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Showing posts from April, 2015

Sausage being made

Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. --John Godfrey Saxe, 1869 Time for another Transportation Commission meeting last night. And the first item on our agenda was one that has been ongoing since long before I joined the team. These poor residents. They first petitioned the commission in November of 2012 about traffic problems on their block. It's now 2015 and they are before us yet again.

The heart of the matter is that, when speed bumps were recommended by us (previous to me) as a traffic calming device, the Village Board rejected the recommendation and reaffirmed the general policy of no speed bumps on residential streets. So, while there has been improved ticket-writing by police and the installation of No Right Turn signs on the major cross street, it left the Transportation Commission reaching for some other method of traffic control. At that point, we installed a temporary choker--essentially a collection of bollards and p…

The Constitutional landmark of a generation

For those of us of a certain age, we grew up in a different era where we never thought we'd see this kind of progress. Tomorrow, the US Supreme Court takes up the topic of gay marriage and is expected to soon rule in favor of a nationwide right to same-sex equality. It's not just the legal and Constitutional right to spousal healthcare benefits on the line, but (as we've seen lately with RFRA legislation) a growing movement to free people from all discrimination--employment, housing, educational, etc.--because of their sexuality or relationship status. It's just as much a fight for the unmarried and the transgendered...those will follow close behind. Tomorrow's high-profile battle in front of the highest court in the country marks a shift in national attitude that many a Millennial felt decades ago, but only now is the public catching up.

If you grew up in the 80's and 90's, you remember the shocking early portrayals of gays and lesbians on tv and film. It …

The highs and lows of one parenting day

Ok, parents, I'm sure you can have that one thing that your kids love to look at or play with but it's against your better judgment? I lost a pair of eyeglasses that way when I let my young daughter play with my glasses case in the back seat of the car a long while back. I ended up at the store purchasing a 2nd pair just in case it happens again. She had snapped the metal frame off at the side piece. And I feel this way every time the kids get down their piggy banks to put some money in. They inevitably ask to keep them for a few minutes and I have visions of them smashed all over the carpet.

Yesterday, it was a snow globe that lives on a top shelf (same place as the piggy banks) for safety. In the past, they were only allowed to look at it--look with your eyes!--under adult supervision. But now that they're a little older they've been allowed to wind up the music box inside but with strict ground rules. It stays on the floor. Take turns. Be gentle. Don…

Review: Norton Anthology of World Religions

My library finally said they had my requested copies of The Norton Anthology of World Religions so I picked them up the other day. I'm guessing the delay was NOT because people are on pins and needles waiting to read them. Rather, the library mine borrowed them from probably had them on order. It was just published in February and these pages are so crisp and stuck together from drying ink that I'm fairly certain nobody else has cracked them open.

Each volume is about 2000 pages (without the index) and the Preface and General Introduction is the same in both volumes--once you've read one, you can move straight into the specific field of coverage in the other volume. These cover why a new anthology was necessary and how to understand religion in this context, respectively. The emphasis is on primary texts so that instead of talking about how other people view the religions, the voices are from members of the various faiths speaking in their own words.

Like other works in th…

Planning to plan for Disney

Even those of you who are regular readers probably wouldn't guess a few things about me. I don't talk much about the importance of greyhound rescue work to us. I used to run my college radio station. I once ate at the same Olive Garden as Jerry Springer. In that same spirit, during the early days of the internet circa 2000, I used to help run one of the first Disney fan websites. For awhile there, I was going to Walt Disney World about once a year. We were on one of the inaugural sailings of the Disney Cruise Line. I've been on a school trip, stayed at multiple resort properties, been to Disneyland, too. So after a decade away, it's interesting to come back to it now that my kids are old enough to be thinking of going. 
I know what I like about Disney. But figuring out what my kids will like about Disney--or even how to plan a trip for children, generally--brings an intriguing twist. I have to take their personalities, likes, and tolerances into account. Then, on the o…

When you're better than your training plan

I have, unfortunately, reached the point as an Age Group athlete where I would need to shift gears to improve. I'm in that middle category of "not quite serious enough" to really put in the time/money/effort to reach my full capability. There's nothing wrong with those who do that. Admirable maybe even. And I am maybe a little curious about whether or not I can run the, say, significantly faster marathon I know I can. (My PR time for a 5k would predict over an hour shaved off my marathon PR. So there you go.) It's just that in order to get those gains I need to, you know, hire a coach...workout 6 days a week...pick training plans that would leave me exhausted for the rest of my life as a parent. It's not worth it, for me at this point, to become the kind of full time athlete I'd need to become.

Right now I'm a 3-4 day per week kind of athlete. I can easily handle a beginner-to-moderate training plan. I know, for instance, exactly what workouts I need …

Bunk bed shopping

Bunk beds are currently our holy grail. I have one kid who goes to sleep like a champ. An elaborate routine, but if you hit the "story, snack, snuggle" checklist you'll have no problem. The other kid is often still awake with us on the couch at 10pm demanding we switch places to hold her, demanding extra cups of chocolate milk, and leaving us wondering where we went wrong between the two kids.

Getting them both asleep in their room together has long been a goal. We're not-so-secretly hoping that bunk beds are the trick. Plus, it would free up room to move their toys out of our dining room and get our dining room table back from the basement storage. Eating a meal somewhere other than the couch or floor has great appeal at this point.

So, on a Saturday with no dance class or swim lesson because of Easter, we headed off to IKEA. Neither of them had been before so we tried to prepare them for the mix of department store, playground, and adventure they were about to expe…