31 October 2008


Seen near UC yesterday before the football game:

Trick or Treat anyone?

In my list of things to worry about as a parent, Halloween doesn't appear at all. I remember the excitement and sugar highs of my childhood, but that was followed by quite literally decades of indifference. However this holiday does expose the weakness of downtown parentage, the lack of a critical mass of kids.

I know that in the past the folks in the Prospect Hill historic district have tried to have some festivities, but I never made it to them, and have heard nothing about them this year. So, if I limited myself to the neighborhood my son would be dressed up with no place to go. And that would be a true shame to the world at large, dressed in his penguin outfit (yes... I have become one of those parents).

Our solution is simple. One of our long-time friends has invited us year after year (well at least my wife, I have tagged along intermittently) to her neighborhood for trick or treating. It has become a tradition; we bring the Graeter's Pumpkin Ice Cream and Bittersweet, and she supplies the cute kids. Well for the second year, we are bringing a bonus cute kid. It is also great because it is the same 'burb my parents and sister live in, so we get to make the Grandparents and Aunt happy.

So I am curious, what do other City parents do for Halloween?

OK, I know the picture doesn't totally match, but it was the best Halloween-themed picture I have. It's what happens when a Polar Bear meets a pumpkin at Hallzooween.

White Tee

More stuff found on the sidewalk:

30 October 2008

I Agree with (some) Conservatives

Francis Fukuyama, for instance:
America has been living in a dream world for the past few years, losing its basic values of thrift and prudence and living far beyond its means, even as it has lectured the rest of the world to follow its model. At a time when the U.S. government has just nationalized a good part of the banking sector, we need to rethink a lot of the Reaganite verities of the past generation regarding taxes and regulation. Important as they were back in the 1980s and ’90s, they just won’t cut it for the period we are now entering.

Vaccines Autism and Presidential Candidates

I recieved an email from the Autism Research Institute (ARI) about the danger of vaccines and Obama and McCain's positions on vaccine safety. I thought the candidates responses were telling.

ARI is one of the groups that believes mercury (Thimerosal) in vaccines causes Autism. They are advocates of Biomedical Treatments of Autism such as: Gluten Free Diets, High doses of vitamin B6, Gut Cleaning, Protobiotics and Chelation Therapy. None of these therapies have any proven success. Similarly, several peer-reviewed studies have shown that vaccines are not a contributing cause of autism.

Here is how ARI sees the candidates regarding vaccines:
...Organizations representing many thousands of voters are calling for Senator McCain to state his policy position on vaccine safety, and for Senator Obama to clarify his comments made earlier this fall, by noon October 30, 2008, in order that voters can make an informed choice of candidate.

... McCain endorsed parental vaccination choice stating, "The key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves."

...Senator Obama ... "He looked right at me and said, 'I am not for selective vaccination. I believe it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.'"

ARI is forwarding this message on behalf of Autism Action Network, Autism United, Generation Rescue, Moms Against Mercury, No Mercury, Schafer Autism Report, Talk About Curing Autism, Unlocking Autism and U. S. Autism and Asperger's Association.

I have read a lot about this issue, and I have consulted medical experts in this field, and I am quite certain that Obama is taking the proper stance here. Mandatory vaccinations are a proven success, and studies have proven that vaccinations do not cause autism. The causes of autism are not known. It is believed to be partially genetic, possibly triggered by environmental agents. People who advocate selective vaccination and who advocate diet changes to cure autism are just plain wrong. Parents who follow their advice and try unproven biomedical cures are less likely to spend the time and money that Behavioral Treatments require. Behavioral treatments are currently the only mthod that has a scientifically proven track record.

If I must, I will do a follow up post with links to studies etc, but you can google it yourself. But, more importantly, if you suspect autism in your child, get an evalution at the nearest Children's Hospital ASAP and follow your doctor's advice.

Choosing the City

I signed up to contribute to this blog. I thought I might start with a little background. I am a father of a 17-month old. We have lived in the city for a long time. Before moving to Mt. Auburn, we lived for about a decade in Mt. Lookout. When we moved here a little over three years ago I think everyone closed the "will they ever have a kid" book on us. I joke that I waited until we moved here so that our announcement would be a total surprise, but that is actually not true. We moved here with no intention of raising kids in the city. But it really wasn't until we moved here that we felt ready. There are more factors than just location, but I won't bore you with that. What I want to focus on is our mindset on deciding to raise our family in the city.

