Friday, January 24, 2014

"Founded by Geniuses, Run by Idiots"

From Milwaukee County Corruption:

"Founded by Geniuses, Run by Idiots"

Funny, sad, and poignant comments on our government.


That's beautiful.

Condom Our New National Symbol

From Racine Community Media:

Old Man Winter

Useless Information

Did you know:

On 22-Nov-63 the morning John F. Kennedy was shot it was raining in Dallas, TX.

While it was raining, the roof on the Presidential Limo was on.  Just prior to the start of their procession through Dallas the rain stopped and the roof was remove.

If the roof would have been left on, the shooter would not have been able to see him in the limo.  With it off, JFK was an open target.

Open Blog - Friday

Do the chicken dance!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Badass Hockey Stick Recovery"

I'm not a hockey fan, but you don't have to be to appreciate this. Nicely done.

What Can I Do To Earn More Money?

I need to earn more money and I’ll take any advice I can get on the subject.  I’m 62 and have a BA in English.  I also have a number of certificates and took courses in horticulture.  My major job experience has been in auto repair and landscaping.  I’m fat and half-blind and mentally ill and have horrible gastrointestinal problems and bad kidneys and arthritic hips and no stamina.  My kidney problems have left me permanently weakened.  I’m also losing my hearing.   I also don’t work well with others.  Other than that, I’m in great shape. 

Here are some of the jobs that I’ve already considered:

Wal-Mart greeter – I’m not sure that I have the disposition for this job.  I’d guess that within an hour, I’d choke a customer.  It’s all I can do now to keep from choking one when I shop there.

Journal Times deliveryman - Forget it.  The hours are insane.  You can never take a night off.  You work outdoors in blizzards and heat waves.  I don’t have the strength.

Gleaner – You know, one of those guys driving around in a beat up pickup truck overloaded with metal junk, leaning precariously to one side.  These guys get into fights over junk and defend their territories.  I knew a guy who did this.  To do it in any volume, you need somewhere to unload and sort the junk.  I don’t have that.

eBay entrepreneur – By used stuff low, sell it high online.  I don’t think I have the disposition for this, either.  You have to scour thrift shops and rummage sales for items to sell.  I’m not good at recognizing collectibles or what is “hot.”  Left to my own devices in a secondhand store, I’ll buy a ton of junk of no interest to anyone but me.  I filled and emptied my mother’s garage with junk three times.  None of it was anything I could sell on eBay.

Pimp – What the hell.  I live in a senior housing complex.  Women outnumber men 5 to 1 here.  I should be able to round up a few working “girls” and make some bucks off of them.

What do you suggest?

Send job offers to

Supernova in M82

I have been busy and not had as much time to do any astrophotography recently. Fortunately, I had some good luck and timing yesterday.
Wednesday morning, I woke up to news of a supernova in M82. Fortunately, I saw this before I went to work. I was scheduled to work with some students at Tohono O'odham Commuity College in Sells last night and thought I might get a chance to try to catch the supernova from there. The college site is nice and dark so it was worth a shot throwing my equipment in the car. Fortune also smiled with clear skies when I got out there.
I was using my Canon 60D, EF 75-300mm zoom lens and iOptron Skytracker, my usual setup. Although there are people with larger, better setups out there that will no doubt take more spectacular pics, I can at least purse the record for the person who imaged the supernova with the smallest setup!
I took some pics of M82 and the nearby galaxy M81 a few weeks ago before the supernova. Here is one of those pics. I took this one on Christmas Eve and believe I used my 250mm lens so the scale is a little different.
11543164176_f1aedfb94c_oOkay, now here is the one from last night. The two lines point to the new little point of light that is the supernova (I did not crop the pics the same and they were taken with slightly different lenses so the scale is different). Click the images for larger versions.
12103271733_0d5c3c8542_oHopefully you can see the new little dot of light. It's position matches up with the position of the supernova.
This supernova is interesting for many reasons. First, M82 is undergoing a rapid burst of star formation due to a recent pass by the nearby galaxy M81 (also seen in the pic). Increased rates of star formation lead to higher rates of supernova. Second, M82 is a relatively nearby galaxy (only 12 million light years away or so) which means we can study it in greater detail than more distant supernova.
Finally, this is a type 1a supernova. Type 1a supernova form when a white dwarf star sucks matter off a nearby companion star. White dwarfs have a maximum mass about 1.4 times the mass of our Sun. If you add more matter than that, you get a huge explosion which destroys the star. This white dwarf suffered that fate leading to the supernova we are now observing.
Since type 1a supernova always happen when the mass hits 1.4 times that of our Sun, they are always about the same brightness. If you know the brightness of an object, you can figure out its distance. Type 1a supernova are very bright and can be seen in distant galaxies and are very important for astronomers to determine the distance to other galaxies. The more we can study nearby ones, the better we understand them and the better we can measure the distances to other galaxies. Therefore, astronomers are training lots of scopes on this supernova right now!
Oh, I got so excited about the pics, I should mention that we saw it visually as well. We were using a 6" Celestron Nexstar SE and could see a little bright spot in the galaxy right where the supernova is. I am always nervous showing objects like this to people as you sometimes get the disappointed "Is that it?" reaction. The students last night, however, were happy to be able to see it and I didn't have to deal with that common reaction. So I can tell you it is visible with a 6" or larger scope...wouldn't surprise me if people spot it with even smaller scopes.
This supernova looks like it was discovered before peak brightness. It will probably get brighter for another week or two before starting to fade. How much brighter is an open question and hard to predict. We don't know how long it took after the explosion for us to discover the supernova (several pre-discovery images have already turned up) and there may be intervening dust that dims the supernova. Worst case scenario, it will not get worse for a week or two. Best case scenario, it brightens another couple of magnitudes.
My sympathies to the northerners who have to brave the cold to see it...I was out in just a sweatshirt last night!
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Thursday

