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Friday, April 20, 2007

Relocation of the Hall of Merit - Champaign or bust!

No, the Hall of Merit is not leaving BTF. Unless Jim kicks us out or something.

I’m moving. I’ve decided to accept a new job in Champaign, IL. I’ll be out there by May 14. This whole process has been the main cause of my AWOLness of late. A lot has been happening the last few weeks.

Now I have to sell a house and buy a new one and all that, so I’ll probably be AWOL a little more. As always thanks go John Murphy for keeping this flowing without missing a beat while I am distracted with real life.

So if anyone lives out there, let me know, and please add me to any get together lists for the Chicago/Indy/St. Louis area. Pretty excited about the move, I’ve never lived outside the Northeast, and Champaign seems like a neat town from the day that I spent out there.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:54 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2340318)
moving this to the sidebar . . .
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2340332)
You are worse than Walter O'Malley!

Best of luck!
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2340340)
I hope you cleared this with Jane Forbes Merit.
   4. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:47 PM (#2340345)
Jane Forbes Merit is listed as 'probable' on the NFL injury report, the last time I check. Upgraded from 'questionable' a few days ago . . .

:-)
   5. andrew siegel Posted: April 20, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2340718)
Speaking of moving, I'm heading out to Seattle this summer. Anyone live in that neck of the woods?
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 20, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2340729)
I only wish I did!!!
   7. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 10:56 PM (#2340765)
A year too late Andrew, the SABR convention was a blast out there last year!
   8. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2007 at 11:23 PM (#2340788)
6. Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2340729)
I only wish I did!!!

Portland isn't bad.
Is rawagman in Israel, the first HOMeboy to see the light of day each morning?
   9. Sean Gilman Posted: April 20, 2007 at 11:26 PM (#2340794)
I live in Federal Way, 30 miles south of Seattle. But I work in the city.
   10. rawagman Posted: April 21, 2007 at 08:29 AM (#2341317)
Paul - yes, for the next two months anyway.
Alas, I too, am relocating. June 25, I am moving back to Toronto with my fiancee.
Which means I will be in Chicago regularly (her hometown).
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 21, 2007 at 11:22 AM (#2341322)
I'd actually rather live in Portland, Paul, but the whole corridor is on my list.
   12. KJOK Posted: April 22, 2007 at 06:57 AM (#2341971)
According to this website, Champaign is one of the Top 100 places to live:

Top 100 Places to Live
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 22, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2342080)
According to this website, Champaign is one of the Top 100 places to live


It's got to be wrong, though: Cary (home of Chris Dial) is in the top 10 :)

-- MWE
   14. base ball chick Posted: April 22, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2342145)
they are FOS - houston is not in the top 10

and good luck joe.
   15. OCF Posted: April 22, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2342173)
they are FOS - houston is not in the top 10

And how many HoM voters have ever lived in Houston? (OCF raises hand.) Also Austin, Chicago, and Madison. I visited the U. of Illinois once - I remember them having a ceremonial cornfield in the middle of campus.
   16. fables of the deconstruction Posted: April 22, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2342287)
I'm moving. I've decided to accept a new job in Champaign, IL.

Hey Joe,

Aren't you going to miss the "silly circle and surrounding environs" commutes...? ;) ...
Good for you and best of luck with both your new opportunity and location.

--------
trevise
   17. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 23, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2343470)
Pretty funny that Champaign and Urbana are on that list separately - since they border each other . . . cool list KJOK!
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: April 23, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2343474)
I've been to 20 of the top 100 - some good picks like Naperville and Boise (granting that everyone's mileage varies), and some odd ones, too.

I'd comment on Houston's placement in the top 100, but that would derail this entire thread, lol...
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 24, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2343563)
My connections to the top 100:

Ithica, NY - I lived in this top 10er from March-August 1981. Was only 8, so can't really say much about it, but it seemed like a nice town. We went to Lake Cayuga, one of the finger lakes (spelling?) a lot.

Cary, NC - I guess the rating system doesn't discount the city at all due to Dial living there. That must be a mistake.

Old Saybrook, CT - cool little beach town about 30 minutes from where I went to high school. Having the largest casino in the world 30 minutes away is a major plus.

The Villages, FL - a buddy of mine moved there from Central Jersey in August. So he obviously had a pretty low bar to hurdle, but he likes it there. However, that massive tornado that hit a few months back was 2 blocks from him, so maybe the rating has dropped.

Champaign-Urbana, IL - ask me in a few months, but it seemed like a pretty cool town from the night I spent there last week.

