Saturday, April 29, 2006

Immigration protest of May 1

The more this issue comes up, the more that they don't change my mind on the issue. My opinion is still the same: the folks who are here illegally should work on their legal status before they can talk about their rights in this country. The issue of amnesty is frequently brought up, and if, by that, they mean "grant them citizenship simply because they happen to be in this country at this certain date", then I think that from a political standpoint, it's going to hurt whoever supports it --especially politicians. I think that the best thing that should be done is the federal government to declare a grace period of a certain amount of time (perhaps 3 or 4 months) in which any person here illegally will be made immune from prosecution so long as they declare their intent to become citizens of the U.S. and that they start the process of becoming a citizen.

The argument frequently coming from pro-amnesty groups is that this nation is made up of immigrants, so this is only a continuation of that tradition. Not even the Sean Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs deny this, and they've both said that it's not immigration that they have a problem with, it's that these folks are here illegally and they want to be rewarded for it. And for those who want to talk about how the crew of the Mayflower came here without asking the native population whether they could stay, I know how the conservatives will answer this. They will say that this was before the country of the U.S.A. came into existence, and that these were also decisions made from a previous time, so the U.S. and today's citizens can't be held accountable for the decisions made from a previous time and for which they had no control over (in other words, "Should the sins of the father be payed by the son?"). I know that this will be their response, so anyone wanting to use the Mayflower argument should be prepared to answer the reponse that I listed above.

This issue is being made more complex than it needs to be, and it makes me suspicious of the motives of those who are trying to complicate this issue more than it needs to be. What could the motive be for making an issue with an easy answer into some sort of boondoggle? Does this effort of complicating and obfuscating the issue benefit the very people for who it is supposed to help? I truly don't think so. Those who seek to confuse and obfuscate (regardless of what issue they are trying to confuse and obfuscate) are almost always out for themselves and their interests rather than those they purport to be helping. I think that there are some devils in disguse among these alleged angels of aid and assistance.

For my part, as an American-born Hispanic, I want a greater representation of people of my culture, but I also want them to do this by the book. If they're happy and proud to be in this country, then they should show it by starting the process of becoming a citizen. Hispanics have much to offer this country, and I would be overjoyed if we could share those gifts to this great country. And Americans can learn a lot from us in regards to family, religion, and especially food! :-)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jack's Goth little brother

This post is both about demonstrating my digital camera's ability to zoom in real close, and also to show the peculiar and interesting talent of a woman I know.

She takes the Jack-in-the-Box antenna balls and changes them over into a "Goth" look. Notice in one of the pics below that the attention to detail goes right down to the nose stud.

If the Jack-in-the-Box company ever wants to market a "Goth Ball" one day, she's good to go. ;-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Odds and Ends Commentary 4-25-2006

School uniforms in the Fort Worth ISD

Today the Fort Worth ISD school trustees are expected to approve a standardized dress code for students from kindergarten through eighth grade, while leaving the issue of a dress code in individual high schools up to the vote of the teachers, students and their parents. If you ask me, they should do the dress code for all the way up through high school. Yeah, there will be the cries of “repressing creativity and expression” and such—but I am unmoved by such pleas. (Warning: I’m about to sound like an old dude) Kids today get away with a lot more than I would have gotten away with at that age, so they can just go cry in their iPods and their MySpace websites about school uniforms. I wore uniforms back in grade school, and I wasn’t physically, socially, or psychologically harmed by them –nor was my creativity or expression suppressed. Children at those age groups benefit from more discipline, not less. I could go across the board as to why mandatory uniforms are much more of a plus than a minus, but that’s been discussed elsewhere already ad nauseum. But I will say that everyone will benefit from eliminating the “fashion war” that high school has become in recent decades. The more students concentrate on their studies and the less they concentrate on their clothes, the better we will all be—both in the short term and the long term. And these same, complainer “they’re stifling my creativity!” students can always be creative and expressive --but on their own time after school!

Tom Cruise and other celebrities

I am officially tired of hearing about the following celebrities: Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, George Clooney, and Jennifer Aniston. Actually, I’m pretty tired of hearing about celebrities in general and the “out-of-touch-with-reality” lives that they live. Celebrity watching these days has become a freak show, and one that I am tired of listening to. Some people want to boycott gas stations, I say let’s boycott celebrities and quit feeding their already inflated egos. Who’s with me?

