Friday, March 31, 2006

Yo Como Mi Sombrero

Es verdad, ya estoy comiendo mi sombrero. La ley tiene que significar algo. Banderas mejicanas en los EE UU? NUNCA! He cambiado mi opinion totalmente in solamente dos semanas. Estaba incorreto, y me disculpa mucho. Esta tiempo para enviar todos los nondocumentos a sus propias casas! Pronto!

Just practicing folks, but if current trends continue, you had better practice, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lawless Wilmette Officials: Update from Wilmette's Green Bay Road Development

The Backyard Conservative isn't letting go! Today, she continues her investigative journalism on fumes resulting from the removal of fuel storage tanks on the Green Bay Road development in Wilmette. You need to read her post first-hand. Best of all, she points out that all of potentially exceedingly dangerous activity is taking place directly across the street from Village Hall!

Luckily she has contacted the State Fire Marshall about the lack of proper permits, given a blind eye by Village inspectors whose offoices are a few hundred feet from the building site.

Do I understand? If you're a developer, laws don't matter, but if you are a law-abiding home owner, you must have a permit to cut down your very own tree? And what about the safety of children in the Village Library, directly behind the development?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sweet News
Salute to Eduardo Carvalho

While I have been dreaming of corn-fed cars, turns out the Brazilian have been busy making ethanol a transportation reality. Brazilian ethanol is made from sugar cane, though, not corn. Their flexfuel is actually costs less than fossil fuel when oil prices exceed $45 per barrel.

Eduardo Carvalho was Chief Economic Advisor to Brazil's finance minister when the 70's oil crisis occurred. It was his pushing of subsidies to the sugar cane industry that started his country on a path to energy self reliance. Brazilieros are now reaping the benefits of their many years of of hard work solving the oil problem. Brazil plans to be free from the burdens of imported oil by year end.

When Brazil began the sugar cane program almost thirty years ago, the World Bank contributed $200 million in support. Carvalho's next plan is for the World Bank to arrange for technology transfer to Africa, which has a similar climate to Brazil.

Senhor Carvalho, Wilmette salutes you as a man of vision and practical dreams.

Wilmette's "Nightmare on Green Bay Road"

The Backyard Conservative has done a fine piece of investigative reporting in Wilmette today. On Tuesday, developers of the new 5 story building at the old Ford dealership on Green Bay Road removed old oil tanks. The result was the smell of fumes by several neighboring businesses. The Backyard Conservative herself smelled them this morning. Better go read that post quick, before our village's only library blows up.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Breakfast at the Wilmette Baker's Square

A very bad early-morning experience at Baker's Square today, no doubt a sign of an improved local economy (people with fewer skills getting better jobs). So that's good news for all, except for a person looking for a quick breakfast of eggs and hash browns. After twenty minutes of hunger and thirst, it was explained that you no longer get water unless you ask. That's either "company policy" or "Wilmette Law" depending on whom you choose to believe.

After a half-hour of deprivation, a fairly tasty repast arrived. Too bad that there was what I thought was a hair at the bottom of my eggs. I saved that one. When the waitress asked how the breakfast was, I couldn't keep myself from telling her what I found. The high point of the breakfast was the manager telling me that it was not a hair, but part of a basting brush.

I was so glad to leave I totally forgot they didn't give me my sausage.

Memo to self: Don't go back for four months. By that time, the Corporate Parent will notice sales have noticeably declined, and will take some corrective action. I've been eating there on-and-off for years, and this usually works.

Update memo: June 5, 2006 I couldn't wait the four months and went over to Baker's Square for breakfast this weekend. Good news! No bits of a basting brush, and the breakfast arrived in short order. It may be safe to return.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One More Reason to Stay Away from Florida

When it gets cold here, thoughts can turn to Florida. If you're a thinking person, it's best to ignore the urge. After all, Florida is the state that gave us Elian Gonzalez and Terri Schiavo. Do you seriously think that state is safe?

Today begins an occasional feature, One More Reason to Stay Away from Florida.

The word is now out that rats "big enough to pick fights with small dogs" are overrunning the Conway Acres neighborhood in Orange County, Florida. These rats, the legacy of Hurricane Charlie, are just one more reason to find somewhere else to warm up. You can read the story and see the video by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

View from Wilmette:
Northfield Township's New Female Republican Committeeman

It's almost sure that June O'Donoghue has won the race for Northfield Township Republican Committeman. That's good news for Northfield and good news for the Republicans. But no Congratulations until she makes a victory announcement or her opponent concedes, whichever comes first.

Sorry, Voters, Cook County Can't Run an Election

Ah, Cook County, you do us proud. Votes missing, talk of lawsuits, no results from precincts? Hidden ballots?

How nice that so many people sat out this election. They don't have to worry that it was their ballot that was lost.

The results from 200 precincts have been impounded. The newsmen are reduced to making on-the-air phone calls to try to figure out what is happening.

God Bless Chicago; it's business as usual.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Field Report: Wilmette Voting

When I voted this morning the touch screen wasn't available for voting. The Opti-scan device was limited to a special pen. That pen prominently said "Made in Japan." David Orr, that's a low blow.

The Illinois Revue Blog is doing a great job at filling in the political gap left by the demise of the Illinois Leader, with a number of the original contributors there contributing posts. You should go take a look. There's a lot of information about the primary.

Seems that election turnout downstate is as low as it is here. That probably means a Topinka-Birkett ticket for November.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Get Out and Vote Tuesday, March 21

Tuesday is Election Day. Don't forget to vote, especially with a blizzard warning in effect for central Illinois. That could make a difference in the Governor's race, so best not to make any excuses. You can even see a little movie on how to use those new touch screen voting machines by clicking here. If you don't like the idea of the touch screen, you can vote an optical scan ballot, and learn how to use the optical scan ballot here. Polls are open 7AM until 7PM. You will have to choose between a Republican or a Democrat ballot--that is unless you only want to vote on the county-wide referendum. If that's the case, ask for a non-partisan ballot.

