Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Last Kennedy

Ted Kennedy's passing is, for me, a very personal sort of passing.

I was never as fond of Teddy as I was of his brothers. It was Robert who was my hero, despite his service to the anti-communist congressional committee. Robert's change of heart and his anti-war stance brought me to his cause. His eloquence, tied to that simple "I ask why not."

These were my political heroes. But Teddy was the last of the Kennedys, and his passing marks the passing of a moment of hope. With the Kennedys, despite what we knew about their duplicity, we who were young in the 1960s really felt that there was hope that our country could become what we claimed we were, but had failed to be.

With Obama I felt that hope restored. I still hope for our new President, but it is a hope sobered by the passing of that old guard, the old un-repentant liberal Teddy Kennedy. He will be missed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What is it about projects? Why do they always get bigger in the doing than they were in the conceptualizing?

We started, this summer, to do something pretty simple - replace the last three fuses in the basement with breakers, and thus qualify for a lower insurance rate. That became a major basement project involving the removal of ceiling, busting out plaster, and now considering covering the old floor tile with sheet vinyl.

Well, if we're going to do sheet vinyl in the basement, shouldn't we also do a new floor in the bathroom upstairs? And if we're doing a new floor there, shouldn't we replace that old, hardwater stained sink and the crusty faucet? But if we're going to do that, can we get a new sink that will drop into the vanity that's already there?

By the way, how do you skim coat a basement floor? Do I need to remove tile that feels "loose" to the step? What about the bumps and holes? And do I need to skim coat the bathroom floor before I put down new and after I take up the old? And do I need to take up the underlayment as well? How big is this project going to get?

Wait - one piece got smaller! I was afraid that if I took out the old vanity I'd have to chip tile or place tile. Turns out the tile is all in place behind the current vanity. Well that's one bright spot.

But I'm afraid to start - everything I've started this summer has turned bigger - and I'm back to school next Tuesday. As Charlie Brown once said, "Arrrgh!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Presser Hall Elevator

The elevator is now removed from Presser Hall. All the equipment for the new elevator sits outside waiting to be installed. The doors to the elevator shaft are locked and no one, besides the installation crew from Otis, and a few other select individuals, has access.

But that doesn't mean you can't - well - anyway.

I was talking to one of the installers yesterday. "How's the elevator coming?" "Oh, it has it's ups and downs."

I was talking to Frank Ballew this AM. "Oh no! They took our elevator and gave us the shaft!"

I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Last Sunday, August 2, Kris and I stopped at a Wind farm on highway 14, south of Lincoln. As you hear from the video, the turbines make no noise. The only noise in the video is the sound of the wind itself, and Kris saying, "Hi" at the end.

It was an awesome, eerie sight.