New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 6, 1987, Page 4

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

January 06, 1987

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Issue date: Tuesday, January 6, 1987

Pages available: 28

Previous edition: Sunday, January 4, 1987

Next edition: Wednesday, January 7, 1987

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All text in the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung January 6, 1987, Page 4.

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 6, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas Opinions Daw Kramer. Editor and Publisher jim Wabm. Managing Editor, Heraid-Zeftunp, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, January 6,1867EditorialDrainage committee deserves support ? if . New Braunfels Drainage Committee will bolt f public meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in New BrauraMl vdlities meeting room.    » ^    > lf you are concerned about drainage and puMlflgafgty, you should attend.    %.*    •' The committee intends to propose that the city Use already in-hand or soon to be in-hand dollars to pay for a watershed management study, a comprehensive appraisal of the hydrology of this community of more than 22,000] Aside from discussing whether tfefM subject to state open meetings additions to the committee’s membership,1___ what the committee hopes to accomplish is city I mission to send out requests for proposals (RI engineering firms for the overall study/plan. That the committee is concerned about its status under open meetings provisions is indicative of the tenuous nature of government here in New Braunfels. Perhaps most important is the need, acknowledged by committee members themselves, to inform the public about what the committee intends to do and has done. The committee’s chairman, Gene Rutherford, and others are concerned that the issue of drainage management here should not wind up like sign control - a political football that winds up deflated and lost on the field of public debate. Unlike sign control, there is little that is aesthetic about drainage. High water is high water and human safety is paramount. Responsible and planned development is essential to a safe as well as beautiful community. New Braunfelsers should support this committee and its goal of education and explanation about what is and should be a most impoprtant municipal issue of public concern in 1987. of per-from civil Andy RoonevResolve not to resolve At this time of year when New Year’s resolutions are so popular, it’s disappointing to consider how infrequently resolving to do something really works. Breaking New Year’s resolutioins is as milch a tradition as making them. In my lifetime I’ve resolved to do a thousand things I have not done. I have been determined, on countless occasions, to stop doing the things I do badly. I’ve promised myself to think things through more carefully, not to be so careless with money, not to eat as much, not to make so many cutting remarks either in writing or in conversation and to finish every project I start These are my weaknesses and I must add to those my inability to correct them by resolving to do so. liesolve simply doesn't seem to help anyone be a better person Alcoholics who are determined not to drink again are unable to maintain their pledge without outside help; cigarette smokers are unable to stop smoking even as they lie dying of emphysema or lung cancer Gamblers can’t stop buying lottery tickets or playing the horses even though they know that, in the long run. they’ll lose I’m sympathetic to everyone with a shortcoming who tries to correct it by determination. ’Me too.” I say We are led to put faith in resolutions because on rare occasions they do actually help More than two years ago I noticed my arms were getting flabby and I decided to lift weights to rebuild my biceps. For what reasons I cannot say but I’ve stuck at curling a Impound weight every day for about five minutes an arm. I’m now up to doing it loo Umes with each arm and my biceps are noticeably firmer I don’t know why I’ve been able to do this excerise every day when I can’t stick to a resolution not to eat so much ice cream. Whatever leads me to lift those weights also gives me false hope that some day 1’U be thin through resolve. It's a mirage but I see it every day. The news, recently that there is scientific evidMMe that heredity has a great (taal male to do with what we're like than the circumstances under which we live while we're growing up. Is seriously bad news for all af us. I hots Is believe ifs true. I Rteenll’g hopelessly trapped btongMkgy the way I am for the ihet ef Bfllt and that isn't good enough It means that all the people who ate poor because they've been born without much ability to succeed, ate having babies bom with the same