Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday 26th November 2014…the winning streak comes to an end !!!!

Another lovely sunny morning as I had breakfast and did some computer work and got ready for a busy rest of the day.

The first thing was my Spanish class this time I went to Marisol's apartment for the class and I am really impressed with her… the best teacher I have had she explains everything so thoroughly and her method of teaching is quite different…we are still working on my pronunciation which will take time and then we started on some grammar….I know it is very hard for me but I am determined to try to do the best I can.

I went straight from the class to the poker afternoon where as the title suggests my streak came to an end and I lost 95 pesos…so tacos tonight for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Came home and got changed and had a bite to eat and back into town for my English class…it was a good but different class I started out reading from the text book on the subject of communication…the reading was quite heavy and I got the sense they were not really into it….so I told them to close the text book gave them each a number and then called out a number and the number picked had to come to the front of the class and talk for two minutes on anything…..this shook them up but they got into it and all did it and the subjects they chose were quite astounding…the mood changed they were engaged and active and it was a great class….I am so proud of them and after my Spanish class this morning I realize how hard they have worked to be at the level they are!!!!

Home and for a change no sports to watch so I just relaxed with some TV a nice cup of tea and now going into the tub……..

 

  Very disturbing what is happening north of the border!!!

 

Demonstrators march on November 26, 2014 in Los Angeles during demonstrations against a decision by a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury to not indict a white police officer in the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of Los Angeles before a smaller group briefly shut down a motorway

 

A dozen US cities have seen new protests over the decision not to charge a white policeman who killed a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Demonstrations from New York to Seattle were largely peaceful but rioting broke out in Oakland, California.

There was some unrest in Ferguson itself, with police making 44 arrests, but the town did not see destruction on the scale of Monday night.

The officer who killed Michael Brown there says he has a "clean conscience".

Darren Wilson, who shot the 18-year-old on 9 August, told ABC News that in the struggle which preceded the shooting, he had felt "like a five-year-old holding on to [US wrestler] Hulk Hogan".

 

Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown: "I know I did my job right"

Many in Ferguson's predominantly African-American community had called for the officer to be charged with murder, but the grand jury's decision means the police officer will not face state criminal charges over the shooting.

Lawyers for Mr Brown's family denounced the grand jury's decision, saying they "strongly objected" to the way prosecutor Bob McCullough laid out the case, while condemning the violence that followed.

A policeman confronts a protester in Oakland, California, 25 November Oakland in the San Francisco Bay area saw some of the worst unrest on Tuesday night

A man leaves a looted mobile phone shop in Oakland, 25 November A T-Mobile store was among businesses attacked by rioters in Oakland

Fire on a street in Oakland, 25 November At one point a fire set by protesters burnt across four lanes of Oakland's Telegraph Avenue

Protesters in Seattle block a road, 25 November Protesters in Seattle blocked traffic

A cyclist blocks a road in Los Angeles, 25 November Here a cyclist blocks a road in Los Angeles

Police cars attacked

St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said Tuesday had been "generally a much better night" in Ferguson, a town of 21,000 people.

Tear gas was fired just once, he said, when rioters smashed windows at the Ferguson town hall. There was only one report of shooting, he added, when a car was set alight.

Some 2,200 National Guard soldiers were deployed to assist police in keeping order in and around the town.

Protests were reported in 13 cities: St Louis itself as well as Philadelphia, Seattle, Albuquerque, New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Oakland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Portland, Chicago and Boston.

 

Protesters chanted "no justice"

Demonstrators across the US chanted the refrain "hands up, don't shoot" in reference to some witness statements that said Mr Brown was raising his hands in surrender when he was killed.

But many protests also referred to police killings in their own city, including a man in New York who died after being placed in a "chokehold" by a police officer.

In Oakland, in the San Francisco Bay area, rioters vandalised police cars and attacked businesses in the centre during a second night of unrest in the port city of 406,000 people.

Long-standing grievances about Oakland's police department are believed in part to be fuelling the protests there.

On Monday night, 43 arrests were made in Oakland as police struggled to control a crowd of some 2,000 people.

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At the scene: Joanna Jolly, BBC News, Ferguson

Protester in front of police vehicles in Ferguson, 25 November 2014

There's been confrontation outside Ferguson town hall where a police vehicle was burnt earlier and tear gas still hangs in the air. There's a heavy police presence with several armoured cars and vehicles.

