Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Watching You - Mijo

I hardly ever listen to the radio while driving, mostly I play my CD's. I just can't stand all the morning show anymore, lots of talking that just doen't interest me one bit.

The other day the CD I was listening to had played about three times already and I didn't have anotherone handy so I decided to eject it from the player and just endure the next 20 minutes to work with the radio.

These days it's tuned to Camel Country, one of the two country music stations here in Phoenix and a song immediately started playing. This song caught my attention immediately, it talked about a father driving with his 4-year old son and it made me go back in time to when I used to drive my son all over the place.

Take a minute and read the lyrics, you don't have to like country music to enjoy and maybe relate to what the lyrics say.

(Rodney Atkins)

Driving through town just my boy and me
With a happy meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn't have the toy
Till his nuggets were gone
Green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath
As fries went flying and his orange drink covered his lap
Well then my four year old said a four letter word
That started with "s" and I was concerned
So I said son now where did you learn to talk like that


He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said Lord please help me help my stupid self
Then this side of bedtime later that night
Turning on my son's Scooby Doo nightlight
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
And spoke to God like he was talking to a friend
And I said son where'd you learn to pray like that


He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We Like fixing things and holding mama's hand
Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you


With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug
Said my little bear is growing up
He said but when I'm big I'll still know what to do


Cause I've been watching you dad, aint' that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
Then I'll be as strong as you and Superman
We'll be just alike, hey won't we dad
When I can do everything you do
Cause I've been watching you

The song took me back to those years when I used to take him to Disneyland once a year just him and I. To those years when I made sure he went to his little league practices. To those years when he and I used to go to the Hot Rod Car shows, particularly to the one Low Rider Car show where he took a picture with his favorite model and had a smile that extended from one cheek to the other.

However the irony about this song is that my son and I are so different in almost every aspect.

He likes hamburgers, I like tacos.
He's a Chevy guy, I like Fords
He loves sports, I can't stand sports
I support local team, he's all over the place
He cheers for his team, I for the cheer leaders

Yes, I really go againt him on everything... that doesn't matter too much, because on the things that really matter in life he knows I'm there just like I know he's there for me. I have been fortunate to have my son's love and I too love him to death.

So maybe he didn't grow to be like me but thre's nothing wrong with that. I'm happy and proud that he just grew up to be my dear son.

Love ya, mijo

Monday, January 29, 2007

Doppler, A Roadies View

Please join me in welcoming my new co-pilot for the week. Doppler, A Roadies View.
You know the drill, pay a visit just click on the thumbnail and if you so desire leave a comment. Doppler, A Roadies View and Joe Cool will appreciate it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weather 2 N V

Just two weeks ago we were experiencing very cold weather in Phoenix. Nearby cities such as Mesa, Scottsdale and Awatuki even received snow. Yes you heard or in this case read it right it snowed in Phoenix but now all that seems like it was a mirrage, after all this is the desert, right?

Last week the weather was so nice that I even decided to go and wash the car and ride with the top down. What a treat! No more bundling up or turning the heather on. I took the picture above so that you could get a glimpse of how nice we are having it.

Sorry for those that are still fighting the snow and the bad conditions. I know many of you actually enjoy the cold weather but I will remain true to my West Coast weather and start enjoying this wondeful weather.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Mark Of Diego

When I get home I usually place my camera on my side table by the bed, I figure that's a safe place to leave it... Or is it? Many times when I am going to download the pictures in the computer I start seeing a lot of images that I know for a fact were not taken by me.

Some are interesting and some are not but for sure non of them were targeted at a specific subject. Call it abstract art if you will. I also find out that my batteries have been drained of their power therefore making my next great shot an imposibility. Trust me it has happened that I'm ready to take a picture and the damn camera shuts off.

So who is this this photography afficionado that takes so many of this shots? How come I can't ever catch him in flagrante? I would like to talk to him and maybe talk him into starting his own photo blog so that he can display his talents and show them to the world. Maybe even battle me in the BOTB against my Arizona... photo blog.

So far he has proven to be very elusive, it's obvious that he is quick and that his trigger or in this case button happy fingers are trully fast. He goes in does the job and gets out with a quick and well planned getaway plan.

Well his luck run out because the last time he went and used my camera he left his signature all over it and the evidence undeniably points towards only one culprit.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Did You Say Bang?

