Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Chili-Eating Chihuahua

There once was a chihuahua named Chili. The reason for his unusual name was that he had a nonstop love for chili. At his home in Siam, he often ordered different types of chili from different parts of the USA and Mexico. But one day Chili realized that he wasn’t satisfied with his frozen chili, especially because he had to wait for it to come. His interpretation of this thought was that he had to travel to some place where he could get chili every day and he could go to the store and eat it that moment without having to wait for it to come by mail. That was how it all started, with Chili deciding that he needed more chili.

Well when Chili shared his plan to take a flight to Chihuahua, Mexico in someone’s baggage, to his family, they were extremely depressed. But that did not stop Chili from getting his chili. He made arrangements with a couple of peons who were working to make up debt to the Mexican government, to fly in their baggage to Mexico and then they would have a dispersal and go their separate ways. Chili would pay his debt by buying them each a meal of chili in Chihuahua. Chili had his perfect plan made for how he would get more chili. It was just his impatience holding him up now.

On the day of his flight, Chili shaved, washed his face, put cologne on, and said goodbye to his family, who was defiantly sad to say goodbye to their favorite little chihuahua named Chili. As Chili drove to the airport in his latest technology dog car, he thought of how wonderful it would be to have as much chili as he could possibly get, right down the street at the store, instead of having to order it by mail. He was hypnotized as he walked through the airport doors to the designated meeting place for him and the peons. His feet made a hollow sound as he walked across the linoleum floor. Since it was 4:30 am on Wednesday, the airport wasn’t as crowded as usual. A group of people, who matched the description of the peons, was standing to the side of the terminal. He joined them and the journey was begun.

In the cargo hold of the plane, Chili slept soundly. He was sometimes considered the “Maestro of Sleep” in Siam. Not even turbulence in the plane woke him. A technician even entered the cargo hold once, but Chili did not wake. When the plane finally reached Chihuahua after a 15-hour flight, Chili awoke to find himself hungry for chili. He only had to wait a little longer until he would be able to eat chili nonstop. As the cargo was unloaded, Chili peaked out of the suit case he was in to get a look at his surroundings. He was faced with the most amazing sight. It was a building labeled The Chili Kingdom with its pinnacle reaching the sky. This was the most amazing moment in Chili’s life.

When Chili had finally met back up with the peons and had gotten out of the airport, he just had to find The Chili Kingdom. He could see it from where he was in the parking lot, so he decided to take a cab there. He hailed a cab that said ”Bozo’s Cab Service” on it. The cab took him to The Chili Kingdom, a chili-eating chihuahua’s heaven. There, Chili bought chili to repay the peons and bought himself a lifetime supply of CHILI!



Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Meet George Jetson?

In a couple of weeks, voters in Las Cruces, NM and surrounding Dona Ana County will have to decide an interesting question: Should they approve an increase in their sales tax? OK, what's so interesting about the sales tax? Well, the bulk of the additional $6.5 million a year that would be raised is slated to be used to help finance the building of Spaceport America.

Spaceport America?

If it is built, Spaceport America will serve as a portal for those of us who want to travel into space for some reason--tourism, research, exploration, maybe even long-distance commuting. (Think Beijing in two hours...)

This is space travel as a private venture, jumpstarted by entrepreneurs who have made their billions in companies like, PayPal, Budget Suites, and Microsoft. These entrepreneurs have already demonstrated their ability to launch rockets hundreds of miles into space. And they have the potential to do manned space travel at a much lower cost (and with greater safety) than the soon-to-be-retired Space Shuttle.

Southern New Mexico, it is important to note, is not alone in vying to be an outpost for this fledgling industry. Plans are also underway in states such as Virginia, Florida, California, and Texas. Which brings us back to the referendum...

The influx of taxpayer money is essential to get the Spaceport America project off the ground. There is plenty of support for it, from Governor Richardson (who, by the way, is running for president) on down. But there is also plenty of opposition among locals, who fear being burdened with higher taxes for what is a very risky proposition. (By the way, this is one of the poorest areas in the entire United States.)

So would you vote for or against the tax? Do you think it will pass or fail? Here is what one panel of experts says:

Z-man: He would vote for it and thinks it will pass. (Mostly, he just wants to get on one of the rockets...)

Julie: She would vote for it and thinks it will fail. (She definitely does not want to go into space...)

Desi: She would vote for it and thinks it will fail. (I'm not sure why she would vote for it. In discussions, she seemed completely skeptical about the notion of regular, private space travel.)

Steve: I would vote against it and think it will pass. (My guess is that the pro-Spaceport America side is better funded and will be able to get its message out better...not to mention get out the vote on April 3rd.)

Come election day, with me predicting something different than at least some of the gang, we all will probably be reminded just how bad a forecaster this lowly political scientist is!


PS: Speaking of forecasting, I rose dramatically in the tournament challenge this past weekend. With three of my four Final Four teams making it, I am now at the 46.4 percent mark, tantalizingly close to the median (which has been my goal since that dreadful first weekend showing).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Basic Math

Playing basketball is fun and so is playing a Game Boy. Basketball is better to play than a Game Boy is because playing a Game Boy is not healthy for you. Basketball is cool and gives you exercise. There are three kinds of shots--3-point shots, 2-point shots, and foul shots. There are many teams of people but in Game Boy games there aren't real people. In basketball you get fresh air but in Game Boy you don't. There are tall and short players in basketball. Most of them play well.