Saturday, July 31, 2010

New York Nuptials

It's Chelsea Clinton's wedding day today. The only child of former President Bill Clinton and current U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton will be married in upstate Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Her future husband is Marc Mezvinsky, an investment banker (He's rich!) and son of two former Democratic members of Congress. The couple have been friends since they were teenagers, and they attended the same college. They began dating in 2005. She's 30; he's 32.

The major details of the interfaith ceremony have been hush-hush up until now. Apparently Oprah might be there to say "Chelsea's marriiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeddd!" Best wishes to the happy couple.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Geddy Lee and the hunks

What a coincidence that during the week of Geddy Lee's birthday, TNT aired an episode of Supernatural in which he is mentioned. This was great since I love RUSH and the show.

The Halloween episode from the show's 4th season is titled "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester," a nice nod to Charlie Brown.

On Supernatural the main characters Sam and Dean (pictured) often pose as FBI agents while they are on the hunt for demons and all things paranormal. Because Dean is a fan of classic rock & heavy metal, they use the names of rock musicians as their agent names. In this case they introduce themselves as Agent Geddy & Agent Lee. (See the clip here.) Other names they've used are Angus and Young, Page and Plant, Ted Nugent, and James Hetfield.

So happy belated birthday to Geddy Lee, who turned 57 on July 29th. Good luck on the rest of RUSH's tour (arriving in San Antonio, Texas on September 23rd!).

Evening Thread (Friday)

Off to Old No. 2.  Don't wait up.


It's hot. A little Fire action to start the weekend.

I Question My Existense

For lunch today, I went with a local favorite.  However, if I knew that chicken guisado was going to stop time, I would've ordered the crispy tacos.

Nuevo Laredo Violence Not Happening?

The media in Nuevo Laredo hasn't reported on the violence that has gripped the city lately.  And for good reason.  Reporters, editors and anybody that has a responsibility to cover the news fear for their lives as cartel members have made it clear that they don't want the violence covered.  The Nuevo Laredo mayor, however, chimes in with his assessment:
“The city is calm,” Nuevo Laredo Mayor Ramon Garza told a national radio network last week in the wake of the July 16 fighting, rebutting hundreds of e-mails received by his interviewer. “We have had months of peace and tranquility in our city.”

Cartels have made life difficult for the media.  The mayor has made life tough for himself all by his very lonesome, unless he's being coerced by the cartels as well.

Hail to the View

Don't know how they managed this, but the people at "The View" landed President Obama on their show!

This makes it the first time a current president appears live on a daytime talk show. I'm sure Elisabeth was uncomfortable. Yay.

Here's a clip if you missed it:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

El Portal

Earlier this month I went over some issues regarding El Portal --  the city's property next to Bridge 1 that's currently leased to the Khaledis.  I managed to get some information from several sources, but was waiting on proof of the actual rent payments.  A city employee at the legal department emailed me some copies of the checks that the city received from the Khaledi group. 

Initially I got three check copies.  I thought it was the initial batch and the rest (first payment was made in April 2009) would be forthcoming.  But I had to email them again to remind them to send the rest  but I never got a response.  I finally called and the lady told me that this was all they had.

I was dumbstruck.  I asked her if this has been all they've paid and she didn't really offer up a response.  She offered to send me a list of the payments received but I had something to that effect already.

I don't know about this.  They can send me a detailed statement showing that payments were allegedly made but they don't have copies of the actual checks.  Have they (Khaledis) actually been making payments?  I can't tell.

And why does it show that they made a payment on 06/09/10 but there's a 09/10 CR right next to it?  Are they being credited for September already?  ??????

Come Kayak In Laredo

A reader tipped me off to a new recreational activity that's available for the public: kayaking.

Big River Outfitters can take you out to the Rio Grande or Lake Casa Blanca.  They are located at 3914 San Bernardo (California Cafe), next to Charlie's Corona. 

B.R.O. has a $20 Summer Special.  For more information, call them at 209-1879, or visit their Facebook page (Kayak Laredo).

You see, there is stuff to do in Laredo.

What Will Come Out?

It's Charlie Rangel Day today.  I hope it doesn't take away too much attention from Chelsea's wedding.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nice Night

I made it out to Veterans Field to see the Laredo Broncos in action tonight.  I rode my bike to the venue but forgot a lock.  Fortunately some nice lady saw to it that I was allowed in with bike in tow.

Once inside, the attendant at the beer counter, Mario, watched my bike while I enjoyed an inning of play.  Thank you, kind sir.

I left early only because I had to ride back all the way to the Chacon.  Good times.  Go Broncos!


The link I included in the previous post did not work.  Here's the picture, courtesy of my cousin.

Evening Podcast Thread

A couple of links:
El Sillon is waiting for you.
Noticias de Nuevo Laredo.

You.  Listen.  Podcast.


Powered by


Kick Asphalt Relay

Bordertown Blues features local running group, RUNStrong.  This non-profit organization hopes to contribute to the community by stressing the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to learn more about RUNStrong, visit their Facebook page.

They will host the 1st annual "Kick Asphalt Relay" on October 24.  The race will cover a 13.4 mile route.  Runners are asked to participate in groups of three.

Now get runnin'.

