Daily Bread for 2.8.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday will bring evening snow showers and a high of twenty-six to town. Sunrise is 7:00 AM and sunset 5:17, for 10h 16m 54s of daytime. We’ve a new moon today.

There will be meeting of Whitewater’s Ad Hoc Grocery Committee at 3:30 PM, and of the Planning Commission at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1943, the Japanese Empire recedes:

…Japanese troops evacuate Guadalcanal, leaving the island in Allied possession after a prolonged campaign. The American victory paved the way for other Allied wins in the Solomon Islands.

The Japanese invaded the Solomons in 1942 during World War II and began building a strategic airfield on Guadalcanal. On August 7 of that year, U.S. Marines landed on the island, signaling the Allies’ first major offensive against Japanese-held positions in the Pacific. The Japanese responded quickly with sea and air attacks. A series of bloody battles ensued in the debilitating tropical heat as Marines sparred with Japanese troops on land, while in the waters surrounding Guadalcanal, the U.S. Navy fought six major engagements with the Japanese between August 24 and November 30. In mid-November 1942, the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, died together when the Japanese sunk their ship, the USS Juneau.

Both sides suffered heavy losses of men, warships and planes in the battle for Guadalcanal. An estimated 1,600 U.S. troops were killed, over 4,000 were wounded and several thousand more died from disease. The Japanese lost 24,000 soldiers. On December 31, 1942, Emperor Hirohito told Japanese troops they could withdraw from the area; the Americans secured Guadalcanal about five weeks later.

February 8, 1858 was not the House of Representative’s finest day:

Just before the Civil War, the issue of slavery tore apart the U.S. Congress. On February 8, 1858, Wisconsin Rep. John Potter (considered a backwoods hooligan by Southern aristocrats) leaped into a fight on the House floor. When Potter embarrassed a pro-slavery brawler by pulling off his wig, the gallery shouted that he’d taken a Southern scalp. Potter emerged from the melee covered in blood and marked by slave owners as an enemy. Two years later, on April 5, 1860, he accused Virginia Rep. Roger Pryor of falsifying the Congressional record. Pryor, feeling his character impugned, challenged Potter to a duel. According to Southern custom, a person challenged had the right to choose weapons. Potter replied that he would only fight with “Bowie knives in a closed room,” and his Southern challenger beat a hasty retreat. Republican supporters around the nation sent Potter Bowie knives as a tribute, including this six-foot-long one. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes]

Today’s JigZone puzzle is a 67-piece classic cut:

Film: Tuesday, 12:30 PM @ Seniors in the Park, The Martian


This Tuesday, February 9th at 12:30 PM, there will be a showing of The Martian @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin community building.

The Martian is the tale of an astronaut, Mark Watney, who is presumed dead after a fierce storm on Mars, and left behind by a fleeing crew. In fact, Watney survives the storm, and then has to survive after being stranded on the red planet. It’s a tale of resourcefulness, as Watney makes do with limited provisions, and improvises devices and methods to sustain himself until he can be rescued.

The Martian has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, and recently won two Golden Globes.


Daily Bread for 2.7.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Sunday in town will be partly cloudy and mild, with a high of forty-one. Sunrise is 7:01 and sunset 5:16, for 10h 14m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 1.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Here’s schedule of posts for the week ahead, with other posts possible (if there are changes to these scheduled posts I’ll explain why):

  • Today: DB, Upcoming Seniors in Park Film, evening post
  • Monday: DB, weekly Music post, WHEN GREEN TURNS BROWN post, evening post
  • Tuesday: DB, weekly Education post, evening post
  • Wednesday: DB, weekly Film post, Revisiting Kozloff’s Dark, Futile Dream, evening post
  • Thursday: DB, a restaurant review, Attorney General Schimel’s support for Wisconsin Senate Bill 656, evening post
  • Friday: DB, weekly Poll, weekly Catblogging
  • Saturday: DB, weekly Animation post, evening post

Friday’s FW poll asked readers which team they thought would win Super Bowl 50.  Most respondents picked Carolina (58.82%).  Kickoff is around 5:30 this afternoon.

