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Know Sweat is Gettin’ Sweaty at 625 Elm Street

June 30, 2011 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A crew of workers is busy outside at 625 Elm Street building a fence and doing other yard work for us. Later they’ll come inside and finish painting our living room, kitchen, hallway, and one bedroom. And all it cost us is some bottles of water and a couple dozen cookies.

This is all thanks to the folks at Know Sweat, who are in town doing service projects for foster homes, People’s City Mission, and Community Action Network. The group of teens at our home has been hard at work since Tuesday and the results are awesome.

I had never been the sort to accept charity. It’s not that I believed myself “too good” for it, it’s just that I’ve always known there are oodles of others out there who need help and, well, my situation has always been manageable. But since becoming a foster parent I’ve realized that there are tons of people and organizations willing and able to help out, and it’s OK to say yes to their offers of assistance. The end result is that not only have I received more help than ever before in my life, but I have also given more to charitable causes—in money, goods, and volunteerism—than ever before. My contributions are still admittedly small in the grand scheme of things, but improvement is improvement.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about the kids working at our place this week. Here they are in action:

View the full album.

The Irrational Fear of Skin

June 29, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have so far refrained from commenting on the strip club—I believe it’s called The Viper—that wants to move into Downtown next to Union Bank on O Street. I’ve avoided the issue primarily because I don’t see the problem. To me the matter is simple: a business wants to fill a slot in Downtown that hasn’t been occupied in ... what, almost a decade? That folks consider this a bad thing absolutely boggles my mind.

Don’t try playing the morality card on me. It won’t work. The business is legal and no zoning restrictions exist to bar the business from its desired location. O Street is flooded with immorality. You think The Grand or Nelnet or Sultan’s Kite or Brother’s don’t send various folks’ moral compasses spinning? The fact that some people—even the majority—are terrified of boobs doesn’t mean we have any right to block them. Heck, the women dancing in a strip club aren’t significantly less dressed than some of the sorority sisters working the bars Downtown. (Too far?)

So other than mammophobia, what’s left? There’s the argument that the business has a history of infractions, but if that’s really such a problem they shouldn’t be allowed to open anywhere, not just in this specific location.

My stance on this won’t surprise long-time readers. I’m pretty hands-off about these types of things. I have never stepped foot in a strip club in my life and I don’t particularly like my kids being exposed to some of the imagery used to market sex-oriented businesses. But you know what? Sex doesn’t frighten me, nor does it frighten me that one day my kids will ask what goes on inside those businesses.

As always I’m willing to be convinced that I’m wrong.

That Could Have Been Me

June 29, 2011 at 1:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Don’t say I don’t learn from others’ mistakes. Why, just this morning I learned that destroying my aging and frequently frustrating Droid Eris by blasting it with a shotgun could land me in hot water with LPD. I’ll cross that disposal method off my list.

Fortunately, the upcoming holiday provides all kinds of opportunities for creative destruction…

I’m Back, I’m Alive, I’m Tired

June 28, 2011 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m back from four days in Wisconsin. And oh boy am I tired.

I went as part of the Nebraska State Soccer Associations contingent of referees to the US Youth Soccer Region II Youth Championships in the Appleton/Green Bay area of Wisconsin. Eighteen of us made the trip, and ten are still there working the semi-finals and finals. (I came back early to take care of some stuff here at home.) I left the house at 6:00pm Thursday night, picked up three local refs, and drove to Omaha to meet the rest of our caravan. From there we drove through the night in time for a 5:00am breakfast in De Pere, Wisconsin. I rather stupidly drove the entire way rather than catching a few hours of sleep in the car.

We each had two games each day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. My assignments included three centers, two ARs, and one 4th official. I did fine, but let’s just say I would have preferred to have been more rested.

The eight of us who left Wisconsin last night took off around 5:30pm and we once again drove through the night. This time I was smart enough to get a few hours sleep, and I slept a bit more when I got home. My body doesn’t feel like I slept at all, though. Ugh.

