NU State Museum Photo Contest

By: Mr. T on July 6, 2009
Amateur photography fans: the State Museum at Morrill Hall opens its first wildlife and nature photography contest today.
Images may show animal behavior, plant life, natural landscapes, portraits of wildlife in a natural habitat and people interacting with nature. Images of pets, domestic animals, or captive animals photographed in zoos or game farms will not qualify for entry. All entries must be original photographs taken by the contestant. The contest will include seven categories: * Mammals * Birds * Other Wildlife ( includes reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish, etc. ) * Nature and people ( people interacting with nature. ) * Landscapes * Skyscapes * Plant Life ( Native plants in natural settings. Garden plants and annuals are not eligible. )
All contest entries will be displayed later this fall, and those who hand deliver their entries will receive a half-price admission discount to visit the museum. The contest closes September 30.

Twitter in Lincoln

By: Mr. Wilson on July 6, 2009
Is there yet a common hashtag to identify Lincoln-related tweets on Twitter? If not, I propose #lnk. It is nice and short, saving precious characters. And it is unique, originating from our airport code. I do believe I will start using #lnk from now on. Are any of my fellow Lincoln twitterers with me? Speaking of Twitter, you can follow me @MrWilson.

Lincoln’s Kids Get Lost

By: Mr. Wilson on July 6, 2009
As an occasional customer, I'm intrigued by Matt Olberding's news that Lost in Fun is expanding (14th & Yankee Hill). I don't know what business is like most days, but on the few occasions I have been in there it has been packed to the gills. Maybe while they're remodeling they can find a way to mask the dull roar of the fans that keep the inflatable features upright. I have to admit, though, I don't fully understand the allure of an indoor playground outside of cold weather season. I know folks who go there semi-regularly even during the summer. Why? I would much rather my kid spend his time at Antelope Park or Holmes Lake, or even at the neighborhood elementary school playground for that matter.

On Stage at the Children’s Museum

By: Mr. Wilson on July 3, 2009
image Sorry for the crummy quality of this photo and video, but I just had to show them to you. The Wilsons went to the Children's Museum last night and Robbie took to the stage. We have long suspected he will someday grace the stage at the Community Playhouse (or beyond). We didn't really expect him to do it in drag!

Happy Independence Day

By: Mr. Wilson on July 3, 2009
Happy Independence Day weekend, everybody! image How many of you are headed to the City's celebration at Oak Lake today? (Remember, it's today, not tomorrow!) Our Independence Day festivities have always been of the around-the-house type, so we will pass. One of these years, perhaps. Now that I think about it, ten years ago was my last year running fireworks tents. I had some great times doing that, but boy I don't miss the stress. To those of you running fireworks tents this year: good luck. It should be a great year for fireworks tents thanks to the Friday/Saturday combo. On the other hand, In These Economic Times™ who knows how much money people will want to set fire to. The Wilsons will probably go for some Snap Pops, a couple parachutes, and a few small fountains. Just enough to briefly entertain the kids. Whatever your plans this weekend, please celebrate responsibly. Just as important: as I tell folks every year, please remember the reason for the season.

Two To One To One To One (Part Two)

By: Mr. Wilson on July 3, 2009
After months -- if not years -- of simmering, Lincoln's new city employees may finally see a 1-to-1 retirement match rather than the existing 2-to-1 match. The City's generous match has been a hot topic, particularly as we try to figure out how to manage tricky budget situation after tricky budget situation. Apparently a couple local unions still have a voice in the matter, so we'll have to see how that turns out. But for now I'm glad to see this idea gaining traction.

People on the Move

By: Mr. T on July 3, 2009
...or maybe not. A sobering tidbit of reality from last night's 10/11 report: 25%+ of adult Nebraskans are, ugh, obese. "Obesity," by the way, is when your BMI is over 30. Being simply "overweight" is when your BMI is 25 or over. As we all know, BMI can be quite a poor indicator of "common sense" physical health. Example: For those of you who know me, I'm thin as a paper clip...but according to the BMI formulation I'm straddling the line into the overweight zone. Regardless, everyone enjoy the long July 4th weekend. I've never been a huge fan of Larry the Cable Guy's humor, but its kind of cool knowing that the Comedy Central taping will be the biggest taped stand-up event in the history of comedy.

Music on the Move

By: Mr. Wilson on July 2, 2009
image Dietze Music is on the move. Dietze will close its 56th and Old Cheney location and move to Briarhurst Center at 48th and Highway 2 -- a short half-mile away -- at the end of July. In their own words, the new location
... will offer convenient parking, lessons and repairs, a more open retail display environment, with lessons and a place for musicians to congregate and commune. WiFi and flat screen TVs will be available for parents and family waiting for lessons. Guitars, drums, keyboards, microphones and school band and orchestra instrument rentals will continue to be a specialty, with support services in print music and band instrument and string repairs.
In addition, the downtown guitar and drum shop will move to the new location. More details (PDF). I'm glad to see Dietze continue to grow and evolve because, like many of you, my first instrument came from Dietze. I still remember going Downtown with my mom to pick out my trumpet in 1989. I think the conversation with the sales clerk went something like "Give us your cheapest trumpet. Nah, better make it your second-cheapest." When I hit high school I went to the south location to select a new instrument, the one that carried me through my Cornhusker Marching Band days and which just may become Robbie's instrument one of these days. I'm also interested in Dietze's move because Briarhurst Center is in my neighborhood. That little strip has quite the eclectic collection of shops. In one stop you can get bread, sushi, bait, a tan, brain training, a sign, a drum, a plant, and a beer. Talk about well-rounded.

A Better Way to Learn

By: Mr. Wilson on July 2, 2009
Nebraska has launched a new apprenticeship website which, although sparse, is better than nothing for my favorite approach to job training. There are oodles of industries and occupations that could benefit by being less reliant on formal schooling and instead expand on-the-job training opportunities, including apprenticeship. image How else are we going to develop the next generation of sorcerers?

Love To Sneeze? Have I Got a Dog For You!

By: Mr. Wilson on July 1, 2009
image I can't imagine there are many people out there perusing the classifieds thinking, "What I really want is a dog that makes my nose so stuffed up and my eyes so watery that I am absolutely miserable every single day". But hey, there's a market for everything.

Good Morning Mr. and Mrs. .0004%

By: Mr. Wilson on July 1, 2009
Lincoln has crossed the quarter million barrier. Woohoo! or Boo! depending on your perspective. I suspected this milestone was coming up soon, so a few weeks back I started to blog about it. Unfortunately I jumped the gun; the relevant data was just released Wednesday by the Census Bureau. Does Lincoln feel like a community of a quarter million? Are we still a small town trapped in a "big" city's growing body?

Another From the “How Not To Run a Business” Series

By: Mr. Wilson on July 1, 2009
Back when Ken Svoboda's business had trouble with poppies on 84th Street, it made for an amusing punchline. Then Svoboda and the company ran into trouble with the Nebraska Department of Revenue and eyebrows were raised. Now, even the Feds are coming after Svoboda:
The U.S. Department of Labor accused former Lincoln City Councilman Ken Svoboda and his family’s business, Ray’s Lawn and Home Care, of repeatedly and willfully breaking federal labor laws. Specifically, Ray’s is accused of failing to keep employment records, and making some employees work more than 40 hours a week without paying overtime.
For what it's worth, the flowers on 84th Street look much better this year.
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