Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stranded on the Freeway

Coming back from work I got stranded on the freeway. The car decided to quit on me without previous notice, and it's not like I didn't feed the sucker, I had just put some gas on it two days earlier. The sad part is that the car isn't even mine, it was being loaned to me by my son-in-law and daughter as mine was leaking antifreeze.

Since I didn't get back home on time my daughter had to miss school and that really sucked.

Luckily for me I was driving on bumper to bumper traffic and I was on the lane closest to the exits. When the car stalled I had enough momentum to get in the shoulder and park the sucker. The previous exit was not even a mile away so I started walking towards it. When I got to it and I turned around I realized that all I had to do was just jump over the fence and I could have saved about a mile of walking. Well, it's not like I don't need the exercise.

So I knew I had run out of cash two days before and I had left my cash card to my daughter because I had send her the night before to get some groceries. Well, No problem the Whataburger in the corner has a pay phone, I will just call my chica collect... wrong! See as most of you know I don't own a cell phone so how was I supposed to know that you cannot place a collect call to a cell phone.

Time to apply plan "B". I go inside the burger joint and spot a couple. "Excuse me, but you think maybe you can let me use your cell phone, I got stranded on the freeway and I have no coins, and basically I'm screwed because if I don't get in touch with my loved ones they'll never know where I am, please remember that this is a desert and..." OK I didn't tell them all that but I did ask them for a phone and the guy pulled out his and handed it to me. So I call mi chica and it rings, and rings, and rings and shit I realize she won't answer because she doesn't know this number.

Well "Thank you, sir" I said but she didn't answer. I handed back the phone and walked outside again. I went to the pay phone again and try my mom's number (hers is not a cell phone). "Sorry, but we got no reply, please try another number" came the automated voice.

OK, think Joe. No money, no plastic, no car, middle of no where and no way to communicate with the world, think. I know let me try my mom's house again, yes I learned to be persistent. So I went through the automated voices, pressed the keypad as instructed and "Yo, dude. What up" came my brother's voice. "Hey you answered the phone dude, cool!" I told him. He said yeah my mom went to get me, she said she didn't understand what the computerized voice was saying but one thing was for sure, somewhere in the middle she heard the word "Jose" so she went to get me.

As I'm explaining to him that I was stranded and that I was all alone in the desert with no water, no money, no plastic, etc. etc. etc. the nice man from inside the restaurant came out saying that he had a phone call for me and handed me his phone.

I am saved, mi chica came to the rescue, she told the guy that she received a call from that phone and that she wasn't sure why, he said that's because I lent it to the person that called you, let me go get him. When I answered she still didn't know it was me, so her first question was, who's this?

Well, 35 minutes later she pulled in to the parking lot and right after that my sons in law pulled in too. I gave them the keys and I rode with mi chica, they went to get the car and we went home.

All this cost me a little bit over an hour of my time and a free phone call from someone else' phone, and it cost my mom probably a buck because they did accept the collect call but it was still a far cry from a monthly phone bill of $70.00 dollars.

But for a tiny moment there the feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me as I had no water, no money, no plastic, no car, no phone, and I was in the middle of the desert (Phoenix is a city but it's still in the desert)and soon it would get dark.

Just kiddin', I just wrote the previous paragraph to add a little drama to my adventure.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Scooter McGavin's 9th Green

Welcome Scooter McGavin's 9th Green as a co-pilot of the week. As far as I can tell this blogs has been around since January 30, 2005. This blog will be "Your one-stop place for music, TV, sports, and maybe some politics. So make sure you come back everyday or you'll pay, listen to what I say."

You know the drill, be nice to him and I and click on the thumbnail and why not leave a comment while you are there.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Second Road Trip

We are back, our second road trip of the year to California was short but sweet. We left Friday afternoon right after work and we got to West Covina at around 10:00 pm. Not too bad, we did gain an hour so that helped too. For the second time we get good road conditions, no accidents and no construction that is a big plus.

