Saturday, February 20, 2010

They're softening us up

"Sex stings -- Sentences others received, and what it could mean for Becker"

That's funny, because I was going to post a blog this past Wednesday reminding everyone that it was BS (Becker Sentencing) Day in two weeks. Then I thought it was a bit premature and decided to wait until this coming Wednesday. But I've been scooped by the Journal Times.

What I was going to say in my blog is that I still believe that Becker will serve no time in jail or prison, but that I didn't believe that as assuredly as I once had. This new article in the Journal Times, however, restores much of my faith in the belief that Becker will walk.

Friday, February 19, 2010

An old commercial you will never see again

Don't Mess with Old Timers

*Caution: Language and Violence Advisory*

This reminds me of a buddy of mine, a decorated Vietnam vet, who likes to take walks near his home. One day as he strolled along, a man tried to mug him. My buddy hit the guy in the side of the head and left him unconscious on the sidewalk, then continued on his walk. He said that when he returned later, the would-be mugger was gone.

Interesting to note that the camerawoman in the video urges her friend to "beat his white ass," but then wants to press charges after her friend is smacked down.

Space Shuttle and ISS Passes

Not many chances to see both the ISS and the Shuttle at the same time, but we get some chances coming up. The Shuttle undocks tonight at 7:54 EST. For the U.S., the next couple of days favor the early birds as the passes will take place in the morning. You can find times and where to look for your location at Heavens Above or with the Spaceweather Simple Satellite Tracker.

Racine is lucky to get two passes tomorrow morning: 4:21am and 5:52am. Sunday is at 4:43am. The passes on Saturday are fairly low in the northeast (first one) and northwest (second one). The Sunday pass is higher in the northeast.

It is fun to photograph these flybys. All you need is a camera capable of doing times exposures and a tripod. Use a lens with a nice wide field of view. I use a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with the 18-55mm zoom lens that was included with it. 15-30 second exposures produce nice trail lengths. I vary the ISO depending on lighting conditions. I use higher ISO when the sky is darker. If it is close to sunrise or sunset and the sky is light, use a low ISO so you don't overexpose the sky. I always get out before the scheduled pass so I can do a few test shots to find the right settings. Here is a shot of the ISS and Shuttle I took last November in Tucson.

The ISS is on the right and the Shuttle on the left. Look closely at the very end of the ISS streak on the right. Note to it is turning red and fading. The ISS is going into Earth's shadow. The astronauts on board are experiencing sunset! The light at sunset is reddened and you can see that in the reflected light of the ISS here as well.

I don't know if I will try to photograph them. They passes here in Tucson are very low in the sky the next couple of days and might be tough to get. Still, I have the lovely mountains in the background so I might be able to motivate myself to get up for that!

Four for Fridays

Hello everybody! This week's topic is about crushes...

1) Do you remember your first crush?

2) Do you remember your first kiss?

3) How old were you?

4) Do you have a celebrity crush? If so, who?

Enjoy your weekend!

Give them something to aim for!

Keeps Bathrooms up to 85% cleaner

  • Cleaner, Safer restrooms in minutes
  • Made famous in the Amsterdam International Airport
  • Reduces spillage in Men's restrooms
  • Installs in seconds

I found this after hearing on Manswers that targets in urinals reduced "spillage" by 80%. claims even better than that. Besides flies, they also have targets, and little trees, that you can aim at.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Interesting Way to Look at Obama's Budget...

President's are required to present a budget to Congress and Obama did his 2011 budget recently. This is largely ceremonial as I can't recall the last time the final budget was the same as the proposal (for as long as I have been conscious of the process, they are almost always declared DOA, even by the President's own party).

The New York Times prepared an interactive graph of the budget. You can see a snapshot below or go to the interactive version.
So go ahead and snoop around. Find the things you would like to cut...some of the biggest political hot potatoes in terms of spending are pretty hard to find amongst all those teeny tiny squares. If nothing else, it shows the answers to the deficit problem may not be quite as easy as some politicians would have you believe.

Gary Coleman Does Not Waffle Gary Coleman blows up, storms off 'The Insider' set after being asked if his marriage is abusive

He may not waffle, but he's toast.

And From The "Down to Five, On the Slide, Tower Inside, Have a Nice Ride" Dept.......

So you liked the first one. That was your mistake because here is another. I can't take pictures Like Ser and HB, but I can fly a plane.......
It's a few minutes long, but not as long as "Hey Jude".

Another Fundraiser for Lying John Tonight - You are Not Invited

All the muckety-mucks are getting together to give lying John more money tonight. These are the "leaders" of Racine - the ones who make sure that we get art and trains and art. Ken Buser, the head honcho at Wheaton-Franciscan will be there, presumably to get assurances from hizzoner that W-F will maintain its monopoly in Racine, continuing to give us the highest health care costs in all of Wisconsin. Gee, just like our unemployment rate.

