Monday, January 25, 2010

Hell Hath Frozen Over.

and in return I have been unblocked....

Y'all wanna see something that's probably totally copyrighted?

My Dallas Morning News headshot!

I finally made it onto their blog so I got to see the real thing, in color.

Now let's take bets on how long until I get an e-mail telling me to take it down. And Jeff, no whistle blowing- Our friendship is more important than copyright laws!

Speaking of Jeff, guess who just turned 29 yesterday? So take a break from the tin-foil hat comments and go over there to wish him a Happy Birthday!

Let me come to your thing.....

Ok, so I'm helping a friend out with a petition and I need 800 signatures from registered voters, here in Richardson- in the next two weeks.

I'll be at the Dallas North Republican's meeting on Wednesday night but is there anything else going on this week (where there will be Richardson residents) that I could attend?

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 1973

10 years after Roe v. Wade, my mother found herself pregnant- an unwed sophomore at the University of Texas in Austin. It would've been so easy for her to have me "taken care of" but she didn't. Thank you mom for letting me live.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ha.

the company I keep

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DALLAS MARCH FOR LIFE this Saturday @ 12 Noon

Your powerful public witness to the sanctity of life is needed this Saturday, January 16th! We're hoping that you'll be one of at least 10,000 others who will be peacefully praying, marching & rallying for the cause of life at the 2010 Dallas Rally & March for Life! January 22nd marks the 37th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in America and taken the lives of more than 50 million unborn American children. As people of faith, let us join together and pray and give peaceful public witness for an end to this scourge on our land.

If anyone's interested in carpooling, let me know!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Here wolves, enjoy.

I had the weirdest dream last night....

Bill Keffler was an Italian immigrant, but no one knew it. And so at meetings he would talk all normal, but then I ran into his family at a restaurant and he was all 'that's a one spicy meatballa'-ing it up because he didn't know I was there. Then when I confronted him he said that Italian-Americans have a really hard time in Texas and so to get where he's at today he had to lie about it. fair enough.Related: Keff and I use the same exterminator turns out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

David Chenoweth is My Hero!

A good friend is one who'll drops what they're doing to come catch a rat which you've accidently trapped in your house.A GREAT friend is one who you know would normally kill said rodent but instead humanely catches it and throws it outside so you won't cry.

And a HILARIOUS friend does this all with the help of teenage vampires!P.S. - I just read this again and based on my last two posts you all probably think I live in the projects. I do not, and aside from the rat heaven my toddler creates by throwing food over her high chair (which I promptly pick up- especially now) we do have a very clean house. We recently moved a recycling bin (about 2 weeks ago when all of this started) which had been in a cabinet and I guess when we cleared everything out it left a crack open so they could get it. Hence my saying I had trapped this one inside. As soon as I pushed a chair in front of that cabinet door the little rodent could not get back out and just froze there until David could come get him.

Ok, so what have we learned today?
Say it with me: Destiny's house is very clean, immaculate many might say, and for lack of a better word she is a Domestic Goddess.

Yes. Very good.

Rat Problem in Richardson

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but I'm talking about the literal rodent; the disease carrying, long tail having, cheese eating animal. (not that that'll deter anyone from joking about the Coalition in the comments though, I'm sure)

Anyway, I need to know how to get rid off these little pantry raiding bacteria bags. I've been force to put my moral dilemma with their demise behind me because unfortunately the inhumane traps are the only ones that seem to be working. And because on any given day I have between 2 & 117 children in my house, calling an exterminator to put out poison is not an option either (I don't think, but please tell me if I'm wrong).

So have any of you ever tried that high-frequency device which sends out a pitch only audible and subsequently loathsome to the rats? Does it work? If so, this is my first choice. Our second choice is to get a cat. I do not want a cat.

Please help!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And now for something completely different...

I'm getting a little bit burnt out. And you guys can probably tell. So rather than only putting up my half hearted stuff I'm going to mix in some quality observations by asking others to contribute (Anonymous or not) from time to time. Maybe I'll even number off the Anonymy so that y'all can tell me who you'd like to see more from and less from, I dunno.

Anyway, without further adieu here we go! All the way from Richardson Texas we have contributor #1 reviewing last nights work session....

Last night's Richardson City Council work session was fascinating.

A presentation from the Lehman Group about the current situation for redevelopment of the west Spring Valley Road corridor was eye-opening. In a nutshell, that area has tremendous potential because of its excellent location, natural amenities and the superb "brains and money" demographics of Richardson. That's the good news. The bad news is that the city will need to step up to the plate to address the issues of developers' perceptions of high crime and current disrepair of the area.

An even more fascinating was the City tap-dancing to defend a $100,000 consulting contract with former Legislator Fred Hill. By all accounts, Mr.Hill is an honorable man who did a wonderful job in the Texas Legislature for many years.

Leading off the meeting was rabble-rouser Nathan Morgan taking the Council to task for what RICHARDSON gets out of this two-year consulting contract. Mr. Hill then proceeded to give a folksy, long-winded account of how important it is to lobby Austin. He explained the coming budget storm that will be hitting cities, and talked about the plethora of bills that could
adversely effect cities. He gave a compelling case about why it's important to keep an eye on Austin during sessions of Texas Legislature session. He spoke of the need to keep taxes low. In Mr. Hill's presentation, he only forgot one thing.

