Today, you lowly respirators, is the first day of ozone season. Which
means if you are an asthmatic, child/elder, or immune-compromised of
any age, you have to start paying attention to the dusty skies each
Or you can dial in to the Metro Planning Org or multi-agency air quality reporting source, AirNow, for the day's breathing possibilities.
Already today there are nasty-looking patches in El Paso and Lubbock.
It wasn't that long ago that numbskull TCEQ Commissioner Buddy Garcia was crowing about San Anto slipping under the EPA's radar for ozone attainment, though all of us on the ground know to thank a particularly kind summer instead of anything we actually did. I mean a small fleet of Priui don't solve urban heat and smog. That's not to say it's not moving the right direction, let's just say that by the time the three-year average rolls over us again next year we'll still be kissing last summer's cloud cover.
Meanwhile, McCain and Clinton are pimping out our clean air with late political pledges of a gas tax holy day -- Jubilee JuJubee, even. Of course, the economists are with Obama on this one:
From the Washington Post:
Backing up Obama’s position against Clinton’s proposal to suspend the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax for the summer is a slew of economists who argue that the proposal, first offered by Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, would be counterproductive. They argue that cutting the tax would drive up demand for gas at a time when the supply is tight, which would mean that the price at the pump would drop by much less than 18 cents per gallon.
The tax suspension would, as a result, cut into the highway trust fund that the tax supports, a loss of about $9 billion over the summer, but also result in fatter profit margins for oil companies. Clinton says she would replace the lost revenue by raising taxes on the oil industry.
Harvard professor N. Gregory Mankiw, who has written a best-selling textbook on economics, said what he teaches is different from what Clinton and McCain are saying about gas taxes. “What you learn in Economics 101 is that if producers can’t produce much more, when you cut the tax on that good the tax is kept . . . by the suppliers and is not passed on to consumers,” he said
Until now, I had always thought vegetarianism was simply a health fad, or a
strange attachment to cows. In light of the Haiti food riots, I'm starting to see things differently.
Four impending crises are casting an ominous shadow on the globe today: world hunger, the depletion of fresh water resources, global warming, and disappearing fossil fuel reserves.
Scary huh? Did you know that you could help?
The developed world's meat-based diet is sending shockwaves around the world. By indulging in the meat that cattlemen make widely available, we're indirectly starving and dehydrating Third World nations abroad.
In order to provide you with beef, the meat factories have to raise cattle. Most cows are slaughtered at two years, but do you know how much they consume before then? Tons of grain and water are funneled into livestock daily, reverting necessary resources to the rich man's diet rather than helping the starving in
Here are the raw facts:
+ The USDA has released that it takes 16 pounds of grain to make 1 pound of beef (including water weight). Let's grossly exaggerate and say a serving of grains is 1 cup (where 1 cup is actually more than enough for an adult, let alone a child when cooked). That means that with roughly four cups to a pound, those two steaks could have provided 64 meals in a Third World country. Let's again grossly exaggerate and say that poor Haitians are getting 3 meals a day. That means that that 1 pound of steak you split with your wife could have fed one
+ The gallons of water per pound of beef figure is much more controversial. Most sources agree that it's in the thousands range, but we'll be kind and go with the figure released by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association itself, 435 gallons of water per pound of beef. Let's see how long this could hydrate, say, an American citizen. The recommended amount of water per day is 8 cups. At 16 cups/gallon, one pound of beef not produced could have left 6960 cups of fresh water free for human consumption. That's enough to fully hydrate one person for 870 days, or a little over 2 years.
+ According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), livestock agriculture is contributing heavily to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the report, livestock is responsible for 18% carbon dioxide emissions, 37% methane, and 65% nitrous oxide. Whether or not global warming is actually occurring, this massive pollution cannot be healthy.
+ According to a report released by Dr. David Pimentel of Cornell University, it takes 54 kilocalories of fossil fuel to produce 1 kilocalorie of beef protein suitable for human consumption. Complaining about gas prices while eating that Quarter Pounder with cheese? Think again.
+ The severe negative health effects of red meat have been widely publicized and distributed. Chicken and pork are also accompanied with health risks. Rather than type an essay, I shall refer you to Google.
The world is following the rich countries' example of massive meat consumption, and we need to reverse this trend. A massive cutback on meat, even beef alone, will help these crises in the short term by improving the reputation of the
So in this time of world crises, when hunger incites violence in
Become a vegetarian for at least 30 days. Too extreme for you? Then just take beef out of your diet. Let's put pressure on this wasteful business, and give relief to those that need it. By simply changing our eating habits, we can change the world. After 30 days, I ask you to seriously deliberate before going back to meat. Remember, some nations really can't afford it.
Please guys, it's not just about Bessie anymore.
P.S. If you want to take the challenge and get some support, or just support others, feel free to join us.
Another week, another outrage.
Seventy-five former military officers "inserted" into mainstream media to be used as "message multipliers." No wonder the world is an absolute mess. You didn't get off your beer-stained sofa to throw a plutocracy-wrenching riot when the news broke.
The New York Times made headway in its penance for reporting us into Iraq via Judith Miller-Chalabi by busting open a story on Psyops operations that have infiltrated all the major domestic TV networks with vested-interest generals to keep America sold on the increasingly profitable (for a few) Occupation of Iraq.
It read in part:
culture, low culture, and no culture all co-existing uneasily in
another installment of On the Street. As always, read at your own
On the Street
It's only fitting that when the city of San Antonio is out on the streets that I'm stuck behind a book studying. Perhaps that's how it should be - the two of us always together but apart, which sounds like a Michael McDonald love song that thankfully was never written.
As always, to the letters...
Letters (to the Penthouse Suite)
#1 Carne Asada Is Not A Crime!!
On the Street Foreign Correspondent from La Paz Bear Guerra sent in this letter regarding the Taco Truck War in Los Angeles. Rage Against the Machine had some album that sounded vaguely familiar to this...Battle of Los Angeles was perhaps the name? Looking back that band seems kind of like a joke, especially considering the horrendous spin-off post-grunge band they threw together. I don't even want to remember the name.
Anyway, the letter...
"bear thinks you might enjoy http://www.goodmagazine.com/blog/taco_the_town,
from GOOD Magazine."
The link for lazy people is here.
This Taco Truck War has spread to other non-taco sites. Counterpunch had a mention of it as well.
Here is the real link to check out. And it sounds foolish but it bears repeating - Carne Asada Is Not a Crime!
On the Street has done it's fair share of Taco Truck championing here, here, and here. (Oddly, the taco truck Master's Thesis doesn't seem to be linked anymore on the Current website.)
When the terms of peace have been drawn, at least we'll know what side OTS was on.
