Thursday, December 08, 2011

Welcome to the Christmas Toilet

Someone seems to have some creepy and conflicting attachments to Christmas and Santa. (via Chattanooga radio station WUSY's Facebook page)

There are 3,000-plus search engine results for items like this. So make that a whole lot of "someones". Also weird, folks who drape "gift wrapping" themes on a toilet. Guess you could call that some kind of friendly optimism.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rep. Casada Wants Local Government to Meet in Secret Sessions

Rep. Glen Casada
I can't quite believe I have to write this post, reminding our elected officials that secret government meetings are illegal for a reason. Yet, here we are.

State Rep. Glen Casada and the Tennessee County Commissioners Association want elected officials to hold secret meetings. Rep. Casada is planning to offer new legislation which would make secret government meetings legal - a move he has to make since currently it is against the law.

There exists no reason for the change to secret meetings - other than denying public awareness, public participation and to demolish the way our democracy works.

"The actions of local government have a direct affect on the people who live in those jurisdictions. Local bodies set tax rates, create and enforce local laws, fund public education and other public services such as libraries, set policies for public school systems, appoint local boards and commissions, recommend and hire local public officials and set local government budgets. 

At no other level of government is public official accountability more important. While great attention is paid to state and federal government meetings, local public body meetings often are poorly attended by the public, and sometimes even by local media watchdogs. Keeping such meetings open and requiring public bodies to post public notices of meetings is the last defense the public has to ensuring its business is done in the open."

It's shameful enough already the state legislature does not have to follow the laws requiring open meetings. Rep. Casada and the TCCA must have something they want to hide - to allow them to do so will not end well.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tennessee Man Decides To Wear A Kilt For A Year

"I admit I've never been much of a daredevil kind of guy. Skydiving and bungee jumping don't appeal to me. I don't have the finances to run out and buy a Lamborghini and I don't have the energy to get tanked and marry a 22 year old reality TV star in Vegas (hey, don't think they aren't lining up for the chance...). I prefer to celebrate in a more laid-back fashion. Still incorporate the danger of skydiving, the style of the Lamborghini and the romance and sexuality of the Vegas marriage. What else could capture all of these things better than wearing a kilt for an entire year? You knew I was going to say that, right? Well it's the title of the blog for haggis' sake!

Oh. One other confession. I've never owned or worn a kilt before. For many years I've wanted to own one but they always seemed so expensive and I never go to enough Celtic festivals or Renaissance Faires to make it worth it. The majority of my heritage is Scotch/Irish so I've always had the kilt on my list of things to purchase one day but always put it off. Recently I was making a mental list of things I would like to do after I turn 50 and I thought about wanting to buy a kilt. One thing led to another and I suddenly thought, "What if I commit to wearing a kilt every day of my 50th year?" Next thing I know, I did just that. I committed. In front of someone else even. I guess that means I gotta do it."

Rick is an artist in Chattanooga, has been doing editorial cartoons for years, and I recall back in college days, when we first met, he was making gobs of cash working in Gatlinburg doing airbrush t-shirts and such. He has a sense of humor which I often note as being ... well, he's never ordinary.

After reading about his plans for his 50th, I realized I had made no such grand plans to mark my 50th year. In truth, I do recall pondering that I was just happy to have made it so far. But did I miss some Golden Opportunity?

Probably. My dad used to tell me that when my boat finally came in I would probably be at the airport.

Is marking one's 50th year with some divergent behavior important? I have no answer for that. I do know that for me, I try and do things rather often which I have not done before. Such newness educates me, terrifies me, tasks me and generally pushes me to explore what it is possible (or perhaps impossible). (For instance, this week I'm finishing up a new play I've been writing, it's a Western, and it sure has me confused but I've always wanted to write one, so I am.)

So to honor that approach to life and to make sure Rick is going to keep his vow to wear a kilt, I thought I would bring his vow to your attention. Who knows, maybe his actions will encourage you, dear reader, to embrace some new thing in your life too.