There is tension as police try to move people from the area - officers are saying anyone standing in the street will be subject to arrest. Some are giving chase to people in the surrounding streets and tonight they have dogs with them. A police helicopter is hovering overhead with a spotlight.

Further along, police and the National Guard face off with an angry crowd in front of the Police Department. There are fewer protesters, but a larger media presence. The crowd is jittery and there is a sense there could be further clashes.

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In other incidents

  • Protesters briefly stopped traffic in central Los Angeles before police moved in to clear them off
  • Hundreds blocked traffic in Cleveland, Ohio, in a separate demonstration over the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy by a police officer
  • A car ploughed into protesters blocking a road at a rally in Minneapolis, injuring one person

Protest in New York Protesters in New York briefly shut down the Brooklyn Bridge

Protesters in Washington, DC In Washington, DC, protesters gathered on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery

Prison in Boston Inmates at a prison in Boston taped Mr Brown's name on their window

Soldiers with the Missouri National Guard stand guard outside the Ferguson police station on 25 November 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri In Ferguson itself, the number of National Guardsmen was more than tripled

Speaking from Chicago on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said there was "no excuse" for destructive behaviour and criminal acts of rioting.

Accepting that "many communities of colour" had a sense of laws not being enforced "uniformly or fairly", he said he had ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to look at what steps could be taken to build trust.

 

What should Ferguson mothers tell their children?

A federal civil rights investigation is under way into Mr Wilson's actions, as is a broad federal inquiry into the Ferguson police department, looking for patterns of discrimination.

Speaking to ABC News in his first public comments, Mr Wilson said there was nothing he could have done differently.

"The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right," he said.

He denied witness statements that Mr Brown had put his hands up, insisting race had played no part in the confrontation

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday 25th November 2014 …the busy days continue!!!!

Sent most of the morning in the kitchen cooking up some meals and then some laundry and then my Spanish homework…no rest for this kid!

Around noon I went into town and did some shopping for Rita her son Josh is arriving tonight so after I got her stuff went over for our now regular Tuesday afternoon chat and then when Roger comes over we played cards and Rita won again…..this is the last time for Roger this year he leaves on Thursday to go back to his home Country of Australia till January we shall miss him and all the nice goodies he brings over.

I then went back to Corvus’s house so he could help me a little with the computer after the class he gave on Friday…I was there about an hour and he fixed and showed me everything I needed…and then I was home just before 6pm and went straight into the tub and had a great soak and now after supper watching soccer from England.

 

Another interesting article for you!!! 

Serving for Success: The Mind Game

Winning the mind game in a tennis match is as important as scoring points when it comes to the cauldron of competition on court.

Success in tennis is not only about physical strength; it is about mental mettle too.

"Mental toughness is what separates the ones at the top," Judy Murray, mother and former coach of 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, tells the BBC.

"There are a lot of good players out there, but it's only the tough that survive."

Tennis is an individual sport where, in the singles game, two minds and two bodies duel across a net.

This intense pressure is heightened by the scrutiny of the grandstands and TV audiences around the globe.

There is also a high percentage of "dead time" relative to when a player is hitting the ball.

Mental stresses

This space between the points and games provides plenty of opportunities for negative thoughts to trip up the mind and blunt the competitive edge.

So, what might we really find if we peered inside the mind of a top tennis player?

"Someone that can focus and deal with adversity and the ups and downs of a match," says Australia's two-time grand slam champion Lleyton Hewitt.

"There are only one or two points that can turn a match, so you have to be able to handle the positives and negatives of what happens out there."

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova's loud grunt during games has become a trademark

American No. 1 John Isner adds with a smile: "You might see a lot of messed up things!

"There's a lot of anxiety in tennis, especially before a grand slam when you want to get off to a good start."

Dealing with the mental stresses and strains of tennis is complex.

Rituals and routines

Pre-match coaching advice followed by courtside support from loved ones can help but only the player can truly master the mind and emotions in the heat of a match.

Many of those at the top of the game have developed rituals and routines to help them keep a cool head on court.

Novak Djokovic is known as a habitual ball bouncer, Maria Sharapova delivers a distinctive grunt while Rafael Nadal likes to adjust his shorts.