Is This Really Happening?

The LMT ran a story today in regards to the evaluation of LISD's superintendent, Marcus Nelson.
By Nick Georgiou

Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:15 AM CDT
The process of evaluating LISD Superintendent Marcus Nelson’s progress has begun.

After meeting briefly in closed session Tuesday night, an increasingly quarrelsome Laredo Independent School District Board of Trustees decided to meet one on one with Nelson next week and fill out their evaluations on their own time.
OK.  Seems pretty straightforward: Trustees will meet with Dr. Nelson individually.  No biggie.  Another evaluation, or progress report, will take place in September and his end-of-the-year evaluation will occur in January.  But it gets weird as the story continues.

Towards the middle of the article, Georgiou writes about John Peter Montalvo's odd behavior.  You're probably asking, "how can you tell he's being odd?"  Well, apparently he had gotten word about a woman, dressed in black, putting something on his taxpayer-funded chair.  And this freaked him out so much that he decided to sit elsewhere.  As for his seat:
"I already put some holy water (on it)," Montalvo said.  "I know people who were here before that would probably like to do things of that nature and work with the devil.
Uh, What?!  Mr. Montalvo, can you please clarify?
"I don't belive in voodoo and the devil's workshop.  It is hard to know what's happening, and I don't mind losing an election or whatever the right way, with votes, but this is not the right way because none of us would like to (have) any type of election problems with voodoos and dealings with the devil."
I had lost interest with what was going on at LISD, mostly because things had settled down, or so I thought.  I mean, Guillermina Montes hadn't had a scuffle with Montalvo in a while so I thought things were back to normal.  The FBI isn't getting letters of this new development but it does make for some peculiar behavior.  This goes to show that we shouldn't count out our representatives from providing us with endless amounts of wackiness.   

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Base

Mayor Salinas pumps up his constituency.


The Express-News shares with us the story of Lerma's Nite Club in San Antonio and its possible demolition.  The establishment was  recently found to have some structural problems when city officials paid a visit to the conjunto music mecca. 

Club owner Gilbert Garcia was surprised by the unannounced inspection, stating that the city had never dropped in to assess his premises.  But now he's been given the responsibility of coming up with a plan, and the financing, to bring Lerma's up to code.  If it can't be done, the club will face the wrecking ball. 

Jenn Alva, from the group Girl in a Coma, had this to say about the venue:
We have already lost the Mission Drive-In and La Gloria, and if we continue this process San Antonio will lose those memorable places which make our city what it is.....a city of unique culture.
Girl in a Coma recorded a video at Lerma's Nite Club in 2007.

Alva hits the nail on the head:  These landmarks truly make a city.  They offer a unique quality that allows for cities to differentiate each from one another.  I would only add that places like Lerma's connect us to the past, for they were the former stomping grounds of our elders.  Only theirs in Laredo had names like the Tumble Inn, and the Bordertown Drive-In.  Progress, alas, had the upper hand.  Luckily some of our cultural treasures are still intact and prosperous, such as the Casa Blanca Ballroom, Roli's, and El Gastronomico, while others, like El Azteca Theater, are on life support.

Lerma's has the luxury of having its history preserved, albeit it's in the form of a music video.  Others can't make that claim.  The Tumble Inn or the Play-Mor live on by word of mouth.  Their story may never be fully appreciated. 

For some landmarks, unforeseen events might render them unsalvagable.  A fire or some act of God could destroy a piece of history; Or a wrecking crew could come in in the middle of the night and raze a structure to benefit someone's selfish need.  Whatever the case, bits of history, no matter how trivial they may seem, should be preserved.  Our kids will hopefully have proof that we were once hip, or at least, tried to be.


Jersey girl

I love watching BravoTV, especially most of the "Real Housewives" series. We get a glimpse into the crazy lives of several rich women, their lavish homes, (the gossiping, the catfights) and their spending habits.

Lately one of the bravo-lebrities, Teresa Giudice, from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" has been in financial trouble along with her husband. Most of their outlandish possesions will soon be up for auction!

Guess the problems with the economy got a little too real for this reality star.


Repeat after me:  I am the only one using the words "Menomena" and "Laredo" in the same sentence today.

Frankly speaking, I don't think this band's new album is available at Casa de Musica Guadalupe.

Keeping Track Of Stuff

By Nick Georgiou

Laredo Morning Times
Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:34 AM CDT
LISD’s fixed assets department, which holds and tracks the district’s inventory, has been the subject of much scrutiny during the past several years.

Apparently things are so screwed up at the fixed assests department that board member Guillermina Montes called it "the worst the whole district."  Interim Director Juan Ramon Gonzalez was called upon to answer questions regarding the department's tracking of supplies.  This is what he said when asked about missing property:
there is an issue with schools and departments not notifying fixed assets when items are relocated elsewhere.
In reading Nick Georgiou's story, I got the impression that Mr. Gonzalez either didn't want to discuss the issue of stolen property or was ill-prepared to present the needed information.  His only response to the question of stolen merchandise protocol was to "file a report."  And as far as stats on missing equipment:
he did not have that figure immediately available.
He was sure of this, though:
LISD has "a lot of missing assets that we don't know where they are."
Uh-huh.  Does anyone want to guess how many veins busted at this little Q&A session? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gotta Eat

Nothing sells handbags without a permit better than a shiny Chrysler display case.

