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Big News From The Wilsons

August 10, 2005 at 3:25am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus and I have big news to share with you today.

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Is it Just Me, Or is it Warm in Here?

August 9, 2005 at 3:04pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Women having hot flashes should not be allowed to bother maintenance personnel with constant whining about “how hot it is in here.” Especially when said maintenance personnel long ago determined there not to be a problem and since that time have very obviously just been humoring the women by pretending to attempt to find a “solution” to the non-problem. Nor should they be allowed to constantly whine to me. I overheat much quicker than the average person, and in my opinion the temperature in here is just fine. Now leave me alone, please, or at least change the subject.

I’m not referring to any individuals or situations in particular, of course. I’m just saying.

Happy Birthday Missus Wilson!

August 8, 2005 at 2:48pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

If you see The Missus today, wish her a happy birthday!

Back on the Field

August 8, 2005 at 2:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I ventured back onto the soccer field this weekend for the first time since May. I reffed three games on both Saturday and Sunday. I am pleased to report that everything went remarkably well. I was dog-tired by the end, and I’m a bit sunburnt. But that’s what you get when your summer exercise includes zero running and you fail to apply sunscreen.

I managed to make it through the weekend having stayed on most players’, coaches’, and spectators’ good sides. With the exception of one girl’s declaration of “You suck,” I heard very little direct dissent. Some of my partners didn’t come through the weekend as unscathed as I did, but I’ll be honest with you: more often than not they deserved the criticism.

There was one scare. Only two minutes into my third game yesterday I heard cries of “Ref! Ref!” I looked behind me to see my AR1 lying motionless on the ground, with a couple people standing over him. He was a big fellow, it was a hot day, he wasn’t moving… You can imagine what went through my head. I immediately stopped play and sprinted over to him. Fortunately he wasn’t dead. He had just stepped into a hole and twisted his ankle. He took a moment to shake off the pain and we resumed play. As a sports official I witness, on average, about one serious injury per year. I’ve seen broken bones, seizures, and head injuries. At the time I thought for certain I was witnessing my first heart attack. That turned out not to be the case. But I know it’s only a matter of time.

Czech Out My Weekend Plans

August 5, 2005 at 11:58pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus and I are going to head south to Wilber tonight to attend the annual Czech Festival. Neither of us has ever been to the festival, but we hear that it’s a fun time and that the food is excellent. Kolaces are the star of the show, but I’m looking forward to the various brats and sausages. I’m also hopeful that I’ll see some of the folks affected by last year’s tornado, whom I worked with at my previous job.

On both Saturday and Sunday morning I’ll get up early to go referee soccer games at a tournament in Omaha. I haven’t refereed since May, so I hope I remember what I’m supposed to do out there.

On Saturday afternoon a friend from high school is getting married. Congratulations, KLS!

And finally on Sunday evening the family is going to go out to eat for The Missus’s birthday (which is actually on Monday). I believe she chose Fireworks for her birthday meal.

That’s my plan. What are you all up to?

The Old Gray Lady Sticks Up for Wal-Mart

August 4, 2005 at 7:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I never would have expected it, but the New York Times published an op-ed yesterday defending Wal-Mart. Their conclusion?

First, Wal-Mart hasn’t just sliced up the economic pie in a way that favors one group over another. Rather, it has made the total pie bigger. …

Second, most of the value created by the company is actually pocketed by its customers in the form of lower prices.…

Without the much-maligned Wal-Mart, the rural poor, in particular, would pay several percentage points more for the food and other merchandise that after housing is their largest household expense.

Important points to consider the next time the periodic “keep out Wal-Mart!” drives fire up.

Bank Security

August 4, 2005 at 4:04pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I just witnessed an unbelievable scene.

A co-worker called up her bank. She said that she wanted to transfer money from savings to checking. She gave her account number, her name, and the amount she wanted to transfer. Then she said “Thank you” and hung up.

What the…?! I would never use a bank that doesn’t require any sort of security clearance whatsoever to mess with funds. All the information she gave is easily accessible. Her name, account number, and bank’s telephone number are all printed on her checks. Had I recorded her account number, or if I got it off one of her checks, I could call up the bank right now and access her account balances, transfer funds, and do who knows what else. At the very least I could be annoying—say, by transferring all her checking account funds into her savings account, likely causing a few bounced checks. In theory I could be pretty malicious.

