Archive for the ‘Indiana’ Category

92nd of 92   Leave a comment

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought on the side of the colonies in the American Revolutionary War.  In recognition of his accomplishments, there are many cities, towns and counties throughout the United States named Lafayette, LaFayette, La Fayette and Fayette.  Among the most notable of such places are Lafayette, Louisiana, and Lafayette, Indiana.  Among the least notable of such places is Fayette County, Indiana.

 Fayette County has an official population of 24,277, with the county seat of Connersville containing over half the population of the county.  Until yesterday, Fayette County was the only county in Indiana that I had never visited.  Mostly as a result of having lived in six different counties in various parts of the state, I had visited nearly all of Indiana’s 92 counties though the normal course of travel.  The vast majority of counties either contained places or were on the way to/from places I would go as I lived in different parts of the state.  After moving to Jeffersonville in 2006, the number of counties that I hadn’t visited started to shrink very rapidly.  Once the number got below ten, it became a goal of mine to visit the remaining counties so that I could claim to have visited every county in Indiana.  Over the past few years, those handful of counties that weren’t on the way to/from somewhere but not too far out of the way became slight detours from the normal travel routes until only one county remained unvisited:  Fayette County.

 I have nothing against Fayette County.  It just happens to not be on the way to/from wherever I have been going, nor has it even been close to on the way given the places that I have lived.  I figured I’d eventually take a trip from somewhere to somewhere that went close enough to Fayette County that I could detour there and finally cross #92 off my list.  However, when I recently decided to accept a job transfer to the Chicago area, I figured my chances of ever being near Fayette county would diminish significantly.  So, with a day off yesterday and the kids in school, I decided to make a five-hour round trip, just for the purpose of visiting Fayette County and finally being able to claim that I have visited every county in Indiana.

I would love to hear from anybody else who has managed to visit all 92 counties.

fayette

Posted August 9, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Geography, Indiana

Major Announcement   3 comments

Ever since my parents took me to my first White Sox game when I was 9, I’ve loved Chicago.  I always imagined I would end up living there someday.  I considered going to college at DePaul before choosing Notre Dame.  I almost went to graduate school at UIC before settling on Michigan State.  I did eventually end up in Chicago for 5½ years when I began my Census Bureau career.  When I left by accepting a transfer to Maryland, and then to here in Southern Indiana, I thought I would be back.  Twelve years and two kids later, the idea of returning to Chicago began to seem less and less likely.

However, and opportunity has presented itself, and after some very serious and careful consideration, I have decided to accept a transfer back to the Census Bureau’s Chicago Regional Office, located in Oak Brook.  Nearly all of the details are yet to be worked out, but my first day there is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 21.  My eleven years of working for the Bureau’s Jeffersonville (NPC) office have been both rewarding and challenging, and I feel that I am at a point in my career where I need a change of scenery.

We have just barely begun the process of looking for a new home, so I can’t yet tell you where we will be living, but we are focused on the western portions of Lake County, Indiana.  As a native Hoosier, I am partial to my home state and living in Illinois doesn’t seem terribly appealing right now.  Still, I want the commute to not be any lengthier than necessary, thus western Lake County.  I will provide more details once they are determined.

Even though I’ve lived in Southern Indiana for 11 years now, I’ve always favored the northern part of the state over the southern.  There are people and things about this area that I will miss, but the opportunity to take full advantage of everything Chicago far outweighs that for me.  More/better cultural opportunities, closer to White Sox games, closer to Notre Dame football games (which only becomes relevant after they wake up and ditch their coach) and closer to a beach.  Also, you may find this weird, but I’m very excited to be moving back to the Central Time Zone, which is what all of Indiana should be on anyway.

My wife and children have developed strong bonds that will have to be severed, and I am very appreciative that they are supporting this move as one that will be best for the family even though not their personal preference.  My wife will have to leave a job and co-workers that she absolutely loves.  The kids will both have to change schools again, leave behind friends, and find new Cub and Girl Scout packs/troops.  I want to especially thank the babysitters, preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, Sunday school teachers and scout leaders who have all been a very important influence on the first 9 and 7½ years of our children’s lives.  Perhaps the most important challenge that my wife and I face in this move is finding and selecting the right people to fill these new roles for our children.

