Saturday, June 27, 2020

Playing Around in the Mud at Crivitz

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Van Halen - Me Wise Magic Video (Best Of Vol. 1)


Timmie Cameron runs HERO Transfer cases - built right here in Racine
WI. I may have actually machined some of those pieces in his Transfer
Case. Enjoy:

It's clear: COVID-19 is a problem for Minnesotans in their 20s

Scrub: SpaceX 10th Starlink satellite launch TBD after delay

A Decade of Sun

NASA is offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that will work on the moon

NASA is seeking new designs for a toilet that will work on the moon.

(CNN)NASA wants you to help put the loo in lunar, so it's offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that can be used on the moon.
The space agency has set an ambitious goal of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2024 and the crew will obviously have to go to the bathroom during the mission.
NASA may adapt the toilet design for its Artemis lunar lander, so it will need to work both in the microgravity of space, or "zero-g," and on the moon, where the gravity is about a sixth of what we feel on Earth, according to the design guidelines posted by NASA and HeroX, which allows anyone to create challenges to solve a problem facing the world.
The mission will include the first female astronaut to ever travel to the moon, so the toilets will need to be able to accommodate men and women.
    The toilet designs should also conserve water and "help maintain a pristine environment inside the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants."
    "Bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his/her head in the toilet," the guidelines said.
    It should be able to support a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow for the transfer of the collected waste to storage or for disposal outside the vehicle.
    The toilet should be easy to clean and maintain and should have a turnaround time of five minutes or less between uses. It also needs to use less than 70 watts of power and make less noise than an average bathroom fan.
    Space will also be an issue, so the toilet needs to weigh less than 33 pounds on Earth and be less than .12 cubic meters in volume.
      toilet on board the International Space Station is about the size of a small closet.

      The top prize is $20,000 and the second and third place winners will get $10,000 and $5,000. The deadline for submitting the designs is August 17 and the winners will be announced in October.


      Microsoft to close all retail stores

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      Minneapolis City Council unanimously votes on plan to dismantle police department in wake of anti-brutality protests

      Minneapolis City Council members voted unanimously to amend the city's charter Friday to remove the mandate for a police department-- the first step toward disbanding it in the wake of George Floyd's death.
      The amendment proposes the city replace the police department with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, “which will have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach,” a draft of the amendment said.
      The proposal adds that the director of the new agency would have “non-law-enforcement experience in community safety services, including but not limited to public health and/or restorative justice approaches.” It also suggests setting up a division of licensed peace officers, who would answer to the department's director.
      Although the amendment received a 12-0 vote from council members, it faces an uphill battle as it makes its way past a policy committee and to the city’s Charter Commission for a formal review, at which point citizens and city officials can also weigh in.
      If successful, the amendment will be put on the November ballot for a vote in the general election.
      In this June 1, 2020 file photo, an emotional Terrence Floyd, second from right, is comforted as he sits at the spot at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, Minn., where his brother George Floyd, encountered police and died while in their custody. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews File)

      The pressure to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department mounted after the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on May 25 after an officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.
      However, the city's mayor, Jacob Frey, has resisted collapsing the department entirely, saying that the proposal to do so shows a "significant lack of clarity."
      "If I’m seeing a lack of clarity, so are our constituents,” said Frey, who is a Democrat and who has said he supports deep structural change in the existing department.
      Barry Clegg, chairman of the Charter Commission, has said the process to implement change so quickly after Floyd's death may not be the best step forward.
      “As I understand it, they are saying, ‘We are going to have this new department. We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet. We won’t implement this for a year, we’ll figure it out,’” Clegg said. “For myself anyway, I would prefer that we figured it out first, and then voted on it.”
      The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

      Southern States Pause Reopening Amid Coronavirus Surge

      Open Blog - Weekend

      Have a good one.

      Friday, June 26, 2020

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      Briggs & Stratton is moving production from its facility in Wauwatosa to New York

      From JSOnline:

      Sarah HauerMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

      Briggs & Stratton Corp. is moving production from its facility in Wauwatosa to New York, the company announced in a news release Friday. 