Cool camera special effects

Over the weekend, while experimenting with my camera, I came across some cool “special effects” that my digital camera can do. I’ll be posting some of the pictures that I’ve taken later in the week. :-)


Dallas Mavericks’ coach Avery Johnson is rumored to about to be named Coach of the Year. It will be the first time for the Mavs, and I can’t think of a more deserving coach to get it. Now if the NBA can follow suit with a “Most Valuable Player” to Dirk Nowitsky, followed by the Mavs winning the championship, then we can call this a banner year for the team!

And speaking of the Mavs, their farm team, the Fort Worth Flyers, reached the finals of their league, but lost to their opponent. It was quite an accomplishment to get to the finals at all, considering that not only is this the first year of existence for the team, but that it had roster changes like nobody’s business. That’s life in a farm team, though, as the numerous minor leagues team managers in baseball can attest. The Flyers are much better than the previous “Texas Rim Rockers” team (which was a constant car accident in progress for its entire first and only season), and it looks like the Flyers are going to be around for the foreseeable future.

Math Trick

This came to me by e-mail. Enjoy!


Here is a math trick that might get you to thinking...

1. Grab a calculator. (You won't be able to do this one in your head.)
2. Key in the first three digits of your hone number (NOT the area code.)
3. Multiply by 80.
4. Add 1.
5. Multiply by 250.
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number.
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250.
9. Divide number by 2.

Do you recognize the answer?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Main Street Arts Festival pt. 2

More pics at the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival.

If you note in the pic of the angel artwork, it costs $1,300!

Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival 2006

Images attached are from the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival this past weekend. I wish I could go to more of the events, but there's just too many! I might have to take a day or two off during the week in order to see some of these events. This blog limits pics to 5 per post, so I may put up some others later.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

End of the Week Wrap-up 4-22-2006

Jokes Week

Yep, in case you hadn't figured it out, this week was Jokes Week. Basically, I was feeling terrible because of allergies this week, and my mind wasn't in "opinionate" mode, so I posted jokes that I had been receiving this week. I may continue to do that here, though, because it's easier for people to just go to my blog rather than me forwarding them to everyone I know. Plus, it gets more eyeballs looking at my blog, and for any blog to get noticed, you gotta get a lot of eyeballs looking at it. That's also why I'm trying to post something --if not everyday-- then at least several times a week. One thing I hate about reading blogs is when the blogger goes a long time without adding an entry. They have "spurts" in which they post a lot, then they disappear for two weeks or longer. That's a good way for me to weed them out of my list of bookmarked webpages. Blog readers want something to read!

Edtoons on my blog

I liked how my first edtoon came out on my blog, so I'll try to post a new edtoon here at least once a week, but I'll aim for more than that. Then once a given month has passed, the edtoons for that month will go to my website as a sort of archive. I've already got an idea for my next edtoon, and I'll try to post it either later today or tomorrow.


The Dallas Mavericks are about to start their playoffs, and it's against the Memphis Grizzlies. During the playoffs, no opponent should be considered a "given", but the Mavs should be able to handle this team so long as they don't look past them and play their game like they're capable of. The Mavs should win this best-of-7 series in at least 5 games.

The Fort Worth Flyers will play the championship game tonight. Two players were called up earlier this week to play in the Mavs' last game of the season so that the Mavs could rest some players for the playoffs. The game was meaningless, because both teams were already in the playoffs and their postions in the rankings already set. Once the game was over, they were sent back to Fort Worth for tonight's game. Go Flyers!

The Texas Rangers seem to finally be showing some signs of life. I did not realize it until I looked at the standings on Monday, but the whole American League West division sucks! As badly as the Rangers were playing to start the season, they were only down by 2 games! No team was over the .500 mark, which right now makes us the worst division in baseball. The flip side of this is that we still have a chance to win the division! ;-) It's bad to have to depend on the other teams in the division to be doing just as bad in order for your team to still have a chance, but I guess we have to take our gifts as they are given to us.

Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival

I love going to the Arts Festival. I love all the hustle and bustle and the art and music and the food --just the whole atmosphere of the event. It's for this weekend, and I plan to go tomorrow and take some pics.I'll be posting them here on Sunday or Monday. Here's a link to the website for the event:

Come on down. Maybe I'll see you there! ;-)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Punny Measurements

This was sent to me via e-mail.
Punny measurements.

