I seriously considered buying this t-shirt today.
Archive for June, 2007
I don’t have to drive to work on this Wednesday morning.
It’s Bike to Work day in Colorado and Lord knows how many people are on the streets on bicycles right now. People who have little, if any, experience navigating city streets that way, and who assume that the traffic rules and laws don’t apply to bicycles.
Already this morning, according to Channel 9 news and traffic reporters, there have been two significant accidents, one downtown and one at Colfax and Cherry, involving bicycles and motor vehicles.
Look, people, if you must get out on the streets on a bicycle, learn to ride it first. Figure out how to ride and watch out for traffic. And contrary to how MOST people on bicycles behave, the traffic laws DO apply to bike riders, okay? Red lights, stop signs, yielding to pedestrians – all of it.
And when -or if – you make it to your job, please do your co-workers a favor. Take a shower right after you park the bike.
So how often do I find a Hummer-sized behemoth stuck sloppily into a “compacts only” parking space, meaning that what’s available in the empty spot next to it, will not allow me to park my Subaru and then open the door and get out?
How many shiny Beemers do we see parked snottily – or snootily – diagonally across two spaces, presumably so the finish doesn’t get nicked by other car doors? (And do you ever wonder how often the cars parked that way get keyed by people who had to park a block away, and can’t resist the temptation as they walk by the shiny new toy?)
Now we can at least leave them a notice. Two different versions are downloadable from the site.
HT to The Daily Nooz for this one.
Read any good books lately? Well, I have. Two, in fact. And I’ll tell you about them.
First, Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. A memoir of childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, in the 1950′s. Bryson is in fine and funny form, showing us his own eccentric family in the context of the prosperous, confident, happy, and long-vanished society that was the United States of America in the 1950′s.
If you don’t like messing up your books, then don’t read this one while eating or drinking. Because I guarantee you will start laughing helplessly at some point when your mouth is full. At which time you will have to choose between choking or showering the open pages with at least a few drops of that diet Coke or beer or bite of burger. (Don’t tell me that in your case it would be Chardonnay or Chivas, and a light salad – I doubt anybody with refined taste would be reading this blog to start with. And anyway, you just don’t read this book while eating exotic foods, such as yogurt, which were unknown to folks in Mid-America in 1957. It just wouldn’t be right.)
Bill Bryson’s love for Australia (more…)
I hate to stand in lines for movies, but I’ll be lining up to see the remake of the cult movie Hairspray on the day it’s released here. I hope that’s on July 20, which is the movie’s official release date, and not later.
John Travolta (above, left) plays Edna. I can’t wait!
We all know (or should know) that the city/highway MPG numbers published for motor vehicles are at best aspirational, and we’d be insane to expect to get that kind of mileage ourselves.
Now, the former owner of a small SUV has published the statistics from his experience and the numbers don’t lie.
As if I had nothing better to do tonight - such as pack for the week-long trip that starts tomorrow – I decided to check some of the links in my blogroll. While I was away in May, there were some changes for:
- Wide Lawns, Narrow Minds – where Subservient Worker is subservient no more. Hooray! Sadly, she’s deleted the archives, which included some of the funniest writing I’ve read. The blog is now about her life and not the rich, clueless, obnoxious and depraved who people the gated community where she used to work.
- The Basquette Case – where Basquette has closed up shop and deleted all the archives. I’ll miss it.
- George in Denver – who is now putting much more energy into his offline creative writing and less into his blog. I understand, but nobody can write about city infrastructure just the way George does.
- Happyville Library – where the proprietor has pulled a Basquette, deleting all the archives and moving on. I’ll miss this one too.
I’ve clicked on some of the other links tonight to see if any are dead yet. So far I haven’t found any dead ones but I didn’t have time to check them all. Maybe next week. What I have learned tonight:
- Over at Bizzyville, Suz (that other Suz) has gone and quit her job and is writing funnier than ever. You go, girl!
- The Cranky Prof who pens Cranky Epistles is pregnant and it seems that any hormonal influence on her writing is to make it even sharper – read this and be sure to read clear to the end.
Wisdom in a column printed in today’s Denver Post Style section, along with Ask Amy, the daily horoscope, TV schedule, and the comic strips. The author, Natalie Constanza-Chavez, writes:
This I know: I have no gospel to spread, and I am quite proud that I am sure of very little.
I believe language is powerful, especially poetry, that words can be weapons or gifts, that healing is always possible, and that we are each more holy and worthy than we think. . . .
I believe that we are complicated and at our best, we know it, and that trying to reduce things to black and white usually makes us stupid.
Wonder and amazement are necessary, and the ordinary can be profound.
What do I know? That a clouded leopard lives in the heart of Borneo, stalking monkeys and young bearded pigs for sustenance, and that for more than 100 years scientists thought they knew it to be the same species as the mainland clouded leopard. They were wrong.
I’m looking forward to more from this lady. The full column is below the fold.
I haven’t had a chance to get tired of London, which must mean that I’m not yet tired of life, according to Samuel Johnson. Crowded, expensive, inconvenient, loud, maddening London. I love the place. Goodness, I really need to get back there soon. It’s been too long. Yeah, I know, I haven’t had to live there. So what? I also love a lot of people with whom I don’t have to live. Thank goodness.