I appreciated finding this blog. A nearby friend with a kid (now two kids) sent me the link. I like hearing about other folks bucking the trend to head to the suburbs. We have had a few friends and family ask us if we planned on moving when my son gets to school age, but most folks already knew the answer. We are huge fans of our neighborhood, and well, let's just say my personal mantra is "everyone's entitled to an opinion... specifically mine." So, assuming Mike does not realize what a terrible, terrible mistake he made giving me access, I think that will tend to be the theme of my posts... what is good about raising your family in the city.

To be clear, I don't feel especially "brave" or "cutting edge" in my choice. I'm not really sure what a "hipster" parent is, but I'm pretty certain I am not one. We're just a regular family of three, who have found our dream home to raise a family. It's a 130-year old Italianate on a small parcel in the city, rather than a 2-story home on a large lot in the suburbs. There are definitely challenges in our choice, but there are challenges in all choices.

We have never regretted our choice, and I look forward to sharing what little I can about the city. Who knows, maybe it will help someone come to the right decision. And to be clear, that may not be the city for them, but it is for us.

Welcome bsherm

Another downtown parent has joined this blog! Welcome Bsherm and see his first post above.

29 October 2008

The Conservative Case for Urbanism

I thought I may have linked to this before, but I'm not sure, and this article in the New Prospect is worth revisiting:
...Proposals to shift from a sprawling, car-dependent geography to one of denser population centers connected via public transit have often been called elitist and out-of-touch with how most Americans choose to live their lives. The typical family does not want to live in a city or commute by rail, writes suburban-triumphalist writer Joel Kotkin, since big backyards, quiet, and privacy are "everything they have wanted for a half-century." Wendell Cox, a Heritage Foundation partisan, has written a book calling anti-sprawl activism a "war on the American dream."

.... Policies in favor of dense development shouldn't be viewed on a left-right spectrum and certainly needn't be filtered through culture-war rhetoric,... In fact, one doesn't have to be concerned about climate change at all in order to support such policies; values of fiscal conservatism and localism, both key to Republican ideology, can be better realized through population-dense development than through sprawl.

Tom Darden, a developer of urban and close-in suburban properties, said Wednesday, "I'm a Republican and have been my whole life. I consider myself a very conservative person. But it never made sense to me why we would tax ordinary people in order to subsidize this form of development, sprawl." ...

...the federal government is a hindrance as often as a help..., throwing years worth of bureaucratic red tape in front of states that want to construct light rail lines...

...A third of the cost of a new commuter rail in the St. Paul suburbs comes from fulfilling unnecessary federal construction regulations

..."People don't want to live 40 miles away from their workplaces," ...

...conservatives must join progressives in rethinking the United States' geography. Density is cost effective, it fosters small business development at the local level, and it strengthens ties within communities. None of that should be anathema to either national party -- unless they continue to put the interests of construction behemoths and automakers above the interests of ordinary Americans.

Black Walnut Harvest

This post is mostly a message to myself so that I remember how to do this right next year. We tried harvesting black walnuts last week. They grow naturally all over this area, and I like everything about these trees, from the smell to the color, to the wood and of course the flavor of the nuts. I had memories of shelling them as a kid with a hammer. Unfortunately I did not do any research before starting. I should have read this article, which describes how you need to collect them green, remove the outer shell, then cure them for a few weeks before breaking the hard shell open. Since ours were not cured, the meats were very moist and sweet but did not taste much like Black Walnuts should. Also, my method was extremely messy. I'll try again next year:

28 October 2008

Unschooling in NYTimes

UPDATE: I moved this to the top of the blog because I have some interesting people writing in on the comments section. Check it out.

Interesting article about a movement called unschooling. I like a lot about it. The best classroom is experience outdoors in the real world. I just don't know who has the time or can afford to stay home from work to spend 12 years home with their kids. I've heard about this movement before, but it seems to be gaining more widespread acceptance.

Here is the Babble article on Unschooling.
...unschoolers don't send their kids to regular school and avoid teaching by curriculum. You won't find them at the kitchen table every morning doing math, then reading, then geography."

...unschoolers believe in letting a kid's curiosity, interests and natural hunger for knowledge guide their learning.

Historic Buildings Exhibit

Park and Vine is hosting an exhibit of historic building photos.

CAM Family First Saturday

Our neighbors from Visual Lingual, will be at the Cincinnati Art Museum this Saturday as part of Family First Saturday.