On Saturday the girls went downtown in L.A. to look for the dresses, my daughter did find a dress she liked so she bought it, except it needs to be altered so we will have to go back next month to go get it.

My sons, my grandson and I decided to go to visit my son's friend at the Harley Davidson dealership in Glendale, he did not have to twist my arm for that since I'm always game to go see the new bikes. While there his friend hooked us up with some souvenir t-shirts. Every time a visit a dealership I buy one but at $25.00 ea., it was nice to get one for free. Here's my son sizing up a bagger.

After the dealership we went to walk to a local mall in Covina. Imagine that, me in a mall, but what the heck we had nothing better to do.

Sunday we had to head back to Arizona, we left in the afternoon with plenty of time to get back early except we didn't count on NASCAR traffic. Yes got stuck in traffic as the races ended at the time we were passing by Fontana, that was at least an hour delay but we didn't care, the music kept us entertained.

We found a restaurant in Loma Linda some time ago, it's one of those small restaurants that have a 100 item menu so we always stop there to eat. They have the best pastrami, which is what I always want, but you'll find something for everybody there, from chicken strips to carne asada tacos, they have it all.

While passing by Palm Springs the clouds were so low that they look they were going to crush us, to the side the mountains always looked majestic and the wind mills looked like soldiers saluting us as we passed by.

We got home safe and sound at around 10:00 pm. No matter how good a trip it's always nice to get home. Yeah, there's no place like home.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Image

Being that I miss my home because we are away from it I thought a picture from my back yard showing the sun setting would be a nice image to show you on a beautiful Sunday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Weddings in our Future

This is Alayna Danae, the youngest of my five grandchildren. I am using her as this weeks theme for Saturday's photo hunter's theme "Soft". If you have a baby around then you'll know what I'm talking about, their skin is just naturally soft.

I mentioned in my photo blog that I am posting photo hunters "soft" entry a little early because we are going to California over the weekend as my daughter and my son's fiance are in search of wedding dresses, yes they are going to be tying the knot very soon and apparently there are no dresses here in Phoenix, so to Los Angeles it is. Me I'm just going along for the ride because I have no intention of walking into any bridal stores anytime soon. That's better left for the girls.

My son and her girlfriend have been together for about nine years and after two girls and a new baby on the way the decision was made that it was time for them to make it right. My daughter and her boyfriend have been together for almost two years now and they too think it's time to do things the right way.

So you know what I'll be blogging about in the future, there will be plenty to relate to you I'm sure, so the next few days will be bumpy to say the least.

I'll keep you posted as new developments happen.

Tidbits and Bits


Is it just me or are a lot of the heavy hitter blogs missing in action? I have seen quite a few disappear, unless they are on hiatus. In any case there's also an influx of new ones that are getting strong.

What's your take on all these missing blogs? Where are they? Do you know? If so please let me know, I'm just a little curious.



American Idol is finally on the way, if I have to take my cue from Tuesday and Wednesday then I'm going to predict that this year belongs to the girls.

The guys will have to really bring it if they want to go far. So far no "soul patrol" gimmicks have come up, just good singing and good desire to be there. Unfortunately three out of the six girls that will be cut are going to be better than some of the ones that stay, there's just too much talent there.

The guys race is more even and they will really have to fight for their spot into top six. We'll see how fares.


Tonight, Univision will broadcast the "Lo Nuestro" awards. This is like the Latin Grammy's even though now we have "Latin Grammy's". Premios Lo Nuestro have been around longert though.

It promises to be a good show which I'm sure will bring surprises and disappointments. The only bad part is that my novela "La Fea Mas Bella" won't come out tonight, the good thing is that tomorrow they'll throw two hours instead of one... cool!


Well I really have nothing these days that's why I'm rambling so with this I leave you until the next time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Country Pictures

You all may have noticed a new photo blog that has become very popular amongst us. It keeps moving towards the top positions in the BOTB rankings. Country Lady shows us many pictures from California, and she gives us variety. I keep a photo blog myself and I know how hard it is to do that.

