Saturday, August 22, 2009
What happened to Fall or Autumn? Is summer over?
I have not been in the stores in the couple of weeks, is the Halloween stuff out or Christmas?
Okay...I’m done bitch’in
Unified isn't lacking students who qualify. An article in the daily newspaper states that 47% of families are currently signed up for the program and the school district is trying to get the word out to the others who, for various reasons, do not apply for the reduced rate. (Journal Times)
The number of children and their families who are falling into poverty level categories in Racine is staggering, especially if you look at the qualifying income. A family of four (4) can only earn $28,665 yearly to qualify for free lunch; the income limit is higher for reduced rates. Figure in housing, transportation, utilities, food, clothing, only the very basic needs... Even if you keep in mind that they may also qualify for other assistance, that is not much for four people to be living off.
We bash the school system for seeking additional funds, we bash the parents, and if you read the comments on the original article, we bash the students, and the state for giving these children one somewhat decent meal a day.
The state aid to the district is there for a reason. Programs to help schools who serve students of poverty have this in place to make the learning environment more productive.
I get very tired of the same old rhetoric and complaining. I'm not saying I don't have opinions on mistakes the school district makes and how they could be more financially responsible. But in this case, facts speak for themselves. The school district is dealing with issues relating to poverty which also equates to lower test scores and student success rates. Wouldn't we, or shouldn't we, bash Unified instead, if they didn't do all they could to receive the most funding available?
Final song on the newest Franz Ferdinand cd.
Katherine kiss me. Slippy little lips will split me
Split me where your eye won't hit me. Yes, I love you...
I mean, I- I'd love to get to know you
Sometimes I say the stupid things.
I think. I mean, I- sometimes think the stupidest things.
Do you ever wonder
How the boy feels...
Friday, August 21, 2009
Her body was found by deer hunters hidden in the woods in a rural part of Wisconsin. Nearly one year later, detectives in Fond du Lac, Wis., still have no idea who she is or how she got there. So they've turned to Facebook, even going as far as getting a court order forcing the social networking site to allow a page for the dead girl after previous attempts to post an information page were found to violate the site's policy.
"Our problem is getting this out because if she's not from our local viewing area, people who are missing somebody aren't going to see what we have," Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Detective Charles Sosinski told ABCNews.com.
They have posted not only a composite photo of the woman created by forensic artists, but an exact replica of the clothing she was wearing. The police Web site shows the clothing posed on a mannequin in several positions.
She is known only as the Fond du Lac "Jane Doe." The police believe she may be Caucasian, but an anthropologist from the University of Wisconsin at Madison told police she could be of Hispanic, Asian or Native American descent.
She's believed to be about 5'1", give or take three inches, and between 15 and 21 years old. Her weight was estimated at 110 to 135 pounds. The anthropologist said an exam showed that she may have been knock-kneed or pigeon toed.
Police aren't disclosing how Jane Doe died, but Soskinski said it was a homicide and that the body had been in the woods since at least September 2008.
Soskinski said the department initially had trouble with its Facebook endeavor. After getting the composite photo in early June, detectives set up profiles for Jane Doe on both Facebook and MySpace, but the former page kept getting taken down.
Soskinski said they had exhausted all traditional methods of identification including checking missing persons reports and handing out photographs. Police determined the manufacturers of the clothing found at the scene and the company sent copies to them for use on the mannequin, he said.
Eventually obtaining the court order July 2 from a Fond du Lac circuit court judge, they were contacted by a Facebook attorney earlier this month who helped set up a page that wouldn't be removed.
Jane Doe's new Facebook page, up since Monday, has nearly 70 fans so far and includes photos and information about the case.
Barry Schnitt, Facebook's director of policy communications, told ABCNews.com that the problem wasn't with the content posted by the Sheriff's Office, but that the fact that they wanted to create a profile, something the site reserves for identified -- and living -- individuals.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=8373710 The rest of the story, pictures and a link the her FB page.
Despite the upbeat news being touted across the wires and being poured into our heads, (propaganda?) consumers continue and are even becoming more cautious with their money while shopping, according to a yahoo news article posted this morning. (news.yahoo.com)
More and more, they are abandoning items in the store after second thought. While checking out, they place the necessities first on the conveyor and ask for a subtotal before going on to tertiary items they can do without.
Early this morning, while burning the midnight oil, I saw a t.v. news program that had a segment on how credit card lenders are making a last ditch effort to raise their rates and place new yearly fees. Obama recently signed a new law governing their less-than-honest practices. The law states that your bill must arrive no later than 21 days before the due date and it curtails many of the unfair practices that have become commonplace. If you have an unpaid balance, you better be reading the fine print. (abc news.com)
I'm noticing some grocery prices finally coming down, but the price of beer has taken a jump higher. I also heard that there is talk about a soda and Twinkie tax to help cover the cost of services for the ill effects that obesity wreaks on society.
