Thursday, May 31, 2007
Well, you know what they say about an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters. Eventually, one of them will type out one of Shakespere's plays.
Actually, I am really happy about this endorsement fromt he Journal. Maybe things can change at the District for the better.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Most large planned community builders right now are doing technology master plans. Most of them will end up with high speed (speed of light) fiber optic systems that connect right to the home. Many subdivisions that are now being built however have no such plans and that will hurt this community in the future. Although I am getting pretty good service from Comcast right now I don't believe they will upgrade their systems for us in a timely manner. They are too busy raising our rates so they can buy up other systems around the country.
This city and all others in New Mexico should be adopting Technology Master Plans that set basic service levels for Internet services being provided to homes. There should be no homes built with out fiber optics at the curb. I don't understand why the city and county have not done this. There are plenty of consultants out there that could set them on their way.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Here we are 20 years later and things haven't changed. The district is still mired in questionable ethics and inefficiency. But, we can take a stride towards changing that by voting out all of the incumbents on the Board. I am talking about Hector Gonzales, Augusta Meyers, and Jose Otero. With the exception of Hector Gonzales, they are all tools of the the District Engineer Shubas Shah and his attorney Chuck Dumars. You will remember Shah as the guy who retired for 90 days after taking close to $200,000 in leave pay, and then came back and was given a salary of 150,000 to start all over again. This was made possible by his control over the Board for favors granted. Not long after that Agusta Meyers, an employee of the District was elevated to a board position when a vacancy occurred. I actually like Augusta a lot but she has been unable to show much independence. Strangely, Augusta now holds the at large seat but was convinced to run against Hector Gonzales who holds the Bernalillo County Seat. Hector has been opposing Shah recently and this is his pay back from Shah and Dumars.
I would suggest votes be given to Isleta Pueblo resident Eugene Abeita for the at large position, farmer Jannet Jarrett in Valencia County, and Adrian Ogelsby for Bernalillo County. They are the best hope for bringing common sense to the management of this crucial water agency.
This is a stealth election that disenfranchises the property owners in the District by holding the election in an off year with little publicity. The Board convinced the legislature a few years ago to remove their election day from General election day in November. Voter participation plummeted to 3%, guaranteeing low turnout. That's why the same old people keep their seats.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
My little friend from last year is back. I assume the same Hummingbird has taken us residence in last year's nest that sits right over our hot tub. He was scoping me out pretty good this morning. But, every time he sees me with my camera he bugs out. He or she built up the nest pretty nicely.
Behind all of this nice weekend in front of us however, I have a sense of rage over the continuing killing in Iraq. bush tells us that we should expect serious casualties over the summer as his 'surge' continues. Will he remember those who died for his folly next Memorial Day? I seriously doubt it since, to my knowledge, he has never been to a slain soldiers funeral yet.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Here is my double standard at work. I don't want her on a motorcycle even though I had one, and I am not so sure about this dating an older guy, although I am seven years older than my beautiful wife Bobbi.
What is a parent to do? I just had lunch with a good friend whose daughter will be starting medical school in the fall. Right now she is touring South America by bus. She just emailed him that they can't get into La Paz, Bolivia because the roads are blocked. She didn't say why they were blocked so you can imagine what is going through his mind.
Kids may get emancipated but parents never do.
Another ill advised State Land Office deal has been given a dagger in the heart by the Environment department. Thanks go to Secretary Ron Curry and the residents of Torrance County who objected to the harebrained idea. Hopefully, it will be fatal. State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons gave out a no bid lease to a company that wants to build an electrical generating plant near Estancia. The fuel for the plant would have been hundreds of square miles of Pinon-Juniper forests on State Land. This was done with no scientific review by the Land Office. No water studies, no wildlife studies, no ecosystem studies. The reason the land office did this deal was to increase the amount of grazing land for Lyon's ranching buddies. Ironically, the forests sprang up as thick as they did because of overgrazing in the first place.