On this day in 1935, Monopoly goes on sale:

The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903,[1][4] when American anti-monopolist Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips, created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George. It was intended as an educational tool to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Magie took out a patent in 1904. Her game, The Landlord’s Game, was self-published, beginning in 1906.[5] A series of variant board games based on her concept was developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land.[6] Cardboard houses were added and rents were increased as they were added. Magie again patented the game in 1924.

According to an advertisement placed in The Christian Science Monitor, Charles Todd of Philadelphia recalled the day in 1932 when his childhood friend, Esther Jones, now married to Charles Darrow, came to their house with her husband for dinner. After the meal, the Darrows played the game of Monopoly several times with them, a game that was entirely new to the Darrows, and before he left, Darrow asked for a written set of the rules. After Darrow brought his own Monopoly game out, the Todds never spoke to the Darrows again.[citation needed]

….By 1933, a variation on “The Landlord’s Game” called Monopoly was the basis of the board game sold by Parker Brothers, beginning on 6 February 1935.[7] Several people, mostly in the Midwestern United States and near the East Coast, contributed to the game’s design and evolution, and this is when the game’s design took on the 4×10 space-to-a-side layout and familiar cards were produced. The original version of the game in this format was based on streets in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

On this day in 1867, a famous children’s author is born:

Wisconsin’s most famous children’s author, Laura Ingalls Wilder,  was born this day near Pepin. Although her family moved away a year later, it subsequently returned in 1870 and remained until 1874. It is this period that is immortalized in her first book, Little House in the Big Woods.

Saturday Animation: Symphony No. 42

Symphony no. 42 from Reka Bucsi on Vimeo.

Symphony no. 42 presents 47 observations in the irrational connections between human and nature.
Shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards

Awards 2014 – 2015:
38th Hong Kong International Film Festival HKIFF – Special Mention for Best Short Film
Friss Hús Film Festival 2.0 Hungary – Best film Grand Prix
Monstronal Festival Germany – Best film Grand Prix
Skepto International Film Festival Italy – Audience Award
Cinema Perpetuum Mobile, Minsk Belarus – Best Animation Grand Prix
11th IndieLisboa, Lisbon International Independent Film Festival – Honorable Mention for Best Animation
Mediawave, Hungary – Best Hungarian Animation
Sehsüchte InternationalFilm Festival, Germany – Special Mention for Animation
Anifilm, Trebon – Special Jury Mention
3. Kyiv International Short Film Festival – Best Film of the Festival and Audience Award
Animation Avantgarde Competition Vienna – Audience Award
Schnongs Festival Germany – 3rd Prize for best film
Womanation, Rhode Island – Honorable Mention
7th.International Animated Film Festival Animator – Poland – Silver Pegasus Award
FMK International Short Film Festival – Italy – Best Animated Short and Audience Award
Lago Film Fest – Italy – Special Mention
Melbourne International Film Festival – Best Animation Short
Hiroshima International Animation Festival – Hiroshima Prize
FESA Award for Best Student Film
Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival – Audience award
Favourites Film Festival Berlin – Berlin’s Favourite Short Award
Lille International Short Film Festival, France – The First International Prize by Audience
International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival SESIFF, Korea – Grand Award and Animation Award
International Animated Film Festival Krok, Russia – Alexander Tatarskij Prize
Krok 2014 ‘at home harbour edition’, Kiev – Special Jury Prize
Szolnoki Nemzetközi … Filmfesztivál, Hungary – Best Animated Film
St.Petersburg International Festival of Debut and Student Films Beginning – Best Student Animation Film
Court mais bon – France – Main Jury Prize and Prize of the city,”court mais bon”
OFFline Film Festival, Dublin – Best International Short
50th Chicago International Film Festival – Gold Plaque
Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS – Best International Animation
Valladolid International Film Festival, Spain – Golden Spike
Primanima, Hungary – George Pal Prize for the most promising Hungarian talent in animation and Best Graduation Film
Anilogue International Animation festival, Hungary – Audience Award and Special Jury Mention
Zubroffka Short Film Festival – Best Animation
XI International Festival of Film Fchools workshop Kinoproba – Grand Prix
Flickerfest’s 24th International Short Film Festival – Best Short Animation
Hungarian Film Critics Awards – Best Animated Movie
Fort Myers Film Festival Florida – Best Short
Vilnius Film Festival – Best Short Film
Leiden International Short Film Experience – Jury Award
Minimalen Short Film Festival – Audience Award
Erarta Motion Pictures Festival – Cinema Jury Special Mention
KAFF Kecskemét Animation Film Festival – Különdíj a legszínvonalasabb képi formanyelvért
Prix Ars Electronica 2015 – Honorary Mention

Daily Bread for 2.6.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday in town will be cloudy but relatively mild, with a high temperature of thirty. Sunrise is 7:03 and sunset 5:14, for 10h 11m 47s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 5.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On February 6, 1778, America and France make formal their alliance, with the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance.

