Sunday, March 28

Slap Happy

Spring's annual sacrament sends me reeling,
Rolling, landing in a face-slapped sprawl
Among parading efflorescence.
Blessed shock treatment for a wintry soul.

Wednesday, March 24

Paso Police Stuff

On the light side:

March 4, 2:28 p.m. Subject running up the street making squeaky noises
with his shoes, annoying reporting party. When reporting party approached
him, he threatened reporting party.

Feb. 28, 9:59 p.m. Sixty year old female in lingerie walking up and down
driveway talking to herself. Officer advised female was on phone.

March 5, 8:16 p.m. Approximately ten juveniles were in the front lobby
entrance of the Public Safety [police and fire] building. The juveniles stated
they wanted to pray for the prisoners in jail. The group was let into the lobby
and prayed.

March 6, 8:30 a.m. Report of a suspicious male subject, described as a
blond man wearing an army jacket and a backpack. He appeared to be
fighting with himself.

That's four items out of about 125 that I perused in the Press. You
don't want to hear the others. Pray for Paso's police officers and other
safety workers. It can't be any fun dealing with the dark side.

Paso Thanks the Governator

Congratulations to Paso Mayor Frank Meecham, his wife and others for surprising
the folks in Sacramento (especially Arnold) with a framed Thank You for
the governor's help following the December earthquake. Gov. S. was duly impressed
with the gesture, shocked that anyone would break from the 'thankless' norm.

Sunday, March 21

The Underdog Thing

It's the underdog thing. The gut-wrenching hunger for a major
upset. The lion-roaring desire to see the mouse play the man.
The hope that your David is going to win against their Goliath.

I remember the dropped-jaw reaction to my team going
to the finals in 1967. The unheard of UTEP. That's El Paso back
in the 60's when coach Haskins nurtured a bunch of nobodies to
become the greats that spring.

This year's players include more of the little guys in another home
team, the UOP Tigers from Stockton, CA. After upsetting Providence,
they're now playing Kansas with 1 minute to go. Getting kicked a bit.
Behind 18 points. But who cares if they lose. Not me. They made it this
far and there are no regrets. Not after 30+ years of trying to make it
and getting this far.

God says the angels in heaven rejoice when someone repents and
trusts in Christ for salvation. The ultimate underdog victory.

Sunday, March 14

Losing $1 Million

The greatest desert billing of the century: Design an off-road vehicle that is
autonomously remote-controlled. Use infra-red technology, sonar, video,
whatever you want. All you have to do is maintain its life over 140 miles of
rock and roll desert in southern California and Nevada. Then sit back and
enjoy your greatly deserved wealth.

A week ago or so, there were at least 25 entries, including a robot motorcycle.
This particular entry crashed 150 times in tests and was disqualified before the
race. Others were pared, as well, so at the official start Saturday only 13 entries
competed for the title of desert robot champ.

This 'project' was sponsored by the Pentagon, paid for by you and me, and was
a dismal failure. Most of the vehicles broke down within eye-shot of the starting
line. A few made it a few more miles. One of them completed seven before its wheels
got stuck on an 'obstacle', kept spinning and caught on fire. OOOOOKKKAAAAYYY!

And where are we now? Back to the brainstorming backyard of roboteering
engineering. Back to trying for 14 miles next year.

I want to personally thank all of you who made entries, lost, and saved me a few
dollars in taxes. On the other hand, I'll save a lot more as soon as you learn how
we can fight a personnel-free war.

Saturday, March 13

Mixing It Up In The Cul-de-Sac

Few places compare to our cul-de-sac nation.
One nation divisible by country of origin.
One nation indivisible by choice.
Today's birthday party next door blended both
Mexican and American traditions: party favors,
Bingo, three pinatas, carrot cake, inflated 'castle'
bouncer, south of the border dishes, American
sandwiches. Lots of Spanish spoken as relatives
arrived from Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

I'm the white guy, along with Andy and his red-
haired American Irish wife, Shannon. Foday came
over to enjoy our company. He's from a country in
West Africa. Great English accent. Tang and his wife
and boy came from across the street, where three
families live. Vietnamese. Miguel, a newcomer to
the neighborhood joined us from down on the
corner. The Filipino and Puerto Rican families
didn't come. Probably because they don't have any
young kids.