If you're at work and forgot your list of judicial candidates, you can print out the list of qualified candidates from the Chicago Bar Association and take it with you into the polling place.

Confused as to who is running in your district? If you type in your address here, you can see all the people who are running in your precinct.

Rember to Vote "No" on the Countywide Health Referendum. If you need reasons, you can check out the Backyard Conservative. While her choice of fonts makes that post look wild--what on earth did she do?--I assure you that her her thinking is always based on a great deal of first-rate research and her belief that tax increases are not a good thing.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, hope you are off to a party. Don't drink and drive, its a very bad idea and could destroy your holiday. Here's an online BAC calculator to help you out. (BAC is blood alcohol content.) Here is what happens to you at various BAC levels. You can find out more about possible drinking problems here. People who have limited interest can just read this. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and take a cab or public transportation if you go drinking.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wilmette Voting Information
St. Patrick Wants You to Vote

St Patrick, who campaigned tirelessly against the worship of trees, wants Wilmette residents to vote this Tuesday, March 21, 2006. If you type in your address at the Cook County Clerk's website, you will find your polling place along with a sample ballot. Remember to vote "NO" on the countywide referendum, which won't accomplish much other than raising your taxes.

If you want to vote before Tuesday, the last day to do that at village hall is today, March 16, 2005. The Chicago Bar Association's recommendations for judge can be found here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wilmette's Sacred Grove Planting Program

The first Druidic Revival took place in England and Wales in the 18th Century. The second Revival, currently taking place on the Wilmette Board of Trustees, appears to be a project of the new-age Druid's Sacred Grove Planting Program, which even includes a ceremony for planting a single tree.

On the grounds of Blarney Castle, in Cork County, Ireland, there are ancient oak trees, sacred to the original Druids,as well as the famous Blarney Stone. If you think you will be needing the "gift of eloquence" to keep your rights in your own trees and haven't yet visited Blarney Castle, you can kiss the virtual Blarney Stone and print out a certificate by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Irish Claire on Flickr.

Trip from Wilmette: Off to the
Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade

The "miracle" of dyeing the Chicago River green was accomplished without incident yesterday morning, and it was a glorious sight on the way to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Because Chicago's non-Irish despaired of their minority status at this festive time of year, honorary Irish heritage was bestowed on all citizens at St. Patrick's Day, so until the actual saint's day, which is next Friday, Chicago will be one large Irish city.

One of the best things about St. Patrick is that he stopped the tree worshiping Druids dead in their tracks--that is, until they made their recent reappearance in Wilmette.

Photo credit: Adnan Yahya, a Swiss tourist who posts his photos on Flickr.

A Different Viewpoint

President Bush has preached a lot of tolerance from 9/11 forward, and I know we have all been searching for evidence that he is right. For those of us following the cartoon controversy, it's therefore interesting and downright refreshing to read a different viewpoint from the other side of the world on Mahmood's blog in Bahrain.

While you're taking a look at the article, take a look at the website, too. There are a lot of interesting features there, including some videos (they load very slowly, though) which weigh-in somewhere between reality TV and the Home Video shows, but are much more entertaining. I particularly recommend looking at the comments along with the replies.

How can you quibble with a guy who says, "it seems people would always believe the best of a turbaned one?" It's nice, and really different, to hear more than one viewpoint coming from that region.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Speech Bloggers Unite!

Today's e-mail is more interesting than over the weekend. Although I've been hearing rumors for days, technical testing has confirmed that in response to the cartoon contraversy, the government of Pakistan apparently has blocked all Blogspot blogs.

Pakistani bloggers are dismayed. You can support them by pasting their logo on your blog and joining the mailing list. In what Governor Arnold calls "The Globalization," who can any longer say all politics is local?

It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out in US Blogs, if at all. US Bloggers have been supporting Danish products and free speech like crazy. Let's hope they will take this one step further.

So join up! You'll enjoy a new cause. Let's face it, the upcoming election is really, really boring, and its too snowy to go measure the diameter of your trees.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's Official: Tree Worship Established in Wilmette!

Just when we thought it was safe to take down those "Trees Yes - Ordinance No" signs, the word is out. The Wilmette Village Board did pass an ordinance requiring a Tree Removal Permit before removing a tree 10 inches or greater in diameter (measured 4.5 feet above the ground). Failure to do so may result in a fine between $250 and $1,500 per tree. The ordinance runs 10 pages, and the stated purpose is to gather data on tree removal.

Don't those Wilmette Trustees drive through the neighborhood? Can't they keep an eye on the trees themselves? At the same time, the Village Trustees continue to consider other possible amendments to limit or restrict tree removal on private property.

Since it's winter, now, and no trees have leaves, children won't be deprived of healthful sunlight. Come summer, in some parts of Wilmette their only hope may be frequent trips to the beach.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wilmette Weekend

Big news via e-mail. A mathematician at the Technical University of Dresden by the name of Bertram Felgenhauer, working with Frazer Jarvis from the University of Sheffield, found that there are 6,670,903,7523,012,072,936,960 possible different Sudoku games.

Sudoku is so popular, you can even put one in your PocketMod. Don't have a PocketMod? Toss out that old PDA and follow the link to get one. It's free.

If you are looking for a bigger challenge than folding a PocketMod, you might consider contributing to the new Reuters Financial Glossary. The glossary is a wiki, which means that you can edit the content directly from your computer.

If you still have free time, visit Art Sri Lanka. Everything you wanted to know about art from the former Ceylon, discovered thanks to a link from Latapata.