Sunday, July 31, 2005

Quote from Ronald Reagan

I was just visiting and saw this quote:

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it."
--Ronald Reagan

It's so funny. He's right, which is what make it so hilarious.

Bolton Talking Point Memo

I can't believe the Dems are crying about the President's recess appointment of John Bolton as the UN Ambassador. They want to play dirty, but when the prez has a card up his sleeve they cry foul. From the sounds of it, they like the status quo with the UN and don't want to change anything. Nevermind the Oil for Food scandal that resulted on a couple slaps on the wrists. We need somebody who can kick some ass and not even bother to take names at the UN to clean up the place. It's well known that the UN is a conglomerate of US-hating diplomats that want to stick it to us every chance they get. We need to send somebody who will stick it back to them with gusto.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Exchange rate vs price of gas

this is an audio post - click to play

It just occurred to me a while ago that the price of oil, and therefore gasoline, is higher as a result of the devaluation of the dollar on top of higher demand. I need to look for information to support this idea.

Minuteman Setbacks

The Minutemen have a setback in the effort to guard the border here in the Rio Grande Valley. According to Cari Hammerstrom, and other writers, there is a divide amongst the members who were forming the Minuteman group here in Texas. Apparently, there are some interested in simply protecting the border for the security of our country and there are those motivated by racist tendencies. Chris Simcox, the national organizer of the Minutemen has been VERY careful not to allow gun crazy wackos and racists into the organization. He knows that such members can be counterproductive to gaining acceptance by the rest of the country. In this article, there is the following section:
Hidalgo County Democratic Party chairman Juan Maldonado said the party does not
condone the actions of the Brown Berets; however, because the group asked him
for a platform, he agreed to let them speak at the press conference.
Riiigght. Saddam Hussein didn't tell terrorists to attack the U.S., but he did provide them safe haven and healthcare. Juan Maldonado wants to give them a place to operate but doesn't want to be associated with them. Come on, get real.

Then there is this

At the end of the press conference, Maldonado was the first to sign a
petition denouncing the border watchers. The Democratic Party plans to send the
petition to Gov. Rick Perry to get him to do the same.

Hmmm.. He doesn't support them or condone their actions, but he will take their signatures for their petition.

And then, Ernesto Herrera says "It isn’t in the scope of the private citizen to do the job of the government." So, what is the government doing? The Minutemen are doing this because the goverment isn't doing its job.

The dumbest thing is "When will they begin patrolling the Canadian border?" asked Juanita Valdez-Cox, state director of La Union del Pueblo Entero. Geez, what a question. There is no question that Texas is a big state. Juanita, I hate to point this out, but we don't have a Texas-Canada border. Why would a Texas chapter recruit to keep our state Canadian free?

This is the sort of thing that is making the Democrats go down in Texas and nationwide. They keep catering to the vociferous fringe groups. The Dems are beholden to a conglomeration of special interests that don't have too much money, not much in common, besides a hate of traditional values, and have a sympathetic ear of the press to blackmail any dissenter with bad press. The Dems need to develop some backbone and not cowtow to these people unless they are aiming to lose more and more elections.


Juan Maldonado refused to defend his actions on O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs. See this article. Andale chiquito!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mission to McAllen Bike Ride

I rode from Mayberry Road in Mission to Confetti and China Wok in McAllen and back, today. I departed at 4:16 and made it to Confetti for some papers and then dropped them off at China Wok by 5:50. It took so long because I chose to ride cross country through abandoned roads and fields. I was also riding into the wind. That was tough. I almost gave up on Nolana halfway between Ware and 29th St in McAllen. Then, I got a taste of riding on the pavement. That just lifted my spirits and I hauled butt to Confetti, where I refilled my camelback with water. I got ice at the restaurant. I left China Wok at 5:50 and arrived at my apartment at 6:45. On the way back, I stuck to the pavement. That made all the difference. It also helped to have the wind to my back.

Next trip, I will be headed from Mayberry to the Mission bike trail on Conway. I will see if anybody wants to tag along.

Now what?

