Sunday, July 29, 2007

All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down

Yeap, thanks to my daughter Nikki, all my rowdy friends have settled down and gotten to comfortable on my sidebar, take a moment to scroll down the sidebar in the "friends" section and you'll see what I mean.

My daughter spent almost two hours making me these buttons by using a piece of your blogs, in some of them we couldn't use the blog name due to the tittle lenght so instead we used just the name.

I think she did a terrific job at capturing the essence of your template in such a tiny piece of square. Since it's all about your blog feel free to "steal" it as it belongs to you. I for one think all of you look so "cool" lined up on my blog roll and I am proud to have you there.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sadness Over Phoenix

I don't blog about news normally I keep it simple and convey to you my friends that in my world family life and family unity takes precedence over everything.

Today is a sad day here in Phoenix, two news helicopter covering a car chase collided this afternoon killing all four passengers. Two pilots and two camera men saw their last day on earth today and I can't even begin to imagine the pain that their families are going through after such terrible tragedy.

This all happened very close to us, actually the police did apprehend the car thieve they were chasing about three miles away from where I live.

There were many eye witnesses to this tragedy since it happened at around 1:00 p.m. Luckily there were no additional tragedies when the helicopters crashed on the ground. They fell on a park where many people were having lunch but they hit an isolated grassy area away from people.

Bad news like this are always sadder when they hit so close to home, so keep these four public servants that left us today on your prayers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Simple Things in Life


Sometimes something as simple as a baseball game can give me and "mi chica" an opportunity to spend quality time together. Due to my position at work, I often get invited to sporting events. Tomorrow will be one of those occasions as we will be going to watch our snakes eat some fish.

I think the Diamonbacks are having a winning streak so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that it continues, it's always exciting to go to the ball park and watch a game, but it's far more exciting when the home team gets the victory.

For those of you that really, really love the game, watching a baseball game at our stadium here in Phoenix is like a mixture of game night meets the mall, yes Chase Stadium does have a mall feeling to it, there are plenty of food concessions for everyone's taste, and plenty of smaller carts that sell things like caramel apples or gourmet coffee.

What ever happened to the days of peanuts and Cracker Jacks?

But still, going out to the ball park is always an enjoyable experience specially when the seats are great and free, all we have to worry about is paying for parking, how can you beat that?

So what do you think, is baseball still America's #1 pastime, or has it been surpassed by basketball, hockey, and now soccer? Does anyone miss Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, Steve Garvey, or Pete Rose?

With athletes nowadays taking so many steroids and other enhancing drugs, is the fun and excitement of watching them brake records the same?

These are all questions I ask myself, but the bottom line is when I go to the ball park I put all the politics aside so I can just have a good time.

I took this picture the last time I was there, it shows the evolution of the bat and the ball.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Our nieces and nephew came to spend their last two vacation weeks with us, our nephew is already 18-years old (I think) and our nieces are 18, 15, and 14. My nephew and older niece identify more with my daughters event though they are married, since they are young and their husbands are young they never run out of things to do.

The younger ones go to my sister in law's house, she too has a 14 year old and two younger ones. We have been trying to make their stay pleasant so today we took them tubing down the Salt River. Since we went last week and liked it so much we thought they would enjoy it too.

"Mi chica" also went with us this time and she liked it too, it's hard not to relax while tubing down the river, her only problem is that she is dark skinned so as soon as the sun hits her she get very dark. The day was great and the sun was kinda hidden by the clouds for the first two hours, those of you that know Phoenix or have been to Phoenix in the summer know that that's a plus.

Somehow we had lost track of two of our visiting nephews, for one reason or another every time we went to California we couldn't see them so we had only seen them maybe three times in the past sixteen years, the last time we went to California was one of those rare occasions where we did see them and so we extended the invitation for them to come. I am so glad they accepted, actually two out of three came, the middle brother stayed.

They have been taking this past two weeks to reacquaint themselves with each other, I truly hope that after these two weeks they stay in touch and don't disappear for another 10 or 15 years.

Family is all we got, the bigger it grows the better it is, in our case there is no such thing as too many of us.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What would you do?

You may all remember I was cellphoneless up until this past "Father's Day" when my son in law gave me one as a gift. For the record I still don't care for them and I hardly use it but it is getting some use.

I chose songs that would fit the caller and for "mi chica" I used one of my favorite country songs, "I love the way you love me" by John Michael Montgomery.

So here is the most awkward situation since I got it. Let me start by saying that not that it's any of your business and this may be a little too much information but I have been riding with "mi chica" to save gas, she drops me off at work and obviously picks me up in the afternoon (even though years ago we were also carpooling and she actually forgot me... but that's a totally different story).

This week she has been leaving work at 3:30 p.m. and it takes her about 20 minutes to get to my work, I checked the watch and decided that it was time to go wash my hands. While at the men's room I noticed that someone had just gone in there and was about to sit on the toilet, of course all I can see is the shoes so I have no clue who was there (nor was I interested to know), so I decide to take a piss (well I was in the proper place remember)and all of a sudden out of my right pocket the sound comes out "And I love the way you love me, strong and hard, slow and easy... shit! talk about timing, can you imagine how quiet a restroom is and all of a sudden John Michael Montgomery starts crooning that particular song.

