Friday, January 27, 2012

Rémi Gaillard - "Radar"

I've posted videos from Rémi Gaillard here before:
I like his twisted, almost anarchistic, sense of humor.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Four for Fridays after an industrious week. This morning, I wrestled to come up with some questions, then it hit me... Here are some questions for you.

1) What celebrity do you feel has been overexposed?

2) If you where a celebrity, how much exposure would you give yourself?

3) If you were an actor/actress what role would you like to play?

4) What do you think of the paparazzi?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday & Weekend

That's a positive and productive message.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"QUIZ: How well do you know Racine's history?"

From the, a quiz on historical facts about Racine:

I started out great and got three right, then got the next four wrong. :-(

Didn't Meatloaf sing, "Three out of seven ain't bad"?

"Fox 6 News-Bye-Bye Street Lights" has a video of last night's TV 6 spot on the removal of streetlights in Racine:

I worry that one big snowstorm, like last year's, will paralyze most of Racine for a week because of cutbacks in snowplowing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Close Encounter Between Venus and the Moon

Venus and the Moon are engaging in their dance the next few months in the evening sky. Tonight the crescent Moon was well below Venus.

Tomorrow night the Moon will be below Venus and Thursday night it will be just above Venus giving two more excellent opportunities to see this nice pairing in the night sky.

But that's not all. Venus is nice and far away from the Sun right now which and the Moon provides a useful guide to help see Venus during the day. I recommend using a program like Stellarium to help you out. Set it up for your location and time of observation. Be sure the Moon and Venus are up in the sky during the day. Note the position of Venus relative to the Moon. Now you are ready to track down Venus in broad daylight.

Find the Moon and slowly scan away from the Moon toward where Venus should be located according to Stellarium. You really have to look directly at Venus to see it during the day. That is, the image of Venus must land on the fovea of your eye. The fovea is the small spot in the center of your retina where the cones are most closely spaced and your vision is most acute. Once you hit that spot, Venus will pop into view so prominently you will wonder how you missed it before.

It takes some practice. Be sure your eyes are focused at infinity (focus on the Moon before you scan will do the trick). It also helps if you stand so the Sun is hidden Sun behind a tree or building to cut down on glare.

Many people wait until close to sunset to try this, but I have seen Venus practically any time it is up, even in the middle of the day. A good strategy might be to try it near sunset on Wednesday night and if you are successful, try it during the day on Thursday.

Happy observing!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my snappy snow sculptures! How are you? Faring better than the sculptures downtown, I hope. These brief flirtations with warmer weather are doing a number on the creations in Monument Square. Saturday was perfect for the event, though. You just take what you get weather-wise when winter rolls in around here. It’s like a rollercoaster ride that you never wanted to get on. You just hang on and pray until it’s over.

As I duly noted last week, the season is over for our hapless Green Bay Packers. These words are just an echo of that catastrophe.

I’m sorry, my dears, but my winter funk persists. I don’t think it’s just the weather. It’s the constant bombardment of bad news from around the world that does it. When it’s nice outside, I can get away from the litany of the negative for awhile. As the weather worsens, I stay inside more. I can astral project to escape, but that takes an extraordinary amount of energy. It’s not for daily use. One of the things that has helped me is searching for the positive on the internet. For instance, I went to YouTube and typed in “happy” into their search engine. Below is one of the videos that came up.

I will admit that watching Mick wiggle his tight buns still makes me happy. You’ve still got it, baby! You and that magic tongue of yours.

Oh my, did I say that? I meant to say that I love all of my readers and I thank you for reading my blog this week. Without you, I would be nothing, like a figment of someone’s imagination. My visits with you are the high point of my week. You are my family.

Skeletons in the family closet? Contact:

Watch out for the changeable weather, my dears. Sunny, dry, cloudy, rainy, snowy, sometimes all in one day. Keep your hat on and your zippers zipped. You never know what the day is going to throw at you. That’s my job. Kia ora!

Open Blog - Wednesday & Thursday

And joyous Thursday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Lee gets OK to emerge from bankruptcy January 30"


"DAVENPORT, Iowa—Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. said Monday that a judge had approved its debt refinancing plan, which will allow it to emerge from prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 30.

"The publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and nearly 50 other newspapers filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec.12 to compel a small minority of lenders to go along with a refinancing plan that gives the company more time to repay about $1 billion in debt. The plan extends due dates to December 2015 and April 2017.

"Lee CEO Mary Junck said the favorable outcome will give the company nearly four years to continue improving its balance sheet.

