Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seeing More Rummage Sales?

I think I am. I've never paid much attention, but it seems to me that I'm seeing more rummage, garage, and yard sales than before. I assume it's a sign of the economic times.

I have a friend in Milwuakee who shops the secondhand stores and rummage sales regularly for items to sell on eBay (and to add to his own prodigious collection of junk). I asked him if he is seeing more rummage sales. His answer: "Definitely." He always gets good deals. He has a knack for it. Now, he's getting great deals.

Actually, I'm lucky to be limited in my storage to what I can fit in my closets and a bin downstairs. Before my mother moved, I had access to a single car garage. Over the years, I completely cleaned that thing out at least three times. Each time, it filled back up again with my junk. If I had more room, I'd probably be out at those sales, too.

Good Science on a U-Haul Trailer? Believe It!

U-Haul trailers have been known their quirky graphics on the side for some time. It turns out U-Haul has some scientifically literate people designing these graphics. Exhibit #1, the graphic they are using for Iowa.
There was a large meteor impact near Manson, Iowa about 74 million years ago and left a crater about 24 miles across! But it gets better. There is an equation on graphic which tells you how far ejecta will land from the impact site...and yes, it's a CORRECT equation!

The Maryland graphic, although not as scientifically intensive, pays tribute the Goddard Spaceflight Center and the Hubble Space Telescope.
California gets a nod for the Jet Propulsion Lab and its role in the Mars rovers.
The California image leaves a little to be desired to be honest. Earth would appear as no more than a dot from the surface of Mars. They depict Earth closer to how it might appear from the Moon.

Colorado has a nice image as well paying tribute to the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder.

This is pretty good as prominences frequently follow the Sun's magnetic field and make those distinctive loops. You can also see granulation on the Sun's surface and Earth's magnetic field is depicted as being stretched out by the solar wind. Pretty good overall.
And one more for the road, the West Virginia one is particularly close to my heart.

The Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory is the largest full steerable dish in the world with a diameter of 100 meters. You will notice there is an equation on this graphic as well. It is the famous Drake equation that, if you knew all the quantities, would tell you how many intelligent civilizations there are in the universe. I spent some time at NRAO and worked on measuring radio frequency interference being detected by the Green Bank Telescope.

The space science ones tend to catch my attention, but there are some nice life science ones as well. You can find a complete list on U-Haul's web site. Wisconsin is not currently listed as having a graphic.

Although I enjoyed these graphics, I am not quite as enthralled with the ones for New Mexico and Nevada!

How to Get People to Take Mass Transit

Well, at least among men.

You can also read about it from Reuters.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Did RUSD Get Lucky?

"Dr. James Shaw, a professor at UW-Madison, is the surprise front-runner for Racine Unified's vacant superintendent's job. He also looks like the best candidate yet to apply for the job. Shaw has been a teacher, administrator and researcher, served as head of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators and was named state superintendent of the year."

My first thought was, what's his problem?

My second was, get him to sign a contract before he sobers up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday's Lost Video

This weeks lost video is a classic from two members of the Talking Heads - Milwaukee's Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth better known as "Tom Tom Club". The song is Genius of Love from 1982. Credit the grove to Grandmaster Flash's song "It's Nasty". (Prepare for a Diva in next week video)

The New “Johnny Cash”

For those of you who enjoy listening to Johnny Cash, this is a 15 year old with an amazing voice.

'The New Johnny Cash’

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Black Holes: Political Correctness Gone Wild!

I tend to be on the liberal side, but even I know political correctness run amok. The story takes us to Dallas where County Commissioners were discussing problems with central collections office. Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield called the office a "black hole" for all the paperwork the office loses.

Commissioner John Wiley-Price piped up and and said, "Excuse me!" and offered the alternative terminology that the office was a "white hole". The Judge, Thomas Jones, even demanded an apology for the remark!

So let's review. A black hole (originally called a gravitationally completely collapsed object so you can see why there were looking for another name) is a big massive object crammed into a very small space that has a gravitational field from which even light cannot escape, hence the name black hole. If something falls into a black hole, its lost forever. The name has bipartisan support generally as both liberals and conservatives like saying any program they don't support is a black hole for taxpayer dollars.

Now a white hole, although most scientific evidence points against their existence, would be the opposite, a point from which matter is constantly ejected. If the office looked like a tornado of paper just appeared inside, then I might consider it a white hole.

So in short, black holes have nothing to do with race, Mr. Wiley and Judge Jones. Racism is a real problem in this country and crying wolf damages your credibility when trying to deal with instances of genuine racism.

Idiot Tax II

Yes, they do walk among us. Good cause, bad idea. I can't for the life of me figure out why these idiots think it is ok to put so many people at risk.

What should they do with this latest idiot?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cigarette Cop

Just trying to keep the pot stirred.

For the record, I quit nearly 13 years ago, after smoking for 30 years. I say nothing to anybody about their smoking. If you're in my apartment or my vehicle, you have to ask permission. The answer is usually yes. I'll only talk about quitting if you ask me, and then I'll tell you how I quit: talk to everyone you know who has quit; try every possbile method; pray/meditate; exercise; try, try again. I finally did it cold turkey. My sister used the patch. I have never regretted it.

