Friday, January 7, 2011
Thank you, Daniel, for the compliments. What a coincidence that you chose a story about the tax on witches in Romania to forward to us - our own Madame Zoltar is also keeping us on top of that situation.
To see what else Newsy offers, check them out here: http://www.newsy.com/
The United States is the land of my birth
The strongest and wealthiest country on earth.
But the states aren't all equal, I'm sorry to say...
Wisconsin 's the pick of the 50 today.
I like Virginia , Montana and Maine .
But in my mind, it's in Wisconsin I proudly remain.
With walleyes and fish fries and hot apple pie
And the Badgerland motto:
"Eat Cheese or Die!"
We've got forests and prairies,
Breweries and dairies
Skiing on water and skiing on snow
From Big Bend to Bayfield,
Potosi to Plainfield
The lucky ones live in Wisconsin .
Arizona's too dry,
Colorado 's too high
In Alaska you'll freeze
and in Georgia you'll fry.
Hawaii 's so distant
it's barely existent,
California is crumbling;
let's all wave good-bye.
Nevada's too empty,
the deserts don't tempt me
In Kansas a forest is just one lonesome tree.
New York is an anthill,
a flesh-and-blood landfill,
And too many lawyers run loose in DC.
We've got silos and steeples,
And down-to-earth people.
Holsteins aplenty and Guernseys galore.
From Lone Rock to Lena ,
New Glarus to Neenah ,
The lucky ones live in Wisconsin .
Minnesota and Michigan ,
they're both our special friends.
We get along fine with the people next door.
Illinois on the other hand, I couldn't recommend.
It's flat as a pancake and spoiled to the core.
The Flatlanders visit us year after year.
Clogging the highways and killing our deer.
They root for the White Sox,
they frighten our livestock.
We hide all the children whenever they're here.
We've got sweet corn and bratwurst
Chicago 's a lot worse
Our cheddar is better,
our butter's the best.
From Monroe to Milwaukee ,
Waupun to Wausaukee,
The lucky ones live in Wisconsin .
In Wisconsin there's no slackers,
Oh, and we've got the Packers.
Yes, from Kewaskum to Algoma,
Two Rivers to Tomah,
The lucky ones live in Wisconsin !
1) So how was your holidays?
2) What did you do for Christmas? And the New Years?
3) What is your New Year's resolution?
4) Any predictions for the New Year?
Enjoy your weekend!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
"CHITILA, Romania (AP — Everyone curses the tax man, but Romanian witches angry about having to pay up for the first time hurled poisonous mandrake into the Danube River on Thursday to cast spells on the president and government.
"Romania's newest taxpayers also included fortune tellers — but they probably should have seen it coming.
"Superstitions are no laughing matter in Romania — the land of the medieval ruler who inspired the 'Dracula' tale — and have been part of its culture for centuries. President Traian Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil.
"A witch at the Danube named Alisia called the new tax law 'foolish.'
"'What is there to tax, when we hardly earn anything?' she said, identifying herself with only one name as many Romanian witches do.
"Yet on the Chitila River in southern Romania, other witches gathered around a fire Thursday and threw corn into an icy river to celebrate Epiphany. They praised the new government measure, saying it gives them official recognition."
Oh my, oh my, as if the Old Country doesn't already have enough problems. Some of the witches are threatening to cast evil spells:
"Queen witch Bratara Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned in 1977 for witchcraft under Ceausescu's repressive regime, is furious about the new law.
"Sitting cross-legged in her villa in the lake resort of Mogosoaia, just north of Bucharest, she said Wednesday she planned to cast a spell using a particularly effective concoction of cat excrement and a dead dog.
"'We do harm to those who harm us,' she said. 'They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it.'
"'My curses always work!' she cackled in a smoky voice, sitting next to a wood-burning stove, surrounded by potions, charms, holy water and ceramic pots."
Oh dear, oh dear, I do hope that they can work things out. We've always been able to court special favor with our government no matter who was in power. I don't see why this should be any different. Peace, my dear Romania! Peace!
I have a problem that is really bugging me. I use an Aide service that helps me around the house. Maid on steroids so to speak, or at least that's what one of them was. My first aide was a slow moving dim witted bovine. She had a nice personality, but she never finished a job, moved slowly as she did it, and couldn't remember what she had done the week before so was always asking me, “What do I do next?” I hate having to nursemaid someone that should be able to do simple tasks and complete them. I especially hate getting told the job is done and finding it half-assed or not finished at all. Eventually I had enough and told the agency to get me anyone but her.
My second Aide was, WOW! A self starter, always remembered what I needed, witty, fast moving, in fact so fast, many a time I cut her loose early because everything was done. She helped me out in the garage, got her hands dirty with joy, was a gear head, and soaked up EVERYTHING I taught her from machines, to electronics, to motorcycles, to computers. Sadly she left me for a job at one of our GOOD manufacturers and I'm proud of her and was told a lot of what she learned helped her get that job.
