Saturday, November 8, 2008

Recent elections.

I'm sure none of you need me to post about the big election seeing as news of it is everywhere. But Obama's win (even though it an amazing part of history) has overshadowed the local elections. For example, no one that I've talked to recently new that Wiles beat Slotz out for Sheriff by 40 points, nor did they know that Margo lost to Moody, nor did they even know which Moody they were voting for Bill or Joe.

Just so you're not confuzed, Bill or William Moody is the judge for the 34th district court and he has been there since 1988 (don't quote me on that year, someone please comment with the right year).Bill also ran for Texas Supreme Court several years ago but I think he lost. Joe Moody recently won the highly contested race for Texas State Representative to replace the seat occupied by Pat Hagerty. The republican candidiate Donald or Dee Margo recently nudged out Haggerty in the primaries (read earlier post) only to loose the race to Moody. Joe is a vitrual unknown in politics because he is relativly young lawyer for the DA. Still, he was able to oust Margo by about 7 points who is a much more seasoned politician and business man who also about twice Moody's age. He's also been in the news more after running against Eliot Shapleigh in a previous election (read earlier post) and after he's come under fire for some of his associations. I think this might be the end of Margo's Texas career after having lost a senate and now a house race. But you never know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Rant

The weather is changing here in El Paso. Its getting colder and the trees are starting to show their skeletons. What does this mean? It means that its time for three annual events.
The first is Spooktackular held at the Civic Center. It is always a family fun filled fair with volunteers from everywhere, including UTEP. Take the kids and go in a costume.
The second is KLAQ's Haunted House only this time it is an evil Circus theme. I remember going when I was a lot younger (8 to be exact) and being scared of the strobe lights and the people who grab you in the dark. I don't suffer from coulrophobia and I'm no longer afraid of the dark so it really doesn't interest me as much but for little children they'll have a blast.
And finally, the most fun event is not in El Paso. Its actually closer to Gadsden in La Union, New Mexico, the Corn Maze/Maize. They've raised admission since the last time I went but they are only open for a brief window during this season. Probably the best time to go is Halloween weekend where everybody dresses up and the Maze is dark. Its great fun, especially without a map or compass. Just get lost and the maze patrol can guide you out.
Remember to be safe when you go to these venues and just have fun. If I don't post again before next week, Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Microsoft Student Partner

Hello Everyone. I am now the Microsoft Student Partner for The University of Texas at El Paso. One of the things that Microsoft has asked me to do is, blog. Great, I've been doing that for a while. However, they asked that I specifically use Windows Live Spaces to do my blogging. So I've created another blog osveliz.spaces.live.com and they gave me a new email: oscarveliz@student-partners.com. I'm not going to stop blogging on Blogger simply because I'm on Spaces. I plan to keep this blog going and posting on issues effecting El Paso and use my Spaces blog to post about everything Microsoft. The reason I made this post is so that I can point you to my Spaces blog where I'll be discussing upcoming events on campus that I will be hosting as well as products/services that Microsoft has available. I will try to update both of these at least weekly if not twice a week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In a pickle.

I'm no business major but I know enough about the economy to know that it is not working. Today the stock market dropped to its lowest point since 1985. The news is calling it a stock market crash.

Earlier, some members of congress wanted to give money to bail out these companies like lenders and banks. Common sense would tell you that this is not the way to fix the economy.

The republican candidate wants to tax the middle and lower class because he wants to please big business however he doesn't realize that taxing the little guy means that people who put the most money into the economy won't have enough to put in and the economy suffers.
The democaratic candidate wants to tax the rich. This makes more since because the rich have money and can pay the taxes. The top 1% of richest Americans control how much of america's wealth? A lot. The downside is that companies are greedy and they will raise their prices or cut workers to offset their taxes.

What should we do? In my unprofessional opinion, take that $700 billion bailout plan, and give that money to the consumer and not the company. Say every working American gets $5000 dollars. Married couples get $10,000 dollars. They can take that money and get out of credit card dept, pay off a morgage, pay for school, purchase a car. This would help not only our banks and morgage companies but also the automobile industry and students. This functions like that $300 booster that bush tired, only, this will actually make an impact. The downside though is inflation. Lots of inflation. Greedy companies will raise their prices because they figure that people will have money to spend.

