Saturday, May 20, 2006
They bring it back to San Antonio on Monday night to end the series.
In San Antonio, today, there is a pallid sense of optimism about Monday night’s game. No one seems quite willing to commit to a win, and yet, all seem to expect one.
“Of course, they’re going to win,” said one. “They’re the Spurs. They always bring us to the edge but they always pull it off.”
Others were not so expectant. “It’s going to be a hard win. Dallas hates us,” said another. “It’s that Avery Johnson and Mark Cuban. They want to beat us, big time.”
Indeed, there has blown up around this series an ill wind, a quiet curtain of animosity, a thing not unlike the bad blood that drew gunslingers out onto the dusty streets to gun each other down.
Everything started out so friendly, too. Well, except for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He’s hardly ever friendly when it comes to San Antonio. Before game 6 he was quoted as saying that they would kick the Spurs back to that "muddy-watered thing they call a Riverwalk." He wants a rivalry and he doesn’t care what he has to do to get it.
Add to this head coach Avery Johnson’s history with the Spurs. He was on the 1999 Championship team. Back then the Spurs were still led by “The Admiral” David Robinson, and winning that title was all about him. When Robinson retired the following year, A.J. (“The Little General”, we called him, since he was “co-captain” of the team) continued in his capacity as on the court coach.
This didn’t sit well with many of the new faces on the bench, particularly Malik Rose and Tim Duncan. It was reported that Avery Johnson got his bell rung by Malik Rose in a post game locker room brawl, and that the team sided against A.J. This led to sour grapes on his part, and ultimately led the club to cut him. A.J. made reference to having been “cut on Christmas eve” in his Q&A after game 6 when asked if he was afraid of playing game 7 in San Antonio. He also revealed that he traveled with a bodyguard, leading one to believe that he is, indeed, afraid of playing in San Antonio, and it’s starting to show.
He’s lost his cool. After being awarded the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award A.J has been riding high on a wave of his own ego. With a heavy dose of “Short Mans Complex” he’s ridden his team straight into a Waterloo in San Antonio. Now, he’s got to face his mentor, Gregg Popovich, on the Masters terms, and he’s going to crack.
Dallas has been playing dirty since the start of the series and Jason Terry’s suspension for punching Michael Finley in game 5 is just one of the many signs that Dallas is cracking up, from the Coach on down. That punch was an act of desperation, the act of a team lacking in sportsmanship, leadership, and Grit.
There’s an I-35 Shootout coming Monday night. The Mavericks boo-ed Michael Finley for having been traded to San Antonio and for having been part of the Terry suspension scandal but Terry better watch out when he walks into the AT&T center. We’re a mighty rowdy crowd and, woe-betide the Dallas Fans down here. For their information, we here in San Antonio think that they are all hat and no cattle, and Mark “the Mouth” Cuban and Avery “the little traitor” Johnson, and pugilistic Jason Terry can all take the walk of shame all the way back to Dallas, knowing that they were beaten by the better Team.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Go Spurs Go!
Monday, May 15, 2006
After the game 2 stinker in Dallas (109-91) we all had such high hopes for game 3. The Spurs worked hard in the second half but in the end they lost it 103 to 104, sending up a huge groan of disappointment from Spurs fans that could be heard all the way up I 35.
It’s easy to try and explain why a team loses a game, to excuse the missed shots and bemoan the unfair foul calls by cruel and unjust Refs. None-the-less, there is a word for almost winning. They call it “Losing”, and that, my Freaky Darlings, is never an easy word to choke out.
So, the Spurs go into game 4 down 2-1 in the series, and the best they can hope to do now is tie it up in Dallas. It’s clutch time for them and without a win on Monday night then there’s no reason to expect anything else out of their post season stint than a delay of the inevitable.
Are You Going to Nuke Me? (Check Yes or No)
I posted that full text of the President Mahmood Ahmadi-Najads letter because I think it’s important that people see for themselves the level of madness with which we’re dealing in this man. This is not your garden variety of crazy here. This is the work of a lifetime of training and practice at being crazy. This, my Freaky Darlings, is a Professional Looney.
I don’t care how rational and sane he may have sounded in some parts of that letter, you can’t really hide Crazy. He sent a letter through an intermediary half way around the world to proselytize to the Leader of the Free World? Was he going to ask him to the Prom as well?
Ever since the Dems lost the 2000 Elections we’ve been hearing all sorts of wild and crazy allegations about our own President and his relationship with the Divine. If we thought that he was weird for saying saying things like:
"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."