#2 The Other Tiago/The Papal Line Has Been Crossed
Longtime On the Street Insider Everett wrote to congratulate the Spurs victory as well as shed light on Brazilians named Tiago, which is pertinent because the Spurs drafted a Brazlian named Tiago Splitter last year who quite possibly could be on the team next year, which would be a historical moment as the Spurs would then be crossing the Papal Line of Demarcation of 1493 within their own team.
Go Spurs! Cool coincidence that all 3 Texas teams are playing today, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Travis Lutter from Ft. Worth, Texas is fighting in one of the 11 fights tonight taking place in UFC 83.
I've looked into Tiago Splitter and was suprized to see he is only 23.
USELESS FACT: Just a few martial arts fighters with the name Tiago (Thiago: variant form)
-Tiago Baggio, Tiago Benete, Tiago Bonito, Tiago Damasio, Santiago Flores, Santiago Manzanares, Tiago Marreta, Tiago Matos, Tiago Oliveira, Santiago Pissani, Tiago Rocha, Tiago Silva, Santiago Terasses, Santiago Torres, Tiago Ze Gota, Thiago Alves, Thiago Born, Thiago Cruz, Thiago da Costa, Thiago de Fritas, Thiago Goncalves, Thiago Martins, Thiago Medeiros, Thiago Minu, Thiago Pereira, Thiago Rizzo, Thiago Santos, THIAGO SILVA, Thiago Tavares, Thiago Thiago, and Thiago Tutuba.
Brazilian Thiago Silva, who holds a black belt in their Jiu-Jtsu form, and is also a Muay Thai practioner, is one of the more well known Tiago/Thiago.
Here is one of his matches below in case your curious...
Video length (5:56) Great example of JIU-JITSU TECHNIQUE vs. BRAWN!!!
Duncan for three!,
The link to the Tiago UFC fight...
Jiu-Jitsu versus Brawn.
#3 Self Doubt
An OTS Insider wrote a small group letter of which OTS was included. I've kept the name anonymous. It hurts to read....
Just a quick note to let you know that I'm feeling pretty close to my breaking point and hate to have to ask you to help me through the intense loneliness, fear and self-doubt I'm dealing with at the moment, but...
I kind of need you guys. I'm having a really hard time with this."
For some reason, in these moments of doubt I think of the last line from Being There..."Life...is a state of mind." I'm not sure why. Hopefully everything will work out. "There will be growth in the Spring" is probably a better quote to consider.
#4 One Ticket to Paradise
In writing OTS #1 Reader Teresa about giving her a free ticket to the Best of Current Party for her long-term dedication to OTS, it was then that this epiphany regarding Eddie Money occurred.
"We might go to NIOSA tomorrow. We went to Oyster Bake
on Friday night and Eddie Money was totally lame. By
my count, he has 6 recognizable bona fide hits. He
sang three of them (unless we missed one at the
beginning) and he saved them until the very end of his
show. I feel he should have spread the hits out a
little bit more."
We all know about it.
McCain's Swiftboat Coming Down the River?
In the same way that Kerry's Vietnam service was thrown into question, it seems that McCain's Vietnam experience could just as well be thrown into the quagmire of public opinion. If the Democrats wanted to win then they probably would go forth with this story under some public interest group, or whatever it's called when big moneyed shadow puppets put attack ads on television.
Anyway, it seems McCain may have collobarated with his VC captors to get better treatment. Here is part of the story, for whatever it is worth. I'm curious to see if this story has "legs" as the horse race pundits like to say. My guess is that it won't. Most likely because Obama is too busy fighting both of the Republican candidates (McCain and Hillary) to have any energy to go down this river, though I suppose the way these things work it might not even be up to him. All very interesting but I assume this will be quickly dismissed.
A Pimp Slap With a Backhand
I'm not much for the city of Dallas or the Mavericks but I think Dirk is cool.
His lack of retaliation has been ridiculed but it's roots are found in other aspects of post-War Germany. From the lack of security at the Munich Games (though really a showing of peace when seen in the light of the spectre of the 1936 Berlin Games and the Third Reich), to the stout refusal of clear assertive narrative in Fassbinder films and other films of the German New Wave, and now to this...Dirk's refusal to retaliate, which is more likely a misunderstanding of the situation. Dirk is playing by the rules of basketball, yet all his critics, it seems, are playing by the rules of American sports masculinity.
And as Avery reaches for his cattle prod to surge life into Dirk, it's too late. This Maverick has already been tamed. And for all of this, I now want to see the Mavericks beat the Hornets so the Spurs can see them in the second round. New Orleans, like the German New Wave, has no narrative that is worth scrutinizing.
No Horse to the Rescue (Aka Hillary Is to Obama as Nader Was to Gore)
Many self-defeating Democrats wanted to put the blame of the 2000 election on Nader for "stealing" votes from Gore, even though the outright stealing (or disenfranchisement) of actual voters by the lady in Florida who liked to ride horses is actually more quantifiable. And of course, if all the votes had actually been counted then Nader wouldn't have been blamed either. And of course this assumes that Nader and Gore were actually on the same page and had the same political vision. Then was not the time to blame Nader. Now is probably a better time as he's become pretty much irrelevant and a shadow of himself.
This long-winded introduction is nothing but to shift focus to the current struggle between Hillary and Obama. Hillary has no mathematical chance to win. All she is doing is damaging Obama and the Democrats chance for the White House. She's helping McCain more than McCain knows how to help himself. As writer Jeffrey St. Clair prophesized months back, Hillary's only logical rationale is to sabotage Obama for this election so that she can try and defeat McCain the next go around.
Her presence on the campaign and the attacks on Obama have such momentum it's important to stop and realize that it doesn't have to be this way. The Republicans actually have solidarity as the chameleon Romney stepped out of the way and hid in the background to help his party. Where is that sort of logic on the left? Howard Dean has less power than Hillary so there is no voice in the Democratic Party to bring sanity to their cause. What a sad state of affairs.
Obama's platitude of 'audacity of hope' is now actually being tested. It was easier to say a year ago. Now, for him to emerge from this Democratic unravelling unscathed, will be a great test of his character and strength.
Evidently, it's here in town on the streets of San Antonio to help our city celebrate Fiesta.
It's these sort of moments in advertising where the actual product gets lost, or overwhelmed, by the ridiculous spectacle of its own advertising. The push to find new frontiers leaves consumers without a map, in constant wonderment of the Brechtian theater before them. On the other side of the coin there is a perpetual argument between the stoned, hipster Art Directors and the rich, moronic Vice Presidents of Marketing who wants to feel "creative." And somewhere in the middle - college graduates driving around the country in a big wiener acting surprised at obvious wiener jokes.
