Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cheech & Chong return


Alright, it's not exactly the Led Zep reunion tour we've been dreaming about since birth. But, this is close. Our favorite Mexican and Canadian duo are putting their differences aside and going out on a comedy tour. Orale!

Congress is waiting

A judge ruled today that administration aides cannot ignore requests to appear before Congress.
He said the notion that "Miers is absolutely immune from compelled
congressional process" is "unprecedented."
This judge is a Bush appointee, mind you, so you'd think that the GOP would honor the ruling. Not so fast. Here's what Rep. Boehner of Ohio had to say.
"I'm sure it'll be appealed and it'll go into next year and it'll become a moot
issue," he said.

Aaaahhhhh. Apparently the republican motto is "never let 'em see you sweat."
But seriously, the Bush administration has toyed with Congress for the last seven years, what's another five months?

If the House Judiciary Committee decides to arrest Harriet Miers for contempt, it'll be without the help of Henry Cuellar. After all, he was the lone democrat who thought that Miers didn't need to answer to Congress.

In any case, the saga continues.

Dirty Sanchez


So, as fate would have it, the new leader of the nation's preeminent college football institution is a Cali-Mex dude (get it - not Tex-Mex) named Mark Sanchez.

He's getting rave reviews, winning the adulation of the California Hispanic community and is featured in the following ESPN article. He even created a bit of controversy during a game by wearing a mouthpiece with the colors of the Mexican flag.

This begs the question: when will a Tex-Mex QB rise from amongst Texas high schools to lead the Texas Longhorns? We wait, we wonder, we can only imagine..

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three dollars, please

Webb County Elections

The Attorney General's office is looking into irregularities at the elections office. And Rick Flores is filing an appeal to contest the ruling that gave Martin Cuellar the win in the sheriff's race.

Se habla Espanish

I never gave much thought to being able to carry on a conversation with my friends in English and Spanish.
My mom faced so much ridicule for her accent growing up, she never taught my sister or me how to speak Spanish properly.

It wasn't exactly proper Spanish we spoke back in the day. A lot of it was profanity.
Before I could respond, she offered that my SAT scores weren't high enough for funding if I was considered white. If I was Hispanic, she predicted, doors would swing open.

But now, being fluent in Spanish can have its benefits. Employers hand out bonuses if you are bilingual. Not so much in Laredo, but in points north.

Time Killer


IF you are at work, or better yet, eating a sandwich during your lunch hour, try this website of "20 ways to Die Trying to Dunk a Basketball" for a few minutes worth of hilarious Youtube videos of people failing miserably, sometimes painfully to dunk a basketball.

Granted, it is never good to laugh at the expense of others, but it is so tempting to do so.

Texas 4000


Continuing with the Texas theme.. Turns out not all Texas students are getting wasted. Meet the Texas 4000. This is group of UT volunteer students selected every year to ride their bikes 4,000 miles from Austin, Texas to Sutton, Alaska. That's 69 days of riding. They are currently on day 54 somewhere in Canada.

Why do they do this? To promote awareness and raise money for cancer research. They've raised over $1 Million big ones over the last 5 years. To find out more about this group, track their journey or make a donation, visit www. texas4000.org.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One short

Customs and Border Protection

When crossing back into Laredo, I'd always try to play it cool. Not because I had something to hide but because of the attitude the inspectors gave me. The last thing I wanted to do was get into an argument with one of them.

Today, however, I give them props for jumping into action.
On Saturday, a hysterical woman holding an unresponsive infant yelled for help. The agents at Bridge I took the child and started CPR. Their efforts proved successful. The baby was alright.
Los oficiales dentro de sus primeros auxilios le suministraron una sustancia que
la hizo reaccionar y poder respirar con mayor facilidad.

Hats off.

Trust the energy companies

They know what they're doing.
A leaky natural gas pipeline near a compressor station polluted the ground
water with benzene, xylene, and toluene - all linked to cancer in humans.
via Jobsanger.

