Saturday, April 4, 2009

What was the Happiest day of your life?

Lets all be totally honest........and frank.

My happiest day was the first day I dropped my youngest of at school for 1st grade!!!!!!!!!!
Both kids in school all day.

Yeah Yeah Yeah I know the day they where born was cool for me too but remember I was in some pain that day too.

The day I got married.NOT AT ALL.I cryed that day.( I should have known huh)

OK Your turn!

Bear attack in Churchill, Manitoba , Canada.

Bear attack in Churchill, Manitoba , Canada.

These are pictures of an actual polar bear attack in Churchill.

These pictures were taken while people watched and could do nothing to stop the attack!

Reports from the local newspaper say that the victim will make a full recovery.

The photos are below.


Earth Hour: The Big Picture

Many people celebrated (and some derided) Earth Hour last Saturday night. Landmarks in major cities around the world went dark and people were encouraged to join in. I was at the U of Arizona Mall with my telescope at a star party. Here is an pic of the event (click to embiggen).

I couldn't do before and during pictures since the streetlights never came on and I didn't feel like waiting until they were turned back on afterwards.

This week the Boston Globe's Big Picture featured images from Earth Hour Around the world. Be sure to click on the images to see the cities go dark. It's pretty interesting to see the differences.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Helding Admits to "Backroom Deals" During Becker's Administration

This blog on the Insider News site intrigued me:

At 19 seconds into his YouTube campaign video, Greg Helding states, "I'll end the backroom deals, and bring full transparency and accountability to city government."

As the Insider News blog asks, WHAT backroom deals is Mr. Helding referring to? Why hasn't he or any of the other aldermen running for mayor mentioned these deals before? Why haven't they stepped up to stop such illegal actions on the part of city government during their years in office? They have been part of the wheeling and dealing at City Hall since the beginning of Becker's terms.

The politics and corruption in this city are filthy and disgusting. These are Racine's "leaders," our elected representatives: lying weasels.

Party on, Racine! The Beckerphile will be back in 2011, restored to his full majesty and glory.

Friday, April 3, 2009

So beejay doesn't sound like she's lost it...

The I has a sweet potato story.

Original link to follow the story. * not my work, but it would very well fit for Minnie*

I Has a Sweet Potato
You know, a lot of times I write up random posts and then don't post them. But Best Beloved just called me, and I could not really explain why I was inarticulate about sweet potatoes, so I said I'd go ahead and post this. That way, she can read it at work and know just what kind of day it has been. (Short version, for those who do not feel like reading the whole post: ARRRRRRG. F&*%ing sweet potatoes.)

The longer version, summarized in conversation form:

Dog: I am starving.
Me: Actually, no. You aren't starving. You get two very good meals a day. And treats. And Best Beloved fed you extra food while I was gone.
Me: I saw you get fed not four hours ago! You are not starving.
Dog: Pity me, a sad and tragic creature, for I can barely walk, I am so starving. WOE.
Me: I am now ignoring you.
Dog: Did you hear me? I am starving.
Dog: Are you seriously ignoring me? Fine.

[There is a pause, during which the dog exits the room in a pointed manner.]

[From the kitchen, there comes a noise like someone is eating a baseball bat.]

Me, yelling: What the h$%* are you doing?
Me: *makes haste for the kitchen and finds dog there*
Dog: *picks up entire raw sweet potato, which is what was causing the baseball bat noise, and flees for the bedroom*
Me: *chases dog, retrieves most of sweet potato, less the portion which has disappeared into dog's gullet*
Me: ...That can't be good for you. It's a RAW SWEET POTATO.
Dog: I had to do it. I haven't been fed. Ever.
Me: You realize you aren't normal. Normal dogs don't steal raw sweet potatoes.
Dog, sadly: I was badly brought up.
Me: Yes. Yes, you were.
Dog: By people who starved me.
Me: Oh, no. I am not doing this again.
Me: *exits the room, bearing sweet potato*

[There is a pause.]

[There is a noise like someone is trying to eat a baseball bat very very quietly.]

