Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Last Blog Post Ever

LaSanbe is 6 years old today.  I want to thank you for supporting the blog.  Now it's time for me to move on.  It's been fun.  Keyrose, out.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Menso Not Mensa

I haven't rolled out this feature as much, even though there are plenty of good candidates to receive the honor.  Today's winner goes above and beyond.  He takes Menso-ness to new levels.  He totals a kickass car while drag racing on a wet surface.  He destroys public property, luckily not killing himself.  And, oh yeah, he doesn't have a drivers license.  Menso!!!!!!!

Aldo's 100th

Odie Arambula tells us that the inner workings of local government are as crooked as ever.  Apparently not much has changed from the old days.

As a friend close to activities at the municipal airport explained,  "Little has changed from the old ways of doing things.  Then there were just a few.  Now, we have many.  Conveniently, as opposed to other times, we now accommodate wrongdoers with retirement to prevent loss of benefits."

One has to be determined and meticulous in weeding out any wrongdoing, as a source notes for today's Monday Wash.

I think Mr. Arambula's column is perfect for today because it's Aldo Tatangelo's birthday.  He would've been 100 today.  The former mayor replaced corrupt politician J.C. Martin Jr., a man who proudly informed Bill Moyers how local voters were instructed to vote. 

When most people are preoccupied, or not, with el 16 de Septiembre, or the unpredictable hurricane season, perhaps it's a good thing to recall how local politics is not always on the up and up.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blogging Past

My blog's sixth birthday is in two days, and I want to take this opportunity to thank some people who have contributed their expertise to making this site a little better.

First up has to be my buddy Juan.  This man and I go back some 35 years.  It was great to have him support me from the beginning.  Not only did he direct me to blog providers like Blogger, but he showed me how to add links to my posts, something trivial to him, but enlightening and useful for me.  Originally he suggested I try My Space, or Facebook as a blogging platform, but for some reason, those sites didn't interest me then.  I was determined to have my website have its own identity and separate location from those popular outlets.

He went on to contribute posts for LaSanbe, as did some other people I know.  Past blog contributors include:  Single X, Not My Rodeo, and Piper Maru.  I realized that blogging would be a hobby for me.  I was never going to reach the heights that popular bloggers reached.  However, I did want to maintain some consistency for readers, and the help that my contributors lent really took some of the pressure off.

Next I gotta send props to my friend Alex who came up with the first ever LaSanbe logo (pictured on left).  I gave him the idea of including the suit of armor in the logo because it's an image I've always associated with San Bernardo Ave.:  vendors selling those gawdy things.  The faint scribbling behind the soldier is an "L" and an "S" for to (inside joke) accentuate the design with a nod to the blog's name.  I think I added the tagline at the bottom, not one of my best ideas.

Next came a masthead.  The street sign motif was created by Daniel Castro of San Antonio.  I liked what he did for the Bordertown Blues blog, and so asked for his help with mine.  His design has been the most popular among some of my readers.

The LaSanbe bus masthead, which is about a year old or so, was created by local artist Gil Rocha.  The art he has displayed outside his studio inspired me to seek his input.

And hey!, how 'bout the Sanbe t-shirt?  Definitely a collector's item.  Only about a dozen were made back around 2009.

Design and printing done by Mr. Aldaco.  His shop is somewhere along Lyon St.

Since 2007 I've amassed 489 videos on my YouTube channel.  Not spectacular by most blogging standards, but noteworthy nonetheless.  Which brings me to some of my video capture.  This technique I've had to learn on my own, which probably explains the shoddy production sometimes.  Thanks to the use of a DVR, and a cable that connects the digital recorder to my computer, I can practically capture any footage I need.  With it I can also capture still shots of anything that appears on t.v.

I use the El Gato software for video capture.  I can use the program to transfer footage from my DVR, VCR, DVD player, etc.  It's a very handy tool for a lot of applications.

It's been more than a year since I've done an audio podcast.  Audio podcasts don't take as long to upload like videos do, but the process can be somewhat tedious.  All I would do was record my voice directly into my desktop using Garage Band.  From there the key step was to convert the audio clip into an MP3 file, then upload it to the podcasting host of your choice.   

I think that's LaSanbe in a nutshell.  I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Keyrose, out.

UPDATE: 4/28/2016 (LMT reporter interviewed me after a blogger meet-up)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Where Is Their Mind?

(post via Facebook)

The Laredo Animal Protective Society is not pleased, to say the least, with city council's decision to cut off their funding.  Apparently the city has better things to do with its money.