So please join me in welcoming Country Lady and her blog Country Pictures as my co-pilot of the week. Your clicks and comments will be appreciated.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Organ

I joined the Saturday Photo Hunters with my "Arizona... But It's a dry heat" photo blog. This week's theme is "Antique". I spent all week trying to find something around me that would qualify as an antique and pretty much fell empty handed until I remembered this organ that belonged to my father in more ways than one and now sits quietly at my mom's house.

At a very young age, still living in the open country where people had no amenities of any kind and the way to earn a living was by harvesting their own crops and going to the nearest town to sell them, my father already knew that that was not the life he wanted for him and definitely not for a future wife and family.

With only three years of schooling, which in those days was the maximum they could get, he knew that knowledge was not only the way out but also the way to go. He took what little he learned and used it to his advantage.

My father was always a very spiritual man, and his faith was always his strength, while his brothers stayed and work the fields harvesting the crops he started going to town and help out with mass in every way he could.

At 15 years of age he led a youth group into Bible Studies, and became the youth leader. An uncle of his did offer to pay his way through the seminar if he wanted to be a priest but my dad had already set eyes on my mom and therefore going to the seminar was out of the question. However he kept studying and learning everything that they priests would teach him. Eventually he became "The Mass Singer" and traveled with the priest from town to town as their turn to have a priest for Sunday mass came to them. The people built this small temples for such occasions, and they knew that at least once a month they would be able to hear mass.

At some point the church acquired this little organ, in a small town such as the one that he used to live in buying new was a rarity so I figure that the little organ was already well used by others and most likely handed down to the small town church. This little organ required no batteries or electricity, it was powered by air that needed to be pumped by pressing on two foot pedals.

My father started playing with it and discovered that he could play certain notes that would go with his mass singing, imagine how he felt when he discovered that he was able to add music to singing.

When I say singing don't think of the commercial kind of singing of now, but the very humble singing of one man following his pastor. In the old days mass was always sang by the priest and the congregations would sing back to him but the addition of the special "Mass singer" was a welcomed addition to the ceremony.

Fast forward to the year 2000, a cosing of ours went to Mexico to visit his family and when he came back to his home in Las Vegas he gave my dad a call. "Tio, I have a surprise for you" he said. He told my dad that as he visited the small temple he found out that the small organ was just sitting there getting rotten and being attacked by termites, so he spoke to the priest and told him that his uncle played that little organ when he was a teenager and that if he had no objections he would like to take it to him.

So on a Saturday morning my Dad, my mom, mi chica, my daughter, and I rented a pick up truck to go to Las Vegas to pick this organ that had traveled all the way from deep sierras of Guerrero, Mexico. The funny thing was that the organ was very small and could have fit in the trunk of a small compact car with no problem at all.

My father raised us to believe in God, and gave us a strong faith. Here in Phoenix he was respected in our Church, he started Bible Studies for the Latin people and constantly butted heads with the current priests because he knew so much about our religion that in some cases he would correct them and teach them when asked. Yes, it was hard for them the accept that a simple man with schooling that didn't go beyond three years knew more than they did.

In the year 2004 my father left us for a nicer and better place, he was completely at peace with God and with his fellow men, but all of us that knew him still feel his presence today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's On My TV Watch List?

Monday through Friday I watch two telenovelas.
"La Fea Mas Bella" on Univision
New on Telemundo "Zorro" "La Espada y La Rosa"

I also watch the following shows regularly:

"Prison Brake"
"American Idol"
"Miami Ink"
"Ugly Betty"
"American Chopper"
"Nashville Star"

Mine is a small list and yet it takes so much of my time. Television and computers already consume most of our time that one must wonder if are we finding the time to talk or be with the family? Did we visit any relatives at all? How about some friends? Do any of us remember what is it we used to do before computers became popular? And is your cellular phone in your pocket replacing family visits? Yes their voices may be just a few strokes of the keys away, but nothing replaces BEING THERE in person. NOTHING!