      The Milwaukee-based company said production of its lawn tractor, residential zero-turn mower, snow thrower and pressure washer products will move from Wauwatosa at the end of August. 

      Not all production is leaving the Wauwatosa site. Standby generators and engine components production, along with other support areas will stay at the Wauwatosa facility. 

      The reason for the move, the company said, is to streamline its production and distribution of products. The New York facility that will take over production of the lawn tractor, residential zero-turn mower, snow thrower and pressure washer products is within 10 miles of another Briggs & Stratton facility where similar products are made. 

      Employees in Wisconsin who will be affected by the move will be given a 60-day notice, Briggs & Stratton said in the news release. The employees will stay with the company through the end of August. 

      The maker of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment reported a loss of $145 million in the most recent fiscal quarter ending March 29. 

      Earlier this month, Briggs & Stratton did not make a $6.7 million interest payment while at the same time awarding executives and other key employees more than $5 million in cash retention awards. 

      Salaries of executives and managers were restored to base starting next month after going to reduced levels in April. 

      Sarah Hauer can be reached at or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Be MKE at 

      Texas, California and Florida see Covid-19 cases skyrocket

      CDC says there could be 10 times more U.S. coronavirus cases than reported

      Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Image

      A more realistic estimate of the total number of U.S. coronavirus cases could be as high as 23 million — 10 times the 2.3 million currently confirmed cases — the CDC said Thursday on a call with reporters.

      Why it matters: The estimate comes after the agency tracked blood samples across the country during testing for COVID-19 antibodies. "Our best estimate right now is that for every case that's reported, there actually are 10 other infections," CDC director Robert Redfield said.

      The big picture: The new estimate comes as cases have surged across the country, but especially in the South and West.

      Still, the U.S. has recorded fewer deaths when compared to March and April, which Redfield said could mean older adults are exhibiting more caution.

      "This virus causes so much asymptomatic infection. The traditional approach of looking for symptomatic illness and diagnosing it obviously underestimates the total amount of infections," Redfield added.


      Justin Bieber Sues Sexual Assault Accusers for $20 Million

      Justin Bieber has filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against two anonymous Twitter users who accused the singer of sexual assault.
      The lawsuit refers to the women as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, who tweeted using the names Danielle and Kadi. Danielle tweeted that Bieber sexually assaulted her on March 9, 2014, in a Four Seasons Hotel room in Austin, TX. Kadi made a similar accusation about an incident she says took place at the Langham Hotel in NYC on May 5, 2015.
      Bieber adamantly denied the accusations earlier this week in a series of tweets, writing, “Rumors are rumors but sexual abuse is something I don’t take lightly. I wanted to speak out right away but out of respect to so many victims who deal with these issues daily I wanted to make sure I gathered the facts before I made any statement.”

      Microsoft admits there’s a serious problem with Windows 10

      (Image credit: Shutterstock)

      Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that some of Windows 10’s most recent updates are causing rather serious problems for some PCs.
      According to the company, the KB4557957 and KB4560960 updates, which are supposed to be cumulative updates that bring numerous security fixes to Windows 10, are instead encountering a critical issue with the Local Security Authority Process.
      This has led to some computers to randomly reboot – with just a “your PC will automatically restart in one minute” message as a warning.
      This can be incredibly frustrating, as it means you have to quickly save any work you’ve got open. Not only is it disruptive, but it could lead to loss of data as well if you don’t save in time.

      Deadline to apply for PPP loans is June 30th

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      Trump administration urges Supreme Court to end Affordable Care Act amid coronavirus pandemic

      From JSOnline:
      Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Mark Sherman
      Associated Press

      WASHINGTON  — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
      The administration’s latest high court filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through
      The administration’s legal brief makes no mention of the virus.
      Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won’t be heard before the fall.
      In the case before the Supreme Court, Texas and other conservative-led states argue that the ACA was essentially rendered unconstitutional after Congress passed tax legislation in 2017 that eliminated the law’s unpopular fines for not having health insurance, but left in place its requirement that virtually all Americans have coverage.