Am I an Airline Passenger or Criminal Defendant?

Okay, this is so far out there, I seriously thought a lot of people were taken in a by a hoax until I went to the companie's web site and saw they issued a statement on this!

Lamperd Less Lethal is marketing a system of electric shock inducing bracelets they think all airline passengers should wear. Yep, if you got on a plane, you would have one of these little bracelets on that a flight attendant could activate and give you a pretty good shock, much like a Taser. Lamperd even has a fear mongering promotional video promoting the system (although it appears to be an older video, the update on their web site is dated July 8th, 2008 so they are still promoting this product).

Yeah, I can't see any problem with this can you? Flight attendants are highly trained law enforcement officers who would never accidentally shock someone. I imagine people with pacemakers and certain medical conditions would have to get waivers from wearing these (and terrorists are far too stupid to think of getting fake/forged medical papers...I bet the only people not wearing them on a targeted flight would be the terrorists!) Oh, and no chance someone could gain control of the system and use it in the hijacking. I have seen way too many "unhackable" systems hacked.

Another feature of the bracelet is the ability to track passengers in the airport. They will know what shops you visited, how long you were in the restroom, what restaurant you ate at and anything else about your movements from the time you check in to the time you leave your destination airport after your flight.

Fortunately, it looks like the TSA is not on board with this yet, but I will be keeping an eye on them.

The loss of liberty is a gradual process...first you are asked to wear one on a plane. Then you are asked to wear one in certain government buildings. Then...well, you get the idea.

Think I am going to develop an exclusionary medical condition real fast!

OPEN letter to the

"Do you read lips?" No.

"AH HA That proves you can" How do uou explain that just knowing that one bit of lip reading doesn't make you fluent. Like someon saying "Gesunhiet" and being told they can read, talk and understand German

She tried her hardest to make a point that I was being difficult on purpose. It don’t matter all the dangerous transfers I’ve done. Yesterdays was BAD and DANGEROUS and extremely painful. Why? Because they tried to use a lift with a dead battery. The same lift they tried to use yesterday but NEVER plugged in to recharge. So I asked Miss AH HA if she had unplugged it when she got it. “No, it works just fine (until they put a load (me) on it).” *an aside. My door is wide open. I’m sitting on a commode. One of the GOOD aides just walked in and asked if I wanted the door shut. You know, I hadn’t even thought about it with all the other hell going on.

Anyway, I said this bed lifts you may want to use it to lift as you are determined to get me sitting. “No, we know what we’re doing (why I almost fell out yesterday with a lift and sling not made for each other.) Well, you know what happened when my weight was drug off the bed and the sling went down four inches lower than the commode. While I’m not supposed to put weight on my arms, they sure did in their attempts to get me up on the now higher than me commode. At least all I said was ow ,ow ow, ow ow.

So again….. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!!! You don't ever want to use _________ If you can go to ANY other hospital.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Yesterday was a good day. Today is kind of sucky. For a guy that never smoked cigarettes, I have no idea how the smokers make it through this. Before I went in I had no problem inhaling 2,000 ccs ofair on the breath machine and now if I get 1,000 it HURTS. The day after I honestly thought it was my last day. It felt that bad. I just hopI have more days like yesterday. While not a cake walk, it felt multitudes better than Friday/Saturday. I only came to awareness Friday at 8:45am. Too much double vision to read the papers, but I did manage to read about the guy that faked several heart attacks. Boy, wait until he gets a real one.

Anyhow, they don't let you sellp in a hospital. They waken you every night with tests and procedures like breathing excersizes. Oh UGHHHH Low potasium. If you've ever done a realy nasty shot, then that's potasium. Done. I chug it like a shot of speed rack tequila then chase with cranberry juice. Good thing I'm back on a regular diet as I followed with nthree chocolate covered peanuts. Another blood test nin two hours. God I ho-e i9t comes up.

Anyway, I'm alive. When I am stuck doing the potasium I wonder if its all worth it, but will think so once I'm passed this hurdle.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Biggest Stories from the Olympic Trials

I have been watching some of the Olympic swimming and track and field trials. How about you? Here are some of my picks for the interesting stories (in no particular order)

Michael Phelps - won every event he entered, will go for 8 golds. What else can you say?

Dara Torres at the age of 41 qualifying for the Olypmics in the 100m freestyle and 50 meter freestyle! Sets American record in the 50m.

Tyson Gay runs 9.68 seconds in the 100m final and then pulls a muscle and falls in the 200m! Ouch! What will happen to him at the games?

Amanda Beard made another Olypmic team, her fourth.

Bernard Legat won the 5000m and is going for the double in the 1500m later tonight. He lives in Tucson so he is my hometown favorite.

16 year old Jordan Hasay made the finals of the 1500meters where she finished 10th. Look for here in 2012!

I am sure there are others...what's your favorite so far?

You're invited to join fellow bloggers for a picnic at the BEACH!!!

You are invited to join other bloggers at a blogger picnic at North Beach's Oasis.
The date - Saturday, July 19th, 11am
Contact person - ME!! @
Please bring a dish to share, for ideas or to claim one as your own, just drop me a line and you're in!! Hope to hear from you soon!!