March 21, 2005
Spring has (Sort-of) Sprung
Posted by Christine Hurt

Yesterday was the first day of Spring around the world, although the "one-size-fits-all" equinox does not have the same meaning everywhere.  Here in Milwaukee, for instance, the first day of Spring simply means that winter will last six weeks longer.  In Houston, our former home, March 20 marks the fact that summer will begin in six days.

We celebrated by engaging in some pretty rigorous spring cleaning.  After hauling a huge load to Goodwill and carrying out who knows how many large garbage sacks, I am on the road to a new theory of "stuff."  I think I spend entirely too much time in the acquisition, transportation, cataloging, storage, sorting, and ultimate disposal of stuff.  The next time I'm at Target and see something on sale, I'm going to say, "No."

UPDATE:  In my hemisphere-centric blindness, I forgot that actually March 20 is not the first day of Spring "around the world."  South of the equator, it is the first day of Autumn.

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February 06, 2005
Worst Super Bowl Commercial (to us Wisconsin Cheese Lovers)
Posted by Christine Hurt

The game has not even started, and the Super Bowl commercials are ruined for me.  The Real California Cheese people with their "Happy Cows" ad campaign are running an anti-Wisconsin ad!  Some cows with distinct midwestern accents are standing around in a blizzard talking about their cow friend Sadie, who ran away to California.  Grrrrr.

Good thing we have DVR so we can rewind the commercials!

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February 04, 2005
Troop Support Snafu at Marquette
Posted by Christine Hurt

Marquette's College Republicans are angry at the administration now after officials told them to take down a fundraising table in the union on Monday. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article here.) The student group had asked permission for the table as a "support the troops" table, but decided for a more targeted campaign to "Adopt-A-Sniper." When officials saw the table and the some of the slogans, the table was shut down. The "Adopt-A-Sniper" program is run by a nonprofit called Snipersonline, which the students say raises funds for special equipment needed by snipers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am assuming that this organization only raises funds and provides dissemination of training information to legitimate U.S. military and police snipers, but the website actually never says that. It speaks more broadly about "the sniping profession." When I first read the article, I thought that the snafu was based on a poor name ("Adopt-A-Sniper" sounds like something out of Soldier of Fortune for mercenaries) and poor slogans ( "1 Shot, 1 Kill, No Remorse, I Decide."), but after looking at the website, I'm less enthusiastic about it. If this was a U.S. government program, I think I would be more defending of the students and argue that war is not pretty. If we are going to support war, then we have to support even the cold, ugly parts of it.

Marquette is a private school, so I assume they have more leeway in content-based restrictions, although that is not my area of expertise. Marquette officials are saying as a Catholic, Jesuit institution we don't want to be parts of organizations that do not reflect more seriously on the value of human life than the statement "1 Shot, 1 Kill, No Remorse, I Decide." My favorite part of the article, however, was the statement by the students that Marquette administrators are "ultra-liberal." I almost fell out of my chair.

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January 22, 2005
Snow Wars
Posted by Christine Hurt

Snow Wars

While Gordon is snowbound in rural Madison, we are having our own blizzard in Milwaukee. About seven blocks inland from Lake Michigan, this snow is sometimes called lake effect snow, as if you didn't have to shovel it or anything ("It's just lake effect snow."). We've used the snowblower twice this morning trying to keep up with Mother Nature.

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December 31, 2004
Milwaukee Art Museum
Posted by Christine Hurt

Milwaukee Art Museum

Ann Althouse is giving some good publicity for the Milwaukee Art Museum, aka "the Calatrava," on her blog. Every once in awhile, the Packers aren't playing, so we Milwaukeeans have to find other cultural diversions.

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