Have a good one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bed Bugs: Pests from Hell - The Saga Continues

Guess what I found on my pillow last night?  That's right: Cimex lectularius, a.k.a., bed bug.  This is two weeks after the "final" chemical application.  I called the pest control company to report it.  They're supposed to call me back, but I guess not today.

The bed bug was small.  That makes sense.  It takes four weeks for a bed bug to fully mature.  If the exterminator missed some eggs two weeks ago, they'd be half-grown now.

Bed Bug Poop
I didn't mention in my original blog (see below) that one week after the first chemical application, Charlie found a (mature) bed bug in the bedroom.  I caught it and called the company.  The sales rep called back and said I must've caught the one last desperate bed bug in my apartment.  He called the incident "highly unusual."

He said he'd stop by the next day.  The next day he called to say he couldn't make it because of the weather, but he would be here the next day.  That day (a Friday) the company called to say that the sales rep was taking a vacation day and a technician would be sent to my place on Monday.  The final chemical application was scheduled for Wednesday.  I was a little exasperated with the runaround and said forget it, I'll show the bed bug to the tech who comes to spray on Wednesday.  That technician didn't seem too impressed with it, but he did want to know where it was found.

I knew I shouldn't blog about them.  There's been a nagging voice in the back of my head for weeks.

I never completely finished unpacking because of the bedbugs.  Management didn't want me putting items in my storage bin downstairs for fear of contaminating others' belongings.  They didn't want me taking out recyclables, only tightly sealed garbage.  They wanted me to limit my movement in the building to what was absolutely necessary.  There's a bicycle and an air compressor in my living room, amongst boxes of cassette tapes, photographs, and other junk.  Last Monday I was given the "all clear" to move my stuff.  Still, I waited . . .

What if I had followed their advice?  What if I caused an outbreak?

The exterminator at the old building told me it was safe to move, but it wasn't.  The exterminator here said the bed bugs were eradicated, but they weren't.

When the building manager first spoke to me about the pest control company, he said they had done two other bed bug exterminations in different apartments.  Then he said, "Well, they've been here three times."  I said, "Three times?"  He said, "They had to come back and re-treat one."

That's been stuck in the back of my head, too.  I'm so sick of this shit that I could vomit.

Previous blog: 

Why I Didn't Get Hired !

Submitted by legal stranger:

 Job Interview: 
Human Resources Manager: "What is your greatest weakness?"
Old Man: "Honesty."


Human Resources Manager: "I don't think honesty is a weakness.

Old Man: "I don't really give a shit what you think."