On this day in 1917, a German submarine sinks the S.S. California:

Just three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s speech of February 3, 1917 — in which he broke diplomatic relations with Germany and warned that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted—a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the Anchor Line passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

The SS California departed New York on January 29 bound for Glasgow, Scotland, with 205 passengers and crewmembers on board. Eight days later, some 38 miles off the coast of Fastnet Island, Ireland, the ship’s captain, John Henderson, spotted a submarine off his ship’s port side at a little after 9 a.m. and ordered the gunner at the stern of the ship to fire in defense if necessary. Moments later and without warning, the submarine fired two torpedoes at the ship. One of the torpedoes missed, but the second torpedo exploded into the port side of the steamer, killing five people instantly. The explosion of the torpedo was so violent and devastating that the 470-foot, 9,000-ton steamer sank just nine minutes after the attack. Despite desperate S.O.S. calls sent by the crew to ensure the arrival of rescue ships, 38 people drowned after the initial explosion, for a total of 43 dead.

On this day in 1967, activist Stokely Carmichael speaks at UW-Whitewater:

On this date nationally known activist Stokely Carmichael spoke at UW-Whitewater as part of a forum series entitled “Black Power and the Civil Rights Movement.” The chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee at Whitewater motivated students in attendance, stating that blacks must reclaim their identity and history, and organize to control local political offices, especially in large cities. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

Friday Catblogging: Owning Times Square

This month, each night just before midnight, a video of a cat sipping milk will be shown on over a dozen large monitors in Times Square:


For three glorious minutes this evening [and all month long], 15 billboards in Times Square all displayed the same video of a cat sipping milk. And, this being New York, many people walked by oblivious to the coordinated clip, but quite a few people paused to take in the weirdness of it all. This isn’t the first time that the video screens have (briefly) been blanketed with the same short video; there’s been a different one each month as part of the Times Square Alliance’s “Midnight Moment” series….

See, This cat video will overtake Times Square every night in February @ The Verge.

Here’s the video:

Daily Bread for 2.5.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Friday in town will be mostly cloudy with a high of twenty-eight.  Sunrise is 7:04 and sunset 5:13, for 10h 09m 15s of daytime.  The moon is a a waning crescent with 1.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1937, Pres. Roosevelt announces a judicial plan that comes to be seen as court-packing, and falls ultimately to a policy of ‘No haste, no hurry, no waste, no worry’:

The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937[1] (frequently called the “court-packing plan”)[2] was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s purpose was to obtain favorable rulings regarding New Deallegislation that the court had ruled unconstitutional.[3] The central provision of the bill would have granted the President power to appoint an additional Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, up to a maximum of six, for every member of the court over the age of 70 years and 6 months….

Roosevelt’s legislative initiative ultimately failed. The bill was held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Democrat committee chair Henry F. Ashurst, who delayed hearings in the Judiciary Committee, saying “No haste, no hurry, no waste, no worry—that is the motto of this committee.”[12] As a result of his delaying efforts, the bill was held in committee for 165 days, and opponents of the bill credited Ashurst as instrumental in its defeat.[5] The bill was further undermined by the untimely death of its chief advocate in the U.S. Senate, Senate Majority LeaderJoseph T. Robinson. Contemporary observers broadly viewed Roosevelt’s initiative as political maneuvering. Its failure exposed the limits of Roosevelt’s abilities to push forward legislation through direct public appeal. The public perception of his efforts here was in stark contrast to the reception of his legislative efforts during his first term.[13][14] Roosevelt ultimately prevailed in establishing a majority on the court friendly to his New Deal legislation, though some scholars view Roosevelt’s victory as Pyrrhic.[14]

On this day in 1849, a university opens:

On this day in 1849 the University of Wisconsin began with 20 students led by Professor John W. Sterling. The first class was organized as a preparatory school in the first department of the University: a department of science, literature, and the arts. The university was initially housed at the Madison Female Academy building, which had been provided free of charge by the city. The course of study was English grammar; arithmetic; ancient and modern geography; elements of history; algebra; Caesar’s Commentaries; the Aeneid of Virgil (six books); Sallust; select orations of Cicero; Greek; the Anabasis of Xenophon; antiquities of Greece and Rome; penmanship, reading, composition and declamation. Also offered were book-keeping, geometry, and surveying. Tuition was “twenty dollars per scholar, per annum.” For a detailed recollection of early UW-Madison life, see the memoirs of Mrs. W.F. Allen [Source:History of the University of Wisconsin, Reuben Gold Thwaites, 1900]

JigZone ends the week with a puzzle entitled, Green Hose:

Restaurant Review: Jimmy’s Classic Italian Beef

A new year, a new month, and an unexpectedly happy find: that’s how the resumption of restaurant reviews starts off.

20160204_073417 At 535 E. Milwaukee Street in Whitewater one finds Jimmy’s, a sandwich shop with a more robust and satisfying menu than one might have expected from driving past. On so many trips along that street, and despite the colorful signs outside listing diverse items, the view through the window always seemed, somehow, to show a sparse interior. In fact, in menu and quality, Jimmy’s has much to offer.

Consider some items from the menu: Italian beef (of course), but also sausage, meatball, and tuna fish sandwiches, with hot dogs, or salads. The shop advertises fresh ingredients, and they are, including fresh-cut french fries.

There are for each of these items small, considered variations – sweet peppers, provolone, onions, mozzarella, and the Italian beef sandwiches may be had dry, juicy, or dunked. That’s the stuff: someone’s though about how the same offering may be changed just slightly to suit different tastes.

Order the ample-portion of beef juicy or dunked, with provolone and peppers, and the fresh-cut fries. You’ll need a few napkins or even a paper towel to manage exactly how juicy it all is: simple, fresh, and simply delicious.

The whole shop is an expression of variations: sandwiches one way or another, ice cream one way or another, hot dogs one way or another. Even different days of the week have different specials (Monday for Italian beef, Wednesday for hot dogs, Friday for fries, and students specials with a coupon.) Someone had to think of these options, plan for them, and write them down. A lot of care went into this shop.

The decor is a mix of red, white, and green, in vivid shades, with seven tables (seating four per table), with signs displaying the offerings, and a television to one’s left. One can see into the kitchen easily, and there you’ll be able to watch fresh ingredients become fresh sandwiches. There’s a drive-thru, and although I have not tried it, I saw a patron using it, successfully, on one of my visits.

I love Americana, and a shop like this – although selling signature Italian beef sandwiches – is, of course, much a part of American culture. Nothing at Jimmy’s strikes me as an imitation of an Italian sandwich shop; it strikes me a genuine effort to bring a shop like this to life in Whitewater.

Happily recommended.

LOCATION:535. East Milwaukee Street, Whitewater, WI 53190.  (262) 458-5467.



Open Seven Days a Week
Dine-in 11 AM – 10 PM
Drive-Thru and Delivery 11 AM to 10 PM or later (‘until we are done’)

PRICES: Sandwich, soda, drink for about $10.

RESERVATIONS: Unnecessary.

DRINKS: Sodas, Shakes, Italian Ice (called water ice in my childhood).

SOUND: Quiet.  There’s a television, but no music on my visits.

SERVICE: Friendly counter service on my visits.

VISITS: Two (lunch, dinner).

RATING: Recommended 3.25 of 4.


RATING SCALE: From one to four stars, representing the full experience of food, atmosphere, service, and pricing.

INDEPENDENCE: This review is delivered without financial or other connection to the establishment or its owner. The dining experience was that of an ordinary patron, without notice to the staff or requests for special consideration.

Daily Bread for 2.4.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Thursday in town will give way to sunshine and a high of twenty-eight. Sunrise is 7:05 and sunset 5:12 for 10h 06m 46s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 19.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today, not yesterday: Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets tonight at 6 PM, and there will be a Zoning Code Update meeting at 7 PM.