Barbara Steinberg Exhibit At Library

(Laredo, TX July 26, 2010) “They are coming here to escape war,” said Barbara Steinberg, an amateur photo artist whose first photo exhibit, “The True Story of Mexican Immigration to the United States,” is on display until the end of August at the Laredo Public Library. “Just like any other immigrant wave in the history of the United States, they are coming to escape the horrors that war has created in their country: devastating poverty, starvation, fear and lack of hope.”

“This show is in honor of a father who crossed the Rio Grande to save his son. I would especially like to thank the editor, photographic assistant and the writer for their help with this important project. The exhibit has allowed me to be able to stand up for equality and the people of Mexico here in Laredo, which is now my home,” Steinberg concluded.

(Info. courtesy of Xocitl Mora)

How appropriate that this exhibit will be available when the Arizona immigration bill (SB 1070) is about to take effect. 

Immigrants living in Arizona are starting to make their way out of the state before July 29 hoping to find a location that's more considerate of their plight.  The sense of fear they managed to escape has taken on a new face as they are being driven out by people who now fear them.  Whether they find solace in another state is yet to be known.  Your run-of-the-mill Republican would just as easily wish them away; And the Obama administration would glady deport them.  So their struggle won't go away just because they've decided to leave the Grand Canyon State.

All this done to appease an anti-immigrant base who's too stubborn to contemplate the actual potential of immigrants -- a base that probably woundn't step foot into a public building to view an exhibit on Mexican immigration. 

We'll continue to call them "illegal," and "aliens," and "law-breakers" because those terms easily justify our motives to have them shipped back to where it is they came from.  One thing we won't do is call them refugees, even though they're trying to escape the "horrors" of "devastating poverty."  They have too much pride for their native country and in some cases return.  And they're not idealists who are trying to attain the same dream as we.  That vision is better left for the white colonists who gave this country its start.

"The True Story of Mexican Immigration to the United States."  Go learn something. 

City Of (Traffic) Lights

New traffic lights were activated this weekend on Jacaman and Bartlett Ave.  However the ones on Clark Blvd. remain inactive.  What's up with that?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Why Would KGNS Show This?

The injuries are not clearly visible but is it necessary to go in this direction?  Laredoans haven't ventured into Nuevo Laredo as before.  Showing four dead people laying on the ground isn't going to do us any favors.

The Mad Men return

Season 4 of AMC's Mad Men starts tonight at 9 p.m. CT. New York is ready for the premiere. Catch up on what happened last season here:

Football Coming

The Dallas Cowboys have made a splash with the opening of their training camp.  Honestly, I wouldn't expect anything different from "America's Team."

Bordertown Blues is taking some time off and I have to wonder if he's doing so to take part in the festivities.  At any rate, the football season is almost upon us and everybody must be on pins and needles waiting for the kickoff.

But on a sadder note, we here at LaSanbe found out that Bill Cowher's wife, Kaye, died Friday of skin cancer.  She was always by the coach's side when the Steelers suffered some tough losses.  Kaye Cowher was 54.  Whether the former coach will continue his duties as commentator for CBS Sports remains to be seen.  But personally I don't think he's going to go back to coaching anytime soon.

Our thoughts are with him and his family.


Yesterday a reader tipped me off to a story that has gotten quite a bit of buzz.  Apparently there's talk of Zetas taking over two ranches in Western Webb County.  The Cypress Times even reports that gunfire has been exchanged between the drug gang and local law enforcement.  But in their report last night, Pro8news denied the allegations, stating that local officials had no evidence to confirm this.

I received this text message Thursday:
"Something might happen through santo nino neighborhood this weekend. Stay indoors & keep cars garaged 4 safety!" 
"Supposedly zetas r going 2 retaliate cuz alguien les puso el dedo."
Residents are being cautious what with the recent activity that's taken place.  It could all be rumor; I haven't heard anything that's happened in South Laredo in the last two days.  Nevertheless, local law enforcement will have some explaining to do in the near future.

A second reader brought me up to speed on a story that FoxNews did where a travel warning has been issued by the State Dept.  Mayor Salinas makes a cameo.

And yet another appearance.  Thanks, reader.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Emergency Supplemental

Democrats up for re-election are none to pleased with the Senate's decision to vote down a supplemental bill that would provide funding for the Iraq/Afghanistan War, relief for Haiti, aid for first responders, and border security among other things.  

Border communities would've benefitted as $701 million would have helped in hiring Border Patrol, and Customs agents.  Naturally our very own Henry Cuellar, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, had something to say.

“We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s border and homeland security. That’s why earlier this July, the House passed over $701 million in emergency southern border funding as part of the 2010 Supplemental Bill. Late this week, the Senate decided not to proceed in approving this emergency border funding, despite the fact that southern border states would have benefited greatly from these critical funds. This funding was slated to hire over 1,200 additional Border Patrol agents, in addition to providing funds for more hires at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Over $200 million would have supported the Department of Justice in ramping up prosecutorial and investigative resources to support southern border states. Additionally, the President had requested such funding to help provide immediate relief to our federal law enforcement officials at the border. For these reasons, I will continue to fight for this vitally important funding, especially following the President’s decision to deploy 1,200 National Guard to the U.S. Mexico Border. While we have made great strides to further secure our nation’s northern and southern borders, we cannot abandon those opportunities to do even more. As violence persists across the Rio Grande, we cannot pause in our ability to detect, deter and disrupt the illegal activity which occurs as a result. Our communities in Texas understand the stakes we face, and I will not stop in our shared effort to do everything we can in response.” 