Manhattan, KS - ask Mike Webber!

Plymouth, MA - went there as part of a vacation a few years ago. They have an Ocean Spray Cranberry museum there, which is actually cooler than it sounds. Seemed like a cool little New England small town with some good restaurants/bars.

New York, NY - obviously the greatest city in the world, since it houses the Yankees, but my cousin pays $2500 a month for a one-bedroom apartment which seems a little steep :-) But apparently the salaries there are high enough that that isn't as big of an issue as it seems. Obviously you never have to worry about having anything to do. I'd love to live there if I could afford it. Great people, as long as you don't get in their way or slow them down in any way.

Harrisburg, PA - My personal #1. I went to college 20 minutes from there, and still have most of my friends in that area. They revitalized the downtown about 10 years ago, and it's absolutely a great place to live. I would move there tomorrow if the right job would present itself (well, not literally, since I just took a new job, but you know what I mean), definitely where I'd like to spend the rest of my life if possible.

Pittsburgh, PA - Awesome city, as a tourist anyway. PNC Park is the nicest baseball stadium I've ever been in, and I've been to roughly 20 major league parks. Great bar strip down wherever "Fatheads" is. Very clean downtown, I walked back about 2 miles at midnight after a Pirates game and felt completely safe. I really love this city.

State College, PA - Crissy's brother just graduated from there last year, and it seemed a lot like Champaign when I visited. College town with lots of bars and restaurants, not much else, but then again, what else do you really need? Cool that they get real concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center too.

Westerly, RI - 30 minutes from where I went to HS in the opposite direction of Old Saybrook. Misquamicut Beach is either in Westerly or very near by. Insanely crowded, but cool beach bars there. Watch Hill is a great beach if you don't want to fight crowds. As with Old Saybrook, of course, having the largest casino in the world nearby makes any town a winner :-)

Nashville, TN - Went there for the winter meetings back in 2002 when I thought it was possible to get a job in baseball making more than $.25 an hour by showing up and being enthusiastic (it isn't). Wasn't that impressed with the Opryland Hotel as it is too big, if that's possible.

Arlington, VA - Old Town Alexandria is better. Very cool downtown area. DC just a Metro ticket away, etc.. Would be a cool place to live, but it's expensive. Traffic is awful if you need to drive anywhere. Sjohnny can elaborate further.

Seattle, WA - awesome city, at least as a tourist. The SABR convention was great there, lots to do, great bar areas, it didn't rain once. Neal Traven can elaborate, but I loved this city. Great people too.
   20. OCF Posted: April 24, 2007 at 04:19 PM (#2344161)
In the most recent issue of National Geographic, there's a little blurb on the rates of high school and college graduate in the U.S. The heart of this blurb is four maps: county-by-county maps with color-coded rates labeled "Completed High School, 1950," "Complete High School, 2000," "Completed College, 1950," and "Completed College, 2000." The source is attributed as the U.S. Census Bureau - indeed, where else would you get that kind of data? The main point was that the rates of both have leaped upward over the entire country over that 50 years, and the North-South difference isn't as stark as it used to be.

But I was looking at the 1950 college map and I started noticing isolated dark spots in the middle of states - isolated counties with college graduation rates well above their surroundings. It took a while for it to register on me what I was looking at, then I started specifically identifying those spots:

Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Norman, Oklahoma.
Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Manhattan, Kansas.
Lawrence, Kansas.
Columbia, Missouri.
Ames, Iowa.
Iowa City, Iowa.
Madison, Wisconsin.
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.
Bloomington, Indiana.
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ithaca, New York.
Laramie, Wyoming.
Pullman, Washington.
(There's a spot in North Carolina - I can't tell if it's Chapel Hill, Durham, or both.)

Oh, there were a few places that didn't fit exactly that pattern: Midland, Texas; Johnson County, Kansas; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming; Los Alamos, New Mexico.

On the 2000 college graduation rate map, you can still find the college towns if you look hard enough, but, the big cities and their favored suburbs have surged to the front, along with a a certain kind of rural area (Lake Tahoe, CA: Flagstaff-Grand Canyon AZ; the west slope of the Rockies in CO; Big Bend, TX.) The urban swath from Washington to Boston is now solid with high college graduation rates, and that spills over to most of Vermont and New Hampshire.
   21. andrew siegel Posted: April 25, 2007 at 08:58 AM (#2345129)
Call me an extreme peak voter if you will, but I'll take a few big minuses (costs, crowds) for the big plusses (energy, excitement, food). Here's my ballot:

(1) New York-- A bit blander than it was 15 years ago, but still the greatest city in the world. The energy walking the streets is palpable. The random restaurant on the corner would be in the top 5 in most metropolitan areas of half a million.