While there are still a lot of uncertainties that are the source of anxiety right now, I am very excited to start the next chapter of my career and life.  I have updated and will continue to update my About page as we sort out exactly where we are going to live.

Lake_County,_Indiana_map.svg

 

Posted July 13, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Indiana

Tim Brown and Jerome Bettis, HOF   Leave a comment

As is tradition, the new class of Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame is announced the day before the Super Bowl.  Two Notre Dame players with outstanding NFL careers finally received that honor yesterday, after waiting far longer than they should have.

There is very little argument with Bettis.  He racked up elite rushing totals while playing most of his career for a very popular and successful franchise.  At least in Indiana, there is quite a bit of noise that Marvin Harrison deserved to go in the HOF as a receiver ahead of Tim Brown.  If you are entirely ignorant of the history of the NFL before Peyton Manning arrived in Indianapolis, it’s a pretty easy argument to buy into.  Harrison benefited from playing in a much more pass-freindly era, and benefited from playing with arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time.

Tim Brown played in a much less pass-friendly era, with a whole bunch of less pass-friendly quarterbacks.  It’s pretty easy to see that there are a lot of reasons other than the respective value of each receiver as to why Harrison was able to rack up much better career numbers than Brown.  On top of that, Tim Brown put his body on the line to return punts and kickoffs 375 times.  Marvin Harrison put his body on the line to return punts and kickoffs 21 times.

Tim Brown played for 16 years in Oakland with Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Rich Gannon and Rick Mirer as his quarterbacks and he’s still in the HOF.  If Marvin Harrison had to play 16 years with those quarterbacks, you’d have forgotten who he is by now.

TimBrown

Posted February 1, 2015 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Indiana, NFL, Notre Dame

You’re Willing to Sacrifice Our Love   Leave a comment

It’s supposed to get very cold soon in much of the US.  “Cold As Ice,” one might say.  The precise forecast is changing by the hour, but the current National Weather Service forecast for my particular location suggests a high Monday of -2 with a low of -8.  That’s pretty cold.  Not as cold, however, as the low of -21 in South Bend on January 19, 1994.

I remember that day.  It was a Wednesday.  It was the third day of the second semester of my sophomore year at Notre Dame.  Every school at every level within 100 miles had cancelled classes.  Except Notre Dame.  I don’t know why we had classes.  It wasn’t fun.  I do know that it was the only time in my 3½ years at Notre Dame that I ever set foot in the art building, because it was part of a string of buildings between Cavanaugh Hall and DeBartolo Hall, and no number of extra steps inside buildings was too much to justify minimizing the number of steps outside buildings.

Nobody died that day at Notre Dame.  It was brutally cold, but we all survived.  Over 250,000 people live in Yakutsk, Russia, where the average January high is -31 and the record January high is +22.  I’m not suggesting that sub-zero temperatures are anywhere near pleasant or desirable, but having one day where the temperatures are expected to be a bit below zero does not call for the panic that is gripping the area.  I went to the grocery store this morning to do the usual weekly grocery shopping.  I got the usual weekly amount of bread and milk.  No matter how bad things get the next few days, the temperature is expected to be in the 40s by next weekend.  I can’t comprehend a circumstance that might require me to need lots of extra bread and milk.

Now, there are places farther north that are expected to get an extraordinary combination of snow and cold.  I do hope everybody is prepared for the possibility to be stuck inside for a few days.  I also hope that you are finding a spot inside for outdoor pets.

Posted January 4, 2014 by Andrew Cabiness in Indiana, Notre Dame

Kokomo’s Got 99 Stop Lights but I Ain’t (Stopping at) One   Leave a comment

I don’t know how many total stop lights the entire city of Kokomo actually has.  I do know that there are fifteen stop lights on what, for another few days, is US 31.  However, at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the new US 31 Kokomo bypass officially opens (according to the INDOT Facebook page), and that number will be reduced from fifteen to zero.