Two things:  Why does Henry Cuellar consider himself a fiscal conservative, i.e. Blue Dog, and why are the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars stilled funded through emergency supplemental bills?  When I talked to him last month he stated that Congress wanted "to move away from that" -- including war funding in supplemental bills.  But as time has passed, it seems that not a lot has changed since W. left office.

The Senate didn't pass the bill because of all the add-ons the House suggested, which is everything else apart from war funding.  The Senate's vote is to be expected in a time when the issue of main concern is the economy.  People want to see Congress tighten its belt.  But now that we really need emergency funding for border enforcement, it's not so easily available.  

Of course Cuellar wasn't thinking of that when he was voting with Republicans and supporting conservative issues when he landed in Washington.  He went along to get along just so that he would benefit.  The supposed "War on Terror" trumped any sense of fiscal conservatism he purported to uphold.  His fiscally prudent image was at odds with his voting record.  

In his released statement he only mentions the funding that would go to finance border security, as if the Senate passed on securing less than $1 billion for security measures.  The actual figure for the bill is way more than that and I would think that he would be more candid about it.  But that's the life of a politician.  You play the game and it comes back to bite you in the ass.  

The spending that should be occurring right now actually took place after Clinton left office.  And we can thank Henry for that.  Whether he would admit that is anyone's guess.  In the end Laredo doesn't get what it wanted and we learn that Cuellar is not the most conservative of them all.  

UPDATE: Mayor Salinas give Pro8news his take. 


Powered by


Saturdays Were Made For Composting

Cool, huh?  Anyway, just because it's Saturday doesn't mean there's nothing new to talk about.  Take, for instance, this little nugget in today's Laredo Times:
By Zach Lindsey
Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010 7:22 AM CDT
In addition to serving Webb County as a commissioner, Frank Sciaraffa will also teach criminal justice at United High School, beginning in the fall.
Sciaraffa says that his duties as commissioner will not be affected much by his new position.  Isn't the logo on the UISD board room wall something like, "for the sheeldren," or "shildren come first?"  Sciaraffa takes his Webb County position seriously but UISD must've hired him for some good reason.  Luck to him.

The LMT also reports that drug cartels in Mexico are passing off their vehicles like those of the military.
Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010 7:22 AM CDT
Mexican Army soldiers recently seized two heavy-duty trucks painted in the colors of the Mexican Army near Ciudad Mier.
Crafty mudda fuddas.  Not only have they instilled fear on both sides of the border, they've managed to wreck both Laredo's and Nuevo Laredo's tourism and retail business.  Pro8news reports on the effect the violence in Nuevo Laredo is having on business in downtown Laredo.

What will the future hold for downtown Laredo?  As much as local officials try to revitalize the downtown area, it's never going to see better days.  Perhaps I'm being to quick to write off downtown, but it seems that when it starts to make tiny strides, something pops up and throws a monkey wrench in the whole process.

I realize that our neighbors across the river have it worse than we do, but for so much that people try to do to revive downtown, it seems like a losing effort.


Had no idea such a unique town could inspire such shitty music. .

Friday, July 23, 2010

LISD Clamping Down On Liars

Trustees want honest employees

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 4:07 AM CDT
LISD trustees voted 5-1 on Thursday to issue a formal statement to employees that they be transparent in providing information to the board.

Misleading or false information will not be tolerated, and those caught giving out such information will be terminated, a majority of the Laredo Independent School District trustees said.

I'm glad the board cleared up the issue of being truthful.  People need to be reminded that lying is not to be tolerated.

Well, WoopTeeDoo!

Lois the Corpse Flower has finally bloomed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Crowds began to arrive early on to appreciate the rare event and the foul-smelling plant did not disappoint.
It's a mix between fuzzy lasagna, days-old tuna and wilted lettuce -- so, the office refrigerator.
Let me jot this down:  putrid-smelling plant equals audience.  Got it.

I've been waiting for one of my favorite plants to blossom as well.  It's a rose bush that I planted earlier this year.  It's taking its time but the few flowers I've gotten so far have been a treat.  The color, somewhere between yellow and beige, and the aroma are totally awesome.  I can't believe I'm actually waiting to get a whiff of this thing.

This is actually the first rose bush I've planted ever, hence my doting.




Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kathy tells cancer to "suck it"

Comedienne Kathy Griffin's humor is not for the faint at heart. She is not afraid to push the boundaries and curse like a sailor while doing so.

Ever the D-lister, she will do just about anything to get her picture and name in any sort of media. She's faked falling out of a car, she's gone shopping with Paris Hilton (in front of the paparazzi of course), and she even spent some time in Wasilla ice fishing with Levi Johnston, her "lover." But now, I really believe her when she says she'll do anything!