Now I'm on my third Aide and just don't know. While this one is faster than the first one, she seems even dimmer witted. I explained how I use water from my filter pitcher for ice cubes, then watched as she emptied a tray of ice cubes in the filter hopper. I explained no, water in the hopper, the filtered water in the ice trays. This was last week. This week I opened the fridge, saw the near empty pitcher and started to ask about filling it, and she beams at me and says, “I already got that done.” Huh? I open the hopper and it was filled with ice. Of course she refilled the ice trays from the tap... Yeah sure, I'm being neurotically picky, but that is just one example. These girls are CNAs! How do they get through their Certified Nursing Assistant courses?
My dilemma is that girls 1 and 3 are black, and girl 2 was white. I've seen intelligent industrious blacks. These are not them. Are they being slow out of choice? Is it like where you don't work fast or you will get more work thrown at you, and you don't use your brain or you might have to think? Is it an inability to think? I have a shirt that says Marilize Legaluanna. She read it and took near five minutes to put the words right so she got the joke. It's frustrating. How in the Hell do they teach their kids to excel when they don't know how to themselves?
I'm going to give her one more week then beg for a new girl. I'm going to specifically ask for a Hispanic one. I feel like I'm being racist, but I just can't be nurse maiding someone that has a bone head simple job and can't do it. When Aide #2 put in her notice, I specifically asked for someone with a brain and good work ethic. If this is their answer, I worry what I'll get next if I do request someone else. At least now I'm starting to understand why our school system is in so much trouble.
So I need a favor. I need your vote. Yes, your vote! I have compiled 10 of my best pictures from 2010 onto this blog post and could you please tell me your favorite? Thanks!
Wind Point Lighthouse in Winter
Wind Point, Wi 1/19/2010
Red Tailed Hawk at River Bend
Caledonia, WI 5/16/2010
Austin's Finished Mural
Gilmore Middle School
Racine, WI 6/7/2010
Harley on a North Woods Path
Pickerel, WI 6/12/2010
Rush in Concert
Milwaukee, WI 7/3/2010
Doty, WI 7/17/2010
Flood at Horlick Dam
Racine, WI 7/25/2010
Autumn at Petrifying Springs
Kenosha, WI 10/9/2010
Sixth Street Bridge
Racine, WI 11/7/2010
Pickerel, WI 11/27/2010
Winner to be announced soon...
I was involved with a few classes this week who were learning about waterfalls. Niagara Falls was one of the topics. I have been there a couple of times and started describing the things you can do when you visit. I tried to explain the raw power of the falls, especially when you get up close and personal. I could tell by the look in the students' eyes, they could not comprehend the magnitude or force I was trying to convey.
Then I had an epiphany.... youtube must have something!
Voila... this is a well produced video. I can almost hear the roar of the water, feel the wind and spray against my face. I can almost hear and feel the engine of the boat straining and moaning against the sheer force of the tumultuous water, twisting and turning the small vessel. I can remember thinking, "Captain, turn this boat around, don't go any deeper into the falls!"
We have 24 followers on Facebook at this point. There are some names that I don't recognize. It would be nice if those who read or follow our website would join in the fun here, and post some comments!
A selection from our photo page.... :)
Our information page... you can click the image to enlarge and read more clearly.
I don't expect a lot of comments on Poetry Corner, just like we usually don't get a lot of comments on music videos. It's the arts!
For the first Poetry Corner, I've selected a poem by Charles Bukowski (1920 -1994) from his book, At Terror Street and Agony Way (Poems 1965-1968)
a very miraculous thing just happened:
my beerbottle flipped over backwards
and landed on its bottom on the floor,
and I have set it upon the table to foam down,
but the photos were not so lucky today
and there is a small slit along the leather
of my left shoe, but it's all very simple:
we cannot acquire too much: there are laws
we know nothing of, all manner of nudges
set us to burning or freezing; what sets
the blackbird in the cat's mouth
is not for us to say, or why some men
are jailed like pet squirrels
while others nuzzle in enormous breasts
through endless nights - this is the
task and the terror, and we are not
taught why. still, it's lucky the bottle
landed straightside up, and although
I have one of wine and one of whiskey,
this foretells, somehow, a good night,
and perhaps tomorrow my nose will be longer:
new shoes, less rain, more poems.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Four guys have been going to the same moose camp for many years. Two days before the group is to leave, Ron's wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn't going.
Ron's friends are very upset that he can't go, but what can they do.
Two days later the three get to the camping site only to find Ron sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire.
"Dang man, how long you been here, and how did you talk your wife into letting you go?"
"Well, I've been here since yesterday.
"Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair at home and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said, 'Guess who?' I pulled her hands off, and she was wearing a brand new nightie.
"She took my hand and pulled me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over. On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes!
"She told me to tie and cuff her to the bed, and I did. And then she said, 'Do whatever you want.'
"So, here I am."
