Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Krista and me realize we haven't been posting, she's been busy traveling for work and I was sick all of last huh?

Turns out in a recent debate both Obama and Edwards decided to bash Clinton quite a bit and she stumbled. I'm glad to see Obama attacking instead of being attacked, click on the link below for more information on this

Monday, October 29, 2007

for Chicago readers

The Chicago Transit Authority plans to eliminate 43 more bus routes and hike fares to as high as $3.25 per ride in January under the 2008 "doomsday" budget announced today.

And the reason behind CTA's funding crunch, a lack of state help, is taking its toll on Metra, too. Officials for the commuter rail line made their own announcement today that riders could face a 20 percent fare hike -- double what had been previously predicted – as well as service reductions on some lines in February.

On the CTA, regular cash fares would increase from the current $2 rate to $2.50 on Nov. 4. As of Jan. 6, that would go up again to $2.75. The cash fare would top out at $3.25 on trains during peak travel periods.

Users of electronic Chicago Cards would also pay more. The current $1.75 fare would go up to $2 in November -- then jump again to $2.25 for bus riders and $2.50 for peak-period train riders on Jan. 6.

Riders who use the regular transit cards would see fares jump to $2 for bus service and $2.50 for rail in November, then $2.25 for bus and $2.75 for rail in January. In November, the peak rail fare would increase to $3, then to $3.25 in January.

Thirty-day passes, now $75, would increase to $84 in November, then $94 in January.

Senior citizens and students would not face any fare increases.

The January round of proposed cuts, combined with those already announced for next month, would also mean the elimination of more than half the CTA's bus routes.

If that happened, the agency expects that its daily ridership would drop by about 250,000, to about 1.35 million.

The elimination of 43 bus routes in January—announced today by CTA President Ron Huberman—would come on top of the 39 bus routes to be cut effective Nov. 4.

If both those rounds of cuts took place, that would leave the CTA with only 72 bus routes. It currently has 154 bus routes.

During a news conference at CTA headquarters, Huberman said the beleaguered agency did not plan to reduce rail service for January beyond the possible suspension of Purple Line/Evanston Express trains in November.

In addition, Huberman said the CTA would lay off nearly 1,800 employees in January. That would be in addition to the approximately 620 CTA employees already notified of layoffs effective in November.

Those combined layoffs represent about 22 percent of the CTA work force of about 11,000.

The likelihood of the CTA contingency plan actually having to being implemented has increased because of a lingering stalemate in the Illinois legislature over how to fund Chicago-area mass transit as well as road and bridge repairs statewide.

Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano said today that without additional funding from Springfield, the commuter rail line will be forced to adopt a 2008 budget next month with increased fares as well as other actions.

There is "no doubt" there will be fare increases of 10 to 20 percent, Pagano said. He had previously warned of fare hikes of about only 10 percent.

Metra's board of directors will consider a menu of options at a special meeting Oct. 24.

Its last fare increase was 5 percent in February 2006.

Metra riders might also see weekend service cut back, or reductions on low-ridership lines or on ones where passengers have the best option to take a different line, officials said.

Friday's warnings are the most specific ones yet coming from Metra as a result of budget deficits facing the region's three transit agencies.

Metra has gotten by so far by diverting its capital funds into operating needs, a total of $60 million in 2007.

The CTA, Metra and Pace had been counting on the General Assembly to fill a $226 million shortfall in their 2007 budgets. Legislation that would increase the sales tax imposed by the Regional Transportation Authority in the six-county region failed to pass in a House vote this summer.

But the Senate has not voted on the sales tax proposal. Instead, its leadership has focused on reaching a compromise on a capital bill for highways, mass transit, school construction and other infrastructure. Under the plan, mass transit funding would be considered later.

But the deadline clock is ticking, with CTA and Pace customers facing uncertainties about their travel options starting in about three weeks -- if lawmakers fail to make progress on funding.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My world, in some ways, has gotten a lot smaller in the last several weeks. In the last several days - I have only left the neighborhood once. I go to work, the coffeeshop, my new pool, and go home all within minutes of each other. I love it....

Today, I need to venture out so I can get my meds, get Jim a new CTA pass, but am going to the local library branch to return some books.

Back to my new pool - it is way cool, and people are so friendly. Unlike most other pools that I have worked into my schedule, this pool is social and friendly - the swimmers not just the guards. I was really impressed by this attitude - and feeling like I would enjoy this. I like talking, to no surprise to most that read this blog - so sure new friends - that would be great!

Well, after my hard weekend, Monday I wanted to swim and be in my head. The woman in the next lane was wanting to socialize and I tried to ignore her at first - I came to swim and be with me. In the next laps, I was thinking that I have been trying to foster community with my students in the last two months. I have been trying to show that community living isn't aways fun or in the time that you want it to be. I have been touting relationships as huge and important.

Then I started to think about the importance of me time. Yes, I need to make sure I give myself care - one of the reasons I swim. I need alone time and I need to care for me so I can give to others.

In the end, I stopped swimming long enough to talk and swap stories and then we were back to our swimming. I think relationships are important enough to stop...but I need to remind myself about that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lots of stuff

In the last couple days I have been experiencing and learning lot of stuff:

1. The gift that I have (because of how I grew up) in not being scared of doctors, hospitals, blood, etc. I spent 24 hours in the hospital with one of my students and I am able to watch the blood stuff and still be okay. I think I really want to do Clinical Pastoral Education at sometime out of this.

2. In understanding how much I need free time with and without Jim. I got frustrated this weekend due to the lack of time to free time.

3. We had our credit card stolen over the weekend - it bothers me that it happened - but it is just a scary thing.

4. We finally got to see "Why I got Married?" last night. It made me think - I am so glad that I got married to Jim. Something that came across this weekend is that I want to do it on my own because it seems that I am strong if I do, and yet if I can let Jim support me then I can actually be a stronger person.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ann Coulter

I love her and hate her at the same time. I love her simply because it completely blows away any conservative opinions that anyone has and shows us she and her opinions are completely insane. I hate her simply because if anyone else outside this country listens to what she says they probably believe we all think like her. I reference all of this because of her latest statements.

Coulter on the Jews

Anti-Gay Coulter

Don't get me started on her book either

I think a simple "Yikes" should suffice.

Cool Quote

There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between.

- Pat Riley, basketball coach

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why Geeks Make Good Fathers

Fun reading

Check it out

Cat story

We had a cat jump through the window the other night into our apartment and then couldn't get out and started crying, until Jim woke up to the crying cat. Then he woke up and declared..."We have a cat in our house!" I only remember opening my eyes to Jim holding the cat above my head (as the window was directly above my head) the cat not wanting to be held before Jim could get him out the window. What a night!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Another recipe

2 Tbsp Ginger chopped
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Leeks, chopped (white and light green only)
4 Sweet Potatoes, Peel and Dice
Pinch Salt and Pepper
6 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Saute leeks, potatoes and ginger in hot oil for a couple minutes.
Add Spices, stir well.
Add stock, bring to the boil and simmer till cooked (35 minutes).
Puree about 3 cups - leave the rest chunky...

its amazing! Enjoy!

Jim has decided he really likes leeks - I mean he would really like me to make something with them every week - he can taste them even if he doesn't know they are in the dish. I love him; and I love the fact that he has discerning taste buds.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I need to swim!

I am in Louisville at meetings - the kind that go morning to night without much break - and so I miss having any space which has become my exercise time at home.

So, hopefully - I can swim tomorrow when I get home!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kayne and Louisville

This afternoon, about an hour ago, I started singing to myself Kayne West’s newest single. Something may have triggered it, but I have yet to figure what that might have been.

This would not have been a bit strange if I was home. However, for the past two days I have been in Louisville, KY at a Presbyterian Mission Conference. This is mostly for international mission, which all of us urban workers in the US, are getting a bit bitter about (as if we aren’t doing mission/justice work just because we aren’t overseas). The main point is that this event is about 99% white and about 80% over the age of 55.

I was with Heidi, the DOOR Miami City Director (aka Miami version of me) yesterday as she lead a workshop and she mentioned that some research of cross cultural work a person becomes a 150% person, 75% of the cultural one was born into and 75% of the cultural one encounters. At events like this one, my 75%s are at war with one another.

I would hardly say that Kayne West is only an inner city thing – by far not. However, by standards of most people here – to start humming his music is as far away as South Africa. I can talk churchy language and I love to think theologically – but I would rather do that in the context of the city. This isn’t something that I can leave – instead it is in me to the core. I don’t like being with a 700 person crowd of white people anymore. I want the variety of God’s rainbow of colors present at an event such as this.

Whenever I am sent to these conferences, I think of these things. I have been changed by living and working where I do. I want to live where I live; I want to work where I work; I want to be a faithful disciple of Christ and I believe that I need to continue to work on that as well as understanding my 150%ness.