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FINALLY

October 30, 2014

After four months of trying to fix “move-in issues” myself, and reporting several times things that needed to be fixed, yesterday I wrote a letter to Michelle and to the new management company explaining the issues in one of bathrooms originally reported in July was still not fixed; that two burners on stove –after fifteen hours of soaking and scrubbing – were not necessarily clean, but were at usable but I was unwilling to put in that much effort/costs on the other two; and the oven smoked up house every time I used and twice has set off the alarms in here; that the washing machine had quit in middle of a cycle again and this time, I was NOT going to empty it cup by cup-it needed to be fixed; that I was going to wait until spring to deal with fact I had just learned I was responsible for cleaning the OUTSIDE of the windows (yes, on the third floor) ; and that I was still waiting for the repair of the safety chain on the 306B door; and let’s not forget….one outlet next to sink in kitchen did not work……I GOT GOOD NEWS! I am getting a new washer/dryer AND a new stove early next month!!!! And not only that, today, they are going to fix the lock on the door!

One side of me wants to celebrate. The other side of me feels so bad that I was wrote the complaint letter.

What is wrong with this picture?!!! Why is it I am apologizing for complaining? I know the squeaking wheel gets the attention, but I always feel badly when I have to become that squeaky wheel-even though it pays off.

So, I am going to try to not feel guilty for complaining and be glad that complaining WORKED if I can. After all, Terry and Lee Linskey will be here tonight for the Glen Campbell/traveling Alzheimer’s show at Mayo and we are having an early dinner first. How fun is that?

And then I can come home and bask in how nice it will be when I can lock my door, forget my appliance issues and wait to celebrate when the new ones are delivered!

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HAPPY FRIDAY!

October 17, 2014

HAPPY FRIDAY!
As I started to write this, it was 8:30AM. In retrospect, I have had a pretty productive morning already!

I showered, dressed, changed my sheets; washed two loads of clothes, prepped for recycling day, responded to e-mails and did my morning review of Facebook.

Along with that, I roasted a chicken in my fifty-year old golden Dansk pan (the BEST pan I have for browning stuff-although the color dates me JUST a little :-). It yielded lots of tasty dark brown drippings that got turned into soup stock. The chicken is deboned and sliced; the veggies are prepped and ready to be added to a new pot of homemade soup this afternoon; and fresh green beans are cleaned and marinating – ready for the grill tonight. And I just finished restoring the kitchen to order and did a quick wipe-up of the floor so evidence of how messy I am when I cook has been destroyed!

So I have a couple hours to devote to “stuff” on my desk including a long article entitled “Our cities water systems are becoming obsolete. What will replace them?” I am sure that will be glad tidings…NOT!

At any rate, I should be in good shape to tune into Andrea Mitchell at 11 – so I can get my daily fix of being irritated at her and her know-it-all-I would do-it much differently attitude.

I am sure a portion will be all about Ebola and how this somehow is Obama’s fault…so together with that spin from the Press in general as they report on the latest Republican spin trying to make Ebola an election decider, and more reasonable Press trying to help us get this in perspective by sharing the facts of other real health crises– by noon I will be totally depressed and deserving of a walk and then an afternoon curled up with my book!
Well, actually, I have already gotten the Other Diseases report – and it just makes me madder at the Republicans and their irresponsible hype.

In reality, we should be worrying about the flu – it kills 3,000-50,000 Americans a year; Enterovirus – which I have mentioned before in terms of impact on children; Norovirus; Hepatitis C which kills 17,000-80,000 Americans annually; RSV; rabies; HIVaids; Mosquito-born viruses; measles; whooping cough (pertussis); other drug-resistant bacteria (MRSA)…or even car crashes. Tens of thousands of Americans die from car crashes every year…maybe cars all should be banned to save lives. Or think about skin cancer – 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year and 10,000 die each year. I suppose we could close all beaches and pools…but I am sure sun-lovers would find a way. And finally, let’s not forget the 30,000 Americans that die from gun shots annually – while the Republicans throw tantrums about having safe gun laws.