The Internet lets me keep up with news, and the latest kerfluffle shows that even the powers that be in London aren’t above taking a pratfall. After winning the 2012 Olympic games, they’ve slipped on a £400,000 banana peel over the official logo for the games. [Daily Mail story here and printed below the fold in case the link expires.]
Their designers came up with the craptabulous vision shown at the right. Then to make things worse, the promotional video for the logo sent many epileptics into seizures. I think they may be taking this back to the drawing board, literally.
. . . Education Secretary Alan Johnson dismissed the new logo . . [joking]: “I think it looks a bit like Boris Johnson’s hairstyle.”
The suggestion drew a crisp response from the Conservative MP for Henley and shadow higher education minister.
Mr Johnson said: “You can say what you like about my hairstyle but at least it has not yet induced epilepsy. And it cost considerably less than £400,000 to design.”
I was out of the country – heck, I was in the Southern Hemisphere – for most of the month of May.
When I left on that trip, our local gas stations were charging something like $2.80 per gallon for gas. A week or so later prices started shooting up up up all over the US. We heard about it in New Zealand in the newspapers and on TV.
However, it was one thing to hear that news when far from home.
It was another to gas up the car day before yesterday for the first time since late April – at the price of $3.38 a gallon at Costco.
Thank goodness the Roo isn’t a gas hog.
When I was a little girl, the dime store in town was called “Woolworth’s.” It was one of the huge F. W. Woolworth chain of stores – which have all disappeared now. Wikipedia says the company evolved into Foot Locker.
Last month in Australia I saw “Woolworths” signs on stores. They are a grocery chain, and that company has no connection at all to the old American F. W. Woolworth Company.
I got used to remembering that “Woolworths” means “groceries” and “supermarket” there, but I wasn’t there long enough to make the connection seamlessly. The old brain still recognized the two different retail chains when the eyes or ears registered the word.
I bought one of their $.99 reusable shopping bags at the Cairns store, and used it today for my grocery shopping at King Soopers.
Neither of our two large grocery chains – King Soopers and Safeway – offer bags like this in this area, although they have sold some canvas bags at a higher price. However, our local Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers featured similar bags, also priced at $.99, in their recent newspaper ad.
I don’t know what to write about this, or how, but I have to. If only to quote Susan Barnes-Gelt, writing in Sunday’s newspaper:
[R]arely recognized are those gifted public servants who work to advance the mission of caring for the most vulnerable among us, ensuring that the protocols and systems that protect them are empathic, predictable and fair.
One of those stewards is Lynn Lehmann, who is suffering from terminal kidney cancer and deserves to be recognized. For 17 years, from 1984 until 2001, Lehmann supervised the human services section of the Denver city attorney’s office. . . . As a result of his unrelenting advocacy and focus, outcomes for Colorado’s children and families improved significantly.
The full column is below the fold.
I remember back in the 1990′s when a new Mayor appointed a new City Attorney. The new City Attorney – very smart, with a lot of relevant experience – thought it would be good to start routinely reassigning lawyers from one section of the office to another. Cross-training, enriching our experience, diversifying our skills, or just plain shaking us up and waking us up – I can’t remember which if any of those goals he had in mind.
But he was surprised by the strong response from Lynn Lehmann’s lawyers in the Human Services section. They were deeply committed to that work, and did not at all equate it with working on tax assessment disputes or eminent domain cases or construction contracts or the prosecution of barking dog tickets – or any of the many other things that assistant city attorneys in other sections do. They convinced the City Attorney to leave them where they were – doing utterly non-glamorous, difficult, unsung legal work, in the courthouse trenches day in and day out, to protect children and other vulnerable people.
Last Thursday afternoon I made it to another bargain matinée movie. This time it was Jindabyne, the complex and engrossing Australian film that I had a chance to watch on the Qantas flight from LAX to Melbourne last month.
I’m glad I didn’t try to watch it on the teensy-squeensy video screen on the seatback in front of me on the 747. That wouldn’t have done justice to the many outdoor wide shots. Oh yes, that Australian landscape.
Loved it. The landscape and the film, in wide-screen splendor.
I have been taking a long walk nearly every day in the City parks across the street from our condo complex: Hutchinson Park and Bible Park. In each park, the wetlands (Hutchinson) and natural areas (Bible) are full of growth, tall grasses and leafed-out plants and trees.
The “developed” areas, especially in Bible – the big park – look almost lush, and “lush” doesn’t come easy to this high and arid climate. It was a copiously snowy winter here in town, and not a very dry spring, good for plant growth. Maybe too good; the cottonwood trees are already shedding cotton fluff which usually happens in July or August – not May.
The goats will be working on the park areas that have been left as natural habitat, and the work will take some time.
They are brought in each day and watched over by a man whose working title I didn’t ask. Goat-herder, I guess. Or, Noxious Weed Control Supervisor? Whatever the title, he’s a courteous man with a Texas or Oklahoma accent.