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On more than one occasion I have received one of those "chain" emails from some well-meaning acquaintance, urging me to sign a petition stopping Congress from providing Social Security benefits to "illegal aliens".  Usually, when I'm emailed about an issue that seems unlikely on the surface, my first reaction is to check out one of the "myth-buster" websites such as www.snopes.com to see if there is any merit to the claims.  Sure enough, after five minutes of web research, what I found is that way back in May of 2006, as Congress was passing the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act", there was a ...
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JAZZ in the Canyon

Well, it's now a tradition! Once a year our little homegrown jazz group puts on a Jazz Sunday at our house in Sunset Canyon.  Our group gets together regularly to play, on alternate Sundays.  Currently the group consists of: John Hoag - Piano - a California-transplant CPA Steve Koppell - Sax - a psychiatrist from, most recently Santa Fe Michael Minnis - Guitar - writer for the daytime series "Bold and the Beautiful" James Minor - Drums - a software engineer Phil Auldridge - Bass and Hammond B3 organ - gainfully unemployed We were joined on Sunday by the beautiful ...
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MG’s Come to Waco

  It's been some 6 weeks or so since "Cedric" our 1959 MGA roadster joined our garage.  Emboldened by first place finishes in two British car show entries, we decided to branch out a bit and join in the semi-annual Texas MG Registry "GoF" (gathering of the faithful). The event is held at different locations each year, but this session was in the little city of Waco, perched serenely on the banks of the Brazos River (and, not inconsequentially, home of my Alma Mater, Baylor University).  Oh, and lest we forget, home of the Branch Davidian "massacre" a few years ...
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The Mortgage Crisis

Note:  This musing was written well before the Lehman/AIG/, etc crisis hit the fan.  I guess most of my insights are considered pretty obvious at this point, following the aftermath of the near collapse of the market and subsequent sinking of the McCain electoral ship.  Nevertheless, I leave the original thoughts here for history's sake! I believe the so-called mortgage crisis has been created as a result of 4 inter-related factors: The failure of Federal Banking regulators, most of whom are ex-banking industry executives, to police the industry.  The intent of banking regulations, setup after the devasting economic crash of '29, ...
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Bringing Cedric Home

Along about mid-August, I approached a nearby neighbor about the possibility of using her extra garage to store one of my vehicles.  She was very agreeable to the idea, so the following week Nigel, our '59 Jaguar, made its way to its new home down the street. Nigel's transfer created an empty space in our own garage.  Of course nature abhors a vacuum, so I dutifully set about arranging for a new occupant for that beckoning space! Many years ago, I had owned an old MG TD roadster and had found those old British cars held some allure for me.  I'm not ...
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