The reason I got to thinking all this is because my sister had a post on her blog that she entitled "Live Your Life As If Today Is Your Last Day". In it she tells about how a co-worker of hers collapsed while at work and was pronounced dead by the paramedics as they came to his aid. I think she mentioned that he was a young kid of roughly 25 years of age.

We live on borrowed time, and when our time is up that's it. Hopefully when my time comes there won't be unfinished business, and there won't be any regrets. I want to enjoy all my relatives now for as long as I can and I don't want to change them for the images on the TV tube or deprive myself from seeing them because I talked to them on a cell phone.

That's why I love family gatherings so much, just last week we had celebration number four of the year as my niece invited us to her house to celebrate her husbands birthday, good company and great BBQ ribs cannot be replaced by any TV or computer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is patient,
Love is kind.
It bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.
Love never fails.

- 1 Corinthians 13:4,7,8

It's all about friendship, understanding, and love. It's about enjoying the good times and sharing them, and about overcoming the adverse times while solving problems together.

It's not about the flowers and the special meals, but about taking the time to realize that the significance of the one day should be exercised all year long.

So, if you have a special someone to celebrate with it's all the better, but family and friends are perfect candidates to spend the day or the afternoon with. Our kids take the time to either make or write a Valentine's Day card for every student in their class, not for the boyfriend or the girlfriend only but for anybody and everybody that deserves to be called FRIEND. If this is what we teach them then why do some of us change?

I wish every single one of you a Happy Valentine's Day.


And to my special someone, to "mi chica" let me quote Jerry McGuire by saying:

Happy Valentine's Day Baby!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Big Rock

Attention everyone, a new co-pilot for the week has arrived. This week Big Rock will be on my sidebar waiting for you to pay a visit.

So the premise of this blog will be to review bands from Toronto and from other places as well. I feel privileged to be helping BRF today as according to his header it is as of today that he is "open for business".

The blog is run by Rokky a spunky, verbal and graphically opinionated 20-something Toronto based (non-musical) Canadian civilian who enjoys listening to music that hasn’t yet “hit it big” (local music, independently signed artists, unsigned talent) but has the obvious talent to go the distance.

So don't be shy and pay Rokky a visit and wish him well in this new endeavor he is taking. While there click on the "About Big Rock Finish" tab for additional information.

Monday, February 12, 2007

2007 CMC Pankcake Breakfast

We got there late so the pancakes were gone, but I did get me a quart of orange juice. This new location turned to be pretty small for us, an estimated 30 to 40 Mustangs were there, here are some of the ones I took a picture of.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Son and I

We used to go to every car show in town, I couldn't get enough with all the hot rods and lowriders, he loved watching the stuffed animals in the car displays. At the car shows it has been a practice to put some stuff animals while displaying your ride, it's better if for some reason the stuff animal represents you in some way.

So our conversations would always be something like, "hey mijo, how do you like that car over there?" and his reply would come "cool dad, what I like the most is the Snoopy sitting on the drivers seat". That was the beauty of going to the car shows together, I knew that something would keep both of us entertained.

I have always had a great relationship with my son. Even now that he is older and up to a few years ago we would still have our yearly outing to go see the big Lowrider Show every time it came to town. But it's been a while since we went to our last one. I always dreamt of having a lowrider, to this day even though I'm a "blue oval guy", my dream car is a 59' Chevy Impala Convertible, but a hardtop would do too. I know my son will smile because he'll think that I may convert to Chevrolet again, but no my dream car may be a Chevy but in the realistic world I see a new Mustang in my garage before I see a Chevy.

I'm getting my car ready for our pancake breakfast and car show at the park on Sunday, and I just can't help but think of those days with my son at the car shows. He unfortunately is a "bow tie" guy and only likes my pony because it's mine, although the couple of times he has driven it had to have been a highlight for him. Yep, he may say no, but I know better.