"La primer metida de pata". For those of you that are not bilingual this is the story of my first snafu of the year last year. My niece started a family newsletter four years ago to be given out on Christmas Day and this story was part of that newsletter, therefore I could not published it before. Anyway here's the story as I remember it a year later.

It was payday weekend for Jr. and Michelle so they decided to go to the outlet stores in Casa Grande and spend some of their hard earned cash. Diego (my grandson) loved to watch the "Dora The Explorer" cartoons and as you may imagine some of his Christmas presents for that year were Dora related. So while shopping, Michelle and Junior found this inflatable Dora toy and bought it for him. As soon as Junior came home he blew it up and gave it to him, immediately Diego started playing with it.

Diego also had an inflatable hammer, and he was constantly banging it against everything in his path. So Diego tought he could do the same with Dora. Needless to say poor Dora's strenght gave up in a matter of minutes and that was the end of Dora the inflatable toy.

The following day "mi chica" treated the whole family (all nine of us) to go and have brunch at Cracker Barrel and some one brought up the conversation of the Dora toy. Because I saw how he punctured it I said outloud and let me stress this, I said this very innocently. "Oh yes, Diego was banging Dora all over the house", everyone started laughing and people sitting next to us kindda looked my way. It took me a few seconds to realize that my innocent statement fell into some very dirty minds. The guys laughed for the next ten minutes straight. I don't usually blush but that one Sunday morning I did.

True Story!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cars Are More Than Just Transportation

Back in 1977 my sister used to own a black 1966 Mustang Fastback that was a dream to drive. It just so happened that she used to work exactly a short block away from where we used to live so she didn't have the need for a car. She used it mostly on the weekends and then she would only go out if she had my parents permission.

Being the good brother that I am, I told her that I would exerciese her car daily by driving it to school. I used to live in Los Angeles but attended high school in Huntington Park. I was required to take two buses to go to school so driving her car was the ticket. I was only 17 years old then.

One morning we woke up as usual, my parents used to leave the house before I did so when they came in running back into the house I knew something was wrong. They were bringing the bad news that my sister's car had been stolen over night, the thieves must have pushed it because the car had the loudest pipes around and nobody heard a thing.

Unfortunately it was never recovered, the cops told us as they were taking the report that cars as nice as the one we had are smuggled across the border complete, and not chopped in a chop chop. Since then I have had many cars but I always longed for the lost Mustang.

In 1999 "mi chica" and her dad took my van to Mexico and when they were driving back the engine gave up. I had to go pick them up all the way to Douglas, Arizona. The van stayed there and was fixed by some local mechanics, the van just barely runned so I started going to dealierships to scope what would be my next car.

I went to a local Ford dealer and saw a beautiful Mustang convertible, it was late on Saturday so I came home told "mi chica" about it and decided to go see it the next morning so we could test drive it. On Sunday we got there in the afternoon only to find out that the car had been sold and was gone.

Two weeks later I went to another Ford dealer and told the salesman that I was looking for a Mustang but had to be a certain price. The ones he had were too expensive and not really what I wanted. He said unless you have your heart set on this particular model, I can show you one that I have in the back lot, except this is an older model but it's very nice and has a 5.0 under the hood.

We walked all the way to the back lot and there at the end was a dusty but beautiful white 1993 Mustang convertible. I wasn't even close to it yet and I already knew this was going to be my car. The test drive was just a mere joyride because I was sold as soon as I saw it.

My 93 is still my only car, I drive it everyday and it has seen many miles with me, appeared in many local parades, been to several shows and actually won many trophies. Unfortunately it's starting to show it's age. The dream is that a 2005 will soon (soon can be a year or two) grace my garage, but for now my trusty 93 is still king.

Oh, I told "mi chica" that even if we decide to get a newer one my 93 will remain with us too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Finished Look

I know it has been a while since I blogged about our laminate floor and I also know that I promised to post some pictures of the finished job. Well I didn't have a camera but now I do, so last night I decided to take some pictures of it so without further ado here they are. Click on the pictures to see them bigger.

Remember "mi chica" decided not just to do one room but pretty much the whole house, by doing it ourselves we saved a ton of money as the professional estimates where totally out of our budget. So thanks to my two son-in-laws for providing most of the muscle to accomplish the job.

