Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ctrl-Alt-Del in a Big Way

The New York Times has an article on it's website today, about Flint, MI. Click here to read the entire article with photos.

Basically, the Genesee County treasurer is proposing to condense the size of the city, by demolishing abandoned and nearly-abandoned neighborhoods and letting the land sit vacant until things turn around.

I read the headline with shock and disbelief.

I read the article with shock and hope.

Residents who still inhabit some of the houses in these neighborhoods have posted signs announcing no tolerance for prostitution. "A lot of people remember the past, when we were a successful city that others looked to as a model, and they hope. But you can't base government policy on hope," said Flint's city council president, Jim Ananich. "We have to do something drastic, and we have to do it soon."

I think this man, who grew up in the city of Flint and has stayed and is now working in a Civil occupation, is taking a very brave and innovative step. Eliminating blight goes a long way in lifting the spirits of a community. Not to mention the money the city would save on services from trash pick-up, to sewer line maintenance, to the need for less police and fire. But he's talking ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS. Not just individual houses.

Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not that idealistic to think that IF this plan gains popularity, it will be a panacea for urban blight and declining cities. And I'm not a homeowner, so to be asked to leave the house you chose to buy, that you worked to make a home, that is something I couldn't even begin to fathom. But this is an opportunity that most cities never get. To start over, to hopefully learn from past mistakes, and to become a model of truly conscious planning. If this is done well, it could become the new model for post-industrial cities. A way cities with crumbling neighborhoods, decaying factories, and near-empty streets can find new purpose and pride.

A sort of Ctr-Alt-Del, if you will.

Having experience in Urban Planning, I can only begin to imagine the scope of this project. And selfishly, I've already started to apply these concepts to Detroit. (Not that the Detroit City Council would ever be that forward-thinking, but that's another story.) And my conclusion; It's just THAT crazy, it might actually work.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My New Motto

Browsing Snorg Tees, I found this gem. I think I need this shirt. I think I need this on letterhead.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Infestation, Year 2

Can you call two spiders an Infestation? Hell yes.

I found the second spider of the season in the new house the other morning. It was a different variety than the first. Which I found about two weeks ago in the cats' food dish. That one was an outdoor variety, something lime green with a white belly. And it makes some sense, as the cat dish is directly under the kitchen window. Which had been open the night before I found the creature. So I'm betting that's when he crawled in.

This new one was very small and mottled brown. And super fast. Too quick to smoosh. Not sure what exact variety it was, but give me a little time and I'm sure I'll have a name for this one as well. Out of necessity, I'm starting to become an expert on spiders.

Then, earlier this week I was at the Dreamboat's house and there was a spider on the underside of the toilet bowl. It must be that I'm developing some kind of "spider sense," because I NEVER look UNDER the toilet bowl. But it was there, and I saw it, and it was late, and I was tired....

...And I screamed.

I'm normally not a screamer, but it was a Big One. And the cutest thing was, the Dreamboat, he totally come running to make sure I was OK. Even in his weakened and nearly broken state, he smooshed and flushed the spider.

He is now the Official Spider Smoosher. He's on my speed dial.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Been Too Long....

...So you get Double Pickle

The gherkin is no match for his two teeth! And since he was Down On The Farm, he had to wear his bibs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

An Heir and A Spare

This morning I opened my email to find pictures my sister sent me of her growing Bump. It put a smile on my face, and my day couldn't have started any better.

So next August, there will be another baby in the family. And not to be outdone, my Sister's Bundle is expected to arrive Nearly One Year To The Day Pickle was born. Only this little Buckie was actually planned for to avoid conflict with......this is so good.......HUNTING SEASON!

So, with two weddings in one year, followed by two bebes in one year, I am so off the hook. I figure I've got about 4 years before my mom starts to bug be about this stuff again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hunky Monkey Had a Great Fall

It seems that this week, the week of disasters, nobody will be spared. My Hunky Monkey is laid up with a fairly serious injury. Techincally it's wasn't a great fall, it was more of a great strain. But the result is the poor guy can't really move around.

I spent last night helping out with the dog, getting him dinner, and just generally taking care of things. And aside from the consistent moaning, he's pretty easy to take care of. But I'm saving this favor up, and will be totally calling it in one day.