Latest Blog Posts

I Need An Excuse to Go to Bethany

January 29, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Quick, somebody give me an excuse to go to Bethany so I can sneak over to the new Bethany Cafe. It is being run by Norma Chapman, formerly of Mexicali Bullfrog fame. I was pretty bummed to see the frog bite the dust, so I’m eager to see what Chapman has cooking this time.

Have any of you been to Bethany Cafe since it opened in December? How was it?

Ray Stevens Hopes You Don’t Say “I’m Kissin’ You Goodbye”

January 28, 2010 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ray Stevens wants to continue The Streak he’s on with a third full term as County Commissioner. Don’t think Stevens is one of those Party People, he is a Funny Man who thinks Everything Is Beautiful. He loves Power Tools and is never Too Drunk To Fish. Mr. Stevens is In The Mood for at least One More Last Chance before he makes his Great Escape.

Of course Jane Raybould, his likely opponent, asks “Can He Love You Half as Much as I?” Ms. Raybould thinks Stevens is a Clown and would love to put him on a Losin’ Streak after sending him Where The Sun Don’t Shine.

The ball is in the People’s Court now. Among these two Sex Symbols, will We The People vote for Stevens, or will we send him to the nearest Shriner’s Convention?

Don’t Hire This Event Planner

January 28, 2010 at 2:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I hesitate to mention this because I don’t want the comments to turn into a frenzy of abortion-related rants. Still, I have to ask…

Who in their right mind holds a walk on a January morning?! Brrr.

Let There Be Light! ... Gradually

January 28, 2010 at 2:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Did anybody else notice there was still some sunlight at 5:45 last night? Ahh, the return of the sun. Welcome back, sun!

Ten Days Into My Food Experiment

January 27, 2010 at 3:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Back on Sunday, January 17 I began a new food experiment. I decided to go vegetarian. I had been cutting back on meat for a couple months. Why not just go whole hog, so to speak?

I quickly—as in, within hours—realized that full vegetarianism was a stupid idea. It was a completely unsustainable goal. I might make it two weeks, tops. But long term? Not a chance. I love meat loaf and Buffalo wings and ham balls and jalapeno cheddar brats. If my goal were a temporary experiment then full vegetarianism might be ok. But I was after something more lasting, a true lifestyle adjustment. So I modified my plan: I would eat meat no more than three times per week. The adjusted plan gives me much more flexibility when eating out or eating at my parents’ house, and it takes pressure off The Missus when planning meals at home.

I am now thirty-one meals into my experiment and I’m doing far better than I expected. I have eaten meat just three times so far, for a total of perhaps ten to twelve ounces. Best of all I don’t really seem to miss the meat I’m not eating. I’ve realized that in many cases it’s not the meat in a dish that I crave, but rather the flavors that accompany the meat. Take Buffalo wings, for example. It’s not the wings I crave, but the sauce. Fry up some breaded cauliflower and spin it in Buffalo sauce and I’d be just as happy.

So why did I embark on this experiment? There are a bunch of reasons, actually. A biggie was diet diversification. I grew up hyper-sensitive to bitter flavors and certain textures so my diet evolved to be pretty monotonous. Now that my taste buds have relaxed a bit I can safely explore all sorts of new foods. (I love broccoli now. Whodathunkit?) There’s also an ecological component to my decision. Animal agriculture is not exactly Mother Nature’s best friend. I’m no eco-freak—not by a long shot—but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about these things. And there is a health angle, of course. As I look around at people just a few years older than me I see a lot of flab. Something magical happens between 30 and 40. I don’t want to go there. That being said, I’m not treating this new diet as a weight loss plan. Which is good, since I have actually put on a pound over the past ten days.

Anyway, I will try to check in now and then with updates. Hopefully at least some of you find my self experimentation interesting. If any of you have tips I’d love to hear them!

Growing. And Growing. And Growing.

January 27, 2010 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Speaking of public schools, LPS just keeps on growing. I remember when I used to be able to name every school in the city. Not any more. I just can’t keep up!

Lobbyists and Public Schools

January 27, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

LB 741, presented by Lincoln’s Sen. Bill Avery, would prevent school districts from using state aid money for expenses related to lobbyists. I wish I knew Sen. Avery’s motives. (The bill’s statement of intent isn’t particularly enlightening.) If his purpose is simply to ensure that state aid dollars focus on education rather than recycling back into the political process, that’s something I can support. But if his purpose instead centers around some sort of misguided anti-lobbying crusade, I’m going to have to disagree.

Lobbyists aren’t the bad guys they’re often portrayed to be. Sure, lobbying can be a dirty industry, but only if the politicians allow it. And in that case it’s corrupt politicians, not lobbyists, that are the problem. Nebraska’s lobbying environment is, as far as I know, pretty clean.

Like I said above, preventing the use of state aid for lobbyists is fine. But attempting to halt all formal lobbying by public school districts would be a futile exercise. School districts will always want to have a set of eyes and ears in the Unicameral. Whether or not you call that person a “lobbyist”, a “government affairs coordinator”, a “statehouse liaison”, or anything else is merely a matter of semantics. LPS will always have some sort of representative present at the capitol acting as a bridge between State Senators and the Board of Education; likewise with other school districts, ESUs, and so forth. And that’s a good thing. We want our school districts to be educated on the goings-on in the Unicameral, and we want our Senators to know what our school districts think about legislative proposals.

What do you think about Sen. Avery’s LB 741, or about the concept of school lobbyists in general?