Martin Creaney is quite the craftsman, as Popular Mechanics observes:

We’ve featured custom built Star Wars woodworking projects before, but nothing like this masterpiece from Martin Creaney, who hand-built the iconic Millennium Falcon over a year using more than 3,000 individually carved pieces of wood.

He had previously built an R2D2, an AT-ST Walker, and an X-Wing Fighter, but wanted to go big on his next project. His initial thought was to build the project using medium-density fiberboard (MDF), an engineered wood project that looks flat, which would require paint. But that would have hidden the detailed woodwork so he decided to leave it natural and make the body from real timber.

On this day in 1863, the 1st Wisconsin sees action:

1863 – (Civil War) Skirmish at Batesville, Arkansas
The 1st Wisconsin Cavalry fought a skirmish at Batesville, Arkansas.

For today from JigZone, it’s a 48-piece Mockingbird puzzle:

The Newspaper-Caused Public Records Problem

Not far from Whitewater, Janesville’s local newspaper finds itself in an access-to-information conflict with the Janesville School District.  There’s no surprise in any of this.  (Quick note: I’m using that paper as an example because it’s close-at-hand.  One could find other examples easily enough.)

For years that paper has ridiculed citizens’ petition efforts, toadied to business insiders, pushed government spending for those same business factions, included itself in a supposedly elite group (oh, brother!) of Janesville movers-and-shakers, all-the while producing some of the weakest editorials of any paper in Wisconsin.

It’s no wonder that Janesville’s school superintendent shows no respect to that paper: public records requests are either ignored or answered with what seems to be a laughable inadequacy. Having spat on so many who exercised free speech in that city, Janesville’s waning paper now finds itself without the clout to assure full compliance with public records requests, requests that are, after all, a matter of law.  Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31-19.39.

It seems unlikely that the paper will spend the time and money to litigate public records requests to assure full compliance.  This unwillingness to commit the time and effort is no doubt evident to Janesville’s school district – they can probably spot a paper tiger (yes, it’s an awkward play on words) when they see one.

That’s unfortunate, but it’s more than a Janesville problem – it’s a problem for others nearby.  Officials’ ability to brook lawful requests there will likely influence policymakers nearby, and encourage them to provide inadequate answers, too.

That leaves the rest of us – residents, bloggers, etc. – starting at a disadvantage: the Janesville paper’s toothless response will lull policymakers in other communities to assume falsely that they’ll be able to disregard requests as Janesville’s policymakers have done.  One will have to begin every step with the commitment and expectation to enforce those rights at law.

In this environment, it won’t matter what one says, hopes, or expects – it will only matter how one proceeds.  Proceeding may be inconvenient,  but the alternative is far worse: enduring passively the infringement of one’s right to open government.

What a mess it is that print is leaving left behind, that others will have to clean up.

Daily Bread for 2.3.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Wednesday will bring snow showers in the morning with a daytime high of thirty-four. Sunrise is 7:06 and sunset 5:10, for 10h 04m 17s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 27% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this date in 1865, Pres. Lincoln meets with representatives of the Confederacy:

…President Abraham Lincoln meets with a delegation of Confederate officials at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to discuss a possible peace agreement. Lincoln refused to grant the delegation any concessions, however, and the meeting ended within hours.

New York Tribune editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley provided the impetus for the conference when he contacted Francis Blair, a Maryland aristocrat and presidential adviser. Greeley suggested that Blair was the “right man” to open discussions with the Confederates to end the war. Blair sought permission from Lincoln to meet with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and did so twice in January 1865. Blair suggested to Davis that an armistice be forged and the two sides turn their attention to removing the French-supported regime of Maximilian in Mexico. This plan would help cool tensions between North and South by providing a common enemy, he believed.

Meanwhile, the situation was becoming progressively worse for the Confederates in the winter of 1864 and 1865. In January, Union troops captured Fort Fisher and effectively closed Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major port open to blockade runners. Davis conferred with his vice president, Alexander Stephens, who recommended that a peace commission be appointed to explore a possible armistice. Davis sent Stephens and two others to meet with Lincoln at Hampton Roads.

The meeting convened on February 3. Stephens asked if there was any way to stop the war and Lincoln replied that the only way was “for those who were resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance.” The delegation underestimated Lincoln’s resolve to make the end of slavery a necessary condition for any peace. The president also insisted on immediate reunification and the laying down of Confederate arms before anything else was discussed. In short, the Union was in such an advantageous position that Lincoln did not need to concede any issues to the Confederates….