That's no blue dog, that's my Congressman

When the democrats picked up seats in the House and Senate in 2006, I thought change was about to come. Not so.
Since the American people gave them control of Congress, the Democrats in
Congress have given the country the following: Unlimited and unconditional
funding for the Iraq war. Vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and
retroactive amnesty for their telecom donors -- measures the administration
tried, but failed, to obatain from the GOP Congress. The ability to ignore
congressional subpoenas with utter impunity. A resolution formally decreeing
parts of the Iranian government to be a "terrorist organization."
Apart from the last one, which Hillary supported, Henry Cuellar voted in favor of the resolutions. No explanation on these key issues will be forthcoming since he has no challenger, is wildly popular in his hometown of Laredo, TX, and let's the local media in on exactly what he chooses to disclose.

All we know of Cuellar is that he presents big checks to local organizations. We don't know the Cuellar that votes to give those in power free passes. We're oblivious to the fact that he's at odds with the netroots. He calls himself a democrat and that's fine with us.

Now, you'll never catch me calling Henry Cuellar a closet Republican. I'm just saying he never met a free trade agreement he didn't like.
Unseating him is next to impossible. I don't see a republican having a chance against him, especially in south Texas. And any democrat that someday chooses to run against him will have to convince the locals to give up their meal ticket.

Webb County considers itself Democrat, and so does Henry Cuellar. So what if he runs with the blue dogs. Most around here probably don't know the difference.

No Joke


If you're going to go steal Batman crap, do it proper. This guy went all the way with his crime vision.

NASCAR outsources from Mexico!


There should be little doubt that NASCAR is a redneck sport after yesterday's news that the sport is leaving Mexico City after a four-year experiment south of the border failed to elicit huge crowds.

You can insert your own punchline here.

Happy Birthday Geddy Lee



He's 55 today!

Feliz Cumpleanos, eh.

Monday, July 28, 2008

La Sanbe logo

I thought about putting this site's identity on t-shirts, or bumper stickers. Somebody came up with one of my ideas.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dallas Cowboy Wide Receivers

Jobsanger on Dallas' receiving corp.

Revolution

LMT's new site and blogs

Sports Editor Dennis Silva II talks about the new direction the Laredo Morning Times is taking starting tomorrow.
Accompanied by the introduction of the paper's new website, each aspect of Laredo sports world will host its own blog, as supervised by the Times' sports department.
There will be a blog for prep sports. There will be blogs for recreation and college sports.

The bottom line is that Laredo has never seen such definite and aggressive sports coverage as what it is about to see.

Not only will you see a brand new website with a plethora of features never before seen, but you'll also be wandering into amplified coverage of local news and sports that you won't get anywhere else.

Tune into www.lmtonline.com Monday to check it out.

Korean War Veterans Association of Laredo


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gasoline raid

Gasoline is being stored at private residences by the truckloads. No mention is made whether the fuel is being trucked in from Nuevo Laredo, or if it's stolen from a Laredo location.
Friday's incident was the fourth fuel seizure in recent months. Prior to that, Vega couldn't recall authorities ever encountering people illegally storing or selling fuel. "This is something new," he said.

Fade away

Henry Cuellar - Operation Stonegarden

Henry Cuellar announced yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security awarded $1.95 million to Webb County to enhance border security.
"As both a Congressman representing a border district and a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I am proud to see Operation Stonegarden dollars delivered to our border communities," Congressman Cuellar said. "These funds will support the closer coordination of state and federal enforcement and will help Webb county target additional resources so that our international borders remain secure."

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Believe!

I've been MIA backtracking the X-phile knowledge that once consumed me. I have been waiting for this day for a while now, all summer for sure: the opening day for The X-Files: I Want To Believe!
I was a big fan of The X-Files TV series since it began. I have the DVD's; I watch the mini-marathons on the Sci-Fi Channel; I own the Agent Mulder and Agent Scully version of the Ken and Barbie dolls (still in their original box and in mint condish); and I even kept an old poster of Mulder and Scully which was once in my living room, but now in my closet (not to be forgotten). Even my blogname is an ode to the show (a few fun x-phile facts: Piper Maru is the name of the 15th show from Season 3, which originally aired Feb. 1996. It is the name of a French salvage ship on the show, but the writers used the name as a tribute to Gillian Anderson aka Agent Scully. Her daughter, Piper Maru, was born during the first season of the series.)
I still remember that Mulder's apartment number was 42, that Scully was referred to as "Starbuck" by her father, and who could forget the wacky trio The Lone Gunmen. But although I don't remember all the conspiracy theories and the intricate details that I used to, I'm still very much a fan.
The movie plot has been kept under wraps. I hope to be surprised. I'm on my way to the theater now. My review, however biased, to follow.
The truth is out there...
UPDATE: See PIPER's movie review in comments section