--George W. Bush commenting to Texas evangelist James Robinson in the run-up to his presidential campaign
"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."
--Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen quoting Bush when they met in Aqaba; reported in The Haaretz Reporter by Arnon Regular
(Both quotes found here)
Then we should have no trouble at all seeing the kind of danger that this Iranian fanatic poses to the world.
“According to divine verses,” he writes, “we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets.”
He goes on to add that:
“Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.”
The man is a menace and he's going to get people hurt...’Nuff Said.
The Tortilla Curtain Goes Up
Later today it is expected that the President will go on national television to discuss the Immigration Reform Bill on the table, and to anounce that he will be sending National Guard troops to the Mexican Border to help overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. As much as this has to do with illegals crossing over, I can’t helo but wonder how much of this has to do with the growing Border Cartel Wars and the use of Mexican police and military in protecting shipments of narcotics over the US-Mexican Border in recent months.
In recent weeks I’ve been asked several times where I stand on the issue of undocumented forigners in this country. It’s a complex issue that goes deeper than jobs and taxes. It’s a direct result of American Manifest Destiny, The War for Texas Indipendance, and the Mexican-American War. When the gunsmoke cleared we’d acquired the northern part of Mexico, land that later became the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah.
Down here in this part of Texas we’ve been dealing with all kinds of problems with that border for hundreds of years. Ever since the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo fixed a border a mix of Good Ol’ Boy Racism and Tejano Pride have screwed the pooch for everyone down here.
You see, down here, it’s not just the devil white man that doesn’t want too many of them here, it’s the Hispanics who have been here since the land was tamed by their ancestors, hearty adventerers, settlers and conquerors.
For the most part, the undocumented immigrants lower the bar for everyone, regardless of ethnicity. It’s not about being Mexican, it’s about being American. Because one lives here does not make one an American. just like living in Texas does not make one a Texan.
So when it comes to issues of the Border, it’s always seemed more like a security issue to me than one that should have people marching and shouting and taking spontanious days off of work and school. With things in the world being what they are and having so many people out to get us, it’s important that we make sure out backdoor is locked.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Translated by Le Monde
Mr George Bush,
President of the United States of America
For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena - which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them.
Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great Messenger of God,
Feel obliged to respect human rights,
Present liberalism as a civilization model,
Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs,
Make "War and Terror" his slogan,
And finally, work towards the establishment of a unified international community - a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern,
While at the same time:
Have countries attacked,
The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of there being criminals in a village or city, or convoy for example, have the entire village, city or convey set ablaze.
Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, the sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years.
At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women - as occupation troops - put in harms way, taken away from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of aliments
On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.
Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal, nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the war on Iran, Saddam was supported by the West.
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ, the Messenger of peace and forgiveness.
There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.
European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ, human rights and liberal values.
Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.
Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.
Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did no exist. The show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families.
Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalised or explained?
Mr President, I am sure you know how - and at what cost - Israel was established:
- Many thousands were killed in the process.
- Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.
- Hundred of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment of Israel; unfortunately it has been ongoing for sixty years now.
A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique - or at the very least extremely rare - in recent memory.
Another big question asked by people is why is this regime being supported? Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ or Moses or liberal values?
Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands - inside and outside Palestine - whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs
Contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?
The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observes have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognise the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.
If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them -- many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They do not have faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming increasingly angry with such policies.
It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well. Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations.
You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilised for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.
Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.
Mr President, don't Latin Americans have the right to ask, why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear?
The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth - including minerals - is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?
Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?
The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d'etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters supporting, the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborates this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-à-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating their country's progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.
September Eleven was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.
All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems - and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?
All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbours of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind. After 9/11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people - who had been immensely traumatised by the attacks - some Western media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity - some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic?
American citizens lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?
Some believe that the hype paved the way - and was the justification - for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media.
In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated incessantly - for the public to, finally, believe - and the ground set for an attack on Iraq.
Will the truth not be lost in a contrived and deceptive climate?
Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values?
Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?
In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.
The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?"
As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these problems exist - to a larger or lesser extent - in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign - paid from the public treasury - be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?
What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country. But my main contention - which I am hoping you will agree to some of - is:
Those in power have specific time in office, and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures. The people will scrutinize our presidencies.
Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?
Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported especial interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful - thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs'?
Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them?
Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them?
Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats?
Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it?
Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors?
Did our administration set out to promote rational behaviour, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns.
Intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trample on people's rights?
And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office - to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets - or not?
How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will this trend lead the world to? How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of insecurity - raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - hunt the people of the world?
How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed over their heads?
Are you pleased with the current condition of the world?
Do you think present policies can continue?
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would the world be today? Would not your government, and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?
Mr President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.
If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph or Jesus Christ were with us today, how would they have judged such behaviour? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ will be present? Will they even accept us?
My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses. All divine religions share and respect one word and that is "monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.
The holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on an followers of divine religions and says: [3.64] Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught. With Him and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah, but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (The Family of Imran).
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets.
"To worship a God which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases." "The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the Hearts of His servants and records their deeds."
"The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court" "planning for the universe is done by His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins". "He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors". "He is the Compassionate, the Merciful". "He is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from darkness". "He is witness to the actions of His servants", "He calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast". "Calls on servants to heed His prophets and He is a witness to their deeds." "A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey Him and oppress His servants". And "A good and eternal paradise belong to those servants who fear His majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves."
We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvations. I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus, and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth.
We also believe that Jesus Christ was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus has been quoted in Koran as well; [19,36] And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serves Him; this is the right path, Marium.
Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers. The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all His servants. He has given greatness to Humans.
We again read in the Holy Book: "The Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from sins and pollutions. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the people display justice and avoid the rebellious."
All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well. Divine prophets have promised:
The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be directed towards Haven and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly effected by our actions.
All prophets, speak of peace and tranquillity for man - based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity.
Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world - that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets - and improve our performance?
Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?
Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected?
Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?
History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted The fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.
Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?
Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious pace.
The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the wolrd feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept dubious policies.
The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.
The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.
The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are not advocated by these organisations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point - that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Monday, May 08, 2006
Well, it's been a week, but that's about as much time as one who really expirenced Fiesta Week in San Antonio should take to recover. Last years Fiesta Photo's were mainly of parades. This year, however, I skipped those and spent my time in Market Square and at Night In Old San Antonio. Everywhere, Fiesta was in total swing, from the glittering lights of the Carnival to the foods and music from NIOSA, these pics represent my best Fiesta moments.
The Happiest Drunk In Market Square
I saw this old guy dancing all by himself and he was laughing and smiling, with out a care in the world.
Soon, the Tejano band got rowdy and everyone started to dance as well.
The Crowd at Market Square
San Antonians Fiesta at Mi Tierra
Beer Prices Sky Rocket But What the hell...It's only once a Year.
It's always fun for the whole Damn Family!!
Adrastas in Full Fiesta Gear in Market Square
The Carnival sets up along several streets in the center of Downtown. During the day a small crowd filters through, usually on their way from one side of town to the other, but at night, the rides light up the night sky and the wind smells like cotton candy, popcorn and beer.
Night in Old San Antonio, the wild 4 day event held in Historic La Villita, is the total Fiesta Experience. The food, the music, the people…Ah, now that’s what Fiesta Week is all about.
These kabobs of roasted Sirloin, called Antecuchos are a NIOSA staple. Now, there are several of these stalls there but the only one that has the good ones is the one behind the German party in the Mexican section.
This is how they are prepared....Slow roasted 4 to a stick...huge, juicey tender chucks...They are seasoned with a special, secret spice, which is drizzeld and rubbed on with brushes made from corn husks.
The Band at the indoor German party. It's easier to go around the building to get to the good Antecuchos than to go through this circular building. One can go around and around and not realize they've done so.
Take these two for example. The guy was playing Air Guitar and dancing all by himself to the Geezers rousing cover of the Stones' "Honkey Tonk Women", when suddenly, this Rocker Chick who was watching, couldn't stand it any longer and had to get out there and move...
The Crowd was enormous!
The Gates of NIOSA with the Tower of the Americas in the background.
Until Next year...Que VIVA FIESTA!!!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
It's official. Classes, for me at least, are over for the summer. This worked out well because last week was Fiesta Week, and classes ended just in time for be to Fiesta most heartily.
In the weeks leading up to Fiesta I went around to several neighborhood watering holes to discuss the halting of the TABC sting operations and found that, of course, a majority of the patrons and bartenders were against the whole idea to begin with.
“It violates our rights,” said one, at the Blanco Tavern. She also went on to add that they’d had no stings there, nor had their business suffered any because of them.