Coyote and the Gorilla
WEBB (A Big Party with an Elusive Name)
It's been a few days now, but here are some random images from the WEBB party at SAMA last week. Overall, it was a huge turnout and a huge success. Someone told me the history behind the name WEBB but I can't remember and I'm not sure even they knew for sure. Not that it matters of course.
Pink flamingos huddled together to stay warm.
As the night wore on, the dancing from the stage found its way to the floor.
Spectres of the spectrum.
A Tim Burton-esque shadow illuminated the wall.
This dancer was practicing her moves/chops to herself before hitting the big stage.
On the west side of the party there were tents of free food and this band right here playing. That seems like a "digeridoo."
Evidently, this woman is a famous actress from Desperate Housewives. Her appearance was brief but appreciated. I've never seen the show but I'm confident she is not Tony Parker's wife.
Best of The Best of...Current Party
Hot off the "presses". In no particular order, here is a cryptic narrative of the gala affair of the 2008 Best of Current Party.
Rockers Yoshimoto get ready for an incredible set. I had never heard them before. Matt the DJ told me they are equal parts Blonde Redhead, Fugazi, and Dinosaur Jr. Keep talking I said.
Within minutes of opening the gate, hundreds of hungry people stormed through for energy drinks, pasta plates, and cordials.
Though one might think pole dancers just get up on stage and start dancing, in actuality there is pre-dance routine that must be followed. Here, the pole is cleaned before the dancework can begin.
The Mayor stops by to help us celebrate the Best of party. Thankfully, the Open Letter regarding impending cannibalism didn't dampen his Fiesta spirit. Now was not the time to engage in detailed planning for the new Turner thesis.
With all the good times, one might forget that we were actually at a museum. There's probably a word in latin for butterfly collecting...
And this bird is even better, even if birds are so 2007.
This seems obtuse but it's actually self-explanatory.
The last known shot of Henry before he left his Current graphic design duties for greener pastures up north. In his absence, the graphic design department did a shift to the right. Not politically, but everyone moved over a chair to the right to fill his absence. Sadly, no more renditions of the story of how he shamed the guitarist from Metallica into signing his Mettalica tape while he was eating a Ceasar salad on the riverwalk. (Henry is on the one on the left.)
A hall monitor and a Catholic school girl in trouble.
DJs were everywhere. This guy got rave reviews tonight, and not just because he was set up by the pole dancers.
The pole dancing inspired yard dancing. Without getting into it, I will say this was a clear sign that the party was almost over.
Stages and poles don't just show up from the stripper fairy. No, there was work to be done to bring this all together.
A ridiculous crowd spilled over from the Current party to Limelight. People were being turned away. It was all very un-San Antonio. Since the "gangland" killing of the late 80s that did in the St. Mary's strip and thereby ended the reign of Joe King Carrasco, when has there been this sort of overflowing crowd?
Even more improbably, a gaggle of vintage mopeds. Maybe the Open Letter to the Mayor actually woke some people up? What's next urban gardens?
And what better way to end the week then the way it began - with Taco Trucks. Here, across from Candlelight, a Taco Truck has set up shop.
Ricos Minitaquitos. Unlike Los Angeles, we have Taco Truck amnesty here. Al Pastor is not a criminal either (though their version wasn't exactly inspiring, but anyway...)
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...
Rev. Seymour Perkins will continue to be a regular fixture of the East
Hackberry community for at least the next eight months or so, despite a
local judge's rejection of his attorney's request for a new trial.
It was just a few weeks ago that CPS crews shut off gas to the home of this controversial artist and comforter of wayward streetwalkers and a bulldozer rumbled onto his property. That was the day after a local judge ruled in favor of the city's structural complaint about the home.
While Perkins' attorneys got a judge to phone in an immediate stay on that demo, no one seemed interested in hearing it.
[Check video here.]
This time, there was a granted stay of demolition until the appeals process plays out at the Fifth Circuit to determine if Perky's team has the right to present evidence or not. (If accepted by the court, that process will likely take up to eight months, said one pro-bono attorney handling the case.)
Attorney Eddie Bravenec said that volunteers have emerged from all points to donate time and resources to bring Perky's home up to city code. However, offers to transform the home into an art gallery and move Perkins to another location have met resistance in District 2 council offices of Sheila McNeil.
Rather than push the issue, Perkins y Co. will wait out the current council tenant, hoping for better luck next round.
"I think that what we're going to do is wait until we get a council person from that area that's not crazy," Bravenec said.
That new council member would be "reasonable enough to say if we can get the drugs and prostitution out of that area, that's great. That if we can make sure this building is safe, that's great too, and that should be one of our goals. Not that they want to take this old man's house."
The attorney added that he had heard there were backroom deals already being done on Perky's property.
Here's what McNeil told us…
Even though he never made any effort to look (or sound) youthful, it's
still a bit jolting to consider that Willie Nelson turns 75 next week.
To put things in perspective, the Lone Star State's greatest living
music icon was born two years before Elvis Presley, and while Presley
went out as a bloated wreck at the age of 42, Willie was only getting
started at the same age.
Veteran Texas music writer Joe Nick Patoski has delivered a fitting testament to Nelson's epic life with a new biography, appropriately titled An Epic Life (Little, Brown). A painstakingly researched 567-page tome, An Epic Life chronicles Nelson's slow, frustrating rise and his groundbreaking cultural achievement: linking earnest folkies, longhaired hippies, and C&W-loving cowboys under his inclusive tent.
Among the great anecdotes: A young Willie getting a job in Nashville as an encyclopedia salesman, and quickly quitting when a dog chased him back to the car; Willie, aware that Patsy Cline didn't care for his music, sheepishly waiting in the car while his music publisher, Hank Cochran, tried to sell "Crazy" to her; a drunk Jerry Jeff Walker trying to grab Nelson's beloved guitar, Trigger, and getting a good pummeling for his efforts; and Nelson having an epiphany when he saw a hippie rock band called Freda and the Firedogs (led by a very young Marcia Ball) play an Austin benefit for legislative candidate Lloyd Doggett at the Broken Spoke, a haven for the kicker crowd. Willie called his old friend Waylon Jennings, told him that something was stirring in Austin, and the rest is Outlaw Country history.
Here's another high-profile, border wall critique sure to being a smile to your dry lips. The New York Times ran an interesting item yesterday suggesting our desperate border wall has a few bugs in. No, not Boeing’s pretend wall of high-tech gadgetry, the steel mesh and concrete serpent en route to Texas.
Lawrence Downes, in an opinion piece called “The Not-So-Great Wall of Mexico,” got it right when he said that no one living on or near the border was surprised when torches and bungee-jumpers took the wall on in what I can only assume to be New Mexico or Arizona (since Texas is still, god bless us, 99-percent wall-free).
