Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Does that suggest that we should give up? I hope not. However, it is always smart to go in with our eyes wide open and ideally with some good data backing up our presumption that this good thing is in fact a good idea.
Take that desire to "do good" and apply it to a governmental agency and the opportunity for unintended consequences magnifies exponentially.
Example: banning drilling for oil in many domestic sources is good (we assume) for the environment. And yet, how many ways will $4.19 per gallon gas and $140 per barrel oil impact our national economy, our trade deficit, our personal budgets, our ability to donate money to charities or save for the future, and yes, ultimately, even our ability to invest in environmental initiatives?
Today I saw an article (hat tip to Byron York at The Corner) that exposes yet another example of governmental policies and initiatives whose results are diametrically oposed to the original intent. The article, in TheAtlantic.com, is extraordinarily well researched and well written. I won't try to synopsize it here except to quote these two paragraphs. Read the entire article for yourself and then comment away.
Falling crime rates have been one of the great American success stories of the past 15 years. New York and Los Angeles, once the twin capitals of violent crime, have calmed down significantly, as have most other big cities. Criminologists still debate why: the crack war petered out, new policing tactics worked, the economy improved for a long spell. Whatever the alchemy, crime in New York, for instance, is now so low that local prison guards are worried about unemployment.
Lately, though, a new and unexpected pattern has emerged, taking criminologists by surprise. While crime rates in large cities stayed flat, homicide rates in many midsize cities (with populations of between 500,000 and 1 million) began increasing, sometimes by as much as 20percent a year. In 2006, the Police Executive Research Forum, a national police group surveying cities from coast to coast, concluded in a report called “A Gathering Storm” that this might represent “the front end … of an epidemic of violence not seen for years.” The leaders of the group, which is made up of police chiefs and sheriffs, theorized about what might be spurring the latest crime wave: the spread of gangs, the masses of offenders coming out of prison, methamphetamines. But mostly they puzzled over the bleak new landscape. According to FBI data, America’s most dangerous spots are now places where Martin Scorsese would never think of staging a shoot-out—Florence, South Carolina; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Reading, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
3) That whole "but it's a dry heat" argument only works up to about 105 degrees. Above that and it's just darned hot.
4) That whole "it's a dry heat" thing DOES have an impact on your skin. I feel like I'm dehydrated all the time. Neutrogena moisturizer (from my hotel room last night) really helps.
If you find yourself in Tucson anytime soon and find yourself with a 2 hour gap between appointments, find the nearest Paradise Bakery and Cafe. Order a "Paradise Cookie Frappe". (caution - in the spectrum of liquid calories, this drink falls just north of a Venti Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha). Pop open the laptop and take advantage of the free wi-fi to check email and get directions to tonights hotel. Blog. Order lunch.
More later. I've got to go order that lunch.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Yes, the internet has made it to Phoenix, so no, there is no excuse for a dearth of blogging this week. After-all, what else is there to do in the evenings from one's hotel room, especially now that "American Idol" is over and "24" won't be on until next January? I'll try to chime in, but I make no promises.
Live from North Georgia, where the weather is beautiful and the children are brilliant and well-behaved.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
First and foremost, Happy Father's Day to all of you Dad's out there (and hopefully you know who you are, too). I hope you were well and truly feted and celebrated, and walked forth on pathways strewn with fragrant rose petals all day. I know I certainly did.
Um, OK, maybe not exactly all of that. Actually I did have a nice day, but it was a bit more hectic than either I or my wife would have picked. But, we didn't get a vote.
It started out nice. She brought me coffee in bed and left me in peace while I watched Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press (rest in peace, Tim Russert, you are already missed). I haven't done that in years!
Shortly after that, a parade of children (are all of these mine?) streamed into the bedroom singing "Happy Father's Day to you. . . ." bearing gifts of swim trunks and "stay-cool" golf shirts. Sweet!
It was pretty much downhill from there. At that point, we had exactly one hour for everyone to bathe, dress, get hair brushed, and into the car to head to my parents for lunch. We left late and had to stop en route to buy some last minute supplies for Vacation Bible School (starting tomorrow). We got to the parental units for a mid-afternoon lunch, but then had to dash the hour back home so that my wife could go help set up for VBS. I helped schlep various and sundry items down to the Chapel and then schlepped the kids back home. Then I got to (as in "was priviledged enough to") vacuum before my in-laws came over for dinner. Oh good, let's eat again!
Dinner was spectacular (fresh salmon, tomato & mozzarella salad, etc). Then we left for a quick ride on the in-laws pontoon boat. It was a beautiful evening for a boat-ride, but almost ended up as a train-wreck (pardon me while I mix metaphors with abandon) at the dock as said in-laws really don't work well together when it comes to docking boats.
As a result of all that, it was 9:30 before the kids got to bed (did I mention they have to be at VBS tomorrow morning at 8:30?). The kitchen is still a disaster, and we're all exhausted.
But all of that aside, it was still a great day. I have a wife who loves me even when I manage to be pretty unlovable. I have three AMAZING kids who are a joy to be around and so much darned fun too! We live in a spectacular place in the greatest country on earth and are loved by a God whose grace knows no bounds.
Yep, life really is great. So, Happy Father's Day to Tim, Arby, Big Doofus, and all you other Dads out there. I think you all know exactly how blessed you are.
Oh, by the way, Belle went to golf camp last week. Make sure I tell you about the two of us playing in the "end of camp" tournament Friday morning. It was awesome!
Monday, June 9, 2008
And to think, I could be sitting in rush-hour traffic.
Life is good. No, life is awesome!
1) see the new "Who's Here from Where" section in the right column. I've seen this on other blogs and thought it was cool. It's always interesting to see where readers are from.
2) I realized that one of my regularly checked blogs was not listed in the "Blogs Worth Reading" section, so I've justed added it. Toast Floats is always a great read. The author, Karen, and her husband Dr. C are boat-schooling their three girls while they sail the Pacific coast for the next year or so on their Catamaran. How cool is that!? You can go back and read some of their history as they prepared for this epic event; you'll start to figure out that Karen et al are pretty cool too.
Back to work!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
That's it. Not other news. Well, that's not true, but I'm tired and not going to talk about it right now. Come back maybe tomorrow and see if I've gotten around to it. (gotta keep 'em wanting more, right?).
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
In the meantime, a potpourri of thoughts and catching up.
1) many thanks to Tim and Arby for not only great comments to my "open question" post, but for linking to it on their blogs and driving their multitude of faithful readers to my humble site. Perhaps they'll return. Tim and Arby both said awfully nice things about me in their posts, provoking an immense "aw shucks" from me. Really, I'm truly touched.
2) said posts, and large amounts of "lying awake in the middle of the night" have generated thoughts about this whole concept of building "virtual friendships". I've never met Tim, but through our respective posts we've figured out we have a frightening amount in common, to the point that we refer to each other as our "doppelganger". Likewise with Arby, whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for as he is a stay-at-home dad and homeschooler while his wife is preparing to deploy to Iraq as a civilian contractor. Anyway, this whole concept of building friendships with people you've never may (and likely never will, in person) is really odd. What does it say about our society that I know more about a guy in the central valley of California whom I've never met than some of the dads on my son's soccer team?
3) on a much lighter note, the new appliances arrive tomorrow. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished result. I know you're waiting anxiously.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
What should I do? I know! I'll see if I can post to my blog from my blackberry.
It will be interesting to see how this looks (if it exists) tomorrow.