Latest Blog Posts

Are Any of You Experiencing a Poky Internet?

February 27, 2009 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Thanks to Karin for alerting me to a problem some Time Warner Cable internet subscribers may be experiencing. Apparently TWC has been getting slammed by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on their DNS servers, resulting in slow performance across the network. Phrased another way, a bunch of dorks are hogging TWC’s internet address books so that your computer has to wait in line for ages while trying to look up the info needed to find google.com.

Since it appears to be a DNS attack, you may find relief by switching to OpenDNS. It may sound like voodoo to you, but there is a handy step-by-step guide you can follow.

I’m curious how many of you have experienced the slowdown. Have you tried switching to OpenDNS, and if so, did that help?

Please, Baby, Please

February 27, 2009 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Robert Wilson performs a dramatic reading of Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee:

Do the U

February 27, 2009 at 2:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A traffic question: is it legal for an eastbound vehicle on O Street to perform a u-turn at Cotner Boulevard?

Signage at the intersection indicates that left turns are prohibited. As far as I can tell Lincoln’s rules of the road (PDF) treat left turns and u-turns separately; thus, a prohibition against one does not seem to affect the other. In addition, a sign (PDF) is available (R3-18) that would clearly prohibit both u-turns and left turns. Since that sign isn’t posted, one assumes u-turns are allowed.

But the performance of a u-turn at that intersection is surely unsafe, isn’t it? It’s not the oncoming traffic that concerns me, but the trailing traffic that likely won’t understand why some bozo has stopped and turned on his left turn signal when left turns are clearly forbidden.

What say you, Lincolnites? Is a u-turn at Cotner and O prohibited? Should it be?

Update: I probably ought to clarify that Tom Casady is the reason I started thinking about this.

“Coin Pusher” Pusher Caught

February 27, 2009 at 2:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A couple days ago I mentioned that somebody may be distributing illegal gambling devices in the Omaha and Lincoln areas. A suspect has been nabbed. The State Patrol arrested him for, among other things, “promoting gambling”. It’s illegal to promote gambling? Bizarre.

Hat tip: nikkidemas.

I Still Like to Eat at Grandma’s

February 26, 2009 at 12:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Wilsons had supper at Grandmother’s (70th and A) last night. Grandmother’s has always been one of my local favorites. My extended family used to eat there fairly regularly years ago. We were one of those groups that fills half of the recessed portion of the dining room.

Grandmother’s has changed over the years, but not a lot. They still serve the same clam chowder, so popular with some people that the older woman at a table near ours last night, when asked if she would like a cup or a bowl, replied “How ‘bout a gallon?” One of my favorite aspects of the restaurant is the layout. You have a separate bar and dining room, which gives two very distinct eating areas. There are lots of booths which are ample sized and very private. And there is enough flexible table space that just about any size group can be accommodated.

Grandmother’s probably won’t win any “best in Lincoln” awards for their food because they tend to play it pretty safe. That’s ok. Sometimes safe is what you’re in the mood for. If I could offer them a suggestion it would be to work a little bit on their presentation. For example, The Missus’ turkey melt, though tasty and just as she ordered it, looked awfully lonely on its too-big plate. It wouldn’t take much of a change to perk up some of the dishes.

All in all, Grandmother’s is the sort of local classic you tend to forget about. Fortunately, Gene, aka “Mr. Ten Thousand”, got me thinking about it again. Thanks, Gene! (And check your mail.)

When Good News Doesn’t Sound So Good

February 26, 2009 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The state’s Foster Care Review Board special study may indeed show “good trends”, but to me many of the numbers are pretty sad. Eighty percent of the children in the study received “appropriate” services? That means a full 20% got inappropriate services. I admit to not knowing the details behind those numbers, but doesn’t that sound like something we as a society ought to improve upon?

The study and related documents are on the FCRB’s website.

Vision Problems? Join Us!

February 25, 2009 at 12:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Soccer officiating is a great way to stay in shape, make some money, and support youth sport activities. Depending on your age and ability level a variety of opportunities ranging in intensity from relaxed to hyper-competitive are available. Soccer’s basics are easy to learn, so new referees can get started after just a little study. The real fun part (in my opinion!) is that soccer’s complexities will continue to challenge you for a lifetime.

The high school soccer season is only weeks away and we need new referees in Lincoln and surrounding areas. Our referees work games for Lincoln Public Schools; Lincoln Lutheran; Lincoln Pius X; Norris; Waverly; and, for the first time this year, Seward. Game assignments are flexible according to your needs and abilities.

If you would like to get started refereeing or if you have questions, please contact me at mrwilson at lincolnite dot com or post in the comments.

Sounds and Smells

February 25, 2009 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The calendar still says February, but it sure is starting to smell and sound like spring. I notice the smell each morning when I step out to get the newspaper off the front porch. This morning it was particularly noticeable. I haven’t looked at the forecast, but it smelled like the start of a beautiful day.

And then there are the sounds. Birds, mainly. Last night Robbie and I stared upwards at a rather large and noisy flock of geese flying north over the house. And I have noticed more general bird chatter, the sort of chatter you curse when you’re trying to fall asleep with the windows open.

