Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adventures with a name

This morning I was watching Where in the world is Matt Lauer? I was startled to see an e-mail question came to the Today Show from Lorene in Minnesota. It sounded exactly like a question I might have asked, but it wasn't me. This afternoon I searched White Pages.com and learned there are 124 women in Minnesota with my first name. The same web site shows the most frequent place for this name is Texas. Who would have known?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventures Unreported

Recently my work schedule has been so busy that I've not had a minute to myself. I decided it was time to find a few minutes for myself, so I called my older daughter and we went to the Como Park Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Here's just one of the beautiful flowers we found.

Another unexpected adventure. The school bus shows what happened outside my office window this morning. According to reports the school bus broke an axle and went out of control, glancing off a tanker truck. Thankfully it was a lot of excitement and no injuries to any person, except perhaps for the artist who recently completed the sculpture into which the bus crashed. On the other hand, maybe it was good that the sculpture was there. It may have kept the bus from traveling all the way into the library wall.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Adventures with Winter

Today I had to return to my winter coat. The temperature was only just a couple of degrees above freezing! We are all plenty tired of winter. Here in the Twin Cities we are more inconvienced by it. The temperature is cold and we got primarily rain rather than snow, but on Thursday the wind was very high for this part of the state. We can be thankful we aren't in Duluth where there is 9 more inches of snow, 60 mph wind, and 12 foot waves crashing in from the lake.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Adventures with a Bouncing Ball

Tonight when I came home I noticed a boy across the street hitting a ball off the garage door. I couldn't quite figure what he was doing. I stopped to tell him about the people who lived there before. They had a son who started hitting hockey pucks off that door as soon as he could stand up and walk. By the time he was five he was spending all his free time in the summer on roller skates puck-handling up and down the sidewalks.

This new neighbor boy was a bit amazed at the story and went to say, "Well, lacross is my game." That's not a sentence we hear every day in the Midwest.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adventures in the Sunlight

Today the temperature was about 60 degrees and the sky was clear and sunny! What's so remarkable? Well, we haven't seen such weather since sometime last November or perhaps even earlier. I had to go to work today simply to receive a 5 year service certificate. Somehow I believe I would have felt more thanked had it been a regular work day. But the lunch table was full of nice people and good food.

Then I had to go help my daughter for a bit. She asked if I had noticed something outside and it was a lovely treat to be able to sky light and lean outside to look.

After that I did some shopping and then entertained myself wandering about a book store. It is a sheer pleasure to be out and about in the sunshine at 6:30 PM and not freezing!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Adventures in Learning -- and Living

At our church on Wednesday evening we particpated in a session with the President of a local think tank, Growth and Justice. The Republican policy, promoted by Pawlenty as almost religion for the past 6 years, of lower taxes and starving government -- proclaimed to promote the economy -- has now resulted in Minnesota's economic growth falling below both the national and regional averages, whereas under other tax and economic policies used by both Democratic and Republican governors, Minnesota has been both a regional and national leader in both economic and social policies.

For more information about this see, http://www.growthandjustice.org/

And preview of things to come -- moderate Republicans in Minnesota are going to be holding "unsanctioned sessions" while the Republican convention is here in town.

And now today we hear that the use of these policies at the national level has resulted in the highest unemployment rate in years. We are seeing signs of what it means also to have policies of starving government. The current concern over whether the FAA is regulating the airlines is one sign of what happens when one starves government to the point that essential services can no longer function. And now today the New York Times reports that 81% of us find the country is on the wrong track.

Earlier this week I was driving around and got into the middle of an interview about aspects of our immigrant policies. The speaker pointed out we educate 80% of the engineers in the world, but refuse to let students here on student visas to stay and work in the United States, due to our restrictive immigration policies. This speaker seemed to be at a loss of words for how to talk about this policy in words that could be used on the radio and finally came up with "dumb headed public policy."

We have a lot to think about when we go to the polls this fall. And recently in another conversation I was reminded about how forthright Europeans are about asking Americans who they are going to vote for in the election. I imagine I'll have a lot of explaining to do this summer in Europe too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Evidence of April Fool's Joke

We were dumped with snow on Tuesday, April 1. We are tired of snow and didn't enjoy the April Fool's joke. However, in the 21st century we now have evidence of this April Fool's joke. The image is a satellite picture of what Minnesota looked like until maybe 12 hours ago. Warmer temperatures today are taking care of some of this snow.

Image is from NOAA Twin Cities