July 29, 2013


Yes, I blog; no I am not looking to make a name for myself – so I generally groan when I see articles like that which appeared in today’s STRIB  with marketing tips on how to get more followers.  For me, it’s an exercise to sort through what I think about what’s happening around me.  It’s somewhat like a diary – my tool for self-expression.

If over time, I have gained a few followers or gave readers another perspective around which to view an issue, or weeded out a few folks who don’t think like me-or at least do not like how I think on issues – so be it.

The whole world is NOT on a mission to gather likes or followers…some of us are merely trying to make sense of our world…just “because” it helps to sort out the ever-increasing  sound-bites.…and once in a while it leads to a good conversation, a good debate, or a new good friend…”birds of a feather” you know. And sometimes, it takes the place of many friends I no longer see (or debate with) anymore.  J

So if you like what you read – follow and you will get more.  If you don’t, “unfollow” and I will be good with that as well.  And if my thoughts make you pause, stop and think or merely just put a smile on your face for some reason—then I have done more than I set out to do, and I will be pleased! 

Just don’t tell me how to do it better!


Good for Minneapolis; they are studying why trees fall in storms. Since most loss comes to boulevards, some evidence points to more loss when recent street or sidewalk repairs have occurred.  That combined with snowplow-caused damage probably signals an urban design change…sidewalks adjacent to streets?…elimination of tree-lined streets?…the return to eliminating sidewalks themselves?  I hope we put community-building as a MUST in that study.  I neither want to see the sidewalks disappear, or be totally adjacent to the street for fear of driver/pedestrian accidents.  Surely we can’t eliminate the plows but could we make them “tree-root/trunk   sensitive”?   And please, we have done enough of ignoring needed street and sidewalk repair to last TWO lifetimes.  No easy answer pops up; maybe this is a good topic for some collaborative thinking from all parties involved.

XCEL and the CITY

I am no expert on the topic but I do wonder whether the city is either.  Perhaps what we really need is a conversation between the two partners.  Perhaps when the national mediators are in town to help with the Minnesota Orchestra dispute, they could spend an extra day having a chat with the city and Xcel  – again, collaboration rather than more confrontation may be the key!

Along with that, I have a question for Mary Weber of Minneapolis who is willing to take chances on government running electrical services because Xcel Energy costs this past year are 51% higher than for the same period seven years ago. Have we asked why costs have accelerated?  I’d say what we have seen is a bargain compared to the increase in national debt from Jan 2001 to 2009.  I am not so sure I’d put my faith in government over Xcel on this one – although I am open to “listening”.

I don’t know what impact our rapid use of technology has on electrical costs, if any.  I cannot imagine the City of Minneapolis handling customer service, maintenance and storm and emergency response activities to my satisfaction.  I wonder if they could have rallied like Xcel did in our recent storms AND get the help from other providers across the country that we received.  I wonder what would happen to renewable energy efforts and conservation and clean energy and wind energy and, and, and….

That’s not to say we should not review, question, and evaluate.  We should.  And perhaps because my personal dealings with Xcel along the Central Riverfront have for the most part been positive experiences, I think weighing all points one against the other, I prefer to have the city govern, and Xcel make electricity – but I could be wrong.  Sometimes I just don’t like change… I still miss Mr. Readi-watt. :-0


Last week when I was reminded that the first peace talks between Israel and Palestine were due to start this week, I thought to myself:

Can we make it through them this time around with some sort of consensus?  Surely this is one of the most wasteful conflicts in our world today with both parties sharing the blames.  Somehow we HAVE to find a manageable solution and it is NOT more tantrums; more killing; nor more Self-Righteousness from either side.

And now the day has come.  The first Mideast peace talks in years begin today in Washington.  Thank you, John Kerry, for believing this could be done….and sticking to it until they all at least agreed to meet.

Should we expect a new treaty to emerge?  Probably not at this juncture but civility, understanding, and commitment to finding the way seem to be worthy goals.  Amazing what can be done when we just “start the conversation”…AND, listen!

With that thought, came a glimmer of remorse about our recent past.  “What if” John Kerry had been elected President in 2004?  Would fewer people have died around the world?  Would less US money have followed after bad?

But reality tells me it was the election mess in 2000 followed by 2002 that committed us to the length of the wars and the economic problems.  Kerry probably “won” when he lost the 2004 election as he would have been stuck in the muck of George W/neo-cons do-do of those first 4 years. 

So perhaps the powers that be saved him for bigger problems/issues…and now the time has come. After the US led by the Texas cowboy Bush did its very best to contribute to the Mideast troubles for 8 years; and Obama has slowly maneuvered us out of the wars at least, now we need the thoughtful diplomat working with the Obama administration, to help bring the world through to the other side.

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