Cincinnati Art Museum
3rd floor contemporary galleries
Saturday 1 Nov
1-4 pm

"We'll have lots of work to show, including a sneak peek at a couple of brand-new projects that we just finished. We'll be answering questions about our work and process, and generally trying not to trip over our words. It's a kid-friendly event, but grown-ups are welcome, too. Plus, it's free!

We also have a brand-new baby t-shirt design at Over-the-Rhine's own green general store, Park+Vine:

We will be unrolling new products within the next couple of weeks and participating in some special events during the coming holiday season.

As a side note, fellow Cincinnati designer Jenny Sauer of Three Sheets 2 the Wind is having a trunk show/sample sale this weekend, which is also worth checking out."

OTR Under Construction!

This new construction in Over the Rhine is very exciting. It is so strange to see new wood framing in the Washington Park area. Both projects are at about the same rough framing stage and are showing lots of promise. Enjoy.

First is the new construction on Pleasant Street by OTR Community Housing. In the photo are the 5 new townhouses, but the project also includes the rehab of several buildings.

The garages, with living above, facing alley:
Visible between two buildings:
I love this new view of Pleasant Street taking shape!
Previous posts on this project: Demo and Foundations.

Next is a condo project by The Model Group. This has first a concrete first floor commercial space, with wood-framed residential above.

View from Republic and 14th:
View of the Model Project from Vine:
Previous Post showing demolition of previous buildings on this site. First Concrete and rendering. Progress photo from August.

27 October 2008

The Blogger I Would Like to Be

Ta-Nehisi Coates continues to amaze me. He has beautiful insights in each post. Today, wrapping up Mad Men, the 80's Crack Epidemic and the Justice League ...and it all makes sense.

1300 Vine Before and After

Approx 1992 the day after a fire in the vacant building:

Today, 10 years after being rehabbed:

Old Man and Train

Just a shot I took last weekend in Elkins, West Virginia. The train was full of old people going to look at the fall colors:

This conductor was a very friendly man, and he showed me all his ribbons for long service, and if I wasn't so camera shy I would have gotten a picture of him with his ribbons on his chest.

26 October 2008

ADA at Fountain Square



Wasssuppp and Adelman

"McCain's views are closer to mine than Obama's. But I've learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.

... I concluded that McCain would not -- could not -- be a good president. Obama just might be.

That's become good enough for me -- however much of a triumph (as Dr. Johnson said about second marriages) of hope over experience."-Ken Adelman, former assistant to Donald Rumsfeld and advisor to Ronald Reagan,

Is Palin going anti-McCain? Why was Palin in Iowa today, when all the polls show Obama up there 53 to McCain's 41? Is she thinking about the next campaign?

25 October 2008


I just heard a sound I don't think I have ever heard before... automatic gunfire.

When this Crisis Ends, Will Sprawl Continue?

When housing starts begin again, should we continue on the same model?

...For a half-century we've watched the suburban sprawl machine ... with little regard for aesthetics, for the rising cost of energy or, for that matter, the cost of leaving the region's have-nots behind in older, have-not communities.

We convinced ourselves that nothing could be done about this process because, after all, it's a free country. It's what people want. And the business model—buying up land by the quarter section and selling it by the square foot—was surefire...

....maybe, it's time to revisit the inevitability of suburban sprawl.

...If the federal government can use our tax dollars to bolster private banks, why can't states, counties and towns require private developers to include some energy efficiency, transit access, walkways and just plain common sense?

Over the last half-century our metropolitan region has roughly doubled in size—as measured by the amount of land we sprawl across—while our population has grown barely 20 percent. Where's the sense in that?

...main growth sectors will be: 1) senior citizens and 2) immigrants of limited means. Seniors will want to live closer to shops and services. Immigrants will want to live affordably and near their jobs. Neither will have much use for drywall palaces along the suburban fringe.

"It's time...to start planning what the future should be."

24 October 2008

Bob Stern in NYC and Seneca Place Covington

Traditional urban townhouses are in demand, even in this dismal housing market. But architects continue to be disdainful. They have not been trained to design them and they learn in school that respect is earned by breaking precedent, not learning from it.
See for an example of this the comments on a thread about new townhouses in NYC by Robert AM Stern.
...has been compared to something out of Reston, Virginia. With the mish-mash of neo-Georgian goodies we can see where that's coming from. However Stepford could be the clearer connection...
Stern is one of the best architects in the country, but as photos of his project are posted, readers of Curbed chime in with comments about how "fake" they are etc. My impression is that most of the readers of Curbed are architects and designers. Of course these townhouses will sell like hotcakes, just like the Seneca Place posted below have been presold.