I’m still rooting for one more good snow storm, but after playing in the yard with Robbie last night—including a wild ride over the grass on the sled he got for Christmas—I sure won’t mind the arrival of spring.

Writing On the Wall: ‘Rithmetic Beats Reading

February 25, 2009 at 4:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A final decision by the City Council is half a year away, but it looks like two City Libraries could close. The Bethany and South branches could be the victims of Lincoln Libraries’ need to chop 9% from its budget. That’s a big chunk, and presumably the alternative to closing the two branches would be substantially crippling services across all branches. In this case I prefer the Library Board’s Harvey Perlman-esque vertical cut.

Well, no. Actually I prefer Mr. T’s fanciful dream of a landmark Downtown library, supplemented by healthy community libraries scattered conveniently throughout town. Killing off the two branches is only my second choice.

I’m curious what you folks think. Will the City Council actually vote to close the two branches? If not, will it be because extra funds magically appear, or because the Council opts for an alternate plan?

Foley’s Just Jealous Because He Still Has a PS2

February 24, 2009 at 5:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t see what Mike Foley is all hot and bothered about. It seems to me this video demonstrates impressive efficiency from some of Nebraska’s public employees. If only all government moved this swiftly!

Where it Doesn’t Belong

February 24, 2009 at 3:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t know about the rest of the just-approved firefighters contract, but the minimum staffing level provision stinks. I suspect the firefighters will say the provision ensures public safety. But employment contracts aren’t about protecting public safety, they’re about getting the best deal for the person signing the contract. That’s true in the private sector, in government, and with union and non-union jobs.

The staffing level at Lincoln’s fire stations should be governed by federal and state regulations, and accepted standards from relevant national and international organizations. Maybe Lincoln’s firefighter staffing levels are currently improper. Police Chief Tom Casady comments all the time on how Lincoln’s police staffing levels are very low relative to our peers; perhaps firefighter levels are low as well. If so, the firefighters should bring the fact to light.

The minimum staffing provision wasn’t exactly sneaked into the contract so it’s not as though the union is getting away with something underhanded. I’m not angry with the union. I am disappointed that the City is letting employees dictate this sort of thing. I don’t want firefighters telling the City how many firefighters should be on the job; I don’t want teachers controlling teacher numbers; and so on.

I suspect some of you disagree. Have at it!

The Right Blight

February 24, 2009 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have been known to criticize Lincoln’s too-frequent use of blight designations, and I’m certainly not the only one. This time, I think we got it right. Let’s hope some good comes out of it.

Where in Lincoln is this?

February 23, 2009 at 1:54pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

image

Edit: Good going Ophelia_Payne! You correctly guessed the location of this photo!

Read more...

New Directions in Flattery

February 23, 2009 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Those of you who still read the dead tree edition of the Journal Star may have noticed something familiar about the front pages of the two “Directions” sections in Sunday’s newspaper. It was familiar enough to me that first thing Sunday morning I texted Mr. T a short message:

“You’ve been plagiarized!”

Well, no, he hadn’t really been plagiarized. But he had been imitated in a very flattering way.

image

Mr. T’s popular weekly Where in Lincoln series apparently inspired the front pages of the two sections. The LJS even kept the name, and they featured two of the same locations (this one and this one) that Mr. T has featured in past weeks.

Let me be clear: I’m not actually accusing the LJS of plagiarism or stealing Mr. T’s ideas or anything serious like that. I’m just having some fun at the LJS’s expense. It’s not like Mr. T was the first to take cryptic photographs of items and have people guess what they are. Personally, I think the theme is a great idea for the front of the Directions sections. However, if a local blogger were to take what has clearly become Mr. T’s niche and use the same name for it that Mr. T uses, and if he were to do so without so much as a tip of the hat to Mr. T, I think I would be justified in calling that blogger a turkey. So I’m going to do just that.

The Journal Star is a turkey.

There, I feel better already. On a more serious note, if the Journal Star really wants to get into the “Where in Lincoln” spirit they should hire Mr. T to do a weekly “Where in Lincoln” feature for the LJS itself. I think it would make a fun addition to their new 402/411 section. Any takers over there at the LJS?

Starting Earlier

February 23, 2009 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Since beginning my at-home employment I have been pretty good about starting the work day at 8:00am every morning. Lately, however, I have noticed that even though my backside may be in the chair at 8—or soon thereafter—I often didn’t become productive on paying, work-related activities until as late as 10. This weekend I vowed to change that.

Today I crawled out of bed at 6:15 and I was in the office at 6:20. I am going to get all of my “miscellaneous” activities—blogging, filtering through my RSS feeds, reading the news—done, head upstairs for breakfast with the fam, and then be back here to start “real” work around 8. Hopefully that will open up a little time mid-day for working out in anticipation of the spring soccer season, which is quickly approaching. I always feel better when I am more fit, so I expect exercise to help me increase my productivity a bit. Assuming it doesn’t just make me want to take a nap.

The point of all of this is to increase the number of billable hours I work to help increase our savings rate. We hope to have a big expense later this year, circumstances willing. But more on that some other time.

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