"Pattern Or Practice Movie Premiere 'Reactions'"

From Racine Community Media: - 

Facebook -

Previous blogs: 

Papercutt Productions Announces

Film festivals that the film Pattern or Practice is currently being submitted to:
Julian Dubuque International Film Festival  Dubuque, Iowa
Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Film    Atlanta, Georgia
Vancouver International Film Festival   Vancouver, Canada
Little Rock Film Festival  Little Rock, Arkansas
Note: Sponsors have been secured for another showing at the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee date to be announced, in addition local sponsors are looking for a venue in the Racine and Kenosha area with the ability to hold up 300 people.  Smaller venues will be considered.  Contact: or

It's good to be back.....

...Although I never really left. Just lurked alot and posted a few comments here and there. Mind blowing how a small group of pissed off bloggers is now this legacy of excellence. Glad to be a part since day 1!

Dickert's trip to Mexico....something is missing in the JT's article.

In the discussion in the JT of Mayor Happy Hair's trip to Mexico on the No-streetlight-having-taxpayer's dime it mentions one person who went along as "a Unified High School Teacher". Not once but twice in the same story. Why name all who went on this little vacay except the teacher? Did the teacher use vacation time? Were they still getting paid by RUSD? Why the secrecy?

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my friendsicles!  How are you?  I said, how are you?  If you take off the five layers of hats, scarves, ski masks and earmuffs on your head, you might be able to hear me.  If you can, here’s the news: bundle back up.  We’re going down below zero again.  How low can we go?  Please, no record attempts.  As the winter has hardened me, I now accept temperatures in the single digits below zero as tolerable, at least for a short while.  However, I can’t tolerate teens and twenties below zero.  That belongs in arctic regions.  “Polar vortex,” indeed.  Our country is polarized enough.  Some would say too much.  So swirl your vortex down the toilet bowl.  We’ve had enough of this.

I attended the premiere of Pattern or Practice on Monday night.  The glitterati and beautiful people were everywhere.  It was a little chilly outside, but the warm crowd inside more than made up for that.  I love the Oriental Theatre.  It was the perfect venue for the showing of the documentary.  It’s a terrible shame that things have to deteriorate to the point that people feel their only recourse is to make a movie to expose the racism in city administration.  We shall overcome this, too.

Welcome back to Mr. Mayor Dickert, who recently returned from Mexico.  He should return the favor by paying for the citizens of Racine to fly to Mexico and back during winter.  I’d love to visit Cancun again.

Mr. President Obama admits that he inhaled.  He says marijuana is not good for you, but it’s not worse than alcohol.  Hurray.  The worst thing about smoking marijuana is the damage done to the lungs and cardiovascular system.  Drinking alcohol, on the other hand, attacks every organ in the body.  I’m just waiting for legalization to come to Wisconsin so that I can market my new product, Madame Zoltar’s® No-Frowny-Brownies™, made from the finest “herbs” and chocolate.  No smoke, no poison, just pure enjoyment, plus gaining 50 pounds or more.

If legalization does come, I’ll applaud it, but we must come up with a way to readily detect marijuana-impaired drivers.  I don’t want to be the victim of someone’s midnight munchies run.  Like alcohol, use it responsibly, or lose your right to drive.  We should toughen our laws on impaired driving in general, but the Wisconsin Tavern League and liquor lobby see to it that they remain lax.  Oh my.

As if we don’t already have enough to worry about, along comes the news that the Milky Way is forming “inside out:” ( No wonder everything is screwed up on Earth.  We’re doing it backwards.

Thank you, thank you, my dear, dear friends and readers.  Thank you for stopping by to spend a little time with me.  I crave company and visitors.  I love you.

If the Milky Way is inside out, should you wear your underpants on the outside of your clothes?  Ask

Take the necessary precautions in the perverse cold.  You know the drill.  Be careful.  Minor annoyances can become life-threatening situations in the arctic air.  Valetudinarian!

Open Blog - Wednesday

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"8 Common Anxiety Dreams And What They Mean"


"Let's talk about anxiety dreams, shall we? They suck. But we all have them, no matter how much we have our act together in real life. Anxiety dreams happen when the stress, fear and worries of daily life infiltrate our unconscious mind. Or conversely, when there's some crap we're not ready to deal with, the anxiety will express itself through dream imagery. After an anxiety dream, we often wake up in the morning, or drenched in sweat in the middle of the night, with heart-pounding fear, feeling exhausted, like we didn't sleep at all.

