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Friday Farewell

January 31, 2006 at 1:24pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

TGI Fridays is leaving Lincoln. The chain cited the (not yet begun) O Street widening project as the reason for their closure.

All’s Fair in Love and Gasoline Pricing

January 30, 2006 at 6:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Nebraska’s gas station owners did not gouge their customers, just as I said back in September. Not that this one little report matters. If you’re a gas station owner, you just can’t win.

Paying Uncle Sam

January 30, 2006 at 6:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Two very unusual tax-related events happened at the Wilson household this weekend. First, I actually looked at our taxes before April. That in itself is unbelievable. Second, it looks like we might actually get a refund this year, if only a small one.

Not unlike most Americans, I’m usually a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to preparing and filing my taxes. I don’t want to do that this year, though, because there’s a small, but non-zero, chance that our new little pooper could decide to show up around tax season. The last thing I’ll want to do is taxes if that happens. So a February filing it is.

It was great to see that The Missus and I might receive a refund this year rather than having to pay extra, like usual. Our problem in the past was that we were not withholding enough, mainly because I made too much untaxed money umping and reffing (and, unlike many sports officials, I actually report that income). This year we adjusted our withholdings, and things look much better now.

How many of you folks out there have already taken a look at your taxes? Any tax filing tips you’d like to share?

The Morning After

January 30, 2006 at 1:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

After a couple months of sloth, I finally engaged in a little exercise yesterday. Normally I exercise all year round because of my soccer reffing and baseball umping, but I decided to take this winter off. Indoor soccer just didn’t sound all that fun to me this year, and I have plenty of stuff to do around the house. The down side is that my metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and I haven’t really cut back on my food consumption. I don’t think I have to spell out for you the inevitable result.

So yesterday afternoon I went for a jog. I ran about 1.5 miles without stopping, and then I took a quick rest to fix my bunched-up sock. I turned around and did some light fartlek work on the way home.

The whole run felt reasonably good, despite the fact my body hasn’t been asked to work very hard since October. And I really don’t feel too bad today. My legs are tired, but not sore, and there’s a small irritated spot on one of my feet where my stupid sock rubbed (I knew I shouldn’t have worn those socks). It’s pretty sad to see how far I’ve slid, though. Ten years ago I could run two 800m races in under two minutes and two 400’s in 50-52 seconds, all within the span of a couple hours. Today? I’d be pleased as punch if I could hit 2:20 and :60 in the 800 and 400, respectively, even just once. Now that I think about it, that sounds like a fun goal. I may have just found something to work toward…

Home Town Rag

January 30, 2006 at 1:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Can we all agree that this morning’s front page fluff piece on Rev. Tom Swartley was further evidence of the Lincoln Journal Star’s descent beyond mediocrity? The headline alone is beyond pardy, if only for the “No duh!” quotient:

Minister driven by God’s will

(The headline is different in the online version of the story.)

I especially loved this part of the story:

[T]he controversy Swartley kicked up had mostly settled by Sunday, when he took the pulpit at First Christian Church.

His words had spiced dinner conversations, filled a news cycle or two and then disappeared into the ether.

...but we’re so desperate for filler, we’re going to milk this story for yet another news cycle! ::sigh:: If it weren’t for the comics there’d hardly be any reason to get home delivery of the LJS.

Blue Orchid Review Posted

January 29, 2006 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A friend and I recently tried out Lincoln’s newest Thai restaurant twice over the course of two weeks. Based on those experiences, I’ve written up a Blue Orchid review.

Hail Yeah!

January 28, 2006 at 8:26pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This morning during my weekly walk near Beal Slough I noticed that a few trees were already starting to bud out, and that a few plants and grasses were already trying to green up. And then, not five minutes ago, it hailed. What month is it again?

Our dog Daisy watching the hail
Daisy watches the hail fall.

Our brick patio covered in hail
Our patio, all covered in hail.

I suppose if we don't get any snow, we'll have to resort to throwing this stuff around.

McCray suspended

January 28, 2006 at 6:17am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Joe McCray was suspended indefinitely Friday.  For what reason Coach Collier won’t say but McCray’s personality this season has been less than stellar.  He came into camp ~20 pounds overweight and has yet to regain his form from his stellar freshman season last year.  He also was punished for team rules violations during the Iowa St. game and was a less than gracious teammate during the end of Nebraska’s bad loss to Colorado.

From what I can tell, this will be a good thing.  Other teammates seem to think that he was a cancer on the team.  We’ll find out if this is a good thing or a bad thing in the coming weeks.

The first game without Joe is Saturday as the boys take on Missouri at home @ 3pm.  This will also be a battle of the hot seats.