Or on a more positive note, maybe some newscaster will make sense of the Republican mumbling about the Guatemalan children illegally crossing our southern border and since nothing has been done about “closing the borders”, we are all going to die of Ebola. I wonder if those people realize West Africa is a LONG WAY from Guatemala OR our southern border?

It’s 11 AM now…..

Yup; she made fun of Obama; had a big discussion about border closings; and not one word about the explanation both Obama and CDC gave for wanting to resist closing borders….and then went on to make it a leadership problem with Obama by going around country talking to those against what Obama/CDC are saying about closing borders. Half way thru the show and no other topic thus far. This is why she drives me absolutely crazy. She is one of the national press that frightens the general public and makes every issue a crisis.

I just mentioned almost 200,000 American deaths in the few health issues listed above that I found statistics….why are those things not an issue?

OK, enough – one more News opinion show today – All In with Chris Hayes…I usually like his approach….we shall see about today! I am so glad its Friday and I only work until 1 – no matter what!

So, here’s to a good weekend followed by a quick trip to Minneapolis on Monday to take part in the annual meeting of Mississippi Riverfront folks……with just enough time planned in the itinerary to walk the trail – hoping some of the trees will still be showing off their colors!

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SUNDAY MUSINGS

October 12, 2014

THE ‘WALMART” EFFECT

I’m not a farmer nor a seed manufacturer, so the Sybngenta/Viptera Corn GMO and China’s complaint in STRIB today was not a familiar topic of discussion to me. That said, the statement that made the most sense to me came at the end of the article.

It, indeed, looks to me like China’s rejection of Viptera Corn is simply a play to get desperately needed product at a lower cost. Once they did this with cotton prices; so why not try again with corn.
Part of me says US should just say ok; we won’t ship you any because we are not stopping how we produce and price the product. Those who go to extreme measures to get their own way should be ignored – just as a parent ignores a tantrum-throwing child.

Unfortunately, China is much better at propaganda and tantrum throwing than the US is at disciplining the child that is acting out. They know they can manipulate the US sense of fairness and get their way with a “mea culpa” and a lower price….even when the product is A-OK!

(CEK Note: And no, I did not get why this was called the “Walmart” effect – and then never explained)

FROM APPLE PHONES TO CHILDREN’S E-BOOKS

Frequently I find myself drawn into the “hype” of Apple as I teeter on the edge of giving up my android/T Mobile relationship dating back to my first cell phone….and opting for the Apple instead.
Then from the back of my brain comes the memories of those awful days of the 80s when Apple was a client and I spent so much time in Cupertino. Yes, they were right when they said they were going to change the world. They had the vision and the savvy to introduce a product no one else had-that did indeed, “change the world” to what we refer to today as the “digital world”. Yes, they also introduced a new work culture of casual dress and Friday afternoon “celebrations”.

And yes, they openly demonstrated the ”hubris” that goes along with the genius of that new invention-even to the point of telling me that if I dared arrive one more time at their office dressed in business attire (required by Carlson for any of us flying on an airline pass in those days) that they would refuse to meet with me. ( Hence, I carried the casual outfit in my carry-on and changed in the SFO APO before heading to their Headquarters.) Then there was the time they were in Minneapolis; we were dining with Curt Carlson in the Retreat and they decided to share with him that they thought he and Carlson Companies were “out of touch” with the world!

There have been many an invention since Alexander Graham Bell that has reshaped the world as we knew it- some good; some great; some with unforeseen consequences. And Apple ‘s idea that changed the world is no different.

For instance, I saw one of the negative consequences in the STRIB just this morning. A new debate has surfaced of e-books vs real book use for children. I, of course, with real books in every room in my house vote for the real version…and it appears the latest studies concur. Screen time may teach interactivity skills, but apparently it fails to teach reading skills. Hmmm.

So for now, I will continue to hold out…at least against a new Apple I-phone. I don’t need a $650 smartphone; I will keep cheering for the little guys in this battle – this time the One Plus: $299 gets you a phone you own. Even when you add a “carrier” fee – you save a lot of money.

Guess nothing has changed for me. I usually support the little guy to win in the end. I suppose that’s the result of my personal experience working with the big guys all those years in a past life!

