Friday, February 16, 2007

An MSM Profile of Michelle Malkin – finally

Maybe the glare has become too bright to be ignored. So finally, the arguably liberally-biased MSM have to acknowledge the public shining light of a Michelle Malkin, with this article in the Washington Post.

One needs to read the entire article to derive a sense of how significant the lady’s courage, strengths, and accomplishments are in the new adopted country that her parents brought her into.

Captain Ed at Captains Quarters was among the first to weigh in with this added tribute.

And over at always scholarly, dependable, and respectable PowerLine comes this little reaction, among other things humbly acknowledging Michelle's real journalistic background.

From the suddenly popular blog cum video site Hot Air, where Michelle regularly displays her video media persona, comes this little friendly defense and support for her, laced by and augmented with a lot of readers' varied commentaries, giving one a good well-rounded glimpse of the person.

Of course liberal sites, like Wonkette, also waste no time trying to muddy the waters, even taking snipes at the WaPo writer, H. Kurtz, most likely because he wasn't sufficiently negatively predisposed toward the subject and what she does.

And fellow liberal blogger, Atrios, had this to say as his version of his racist comment mentioned in the article.

I did not have time to visit and read all the reactions to the WaPo article, but do visit and see who was moved either to comment to, or write for or against, this article from Memeorandum.

To the Maglalang family, congratulations on a job well done.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Old Coin Reveals Truth?

On this day for lovers, did your mind wander to antiquity to magically conjure the classical image of star-crossed love in the persons of Egyptian Pharaoh Cleopatra and Roman Officer Mark Anthony?

Well, time to reset, or Ctrl/Alt/Delete.

Archeology has once again exposed the fantasized Hollywoodization of history's famous lovers.

Cleopatra - "beautiful seductress with goddess-like looks"?

Far from it and perish the thought.

What about - "a shallow forehead, pointed chin, thin lips and a witch-like nose"?

Click to read more.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bring Father To Work Day

Dunbarton Approach best
Welcome to the office!

The other day was Bring Father To Work Day for me with one of my sons. Though, very unofficially and with hardly any notice, it was a day nevertheless honored and commemorated by the both of us and my son’s immediate superior or superiors. For that day was tagged as ride-along day for me in my son’s CHP patrol car. A little-known practice that actually is encouraged by the agency, to get the general public introduced to and acquainted with its functions and responsibilities. And maybe as part of its public relations agenda, for after all the public is its main concern and employer. Thus, as I understand it aside from promoting it among family members, members of media may also participate; and as told, have indeed participated in the past.

As a life-long motorist on our freeways and byways, the eight-hour experience was quite an eye-opener for me. While many of us as motor vehicle drivers can proudly point to our own years of hardened experiences navigating through the many freeways thereabouts, we tend to forget that it has always been essentially from the narrow perspective of a motorist. And not from other equally relevant perspectives. Take the example of the people whose critical task it is to maintain the roadworthiness and the integrity of the freeway system, and the people who are engaged to keep them free from litter, debris, and the ubiquitous conked-out vehicles hugging the shoulders.

Interior BetterRadar
Please have a seat.

And what about those whose sworn responsibility is to keep the freeways safe by ensuring that motorists follow traffic rules and regulations when using them? For after all, traffic rules and regulations are intended to ensure public safety. These specific duties fall on the able shoulders of the patrol officers in the black-and-white cruisers or motorbikes. They inhabit the freeway system using them in a manner of speaking as their offices, where they preside over its orderly and smooth functioning and the rigorous daily task of directing motorists to and from their destinations in the most efficient and accident-free manner possible.

All these people also use the freeways, but see them from totally different prisms.

Needless to state, the freeways can be perilous and at times fatal places for any motorist while driving, being stranded, or worse, figuring in any high-speed accident. And in this perpetually fluid and fast-moving environment where danger lurks at every moment and turn, the people tasked in ensuring safety engage and wager their own personal welfare and their lives on a daily basis, come rain or shine, night or day, fog or clear day.

And one salient observation that stubbornly sticks to mind to this day is how hazardous if must be for these officers to be doing what they do each day. For they are not only asked to be skillfully precise drivers, arguably more skillful than your typical fast-lane-hogging motorist, but they also have to be literally multi-taskers because of what is required of them while driving their patrol cars at high speed. With eyes peeled to the road and one hand steady on the wheel, the other hand may find itself either operating the radio and carrying a conversation, or keyboarding on the mobile PC, or operating either the installed radar or the new portable one.

P-up Ticketed Better
Excuse me, while I attend to work.

And in a very real way, one senses that at times, these officers must find themselves in some kind of catch-22 situations. For to catch up and to direct/guide out of traffic (typically away from the fast/cruising lane) an errant driver who is dangerously over-speeding and improperly weaving in and out of lanes, the pursuing officer has to somehow mimic that motorist’s moves. That is, go at even higher and riskier speed to catch up, and similarly weave in and out of lanes fast. Imagine yourself pursuing a motorist going at 80mph in the midst of a dizzying maze of cars going at different speeds and you are a couple of hundred yards behind him , you’d have to initially accelerate beyond 80mph just to catch up and skillfully maneuver to get behind him to guide him out of traffic.