Modern infill projects in Cincinnati that are having trouble selling should take notice.

Seneca Place House Setting

The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington and Huff Realty are proud to announce two new homes (both of which are sold) are being constructed as part of the Seneca Place development in Covington. We are also excited to announce the 3-story row house, at 520 Thomas will be the first L.E.E.D. GOLD-certified home in Kentucky. The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, with support from The City of Covington, continues to bring cutting edge housing development to Northern Kentucky. The two new homes will have a panelized foundation by Superior Walls. The Energy Star modular homes will be constructed by Phoenix Building Solutions using the newest technology in building science. These homes will demonstrate that “Green” construction is not only good for the environment, but can also be affordable for homebuyers.

Previous posts on Seneca Place here and here. I missed the last house setting, but hope to make it to this one November 5th, 9-5 with a presentation at 10am.
[Where: 518-520 Thomas Street, Covington, KY 41014]

23 October 2008

Soft City

I come out of a formica kabab-house alone after lunch, my head prickly with retsina. The air outside is a sunny swirl of exhaust fumes; that faint, smoky-turquoise big city colour. I stand on the pavement waiting to cross at the lights. Suddenly I know that I don't know the direction of the traffic. Do cars here drive on the left or the right hand side of the road? A cluster of Italian au pair girls, their voices mellow and labial, like a chorus escaped from an opera, pass me; I hear, in the crowd, an adenoidal Nebraskan contralto, twangy as a jew's harp. Turned to a dizzied tourist myself, forgetful and jet-shocked, I have to hunt in my head for the language spoken here.

...You're a balloonist adrift, and you need anchors to tether you down.

A sociologist, I suppose would see these as classic symptoms of alienation, more evidence to add to the already fat dossier on the evils of urban life. I feel more hospitable towards them. For at moments like this, the city goes soft; it awaits the imprint of an identity. For better or worse, it invites you to remake it, to consolidate it into a shape you can live in. You too. Decide who you are, and the city will again assume a fixed form around you... - Soft City, Jonathan Raban, 1974

22 October 2008

NCLB Testing vs Portfolios

An Education Week article says Obama, doesn't want to dump the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) testing, but wants to reform it and include alternative testing, such as "Portfolios". If you are like me, you are asking, what is a portfolio? Well this is their description:
...portfolios ..and other forms of assessments that may be a little bit more expensive ...are allowing us to make sure children are getting the proper analytic kinds of tools. ...we're talking about tests that require children to assess their entire year ... to put together through writing and through speaking...we're looking at language skills as well as writing skills to get a sense of how well they've learned their lessons.


21 October 2008

Skillet & Leroy

Laff Records specialized in publishing offensive comedic material (note, link may not be safe for work). Printed in such a cheap manner, it is not dated or copyrighted:

Rural Ohio and PA During Campaign

You may not have noticed, but I was away from computing for a few days dealing with illness and family issues. I did travel through southeast Ohio and part of Pennsylvania, and the fall colors were amazing.

I was watching to see how many signs I would see for Obama and in town there were always some, though definitely in the minority in the rural areas. In the 3 or four small towns we stopped in, the Democratic campaign headquarters was in a prominent storefront with staff working at tables. East of Jackson, OH I did see one farmer (probably a local dem polititian) with a large Obama/Biden sign in his farm field that had been spray-painted vandalized with "no niggers".

I also was reading the print paper in PA and saw this editorial by a woman who loves to carry her gun everywhere. At first I thought she wrote the column to be sarcastic. But upon further reading, it appears she is totally serious. When I read stuff like this, I just cannot relate at all:

My family spent the weekend much as we usually do this time of year, traveling from one soccer game to another.... my handgun accidentally popped out of its holster and fell onto the playing field.

Embarrassed by my clumsiness, I could hear the good-natured teasing of my fellow soccer parents: "Hey, just make sure that thing doesn't go off!" yelled one dad. "Yeah," howled another. "We don't need any trips to the ER today!"

As I joined their laughter, I stooped over to pick up the shiny .38 Special to put it back in its distinctive soccer-themed holster. It felt comforting to have the pistol on my hip once again.

After all, I didn't want to be the odd mom out. On our team, we're all packing.

One of the moms on my son's team, a talented jewelry designer, even came up with a novel way to raise money for the boys. She sewed and then bedazzled sassy holsters for each of us with our son's name and jersey number. Everyone had to have one!