Needless to say, I pushed it out as fast as I could, then barely wet my hands and stormed out of the restroom, I just didn't want "homey" whoever it may have been to think he was being serenaded.

As soon as I was out I picked up the call and told "mi chica" what had happened, she was laughing so hard and then when she picked me up we laughed some more.

However now if she calls me and there's a man around me I am going to muffle that song, I am afraid one of these "fools" will tell me "So, it was you..."

Would you have done it any different given that situation?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Princess

My little Cinderella
Is turning two today
But if I fully close my eyes
It feels like yesterday
What are those screams that wake me
In the middle of the night
Whose are these hands that pinch me
and pretend they give me a massage
Who's this little one that calls me
With "jampa" I wanna go
All I know it's a little bundle
A little bundle of joy

So today I'm celebrating
Even if a little late
They say better late than never
So just call me "Mr. Late"
So with this I see you get here
bringing with you a number two
I don't see what is so terrible
Why they say terrible twos?

So keep jumping on my bed
And keep using "jamma's" things
And keep showing me you're healthy
With your smile, your laugh, your glee.

Love you so my little baby
Your are my princess, yes indeed
Hope you have happy birthday
A happy birthday here with me.

I love you baby!
Grandpa Cool

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tubing Revisited

So if you are wondering how it went over at the Salt River wonder no more. It was awesome, the temperature was freaking hot, hot, hot but the river water was nicely cold.

I found the experience to be not so much fun as it was relaxing. To just float for four hours on a lake drinking pops and water (yeah, we forgot the beer, but won't happen again)and eating raft made sandwiches was a lazily fun way to spend our Saturday. Low points were when my daughter Nikki's tube turned while going down the rapids and she sort of panic but just a little bit. And then my son in law lost his wedding ring, it flew out as he was trying to remove the river weed trapped around his fingers.

Other than that, we had a great time and since a nephew of ours from California will be here next week, we may just go again so he can experience it.

I am also hoping for "mi chica" to come along with us this time. But we'll see sometimes we make plans and they change in just a matter of minutes.

I put together this 12 picture slide show, Shouldn't take too long to run through, enjoy as you get to know us more.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


So they trip to Mexico didn't happen, well I'm over it now. So now we go back to our old bag of tricks and will try to do something fun this weekend. There's an Arizona tradition that to date we have not tried and we have been living here since 1990.

Tubing down the Salt River is supposed to be lots of fun, it's relatively close to us and it's very affordable. Basically this is what you do, go to the river and park your car, then take a shuttle that will take you to one of four launching points to a higher elevation of the river, then rent a tube and start floating down the river. I have only seen pictures and it's like a massive river party, you can take food and drink I believe this includes beer as long as they are not in glass containers. Many people take a boom box with fresh batteries just to have some music.

It can take from 2 to 6 hours to tube the Salt River, depending on where you launch, how many stops you make, and how the water is flowing. I have friends that have done it and they say it's a blast, only thing is that the longer you stay at the river the more you may get sunburn, and with the temperatures we are experiencing now I think the two hour trip should be more than sufficient.

I don't think I'll risk taking my camera on this trip unless we can find a cheap disposable so for now I'm posting a couple of "borrowed" pictures from the Salt River Recreation Area's site. The scenery should be beautiful as you can see from these pictures.

So that's the plan, now let's just see if it happens. Should be loads of fun. Another great excuse to do something together as a family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The best laid plans slipped right through our hands... obviously because they were not the best laid plans at all. First I'm going to start with a big SHOUT OUT to "mi chica", whom I was reminded has not been mentioned lately on my blog. Baby you know I love you.

So to all my friends that wished me well on my trip to Mexico City, thank you for the nice wishes, too bad that due to some miscalculations on our part and the fact that we didn't double checked some vital information about leaving the country and passports, we were forced to cancel our trip to Mexico for now. Yes, this is the part were you all can go "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!".

Turns out that in lieu of a passport we were required to have proof that we had applied for it, well we hadn't applied for it therefore we don't have proof. Well, no problem let's cancel Sunday's flight and let's go apply for passports on Monday, then we will book a new flight for Tuesday since we will be able to prove that we have applied for our passports.

"Mi chica" being the helpful person that she is gets on the phone and goes through the process of changing flights, (let me mention she had already spent a long time on the phone verifying with the airlines and the travel agency about the passports). Several minutes later she finally hangs up the phone and tells me that we are now booked to depart on Tuesday morning, but then she also delivered the bad news. Because we are making changes to our itinerary withing 24 hours of departure there will be a penalty added of $650.00 give or take. That's a good $170.00 per person. We can't complain because it was our fault for not checking in depth about the requirements.

All my mom knew and still keep telling us is that "the news" keep saying no passport required until September 30Th, but she never caught the "proof that you filed for passport required" part.

