Melvin_Blubber

Recent Activity

I think the traffic on Farwell is getting…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Having had two drivers make left turns in…

Let me make my point better: bad drivers are dangerous at every speed. In fact, sometimes they're more dangerous at slow speeds than high speeds. Instead of creating better drivers, we've gone down the asinine road of trying to design roads, street signs, road furniture and speed limits such that even the most incompetent driver cannot hurt someone. You can't do that. In fact, whether it's the ubiquitous green arrows or one way entrances to intersections, all you do is teach incompetent drivers to be even worse and even more helpless.

I hate rudeness and inconsiderate behavior, too, but here's the question: do you directly confront it when it happens? (And of course I don't mean you can confront all/most rude people, but some you can.) That's how you modify behaviors. Most do and say nothing and just gripe on places like this after the fact.

Hobby Lobby Coming to Oakwood Mall in 2018

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Unconscious cells, not babies.

"Unconscious cells?" That sounds highly scientific.

Does that mean we as a society may kill people in comas who appear as if they will never be conscious again?

Rule #1 when any people claim the right to kill other people: define the people to be killed as something other than human. This applies to the disabled victims of eugenics, Jews at Dachau, civilians at My Lai, Dresden, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, death row inmates, et cetera.

Chippewa Valley Teens Form Competitive…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Uh... Is this a joke?

No, unfortunately it's not: https://www.outsideonline.com/1808171/trial-mike-vandeman

Mr. Vandeman is Exhibit A of why you need to have balance in your life. If you fixate upon one thing, chances are you'll eventually go over the edge and think and behave irrationally.

On top of that, he exemplifies the worst way to sell conservation. The only way you will get mankind to see value in nature is to allow them to use it to a certain degree. The environmentalist ideology that casts human beings as a scourge or a parasite upon nature will always fail.

Sustainably-built mountain bike trails do not result in the things he alleges and also allows hikers like himself access to places he would otherwise not experience.

City Council Vote Grabs National Headlines

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Melvin, you are spot on! Your last…

As long as I'm blathering on the topic, it also became clear to me that there is a class element to the breastfeeding browbeating that is administered to parents of newborns. Most of the people who feed formula by-the-bottle are lower-income folks. The disapproval and judgment about choosing to go with formula was, pardon the pun, dripping. In our case, our baby is lactose-intolerant, so we have no choice, but it got me thinking about low-income folks who are most often the ones who choose not to breastfeed. I'm always skeptical of anything where everyone seems to be on one side, so I investigated a little bit. There is little or no evidence of long-term developmental benefits for breastfeeding. There are undoubtedly short term benefits, which is of course important, but that's hardly important enough to subject people to browbeating for choosing the other option.

City Council Vote Grabs National Headlines

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: The law says she is NOT at work. She is an…

Allow me to correct you. Whether she is "working" isn't germane, according to the state statute. Here's the exact language:

"SECTION 1. 253.16 of the statutes is created to read:
253.16 Right to breast−feed. A mother may breast−feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breast−feeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breast−feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast−feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast−feeding her child as provided in this section."

The key clause here is "authorized to be." Are infants "authorized" to be on the dais, otherwise? I suspect not. The city attorney indicates they are not. Whether the child breastfeeding or merely sitting there is irrelevant.

There is a reasonable expectation of decorum, particularly up on the dais. As someone with an infant right now, that is not an appropriate location for a baby, period. They will cause unnecessary interruptions. It's reasonable to tell someone in this council member's situation to find a babysitter on those occasions or have someone in the audience watch her child during this time.

As a sidenote, I would just note to those who may be well past their babymaking days or just those who have never had kids that there is an enormous amount of focus on breastfeeding these days, to the point that I would characterize it as "cult-like." As you can see by the emotional reactions and name-calling in this case, I think I'm giving a fair assessment.

I don't know any mothers who would want to nurse in front of an audience nor any who would think that's appropriate. Given what I've seen with the issue of breastfeeding, it's left me with the conclusion that folks who make these sorts of demands are making advocacy statements by their actions. This particular issue, like so many others, ends up with the usual "It's my right" argument instead of "What is in the good of the whole" or "What is the responsible thing to do in this situation?" The other council members and the members of the public attending have a reasonable expectation to not have small children on the dais. They invariably interrupt proceedings and require extra attention. It isn't difficult to have some pumped breastmilk ready for someone to feed the child. There's something else going on here.

Do Locals Leave Eau Claire to Find Love?…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: All I want to know is where to find the…

You may want to investigate the apartments above the relatively new and empty commercial units downtown. Yoga folks tend to be fairly quiet and empty stores are also notoriously quiet.

Do Locals Leave Eau Claire to Find Love?…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Absolutely true. That has been my…

Her attitude reveals much of the reason she cannot attract a man - she goes in with negative assumptions about men in this area. I know it's customary to insult men in the "relationship wars," but a couple things bear mentioning:

1. Women's expectations of men exceed those that men expect of women in the dating scene. This even include physical appearance, where women are more likely to rate a man unattractive than a man is likely to rate a woman unattractive.

2. You might need to consider the possibility at some point that you aren't as magnificent of a catch as your girlfriends tell you that you are. In all likelihood, you're like most of us: perfectly fine but nothing spectacular. As such, if you go in with a negative attitude about men in the area, few men will be attracted to you.

3. You also might want to consider the possibility that the things you think make you a good catch aren't the things men are looking for. In contrast to women, men don't care how tall their prospective mate is (except perhaps if we're talking 6'5"), they don't care what job you have, they don't care how "successful/ambitious (read: how much $$$ you have) nor any of the other things I've often heard women cite as reasons for why they're wonderful catches and are stunned that they're still single.

It's also interesting to note that you'll never hear a man complaining that there are no women in the area who "want to expand their experiences beyond the northwoods." And it's not because women in the area are any more likely to travel (in fact, probably less so), but rather because men would never use such a criterion to rule out a prospective date. You can move elsewhere, but you will just manufacture new, unreasonable standards by which to rule out the men there. I would just add that as you get older and keep these unreachable expectations of prospective dates, your chances are even lower. Guys who travel a lot for leisure tend to have more money. As a result of that money, they're more likely to have mates, already. Many guys would love to do more traveling. Unfortunately, more and more of them are falling through the cracks as women move ahead in the post-secondary educational system. That leads to more women having fewer date options given their unreasonable expectations. In other words, there's a smaller and smaller pool of men for women who refuse to compromise and date men who do not have higher-status jobs and do not have a lot of money.

So cute the way college kids get off buses…

Melvin_Blubber

Unfortunately, it's not just college kids. Not by a longshot. Taking into account age, I will sometimes let them run into me. On the bike trail, it's a very loud "On your left!!!" with the hope of a literal "dropped call." A dirty look or a passive-aggressive "Oh, I excuse me" directed at the offender is soon forgotten. Actually running into someone or dropping the phone on the pavement are much more likely to be remembered. With any rude behavior, what you want to do is make the person think, "I'm not going to do that again because X or Y happened the last time I did and that wasn't good." In this case, it made the person embarrassed/uncomfortable or it meant that they lost something they valued.

YOU: Eau Claire Wants Your Input on…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: i'm a pretty avid biker, and i've biked in…

Your heart is in the right place, but I will just reply like this:

1. As someone who has ridden tens of thousands of miles on my road bike, the best place to be in the street is 4-5 feet from the curb, which allows drivers to pass and enough distance from the gutters. Not out in the middle of the lane. It needlessly aggravates drivers. You have plenty of visibility at that distance. Frankly, my opinion has long been that the sorts of people who write those guides aren't people who know a whole lot about cycling. If the advice they give is to be in the middle of a lane, it's poor advice.

2. I know it sounds good to say that education is the answer, but it isn't. The sorts of drivers who will buzz you and risk hitting you aren't behaving like that because they lack education on the rules of the road, they're doing it because they're angry and they think they can get away with it. The city periodically focuses upon different street traffic concerns. At times, for instance, it's crosswalks and pedestrians. They patrol and monitor it and it produces results. The same can be produced by making cyclists a priority. Start handing out tickets and you will see results.

YOU: Eau Claire Wants Your Input on…

Melvin_Blubber

I'd like to hear one of the "get off the road!" folks share a specific instance in which they could not get around cyclists. What street or road was it and how long were they stuck behind the cyclists?

YOU: Eau Claire Wants Your Input on…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: Hey bikers, stop riding in the middle of…

Hey drivers, stop putzing along at all other times other than when you get behind cyclists! It's difficult to get around your 1000-2000 lb. vehicle when some of us like to minimize time spent in our cars. If you go any slower, I swear the world is going to start reversing its rotation and we'll all be back in the Stone Age!

BTW, in all mydecades driving, I think I've had maybe a handful of times where I had to wait more than a few seconds to get around cyclists. It's almost always a matter of pulling 3-4 feet to the left and passing. That's entirely too much to handle for your average American driver, which is the true root of the problem here: incompetent drivers who can't handle even the most rudimentary maneuvers, like passing. Did you know that I even manage to pull it off with traffic coming the opposite way while still giving sufficient berth to the car and the cyclists? Amazing! Guess who I can't pass in town as they needlessly plug up traffic? Yeah, dude in the Prius attempting to singlehandedly manage our global fossil fuel consumption.

Check Out Conceptual Drawings for Downtown…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: There are literally like zero empty…

They've completed all these housing units in the conceptual drawings above? Like the ones where the business owners will live above their businesses in apartments?

Let me clarify that I have no doubt that you can plug college students into all available housing in the downtown. No question. I don't, however, believe that you can plug in all the folks that this project is meant to attract to the downtown. This whole project is aimed at what in days gone by would have been called the "yuppie" population. Those aren't typically the type of folks who want to live near college housing, particularly in apartments, particularly when their money goes even further in a place like EC, where a nice, large home is affordable.

Check Out Conceptual Drawings for Downtown…

Melvin_Blubber

replied to: How so?

Poshy retail shops, restaurants and housing alongside college student units aren't a recipe for stability. Those sorts of boutiques/shops come and go with more regularity than prune-juice guzzling senior, no adults I know want to live in the vicinity of college students and the restaurant industry is the restaurant industry: about the least stable industry there is. Meanwhile, we continue to tear down forests on the outskirts of the city, like at River Prairie, with even more retail shops. Is anyone buying this as a sane plan? Much like the mostly empty Haymarket Landing thirteen months after it opened, you're going to see a lot of empty business units and empty housing units downtown.