Mines Rd.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flight 93

Did the plane crash or was it shot down?
"If they hadn't shot down the fourth plane it would've hit the dome,"
Stone, a Navy officer, said in his opening remarks.
I always thought that the plane crashed because of the struggle between the hijackers and passengers. Even the movie depicting the doomed flight doesn't mention anything about fighter jets striking down Flight 93. Interesting.

Obama in the Barrio


Yesterday, Barack Obama's campaign released a new Spanish-language ad entitled "Our Own Road."

Obama's ad strives to connect the Deomocratic nominee's background with the life realities of most Latinos/as. Considering his background, it is a fair attempt. From the time Obama made known his mixed race background and his childhood with a single mother, many young Latinos latched onto his candidacy.

However, in Laredo, things will be tough. The Big L can be very inhospitable--and some dare say antagonistic--to African Americans. For instance, check out this story from LareDos in 2002.

Si se habla Espanol


Apparently Spanish is not that important to some. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Spanish-language newscasters earn significantly less money than their English-language newscasters, despite bringing in higher ratings.

Bummer.

The masses

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Levees Hold

It's going to be OK.

Dr. Alfredo Quinones

The Today Show ran a story on Dr. Q this morning.

When asked about this nation's efforts to curtail illegal immigration, the good doctor responded by saying that as long as there are Mexican people living in deplorable conditions, you'll continue to see them make every effort to come to America in search of a better life. (Something to that effect)

Alex posted Dr. Q's story two months ago.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bitchin' Camaro





Spotlight on Laredo

Former produce inspectors, and the owner of a pest control company didn't take into account the importance of properly screening, and treating imported food. Their greed and incompetence has cost them dearly.
Last month, Laredo resident Arturo Ramirez, the 46-year-old owner of Ambush
Exterminators, pleaded guilty to six counts, including conspiring with others to
improperly fumigate plants.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun with bondo












My brother had a bike like this back in the day. What made it special was the circular chain (link) handlebar.

The thing that used to drive me up the wall was making a turn and having one of the pedals scrape the concrete.
It took a little practice to cruise correctly.

My posture has never been the same.

Step up to the trough

It's amazing how those who run for office portray themselves as humble servants of the people. They campaign as selfless beings who will act with nothing short of honesty and integrity. My question is: at what point do they adopt a sense of entitlement?
While some officials said it's time to trim the fat, others said $20 to $40 per person per meal isn't so bad.

The nerve of these people. Some in Laredo are starving right now, but to the City Council, it's quite alright to spend $20 or more on a meal.
"For the most part, I've always considered myself a public servant who's almost volunteering for the job."

In other words, I don't get paid enough for this gig.
We should just go on about our business and leave the council be while they try to do the work of the people, only to be paid with botana platter scraps.
Nearly all of the nine meals from Embassy Suites were ordered with botana platters with appetizers.

If anyone is familiar with Laredo's City Council, it's literally time to trim the fat.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mesquite, TX















This is what a 20-minute layover in Mesquite, Texas looks like from the inside of an Amtrak passenger train.

Thrilling stuff.

We Met At Starbucks

South Laredo is going to lose out tremendously in the area of overpriced coffee. Once the bigwigs of Starbucks get through with us, we'll only have two (instead of three) places to go buy our latte grandes which make us think we have it better than we actually do.

What will we do when our status symbol is gone? And where will the emo people of the Chacon neighborhood go?