It is just these kinds of idiosyncrasies that have helped them become multiple grand slam winners.

Infamous Tennis Meltdowns

1. John McEnroe coined his most famous phrase "You cannot be serious!" on his way to the 1981 Wimbledon crown when his serve was ruled out during an early match against Tom Gullikson.

2. Martina Hingis left the court in tears after surrendering a lead against Steffi Graf in the 1999 French Open final. The crowd turned on her after she disputed a line call and crossed the net, against the rules in tennis.

3. A 39-year-old Jimmy Connors displayed his old spirit at the 1991 US Open calling the chair umpire "a bum" among other things in a series of tirades.

4. Serena Williams saw red in the 2009 US Open quarter-finals. She was docked a point on match point against Kim Clijsters for what she later called "an inappropriate" outburst at a line judge.

"Players have to be the masters of their own destiny in terms of picking themselves up if they lose a point, and finding the motivation to keep going," says Rachel Newnham, the performance lifestyle advisor for British players at the Lawn Tennis Association.

"Routines, visualisation and understanding what to do in those moments when they choke or get tight are important.

"This is an area where a sports psychologist can use certain techniques to help a player."

On-court intelligence

When he was 17-years-old, Roger Federer turned to a sports psychologist to stop his tennis tantrums and the Swiss ace now has 17 grand slams to his name.

 

“You have to enjoy the match, try to stay focused, even if you are losing, and to always see a goal.”

Kei Nishikori US Open 2014 runner-up

Japan's 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori also believes working with a psychologist has helped improve his game.

"It's made me very strong mentally," he says. "You have to enjoy the match, try to stay focused, even if you are losing, and to always see a goal.

"A player has to think a lot during the match. We don't get coaching on court so the top guys are very smart."

This on-court intelligence combined with more intangible qualities can also help determine success or failure.

The first big stars of the Open era - names like Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe - turned tennis into show business.

Connors was the fist-pumping warrior, rousing himself to seemingly impossible comebacks, Borg was dubbed the "Iceborg" for his composed and clinical play, which contrasted totally to the fiery feistiness of McEnroe.

The trio understood that allying their own unique personalities to an incredible competitive drive was vital to success.

Japan's Kei Nishikori works with a psychologist to help improve his game

"Being a competitor is a quality you cannot learn, you either have it or you don't," says Carlos Rodriguez, who coached China's double grand slam champion Li Na and Belgium's seven-time grand slam winner Justine Henin.

"Many times I talked about it with Justine and Li. I cannot help another player go to the extra dimension that Li Na did, that Justine did, that Serena Williams does now.

"Why? Because they are champions and they are something more than the others.

"It's not a behaviour, it is a state of mind and something that was maybe born a long time ago in their childhood."

All in the mind

Toni Nadal has coached his nephew Rafael to 14 grand slam titles and agrees the root of that success was planted during his childhood.

"I thought that Borg and McEnroe were special people," he tells he BBC. "I saw my nephew with good talent, but a normal guy, not good like McEnroe or Borg.

"When Rafael was young I thought it would be impossible to be so good but you need a good mind and good work, and then you can be a good player.

"The most important thing in this life - in all things, not just tennis - is to have the ability to learn and this is what I think Rafael has."

A willingness to learn about the mental and intellectual demands of the game is being impressed on the rising stars of British tennis.

"It's something we're trying to work on with our juniors," explains Newham. "To give them an idea of what type of attitude, characteristics and values they need to make it as a professional tennis player.

"Very few understand what it takes to be successful. Determination, focus and having the drive and ambition to always want to be the best are important.

"But other qualities, like a good level of self-awareness and understanding, are also incredibly important.

"Some tennis players are cool, calm and collected whereas for others, having a little bit of fire and passion works."

It could just be that success in tennis is all in the mind.

Reporting by Sarah Holt

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday 24th November 2014….a start of a busy week!!

The sun did not show her face this morning and I left at 9am for yoga but found when I got the class room that the teacher is still away and not back till next Monday…so I just stayed in town and did some errands and then went for my second Spanish lesson……Marysol is a really good teacher and I like her methods and again we spent time this lesson with my pronunciation which needs a lot of work…..I have homework and just glad that I am back in learning mode it is definitely not easy for me but I am determined to try and learn and improve my skills bit by bit.

