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Infants Playing in the Street

Nubbin Ridge is an old farm road turned into a two lane speedway. I recently had the pleasure of being told stories by a man who grew up in the area of baling hay on the Stooksbury farm which owned much of the land near Wallace Road (forgive me if I got the family name wrong). He spoke of the rolling land and forests that are long gone. Sprawl and shortsighted urban planning has turned Nubbin Ridge into a shortcut for locals avoiding congestion on Northshore Drive and Westland Drive. Nubbin Ridge still has those fun dips that if you want to gamble that there’s no cars or animals on the other side, and you hit the hill fast enough, it tickles your stomach like a roller coaster. Here’s the rub. It’s not a farm anymore. Most of the land has been partialed out and turned to residential neighborhoods. Children walk these roads, and ride their bikes because our urban planners have failed to connect the neighborhoods with sidewalks or greenway trails.

Today I crested a hill and my heart fell into my stomach. 50 yards ahead of me I saw a dog on the double yellow line. But no! It was not a dog; the living creature was an infant, a tiny infant who looked like she’d just learned to waddle on two legs. She moved from the double yellow, dead center of the road, to smack dab in the middle of the left lane and stood still. She was not in my lane but in the lane of oncoming traffic just this side of one of those tickle hills. In the distance I saw a car approaching. I stopped the van, turned on the flashers, and walked to the child trying not to scare her. I put my arms out, she opened her arms, and jumped into mine. As I carried her toward her home, the oncoming car zingged past my van without slowing down. A car in my lane approached and without hesitating to wonder why my van blocked its lane, zipped around my stationary vehicle. After handing the child to its mother I started back to my car. Two more vehicles rapidly approached showing no sign of slowing so I just put up my hand and stepped into the road forcing them to stop (and hopefully but doubtfully think), got in the van, and made a mental note to drive much slower on Nubbin Ridge from now on.

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Disney’s Hockey Mom President Trailer

College Humor delivered an embed that was too large so I couldn’t post it when it first came out. I have no idea how BoingBoing got this smaller one but I hope it works for everyone. If the video doesn’t play, watch it at

This video was created in response to Matt Damon’s exception commentary. Even though you have already watched it, you really should re-watch Matt Damon speaking after watching the College Humor video.

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Thank you Twitters!

We just had an enormous scare. It was expected. Sarah entered Rocky Hill Elementary School in the third grade. On her first day home, she failed to get on her bus and we drove to the school to pick her up. On her second day home, she rode the bus but did not get off at her stop which was no problem; the bus driver drove her back to the school and we picked her up. Amy now shares a similar story.

On Monday, I picked Amy up in the carpool because we had to rush over to the Expo Center to work the School Matters booth. That confused the teachers so on Tuesday they sent her to the carpool instead of putting her on the bus so I picked her up in the office. Today was her first day riding the bus home. I could not find Cathy and assumed she was napping. Tweet! I leashed Dharma for some much needed training, donned by iPod with some Jimmy Buffett playing, and walked calmly to the bus stop where I realized my cell phone (doubles as my timepiece) was still sitting on my desk. Much to my surprise, Cathy walks up to me announcing, "that’s strike 2!" referring to my failure to respond to her text message asking about where the children get dropped off this year. The bus pulls up and 4 neighborhood children bounce out but not our Amy. In our stunned silence, the bus just starts to pull away. We were too far away to converse with the driver. I almost whistled for him but assumed Amy was in the office at the school. A moment later one of the children is explaining that Amy was on the bus! I have transportation’s number on speed dial on my cell phone but the phone is on my desk 1/4 mile away and we are on foot. Cathy calls the school as we make haste toward the house and they explain that they don’t have a way to call the driver. No worries. The bus will just take her back to the school at the end of the run.

I return to the house and decide to get back to work. Cathy is going to run around and fetch Amy, and her older sister and a friend from the high school. Everyone is calm. We part company and a few seconds later my cell rings to tell me the school called and Amy got off at Dunbarton Oaks! Tweet! That’s on the wrong side of the dangerous and busy, dreaded Northshore Drive! With Amy’s hard-headedness I could easily see her crossing Northshore. I direct Cathy, "take a right on Northshore then immediately turn left into Dunbarton Oaks." She calls back, "I’m at Kingsington." I picture her in Farragut (which she’s not) hours away from being able to reach Amy who is obviously playing Frogger on Boothillshores Drive. I race out the door and pretend like I’m still a sprinter in high school track. Tweet! It doesn’t matter if I have a heart attack as long as I reach Amy in time! I reach and cross Northshore. Cathy calls to say she has been in Dunbarton Oaks and one road closer to our neighborhood, which I’d forgotten existed, and there is no sign of Amy. Tweet! By this time, I’m at the same cross road as Cathy and I take the drivers seat in the van along with my wheezing. Tweet! Cathy gets a call to say a mother, who used to be a teacher, has Amy in her yard in Dunbarton Oaks and is waiting for us. Tweet!

Thank you to everyone who Twittered your thoughts as we lived this scare! Thanks to @Critter, @nathanblevins and here, @Digitarius, @knoxgirl75, @MariAdkins, @bobmissy07, @alanstevens, @overtlytrite, @dwneylonsr, @mwoodvols, and @areynolds65! And thanks to all others that were thinking of Amy. Hope I didn’t miss anyone. Thank you all! It would not have surprised me (nor Amy) much if someone pulled up and said, "I’m from Twitter! Stay right here your parents will be here in a moment." Of course, I hope she would not get in the car unless she knew you.

Related: I do blog the kids lives