(2) San Francisco-- The other great American city. Views and sites that beat even New York's. A tad more provincial and slower paced, but that is part of its charm.

(3) Portland, Maine-- My one idiosyncratic pick in the top handful. The perfect small city. More per capita restaurants than any other city in the country (sometimes ranked 2nd to SF, actually). Food, views, much to do. An hour or two drive to the most picteresque small towns in the country.

(4) Boston-- You can sense my New England bias. The most history of any city in America, with great food and bookstores mixed in. Hard city to navigate in bad weather.

(5) Seattle-- My soon-to-be-home. Everything one can look for in a city--views, food, things to do, smart and interesting people. Did I mention the views? Ranks this low only because of relative isolation from other great cities.

(6) Portland, Oregon-- The exception to my above point. Has lots of the plusses of Seattle; also similar to Portland, Maine in many ways. Underrated.

(7) Washington, DC-- Noticeably less appealing to me than the top six--people are blander, fewer folks live downtown, food not quite as good as one would expect. Still, lots to do, lots of people with things to talk about, good bookstores, well located, etc.

(8) Austin-- Has lots of the plusses of a large city while still retaining the virtues of a college town. A bit hot for my taste.

(9) Asheville, North Carolina-- Probably too small to truly rank as a City, but, hey, this is my list. Has everything I look for in a place to visit--more good restaurants than can be visited in a week, a great bookstore, interesting people, natural beauty, a sense of place. Relatively low cost of living also a plus in the live there category.

(10) Providence, Rhode Island-- Given the rest of my list, shouldn't surprise you. College? Check. New England? Check. Food? Check. One of the great success stories of the late Twentieth Century. (And my wife went to college there.)

(11) Charleston, South Carolina--Has its share of tourist traps, but also has fascinating sites, great food, beautiful beaches, and a stronger sense of history than just about any other city in America. The Battery is the most beautiful residential district I've ever seen.

(12) Chicago-- A compromise ranking, as my big city-bias battles my anti-Midwestern bias to a draw. Arguably should rank higher as it has lots of the same plusses as New York.

(13) Burlington, Vermont-- Love the college town vibe and the New England ambiance. A big smaller and more isolated than my other favorite New England cities. Nearby Montpelier is too small to make the list on its own, but is itself a charming little capitol town with yummy restaurant options.

(14) St. Louis-- Some of the big formely grand midwestern cities present amazing values for your housing dollar. Of them, St. Louis seems to retain the highest percentage of its former glory in terms of energy, cultural activities, restaurants, etc.

(15) Pittsburgh--For similar reasons as St. Louis plus the ballpark and the refurbished downtown area. Beautiful leafy suburban-like neighborhoods just 15 or so minutes from downtown.

Cities that might crack the list but for the fact that I've never been there include Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Nashville.

The next few off ballot include Minneapolis plus some big cities with big plusses and minuses (LA, Philly, etc.) and some smaller areas that feel like double-counting (Berkely, Oakland, New York's Hudson Valley, Connecticut's Coast, etc.). The most underrated city I have ever been to is Lawrence, Kansas. My favorite place in the country is Castine, Maine, but that's a different list.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 25, 2007 at 01:24 PM (#2345201)
Lists of places I'd want to live are kind of revealing because all of my prejudices and stuff come out. I've got all kinds of little things that end up directing me to specific parts of the country, including:
-can't be deep south (maybe Austin as an exception, but I ain't been there)
-can't be rust belt (with possible exceptions)
-can't be too cold (yes, I know, I live in Maine...but I'm along the coast)
-can't be too churchy or too republican (so sue me!)
-got to have some things to do (that I actually like to do)
-can't be so big it's impersonal
-can't be so unaffordable that i'm house/apartment poor
-can't be a sprawl town, but can't be beyond human scale
-it's got to make sense (that is, I want to be understand the planning, history, mindset at a glance or quick visit).

I can only tell you that Portland, O is clearly the best city I've ever been to, it meets so many if not all of those things. New York is a place I could never live because it's just too impersonal for me. Actually, I can mostly tell you where I wouldn't want to live (based on brief or longer experiences as well as word of mouth and perception) rather than where I would want to live....

RUSTED OUT
Toledo
Detroit
Charleston, WV
Easton, PA
Erie, PA

NOT SO SUNNY
Anaheim
Los Angeles
Phoenix

INDUSTRY TOWNS
Cincinnati
Houston (haven't been, though could change my mind)
Atlanta (ditto)
Hartford, CT
(possibly Schenectady?)