Back at home and did some laundry and then had lunch whilst watching yet another live soccer game from England.

I then decided to do some sorting out of my stuff and making some plans for myself…. I have lots of things to think about and which direction I want to go so good to try and make some mental plans.

I then got cleaned up and went down town to meet my students.

Tonight it was a different class we met down town and I just told them we were going on a small adventure but nothing else.

A few weeks ago I went to a lecture on the Day of the Dead at a private house and the owners were really nice and they own a local mask museum and I thought it would be great to bring my students to see the museum…so this is where I took them!!!

 

san miguel mask museum

The Mask Museum of San Miguel de Allende - A unique glimpse into traditional culture in the heart of colonial Mexico.

 

Owner/curator Bill LeVasseur has spent more than 25 years acquiring an extraordinary collection of over 500 Mexican ceremonial masks. Through his visits to often remote indigenous communities and his observation and documentation of masked dancing, he has also acquired an extensive knowledge of masks and masked dancing that he is eager to share.

In 2006, Bill and his wife Heidi, opened Another Face of Mexico mask museum to the public. Accompanying the mask collection are texts, photos, and videos showing more than 40 different dance ceremonies. All masks in the museum have been danced in indigenous performances and therefore are considered by collectors to be authentic.

Bill sat us all down and told us about the museum

DSC08612

It was a great visit they asked some good questions and none of them knew about the museum…the tour was conducted in English and Blanca at the end gave a nice thank you to Bill…yet again I was very proud of them all!!!!

Blessings …..

Yashi kochi!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday 23rd November 2014……a big hike!!!

Woke up at 7am and the sun was shining already nothing like this!!!!!

777

 

I was down at the gas station by 8am where I met up with Pierre and Kerrie and off we went on our usual Sunday morning hike…..our leader Pierre told us we were heading for the communication towers at the top of the peak of the old volcano ridge…this was good news for me because for a couple of years now I have hiked close to the towers but never actually been there…this is the first peak we have to cross…

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and away we go!!!

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it seemed where ever we went we always had a view of the lake, which is close to where I live!!!

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The first animals of the day…

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Check out the ears on the white cow on the right!!!!!

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At last we see the towers!!!

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At last!!!!

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It took us three hours to get here and it was up hill all the way….we had lunch and then the sun was so lovely we all laid down for about 30 minutes it felt so good…..the view into the old crater!!!

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More animals on the way down…

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I actually got this white horse to come to me and lick my hand and here they are coming to Kerrie!!!

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We were back at the gas station 7 hours later and we reckon we hiked 15 tough miles but it was wonderful.

Came home and straight into a long luxurious Epsom salts bath, then something to eat and now watching recorded tennis from France and when this finishes going to watch my Brother’s soccer team from England play!!!!

A nice light joke!!!!

old
Morris returns from the doctor and tells his wife that the doctor has told him that he has only 24 hours to live.
Given the prognosis, Morris  asks his wife for sex.
Naturally, she agrees, so they make love.
About 6 hours later, the husband goes to his wife and says,
'Honey, you know I now have only 18 hours to live.
Could we please do it one more time?'
Of course, the wife agrees, and they do it again.
Later, as the man gets into bed, he looks at his watch and realizes that he now has only 8 hours left.

He touches his wife's shoulder and asks, 'Honey, please... just one more time before I die.'
She says, 'Of course, Dear,' and they make love for the third time.

After this session, the wife rolls over and falls asleep.


Morris, however, worried about his impending death,tosses and turns, until he's down to 4 more hours.

He taps his wife, who rouses.
'Honey, I have only 4 more hours.

Do you think we could...'
At this point the wife sits up and says, 'Listen Morris, enough is enough

! ​  ​

I have to get up in the morning

​ ​

... you don't.

 

Another good article I think!!!

 

There are big disparities in prize money in football but tennis is among the sports with equal rewards

 

Men get more prize money than women in 30% of sports

By Anna Thompson & Aimee Lewis BBC Sport

 

Sports need to engage "in the battle for gender balance and fairness", says UK Minister for Sport Helen Grant after a BBC Sport study into prize money found 30% of sports reward men more highly than women.

The biggest disparities in prize money were found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash.