Downes cites an AP report, when he dwells on use of
and plasma torches and hacksaws to cut through the
15-foot-high concrete-and-steel barricade. "Officials monitoring
in the area have seen at least one group using a massive ladder to
south side of the fence," The A.P. reported. "The group tried to drop
One of the things I heard a lot of on
the border back in March was the
adaptations border crossers would inevitably make. “
Bizarre that Homeland would have considered planting “thorny shrubs” along some river sections, but refused to consider an increase in Border Patrol agents as an alternative to the Wall. “Boots on the ground,” as we like to heroically refer to deployment these days, is already occurring with results.
“Perhaps the federal
government could not have anticipated
bungee-jumpers,” Downes writes. “But it should have
foreseen the fury of
border-community officials, like the coalition of "
Yeah, then there is the string of Amicus filings in support of the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife’s request for a Supreme Court ruling regarding Chertoff’s use of Real ID waivers (the statute allowing the USHS Secretary to ignore virtually any federal law that delays wall construction), including this one from about 30 constitutional law professors from around the country.
The Con Law profs claim Chertoff has
never explained the
necessity behind his several waivers of federal law, and should do so
Under current law, they state, Chertoff is free to break up strikes or
to labor in dangerous conditions.
He is equally free, they continue, to ignore:
state speed limits in
102(c) gives the Secretary the power to waive
Indeed, under Section 102(c) the Secretary could waive the immigration laws and regulations, hire illegal aliens, and pay them less than minimum wage if he deems it necessary to build the fence.
With all the heat he’s been coming under of lately, maybe we could offer a limited amnesty for Mexican wall workers and shave these costs down. After all, we know the cost of war in the Middle East. What would happen when we add a war on Mexico?
Given the state of the dollar, it may not do us so much good.
With contracting economic opportunity at home and our current market wobblings, more and more Americans are likely to press for the wall to be scaled down or scrapped, and what’s already up to be converted into rows of undiscriminating, omni-directional turnstiles. (Apparently, those turnstiles are already spinning in sectors like agriculture).
We may not deserve it, but second chances are what this country is about, right?
On the Beach
It was a week of changing perspectives. Road trips often have that way of rebooting one's personal computer.
As always, to the letters...
Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
From the desk of Elray came this announcement...
WHO: UTSA New Media Studio
WHAT: 2nd Annual End-of-Year Screening & Exhibition
WHEN: Friday May 2, 2008 screening begins at 7pm; exhibition open all day
WHERE: UTSA Buena Vista Theater and Assembly Room, Downtown Campus
GENERAL CONTACT#: 458-4352
PRESS CONTACT#: Leslie Raymond 316-4598
Still riding high off their Luminaria success, students from the UTSA New Media Studio are holding their 2nd Annual End-of-Year Screening & Exhibition at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Premiering on screen are a dozen new single-channel videos including both narrative and documentary works, with a heavy emphasis on experimental. The new audio-visual performance group “Big Medium” will make their stage debut tonight-- do not miss the fun as Utah Snyder and Michael Stoltz (who some may know as the Deluminators) jam on turntables and electronic instruments with Alyosha Dotson on the VJ mix. Also on display are ten new media art projects in the Buena Vista Assembly Room. These works make use of the moving image in innovative ways, incorporating multiple monitors and video projections.
For those that recall, OTS had a few fotos from this UTSA show at Luminaria.
It seems the moped talk of last week spread across the country...and the world. Occasional OTS Reader Nida sent in this letter from the depths of Brooklyn...
With the title "Awesome Carving" came this image...
...and a link to its source.
An anonymous reader new to the "magic" of On the Street sent in a link to a website we evidently should be aware of.
It's called Stuff White People Like.
On the Street Insider "Tops" sent in fotos from the Main Plaza Grand Opening.
Here is sample of the fun that was shared....
For more go here.
Occasionally, tangible letters arrive as well. Here is one that was very well received.
A knock on the door and then this orphan.
The two free samples from Tillamook finally arrived. This will help greatly with the pizza making habit. And as an extra lagniappe, two hi-tek cold storage packs for use in later endeavors.
From the West Coast to the Third Coast...
March to the Sea
This trip began at Beer N All for supplies. The parking lot is full of hangers-on. It's sort of like the kind of dudes who hang out in the kitchen at a pizza parlor discussing the latest grimecore album. The vibe seems appropriate for the beach, which was appropriate for the week.
Here, hidden behind the absinthe bottle is a surreal ad for Beer 'N All that came with the drinks. As Rupert Murdoch is to media, Beer 'N All is to liquor sales.
This is actually a view leaving the Coast but it makes more sense in the beginning. Technically, this is the JFK Causeway. I'm not sure of his connection to all this. Sandy knoll jokes would be appropriate here.
For those who couldn't make it out on the Barf Cat, the pier offered a more stable, leisurely way to go about things. Notice, the white plastering on the top of the lights. A foreshadowing of a showdown with some pelicans the next day.
This residence has been documented many times, perhaps even a year ago when On the Street went On the Beach the first time but its worth noting again for its industriousness, clean lines, and other words architects might or might not use.
From this same angle a year ago rain and wind attacked the island. This year it was nothing but good times.
A look out towards the jetty aka La Jetee. The culprit makes a first appearance.
A view of the bridge/JFK Causeway that connects the island to the mainland. This view was taken from a neighborhood with occasional gardens and retirees walking around with very little sun protection.
This shack/store gets great local reviews. It's actually on the access road.
The person running the place was a salty Vietnam veteran. I'm not sure if his name was Wanda. (The absinthe still haunts from the background.)
A whole Red Snapper for less than $10. It seemed like a fair exchange.
Later, a visit to Dragonfly, supposedly one of the best restaurants onn the island. Here is a plate of escargots with puff pastry competing with a few slices of bread. There is a general French approach to things, nonetheless the mood is completely casual. Tommy Bahama shirts are not required but nor are they frowned upon.
And finally on the beach. The setting sun and cool breeze combined for a dramatic mood.
Seaweed (aka sea nettles) were everywhere. As were the birds (aka pelicans.) They may have excreted upon us but it was nothing that briny saltwater couldn't try to solve (though the stain remained.)
Beach grafitti. Frend or foe?
In the distance...a boardwalk. On the right were several structures for people to set up shop. It was amazing to see the city come together in a common space. At one structure, a family playing with the frisbee. In the structure next door, a whole different reality. Kids drinking beer while standing on top of the roof rapping at each other. Anything seemed possible, and everything seemed accepted. It was a sandy zocalo.
