Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday 30th November 2014…..a road trip!!!!

Today was time for a road trip and I had invited Sara and Lorraine and Rita’s son Josh to come to Bernal and we left at 10am….unfortunately I was not paying attention and took a wrong turn leading out of SMA which gave us a small detour I fessed up to my passengers but realized I did not have to because they would not have known, except for the three or four gas stations where we had to ask for directions…anyway we finally got on the right road and arrived in Bernal shortly before noon.

Josh is an extreme outdoorsman and athlete and he and Lorraine and I decided to hike up the mountain to the look out about three quarters of the way up whilst Sara stayed in the town and did her own thing.

I have done this hike five times before and it is tough completely all up hill and each time I have got to the observation point but it is not easy….

Today after about 15 minutes of climbing I knew I was in trouble and I stopped and told Lorraine and Josh that I was really sorry but I could not go any further…they were so understanding and I did not want to spoil their day so told them to continue and I would rest and go back down and see them in the town square in a couple of hours and away they went…..I found a shaded spot and sat and had some food and drank some water.

Let me fill you in on my medical history, I do not talk of it often as I never think about it…..about 25 years ago in Alberta I was playing tennis with my Dad when I collapsed on the court and I was taken to the local hospital and then transferred to ICU in Edmonton where I was for two days before I was released…it turns out my heart when into Atrial Fibrillation and my local doctor took over my recovery and to cut a long story short about 4 years later my heart went into complete irregularity so for the years since I get an annual check up an EKG and have no problems …..I know it is there and it has never bothered me until a few months ago before I went on the Camino I had one small episode where I blacked out for a few seconds but soon recovered…..of course then I did the Camino and do all the tennis and hiking that I do with no issues what so ever…So I was surprised as anyone this morning when I felt not well…..no point being a hero and there was no way at all I could have continued….so coming back down and then resting and then having  the afternoon sitting in the shade of the square was good for me.

Lorraine made it to the observation point and Josh actually went all the way to the cross at the top of the mountain…way to go!!!!

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In the above shot you can see folks on the ridge in the center and  at the top the cross where Josh went!!!

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Some shots of the lovely town

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We all met up in the square later had some food and were home by 6pm…..it was a good day out and nice to meet Josh and glad for Lorraine she saw something of this great country.

I have had a bath and dinner and I feel absolutely fine…I always am thankful to my body for being able to do all that I do and today was a blip just to remind me to count my blessings……

Happy Grey Cup day to my Canadian friends!!!

Bernal, Querétaro

 

Bernal

Bernal and the Peña de Bernal
Bernal and the Peña de Bernal

 

San Sebastián Bernal, better known as Bernal, is a colonial village in the Mexican state of Querétaro. It was founded in 1642 by Spanish soldier Alonso Cabrera.[1]

Peña de Bernal

Bernal is located 40 minutes by road from state capital Santiago de Querétaro and two and a half hours from Mexico City.[2] It is located in Ezequiel Montes municipality, a few minutes from Colón and Cadereyta.[2]

It has a current population of 2909. 1377 are males and 1532 are females. 1014 persons are counted as Economic Active Population and there are only 630 inhabited homes in town.[3]

It is known for its enormous monolith of massive rock, the Peña de Bernal, the third highest on the planet.[2]

The word Bernal is of Arabic origin[dubiousdiscuss] and the Spanish used it to name something that is a big and elongated crag that was isolated out in a plain or in the sea. Likewise, in the Otomi language: Ma'hando, in Chichimeca: De'hendo, has the same meaning: “In the middle of two”.[1]

Recently, the town of Bernal acquired the title of Pueblo Mágico ("Magical Town"). The Magical Towns are admitted for being localities that have magic symbolic attributes, legends, history, transcendental facts, that associate in each of his cultural manifestations, and that today mean a great opportunity for tourism.[

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday 29th November 2014……. of course….sports!!!!

My sports day started at 7am with live soccer from England whilst having breakfast and then I went down to the courts for two hours of great tennis with Loren we both really enjoy this time me perhaps a little more as he had to go to the Losers restaurant again!!!!!