If you have ever had to travel between South Bend and Indianapolis, you probably understand why I am so excited about this.  If you have to make that trip frequently, you definitely understand why I am so excited about this.  There aren’t words to describe how much I hate driving through Kokomo.  Actually, here’s a good way to describe it: Think about the state of mind of somebody in the place described by the Beach Boys song of the same name.  Then think about the exact opposite of that.  THAT is what it’s like to drive through Kokomo.

Sometime long before I was born, a bypass of the original US 31 was built around Kokomo.  This was before the advent of the interstate highway system and the popularization of limited-access highways.  Over time, the “new” US 31 became even more congested than the road it bypassed.  My first experience with this villainous road was shortly after my family moved to Bremen when I was 8, and I’ve lost count of the time I’ve lost sitting at Kokomo stop lights since then.

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about building another Kokomo bypass.  Finally, in 2008, construction actually began on the project.  That construction is now all but complete and my next trip to Northern Indiana will not involve stopping at stop lights in Kokomo.  FINALLY!!!!!

 

An update to my post last week about a local girl being assaulted and the impact on time zones–it turns out that the victim made up her story and was not actually attacked.  The rationale about late sunrises and the real and potential impact on child safety do remain just as much of a concern, however.

Posted November 21, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Indiana

Dark Times in Indiana   Leave a comment

Tuesday morning, at about 7:00 a.m., a teenage girl was sexually assaulted while on her way to her school bus stop.  This occurred in the same school district that I live in, six miles from my house.  My son is in kindergarten in this very school district, and he rides a bus to school every day, so you can probably imagine that this news hit very close to home.  Of course, as a kindergartener, he never walks to the bus stop alone, but there is another factor in this situation–daylight, or in this case, lack of it.  Elementary students in our district start school at 9:00 a.m. and board buses from 8:15-8:45.  High school students start school at 7:45 a.m. and board buses from 7:00-7:30.  Sunrise yesterday was at 7:21 a.m.  My son was walking to his bus stop an hour after sunrise, the female victim was walking to her bus stop 20 minutes before sunrise. 

I want to make it clear that I am not in any way blaming the school district.  In order to provide bus transportation, they have to stagger the start of the school day for high, middle, and elementary schools.  9:00 a.m. is already pretty late for any school day to start, so it’s hard to imagine pushing it back later in order to have high school students boarding buses after sunrise.

There is a very simple way to improve the safety of students in the morning–put Indiana in the Central Time Zone where it belongs.  If Indiana were on Central Time, sunrise Tuesday would have been at 6:21 a.m. instead of 7:21 a.m.  The girl who was assaulted would have been walking to her bus stop 40 minutes after sunrise instead of 20 minutes before.  Maybe that would have made a difference.  Maybe the perpetrator doesn’t have the guts to try this when it’s light out.  Maybe the daylight causes somebody to spot him or his vehicle and confront or report him while he is waiting for her. 

Do we not owe it to children to give them every safety advantage possible?  Is there anything else that is more important that we have to have this extra hour of sunlight in the evening instead of the morning?  If you agree that Indiana needs to be on Central Time, there are four things you can do:

  1. Share this blog post with any family/friends who live in Indiana.
  2. Contact your State Representative and Senator to let them know you support Central Time for Indiana
  3. Visit the Central Time for Indiana web page to get connected to others who support the cause and updates on progress.
  4. If you are on Facebook, join the Hoosiers for Central Time group.

Posted November 13, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 383   Leave a comment

Just a little over one hour short of 16 full days since I received my furlough letter, I am headed back to work.  Much to my surprise, Todd Young did vote in favor of the bill.  I don’t know if he really felt like he was doing the right thing or just felt the pressure of default.  In either case, it’s probably asking too much for him to reach out directly to the people he’s hurt tremendously in the last 16 days.  Even though Federal employees will get back pay for the lost time, many others have permanently lost income during this time.  I don’t think anything Todd thinks he and his friends have ‘gained’ through this process is worth what we’ve had to endure.  I sincerely hope that the people of his district keep this in mind next November.

You can see a complete list of the House roll call vote here.

Posted October 17, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

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