My bank doesn’t have the most stringent procedures in place for telephone transactions, but they are a heckuva lot more secure than what I just witnessed. Do other banks use the same procedures? Is fraud really that easy?

Abortion’s Effect on Language

August 4, 2005 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto points to two articles that highlight the weird effect the abortion debate has had on language usage in the U.S. Compare:

“A 13-year-old giant panda gave birth to a cub at San Diego Zoo, but a second baby died in the womb, officials said Wednesday.”—Associated Press, Aug. 3

“A cancer-ravaged woman robbed of consciousness by a stroke has given birth after being kept on life support for three months to give her fetus extra time to develop.”—Associated Press, Aug. 3

That’s a pretty strange—and disturbing—language inversion if you ask me.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

August 3, 2005 at 7:59pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

*Sigh*

Chigger Bites in 4 Megapixels

August 3, 2005 at 2:29am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I decided y’all need to see my chigger bites so you could fully appreciate my dilemma.

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I Am Being Consumed

August 2, 2005 at 4:57pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Apparently I picked up some hitchhikers while hiking at Indian Cave on Sunday. And not just a few. I have chigger bites up the wazoo. (But not in, or even near, the wazoo, thank goodness.) With the exception of a few random bites on my arms and chest, all the bites are on my ankles. My right ankle has a few dozen small red welts. My left ankle—God, how do I describe my left ankle?—is completely covered in bites. Hundreds of bites. I searched for images of chigger bites and none of the images I found come even close to portraying how many bites I have. I used to get chigger bites all the time when I went camping back in my Boy Scout days. I never saw anything like this, on myself or on any of my fellow campers.

Fortunately chigger bites aren’t especially harmful. They can lead to secondary infections, but typically only if you fail to keep the area clean. But the concentration of these bites has left me in almost unbearable, itchy agony. While laying in bed last night it actually felt like my ankles were on fire. I thought for sure I was going to scratch straight through the skin.

Somehow The Missus managed to avoid the same fate. Lucky lady. I must have unknowingly killed the King of the Chiggers, invoking the wrath of the Chigger Kingdom. They sure know how to get their revenge.

The DNA Avenger Rides Again

August 2, 2005 at 2:39pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

DNA evidence freed yet another man yesterday. Kudos to The Innocence Project for working to free him.

Way to Go, Chip!

August 2, 2005 at 12:21am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I used to toss Wiffle Balls to him back when he was just a little squirt and he would constantly smack them over his neighbors’ fences. (Seriously, I’ve never seen a five year-old bat so well.) Yesterday, Chip Healey pounded three home runs for J.C. Brager in American Legion State Tournament play. Some people never change.

I Love Subway’s Ice

August 1, 2005 at 8:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Have you ever noticed the ice you get from the pop machines at Subway restaurants? I love those little 1 cm

3

cubes. I have never selected or denied a restaurant based solely on its ice, but if I did, Subway would be sitting very well.

Another Busy Weekend

August 1, 2005 at 2:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

One of these days I’ll have a weekend where I get to just sit around and do nothing. One of these days.

I spent Saturday up in Omaha attending a fitness test and training session for the upcoming college soccer season. I was a bit worried about the fitness test since the last time I did any substantial running was back in May at the high school state soccer tournament. As it turns out, I needn’t have been concerned. I ran about 2700 meters in the 12-minute endurance test, and I sailed through the various agility, speed, and anaerobic capacity tests. Apparently my legs still have a little spunk left in them even all these years after my high school prime. I was sore as hell on Sunday, though. Nothing will bring you down from an “I’m still in great shape” delusion like extreme muscle soreness the next morning.

On Saturday evening I had a wonderful meal with The Missus and my parents at La Paz. I really enjoy that place. It’s one of my favorite area Mexican restaurants.

The soreness from Saturday didn’t stop The Missus and I from driving down to Indian Cave on Sunday morning for a little hiking. The weather was just about perfect for a hike, with reasonable temperatures and overcast skies most of the day. We ended up walking about seven miles. As a cool bonus we ran across eleven deer, a few of whom let us get relatively close before running off into the woods. Two of the deer were fawns hanging out with their mothers. I realize that you can see deer pretty much any time you want in Nebraska, but there’s something extra neat about seeing them in a more natural setting.

Since The Missus and I were too exhausted to cook on Sunday evening, we ordered a BBQ chicken pizza from daVinci’s. The BBQ was a nice change from the usual tomato sauce.

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