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My Stick-Eating Adventures

August 31, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus, Robbie and I ventured to the Nebraska State Fair last night. It wasn’t nearly as busy as I would have expected for such a beautiful evening. Then again, Wednesday night probably isn’t the most popular night to go. In any event, I was pleased overall with the experience. The Fair has done a good job, for the most part, of keeping the activity dense enough to keep visitors’ interest, but not so dense that you feel unpleasantly crammed in.

Robbie did a good job throughout the evening. Most of the time he just looked around, babbled, and drooled. Frankly, that’s what several of the other fairgoers were doing, too, so he fit right in.

I want to quickly note that I was able to track down a few of regular commenter Karin‘s photographs. Good work, Karin! I found three of her pieces: Spin, Glassware, and a portrait of a man. (After that I had to stop searching because I was going cross-eyed trying to find her name among all of the photographs.) If you go, see if you can track down her pieces.

And now my dining adventures. I mentioned previously that I wanted to eat at least three foods on a stick. Well, I did it, and although I enjoyed each food at the time, I thought for sure I was going to lose it all in the middle of the night. Too much grease makes Mr. Wilson a woozy boy.

Anyway, I began the evening with something a little adventurous: gator on a stick. It was served to me by a woman who was born amidst the turmoil of the Civil War, and who only leaves the deepest parts of the bayou to serve her fancy cuisine at state fairs, so I knew it had to be good. It was. The freshly-fried piece of meat was tender, juicy, and very delicious. It was lightly seasoned and tasted a little like chicken, but with a bit more flavor. Tasty stuff.

Next I went with a traditional corn dog. You can get a corn dog from pretty much any vendor at the fair, so I picked one that appeared to be keeping their product pretty fresh. It was the best corn dog I’ve ever eaten. Of course, it was also the only corn dog I’ve ever eaten, so that isn’t saying much. But I feel more complete for having finally tasted a State Fair staple.

Finally it was time for dessert. Even though I really wanted shaved ice, I knew I had to go for something on a stick. There was really no question in my mind what I had to go with: a fried Twinkie. The young man pulled a Twinkie on a stick out of a freezer, dipped it in batter, and fried it for a couple minutes. He pulled out the golden glob, coated it lightly with cinnamon, and handed it to me. I bit in and, lo and behold, it wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was pretty darn tasty. I would definitely try one again.

So there you have it, my foods-on-a-stick adventures. What’s your favorite food on a stick? Which foods on a stick have/will you sample at this year’s State Fair?

Stick It

August 30, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Last Friday I said I planned to eat at least three foods on a stick when I go to the State Fair this year. Well, the Wilsons are headed to the Fair tonight. I think I have at least two of my foods on a stick picked out—a corn dog and a Twinkie—but I can’t decide on a third. I could always just wing it when I get out there, but why pass up an opportunity to let you folks chip in? So there’s your assignment: pick me out a good food on a stick. Whaddaya say?

Islands of Despair

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

One thing I really like about some of Lincoln’s newest arterials is the presence of landscaped medians dividing the lanes of traffic. At the same time, I really hate those medians. Some of them are attractive and well-maintained; others look as though they ought to be condemned. Some are festooned with nice grasses, flowers, and trees; others, with weeds and trash.

Having landscaped medians is both a big opportunity and a big responsibility. I’m not sure that the City is up to the challenge. That’s not a criticism of the City, per se. The City can only do what they have money to do, and given all of the other things demanding monetary attention, landscaped medians really oughtn’t be high on the list. But it is, I think, fair to criticize the City for biting off more than it can chew by taking on new maintenance responsibilities every time a road is newly landscaped.

So here are my questions: Do we, as a community, want to bother with landscaped medians? Are they worth the building and maintenance costs? If not, what do we replace them with? If so, how can we better take care of them?

One of my suggestions—and one of the most obvious, I think—is to enlist the assistance of nearby neighborhood associations. But most new(er) neighborhoods face inward, so many of them don’t consider their bordering arterials to be a part of the neighborhood. Without a sense of ownership over the streets, there is little incentive to keep them looking tidy. Your thoughts?

Glass Houses, and Bigger is Smaller

August 30, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Two quickies:

Those Who Live in Glass Houses…

The [proposed anti-grafiti] ordinance would establish mandatory minimum fines, starting at $200 for the first graffiti offense, and require property owners to remove graffiti within 15 days of receiving a notice from the city.

...An abandoned gas station owned by the city has had a big red graffiti tag on it for weeks, he said. ...

Where is it? 48th and O, one of the city’s busiest intersections.

Shrinking Government?

City Councilmember Robin Eschliman wants to disband the Railroad Transportation Safety Board, of which she is a member. A government body wants to eliminate itself? Well, sort of. She has proposed dumping the RTSB, but nobody else seems to share her enthusiasm. Her solution? She wants to ask the state legislature to expand the RTSB’s role. *sigh* So close, and yet so far.

From the Lincoln Journal Star.

CNN Anchors Are People Too

August 30, 2006 at 2:06am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

Go Kyra.

Guess Who?

August 29, 2006 at 10:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Last Friday I was involved in three different situations that required me to be a good samaritan in one way or another. The first was on the bus on the way home from work. The college student in an adjacent seat left his wallet behind. I grabbed it and gave it to the bus driver. The second was as The Missus and I got out of our car at Southpointe later that evening. The folks in the car next to us left their lights on. Although the couple was gone, we had noted the woman’s pants—they were a very distinctive color—so when we went into the courtyard to listen to the free concert, we were able to find her and warn her about her headlights. The last situation was near the end of the concert. The woman sitting next to us left her shopping bag behind. The Missus noticed it, I picked out the woman and her husband in the crowd, and The Missus chased her down.

