14 May 2010

things to do this summer

Are you wondering what you should do over the summer? Are you looking for something totally different to do?  Are you itching to see a side of America you really had no idea even existed?

Well, then check out some of the festivals that celebrate our unique culture!

Go on, you know you want to!  Just be sure and send me a postcard.

First if anyone is interested in visiting New Orleans in July you can attend the San Fermin in Nueva Orleans.  This would be the Running of the Bulls New Orleans style.  The bulls aren't really bulls but members of the Big Easy Rollergirls.  The "bulls" sport helmets with horns and are armed with plastic bats to intimidate the hundreds of runners.  Here is a video of some of last year's run. 

Second we have the Roswell UFO Festival in Roswell, New Mexico.  I grew up not too far from Roswell and managed to avoid getting caught up in the UFO frenzy.  Honestly, I never did dress up as an outer space alien for Halloween.   Never.

As you know in 1947 a UFO crashed in the desert near Roswell.  Initially it was reported as a "flying disk," but later the United States Army changed it to a weather balloon.  There's been controversy ever since on what it really was.   You can find "real" and "authentic" photos all over the internet of the alien and the spacecraft.

 Family vacation Roswell style.

Over the 4th of July weekend, to celebrate the historic event, the city of Roswell hosts a huge festival.  It makes perfect sense that they would hold this festival on the day we celebrate our country's freedom.  Has anyone seen the movie "Independence Day"?

Next we go to our very own Fruita, Colorado for Mike the Headless Chicken Festival
Really you can't make this stuff up.

Seems back in 1945 there was a farmer in Fruita who was wantin' some chicken for dinner and went out and lopped off poor Mike's head.

Well, kinda.

He missed Mike's jugular vein and a clot formed preventing Mike from bleeding to death.  Mike was also lucky enough to retain most of his brain stem, which allowed him the pleasure of living a relatively normal - as normal as can be expected without a head - life.  In fact Mike managed to live another 18 months after his decapitation.  Now the city of Fruita holds a festival so that people can come together and remember good ol' Mike.  And do the chicken dance.  And eat...

ah, isn't he cute?!

So, go on.  Get out there and experience all the thrills, chills, and excitement these and many more wacky and fun festivals have to offer!

12 May 2010

hope you're not brown skinned

I've been thinking of how to write my thoughts on the whole Arizona illegal immigration law.  I'm adamantly opposed to my tax dollars being spent to house, clothe, feed, and medicate those who are in the United States illegally.  Period.  We have our own citizens struggling to survive.  My tax money should be spent helping them.

Frankly, I don't buy the whole, "they're stealing jobs from Americans" line of bullshit.  Honestly I don't know of one person (American that is) that is willing to work for slave wages mowing yards, cleaning toilets, toiling in 100+ degree heat planting and harvesting crops, etc.  Do you?  The majority of these jobs are filled by immigrants here legally.  Yes, there are some out there who will hire those who enter our country illegally, because they can get away with paying them next to nothing - or in some cases - nothing at all; the wages are garnished to pay for the workers' "room and board."  Slavery folks, that's what that is.

Arizona passed a law that is to go into effect in August that states:


My question is what constitutes, "reasonable suspicion"? 

Now since this is Arizona I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this law is aimed at illegal aliens from Mexico.  Granted, our country is full of illegal aliens from Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, etc.  I'm guessing Arizona hasn't attracted any of those groups, right? 


So, a peace officer can stop ANYONE they suspect of being here illegally.  That could be me, you, Chun-Ling, Anastasia, Humberto, Mehtap, etc. and ask to see proof of citizenship. 

I don't carry my birth certificate.  Do you?  I have a driver's license.  That doesn't prove I'm a citizen.  It just proves I passed a driving test.  I also have a passport, but like my birth certificate, it's not something I carry with me.  (And for some unknown reason, here in Boulder County, Colorado, my passport does not prove my citizenship anyway; although, the Social Security Administration says it does.)

I find it appalling that any state in our country would go to such extremes.  Yes, we do have a problem with illegal aliens coming into our country and draining citizen resources.  Yes, we do have a problem with illegal aliens bringing drugs into our country.  Yes, we do have a problem with illegal aliens coming into our country and committing atrocious and horrific crimes.  Guess what folks?  We have citizens doing the same thing.  Do I condone this behavior?  Not at all.  It is a problem that needs to be addressed, I agree. 

