A Puzzle, A Dog, And A Smoke

I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading the article entitled “I Never Inhale” (Cover Story, September 25) as I was sitting on my balcony watching the golfers on the 18th hole while smoking a Hoyo de Monterrey, which I purchased from an Internet company. Nothing better than a good cigar, the Reader puzzle, and your dog by your side. Life is good.

Glen D. Cournoyer
via email

Moving Targets

Reading the article “Road’s End” (“City Lights,” September 25), I had to laugh. Of course participation in the Rosarito Ensenada Fun Bicycle Ride is down. Who wants to get shot at, raped, kidnapped, or worse while riding your bike? City officials and business leaders in Rosarito think they have received bad and unfair media coverage??? I guess in their mind, the truth hurts — business that is.

To blame you and the rest of the media for hurting Mexican tourism is a joke. They need to take a step back and look at themselves in the mirror. There’s so much crime and corruption down there, they should only be blaming themselves. The public relations director for Rosarito, Ron Raposa, better start looking at all the crime in his city as reason for the demise of the bike ride instead of the so-called biased, unbalanced, and unfair reporting. Who the hell wants to go to Mexico???

via email

Seven-Year Survivors

My husband and I (both in our 60s) have lived in Mexico for several years. We have a cliffside beach home that would cost several million in the U.S. (cost us $385,000) and are surrounded by beautiful mountains and ocean bays, see dolphins and whales from our balcony. We are 250 miles south of the Arizona border in San Carlos, very close to Guaymas (state of Sonora). We travel by car on the toll road from here to the border on a monthly basis to visit family, and I have traveled it alone several times.

Last year we visited 25 states of Mexico, covered 7000 miles, for a period of five weeks, sleeping about half the time in the back of our converted van. We never once felt in danger and had the time of our lives. The crime here is minimal, although I have to admit there have been some recent news articles regarding capture of drug dealers. However, we feel very safe, and as my husband says, “even feel safer here than in Phoenix.” At least no school shootings!

Crime happens everywhere. Yes, one must be careful. The police here are very helpful — no bad dealings with them at all. I’ve been stopped for speeding but usually get off with a warning. I think I will stay out of Tijuana, however, and the Texas border seems to be experiencing problems as well. I ask myself why the Arizona border seems relatively safe (although there have been drug-related killings there as well). But again, there are weekly drug-related killings in Phoenix also, as well as, I am sure, in all major metropolitan areas of the U.S.

All I can say is, we love Mexico and will be here probably the rest of our lives. We live at a much higher level on less money and love the warm, friendly people, the beauty, the fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, lobsters, crab, shrimp, etc., etc., etc. Must say also the youth as a whole are wonderful kids. We teach country dancing to them and find them delightful! Recently had a dance festival in Hermosillo with an attendance of 800 kids from the northern region of Mexico. Find the youth very kind to one another and respectful!

Pamela Lopez
via email

We’re Cornball Rednecks

What was the point of this article (“Foreign Tourists Invade,” Cover Story, September 18)? Was it ghostwritten by the San Diego visitors’ bureau? You picked four or five tourists who enjoyed San Diego, with the typical comments about the weather, beaches, etc. But how about the other side of the story? When I have visitors or relatives over, within a day or two I hear the same complaints about the sweltering heat, lack of things to do, the inadequate “downtown,” mediocre restaurants, and lack of significant culture. My Asian relatives from Hawaii say they feel “uncomfortable in this redneck town.” (Now, there is an angle worth investigating, don’t you think? )

As you know, a basic rule of good journalism is to present both sides of the story. Otherwise you end up with a biased and probably boring article. The article was bland pap; tell us the dirt on San Diego, what people really think; then you have a story with edge and interest. To blather on about the so-called weather and the beaches is preaching to the converted. We have all heard this propaganda countless times; who cares?

The truth of the matter is that anyone who has lived in a real city knows what a cornball place this town is. If you are a jock, like to work out, follow the silly sports teams, think beer and burritos are gourmet dining, then you will love San Diego. The rest of us just suffer in silence.

Rico Gardiner
Mission Hills

“Sporting Box” Surprise

Kudos for Patrick Daugherty’s very funny article, “A Word About Electrical Safety” (“Sporting Box,” September 18). I’m cutting it out to use as a sort of model of just how funny good writing can be, in hopes that I’ll eventually have a potential author to show it to and say, "Read this and understand, (you heathen)!”

You deserve a medal, for starters, for coming up with such a witty title. (For precise reasons that elude me now, it really cracks me up.)

Then, the winding, roundabout pace of your article is somehow exactly right, as is your use of repetition, which seems to me is probably hard to do (i.e., “before that we were college students, travelers, pipeline laborers, college students, and travelers”).

Nicely phrased “all comprehension flees,” by the way, and I love the idea of your trying to communicate your question in sign language!

Finally, “with the electrical season coming on” is just a brilliant way to end your piece; it reminds me of The Goon Show or Monty Python at their best.

So, I never bothered reading anything in the Reader's “Sporting Box” feature before — it just seemed too boring for words. From now on, though, I’m going to have to take a more considered look at every corner of the @#$%%^&* Reader, before it finds its inevitable way into the recycling bin.

Mark Allen
via email

Trash The Bag

In my opinion, you did the San Diego community a real service by researching and reporting on those ghastly and omnipresent plastic bags (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11). The first page, explaining the gyre 500 miles west of San Diego, was shocking. Who would believe that there is a huge, floating plastic-bag patch twice the size of North America in the ocean? That was new information to me. The dangers of plastic bags to marine life I did know about already. Someone referred to in your article said that our plastic-bag problem isn’t as bad as that of the third world. Was that supposed to be an argument for not doing anything about it?