At Whiskey Smiths Tavern, one patron said, “As long as someone isn’t causing trouble then… [TABC]… should have no reason to come in to bars and spy on people.” Another, said, “I’m not surprised that they stopped [the stings] right before Fiesta Week.”
So with a calm at last falling over drinking establishments in San Antonio, and the mad rush to close out the semester done, I set my sights to the two best things about this time of year: Fiesta Week and Spurs Playoff basketball.
Spurs Advance to Round Two in 6
In two of the most thrilling match-ups in recent NBA history, the San Antonio Spurs met the Sacramento Kings in round one of the playoffs. Game one saw the Spurs blow-out the Kings 122-88, and, though game two was a little sticky at times, the Spurs were able to pull out a magnificent 128-119 victory in an edge of the seat overtime finale.
Then things got grim. Game three was a too-close-to-call see saw of a game, with the contenders going back and forth like a pick up game. As clock ticked down the last few seconds the 4th period, the Spurs drew a one point lead and regained possession to leave the Kings in desperate trouble. They received their game winning miracle with the aid of a bobbled Ginobli lay up. Kevin Martin recovered for the Kings and sank a deuce at the buzzer giving them the game at 94-93.
In game four the Spurs suffered a humiliating defeat at 102-84. It looked grim but most of us didn’t notice as it was the tail end of Fiesta week, by that point, and most of us had been partying for over a week.
For game five, however, the whole city took notice. Ginobili redeemed himself by scoring 27 points to help shut down the Kings 109-98. “They’ll loose the next one,” some said. “They want to win it here.”
This was not the case, however, as the Spurs shot down the Kings 105-83 in a slow to start game six. After a 4 day break, it seemed as though the two teams could not find their stride, amid a flurry of turnovers, missed shots and downright slapstick fall-downs and slip ups. For the first half it seemed like a repeat of game three, with each side going point for point. After the half, however, the Spurs cut loose, scoring a tremendous 23 point lead. With a couple of minutes left in regulation play, the disheartened denizens of Sacramento began the long walk of shame toward the doors and out to the parking lot, knowing that this was not their year.
During our own games we paid special attention to the Suns-Lakers match up. After winning game one Phoenix went on to do a spectacular thing. They lost the next three in a row, placing the seventh ranked Lakers up 3 games to 1 over the second ranked Suns.
“There’s no way they can come back from that kind of a deficit,’ someone told me. “The Lakers must really want it bad.”
I must admit to being taken completely by surprise by the sudden burst of energy from the Lakers. In a previous post I had predicted that they would go down to the Suns in game 5. For a few days there, it looked like Phoenix, who had worked hard to retain their top ranking, was going to get knocked out by the Lakers.
But then, just as things looked their darkest for them, the Suns did an equally spectacular thing. They went on to win the next three in a row to force a game seven. They tied it up and put the Lakers on the wire.
Suns Set the Lakers in 7, Golden Boy faces off “El Matador”
The night of game seven, we watched as L.A. Native, Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, punished Nicaraguan loud mouth Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga in glorious hi-def big screen (“You can actually see the spit fly out of their mouths when they get hit!”). Upstairs, we had on the Suns-Lakers game. Every few moments someone would yell up “Score?” and we’d get an update. After the Suns had picked up a 25 point lead we stopped asking. We knew the Lakers had missed their last chance to come from behind this season.
Meanwhile, De La Hoya came out looking heavier and meaner than he ever has in any of his previous title fights. Mayorga had spent the last several months bad mouthing the Golden Boys career, wife, family, and Mexican-American Heritage.
The fighters came right at each other without the delicate finesse one sees in many title-fights. This was personal. In round 1 an unexpected left hook took a bewildered Mayorga right off his feet and down to the mat. After shaking it off, he continued his brawlers approach to the finely tuned De La Hoya. This technique was ineffective, as, toward the end of the round a pair of swift Golden Boy lefts staggered him again.
In rounds two and three De La Hoya continued to punish pummel Mayorga, gaining points with dazzling combinations that left Mayorga looking like a heavy bag with swinging arms. The real action came late in the sixth round when, after a solid punch by Mayorga, De La Hoya stepped in and delivered another blinding flash of jabs for another knockdown. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
He should have stayed down. After staggering to his feet, Oscar De La Hoya pressed the attack and hit an already confused Mayorga with at least 12 solid head shots, staying on the attack with a wild eyed delight, as the ref physically had to throw him to the mat to get him to stop. “El Matador” was finished and Oscar De La Hoya became the new WBC Champion.