So English was the second language, but that's okay.
Enjoying each other was the first.

Monday, March 8

Ann Coulter's Passion

Although I don't endorse the movie, Gibson's The Passion has
certainly promoted a nation-wide banging of the keyboards. Ann Coulter's recent
column reveals the shallowness of those political types who equate Jesus with
the meek and milktoasted guy who went around Israel saying nice things all the
time. She says:

"In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It." "

Here's the whole article:

Saturday, March 6

Hidalgo Hype

Everyone is making a big deal about Frank T. Hopkins' bio
about his life adventures. Hopefully, the effort (and there
has been MUCH of it) to debunk the 'legend' won't give the
boot to these fabrications. If nothing else, Hopkins was a
great storyteller, the John Grisham of his day (1930's), giving the
folks exactly what they wanted --- pure entertainment.

I'm not excusing his sin of lying and stretching the
truth. We'll all give account to God for each and every word
we say ("But I say unto you, That every idle word that men
shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of
judgment." --- Jesus). Too bad Frank felt compelled to fool
the public just to make a name for himself.

Anyway, we've just seen the movie. Pretty good
scriptwriting, great music, nice photography, superb
costuming, and wonderful acting EXCEPT for the main character,
whose cardboard lines and presentation probably ruin it for
a lot of viewers. The storyline is predictable, but engaging.
Overall, I would raise the 1-star rating to 3 if you're one who
roots for the underdog, doesn't like gratuitous sex or
swearing, and loves a good horse race. This movie grabbed
me much more than Seabiscuit.

True Fibs

Today we'll meander a few blocks to the theatre so wifie can
see the new movie, Hidalgo. Says it's based on a true story.
OOOOKKKAAAYYY. According to the History Channel, all efforts
were made to track down the truth of this adventure.
All dead ends. Nothing could be substantiated.

When you see "Based on a True Story" figure in the poetic license.

Ditto "The Passion of the Christ." This story is loosely based on
the Bible and more exactly based on the book by Anne Catherine
Emmerich. This Roman Catholic nun's 18th century visions and
apparitions led her to write "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord
Jesus Christ," which Mel Gibson venerates.
Many of the extra-biblical scenes and dialogue originated
from this book. Please do your homework before seeing or giving
wholehearted approval of this movie.

The Perfect P & S

My eyes automatically scan for black plastic.
Flea market cacophony blares its wares.
I don't like paying over $3 for a point and shoot.
Most of them don't work, don't work well, or have lousy lenses.

But today's search was worth it:
An 80's vintage Nikon One Touch in almost mint condition. $3.
Cleaned it up, double-A'd it, popped in ASA 200 and started shooting.
Sounds like a tank grinding away in a WWII documentary.

Looked online for a free manual, but have to pay about $10.
No way. I've figured it out on my own anyway.
I especially like the feature of pre-focusing on something,
freezing the focus, composing, then shooting.
Reviews online rate its lens as sharper than most 2004 cameras.

We'll see after the first roll is drugstored for me.

Tuesday, March 2


More voting stuff today.
Let's save America in the voting booth.
Let's return to fiscal sanity and the moral high ground.
Let's throw more money down the black holes
And feel like we've given a little extra at church.

We just don't get it.

We'd all be rich if we kept just ONE law:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Printer's Hands

These are a printer's hands ---
Brothers to bark and stone,
Sisters to papered sand,
Strangers to monochrome.

These are a printer's hands ---
Turning the tulip's pose,
Tracing the lily's bands,
Teasing a morning rose.