Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday morning thoughts

Cloudy and cool, with the possibility of rain tomorrow. Just finished my coffee, in a quiet house.

Saw Garrison Keillor at the zoo last night. Sadly, most of his voice-crew was not with him, so it was mostly a msic show, but the band, as usual, was great.

The News from Lake Wobegon segment was a very familiar rehash of long-told stories - nothing new for veteran listeners. Still, it was nice seeing him in person, and, unlike any other zoo concert, he wandered out into the crowd.

But that's not what's on my mind this morning.

I just read a web piece about 'why americans mistrust Islam'. All I can think about is how it was for Jews throughout history, when you never knew if the non-Jew you just met would be a bigot when your identity came up.

Same with blacks - would the next casual encounter be hostile? Now it is Muslims.

They are the Feared Outsider of these times. Perpetually on guard for the sudden insult or ignorant stereotype.

And Glenn Beck's crowd wants to 'restore honor'. I can think of several areas where this clan could begin.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

garden update

Picking zucchini and the first tomatoes are turning orange (finally).

Also, I began digging potatoes. Here is the potato patch back in March, with the seed potatoes laid out.

Here is the plot now - I dug out the first 3 feet (of a 12 foot patch).

Here are some of the potatoes, and the onions that I dug out yesterday. Lots more potatoes to come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hint: rhymes with 'Reason'

Those who are whipping up the masses into anti-Islamic hysteria, and those who are really into it (with signs, marches, and indignant, sanctimonious speeches) are providing convincing video to the manipulators on the other side, who now have great material for their recruiting posters, 'proving' that Americans are indeed at war with Islam.

So, in a twisted way, can't we state that the anti-NYC cultural center (I refuse to call it by its 'Death Panel' moniker) folks are giving 'aid and comfort to the enemy'? Ironic, no?

Once again, our profound national ignorance plays right into Osama's hands, and this time, they didn't even have to have any planning meetings - it just happened.

By the way, NPR reports this morning a new poll showing that a giant rise in the % of Amurikans now either believe the President is a Muslim, or are 'not sure'. Very sad.

Maybe, next year, Truth in Advertising rules will require them to change the name of the show to 'Are you smarter than a 2nd Grader?'.

UPDATE: for example

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

George W Bush - just a coward or something more sinister?

So Bush's people say he has 'no comment' on the Imam at the center of the phony NYC Islamic Center nonsense. If he had any intellectual honesty....wait, what was I thinking?

For those of you not keeping score, that Imam was picked by the Bush administration to be a moderate force in dealing with other islamic groups, and, under Bush, he had full FBI clearance.

One can only assume that his handlers suggested he stay out of the fracas, in order to let events play out the way they are already trending (i.e. 'Some People Say that Allah hates Jesus').

Monday, August 16, 2010

I am so frickin' frustrated


Once again, they have let the right-wing fog-machine determine the national discourse, and manipulate the meme to make Democrats bend to a totally-manufactured 'national outrage'.

This, from the 'Read the Constitution' folks.

I give up.

There is no hope.

Our Republic is doomed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Close to mexico

Sitting in the El Paso airport, waiting to board the first flight, to 110 degree Phoenix.

I am looking out the window to the south, where I clearly see the barrios of Juarez, going up the hills on the Other Side of the pretty narrow Rio Grande.

On the freeway coming in from the north, you come quite close to the modest river, with at least one stretch guarded by an industrial-strength metal fence.

Just a quick plane-change in Phoenix, then on to 98 degree Portland, where KG, friends, music and a cold beer wait.

Friday, August 13, 2010

three hours later...

I found El Comedor without any problem, after taking a quick look at the historic Mesilla plaza, which I visited some years ago (it hadn't changed much). Unfortunately, I had hoped to have a look inside the church, but, alas, it was locked.

As I mentioned, El Comedor was reviewed pretty favorably by TripAdvisor. It certainly had the feel of a small, family place. The service was very quick, and the menu presented many tempting things. I wanted to sample several things, so I had to order the combination plate.

There was a Taco de Pastor, an enchilada de pollo, a chili rellano, a serving of chili verde, the expected beans and rice, and a big flour tortilla (I barely touched the salsa and home-made chips).

Everything was pretty good, and it was a challenge to finish it all (I rise to all challenges). The clear winner: the chili verde. It was spicy and very flavorful. I could have made a meal just with that.

There was also a beer. Total: about $15.

Now, I am back in my motel room for one more night, watching Rachel on MSNBC. Maybe I'll see if there's a movie on TV. The swimming pool is still open for another hour. So many choices.

Heading home tomorrow. No complaints.

Does it get any better?

I finished my three days of intensive work with my two project teams here in Las Cruces, and am now back in the Ramada, enjoying my $3 margarita.

The work week is over. It was very good.

I did some web research, and believe I will soon head to a restaurant that TripAdvisor says is the best Mexican in town. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

amazing desert lightning in New Mexico

Finished my 2nd day of meetings, down here in Las Cruces. It's all going very well, with lots of decisions being made and my To-Do list growing hourly.

I stepped out of the motel to walk over to the burger place across the street (WhatABurger) to get a chocolate shake. There were dramatic clouds and setting sun, with frequent, classic, forked lightning flashes illuminating the sky to the south.

Not sure I'd love to live here, but it sure is different from western Oregon, and I can see the appeal!

Tomorrow is the final day of meetings with my project teams, then back home on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

having it both ways

So the teabaggers keep saying they just want to 'return to the Constitution'. I even saw a bumper-sticker the other day, that said 'I vote the Constitution.'

I assume that's a euphemism for 'Obama is not the President.'

Well, with all the right-wing blather about 'activist judges' interpreting the Constitution, instead of simply following its straightforward language, I have to laugh (uncomfortably) at their recent jibes at the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to anyone born here.

You can't have it both ways - either we follow the literal sacred words of the Founding Fathers (where the amendment is clear) or you admit that times change and interpretation is necessary, to adjust to current realities (which demolishes their pathetic argument that 'the Constitution does not address Gay Marriage').

Of course, intellectual consistency is for oxymorons.

Best wishes to Christopher Hitchens, as he nears the End.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

transition days

spent yesterday with Karen and guests working in the yard, weeding, mowing, pruning, and picking.

then out to dinner at Seasons and Regions. Could not finish the 2nd pint of IPA.

will visit a local client tomorrow, then pack for Tuesday departure.

Lying in bed this morning before getting up - missing my dog.

Friday, August 06, 2010

back from the beach

two weeks in Manzanita with friends and family just went by.

now to pick up the pieces of my Portland life, before flying to New Mexico on Tuesday.

what did you expect?