THE IRAQ WARS

Does it NEVER end? It is simply unconscionable that almost $20 billion in CASH ($5 billion via electronic transfer; the remaining FLOWN in) during the Bush JR “reign” was never accounted for! Nor did the Bush Administration even attempt to investigate how it disappeared.
And apparently some ($1-2 billion) stolen and moved to Lebanon was not pursued by the Obama Administration either.

THE FERGUSON OCTOBER …

The tragedy in Ferguson is building towards acts of civil disobedience planned for Monday. I can only imagine another cop; another shooting; and what will happen then!
As I read this, it was almost Deja vu….this feels like my own early college days in the 60s fights for civil rights…50 years later it’s still happening…

…WHICH BRINGS ME TO:

Not just the marches/protests, but it leads me once again to another question that keeps rattling around in my brain. Did Obama really turn into the non-performer the Press keeps saying he is…or is the disdain for him rooted in anxiety over change or perhaps the color of his skin?
The White Boomer Male – particularly from the land of Dixie seems totally oblivious to a new world dawning in this century that clearly has new rules. Those rules remain a “foreign language” to many Boomers- not just Traditionalists.

My newest theory is that as long as the Repos can keep the Press complaining about the “in- competencies” of Obama, there is no time to review/evaluate how we got into all the messes they are complaining Obama has not fixed.

A commentator this morning said the voters were “weary” of Obama screw-ups.
I am weary, too- I can hardly stand to listen to national news. I keep thinking anyone who watched “The Roosevelt’s” should be taking pause to rethink issues we have with our current president. The story of two great American leaders – one a Repo; one a Demo- was full of missteps by each of those “great “ Roosevelt men.

We certainly know in our time the presidents from Kennedy on faltered and screwed up – some more than others – the whitewashing of Reagan into a national Republican hero included!

There is not an American alive when asked “could you do better” (than Obama) that could honestly say YES. They could do it differently; with the help of hindsight, they can promise “better” on old issues; but every day they will be forced to experiment on NEW issues that did not even exist yesterday. Unless they can “walk on water”, they most likely will muck-up on occasion – just like any President who has come before.

EBOLA vs ENTEROVIRUS D68

So the first child died of enterovirus D68 this week. It is reported that 691 people in 46 states have contracted this disease.

Will someone explain to me why we spend 50% of all news time on Ebola despite the same answers from experts over and over and over while meanwhile, almost 700 times the number of US children are already fighting enterovirus and now one has died?

Are children “expendable” in our world today or what am I missing? Seems like facts show we are worrying about the wrong illness!

AND FINALLY…”MIRACULOUS EXFOLIATORS”

Microbeads in facial washes and toothpaste cannot be destroyed. Because of their size, water-processing plans cannot filter them out and they eventually end up in the ocean.

They are already in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River and now, fish and soil are being checked.
Are you kidding me? We are spending how many dollars so American women “maybe” can look younger?

Meanwhile, I cannot tell you how many times I get asked what I use on my face (since apparently, that is one part of me that seems to be aging ok) When I say “water-no soap but occasionally a little rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball” people do not believe me.

And I think to myself…”Well, if you don’t wear poison on your face, you don’t need water-, earth- and fish-threatening “stuff” to get it off!” Amen.

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THE GOVERNOR’S RACE

October 2, 2014

The first of five debates for Governor of Minnesota was held in Rochester last night…and since it was in Presentation Hall at MCC – practically across the street-I decided since I had never experienced a live political debate, I would head over.
Will be interesting to hear the STRIB / POST BULLETIN perspectives today, but for the most part, I was underwhelmed.

First the Independent Candidate: I was very unimpressed which surprised me. Although I lean towards the Democrats, I generally find some points of agreement with the Republicans, so often I find the Independent candidate in a race to be somewhat appealing. Not in this case. It was definitely a “fingernail on chalkboard“ experience when she spoke. She was enthusiastic, young, seemed well-prepared on her OWN issues of interest….all good things…but I am not sure if she directly answered even ONE question throughout the evening. She had prepared a speech and like it or not, we were going to hear it. Once she even acknowledged that the topic of question was similar to something else and then went on to pontificate on the second topic instead of answering the question. So, if you do not listen, cannot follow directions to respond with yes or no answers as directed by the moderator, then sorry, lady, but you get eliminated. If you won’t listen to just one moderator, something tells me you most likely will not listen to the citizens of the state either.