I think there probably could be some thinning done in some of the areas, especially with the Juniper trees. But what was being planned was putting forest health in the closet and basing all decisions on how much fuel would be needed at the plant. It just doesn't make sense to me that we would put Pinon trees, which bear food, into an incinerator.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Las Cruces City Commission went ahead and approved a large annexation that was engendered by State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons doing a sweetheart deal with developer Phil Phillipou. My question is how can that deal be approved when Lyons contractually dismantled his own Request for Proposal process by giving the deal to Phillipou before the deadline for the RFPs was reached. If the Attorney General doesn't force this whole process back to step one, then a great loss will be had for the people of Las Cruces and the State Permanent Fund for the schools. National and other local firms that might have done a much better job on a master plan have been cut out and the people of Las Cruces will pay for it with increased taxes. The Schools will in the end receive less money since a full bid process was never completed. I suggest letters be written to Attorney General Gary King about this.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The French may never be able to beat the Germans in a war, but they sure kick their butts in the airline business. While traveling to our vacation on Lufthansa a couple of weeks ago we had the feeling we were part of a crew in an old Roman galley. It was that bad. Today we flew back on Air
Friday, May 18, 2007
We stopped for a wine tasting at Koper Vineyards. The wine was excellent and I will look for it when I get home. If you want to buy their wine in bulk you go into a special room that is equipped with sterile gas pumps. My calculations were that it is priced at the same amount as gasoline here. About $2.60 a liter, and it is really good wine.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Yes, we are eating our way through this trip. Probably have gained a few pounds that I had lost but we are getting lots of exercise and fun in hiking around. Tomorrow I will hit the Gym and Bobbi will do Jazzercise on board since we are at sea all day tomorrow before our final stop in Slovenia at the port of Koper. Then to Venice for a night and off to Albuquerque.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
We were in Rhodes and Lindos today for an 8 hour excursion. The one thing I am learning about this part of the world is that every few hundred years everything is turned to rubble by earthquakes. Then everyone just takes the rubble and builds something new.
It is beautiful here, but scary knowing that all ends in a few generations just to be rebuilt.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Ephesus had running water to every home, public baths, a theater that held 24,000 people and an incredibly beautiful library.
Strangely enough some marauding army did not destroy this great city. It succumbed to massive earthquakes, drought, sedimentation and a malaria outbreak that killed 200,000 people.
The Turkish Government is doing a great job of restoring this global treasure. Lets hope that Turkey remains a secular country where there is nor radical Islamist government. The last Islamist secular government that is on the rocks is Iraq.
Late today, Sunday, we sail for Rhodes Greece and a long day of excursions there.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
My life long wish to see the Parthenon was fulfilled today. Although there is a decades long restoration taking place you could still see the majestic beauty of this place. Of course it has been built and destroyed many times and you can see the multiple foundations.
We have been fortunate with the weather. It was sunny and 72 degrees in Athens today. The forecast for the next few days is good too. We will be in Kudasi, Turkey tomorrow.
We bought this great looking Greek cookbook today in the Plaka, an old shopping area in downtown Athens. Were not buying a whole lot after the glass we bought in Venice.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
If there is a place full of contradictions it is the Dalmatian coast and
Things are going much better now and the region and the old town are being heavily invested in by the tourist industry.
We did a seven hour tour of the region followed by two hours in
These two Croat musicians even did mariachi music in Spanish. Remarkable. I think Governor Richardson should put a plank in his presidential platform that mandates the same thing for American children. If we don’t start doing that we will be left in the dust by other countries who do so.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
We left Venice at 5pm after the life boat drill. Now to Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is nice to be here on this beautiful ship, the Veendam of Holland America Lines. We are sitting for dinner with a nice couple from Florida. Liberals thank God! The big news in Europe revolves around global warming and Iraq.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
This is the entrance from the inside of Harry's Bar where Hemingway hung out and drank. It was a really interesting bar with all the bartenders in white Tuxedos. 12 euros feach or a gin and tonic for me and the local famous peach drink for Bobbi. Now we have been there and done that.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Bobbi snapped this of me in my jet lag stupor in Venice. We walked around for a while and will go to a nice dinner tonight.This is the view from our hotel room.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I have gotten pretty good at packing for trips. The less you have to take along the better. I can cram two weeks worth of stuff into one small suitcase and my backpack for the Airplane. Of course I always forget some vital item, but you can always buy it on the ship.
Our cruise will take us out into the Eastern Mediterranean for 10 days. First we spend three nights in Venice. Bobbi has always wanted to go there and now is a good time in case the rising waters take it over.
I will attempt to blog during the trip and will send photos too if the uplink on the ship is capable.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Yesterday, I got a chuckle from a fund raising letter I recieved from Mayor Marty Chavez. It was a typical fundraising letter in which he said he needed money and that politicians needed to be honest about the issues with the voters. The two page letter went on and on but it never did mention what Marty was running for, just that he needed money. This morning, in the Albuquerque Journal, Mayor Chavez said he wanted to make Albuquerque City Government more open. That is good. I also think it would be good if he were more open about what he was running for before asking me to send money. I actually might send him some too, but I need to know what he is wants it for.
Marty may not actually know yet which office he will shoot for. In some ways he is just a victim of our money driven campaign system where you have to start raising money as early as possible. Twenty month campaigns will stress us all out. It will fatigue the voters, but probably not as much as the war in Iraq and our poor standing in the eyes of the world.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
FOUR YEARS LATER: In the four years since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished," the war in
Also, for a good laugh on the goings on at the state land office, read this.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Meanwhile, Bobbi's large Toyota Camry Hybrid is living up to its guarantee of 38 miles to the gallon in city driving.