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Where’s Mr. Wilson?

February 27, 2005 at 6:01pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Boy, I sure haven’t been posting very much lately, have I? Frickin’ slacker.

I was swamped at work this past week, both 8-to-5 and in the evenings on three different nights. And my weekends are filled with indoor soccer games. This is the last weekend for indoor, but outdoor starts in a couple weeks. Then I’ll be even more swamped. Oh well, the money’s decent.

I have also been silent in part because I have been working on a project that I’m dying to talk about ... but I can’t. At least not right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to say something about it sometime late during the week of March 7. It is difficult to blog about anything else when this single topic is dominating my attention.

I suppose I could comment on the Future of Lincoln event I attended on Thursday. Short background: it was a “deliberative democracy” event in which a group of Lincolnites gathered to discuss various economic development and quality of life issues. The evening also included a panel Q&A featuring several prominent community leaders answering questions from the participants.

I didn’t see much of the group discussions involving the participants, but I did attend the panel Q&A. It was fascinating to see how frustrated the panel was over the participants’ lack of knowledge of things like the Antelope Valley Project. The panel couldn’t seem to believe that despite all the community events that have been held, Lincolnites don’t know and love every tiny little bit of the Antelope Valley Project. On several occasions panel members stated explicitly or implicitly “If you don’t know more about these things, it’s your own damn fault. Lincoln has done its best to educate you.”

Which may be true. Lincoln may have done its best to inform its citizens about these topics. But shouldn’t the fact that so many Lincolnites don’t have a clue what the Antelope Valley Project (et al.) is all about tell Linc

oln’s leaders something? Clearly current methods aren’t working. One solution is to get frustrated and blame the citizens for their unwillingness to attend umpteen community meetings. That seems to be the preferred solution of Lincoln’s civic leaders. A better solution is to evaluate the city’s current methods to determine if they are, truly, optimal.

I could go on. In fact, I probably should go on, but this topic deserves a post of its own. Besides, it’s a beautiful Sunday morning and Daisy wants to play. What kind of person would I be if I disappointed a puppy?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

February 25, 2005 at 9:20pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Tell me it ain’t true - - my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, are trading Randy Moss.  Idiots!!!!

Eminent Domain Abuse Goes On Trial

February 22, 2005 at 4:57pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Today Kelo v. City of New London goes before the Supreme Court. Reason Magazine has put together an excellent reading list for those of you who need to catch up.

Keep an eye on this case, ladies and gents. The implications for the Antelope Valley Project—and, more immediately, John Q. Hammonsproposed hotel at 17th & R—are huge. If the SCOTUS finds eminent domain abuse in Kelo... Well, the Antelope Valley Project’s uphill struggle could suddenly become even more difficult.

Jailed for Being Fat

February 22, 2005 at 4:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Eat too much, go to jail.

Tooting My Horn

February 22, 2005 at 2:05am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I can’t believe we said yes.

A couple weeks ago both the Missus and I received an e-mail. It began:

Say, I’ve got a proposition for you and also a need for your help!!!

Rarely can anything good come from an e-mail that begins like that. I mean, he used three exclamation points. That’s scary stuff.

For whatever reason—my current theory is that the Missus and I are both certifiably insane—we decided to hear the guy out. As a result, the Missus and I are now the two newest members of your new favorite band, Death By Brass, led by Brendon “I taught
James Valentine to play the guitar back at Irving Junior High” Sibley.

I do autographs for $20 apiece.

Actually we are technically just substitutes, in case any of the regular trumpet players can’t make a gig. From what we hear that can happen fairly regularly. Last night was our first rehearsal with the band. In fact, it was our first rehearsal of any sort since 2002. It’s hard to believe we haven’t played our trumpets in that long. Our lips certainly felt the strain. Neither of us has the chops we used to have back in our Cornhusker Marching Band days.

And yet we both fared pretty well. Most of the other band members hadn’t played since November, so it’s not like we were the only ones ending a long hiatus. And it’s not like I could ever forget the fingerings for the notes. Some of Death By Brass’s music is the same stuff we used to play back in pep band at Southeast—Can’t Turn You Loose, Fire, Girlfriend, Gimme Some Lovin’, Jungle Love, Story In Your Eyes. For whatever reason my brain decided to retain those tunes in my memory. I can play many of them (more or less) by heart, e

ven though I last played them in 1997.

For now I can’t sight-read music very well, though. What are those little # thingies again?

I have been wanting to get my trumpet back out for quite a while. Playing with Death By Brass is way cooler than accompanying the occasional hymn at church. They perform on Husker game days at The Eagle‘s Dock Party at 8th & ‘Q’ in the Haymarket, and at other miscellaneous gigs throughout the year.

I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. We are just subs for now, but that’s ok. We’ll need some time to ease back into the idea of playing loud music in front of large crowds of drunken revelers. I haven’t used my stadium-filling “Go Big Red” voice for a while, so I’ll have to start rehabilitating that, too.

This could be a lot of fun.

Capitalism Shall Overcome

February 21, 2005 at 6:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

From the Austin American-Statesman (BugMeNot):

When Austin High School administrators removed candy from campus vending machines last year, the move was hailed as a step toward fighting obesity. What happened next shows how hard it can be for schools to control what students eat on campus.