Party on, lying John!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Spaghetti Joke


A wealthy man was having an affair with an Italian woman for a few years.
One night, during one of their rendezvous, she confided in him that she was pregnant.
Not wanting to ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money if she would go to Italy to have the child. If she stayed in Italy,
he would also provide child support until the child turned 18.
She agreed, but wondered how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it discrete, he told her to mail him a post card, and write "Spaghetti" on the back. He would then arrange for child support.
One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.
"Honey," she said, "you received a very strange post card today."
"Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it later," he said.
The wife obeyed, and watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and fainted.
On the card was written "Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti. Two with meatballs, one without."

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my cabin fevered friends! How are you? Hasn’t it been nice not to hear much of the ‘s’ word lately? I even saw the sun a few times in the past week. If you choose a pile of ‘s’ near the sidewalk, you can note how much it recedes with each day above freezing. Unless, of course, there is more ‘s.’ Sooner or later, the ‘s’ will fly again. The days are getting noticeably longer, too. That is so much nicer, the extra light. Thank you, Sol.

How about all the news on the local scene? Oy vey, as my third cousin twice removed might be inclined to say. I have all of my positive mojo trained on Racine. In fact, I started to worry that somehow things might have gotten reversed, so I double-checked my polarity. Then I triple-checked, just to be sure. But I was correct. I’m hitting Racine with a ton of good vibes. Something very nasty must be lurking around to absorb all that and still churn out the negative energy. I’m beginning to think it might be some of the skeletons in Racine’s closet - literally.

Mr. Knapp, is that you? Yoo-hoo! Come out, come out, whoever you are!

My intentions here were to post something positive to ward off more gloom, but as a matter of fact, I feel like snuggling up with a good blanket, a good movie, and a good pizza more than anything else. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just take care of you. (No, I didn’t get any Valentines Day cards or gifts, but it really doesn’t matter, no, sniff, it really doesn’t…) I wonder if somebody makes pizza with chocolate topping. More importantly, do they deliver?

That is so important, my dear irregulars: take care of yourselves. Take or make the time for you. Do what you must to make yourself happy (within the bounds of the law and common sense, please). In difficult times, it is all the more important to stay centered and serene. Exercise, prayer, meditation, chocolate cake, whatever it takes - just do it.®

Thank you for reading my blog this week, my friends. I love you. Don’t forget to input your basic queries to:

‘Snowmageddon,’ my hinder. Trying living in Wisconsin, home of the ‘s’ word. Ramiferous!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

State Approves Spending for High Speed Train

I’m playing JT...Copying AP news!

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State lawmakers gave approval Tuesday to spending $810 million in federal stimulus funding on a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee, despite the objections of Republicans who said it would cost too much and be underused.

The vote clears the way for the state Department of Transportation to begin creating proposals and soliciting bids for environmental studies on where to place the train stations and other work.

JT article on high speed train

So if it makes 6 stops from Milwaukee to Mad Town at a average of 6 minutes that is 36 minutes of sit time! So in reality, the train has to make it from Milwaukee to Mad Town in less then 40 minutes (40 + 35 sit time). You can drive there in 75 minutes. OH, now you have your own vehicle to drive around Madison with, otherwise you have to rely on someone picking you up, rent a car, taxi or taking a bus to your final destination.

Nail Gun Art

How many years of framing does it take before you can do that?

Dogs and Cats

For pet lovers out there, I got this in an e-mail today. I thought is was funny...

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't smoke or drink,
(7) don't want to wear your clothes,
(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Dogs Dinner

The Wheaton-Franciscan Brouhaha

Any thoughts? My doctor was one of the ones who left in the great purge of the late 90's. He signed up with Aurora, has been back in Racine for a long time, and I think he's great. Other healthcare professionals have said the same about him.

I haven't had a lot of personal experience with the local hospital: a couple of emergency room visits and the odd test. I've been satisfied. My mother, on the other hand, has had more experience with Wheaton-Franciscan, and some of it has not been pretty.

I'm glad that this is finally being talked about in public. Being the cynic that I am, I believe that W-F will do everything that they can to whitewash and minimize this, rather than take the opportunity to honestly and openly face the issues hindering them. I hope I'm wrong.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anyone watching the Olympics?

I watched the girls (ladies) Freestyle Skiing Mogul competition, totally amazing. Those girls kick ass.

Although, I think my knees and hips hurt just watching them!

The Two Eyed Green Flash

I went out tonight to try and see the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus that I mentioned yesterday. I went up to Wind Point on the Catalina Highway (about mile marker 14 at around 6500 feet elevation). Unfortunately, low clouds made it difficult and I didn't catch them.

However, I did get another green flash at sunset.

Click to embiggen as needed. Okay, the Sun was setting, but there is a mountain peak right there. Watch what happens in the next photo.

See how that peak divided the last green we have two green spots! This is not the first time I have seen this happen, but the first time I got a pic. Several years ago, I saw this and the mountain had very different slopes on each side of the peak. That meant one green flash occurred a few seconds before the other. These were pretty close to the same time.

So I didn't get the threesome, but I still got some interesting shots. I will leave you with one of my last shots...the city lights of Tucson coming on at night.

Cake Decorating From Russia

These are all completely edible cakes made by a lady in Russia . All you see below are cakes that can be eaten without any part of it left. No plastics or any other artificial stuff is being used - everything is edible. Cakes by Zhanna from St. Petersburg.