I didn't like the gloom and doom that the media was portraying there for awhile. Consumer confidence is a big part of a depression/recession. However, I don't want the pendulum to swing in the other direction where we are all being hoodwinked by inflated claims.
You can't win....
And then he had indigestion for the rest of the summer.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
"The Story of How This Got Started"
"For the past several years as I've been traveling around the country, I've been approaching Soldiers in airports and thanking them for serving for us. On several occasions I have noticed that it felt a little awkward for both of us. There are several reasons, some of which I am even just now learning as I produce this film and talk to more Service Men & Women and Veterans. But they have always appreciated being thanked, and I have always felt better having expressed my gratitude.
"I started to think that it would be nice if civilians had a gesture or sign that they could use to say "thank you" quickly and easily without even having to approach. I did some research and found the sign that we are now using.
"Is this limited to the military? Not at all. If you look around you I'm sure that you'll find lots of people who are serving their communities, from local to global. If you appreciate their service, give them a sign. Say 'thank you from the bottom of my heart.'"
-Scott Truitt, FOUNDER, The Gratitude Campaign
In England, they're a little more concerned about the vaccine than we are:
She has since forgiven the blogger, but her lawyer still wants to sue (imagine that).
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
(Image at right, property of orbscorbs and JTIrregulars)
read the comments:
see the proof:
"The men were armed and wearing masks and gloves when they entered the store at N. 12th and W. Chambers streets about 10:45 a.m., Milwaukee police Capt. Edith Hudson said. They announced that a robbery was taking place but were then shot by a customer or customers, who ran from the store, Hudson said. No arrests have been made, she said."
The family of one of the would-be robbers claims he was innocent.
"The police is telling a lie. I know he didn't go around in the store trying to rob anybody," one of their mothers said.
Police said that the man had arrests for drugs, armed robbery and weapons violations.
We've enabled moderation for comments posted to blogs that are two weeks old and older.
What that means is that if you post a comment to a blog that has been up for more than two weeks, the comment will be reviewed by an administrator before it will appear on the blog.
This is being done for two reasons:
1.) To prevent another incident like the recent one in which someone(s) posted threats on a month-old blog: http://www.jtirregulars.com/2009/07/kaledonia-koward-kicks-dog.html
2.) To prevent spamming of old blogs. Without such moderating, anyone could post anything in the comments. We don't have time to patrol all the old blogs, but I'd hate to see them spammed up with links to porno sites or online gambling or other garbage.
The amount of time before moderation kicks in is set in days and easily adjusted. When it happens, a link appears in the dashboards of administrators, and an email is sent to the JTI. Then an admin has to look at the comment to OK it.
Another alternative is to disable anonymous comments and only allow those of registered users.
If you disagree with this decision, or have other suggestions, please say so below.
I received an email from Ms. DogAddicts this week, in which she wrote:
Dear Madame Zoltar,
Doesn't seem like many JTI'ers have any questions.
My neighbor has a BIG mouth. She says the Free Masons have control of the gov., the stock market, (they decide when it goes up or down) and even they have the final say in who will be President.
Can this be true?
Dear Ms. DogAddicts,
Yes, it’s true that many JTIers do not have questions to submit.
I’m teasing. Concerning the “M” word, I do not want to offend anyone or any group, but if you’ve seen the movie National Treasure, then I think you already know the answer to your question. I’m beginning to think that they even control the weather. That might explain the atmospheric “coincidences” that I’ve encountered on my recent travels. My thoughts and feelings on the matter should not be accepted just because I am Madame Zoltar™, though. One should always consider the fair, unbiased, and balanced analysis of objective professionals, such as those who produced this video:
Which brings me to the subject of my next rant, my dears. Please be aware of the danger of cults. They are insidious and exist all around us. You rarely hear of them until someone serves up the cyanide Kool-Aid. They are usually run by an egomaniac who considers himself all-powerful and somehow above his followers. That type of personality disgusts me, Madame Zoltar®. As evidence of how sneaky these cults can be, consider this video, which was recently seized in a raid and contains the original, uncensored soundtrack to a familiar late night TV commercial:
I’d also like to say that I thank my lucky stars every night that I did not make any predictions on when or if Brett Favre would retire. Ha, I’d rather predict the end of time than try to figure that guy out. As for the Minnesota Vikings, we’ll see what I can cook up in my potion lab for them.
So, is Mr. Favre going to be available for the draft in the Irregular Football League? If you haven’t joined the league, you should consider it. You don’t have to know a thing about football to play. You can read Mr. RWWackoStu’s blog about it here: http://www.jtirregulars.com/2009/08/irregular-football-league.html. And you can sign up here: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/signup.