Second the Republican candidate, Jeff Johnson: Again, he had his own agenda and thoughts and one way or another he was going to get them said. Normally, although I do not always agree, there are valid Republican perspectives that with a little massaging could be palatable-particularly if one can weave them into good points from the Democratic side and come up with something greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, he shot himself in the foot. He was totally focused on how wrong Dayton was; how little he had done; what a menace he was to the State of Minnesota – pretty old-fashioned mid-twentieth century politicking which I find totally inappropriate in this century of collaboration and cooperation. And that approach is less than believable when you look at progress made in terms of debt reduction, improvement in education etc. in the State of Minnesota under the Dayton Administration. So, although I was looking forward to hearing what Johnson had to say to see how it could make our state even better, he had chosen to be the naysayer instead. Unfortunately his approach of using his time to tear down his opponent (not even doing that cleverly) rang the alarm bell in my brain. When you strip away the time he spent criticizing the opponent, you realized he robbed himself of the opportunity to make a positive impression on the audience (unless you were die-hard Repos of course). His positive attributes and ideas got lost in the impression of a pretty “empty suit” – intent on harming a fellow candidate – instead of focusing on what a better job he could do to make the state even greater.

Third, the current Governor and candidate, Mark Dayton: There is no doubt, he is hard to listen to- he is not flamboyant; nor does he have a charisma that charms you into easily following him. But with thoughtful remarks, he quietly responded with undisputable facts that made me think….why would we change direction at this juncture – so far, so good.

One of the best parts of the evening was the beginning of the “quick response” section the moderator had explained was designed for yes/no answers on a list of particular issues/questions.

Neither the Independent nor the Republican followed directions – both were intent on getting in more face time; both rambled on with their responses. Ughhh. Then it was Dayton’s turn to answer the first question. He looked at the audience and quietly and calmly said “Yes”…just like he had been asked to do. Nothing more-just yes or no as he had been instructed to do.

Not only did I agree with the yes, but with that I said to myself: These other two are irritating me; we’ve made a lot of progress under Dayton; why change until we have to; let’s give him the time to finish what he ran for office to do…then we can shop around for young charismatic candidate that understands it is a new world out there and tried and true 20th century tactics and ideas don’t work. After all, if this “question-yes/no answer” was designed as a test of how well the candidate will LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE, Dayton is the only one on the stage tonite that passed the test.

Add that to a pretty good list of accomplishments in the first term including the support for Rochester and the DMC, and I would say…even the diehard Republicans in this town should think twice before voting for one of his opponents up there on stage. They are both lightweights and I had no sense from either of a commitment to Rochester, the DMC and our future.

It was encouraging that despite the fact that Rochester is always the conservative hotbed of the state, the greatest applause went to Dayton at the end of the evening. I have no idea what that means but it made me smile….and I was glad I took the time to participate in person in this first debate of the season.

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WE NEED PEOPLE

September 24, 2014

The PB article in Saturday’s paper entitled “We Need People” mentioned improving quality of life via new restaurants and art venues….which is valid…but certainly that is not the full picture!

After my first twelve (12) weeks here, I have a list of a few things I think also need to be addressed/added:

The Traditionalist and Boomer voices are loud and clear in their wishes but I am somewhat uncomfortable in these community meetings to look around at the sea of gray hair as I think to myself…where are the Millennials? Building for the future does not make sense if that new vision will only appeal to those of us that will no longer be in the workforce once that vision is realized – twenty years from now.

From what I learned about the Millennials when I was involved in similar “place-making” projects in Minneapolis – this is a big mistake! In fact, much of the energy and forward-thinking ideas that became part of PLAN-it Hennepin came from the students at Fair School that were integrated into our teams.

They were incredible; and their perspective often redirected the rest of us as we overlooked some fairly important elements- as they politely steered us back on the path of what will be needed IN THE FUTURE.