I drove his old Blazer because he told me it was loud and fast, coming back as I turned into our street and got within his view he said I had a smile from cheek to cheek. I still say the sun was making me make funny faces.

Oh, and now when I display my car a stuffed Joe Cool seats on the driver seat.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pancakes at the Park

I haven't been very active with the Mustang club lately, but I hope that this weekend that will change. We will work our way to the park first thing in the morning as The Copperstate Mustang Club will host it's annual pancakes at the park breakfast and meeting. This is usually a fun outing, there are plenty of pancakes and bacon to eat, and coffee and orange juice to drink.

For this event the park keepers let us park our Mustangs on the grass under the trees, however this year we will have it at a new location and grass may not be available, but that remains to be seen. Fun games are planned for the young and sometimes for the for the young at heart too.

On the average about 30 Mustangs show up as many of the members opt to leave their classics at home in the safety of their garages and drive on their regular cars. Cars that did not trophy in any of our two yearly shows get to compete for a trophy at this time with all the members voting for the cars that qualify. It's all in good fun and a good way for us Mustang enthusiasts to keep the name Mustang alive.

Our club welcomes both classic and late model Mustangs and even those rare Mustang II of the 70s. I'll try to take as many pictures of all the Ponys as I can and post it here in a slide show.

Two awesome Mustangs!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Today, just three days after the Super Bowl another event that was broad casted worldwide happened just around the corner from me. The Soccer game between Mexico and the USA took place at the Cardinals Stadium. (University of Phoenix Stadium)

My brother is a local DJ and he was called to provide part of the entertainment by spinning some records for the crowds before the game started. People came from near and far to witness the battle and the stadium was filled to capacity. It was said that this one game brought millions to the economy of the City of Glendale, Phoenix, and some other nearby cities.

T shirts were being sold everywhere around the city with the t-shirts to support the Mexican team selling like hotcakes.

Now soccer may not be as popular in America as it is in the rest of the world but I say that we have a pretty good team that is ready to take on the European teams. Today USA once again beat Mexico 2 - 0. Mexico has not been able to beat the American team since the year 2000.

It was nice to see that all the Mexican fans still supported and were proud of their team even though they lost. I was born in Mexico so I root for "El Tri" as it is called, but I'm also an American Citizen and so I root for USA. So when this two teams play I'm kindda divided and root for Mexico... No! wait for USA. Shit I root for both although I really wanted for Mexico to break that losing streak.

Better luck next time.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One Man Bandwidth

The co-pilot for the week is a blog named "One Man Bandwidth, An American Professor in China".

I chose this blog because the other bid had been my co-pilot once already. It flatters me that some of my past co-pilots want to be in my blog again.

As I perused through this blog I found out that there are plenty of good entertaining articles for you to read and I myself will have to come back and read some more.

For now please join me in welcoming One Man Bandwidth to my growing list of co-pilots. Click on his thumbnail, you'll agree with me that his blog is pretty good as well as entertaining.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cool Bike

My daughter Nikki and I had an outing yesterday. One of our stops was at a local Costco, there were two reasons we stopped there.

The first one was to sample all the food that they normally cook on Saturdays, you'll be surprised how much good stuff is out there that I would normally wouldn't eat of buy for cooking, therefore sampling is great.

The second was to go see this bicycle made by Schwinn. It's painted in one of the brightest candy tangerine colors that I have ever seen. It has an awesome looking retro-cruiser look to it. No chrome on this baby, the rims, springer forks and handlebars are all painted in black, even the spokes are black.

Due to the lack of exercise I have developed this gut that needs to be reduced. I just think that riding around the neighborhood in style may help to achieve this goal. Thing is I don't have the extra money to buy this thing so for now we'll just continue to wish. It's kindda ironic though, maybe if I stop going to the store to sample all that food, I wouldn't need the bike in the first place.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Texting by Touch... Yeah Right!