The candy removal plan, according to students at Austin High, was thwarted by classmates who created an underground candy market, turning the hallways of the high school into Willy-Wonka-meets-Casablanca.

Soon after candy was removed from vending machines, enterprising students armed with gym bags full of M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers and Twix became roving vendors, serving classmates in need of an in-school sugar fix. Regular-size candy bars like the ones sold in vending machines routinely sold in the halls for $1.50.

Beautiful.

Protect Your Family, Go to Jail

February 18, 2005 at 4:42pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robber breaks into man’s house. Robber assaults man’s wife. Man shoots robber. Man goes to jail.

Woohoo! More Bureaucracy!

February 15, 2005 at 8:11pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

FDA to Establish New Drug Oversight Board

Slow Learners in Alabama

February 15, 2005 at 5:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A new bill in Alabama would require the Ten Commandments to be posted in every classroom, and every school day would begin with teachers and students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In case you’re thinking to yourself “But Mr. Wilson, maybe the bill’s intentions are innocent, not based on inserting religious influences into the public schools,” I present to you:

Byrne, a former member of the State Board of Education, said he became interested in the issue because of the federal court ruling in California over using “under God” in the pledge.

::sigh:: Clearly Alabama’s educators are doing a crappy job. If they were providing their students with a quality education, state politicians wouldn’t be stupid enough to think the courts will let them get away with this, and the voters wouldn’t be stupid enough to continuously put these morons in office.

Oh well, better there than here, I suppose.

Detention for Dirt

February 15, 2005 at 5:06pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

More public school idiocy: First Grader Punished for Bag of Dirt

Dog Bites Man

February 15, 2005 at 4:19pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Bettman Primed to Call Off NHL Season on Wednesday

A Trip to Beacon Hills

February 15, 2005 at 12:16am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus and I made a trip allll the way out 27th Street to Beacon Hills. Attached to a Country Inn & Suites, it’s pretty easy to miss. Beacon Hills is—I think—locally owned and operated, so it’s worth a visit if only for that reason.

When Beacon Hills first opened I heard a lot about it. Most people really enjoyed it, it seemed. The Missus and I intended to get out there a few times to try it out for ourselves. That didn’t happen, until last night.

The atmosphere is nice: quiet, subdued, cozy. A welcome respite from the sprawling, concrete mess that is North 27th Street. The host was friendly and we were seated promptly. The restaurant certainly wasn’t busy, but there were several diners scattered about. Everybody seemed to be in a good mood, which is a good sign.

Our server was competent, but he won’t win any awards for excellence. His demeanor was his biggest weakness. He was very capable and he went through the motions very well. He just didn’t seem all that excited about it.

The food was very tasty. The Missus had crab-stuffed salmon, served with rice and sauteed vegetables. I had blackened salmon fettuccine. Both of us really enjoyed our salmon. It was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and nicely flavorful. My pasta was decent, but a bit bland. The parmesan-based sauce could have used some more potent parmesan, or perhaps even a little crab to perk things up. Then again, after tasting the Missus’ crab-stuffed salmon, I had crab on my mind.

Time is short right now, so I have to stop here. My summary: Beacon Hills is worth a visit. I’ll write a longer, more formal review for the Eat Lincoln portion of the website once I have had a chance to make a second visit to the restaurant.

Anything Goes in the War on Drugs II

February 12, 2005 at 7:49pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

In some individuals’ minds, anything goes in the War on Drugs:

“It’s (expletive) over, son.”

For two hours, authorities say, that message would be pounded into Lester Eugene Siler’s head and body, reinforced with the barrel of a gun and echoed in threats of electrocution.

[...]

“We’ll have to call a (expletive) ambulance to haul your ass out of here.”

[...]

“Eugene, let me tell you how this is gonna work, OK?” Webber said in the transcript. “We got here and guess what you did? You ran out the back door. We chased you, OK? You fought with us, OK? We end up fighting with you. You ‘bout whupped all our asses, so we had to fight back, OK?”

[...]

“You’re not (expletive) listening,” Webber says. “You hear what I told you? I told you not to be talking. ? This (expletive) right here, he loves seeing blood. He loves it. He loves seeing blood. You’re talking too much. ? He loves (expletive) seeing blood. He’ll beat your ass and lick it off of you.”

[...]

“Eugene, you’re gonna sign this right here or I’m gonna (expletive) put a bullet in your damn head, and we’re gonna (expletive) plant this BB gun,” Monday says.

Webber later adds, “Hey, Eugene, what loss do you think it’s gonna be to us if you die, buddy? It’s going to be no loss to us.”

By now, Siler is groaning and gasping for breath…

Read the whole sickening account.

The Baby Name Wizard

February 9, 2005 at 4:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Most of you have seen various baby name lists and books. You know the type, in which each name’s meaning is discussed, its popularity is assessed, etc. The Baby Name Wizard is by far the coolest method I have seen for visualizing the popularity of different names over time.

For the record, my name was cool back when I was born, but its popularity is waning rapidly. The missus’s name, on the other hand, is surging back into style.

Google Maps

February 8, 2005 at 10:37pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Google has just released a beta version of Google Maps. I haven’t played with it very much. It’ll be interesting to see how well Google’s service competes with the likes of Mapquest and Yahoo! Maps.

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