COLDEST FRICKIN' PAPERMILL TOWN IN THE WORLD
Berlin, NH

UNFAIR BLANKET GENERALIZATION
Southern Cities (yes, I'm a bigot)
   23. Jim Sp Posted: April 25, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2345393)
Y'all are crazy. 22 posts and no mention of San Diego?
   24. DavidFoss Posted: April 25, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2345568)
Y'all are crazy. 22 posts and no mention of San Diego?

Its really nice here. :-)

Its gotten quite expensive, though. Its too bad I wasn't born ten years earlier.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 03, 2007 at 08:35 PM (#2353587)
Just got back from the house-hunting trip, I like the town. Nothing crazy, but some good bars and restaurants, and real estate is affordable. The taxes are insane.

If anyone lives out there and goes to happy hour, that type of thing, let me know - most primates who've met me will attest that I'm pretty normal, although I drink a little too much sometimes (not that that's a bad thing). I also like to play poker if you know of a local game at low-medium stakes. Looks like there's a decent chance I'll be flying solo out there, so I'll have plenty of free time! My BTF email forwards correctly, so that's a good way to contact me!
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 03, 2007 at 08:38 PM (#2353594)
BTW, by the taxes are insane, I mean $3500-$5K a year for a house in the low $200s, depending on which town you live in. In Martinsburg, WV I pay about $1500 a year for a house valued in the high $100s (but appraised a $220K by a lunatic assesor - don't get me started!).
   27. WalkOffIBB Posted: May 03, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2353623)
I visited the U. of Illinois once - I remember them having a ceremonial cornfield in the middle of campus.

And a library underneath said cornfield.
   28. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 03, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2353631)
BTW, by the taxes are insane, I mean $3500-$5K a year for a house in the low $200s, depending on which town you live in. In Martinsburg, WV I pay about $1500 a year for a house valued in the high $100s (but appraised a $220K by a lunatic assesor - don't get me started!).

Ain't nuthin. In Portsmouth, we had a 610 square foot condo and we paid $3200 in taxes on a place we sold for $180,000. Assessed much lower ($120K? maybe $150K).

I'm sure some NYers could tell even bigger horror stories.

But anyway, sticker shock's a bear, so my sympathies are with you.
   29. ronw Posted: May 03, 2007 at 10:01 PM (#2353663)
Somewhere real estate is still valued in the $100s? Here in California, that won't even get you a cardboard box on a patch of broken glass.
   30. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 03, 2007 at 10:07 PM (#2353667)
It's a townhouse in Martinsburg Ron . . . I had to move out there, because in Northern VA, you need about 2x that :-)

Yeah, I still have family in NY, they pay pretty crazy taxes too, my aunt on LI was pushing $10K on a 30 year old 3-BR rancher before she moved.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2007 at 10:48 PM (#2353686)
Yeah, I still have family in NY, they pay pretty crazy taxes too, my aunt on LI was pushing $10K on a 30 year old 3-BR rancher before she moved.


That's why I live in NC, Joe. :-)
   32. DavidFoss Posted: May 04, 2007 at 04:17 PM (#2354290)
Somewhere real estate is still valued in the $100s? Here in California, that won't even get you a cardboard box on a patch of broken glass.

Much of CA has this odd notion that you pay taxes on the purchase price and not the current value. Great for people who already own and don't need to move but a total killer on buyers. That's part (though certainly not all) of the reason why real estate here is so high, there's no tax pressure driving out the long-time owners. You'll drive down a street and see a beat up old VW in one driveway and a pair of lexxus's in the next.
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 04, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2354314)
David,

Is the scenario you described a function of proposition 13?
   34. Hack Wilson Posted: May 04, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2354317)
And don't make any derogatory remarks about the Chief anywhere near Champaign.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: May 04, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2354372)
Is the scenario you described a function of proposition 13?

Ahh... I guess it is! Thanks for pointing me to the history of the weird law. The cap on the percentage seems reasonable, but this other tidbit:

"This "assessed value", however, may only be increased by a maximum of 2% per year."

that's what seems to be creating the odd old-owner/new-owner disparity. Its like rent control on a statewide scale.

I mean, if they repealed the law overnight it would overshock the market... so even if they regretted the move I'm not sure what the solution would be there.

