Sunny Days

Categories: Old Pueblo
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: July 18, 2016

I woke up in the middle of the night to hear the sort of good, loud storm that is always welcome for desert dwellers. As long as it doesn’t bring a micro-burst that rips off the roof (yes, it happened in my complex once), I’m okay with it. On with the deluge, Tlaloc.

But it happened again. I woke up in the morning and caught a cloudless sky. Yes, the ground was soaked. A glance up, however, showed no evidence of the night time storm. Plus, it was real hot. And no, not a dry heat.

It always disappoints me.

It’s a Tucson thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Belated Father’s Day post

Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: June 20, 2016

As many of you know, my dad was in the Air Force for long enough to retire as a Chief Master Sergeant. He worked in life support, which put him in charge of making sure that planes were properly equipped should a pilot have to eject, and he also trained pilots in survival techniques. He was also involved in accident investigations and, when he was stationed in Southeast Asia, rescue. His job was basically to make sure that our pilots survived.
I don’t hear him take offense at slights about his military career, and he doesn’t exhibit excess pride over it. For example, he casually gave me an A-10 model one day. It sits on my desk at work. He d35600_429465131788_5360695_nidn’t tell me for years how he got it. He packed the first life support kit in an A-10, and Fairchild Aviation presented him with it. No big deal, he acted like.

Sometimes, a bit of that pride he had in his former career comes through.

His movie watching, like many ex-military people I’m sure, is an exercise in finding mistakes. Odd combinations of insignia, improper protocol, bad terminology: he’ll see it all instantly and let everyone know. But, he was particularly incensed one day when I caught a bit of 2008’s Iron Man with him. There’s a scene when Shellhead collides with an F-22 and the pilot ejects. Sure enough, chute fails and the pilot has to be bailed out by Iron Man.

This sent him into a rant. Why does the chute seem to always fail in movies, he said. He never saw that happen. He’d never admit it, but he talked as though his own career and professionalism was called into question. It pissed him off.

It seems he had the right to be.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Ali

Categories: Rumination
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: June 4, 2016

I’ve been reading a lot of quickie tributes to Mohammad Ali, and many of them talk about how difficult it is to imagine what a big deal Ali was in those days. One big reason is that boxing isn’t the cultural force it was when Ali was in his prime. My first years of being aware of the world around me came after many of the controversies around him subsided. He even had a Saturday morning cartoon by that point. It also came after the peak of his powers. That didn’t stop us from rooting for him. We had to, he was the greatest, right?

I can’t remember if we actually watched the Spinks fight at the house (my dad was a boxing fan), but I knew the result and we talked about it the next day at school. We were in third grade, so we weren’t the most keen analysts. We were just ticked off that someone would dare beat Ali.

I didn’t know what a divisive figure he was until later. I knew he was Muslim (the first one I was aware of). I just thought of him as a hero. Of course, as I grew up, I learned that many of those things that made folks uncomfortable with him made him even more of a hero.

At the Democratic Convention in 1992, Ali appeared at an event for Martin Luther King III, who was running for office that year. I couldn’t get in, the place was packed. I don’t think all those people were there to see MLK’s kid.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Money Laundering

Categories: Random Miscelany
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 10, 2016

I get just a bit giddy when I open up the washing machine and find that money came loose from my pockets and is there for me to discover like a long lost treasure.

Sure it was only three pennies, but they are really shiny.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

In Vyno Veritas

Categories: Random Miscelany
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: March 1, 2016

There is a Walgreens near where I work and I stop in often to get a bottle of juice or snacks for the office. There is an older guy there, who I assumed was from Eastern Europe, whose name tag reads “Vyno.”

Walgreens uses the tag line “Be Well.” You’ll sometimes hear employees saying that to you on the way out, and it can come off as one of those silly things said because the employees are instructed to. There is a way Vyno says it that sounds so sincere. Be well? Why thank you, I feel better already.

I was checking out yesterday and I decided to ask him, “Where are you from?”

“Armenia, but I grew up in France,” he said. “I worked in the Persian Gulf for years. I speak six languages.”

“Is Vyno an Armenian name?”

“No…I will tell you the story,” he said. He wanted to make sure that change was counted right and business was taken care of before chatting more.

He pointed to his name tag.

“‘V’ is the first letter of my first name. ‘Y’ is the first letter of my last name. ‘No’ is to remind me never to say no to customers,” he said.

I never did ask him what his real name is.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

This is all on me

Categories: Snarky Complaints
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: October 7, 2015

I get a couple of e-mails a week saying that if I just sign an online petition or send five bucks, I could “end Citizens United.” Wow. Who knew it was so easy?

I guess it’s my fault that the ruling still stands, eh?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Not to excuse the Donald, but…

Categories: Rumination
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: September 21, 2015

A guy called me today at the office to inform me of a crime spree I hadn’t yet been aware of: Mexicans, he said, are going into our hospitals and stealing babies.