"There is a gap, it needs to be closed but it's not going to happen overnight. We do know that women's sport is very exciting, we know it can draw really big audiences but we need more media coverage and more commercial investment," Grant told BBC Sport.

"It's not just about the bottom line and profits and the return on investment which I believe they will get, it's also taking part in the battle for gender balance and fairness in the 21st century."

A total of 56 global sports were looked at in the extensive study. Out of 35 sports that pay prize money, 25 pay equally and 10 do not. Fourteen sports, including rugby union and hockey, do not pay any prize money at all. Five sports did not provide information for the investigation and men and women compete alongside each other in horse racing and equestrian.

Athletics, bowls, skating, marathons, shooting, tennis and volleyball have all paid equal prize money since before 2004.

In the past decade, nine more sports have starting doing so with five - diving, sailing, taekwondo, windsurfing and some cycling events - achieving equality in the past couple of years.

Prize money figures graphic

Grant was encouraged by the number of sports which do pay equal prize money adding: "In 70% of sports there is parity and that's great and that's what we want. But we also want the others moving in that direction too and I feel it will happen when the full potential of women's sport is seen and realised."

Female footballers are rewarded significantly less than their male counterparts.

For winning this year's World Cup in Brazil, Germany received more than £21m more than Japan's women did after they were crowned world champions in 2011.

This season's men's FA Cup winners, a competition watched in more than 120 countries, will secure £1.8m in prize money while the team who lift the Women's Cup will net £5,000 - the same amount as the winning semi-finalists of non-league competition the FA Vase.

The Football Association has said men's and women's football are incomparable, describing them as "polar opposites" in global reach.

Kelly Simmons, the FA's director of the national game and women's football, said: "The men's game is a huge multi-million pound industry so when you compare it to the women's game, which until three or four years ago was played by amateurs, the gulf is enormous.

"We are investing £12m in women's football this year but we want to direct that investment where we think it will have the biggest impact and at the moment we do not think that is in prize funds.

Prize money starting paying graphic

"However, we are reviewing it and are looking for a commercial partner to take the women's FA Cup to bigger audiences."

Women golfers can earn a handsome living on the LPGA Tour, with Michelle Wie taking home £452,000 this year for winning the women's US Open.

But the American's reward was considerably less than the £1m cheque received by 2014 US Open winner Martin Kaymer.

Ivan Peter Khodabakhsh, chief executive of the Ladies European Tour, said he was striving for parity in prize money.

"The current significant difference in the prize money between men's and women's golf cannot be justified, taking into consideration the competitiveness and quality of professional women's golf worldwide," he told BBC Sport.

But Khodabakhsh added that achieving equality in prize money would require "considerable effort" from governing bodies, corporations and the media.

 

2014 Wimbledon ladies' singles champion Petra Kvitova

Sport's prize money gender gap

In squash, Laura Massaro - the first English woman to hold world and British Open titles simultaneously - has been instrumental in bringing equal prize money to the British Nationals and increasing women's prize money for the British Open.

But for winning her world title, she received £16,300 less than the men's world champion Nick Matthew, who secured £28,600 when he won his third world crown in November 2013.

Andrew Shelley, chief executive of World Squash, said the sport's world championships would bring in equal prize money "soon".

"The tours are committed to equal prize money and, indeed, this was reinforced at the recent World Squash Federation conference," Shelley told BBC Sport.In this year's World Twenty20, Australia beat England in the women's final - and were paid £44,000 in prize money - just hours before Sri Lanka's men overcame India by six wickets for which they were rewarded £690,000.

The International Cricket Council told BBC Sport: "We take a more holistic approach to make sure the overall women's game will grow. There's been a 12-fold increase in funding over the last five years where we now invest $25m (£15.5m) in the women's game, compared with $2m (£1.2m) in the previous five years.

"That money will be spent on development, associate members and pumped back into the game. Everything is increasing, such as participation and media coverage. Who knows where the sport will be in 20 years' time? It's heading in the right direction."

Stacey Allaster - Women's Tennis Association chief executive

"It doesn't make any sense to me in 2014 that here we sit with other great female athletes not having a greater share of sponsorship and exposure in media, whether that be print or broadcast. We need a game changer here. There's way too much talk about it. We need people to lead and people to invest."

Tennis was the first sport to pay equal prize money when the US Open started doing so in 1973 after campaigning from Billie Jean King and eight other female tennis players.

Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association, said: "The WTA is where we are today because we had strong leaders, like Billie Jean King, who advocated for equality and she got it done in 1973 at the US Open. It was Venus Williams who got us over the line with Wimbledon [getting equal pay in 2007].

"It's that combination of the athletes advocating for what's right, and then the administrators supporting them, creating the public awareness that more equality, and eradicating gender bias in sport, needs to happen."

In snooker and darts, women are allowed to enter and compete alongside men at world championships, provided they qualify. However they do also run separate women's championships, with the British Darts Organisation paying out £12,000 for the women's title and in snooker, Reanne Evans received £1,500 for winning the women's event this year.

The study, which looked at prize money only and does not include wages, bonuses or sponsorship, was commissioned before a conference on Thursday aimed at transforming sport for the benefit of females in the United Kingdom.

It is being delivered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Ruth Holdaway, chief executive of WSFF, said: "We are encouraged that since 2013 a number of sports have taken the positive step towards prize money parity, and this shows that the momentum currently building behind women's sport is having an impact.

"It is, however, disappointing that in 2014 women still find themselves having to battle for equal reward in elite sport."

 

Yahsi Kochi!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday 22nd November 2014…darn rain!!!!!!!

Had a really strong down pour last night and because of that the courts were not open so my regular singles tennis was cancelled and I do so enjoy those games!!!!!

Had to settle for a  morning on the couch watching live tennis from France and then live soccer from England…..I know I have a hard life!!!

I want to bring you up to date and what is happening or rather not happening with Paola…the last time  saw her was when I took her swimming two weeks ago she told me she was moving house her and her Mum and older Brother were moving into the house of her Mum’s boyfriend, Martin.

I have met Martin once and liked him and he speaks English…….anyway I told Paola I would stop by Martin’s work and find out where she lives and pick her up a week ago yesterday for her dental appointment.

The day before her dentist visit I went to see Martin to get directions to his house so I could get her and he looked really confused and told me that they had not actually moved in with him yet so I asked for directions to where she was but he would not tell me….some strange story about it being complicated anyway he said he would meet me with Paola for her dental appointment on a street corner.

The next day I waited for over 20 minutes for them and they never showed!!!!

So this week I have been by his work three times and not connected with him but I left my telephone number for him and he has not called.  I went to the house where she used to live and they do not know where the family moved….I also spoke to the girls that used to come swimming with us and they do not know where she is….I cannot go to her school because she changed schools this Semester and I do not know where the school is…so really I do not know what to do..I will try going by his work place again next week…so obviously I did not take her swimming today…something strange is going on!!!!

This afternoon I took Sara to Costco in the town about 40 minutes away…she stocked up!!!!

Now home and had a long hot soak in the tub I do enjoy those times and just settling down with a good cuppa and watching hockey!!!!

 

 

This article impacted me because my dream as a young teenager was to make a life of playing soccer but of course I could not make the grade.. when I read about the academies and kids going there at 9 and 10 I wish and wonder if they had these facilities in my day would I have made it!!!!!!!!! Will never know!!!!

 

Robbie Savage on what it takes to be a Premier League footballer

In his regular BBC Sport column, Robbie Savage responds to the results of BBC Sport's State of the Game study that shows the restricted playing time for British players in the Premier League this season, and looks at why Arsenal and Manchester United's meeting on Saturday is not the title-decider it once was.

The easiest thing for a English or British player to say if they don't make it at a Premier League club is "well, they bought a foreign player instead". It is a ready-made excuse.

People might argue that more mediocre foreigners coming into the Premier League means our players have less of a chance. But I think the bottom line is that you still come through if you are good enough.

You cannot tell me that if Everton had bought a youngster from a foreign club, he would have stopped Ross Barkley from breaking into their first team.

 

Premier League foreigners used as excuse when English players don't make it, says Robbie Savage

Yes, it is extremely hard to make it at the top level but it has always been the same.

I was fortunate to be part of Manchester United's famous youth team known as the Class of '92. The likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt came through from that side because they were very gifted and also because they worked. I have never seen a group of players work so hard.

Would they really have been denied that opportunity if it had been so easy then to go out and buy somebody from abroad and put him in the first team instead?

No. I think those players would still have had the career they did, because they were good enough and they had the right attitude.