Came home and had some lunch whilst watching another live soccer game from England…and then I went to get Sara and her sister Lorraine who is here for a two week holiday……we first went to

 

 

Sanctuary of Atotonilco in Mexico

The Sanctuary of Atotonilco (Santuario de Atotonilco) is a church complex and a World Heritage Site, designated along with nearby San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. The complex was built in the 18th century by Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro who, according to tradition, was called upon by a vision of Jesus with a crown of thorns on his head and carrying a cross. The main feature of the complex is the rich Mexican Baroque mural work that adorns the main nave and chapels. This was chiefly the work of Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre over a period of thirty years. The mural work has led the complex to be dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of Mexico."[1] The complex remains a place of worship and penance to this day, attracting as many as 5,000 visitors every week.

 

This is a beautiful church and all the ceilings are covered in murals!!!

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We then drove about 15 miles to the town of Delores Hidalgo which is known for a few things including the shrine to one of it’s musical hero's!!!!

 

José Alfredo Jiménez

 

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Background information

Born
(1926-01-19)January 19, 1926
Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico

Died
November 23, 1973(1973-11-23) (aged 47)

 

José Alfredo Jiménez (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse alˈfɾeðo xiˈmenes]; January 19, 1926 – November 23, 1973) was a Mexican singer-songwriter in the mariachi style whose songs are considered an integral part of Mexico's musical heritage.

Jiménez was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and had no musical training according to singer Miguel Aceves Mejía. He did not play an instrument and did not even know the Spanish terms for "waltz" and "key". Nonetheless, he composed more than 1,000 songs. Among the most famous are "Me Equivoqué Contigo", "Ella", "Paloma querida", "Tú y la mentira", "Media vuelta", "El Rey", "Sin Sangre en las Venas", "El jinete", "Si nos Dejan", "Amanecí en tus Brazos", "Llegando a ti", "Tu recuerdo y yo", El Hijo del Pueblo", "Cuando el Destino", "El caballo blanco", "Llegó Borracho el Borracho" and "Que te vaya bonito", as well as "Camino de Guanajuato", where he sang about his home state of Guanajuato.

 

José Alfredo Jiménez' tomb in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, attracts visitors from around the world.

In addition to his own recordings, many of his songs have been recorded by renowned artists from around the Spanish-speaking world, most notably by the following artists: Miguel Aceves Mejía, Antonio Aguilar, Luis Aguilar, Lola Beltrán, Vikki Carr, Gualberto Castro, Rocío Dúrcal, Alejandro Fernández, Pedro Fernández, Vicente Fernández, Los Relámpagos Del Norte con Cornelio Reyna y Ramón Ayala, Los Tigres del Norte, Manolo García, Little Joe Hernández & The Latinaires, Julio Iglesias, Pedro Infante, the Mexican rock group Maná, Luis Miguel, Jorge Negrete, Sunny Ozuna & The Sunliners, María Dolores Pradera, Javier Solís, and Chavela Vargas. In addition, Joaquín Sabina paid homage to Jiménez with his song, "Por el Bulevar de los Sueños Rotos" ("On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams"). The country artist Luke Tan recorded a disc of his favorite Jiménez songs in Spanish, including some English translations.

Like many of his contemporary stars, such as Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, and Javier Solís, Jiménez died young. He was only forty-seven years old when he died in Mexico City, of complications resulting from cirrhosis of the liver.

One of his last appearances on Mexican television occurred in 1973, just months prior to his death, where he introduced his last song, Gracias, accompanied by his wife, singer Alicia Juarez. It was his way of thanking the public for all of the affection they had shown him throughout his career as one of the most prolific and highly regarded composers and singers Mexico has ever produced.

It really is amazing to see…

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  On the huge serape all the names of his songs are imprinted!!!!!

The other thing the town is known for is pottery and the girls loved this store!!!!

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  This is the warehouse where they make the pottery and package them for shipment!!!

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I bought this

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After I dropped the girls off came home in time to watch my Brother’s soccer team in England take a beating and now it is Hockey night in Canada….told you it was a sports day!!!

 

A sad article taken from the BBC web site…..

 

Phillip Hughes died after he was struck at the top of the neck by a short-pitched delivery .