More award winning fotography from OTS from under the boardwalk down by the sea.
And finally, the sun set. Memories embedded themselves into fissures in the brain, or whatever.
And so goes another week on the beaches of Texas. As always, to be continued...
(Sorry folks, can't find embeddable video anywhere ...)
I can haz present?
The UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs, Honors College and
Camborne Productions are sponsoring a special screening of the
documentary film Beyond
Borders: The Debate Over Human Migration on Wednesday, April
23 at 5:30pm in the MB 0.106.
Dave Szamet, the film's producer and UTSA Immigration Law professor Daniel Serna will be in attendance to introduce the film and talk about their views on immigration. The UTSA will join Yale Law School, Emory, the University of Southern California, and Georgetown in the screening of this film.
Beyond Borders moves past the headlines and takes an in-depth look at the hot-button issues of legal and illegal immigration. Beyond Borders explores the psychological forces driving the immigration controversy from both sides of the debate. Anti-immigration activists demand we stop this "illegal alien invasion," while some pro-immigration forces speak of a Reconquista, a reclaiming of the American Southwest by Mexico.
In search of a middle ground, Beyond Borders travels across the U.S. and beyond to give voices to those on the front-line of this issue. (Beyond Borders Official Website) For more information concerning the documentary please click on the attached flyer below or visit: www.beyondbordersfilm.com.
Volunteers spend a Saturday cleaning up a 10 mile stretch of San
Antonio rivers and creeks from South Alamo to Southtown. Found among
the discarded items were tires, TVs, furniture, broken windows and
metal debris. To find out what you can do to help, go to
I know the world is scary and the economic forecast, supermercado, and gas pump intimidating in the later-day of Bush. But San Antonio, you’re bigger than to roll up and plug up when questionable pitches roll your way.
I know this 'cuz I watch you fight over the Edward’s recharge zone, for better housing standards, for safe communities and the protection of women and children. So what was to explain the pep rally we held last September 11?
I know you’ve got a utility run with the secrecy of the NSA, and hikes in your water and power bills expected any day. But if you can find room in your red-white-and-blue hearts (no lapel pins necessary), maybe you could add one more item to your list of concerns.
I’m talking, of course, of the explosion of bio labs operating across the country and the growing fears of outbreak. I'm talking about Homeland Security's proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.
On the one hand, such labs have been a huge boon to the regional economy. On the other, the GAO and Congressional research has shown that the explosion of labs and their deadly pathogens across the country is cause for concern.
The Associated Press (AP) recently reported (2 October 2007) that American laboratories handling the world’s deadliest germs have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003, including the transmission of bird flu to a lab technician from an infected ferret’s bite and a missing shipment of the plague that was to be delivered to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The AP reports that the number of accidents is only increasing as the number of biosafety level (BSL) 3 and 4 laboratories that work with the deadly organisms and toxins continues to increase.
BSL-3 labs can house agents and toxins that have the potential for aerosol transmission and may cause serious and potentially lethal infection, although in some cases vaccines or effective treatments are available. Agents handled in BSL-3 labs include anthrax, West Nile Virus, and avian flu. BSL-4 labs handle agents and toxins that pose a high individual risk of life-threatening disease, which may also be aerosol transmitted and for which there is no vaccine or therapy. These include Ebola, hemorrhagic fevers, and smallpox.
Your local daily was editorializing in favor of Homeland Security plans that could bring a massive new germ lab to San Antonio way before they bothered to task a reporter to investigate.
Whose in charge of overseeing all these labs? No one, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. And just try getting good data on their practices...
Back to the AIBS policy paper:
Officials from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified that the expansion of BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs is taking place across the country in many sectors, including federal, state, academic, and private. However, the GAO investigators revealed that no single federal agency is explicitly tasked with tracking or coordinating biosafety labs and determining their associated risk, despite the fact that 12 federal agencies have some connection with BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in the United States. Further, oversight of the high-containment labs is fragmented and relies on self-policing. Officials indicated that although they know of 15 BSL-4 labs (with one in the planning stage), the total number of BSL-3 labs is unknown; only those labs that are registered with the CDC-USDA Select Agents program or are federally funded are known.
As one of five finalists for the N-BAF, residents in Long Island had loads of questions about security (full story below).
So does North Carolina's residents.
We didn't exactly have that reaction in SA. Here was my take from September's meeting.
I include the below article to help you start formulating your own questions for when the choice pick is announced. And it's San Antonio. At such a juncture, why not at least pretend we live in a representative democracy, even if our rights have been pulled and stretched like taffy these past few years.You don't have to wait until they're building over your recharge or loosing their study-subject primates into Hill Country hollows before you get involved.
BY MITCHELL FREEDMAN
11:57 AM EDT, April 16, 2008
one in Southold last
night actually suggested that building a new federal bio-hazard
But a lot of the concerns voiced by local residents at a public hearing on the proposal did touch on events which insurance companies often call an "act of God."
What if windstorms knock down the roof of the containment building, or a tornado spreads disease microbes all across the
There were other questions -- many written down on cards from the audience -- about the safety of samples being shipped to the lab, about the back-up systems, about why the lab doesn't post daily air quality samples covering its incinerator, and even what would happen if an airplane crashed into the lab.
"Do I have to remind you about September 11?" one woman in the audience asked.
While officials did not come out and admit it,
"What if they drop a bomb," someone else asked a few minutes later.
All of the questions were part of a preliminary public hearing into federal plans to build a new bio and agri-defense research facility to replace the half-century old
Another hearing will be held in the fall, once a preliminary environmental review of the project is completed.
Six sites for the new lab are being looked at, five of them in other states because local officials are lobbying to get the 520,000 square foot proposed facility, and Plum Island because it is the only site in the nation where research is now being done on hoof and mouth disease and other dangerous plant and animal diseases.
The big difference in the current and the proposed facility is that the new Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would be classified as a BSL-4 research facility, compared to
There are only four BSL-4 labs now in the
A BTL-4 lab, on the other hand, would investigate microorganisms that pose a high risk of life threatening disease, and for which there are no known vaccine or therapy.
Initially, 29 potential sites were proposed for the new facility, and the list has been narrowed down to six. Along with
The new facility would cost about half a billion dollars, and would be designed with higher safety and security standards than now exist at
No final decision has been made on what to do with the existing
A draft environmental impact statement on the new research facility evaluating all six sites is supposed to be ready this spring, and a final statement is to be completed this fall. The actual site of the facility would be determined at least 30 days after that final EIS is released for public comment.
Design work would begin immediately, and construction is planned to start in 2010. The new lab would be in operation in 2013, according to current plans.
Staff writer Bill Bleyer contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.