Barry Collier vs. Quin Snyder.

Looking for Comedy in the Chinese New Year

January 28, 2006 at 12:19am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

What a way to kick off festivities leading up to the New Year shortly. Tonight I have agreed (reluctantly) to play the role of “designated driver” and shuttle some karaoke idol drunkards back and forth around Lincoln tonight and maybe even to Omaha. God. Most of them I don’t even know. And in my experience karaoke singers are - 75% of the time - pretty bad (esp. when inebriated). But hey, I’ll do anything for art…and steamed sea bass. Happy new year!

Is it Relevant?

January 26, 2006 at 1:24pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

This headline is running all over the wires right now:

7 adopted children killed in fiery Florida school bus crash

Perhaps I’m missing something, but what is the relevance of the fact these children were adopted? It strikes me as an unnecessary adjective in this context.

Interestingly, there seems to be a Lincoln link to the crash, through Crete Carrier:

Statement from Crete Carrier Corporation regarding Florida accident

January 25, 2006

Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in this accident and their families. We are in the process of gathering information, and at this point we are unable to accurately discuss the incident. We are very sorry and deeply saddened that this tragedy has happened. We will work diligently with the appropriate authorities on the investigation.

—Jack Peetz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Crete Carrier Corporation

Update: CNN is doing it too, with a caption to a photo:

Barbara Mann, the adoptive mother of the Mann children, is consoled at the crash scene. (emphasis added)

Apparently CNN thinks that adoptive parents grieve differently than birth parents. I don’t dare make the accusation that I want to make…

Moving to Lincoln

January 25, 2006 at 11:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I received an e-mail today from a gentleman who will soon be moving to Lincoln. Read on, and help him decide which neighborhoods he should investigate.


A Downtown Development Everybody Can Support?

January 25, 2006 at 1:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It’s not a theater boondoggle. It doesn’t require the use of eminent domain. It won’t cost the public tens of millions of dollars. It doesn’t include a Wal-Mart. And it doesn’t require the sale of a public building that would be extremely costly to replace.

Is there any down side to the new parking garage and commercial/residential project proposed for the parking lot south of the Gold’s building?

As it is being presented right now, I’m all in favor of the project. There’s still plenty of time for deal-breakers to pop up, of course. But the project’s early goals match many of my long-held opinions about the best use for that block. (Hint: the current use is not the best use.) Sure, it could use more retail space (only 19,000 square feet planned), but they’ve included residential space in the plan, which is nice to see. And let’s be honest: downtown Lincoln doesn’t have enough draw right now to fill too much more retail space than that, especially when you consider some of the new projects in the Haymarket coming online in the next couple years.

The current plan does fall short on one of my hopes for the block. I would like to see the primary bus stop moved from in front of the Gold’s building to the project block. There is not enough space in front of the Gold’s building to effectively house the bus stop, and the current shelters are very insufficient. I would love to see StarTran work with the folks leading this project to see if a new bus stop could be integrated into the plan. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. The Powers That Be™ at StarTran rarely admit that Lincoln’s mass transit system—or any part thereof—is anything short of perfect. And the vast majority of Lincolnites don’t care enough about StarTran to demand excellence.

Fire Barry Collier!

January 24, 2006 at 11:38pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Nebraska men’s basketball head coach Barry Collier should be fired. Or at least that’s what a bunch of recent visitors to Lincolnite seem to believe.

Those of you who’ve read my blogs here on Lincolnite for a while probably know what I’m up to. Back when Husker fans were calling for Steve Pederson’s head I noted it, and subsequently angry Husker fans came calling via Google, et al. Well, the furious hordes are back, but this time they want Barry Collier’s head. The phrase “fire barry collier” has drawn a lot of visitors to Lincolnite lately. Probably a half dozen each day, I’d guesstimate.

So all you Barry haters, this is your chance. Tell the world why you hate Barry Collier and why he should be fired in the comments. And when you’re done, browse around the site a while. Lincolnite is (still!) a work in progress, but we’re happy to have you here.

Speeding in a Construction Zone

January 24, 2006 at 6:56pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Some folks are excited about LB 1120 (PDF), Senator Adrian Smith’s (Gering) proposal to make the absence of construction workers or machinery an affirmative defense to prevent the doubling of fines in a construction zone. I think LB 1120 is bad law.


Osco to Become CVS?

January 24, 2006 at 1:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It would be great if Lincoln’s Oscos would become CVS Pharmacies instead. I don’t know much about CVS, but I do know that the Osco stores around Lincoln could use a little TLC. Here’s hoping that the new owners clean up the stores when they move in.

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