Anyhow, mixing real estate headaches with fun baseball talk is a bad idea. I should shut up now. :-)
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2354405)
As a Realtor in NC, the California real estate market makes my head swim. Of course, I wouldn't mind receiving the commissions there. :-)
   37. Paul Wendt Posted: May 04, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2354479)
DavidFoss #35:
Anyhow, mixing real estate headaches with fun baseball talk is a bad idea. I should shut up now. :-)

This thread serves no baseball purpose. Its origin and history make clear that real estate talk is welcome.

earlier:
why real estate here is so high, there's no tax pressure driving out the long-time owners.

Er, that's the point. It's a big issue some elsewheres, too, whether and how to help house-poor (commonly senior) people remain in their homes. Evidently, Long Island and California answer the question differently.

Eric C
Ain't nuthin. In Portsmouth, we had a 610 square foot condo and we paid $3200 in taxes on a place we sold for $180,000. Assessed much lower ($120K? maybe $150K).

I'm sure some NYers could tell even bigger horror stories.


maybe, maybe not. New Hampshire is special, with few taxes other than property taxes. People move there for the other-tax haven. That keeps property tax on the front burner and fundamental tax reform on the back burner.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 04, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2354553)
maybe, maybe not. New Hampshire is special, with few taxes other than property taxes. People move there for the other-tax haven. That keeps property tax on the front burner and fundamental tax reform on the back burner.

Luckily, people in New Hampshire don't worry about whether their kids have edumacation. Or more accurately whether anyone else's kids don't.

In all reality, it's [coins term] communocentric [/coins] to my thinking to believe that education tax dollars should only remain in the local community. The kids in Goffstown or Berlin aren't as deserving of education as the kids in Portsmouth? Or their parents don't deserve to have their kids educated just as well? In a very real sense, it's money seeking its own level and saying to the world "Our kids are better because they are ours." That's always struck me as a pretty squishy ethical ground to maintain a tax revolt (or whatever you want to call it) on.
   39. DavidFoss Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2354571)
Speaking of real estate prices linked to education tax dollars. I can think of a couple school districts in southern california that are so good that no one with kids can afford to move there. Its all older money. The schools are actually getting a bit desperate because enrollment is way down. Gotta laugh when that happens. :-)
   40. OCF Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:33 PM (#2354593)
David: One should understand the full picture of California taxes. Property taxes are low (relatively higher for newcomers and younger people buying houses, relatively lower for those who have lived in the same house for a long time, relatively lower on commercial property, which seldom turns over ownership.) Sales taxes are high, and the state income tax is high. School districts get a much larger share of their funding from the (income tax-dependent) state government than in most states. Per-pupil funding for schools differs little from one district to another - they tend to be fairly uniformly funded, at a level that isn't particularly high on a national level. There are vast qualitiy differences between school districts, and those differences do correlate strongly with economic class issues - but school funding is not the reason for those differences.

I would add that the only reason why declining enrollment would be an issue for a school district is precisely that so much of their funding comes from the state treasury and that funding is based on enrollment. (And I don't know off the top of my head what districts you are talking about.)
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:38 PM (#2354598)
I like what the realtor told me about the schools in Champaign/Savoy. They have a school of choice program. Please correct me if I misinterpreted . . . but here goes.

There are 11 elementary, 3 middle and 2 high schools. You can pick whichever school you want for your kids to go to, and something like 97% get their first choice (you choose 3, just in case). This keeps the schools balanced in terms of numbers, racially, economically, etc.. The city pays to transportate (word?) your kids to whichever school they end up in. I guess the final decisions on who goes where are made by a computer that makes sure all of the schools are within balance in a number of areas.

So no one's property values are influenced by the school district they are in, etc., which I think is great, as someone without kids. I also think it makes the schools competitive with each other, which is also good. Not every school has every program, and you don't have to move to get your kids into a school with the program they need.
   42. OCF Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2354602)
Ok, I see that David was talking about property taxes and Prop. 13. When Schwarzenegger was first running for governor, he trumpeted the fact that Warren Buffett was one of people giving him advice. So the reporters went to Buffett and asked him for a quote or two. One of the things Buffett said was that he was paying something like $1000 a year in property taxes for a very nice house in Newport Beach that he happened to have owned forever, compared it to what he was paying in some other state, and mentioned that he thought that was absurd. The next sound you heard was the Schwarzenegger campaign people sprinting to place as much distance as they could between themselves and Buffett.
   43. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:46 PM (#2354605)
Warren Buffett has to be the coolest superrich guy around. Him or Mark Cuban anyway.