The next step is to install the joiners that will have to be custom made as they have to make them to match the color of the wood. It's taking a little bit to get used to the resonance since we still don't have area rugs but pretty soon we will get a couple of them, that will muffle some of the sound. All "mi chica" needs to do now is to accessorize because right now we don't have too many things.

It will all tie in pretty good once it's finish.

The next project is to build a wall unit that will display all my empty DVD cases, and a collection of die cast cars that I have.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cold, Wind, Rain... but no snow!

Yesterday was very cold, very windy, and somewhat rainy but we didn't get what many other parts of Phoenix got... snow! Yes, Mesa, Scottsdale and Awatuki got enough snow that snow men were actually made, in my side of town I could probably make a "sandman". When I heard the news all I could think was...
Where is my snow?

Well there is no denying it, the weather is changing, I can see it now. California gets so much rain that it gets flooded. It's cold everywhere, even places such as Phoenix where we have sunny days 365 days out of the year. They say global warming will only change like one or two degrees over a 100 year period but...

In the meantime towns and cities continue to experience "post card" picture snow days. And white winters are still beautiful to look at. Me I'll stay on the West Coast and will continue to admire the white stuff through your blog pictures and stories.

Stay warm...

News Briefs

Alayna and Diego

I want to welcome my new co-pilot for the week. Domesticated Goddess is a blog that has been on my sidebar since it started. This blog holds information that is very dear and important to me and I want to invite you to click on it and read some of the posts in it.

Domesticated Goddess is Michelle's Blog and as many of you already know Michelle is my daughter. She had stopped posting because of the lack of internet at the house but now that we decided to join the 21st Century and had our cable installed again maybe, just maybe we will see more posts from her.

In the meantime help me in getting her motivated to write again and post new stories, click on her thumbnail and tell her that her daddy sent ya.

It seems the curse finally lifted, I wen to to see the Phoenix Suns play last Friday and they won! It had been my luck that every time we went to see them play they lost. So it was a good game we had good food and good company and that made it for a great outing.
In the progressive count of our family's celebrations we got together for celebration #3 for the year. Last Thursday another brother in law had a birthday and then on Saturday his daughter (my niece) turned 17. Originally they had planned a get together with coffee and sweet Mexican bread but in the end they decided to have a full-blown "Carne Asada" party.
The weather was too cold to be outside but he had a fire going plus the heat of the barbeque pit made it tolerable. To complement the meat chips and plenty of salsa was made by my sister. I said it once and I will say it again, we can't ever go wrong with "Carne Asada", I just can't get enough.
Also, I have been posting some pictures on my Arizona... But It's a Dry Heat! Photo blog, be sure to click on the thumbnail on my side bar and start visiting once again. Hope to see you all there.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mi Familia

When you get news of a noteworthy happening it probably makes your day. Yesterday "mi chica" sent me an email that made my day, the header read "Hola Granpa" I guess she wrote it the way our grandkids pronounce it. Normally her headers say something like "Hola baby" or "Scooby Doo where are you?" She changes the header often to reflect the mood she is in.

When I read the header I didn't think anything of it, after all I am a Grandpa of 5 beautiful buck-a-roos, but upon reading the email her message read "The reason for my header reading Granpa is......You will be a granpa again for the 6th time this year". My first reaction was where are my kids hiding these 5 grandchildren that were born this January? How come I have not been introduced to them yet?

Seems that my son and his better half will be having a baby this year and yes he/she (He has two girls already so we are hoping for a boy) will be our sixth grandkid. My son told "mi chica" that he wants another girl; he said he doesn't want to pay back for what he did to his mom. We keep telling him that paybacks are a bitch.

For me it's nothing but emotion and expectation. I love all my grandkids and I once told my mom that I was marrying young because I wanted to meet my grandkids. It seems to me God has been gracious at granting me that wish.

And so the family keeps growing, there are already packs of little kids running around the house when we have get-togethers and it doesn't seem like it's stopping anytime soon. It's official, "mi chica" and I have the biggest family already with 13 members soon to be 14.

A big congratulations to my son and Jen from Granpa and Jamma!