"I like to think of dreams as clouds of mental, emotional and spiritual energy. And really, the only way to make the clouds go away, is to let them rain. So yeah, the only way to make anxiety dreams stop is to get to the bottom of what's causing them and deal with the issues.

"I subscribe to Carl Jung's method of dream analysis. So, basically, I think that dreams are a reflection of the individual dreamer. Meaning, if you have a specific association with spiders, like you had a beloved pet spider or something, your spider dream means something totally different than mine does. In addition, I think it's important to consider context of a dream. Meaning, it matters what's going on in your life and the world when you have the dream. Point being: dream analysis is both deeply personal and highly complex. That being said, there are some common anxiety dreams that most people have had at one point or another. Click through to see what these dreams might be trying to tell you."

I had a recurring anxiety dream about the auto repair shop where I worked in Chicago.  I had it for years.  Details varied, but in the dreams I was super busy and unable to keep up with the customers' demands.  That dream was replaced by a recurring anxiety dream of a much more personal nature early last year.  That dream was devastating.  A few months ago, the recurring dreams stopped altogether.  Now I have occasional dreams on the same subject matter, but they're just the usual nonsense. 

"Cyclist: Driver didn't see me stuck in windshield"

Submitted by legal stranger:

"MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man who became lodged in the windshield of a car that struck him said he turned to the driver and said, 'Hello, I'm the guy you hit on the bicycle.'

"The driver did not respond, but continued on, running a stop sign and hitting another vehicle before he arrived home, the cyclist, Steven Gove, told HTR Media about the Saturday incident ( )"
Read more:

"Difference Between Cats And Dogs"

That about sums it up.

Stolen Target data used

Pair arrested with 96 fake cards; larger ring suspected

Associated Press

McAllen, Texas
— Account infor­mation stolen during the Target securi­ty breach is now being divided up and sold off regionally, a South Texas police chief said Monday after the arrest of two Mexican citizens who authorities say arrived at the border with 96 fraud­ulent credit cards.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodri­guez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, used cards con­taining the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise at na­tional retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us.

“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” Rodriguez said.

Garcia and Guardiola were both be-ing held Monday on state fraud charg­es. It was not immediately known whether they had retained lawyers.

Rodriguez said he did not know whether they were the first arrests re­lated to the Target breach. Target did not immediately return phone and email messages left Monday, which was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a fed­eral holiday. The Minneapolis-based company said last week that it has stop­ped more than a dozen operations that sought to scam breach victims by way of email, phone calls and text messages.

McAllen police began working with the U.S. Secret Service after a number of area retailers were hit with fraudu­lent purchases Jan. 12. The Secret Ser­vice confirmed that the fraudulent ac-counts traced back to the original Tar­get data breach from late last year, Ro­driguez
said. Investigators fanned out to McAllen-area merchants and reviewed “miles of video” looking for the fraudsters, he said. From that, they were able to iden­tify two people and a car with Mexican license plates.

A message left for the Secret Service on Monday was not returned.

With the help of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, investiga­tors confirmed the identities of their suspects from immigration records of when they had entered Texas in the same vehicle. Police prepared arrest warrants last week and waited for them to return.

On Sunday morning, federal officials alerted police that their two suspects were at the Anzalduas International Bridge trying to re-enter the United States. They were carrying 96 fraudu­lent cards, Rodriguez said.

Investigators believe the two were involved in both the acquisition of the fraudulent account data and the pro­duction of the cards, but only part of what must have been a much broader conspiracy. Rodriguez said investiga­tors suspect Garcia and Guardiola were singling out Sundays for their shopping sprees hoping banks would not be as quick to detect the fraud.

With the amount of electronics and other merchandise purchased on Jan. 12, Rodriguez said the two would have needed an “army” to move it all.

Rodriguez also alluded to a link with Eastern Europe or Russia but did not provide additional details. He said he expected Garcia and Guardiola to even­tually face federal charges.

South Texas authorities have seen large-scale fraudulent credit card schemes before, including one in which they seized machines used to up­load information to the cards’ magnet­ic strips.

The Target breach is believed to have involved 40 million credit and debit card accounts and the personal infor­mation of 70 million customers.


Open Blog - Tuesday

Bee good.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pattern or Practice - Reaction

Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen.  Nicely done.  This documentary is professional and persuasive.  It's an important resource that brings together the individuals who the city has treated unfairly and their stories.  It's a unifying force.  Hopefully, it's also the starting point for discussions about what kind of city we want Racine to be, and who do those in power represent?

