A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, May 11, 2007

Trying to be Positive

My wife bugs me from time to time to be more "half-full" and not so much "half-empty", as in the proverbial glass of water. And she's got a point-- I do tend to slide into cynicism and snark fairly easily. Perhaps not as much as friendly neighborhood liberal blogger, BP, but still... she's got a point. So does friendly neighborhood Madison blogger, Mama H., who recently suggested that I am becoming a "turdaholic".

Um... yikes.

But still, it's difficult when the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation seems determined to drive me over the edge. Just saw this story talking about an intersection that I use many times a week. It is a choke point for any trips my family or I take to the west of where we live. So, annoying enough to discover that it will be closed for the entirity of the summer, the peak period for trips to soccer and baseball diamonds, playgrounds, the Zoo, and on and on. But they are going to put in a ROUNDABOUT! Oh... my... God... what drugs are these doofie on?

The article talks about how safe the roundabout is and then talks about the success they've had on residential streets. Of course, the intersection in question is for a major state highway and a major county road, somewhat different, one might suspect, from a residential street in a subdivision. The article also talks about how roundabouts make the decision-making process easier.... Really? I've been through a few of the roundabouts cited in the article, and I have to say they were quite likely the most confusing traffic situation I have ever come across, with the possible exception of the Michigan Left Turn.

Remember the really dreadful European Vacation movie? One of the only really funny bits in the film was when the Griswald's get trapped in the roundabout in England, simply going round and round because they can't get out. Oi.

The intersection as it is currently configured allows travelers on Highway 38 to continue north and south at 45 mph, with separate lanes and stops required to turn onto, or off of, Highway K. With the roundabout, traffic on 38 will have to slow to a crawl to enter the roundabout. I hope I'm wrong, but this seems like an absolutely dreadful idea.

And the superintendant of my school district is strongly defending paying over $1 million to a consulting firm while schools in the district have to cut programs and staff AND the district is again asking for a referendum for more money. Read a few of the comments to get a sense of the level of frustration in Racine generated by Tom Hicks and the RUSD. I'm right there with them.

So... yeah. Positive. Okay. Right. The Brewers are RAWKING! The most unturdlike team in Major League Baseball right now. Which is just awesome. A tough road swing through N.Y. and Philly should be a good test of just how good this team is at the moment. But they are fun to watch, and they have some really nice juju flowing.

Mike McGee, Sr. did get yanked off the airwaves, so that was good. 'Course his son took over for him, but it's a start.

Ok, ok, what else. It's Friday. That's good. A major drug ring in Milwaukee was broken this week. Nice. My son's baseball team had it's first practice-- I mention this since I'm coacing it this year. Fifteen 6 and 7-year-olds. At times I did feel like I was herding cats, but overall I think it went pretty well.

Spring is here, and summer is coming. Had a beer on the deck and ate a delicious steak that I grilled with my lovely wife last night, so that was excellent.

Half-full, half-full. Right. Got it. Just better not be the completely full beer I opened only a minute ago. 'Cause then there's going to be trouble.

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Yikes. You know you've got some issues when your wife AND a stranger on the Internet are diagnosing you with positivity disorder. Just kidding!

As far as positivity goes, I think some people do it naturally and for others, it is a practice (the way meditation is a practice). That's why I try to be fairly conscientious of what comes out of my mouth (it's often a reflection of the state of my head). When I'm really critical of others (usually folks I know personally), I know to see it as a reflection of my own negative feelings, not necessarily of the world's (or people's) turdiosity. Turdiousness? Hmm... that second one makes it almost sound like a virtue. Anyhow, I digress.

I certainly think that calling a turd a turd is an important thing to do. However (now turning on therapist's voice) perhaps you are just frustrated because you're not able to do something about the turds.

What ever happened to your ambition to become a politician (i.e., personally replace the turds with your unturdiness?) How did you end up as a librarian after all? Perhaps there is a bit of frustration there... (turning off Dr. Freudette)

I say, beat the turds fair and square. Isn't that what you'd coach your little leaguers?
"These heroes saved a lot of lives today," [Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division] said. "They had the situational awareness and wherewithal to immediately take action and prevent a potential large-scale tragedy from occurring."

That statement from Col. Gibbs was in regards to the actions of U.S. Soldiers who, on 04 May 2007, discovered and disabled a truck with fourteen 155mm artillery shells wired for detonation. Our troops saved an unknown number of lives by being where they were and by doing their job, and that is an example of something else that is truly positive.
Re: the roundabout at 38 & K - You're correct in stressing the difference between residential and highway for this configuration. I'm waiting for a few semis to go flying through there at 45mph...ooops there goes a load!
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