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Sneering Eyes for the Word ‘Guys’

August 19, 2005 at 2:34pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I’m starting a movement. A revolution, of sorts, one focused on a tiny pet peeve of mine. The mission: replace the word ‘guys,’ when used in certain situations, with a suitable alternative.

I’m not anti-guy so much as I just think it’s a poor word. It’s sloppy. It’s brusque. And it is arguably sexist.

The most specific example of inappropriate usage is when restaurant personnel refer to entire tables of customers as guys. “How are you guys doing today?” “What can I get for you guys?” “Can I get you guys some refills?” And so on. My wife is not a guy. Neither is my mother. Nor are we the server’s pals. We are happy to be pleasant and friendly with him. But he should not speak to his customers the same way he would speak to his buddies after a night of hard drinking.

You might be thinking, “Mr. Wilson, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.” Probably. I’m good at that. But why use a word like guys when there are other perfectly suitable words just dying to be pulled from the thesaurus, dusted off, and put to good use? In fact, I have just the one in mind.


That’s right, guys should be replaced with folks. (For you computer geeks out there that’s something like s/guys/folks/gi) It’s friendly, it’s pleasant, and it’s extremely Nebraskan. Some folks use folks already, and that’s great. I would like to encourage restaurant managers to deprecate use of the word guys by employees to customers. Then other businesses should catch on. Eventually, the demise of guys would be inevitable! Mwa ha ha ha ha! Ahem, sorry about that.

There are limitations to the word folks, of course. A police officer wouldn’t approach a group of troublemaking teenage boys and say “Pardon me, what are you folks up to this evening?” Nor would a group of guys watching a football game in a bar be referred to as folks; they are, of course, guys. There’s a qualitative di

fference between folks and guys. It’s really quite easy to make the distinction once you know to look for it. All I ask is that folks be called folks and guys be called guys. I’ve heard servers refer to 80 year-old men and women drinking coffee at Village Inn as guys, for Pete’s sake. If you think there’s nothing wrong with that you probably also think it’s ok to call the President “Head Dude” to his face. If that’s the case, I really can’t help you.

Remember, folks, change begins with you. Join the pro-folks brigade today and stamp out guys overuse!

Game 1

August 17, 2005 at 9:37pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I received word today that I have been assigned as AR1 to my first college soccer match. Sort of. It’s a women’s scrimmage at Concordia in Seward. They are playing some community college from Wyoming, I believe. It probably won’t be the most exciting game in the world, but it’s my first college game, so I’m excited.

Menezes Shooting Update

August 17, 2005 at 7:38pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Apologies to those who are bored by the topic, but I think it’s too late to stop providing updates now. The latest:

It has now emerged that Mr de Menezes:

  • was never properly identified because a police officer was relieving himself at the very moment he was leaving his home;
  • was unaware he was being followed;
  • was not wearing a heavy padded jacket or belt as reports at the time suggested;
  • never ran from the police;
  • and did not jump the ticket barrier.

But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. ...

A man sitting opposite him is quoted as saying: “Within a few seconds I saw a man coming into the double doors to my left. He was pointing a small black handgun towards a person sitting opposite me. He pointed the gun at the right hand side of the man’s head. The gun was within 12 inches of the man’s head when the first shot was fired.”

Menezes Shooting Update

August 17, 2005 at 12:16am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Yesterday I blogged about the shooting of Jean Charles Menezes, and the questions surrounding his death. Today I came across an article with information I hadn’t seen before. Specifically:

By 10am that morning, elite firearms officers were provided with what they describe as “positive identification”...

[Mr. Menezes] started running when we saw a tube at the platform. Police HAD [sic] agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran.

That information is nowhere near enough to exonerate the cops who murdered him, but it is the only bit of information I’ve seen so far that gives even the tiniest bit of justification for killing an innocent man.