We love you guys.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's a Small World After All

I'm in the warehouse minding my own business listening to the overhead satellite speaker that looks like a flying saucer but that sounds so good. The music has to be easy to the ear so that we don't get to disturbed by it and still be able to properly function with our duties. Blue Monday by New Order is playing and I'm humming my life away... bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum.. bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum, yeah if you grew up during the 80's and you know the song then you'll agree with me that it has those many bums.

A driver comes in to make a delivery and hears me humming, "Did you use to dance Disco?" is the first thing he asked me, usually they say "Delivery" or "I have a delivery for you" or "Where do you want this?" but not this time, homey asked me if I used to go Disco dancing. Instantly out of my mouth my reply was "I still do". He said, "that song is from the 80's isn't it?" Yeap, but the song isn't really Disco although it's very danceable. I could have stopped there take care of his delivery and go on with my work but...

I had to volunteer some information. "In California I used to listen to this radio station called K-Rock also known as the Rock of the 80's and this song used to play a lot back then" I said. "Yeah, I remember" he said. "Did you used to live in California?" he asked. "Yes I did" I said I also told him that we left California for Arizona back in 1990.

It turned out that he is only two years younger than I am; we started to talk about the different Dicotheques in the L.A area. When I asked him if he ever went to Gino's he immediately knew the place I was talking about. In case you wonder, Gino's was a tiny little gay discotheque in Hollywood, but us straight guys and gal were welcome to be there. Gino's was the place for us to go and get the moves before anyone else and then once we learned the latest steps we would go to other Discotheques and claim bragging rights, as we were always ahead of the pack when it came to dancing. I grew up dancing, that's one of the reasons I also like the show "So You Think You Can Dance" so much.

So this driver already brought back so many memories of days gone by, we could have stopped there but... "So what high school did you attend in California?" he asked. I told him I went to Huntington Park High School in Huntington Park. "The one on Soto and Slauson" he asked. "That's the one," I said. Well actually I went to Huntington Park but I really was supposed to go to Jefferson High. "I went to Jefferson High," he said...

Me: No freaking way
Driver: Yeah, I met my wife there; we were high school sweet hearts.
Me: No I met mine at the disco.
Driver: Why didn't you go to Jefferson?
Me: I was tired of looking over my shoulder
Driver: What do you mean?
Me: I went to John Adams Jr. High in L.A. and...
Driver: I went to John Adams; I used to live two blocks away near the milk plant.
Me: Knudsen
Driver: Yeah, that one except now it's been turned into a school.
Me: Wow
Driver: Do you remember being jumped in the tunnel?
(You must know that back in 1973 my neighborhood was 95% black and 5% Mexican)
Me: Hell yes, after the first time we never crossed that stupid tunnel alone.
(To go from the classrooms to the PE area you had to cross Broadway Street and since the school is fenced, there was a tunnel to cross to the other side.)
Driver: It's still there and it still sees plenty of fights.

So his delivery time extended itself to over an hour, it seemed that every comment we made we had something in common. Being from the same neighborhood we knew the same places, grew up listening to the same music, cruise the same boulevards and had tacos from King Taco. It is a small world indeed, a conversation that lasted just a little over an hour brought back years of memories.

To say goodbye he told me his name, the funny thing was that his last name is Figueroa the same as my second last name. I don't know if I will see him again, he was just covering for our regular driver but I thought it pretty amazing how a meeting that was just by chance turned out to be so in sync.

It's a small world indeed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Suns vs. Trail Blazers

For a non-sports fan I certainly go to many sport related functions. I couldn't care less for sports but when your reps want to dine and wine you and then take you to a game, you just don't say no. The outing is usually a good time. Before the games we either go to a nice restaurant near the arena or we just go inside to The Lexus Club and eat there.

These are the spiffs of the job, it comes with the territory and since they hold four tickets it's usually two couples going out which makes it really fun, add to that a score in favor of the home team and it's even better.

There must be some sort of a curse because 90% of the games I attend we loose, but every so often I get to watch a winning game. This Friday "mi chica" and I will be going out to the basketball game to watch our Phoenix Suns battle the Portland Trail Blazers. It seems the Suns have been winning lately so let's hope for a win on this one.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Idol Tonight

Idol premiers tonight and the DVR is set to go. DVR has got to be one of the greatest inventions as of late. Mi chica and I watch the Mexican telenovela "La Fea Mas Bella" (The Mexican version of Ugly Betty) Monday through Friday and it happens to be on the 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. slot. We can't miss an episode so most of the shows we watch have to be recorded for us to watch at a later time.

