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Lost

July 31, 2006 at 5:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mr. T got lost yesterday and couldn’t find Pioneers Park. I don’t want to see that happen again, so I made him a little map:

A (humorous) map to Pioneers Park in Lincoln, Nebraska

Riddles Revealed

July 31, 2006 at 2:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

On Friday I presented five riddles as part of this blog’s ongoing Friday Five feature. It took a couple days, but foxspit, huskerpilot, and christopher pieced it all together. The answers are on the inside. Don’t peak if you haven’t given the riddles a try.

In case you don’t want to go read the answers, I’ll go ahead and ask this here: were the riddles any good? Shall I make more riddles in the future?

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High School Days

July 30, 2006 at 1:56am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

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In a very belated spring cleaning, today I came across a few old reminders of past days when I was young, dumb, and lived in the Twin Cities. Does anyone here remember Husker Du? They were one of the seminal hardcore bands along with Black Flag and others on the SST label, as well as Twin Cities’ natives along with The Replacements and Soul Asylum. The ticket stub is from one of their last shows ever at First Avenue in Minneapolis (in fact I mean that literally) that I saw way back when I was, gosh, a sophomore in high school! Somewhere (in my parent’s basement), I should still have an LP of their first release: Land Speed Record.

The other ticket is from a Sonic Youth show I saw right after they released Daydream Nation – the record that confirmed their greatness (and years before Nirvana hit MTV). I remember old buddy Christine squealing about seeing Kim Gordon in the ladies room, and how those guys had to bring on new Fender Jaguar guitars after every song since they broke so many strings. It was probably one of the top 5 best concerts I have ever seen in my life. Sonic Youth, by the way, is still going strong and has recently released a great album that I purchased the other day finally – Rather Ripped – arguably their best record since Daydream Nation way back in 1988. Also, members of both Husker Du and Sonic Youth are interviewed in We Jam Econo – a documentary of another immortal group of SST label artists – The Minutemen.

Oh yes…Good memories. And to think today I can’t even stand the noise in the Chipotle across from the Nebraska book store. 

The Chuckster Strikes Again

July 29, 2006 at 1:27am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Not noted in the recent LJS article, but picked up from today’s The Washington Note:

I haven’t decided yet how I’ll vote on Mr. Bolton.

I wonder about this, especially since he supported Bolton in last year’s hearings. There are a few scenarios here I can think of at a minimum:

1) Chucky has actually decided he will vote for Bolton, but made this statement to create some suspense and attention knowing he can get some good press since the Senator from Ohio has changed his mind this time around.

2) Chucky is truly undecided because - as opposed to last year’s hearings when much (though far from all) of the criticism of Bolton was character-based - the record has since shown that since Bolton’s recess appointment, its become apparent that the guy hasn’t performed too well by anyone’s standards.

3) Chucky is truly undecided because he objects on constitutional grounds to the White House’s balking to provide material on Bolton to the Foreign Relations Committee for review.

4) Chucky has decided he will vote for Bolton, but has made this announcement to get some press (see #1), and is keeping his options open not so much for a presidential run, but for an appointment to Sec State in either a future Repub or Dem administration in 2008. 

5) Chucky is truly undecided (and will vote no) based on #2+#3, and is keeping his options open not so much for a presidential run, but for an appointment to Sec State in either a future Repub or Dem administration in 2008. 

My hope is #5, my guess is #4.

 

Friday Five

July 28, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Just for fun, and to follow up on yesterday’s riddle, here are five riddles, of varying difficulty, on a common theme:

  1. I’m dead and buried now, lying in a giant’s shadow. But unlike my kin, who lives just across the street, I never had to sleep in the doghouse. What am I?
  2. I was an oasis in the city. Which way to go was my visitors’ only plight. Today the biggest hazard is blight! What am I?
  3. In my youth I danced with Hollywood’s biggest stars. The 70’s were cruel to me, but I’ve cast those ugly days aside. Tommy was my friend for a day; do you think he’ll ever come back? What am I?
  4. In my day my best friends were jerks. Today, my good name is sullied by “friends” of a different sort. What am I?
  5. My first is a moth that may drive you mad. My last is easily surmised with a little common sense. Just ask Thomas! What am I?

And the bonus question: What’s the common theme?

We Are Not Alone

July 27, 2006 at 11:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln isn’t the only community experiencing a larger-than-usual number of houses on the market.

A Riddle

July 27, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Inner thoughts upon my face,
Upon the wind I try to flee.
If a Gadsden flag had I,
It would read “Don’t Write on Me!”

What am I?

We Are Well-Protected From a Plague of Locusts

July 27, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Daisy loves summer. Summer means bugs, and bugs make great play toys. There has been an influx of grasshoppers in our backyard over the past few days. Daisy is in heaven. Grasshoppers are the perfect bug toys: they hop around erratically, but not so much that Daisy can’t catch them. And even better, they don’t seem to know when they’re supposed to be dead, so they keep providing entertainment long after they’ve been mangled. It’s great from my perspective because I don’t have to resort to pesticides to protect my plants. I just let Daisy out back and a while later the patio is littered with dead and half-dead grasshoppers. All is well as long as she doesn’t actually eat the pests. Have you ever cleaned up dog vomit filled with grasshopper parts? Whew! That’s a foul brew.