Another showing was mentioned, but no firm date yet.  "Copies" of Pattern or Practice were also mentioned, which I take to mean DVDs and/or Blu-ray discs at some point.

I highly recommend it.  I give it 4 (****) out of 5 stars.

Related blogs:   

Snowy Invasion!

The invasion spreads...  From the Eastern coast spreading over the Great Lakes region and into Minnesota, they are coming and they are here! The Snowy Owl.... Hundreds of reports have been flooding my e-mails since December of Snowy Owl sightings across this region as well as far south as Jacksonville, Florida and Bermuda! (So far, not much in west). The latest report I have was being in the area in Bruan Rd, Hwy H and Co KR with THREE sighted! If that is the case, that will make FOUR Snowys in the Racine/Kenosha area including the one I discovered on the North Pier last month.(Picture taken below on 12/14/2013) Plus FOUR more at the Milwaukee lakefront (mostly at the Metro Pier under the Huan Bridge and the Coast Guard Impoundment). As of this standpoint, there are over 200 Snowy Owls in the state alone! There is an extremely good possibility there is even more!

Why are they here? Owls don't migrate normally like waterfowl and songbirds do. Much of it depends on the food supply. Experts say there has been a lemming explosion in regions of the Arctic where the Snowys are from. A large food supply breeds larger families and a better survival rate among the Snowys, thus creating an abundance of these beautiful creatures. When the winter arrives, the youngsters will spread out to find new territories to hunt. My big question is how many will make it BACK when spring arrives. Starvation, rodent poisoning and vehicular collisions are a reality, among other perils.

Where can we find these magnificent creatures? Think tundra! In almost any wide open spaces. Airports, open fields, beach fronts, harbors-anywhere void of trees. Look for them perched on fence posts, utility poles, hay bales, rock outcroppings, buildings, silos and even on the ground.

Before anyone goes out there searching for Snowy Owls, I do want to bring up some important matters. Remember, Snowys come from the farthest and most remote regions in the Arctic, therefore many of them have never seen a human till now. They don't know how to deal with us and that makes them appear tame. For the love of all creation, DO NOT get too close them! If fly they away, you were too close! DO NOT chase after them! In the long winter cold, they need to conserve their energy to stay warm and hunt for food. DO NOT bait them with mice or anything else! Some photographers are known to do this to get those great action shots you see. Weather baiting is illegal is a grey area, however to many birders it is unethical. While feeding a hungry owl seems to be a good idea, it can cause more harm than good. First of all, pet store bred mice may have contaminants (shots, etc.) that may be harmful to an owl. Two, owls have a tendency to beg. What happens when photographers that bait owls get enough pictures and move on? The owl waits and waits for a handout and none arrives, it will likely starve to death. You really want that to happen? Three, let's keep the owls "wild" as Mother Nature intend them be. Observe them from a distance and enjoy!!!

Zumbaaaaaaa Class

Oh, yes, this is an accurate visual of that class!

Local Loyalty - Copacetic

Today's edition brings us to  -

409 Main St, Racine
Mon-Fri 10-6
 Sat 10-5
Sun 11-3
The name drew me in. I had never been there, and I've heard the word for years and have always liked it, I just had to stop in and see what kind of place it was. 
I was promptly greeted by Stetson, the gorgeous, accommodating greeter pooch, who I fell for immediately!
  Copacetic is a hat store and much more. There are men hats, ladies hats, casual, fancy, seasonal, you name it. MANY name brands, dozens of styles, trying out new looks could be a blast! 

A lady came in looking for ear mitts. I never heard of such a thing, but they had it right there! They're like ear muffs but no bands, just one for each ear, small enough to stash in a pocket and warm enough to keep your ears toasty. What a neat little invention!
They also carry the Life is Good collection - T-shirts, hats, socks, accessories, neat stuff!
They've been in business for 10 years. 
They have another store in Waukesha. 
The 3 words chosen (yup, still a good question!)
1. Optimistic
2. Positive
3. Quality

If you're looking for a new look, or looking for something unique, stop in and check them out! I'm glad I did!

Tonight: Pattern or Practice

Oriental Theatre, Milwaukee, Jan.20, 2014, TONIGHT, 7:00-9:30 pm

Open Blog - Monday

Have at it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014