Friday, July 16, 2010

stars over mexico

For the last three years, I have been a regular reader of Countdown to Mexico.

Paul and Nancy moved from Washington to Mazatlán with their dogs.  They were on their way south when I started planning my own retirement in Mexico.  But Nancy's posts on how she had planned their move were invaluable to me.  It was encouraging to know someone else had gone through a lot of the same issues I was facing -- including whether or not to include the dog.

I will never be as organized as Nancy.  But I did learn it was possible to survive the move -- and to thrive.

From time to time, Nancy publishes lists of new Mexico blogs she has run across.  Several of them have been true gems -- and are ensconced in the "Blogs I Read Regularly" column to the right.

When I asked Nancy how she discovered most of the sites, she directed me to a great tool in Google.  By entering a word or two, Google will daily search for blog entries that include the key word. 

By entering "Mexico" I regularly receives "Google Alerts" on topics ranging from earthquakes to football.

In the years I have subscribed to the service, I have not received a Google Alert for any of the blogs I read regularly.  That is until yesterday.

If my memory is not failing me completely, Nancy first introduced me to Garry Denness's Mexile.

Gary teaches English in Mexico City.  We have shared his adventures with turtles, photography, bicycling, getting married, and being an all-around good citizen of Britain living in Mexico.  His posts are always filled with new information and enough opinion to make you agree or disagree -- and feel the exhilaration that only comes with serious analysis.

Yesterday, he joined the star list.  Google Alert informed me he had posted on "Scientology in Mexico."  That was not news to me.  I read the article the day it was posted.

But there he was.  Prominently displayed in a Google Alert.  Between a post on the gulf oil spill and an analysis of Pablo Barerra's possible move to an English team.

The thrill was seeing one of our own with his name above the title -- as they say on Broadway.

Gary will soon return to England.  Or so he tells us.  Before he does, hop on over and take a look at his blog. 

And leave a comment.  Despite being English, he enjoys a nice intellectual tug and pull now and then.


Tancho said...

You never know who and how YOUR name will come up on Google's site. I hope that half the things that I talk about don't follow me.....

Judi said...

Steve, thanks for the tip on Google Alerts. I've been reading YOUR blog, and Nancy's (and Gary's, among others), for a couple of months now and greatly enjoying reliving some of my Mexican adventures of years past.

Nancy said...

Aw, shucks. You are too nice!

Calypso said...

Being organized it over-rated!

I read that somewhere and noted it but I can't find the paper I wrote it on in this mess of a desk...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the quote Calypso is looking for is "An organized desk is the sign of a sick mind."


Gary Denness said...

I made it to Google at last! Thanks for the mention. Wherever you found me, I know the majority of my visitors come through your blog. It's that handy widget of yours I suspect.

I regularly use Google Alerts, although in a slightly different way to you. If I'm interested in a new camera perhaps, I'll set up an alert for 'Fuji HS10 review' for example. And get all the results sent to Google Reader. It's a good way of finding content from a pretty diverse bunch of sources.

And yeah, the clock is ticking. But I've got some life in my Mexican adventure yet! One last attempt at getting to the top of Izta. One more crack at getting a sub 2 hour time in the Mexico City marathon. And I'm determined to do the Chapultepec-Cuernavaca Ciclopista....

Steve Cotton said...

Tancho -- And there is the rub. Name in lights or the myth of anonymous free speech? I figure once most of my words are typed, they will soon disappear.

Judi -- I find some interesting information on Google Alerts -- some that ends up in the blog.

Nancy -- You are always a great source. Are you going to be at this year's Bloggers' Conference?

Calypso -- I long ago gave up on any notions of organization. And that works well for me. Having no sense of regret, I simply plow through.

Mom -- And that may be the sole proof of my sanity.

Gary -- We will go on reading -- even after you cross The Pond.

Nancy said...

Steve, We haven't decided if we'll be going. We really enjoyed the last one but we might want to spend our travel budget on a trip somewhere we haven't been, or visit our friends in Merida when there isn't so much going on! We're also expecting our son and his family for Thanksgiving and it might just make for too much in too compact a time. We'll see!

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- I hope you can be there. It would be great to catch up on some of the topics we have skimmed over these past three years.

Nancy said...

C'mon, Steve. If you had really wanted to visit with us you would have done so instead of zip lining when you cruised through Mazatlan.

We still aren't sure if we're going, right now we are planning a trip in August to Oaxaca.

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- At least, I did not break my ankle on that trip.