Phillip Hughes: Why does a death in sport hit us so hard?

Young men of 25 die every day - in crashed cars, on battlefields, in cancer wards.

When it happens in a sporting arena it is no more tragic, but its impact is both more universally felt and somehow far more shocking.

Elite sportsmen are our real-time superheroes, capable of physical wonders beyond the rest of us, seemingly unbound by many of the same biological constraints.

Watching them can make us feel immune to the real world. Sport becomes our great escape from its darker mortal realities, an alternative playground where the language is one of battles and great victories but from which everyone walks away to fight another day.

 

 

Phillip Hughes: BBC Sport looks back at Australia batsman's career

Its tragedies and losses aren't real, even if the hype would sometimes make you believe they were. So when the illusion shatters, as it has with the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, it is utterly unexpected and difficult to accept.

We know there is danger in sport, in repeatedly ducking a hard ball bowled at 90 miles an hour or driving a twitching rocket of a Grand Prix car.

It is what fires much of our admiration. It also makes an accident like the one that killed Hughes, or that cost Ayrton Senna his life at San Marino in 1994, all the harder to comprehend.

These were ones who were supposed to be invulnerable to the odds, who could flourish where logic suggested it was impossible.

We mourn the person and empathise with their families. We also mourn the sporting loss: the World Cups Munich air disaster victim Duncan Edwards could never light up, the races and world titles Senna would never win, the Test centuries Hughes will never score.

Because sportsmen's lives are quantifiable in a way that others aren't. They are known to us like friends. They are deaths with statistical eulogies.

Chris Eubank (left) and Michael Watson (right) square up during their rematch WBO Super Middle Weight title fight held on September 21, 1991 at White Hart Lane, in London.

The WBO super-middleweight rematch between Chris Eubank (left) and Michael Watson at White Hart Lane in 1991 left Watson fighting for his life

In the records of races won or goals scored or wickets taken comes an understanding of what they have achieved and what they could have gone on to do.

With their premature loss comes bewilderment. Hughes's final scorecard will forever read 63 not out: a lovely start, not enough, not yet.

Cricket, like all other sports, is rich in fables of the miracle comeback or improbable recovery.

Hughes himself had been involved in one of its most famous, when his 81 not out in a last-wicket partnership with teenage debutant Ashton Agar almost won his side an unfathomable victory in the first Ashes Test in the summer of 2013.

It conditions us to expect the same from its protagonists off the pitch. These men and women are fighters, used to taking on the odds, to cocking a snook at reason and precedent.

So it was that when news first broke of Hughes's collapse at the Sydney Cricket Ground, hope spread almost as quickly as the distress.

Perhaps the recent tragic accidents to F1 drivers Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi, devastating though they have been to both men and their families, have also inured us to the stark medical logic of severe brain trauma.

The induced comas of Schumacher and Bianchi slowly, painfully slowly, presaged a partial recovery. Medical experts in Sydney may have feared the worst. Many others, misguidedly, did not.

For Sean Abbott, the 22-year-old whose delivery struck Hughes the fatal blow, these will be overwhelming hours.

Ayrton Senna at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos, 1994

Ayrton Senna's death at Imola in 1994 still haunts Adrian Newey, then chief designer at Williams

Hughes's death was not Abbott's fault. Neither was Senna's down to Adrian Newey, the chief designer at his Williams team, yet the Briton is still haunted by that calamitous day two decades on.

Some of those who have shared his awful predicament have been able to fight their way out through strong logic and the forgiveness of those they hurt.

Chris Eubank, a far more intelligent man than his cartoonish public persona suggests, may not have been capable of quite the same ruthlessness in the ring after his fight with Michael Watson in September 1991 left his opponent with permanent brain damage.

But neither did he regret the upper cut that put Watson in a coma for 30 days - only its outcome. Why? Because had he not thrown that punch, in a contest that had brought both men close to the edge, he would have failed in his responsibilities as a professional boxer.

He was there to fight, just as Abbott was there to bowl. That was the element he could control. The consequences were not.

Not everyone is blessed with Eubank's capacity to recover.

Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini was a 21-year-old lightweight world champion when he fought South Korean Duk Koo Kim for his WBA belt in November 1982.

A brutal contest ended in the 14th round, when 44 unanswered punches from the American left his opponent on his knees. Kim collapsed in the ring, suffered two blood clots on the right side of his brain and died in hospital four days later. The referee, Richard Green, killed himself the following year. Kim's mother, equally unable to cope, took her own life four months after Green.

Thirty years later, it is still the defining moment in Mancini's life. He is still approached by strangers, asking to see the hand that threw the final punch, still has dreams in which he attempts to embrace Kim.

"It's still too painful to talk about it," he said in 2007. "I just don't want to keep reliving it. There have been a lot of prayers, a lot of thoughts. But you never get over it. You never understand."

For cricket, the trials are likely to come much sooner. Next July, when Australia and England's fast bowlers charge in to the opposition openers on the first day of the Ashes series, how will supporters in Cardiff react if, as happened on the first morning of the 2005 series, a short-pitched ball hits a batsman flush on the head?

Ray Mancini trades blow in his final fight against Greg Haugen (right) in April 1992

Ray Mancini, pictured in his final fight against Greg Haugen in 1992, was only 21 when a WBA lightweight title fight resulted in the death of Korean Duk Koo Kim

When Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting were struck at Lord's nine years ago, it was greeted with roars of approval from around the ground. Hindsight has anointed it the moment Australia's all-conquering team knew they were in a fight, a symbolic and physical blow from which they would struggle to recover.

That series was no one-off. Australia's thumping Ashes victory last winter was in large part based on Mitchell Johnson's ability to intimidate England's batsman with short, hostile bowling. The West Indies built an era of dominance around the same strategy.

Hughes's death was a terrible freak. But its consequences are there for all of us - for his family, for Abbott, for Johnson and other fast bowlers, and for us as supporters, reminded of our own vulnerabilities by someone we supposed exempt from them.

 

Blessings to all….

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday 28 th November 2014…a true Pearson day!!!

A few months ago I realized by design my life was very busy and that I needed a day to myself when I schedule no appointments, do not see anyone, do not talk to anyone and do not drive the car or ride the scooter…so I implemented Friday as my day, my Pearson day….the last few Fridays I have had commitments that I could not get out of so today was a true Pearson day……

I woke up at 8am and had a cup of tea whilst checking stuff on the computer…then had a great breakfast and then did some of my Spanish homework and then around 11am got packed up and left the house on foot and went on my favorite hike to the waterfall and canyon…this is a place I go to often and I love the solitude of the canyon and the sound of the waterfall….this place grounds me and I just sat there for a while and let my mind wonder I find it so calming……..the sun shone the whole time and it was a great hike and I was back around 5 o clock…..

Straight into the tub for a long soak and then I had another wonderful turkey dinner the left overs from yesterday thanks again Karen and Gregg…and this evening is just a quiet one watching some of my favorite TV shows……

Mexican president Pena Nieto to overhaul police

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during a national broadcasting message from National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, 27 November 2014 President Pena Nieto had faced widespread criticism over the students' disappearance

 

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced plans to overhaul the country's municipal police forces after the disappearance of 43 students.

He plans to put all local police units under federal control.

The students, all trainee teachers, went missing in September after joining a protest in Iguala, Guerrero state.

Their disappearance sparked mass protests, with many still unconvinced by the official explanation that the students were murdered by a drugs gang.

Mayor's arrest

In a televised speech, President Pena Nieto said that "Mexico must change".

He announced proposals for a series of constitutional reforms that would allow the country's 1,800 municipal forces to be dissolved and taken over by state agencies.

The reforms would also enable Congress to dissolve local governments infiltrated by drug cartels.

A rally by relatives of the 43 missing Mexican students Relatives of the missing travelled across the country gathering support

The overhaul would begin in Mexico's four most violent states, he said - Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Michoacan and Guerrero.

Guerrero is where the 43 students vanished on 26 September.

They had been attacked by local police in Iguala after attending a labour rights demonstration.

Under President Pena Nieto's plans, the thousands of local police forces would come under the control of the 31 federal state governments, and the capital.