Well let's not cry about it and let's take fast action. Monday morning at 7:00 am we were at City Hall, the parking lot is empty so I start thinking we are there too early. We walked towards the main entrance and the schedule clearly states that business hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Darn, we were there too early, I asked this lady approaching the building "So they open at eight right?", she said "I think they do but the building is already open go inside where you can wait sitting down". Son of a gun, I pull the door and it is open even though everything indicates the place is closed.

There are two receptionist sitting there, I approached them and asked where to go for passports. "Oh, that'll be me" she said. She took us inside this office and then asked us, "When are you planning to travel?" "Errr. Hopefully tomorrow" I said. Well then you are going to have a problem, the proof that you have applied for a passport won't post on the Internet for a week and a half, once your application goes into the system they will post it and you can then go ahead and print it.

And so, with those word we knew that our trip for now is a bust. "Mi chica" cancelled the travel tickets again and now we have a credit with the airline so we can fly at a later date, the thing is that for the four of us to be able to coordinate another date together is going to take a miracle, airlines don't accept substitutions, if one of us can't make it then the fare is lost, but since I believe in miracles...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wake Up, Wake Up

Wake up, wake up, you have to get up and have some coffee, your uncle Mario will be here in a few minutes to pick you up, I don't want you leaving on an empty stomach. I bought a rotisserie chicken and boiled some eggs, you can eat them later on and give some of it to your uncle.

Have a nice and safe trip and say hello to your parents from me when you get there. It's going to be a long trip so if you can buy a comic book or two and then look around, you may be able to swap them on the bus. According to the schedule it's going to take exactly 36 hour for you guys to get there.

That conversation, mostly a one sided conversation was had by me and my aunt in Mexico City back in 1975. My dad came to the US in 1970, my mom came to visit him and went back to Mexico a month later. The second time my mom came to visit him he was ill and skinny so my mom made one of many executive decisions she has made through out her life and decided to stay here.

A year later they went to visit us (there were five of us)and brought back my older sister, whom at the time must have been around 18 years old. After a year they went back to visit the four of us and when they came back they brought my three sisters.

Finally in 1975 they told my uncle, since all of us are here why don't you bring Jose for us and stay here a while to see if you can raise some money? He accepted the offer and the rest is history. My uncle did go back in less than a year because he missed his family, me I started the long road ahead of me to try and adapt to this new country where I couldn't understand anything.

My first neighborhood was predominantly black, just a few of us Mexicans were around then, not understanding and being jumped were two things that I had for a while in my neighborhood, eventually the Mexican population took over the area, it was nice to have some allies and to be able to understand them.

The downfall of that was that for the longest time we didn't need to speak English, since in Los Ageles, Spanish is used everywhere.

This will be the first time since I left my old "barrio" in Mexico City that I am going back. I don't know what to expect but I'm sure that it will be exciting.

See ya all on the rebound.

Show Me Some Love


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July Tibits.

Well three more days and I'll be on my way to Mexico City, the anticipation mounts and the excitement continues to grow. I don't know what we'll be doing or where exactly we'll be going but all I know is that it's going to be a fun experience that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Packing will begin tomorrow, I have to make sure to take enough stuff to last me for two whole weeks, yikes!

On a different subject, my "Arizona... but it's a dry heat!" photo blog will be a year old on Saturday, be cool to Joe Cool and come visit and show some love. Saturday's post should be the last one until I come back from Mexico.

A big shout out to my son and his wife, they treated us to a great 4th of July "carne asada" at their house. We spent the day swimming and eating, the thermometer marked 115 degrees, yes my friends it was hot, hot, hot.

Last but not least, a Happy Birthday wish to my niece. Today was her birthday and we spent the afternoon with her eating some more and drinking coffee.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mexico Here I Come

This past weekend we had another successful trip to Los Angeles; we celebrated my niece's 18th birthday as well as her High School graduation. What better way to celebrate than to rent a bouncy for the kids, and the kids at heart, and to have some "carne asada" and some cervezas. Ummmm cervezas!

Leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back on Sunday afternoon, made it for another "flash" trip, but we are becoming pros at maximizing the time we have while we are there.

I'm hoping that all this acquired experience transfers to my upcoming trip to Mexico City. My mom has been wanting to go and she decided to pay for my sister's and my airfares. We will be there for two weeks, during that time we plan to visit relatives that I have not seen in over 30 years. We will be going from one place to the other mostly small poor rural areas where my mom was born. This is a vacation for us but we won't be going to conventional vacation spots. This is going to be more of a "remember this is where you came from" kind of trip.

So we will be leaving on Sunday the 8th at 9:30 a.m. That means that for two whole weeks I won't be bugging you, but I really hope to come back with some interesting stories and even better yet many, many interesting pictures.

So as the anticipation mounts, and the emotions give us goose bumps, I will start packing and making sure that I take everything I need to take. One item that will be coming with me for sure is my lap top computer; I need it handy to document some of the highlights of the trip and to download all the pictures as I take them.

Without a doubt, this trip will be the highlight of the year, and I already had some very important events happen this year including my son’s and my daughter’s respective weddings.

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