Me: Oh, for the love of GOD.
Me: *heads off to the kitchen*
Dog: I am not eating a raw sweet potato.
Me: You have sweet potato parts all over your snout.
Dog: But you don't actually SEE a raw sweet potato, do you? So maybe that's just - um. A birthmark.
Me: Did you seriously eat a whole sweet potato?
Dog: You don't listen. I told you, I wasn't eating a sweet potato.
Me, searching around fruitlessly: Look. NO MORE SWEET POTATOES.
Me: Oh, what am I saying? This is you we're talking about, here. *goes to hide all the sweet potatoes that are left - which isn't many - in the fridge, because some people cannot be trusted*
Dog: *attempts to look thwarted*
Dog: *does not succeed, because her tail is wagging so hard small cyclones are forming in the kitchen*
Me: *has a very bad feeling about this*

[There is a pause, during which I do not even bother trying to return to what I was doing. I just stand in the computer room, waiting.]

[There is, as I wholly expected, a baseball-bat-eating noise.]

Me, stomping back to the kitchen: OKAY. GIVE ME THE D$%&ED SWEET POTATO.
Dog, looking up guiltily: What sweet potato?
Dog: Oh, did you want this? I just, um. Found it. Lying here.
Me: *confiscates the sweet potato and deposits it in the locking trashcan*
Me: Let us say no more about this.
Dog: ...Nooooo! They be stealin' my sweet potato!

[I attempt to remember what I was doing before the sweet potato episode.]

[Some ten minutes later, I succeed, and return to it.]

[NOT ONE MINUTE LATER, I hear a noise with which I have become all too familiar.]

Me, bonking head on desk: Arg.
Me, arriving in kitchen: How did you even get another sweet potato?
Dog, smugly: I have my ways.
Me: Are you punishing me for being away for several days? I was at a FUNERAL, you know. It wasn't FUN.
Dog: How would I know? You didn't take me. You left me here with only one human to look after my needs. One human is NOT ENOUGH.
Me: *shuts dog in bedroom, conducts a sweep of the kitchen to track down all remaining sweet potatoes, wipes up random sweet potato particles from floor, eradicates all traces of sweet potato from house*
Me: *lets dog out*
Dog, sulkily: Oh, so you think you've won.

[I watch her go about her business with the same sense of overwhelming doom that heroines of Victorian novels get when they meet Count Sinistrus Grimblack for the first time.]

[Half an hour later, there is a wetter, juicier eating noise, as though someone was eating a very moist baseball bat.]

Me, wearily: What NOW?
Dog, hunched over the remains of a butternut squash: *says something garbled because her mouth is full*
Me: Okay. Fine.
Me: *stomps over, empties entire vegetable bowl into trash*
Dog: I'm not even remotely sorry. I told you I was hungry. And you went to a funeral without me.

[A half-hour later, there is another baseball-bat-eating noise from the kitchen. The dog, who apparently does not know how to win gracefully, has found another sweet potato, or possibly caused one to materialize from the Rift.]

Me, hauling chewed sweet potato parts from the mouth of a dog very reluctant to part with them: Oh my god how is this my life?
Dog: Don't you think it would just be easier to feed me?
Dog: Actually, I so good.
Dog: *throws up* *vomit is very bright orange*

[Unfortunate details ensue.]

Some time later:
Me, attempting to rescue something from the wreckage: So. What have we learned from this?
Dog: Sweet potatoes are yummy!
Other Dog, looking thoughtful: I should pay more attention to crunching noises. Sweet potatoes are probably yummy.
Me: I need a lobotomy.

And that, Best Beloved - and anyone else who made it through that - is What Kind of Day It Has Been.


Are You Going To The April 15th TEA PARTY In Madison?

I don't like posting political type of posts because the friendship that I have with all the other Irregulars is far more important to me. But the tax burden in this state is unreal, and soon many backs are going to be broken under its weight. I'm going, and I'll have my sign with me.

Identity crisis?

My poor dog. doesn't know what she is!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Identity Theft!!! Serious Business!

thursday night grin.....


A social worker from a big City in Massachusetts recently transferred to the Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia and was on the first tour of her new territory when she came upon the tiniest cabin she had ever seen in her life.

