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The Madness Begins…

March 15, 2007 at 5:39am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

The NCAA Basketball tournament begins on Thursday.

I heard it best about a week ago, no sport dominates a month like March Madness does. 

Your Final 4?  Your champion?

My picks:
Oregon winning the St. Louis Region
UCLA winning the San Jose Region
Texas winning the East Rutherford Region
Ohio St. winning the San Antonio Region

UCLA beating Oregon
Ohio St. beating Texas

UCLA winning the national title over Ohio St.

They’re Baaaaack

March 14, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have noticed that the annoyingly unforgettable Nebraska Diamond commercials are back on the radio. I hadn’t heard any for a while, but now they’re back with a vengeance. I have to give them credit for pounding their name into Lincolnites’ skulls, but dang those commercials are annoying. And here I am giving them free advertising.

I was a customer at Nebraska Diamond once. It’s definitely not your typical ring-buying experience. It wasn’t for me, but I can see why some guys (or couples) would prefer it. (For the record, I ended up buying at Sartor Hamann.)

AEDs Approved for High Schools

March 14, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The School Board voted yesterday to place automatic external defibrillators in Lincoln’s high schools. I don’t disagree with the decision, but I wonder how they will decide where to put them so that they are always accessible, thus fending off potential liability issues. I’m sitting here thinking about the layout of Lincoln Southeast, for example, and I can’t think of any place you could put an AED that would always be accessible. Can you imagine being on the wrong side of a security gate in a medical emergency, the AED within spitting distance but unreachable?

Happy Pi Day!

March 14, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It’s Pi Day! How are you celebrating? I plan to enjoy a slice (or two) of The Missus’ famous coma-inducing peanut butter pie. Mmmmm.

Vision, But No Voice?

March 13, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

About a week ago I told you that I wrote to the 2015 Vision Group requesting some of the raw data from the surveys they collected at their community meetings. I’m disappointed to report that I haven’t heard a peep. They are under zero obligation to give me the data I requested, but it reflects poorly on the Group that they couldn’t even be bothered to tell me to buzz off. The 2015 Vision Group needs to convince the community that they are working with us, not above or around us. A faux pas like this isn’t going to help them do that.

Airpark is Taking Off

March 13, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It seems like Airpark and its environs have been in the news a lot lately, and almost all of it is good news. New homes, new commercial activity, 300 new jobs at nearby Kawasaki ... one of Lincoln’s oft-forgotten neighborhoods seems to be breathing new life. For those of you who live in the area, what’s the vibe out there? For the rest of you, admit it—how many of you have never even been to Airpark?

In the Letters

March 13, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

From this morning’s LJS letters to the editor:

The smoking ban debate still goes on.

Those opposing the ban argue rights and financial problems, both weak issues.

The issue is health, man! If a smoker has no respect for his own health, how can he be expected to be concerned about someone else’s?

Jerrold C. Hood, Lincoln

Emphasis mine. This is one of the biggest things that bugs me about the smoking ban crowd. The “I know what’s good for you, your rights be damned” attitude. Seems to me rights are pretty important and they probably oughtn’t be brushed aside quite so lightly. It’s really no different than saying “I know what words are good for you”, “I know what sexual practices are good for you”, or even “I know what God is good for you”. There are legitimate arguments in favor of a smoking ban—though none has so far convinced me—and proponents should make them earnestly. But if you’re going to mock an individual’s rights as a “weak issue”, pardon me if I mentally group you with some of history’s less savory characters.

In another letter, Susan Ferris wants to know how much the 2015 Vision Group’s ten pillars will cost:

After reading the story with the headline declaring the “wide approval in polls” for the 10 “pillars” of the Vision 2015 group (LJS, March 5), I decided to take a little time and review what we know so far. I’ve checked their Web site and reread the Lincoln Journal Star coverage to date. Parts of this are really bothering me.

I’ve had several discussions in a variety of settings and the first comment is always the big unanswered question: “How much will any of this cost?”

“Do we want to move the State Fair?” is a completely different question than “Do we want to pay $70 million to move the State Fair?”  To report 48 percent indicating support … I believe that was with no cost estimates. Tell us what we might spend, and then do the polling!

If we can come up with $70 million (for one pillar and the only number I could find), how much do 10 pillars cost? Which pillar do we address first? Who says? What else might we want to do with a large sum of money? I want to put seat belts on school buses.

Vision 2015 is a discussion among private business people.  Where are the voices of our elected officials on this issue?