I'll tell you one thing, I'm not going to the north Laredo, Del Mar location. I mean, those people are just stuck up (roll eyes).
Gawd forbid I should walk into their store in flip-flops. They'll look at me as if I just took a dump on their tinted-windowed Ford F-250.
And I'm not about to go to the mall food court location to stand in line next to teenagers in skinny jeans to get my espresso. My teenage years were painful enough. I don't want to relive them, thank you.

In these tough economical times, we're all just going to have to buckle down and take one for the team.
That means buying my coffee and muffin at the H*E*B deli like everyone else south of Hillside Dr.
Godspeed everyone, and tell my mother I love her.

River Borders


Sun sets over the Columbia River.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

El CEO - no mas

One of the very few Hispanic big business CEOs, Dr. Héctor de Jesús Ruiz, has been axed, canned, sacked, shown the door, given the old heave-ho.. you get the picure. Dr. Ruiz grew up across from Eagle Pass and even attended school there. He then graduated from UT and rose through the ranks at Texas Instruments, Motorola, then AMD where he became only the 2nd CEO in their storied history. Turns out his 6 year tenure at AMD drove the company into debt and reduced market share vs. rival Intel. Kudos to Dr. Ruiz for stepping up where few from these parts venture. At the same time, this goes down as another Hispanic rising into the stratosphere only to see his phoenix go down in flames. Hello, Mr. Henry Cisneros, Mr. Alberto Gonzales - one Dr. Ruiz will be joining you at your support meetings..

"We're No. 6! We're No. 6!"

Photo courtesy of Forbes.com

Sadly, La Sanbe has to report that Forbes Magazine's latest rankings of the nation's car theft hot spots has Laredo just out of the top five, behind cities like Modesto, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Forbes' article maintains that Laredo's 1,914 thefts give it a per capita theft rate of 820.92, well off Modesto's per capita mark of 1047.99 (based on 5,358 thefts).

This is bittersweet news for La Sanbe since there was a twisted sense of pride in being No. 1.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Casual Friday

Today's entry comes to us courtesy of Beatriz.

Word of the day is: injure

Me and my friends were playing poker. I won a hand and said, injure face man.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Professor Perv

A professor at UTSA was fired for perv behaviour using UT computers. Not sure what the moral of the story is here.

It could be that one shouldn't put down dirty thoughts on work computers.. Or, for the young ladies, cover up in front of creepy professor dudes..

Dunno.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Plain view

Chris Simms going to Dallas?

Haters beware or rejoice (depending on where you stand on this one). One Chris Simms 'may' be in the mix as a backup Cowboys signal caller come this fall. This would be a fantastic addition to the multi-ring circus involving Mr. Jessica Simpson, 'el Loco' Pac Man, Ocho Ci.. oops meant T.O., has been middle LB Zach Thomas and now.. every Texan's favorite New Jersey boy. Wow. One can only hope this disasterpiece comes together. Now, I'll keep me opinions to myself on Simms given the sheer force of disagreement over the Applewhite situation and the question of Mr. Simms' possession of a spine. At the same time, we can all agree he has no spleen. Let's start with our shared common ground and go from there.

Barrio fashion

Tokyo kids kicking it chicano.

Texas tuition costs

Laredo's state senator on rising costs:
"It's a very timely subject, simply because so many persons are impacted,"
said Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, chair of the Senate subcommittee on higher
education. "We have more students than ever continuing their
education."
Yeah, so?
Legislators may consider both re-regulating tuition and increasing state
funding, Zaffirini said. "There is interest in both."
An interest?
What of deregulating tuition?
Zaffirini said she reluctantly voted for it; she hasn't taken a public
stand this time.
Interesting. No stand this time. No rush I guess. The election is only four months away.

Del Rio thriving

The town is not like other border cities.
And conditions remain safer than those of violent hotspots like Juarez, Tijuana
and Nuevo Laredo.

And if you're in a partying mood...
"On the weekends, there are a lot of people dancing and (having) drinks,"
said Jamie Aleman, owner of a curio shop called Casa de Nacho on Calle
Hidalgo.
Casa de Nacho. That reminds me of a joke my grandmother used to share with me.
It goes something like this:

Border Patrol agent - donde nacho? (where were you born?)

immigrant - no, Nacho ya se fue patras. Yo soy Pepe.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Riverdrive


Photo above (added 7/7/2016) features escalators in the abandoned Riverdrive Mall. [courtesy photo]


Obama not feeling the love

Hillary Clinton supporters are not ready to stand behind Barack Obama, much less send money his way.