I like American Idol more than any other reality shows because of the talent, but for entertainment value the auditions are fun to watch. Only American Idol can air so many times out of the week and get millions of people to watch it. I believe the gang is back too. I trully believe that if any of the cast gets replaced the show will loose some viewers. We need off the wall Paula, crazy Randy and Simon and to conduct the show Ryan.

Again if you like American Idol then visit idolbloglive.com it's a fun interactive blog that reviews each show live via East Coast feed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm Not Used to This Cold!

What I thought would be an easy slow Monday turned out to the busiest of the year to date. I figured many people would stay home in observance of Martin Luther King's day. The freeway was just as packed and when I got to work a semi was already parked in the pit with a full load of product. To top it off the weather decided to show us what many of you in the east coast already know. I woke up to 19 degrees and that my friends for someone that lives in the desert and is used to the heath was just a tad cold, add to that the fact that my car's driver window only goes half way up and the heater took a dump and yes it definitely was an interesting morning.

We are not used to this kind of cold, call me a wimp but I bundled myself in so many layers that if I would have fallen I would probably roll all over the place. The small lake behind our house was partially covered with ice.

I was watching in the news how the cold wave that hit the country had many places without electricity and with busted pipes. New Your and New Hampshire had it really bad. They were showing how in Colorado cars on the road were not moving as the tires just keps spinning with absolutely no traction at all. Also cars would slide at will because the streets were covered with ice. My heart goes out to those of you that are experiencing the extreme cold.

Yeah, I guess we do have it good here in Phoenix as many of you would trade our weather in an instant and without hesitation.