What is the ratio of an igloo's circumference
to its diameter? Eskimo Pi
What does 1 millionth of a mouthwash equal?  
1 microscope
How much time elapses between slipping on a peel
and smacking the pavement? 1 bananosecond
How much time it takes to sail 220 yards at
1 nautical mile per hour? Knot-furlong
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because
it's less filling is equal to what measure of time?
1 lite year
What is 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone?  1 Rod Serling 
(Only old folks will be able to answer this one)
How long is half of a large intestine? 1 semicolon
How much does 1000 aches equal? 1 megahurtz
What is the basic unit of laryngitis?   1 hoarsepower
What are two big breasts in one small bra?
2 cups overflowing
What is the shortest distance between two jokes?  
A straight line (think about it for a moment)
What does 453.6 graham crackers equal?  1 pound cake
How much is 1 million-million microphones?  1 megaphone
What is equal to 1 million bicycles? 2 megacycles
What is equal to 365.25 days?  1 unicycle
What do 2000 mockingbirds equal?  Two kilomockingbirds
What do 10 cards equal?  1 decacards
What does 1 kilogram of falling figs equal?  1 Fig Newton
What is the measure of 1000 grams of wet socks?  
1 literhosen
What is 1 millionth of a fish?  1 microfiche
What does 1 trillion pins equal? 1 terrapin
What do 10 rations equal?  1 decoration
What do 100 rations equal?  1 C-ration
What do 2 monograms equal? 1 diagram
What do 8 nickels equal?  2 paradigms
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at 
University Hospital
is equal to what?
1 I.V. League

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bumper sticker for both Democrats and Republicans

Someone just told me about a bumper sticker in New York that is popular for both Democrats and Republicans.

It says, “RUN, HILLARY, RUN”, and Democrats place it on the back bumper while Republicans place it on the front bumper. If this is a real bumper sticker and I can get a pic of it, I’ll post it here.

Redneck jokes

I got these from another site I visit. :-)



You think a stock tip is advice on wormin' your hogs.

You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

You think TACO BELL is the Mexican Phone Company.

Your state's got a new law that says when a couple get divorced, they are still legally brother and sister.

You think Possum is "The Other White Meat."

You carried a fishing pole into Sea World.

The centerpiece on your dining room table is an original signed work by a famous taxidermist.

You think a quarter horse is a ride out in front of the Wal-Mart.

Your huntin' dawg had a litter of puppies in the living room and nobody noticed.

You and your dog use the same tree.

You think God looks a lot like Hank Williams, Jr., and heaven looks a lot like Daytona Beach, Florida.

You think the last words to The Star Spangled Banner are "Gentlemen, start your engines."

You believe dual air bags refer to your wife and mother-in-law.

Your grandfather died and left everything to his widow. But she can't touch it until she's fourteen.

The people on Jerry Springer's show remind you of your neighbors.

You think fast food is hitting a possum at 65 mph.

Your family tree has no forks.

Fifth grade was the best six years of your life.

You have to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.

A seven course meal is a bucket of KFC and a sixpack.

Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.

Your dad walks you to school because you are both in the same grade.

You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

You think the Mountain Men in Deliverance were just "misunderstood".

You've been to a funeral and there were more pick-ups than cars.

You've ever climbed a water tower with a bucket of paint to defend your sister's honor.

You've been on TV more than 5 times describing the sound of a tornado.

You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

You use a NASCAR credit card.

Your brother-in-law is your uncle AND your grandfather.

You stare at an orange juice container because it says, "CONCENTRATE".

Your wife's job requires her to wear an orange vest.

On Thanksgiving Day you have to decide which pet to eat.

The tail light covers of your car are made of red tape.

The KKK kicked you out for being a bigot.

That billboard that says, "SAY NO TO CRACK" reminds you to pull up your jeans.

You've got more than three cousins named 'Bubba'.

You're banned from the Memphis Zoo because you disturb the monkeys.