You have to have all the right attributes as person to make it - it is not only about being a technically gifted player.

So many different things in all aspects of your life decide whether you become a professional footballer at the highest level and I don't think people realise that.

Making it takes more than talent

The Manchester United youth team 1992

The Manchester United Class of '92 - including a young Robbie Savage third from the right

Not everybody is as good as Barkley or the Class of 92 and almost every young player has to be able to deal with knock-backs. I know I did.

I was with United between the ages of 14 and 19, when Sir Alex Ferguson told me I wasn't going to be good enough to play for that football club.

I drove home far too fast with his words buzzing in my head and crashed my car.

Lying in my hospital bed, I felt like my life was over. The biggest thing for me was telling my parents I had been released and it felt like a death sentence.

Not only had I lost my job - although I did not think of it like that at the time - I had lost my best mates, who I had grown up with over the past five years. I was a teenager back living at home and thinking "what am I going to do?".

Dario Gradi phoned me up and I went to play under him at Crewe but, in my first year there, I was nowhere near the first team.

Dario Gradi

Dario Gradi won a reputation for reviving the careers of young players during his 24 years at Crewe

It was a different way of life to go from playing with Ryan Giggs and winning every week, to playing League Two football against grown men who were putting their bodies on the line to make sure they had a livelihood.

I was used to playing against people my own age and suddenly I was in an environment where I was physically small. I was thinking, "I have got no chance here - am I best off going to do something else?".

So I can see why some young players might walk away from the game when they get released by big clubs, but there was something inside me that made me carry on and I got my break in the end.

It was Bobby Gould who changed my career when he called me up for Wales at the age of 21 and put me in midfield. Until then I had been a centre-forward.

Because of my energy and work-rate that change of position meant I was able to achieve what I did in the game and play over 600 games, more than 350 of which were in the Premier League.

Some players take a different path

The fact is that most young players who are playing in youth teams at Premier League clubs will have to deal with being told at some stage that they are not good enough, and have to go down to come back up again like I did.

That is when their character, enthusiasm and desire comes into play, along with their technical ability and physical size. All of that put together will decide whether they make it back up to the top level.

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert rebuilt his career in the lower divisions after being released by the Reds as a teenager

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert rebuilt his career in the lower divisions after being released by the Reds as a teenager and is now back at Anfield

It is all very well saying that there are not enough English and British players in Premier League teams, but maybe that is down to some of the ones who have been knocked back choosing different paths after being rejected.

The ones who are playing at that level will have been through so many agonies and sleepless nights to get there - I don't think people realise how hard it is to make it as a professional footballer.

I have a different perspective on it now too, because my 11-year-old son Charlie is in an academy at a Premier League club, and trains or plays four times a week. He has been there since the age of five, firstly at a development centre and now their academy.

Savage on competition:

"I know that 99 out of 100 boys don't make it so the odds are against my son Charlie from the start."

The thing I ask myself as a parent is, "should I have put him into a club at the highest level so soon?". But he is there because he was scouted, went along and enjoys it - and he loves going, which is the main thing.

The only reason I will regret it with Charlie is if myself or the club have to sit him down one day and say they are letting him go. I know how much that disappointment hurts, and I also know that 99 out of 100 boys don't make it so the odds are against him from the start.

Will Charlie be a professional footballer? I have no idea. But, as long as he enjoys it, that is what matters.

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday 21st November 2014….a different kind of a Pearson day!!!!

As you know by now I try to reserve my Fridays for myself….no games…no appointments…..no talking and I usually go for a long hike today was different as I had signed up for an afternoon class so I spent the morning home in my house robe just enjoying the peace and quiet….I did some laundry, had a nice breakfast and then lucky me there was some live tennis from France that I watched.

I then went over for a short while to visit my friend Carol in her new casa it was good to catch up with her and she is starting art classes soon from her house and I have told her I will go to one class, a first for me.

From there I went to my computer class in a private residence close to the center of town there were two other students and the class was really helpful…..our teacher excellent and he taught us how to down load music, movies and TV shows onto out computers…..it was almost a 4 hour class and he was very hands on and whilst there I downloaded two of my favorite TV shows and one music album…..it will mean that I have now an option to TV and will be great when I travel as I do not need Internet to watch what I have down loaded.