So, wherever you are stay warm and say brrrrrrrrrr many times.

~~~~~~~~~~ $$$$$ ~~~~~~~~~~

Some people are actually taking advantage of the money making services and sites on the internet. Some just don't want to deal with it.

This week's co-pilot (even though the header with the Mustang are on a long trip without me) is a site called "My quest to make money on the internet". If you are one that is interested in this please visit my co-pilot. You will find many money making tips. If you are not interested still visit the site, because that's what we do, we visit blogs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Life is a Celebration

This year I'm going to highlight our celebrations. Our family is so huge that there isn't a month that won't have at least one. We started the year by going to California to celebrate my brother in law's mom's 80th birthday. This wonderful lady raised six children all by herself and did an extraordinary job.

Her party included a picture slide show that showed her from her teens to the present time. Five of her six children were there and a plethora of grand children and great grand children. Ninety percent of the people in attendance were direct family the rest of us were very close friends of hers.

And so this weekend we will celebrate her sons birthday (my brother in law). On Sunday "carne asada" and "lengua" tacos will be the main dinner at the party. Did I say "carne asada", darn I'm getting hungry already.

Mi sister loves to karaoke, so after a tequila or two we may sings a few songs just to have fun. We will call this celebration #2 for the year.

To me there's nothing like family gatherings, some people hates them but I just can't have enough of them, in most cases there's usually something special to celebrate but I like to get the family together just her the heck of it. I am of the "enjoy them while you can" mentality and I intend to make every minute I am around them a good one.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

American Idol - Season 6

The Grand Daddy of all reality shows is about to start. Just five more days for the premiere of "American Idol" Season 6. Let me hear your predictions before the show starts, will this year's winner be male of female. I predict that a guy will win again, but according to a poll taken by idolbloglive.com 80% of the readers predict it will be a woman while only 20% think it will be a guy.

The premier will be Tuesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere - Minneapolis Auditions. I am excited already and for all those of you that love this show allow me to invite you to join idolbloglive.com. You will find this to be the best site to keep udated on anything and everything Idol, it is very easy and fun to use. To register just click here.

For pure entertainment value ther is no other reality show that even comes close to "American Idol". The reason that it is so succesful must be because we all love music and we all sing even if only in the shower. Just to think that there will be thousands of kids trying out and only 24 will be selected is mind boggling.

Here's the official schedulle, and if you want to see more info go and register at idolbloglive.com:

Tuesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere - Minneapolis Auditions
Wednesday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere - Seattle Auditions
Tuesday, Jan. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) Memphis Auditions
Wednesday, Jan. 24 (9:00-10:00 PM) New York City Auditions
Tuesday, Jan. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM) Birmingham Auditions
Wednesday, Jan. 31 (9:00-10:00 PM) San Antonio Auditions
Tuesday, Feb. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Los Angeles Auditions
Wednesday, Feb. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM) "Rest of the Best" Auditions
Tuesday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1
Wednesday, Feb. 14 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2 - Top 24
Tuesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Male Singers Perform
Wednesday, Feb. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Female Singers Perform
Thursday, Feb. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM) First Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT)
Tuesday, Feb. 27 (8:00-9:30 PM) Top 10 Male Singers Perform
Wednesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-9:30 PM) Top 10 Female Singers Perform
Thursday, March 1 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT)
Tuesday, March 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Male Singers Perform
Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Female Singers Perform
Thursday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT)
Tuesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Finalists Perform
Wednesday, March 14 (9:00-9:30 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh Rats!

Some people will eat anything when they are hungry.

Monday, January 08, 2007

They Used to be For Free

Call me "Old School" but what happened to the simple nice time when I was growing up? Why are things becoming so complicated? I remember as a kid watching one channel on the TV that showed plenty of cartoons after school. Yes, cartoons and homework use to be in the mix.

So there were like 13 channels on the dial and maybe only five broadcasted shows, the rest were all snowy, however I never seemed to run out of cartoons to watch. From the classic Looney Toones to Marvel Comics they were all there every day and for free. My family was happy as long as we had one Spanish channel, we would watch "telenovelas" all afternoon.

But TV had a flaw, it had commercials so they invented TV that was commercial free but you had to pay for the service and cable TV was born. I remember when MTV was all music with no commercials, and the VJ's would only give hourly news updates related to music and the artists. Now MTV is not about music anymore and I believe they have commercials if I'm not mistaken.

So now some of us have cable, in my case we have digital cable, which gives us, over 400 channels and sometimes I can spend an hour switching channels without finding anything new to watch. Sometimes paying for cable can be a waste of money and yet we can't live without it anymore.

Now, they are doing the same for radio, apparently what we hear on regular radio is not good enough, now many people are paying for satellite radio. Why? Me I still have cassettes and CDs and regular radio is still OK and best of all it's free.

Don't get me started on cellular phones. I gave mine up about five years ago and I live perfectly happy without it. Definitely a bill I can do without, even though it is more affordable now. Nevertheless it amazes me to see people pay good money to have a certain ring tone, or to text, or to have a personalized screen, or to have some celebrity on your screen. A cell phone if not used properly can be worse than a slot machine.

Yes I know that many of you will challenge me on that one, but hey whatever makes you happy, right?

And then you have to pay for the Internet service; I say this one can be justified as the Internet is without a doubt one of the greatest inventions ever. Oh, and better get cable for the Internet because dial up sucks big time. Nothing opens up or it takes forever.

So what is next, eventually we are going to have to pay even to speak. It is getting to ridiculous. When I moved to Avondale in 2000 it wasn't that crowded but now with the city of Goodyear and Buckeye are growing like wild flowers and it doesn't seem to be an end to the growth. As a result traffic on I-10 is horrible, what used to be a 25-minute commute from home to work is now a cool 1-hour commute. And we still only have the one little freeway for all of us to use.

More cars means more traffic and I read somewhere that a solution is coming. Some cities are creating what high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, where solo drivers pay electronic tolls to use carpool lanes. Denver, Minneapolis and San Diego are already testing the concept.

The carpool lane on I-10 from my house to my work is already a bumper to bumper lane as well, which means that they would have to allocate at least two lanes for carpools but the way I see it pretty soon they will be charging us to use the freeway regardless of what lane is used.

Of all the important FREE things we have now, what do you think is next?

All I know my pocket is not that deep.

Evolution of Gina

You may have noticed that I have a new co-pilot. I hadn't given her the proper attention that she deserves because I accepted her blog as my co-pilot of the week while I was on my trip in California.

But now that I'm back let me invite you to go and visit Gina of "Evolution of Gina". Gina has been around on blogger since May 2006. I have read this blog on and off during the many BOTB battles. If you are looking for a good quote, there are plenty to read in this blog and based on her posts it seems to me that she visits a lot of you out there in blogland. So be kind and click on her thumbnail, you know where to find it and if you feel like it leave her a comment or two.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Greetings From West Covina California

Well the trip was not too bad, not too much traffic but best of all NO ACCIDENTS and NO CONSTRUCTION. It seems every time we come to L.A. there's some sort of construction on the freeway and the four lanes funnel into one as if California's traffic wasn't already bad enough. So we made it in about 5 1/2 hours and actually arrived an hour early as the time is different, Arizona does not move the time. Isn't that cool?

The only thing we had to be careful about was the wind. It was windy most of the trip and there were times the van was rocked pretty hard, specially when passing the big rigs on the highway. We always stop at this gas station that has slot machines and it's in an area that normally has high winds, so it was funny to see "mi chica" and my mom fighting the wind as they walked from the van to the store. After loosing their $10.00 each we hit the highway again for the last leg of the trip.

It was cold the whole way down here and with the high winds it felt even colder. In Arizona the houses have centralized AC and heating but in California the AC consists of open windows and the heating consists of a bunch of blankets if you are in your house. This are the things that make our trips unique and give us something to complaint obout or in my case to blog about.

We will be returning to Phoenix on Sunday, how's that for a short trip? The party tomorrow should be fun and I intend to enjoy it to the max, and since I don't wan't to fall a sleep while dancing tomorrow I better hit the sack.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Where's My Header?

No, it's not an optical illusion; my header went on vacation without my permission therefore I don't know where hell it is. I notice when I go blog surfing that other blogs too have no pictures but instead you find all those stupid little squares with the "X" in the middle. I would have my daughter look into it but we are computer deprived at home and so my header will continue to be lonely and empty until I figure out what the hell happened.

What a difference a header makes, without it people don't identify with my blog right away, sometimes when I am in a BOTB it takes forever for the challenge to finish. The last time I ordered a new thumbnail the header took too long to load so the thumbnail was submitted without it. I'm sure my friends know it but as it is right now I don't think I'm attracting new readers based on the look of my blog.

Still, I don't complain because Blogger is free and freeloaders can't be picky that way, hopefully my daughter will either come up with a solution to my missing header or will create a new template all together.

My header won't be the only one on vacation, my family and I will be traveling to California just for the weekend to join my brother in law's mother whom we love dearly on her 80th birthday celebration. If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know that we love making the road trip a part of our vacation. We stop everywhere and time is never of the essence, we figure we will get there when we'll get there. The weekend should be a nice one as we also get to see "mi chica's" brothers and their families.

Mad Photographer

You have to position yourself just right in order to take that perfect shot.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