I don't agree that any state can make it open season on Hispanics.  And that folks is in my opinion, what this law is all about. 

The majority of those who work in any of our law enforcement agencies are honest, hard working, non-racist people.  They have a hard job, and I give them kudos for doing what they do to keep the rest of us safe.  However, having lived in various parts of the country, I'm only too aware of the things that can happen when someone who is not honest or is a racist pins on a badge. 

Does anyone remember the civil rights movement?  Anyone?  Does anyone remember "law enforcement" kidnapping and killing civil rights workers?

How about the policeman helping violent criminals in New York?

Or the accused child molester in Miami?

All it takes is one "rogue" cop to decide he's tired of "Mexicans coming over here and stealing our jobs" to cause a major uprising.

Yes, we need immigration reform.  Yes, we need to stop the influx of those entering the country illegally. 

I don't think giving law enforcement Carte Blanche to stop any brown skinned person with a Hispanic accent and request proof of citizenship is the way to do it.  And it will be the brown skinned people with the Hispanic accent who will bear the brunt of this.  I know it.  And you know it.

As an aside, Arizona has also passed legislation that will curb how certain courses are taught.  Arizona HB 2281 makes it illegal to teach courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group, advocate ethnic solidarity, or promote resentment toward a race or class of people. 

The only problem with this is that technically teachers could be barred from teaching about the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the attack on Pearl Harbor, etc.  All of these examples could potentially promote hatred of various races or classes of people.  (There are certain exceptions to the law, such as courses or classes for Native Americans that are required to comply with federal laws.)

 According to the Associated Press, Tom Horne, state superintendent of public institution, has pushed this legislation to limit a program in the Tucson Unified School District since he learned that Hispanic civil right activist Delores Herta told Tucson students that "Republicans hate Latinos."  (Frankly based on what I've seen so far, she doesn't seem to be too far off the mark...)

Shouldn't we be teaching our children about all cultures?  And yes, the teachings should include the good and the bad. 

I'm hopeful future generations will learn tolerance and empathy and throw off our society's growing narrow-minded, insular tactics.

10 May 2010

summer please

It's hard to believe that just a few short months ago I was writing a blog on my daughter's trials and tribulations of going off to college.

Cruising along.

Cruising along.

Cruising along.

BAM!  She's home.  She survived her first year and came out with some pretty decent grades to boot.  Go Heather!

Of course the end of the school year means summer, right?


It means since we live in Colorado we'll be kept on our toes for the next few weeks with predictions of snow.  In fact this week some areas could see one to two FEET of snow.  Not inches.  FEET!

Luckily I don't think we live in that area.  I'm hoping anyway.

Over the past couple of months, we've been getting our yard prepped for the –

*drum roll please*

– VEGGIE GARDEN.  This has entailed a lot of work, and luckily for me, most of it done by other people.

Ted pulled all the rock up in the back yard.  The plan being to make part of the back yard a veggie bed and part of it for the dogs.  I paid to have dirt brought in.  Planting dirt to be exact.  You see there are many kinds of dirt, and you have to be specific with landscaping people what exactly it is you plan on doing with dirt.  I let them know I was planning a garden, so I got garden dirt.  I'm hopeful it's dirt that is going to produce scads of vegetables!

I also had pea gravel brought in and put down for the dogs.  They weren't too keen on walking on the river walk to do their thing, and our neighbors had pea gravel put in for their dog and it seemed to work.  Luckily for us, it's working too.  Otherwise I suspect the veggie garden would not be a veggie garden.

Kyna loves the pea gravel.  She loves digging in it.  She loves rolling in it.  She loves running it.  While sitting 20+ feet away I've been dinged on the head with pieces of it while she's tearing through it.  Must think about investing in a hard hat and safety glasses to wear while sitting outside.

Ted put up fencing around my perennial beds, herb bed, and veggie bed.  This fencing was my idea.  You know to keep the dogs out of the gardens.  I didn't want something so tall I couldn't get into the beds without dismantling the fence, and I didn't want something so elaborate that it would require a gate, so I chose mini picket fencing.  It's about 2' tall, and Ted warned me it wouldn't keep the dogs out.

He was right.  Fallon steps right over it.  Next time I'm getting wiener dogs.

So, now I will wait maybe not so patiently, until it's safe to plant the rest of the vegetables and herbs.