Your child's first words were "Attention K-Mart shoppers!"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

First edtoon on my blog

Attached below is my first attempt to post one of my edtoons to my blog. Please let me know what you think of it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Odds and Ends commentary 4-17-2006

Local newspaper coverage of Catholic topics

The Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Weekly Review section had a feature article on the 1st anniversary of Benedict XVI. The author was by Hans Kung, who is known among Catholic circles as something of a rebel Catholic who lost his credentials to teach the faith. Earlier in the year, the Fort Worth Weekly had a feature article on another deposed Catholic instructor: Father Charles Curran. It’s a bit odd that both of Fort Worth’s newspapers chose such men to write their articles on Catholicism. Odd, but certainly not surprising. While I’m not a believer in the “liberal media bias” concept, this tendency to select the “rebels” only falls in line with that stereotype. Weren’t there other sources that these two newspapers could have interviewed that don’t have an axe to grind against the Catholic Church? Absolutely! In fact, there are more pro-Catholic sources that they could have referred to than anti-Catholic sources. That they instead chose to go to a hostile source is itself a source of great disappointment; especially since there were many other friendly, well-spoken sources that they could have chosen. Nowadays, going to a hostile, anti-Catholic source takes absolutely no guts at all.

Are wildlife preserves anti-nature?

That thought occurred to me last week. Let's see what you folks think about the argument that I’m about to present. Wildlife preserves are supposed to protect animals that are low in count or close to extinction. However, according to the theory of evolution, species dying out is part of the "cycle of life”. Don’t get me wrong -- I would like to keep some of the wonderful creatures that we have as long as we can. But by trying to preserve these creatures beyond what should be their natural lifespan of existence on our planet, are we actually messing with the natural order of things according to Darwin’s theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest? If so, then can the wildlife preserves’ purpose of trying to keep dying species in existence actually be considered "anti-nature"? In keeping consistent with Darwin’s theory then, maybe it’s okay to have spotted owl burgers or to have snail darter escargots, because all we’re doing is participating in natural selection. What do you folks think?


The Dallas Mavericks have looked rather lethargic as of late, but then, these last few games aren’t of great significance, because the playoffs are close, and it might not be worth the Mavs to kill themselves for the chance to get the #1 seed that they are most likely not going to get. So in that instance, I can understand trying to scale back a bit to save the players some wear and tear as they go into the playoffs. But they better get it back come playoff time!

The Fort Worth Flyers are in the NBDL Championship! Let’s hope that they bring a second championship to Fort Worth in a year! (The Fort Worth Cats won their league last season). Their game is Saturday.

The Texas Rangers looked marginally better in recent games, but it’s still not pretty. They have to try harder to win more games in order to keep from being in too big a hole at the start of the season. The recent 3 game series with the Oakland A’s could have easily been a sweep.

Easter family picnic

Easter was great. Spent Saturday with fam. Took pictures. Hunted eggs. Got slight sunburn. Don’t know why I’m keeping comments brief.

Friday, April 14, 2006

End of the Week Wrap-up

End of the Week Wrap-up

Instead of calling my Friday or Saturday posts "Odds and Ends Commentary", I shall distinguish it by calling it an End of the Week Wrap-up (or EOTWWU for short). This describes better what I'm going to do with posts on that day.

So on Mondays: Odds and End Commentary
And on Fridays or Saturdays: EOTWWU

Holy Week Challenge

It has been 5 days since I started fasting, and I have one day to go. Wow. I did it. I purposely did not weigh or measure myself beforehand, because it wasn't about stats that I did this, but about demonstrating to myself that I could reduce my intake of food. This was, in other words, an exercise in discipline; and if I can find the discipline to do this, then I can apply this discipline to other areas. Just for the record, though, I have noticed that I've slimmed down somewhat --but again, slimming down was the result of the fasting, and not the direct intent. I'm planning to do this again next year for Lent.

Immigration protests

The protests that were supposed to take place on the 10th seemed to have been rather peaceful for the most part. Had any of them gotten way out of hand, no doubt we would have heard a lot about it. The issue is still being discussed, of course, but at least most of the demonstrations have been civil and organized. My initial opinion has not changed, however --I still believe that the immigrants need to settle their legal status first before discussing any of their rights as workers in this country.

Edtoon test run

I think that my edtoon test run from earlier in the week went pretty well, so now I shall start posting edtoons here on a weekly basis starting next week. Then each month, I shall archive them onto my website. This blog, though, is handy for posting the edtoons right away, while a given news story is still active. This allows me to "strike while the iron is hot." I look forward to this, because I used to do edtoons back in college, and it will be good to get back in the swing of things. For posting edtoons, I shall just post the edtoon with little, or preferrably, no commentary, because the edtoon is supposed to be the commentary. The edtoon should be able to stand on its own without me having to explain it. I'm gonna be a little rusty for a couple of weeks until I get back into the habit, but once I hit my stride, then I probably can post an edtoon at least 3-4 times a week.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chocolate Bunnies cartoon

