bedroom and hid under the bed, heart pounding, gasping for breath with palms sweating. Even my dog got spooked, crawling under the bed with me, convinced something was terribly amiss. As we waited for the world to end, nothing whatsoever happened. Eventually I calmed down a little, I pushed the dog out to investigate the damage. She quickly returned with a tennis ball and dropped it into my hand. I found this strangely soothing and normal in a world gone mad. Courage slowly returned with the guidance of my canine companion.

      Confidence restored I return to the TV. The game had started and my home town team was winning. Life is good and I feel a vague absolute and total desperation.

      A jarring oscillation of reality sets in, a duality of perceptions.

      My favorite team is winning: a North Korean sleeper cell is planning my death.

      Gas is down to $2 per gallon: a Mexican drug cartel is stalking me.

      Positive: Negative: Positive: Negative.

      Deep in my subconscious a safety fuse blows, initiating a soft reboot.

      My vision clears and reality asserts itself. I am standing outside a Starbucks, my wife hands me a latte. I stand straight and breathe deeply, soaking in the atmosphere surrounding me. Crowds’ mill about, caroling fills the air and Christmas shoppers rush back and forth. The commercialization of the birth of baby Jesus, getting and gotting abounds, the joyous release of pent up demand, the strange expression of religious belief using financial debt. God, how I love America, I can not imagine a better place to live.

      People are humming Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind, this stands in sharp contrast to the fabricated doom and gloom of cable news. I see sisters hugging each other, I see children running and laughing, I hear the jingle bells of cash registers. A frenetic joy as women complete their endless Christmas list and the unfocused calm of confused males wandering boutique shops.

      Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen. Merry Christmas to all and a most Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Force is with me

      Another Sunday, another set of NFL football games. Sunday afternoon has become my favorite part of the week, especially if the home town team is winning.

      I have noted a strange correlation between myself and unrelated external events. Whenever I can watch the home team play real-time, they loss, if I miss the game, learning the final score days later, they win. For the Houston Texans to win, I have to miss the game.

      A mysterious metaphysical relationship exist between my passive inaction and the sporting outcome. Even more confounding, this seems a lifelong trend over a broad range of possibilities. When I buy a stock, the value drops, when I sell a stock, the value increases. When I purchase a new car, there is a manufacture’s recall. Whenever I change employer, the new company quickly develops financial problems. Any politician I vote for losses the election. Clothing I buy goes out of style. It never rains when I carry an umbrella. The list is endless and the correlations absolute.

      This recent insight has left me thunder struck, I possess power almost beyond imaging. I can ruin political careers, end dynasties, alter weather, create market wealth, destroy national economies, and shape the future of fashion. It appears I have power without limit.

      With great power comes great responsibly. How can I use my immense powers to improve the lot of Mankind?  The advancement of civilization rest on my shoulders alone. Imagine living with that burden! As a metaphysical process the detailed cause and effect relationship is unknowable. I need a name for this phenomena, this warped marvel of reality, I will call it “The Force”.

      Then I realize there is a dark side to The Force. If I use it to extract billions from Goldman Sachs, the final bill will be paid by the American taxpayer, if I use The Force to give the Houston Texans a perfect season, other teams have to loss. The Force is governed by some conservation of good vs. bad prosperity. In the end it all balances out, with the final equation equaling zero.

      For now, I will keep my powder dry, but don’t mess with me, I can seriously hurt you.

How to get Mexican Permanent Residency

      I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend of mine at The Turtle Bay CafĂ© & Bakery in Akumal Mexico, there were wondrous tales of scuba dives and general agreement about the serenity of retirement. Ron then completely one upped me by producing a Permanent Residency green card. As a retired American expatriate a green card is much desired due the benefits conferred to the bearer. I asked how this had come about, he related his story and told me that he had written an article about it.

      With Ron Stern’s permission, I have reproduced his original article.



From Zero to Permanent Residency in 28 days.

      The new Mexican immigration regulations instituted November 12, 2012 streamline the efforts for foreign (non-Mexican) citizens who wish to retire in Mexico (and do not wish to work in Mexico) to obtain a Permanent Resident green card in Mexico. I learned of these new regulations listening to NPR radio. It was stressed that an essential part of this new policy to obtain Permanent or Temporary Resident cards is to initiate the process outside Mexico, preferably at a Mexican Consulate near your current non-Mexican resident location.

      Here is the chronology and efforts I undertook to successfully obtain Mexican Permanent Residency in 28 days. I had no previous Mexican immigration status other than standard 120-day tourist visas.

      July 29, 2013: I requested the services of a legal firm in Playa del Carmen I had successfully worked on real estate issues to assist me in the process to become a Mexican Permanent Resident. The immigration lawyer and contact information are:

Mariana Ozuna
Investment & Legal Consultants
Av. 45 Nte. Con calle 6 Nte. Bis 171 Col.
Centro C.P. 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

Tel. (984) 873-3436, Fa (984) 803-0998
U.S. numbers 623-241-4074     623-241-4566

      There was a modest fee ($2,700 USD) to cover all associated fees and lawyer expenses.

      July 30, 2013: As mentioned, it is important to initiate the process outside Mexico. I live in Irvine, CA. so at 9 AM on July 30, 2013 I went to the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, CA. I came prepared with a filled out Permanent Residency Application obtained at

      I also came with the required documentation for proof of economic solvency and a required passport style photograph. These requirements (and more information) are listed at

      I did not have an appointment, waited for 2 hours in a comfortable waiting room, and finally was escorted to the appropriate Visa office. It took 30 minutes, one free photograph taken at the premise, and $36 USD to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa placed into my US passport. This Visa is good for 6 months to enter Mexico to complete the paperwork for the final Permanent Resident green card. Once in Mexico you have at most 30 days to visit an Immigration Office to initiate the Mexico part of the requirements.

      August 4, 2013: I flew to Cancun and rented a car to drive to my condo at Playa Caribe in Akumal Norte.

      August 5, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen in the afternoon to meet with the immigration lawyer, Mariana Ozuna, to give her my passport to be held for at least three days together with 4 “pico” passport style photographs with frontal view, and 3 with a right side view. These I obtained in the USA. Mariana Ozuna requested further evidence of financial solvency used to obtain the Visa in the USA.

      August 19, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that I should appear at the Immigration offices in Playa del Carmen (located at the Plaza Azteca at the north entrance of Playacar) at 10:30 AM for fingerprints. I drove there, spent 10 minutes in the waiting room, 5 minutes for the fingerprints, and departed back to Akumal (well after a few hours of shopping).

      August 26, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that my Permanent Residency card was ready to be picked up.

      August 27, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen and meet Mariana Ozuna at the Playa del Carmen Immigration Office and waited 5 minutes. My name was called, I signed a document stating I had received the green card, and departed with my Permanent Resident card, for more shopping in Playa.

       Other than the efforts mentioned above, Mariana Ozuna and her office did all of the work (of which I am unaware). I suspect all of this can be done without the assistance of an immigration expert. However, this may come at the expense of several more trips to the Mexican Immigration Office and longer waiting times.