"I certainly know there are lots of people who are withholding their
money," she said.
I'm not expecting Clinton fans to fork over money to another candidate. They surely didn't fund Hillary all that well. She had to loan her campaign some cash a couple of times.

The pouting is getting annoying.

"They need to be wooed. They need to be won over."

They're playing hard-to-get now.
And apparently, Obama is an elitist now.

Personally, I don't see it. I mean he plays basketball, and likes to talk sports with his barber.

And some Clinton backers would rather vote for McCain than for Obama. I call these people racists, but seriously......

Vote for McCain? The man thinks Social Security is a disgrace because workers are being taxed to pay into the system.
And he makes jokes about killing Iranians with cigarettes.
Not very presidential.

Word of the day

Mordida - the act of tipping a Mexican officer, in exchange for a favor.
Recently, Nuevo Laredo Mayor Ramon Garza Barrios spotted a traffic cop
accepting $50 from a Mexican driver on Avenida Cesar Lopez de Lara.

Pan de dulce

Conchas delivered by truck. Now there's an idea!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rick Flores v. Martin Cuellar

We're a week away from this fiasco going back to court. Hopefully we'll know who the next sheriff will be before Picnic Day (Australia). But as you can see from this video, both men have made adjustments to their outward appearance.

Rick Flores is no longer wearing the casual Friday attire (jeans with long-sleeved shirt) with a Stetson -- the look he adopted when he became sheriff of Webb County.

And Martin Cuellar is rockin' us with his new Boys of Summer hair, and nicely trimmed 'stache. Interesting.

Tune in July 16 for the next chapter in Border Sheriff: I Got Next.


Packers on speed dial

Is it rumor that Favre is thinking about coming back?

Deputy with knife

A Zapata County Deputy got a bit rowdy at a party yesterday.
He was apparently drunk and he is accused of exhibiting a knife to a cousin of
his, but they didn't want to file charges.

Mr Solis was suspended for his actions. No slack was cut for him and his extended 4th of July antics.
Solis, 24, was uncooperative when deputies arrived in answer to the call
around 2 p.m. Monday and officers had to use a Taser before he was arrested,
Gonzalez said.
A party on a Monday at 2 p.m.? Is that right?
Please, no "don't tase me, bro" comments. Thank you.

Memin para Presidente

A Mexican comic book is drawing controversy in Houston.
Omar G., 45, who was shopping at the Meyerland Wal-Mart with his four
American-born children, said he did not want his children to read it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Land shark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Art Rooney's sons are working things out.

South Carolina

Children of undocumented immigrants are being kept from attending college.
This summer, South Carolina became the first state to bar undocumented
students from all public colleges and universities.
Yeah, gawd forbid they should earn a degree, pay taxes, and contribute to Social Security.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fall at your feet

JJ Binx doesn't like Coldplay.
This too will chap his hide.
Neil Finn is the shite.

Iron works


Jaime Cuate Mendoza

In today's LMT Op/Ed page, Mr. Mendoza discusses the supposed ills of the Democratic Party. He vents about gasoline prices, and home foreclosures.

Anyway, he says that the Democrats have had control of Congress for more than two years and have done little to help the plight of hard-working Americans.
I would take him seriously if he at least knew when the mid-term elections were held. Hint: it wasn't more than two years ago.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tamanawas Falls

Take LaSanbe up I-35 headed north. Make your way west through a few turns. A few thousand miles later you'll hit this place. It's called Tamanawas Falls and located near Mt. Hood in Oregon.

This spot is about a 2 mile hike from nearest road. That means it lies buried behind a snowpack all winter.
Posted by Picasa

Laredo's other bookstore












Got a chance to visit the First United Methodist Church book sale today. The lady (pictured) is not the only customer they had when I took the photo. Anyway, contrary to popular belief, Laredoans do enjoy a good read every now and then.