The other day I heard that California wants to pass a law to make it illegal to text while driving. Do you phone users really do that? Do you really text while driving? Apparently many people do and this practice has been causing many accidents.

I do not own a cell phone (click here for previous post on the subject) and I really get ticked when I see people driving and talking on the phone. The thing is that phones are here to stay, they are no longer only for the rich or middle class people, they are now so affordable that even 10-year olds have their own. Crazy isn't it?

It scares me more when I am riding my motorcycle, you'll be amazed at how many motorcycle accidents are caused by this issue, I myself have been lucky and blessed to have been able to dodge drivers that get into my lane without warning, yes a couple of them have had their phones by their ears.

So I wonder if some of you bloggers out there do text while driving. Well do you? I know most of you own a cell phone, it's like the most "inn" accessory any person could have, they now come in different shapes, colors, and designs, they take pictures, play music, broadcast movies and TV shows, double as alarm clocks and the list goes on and on. I really am waiting for one that doubles as a salt and pepper shaker and maybe, just maybe then I will consider to buy one.

My personal opinion is that texting while driving is just plain dumb, not to mention super dangerous. In England, South Wales to be more precise if you get caught texting while driving it will yield a $1,800.00 ticket. I know what you are thinking, how in the hell are they ever going to catch the offenders, yeah it sounds to me that this may be hard to enforce, but if by chance you do get caught then be prepared to pay the price.

I know how to type by touch so keyboarding is not really hard for me, please don't tell me that you can text with one hand while driving without looking.

They, Californians are also trying to outlaw spanking... But that's a story for another time.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Why do I battle?

I borrowed this sentence from someone else but tweaked it just enough so that it would apply to what I am about to write.

"Playing to win requires an agile, responsive, demand-driven writer that can embrace complexity and variability without compromising performance."

Well that's why I have chosen to play not to win, but to have fun. To write down things and thoughts that come through my mind put them out there and hope that someone will read them and possibly relate to them and even like them.

Blog Explosion is just an engine that helps us put our blogs out there for people to read. The BOTBs should be and are just for fun and wining or losing should not matter. I guarantee that most of us want to win to satisfy our ego, but do we write to win? Shit I can't even spell correctly and that pretty much sums it up, I rely on spell check tools so that I don't look so illiterate. However writing my blog has helped me to expand my vocabulary and to me that's what makes it fun and challenging.

When I'm voting to accrue points I'm not really reading your posts completely but I read enough to decide who I'm giving my vote to. Joe Cool's Blog was born in June 2006 and my Arizona... It's a dry heat! photo blog in July and most of their exposure has been thanks to Blog Explosion and you all know that in order to be a contender you need to put it out there weather it's in the BOTBs or in the Blog Rocket or Rent My Blog. But since points are needed for everything you need to participate.

So, who do I read? The answer to that is every single blog listed on my "Friends" section on my sidebar. These people have asked me for permission to be in their Blog rolls and therefore they are on both my blogs as well. I figure if someone asks for that distinction it must be because they enjoyed what they read and I am more than happy to return the compliment. My family is also part of my blog roll and my very first blog friends are part of my blog roll. Some of these only post like once a month but who cares, if they post it I will read.

In addition, every visitor that leaves me a comment that is not part of my "Friends" list will get a visit from me as well an it is a this time that I will take my time reading and commenting that particular blog.

So there, I visit all of you that are on my sidebar and I take the time to read what you wrote and more than likely I will comment, and for this I don't need Blog Explosion. I have said before that I'm a simple man with simple ideas, yes I am an "Average Joe" he he, get it? And there really isn't anything wrong with being average, that's why I too would love to win every battle that I enter but that would be unrealistic. I'm just happy to win enough battles to re-affirm to myself that I don't totally suck.

In conclusion -- EC I wish you reconsider, you have been and still are a key part of the BOTBs.
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