Meat to Order

August 16, 2005 at 2:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Researchers are working on a way to grow meat in a laboratory, hoping to eventually develop an alternative to farm-raised meat. The hope is that the lab-grown meat—frankenmeat, if you will—will be healthier (because its nutrition characteristics can be controlled), safer (no mad cow), more consistent, cheaper, less offensive to ethical vegetarians, and so on. Many people say “Eww! That’s gross! I would never eat ‘fake’ meat!” Yeah, but you’ll eat meat that’s crawling with bacteria and was once attached to an animal’s ass, where it was covered in crap for years.

Anyway, I would love to give frankenmeat a try. I think it’s an awesome idea, in principle, and I can’t wait to see how it works out. Imagine the possibilities for feeding poverty-stricken populations. The first time they have a taste test at my local Hy-Vee, I’m there.

Life Imitates Dr. Dolittle

August 16, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Illinois Man Says Rabbit Saved His Wife

Murphy’s obstetrician, Dr. Anita Pinc, credits the rabbit with telling Ed Murphy “Wake up, wake up. Something is wrong with your wife.”

This is all so familiar...

I Am a Ross Virgin

August 16, 2005 at 12:06am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I have never been to the Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater. I have thought about going to a couple shows there, but not being an “artsy film” kind of guy, I have stayed away. Now I’m thinking about going sometime between September 16 and September 29. The film I want to see? The Aristocrats.

I think the fact that I really want to see that film officially makes me a twisted SOB. Anybody want to make a wager on what proportion of the moviegoers walk out before the end?

The Definition of Chutzpah

August 16, 2005 at 12:04am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

First New London, Connecticut, convinces the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize the theft of private property. Now, New London wants the plaintiffs in Kelo v. New London to pay back rent on the land the city claimed back in 2000. Plus, New London only plans to pay the landowners the “fair market value”—a scam in itself, since New London only plans to pay what its assessors determine to be the “fair market value,” not what the market determines to be the fair market value—of the property as it was in 2000. Some victims could lose tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Two questions: First, if the city is demanding back rent, aren’t the victims entitled to interest on the payments the city has not yet made? Second, if the land is worth so much—one landowner may have to pay approximately $6,100 per month in back rent—how could it have been considered “blighted,” and thus subject to

government sanctioned property theft

eminent domain in the first place?

Questions, Questions

August 16, 2005 at 12:02am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Jean Charles de Menezes was killed by London police shortly after the second (botched) tube bombings last month. The police say it was a reasonable mistake. de Menezes was wearing a light jacket, not the heavy, weather-inappropriate jacket initially claimed by witnesses; he didn’t jump the turnstile, he entered the tube legally and calmly; he wasn’t wearing a belt with wires protruding, he didn’t have his electrician’s belt with him that day; he was shot in the head, seven times, after having been pinned to the ground; and none of this was caught on any of the several cameras in the area because, by freak coincidence, they were all out of order. The Observer asks many relevant questions including, why did plainclothes officers shoot young Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head, thinking he posed a terror threat?

Somebody has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Back at School

August 15, 2005 at 2:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus had to report to work today for the first day of school. With class sizes hovering around 30 (and likely to increase) and a crop of new students described as “the class from hell,” she has her work cut out for her. On the plus side, at least she’ll get a raise this fall since she has completed a certain number of graduate credits (15?) on her way to her Masters.

Redneck Montage

August 15, 2005 at 2:31pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Turn up the volume, sit back, and pray that you don’t see yourself in this montage.

Rainy Day Work Day

August 13, 2005 at 11:47pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I am such a grown-up.

I was in a working mood today. I had originally planned to work in the yard, but the rain stymied most of those plans. Instead, I decided to do something that wouldn’t require me to get soaked. Now, there are a hundred things I could have chosen to do. But for some reason I opted for one of the least desirable of all options: I decided to clean the garage.