This week on her Bravo show My Life on the D-List, Kathy had a public pap smear! She was doing it to spread awareness of cervical cancer, so I guess part of this was done with good intentions. I like Kathy a lot, but my goodness...

What Is He Thinking?

Representative Charlie Rangel has not had a good year so far.  Now he's facing charges of ethics violations from a House subcommittee.  A public hearing will be held next week to go over the allegations.

What will no doubt be on display this weekend is his exchange with MSNBC reporter Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert.  Luke asks Rangel if he was concerned about losing his job and that's when the congressman loses it.  It can't get more condescending than this.  Check it out.

Can I get an amen on term limits?


Bordertown Blues adds contributor.  Welcome, Clara Sandoval.

I stumbled upon a new (to me) blog, Laredo Lizard.

DeLaredo has found the ultimate example of irony.

And Que Fregados stays on top of the violence in Nvo. Laredo.

Mr. South Texas 2010

The Texas Tribune calls our attention to Laredo's new BFF, Joe Straus.  Mr. S. now has the opportunity to scratch "be Mr. South Texas" off his bucket list.  It's an honor that I'm sure he relishes.  Your welcome, sir; your mounted sach is in the mail.

But the San Antonio native is not only going to get a free dinner and a good serving of superficial adulation, he's going to experience what Laredo is all about:  the WBCA.
celebrates border culture and patriotism
Yes, that's right.  The WBCA.  Nothing says identity crisis more than our worship of rich white land owners.  But that's Laredo for ye.  We celebrate border culture in our tourism brochures and on Sundays when we go out to Raul's BBQ to get our share of cow tongue.  And then the work week comes and we laud the importance of immigration reform (no amnesty) and the English language, never bothering to recall the man who planted the seed long ago, Don Tomas Sanchez.  But I can't fault our citizenry, not when the Webb County Heritage Foundation fails to do the same.  No, poor Mr. Sanchez has no place for our wanton love of excess, be it for beaded dresses or the unnatural consumption of spicy green peppers.

We've left Villa San Agustin behind for more palatable settlements:  Regency, Plantation, Lakeside, Alexander Estates, etc.  We pick and choose the things that bring us comfort (again, cow tongue) but grow fond of that which is most American, the Dallas Cowboys.  Assimilation is a good thing, but we've appeared to have closed the door on our past.  Our border culture is now steeped in patriotism.  Unfortunately it's a patriotism that adores the right kind of immigrant.

Let the white wigs be unfurled.  

Nothing Is Over

People have been offering up their predictions about what is going to happen with the mid-term elections on the national level.  Thoughts of 1994 have popped up.  Even White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs cited the possibility of the GOP taking control of Congress.  Naturally the party in power thinks otherwise.  So what does the left do?  They rally the troops.  And they produce this nifty little video to pump everybody up.

Gotta love Burgess Meredith.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rock At Old No. 2

Randy Tate, Yellow Fever, and Shapes Have Fangs are due at Laredo's hot spot for indie rock, Old No. 2.  Come check out the goods Friday July 30th.  This varied mix of sounds is bound to entertain.

This event is brought to you in part by B Live Promotions.  Admission is $10.

Set your rock clocks.  Old No. 2.  313 West Village Boulevard.

Danger Danger

Man shoots at intruders

By Denise Blaz
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:10 AM CDT
JSJ Estates subdivision erupted in gunfire Monday night after a homeowner shot at unidentified men on his property in the 200 block of St. Jude Drive, according to police.

This guy was apparently watering his grass and had his gun in his waistband, according to the story. 
When I'm faced with danger I usually go to my dependable hairy eyeball.  That usually does the trick to ward off shifty individuals.

So Much Stuff Around Us

This town has a problem with trash being left by the wayside.  As a community we have to come up with a way to make better use of things that eventually end up at the dump.  In Haiti, for instance, people are using old tires to build small homes.  They might not be pleasing to the eye, but it goes to show how discarded material can be put to good use.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


If I ever slip up, feel free to refudiate me.
"But soft, what light from yonder window breaks?  It is the East, and I can see Russia from my front porch"

I'm Pretty Certain

....Francis and the Lights are not getting any airplay on local radio stations.  However, there must be somebody else out there who knows about this band -- Perhaps somebody in the Siete Viejo neighborhood.


New Golf Course Coming To Laredo

Council hires golf company

By Zach Lindsey
Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 2:10 AM CDT
The City Council approved Landscapes Unlimited and Robert Trent Jones II to design and build a $6.6 million municipal golf course Monday, despite complaints from some council members that there was not enough information made available about other finalists.

With Caddyshack being one of my favorite movies it's a wonder I never took up golf.  Perhaps it's the pace of the game that's kept me away.  Whatever the case, perhaps I should look into buying some plaid pants and a set of clubs to take advantage of the waste of space facilities offered in Laredo.  I mean, I shouldn't knock something before I try it.

The drawback would be that I would have more junk to store and I would probably get horrible golf-themed gifts on holidays.  Who needs that?  For retirement, maybe I should take up a less strenuous activity like fishing or playing checkers at the Jarvis Plaza.  Hell, there's always bird watching.  On second thought, screw this new golf courseWho needs it?!!