I’d Go For a Series of Hyper-Realistic Speed Bumps

January 26, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

So Lincolnites, what would you paint in your neighborhood intersection(s) if such a thing were legal?

I don’t have any brilliant ideas for my neighborhood’s streets. I did come up with an idea that could be kind of fun, but it would be very difficult to execute. We could design—or rather, have designed for us—a series of ambigrams that correspond to the streets that meet at that intersection. Essentially they would behave just like the street signs at the intersection, but each would be a single image painted in the center of the intersection. I wish I were creative enough to sketch out an example because I doubt I’m being very clear.

What would you draw in your neighborhood’s intersections?

Where in Lincoln is this?

January 26, 2010 at 12:39am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

image

This is a hard one. I’ll be surprised if anyone can get this.

EDIT: Good going Steve!

Read more...

Never Get Between a Man And His Trains

January 25, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t know what it is about trains that evokes so much passion from some people. Whatever it is has been in plentiful supply lately in Lincoln because it seems like the Lincoln Area Model Railroad Club and Museum is in the news every other week. This time the topic is their effort to move a depot, caboose, and train signal from Innovation Campus to the Lancaster Event Center grounds. There they would become part of the club’s proposed model railroad museum.

Speaking of the museum, I’ll be very impressed if the club manages to raise the $500,000 they need. That’s a lot of money for any group of hobbyists to raise. I hope they get there. You can bet my son Robert will spend many hours at the museum once it’s finished. I hope they sell annual memberships.

Lincoln is So Gay… (How Gay Is It?)

January 24, 2010 at 6:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Advocate recently came out with their list of the gayest cities in America. Probably not surprisingly, Lincoln was not on the list. Or maybe the omission is surprising to those of you who have heard the same urban legend I’ve heard.

Back in junior high—or heck, maybe even elementary school—I first heard the claim that Lincoln has the most gay people per capita in the United States. I heard it over and over and over again. You can find references to this “fact” online and you will occasionally hear somebody pass it along in a conversation. The trouble is I have never seen anything remotely resembling a reputable source for it.

So two questions. First, is the legend true? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened. Lincoln is probably the gayest city in Nebraska, but that wouldn’t be very surprising at all. But even believing that we have the highest gay population in the region, much less the country, is extremely difficult. Surely Iowa City, Lawrence, and Boulder would be expected to rank higher than Lincoln.

Second, where and when did the rumor originate? It has been around for at least 15 to 20 years. Perhaps it was true long ago but it’s no longer true today. Whether or not it is or was true, somebody had to be the first to report it. A local newspaper? A national magazine? A comedian with a taste for irony?

How many of you have heard this claim passed along as fact? Do you have any idea where or when it originated?

Ceiling Cat is Watching You Broadcast

January 22, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Have you ever wanted to watch KLIN’s Jack & John first thing in the morning? Well, neither have I. But now we can, thanks to a couple webcams in the studio. It’s a pretty good video feed and the audio syncs well. Good work, fellas!

Clouds, Clouds, Go Away / I Want To See the Sun Some Day

January 22, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Sun oh sun where did you go / Please come back, we miss you so!

One of the few things I don’t like about winter is the extended periods of cloudy days. I sit in my basement at a computer all day. Is it too much to ask to come upstairs and see the sun every now and then? Yeesh.

When Does Private Become Public?

January 21, 2010 at 2:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

For many years some Nebraskans have complained about the Nebraska School Activities Association‘s (NSAA) freedom from the requirements that other governmental entities must obey, such as open meetings, open records, and so on. Here’s the thing: the NSAA is a private non-profit. A substantial majority of its member organizations are government entities (public schools), but the NSAA itself is private.

Our own Sen. Bill Avery wants to change that. LB 1021 would force the NSAA to abide by open meeting and open records laws. If it doesn’t, its assets will be liquidated and distributed to its member schools. That sounds like something straight out of Venezuela.

To the best of my knowledge the NSAA is a voluntary, private organization tacitly approved by the State, but not explicitly created by or controlled by the State. If that’s true, Senator Avery’s bill makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like the idea of the state government taking over a private entity by force of law. If Senator Avery thinks the NSAA is so terrible, why doesn’t he instead craft a bill that creates the state’s own controlling body for school activities? Or simply forbid public schools from joining organizations that meet (or fail to meet) specific criteria?

Even putting aside the creepy “do what we say or we’ll take over your organization” perspective, Senator Avery’s bill takes school activities exactly the wrong direction. There should be far less government control over (most of) the activities overseen by the NSAA, not more. LB 1021 takes Nebraska farther into a quagmire we ought to be working our way out of.

I could go on about that for hours. What do you think of Sen. Avery’s bill, or the NSAA in general? Is Avery on the right track?

What’s New in Mr. Wilson’s Life?

January 21, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Missus and I attended our first foster parent training course through Christian Heritage last night. We came to the decision to go through the training fairly recently, but foster parenting is something we had considered for quite some time. Various factors came together a couple weeks ago and, well, here we are. If all goes well we will have finished our twice-a-week, three-hours-per-session training by the first week of March, and state licensing will come shortly thereafter. And after that? Who knows!

Nebraska’s system is undergoing a lot of changes these days, hopefully for the better. It will be interesting to see how things work as a participant, as opposed to just reading headlines in the Journal Star.

Have any of you done foster parenting, or do you have any experience with the system? Would you like to get started?

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