Today is ketchup day with work and family life. It’s also the first day of some exciting projects here at the house. More on that later.

I’ll be back to commenting on Lincoln area shenanigans soon. For now, though, it’s time to get to work. It’s good to be back!

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 27, 2011 at 12:47pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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OMG, Coby Mach Has a Job!

June 23, 2011 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Is this morning’s Nancy Hicks piece in the Journal Star about LIBA director Coby Mach anything more than a petty hatchet job designed to stir the masses into a froth? The gist of the story is that Mach, who champions low local government spending to keep taxes in check, has received a series of raises over the past few years. In three years his salary has increased 25%. This, according to Ms. Hicks, makes him a hypocrite.

I don’t follow.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of hypocrisy out there in the world and I’m sure Mr. Mach is just as guilty of it as the rest of us. And as a public figure, Mr. Mach is fair game for extra scrutiny. But this? Ms. Hicks’ article is a lame, anti-intellectual, class warfare opinion piece disguised as news.

Look, LIBA is a private organization. Their membership is welcome to pay their director as much or as little as they want. Coby Mach could make a million bucks annually and still not be a hypocrite. That’s not how hypocrisy works. Claiming otherwise is not how journalism works. It’s more along the lines of what I would expect out of a hack blogger like ... well ... me.

If the Journal Star wants to torpedo Mr. Mack there are plenty of ways to do it. A fun one would be to catch LIBA with its hand in the federal (or state or local) tax-funded cookie jar. Now there lies hypocrisy. Or uncover evidence of inappropriate tax evasion practices by the members or leadership. Again, that would be good stuff.

Coby Mach may not be your favorite local notable and LIBA may not be your favorite local organization, but to impugn Mr. Mach’s and LIBA’s integrity over Mr. Mach’s salary is lame. The only ones with egg on their face right now are Nancy Hicks and the Journal Star. Shame on them.

A Question on Parenting

June 22, 2011 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ll get back to Lincoln-related stuff soon, I swear. But first a question for parents or the parentally-minded. This scenario is completely hypothetical and not based on real people or events.

Let’s say you have a couple kids. Those kids need to be driven somewhere a couple times each week. A chauffeur hired by a third party does the driving.

About a month ago the chauffeur get into a minor car accident while transporting other kids. The incident didn’t directly affect you or your kids.

A couple weeks ago an adult you know complained about the chauffeur’s driving. She noted that the chauffeur drives too fast and she nearly pulled out in front of another vehicle. This adult isn’t particularly trustworthy, but she seems sincere in her concern.

Yesterday the chauffeur got into another relatively minor accident. This time, however, your kids were in the car. They were mostly unhurt, as verified by a just-to-be-sure trip to the emergency room, although one had an abrasion on his neck from the seatbelt.

The chauffeur is scheduled to transport your kids again in a few days. What do you do?

A Weekend in the Park

June 20, 2011 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I spent most of a three-day weekend in Overland Park, Kansas, where I officiated some amateur soccer matches at the Region II Championships. That part of the Kansas City metro area is very interesting to me. It’s prototypical modern American suburbia, and it just works. Traffic flowed well on the 3- and 4-lane streets; the myriad shopping centers were reasonably attractive and very busy; the whole area was neat and tidy. I don’t know how the area will age over the next, say, 25 years, but for now it’s looking very good. The only odd thing I noticed was a distinct lack of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. I didn’t see a single walker, runner, or bicyclist the entire time I was in town. But I counted four Starbucks.

Most of my meals were uneventful, but I have to mention Saturday’s lunch. I had a large gap between my 8:00am match Saturday morning and a second match at 5:00pm, so I sought out some Indian or Thai food. I ended up at Korma Sutra, which was offering a lunch buffet. I figured I had chosen ok when I noticed that 80% of the clientele were Indian. I stuffed myself on naan and lassi and curries and heaven knows what else. I even tried goat for the first time. The sauce was ok, but the meat itself was excellent. Really. I’ve long wondered why Americans don’t eat goat, considering how popular it is around the world. After trying it I’m even more baffled.