~~~~~ 2007 ~~~~~

Seems like we made it, and based on the comments I've read so far sounds like you all had a nice time receiving the new year. I too had a good time in the company of most of my family. We waited for the countdown and at the stroke of midnight we all hugged and kissed wished each other good things and at around 12:30 a.m. mi chica and I headed home. We stayed up until 4:00 a.m watching movies before we finally decided to go to sleep.

When we left my sister's house we looked up to the sky and the moon had a ring around it. It was breath taking to see it on the first hour of the first day of the year. I read somewhere that moon rings are a sign of bad weather to come but I live in the desert and these first three days have been beautiful, I'll give it a couple more days to see if there's any change in the weather. Me, I just want to think that seeing a moon ring the very first hour of the year is a sign of good luck.

On Tuesday I got to work and logged on, I decided to have my first BOTB of the year and when I looked at my tumbnail my record was 163 - 163. How is that for starting with a clean slate. For a while there I started to slip back but I'm back to being a contender. I call this my sign of good luck number two.

So what else is new? Not much I will just pick it up where I left if last year. Thank God the holidays are over though, as much as I like them I always dread gaining too much weight. I normally weigh 192 lbs., but with all the darn goodies that come with Thanksgiving and end with the New Year I am very close to hitting the 200 lb mark (Hint to "mi chica" -- Gym membership!!!). I'm not big on New Year's resolutions but this one is one that I will have to pay attention and really commit to. It's not cool when I run out of breath just to tie my damn shoe.

And talking about resolutions I got me a new camera so as soon as I get used to it I will continue posting pictures on my "Arizona... But it's a dry heat!" photo blog. I miss taking and posting pictures so look for some new ones in the near future.

Until the next one.
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