Wasn’t that something how December ended on such a warm note last Thursday and Friday? The temperatures were in the 50’s. There was all that fog and melting snow and ice. When I looked out my window on New Year’s Day, 90% of the snow was gone. Of course, then all the litter captured in the snow reappears along with the dirt and grit. It’s almost a relief when more snow arrives to bury it again.
I was so happy to see our illustrious and notorious Green Bay Packers get into the playoffs last Sunday. Their victory over the Chicago Bears means that the Packers meet on to glorious victory, valorous Packers!
In somewhat related news, I just have to say an ‘Oh my’ on the continuing Brett Favre scandal: http://www.journaltimes.com/sports/article_0f9297c4-17a4-11e0-a7db-001cc4c03286.html He’s being sued by two massage therapists and has been fined $50,000 “for not being forthright in an investigation.” What a sad way to end a great career. Oh my, oh my.
For what it’s worth, I have decided to announce my endorsement of Eric Marcus for mayor of Racine in 2011: http://racineuncovered.org/?p=27067 I know that there is usually a push for me to run as a write-in candidate in our mayoral elections; that is why I am stating this now. I give my blessings to Mr. Marcus. He has my endorsement, my full support, and enough Zoltar® Brand psychic power behind him to shatter the bad mojo emanating from City Hall.
Well, I guess this is turning into a potpourri of a blog. In case you missed the event, the Journal Times has some lovely photos of the annual Splash and Dash held at North Beach on New Year’s Day: http://www.journaltimes.com/collection_3500a26e-15e0-11e0-b6df-001cc4c002e0.html Very interesting. However, you could not convince me to do that. In July, perhaps; in January, never.
Also, the 2011 New Car Show takes place at Festival Hall this weekend, January 7 – 9: http://www.journaltimes.com/app/carshow/ Vroom, vroom!
Finally, confidential to Mr. O: you are most welcome.
Thank you for reading my blog this week. I so enjoy spending quality time with my beloved Irregulars and other readers. Think of me as a warm isle of sun and sand amidst our frozen January. It’s our love that keeps us so warm. Thank you for sharing your heat.
Hot love letters should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s supposed to get nippy again in a couple of days, so please be careful, my dears. We have to be hyper vigilant to the challenges and dangers of winter as we grow older. Take your time, take it easy, take it as it comes. Matutolypea!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
This is where my lack of pop music knowledge might be a hindrance...I understand this is a parody of a pop song video. See Jank's site, they did the original.
I don't think I need to see the original...I couldn't possibly take it seriously after this fun little ditty!
Sunday, January 2, 2011
January starts off giving us a partial solar eclipse, about two weeks after our lunar eclipse (solar and lunar eclipses frequently occur in pairs like this...nothing unusual here!) Unfortunately for us in the Americas, the eclipse is visible from Europe, eastern Asia and northern Africa. Greatest eclipse occurs in northern Sweeden where about 85% of the Sun will be covered.
Partial eclipses are not safe to view with the naked eye. A properly filtered telescope is required or you can make your own pinhole projector. Various companies sell eclipse shades for a few dollars that are safe as well.
For those of us outside the path of the eclipse, we can watch webcasts from people who are in areas where the Sun will be eclipsed. Fortunately, there are several feeds in case one is clouded out. These include Barekat Observatory in Israel, the University of Barcelona and Astronomy Live. I am sure there are others as well, and I may add more as I find them.Unfortunately, the eclipse begins at 6:40UT, reaches maximum at 8:50UT, and ends at 11:00UT. For the east coast of the U.S., that is at 1:40am EST for the start and 6:00am for the end (EST is five hours behind UT). I might watch the recordings and look at the images when I get up!
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.
The Quadrantid meteor shower is about to peak. The Quadrantids would be famous if they were occurred at a warmer time of year as their rates can frequently approach 100 per hour, comparing favorably with the Perseids in August. Unfortunately, you need some good cold weather gear to see this meteor shower.
The Quadrantids peak at about 1UT on January 4th (8pm EST, 5pm PST). The Quandrantids have a very narrow peak intensity that lasts only a few hours (unlike the Perseids and Geminids which can be good for a couple of days either side of their peaks) so you if you are going to catch them, you get one shot. Fortunately the new Moon is on the 4th so the skies will be nice and dark all night long for optimal viewing.
Most meteor showers are named for the constellation in which their radiant is located which means you might wonder where "Quadrantid" is located. They are named after the constellation Quadrans Muralis which just didn't make the cut when the constellations were made official. The constellation was between what is now Booetes and the head of Draco. You can see the location on the chart below.
You can see I made that chart for 3:15am, so it takes a while for the radiant to get up very high. You might catch a few Earth grazers early in the evening, but you have to stay up pretty late (or get up pretty early) for the real show to begin. Since the radiant of this shower is so far north, those basking in the southern hemisphere summer don't have a good view of this shower!It is known to put on a good show...if you catch a break and get an abnormally warm January night, it's worth checking out.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.
Officers must collect the age, zip code, gender and ethnicity of the driver and passengers. They also must collect the reason and outcome of the stop, and if and why a search was conducted, among other things.