The economy needs you. Start spending. Don't spend money you don't have of course but put something in. Buy stock (which is really cheap right now) and stay in it for long term. Lets say for example GM. Its price for stock is the lowest its ever been in 50 years. Buy now and when things start to get better (maybe a year, maybe longer) you'll have helped the economy to stop its downward trend and hopefully put it on the road to recovery.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Elections

It's been some time since I posted on the local elections. So far, the biggest race is between Moody and Margo. If you're an avid reader of my blog then you no doubt know of my disdain of the Margo campain and when I began to dislike him. For non-avid readers I began to dislike Dee after he ran agains Eliot Shapleigh for Senate. Now that he realized that he can't win in the Senate, he shot for the other Texas house. In my opinion this a power hungry move by Margo who is running illegally because he doesn't live in the area for which he's running although he found a somewhat legal loophole.

And the other big race that is going on you of course do not need to read my blog to know about. Personally I'm rooting for Obama because I was rooting for Hilary until she dropped out and I feel that Obama will do less damage in office than McCain would. If you disagree, comment; I won't delete any of them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don Haskins

As you all (or many of you know) Don Haskins died last Sunday at the age of 78. I just wanted a post to sort of commemerate his legacy and also to talk about the time that I met him.

It was at Barnes&Noble Booksellers on Sundland Park dr. I'd stood in line for more than an hour to see if I could get an autographed copy of Glory Road. When I got to his table I could sense being in the presence of greatness. There was just something about him, in his eyes that seemed as if he saw right through me. It might have been that I just saw him through biased eyes but I also saw the age in his face. I shook his hand and he held me in a firm grip. I told him that I'd be going to UTEP in a couple of years (this all happened before I came here after Glory Road was released). He said he was glad to meet a future Miner. He signed my copy, and the next person in line pushed me out of her way.

That was the only time I ever met him. I wasn't alive during the famous 1966 championchip, and I'd only seen a few of the Miner basketball games that he'd coached before he retired. I'll never forget my very breif meeting with the man who was El Paso's favorite son. But his death doesn't mean he's gone. I still have the autographed copy of Glory Road and I also have the DVD. All I have to do to feel like I've met him all over again is to watch the video. I don't touch the book though because I want to keep it in a sort of new condition.

My heart goes out to the family of the Bear. May you rest in peace coach.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Languages.

Living on the border gives one a unique prospective. Most people who live on the border speak English or Spanish or both. Not only are different languages spoken but there are languages within the languages. For example, the now popular Spanglish (which my family uses so often entire conversations switch languages multiple times midsentence). The other languages are kinds of paralanguages which includes accents.

For many on the border, we've grown accustomed to hearing two very different accents and we know what words are trying to be  spoken, but others won't be able to understand and may even be offended. Por ejemplo, a person  with a strong Mexican accent (and I say Mexican because the Mexican version of Spanish is much different than Argentina's, Puerto Rico's, or Spain's) trying to say a couple of commonly used English words. What I always find amusing is the pronunciation of the word "beach" which for those who've never heard it ends up being said as "bich" and the word "focus" as "fukus" sometimes offending others.

This is a two way street. For those unfamiliar with Spanish and trying to use a common word, such as the word for kitchen "cocina" ends up being said as "kochina" and like the previous examples is a bad word. And even though there are more sounds in English, many Americans can't roll their R's nor pronounce LL as a Y so "tortilla" ends up as "torttillia."

And yes I am not making this up. I've heard these words mispronounced as well as numerous other words but I'm not really upset about this. In fact I'm glad that people are trying to speak two languages. For many Americans, they've never even tried to become bilingual. The rest of the world speaks two, at least three languages, but Americans only bother to speak English.

Living on the border gives you a unique prospective. Canadians speak English and French. Mexicans speak English and Spanish. Americans speak English. I hope this change soon. Learn a new language. You don't have to be perfect but learn enough about it so that you can understand it. Not only am I trying to better my Spanish but I'm also trying to learn Japanese which is a difficult language to teach yourself especially since it comes from a different branch of the language tree, but it is at least a start and I'm picking it up fairly quickly.

Learn Spanish. Learn French. Learn German. Learn Arabic. Learn Farsi. Learn Mandarin. Learn Malay. Learn Cantonese. Learn Japanese. Learn something so that Americans can start to change how the rest of the world views us.