natnral inclination to failure. The idea that oar mousy ti largely determined by tho gsnes we Inherit is a discoloring thought for many reasons. For example, It diminishes the importance of education As much as I dislike accepting the theory, my failure at self-improvement has made me so skeptical of the power of resolution to improve me that I’ve all but given up making rssohUiaus. The only hard thing I’ve ever decided to do and theaeansirtently done in my adult life Ie to get eut of bed early every morning. I've stuck at rising before the crowd through light and dark, warm and cold. Getting going early seems to be responsible for most of any success I've had I was congratulating myself on this just now as I thought It over but I couldn’t help wondering how It fit into my belief that resolutions are almost never It suddenly occurod lo me that the chances are that determination and strength of character have nothing whatsoever to do with getting up In the morning. I can stop congratulating myself on having followed through on a resolution. Ifs simpler than that. I get up because I can’t sleep So. Happy New Year; but for better or worse. you might aswell resign yourself to being shout the same In 1007 as you wore In IAH. Chances are. those reaoluttaas aren’t going to Improve your personality or lose you a poundifs me bush ... shooip i Ten him he poseurHAV) 6 A PRAP6R 7 Mike Rovko Rovko and his nerd watch Most of us have habits that can irritate our friends and loved ones. With me. it’s my wrist watch. Ever since I discovered this make of watch several years ago. I’ve infuriated friends, coworkers and even causual acquaintances with conversations such as this: ’’Nice watch you have there." '•Oh. thanks.” “One of those oyster-shell jobs. hmmm? Must be expensive." “Gift of my wife." "Beautiful. But tell me. what can it do?" “Do? It tells the time." At that point. I feign amazement and say: “That's all? For all that money, it only tells time?" They usually fall into my trap by saying something like: “What do you expect a watch to do?" I pull back my cuff. display my watch, and show them While jabbing at the tiny buttons on ifs front and side. I say: “Besides keeping time In civilian or military mode. I expect it to be a fully-functioning calculator. I also expect it to be an alarm clock. And to be a stop watch. And to give me the day and date And to beep on the hour." In the past. I’ve had the model that not only M did all those things, bid could play my choice of three popular tunes. As well as light up In the dark. But this year. I’m capable of being even more .James KiIpat rick infuriating because I have the newest model, with the most amazing feature yet.. After I have run through the above tricks, I now say: “By the way. let me have your unlisted phone number. I want to store It In my watch's data bank." That really pops their eyes. But it's true. Through the genius of Japanese technology, I can store SO names and phone numbers In my watch. I merely touch a button and the names and numbers scroll across the watch face. And I usually conclude my performance by saying: “All that for $32.96 plus tex. Let's see your watch cost about $800, right? Well, lf I buy the latest, improved model of my watch every two years, at the end of 30 years..." I pause to do some fast figuring In my watch's calulator mode, and say: "... At the end of SO years. I'll have spent less for all of my amazing space-age. science fiction technolgy than you spent to. ha, ha, to find out what time it Is." It never falls to get a rise out of them. In fact, I have a friend who owns a $6,000 {telex and no longer speaks to me. That’s because they feel foolish. They spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and for what? To get information that Is hanging on the ' walls of most homes' rind office; metuhe of Say But for only $32.96,1 can tap a button and call up the unlisted number of my bookie. Or set the alarm to be sure that I don't oversleep at my desk and miss the cocktail hour. I’ve never had so much satisfaction from a material possession. That is, until I recently had an old friend I hadn’t seen for a few years. He was wearing one of those delicate wafer-thin watches, made in France, I believe, so I couldn’t resist going into my put-down routine. “Must have cost a pretty penny," I said. “A bundle,” he said. In a moment, I was putting my watch through it's paces. But he just roared with laughter and said: “I can’t believe this. You? Wearing a nerd watch?" "A what?" “That’s the kind of watches the nerds wear." “Uh, you don't understand. This watch Is also a calculator, a stop watch, a phone directory, an alarm..." He laughed again. “I know all that. That’s why the nerds love them." “Nerds? What do nerds have to do with it?" “The computer nuts. The calculator freaks. The number crunchers. I’ve got a kid working