Don’t forget to pass your problems and questions on to me at: email@example.com.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope your week to come is filled with wonder and joy. See you next week, my sweets. Fahrenheit!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So a few of my favorites...
9. They have been preparing for the arrival of HDTV all their lives.
14. Text has always been hyper.
25. Condoms have always been advertised on television.
33. Their folks could always reach for a Zoloft (and probably needed it!)
51. Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.
I haven't gotten a chance to play the game yet, but it looks interesting. Guess I have to save the world tonight.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.
THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN ELLIOT LAKE
Yes it is a regular size dirt road.
I would be afraid to shoot this guy...might just make him mad!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Unfortunately, one of the Tea Bag coalition, Kenneth Gladney, was injured. Now he is accepting donations for his medical care due to the fact that he was just laid off from his job and has no health insurance...after suffering injures at a rally against universal health insurance.
Irony meter explodes...
We have been instructed on how to deliver the huge ransom and have been warned not to contact police. This is an emergency situation!
If you know anything about this crime, or see anyone purchasing large quantities of sour cream at your local grocer, please contact us immediately.
Please stay tuned to the JTI for upcoming information.
UPDATE: The JTI managed to gather the ransom money and our spuddy was released to a local mall, late last evening.
Regrettably, we failed to meet the kidnapper's deadline. Fortunately, he seems to be rebounding nicely with his newly found friends.
Our hopes are that he will be able to "pull himself together" soon and be back to his jolly blogging self. ;>
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I just got back from a trip and one of my stops was a tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. They build and run a wide variety of satellites, mostly Earth observing and solar system exploration including the Mars Rovers and Cassini.
The first stop was their little museum. The room is dominated by a full scale model of the Galileo spacecraft that studied Jupiter. Galileo was a fairly large satellite as you can see.
We got to see the testing facility where they have a working replica of the Mars rovers. Spirit is currently stuck on Mars. They are trying to recreate the conditions as close as they can so they are burying its wheels (it has used a camera on a boom to photograph them so we know roughly how deep they are buried) and built a platform that gives the same incline the rover is resting on. Now they are trying different techniques to get it unstuck.
And they are already hard at work on the next mission, the Mars Science Laboratory. Here is part of the six-wheeled rover.
The clean room holds a wide variety of other pieces that will go into the Mars Science Laboratory as well.
Finally, we stopped by the control room. This is where the commands are sent to and data is received from the spacecraft.
JPL is a small city. Probably a couple of thousands of people work there on different projects. They have multiple cafeterias/restaurants, a credit union, fitness center, post office, recreation facilities and lots of other things you expect from a small city. I worked at Fermilab and it was very similar there.It's just cool to be where science is done.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.
Turns out they don't carry T-Mobile at this Best Buy. Talking to the sales person, he told me that their contract with Verizon states they can carry only two other brands of phones so they had AT&T and Sprint. Other stores might carry AT&T and T-Mobile. So this is the glorious free market which is supposed to benefit consumers. Corporations restricting their competition. Surprised they let ANY other competitors in the store while they were at it.
Another good example is the Bluray/HD-DVD battle. How many consumers voted by, you know, buying a player? Did the free market choose a winner? It did, if you consider the free market being Sony and Toshiba cutting deals with studios to make their discs exclusive to one format or the other. In the end, the more expensive, less efficient technology won out before the consumer had a choice.
And now we are hearing lots of people arguing for free market based solutions to health care. Again, the markets are lot more free for the corporations than the consumers which leads to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.
I don't want to give away too many plot points, but the mother in this small cast is suffering from mental illness due to a past family tragedy. So why blog here about it? Much to my surprise, they featured Next to Normal on Science Friday last week (listen streaming or download the free podcast). Ira Flatow interviewed the creative team behind the musical and talked to them about how they portrayed mental illness as well as their consultations to mental health professionals during the creative process.
I enjoyed the show when I saw it and now I appreciate it a little more. I sure hit the jackpot as each of the shows I saw (Mary Poppins being the other) yielded a bog entry!
Just for a sample, here is the Next to Normal number from the Tony Awards (which is a large part of the reason I choose to see this show).
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicsist Blog.
"The mayor is said to be in good condition this morning.
"The incident occurred at about 10:45 p.m. in the 8800 block of W. Orchard St. in West Allis, according to a joint statement from the West Allis police and Milwaukee police.
"Barrett and his family were returning to their car when they saw an altercation and heard a woman shouting that someone should call 911. Barrett began calling 911 when the suspect who had been attacking the woman, ran toward Barrett and began striking him with a metal pipe.
"The suspect then fled the scene. Police are still searching for the man, who police said had a criminal arrest record."
I assume there will be plenty of pretenders to the throne, but I wouldn't want to run this mess, or California, or any of the other ones.