Presta Mayoral Salvage — A Miscellany

Sam Lerma is usually behind the camera as a news photographer (AKA video shooter) for KSATs. But this week he’s been featured in a series of little daily pieces where he’s trying to get by on $5 per day for food. Each day he tries different options … different places.

Back in the beginning of the week Sam posted to Twitter that if anyone had ideas of where to score cheap or free food, to let him know. I posted my suggestion onto Twitter:

“AAA Salvage at 1111 S. Presa sells cheap over-stocked food. Might make for some cool b-roll. It’s wonderfully seedy and botulism-free since 2002!”

For those unfamiliar with AAA Salvage, you owe it to yourself to take a field trip. Make a day of it. Hit both Triple A as well as the Habitat For Humanity store over on Probant, just a few blocks south of La Tuna. Bargains galore. And the stock changes daily. Most likely you’ll not find anything you need. But in this age of Wal-Mart and big box stores, these quirky and funky stores are so refreshing.

What do you know, Sam took my advice. Though it seems that the fine folks at AAA Salvage were not interested in being featured on the news. The funny thing is that Sam actually quoted me (well, miss-quoted me, actually, but I’ll let Sam slide) … quoted me by name. And there’s a bit of video of a computer monitor with my Twitter feed in view. Wow! I’m famous! (Well, “San Antonio famous,” don’t you know ….) Much thanks to Jesus Sifuentes for alerting me to this KSAT clip online:

http://www.ksat.com/video/18963290/index.html

(And, by the way, those readers of this blog who aren’t on Twitter, what are you waiting for? It’s free. Sign up at twitter.com and find me under my name erikbosse, one word. And from there, go through my list of followers to find such local luminaries as Sam Lerma, Mr. Sifuentes, Jade Esteban Estrada, Bryan Ramirez, Theresa Coronado, Todd O’Neill, Michael Verdi, Travis Thomsen, et al.)

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I’ve always been wary of those bicycle pumps that clamp onto the bike frame. Don’t get me wrong, they’re indispensable when you need to patch a flat out on the trail. But they are all designed poorly.

My last bike had Presta valve stems. They’re slimmer than the Schrader valve, which is pretty much standard in this country. Your inner tube’s valve style is established by your wheel rims. If the rim has a tiny valve hole, it’s Presta. Larger, Schrader. What I like about the Presa valves are that they have these lock nuts, which are threaded collars you use to keep the valve stems from retracting into the bowels of the tire when you are trying to attach a pump to the valve. That previous bike of mine had me spoiled. And I hope whoever stole it will burn for eternity. But I digress. The Schrader valve is a pain when you try and lock on one of these little hand pumps. For instance, I was trying to firm up the front tire of my bike Friday afternoon. I was wrestling with this poorly designed Schwinn hand pump, trying to get a tight seal onto the valve stem. And what happened? The stem (because it weren’t no Presta, was wriggling all over the place) began to separate from the inner tube. This sort of shit you can’t even fix with a patch.

I went over to the bike shop above the Blue Star Brewing Company. I bought a couple of tubes. And I also bought a Pedro’s brand stand-up bike pump. It’s got a pressure meter dial and works like a charm.

My advice to someone buying a new bike, if you have a choice between wheels which take a Presta or a Schrader valve, always go for the Presta.

Even with all this tire stuff, I did manage to take in a bike ride. The first day of Spring. Hallelujah! The Vernal Equinox … I knew it’d arrive one of these days.

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There will be a mayoral candidate forum coming up at the downtown library on Tuesday, March 31. It will be sponsored by the Westside Arts Coalition. Without naming names, a member of this organization has asked my input on a possible moderator. Also, I’ve been asked to add a few good questions to ask the candidates.

I’m looking forward to the event. Come one come all. It’s open to the public.

