Monday, November 27, 2006

Holiday Tamales

Liz's response to one of my comments triggered this story.

One of the great and sad things about this country is we cross so many cultural lines that we are constantly being blended, challenged, and changed by new cultural additions. It is great because I believe it helps us find the strengths that exist across such diversity. It is sad because some neat traditions are lost along the way.

For one family, Holiday Tamales was one of them.

We had interesting neighbors growing up. Typical of lower middle class California in the 50's and 60's, we had Mormons, Hispanics, Germans, etc. and Mutts** like us. The Garcias lived across the street from us and every year Mrs Garcia and her daughters made Tamales for the neighbors. Besides being GREAT tamales, it opened my eyes to how things can be lost. I had occasion a few years ago to visit with the Garcia daughter I went to school with and after her Mom died the generations long tradition of Holiday Tamales died. It is a shame. I do not think Gaby (the daughter) realized what a treat it was watching the Garcia women turn Tamale making into a fun social event that was also a labor of love.

I doubt I will ever have a tamale as good.

**Mutt and proud of it! *G*

Friday, November 24, 2006


The OH and I spent Thanksgiving day with the "Out-Laws" at the farm yesterday. As usual, it was a great visit. Good food, wonderful weather and engaging conversation.

The high light for me personally was the introduction of a new girl friend by one of the nephews. I like her a LOT, she is 6' 3" (190 cm). Added bonus? She is very bright, funny and obviously nearsighted if she is dating the nephew!

It was the first time socializing with the clan I did not feel so outsized *S*

I know the generations are getting bigger, but WOW!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Counting Our Blessings

I have been a bit distracted the last few days. One of my college roomies had an acute allergic reaction to some shell fish on Friday and ended up in the hospital for a few days. She has never had anything like that happen before.

This is something new for her. I remember splitting fresh caught abalone and lobster with her when we were Juniors. What has me floored is that instead of being thankful that she recieved life saving care in time, she is talking lawsuits. She does not seem to understand that no one can predict her particular food allergies.

Hello! Ang! You are alive! Let it go!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lining Up At The Trough

Most of you are aware of my ire resulting from the Corporate welfare provided to Carl "Moth Pockets" Pohlad and the Minnesota Twins. Robert "Frayed Cuffs" Ulrich, the impoverished CEO of TARGET (he only made $5 million in 05) has now informed Hennepin County that they must have a free ride on property taxes for their 24 acre Brooklyn Park Campus. Life is hard at TARGET. They are only forecast to make $2,000,000,000.00 this year and I am sure Hennepin County residents are being grossly unfair expecting TARGET to pick up its share of services such as streets, snow removal, sewage, water and other trivial things they would not otherwise use.

I have been a fan of TARGET for years. They have taken a step up on their competitors in how they deal with the communities, their employees, vendors and their customers. This is WAY out character for them and I hope they are not jumping feet first into the "corporate welfare" trough.

This only one year after banning the Salvation Army bell ringers. Are we seeing an attitude change?

Monday, November 13, 2006


As I approach the second anniversary of her passing, Mom has been in my thoughts of late. With all the driving I do, I have a lot of time to think and puzzle thru many things. My relationship with Mom though remains perplexing.

Mom and I had a relationship nothing like what I have with our daughters. I am not saying she was not there when I needed her, it was just that we were never close. She was always "Mom" whether it was my brothers or me. I am not complaining. Mom did teach me to read before I started school and conveyed a love of literature that served me well during my VERY socially awkward High School years. With that exception, she never really related to me in any way that was different from my brothers. She was not distanced from our needs growing up. She vehemently (and wisely) fought the Schools on advance placement. She dealt with most of our school discipline problems and of course was there for the birth of ALL her grandchildren.

As I have come to realize the difference in our relationship as compared to my daughters, I wonder if it was tied to how close we 4 siblings were growing up? How much was that we were a self sustaining dynamic of our own? Was she just totally overwhelmed? Or, how much was tied to her (in hindsight) periodic bouts of depression?

I believe that if Mom had treated me different from the others, our sibling relationship would have been a lot more difficult. I further believe we would not be as close as we are now. I suspect that Moms emotional distance and my sibs closeness more than my physical oddities were a determinant in my education and career choices. I prefer to think she kept her distance out of wisdom. I begrudge nothing and I am grateful for what I was given. I will always wonder about the "why" though.

Rest well Mom, we miss you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I started the local cycling season in April with a goal of cranking out 2000 miles before the snow stuck. Today I made it! I realize that for you really serious cyclists, 2000 miles is modest. For me though, it is the most I have ever put on and I really feel the benefit of it. I will be training thru the winter to run with our oldest daughter next May.

I am wondering what I should set for a cycling goal next year?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mad As Hell!

Earlier this year, one of the richest men in Minnesota, Carl Pohlad, recieved a nice little gift from the State, a bill authorizing and funding a new downtown stadium for the Minnesota Twins. Did the Twins need a new stadium? Probably. Baseball belongs outdoors on grass, not on turf in a dome.

But, was it right to; Subsidize a sports franchise? Fund it with taxpayers money? Take away the taxpayers voice in funding it?

The first two are arguable. Take away our voice in funding it though? That answer is a resounding NO! Our own revolution was at least partially rationalized on "No Taxation Without Representation". I can not find fault with my particular legislators, they opposed it. I can find fault with the man who ran for Goveror on a platform of fiscal responsibility and then signed this piece corporate welfare. I think this issue may be the one that costs him the election

Tim Pawlenty is certainly not getting my vote

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Do It!

I was originally going to rant about my vote on Tuesday and how mad I still am about the Minnesota Twins Stadium deal.

I changed my mind.

This is the most emotional I have been about an election ever. It is not over specific issues but a disturbing trend that has been appearing among our elected officials that is slowly whittling away our "rights" and our "voice". Everything from the Patriot Act to the Twins stadium bill are harbingers of an increasingly arrogant government.

Most Americans have an election coming up on Tuesday.

What do politicians covet and fear? YOUR VOTE. However you feel about candidates or issues, GET OUT AND VOTE!! It is the one act we can commit that makes them understand their limits.

I will rant about the Twins Stadium on Monday.