Also cool that he's Jimmy Buffett's uncle. At least that's what I heard the other day. Please correct me if that's wrong so I don't spread false rumors any further.
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 04, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2354611)
Also cool that he's Jimmy Buffett's uncle. At least that's what I heard the other day. Please correct me if that's wrong so I don't spread false rumors any further.

Depends how you feel about Jimmy Buffett! ; )

I think you're right about him being very cool. His anti-proliferation stuff is neat. His approach to giving all his money away and giving very little to his children is really great (assuming it's true). And his support of a variety of noble and worthwhile philanthropic causes is good stuff.

I think it's interesting that the much-reviled Bill Gates also is giving lots and lots of money away. More than tax-dodger amounts.

For an inspiring perspective on this, check out Peter Singer's article in the NY Times magazine around the first or second week of December 2006.
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: May 06, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2355866)
OCF:
There are vast qualitiy differences between school districts, and those differences do correlate strongly with economic class issues - but school funding is not the reason for those differences.

In Massachusetts, where education finance is conventional, the recurring (and maybe the only successful) reason for Proposition 2.5 overrides is education spending. Prop 2.5 put a ceiling on property tax rate that can be increased only by locall referendum; that is, a majority of resident voters must agree to increase the rate.

Eric Chalek:
I think it's interesting that the much-reviled Bill Gates also is giving lots and lots of money away.

Gates is also one of the great heroes or our age and culture. Not only in Washington state. Tens of millions are in love with a Microsoft program or three (in love with or worship, choose the less offensive metaphor). For tens of millions, I'm sure, he represents genius and success rolled into one, like Einstein + Carnegie, the highest intellectual and capitalist achievement.

He is much reviled here and there, as in internet groups where many support free redistribution of baseball data.
   46. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: May 06, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2355913)
Hey, welcome to CU. I lived there from 8-early twenties. I'm up 57 to Chicago now, but my folks still live down there. What brings you to the area? If you are interested in contra dancing or radical politics, please email me and I'd be happy to introduce you to them.

Burgos, who was the Latin American Baseball expert on the HoF special NeL panel is also located there. He's a wonderful human being, so you should talk to him if you haven't already.

As to what your realtor said, things might have changed, but it sounds like the normal realtor fabrications. There is a "Choice" program, but the North Side schools sit empty while everyone fights for the South Side schools. If it's 97% first choice, there must be some serious data weirdness going on.

The Champaign district is currently on consent decree due to the historical racial segregation of the area. The railroad tracks that run E/W are the dividing line.

That being said, overall it's a pretty good system. While segregated, it's not like the major cities where you have 100% white or 100% black schools. There is a good gifted program and the university lab high school consistently places in the top ten or so schools in the nation. It produced folks like George Will (for better and for worse), Fred Marx, Iris Chang, and a bunch of Nobel Prize winners.

Did you pick out a house yet? My cousins just moved into Savoy, but it strikes me as typical suburban--expensive and not too fun to live in or raise kids. You can get a lot more house if you live in one of the few mixed neighborhoods for much cheaper. I especially would recommend North, just West of Champaign downtown--you are near a lot of cool stuff and it's cheap and has good neighbor dynamics. Young families, retirees who will cut your grass for you in exchanges for brownies or whatever.

Anyway, good luck! I love Chicago, but a lot of me wonders if my wife and I will end up back down there when we have kids...

peace

I like what the realtor told me about the schools in Champaign/Savoy. They have a school of choice program. Please correct me if I misinterpreted . . . but here goes.

There are 11 elementary, 3 middle and 2 high schools. You can pick whichever school you want for your kids to go to, and something like 97% get their first choice (you choose 3, just in case). This keeps the schools balanced in terms of numbers, racially, economically, etc.. The city pays to transportate (word?) your kids to whichever school they end up in. I guess the final decisions on who goes where are made by a computer that makes sure all of the schools are within balance in a number of areas.

So no one's property values are influenced by the school district they are in, etc., which I think is great, as someone without kids. I also think it makes the schools competitive with each other, which is also good. Not every school has every program, and you don't have to move to get your kids into a school with the program they need.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2357156)
Hey Eraser, thanks for the info! I figured the school thing sounded a little too rosey . . .

Burgos, who was the Latin American Baseball expert on the HoF special NeL panel is also located there. He's a wonderful human being, so you should talk to him if you haven't already.


Cool, I'm not sure who he is, but I'll try to track him down. Does Champaign-Urbana/Central Illinois have it's own SABR chapter, or is it rolled into Chicago's?