"Lee's stock jumped 21 cents, or 24 percent, to close at $1.10 on Monday."

Lee Enterprises Inc., of course, is the owner of the Journal Times. I didn't know that their stock was so low. Even as it is, I might be able to buy 5 or 10 of them. How do I do that? I've never owned stock before. I just want to be able to write letters to the editor complaining about various crap while harrumphing that I own stock in the company. "I am your boss," I may say. Or how about, "I own part of your ass,"?

Winter Forming On The Lake!

I will start with Friday night. I was having a bad night trying to sleep. I had a real bad sinus headache and only got a couple hours of sleep. I was suppose to work on Saturday but my with sinus headache it never went away and with the very little sleep I had gotten I didn't want to take the chance driving the car with both things. So Saturday I stayed home and tried to get rid of the headache. It finally went away in the evening. Believe me I tried taking any medicine I could to get rid of the headache.

Then on Sunday I had a short day at work. So Drew had an idea to go out and do something since I was feeling better. I gave him the idea to go and drive around and go to the thrift stores. Yes we did do both things.

The first place we went was by Lake Michigan. The picture you see here is a few blocks away from our place. You can see how the ice is starting to form by the shores. You can also see how the waves are coming in from the winds yesterday.

Then we went downtown by the lake to see if we could see any ducks out there. We did see some Seagulls just laying on the ice. That is in the picture to the right.

I just couldn't believe how the ice was forming downtown already. There was ice up on all the rocks along the lake. Yesterday with the winds the waves came up on the rocks.

We also seen some Seagulls trying to fly into the wind. But they couldn't get anywhere. We tried to get a picture of that but when we would go to snap the picture they went down below the rocks.

Yes we did make it to the thrift stores and he found some more to add to his music collection. I found some books for my daughter and work pants for him and I. 

It was just nice getting out of the house even with it being windy and cold outside. I do enjoy just going out for a drive and looking around. I don't like the cold but as long as it is nice and warm in the car I will go. I hope everyone enjoyed there weekend I did at least on Sunday.

Possible Aurora Tonight

The Sun put out a pretty big flare and CME yesterday which has been hitting Earth this morning. Tonight is a good chance to see aurora. The weather in Racine looks partly cloudy for tonight, so you have a shot.

The most common colors of aurora are green (electrons recombining with oxygen) and red (nitrogen). Other colors can be seen occasionally from different energy level transitions.

Don't give up just because you live in Racine. I saw them from Aurora, Illinois (no, really, that is the name of the city where I lived! Look it up!) just outside Chicago so a big storm can punch through and this is a pretty good storm. Of course, aurora are finicky so no guarantees! I am not anticipating anything in Arizona!

Here is one of my aurora pics from Acadia National Park last September just to get you primed.

UPDATE: The most recent forecast is for aurora low on the horizon from Chicago so you got a chance. See the aurora forecast for updates.

Texting Codes for Seniors

Seniors who are in step with the latest technologies now have  their own codes.

The  kids have all their texting codes, like

BFF (best friends  forever)

LOL (laughing out loud)

So  why not some codes for seniors (60 and over):

ATD  - At the Doctor's

BFF  - Best Friends Funeral

BTW  - Bring the Wheelchair

BYOT - Bring Your Own Teeth

CBM  - Covered by Medicare

CUATSC - See You at the Senior Center

DTAF - Don't Trust A  Fart

FWIW - Forgot Where I Was

FYI  - Found Your Insulin

GGLKI - Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking in!

GGPBL - Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low

GHA  - Got Heartburn Again

HGBM - Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO - Is My Hearing-Aid On?

LMDO - Laughing My Dentures Out

LOL - Living on Lipitor

OMSG - Oh My! Sorry, Gas

ROFLCGU - Rolling on the Floor Laughing. Can't get Up!

WAITT - Who Am I Talking To?

WTF - Wet the Floor

WTFA - Wet the Furniture Again

WTP - Where're the Prunes?

WWNO - Walker Wheels Need Oil

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Big Chill

Over the weekend, we a festival here in downtown Racine called the Big Chill. Among the attractions were the Door County Sled Dogs and a snow sculpting contest. I didn't go (I'm not much of a fan of the cold weather), but I took these pictures as I passed through downtown. Had to hurry up to take the pictures, rain was coming in as it was slowly was dissolving the artwork.

Hello from the Big Chill.

Magnum Tractors built in Racine at J.I Case

I don't think that is Clarence Clemons

I'm not sure what that is, but it looks cool...

A vision of paradise on a tropic island....

Mice fighting over cheese?