I bought two books to keep me busy on my upcoming trip. I got paperback versions of Moby Dick, and A Farewell to Arms. I think the latter is a diet book. (Thank you George Segal)

Rush never sleeps

Rush is featured on the latest issue of Rolling Stone (Obama cover). But if you go to the magazine's website, the story is nowhere to be found. ?????

Rush has been at it for 30+ years, and now RS is "gracious" enough to devote four whole pages to the band. Thank you, Rolling Stone, we are not worthy of your generosity.
I guess they figure that Rush won't move mags off the shelves, nevermind that they consistently pack venues to this day.

If I want to keep up with stories about Kid Rock, or Amy Winehouse, I'll renew my RS subscription. Until then, I'll keep scouring the internets for Rush info.

Coldplay Sucks

Somebody had to say it. I suppose we're supposed to like this crap because Apple puts it on a commercial? One word - weak.



Webb County budget

Webb County Judge Danny Valdez needs help to balance the budget.
Valdez said he still needs to hold workshops with the offices of the Webb County Sheriff and District Attorney. It is up to the current office holder, he said, to include the incoming successor in the department's budget hearings.

Rick Flores and Martin Cuellar in the same room working on the budget. I'd pay to see that.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cigarroa High School Band Parents
















No time off for these band boosters. They manned the Frito Pie/Coke booth at the Civic Center today.

Happy 4th

Carnie eyes carne.

I almost made some "carnuka" today but the weather was a bit iffy. It's been drizzling off and on. Not that that has ever stopped Laredoans from grilling.
The summer is young.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This way

Ingenuity of Laredoans

La raza can be ingenious in many respects.

My better half and I have taken trips into Mexico's interior where we just marvel at how citizens can accomplish the improbable with guts and determination. For instance, there have been a few times where I have been in a nervous awe while driving behind pickup trucks in central Mexico that are stacked to the brim and beyond with cardboard and other items. And just as the truck in question navigates a sharp turn I feel certain that it will totter over the edge of the road. Yet, somehow it manages to circumvent the laws of physics and remain upright until the next harrowing turn.

As the saying goes: poverty is a great motivator.

While there may be something to marvel at Mexico's culture, the story in today's Laredo Times about a Laredoan selling gasoline from his home fails to strike the same chord.

In this case all I could conjure up was, "Wow. I am glad they are not my neighbor."

I guess you could always chalk it up to: "only in Laredo."

Flipping Texas

If Texas is slowly turning blue, should Rush Limbaugh return some of the money he's getting from Clear Channel? Oh no, I forgot, he's not carrying the GOP's water anymore.
Four years later, the Realm of the Bushes is now being described -- in the Wall Street Journal, no less -- as potentially "the next California."

pero como?
Political scientists are projecting that Bush Country will morph, by 2020, into
the nation's second-largest Democratic state.

Exciting times, dare I say.

It's summer

Work dem lats.

Rick Flores' wish list

Christmas can't come soon enough for Rick.
The court document indicates Flores' wish to have Peeples declare him the
true winner of the election or, "in the alternative find that the true outcome
of the election cannot be determined by the court, void said election and
require that a new election be held as provided by law."
And what flavor of cake would the sheriff want with that?

Rick is alleging that 75 people cast ineligible votes.
And I guess he's assuming that all 75 of those people voted for Martin Cuellar.
According to the Flores camp, some people voted twice, were felons, or were not registered properly.
Cuellar's attorneys said the lists are inflated and show how far Flores is
willing to go to hold on to his office.
To his office and his cowboy hat.
Next up: election contest on July 16. Stay tuned.

Cobre

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pelican's Wharf

Skate park

This would be something I could get into.

Monthly budget

My recent electric bill left me stunned.
Cortez said the fact that temperatures for most of June was 97 degrees or hotter
and the price of natural gas skyrocketing 60 percent higher than last summer
were big reasons for the high bills.

My bill is $74 more than last month. And my wife starts her month-long summer vacation today, so she and the youngin' will be home all day.

I can handle the price of gasoline by riding my bicycle or motorcycle to work, but it's the light bill hikes, and milk prices that sting. Damnit.

Birthday Greetings from Joe Cocker

Via Atrios