I haven't picked a house yet, I'll definitely take what you mentioned under advisement. This won't be my final house, so I'm more concerned with being able to re-sell it in a few years than anything else. If I'm flying solo I might rent. If Crissy decides to make the move, we'll probably buy a single family home somewhere.

Also, I come out alone, I've considered trying to buy a newer single family myself and rent out a couple of the rooms. I've lived in a situation like that twice and it worked out better than I would have thought. I mean the type of situation where everyone has full usage of the house in terms of the kitchen and living room, etc.. Not sure if there's a market there for that type of thing.
   48. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:10 PM (#2357167)
Chicago has the only SABR chapter in Illinois.
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: May 07, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2357194)
Burgos, who was the Latin American Baseball expert on the HoF special NeL panel is also located there. He's a wonderful human being, so you should talk to him if you haven't already.

He's easy to find on the web. If you send email, lead with a note that Mendez is one of 200 players your project has recognized, and Oms is in the backlog.

I mean the type of situation where everyone has full usage of the house in terms of the kitchen and living room, etc. Not sure if there's a market there for that type of thing.

It's a big and prominent research university. If the location is convenient
   50. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2357222)
dan werr will still hold the record for longest distance travelled to the chicago meet ups
   51. OCF Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2357239)
A decent day for the schools of Champaign-Urbana. Go to www.unl.edu/amc and click on the link under "what's new" for "2007 USAMO Top Twelve - Winners."
   52. base ball chick Posted: May 07, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2357255)
interesting what all yall think is important

me i think lance berkman said it best - why on EARTH would i want to leave texas? (hey, close enuf)

and i wouldn't want to live somewheres where it is not hot for a good 10 months a year.
and no snow. and no itty bitty towns. and there must be a thousand colleges in america so what is the difference if one is right down the street?

any of all yall BEEN to austin? (besides jeff K) any of all yall ever try to drive in that city? makes houston look like no problem. all the environment people they don't want no roads but no one stop people from building all these new houses/condos/apts so there isn't enough roads for all the people and the pollution is bad from all the cars in the stop and go traffic. there is traffic on the major roads in the middle of the night and even early in the morning.

i would talk about how much it costs to get a place to live but most of all yall got a LOT of money anyhow.

in houston you can get a place to live that is not too much. or you can spend $$$ and go live in west u or rice or bellaire
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 08, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2357858)
Believe me, Champaign wasn't my first choice. But basically I got drafted and had to play there (meaning that no one else was going to pay me as much to work somewhere else :-)

But it seems like a nice place, I've never lived outside the east coast, so I'm looking forward to something different.

I also hate the winters, I eventually plan on living/retiring to somewhere where it's always warm. My late grandmother said it best after retiring to Florida . . . "people say, 'don't you miss the seasons?' I tell them it's January 15 and it's 78 degrees, I'll tell you what you can do with your seasons!"
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 08, 2007 at 02:04 AM (#2357861)
I also hate the winters, I eventually plan on living/retiring to somewhere where it's always warm. My late grandmother said it best after retiring to Florida . . . "people say, 'don't you miss the seasons?' I tell them it's January 15 and it's 78 degrees, I'll tell you what you can do with your seasons!"

Someday when I'm an old fahhhht, I'm going to sell my nice house here in Maine and move to either New Mexico to be warm or Portland, Oregon to be groovelicious. We'll see where my priorities are when it's time. And what the cats have to say on the matter.
   55. Paul Wendt Posted: May 13, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2362169)
It's a slow weekend so far.

If you can break away from Champaign, Joe, it is only a short (Midwestern) drive to St Louis for the annual SABR convention. Do you expect to be there? Anyone else?
   56. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 13, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2362194)
If you can break away from Champaign, Joe, it is only a short (Midwestern) drive to St Louis for the annual SABR convention. Do you expect to be there? Anyone else?

I'd be shocked if he wasn't going. Matt Rauseo's going and rooming with Jon Daly. Anthony Giacalone and I are rooming together. Daly, Giacalone & myself are all giving presentations. Actually, Giacalone's giving two. Mike Emiegh's going and wants to get a road trip with the other NC guys. I think John Murphy showed interest in that. Chris Dial initially was interested, but after his presentation proposal got rejected, he said he might not go. Mike Webber's in. Some St. Louis area guys like Sherrif Blalock & DCW3 have expressed interest. Dan Szymborski said he's going. Ditto deJesus Freak. Will Young said he's in, job permitting. I'm under the impression that Aaron Gleeman, and Vinay Kumar are going. David Nierporent said he might make it.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: May 13, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2362416)
After canceling last year I am no longer reliable but
OK, I expect to meet KJ there, and other SABRen from states that border on Missouri (not heavily represented here).
Will any of you Minnesotans go fer it?

