Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our Messed up Healthcare

My thoughts about Lipitor
Go right to the core
Of Capitalism at best.

There is no regard
Nor any safeguard
To our safety
When profit is the quest.

The danger release
Comes after the cease 
Of copyright proprietary

Do we risk our well-being
To those who are seeing
That margins are kept tawdry?

Was it known in advance
But quieted perchance?
Until the time ran out...

--kkdither 2012

Lipitor Mis-marketed to Women
Lipitor's advertising repeatedly fails to report that clinical trials were statistically significant for men but not for women. Unqualified advertising claims of protection against heart attacks may therefore be misleading. Pfizer's advertising also does not disclose critical portions of the Lipitor FDA-approved label, which acknowledges the absence of evidence with respect to women.

"Our findings indicate that each year, reasonably healthy women spend billions of dollars on drugs in the hope of preventing heart attacks but that scientific evidence supporting their hope does not exist," the authors conclude.

Statins May Raise Diabetes Risk in Older Women

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Meteor shoots across sky, spotted by some in southeastern Wisconsin"

Did any of our stargazers see this? 

Four for Fridays

Hello everybody! Welcome back to Four for Fridays after a short and productive week. Isn't that the way things should be? Anyways, here are some questions for you....

1) What is the crappiest car you have ever driven?

2) What pets you ever had?

3) Do you think our laws are tough enough?

4) If you were browsing around Wal-Mart, what area of the store where you most likely to be found?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday & Weekend


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hale-Bopp: 1996-2012

Hale-Bopp finally passed away on Monday night (with the help of the vet) at my place. Many of you at the gathering last summer knew she had cancer and the vet said most cats with this form of cancer pass within 30-60 days, so she definitely beat the odds for a while. But she finally quit eating, was losing weight and getting weak. It was the right time.

I got her in the fall of 1996. Found her at the end of a cross country practice. A student suggested the name Hale-Bopp since I had been using this new fangled thing called the "internet" and showing them pictures of this incoming comet since the beginning of the 95-96 school year.

A few days after taking her home, I got the chicken pox. This little (still unnamed at the time) furball wouldn't leave me alone, fearful that I would die on her and she would be homeless again. Staying home from work for a week was kind of fortunate in the long run, provided great bonding time.

Bopp was my first cat and different than pets we had growing up. We had dogs. We got one when I was about five and it died only a few weeks after we got it. I barely remember it. Second one we got shortly thereafter and it only lived about three years. I was the one who found it dead in the morning (heart defect the autopsy said). I remember that, but I was still young. Third dog lived until I graduated college and moved out before she passed.

But when you look at it a certain way, Bopp was my first pet. When you are a kid, your parents really dictate the pet situation. They choose the pets, care for them (even if they make some of the pet care your chores) take them to the vet and ultimately decide end of life issues. When you are finally on your own, then you get the full responsibility for the health and well being of an animal, including doing the right thing at the end.

The vet came over Monday night around 7pm (yes, my vet makes housecalls in the evening if needed). Bopp didn't even fight when they shaved her leg for the IV, a sure sign it was the right time. As sad as it was, I still laughed a little at how loopy she got from the first sedative. There can be humor even at that time. She passed sitting in my lap.

My vet is a good guy. Vets deal with grieving pet owners on a regular basis. He did start getting a little spiritual, but not in a pushy/evangelizing way. I gently told him that was not necessary, I was an atheist and would take comfort in this being a natural part of life (although maybe not right now). He did the right thing and let me grieve my own way.

Bopp is being cremated and I will take her ashes to Florida and scatter her ashes after a run where I found her.

Good bye, Bopp. You will always be lovingly remembered.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bedtime Games

Bedtime Games
Installment 37

Make your best guess and.... GO TO BED!
Answer revealed tomorrow. 

"You've got to ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? Well do you, punk? ...  
Go ahead, make my day."
--Harry Callahan

I really, really don't know how he knew this.  I was so sure I had this one, I prematurely spent my winnings. What can I say?  The man has skills. Congratulations, drew!

Flight of the Conchords - "Business Time"

Wednesday night is business time.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my dew-dappled dandies!  How are you?  I am so sorry that I was out of it for the past two weeks.  I only jokingly referred to Mr. OrbsCorbs as the source of my malady.   I am still unsure what hit me, but I’m glad it’s gone.  As I get older, I get more “things” like that: aches, pains, sudden illness, etc.  Even my powers cannot stave off Father Time.  But I can sure slow him down: don’t forget to check out my full line of Madame Zoltar® brand potions, tonics, and concoctions.

Speaking of Mr. OrbsCorbs, I want to thank him for posting last week about our reading months previous.  The blog helped fill a void, I believe.  Mr. OrbsCorbs’ time approaches.  Fortune or failure?  It’s up to him.

I hope that you all had a Happy Easter.  Easter is a wonderful holiday that represents spring and rebirth and renewal and jelly beans and baked ham and Easter eggs.  Now, what do you do with all the leftover eggs?  Can I donate them to some charity?

So far, so good, with our nightly temperatures flirting with the freezing point again.  So many plants are now budding and flowering.  A killing frost would be disastrous.  Keep your buckets and leaf piles or mulch handy.  Just covering a plant protects it considerably.

I’d like to give a “howl out” to Racine’s Wolf Man from Romania’s Werewolf Man.  He is a faithful reader.  My blog is very popular in the homeland.