Let's forget for a while that the city hasn't always been smart with its money, and focus instead on where it stands now.  First, Mayor Salinas is always spouting what he thinks are current priorities for Laredo.  Several days ago he chose safety as priority number one.  (Later it will be jobs, or kids, or his health)  Not that his word means anything at city hall, but the mayor and our elders should see that a strong, viable LAPS organization is good for the city in terms of public safety.

Rabies is one thing, but stray pets present other problems for the people of Laredo.  On my commute to work the other day, several cars in front of me had to break suddenly.  Luckily I was focused on the car ahead of me, if not, I would've hit the automobile.  As it turns out, a dog was wandering in the middle of Zapata Hwy.; That's what caused the cars in front of me to slow down all of a sudden.

Councilman Jorge Vera knows something about having to avoid dangerous traffic situations.  Unfortunately now he wants to look the other way when motorists could be in danger because of stray dogs.

Council met in a special meeting Wednesday to decide what to do with the money they received from the Civic Center sale.  Some of the funds are going into the general fund, and the rest will be used for a sports complex, one with a focus on baseball fields for tournaments.  Uh, we already have one.  In fact, when the city dedicated the Slaughter Park SPORTS COMPLEX, it used kids dressed in their little league uniforms as props as Mayor Salinas spoke.


We need more baseball fields and the Laredo Animal Protective Society can go screw themselves.  It's not like we need more capacity to handle the pet population in Laredo anyway.  I'm sure the new dog pound facility the city built will be able to take care of the city's needs.    

Sarcasm aside, I really don't know where city council's head is at.  To deny funding to LAPS is to deny a problem that is right in front of our face on a daily basis.  The city knows full well that the need for public services will only increase as the city grows.  This decision to make a worthwhile organization go on with less is unbelievable.  Council should be ashamed of themselves.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Monies Thread

The county is dealing with a whole bunch of problems right now, but at their next meeting, on the 23rd, they're going to take time to settle on salary raises for elected officials.  You know, because they deserve them.  The notice of the salaries was inserted in the last page of the LMT today.

One of my readers noticed the notice and went through the trouble of calculating the different percentage amounts proposed for each elected official.  (It's good to have smart, industrious friends who are willing to lend this blogger a hand.)  Hat tip to my reader.  See courtesy chart below.

Good life, if you can get it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It Makes Sense To Them

Laredo for a long time was lacking in park space.  Fortunately the city has made strides in recent years to provide the public with green spaces that lend themselves to recreational activities.  Now that the Civic Center has been sold to LISD, city officials decide to spend most of the money on a new sports complex.  Councilman Esteban Rangel:
I think having a facility that we're going to be able to have kids being able to either play here and not having to go out of town, and then, at the same time we have Uni-Trade Stadium to have it as a big game winner, you know.  So, I mean, it's these types of amenities that we could tack on to our resume as a city.
Apparently Mr. Rangel thought he was the best choice on council to sell this idea to the public.  (fail)  And he thinks that there is a baseball tournament market that we haven't tapped in to.  (eh?) 

I agree that some parts of the city still need park space that can add interest to particular districts.  But I don't understand why Esteban Rangel is putting this forth like it's something we've needed all along.  The focus is going to be on baseball fields?  I thought Laredo got along well during the Border Olympics, but apparently there's something I'm just not getting.  

Maximiliano at LaredoTejas ponders the legality of using the funds for different purposes.

The city is putting some of the money into the general fund, and the rest into a new sports complex.  So basically the money is being used as the city wishes.  Let's ponder, for a while, how the city has unloaded some of its property on LISD while it's adopted a new building downtown, the old federal courthouse.  That on top of other property that has sat stagnant for many years:  The Plaza Theater, the Southern Hotel, and four plazas that haven't been updated in years.  And how can I forget the Chacon Hike & Bike Trail that hasn't progressed anywhere towards completion. 

I would think that if outlet stores were going to open in downtown Laredo soon, then the city would work on projects in the area to draw even more attention to it.  But that's just me -- a person who doesn't know shit from Shinola. 

My Life In B.O.L.A.S.

A small group of local bloggers is planning a forum of sorts to help aspiring bloggers get started.  My first piece of advice is to learn how to explain to your family what a blog is and why you do it.  Then you can get into the nuts and bolts of it, such as: theme, logo, links, pictures, video, podcasting, t.v. screen grabs, footage capture, sharing, monetization, promotion, interviews, town halls, etc. 

