Monthly Archives: February 2010

Quick training update

Now that the snowstorms are over and my wife and I can get around without my AWD, I can work on getting my schedule back to normal.

That is until I have to be on the road most of next week.  Lots of long driving days coming up, so I’m not sure how training is going to fit into that.  Gotta get it figured out.

When I get back, I’ll do several weeks of pretty basic stuff to get back in the swing of things.  At least I got some conditioning done shoveling snow.  Be back to posting my training log soon.

Baltimore City Official a Little Misleading About Snow Removal

My block was cleared today. For 13 days, it was impassable.  We (many of the residents) did our best to get as many of the cars out as possible, using a large SUV to pack the snow down for about 2/3rds of the block, digging it out as it got stuck every few feet.  As is often the case during events like this, we engaged the neighborhood, talked to people we only waved to before, and even had a little fun.

I’ve been pretty vocal on Twitter that the city had done nothing until today to clear the block.  The street is one way, and we cleared the ‘bottom’, so most of us had to back up the street to park.   This actually worked out fine, as no one trying to find a parking spot who didn’t live here would think to do that, so we didn’t have issues with parking spots.  We also worked together to make sure that folks had spots, letting folks block garages as long as we knew we could call them to move if someone had to leave.

There was a story in the Baltimore Sun addressing the slow cleanup this morning.  I understand this was a historic snowstorm, and I know there’s only so much the city can do.  The frustration for us was twofold.  First, city leaders kept telling us how well they were doing, that X% of streets were ‘clear’, which was clearly not true to anyone actually driving on the streets.  Second, there were efforts to clear streets closed to vehicle traffic, and special efforts to clear churches and schools before some streets were passable at all, putting into question the prioritization of snow removal efforts. Continue reading

An example of Change ™

Two Stossel posts in a row!

Stossel has it right

John Stossel’s article today is fantastic, and required reading.  An excerpt:

Of course income is down lately, but it’s up sharply over the long run.  The chart actually understates the gains because it doesn’t count benefits from new technology. A Kindle may replace a hundred books, but such gains aren’t visible in the government’s data.

As economist Don Boudreaux points out: “the government’s data also underestimates the middle-class’s increasing prosperity, for it ignores the shrinking size of households. In 1967, the average household contained 3.14 persons; in 2006 it contained 2.57 persons. This fact means that the real income for each member of the average household grew.”

Read it. Think about all the advances in technology that improve the quality of your life, and how the cost of that technology has dropped in the last 10 years.

Scary things in odd places

I scanned two articles like this one in the last few days, pretty typical half baked studies that essentially point out that fat kids eat too much and don’t play outside enough.

But this passage scared me.

The researchers said it was well-recognised that parents value care provided by grandparents and consider it to be the best alternative to full-time parent care.

They said the issue was about providing informal carers, such as grandparents, with better information and support around diet and exercise.

A recent announcement to provide grandparents with National Insurance credits for caring for grandchildren under the age of 13 years for at least 20 hours a week from 2011, “provides a potential opportunity for such health promotion”, they advised.

It should scare you, too.  How long before the US government is telling you who can watch your kids and how they are allowed to do it, including what the children may be fed?

Who thought 5 years ago the government would tell us what kind of light bulbs we have to use?

Not back to normal yet

You may have heard Baltimore was hit with two historic snowstorms in a week.  So while I expected this week to be back to normal, 50 inches of snow is not “normal”.  We’re dug out and doing fine, but no training.  Lots of shoveling, though, so that’s something.

I expect something like normalcy to start on Monday.

Direct Wine Shipments? Not in Maryland

Senator Joan Conway, the head of the committee that would approve such legislation for a full vote, has decided she has “too many concerns,” to allow a vote.  A vote on a bill supported by 106 of 188 Senators.

Her concerns?

Her chief concern, she said, is that underage drinkers will tap the Internet for wine. There’s no way, she said, to force delivery agencies, whether the U.S. Postal Service or a private carrier, to verify the age of the person accepting a package.

The other problem, she said, is that it is difficult for state officials to collect taxes from out-of-state entities – or penalize faraway violators.

The fact that it’s an election year and she relies on support from liquor distributors?  I’m sure that’s not a factor.  Nor is that her husband is a city liquor inspector.   She’s just looking out for the children…

Liquor lobbyists strongly oppose direct shipping of wine, saying it bypasses the state’s carefully crafted network of government entities that regulate the sale of alcohol. Developed just after the end of Prohibition in 1933, state law requires alcohol to pass from producer to wholesaler to retailer before it reaches the consumer.

“What do you think the liquor boards are for?” Bruce C. Bereano, a lobbyist for the Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland, says of the bill.

The wine-shipping legislation would require manufacturers who import to be licensed, but Bereano says such a system would “not be a meaningful substitute” for liquor inspectors charged with the authority to shut down a business selling to underage customers.

…well, the children of the liquor distributors lobby, anyway.  And holding out hope for someone else to step up and get past her blockade?  Not likely.

All 188 lawmakers and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, are up for election this fall, further imperiling the wine-shipping bill. According to a 2008 analysis by The Baltimore Sun, more than 80 percent of state legislators have received campaign contributions from the liquor lobby.

This has nothing to do with protecting children, and everything to do with protecting distributors, who’s revenues apparently are more important than the freedom of the people in Maryland.

Crossposted at The Grand Crew

The difference between Indianapolis and Baltimore

In Indianapolis, 11 people showed up to welcome their professional football team after losing the Superbowl.  In Baltimore, the band played on.

One really good thing about all this snow

Congress can’t get in to work.

Bring on another 20 inches.

A Warning to Republicans

Sarah Palin says she’s “willing” to take on President Obama in 2012.

If she wins your primary elections, you all better be willing to have another 4 years of President Obama.  He might be a lot like Carter, but she’s not anything like Reagan.

Oh, and to folks calling themselves members of the “Tea Party” movement:  chanting “Run Sarah, Run” doesn’t give you much credibility.  That she endorsed Rand Paul is nice, but doesn’t absolve her.

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