Intrigued, she went up and knocked on the door...

Anybody home?' she asked.

'Yep,' came a kid's voice through the door.

Is your father there?' asked the social worker.

'Pa? Nope, he left afore Ma came in,' said the kid.

'Well, is your mother there?' persisted the social worker.

Ma? Nope, she left just afore I got here,' said the kid.

'But,' protested the social worker, 'are you never together as a family?'

'Sure, but not here,' said the kid through the door. 'This is the Outhouse!'

(Government workers are so smart!)

James Taylor for those meloncholy moments

Rock and Roll Revival

But there's is a full moon risin'
Let's go dancing in the light
We know where's the music playin'
Let's go out and feel the night

Harvest Moon-Neil Young

Hello everybody! Some inspiring lyrics there from one of my favorite artists, Neil Young What I love about Neil Young is his songwriting ability. He can write about anything. Many of which are heartfelt and personal. Politics, the environment, and anti drug abuse are some of his themes. What's the most unusual thing about him is that he can cross over to any music genre possible. He can play grunge, folk, hard rock, country, and the blues. Hard to pigeon-toe him to any catergory.

I know that there are many, many artists out there that are excellent songwriters. Some of them more vivid than Neil Young. So, my friends and readers, what lyrics inspire you? Capture your imagination? Feel free to post lyrics if you want.

April 1st Post Mortem: Why We Need Better BS Detectors

In case you missed one of the more amusing April 1st pranks yesterday, Car and Driver posted a story that Obama was ordering Chevy and Dodge out of NASCAR at the end of 2009. The story was taken down due to the outrage but Car and Drive is linking to other media coverage of it.

Needless to say, there are people out there who are not fond of Obama and like NASCAR that decided to take this as an opportunity to pile on, including some well known conservative commentators and bloggers who forgot to look at the calendar yesterday (some people claim that it was clearly labeled as a prank...sources I have found said the disclaimer was added later in the day as the furor grew).

There were a lot of pranks up yesterday (including my link to the Universe Today article about NASA and the bat). The Car and Driver one seems to have fooled a good number of people based on the reaction. Part of this is due to a logical fallacy called confirmation bias. In this case, people have a certain opinion of Obama and are easily fooled by information that fits their particular world view. There were people that took the bat story as true for similar reasons.

Confirmation bias is not just an issue in politics. We remember odd things that happen on the night of a full Moon but not other times (and I have even heard people remark that there must be a full Moon due to odd events when, well, the Moon wasn't even close to full!)

I cannot say I have never been burned by this myself, but I sure have gotten a lot better at asking the right questions over the years to ferret out BS. Being aware of the tendency helps a lot. I am careful what I post and always check a couple of reliable sources and then ask more questions before I start accepting what I read online (or in print, or television or radio news or Uncle Joe's forwarded email...Uncle Joe isn't too discerning).

Now April 1st is behind us and people who were looking at the web with skepticism yesterday are letting their guards down again. Silly stories will freely roam the web without the skeptical eye we cast on them once a year. Trust me, I will be hearing that Mars will appear as big as the full Moon come August yet again, that Microsoft will pay me for forwarding an email, and (insert politician of the day here) is an evil embezzler/socialist/war criminal/child molester, etc.

It's okay to question information that does not fit your world view...but it is even more important to question information that does since that is what is more likely to fool you.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Thursday Grin.........

How to tell if you're a loser!

JTI Awarded "Excellence In Awarding Itself Awards" Award

Every week or so, the Journal Times publishes an account of another award it has "won" from the self-serving, self-awarding journalism industry. And every week the writing in the newspaper gets more dismal.

Along those lines, I have decided that we at the JTI deserve an award, too. So I am awarding us with an award for not awarding too many awards to awardless people like us.

Congratulations to us!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Presidential Jeopardy

NASA Negligent in Bat Death?*

We have had a couple of blogs here about the bat that went up with the recent launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. Dubbed Brian the Bat by the media, he was unable to fly away most likely due to a broken wing and became the first bat in space.

