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Proud Parents

Hallowen
Yesterday we had a parent teacher meeting with Jack's teacher.  She told us two stories about our son.

  1. Jack is in the after-school program at the Capuano and as such he's one of the very few kids that's not collected at 1:45 when classes end for the day.  The teacher, Mrs. Saunders, places an X beside each kids name when them come in to school in the morning.  When the day is over she then takes her clipboard and places a circle around each X when the kids are collected by their folks.  Jack now does the circling for her, each and every day and then she walks him over to his after-school program.

  2. Yesterday, Sarah, a new girl started in the classroom.  It was the day of her third birthday, the earliest you can enter the ECIP program.  Jack has missed the cutoff to Kindergarten by 9 days (Sept 10th birthday) and is the oldest in the class (5 1/2).  Sarah couldn't speak English nor could her mother.  So the teacher is giving instructions in English, the paraprofessional (teachers aide) is speaking in Spanish and the mother is getting some of it.  When the mom leaves Jack decided to take the kid under his wing and starts speaking to her in Spanish.

It's things like this that make you feel you are doing a good job raising your kid.

I spoke to my brother yesterday
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Vote No on Q4 this November 6th

Hallowen
There's a ballot question in Somerville that impacts only part of the community that will actually be doing the voting.  It's about this CPA that, so far, has been adopted by 148 towns and cities in MA.  Basically for your money, the state will give a % of your "donation" and this money is aimed at going to a certain way of preserving your community.  Now, everything I have read so far states that only 30% of this is actually designated for somewhere and the remaining 70% is determined by a 5-9 person committee (9 in the case of Somerville, it seems...."at least one from each of the following organizations: Housing Authority, Historic Commission, Conservation Commission, Planning Board, and Board of Park Commissioners. The remaining 4 committee members are selected by appointment or election, which is determined once the CPA has been adopted.").  Of these 9 members, only two are elected, the rest are appointed by the Mayor and his various departments. 

Who's affected?  The home owners of this city...yup, we the 30% are being forced (if it's passed) to pay additional taxes on our homes so this can become a reality for the city.  Our home owners are already burdened "According to data from the 2000 US Census, Somerville’s frequency of cost burdened households (roughly 36%) is slightly higher than the regional average
(roughly 34%)" and yet the city wants MORE money?
.  It gets better, not every home owner is obliged to pay, "Low-income homeowners and low and medium-income senior homeowners are exempt from the surcharge."

In the past our city has been well run and areas like Milk Row Cemetery, the Playgrounds (1) and (2) are being funded and affordable housing is also being covered.  The Community Path, led by a group of people who feel that this is to their benefit, are already getting phase II of the path beginning in late 2012.

Seems our affordable housing committee haven't posted minutes since April of this year, and yet they apparently have amassed $1.5 MILLION. It would be nice to know what's happening with our money that they already have before we let them take more.
Yet you still want MORE money to continue to do the same?  The CPA is an insult to the hard working homeowners of this city as the powers that be are pushing the YES vote and it's the non payers (the tenants) who are the majority here and will push it through.  The believers think that getting the CPA is doing good for the city, yet the way things work around here, the majority of the voters won't even see this happen during their sojurn in the city.  With the large student population here, a lot of people are only here for a few years. I am a 11 year resident of Somerville and have paid taxes all this time.

I have a kid and I think this city does well, but enough is enough.  Take a chunk of the money you are already getting and apply that to the CPA.
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A day off..

Hallowen
I took a much needed 24 hours mental break from work and probably accomplished more with my down time that I would on any given weekend.  Thankfully I have stopped relying on the local news outlets for weather as they tend to sensationalize every damn thing out there.  A runaway dog becomes a missing family pet amber alert on the VMS signs all over the highway etc.