These and more have given me some new-found appreciation and gratitude for those hardy officers who do very hazardous work on a daily basis. In which a typical day in the office must require one to always be 110% alert and able. And we have not been delved here on the possible life-threatening hazards a routine traffic stop may escalate into because of unpredictable criminal behavior that may enter into the equation.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Post About Tracy - finally..

Our transition has finally become more or less complete. The old house in San Mateo County has been sold a little over two weeks ago, which in itself was quite a miracle given the scary downward spiral of prices in the country’s housing markets. But in all the tense waiting, our collective optimism never flagged, as we initially expressed in this post.

So now this family of two can focus on life in the new domicile – in Tracy, of San Joaquin Valley. Close to a married daughter, who also lives in Tracy some 5 miles and 10 minutes away.

Since we had started to live here a little over a year ago, we could say that we had laid the necessary spadework to get us intimately acquainted with the new place. Coming in, we were fully aware that Tracy has been exponentially growing, with new residents coming in droves. And in this respect, Tracy may rightfully claim that it is now part of the greater Bay Area, given that a good number of its residents commute to the San Francisco area for work.

Toward this end, we have had our frequent little excursion trips in and around the city, soaking in the sites and landmarks and appropriately marking them in our memory. We also regularly pore over our community paper, Tracy Press, which has been very helpful providing details about places and events around town, including its seedier side which we know is part and parcel of any growing town, or any town for that matter. This would be the at times extensive litany of police blotter items and arrests. And in less frequent intervals, we also get to glow over the glossy San Joaquin Magazine which lands inside our mailbox and gives the reader a broad situationer for the entire county. A regular column by Sam Matthews in the pages of Tracy Press also provides historical depth beyond the physical appearances of places, landmarks, and even people, of the town; which feature is a welcome sight for any eager student of history eager to delve into the “soul” of a place.

And coming from a first generation immigrant perspective, one would be remiss not to admit that one invariably tries to search out ethnic roots, as part of initial attempts to get comfortable in a new and unfamiliar place. And our general and cursory look-over of the place amply provided us with the depth of its diversity. And indeed in 2005, a report points to about 45% of the population belonging to minorities, out of a population of about 70,000. It is good to note also that in 2000 the city’s population was pegged by the census bureau at only about 57,000, leading one to conclude that the last half decade has seen the rapid growth of the city. This is further attested to by the new housing developments in and around the city.

St. Bernard's 2Our initial visits to the only Catholic Church in the city, St. Bernard’s along Eaton Street, brought us into conversation with one of its pastors, Fr. Edwin Musico, a transplanted Filipino. From him we learned that parish hierarchy estimates as many as 4,500 ethnic Filipinos calling this place home. Coming from an old homeland which is predominantly Catholic, as much as 85% of the population, it would logically follow that these immigrants would be seeking the same church in their new adopted country. And indeed, we find them in considerable numbers at various services of this church.

And finally, leisurely tripping around town, we discovered the following sights.

Boyong's Outside Use thisBoyong Inside
Along Byron Road, in the considerably huge complex that counts WalMart and Home Depot among its prominent occupants, we find tucked in one commercial door the Filipino restaurant, exotically named Boyong’s, with its usual menu fare of ethnic food served in what the natives back home call turo-turo style. In the Tagalog dialect, the word turo means “to point”, thus to order one simply points at the selection of prepared dishes for either take-out or to be eaten inside. Some grocery items are also available, typically items one would find in a grocery store back in the old country. And not surprisingly, it also accepts orders for entire roast pigs, called lechon, a perennial center dish for those huge gatherings during special occasions.

Manila ParadiseGoing southward, one ends up in a location close to the intersection of 11th Street with Tracy Boulevard and hemmed in a rather awkward area the location of what used to be Manila Paradise, another Filipino restaurant and grocery, which unfortunately has been boarded up and is reportedly being sold. In the past, some family members had tried their equally ethnic selection but were unfortunately not impressed with the offerings.

Video LandDriving southward further along 11th Street is another FilAm business. This time engaged in video rentals, named Video Land, essentially of movies coming from the old homeland, but surprisingly it also offers a meager selection of other merchandise.

Islaxnd Gourmet 2Island Gourmet 1
Finally, going the other way, northward, still along 11th St, situated along a strip mall opposite the well-patronized 99 Cents store are the twin businesses owned by the same family but separated from each other by two other commercial doors. Both named Island Gourmet, one engages in selling grocery items and wet market stuff and the other as a restaurant.

These then are the visible signs to tell the general public that there is sufficient ethnic Filipino presence in the area to warrant their existence. One can surmise that the coming years will see an upsurge not only in the number of such businesses but maybe the expansion of existing businesses.