Green Space YES!

As some of you know, I’ve been involved with a group in Rochester Hills working to preserve the remaining green space in the city. The main focus up to this point has been in getting a millage passed so that the city may collect money to purchase and set up conservation easements on private undeveloped land.I’ve been involved with the group since January when they regrouped after a failed millage proposal in last year’s election. I initially joined the Communications subcommittee with the intent of stepping outside my bounds and learning something new. Eventually, I also joined the steering committee that was formed, designed the logo and letterhead, worked extensively on the ballot language presented to the rest of the steering committee as well as much of the Frequently Asked Questions [PDF].I’m happy to report that all of the group’s hard work paid off, as the proposal passed in yesterday’s primary election [PDF] ! The hard work doesn’t end there, though. An oversight committee will need to be formed to determine how exactly the money will be used: applying for matching grants from sources such as the Trust for Public Land, determing which properties to focus on first, determining how much will need to go toward upkeep and improvements (nature trails) if any, etc.

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Rebirth of Cool

After about a year of being offline, I’ve finally gotten my concert listing page back in service. The silly thing was that I only need to make a simple tweek to get it working again (Pollstar had changed the format of their pages slightly). I got to thinking how few concerts I had gone to recently, mostly because I didn’t know when the bands/artists I like were going to be in town.If any of you readers in the area are interested in going to any of these concerts, let me know! I’m more likely to go to one if I have someone to go with.I’ve also made an iCalendar feed available that you can subscribe to in iCal or another compatible calendaring program to make it easy to track the concerts.I’ve placed the links to the page and iCalendar feed back in the My Links section of the blog.

When Mailboxes Attack

A snag I received from an agressive mailbox during my Wednesday morning run. I think I violated its personal space and it wasn’t to happy about it.Let it be said that it is very difficult to take a picture of one’s elbow, though not quite as difficult as touching one’s elbow to one’s nose.

Nature’s Alarm Clock

Jennifer and I woke up at 7 AM this morning to a bright flash of lighting and instantaneous clap of thunder followed by a downpour of rain. We had half heard the muted rumbles of the approaching storm minutes before, but the lightning took us both by surprise. We both sat straight up in bed as soon as it happened and rushed to the windows to close them before the rain could come in. The discharge was strong and close enough that it turned on the touch-sensitive lamp that we have by our bedside, reset the microwave clock in the kitchen and knocked out the power to the elementary school just down the street (which we found out later from a neighbor with grade school age kids). Goooooood Morning, Rochester Hills!

Waterworld

For Labor Day weekend I headed with Jennifer and Kaija to Jennifer’s grandparents’ place on the west side of the state. Her grandparents live on a lake and her sister and brother-in-law own a boat capable of pulling a water skiier. Like chocolate and peanut butter, I couldn’t resist the desire to indulge in the winning combination before me. So after about a ten year hiatus, I had the pleasure of getting dragged behind a boat at 25 mph complete with head-over-heel falls, water up the nose, and almost losing my contacts… not to mention many sore muscles that I had forgotten I had.To add to the weekend’s highlights, I puked twice while fishing out on Lake Michigan after waking up at 5:30 AM. I also got lost during my morning run through some nearby woods, ended up running about 7 miles when I usually do 3-4, got stung by a bee or wasp on the ankle about 200 yards from the end of the trail and had some minor nipple chafing due to the extended milage (surprisingly enough, not an uncommon phenomenon for runners).I’m going to miss summer.UPDATE: I’ve posted photos from the weekend online.

I Like to Potty

Kaija’s other recent development milestone has been the exciting world of potty training. This wasn’t really on Jennifer’s or my radar, though we had started reading up on various training techniques from books that Jennifer’s mom had given us a little while back.Soon after Kaija was born, some friends of ours brought to our attention something called Elimination Communication. We purchased a Baby Bjorn infant potty to try it out. I don’t know if it was us who weren’t perceptive enough or Kaija’s body language not being obvious enough, but we didn’t have much success with it.As most parents can attest to, using the bathroom and having privacy are sometimes just not possible while raising a toddler. They also like imitating what grown ups do. So as Kaija has become increasily conscious of her bodily functions and started letting us know what she’s doing, we asked her if she wanted to use the toilette. Though she was eager to try it, the first week or two were trips to the bathroom after the event. This and her not-so-complete-grasp of the English language led to an exciting parental moment last week… Kaija told me “pee” but in actuality it was the other potty type and I didn’t quite handle the diaper removal as cautiously as I should have.But this past weekend she successfully starting going both Number One and Number Two in the potty when she tells us she needs to go. I can see the light at the end of her diaper changing tunnel! There’s still a lot of work before she’s self sufficient, though. Getting her clothes and diaper off, getting up on the toilette, wiping, flushing, putting a diaper back on, etc. Parenthood continues…

Free Association

Kaija’s latest obsession has been brushing her teeth. It started when Jennifer and I took her to the dentist’s office when Jennifer had a check-up and we wanted to have the dentist take a quick look at her teeth. Kaija wouldn’t have any part of it, but ever since they gave her a tooth brush to take home, she’s been all about good dental hygene. “Brush!” she’ll say. “Brush, brush, brush. Ooth! Brush!” while running to the bathroom about 10 times a day. I don’t know what makes her think about brushing, but it doesn’t take much. Recently we were playing with a little bucket and plastic “tools” for beach. She picked up the little sand rake and after a few seconds of playing with it, dragged it through her hair (she also likes using Mommy’s hair brush to brush her hair). She then said “brush”, followed by an expression that was the epitome of a light bulb turning on above her head and an exclamation of “ooth brush!”. She then raced toward the nearest bathroom with a toothbrush in it… which always happens to be the nearest bathroom regardless of where she is in the house since we’ve found it much more pleasant for each of the bathrooms to have one close at hand.