I think we're all feeling a lot safer these days with our weapons out in the open. Talk about firepower. I just hope the kids don't see us gabbing about our different revolvers instead of watching the games.

As anyone with any common sense knows, Pennsylvania's Open Carry Law is the best way to keep the peace. Last week, the parents from an opposing team started to get a little rowdy. It could have escalated into conflict. Instead, all we had to do was jut our holstered hips toward their side of the field and those obnoxious screams died down right away.

Of course, it's not like we're all going to start shooting if a ref's call goes against us or we miss a goal. I admit there have been times when I've tightened my hand around the butt of my gun in frustration when calls haven't been going our way. But I would never, ever resort to violence. Trust me.

No, we pack heat to protect ourselves and our families. Who's to say some crazy maniac won't one day bolt onto the soccer field, trying to attack our little ones?

Instead, I go to soccer games and feel secure. Looking at my fellow well-armed parents, enthusiastically cheering on our children, I feel safe. Any stick-in-the-mud who worries about a child grabbing my gun and accidentally firing it just doesn't understand gunology.

And there's also no way we adults would start firing on each other. C'mon, where do you think we live? Afghanistan? Iraq? Philadelphia? We only shoot our guns in the air, thank you, and only at practices.

And there are other benefits.

Usually after every game, parents stretch out their arms and clasp hands to build a tunnel for players to run through. It's cute. But our team has come up with a unique twist on that sweet tradition: we raise our 9 mms, Glocks, and 45s in the air to make a tunnel. The kids love it....

20 October 2008

Song of the South

Disney first released this picture in 1946, and there was some racial controversy about it even then. The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film, but decried the supposed "impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship" (even though the film was set after the American Civil War). It was shown on television in 1972 and in theatres in 1986. Other than that, Disney has never released it on home video in the USA because executives believe it might be construed as racially insensitive. It had previously been released on home video in England and Japan, but was withdrawn worldwide in 2001. Bootleg copies are widely circulated, and to their credit, the Disney Corporation has not brought legal action.

Based on the Uncle Remus cycle of stories by Joel Chandler Harris, it was Walt Disney's first live-action film, though it also contains major segments of animation. The live actors provide a sentimental framework, in which Uncle Remus relates the folk tales of the adventures of Br'er Rabbit and his friends. Maurice Rapf was asked by the Walt Disney Company to turn the stories into a shootable screenplay. One of the reasons Disney hired Rapf to was to temper what Disney feared would be a white Southern slant. Rapf was a minority, a Jew, and an outspoken left-winger, and he feared that the film would inevitably be Uncle Tomish. "That's exactly why I want you to work on it," Walt told him, "because I know that you don't think I should make the movie. You're against Uncle Tomism, and you're a radical." Rapf initially hesitated, but when he found out that most of the film would be live-action and that he could make extensive changes, he accepted the offer.


Dungeons and Dragons and Gaming Storefront in Mt Healthy:

19 October 2008

It's Just Crepes

We went to the new Crepes place on Court Street, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Yum.

18 October 2008

1970s Isley Brothers Records

Cincinnati legends, The Isley Brothers.
Circa 1973, 3+3 front:

Showdown, circa 1978, in jumpsuits:


Go All the Way, circa 1980:


17 October 2008

Bootsy Collins 1978



Cardboard, punch-out glasses inside:

15 October 2008

Grandmaster Flash

I don't remember this cover from 1982:


What I remember the records looking like:
The Message on youtube

The End of the Small TV

For many years, we had a Sony Watchman with a 5" screen in the kitchen so I could watch late night TV when doing the dishes etc. Well our TV finally bit the dust, and I thought maybe I'd get a new one. The problem is no one makes them anymore. As most people know, the analog television signals will dissapear this February. And no on makes a small digital TV. The solution, iPhone podcasts:
...it could use a better holder to prop it up.

Misc Political Notes

Palin had a very strong anti-zoning stance in her career in Wasilla.

Will GW Bush's legacy be torture? Article in Harpers

William F. Buckley's son:
While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

14 October 2008

Summers of Ice Cream and Art

KuyaMatt is an ice cream junkie. He would live on the stuff if he could. Sometimes on vacation I'll call "ice cream for dinner night" and take the family to DQ or A&W. Everyone else gets food first; he and I are the only ones who enjoy a purely frozen feast. AdamBomb likes it too, but he's not in love.

