Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The One That Got Away

Every morning I go through Twitter with a fine-tooth comb looking for current, local stories. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don’t. Today the only story that leapt off the page is neither current nor local.

Exploding Pants Were A Problem in 1930’s New Zealand

Of course this brought to mind a treasured family story in which my much-beloved father-in-law Sam discovered his pants were dissolving during an interview with the BBC. 

In case you have ever wondered what goes through my mind at five am, sometimes it looks like this, followed by some stern self-talk: come on now, let’s get serious.

In truth I’d almost always rather write about exploding pants or the time that the police called out the bomb squad for a suspicious package that turned out to be an accordion. Stories like that are fun. You can think of me as the fellow in that now-familiar meme, back turned to the more serious stories, looking longingly towards the fun ones. 

All of this serves as a prelude to an extremely intelligent and well thought out thread by Frank Hecker on his assessment of the options presented in HoCo by Design. 

Hecker begins:

Interested in the future of #HoCoMd? Looking for something to do while relaxing tomorrow afternoon? Check out the @HoCoGov HoCo By Design Growth Choice Workshop proposed planning scenarios and (most important!) take the survey (last two days to do so!) 

Two things: 1) yes, I know that the deadline has now passed. 2) It’s still an interesting and informative read. 

The reason it belongs here is that, despite being a worthy local story, it never coalesced in my brain with a clarity that convinced me to write about it. For that I apologise. Every time I tried to dig into the HoCo By Design materials I came away overwhelmed with the amount of information. For those of you out there who have made yourself devoted experts on this topic, I salute you. For the people in HoCoGov who designed the surveys to be engaging to the general public, I can only say: it’s not you, it’s me.

I know that decisions about land use and development are important. I appreciate being given the opportunity to weigh in. But something comes over me when I start trying to digest this information. Perhaps I needed HoCo By Design the graphic novel, or YouTube tutorial, or “Land Use and Development: the Musical.” It’s hard to say.

But I failed you here, and I’m sorry. I’m grateful to Mr. Hecker for putting it back on my radar and I’m going to do my darnedest to pay attention from here on out. 

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