In my office who has one exactly like it. Classic nerd. Keeps a slide rule, three pens, a tiny flash light and a peanut butter sandwich In his shirt pocket." "Uh, it’s got a, uh, a two-year battery, you kqow?" He slapped the bar and laughed uncontrollably. Then he said: “Who would have thought It? You, a nerd? Tell me. what ever possessed you to buy a watch like that?" “Gift from my wife." The toy that is imagination * ■ *« » CHARLESTON, S C. • As a working rule of thumb, grandfathers ought to write about Congress. the Supreme Court and the Invidious Iranians Instead. But today I am minded to write about granddaughter Alina, not because she Is something special, though of course she Is something special, but because there's a moral that goes with the story I arrived In the Holy City, as Charlestonians are wont to term it, just before Christmas. I was therefore on hand when the three Charieeton grandchildren opened presents on Christmas morning. It was a scene that muet have been repeated in millions of living rooms across the land. Ten minutes after the carnage began. It looked as if a battle had bean Iou** with ribbons and bows. AU the aunts and uncles appeared to have sent plastic ponies tor Charlotte. 4, aid Jarofo, 2. Ponies are very big this year. There was a tricycle for Charlotte, a plastic train for Jamie, a book or two for everyone. More to the point of this tale. there was a teddy baar for Charlotte and a set of blocks for Aline. The thing about the teddy bear is that it came with chips or transistors, or whatever, concealed In its Innards, and when you said, “This Is Thursday" to the beer, the boar said. “This Is monday” back to you. If you raid. "Ifs a pretty day." the baar instantlysaid, “It's a pretty day " This baar just The Mocha were. well. blocks. They wore sturdy Places of smoothly sand* pin* gad Hey sup plemented a set of maple blocks that our sons had played with as children. These blocks didn't do anything electronically. They sat quietly In their box, waiting for a child to build a castle. A few days after Christmas I discovered that Alina had done exactly that. Most of the time she is IO years old; sometimes she Is IO going on 22, but this past week she stay IO years old aU the time. On the floor of her bedroom her castle soared five stories high. She explained the living arrangements: “The king and queen, of course, live on the first floor, and here Is their throne room and here is their bedroom You see that their bed has a big canopy over It. A colonel and his wife have the second floor. She’s a nurse, and they have a daughter, and their bedroom baa just a little canopy. Now, two families live anitos third floor, one of them is the Eskimo fagjfcr. WI In the mUitary and she's a teacher. Ytosyjnvs one sen. Across this haU Is the ambulanoe driver and his daughter. Up en the fourth fleer. Ifs a Utile crowded up there. Uvas a sailor and Ids two sons. His wife died some years aga. and he’s stayed a widower. The royal homltal toon tide floor, aku* with stooping quarters tor the royal retainers, and up abave thorn Is an attic sort of space because you have Ie have lets of closets In a castle." This remarkable structure, It appeared, was peopled in part by paper dells. Mainly It wee peopled with hMgtnatlon, The certie was ta-habited by kings, queens, ctooaofts, senors, teachers, nurses. Eskimos, ambulance drivers and boys and girts, and they all had names and they all had adventures, and if this seemed an odd sort of royal palace to a grandfather. It seemed a picture of transparent reason to Aline. The king. she explained, felt he should live close to his subjects. Oh, I said. Isn't this the way toys should be? In recent years, if I am not mistaken, manufacturers have produced a stream of toys that do everything by themselves it Is a manifestation of a kind of passivity, sired by the on*eyed ogre of television. The toy train goes round and round a plastic track, and the track can be put Ingather in one way only. Punch a button and lights coms on. "You are a nice bear," says the child. "You are a nice bear," says the bear. (kl the Sunday afternoon after Christmas, when all the presents had bean squirreled away. I inquired about this repetitive beast. The two little ones. Charlotte and Jamie. stUl ware playing with the new bear, but they had abandoned the electric mircophone that had been contrived with such Ingenuity. The bear still could talk, but they were bored with talk that went nowhere. They wore listening to the boar's heart with a plastic stethoscope, and they were putting coven on the bear, which had a very bad cold, and lf the bear spoke at all It was thraugi the voiee of a child. As for Aline, she was talking to the Mime on the floor of the royal palace. The Eskimo was doing fine. ».»••*    ,    i,,<„    on ;

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