So ignoring the fact that it was supposed to rain really heavy, possible golf ball sized hail, potential tornado watch and high winds, thunder and lightning (Where's my Thunder Buddy?), I planned and had success in four activities yesterday and three of them were outside while this potential rapture was about the happen.
  1. I finished staining the deck....no with varnish.  Much overdue, but now it's something that won't be overdue again until June 2014.
  2. I played golf, aiming for 50 or less on a 9 hole course...done
  3. (indoor activity).  Collected the heir early from school so he could go see Elmo at a local McDonald's.  Unfortunately the Elmo was so large he frightened the shit out of every kid who came into the fast food joint (I can't call it a restaurant).  In hindsight, not the best marketing idea as half the kids of East Cambridge are terrified of McDonald's now.
  4. Ran a 5K and did a whole lot better than the last time, when I cranked a calf muscle.
In all, a fine day.
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And introucing ... the right calf

Hallowen
After a year rehabbing my left calf and being off the road for the seven months before i could gain confidence in running on it again, I strained my right calf two weeks ago.  Of course, it was a 6 in the morning at the turning point in my run.  Still, I can't complain....I was the one who didn't stretch enough.  The left calf is fine right now, but the right one....time for some work.

I rested it appropriately and then had a race last night which my good wife ran with me.  "Ran" being the appropriate word as we stopped that effort when said calf seized up again, but not as badly.  I still managed to finish and am sure I was last across the line.  Official results are next week, but I am looking at 50 minutes!  While the first 3-5 minutes are spent getting to the start, this was still the slow point in my 5K life.

On the plus side, we have managed to go almost 4 years before Jack ate his first McDonalds!  Now that, to me, is not so bad parenting.  Couldn't have achieved that without my wife's help.  Thanks honey.
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Wow, warm weather racing again

Hallowen
When I signed up for the Ras na hEireann 5K, my wife thought I was mad as it was on the day AFTER St. Patrick's.  But St. Patrick's Day isn't about how many people you can jam into a bar for 12 hours straight.  It's a day to avoid on the weekend due to the same amateurs who failed on New Years, trying to do it all over again.

For my training for the race I didn't go anywhere above a pace of 12 minutes but I surprised myself when I managed to clock the first mile in 10:03 or thereabouts.  My final pace was 11:08 giving me a sub 35 minute time.  I would like to continue this trend of sub 35's and someday get a sub 30.  Training will decide.  The best news was that my calf didn't even whimper at any stage, before, during or after.

As for my original goal of a race a month, I have now covered March, May, June, November and December.  I should have been more organized and taken advantage of the mild winter here in New England to get a February race out of the way.
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Can't downgrade tiredness sometimes....

Hallowen
When I was traveling recently in Germany I got a solicitation phone call from RCN to tell me that they had upgraded my service for free from 5MB/S to 20MB/S (which has never been greater than 7.8 when tested).  So in celebration of my new technology speed, I did the following.

Bought an Internet enabled Blu-Ray player $65
Contact RCN to finally move my cable modem input room from Jack's bedroom to the living room $35
Rejoined Netflix - free for a month then $7.99 for streaming only
Got a bottle of wine - $10
Put child to bed
Set up streaming of The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest
We weren't an hour into the movie, and still on our first glass of wine when we both drifted off to sleep.

Ah well, at least there's a feature to resume where you left off.  And I got to show Jack Wallace and Gromit streaming on the phone this morning while he waited for mom to cook breakfast.

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Ouch

Hallowen
Nothing like spending 2.5 hours rebuilding your email profile because of one corrupt email...
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Apple doesn't fall far...

Hallowen
For my education I attended two primary schools, two secondary schools and two thrid level institutions.  Next month, Jack will be starting his second preschool....it's the same organization, but we were at the Cambridge location and had been shortlisted for Somerville, closer to home.  But all being said, it's a second school at the same education level.

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Sheepback

Hallowen
At the pool last night I gave Jack a piggy back.  Later on he asked me for a sheepback....it took a few seconds to get what he was saying.

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