Who is Dan of Jim Furtado and Dan?
   58. Jeff K. Posted: May 13, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2362457)
any of all yall BEEN to austin? (besides jeff K) any of all yall ever try to drive in that city? makes houston look like no problem.

Well, that's not fair. Rush hour on I-35 is absolutely atrocious, and worse than anything in Houston or Dallas. But you can easily navigate Austin without touching a freeway. In fact, I haven't driven on I-35 in probably a year. And the traffic any time other than rush hour is perfectly fine.
   59. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 14, 2007 at 08:53 PM (#2363720)
Who is Dan of Jim Furtado and Dan?

I'd assume it's Dan Szymborski.
   60. KJOK Posted: May 14, 2007 at 10:01 PM (#2363766)
After canceling last year I am no longer reliable but
OK, I expect to meet KJ there, and other SABRen from states that border on Missouri (not heavily represented here).

I canceled last year too, but would say it's 99% certain I'll be there this year.
   61. base ball chick Posted: May 14, 2007 at 10:28 PM (#2363787)
Jeff K. Posted: May 13, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2362457)
any of all yall BEEN to austin? (besides jeff K) any of all yall ever try to drive in that city? makes houston look like no problem.

Well, that's not fair. Rush hour on I-35 is absolutely atrocious, and worse than anything in Houston or Dallas. But you can easily navigate Austin without touching a freeway. In fact, I haven't driven on I-35 in probably a year. And the traffic any time other than rush hour is perfectly fine.


- well, i don't know where u live, but i had a GIANT traffic snarl at like 10 AM sunday morning at 290/183 and i have sat in traffic on the mopac and very weird hours like noon and well after 9 PM

- and the last time i came in on 71 it was a forever mess to get thru ben white blvd

so like i said, ida know.

and i always hear the traffic is incredibly terrible up by pflugerville and roundrock
   62. OCF Posted: May 14, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2363911)
When I lived in Austin and taught there, I had a little house just south of Koenig not far from Speedway, and I bicycled to campus. At the time, it was just a couple of blocks from right under the airport flight path - I bet that little old house is worth a lot more now that they closed that airport.
   63. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 17, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2367235)
I hate when I get a terribly snarled pfluger around my roundrock.
   64. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 18, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2368259)
Hey guys, looks like Shredder and I are going to try to go to the game tomorrow, or at least find a bar nearby if we deem scalper tickets too pricey. Drop me an email if you'd be interested in meeting up!
   65. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 18, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2368261)
Game is Cubs/White Sox if that wasn't obvious.
   66. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 08:42 PM (#3475921)
Any HoMie's in the Des Moines, Iowa area?

I'm moving there this weekend . . .
   67. DL from MN Posted: March 09, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3476040)
No, but I'm planning on stopping there on a baseball road trip this summer.
   68. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 10, 2010 at 08:35 PM (#3476812)
Cool DL, definitely let me know when you come through . . . would be cool grab a beer and/or watch a game!
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: March 11, 2010 at 04:50 AM (#3477164)
Champaign is a southern town, is it not?
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: March 11, 2010 at 05:14 AM (#3477174)
Always fun to read a little bit into a thread, then see your own comment posted, and be confused - and then realize it's mostly a 3-year-old thread.

Whew.

Best of luck to HOM founder Joe, who I can confirm is a fun guy to have a beer (or three) with.
   71. Paul Wendt Posted: March 11, 2010 at 04:54 PM (#3477327)
Having a beer with Joe Dimino, or hoping to have one, is a long-running soap opera here,
in which Joe moving from one house to another is a recurring theme.


>Champaign is a southern town, is it not?

from Minneapolis or Madison it is;
from Des Moines, more eastern;
but no, it's a university town.

If Des Moines - Ames were twin cities they would be like Minneapolis - St Paul and like Champaign - Urbana at the same time.

MSP Mad DMA ChU
  x   o   o   o    metropolis
?
  
x   o   x   o    SABR chapter?
  
x   x   x   o    state capital?
  
x   x   x   x    Enormous State University
   72. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2010 at 08:55 PM (#3477588)
Planning on end of July on the way to KC to see some Twins games and the Negro Leagues museum.
   73. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 11, 2010 at 11:29 PM (#3477721)
Best of luck to HOM founder Joe, who I can confirm is a fun guy to have a beer (or three) with.


Thanks Howie - and the feeling is mutual!

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