You are a colorful, valueless component of this great project of resource consumption: Celebrate it!
As the Big Day, that greenest
collection of hours, that day when
the unified realization of our interconnectedness in this great web of
overconsumption switches on in each of our solitary socially-networked
lives and you remember that special someone who opened the world to you...
When you talked about doing good and held hands on long walks through the city parks.
You talked about getting mountain
bikes to really boogie
through the chinaberry and hackberry and snorted down those
through over-sized straws.
Maybe the memory of a supposedly better season, a thoughtful season when all you wanted to do was have fun and helps loosens up kinder notions of yourself. Weren't you prettier then? Smarter? Good-hearted?
But then you realize what you are
really. A dirty, stinkin’,
glutton, burdening the world by your very existence.
Nat Geo did their best to show you where we are, with our 2-point-whatever kids and all that conquered lawnspace rolled out over formerly productive native prairie. Were we supposed to feel guilty when we saw the glump of thousands of diapers we each shat into toxifying landfills? And the assortment of pigs and cows we ate on average? Or the mountain of potatoes or sodas or bananas?
Interesting imagery and maybe there
was a message. I got restless with the the value-neutral presentation
that just seemed to go on and on, like us on the planet, apparently. I
quantities were supposed to carry shock value, but if you’ve
your life as a consumer, you wouldn’t have been. Our gluttony
does not surprise
Did the narrator ever get around to
sharing that small
detail: That our American standard of living can not be duplicated
without four more earths to mine for resources? Or that the pace of car
So, here’s an idea. In all of the pull-out supplements, and special issues, and insider reports, try keeping track of the number of times you are beckoned to a new “green” product. If our none-too-smart use of resources got us into this current climate mess, then maybe we can buy our way out. We're being sold a bill of servitude.
Redemption would come a lot easier that way, of course. We wouldn't be contesting with Turner's vision of cannibal Canadians sweeping south in a mapleleaf rage, or with the ruling age of MegaStorms liquidating our kin from the equator out. However, the answer to our condition lies outside our current consumer culture. More specifically, it lies deeper within our culture and in our roots as Producer-Consumers.
Plaudits to you poor inheritors of
this swirling, spinning
Buying a rainforest is cool (as long
as you also solve some
economic issues for those living nearby, or they’ll likely
burn, blast, or fell
it anyway, on the sly); gardening is a big “hell
yeah” that each of us should
be exploring (and likely will as water, electricity, gasoline, bread,
eggs, and whatever it all makes when you stir it up in a pot escalates
but picking up after ourselves? Keeping
I suspect we’ll be falling
down on this slope if prices for
aluminum and plastics and paper don’t keep rising, too. So,
I’m not too
concerned on this point either.
If it sounds like I’m
stating the free market case for crisis
global climate change response, I am. In a way.
Recovering our knowledge of gardening, slimming down on the gasohol, watching that thermostat: it all follows an inflationary economy, which we seem to be well into. It is, literally, the least we can do, the latest we can afford to do it.
It's the worst-case scenario, where we allow econo-climatic leaps force the shift on our behaviors.
In practical terms, this sort of
reactionary living (as
opposed to proactive) means we (and our lima-bean-eatin' children) will
responding to ever-worsening crises with slimmer chances of holding
lifestyles we have been enjoying for so long.
This Earth Day, instead of buying T-shirts to save the rainforest, just buy the blinkin’ forest and pick up a thrift store T instead. Try sleeping in your skivvies instead of shopping for “greener” pajamas (and throwing in a little seaweed face scrub on the side).
Hell. Skip the Earth Day balloon release party and take the afternoon off to break up that water-hungry lawn for a no-water desertscape and a pea garden. It’ll be easier on your wallet and more fun that walking around in the heat stuffing yourself with soda and cotton candy, anyway.I mean, then you'll have to worry about making birdhouses out of your soda cans and paper tubes. What a pain in the ass that'll be.
Without a Mexican made much better billboards and movie
trailers than actual feature-size-and-duration entertainment, still the
point overtly maneuvering across the narrative was well-honed: The economies
of the Americas, norte y sur, are linked
to degrees our immigration policies don't yet recognize or account for.
By mysteriously rapturing the brown out of LA (and exposing the inherent racism brooding above and below), the scriptwriters created the forum for a beautiful, and timely, political package.
Today, with a nation retargeting its media-stoked terrorism fixations and animosities on the OTAs (Other-Than-Amerikuns) we are beginning to see the fraying edges that herald worse to come unless Washington can come to grips with new modalities, like doing the right thing in spite of a rancorous few demanding a new war on the southern boundary.
Without an immediate shift back to sanity in the immigration dimension, we "run the risk of doing serious and reverberating harm to our national economic base," sez LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his recent letter to Homeland Man Michael Chertoff.
On the Street
High culture, low culture, no culture all co-existing uneasily in another installment of On the Streets. As always, read at your own risk...
Letters (to the OTS Penthouse Suite)
It was a slow week for mail, though thankfully a busy week (or two hour period) for fotographs. First Friday and the Final Four combined synergisticaly and alliteratively. I'm still not sure what happened with Kid Rock.
But first, to the letters...
From Austin reader Michael came this announcement with the title "My Imaginary Band"...
You may or may not be aware, and you may not care all that much, but I am very proud to announce that the new Monroe Mustang record, Monroe Mustang, the Imaginary Band, Regretfully Declines, was released this week on JagJaguwar
A free mp3 download of the opening track – "The Other Side" – is available here.
This is the first album by Monroe Mustang this century. Keeping with the times, this "record" is a digital release – you can purchase it here on the iTunes music store, or at Amazon
Believe it or not, we will play some shows this summer in Austin, Texas, and we have some more surprises up our collective sleeves.
We are committed to continuing forward at the glacial pace you've never heard of, come to conveniently forget about and/or not expect.
Be our friend and please help us spread the word.
Thank you for your attention. Pardon the intrusion. And don't forget to say hello if we haven't emailed in a while.
Here is where to read about the album.
The youtubes uncovered this fan-made "video".
OTS Insider "Tops" emailed with this update about the Main Plaza opening...
"Sorry to see I missed out on the Highlife Ride last week, but I'm a little drained from overtiming. Main Plaza opens this weekend (Sunday evening) so after than things normalize a bit. You should come on out for that.... I'll send out an email soon enough."
For information about the Sunday night Main Plaza re-opening party check out this.
Normally, it's all about the letters coming in. On occasion, however, a letter must be sent out. This would be the first time. One can imagine it must have been important.
Yes, we're talking about a letter to the Mayor. It involves the recent prediction for cannibalism and related topics.
