Latest Blog Posts

The Bomb Was a Bust

July 13, 2005 at 7:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Yesterday’s bomb scare outside Oso Burrito was a bust. The Journal Star reported this morning (article not available online) that the suitcase was empty. That’s a good thing, of course. But either a bomb or a whole bunch of size 54DD bras would have made for a much more exciting story.

Gardening for Dummies

July 13, 2005 at 7:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

If you’ve ever been to the Wilson homestead you know that my garden takes up about 40% of my back yard. That’s not saying a whole lot, of course; because the house sits on a corner lot, the back yard is only large enough for the garden, a patio, and a small patch of grass. The Missus and I made the conscious decision to give the garden a big chunk of our precious back yard real estate for two reasons. For one thing we wanted the garden to be close to us, so that we would tend to it and keep it thriving. The other reason was more practical: it’s one of the few spots in our tree-dominated yard that gets a decent amount of sun.

Anyway, I’ve learned over the past year and a half that I really enjoy gardening. I’m not any good at it, mind you, but I like working in the garden, and I love that I have access to all sorts of fresh food a mere dozen steps from my back door. Recently the garden has really begun taking off, renewing my interest after a bit of a ho-hum period in June.

Our yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants have been going strong for a couple weeks now. Our acorn squash plant is going strong, but the fruits won’t be ready for a while. Our pumpkin plant is flowering like crazy, so hopefully we’ll have a bunch of big orange pumpkins in time for Halloween.

But what’s really grabbed my attention recently is the growth spurt put on by our pepper and chile plants. Our green bell pepper plants are beginning to fruit (no sign of fruit yet from the yellow and red pepper plants, although they are blooming). Our kung paos (thai chiles) have been out for a while, and I noticed our serranos, anaheims, and jalapenos are all beginning to show up. (Along with some fruit on a plant creatively called “big chile.” I’m guessing it’s an anaheim or NuMex variant, but who knows. Hopefully the fruit will be good for chiles rellenos.) Sadly, my little habanero plant, although healthy looking

, doesn’t seem to be doing much.

Given how well the garden seems to grow, you’d think I actually knew something about gardening. Ha! I don’t know a darn thing about gardening. I know the difference between live and dead plants, and I’m pretty good at noticing the symptoms of dying plants. Beyond that, though, I’m pretty useless. A friend of mine is a soil scientist—I know, sounds boring as heck, doesn’t it?—and during his most recent visit he commented that the garden soil seems to be of fairly high quality. That was good, and surprising, news, especially considering the fact that the previous owners of the house had obviously neglected the soil in the back yard over the years.

If anybody out there wants some garden-fresh vegetables, let me know. If this year’s harvest is like last year’s we’ll have plenty of extras to go around. And with the garden being 50% larger this year, well, we could really have our hands full!

Tom Osborne Field is ... Striped?

July 12, 2005 at 11:56pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Brian Rosenthal is reporting that Tom Osborne field is “colorful.” It sounds to me like he’s not a big fan of the new look. He compares the field to Oregon’s football field, which means it looks something like this.

My First Bomb Threat

July 12, 2005 at 8:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

What an exciting lunch!

Right after I ordered at Oso, the owner, Nader Sepahpur, came in and began speaking with his employees behind the counter. He asked if they knew anything about the suitcase sitting outside, how long it had been there, etc. In a rather “do I really have to do this?” sort of tone, he said something to the effect of “I suppose I should call the police.” Sure enough, police officers and fire fighters soon began blocking off the area with their vehicles and caution tape.

Unfortunately, that also included blocking the entrance to most every business on the south side of O Street between 14th and Centennial Mall. We had to use the back fire door to get out of Oso. When we did we saw that there was a large burgundy suitcase sitting on the sidewalk not far from the now closed board sports store (a half building west of Oso). As we left, the bomb squad was prepping their nifty suicide robot to investigate the suitcase and, I assume, to blow it up if necessary.

There were several camera crews on scene, so I’m sure more details will be made available on the news tonight, and in the Journal Star tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to hear what sorts of exciting things were inside.

I Love Tuesdays

July 12, 2005 at 7:03pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

You know what I love about Tuesdays? I get to eat with my father at Oso Burrito. I love Oso. Great food in a local joint served by friendly people at reasonable prices, and all within walking distance of my office. My dad and I have been doing the Tuesday Oso routine for quite a while now. I don’t remember for certain when we started, but I’d guess it was over a year ago. We chose Tuesday because the special is jerk chicken burritos. Tasty stuff.

The bad news is I have to wait another 15 minutes before I start my walk toward O Street. That makes my stomach very angry.

No Smoking Ban for You

July 12, 2005 at 3:16pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

“This restaurant allows smoking. If this offends you, please feel free to visit one of our competitors,” the sign reads. “If you choose to come in, then you enter at your own risk. Thank You.”