Tweetaso of the Day

Tweetaso of the day comes from guy that may, or may not, be Danny Trejo:

Mira, I put the "panic" in "Hispanic".


Let's hope they do the right thing and help those who are out of work.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Man, The Legend, The Marketing Tool

Because pistoleros and rich basketball players making announcements in a 1-hour special go together like peas and carrots.


Evening Thread

It's really cloudy but no rain yet.

Commercial weirdness

Just a little something to make KeyRose perplex over. Any idea why one of the legs thicker than the other? I'll take Skittles over static please.

Train Traffic In Laredo

Railway damage in Mexico affects transport of goods, services at Laredo Gateway

Published: Monday, July 19, 2010 3:05 AM CDT
International rail freight traffic has literally come to a halt in Laredo.
The Rio Grande flooding caused serious rail issues for Kansas City Southern de México and Union Pacific, major railroad companies that use the Laredo Gateway for products and goods. How serious?

Serious, for sure.  Local businesses have felt the impact.  USA Today reports on the effect the flooding has had on the auto industry as car parts have not made it to their destination.

After reading these stories I realized that I hadn't heard any train horns in the Chacon lately.  I have seen some boxcars sitting idle but the usual activity isn't there.  We need commerce but I don't mind the temporary peace in my neighborhood.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

They Don't Understand The Bread Lines

Two weeks ago I was partaking in one of my guilty pleasures:  listening to the delusional rantings of our village idiot, Jay St. John.  He and new co-host, Marissa Martinez, tried to school us in the intricacies of federal taxation and its intended effects.

In their discussion they start off by talking about immigration and segue into taxes.  Martinez states how the tax rate will go up from 32% to 35% because the Bush tax cuts will expire soon.  Wow.  If you're being taxed at 32% you're making some serious cash.  She throws around the "S" word but is not about to call Obama a socialist.  Jay is more than happy to drop the socialist label for her.  He goes on to say that the Bush tax cuts raised tax revenue by 44%  ($743 million were raised during 2003 and 2007).  Whoa!  That's pretty good for a tax package that cost a trillion, almost two.

 Jay brings up the GOP's go-to guy, Reagan.  Apparently Ronald Reagan cut taxes and the economy grew.  Wait, let me make a note of this:  Reagan didn't raise taxes.  Reagan didn't raise taxes!  Let me say that one more time - Reagan didn't raise taxes.

You can listen to the audio of the conversation right now, and I'll include text of Martinez's recollection of the Great Depression below.


Powered by

"They went through the Depression, they started to spend more money.....if we spend more money we will be able to revive the economy, and they didn't and it crashed again.  It crashed in 29 and then again in 1932.
And they went through another series where they tried to (inaudible).....and it was during some part of FDR's administration with the New Deal and the New Deal 2; it didn't revive the economy at all."

"At some point, and even the GOP when they started to campaign and Hoover came on and said one of the issues was, 'have you had enough?'.... your average American asking the same thing.   What revived the economy is they did 2 things:  they cut taxes and they stopped spending.  So they tightened the purse....."

Aha.  Reagan and FDR both cut taxes.  I hope I remember that.  Let me make a mental note of another small detail:  FDR started his presidency in 1933.  OK, good.  What I don't understand is why Hoover would say "have you had enough" when things crashed under his administration.  If anybody should've said that it should've been FDR.  He won mightily, by the way.

Let me clear up a couple of things, as I want to understand where Ms. Martinez is coming from.  The New Deal and its spinoff didn't work.  But things improved when taxes were cut.  So the New Deal was scrapped for tax cuts?  I guess what she wants us to believe is that FDR should be known for tax cuts and not New Deal spending.

I'm all confused now.  Apparently the only one who spent money liberally was Hoover; and things didn't go so well, according to Martinez.  However things prospered during Bush's and Reagan's terms in office.

I think what we're supposed to take away from this is that tax cuts are good and 35% tax rates are bad.  The Bush tax cuts should be extended but not unemployment benefits.  OK, I think I got it now.
It's a good thing we have two very knowledgeable people at the microphone to see us through these financially troubling times. 


Bikes And Trails

This bike shop in North Laredo was brought to my attention yesterday.  And today I actually came across an ad in the paper for the same place, Ciclo Mania.

The link I provided above for local trails is under construction.  As it is right now I just ride my yonka in the old neighborhoods and downtown Laredo.  Last year I rode in a nice trail in San Antonio that had some off road obstacles.  It was a bit challenging but a great experience nonetheless.

I hope the lack of bike trail listings on Ciclo Mania's site is not due to the fact that an actual massive trail is still in the beginning stages.  There are some actual trails out there.  I've ridden a couple and I've heard of others.  It would be interesting to know where others ride.  There's fresh territory out there.  I just have to find it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Road Trip Several Days Ago

I love staying in luxurious hotels with scenic backdrops.  You know it's a classy joint when the poolside plastic seating is chained up. 

South Laredo Backed Up

At his campaign kickoff Councilman Mike Garza highlighted a serious problem with his district:  movement.  Apparently activity doesn't flow with the regularity it should.

The inner workings of the South Side have become so severe, so paralyzed that a $100 million investment has been necessary.
Blockages will be relieved with eventual expansions, and Mr. Garza knows this.
South Laredo will have more options for going
With a renewed infrastructure their image can only improve.

