Thursday, January 31, 2008

a physical and technological fence?

To keep the bad guys out? Come on. Fences have been used throughout history with little success but for the shepherds. Illegal immigration isn't only affecting the US. No no, it's prevalent all over the world- Germany is having trouble with it; in Spain they worked out a broad plan in 2005. I've heard from friends that in Portugal there are illegals from northern Africa and Brazil.

The tough nut about illegal immigration is that illegals are not inherently bad guys; they are not all terrorists or drug czars. Perhaps they are desperate, maybe they have so few work prospects that they have to leave their family. Perhaps the family they left behind is so poor that even our weak dollar is yet stronger than their home currency. My point in all this is that the question of illegal immigration is not black and white. It cannot be- it is about people. The concept of people includes both contributors to the community as well as undesirables. Make a note that even illegals have people who love them; people who cry at their funerals.

Perhaps it's time to reconsider why mexicans, or Brazilians or whomever, need to come here in the first place. Perhaps it's time to rework the immigration system- it's very hard to become a citizen legally. There is a lot of scary red tape. Hell, manny ramirez didn't become a citizen until he was a year and a half with the Red Sox- and he was in Cleveland for 7 years before that. He's a big league athlete, with presumably the best lawyers, translators and work sponsors around. It took him 8 years. imagine a kid just off the boat, with little more than a set of skills. Come on. That's not easy.

I don't have the answers. but I do know that wholesale deportation is no more the solution than wholesale admittance. More so, if I don't have the answers, I certainly don't have the means to carry them out. That's all for the politicians to do;

I sort of hope that this silly post on a thursday morning will reach politicians, and make them aware that illegal immigration is not to be trifled; is not simply an "issue" with which to win an election, it is a conundrum of human proportions. Real, human, proportions.

Monday, January 28, 2008

why trade Johan Santana

why do you think the twins are so interested in trading johan santana? Has he been unhappy? the twins are a pretty good team. this past season wasn't the greatest perhaps, but as far as i can recall, the twins were a team to be careful of. i sort of recall that they have always been pretty competitive.

have they decided that this is going to be a rebuilding year? there isn't anything wrong with a rebuilding year, but it seems that they could have used torii hunter and certainly santana as leaders, not to mention pretty dependable production from both of them. it seems strange to me. I kind of wonder why they are letting their good players- veterans if you will, go. And they would have to get some good players for johan santana. he's too good a pitcher right now for them to be satisfied with retreads, rookies, or even prospects.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I don't think sherman would like this!

My shermy is no traveller- no, he'd much prefer to stay home and help with my homework.

Though he doesn't mind going in the carrier, i only take him to visit my mom and to the vet in it. i haven't taken him on a plane- but it's probably best that he didn't go with us on our trip,
  • like this cat did

  • the cat is very cute, and i think it's funny what the guy said about shrieking like a little girl. hee hee hee.
    Suitcase is a good name for a cat. can you imagine? first you get home with the wrong suitcase- argh! then out hops a cat! hee hee hee. it's very funny.

    i don't think i'll put shermy in a suitcase. he could get squashed, or freeze to death. No, my shermy had better not stow away.

    Monday, January 21, 2008


    Holy Cow! and that wasn't our most impressive offensive game ever. Maroney was very good, he's a crafty runner, not someone like Corey dillon. but here's a news flash to all those people who still want us to get corey dillon back (Dad) Crafty can get it done too. That game was very good. the weather sure did play a part in the game- it was hard to catch the ball. new england only had 198 yards passing, but the chargers only had 207. that is pretty even, the difference is that ladanian tomlinson didn't play. had he played- the game would have a very different score.

    oooh but it was cold here on sunday- i would much rather watch football from the couch than actually play it in foxboro. it was one of those days that takes your breath away the minute you step onto the porch. no question the weather was a factor.

    the new england defense was very impressive. the chargers were 0 for 3 in the red zone; they didn't even score a touch down. anyway you slice it, that is very good. It was a very good football game. the Chargers played well, the patriots played better. it's not personal, it's not anything other than the fact that the patriots are a complex, adjustable, talented and aggressive football team.

    People can be pissed off because it's the scandalous patriots (come on, are you still bent about something that happened in week one?) or begrudge the record (is that cause you actually follow the dolphins?), teams can moan about how the patriots went 52 points on them (perhaps it's time to reassess the defense?) or how since 2000 the patriots are like these mean schoolyard bullies who win, win, win, and never let anyone get a chance to try it on for size (that's plain jealousy).

    But everything boils down to the simple fact of the matter- the patriots are a talented football team, and they play well together. Sunday was a good example of it. Here we come arizona!

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    here is what i love;


    tea is my favorite favorite. i just love it. the irish way please, one sugar and a bit of whole milk. oh my gosh, my crumbiest mornings and most foul moods can be improved by a simple mug of tea. a good cup of tea is not sweet, but it is not bitter either. it's strong, but not stewed. it's gotta be hot! no lukewarm left over please. and it's gotta be made with triangle tea bags. PG Tips or Lyons please. made in a tea pot is best, but in a pinch, a mug and a tea bag is ok too.

    picture the worst bit of sideways rain and cold weather- now picture coming in from it, and putting the kettle on. see- you're in a better mood already.

    i love tea.