This was sent to me by someone I know. I thought it was hilarious!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

One of the perils of the Internet Age

Yesterday at TCU, we had an example of one of the perils of living in the Internet Age.  One e-mail sent on campus somehow managed to have bulk addresses that ended up going to everyone –faculty, staff, and students –that had a TCU e-mail account.  Some jokers took this mistake as their 15 minutes of fame to a largely unwilling audience by writing their inane comments, then hitting “Reply to All”  It got so bad that I received at least 50 e-mails related to this mistake, including some that said “Stop Replying to this e-mail!”  Those e-mails begging us to stop were, of course, sent “Reply to All.”  Fortunately, it seems to have subsided, and it never rose higher than a nuisance.  However, it emphasizes all the more about the need to be careful when sending e-mail and using “Reply to All”:  There may be more “All” looking at your e-mail than you intended.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Edtoons test

For this post, I am testing how posting editorial cartoons (or edtoons for short) here will look like. If it comes out looking good, then I may post edtoons here on a semi-regular basis. :-)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Odds and Ends commentary

Odds and Ends Commentary

I’m trying to find a good spot in the week for the Odds and Ends commentary (O&EC), which I find useful for introducing new topics in brief (and that I may bring up later in a separate post), or to bring up goofy topics just for the heck of it.. There are two possible ways to use O&EC:

One idea is to start the week off with Odds and Ends commentary. That way, if one of those topics happens to become a bigger story later in the week, I can make further commentary on it.

The other idea is to have a sort of “Weekend Wrap-up” on Fridays, where I comment on stories that took place during the week.

For the next few weeks, I’ll explore both ways and see which one seems to work better for me. I might end up doing both. :-D

Holy Week Challenge

Today starts my fast for all this week through Saturday. I am going to fast all this week in the usual Catholic way for Lent; that is, I shall have one full meal, plus two smaller meals, but those two smaller meals combined can’t equal another meal. Plus, NO snacking! Snacking is a habit that I’ve been slowly breaking over the past couple of months, which will help me this week so that it won’t be such a shock to my system to suddenly be deprived of so much food that I was used to eating. I’ve never done this before, so I don’t know how I’ll do. I had only a small bowl of oatmeal this morning, so when lunchtime rolled around, I was so HUNGRY that I almost ate the table that I was eating on! Actually, I didn’t wolf down my sandwich as quickly as I thought I would. Halfway through Day 1 now, folks. :-)

Immigration law protests

I’ve been surprised by the comments of the more liberal folks I know. They think as I do on this issue, that illegal immigrants need to settle their legal status first before they can talk about getting rights that citizens of this country enjoy. I guess I was expecting them to make this another issue to “rage against Bush”, but they don’t seem to have taken this issue in that way. I thought that they might use some kind of argument along the lines of calling illegals “legally challenged immigrants” or some such politically correct phrase. It could also be that they recognize that commenting on this issue too soon may blow up in their face later. This is an election year, after all.

As for the protests themselves, I am glad to see that they’ve been orderly and peaceful so far –especially since the number of participants can sometimes be very high. For that, the marchers should be commended, and most importantly, it makes it more likely that their messages will be heard. It doesn’t mean that their desires will be met, but peaceful protests are more effective in communicating their messages than rioting and looting would be. Kudos to all those who have organized these marches, that they haven’t incited their listeners to violence and mayhem. Another, larger protest is planned for today, and I shall be commenting on that later this week.

Tom Cruise in this Sunday’s Parade magazine

In Parade’s article about Tom Cruise, I found one of his comments particularly funny when he asked: “Who’s to say what’s normal?” Usually, people who ask that question are virtually admitting that they aren’t normal. Tom has been acting a bit bizarre as of late, especially his antics on Oprah. Yep, that’s normal behavior, alright. ;-)


The Dallas Mavericks had an excellent game against the Spurs, and they didn’t suffer a letdown on the game of the next day. Both are good signs as to how the team stands going into the playoffs. Now if they can only overtake the Spurs in the standings before the season’s over with….

The Texas Rangers, on the other hand, are not doing well at all. They finally won their second game last night. This might be a matter of redeveloping team chemistry, because when you think about it, the Rangers lost Alfonso Soriano and David Delucci, both whom were starters last season. Now the team has to get used to two new starters. But the sooner they “gel” as a team, the better, because the Rangers don’t want to get into a position where they start the season out in a huge hole. In other words, they need to start stringing some victories together RIGHT now.