DVR Alert!

Tonight the Biography Channel (Bio) brings us Season 2 of "Celebrity Ghost Stories" at 8pm CT. I know what you're thinking: "There was a Season 1 of this?" Yes. The first season had stories from the likes of Sammy Hagar, Joan Rivers, Eric Roberts, and Gina Gershon to name a few.

For those of you not familiar with the show, famous people from movies, TV, sports, and music tell tales of personal encounters they have had with the paranormal. The stories are reenacted as the celebs discuss their experience. The show doesn't try to prove if it's real or not. It's all fun, and it's cool to see that these situations happened to these people.

Saturday Night Live even made a sketch about the show where "Billy Bob Thorton" mentions Laredo, Texas! LOL! Check it out.

This season will feature Joan Collins, Jermaine Jackson, Alice Cooper, Deborah Gibson, Chazz Palmintieri, Donna D'Erricco, Michael Imperioli, and Marilyn Manson!

(Post updated on December 22, 2018 with link to YouTube video clip and photo.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Questions Arise

Our public servants answered the call after flood waters destroyed homes in West Laredo.  Some did more than others; but now their actions are being brought into question.

I love the way Councilman Gene Belmares plays down his presence after showing up at Los Martinez Dr. in full campaign mode.  He denies using the situation for political gain but his self-promoting video says otherwise. 

Mayor Salinas is quick to point the finger elsewhere when the subject of his poor YouTube performance comes up.  But as always, he speaks and says little.  He keeps it as generic and superficial as possible.

Joe Valdez Jr. was there.  He had to be; it's his district.  I'm puzzled how Belmares would say that Valdez asked him to stop with the help.  Turf battle?  Who knows.  It's unfortunate that this is the only material we have to go on with less than four months to go before the election.

Some fun on a serious Friday

The song "Kids" by a band called MGMT is from their first album, which came out in 2008, but only recently came to my attention. I really like the song, but it's the video I've become a little obsessed with.

I had seen another MGMT video, and I couldn't figure out who was who with the painted faces on the "Kids" video. One appeared t0 be a girl, but there aren't any girls in the band...hmm?

I finally found out that this video was actually done as a college assignment by a guy named Jon Salmon, and the two main people in the video are friends of his, Abby (the girl!) and Rafael (mr. hypnotic eyes). You can read the whole story here.

This video became a YouTube crowd-pleaser, and now has over 30 million! MGMT asked Abby and Rafael to appear in their next video "Electric Feel." Let's dance, shall we?

Violence In Nuevo Laredo

Battles started earlier today.
the Nuevo Laredo Consulate states that the office has received credible reports of violence


For a modest neighborhood like El Chacon, we get a modest website from our councilman.

Laredo Broncos Flood Relief Drive

LAREDO BRONCOS FLOOD RELIEF DRIVE In conjunction with KGNS Family of Stations Flood Relief Drive

The Laredo Broncos would like to assist Laredoans that were affected by the recent Rio Grande floods. The Broncos will be holding a donation drive during the next 5 home games (Friday through Tuesday).
Cleaning supplies are vastly needed in these flooding areas. Anyone donating 1 cleaning product will be given 2 free ticket to the Broncos games from July 16-20.
In addition, on Monday's July 19th game, there will be Free Admission to all city of Laredo residents.

This hopefully helps our emergency personnel and Laredo residents take their minds off the affects of the flood.
"The loss of property and homes to many Bronco fans is sad to see," GM Jose Melendez stated, "We hope with this cleaning supplies drive, we can assist our Bronco fans in these affected areas with the clean up efforts."
Cleaning supplies that are needed for example is, Clorox, Trash Bags, Lysol Spray, Wipes, Towels, Sponges, Gloves, Broom, Dust Pans, Mops, Bleach, etc. But any donation is accepted.

All donations will be donated on Tuesday to the American Red Cross and also personally distributed by Broncos front office and it's players into affected neighborhoods.
For more information, call Doug Robinson (956) 771-2902 at Laredo Broncos or call the Laredo Broncos front office at (956) 723-2273.

Border Security

Is the federal government doing enough?  Rick Perry:
The federal government has failed to secure our borders as drug activity and murder rates soar in many border communities.
Emphasis mine.  Misleading comment Perry's.

Air Ambulance In Laredo

Air Evac Lifeteam, a rural provider of air ambulance services, has expanded its service area in Texas with the opening of a base in Laredo.
The base will be temporarily located at the airport in Laredo at 5003 Maher Drive, Unit B. It will be one of more than 90 bases in Air Evac Lifeteam’s network of air ambulance services. Bases are located in rural communities in 14 states throughout the central United States. The base will provide employment for 12 to 15 local employees and will serve communities within a 70-mile radius.

For more info visit  (Info courtesy of City of Laredo)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nice Find

I ventured out to Corpus Christi for a couple of days and naturally, as with many of my trips, I had to visit a record store.  This one is near the Sunrise Mall.  I got several things including Bob Seger's "Stranger In Town."  Please, no Joe Dirt jokes.

I can't wait to go over to my suegra's house to listen to this album.  It turned out to be a very productive trip.  Good times.