Trimming the Concealers

July 27, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The City Council’s next likely move on the concealed carry topic will probably be restricting who is eligible to received a concealed carry permit in Lincoln. Some local leaders, including Mayor Colleen Seng and Councilman Ken Svoboda, want to plug perceived holes in the state law. The Mayor would like to add to the list of cannot carriers those guilty of “assaults, making menacing threats, contributing to the delinquency of a child, public indecency and second-offense driving under the influence.” The justification behind the first one is obvious. The second one is also fairly obvious, although “making menacing threats” is a somewhat fuzzy offense. But I’m not sure I get the relationships between the last three and an individual’s likelihood of being more likely to commit a gun offense. And public indecency? Really? If a guy is indecent, chances are he probably doesn’t have any place to conceal his gun!

Ken Svoboda’s list is similar, and includes “stalking, violating a protection order, impersonating a peace officer, indecent exposure and driving under the influence offenses.” Again, the first three I understand, while the last two seem unrelated.

Are flashers and public urinators more likely to commit gun crimes? How about folks convicted of multiple DUI offenses? If not, why are those offenses on the list?

Happy Trails

July 26, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln should be proud that use of bike trails is increasing each year. The latest survey by the Great Plains Trails Network was conducted on Sunday, July 9. A total of 6,986 trail users were counted that day.

Packing Heat in Private Spaces

July 26, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

According to the Journal Star, the state’s new concealed carry law permits private property owners to bar concealed weapons from their premises. Doesn’t that go without saying? Hasn’t a private property owner always been able to bar weapons from her property? I know several of you regular readers will know the answer to that. Could you give me the skinny, please?

Rolling Along…Quietly

July 26, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I still wish the Department of Roads would have used the money they are spending on Highway 2 to speed up the South Beltway. But I’ve got to say that I love one thing about the project: silence. Well, relative silence, anyway. The new road surface is far quieter than the old surface. Using the adjacent Boosalis Trail no longer demands the use of ear protection. It’s fantastic! I wonder how long a new road’s acoustic benefits last?

So Tempting

July 25, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I know it is very tempting for the School Board to spend its new cash from the latest county property valuations. But boy, it sure would help LPS’s public image if they would cut their tax rate a few cents this year. I encourage the board to spend a little extra money on tangibles like building improvements—especially in the four older high schools—and leave some of the less tangible items for another day. If the board leaves the tax rate at $1.05, I fear they risk losing public support that could bite ‘em in the butt the next time they try to pass another bond issue.

It’s in the City

July 25, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s official: State Fair Park is now part of Lincoln.

Shame

July 25, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I went to bed angry last night. I made the mistake of reading journalstar.com before I hit the sack. It was there that I first heard about the City Council’s shameful actions. It wasn’t their vote—saying no to the proposed concealed carry ban—but the method that ticks me off. Long story short, they told Lincolnites to buzz off. They don’t need any input from us lowly citizens.

Let’s be clear here, there is one justification for their actions. If the Council was so convinced that next week’s public input process on the proposal would be a waste of time, if they were 100% certain that their vote would be nay, and that any public discussion would be worthless, the members would have an argument for shutting down public input. But it would be a weak argument.

The City Council’s action yesterday was shameful. It sent a powerful message: the Council knows what’s best for Lincoln, and they don’t need to bother hearing the whinings of the proletariat. It’s a message City leaders have sent before, and it’s one Lincolnites need to stop putting up with. Such a message represents a reversal in the understanding of who works for whom in this town. It is a power grab.

I don’t care about the vote itself. Concealed carry is mostly a symbolic gesture. Permitting it or banning it is more about saying something about the Second Amendment than it is about achieving anything practical. That’s not what angers me.

What angers me is that the City Council dropped a big turd on the democratic process. Process matters, moreso at the local level than anywhere else. If a citizenry cannot participate in local lawmaking, how can they be expected to feel like they have a voice at any level? How can they have any sense of efficacy at all?

The public input phase in local lawmaking is mostly done out of routine, not because it actually changes lawmakers’ minds. So skipping next week’s public input probably won’t make a bit of a difference in the final outcome. But that isn’t the point. The point is that allowing Lincolnites to speak publically would have made them feel good, about themselves and about their cause. And about participating in democracy at the local level. The cost to the City Council of letting the public speak? A couple hours of boredom. The cost to the City Council of cutting off public discussion before it could begin? An immeasurable loss of trust, not only in the Council, but in local government generally.

Remember last year’s City Council election that supposedly shook things up? Wrong. It’s the same old City Council, making the same elementary mistakes.

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