Now Universe Today is reporting that NASA could be held criminally negligent in the death of Brian. "According to state animal protection law, NASA may be charged with negligence, after making little effort to prevent "animal interaction" with the launchpad and apparent unwillingness to remove Brian by hand before launch."

NASA is taking precautions and developing a new mesh system that will be draped around the external rockets after a final inspection to prevent bats and other wildlife from interacting with rockets during future launches. It probably won't be ready for the remaining shuttle missions, but will be used with the Ares Rockets. Initial cost estimates are $10 million for this system.

The scandal appears to be widening as it is now coming to light that this is not the first animal to perish in a shuttle launch.

"…of course animals die during launches. We've had collisions with eagles during ascent, we've even found dead rats, mice and gophers left on the pad, there has also been injuries to some larger animals in the past. As the Cape is surrounded by water, it is hard to prevent alligators straying too close [...] shuttle exhaust can hurt these reptiles, making them difficult to treat. It also seems the flash from the boosters cause confusion in some animals, including rabbits, actually attracting them to the launch pad at lift off. That always ends very badly." — Aniline Lo, NASA Safety Officer"

*Note to exceptionally stupid people who have already forwarded this to all their email contacts along with a personal invective about those stupid liberal tree-hugging PETA members who are out to destroy our country and let the terrorists win, look at the frakkin' calendar and slap yourself silly over the fact that your email program does not have an unsend feature.

100 Hours of Astronomy

What do you know...a little poetry going on here. This is my 100th post on the Half-Astrophysicist Blog and it happens to be about 100 Hours of Astronomy! 100 Hours of Astronomy is just that...100 Hours of continuous astronomy activities in person and online.

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is opening a special exhibit on Galileo which they will kick off with a live webcast on April 2nd. You can check out webcasts from a variety of science centers. Catch up on the latest happenings at observatories around the world (including Kitt Peak) with a series of webcasts called Around the World in 80 Telescopes.

Saturday is the 24 Hour Global Star Party which will take place at thousands of sites around the world (check your local listings for a site near you). Wrap up the weekend with Sunday, dedicated to the Sun.

In Racine, the Racine Astronomical Society is opening the Modine-Benstead Observatory Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 8-11pm. Saturn is well positioned for observing and the Moon will be at first quarter on Friday (near first quarter is a great time to view the Moon). They will be open Sunday for solar observing from 12:00pm-3:00pm. They have a nice facility and you can find directions on their web site (although they did not register their events on the 100 Hours of Astronomy website!) Oh, did I mention its free (donations are accepted but you won't be might miss the donation bin unless you are looking for it).

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my lovely lilies of the valley! How are you? Isn’t early spring something? Hot, cold, warm, snow, sun, rain. And windy, too!

First today is an email from Ms. Why Not?, who writes:

As the date draws nearer, I am becoming more and more nervous for my flight with an active 2½ year old and a newborn. What do the stars say about my flight? I am also looking for any good advice I can receive to help my travels. I do appreciate any wisdom that the great Madame would be able to pass along. Thank you very much.

Very Tired Mommy
aka Why Not?

Dear Ms. Why Not?, I can answer the first part of your question, but will need help from our readers to respond to the second.

The stars assure me that your flight will be safe and secure. Due to the general downsizing of the airline industry, though, you will be charged for every peanut that you or your children consume (or drop), and probably for every visit that you make to the restroom. Soon, you may be required to bring your own air.

In regard to advice concerning a long flight with young children, I defer to our readers. Although I am a frequent flyer, I am of a different variety than most people. I fly in the astral plane, rather than on an airplane. It’s kind of like halfway between the transporter beam on Star Trek, and being shot out of a huge slingshot. In any case, I doubt that my experience is applicable to Ms. Why Not?’s situation. So, dear readers, please post any advice that you have to give in the comments below. Thank you.