*BOLAS - blogs of Laredo association [statistics]  (I did not come up with that)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Presidential Address Thread

Talking about a strike against Syria, and annoyingly pounding hands on podium.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rising Costs Everywhere

Trash fees, bus fare, license plate renewals, bridge crossings, recreational costs, co-pays, movie tickets, fajita plates ..........

New Attitude Thread

Photo via Yahoo Sports.

Cowboy flags will be flying at fullest mast today.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend Blog Roundup

The Laredo Lizard took good note of Tano Tijerina's official announcement to run for Webb County Judge.  By this bloggers score, it looks like Tano has a lot of momentum going into the race against career politician and incumbent, Danny Valdez.  The Lizard hints at other possible candidates that might vie for the position.  Fun will most surely ensue.

El Diablito de Laredo over at deLaredo 2.0 wonders what exactly is going on at the Laredo Times where they post shots of everybody busted for DWI and then posts a 'hits' counter for each person.  I don't even know what to say about the LMT's little stunt.  I'm speechless.

Like deLaredo 2.0, LaredoTejas has started blogging again with some consistency.  In his post he is puzzled at how the city is always strapped financially, but all of a sudden, they have a good enough purse to install new parking meters.  Maximiliano at LT pays close attention to local politics, especially what's going on at city hall.  He's definitely not at a loss for material lately.

And blogger for Furniture in Life is apparently back and in love.  Awwwwwwwww!  The post included is almost two weeks old but we'll take it.

On my end, I want to thank Laredo Sun for including a link to my site on their sidebar.  Muchos thank yous.

Carry on.

Are We All That?

El MaƱana newspaper recently published a story about how McAllen's export totals closed the gap with Laredo.  Naturally, valley media outlets also featured the historic bit of information.  And McAllen was proud of this achievement as well.

So what do our city representatives do?  They get all upset and come to the city's defense, as if anybody asked them to do so. 

City Hall cites Laredo's recent ranking as the third best customs district in the nation from some obscure publication, the World City magazine.  Now, Laredo is definitely ranked in the top ten when it comes to World City magazine to customs districts, but the city goes on to present all these wild numbers, and I have no idea where they got them from.

But that doesn't stop the city from making up its own story and sending it in to the local newspaper.

I don't dispute that the port of Laredo is a key area that racks up large trade numbers.  I just don't understand, again, where the city gets their information.  In the clipping post above, they state that their export total is $76 billion.  Meanwhile, the Commerce Department puts it more around the $5.2 billion range.  So who is right?

And they also ranked Laredo as the 50th export market two years ago.  That's different from 'customs district' but what I'm concerned with is how Laredo ranks itself against other cities. 

Laredo may be a great trade hub, but city officials have really thin skin.  Don't mention McAllen because they'll just blow their top.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today's Stuff

On this day in 2001, Tony Sanchez announced his candidacy for governor.  He went on to spend millions of dollars of his own money to fund his campaign.  The end result was not good.

Today Tano Tijerina announced that he's running for county judge.  (Photo courtesy of Pro8news.) 

Let's hope this Laredo businessman has better luck than Tony Sanchez.

And in city council news, Councilman Carlos San Miguel of pool fame presented an idea to city staff about constructing a "doggie" park in his district to accommodate our four-legged friends and their masters.  He made mention that it's not expensive to build the park amenity.  But with budget deficits being so common at city hall the last several years, a colleague had to remind him that money is tight.
It's not very expensive, but, you know, when you don't have money, you don't have money.  A Quarter Pounder isn't expensive, but if you don't have three bucks, you can't get the Quarter Pounder.
Good for Councilman Roque Vela Jr. for expounding on the virtues of fiscal restraint.  But he then went on to talk about building a park in his district along Bartlett Ave.  Oh well.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Green Can Got A Buddy

My mother got her blue bin today.  She's concerned about having only one day dedicated to trash pickup.  She really doesn't generate a lot of trash.  What she wonders is how the neighbors will get by since they come and stuff her green can with their overflow.

So It Rained Last Night

Laredo bridge destroyed on this day back in 1932.  It was originally a "foot bridge."

In current news, city hall will discuss the budget.  It's appropriate that the LMT puts the story next to the words "Anger Boils...."  14.7 million, yo!

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Life Feels So Empty

I actually woke up this morning expecting a lengthy Labor Day comment from our mayor.  I think I'll just go document local drought conditions to appease Judith Zaffirini and her drought pictorial project. 

Blog birthday on the 17th of this month.  My shirt size is large and I'm partial to salty snacks.