Archive for January, 2008

Charlotte has always been neglected by Raleigh, even more so than any other NC city. This lack of attention has even, from time to time, led to calls of secession by Mecklenburg residents. Residents of the “Great State of Mecklenburg”. And honestly, I don’t know how much secession would hurt the county since all of our financial resources could actually be used in improving the surrounding areas as opposed to paving new eastern roads with gold.

But now that Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory is running for governor, with recent polls showing him as the GOP pick for the position the banter is becoming even more heated. Take for example a recent editorial by the Observer’s own Mark Washburg entitled, “Find Love in Raleigh — Then Move”. I found the piece brutally hilarious and a perfect example of the rivalry between the two regions. I imagine this kind of dialogue will continue to increase as the election approaches because the leading Democratic nominee is Beverly Purdue who has an almost perfect East NC voting record.

Some of the best quotes from the Find Love in Raleigh — Then Move writeup:

Raleigh is the nation’s best city for dating.

No, not carbon dating. Romance dating.

This comes from no less an authority than the Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine, widely respected in the news industry for its crusading views on dumplings.

Having lived there, I feel a few words about that love nest to the east are in order.

And then…

But first, it would be ungentlemanly and unquestionably rude to speak ill of Raleigh, a suburb of Cary.

but there’s more,

It’s [Raleigh’s Downtown] now as arousing as Times Square because a TV station installed a storefront studio where star-struck lovers gather to watch newscasters do their stuff.

And of course a dig on Raleigh’s architecture,

At the heart of Raleigh’s alluring skyline is one tall building. It’s a rather sinister-looking affair, but theatrically inspiring, like it fell off the set of a Batman movie.

For lovebirds, it provides a first-date ice-breaker.

She: “That Batman building down there? It like, ewww, gives me the creeps.”

He: “Oh, you know, like totally, me too.”

She: “Let’s have babies.”

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Urban living options have seen quite a boom in the last 5 years as housing values skyrocketed making investments in dense urban living viable. This is true especially for cities in the south and Charlotte is no exception. Here is a shot I found on the Urban Planet forums that demonstrates this reality quite effectively,

Not all of these are for uptown housing options though, many of these are for buildings the will house entertainment, theatre, arts, museums and fun stuff

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Climate change? This guy and a whiteboard argue both sides while presenting a rational choice structure which evaluates risks.

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The Bush Money Standard

One of the best videos I’ve seen on blip in a while recaps the future of the US money supply.

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I tell it like it is about the ACC over on my 49er President Blog.

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After making it to my gate at the Charlotte airport about 20 minutes before boarding (even though I only got there one hour before my flight) and arriving ahead of schedule at Dallas, it was off to Austin, TX where I’ll be for a week hanging out with my Uncle Chris and going to the American Astronomers Society (AAS) meeting as a part of my NC Space Grant scholarship.

After a bad sinus infection about 2 weeks ago, I still have the remnants of it in my head. Coming down to the ground in Dallas my ears wouldn’t pop to adjust for pressure and I heard echos the whole time on the ground. Going to Austin wasn’t as bad as my ear canals had slowly started to clear of mucus, but the whole process forced intense amounts of gunk into my sinus cavities which would be a problem later.

Chris met me at the airport and we had a great time heading to my hotel in downtown Austin, hanging out around the downtown area, having a few beers at a local bar and then sitting down to eat at El Camino for the biggest burger ever. By this point my head had starting hurting so bad with my ears acting up I felt like the whole world was spinning ever so slightly and I had no appetite. Inner ear problems are the worst. I lost all my appetite. We boxed up my food and headed up to my room and I took some headache medicine and then passed out at 9:10. I woke up at 11 feeling a helluva lot better and hungry like a madman. I scarfed down the leftover burger and thought about my trip so far.

My first impressions of Austin is that it is a great college town environment. Small enough to not be congested like Dallas or San Antonio but big enough to have a lot of fun people… similar to Charlotte. However, while Charlotte is just starting to find its culture, personality and quirkiness, Austin is full of that. Even though I was walking around on a Sunday night I could clearly see how much fun everything would be on a weekend night and downtown Austin is full of cool shops, restaurants and most of all… music venues. There is even an unloading lane specifically for musicians on one of the streets. Austin is a cool city with a ton of personality. I am glad I have the opportunity to stay here for the week while attending AAS and even more thankful for the opportunity to hang out with Chris. Tomorrow morning I have a chance to check out the Capitol building be fore I’ll be heading into the AAS meeting at 3pm tomorrow for the first round of Astrophysics action.

The view from my hotel room

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Just got back from tour through south Louisiana, it was a lot of fun. I just wanted to make a quick post to show everyone what we have been telling them about, the bells on the skirt that Jane got for Christmas. Jane’s dad bought her this shirt for the Floydfest this year. Jane thought it was a joke but it isn’t. She has to wear it!

I got matching tie-dye

Those are bells

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