Corruption within the police force, especially the municipal police, is rife. Officers are often offered money or threatened by the country's powerful drugs gangs.

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File photo: Members of the Task Force for Mexico City pose for a photograph at their base in Mexico City, 15 October 2014 Mr Pena Nieto said more police would be deployed to troubled zones

Key proposed reforms:

  • Replace the country's 1,800 municipal police units with state-level forces
  • Launch a single, nationwide phone number for emergencies
  • Assign national identity numbers or documents to Mexicans
  • Deploy more federal police to Guerrero, Michoacan, Jalisco and Tamaulipas

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The proposals would also seek to simplify the way in which crimes are currently dealt with at a federal, state or local level.

Some local police forces refuse to deal with federal crimes such as drug trafficking.

The reforms are due to be presented to Congress next week.

President Pena Nieto had faced widespread criticism over the students' disappearance, despite vowing to track down those responsible.

 

Thousands have been killed or disappeared in recent years

Relatives of the missing have led mass protests across the country to express their anger at the government.

The official explanation offered by the Mexican authorities is that the students were murdered by a drugs gang.

The gang was said to be in collusion with the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, who has been arrested facing accusations that he ordered police to confront the students on the day of their disappearance.

Investigators said that municipal police officers confessed to seizing the students, and later handing them over to the gang.

However, the families of the students, and their supporters, say they are not convinced by the official version of events.

They say they will not believe the students are dead until it has been officially confirmed by Argentine forensic scientists working on the case.

Forensic tests are being carried out on bodies found in mass graves in Guerrero.

In recent years thousands of people have gone missing or been killed after being caught up in drug-related violence.

Several killings or suspected kidnappings have been reported in the past week:

  • On Thursday, police discovered 11 burned or decapitated bodies on a road near Chilapa, in Guerrero. The victims were said to be men in their 20s
  • Also on Thursday, authorities said they would investigate reports that 30 secondary school students were kidnapped in Cocula in July
  • The bodies of two missing farmers were found buried in the town of Mazatan, in Chiapas state, on Monday, Proceso magazine reported.

Blessings to all!!!

 

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday 27th November 2014….me no like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bird bath water was frozen this morning!!!!!!!   AND the ride to tennis at 9am was really coo had to put on long pants and my gloves and scarf!!!!!   BUT  10 minutes after we started playing the sun came out and it was a beautiful day!!! OK end of rant!!!!!

 

Happy thanksgiving day to all my special and wonderful American friends!!!

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Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.[8][9] According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.[10] In later years, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623.[11][12][13] The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.[14]

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress,[15] each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes.[16] As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".[17]

In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.[18]

 

The traditional representation of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has often been a subject of boosterism and debate, though the debate is often confused by mixing up the ideas of a Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a Thanksgiving religious service. According to author James Baker, this debate is a "tempest in a beanpot" and "marvelous nonsense".[8]

Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land.(Jeremy Bangs[10])

These claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony.[19] Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[20][21] A day for Thanksgiving services was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619.[22]

According to Baker, "Historically, none of these had any influence over the evolution of the modern United States holiday. The American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence."[

 

This afternoon I was invited to Karen and Gregg’s to join their Thanksgiving day and I stopped at my favorite flower stall for flowers for Karen

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The table looked beautiful

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and the food was fantastic..as you all know turkey is my favorite meal

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…..Thanks Karen and Gregg it was a joyous event and also thanks for a certain goodie bag that found itself into my hands!!!!!

Again this evening it is cool I am sitting with long sweats and a jumper on…….so I have to reflect on this day the blessings and the thanks I need to give today.

My family are the best anyone could have we are not close geographically but in every other way we have each other’s backs……I think I have the best friends of anyone…some I see often and they are such a great support for me…others I do not see so often but we have that bond that binds us close together……I have wonderful health…what would my life be like without good health I shudder to think….I have enough funds to live this wonderful life I have……..I love the town I call home and my students, my tennis and poker buddies….all makes this a beautiful life…blessings to you all and thank you for all you have done and do for me!!!!

Yashi kochi!!!

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!!!!