So, I've started another blog. Now what? I was thinking about doing something like a web directory, but there aren't enough Mission sites to make it useful. I thought about writing news, but I'm not really a journalist in any shape or form. I suppose I could write reviews or highlights about businesses and attractions in Mission. That seems like a useful thing to do. I could be a one-man Mission promoter. I think that's what I'll do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Added RSS Calendar

I added an RSS calendar to the reunion sites. It will keep track of events in the Valley. This should keep members visiting for information. It will also keep me informed of dates.

Virgin Mobile vs T-Mobile

I have decided to switch from T-Mobile prepaid phone service to Virgin Mobile. I use about 300 minutes per month on personal calls. I have a work phone that gets free pcs to pcs. I try not to use it for personal calls because I don't like to have personal numbers on the bill, which my boss sees and because we have a combined minute pool.

T-Mobile To Go Prepaid Rates
$10 card @ 50 minutes = 20 cents/minute
$25 card @ 150 minutes = 17 cents/minute
$50 card @ 460 minutes = 11 cents/minute
$100 card @ 1000 minutes = 10 cents/minute
At 300 minutes, I am spending about $51/month using $25 refills.
At 300 minutes, I would spend about $33/month using the $50 refills.

Virgin Mobile Rates
Plan 1: 25 cents/minute for first 10 minutes each day. 10 cents/minute after that.
Plan 2: 35 cents/day and 10 cents/minute.
Plan 3: $29.99 for 150 anytime/150 nights and weekends (nw). Add $10 for 100 more anytime/350 nw. Add $10 for 100 more anytime/500 nw.
At 300 minutes, I would spend about $30/month + $10 in the daily 35 cent fee for a total of $40/month.

When I reload my T-Mobile, I usually get the $25 refill or the $10 refill. Cashflow wise, it is probably better to get the $50 refill as your rate goes down significantly from 17 cents to 11 cents. The $100 refill doesn't decrease your cost enough to justify tying up that much cash. As you can see, I would save more money buying the $50 T-Mobile refills, but I rarely have $50 at once. With Virgin, my refills have gone down from $25 to $20. On top of that, I immediately get the 10 cent rate versus T-Mobile's $100 refill requirement to get that rate.

Friend Network Sites

There are several sites to which I belong where you can meet people and network. I am adding the links to all of them here. These sites are important for me to be "findable" so that I can get info for the reunion sites, MissionHSReunion and RGVReunions.
Yahoo 360

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bike Riding

I went bike riding today. We went from Nikki Rowe to the City of Mission water reservoir on the North side and back. Both Amanda and I haven't biked in a while, so we took it easy. We will probably feel sore tomorrow. I will take a ride from home to Confetti tomorrow to see how long the ride takes. Perhaps I can bike to work daily.

The path we took from McAllen to Mission was along a canal. The double track is lined by trees on both sides, so you can sort of make the illusion of being on a country dirt road. The whole time, we were running parallel to FM 495 by about a quarter mile.

There are no mountains in the RGV, but we do have dirt roads where cars hardly travel. This makes for good biking trails.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Legislation the Passed and Failed

Here is a list of the legislation that passed and failed during the first Texas Legislature special session. The governor immediately called a second special session in hopes that the legislature would finish the work that was in progress.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Saturday, July 16, 2005

After Midnight at Barnes and Noble

this is an audio post - click to play
Report right after Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince goes on sale. We did not leave the store until 1:24 AM. We had a fun time. Tomorrow, Tien will not be visible all day. Alma already started reading. She was complaining earlier about being awake since 6 AM.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Half an Hour Before Midnight

this is an audio post - click to play
A quick report half an hour before midnight while standing in line at McAllen Barnes and Noble's Starbucks.

Arrival at Barnes and Noble

this is an audio post - click to play
After doing the rounds, I arrive at Barnes and Noble to meet Alma, Tien, and Magnus at the Harry Potter Midnight release celebration.

Driving in the Storm

this is an audio post - click to play
Tonight, I saw something I'd never seen before while doing the rounds. We finally got some good rain.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

First Audioblog

this is an audio post - click to play

I was just testing out the audioblogger and have made my first audioblog. Sounds clearer than I thought it would.