I’m a little disappointed that no restaurants in Lincoln tried this technique after the

fascist, nanny state, paternalistic “I know what’s good for you and you don’t” ordinance

smoking ban went into effect.

Blood-Sucking Critters

July 12, 2005 at 2:39pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Take care the next time you take a walk through the woods. Or through your yard, for that matter. An acquaintance’s child was recently diagnosed with lyme disease. Normally that would just be a reminder to the rest of us to be careful. But this story is a little different; this child has not spent any time recently in any of the risk areas identified by the CDC. As far as she can tell, the tick came from right here in Lincoln. That’s something worth thinking about.

In an odd coincidence, shortly after my dad heard about the child he discovered a tick on himself. Fortunately it was not yet embedded. The tick likely came either from the Abbott Sports Complex or from my father’s own yard. Neither matches most notions of ideal tick habitat.

The grassy and wooded areas near Beal Slough, on the other hand, do strike me as prime tick habitat. Daisy and I walk along the creek all the time. You can bet I’ll be checking both her and I for ticks after our walks from now on.

If you do happen to find a tick on yourself, remove it immediately and make a note of when you removed it, and when and where you may have acquired it. If you become ill shortly thereafter, that information will help your physician determine whether or not the tick caused the illness.

In Case of Emergency

July 12, 2005 at 2:32pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Here’s an interesting idea hopping around the internet:

The idea is that you store the word ” I C E ” in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted “In Case of Emergency”. In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It’s so simple that everyone can do it. Please do. Please will you also forward this to everybody in your address book, it won’t take too many ‘forwards’ before everybody will know about this. It really could save your life. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Snopes has the whole scoop. Snopes is a bit pessimistic toward the idea, but I happen to think it’s not a bad idea at all. Creating a standard way to store emergency contact information certainly won’t hurt anything, and its potential benefits are definitely worthwhile. One could also use ICE contacts to help return a lost cell phone to its rightful owner. It is very frustrating to find a cell phone and not have any idea which of the myriad contacts could help you get the phone back to its owner.

The Final Inning

July 11, 2005 at 2:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Tonight are my final two baseball games of the season. There are more games to be umpired, but I have decided to stop after tonight’s double-header in Pleasant Dale. This season has been a difficult one for our umpiring organization. To say that the association’s management has royally screwed up would be a substantial understatement. Many, many bridges have been burned, and the future of the organization is uncertain.

I’m looking forward to polishing off the season tonight. With any luck after tonight I will have, for the first time, completed a season without having to eject a single coach or player. For that matter, it will be the first time I have ever completed a season without having been verbally abused to any significant degree. That may not sound like much, but when you consider how many people I have interacted with over the season, and how many of those people were in less-than-perfect moods during our interaction, it’s actually pretty remarkable. In fact, I think I really matured as an umpire this year. I’m even considering, if only a tiny bit, attending a professional umpires camp some day. (Not to become a professional umpire, but to learn from them.) My own personal successes this year make our association’s all-but-imminent demise all the more unpleasant.

On the plus side, not having any more games means that I can dedicate more of my time to Lincolnite. Hopefully it also means more garden time and more friend time. And, of course, more time with The Missus and Daisy. We spend a goodly amount of time together already, but a little more wouldn’t hurt.

Besides, I have to rest up for soccer season. Did I tell you? I’ll be reffing college games this fall. I can’t wait.

An Early Look

July 11, 2005 at 4:31am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After many—too many—hours in front of the computer this weekend, I’m happy to give you an early peek at the changes I’m making to Lincolnite. I have a long, long ways to go, but I wanted to prove to you that I really have been up to something this weekend. What you are able to see here—that is, the few pieces that actually work—is just a tiny fraction of what I accomplished these past couple days. A whole lot of behind-the-scenes work went on as well.

As you can see, I am completely rebranding Lincolnite. It has a new logo, new colors, and a new underlying structure. And most importantly, I have a renewed interest in “re-finishing” this thing. For those of you aren’t aware, Lincolnite was finished a couple years ago, until a devastating database accident wiped out everything. Everything. Data, design ... all of it, gone in a flash. I spent several months in a bit of a depression, and I have spent the past couple years fiddling rather aimlessly, trying to figure out how to bring Lincolnite back from the dead—or if I even wanted to try.

I now know that I do.

In fact, I am putting a business plan in place that might even make me a few bucks. I’m not talking big bucks. Just enough to pay the bills to keep this site going, and maybe a little extra so that I can take the Missus out to dinner one extra night each month. I believe there is a market for a community-oriented website in Lincoln. I intend to tap into that market.