Now back home and settling in for the evening…a different day but a good day when you learn something!!!

 

 

 

  Breaking news today!!!!

 

 

Undocumented immigrant Angela Navarro and her husband Ermer Fernandez (L), along with other immigrants and supporters, watch U.S. President Barack Obama speak 20 November 2014 Undocumented immigrants and supporters watch Obama speak on immigration in Philadelphia

 

Millions of immigrants living illegally in the US will be allowed to apply for work permits under a major shake-up unveiled by President Barack Obama.

They include immigrants who have been in the US for five years and have children staying legally in the US.

About four million people are expected to benefit from a reform package forced through using executive orders, which allow Mr Obama to bypass Congress.

Republicans have accused the president of an "illegal power-grab".

There are estimated to be 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.

 

Barack Obama: "Our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it"

Under Mr Obama's plan, undocumented parents of children who are US citizens or legal residents will be able to apply for work permits lasting three years.

Only parents who have lived in the US for five years will qualify.

Some 3.7 million people are thought to be eligible for this scheme, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Another part of the package will extend a programme that gives temporary legal status to people who arrived in the US as children.

Currently only those under the age of 30 who arrived before 2007 can apply for the programme, which was launched in 2012 and already covers roughly 1.2 million people.

Mr Obama has abolished the age limit and extended the cut-off point to 2010, potentially extending the programme to a further 300,000 people.

BBC graphic

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How has the immigration debate in the United States become so polarised, so toxic, so unpleasant?

That it has cannot be doubted. Barack Obama says he has grown so weary of trying to get Congress to engage seriously that he is going it alone.

He's bypassing the legislature and brandishing his big stick - the executive order. It is governance by diktat. And the reaction of his opponents suggests it will spark an atmosphere of retaliation and revenge.

How did immigration debate get so toxic?

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Undocumented immigrant Alejandra Mota, holds her son, a US citizen, as they watch President Barack Obama announce executive action on immigration, at the West Kensington Ministry church, in Philadelphia, November 20, 2014. The order will primarily affect immigrants with children who are US citizens, like Alejandra Mota (centre) and her son

Mr Obama said in a televised address that his measures would allow illegal immigrants to "come out of the shadows and get right with the law".

He insisted that his proposals, which are the biggest immigration reforms since the mid-1980s, did not amount to an amnesty.

"What I'm describing is accountability - a common-sense, middle ground approach," he said.

 

''I think it needs to go through Congress,'' one voter told the BBC

Republicans reacted with fury, with Arizona Republican Senator John McCain calling it an "illegal power-grab" that "fails to address the root causes of the dysfunction in our immigration system".

And Texas Governor Rick Perry argued the move would "lead to more illegal immigration, not less".

An Obama aide rebuffed the criticism that Mr Obama had overstepped his authority, saying the president had taken advice from the secretary of homeland security and the attorney general about the action.

"It's entirely consistent with the way previous presidents have exercised their executive authority," the aide said.

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US illegal immigrants' country of origin (2012)

  • Mexico - 59%
  • El Salvador - 6%
  • Guatemala - 5%
  • Honduras - 3%
  • Philippines - 3%

 

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Mr Obama's plan does not go as far as an immigration bill that failed to pass Congress last year.

 

Astrid Silva: "Our system has been broken for so long that people like my dad are locked out of it"

The bill was supported by the Democrat-led Senate, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to debate the proposal.

It would have provided a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Mr Obama stressed that his plans would not offer citizenship, or entitle immigrants to the same benefits as Americans.

Campaigners for migrants' rights broadly welcomed his plans.

But some activists worried that the promise of a three-year work visa would not be enough for many people to come out into the open.

"It's a step in the right direction, but it's going to fall far short of the mark," veteran advocate Cheryl Little told Reuters news agency.

She said the reforms amounted to "simply a temporary reprieve from deportation".

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What is an executive order?

  • Directive issued by the president to federal employees usually concerning the implementation of laws
  • Power not explicitly outlined in the constitution, but exercised by most presidents
  • Orders generally cannot force through major policy initiatives, which usually require an Act of Congress
  • Courts can strike down an order if it is deemed incompatible with other laws or the constitution
  • Up to October, President Obama had issued 193 orders in almost six years, a lower rate than most of his recent predecessors

Yashi Kochi!!!