But that’s not my point. I hadn’t had any good samaritan moments for a while, so I was due. And besides, none of those situations was all that big of a deal. But I digress. Fast forward to lunch today…

The Missus and I were eating at Samurai Sam’s when a man walked in. He looked vaguely familiar, but I’m always saying “doesn’t that guy look like somebody we know/some famous person?” so I figured that’s what was going on. But then he walked over to our table. He leaned forward a bit and said, “Thanks for finding my wife’s package the other night.” What are the odds! And such courtesy taking the time to say thank you.

One of the things that bugs some people now and then about Lincoln is how hard it is to be anonymous. One of the things I love about Lincoln is how frequently these moments of social serendipity occur.

Name That Tune

August 29, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

  1. If Lincoln had a theme song, what would it be?
  2. If Mayor Colleen Seng had a theme song, what would it be?
  3. If ex-Fire Chief Mike Spadt had a theme song, what would it be?
  4. If the bison statue at Pioneers Park had a theme song, what would it be?
  5. If Sunken Gardens had a theme song, what would it be?

Riding the Short Bus

August 29, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have long been interested in Star Tran’s refusal to invest in smaller buses for its fleet. Even the Star Shuttle, the Downtown circulator route, uses full-sized buses. Interestingly, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s shuttle fleet is being supplemented this year by conversion vans at off-peak hours. The reasons are obvious: cost savings and improved efficiency all around.

It seems the advantages to Star Tran of smaller buses would be numerous and substantial. Greater fuel economy, lower training requirements, and improved public perception—fuller, smaller buses appear more effective than emptier, larger buses—are just a few. So why the “bigger is better” mentality to date?

On Patrol

August 29, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

UNL is never going to catch up to Texas in the party school rankings if LPD’s party patrol keeps cracking down every weekend. *sigh* I guess that’s another championship UT can hold over our heads.

(I don’t have to point out that my tongue is planted firmly in cheek, do I? Good.)

Awwwww!

August 29, 2006 at 12:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robbie and Daisy on the floor

TV Party

August 28, 2006 at 11:40pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

image

It appears that this Fall a ton of “Lost” inspired shows (i.e. interlocking relationships and unconventional “thinking” plots) will hit the networks, including Six Degrees, The Nine, and Heroes (one I am looking forward to checking out). Luckily, some of the same non-thinking shows will also be available for those of us who found watching Syriana an experience akin to taking the GRE. I am looking forward to the new 30 Rock and continued installments of The Office. 30 Rock has a bunch of SNL people on it (possibly a result of the new SNL policy that players also star on NBC sitcoms as part of their contract).

I think I will also be compelled to watch Survivor: Race War as well, for at least a few episodes. Interestingly, it has been reported that this new Survivor concept was actually done to respond to criticism that earlier casts weren’t racially diverse enough! Nice way to address lack of racial diversity eh? Segregate people by race and pit them against each other in competitions. I guess this will determine who the master race is. Thanks again CBS.

About the Boy

August 28, 2006 at 12:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I set a lofty goal for Robert this weekend: to sit up more or less by himself by his fourth month. Now, in all honesty I don’t expect him to reach that goal—his four month “birthday” is less than three weeks away—but the little squirt just keeps impressing us with some of his physical skills. He already sits up fairly well with just a little support, and he loves to stand. (In fact, standing is one tried-and-true method I use to halt certain kinds of fussiness.) But for all of his trunk and lower body strength, Robert still kind of has weenie arms. I guess he really takes after his mom and dad.

Probably the newest big change for Robbie is that he has really started taking to his pacifier. Previously he was pretty ambivalent about his pacifier. Now, however, he really seems to enjoy sucking and biting on it. Plus, it is turning out to be a great way to help hone his muscle control and understanding of cause and effect. Yesterday, for example, he managed to grab a loose pacifier and place it correctly in his mouth. Hopefully we’ll see more and more of that. As much as Robbie drools and enjoys biting on things, it seems apparent to me that he is in the early stages of teething. I haven’t noticed any impending tooth eruptions, but he definitely feels something going on.

This week we are going to try to up his intake of cereal. It makes mealtime more of a challenge for The Missus and me. I can tell that Daisy, though, is already excited that she will soon be on clean-up crew.

Three Games Down

August 28, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

My first three college soccer games of the season passed without incident this weekend. I did two games at Concordia on Saturday, and one at Wayne State yesterday. I managed to keep myself out of trouble all weekend, and since the weather was nice, I don’t feel nearly as tired and sore this morning as I could. Now if I could just get assigned to my first center…

A Mighty Fine Month

August 28, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I know August isn’t over yet, and I know by saying this I’m probably just begging Mother Nature to strike back later, but I’ll say it anyway: this has been probably the nicest August I can remember. After July ended with a heat wave it was easy to assume that August would show us more of the same. Instead, we have seen some very nice rain showers, mornings have been cool, and the humidity, more often than not, hasn’t been half bad. All things considered, August felt a lot like September or October. Which makes me wonder: what will September and October feel like? Not August, I hope!

80,000 Free Admissions

August 28, 2006 at 1:00am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Fair Board made a huge, daring, and, in my opinion, very intelligent, decision: all 80,000 ticket-holders to Nebraska’s season operner against Louisiana Tech will receive free admission to the State Fair after next Saturday’s game.
If only they had made the decision sooner, they could have made other smart moves like letting game ticket holders in free all day, and offering free transportation to and from Memorial Stadium. But it’s a start, and it’s the sort of thinking that the Fair needs if it’s going to survive.

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