The list of candidates signed up for the 2009 San Antonio mayor’s race is presently at nine. And I believe that most will be in attendance on the 31st. On the ballot we have four absolute wackos (god love ’em); four serious contenders (and not a progressive among them — shame!); and one boring cypher who isn’t even worth mentioning … besides, he’s an attorney, and I’d best not piss him off.

Wednesday I took a stroll to Mad Hatters for the March meeting of the San Antonio Social Media Breakfast. Patricio Espinoza was one of the featured speakers. He’s currently running the website SA4Mayor.com, which is attempting to introduce the candidates to the voters.

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Also in attendance was a representative of Trish DeBerry-Mejia’s campaign, as well as a volunteer working for Julián Castro. Most of the conversation dealt with how the candidates are using social media in their elections.

The dude with Trish’s campaign seems on top of all the demographics. I want him on my team when I gear up my campaign for San Antonio Commissioner of Sewers. He is a marketing drone through and through. Doesn’t give a jot about human beings. Hey, they’re all just numbers, yeah?

The guy with Julián’s team loves social media. Understands it. But he’s no number-crunching cut-throat. He’s the compassionate guy who’ll give you a kidney — and I found myself wishing HE was on the ballot … instead of Castro. Please, people, give me something. Anything.

Trish and Julián are serious contenders. They are engage with the media. They seem to have access to resources. And by that I mean money. And they do well on camera.

We have two other serious contenders.

Diane Cibrian. She seems to be holding fairly high confidence ratings in her council district. She’s councilwoman for District 8, a very wealthy region of the city. The problem is, I have yet to meet a member of the press (and I do know a few) who have anything nice to say about Ms Cibrian. Personally, I think she’s on a hair trigger, poised to entertain us all with some awful and unscripted outburst. This means I rather like her. I just wouldn’t want to share an elevator with her … nor would I want to see her continue a life in public service.

Sheila McNeil. Sheila, I believe, is one of the more recent candidates to toss her hat in the ring. She’s councilwoman for District 2. I don’t know much about her. She’s our only African-American mayoral candidate. I’m looking forward to seeing how she handles herself in the upcoming candidate forums.

And the lone neutral candidate Lauro Bustamante, who’s not connected enough to be taken serious, nor crazy enough to be interesting. (Yawn.)

This brings us to the wackos.

Julie Iris Oldham. Again, I’m fairly new to San Antonio. But it seems that this woman has always been running for mayor. Basically she’s an elderly woman with neither fashion sense nor social skills. And were it not for Jesus, she’d have nothing to talk about when the microphone is stuck in her face. She’s a nut. But boring. Away with you!!!!

Rhett R. Smith. He’s Ron Paul’s slower little brother. Basically an American-styled Libertarian, with a pro-life and pro-Christian agenda. I like Smith’s stance on the demilitarization of the Pentagon. He’s good on the Palestinian issue. But, dammit, his fundamentalism keeps popping out, and often, apropos to nothing.

Michael Idrogo. His website is almost as insane as Napoleon Madrid’s. Check it out, it’s freaky and wonderful. I love that he wants to name a library on the southside after Lindbergh, a well-known Nazi-sympathizer. Yeah, that’s gonna go over well in the barrio.

Napoleon Madrid. I know. I know. I’ve already come close to giving this mooncalf my endorsement simply by the shocking number of uppercase words on his website. The talk of perpetual motion machines is just gravy on the potatoes.

In short, I wish we had a progressive candidate. Lacking one, I’m tempted to go with that last fellow. True, he may well be a trifle unhinged. But his heart is in the right place. He’s almost progressive in this weird sci-fi agenda. Of course, voting ironically is not recommended.

The truth is, I voted for Hardberger because he was the only viable candidate who professed a passable progressive platform. And I had a hell of a time convincing myself to vote for a rich white guy to be the mayor of a poor Chicano city.

This time around I got nothing. I don’t even have a Green candidate. Kat Swift, where are you?

Maybe come March 31st, I’ll find that I do have a good choice.

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