Taking Charge

It's been a week since the Rio Grande reached high levels and flooded some areas along its path.  The response has brought out the good and the bad in people.  One area that has gotten a lot of attention is Los Martinez Dr., which is located approximately one mile West of Sam's Club on San Bernardo.  But if you talk to some residents of Los Martinez, they'll tell you different.
she expected officials to help people to retrieve their things before the Rio Grande flood entered the homes.
Now that houses have been emptied of debris, residents are concerned about the trash left behind on their curbs.  Also on their minds is the disorganization of the relief effort.  To me it has seemed like nobody really took charge of the whole situation.

People in the Mines Rd. area complained that they were getting little attention and residents near the LCC campus (Ft. McIntosh) were all but forgotten, according to them.

Two people that have been visible throughout this event are Gene Belmares and Jose A. Valdez Jr.  Belmares' participation has appeared a bit self-serving with all the campaign paraphernalia out there, but this is an opportunity that has presented itself and he has taken advantage of it.  Joe Valdez has been active as well.  He's been present in the affected area, and like Belmares, has posted updates on his Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the mayor has not played this well at all.  A reader pointed me in the direction of a YouTube video that shows Mayor Salinas arguing with people and eventually just walking away.

Not good.  While I don't expect him to roll up his sleeves and push a broom around like Belmares, he could act more like a leader.  In the video he cowers from the public when confronted with serious concerns.  To be fair, facing an angry citizenry is not easy task, but he did himself a disservice by walking away and appearing combative.

This is surely going to come back and bite him in the ass.  Now all relief efforts are going to be handled by Erasmo Villarreal (763-4408).  This decision apparently was made by city administration.  Suspicious Good, but what took so long?

While things could've been done better, I realize that our officials are human.  This event could cement someone's victory and another's defeat.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Not Blogging Much

Currently enjoying some R&R in a nearby city.  Will be back in full force tomorrow to talk about the shocking finale of The Hills.

Baptist Cowboy

A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas , walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more. The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona , the other is in Colorado . When we all left our home in Texas , we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn. One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs. "Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn't affected my brothers though."

Sister City Problems

The flooding recovery is going to take a little more of everthing.

UPDATE:  The mayor of Nuevo Laredo is planning on opening the flooded highway that leads into the city from Monterrey.  I hope actual events today tell a better story than the picture posted in El Manana.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Loco Mel - Pt. 2

Tapes of Loco Mel keep coming.. In today's tape, he goes from mere racial epithets and insults to all out death threats with talk of domestic abuse thrown in for good measure. Rumor mill has it that Gibson was likely on Human Growth Hormone. Turns out several Hollywood types use it to look young. It has similar results on the brain as steroids. This may explain why he sounds like an out of control, wild-man wrestler type. Just a theory. In the mean time, good luck staying out of jail Loco Mel.

Life After The Flood

Looking for relief

Residents, officials work to get life back to normal

Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 6:08 AM CDT
Several relief efforts are under way to help hundreds of local flood victims, the majority of whom still have no electricity in their homes and need essential supplies, from food and water to insect repellent and hand sanitizers.

Is anybody in charge?

Los Martinez resident Pedro Rodriguez, who was sitting outside his house with family and relatives, described an overwhelming feeling of frustration in the neighborhood, saying supplies are not being distributed evenly.

Joe Rutland Also Leaving The Times

The LMT is looking for a business editor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Timing

I find it interesting and somewhat eerie the timing of fellow contributor, JJ Binx, in posting a video about Professor Randy Pausch yesterday.  Dr. Pausch died almost two years ago of pancreatic cancer.  Before yesterday, I had not heard of this man.  His words, however, will simmer around in my head for a few days, if not more. 

The reason I cite JJ Binx' thread is because Harvey Pekar died early today.  Harvey, who was also diagnosed with cancer, worked as a file clerk in Cleveland, but he's best known for writing the comic book, "American Splendor."  A movie of the same name was made in 2003 which detailed, warts and all, the life of Pekar.  That's when I learned of the writer.  But Harvey was a different creature.  He didn't possess the grace and charm that Dr. Pausch did.  And I don't know if his words carry the same philosophical and emotional weight as the professor's as I only have the movie to go by.  Nevertheless, Harvey and his movie left an indelible mark on me.

If I had to sum up the movie, I would say:  It's the story about a thrifty college dropout who works in a dead end job as a file clerk and decides to write a comic book about the triviality of daily life.  The Warriors, this is not.  I would hardly recommend this movie to anyone.  But for me it's one of my all-time favorites.  It's blueprint is not one used often in movies.  Animation is used alongside live action.  And Harvey Pekar makes cameos in the same frame as Paul Giamatti, who plays Pekar in the movie.  It's creative but overall the movie has a depressing feel to it.

Harvey enjoys a certain degree of success only to be sidetracked by the news of cancer.  He trudges on with the help of his wife and friends.  News of his cancer's remission offers a glimmer of hope.  Yet, in the end, you can't help but feel a sense of uncertainty.  He might be smarter and stronger for having experienced a life-changing event, but the future is anyone's guess.

My heart isn't heavy today, for I think Harvey Pekar lived his life as best he could.  He was, by no means, perfect.  But his story is one that I'll enjoy for years to come.