I, for one, will make my voice heard with the City of San Diego. What are we waiting for? More information? Your article did an excellent job of providing all the information we need to make a decision to just ban plastic bags. We can all get used to using our own cloth bags. Maybe when people learn that plastic is, in fact, derived from petroleum they will recognize that we can no longer afford this use.

Thank you for a most informative article.

Pat Taylor
South Park

A Plate Of Plastic

I’m so glad you had “Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds” on your cover (September 11). It’s crucial that this word gets out because I think we’re eating plastic. I mean, if animals are eating it, if fish are eating it, there’s more plastic plankton out there. I hope people wake up to this message, and thank you for putting it out there.

Melody Myer

How Rich We Are!

I like all those plastic bags all over the place (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11). When the supermarkets ask me whether I want plastic or paper bags, I always ask for plastic. They are so handy and cheap and come in all sizes and colors. We all know about the many cost-benefit studies completed showing demonstrably that plastic bags are better than paper. When I see that plastic-bag litter all over, it reminds me how rich we are. When I see the dead albatrosses on the beach with their rotting skeletons filled with bits and pieces of plastic, it reminds me how stupid that bird must have been to stuff itself with plastic — no calories there.

I liked it in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, plus Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia (places I worked for 15 years) when I would see poor people carrying plastic bags and then discarding them all over — it made them feel rich too!

One great use for plastic bags is to stuff them full of other plastic bags. Great compressibility… Think of all the jobs that plastic bags create! All those car payments afforded by being able to discard those wonderful plastic bags at will. They are like flags flying, caught on airport fences, declaring how fortunate we are to have our ancestors come back to the surface again to commune with us. We should pass a law having all plastic bags printed up to look like American flags. It’s really neat running after plastic bags in the street in a good wind. They are conveniently designed to act as sails across almost everything. It’s great to be able to rip them to shreds when you are angry at yourself and the world for not recycling. Plus, you can wrap up your other garbage in them, living the great American dream as you chuck your daily bagful down the chute, listening to your garbage hit the other waste in the bin below in your four-story condominium.

Let’s hear it for those plastic bags, a great symbol of our mobile world society! Besides, they are waterproof and make wonderful toys for small children. Don’t hold your breath too long, Sammy.

Wally Greenleaf
Mission Valley

Tote Into Tote

Hey, I know what we should do with all of those plastic bags (“Plague of the Urban Tumbleweeds,” Cover Story, September 11)! We should use them to make…plastic bags! Think about it! One could weave together about a hundred of them to make one nondisposable bag. Depending on the size of the bag, one could use even more of them. People are now buying cloth or other plastic bags to reuse for groceries. Why not use the original plastic bags in such a way to make nondisposable totes? Or what about weaving them together to make laundry baskets too? The possibilities are endless. I’m going to try this, and I’ll send a pic if it works.

Lisa Miller
via email

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Dude, you have series issues. Quite honestly I think half the stuff you wrote is not really your feelings of San Diego. There is no way you have visitors who complain there is nothing to do in San Diego. If they really do complain about that then they are serious loses (as are you). If they don’t really say that (and I suspect they don’t, that is if you really get visitors) then you are just simply a troll. True our downtown is no Chicago, Boston, or New York but then again who cares? There are so many better things to do then hang out downtown anyway. I’ll admit our arts/cultural scene leaves much to be desired but that alone does not make this a bad place to live. We have some good live music venues though not as much as other cities I’ll admit. The Casbah, The Ken Club, Brick by Brick, House of Blues and I could go on and on. Yeah we do have the beaches, and with that surfing, kiteboarding, swimming, diving, great weather, tons and tons of other outdoor activities. What’s wrong with that? I also think you full of BS when you day your Asian relatives from Hawaii consider that a redneck town. Yeah are some rednecks here. There are rednecks everywhere and a much higher percent in other towns. I you really have rednecks that say that then they need to travel a bit more. Hell I’ve seen full fledged white trash rednecks even in Hawaii. Your comments about jocks, working out, following silly sports teams drinking beer and eating burritos was pretty funny. I guess I didn’t now being an athlete and working out was considered a bad thing. Beer and burritos? No that’s not high end dining but so what? Are you so high class that you only eat gourmet food all three meals a day? Lets face the fact here. If you hate San Diego so much you can always leave. You’re here so you must not hate it that much. Don’t give me some BS about how you have to be here because of your job. You’re here by choice and guess what? Most people who live in San Diego are transplants from somewhere else. Most people like it here. That just a simple fact. When you say the rest of us will just suffer in silence that cracked me up also. There is no “rest of us”. If you are really suffering I hope to meet you in person so I can laugh in your face at your misery. You twit.


Goatskull's comment #1 above is regarding "Cornball Rednecks".

Comment writers, please identify your "Dude" when commenting.

Thank you

What a variety... I was begining to be scared of the generally literate public as I read through the multiple attacks and anger spewing out of the letters section. Reading through the letters posted I began to feel friegtened. Scared to be stuck in a community filled with so many intolerant people lacking a sense of humor. Especially the negative comments about the riding the bus article. Grab a hold of yourself people. EXHALE!! You are OD'ing on your own self rightousness. Expression, if it causes you to think, whether it be anger or laughter that follow. It is healthy and damn necessary! Imagine if you finished the Reader and got nothing but monotoned information from it. You'd be even more enraged. What part of town do these perfect people come from? So I can stay away from it! Thank goodness to the ridiculous stretch of Wally Greenleaf's commentary titled "How Rich We Are"... so that I remembered the reasons and people that make San Diego what it is. Go Editor "taste the rainbow" Colleen Kratz (and if you can't submit your name along with the dribble then quit your whining! If you won't own your statement then why should my mind and eyes be polluted by it?)

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