Meet the New OTS Correspondent: LA Chris
This is quite a score for On the Street. With "offices" in La Paz, San Luis Obispo, Denver, and now Los Angeles, the OTS news desk has expanded considerably.
LA Chris is gracious to share his inside knowledge of the Hollywood film scene. Here, he helps OTS clarify some issues from a few weeks back regarding Leprechaun 5: "Lep in the Hood". (To recall, the Leprechaun series was created by another Mark Jones, aka doppelganger #2 of OTS historians.)
Here is the ground-breaking interview.
Uugh. I think many things when I look at this week’s 210SA cover … none of them have to do with environmentalism — the issue they’re purportedly trying to call attention to — but several begin with “half.”
Mostly I can’t get over the fact that this publication is edited by a woman: Julie Ann Vera. Now, I’ve lived in San Antonio long enough (um, forever) to know that not every woman here considers herself a feminist; in fact, the word “feminist” is often perceived as a negative, thrown around with other words like “dyke” and “Nazi.” I wonder about Vera and I wonder how much control she actually has. What did she think of the cover?
The Current is no stranger to flirting-with-nudity cover images — perhaps you recall our last two “Texas Books” issues. Yes, edgy is part of who we are; yes, the whole point is to make people look; but I would argue that in creating each cover, our goal is also to create a piece of artwork. We’re no prudes, but neither of the covers in question was intended to appeal to anybody’s prurient interests, necessarily. They are very simply thought-out, intrepid images.
It is quite another thing, I think, to grab what appears to be a stock shot of a woman with no ass, Photoshop in some green and pretend that what you’re doing isn’t 1) cheap and lazy 2) using what is essentially a dismembered female body to sell yourself. (You see the dismemberment technique a lot in advertising, where the desirable part of a woman are featured free of the less sexy bits — think Victoria Beckham’s Marc Jacobs ad.)
When 210SA’s latest issue got passed around the Current, we all wondered where the model’s vagina had gone. This, truly, belongs on photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com. Don’t worry, virginal readers, we’re canning our planned environmental issue in favor of a cameltoe issue, with artful representation of what female anatomy actually looks like — not an upside-down plateau.
[cross-posted at harman on earth]
The oxygen-starved "cloud" — hypoxia explosion, or dead zone — at the bottom of the mighty Mississip' was nearly 8,000 square miles last summer, about the size of New Jersey.
Off the Texas coast, we are now being informed by researchers at Texas A&M, is a coast-long lifeless stretch of water that has been sitting undetected for decades.
And it's not likely to dissipate anytime soon.
This information comes less than a year after a portion of this massive zone was first confirmed off the Texas coast. Researchers say the zone extends at least 20 miles south of our sands and is "patchy," though consistent.
Says Steve DiMarco, associate professor in Texas A&M's College of Geosciences:
The key to minimizing the Gulf dead zone is to address it at the source. Solutions include:
The government is also funding efforts to restore wetlands along the Gulf coast to naturally filter the water before it enters the Gulf.
It's a soap. No way around that. But what the gathering at Perky's
place last week proved is that many believe it's a soap with
ramifications beyond this single abode.
While the neighborhood is by no means unanimous as to the city leaving the former minister and self-taught artist's home untumbled (prostitutes, they decry. In front of the children no less), the majority I've met in the area believe:
1. Dangerous Structures (*which, by the way, is the issue pending in court — not the presence of hookers, etc.) should give Rev. Seymour Perkins time to clean up his lot. If the issue is poverty, assistance, not demolition, is in order.
2. Drugs and prostitutes are epidemic across this District 2 neighborhood of Denver Heights. (If we trash one house, we might as well start leveling across town.)
The pro-bono team of Albert McKnight and Eddie Bravenec have filed a request for a new trial, which, if accepted by the court, may get the structure at S. Hackberry and Nevada through the meanest months of summer.
And if Perkins and Co. can raise another $3,500, they can finish the almost-restored electric and get new cement blocks and beams under the house.
It's been six months since any prisoner in the United States was
executed. The Big Pause is the anticipated Supreme Court ruling
lethal injection: does the deadly cocktail of sodium pentothal (an
anesthetic), pancuronium bromide (body paralyzer), and potassium
chloride (heart stopper) represent cruel and unusual
However, in the past decade public sentiment has been shifting on capital punishment. Today, people are just about evenly split between those who favor death and those who favor life without parole for the worst crimes, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
A ruling from the court is expected this summer.
José Moreno is one of those inmates whose crime merited an extreme sentence. But when is justice hopelessly tarnished by the daily cruelty that can be life on death row. Moreno was one of those jolted by the Kentucky case pending with the Supremes.
He recently wrote us about his experiences.
On the Street
High Culture, Low Culture, and No Culture all co-existing uneasilly in another installment of On the Street. As always, read at your own risk...
Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
Perhaps at some time later an OTS historian can more clearly look back and make sense of all that comes in as well as all that goes out. It's been said that the human body maintains homeostasis between internal and external factors. I sense a pressure building up. Perhaps balance isn't what we thought it was.
To the letters...
An announcement came in for this travelling group show. I hope to check it out soon and then head over to the spectacle on Alamo Street. Thankfully, Kid Rock is performing Saturday night, not on First Friday. Somehow, Kid Rock has successfully borrowed the worst aspects of a variety of bad musical genres.
I hope you will make a trip to Blue Star this Thursday, April 3 or First Friday, April 4 to view 2 fabulous exhibitions that include:
April 3 - June 8, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 3, 6-8pm and Friday, April 4, 6-9pm
Inspired by the Who song of the same name, Goin' Mobile, is an on-the-road inspired traveling exhibition that investigates the literal sense of travel. Goin' Mobile ventures in every direction to guide the viewer on a trip to those familiar and unknown places along our traveled and explored routes.
Adam Blumberg (Philadelphia, PA)
Min-Tse Chen (Beijing, China)
Mark Hogensen (San Antonio, TX)
Michele Monseau (San Antonio, TX)
Tao Rey (Miami, FL)
Mark Schatz (Houston, TX)
Ethel Shipton (San Antonio, TX)
Curated by Kimberly Aubuchon, Director, Unit B (Gallery)
This show has traveled to Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, Houston, TX; Polvo, Chicago, IL in 2007; and will travel to Texas A&M International University Gallery, Laredo, TX in 2009.
Also: please join us at Three Walls, 106D Blue Star, for an extended exhibition of Nate Cassie's For You, open tonight, Thursday, from 6-8pm, and extended until April 16."
This looks to be an interesting test to take. There are about 30 questions that somehow graph one's political leanings. Be careful of the astrology question - that just might be the one to send into a quadrant of no return.
If you guys feel like taking this and sharing, then by all means let's see the results
As for me.... big shocker!"