Richardson.

During the hour-long presentation, he didn't once mention a single word of how his lobbying efforts directly benefitted Richardson. Not a word.

He described his love of his long-time home in Richardson, and the great Richardson schools that his children attended, and talked about what a great place that Richardson is to live. But he neglected to utter a single word about how his $100,000 consulting contract directly benefits Richardson.

After his presentation, City Manager Bill Keffler and several Council members stumbled over themselves in the rush to laud Mr. Hill for his service in the Legislature and the great job that he's doing as a lobbyist. But they neglected to mention one thing about his lobbying efforts.

Richardson.

In all the words about Mr. Hill's consulting work on behalf of Texas cities, neither Keffler or the Council members voiced a single word about the DIRECT benefit that Richardson has garnered from Mr. Hill's services.

Monday, January 4, 2010

As if I would really blog about anything but ALaska's new look....

I've always thought he was handsome, but this new hair really accentuates how smarty pants-ish his face really is. He should be an archeologist or something now.
As for other highlights, you can see Fred Hill's presentation here which won David over, right before he lost him again later out in the hall. (I look forward to reading all about that exchange, David)

And I encourage you all to watch the Spring Valley presentation by the Leland Group. It was truly fascinating....I mean the parts of it which I saw....when I wasn't learning super top secret intel out in the hall from Adam Lewin and what's-his-face...or tweeting.

Oh, and btw now that I know Keff is Catholic AND pro-life I probably won't say anything bad about him ever again (somewhere Sheryl Miller's head just exploded). Pro-lifeness is just thicker than blood and transcends all other issue, so sorry. If it's any consolation though, I'm sure our commenter's seething hatred for him will not budge one bit, so there's that.

Fred Hill, Spring Valley


Can you tell I'm kinda busy today?

Friday, January 1, 2010

My New Year's Resolutions

1. In 2010 I will put more value on my words (please feel free to throw this back in my face every time I call someone a fetus eating douche bag)

2. Spend fewer days lost in on-line arguments with people who are so set in their ways they will never budge causing them to suck energy away from me that would be much better spent on my beautiful family.

3. Start a PAC. My mother started her first one by the time she was 24. I am obviously slacking.

4. Limit the amount of ridiculous teen vampire dramas I watch. And force Abrahm to watch.

5. Stop complaining about Richardson and start working to improve it. The city council is powerful but so are we.

6. Quit trying to get Abrahm to wear eyeliner. He is not even a vampire and it's time that I accept that as a fact.

7. Walk more. And perhaps make note of citable issues around my neighborhood as an attempt to better achieve resolution #5 all the while assuring my neighbors will hate me in 2010.

8. Spend less time on Facebook.

9. Eat more organic food.

10. And finally, I will not just forgive Mark Solomon 7 times for blocking me from his Twitter and denying my friend request on Fbook but I will forgive him 7x70 times in this coming year.

$58,000 for 43 extra open record requests? (commented)

Open records requests soaring in Richardson

10:58 PM CST on Thursday, December 31, 2009

By IAN McCANN / The Dallas Morning News
imccann@dallasnews.com


A spike in open records requests is forcing Richardson to thaw a hiring freeze and add a third staff member to the city secretary's office.

City Secretary Pamela Schmidt said she and her assistant have little time to do much other than fulfill requests, which have risen from 257 in 2008 to more than 300 in 2009.

"We need staff," she said. "We need to get this done."

An additional records clerk will cost the city about $58,000 in salary and benefits. The clerk will work on requests as well as handle records management.

Schmidt, president of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, said that there is no pattern across the state or region of increasing numbers of requests. But, she said, some cities are experiencing increases similar to Richardson's.

Reasons for higher numbers of requests vary. In part, Schmidt said, the public is more aware that they are entitled to information from their government. Also, with residents able to file requests by e-mail or through city Web sites, it's easier than ever to do so.

Richardson resident Nathan Morgan said that the only way to get questions answered completely is to file an open records request. In Richardson, he said, more people are interested in City Hall than in the past.

"More people are becoming aware of questionable activities, so they're working to find out what's going on," Morgan said.

He alone has filed 38 requests, he said. Some of those are follow-up requests because an initial query did not produce, as he said, "the right document to get the right information."

But individuals aren't the only requesters. Schmidt said more businesses are asking for records – one of Richardson's frequent requesters gets a list of certificates of occupancy issued each week.

While Richardson is adding staff to handle open records requests, other cities have used technology to manage records.

Coppell has seen its record requests plummet over the past decade, from about 3,500 in 1999 to about 600 in 2009. City Secretary Libby Ball said five people accounted for 95 percent of the requests in 1999.

She attributes the drop to two factors: using a document management software called Laserfiche, and seeing some of her most frequent requesters stop asking for records.

"According to Laserfiche, we were one of the first to go across the board, putting everything up," Ball said. "One man was concerned we were hiding stuff. Once we put in Laserfiche, he could see everything out there."

It's not an inexpensive solution, costing tens of thousands of dollars, depending on a city's needs. But it can give the public access to an array of records, from archived minutes to deeds and permits.

"We try to keep our citizens as informed as we possibly can," Ball said.