Mike James’ Gringo Guide to Dia de Muertos – The End

November 4, 2022 by Mike James

By Mike James

This was my third year experiencing Dia de Muertos in Mexico. In 2019 I visited Tlaquepaque and Tequila in the state of Jalisco and last year in Mexico City. This year, on the days approaching Dia de Muertos, I was once again exhausted by the enormity of all things Mexico City.

The city has invested in capitalizing on the growing popularity of the Dia de Muertos. Yet it has become a victim of its own success.

Case in point, the once fictional parade has evolved into something where only the few with front row viewing can truly enjoy. The other millions of spectators unfortunately only catch glimpses of the parade as it passes by. I would definitely recommend visiting Mexico City… any other time of the year.

For the actual days of holiday, I was based in the Pueblos Mágicos town of Cholula in the nearby state of Puebla.

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Planning for the Luminosity Light Festival in Ocean Beach Continues – Next Meeting: Wed., Sept. 28

September 23, 2022 by Mike James

By Mike James

In 1980, as president of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association (formerly Merchants Association), I proposed that the organization sponsor the 4th of July fireworks off of the Ocean Beach pier. The fireworks became a community tradition until 2019 when the event was cancelled due to structural issues to the pier.

That same year in an O.B Rag article, I suggested the community begin exploring an alternative for the fireworks.

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Community Meeting to Explore Replacing Ocean Beach Pier’s July 4th Fireworks – August 25

August 8, 2022 by Mike James

Luminosity Festival Envisioned as Planning Begins to Find Alternatives

by Mike James

With structural issues to the Ocean Beach Pier, fireworks are no longer logistically viable in the foreseeable future. Plus with the environmental concerns and the psychological effects fireworks have on both humans and animals, many feel it is time to explore alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day.

On July 3rd, 1776, one of our Founding Fathers, John Adams penned a letter to his wife Abigail, envisioning future festivities to commemorate the Declaration of Independence. He wrote:

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A Living Legend – Javier Bátiz – at  Winston’s in Ocean Beach on Sunday May 1st

April 21, 2022 by Mike James

Javier Bátiz Will Be Benefiting Deported Veterans Who Live in Tijuana

By Mike James

In Mexico during the 60’s, there was a counterculture movement called La Onda (The Wave), which influenced artistic and political expression throughout Mexico.

One of the major musical influences of La Onda can be traced back to a humble home just a few miles south of the Tijuana/ San Diego international border.

In the mid 1950’s in Tijuana, a young teenager, Javier Bátiz, was woken by his mother in the middle of the night.

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Deported Veterans – America’s Dirty Little Secret

March 29, 2022 by Mike James

By Mike James

Twenty five years ago on April 1, 1997, legislation became effective that would rip families apart, disregard fundamental human rights and send once honored individuals into exile.

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, there was an uproar for new immigration laws. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 was the result. Signed into law by President Bill Clinton, he, like many other politicians, wanted to pass immigration legislation that emphasized enforcement prior to the run-up of the 1998 national elections.

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Keystone Pipeline XL – A Line in the Sand – Part 1

January 26, 2012 by Mike James

Part One – A Summary.

What is the proposed Keystone XL pipeline?

It was the latest project to move DilBit, diluted Bitumen, from Canada to oil refineries in the United States.

What is Bitumen?

Bitumen is tar (think the La Brea Tar Pits) or natural asphalt (it is a key component of the asphalt we drive on). Bitumen after extensive processing and refinement can become a form of fuel oil (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel).

With the high cost (economically and environmentally) of extraction and processing of Bitumen, it has only recently became profitable due to the high price of a barrel of oil.

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The Legend of the OB Christmas Tree

December 3, 2011 by Mike James
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By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

Gather round young and old as I tell the tale of long ago.

It all started in a quaint inn1 on the shores of a mighty ocean in the Land of OB. Two brothers of a great clan of craftsman2 gathered around a table of libations, sheltered from the winter cold.

They spoke of warm summer winds on the beaches of OB and recent triumphs therein. It had been a gathering of villagers from far and wide to view a spectacular spectacle of light and sound3. This had given great joy to the local trade and citizens of OB alike. It was the beginning of renewed spirit that had nearly been lost in this enchanted land.

Having proudly championed a role in this milestone, the brothers spoke of new campaigns to once again bring happiness to their fellow Obceians.

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Top Secret: Herman Cain’s “Plan of Action and Talking Points”

November 9, 2011 by Mike James
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By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

Last night I ordered a Godfather Pizza for dinner. Lo and behold stuck to the bottom of the box was the following memo.

Top Secret

Operation He Said She Said.

From the offices of Herman Cain for President:

Plan of Action and Talking Points.

1. Deny, Deny, Deny.

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Hey Protesters, Occupy This! (a fun look at Tea Party responses to Occupy Wall Street)

October 6, 2011 by Mike James
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By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

For the past 6 months I’ve been a subscriber to “The Tea Party Nation” web site to learn more about my fellow citizens. (I have masochistic tendencies.) Below are some outtakes of the Occupy Wall Street related articles and comments that recently appeared on the “The Tea Party Nation” site.

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Flashback to the past: 1983 – the City wanted to increase OB’s density then too

September 13, 2011 by Mike James
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By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

In the fall of 1983 it came to the attention of the Ocean Beach Planning Board that certain large property owners and local Realtors had persuaded then Councilman Bill Cleator to silently put before the Council an amendment for the Ocean Beach Precise Plan. The amendment would have doubled Ocean Beach’s residential density from 25 units-per-acre to 52-units-per-acre.

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O.B. Xmas Auctions Past, Present and Future…

November 30, 2010 by Mike James
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by Mike James For 25 of the last 31 years, I have been involved as an auctioneer at the Ocean Beach Christmas Festival Auction, representing the James Gang brothers. This years auction will be held Thursday Dec. 2nd at the Sunshine Company Saloon from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. I will be joined on stage […]

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