By the way, I asked around before driving down to see what the fastest route would be. I ended up taking Highway 2 to Highway 75 to Highway 136 to I-29, and I reversed the process when I came back on Sunday. Unfortunately for any of you traveling to KC in the near future, it sounds like Highway 136 closed just hours after I went through on Sunday. That doesn’t leave many “good” options. You could take Highway 77 all the way to Manhattan and get on I-70. Or you could take Highway 75 down into Kansas and either take Highway 36 or I-70 from there. Whatever you do, build some extra time into your trip.

This weekend I’m headed up to the Green Bay area to referee at the Region II Youth Championships. Lincolnite will probably be quiet from Friday through Monday, unless I get lucky with my schedule while I’m up there. Try not to miss me too much.

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 20, 2011 at 12:26pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved.

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Pardon All the Heavy Breathing

June 16, 2011 at 1:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After supper last night The Missus and I took the kids over to Densmore Park. While we were there we had the privilege of watching the Beginner’s Luck running class go by. Now, I had heard about Beginner’s Luck but I didn’t pay it much attention. I’m not exactly the target audience. Last night it was impossible to not pay attention. I’m a terrible crowd estimator, but I’ll low-ball it and say that at least 200 people came through the park. Lincolnite regular Fletch later informed me that was only half the class; the other half went a different direction.

There’s something cool and inspirational about several hundred of our friends and neighbors going out of their way to take part in a class that will ultimately have them run a 5K a few weeks from now. Among that many participants there were all kinds of personalities and body styles on display: grandparents and soccer moms and potential Biggest Loser contestants and more.

So kudos to the Lincoln Track Club and the organizers of the event (I saw the ever-ubiquitous Ann Ringlein out there). It’s great to see so many people taking part in a very nice program like Beginner’s Luck.

A Brief Letter to My Fellow Lincolnites

June 16, 2011 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Dear Lincolnites,

Do not ever—evercall 911 because your newspaper hasn’t arrived.

Thank you.

- Brent

Kansas City Here I Come

June 15, 2011 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have to go down to Kansas City this weekend. With all the flooding and the partial closure of I-29, what’s my best alternative route? Should I just take Highway 75 all the way to Topeka?

Carnivals, Fairs, and Festivals, Oh My!

June 14, 2011 at 1:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

According to a new proposal, the City of Lincoln will charge $100 to inspect carnivals, fairs, and festivals. And according to City staff, we can find the definitions of each of those in the dictionary. Alright then.

Carnival:

  1. a traveling amusement show, having sideshows, rides, etc.
  2. any merrymaking, revelry, or festival, as a program of sports or entertainment: a winter carnival.
  3. the season immediately preceding Lent, often observed with merrymaking; Shrovetide.

Fair:

  1. an exhibition, usually competitive, of farm products, livestock, etc., often combined in the U.S. with entertainment and held annually by a county or state.
  2. a periodic gathering of buyers and sellers in an appointed place.
  3. an exposition in which different exhibitors participate, sometimes with the purpose of buying or selling: a science fair.

Festival:

  1. a day or time of religious or other celebration, marked by feasting, ceremonies, or other observances: the festival of Christmas; a Roman festival.
  2. a periodic commemoration, anniversary, or celebration: an annual strawberry festival.
  3. a period or program of festive activities, cultural events, or entertainment: a music festival.

(All definitions from Dictionary.com.)

So ... can anybody find any flaws with the use of dictionary definitions in this proposal? (Hint: There are lots.)

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 13, 2011 at 12:34pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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GoLincolnGo Can Pry My Ice Cream From My Cold Dead Hands

June 12, 2011 at 1:50am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I picked a fight with security at Celebrate Lincoln tonight. I probably should explain.

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