    Monday, January 07, 2008

    a satisfying crash into the dumpster!

    so yesterday, while the football games were on, i took the opportunity to throw away all the jewel cases in my cd collection. When a person is young, a music collection is a tangible, visible expression of personality. I remember being in college and dismissing a person based on their music collection (god how utterly daft and incredibly narrow-minded that is, i realize now).

    A music collection is a mirror of a person, sure, but it's more like a fractal than a mirror. music ebbs and flows according to your circumstance in life, the other major players and characters in your life, and even things like your job commute and the job's location play a role in selecting the cd's in your stacks.

    my collection has it's share of crap. i admit, i was a victim to the high school hair band era, Though most of that was on cassette, and those have all been in cold storage for years. i have Appetite for Destruction and Kix to remind me of my formative years. then it moves to the college days, i have the van halen, queen, Creedence clearwater that i used to listen to with my friends in college. Russ loved the classic rock. specifically he loved Led Zeppelin, but all the others fell into that group as well. from college i moved to emo, punk and brit rock. What a strange demographic. i collected en masse (truthfully i like this stuff the best). the clash, and the bouncing souls, weston, ah, the suicide machines. love it! since then, i've settled down to regular rock and roll, leaning toward punk rock tenancies. it's gotta be rockin. and have proper guitar riffs and adequate tempo to drive too fast.

    I threw away all the jewel cases because once you reach a certain number in the collection, the amount of space they consume in the apartment is too great. i don't think i'm a real collector of music per se, not like that guy rob gordon from the nick hornby book high fidelity. i'm sort of more a collector of my favorites. i haven't got too many, around 500 or so.

    so i threw away all the jewel cases and kept just the disc and the insert booklet. i even threw away the crates that were holding them. they landed with a satisfying crash into the dumpster!

    so here's the best part of this post (it's good of you to keep reading this far).
    my desert island discs !
    (i've changed the rules, and i can bring as many as i want; they're in no particular order.)

    the clash, foo fighters, and bouncing souls their complete sets. Oasis, blur, U2, pete yorn, the replacements, millencolin, butch walker and the marvelous 3: complete sets for everyone.

    I would like to bring the metallica black album, Appetite for destruction, the bravery, and hot fuss. I would like to bring With Teeth, franz ferdinand and my mary chapin carpenter discs. i would also like to bring some sheryl crow. i would like a greatest hits album from: Aerosmith (just the columbia years please) the rolling stones, led zeppelin, elvis costello and garth brooks.

    i would also like to have an unlimited power supply to listen to them and i would like the option to get replacements if they wear out. this is only today's desert island discs, it may change tomorrow, with the exception of the complete sets. those are the constants.

    Friday, January 04, 2008

    lace scarf for marianne

    Marianne was our travel partner when we went to ireland a month or two ago, she was quite nice about my knitting. she also sent us a very nice thank you gift when we returned home. i decided to knit her a scarf with some super fab louisa harding yarn. i also have had a hankering to do something other than stocking stitch, because though it's easy, it's really kind of boring.

    so here is the beginning of it. it might take me a long time to complete it.

    Wednesday, January 02, 2008

    so here it is, 2008

    whoopee. For me, New Year's is just so anti exciting. i dunno, it's just not too thrilling to me. it's freezing cold here, there is snow everywhere, and i still have the same remarkably boring job. This is the time of year when i start daydreaming and planning my next travel adventure. my friend sofia is hoping for us to come visit her in Lisbon. Perhaps i'll start planning that.

    it would be so nice to be able to really plan the trip- my dad would like to run in a race, and there is a
  • half marathon
  • but it's in march, and i haven't even paid the bills for the trip to ireland yet. i was planning to use my tax return to put hard wood floors in my apartment, but now i sort of wonder if i would rather use it to pay for air fare. Lisbon is beautiful, and at the risk of letting too many in on a secret i would like to keep for myself, it's one of the nicest places i've been to. it really quite magical- it's very modern, in an antique sort of wardrobe. the roads are well maintained, the retail therapy is outstanding, the food is so delicious, and the weather is just perfect.

    the real draw for me though is the population. It was very easy to be a tourist in lisbon, but I've learned a bit of portuguese just so i can be a bit more useful in conversations, and people don't have to keep translating for me. I don't think i'd insult anyone by saying something like sua mae desgasta botas do combate. i could fumble through a coffee order- duas sandes mixtas com bicas se faz favor, e dois pasteis de nata, tambem! muito bem!

    it sounds hokey, but the residents of portugal are fantastic. there are no pretenses, they are welcoming and pleasant, and polite, and genuine. the waiter at the cafe in mertola was funny- we had a snack of bread, and coffee, and sofia's family had some caracois; those are snails boiled in salty water. i'm afraid i was just too timid to try them. they said as much to the waiter, and he said, perhaps it's because she hasn't been able to try ours yet. It was really nice. perhaps this time i'll give them a try. perhaps.

    maybe today i'll start working out a financial plan and start saving up for it.