I'm a Pundit

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Who Represents Me?

The Texas State Capitol has a website that can tell you who your representatives in Congress are. Simply click on the link that says "Whow represents me?" In the next page, enter your physical address. Then, the next page will give you a list of your reps.

Here is who represents me:
Hidalgo County-Precinct 0101

Texas U.S. Representative

Phone: (202) 225-4865
State District Offices

Texas State Senator

Capitol Office: CAP 3S.3
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0120
District Address: 612 Nolana, Suite 410 B
McAllen, TX 78504
District Phone: (956) 972-1841
State District Offices

Texas State Representative

Capitol Office: EXT E2.302
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0578
District Address: P.O. BOx 1416
McAllen, TX 78504
District Phone: (956) 686-5501

Texas State Board of Education Members

District Address:

Pot-Flavored Candy

It seems odd that the legislature wants to ban a candy. How about banning non-alcoholic beer. Obviously, drinking a non-alcoholic beverage is a gateway to abusing the real thing at a later age. While they are at it, playing with dolls leads to teenage pregnancy. I bet that a large number of teenage girls who played with dolls went and had children. We should get rid of Barbie and all her kind.

Best Prepaid Phone Deal

I've done a study of all the prepaid phones out there. I have discovered that the two best prepaid phone deals available are the T-Mobile prepaid and the Virgin Mobile services. At first they were tied. Alma, my wife, and I are currently using the T-mobile prepaid service. Recently, however, Virgin has moved ahead as far as the prepaid services go. Whereas T-Mobile To Go has a single prepaid plan, Virgin Mobile has 3 different plans to fit your needs. I think that we will be switching to Virgin soon unless T-mobile comes up with better rates.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Social Security Article Progress

I did some work on my social security article tonight. I've been meaning to put some work into it but put it off. I've got the basic structure and arguments, just need to flesh it out and add references.

The basic idea is to convince people my age to support the president's social security reform initiative. Older people are a lost cause. No way in hell they are going to give up their "entitlement" for us. They bore the cost of raising us, so we need to foot the bill for their retirement. Screw that. It's not comparable. They raised us for 20 years and we have to pay for 30 or 40 years? Nevermind that they have had 40+ years to make non-social security preparations.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Your Property Will Still Be Yours

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to allow eminent domain to separate land owners from their property for private commercial use to increase a city's tax revenue will be counterbalanced by the Texas legislature's recent special session. Gov. Rick "Goodhair" Perry has made this issue a part of the "call". This should be a slam-dunk law for the Texas legislature to pass.

The reason that this law is required is because government has always had the right to take your property for public use when they need to build a road or other public work. It was never technically possible for a private citizen or commercial entity to strong-arm another owner who would not otherwise sell, to give up their land. Of course, with good connections and other tactics, it could and probably did happen in the past. The Supreme Court ruling gave such tactics the green light. At first, it seems like this was a bad ruling. However, this is a great thing to have happened for those supporters of states' rights. The ruling allows eminent domain for commercial use in only those states that don't prohibit it. So it essentially sent the problem back to the states to hammer out on their own.

More on Sharyland Explosion

Here is a link to KRGV's story on the Sharyland High School field house explostion.

Sharyland High School Field House Explosion

I drove by Sharyland High School this morning. There were a few fire trucks around. The roof on the south side of the field house was blown off early this morning before students arrived. The field house roof had a gaping hole with twisted sheet metal and insulation around the edges. Luckily nobody was hurt. No cause is known yet, but in a field house in the Rio Grande Valley, the only possible cause would be a gas leak of some sort for the 2 or 3 days of cold weather we get per year.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Not much today

I listed a couple items on ebay today. Tweaked some RSS settings for my and Alma's blogs through Joined up at Also worked at a free wiki I found at It's the easiest, simplest wiki I have found so far. I also installed a wiki at and added some info. Took a looong nap this afternoon with Magnus. He's gonna be awake for a long time tonight. He's full of energy right now. Tomorrow, I work 10 to 3.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dead ant, dead ant . . .