And speaking of baseball, Fort Worth’s team, the Cats, won their league championship last season, and Fort Worth’s basketball team, the Flyers has a chance to give the city two champions. The Flyers ended their season at the top of their league. Not bad for a team that’s still in its first season! If the Flyers can win their championship, then it’s up to the Fort Worth Brahmas hockey team to try to give the city a “three-fer”. The Brahmas won’t do it this season, but there’s always next season. Go Flyers!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cool item for the cool uncle

The link above is a cool item for the cool uncle.  My nephews, ages 8 and 6, love light sabres.  How much cooler would Uncle John be with this light sabre?  Why, with this, I can attain the most coveted title in all of uncledom:  the UberUncle.  An uncle can dream, can't he?  ;-)
Sure, it's $100, but I've seen it at the local Borders Book Stores, and it is indeed cool!  The blade is fixed, and looks like it's made with a type of glass (but it's not glass).  And when you turn it on, the color of the blade slides from the hilt up to the tip just like the movie.  And of course, when you turn it off, the color slides back down from the tip back to the hilt.  Plus, it also plays the expected sound effects from the movie (well, heck, if the cheaper versions of the light sabres can provide the sound effects, then these $100 light sabres darn well better play them, too!)
You will notice, though, that if you scroll down just a little bit, you will see their suggestion about buying two together.  Well, the price for two together is no different than from purchasing them separately!  That ain't a quantity discount.  \:-( 
I only need one anyway.  :-D

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mavericks 92, Spurs 86


Odds and Ends commentary

Katie Couric’s move to CBS

Couric’s move to CBS won’t make me any more likely to watch CBS than I am now. My guess is that the ratings will go up only briefly when she first starts out, but then go back down once the novelty of her being there has worn off. Harsh as it is to say, Couric as the anchor is largely just that: a temporary ratings draw. Will that cutesy blonde with the friendly personality really be taken serious as a journalist? I think that it’s highly unlikely. To go from cutesy to serious journalist is too large a gap for her to overcome --much like Donny Osmond wanting to be taken seriously as a gangsta rapper.

Bush authorized leak of intelligence

Is it just me, or is it kind of funny that a sentence has both “Bush” and “leak of intelligence” in it? Shouldn’t he have tried harder to retain his intelligence? ;-)

Holy Week Challenge

I’m now up to 7 victims—er, volunteers—for my Holy Week Challenge. That’s cool. :-)
I’ll be giving progress reports here next week.


The Dallas Mavericks really need to step it up to get ready for the playoffs coming next month. A HUGE test of where they are at now is tonight, when they play San Antonio. I’m still hoping that they can get the number one seed. Maybe Coach Johnson should make his profanity-laced tirades a weekly thing until the season is over! ;-)

The Dallas Cowboys’ new schedule came out yesterday, and there are 6 nationally televised games planned. How much you wanna bet that the national media is hoping to see another “T.O. episode” play out during one of those games?

Broken record time: The Texas Rangers could sure use some pitching. I am glad that baseball’s back, but this is a rather ugly start. For this, I waited 6 months?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Holy Week fasting challenge

It appears that I was right about re-introducing my Holy Week Challenge idea to people I know online and in person. I brought it up a couple of weeks back, but that might have been too soon. Now, however, I have had some who have taken up my challenge. One is going to do a complete fast on Good Friday and Holy Saturday and wait until after Easter Mass on Sunday before he eats again. His fast will be WATER ONLY for that time. I told him to be sure to monitor himself during that time. I know that it’s not a fast that I could do.

Another person is going to “fast” from her computer from the Monday after Palm Sunday through Good Friday. No e-mail, no Internet surfing. Nothing. As addicted as we are nowadays to our computers nowadays, I accepted that as a worthy challenge. I just wonder what her e-mail inbox is going to look like on Saturday!

If I have more people who accept my challenge, I shall post it here. Next week I shall also update on how I’m doing on my own fast.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Early musings on the Texas Governor election

Of the 4 candidates for governor of Texas --Rick Perry of the GOP, Chris Bell of the Democrats, and the two possible independent candidates Carol Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman, I can already say that Bell is likely to not get my vote.