On this day in 1959, bad weather leads to the deaths of three musicians and a pilot:

1959 – The Day the Music Died
Bad winter weather and a bus breakdown prompted rock-and-roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper to rent a plane to continue on their “Winter Dance Party” tour. Icy roads and treacherous weather had nearly undermined their performances in Green Bay and Appleton that weekend, so after a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2, 1959, they boarded a four-seat airplane. The three performers and pilot Roger Peterson perished when the plane crashed about 1:00 AM on Monday, February 3rd (“The Day the Music Died,” according to singer Don McLean in his song “American Pie”) . [Source: Mark Steuer; Wikipedia]

Here’s JigZone‘s daily puzzle, Straw Rainbow, in a 62-piece tetris cut:

SpaceX Tests a Capsule’s Ability to Hover

Eight SuperDraco thrusters, positioned around the perimeter of the vehicle in pairs called “jet packs”, fired up simultaneously to raise the Crew Dragon spacecraft for a five-second hover, generating approximately 33,000 lbs of thrust before returning the vehicle to its resting position. This test was the second of a two-part milestone under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The first test—a short firing of the engines intended to verify a healthy propulsion system—was completed November 22, and the longer burn two-days later demonstrated vehicle control while hovering.

Via SpaceX at YouTube.

Roaring or Yawning

33cscreenshotPost 4 in a weekly series.

A deaf man walks across the savannah, and spots a lion. The lion has its mouth open, and teeth exposed. It could be roaring, or it might be yawning. The sound the lion’s making is imperceptible to the man, so he’ll need some other way to be sure about the lion’s intentions.

Last week, in a post about the lack of videos to show school life to the community, I mentioned that the reasons one does not see more videos are both cultural and political. The cultural part involves relying on a single publisher with an apparent aversion to some media. Relying on the most traditional methods to get something done is a declining, yet lingering, cultural aspect of life here. Using newsprint, perhaps a website that simply imitates the most traditional styles of newsprint, is easier than doing one’s own work. Easier, and likely somehow more reassuring to older, or old-minded, policymakers. (As a self-interested matter of blogging, by contrast, nothing could have been more advantageous these last nine years than very traditional newspapers, a website that imitated that style, and policymakers who sought to live as though that were all the world. One could not have asked for better foils than those.)

Bu there’s almost certainly a political calculation, too: what if one walks outside, and encounters a lion? After all, from the point of view of Central Office, there have been lions in the past, and there might be some now. Worse, they might start roaring, and after roaring, then eating. Better to be cautious, in this way of seeing things, than to find oneself in a lion’s stomach.

I don’t know if there be political lions within the boundaries of the Whitewater Unified School District. It’s possible, but I’m not convinced (at least by the definition of lion one would derive from, let’s say, events of a decade or so ago). One would have seen more movement over the last referendum (and I, too, thought it would be closer than it was) if there were lions in the tall grass. In any event, this area doesn’t have anything like a single major political player. (That pleases me, but it would equally be true even if it didn’t please me.)

There’s so much caution, calculation, etc., in Central Office. Much of it seems designed as a roaring-lion-avoidance policy.

What if the lions (should there be any) or the many other animals of the area are not roaring at all, but yawning? Tired of a this-is how-we’ve-always-done-it approach – perhaps that’s closer to where we are as a community.

I’ll tell you a story about exhaustion. A few years ago, I attended a journalists’ banquet, not because I think of myself that way, but because I wanted to see how they thought of themselves. (By chance, I found myself seated at the guest speaker’s table, something I thought funny: the blogger had one of the best spots in the house.) But what I saw that night surprised me, too: prominent journalists, seeming tired, old, worn out. Many were my own age, but no one of similar age in my family looked so tired and uncertain as many of the invited, investigative journalists did. It was upsetting to see people this way. My father, when he was by age a generation older than most in the room were that night, was easily more focused, intense, energetic in his manner. I left the dinner concerned over what I saw: people committed to the right things, but weary, almost prematurely old.

Perhaps the challenge of this community in the next few years is not roaring, but yawning, not of energy, but of exhaustion.

Here one thinks not of a few officials, but of many within the community.