The Amdro did not seem to be working. I know it is, but I'm impatient. We still had some ants the night after the Amdro, they came out in full force. It's disturbing to see them crawling around the kitchen counter, but it is a necessary inconvenience. They will be dead next week. ALL OF THEM!

I'm tempted to spread the Amdro outside the apartment complex to prevent another colony from moving in.

Friday, July 08, 2005

We have ants

Our apartment at Pueblo de Paz has ants. We complained last year and nothing happened. The manager told us that we needed to keep the kitchen clean. Nevermind that we were not home often enough to cook. Winter came and the ants went dormant.

This summer they are back. We had the small brown ants last year. Now we have the black ants that sting pretty bad. They are crawling out of a light switch by the kitchen sink. Alma had enough of it and asked me to get some bait. We've used Amdro in the past to get rid of ant mounds. So, I've put some Amdro on the counter near the light switch. The ants are all over it, they came out in droves. Little do they know that they will all be dead in a few days. I feel so evil. :D

London Bombings

It was sad to find out today that London was hit by 4 bombs. As is all over the news, there were about 40 known casualties and about 700 injured. The bombs were placed in 3 trains and 1 bus. It appears that the bombs were set with timers so that the explosions would coincide. So far, Al Quaeda, or a european version, seems to be the responsible party for the destruction.

I am glad that British PM Tony Blair is determined even more to root out this evil breed of people. There are leaders such as Tony Blair, G. W. Bush, and Spain's Jose Maria Aznar. It is encouraging to see the unity that the British are showing. Ken Livingston, Mayor of the City of London has said:
Nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.

It is encouraging to see the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The English know adversity, having suffered plenty of it in World War II. I have spoken to some WWII generation Brits who have told me about their experience during those times. Yes, they were scared. Yes, they worried. The daily bombings did not stop them from going about their lives. They took all the precaution and care necessary to be able to carry out their daily business. It was KBO, keep buggering on.

In the case of Al Quaeda, it is freedom that they fight against. They want to eradicate any beliefs that are different from theirs. They fight us because we offer the most freedom. They fight the UK because they have freedom. They fight the Spanish because Spain has freedom. They fight the Iraqis because the Iraqis SEEK freedom. It is difficult to understand how anybody in this country could defend such intolerance.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Terrible Irony

It really bothers me that I want to be left alone most of the time. At the same time, I like doing stuff for people. I like doing stuff for people without being asked, just for the sake of helping. I don't mind giving of my time, energy, and talent to get things done. Once it becomes a demand, as in it being required of me, I don't want to do it. I begin to despise the work and don't want to waste the time, energy, or talent to get it done.

This is something I have to fight daily. I would enjoy working if it was volunteer work. The problem is that I need to make money to pay the bills. It's the obligation that is bothersome. This attitude does not fit into a leadership position. If I am obligated to work, I prefer a position of leadership. The problem is that the leadership job requires constant demands all the time. Everybody wants your opinion, or wants you to make a decision. You can't let it get to you. Yet it does get to me at times. I recently told Alma that "everybody wants a piece of me." The frustration builds unless I get some alone time. Lots of alone time. Time to think about what I will do when I am back with everybody again.

Geez, what a night

I found out today that police can't arrest somebody, for their own protection, for wanting to kill themselves. The person has to specifically state that he or she wants to kill him or herself. If the person alludes to the act, it is not sufficient.

I think I helped somebody tonight. I may, however, have lost a friend. Screw it, I wasn't about to go around thinking that maybe I could have done something. I did something.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yahoo's 360

I just found out that Yahoo! has just started a Myspace knockoff at for all users. I've checked it out, pretty smooth. I had been using to post my perspective and RGV Life. Now, I have a Yahoo blog at

My goal has always been to promote my reunion sites. Now I have another tool at my disposal.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


I've been playing around with one of those online networking sites, It's a great way to find people and hook keep in touch with friends and then find friends of friends. It's cool how you can network. It's a real example of six degrees of separation. You can visit my profile at to find my friends and go from there.

My co-worker, Krystal, just got on and is enjoying it. She already has more friends than I do. I am sad.