Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kamp Kumbaya

Kamp Kumbaya
Originally uploaded by GCAUSTIN
Ben Sargent, editorial cartoonist, summed the Texas' Legislature's Session up quite well. However, it seems chaos occurs under anyone's leadership. This is Texas, remember. It's a large state with many different perspectives and ideologies.

As the session comes to a close tomorrow, we can summerize this session as being challenging--similar to others; especially, for the new Speaker. However, no one can ignore that this Speaker worked with both sides to reach many compromises and lead the House with dignity and respect.

Probably the largest thing to create so much tension between the parties was the infamous Voter ID bill. Democrats hated it. Republicans felt it was necessary. Democrats used the noncontroversial calendar of bills to stall debate of the Voter ID bill and succeeded. However, in doing so, a lot of important bills died.

Some Republicans thought the Speaker gave too much power to the Democrats; while, the Democrats felt he did what he was supposed to do--administer and lead the House of Representatives.

It's too early to tell the effectiveness of the Speaker's leadership. I'm sure there will be many analyses provided by journalists, historians, and bloggers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A family of cardinals

Across our house, in our neighbor's Live Oak, lives a family of cardinals. A couple of mounts ago I noticed a pair of cardinals hanging out around our backyard. Both would feed from our bird feeder. They were never without the other.

Then I didn't see much of them. I figured, being spring, they had found home and made a nest. Sure enough. This afternoon, while my son and I were playing soccer and baseball in the backyard, I noticed three birds flying. The little chick flew into the pine tree. The parents perched nearby and called for the chick.

I held my son as close as I could without interferring with the chick. Then just like that. The chick made his flight back to the neighbor's tree. Amazing.

Cardinals remind me of my grandmother, Nana. She loved cardinals. A person could find curio of a cardinal somewhere in her house. She loved how they sang to each other.

Somehow, the cardinals presense makes me feel as if my grandma is watching over me and my son.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blocking Voter ID bill

Texas Capitol
Originally uploaded by GCAUSTIN

There is always excitement under the Pink Dome.

Eight days left for the Texas Legislature to pass bills that affect the citizens of the state. Some bills have died; but many important ones still remain on the to-do-list.

The bills left are those controversial measures that affect not only the citizens but also the respective political party. The most controversial bill waiting to be debated is the Voter ID bill. Democrats feel the bill, authored by Marble Falls Republican Senator Troy Fraser, dienfranchise minority voters; while Republicans believe there needs to be more aggressive standards for voters.

In a attempt to bring the Voter ID bill up for debate, Republican House Calendars Chair, Representative Brian McCall, placed the bill for consideration on Saturday. When House Democrats learned of the posting, they decided the only option for them was stall the calendar by debating noncontentious bills.

The House has until Tuesday midnight to pass out Senate bills, including the Voter ID legislation. Sofar, the House Democrats have successfully stalled the calendar.

It's actually quite entertaining to watch legislators debate nonsense bills that have no affect on statewide laws. It's even funnier to watch House Democrats exaggerate that the nonsense bill is "important" for their district. What does El Paso County reporting have to do with Austin, Texas?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Star Trek and my 5-year-old

Today was my son's fifth birthday. What better way to commemorate this milestone than to take my son to watch Star Trek. Although, I have to admit, I've watched the new movie twice before taking my son.
I debated for several days as to whether to take my son to watch this movie. There is violence and adult situations, but nothing graphic.
I picked my son up from daycare early to go to the 4:25 viewing of Star Trek at the theater near our house. We got a small bag of popcorn, orange soda and diet coke, and Airheads candy.
Since my son does get a little scared, we made sure to bring his baby blanket and sat at the very last row in the back. This pleased him.
There was one scene I was a bit concerned with his viewing--Kirk makes out with an Orion woman and Uhura is seen strip to her underwear. We seemed to survive that scene easily.
When we were walking out, I asked my son who his favorite character was. He responded, "Kirk." I wonder why? Ha!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Originally uploaded by GCAUSTIN
It annoys my wife that our dog wakes up exactly at 3 am each morning to jump onto the bed and snuggle with me. In the process, while struggling to get up and get comfortable, the movement wakes up my wife.

The movement does wake me up, but I quickly return to dreamworld in no time. So does my dog. It's a different story for my wife.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. Celebrations are still on schedule for many parts of the United States and Mexico. The Swine flu hasn't made a dent on this Mexican holiday--and it shouldn't.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo.