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Oregon’s statewide ballot measure numbers for November won’t be assigned until August 2, but at least one is already controversial: a measure brought to you by Bill Sizemore which would limit bilingual education in public schools.  Like the arguments about English becoming the official language of the United States (still making the rounds, courtesy of Colonel Harry Riley), this could get ugly.  Read more about it on Associated Content.

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Mother Earth News reports that Toyota (that Japanese company) will begin manufacturing hybrid Prius cars in Mississippi in 2010.

That’s great news — more hybrids available in the US and more jobs in one fell swoop.

See, green(er) technology does create jobs!

My husband is watching Silent Hill. This, and another movie he watched recently, The Rapture (not exactly horror, but I found it horrific), had me thinking “I don’t like horror movies that feature children.”

My second thought, however, was “That’s not exactly true.” I’ve been OK with Stephen King movies featuring children (The Shining, for instance).

So I’m not sure what bothers me about some movies and not others. To be honest, I really didn’t watch either movie — I was just in the room while they were on. Maybe if I’d actually been engaged in the story, the children in peril wouldn’t have bothered me so much, or the fact that it bothered me would have been a good thing because it made me think and react to the movie.

But right now, I’m just feeling like I do NOT want to see children in these traumatic situations, even if it’s not real.

UPDATE 7/24:  OK, now he’s watching some Alien/Predator thing, and there’s a nursery full of babies and a woman about to give birth.  I think it’s time for bed.

Real Women Pull Weeds

We have a lawn.  I hate it, because it’s difficult to take care of, but we keep it because the kids (and we) do actually play on it.  In fact, the husband and kids are playing baseball right now.

While sitting out there today, I decided to pull a few tall weeds around the edges.  As I squatted down, my husband said, “I tried to pull those, but they’re in there too deep, and they’re prickly.”  I grabbed one.  It was prickly.  I decided to be all womanly, however, and pull it anyway.  I said “Ouch,” and kept pulling, and it came out fairly easily.  “They’re not so deep,” I said, and kept pulling.

By the time I was done, I had little slivers in my hand from the plants.  They washed out, but my right hand still feels nettled.  No, they were NOT nettles.  I know better than that!  I don’t know what they were, though.

As I said in my last bus post, I lost my bus pass.  Therefore, I have to pay cash (or buy another pass or tickets) in order to ride the bus.  I was contemplating biking exclusively, but didn’t quite make it today.  I rode up to the bus stop this morning, and caught the bus to work; then I rode back the whole way on my bike.  You see, I think there’s slightly more uphill on the way there than there is on the way back.

What’s important, though, is that I did not use the car.

This morning, I had several items on my to-do list to complete before leaving for work.  In addition to shower, dress, eat, etc., I needed to get a carefully crafted email reply out to an editor, pack a lunch, and find my bike lock.  No, I didn’t prepare last night.  Shame on me.

Anyway, I got all this done, made it to the bus stop, and only then did I think “I suppose I could have taken the car.”  Yay, me!  It didn’t even occur to me to say “screw it, I’m taking the car.”  I guess I really have gotten used to a car-free commute.

Well, yesterday I finally did it — I took the bike on the bus.  It was easy.  I made it to my bus stop with time to spare, and then it only took me a few extra seconds to figure out the bike rack.  It’s totally self-explanatory.  I challenge you to do it, too — in fact, I challenge Wendy B. in particular to give it a try!

Coming home was a little harder.  I had put my bike in the back of a co-worker’s truck for the afternoon, and then she gave me a ride up to the bus stop at 122nd, so I didn’t have to ride to the bus stop.  The bus, however, never came.  After waiting more than 20 minutes (for a 71, after 4 p.m., which really shouldn’t happen), I took off under my own power.  I rode all the way home, and the bus never caught up to me (if it was even there).

My ride was from SE 122nd and Market to just past NE 122nd and San Rafael, and then into the neighborhood to our house.  That’s not a huge distance, but for me that was a challenge.

Now I know that I can bike for some distance.  The next challenge in that area is to get my bike working properly.  It’s a junky old J.C. Penney bike that I bought cheaply from someone on Craigslist.  It works (obviously), but the brakes could use some help, and the gears sometimes shift around randomly while I’m riding.  I’d like to get a really decent commuter bike, but I need to save up some money for that.

In a related story, I lost my bus pass, so I may be biking it the rest of the month.

This is really p*ssing me off.

Especially this quote:  “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court,” he added. “Democratic leaders can show that they have finally heard the frustrations of the American people by matching the action I have taken today.”

As I’ve said before, making new offshore oil leases available will accomplish exactly nothing — except to put more money in the oil companies’ pockets.

Members of Congress, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, can show us they care by taking action to make alternative forms of transportation and energy available to more people.  That won’t be easy, but it is necessary.