All of that aside, I hope you will take the time to let me know what you think of the new look—or at least the early incarnation of the new look. Don’t be surprised if you see some goofy goings-on on the site over the next several weeks as I play with the design and implement new features. If you hang around and toss me some suggestions now and then, I promise you’ll like what I have to offer in return.

A Lazy Sunday

July 10, 2005 at 3:58pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

What a beautiful morning. Well, ok, it’s pretty humid out there, but not obnoxiously so. Daisy and I took a walk to Lamar’s this morning for a donut and milk. Do you realize how difficult it is to eat a donut and drink milk while trying to walk a dog? It’s very tricky. Especially when you’re also trying to carry a poop sack. That’s a juggling act you just don’t want to see.

The Missus comes home today. She has been in Albuquerque these past few days visiting her parents. It was a quick trip, but it was sort of a now-or-never sort of deal. She probably won’t see them again until Thanksgiving. They have come up here the past two Thanksgivings; hopefully we can keep that tradition going this year. Despite our wildly different food preferences, The Missus, the in-laws, and I manage to have a really dang tasty Thanksgiving meal each year.

My plan for the rest of the day, save for an hour or so to pick up The Missus, is to get as much of Lincolnite’s redesign finished as possible. Wish me luck!

A New Look for Lincolnite

July 10, 2005 at 12:06am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincolnite L
Lincolnite is receiving the first pieces of a long-overdue renovation this weekend. It’s not yet clear to me how much I’ll get done this weekend. I have a good amount of the homepage redesigned, but far more than that needs to be done. I hope to have a reasonable prototype ready for you to see by tomorrow night, but that depends on a lot of factors. Cross your fingers.

FOX News and Eric Margolis: Fair and Balanced?

July 9, 2005 at 1:39am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I am a frequent reader of the FOX News website, not so much because I agree with its conservative-slanted take on news, but because I check it regularly along with my usual routine of getting perspectives from all the usual US mainstream media suspects (i.e. the big 5: CNN, FOX, WaPo, NYT, LA Times). This time consuming habit grew out of my days in grad school when I used to channel surf cable TV btw CNN, FOX and (ugh) MSNBC to get the daily take on what are arguably the most popular sources of news for the majority of americans.

Anyway, I’ve noticed recently that Eric Margolis has become a more frequent contributor to FOX on global affairs.  Margolis is a controversial figure for a number of reasons, most notably for his criticism directed at Israel and Russia (the latter being how I discovered him in my research in the Chechnya situation). I think he may be Canadian but not sure.  I no longer have the benefit of watching FOX regularly as I once did since i have the basic Time Warner cable package (surprise surprise - CNN only).  Margolis and FOX seem like an odd couple - FOX being mainly an uncomprimising pro-Bushite neo-con forum. Margolis’ addition may be an effort by FOX by to add an “old conservative” voice to their line-up, such as CNN has Novak and MSNBC has Pat Buchanan.

Quickie Review: Great Wraps

July 8, 2005 at 7:56pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Today I had a tasty meal at one of Lincoln’s newest restaurants, Great Wraps!, which opened earlier this week. The wraps part of their name is a bit deceiving; their menu includes not only wraps, but a whole variety of sandwich-like items.

The overall experience was very pleasant. The restaurant is clean and freshly remodeled (it’s in the old Harmann’s Camera location), and the staff were friendly, if a bit inexperienced. I witnessed a few kinks—two orders were switched, the ketchup pump was a bit explosive, some of the seating is too “cozy”—but the problems should be easily fixable. My dining companions enjoyed their food, with reactions ranging from “It was good” to “I love it.” My garlic mushroom philly cheesesteak was very tasty. Not exceptionally authentic, but tasty. Their fries were not very memorable, but I’m not a huge fry fan, so you may wish to judge that for yourself.

Great Wraps! gets bonus points for having Mello Yello in their pop machine. Schlotzsky’s is the only other restaurant in town (as far as I know) that offers Mello Yello.

It will be interesting to watch Great Wraps! duke it out with Pita Pit, its closest competitor food- and style-wise in the Downtown market. My money is on Great Wraps!; my dining companions had inconclusive feelings, but most were either neutral (“I don’t really eat at Pita Pit”) to pro-Great Wraps! (“I’m not a big Pita Pit fan”). Pita Pit just seems to lack that je ne sais quois that is so crucial to surviving in the crowded Downtown restaurant market. That’s not to say that Great Wraps! has it. It’s far too early to say for certain. The difference, in my opinion, is that while Pita Pit felt like a goner from day one, Great Wraps! appears to have some momentum.

In any event, Gr

eat Wraps! is worth a visit. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

System Updated

July 8, 2005 at 3:29am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I just updated the software that runs this site. I haven’t noticed any glitches so far, but let me know if you see anything goofy going on.

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