We need to remember that the Millennials are not a car generation; nor are they a house-in-suburb generation. To get more people to live here to provide that needed pool for labor, we might want to think bikers and walkers; public transportation options, and downtown housing needs.

And, as a city dweller for most of last twenty (20) years, I learned that also means grocery stores, office supplies, and a Walmart/Target-type option.

I know from my house search this Spring – there are not a lot of options downtown today. Since I arrived, I have experimented with the public transportation system occasionally and can get to Apache, Crossroads and Silver Lake Shopping Center without much trouble. It is less friendly if I want to visit one of my siblings living in Rochester. And I certainly miss HOUR CAR or a similar option when I need a big grocery run.

I recognize I have been influenced by interactions with leaders in creative city-making such as Charles Landry, Candy Chang, and especially Gil Penelosa during their residencies in MSP, so my intuition says to create not only a functional city, but also a happy city, we need more dreamers to balance out the gray-haired nay-sayers!

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HIILLARY

September 18, 2014

What a dilemma. YES, I think a woman as US President could bring a new perspective to the role of President. YES, I think it is time in US history to accept women behind this significant “closed door”.

My problem remains the same one I had in 2008. I have never thought Hillary was the right person to lead the charge to get that accomplished. I fear if she is nominated, women as viable alternatives could be set back significantly. From my perspective, she is too much a product of the 20th century. She has no choice but to view the 90s as the right way for our country; after all, she was pretty invested in it, wasn’t she?

And although the door did not shut automatically on that December midnight of 1999/2000, over the last fourteen years, we should all have come to recognize that the 21st century is far different than a “continuation” of what we once believed. And we do not need to go backwards in the progressive leadership of our country.

The Boomers HAD our chance and fifty years is sufficient. It is now time to find leadership that is aware of, comfortable with, and skilled at collaborative resolution to opportunities, issues, and concerns.

I feel Hillary does not understand the new and still-emerging rules of this century. One can indeed disagree; one can suggest alternatives; one should be a part of forming a path forward that is stronger than any single person’s viewpoint; but one does not undercut the plan when one’s suggestions are not adapted. That is Politics – not Leadership.

That does not mean I do not think she did a fine job as Secretary of State in Obama’s first term. But I’ve heard enough hints in her “carefully staged” comments to raise a concern – at least for me.

I wish we had a couple Amy Klobachers to choose from in 2016; then Hillary could live happily ever as a Grandmother and we could avoid continual reminders of how the Clintons finally got things “right” in the last decade of the 20th century. What they did may have been right for the 90s and a fitting close to a bygone century, but those things do not necessarily translate well in the 21st!

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THE NFL

September 16, 2014

So last year ANOTHER child by ANOTHER mother was also scarred while being disciplined in Adrian Peterson’s care?

Unfortunately, this is not just about child abuse; it’s about the culture of NFL Football in general.

I STILL can’t talk about my experiences with the NFL Alum organization without getting an upset stomach and almost crying.

Even in my early corporate days in the ‘70s when I was the “first” woman in much of my corporate work life – always trying to carefully maneuver myself out of one situation or another with male clients and co-workers, I was NEVER treated so poorly nor exposed to as much slime as I experienced when I was working with the NFL Alum on their “Player of the Year” Awards events back in mid 1990s.

We can call out individuals all we want (and we should); we can say it’s the fault of the NFL management team (and we should); but as fans, we should look ourselves in the mirror and question WHY we let this filth be perpetuated. Trust me, one can never get rid of the slime – no matter how hard you scrub, if you’ve interacted with them one-on-one.

We have long passed the time when we should have re-evaluated the league, the game, and its culture- as well as the propensity of making these jerks “our heroes” – just because they play football, and make a lot of money.

And yes, I know there are many affiliated with the NFL that should not be categorized this way. There are many who do all they can to overcome the stigma, and many NFL-affiliated organizations do good work as I well know from early days of TASTE OF NFL. Nevertheless, you cannot argue that the culture and many of the fans support this throw-back-to-cavemen-times behavior. And no matter what the spin, IT’S WRONG.

I guess I can only hope that sometime along the way in the 21st century, the world will wake up and recognize that acceptance of this culture does not mesh with today’s values and aspirations and then changes can be made.

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