[Confidential to JayTeeDee: if you want to know what your enemies are really saying behind your back, I’ll need an additional $250.]

Finally, if you don’t want to scare children, then don’t wear purple:

Thank you one and all for stopping by to read my blog this week.  I’m overflowing with love for my readers because I haven’t been able to express it properly for awhile.  A big smooch for each of you, my dear, dear friends. 

What are your financial prospects after the impending apocalypse?  Madame Zoltar knows.

Keep the good weather, keep the good karma, keep the good times rolling irregularly along. Take care of yourselves, my sweets.  If you can’t be kind, at least be civil. Testudineous!

Open Blog - Wednesday & Thursday

Happy humping.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring ISS Pass

The International Space Station (ISS) is making evening passes over much of the United States this week. The best pass for Tucson was tonight (although we get more, tonight's was the brightest). I drove down to Saguaro National Park East and snapped a few shots.




Those are my favorite pics from tonight (for more, you can always check out my Flickr Stream).

As we approach summer, it is sometimes possible to see more than one ISS pass per night, especially as you go farther north. We had two passes last night in Tucson. I have seen up to four passes per night listed for Seattle. To find out when to see the ISS, be sure to check Heavens-Above or the Spaceweather Simple Satellite Tracker.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

The Three Stooges: The Movie

It premieres this Friday. Nyuk, nyuk.

The Blues Magoos - "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet"

Just some more of my early influences.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Ducky

Seemingly, little do many residents of Racine know about the wildlife here in town. Much of it not in woods but right in front of us! A trip down to the harbor can yield an abundance of birds, mostly waterfowl. Though gulls and Canadian Geese are quite common around here, it's the ducks you've got to watch out for.

Mallards are a dime a dozen around here. Many of them are year round residents, often finding open water to wade in. Pictured above are the drake (left) and the hen (right) .

Looking similar to the Mallards are the Red Breasted Mergansers. Upon closer look, one would notice they are smaller and sleeker than the Mallards. Check out the spiky crest and thin red bill. Unlike the Mallards, they will dive and swim completely underwater for small fish, aquatic incests, crustaceans and frogs. Honestly, I haven't noticed them around till this winter.

Often hanging around the mergansers, I believe are the American Coots. Check out the short white bills on these small birds. These birds can be seen swimming in the open water. They can dive for food and forage for food on land. Coots will pretty much eat anything-plant material, arthropods, fish and other aquatic animals.

Remember, Lake Michigan is a migratory route for many species of birds. I've seen Lesser and Greater Scaups, Buffleheads and Harlequin Ducks on the lake shores over the years. Now, I'm waiting for the terns to arrive. Maybe I'll get a chance to video them dive bomb into the water...

always the noise in the head

always the noise in the head
always the still in the dead
just one moment
between the two
just one word
from you, from you

--OrbsCorbs, Copyright  © 2012

One Punch Homicide

Open to the public. $10.00.
At Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre,
2230 North Farwell Avenue,
one of Wisconsin's most beautiful theatres.
April 19, 2012 (Thursday), 7:15 PM.
One night only.

"A documentary that will reduce violence, crime, and murders. It's about those who killed and were killed by one punch, and only one punch, and their loved ones. Most of One Punch Homicide is interviews with five inmates in five U.S. states who killed someone with a single punch. It also has interviews with the loved ones of seven who were killed with one punch, and more, including the death of a 16 year old boy from one punch."

It will also feature information about the Colin Byars murder: 


Why do I always get behind this guy on the way to work?

Open Blog - Monday & Tuesday

Wake up, sleepy head!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Andrew Dickey- Black Bike vol. 1"

I remember when people used to ride those things on streets and around town.

Monday Morning Rally at RUSD

From my email:


"On April 9, 2012, at the Racine Unified Administrative Service Center, 3109 Mt. Pleasant St,  Racine, WI. starting at approx.  9:00a.m., there will be a Rally by Citizens United For Personal Responsibility and Government Accountability. The Rally is to raise awareness that the School Board incumbents, Plache, Warner and Nielsen , were re-elected solely due to the union public employee  political block of RUSD and WEAC and that concerned citizens and responsible parents, including African American parents, recognize they are incompetent at best and have failed to properly educate children.  Responsible and concerned citizens, parents, and African American families recognize that the RUSD School Board is derelict in their duty and squanders taxpayer dollars to enrich union public employee while children are left to fail. The inability for the public to elect effective Leadership is a direct result of union public employees voting only for their paychecks and bank accounts. 

"Further, RUSD Superintendent Ann Laing’s outrageous statement that 'African-American don’t know how to make good choices for their children' is strongly denounced!  Ms. Laings demands that African-American families disavow voucher schools and do as she commands them  garners her a local 'Plantation Police' award!

"Please join us and demand that the RUSD School Board and RUSD Superintendent Ann Laing put children and education FIRST! NOT union public employee’s paychecks and bank accounts. Union public employee’s are reminded that in this time of recession 'SHARED SACRIFICE' is a mandate and that looting the taxpayers is WRONG!"

I'd like to state that I support the troops in the trenches; i.e., the teachers and assistants and others who have daily contact with our students and try to educate them. I believe that teachers take the blame for many of the parenting problems in our society.


Edit: 4/9/2012, 10:00 PM. Here are a couple of pictures from the rally. 

More, from

"Racine Wolfman picketing Unifed’s offices with Video!"

Happy Easter!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Easter today. I hope you all have a great day!♥