One would think it's only me going on and on about the free sample of absinthe I received (see later in this epic post of the week for absinthe anxiety) but in actuality people in San Francisco, California are very concerned if I received the sample. As I mentioned, more on this topic in a moment. But to conclude, yes, sample has been received and action is coming soon enough.
Apologies for my last email (below)....hit send too soon.
I wanted to confirm that you received a sample, and see if there's anything else you need. Let me know either way!
With the ambiguous title, "You might be interested in this" came this link to a story comparing basketball and politics. Unfortunately, the Spurs got compared to Clinton, which is better than John McCain and needless to say if that was case then I would have stopped reading right there. I suppose the analogy works well enough.
Here it is.
And lastly, came an email with the greeting of "Good Morning" and a link to this youtube video of the Asian MC Hammer.
Here it is.
Downtown Highlife Rides Again
Farmers should give me a huge kickback because it never comes close to raining in San Antonio unless it's the Last Friday of the month. On cue, clouds darkened and milimeters of Hg began to drop on the barometric scale. Moods became uneasy. Fluid in the bursae swelled. Knees began to ache. Wills weakened. On this note, the ride still took place.
Downtown Highlife travels by bike but really it's all about economic revitalization. Here in the ballyhooed "NoFlo" district we stopped by the smallest convenient store north of downtown for supplies for the journey. This building had always intrigued me by daylight, however, at night I never noticed if it was actually open. It was.
Inside, drinks were cooled in a domestic grade refrigerator. I don't know what more to say about that except one doesn't typically see that sort of thing at a store, which made it all the more interesting. And when I say one doesn't see this level of casual capitalism too often, I mean not even at the St. Hedwig Club (more on that later, consider this a tease.)
Due to the rain and low turnout of a few months back we celebrated this month's relatively less low turnout with a trip back to the pedestrian bridge over I-10. But to call it a pedestrian bridge seems wrong. For one, as a pedestrian bridge it is severely unsafe and unaccesible. The two entrances are: by an access road and by train tracks. And this is for children to use to go to school? No, this overpass is for adult use.
I'm not sure what that means, but adult life is nothing but a life of options. As when one turns 17 and can see "R" rated movies, Downtown Highlife also is a celebration of the cusp of maturity, which is another way of saying that it is the two-way threshold of adults slipping into the false positives of youth, and by that I mean adult delinquence, at-risk adults, living an "R" rated lifestyle, and other similar descriptions.
At Woodlawn Lake looking towards downtown. The ride always offers personal and epic vistas, too often collapsing into one another. Also, the fuzz that was rolling by the bridge wondering why a bunch of people with bikes were standing on the bridge at 10pm was no longer around. See above for false positives of youth.
To the left off camera, youth played an improvised game of basketball (and just when I thought playground basketball was officially dead.) To the right off camera, a gaggle of ducks had just strolled by.
Each ride the evolution continues. New people join, old people move away. For example, one rider is new to town and beginning medical school; another is about to split town for San Diego to live on a house boat a la Riptide.
This is underneath the covered patio of Angie's Patio on Fred Road by 5 Points. To say we weren't given a hero's welcome would be to lie. Angie came out with an old cherished copy of the "Dining on the Old Spanish Trail" cover story from several months back. They had sent copies off to relatives in Chicago, and if I heard corrrectly, Honduras. Angie's husband took a foto of the group to put above the bar. His foto would probably look quite similar to this one.
Absinthe (On My Mind)
A writer's drink. When it came into the Current office I just happened to be in front of my laptop. Not quite as nostalgic as some coffee shop in New Orleans.
Sure, I could have just opened that tiny bottle and thrown in back but there is a tradition to absinthe. And, I was told I could mix 2-4 drinks out of that sample so I waited for others to join me. The view through the bottle is murky. This image seems closest to what people describe about its effects. Yes, it's legal.
The morning after. Somewhere in the Beacon Hill area this rascal was hiding out in his barrel after a night of assumed celebration.
When travelling across McCullough, taking the street right before the turnaround can be a good way to avoid a clusterflock. And then I came across this Tuscan-inspired restaurant in progress. The honest thing to say is that many older Olmos Park homes share a similar Mediterranean itch. What stands out to me is that this building is on the edge of the "wrong side" of Olmos Park, where many of the streets don't connect across McCullough and other subtle details. Taco Taco is one thing because it allows some people to feel like they're experimenting with geography, but here...who knows what will happen. I'm talking more about real estate trends of course. In taking a peek, the craftmanship of the bar looks impressive. What actually happens here is but another mystery of the adult world.
Hidden behind Augie's BBQ by Japanese Tea Garden is a small house/wine bar called the Treehouse, which is funny because that was the name I gave it under my breath. I've never seen people there in the parking lot so of course that means that when I go the parking lot is as packed as it's never been. There was a private party going on below at Augie's with a full band cranking AC/DC covers. It was then that SA presented itself again, effortlessly. As I foolishly tried to hide up in the treehouse and have a glass of wine, down in the valley the mass of the city beckoned. When the bartender tried to cover the doors to block the noise, really he may have been hiding us from the city below.
Writer Jesse Walker gives interesting thoughts on the Obama spectacle. I basically agree with him - Obama is the most interesting when he's being reviled and forgotten, and the least interesting in the moments he's being praised.
Take a look.
3am - The Time Neoliberalism Died
Curmudgeon Alexander Cockburn raises prescient points about the economy and the main 3 candidates. What will they say when the phone rings at 3am?
Bike As Gardening Device
Normally, OTS is the one haranguing citizens close and far. In this instance, a leader of the local cycling scene jabs back.
Um, about that press release... and map.
Yeah, I thought I'd knock that blog out and pick up the peices later. Well, here we with the peices.
First of all, I used an old TxDOT map. You'll see that is now adjusted to show the Trans-Texas Corridor's current proposed distance from Alamo City.
Second: Just as the march will go on, public comments will keep being received, TxDOT officials say. And private-property-rights-ruffling TTC is same as it ever was, apparently.
Hall updated her press release on her website to make clear strange doings that DO NOT foretell the end of TTC... At least hers was not an intentional April Fools item... like that NPR report on the IRS sending out consumer goods rather than promised rebates to those taxpayers determined more likely to pay down their debt than go shopping.
I passed that one on twice already. Sheesh!
Here's Hall's amendment:
Don't be a sheep.
Terri Hall of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) said the march on Austin against the Trans-Texas Corridor will continue despite recent announcements saying the mammoth transportation project eating up more land than Michael Chertoff was on the ropes.
Hall says she won't believe it until laws start being repealed — preferably signed in blood.
Listen to our a.m. conversation with Hall:
Here's the TURF press release that went out this morning…