The method of theft is to hide the babies in oversized purses (he didn’t say “oversized,” but it’s the only way this would work, right?) and make an unobtrusive getaway.

“They are just putting them in purses and they walk right out,” he said.

I suppose I could have asked him for details of this scheme. Heck, it might have been fun. Is this organized or some sort of leaderless resistance to perceived Anglo tyranny? What do they do with the babies? How do they have room for stolen babies with so many “anchor babies” that they have just to collect welfare? How is Raúl Grijalva involved in this?

I didn’t do that. Instead, I thanked him and assured him that the councilmember will give this news all the attention it deserves.

The other day, I was on a panel at a forum on issues facing the elderly. A woman I wasn’t sure I recognized got up and started to talk about fraud being committed against older folks. Then, things turned more sinister when she started talking about Mexicans being the main perpetrator of this. It was about then that I recognized her as a woman that rants at mayor and council meetings about Aztlan (she thinks that’s an organized group rather than a concept of aging Chicano activists, apparently) and the Catholic Church plotting to wreck America in some way or another. Sure enough, that’s the direction she went.

Even if she had a marginally sane point, she went on way too long. I don’t know why the person holding her mike didn’t snatch it away and give her a curt “Thank you.”

Eventually, she finished. I looked over at the fire chief, who was also on the panel, and he looked at me, both of us with a silent, “You want to take this one?”

The person holding the mike looked over at the panel and said “Do any of you have anything to say?”

I was thinking of mentioning my time in MEChA (Aztlan was part of our name, after all) and letting her know that most of our time was spent raising money for scholarships and get togethers at South Tucson restaurants. I thought better of it.

Everyone else had the same idea. It was a mix of motives: the impossibility of addressing her bizarre allegations and the hope that silence was the best answer.

Really, confronting her would have wrecked the whole event. Instead of having what could have ended up a screaming match and a lone bozo considering herself a martyr to free expression and her rather twisted version of the truth, we ignored the comments and talked about things like hearing aids, transportation issues for people who no longer drive and senior poverty. Basically, we got to talk about what we showed up to talk about.

It’s a tough line to draw. The loudmouth uncle shows up at a family gathering and talks about what the queers are doing to our precious bodily fluids and you stop yourself because the confrontation might be uglier than what was being said. You wave and say a nice hello when walking by the house with the confederate flag and the “Hands off, Barack” sign.

Of course, like everything in politics this Summer and Fall, this brings us to Donald Trump. None of this excuses Trump, who seemed to be showing agreement with the ridiculous comments that a man made at his “town hall” meeting last week. Civility doesn’t mean saying “right on” to every hateful thing somebody says. Could Trump have just said “next question”? Yeah, probably. I think his response says that he’s now being led around by the monster he’s created.

How are the rest of us supposed to handle nonsense like this? I try my best to confront when I can. “Dude, when you say spick, you are talking about my mom,” is among my favorites. One of the reasons we’ve come so far over the last fifty years or so is because plenty of people have said, “Hey, that’s not cool.” Still, this can end up being a big game of whack-a-mole: we spend all our time finding outrage and we’re left with little time to get the important work in front of us done. Maybe that’s the strategy of the Trumps of the world.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Calling Alanis…or Lalo…

Categories: Old Pueblo
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: September 16, 2015

If you are on the hunt for irony, check this gem from TCC Today:

On September 8, 2015, the Tucson Community Center (TCC) Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the National Level of Significance!

-sigh-

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

“Unlike some people I can name…”

Categories: Random Miscelany
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: July 18, 2015

The National Writers Union wanted a capsule bio from me to distribute at next month’s delegate assembly. I quickly did one up and sent it. The response was came back just as quickly.

Perfect. You are clearly a professional writer who can write to specifications – and do so quickly. Thanks – Barbara Beckwith

Nice to hear, but I wonder if it also means that she gets a bit frustrated trying to get the others in the group to respond on deadline.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Find the Pizza!

Categories: Snarky Complaints
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: June 10, 2015

Capcha has always irritated me, although I understand its purpose. As long as there are jackasses who somehow manage to make a living by setting up phony baloney sites and posting hundreds of spam messages, we’ll need it.

The thing that has bugged me is that the “type what you see” words sometimes include easily confused characters like ones or o’s. How can I figure that out, especially since you guys oh so cleverly warped it?

Anyway, they have a new thing. Capcha will put up a quiz like this:

Capcha

I’ve also seen “Find the pizza!” and “Find the salad!” I don’t know if it’s an improvement or not. I guess it will stick until some guy in Belarus cracks it so he can make a dummy porn bot account.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

«page 1 of 91
Welcome , today is Thursday, July 28, 2016