Both were also blessed with artistic talent. They draw for fun and come up with some impressive stuff. KuyaMatt got a ribbon at the Hyde Park art show years ago. AdamBomb won a free ice cream in a Graeter's picture contest.

In summer 2007 both high-schoolers flirted with getting summer jobs. KuyaMatt applied at the Graeter's a block and half from home, and both applied to Artworks. KuyaMatt, going through a period of procrastination, applied too late and didn't get either one. AdamBomb landed the Artworks gig, but had to decline due to schedule conflict with a study skills course we already paid for.

Coming into Summer 2008 their planning was much better. The Artworks application made the deadline, this time including a full color portfolio. The Graeter's application was submitted plenty early, this time with some networking and key recommendations to back it up. And they each got what they aimed for.

Only now it's KuyaMatt that wound up at Artworks, and AdamBomb who works at Graeter's. How's a poor parent supposed to keep all this straight?

Kids...you gotta love 'em.

Bedbug Comeback Needs DDT

Here is an editorial from a Conservative Ohio group that argues that stonger chemicals should be allowed to be used to combat bedbugs. They are a growing problem in Cincinnati and I have been wondering why we don't have better pesticides at our disposal. Too bad this article is just an opinion with no facts or links.

There are several good websites and blogs out there about how to defeat bedbugs. None that I read thought that DDT was a good idea. Apparently some bedbugs have developed resistance to DDT anyway.

Also: Saw an article about a dog that can sniff-out the hard-to-find critters.

Yma Sumac, Fuego del Ande

Another Yma Sumac record. Weird stuff.
I'd like to digitize samples of these and post them with the albums, but I don't have that technology yet.

Goodbye Moon

New editions of this 61 year old children's classic will have the cigarette photoshopped out of the illustrator's picture on the back cover. HarperCollins said it made the change to avoid the appearance of encouraging smoking.

Everyone can agree with that goal, but isn't this just a little bit too much? There's quite a difference between discouraging something and pretending it never existed in the first place.

After all, Bob 5chw4r7z has been known to enjoy a stogie on occasion, and that hasn't kept him from being a stand-up guy. And none other than Santa Claus himself puffs a pipe. The horrors!

"His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly."

This is just another example of political correctness run amok. Novelist and children's book author, Karen Karbo, carried it to its logical end in her NY Times Op Ed.

Others have added their two cents:

The spiked curtain rods are dangerous and could easily skewer Bunny. That clunky old telephone at Bunny's bedside is also a danger. Really, Bunny, if left unsupervised by the quiet old lady, could be brained by the heavy receiver or strangled by the cord. Replace it with a new lightweight cordless or, better yet, a wall-mounted monitoring unit that would also enable letting go the quiet old lady. Bunny's bed has no restraining rails. Bunny could roll out of bed and be seriously hurt. These should be installed at once.

Karen Karbo's suggestions, while excellent, do not consider Bunny's mental health. A close examination of the clock above the fireplace shows that the time is 7 p.m. at the start of the book. At the end of the book, the time is 8:10 p.m., indicating that it takes Bunny 70 minutes to fall asleep. It is concerning that the book implies that this length of time is acceptable. On the contrary, 70 minutes to fall asleep suggests that Bunny is suffering from undiagnosed and untreated insomnia. Suggested change: Digitally alter the clock so that the elapsed time is 20 minutes. Alternatively, add a footnote indicating that Bunny is seeing a sleep specialist or child psychotherapist to address the insomnia.

13 October 2008

Obama Economy Speech

My thoughts exactly:
Part of the reason this crisis occurred is that everyone was living beyond their means – from Wall Street to Washington to even some on Main Street. CEOs got greedy. Politicians spent money they didn't have. Lenders tricked people into buying home they couldn't afford and some folks knew they couldn't afford them and bought them anyway.

We've lived through an era of easy money, in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to borrow instead of save.

Now, I know that in an age of declining wages and skyrocketing costs, for many folks this was not a choice but a necessity. People have been forced to turn to credit cards and home equity loans to keep up, just like our government has borrowed from China and other creditors to help pay its bills. But we now know how dangerous that can be. Once we get past the present emergency, which requires immediate new investments, we have to break that cycle of debt. Our long-term future requires that we do what's necessary to scale down our deficits, grow wages and encourage personal savings again.
-Yesterday's entire speech here.

Trombones in Gazebo

In Washington Park, as part of Saengerfest and the Rededication of Memorial Hall: