Ben Langhinrichs

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April, 2009
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 3 Apr 2009, 01:15 PM
I don't particularly intend to get into a political debate here, so skip this if you are likely to be offended, but I was very pleased to see that the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in that state, making it the first state in the Midwestern U.S. to allow same-sex marriages.  I would be even happier if the people of Iowa (and Ohio and so on) would pass this sort of right into law rather than leaving it to the courts.  As a strong believer in individual rights that don't stomp on the rights of others, I am pleased to live in an age where same-sex marriage is at last being recognized, and gradually becoming more accepted.  For the same of same-sex couples I know (and ones I don't), I hope the momentum continues and accelerates.

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

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Fri 3 Apr 2009, 09:29 AM
Our home in Shaker Heights, Ohio is not large, but it isn't small either, and it sits invitingly on a double lot.  Shaker Heights itself is a cozy, fairly prosperous bedroom community on the very edge of Cleveland.  Cleveland, while a wonderful city in many ways, is one of the poorest in the nation, and has been hurt badly by the sinking economy, a dwindling population, and housing values that have plummeted.

It is inevitable that the close proximity of these two different places would occasionally lead to problems.  We have had a couple of break-ins on our street, although nothing more than someone coming in and taking a purse on the side counter, or in one case a car which was driven just a few miles away and recovered the same day.  Not fun, but part of urban living.  It does put you a bit on edge though.

With this in mind, it was still very scary when our thirteen year old son came into our room two nights ago and said that somebody was trying to get into his room.  There is a flat roof with a railing outside his window, and a door which goes into his room which is always locked, but the storm door outside the regular door has been falling apart and doesn't latch well.  Our son reported that he had been awakened by a loud noise outside, and had heard what sounded like footsteps up in the attic, but had assumed it was just me getting up early and going upstairs for some reason.  Then his storm door opened and h thought he saw a shadow against the window pane.

He didn't stay around to find out what would happen next.  Smart kid.  After he woke us up, we turned on lights, called the police (who were there in about 30 seconds - the blessings of living in a place like Shaker Heights where people actually vote for tax increases), and looked around.

The police searched around the neighborhood, stomped through the house, and generally made their presence known.  Nobody was caught, and it is not entirely clear whether someone really tried to get in or not.  The police seemed a bit dubious, but encouraged us to call back in such circumstances in any case, because it was far better to be safe than sorry.  We didn't sleep anymore that night, but have all settled down since.

We'll probably never know for sure what happened.  It doesn't entirely matter, as we are replacing the storm door and already have motion sensitive lights and that sort of thing (part of the reason the police are dubious, as there are far easier targets on our street).  Just a reminder that even in modern times, it is hard not to worry about things that go bump in the night.

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

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