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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Riding the floodwaters

Flood, Nature, Walking the dog

 Image from Russ's Picasa web album


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Knowing which way the wind blows


A little after 2:00 this afternoon, tornado sirens went off downtown. I was in a meeting near the top of the Federal Building, and while many of us started shifting around uneasily in our seats, the meeting went on without comment. Finally, someone came in and announced "(the director) would like to remind you that we are at the top of a glass building and you need to go down to the ground floor and away from the windows."

I'm not sure what feeling was greater: relief at being told to actually abide by safety policies or annoyance at the interruption of the meeting. We could have reconvened the meeting in the hallway downstairs, but excitement makes people social. We broke into amiable clusters to chat. The Blackberry enclave was the largest group, all peering down toward their palms like soothsayers, reading the weather radar images thereon and describing the storm's movement from Franklin to the airport. Others were texting friends madly asking what was going on in the outside world.

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The best of schools, the worst of schools?


I just may have shed a few tears Saturday as a bunch of lovely young women (and a few men) in green robes sang "Happy Ending" at Wauwatosa West High School. Still, commencement weekend has been a joyful time. George and I topped it off with gyros at Sts. Helen and Constantine Church tonight. We ran into a beautiful woman who was a student of mine years ago and is now a teacher herself. She says it's my fault, and if that's true I've done one good thing in my life. I bet she's a great one, full of enthusiasm and energy.

And that, plus some heated but polite discussions in the Tosa Town Square about the quality of education and administrative decisions about curriculum and classes, set me to thinking about our family's experiences with the school system here.

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This just in: Flood brings scams, relief


June 18. Some press releases that might interest you came across my day job desk today.

Emergency food assistance for Milwaukee County flood victims. Governor Doyle announced today that emergency food assistance will be available for residents of Milwaukee and six other counties. However, they only have seven days to apply: the deadline is June 27.  If you know someone who has been devastated by the consequences of flooding, let them know they can apply for FoodShare through the county's Department of Health and Human Services.  More

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An inconvenient truth: authenticity is rare

McCain, Obama, Presidential election

Although the major news media are ignoring it, a recent news release on Al Gore’s energy consumption is propagating madly through smaller publications and right-wing blogs. The point of the press release, from the right-wing think tank Tennessee Center for Policy Research, is that the Gore family consumed an enormous amount of energy--more, not less, than last year. And he’s a big old hypocrite.

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Becoming a Badger: some things get better

Kids, Madison

Once upon a time, my high school friend Vicki, who'd gone to Brigham Young for college because it was the cheapest school with great skiing, called me and asked, "What are you doing next year?" I didn't have any good ideas, so when she said, "Let's go to Madison," I answered "Sure. Why not?"

I can't remember if we drove there in her brother's VW Beetle or took the Badger Bus. But we got there, enrolled, and wandered around until we saw an apartment building on Francis Street with a for-rent sign. The manager gave us the names of two girls who were looking for roommates, we talked to one (Mary Hill of Wauwatosa, it turns out), and we signed the lease. A month later we came back, big brother Jack and a U-haul in tow, and moved into The Surf.

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