25 May 2006

Blog shout out

Okay, so we're headed to family for the weekend, which means my chances of posting for the next week are nil.

I'll leave you with some baseball blog gems that we've found for our teams. If you have a funnier Cardinals blog, let me know, because BatGirl is hard to compete with.

The Twins best (and funniest) blogger, with a hilarious recent entry:
  • BatGirl

  • A Cards blog that is mildy entertaining:
  • Cardinals Diaspora
  • 23 May 2006

    Currently spinning

    Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way.


    I'm not a techie like my bud Christian, who has a running feed from last.fm (quite cool, btw). But I ran out today and bought the new CD from one of my favorite groups.

    It's good. Really good. Not as bluegrassy, but it's not bad. "I Hope" has a gospel tinge to it. "Lullaby" is beautiful, and I love that since they've had children, they always include a lullaby on the album.

    Oh, and they don't only call out W., they also call out Lubbock. Which, you know, those who have lived in Texas, really needed to be done. So amen, good job chicks.

    11 May 2006

    Death in the family

    That's how it seems.

    Every summer of my life as a child, my parents would pack us up in the car, drive up U.S. 63, and after seven hours of torture (first in a Nova, then in Celebrities), we'd land in Newton, Iowa, for our summer vacation visit with my dad's best friend's family.

    Newton was idyllic. It was also Maytag. Maytag Park. Maytag Pool. Maytag museum. Dad's friend: engineer at Maytag.

    Maytag died yesterday.

    They'd been struggling for a while in the new, competitive marketplace. But they prided themselves on building and buying in America.

    About three years ago, it became an annual question: Would my dad's friend be able to stay on long enough to get his pension? Layoffs abounded. For a while, it looked like he'd have to move to Chicago, when a CEO decided the way to profitability was to move the entire works to the Chi 'burbs.

    Whirlpool bought them a few weeks ago, after a threat from a Chinese company. Two weeks ago, my dad's friend got a mannila envelope with an answer.

    Today, the rest of Newton received an answer.

    Maytag died today. Newton's in trouble.

    Read about a very special place, one I spent time in every summer for 18 years.


    10 May 2006

    Why I love my daughter's school

    Thursday night was her school's annual talent show. As always, she did a piano piece, and did great.

    But that wasn't the best part. This was:

    For every performance, every other kid in the place--and parents too--cheered loudly.

    Didn't matter how well they did, didn't matter if they were first graders line dancing or a fifth grader telling corny jokes or piano players at any level or a seventh grader rockin' out to licks of Motley Crue or an eighth grader so emotional at his last performance on the stage he's haunted for the past three years' worth of talent shows and Christmas plays that he
    forgot some of the lyrics to his song.

    Every time: Loud cheers. Wolf whistles. Claps. Pretend lighters held in the air.

    That sense of community is just priceless. In so many schools today, it's just not there.

    My daughter's school may be the smallest in the school system here. It may be the oldest building.

    But it--hands down--has the best atmosphere, and by far the most caring student body, teachers, and parents, I've ever seen.