Garage cleaning is no fun. It’s made even less fun when you don’t do it often enough. There were enough leaves in my garage to re-leave half the trees in the neighborhood. Fortunately, I had a new weapon at my disposal: a brand new shop-vac. Between the very sucky (that’s a good thing) shop-vac and a very capable shop broom I managed to make the garage look like, well, a clean garage. I reckon it’ll stay that way for about two days.

While I ate lunch I decided to read some of the packets of information sent to me by the adoption agency. The most recent packets concerned the trials and tribulations of interracial adoptions. I’ve not made it all the way through, but so far the materials fall into one of two groups: 1) well-written, frank descriptions of things to think about when considering an interracial adoption; and 2) racist liberal bullshit more obnoxious than anything even Al Sharpton could come up with. (Lest you think that, by calling the material “liberal bullshit,” I am identifying myself as a flaming conservative, allow me to remind you that I also point out conservative bullshit with just as much scorn.)


toilet paper

literature I read today reinforced my intention to track our adoption experiences here at Lincolnite. I want to shed light on the positives and the negatives of our experiences so that others can learn from us. The crap I read today wil

l certainly become the subject of a blog post or full article. Heck, if I continue to find so much of the material on interracial adoptions unsatisfactory, perhaps I should gather my thoughts into a book. Certainly there are others out there who, like me, are adopting interracially, but who don’t enjoy being told constantly that: white people are racists; white people have no culture; and you are morally corrupt if you fail to raise your child exactly the way somebody else says you should.

Before I close this post, I should make one thing clear: I am not trying to link our adoption agency with these ideas. The materials they have given to us were authored by others. They were printed in various newsletters, journals, newspapers, and so on. The agency itself may or may not collectively agree with the stuff they send us. It is entirely possible that the materials they send our way are just what are available to them. After all, there aren’t that many domestic interracial adoptions going on. It is fair to assume that there are not, in turn, very many written materials to turn to. I will find out more about the agency’s own beliefs when The Missus and I go to their training session in September. Until then, I’m going to assign no particular ideology to the adoption agency. If I find out they have one, whatever it may be, I will pass it on to you.

Don’t Let Your Kid Catch The Gay

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

James Dobson offers some helpful advice on how to keep your son from catching The Gay. An excerpt:

Meanwhile, the boy’s father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son’s maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.

If I didn’t know better I would’ve sworn Dobson’s piece was really written by somebody from Landover Baptist.

Frisk Granny While Ignoring the Big Stuff

August 11, 2005 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

CNN’s recent story on cargo security at U.S. airports highlights the ridiculousness of harassing the crap out of passengers—the most common offense of whom is carrying a pocket knife or nail file—while ignoring the larger danger of unscreened cargo. Why do we so assault grandma’s dignity in search of razor blades when the real danger lies elsewhere? Two reasons. First, the TSA’s actions within airport terminals are visible. Thus, they can claim “See, we’re doing something about the terrorist threat!” Even though in reality the TSA’s largest success is as a massive jobs program. Second, there are no good or cheap ways to screen all the cargo that makes its way onto America’s airliners. Any attempted solutions using today’s infrastructure would hardly make a difference.

The United States loves to overreact to yesterday’s terrorist tactics. That’s why today you can’t take a pocket knife onto a flight or carry an unsearched bag onto a subway car. Personally, I would rather defend against today’s or tomorrow’s terrorist tactics. We can’t say we don’t know what those tactics will be. Stumped? Ask Hollywood. Or ask anybody. Terrorists aren’t likely to use any tactics that haven’t already been thought of—and warned about—by dozens of people.

Gas Prices Go Up. And Up.

August 11, 2005 at 2:21pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Oil prices passed $65 per barrel yesterday, and although gas prices keep climbing, Americans keep driving. Prices in Lincoln yesterday were in the $2.50 range.

I’ve said it before, but this is the first time I’ve said it in print: $3.50 per gallon is the breaking point in the U.S.A. That’s the point at which Americans “officially” decide to make real, substantive changes in their attitudes and behaviors related to energy consumption.

You heard it here first.

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