Susan Ferris, Lincoln

The short answer, Susan, is: a lot. The Antelope Valley Project, for example, is expected to require an approximately $1 billion investment. That’s approximately $250 million in public (local, state, federal) funds, plus an expected three times that amount in private investment in the area. The Q Street high rise will include an $8-$12 million public investment, plus as much as $50 million in private dollars. Omaha’s Qwest Center cost some $291 million to build; that offers a rough guide for pricing a convention facility in Lincoln. And on and on. In short, we’re talking hundreds of millions of public dollars, and a total investment well over a billion dollars. My guess as to why dollar figures aren’t mentioned more often? Because they are scary. Remember, just because a figure is scary doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. But clearly we have our work cut out for us as a community if we’re going to achieve all ten pillars.

First Day of Spring

March 12, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The calendar may not agree, but today is definitely the first day of spring. Did you smell it in the air? The early days of spring have a very distinctive smell. Did you hear the way the birds were chattering this morning? They know spring is here.

Enjoy these first days of spring. Then, prepare yourself for the inevitable 40 mph springtime winds.

My Money is On…

March 12, 2007 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Today, Chris Beutler ($140,700) leads the money race over Ken Svoboda ($124,000), Roger Yant ($800), and Mike Deal ($0). But remember, despite popular conceptions to the contrary, money and votes are only loosely correlated. I suspect Roger Yant will receive more than the 0.3% of the vote his war chest suggests, for example.

Given the current status of the mayoral race, who do you think has the edge? Why?

Take a Guess

March 12, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

What will Hagel do?

Blue Man Group

March 10, 2007 at 7:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

What a beautiful day for a plunge into Holmes Lake!

I want to thank everybody who donated (there’s still time!), raising a total of $385.00 (so far) for Special Olympics Nebraska. I didn’t quite hit my goal of $500, but the original timeline was tight, and I didn’t do any more begging after the original plunge date passed (until now).

The weather was perfect for running into a frigid lake. Temperatures on land were downright balmy (relatively speaking). The water, on the other hand, was nicely chilled. Most of the lake still had a thin layer of ice on top, and I heard an unofficial report that the water temperature was 34 degrees. Turnout was great, including plungers, spectators, and dogs. Even my parents and Daisy were on hand.

So what is it like to go running into 34-degree water? Chilly. Very, very chilly. You get it in your mind that it’ll be like taking a really cold shower. Wrong, it’s much colder than that. Even still, before your body has a chance to really freak out, you’re already on your way out of the water. And once I was back on land, it only took a minute or two to ditch the “holycrapi’mfrickin’freezing” feeling. The (relatively) warm sun kept me plenty comfortable for the ten or fifteen minutes I stood around in soaking wet clothes.

Before you ask, yes, there is a video. I will post it soon. In the mean time, I’m sure Mr. T will start ranting in the comments about how I didn’t really do it, which is why I haven’t posted a video, and how if I really wanted to help the Special Olympics I would have tasered myself while rinsing my eyes with pepper spray and munching on raw habanero chiles. After you, Mr. T.

[Sunday update: I see the Journal Star ran a story about the Polar Plunge in today’s paper. I was even mentioned ... sort of. I can only assume that the article’s reference to “soccer hooligans” was aimed at my referee uniform, since I don’t recall seeing anybody else with an outfit even remotely resembling anything soccer-related.]

Friday Five

March 9, 2007 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I will name five Lincolnites. Your job is to name who you think should play that person in Lincoln: The Movie:

  1. Colleen Seng, the grandmotherly, lame duck mayor
  2. Kent Seacrest, the wealthy businessman and 2015 Vision Group proponent
  3. Bill Callahan, the most reviled or revered man in the state, depending on the day
  4. Ann Ringlein, the perky coach, owner of Lincoln Running Company, and all-around running queen
  5. Norm, the cranky restaurateur from M&N Sandwich

That Dirty Ol’ Lake

March 9, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Holmes Lake is much, much cleaner than it used to be, and the City and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District want to keep it that way. That’s all well and good, but I know it’ll take me years before I’m able to consider Holmes Lake’s water “clean”.

Speaking of Holmes Lake, I’ll be jumping into it tomorrow. It won’t be as cold as I had planned, but it’s still going to be awfully chilly. Wish me luck!

Long Lost Sisters

March 9, 2007 at 4:36am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I happened to catch just a couple minutes of American Idol on TV tonight, just in time to see Sabrina Sloan get the boot.

Sabrina Sloan

Is it just me, or does she look a lot like Ferris Bueller’s sister?

Jennifer Gray

The Fear of Men

March 8, 2007 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Looks like Robbie may be entering yet another new phase. He has been a mama’s boy for a while now, but recently he has taken it up a notch. Now he is expressing a general fear or dislike of men. He still likes me, grandpa, and his uncle, but other men: not so much. And really, who can blame him? Men smell funny, their faces are all scratchy, and most men are pretty darn awkward around people Robbie’s size. Meanwhile, women go ga-ga over him. Clearly he just knows what’s good for him. Still, it’s going to take some time for me to get used to Robbie no longer being the “I love everybody” type. *sigh*, my little boy is growing up.

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