I am once again devoting part of my blog to my candidacy for mayor of Racine, but this will be the last time. I am withdrawing from the race. I do this primarily because my candidacy has not been recognized by the majority of the media in Racine, most notably the Journal Times. Because my candidacy has not been recognized, I have not been invited to participate in the various mayoral forums, nor is my name anywhere on the official ballot. Although it is well within my powers to correct these problems, I have decided to step aside instead. My various private enterprises are thriving, and my list of very personal clients continues to grow. Perhaps my time is better spent further cultivating my arts. To that end, and as a jab at the Journal Times for their indifference to my candidacy, I am placing a curse upon their newspaper. Soon, you shall see it literally shrink in size. They will blame it on some technological nonsense, insisting that it is an “improvement,” but you will know the real reason why the paper has begun to vanish. I might also add that the private parts of certain employees will also experience a similar shriveling. Such is the power of the Zoltar curse!

I’d also like to mention that my tête-à-tête with an IRS agent last week went swimmingly. It was the first time that I met one. Who knew they were so suggestible? In fact, I’m going to open a new branch of Zoltar Enterprises devoted solely to tax problems, Madame Z’s IRS-Busters. If the feds comes knocking on your door, you can contact one of those tough-talking lawyers from TV and battle it out in court; or you can contact me, and soon receive a check and a letter from the Treasury Department apologizing for their tardiness with your refund.

You can contact me with any of your problems or suggestions at:

Have a Happy April Fool’s Day! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, dearies.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Hey Guys, Do you like candles but afraid of being too feminine? Try Mandles.......

Mandles for Men

The Internet Ends Tomorrow

When you log onto the internet April 1, your computer will start shaking and smoking, then burst into flames. Beware!

Another Food Scare

FDA says to avoid pistachios amid salmonella scare

Terrorists won't have to blow up anything to take us down; they'll just poison the food.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Colbert Takes on Galileo

I just wanted to post a quick note that Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute is going to be the guest on the Colbert Report tonight. The Franklin Institute is having special exhibition of one of Galileo's telescopes opening April 4th in the middle of 100 Hours of Astronomy.

They also may talk about the Galieleoscope, one of the projects for the International Year of Astronomy. As I have blogged before, the Galileoscope is a low cost ($15+shipping) telescope that you can use to see the rings of Saturn and other wonders. See the Galileosocope web site for more info.

Tune in tonight...I will post video of the interview when it is available.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

@#$%&#$ Journal Times!

UPDATE - the JT admitted they screwed up, and will be running a correction and an actual pic of me (Taken by Mrs. Wacko) in Tuesday's paper.

The profile for Sturtevant Trustee ran today, including your favorite Irregular candidate for the position. And I don't know if this is Karma biting me in the ass or what, but the brain trust for the JT runs an picture of someone other than me, AND gets the name of my employer wrong. They didn't even ask me for a picture, of if I ever sat for one at the JT. They just assumed. Plus I'm a lot better looking then the guy they claim is me. On a serious note, as a person who has been trying to get his name and face out there to unseat an incumbent, this is damaging. All I got from the JT is "we're Sorry". Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.......

Sunday, March 29, 2009

America's National Parks

Awesome pictures of State Parks around the United States.........

What happens when you try to tow a woman's car

Fanny Mae and Freddie Max

Interesting how George Bush warned about their size and what could happen.

Power Outage

I awoke to a cold, dark apartment. No electricity. All snow, all white outside; all black inside. Try doing your duty in a pitch black bathroom. Lol. I called WE Energies from a corded phone (the cordless one doesn't work without outside electricity). They had a recording saying that there were weather related outages in Racine and Kenosha counties. Bah. No morning coffee, no breakfast (I didn't want to open the fridge in case the outage was a long one), and, most importantly, no internet or JTI. Wah! Too crappy outside to drive anywhere. I went back to bed. At 10 AM I heard the computer's scanner reinitialize (it's always plugged in - sorry, hale) and the furnace below me kick in. Ahh.

The birds and squirrels have been in a feeding frenzy since I woke up. I've already thrown three times the usual amount of seed and nuts out there, but they show no sign of letting up. I don't know where the chipmunk is - if he's smart, he's still in bed.

An early spring snowstorm. Kind of pretty in it's own way, I guess, but a pain in the butt to a lot of people. WE Energies called back with a recording saying that the power had been restored and 1,158 customers had been affected. Mother Nature doesn't have to do much to remind us who the boss is. Thank you, thank you to the WE Energies linemen who risk life and limb for us.