In a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article back before the recent primaries, the Democratic candidates looking to get nominated as the Democratic representative for governor were actually fighting over who was more pro-choice than whom! This tells me where the focus is for the Democratic party: abortion. That counts Bell out for me, and not just because I oppose legalized abortion. A party that wants to stay so fanatically focused on legalized abortion shows where it's priorities are, and if legalized abortion is what they feel is most important to concentrate on for their campaign --despite issues more deserving of their attention-- then my vote is going elsewhere. I'll still listen to what Bell has to say, but such a start to the campaign already puts him in a hole for me.

Kinky Friedman is also likely not to get my vote. Don't get me wrong, I think he brings an interesting perspective to what would otherwise be a boring campaign, but I'm just not certain that he is the man for the job. While his slogan of "Kinky Friedman: why the hell not?" is appealing, it's not enough to make me want to vote for him. It makes me say: "What the hell for?" Basically, I need to hear more from him; and he has to be able to inspire the kind of confidence that will lead me to believe that he will indeed be the rugged independent that he's promoting himself to be. We get enough candidates that say that they will make a difference; Friedman has to show that he is true to those words and that it's not just another empty campaign promise. BUT, just as quickly, let me say that I DO want him on the ballot so that we have more alternatives to pick from!

That leaves Rick Perry and Carole Keeton Strayhorn. One of these two is likely to get my vote --I just haven't decided which one yet. Each says things that politicians are expected to say to their likely voters, but it's not easy to know who is more likely to back up their words. As the incumbent, Perry has the track record and experience to refer to; but his track record has "potholes" that aren't pretty. That is what Strayhorn is likely to concentrate on during her campaigns. It's a matter of trying to decide if what Strayhorn offers as a solution is workable, and whether her apparent ego won't get in the way too many times. As with Friedman, though, I do want her on the ballot so that we have more alternatives to pick from.

I also hope that they have and televise debates among these four. It should make for a very interesting and entertaining campaign. It's still early folks --there's still more to come!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

1st Anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II

It is amazing that it has already been a year since the death of Pope John Paul II. When I think of the impact that he has had on the faith, and on the world, for over 26 years, and now suddenly a year has passed. Even with his passing, his influence shall be felt for years to come, because he had the foresight to concentrate on what was truly important: the young people. While the media tends to throw around terms to describe "generations" (baby boomers, Gen X, and so forth), I think the generation that grew up under JPII can rightly be called the JPII Generation. They are seeds whose full flowering of their potential is yet to be shown.

Hopefully the JPII Generation will be a complete turnaround from what we have had in recent decades, of a consumerist mentality and a philosophy of serving selfish interests. When we look out for ourselves --when we make ourselves our own gods that we worship-- we then serve a very limited, very petty, and very selfish god. The "selfgod" is basically very juvenile, and no good can ultimately come from such a "worship service."

It is my prayer that the young people of the JPII Generation will take JPII's lessons to heart, and that they will lead the way to a true revival of the spirit of service to others. The old, selfish gods of the "Me Generation" need to whither away and take their destructive influences with them. In their place must go the God that JPII worshipped, the only God that can lead the way to true growth and maturity --and true love. God bless John Paul II.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Stupid act of protest

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Weekly Review section for Sunday (April 6, 2006, page 3E) is an example of what I call a stupid act of protest.

On this page is a photograph of a flagpole at Montebello High School in California. The flagpole has the flag of Mexico above the flag of the United States. Not only that, the U.S. flag is upside down. The flags were arranged that way in protest of the proposed federal immigration bill that has been the center of the protests of recent weeks. Protesting is one thing, but this is an example of stupid protesting, because all that this will accomplish will be to provoke the opponents of illegal immigration unnecessarily. Plus, if you think that these opponents wouldn't listen to these protests before, they're certainly not going to listen now.

I've already spoken previously on this issue before, and I said that illegal immigrants should settle their legal status before they try to ask Americans for anything else. For illegal immigrants to ask for the rights that American citizens enjoy all while maintaining their illegal status is the rewarding of an illegal act.

Schools and other institutions that display such senseless acts as I mentioned above do absolutely nothing to help their side of the issue, and they end up making not only their opponents more resistant to their views, they also end up creating even more opponents. This senseless act demonstrates that these people are too narrow-minded for their own good, and that they are not interested in true discussion and dialogue on this issue. They have become so passionate about their views that they are literally blind to the harm that they cause to their credibility.

A little more clear-headed thinking would have headed off this stupid act of protest before it ever occurred. Unfortunately, clear-headed thinking appears to be seriously lacking at that school; which is rather tragic, since it's supposed to be an institution of learning.