      Shakespeare, music goes virtual

      From The Journal

      SOMERS — College of Lake County will partner with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to present a virtual series of Shakespeare readings this summer. The acting company, made up of students from theater departments of both schools, will perform three plays on Sundays in June and July.

      “We’ve been exploring other ways to keep our theater students engaged and stay connected with the Lake County community,” said Craig Rich, CLC theater department instructor and chair. “This partnership is a terrific collaboration to keep the arts alive this summer in a way that benefits both theater students and community members who miss being in the audience.”

      The students involved are hungry for action after theater performances were recently canceled due to COVID-19. They will participate as designers, stage managers, assistant directors and actors in these virtual performances.

      To watch the performances, register online at to watch them on Zoom. Dates and shows are:

      • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 5 p.m. Sunday, June 28, directed by Rich.
      • “Macbeth,” 5 p.m. Sunday, July 12, directed by Brian Gill, UW-Parkside and CLC instructor.
      • “Twelfth Night,” 5 p.m. Sunday, July 19, directed by Fabrice Conte-Williamson, UW-Parkside instructor.

      Melodious Mondays

      The UW-Parkside Music Department continues to create in the time of COVID-19 with a series of livestream interviews and music highlighting the work of four UW-Parkside faculty in Melodious Mondays at 7 p.m. The schedule:

      June 29 — “Melodious Monday: Russ Johnson.”

      • Emmy-nominated jazz musician and faculty member Russ Johnson’s music and an interview by department chair James Crowley.
      • July 13 — “Melodious Monday: Parkside Range.” Music by contemporary a cappella group Parkside Range with faculty member Ami Bouterse and senior singer-songwriter Kalyn Harwood. Interview by Donna Hewitt.
      • July 27 — “Melodious Monday: James Crowley.” Music by composer and department chair James Crowley and an interview by Laura Rexroth, faculty member and director of bands.
      • Aug. 10 — “Melodious Monday: Alvaro Garcia.” Alvaro Garcia, symphony director and associate dean, performs on viola with an interview by James Kinchen, choral director.
      • Follow UW-Parkside music on social media at


      UW-Parkside also has some virtual exhibitions available to view right now including Deb Sokolow’s “Loose History” and Sky Hopinka’s video exhibit.

      For more information, go to


      TIDs and Tax Shifting

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      Dear City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Spokesperson Shannon Powell and

      The issue of property taxes needs to be reevaluated. Some pay none -
      others too much, and some, like City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason - not
      their fair share. Once again, another TID, which just shifts property
      taxes is being proposed. See:

      "RACINE — Two proposed Tax Increment Districts, or TIDS, to fund two
      major construction projects are set to go before the City Council at
      its next meeting.

      The Planning, Heritage and Design Commission on Wednesday held public
      hearings for two proposed new TIDs, TID 24 and TID 25, and unanimously
      voted to send them to the City Council for final approval.

      The commission also submitted for approval the reallocation of funds
      from existing TIDs, TID 9 and TID 14, to the new TIDs which would also
      assist with financing those projects".
      Enough is enough. The use of TIF is being abused by a Mayor who has
      shut down Businesses, yet still demands to be paid in full while
      packing two more persons in his office at a cost of $750,000 to
      taxpayers. This is NOT fair and the looting needs to end! The whole
      concept of fair taxation needs to be re-evaulated and:

      1. More affluent areas, like North Bay and Manree Park, need to have a
      surcharge of at least 15% added to their property tax bill.

      2.Home Rule needs to be re-established - if you work for the taxpayers
      of a Community, then you must live within that Community. Yeah, I
      know, those who practice Loot and Scoot will object - so a special
      income tax which will be returned to the Employer for any Employee who
      lives outside the Community boundaries. That Employee must pay to that
      Employer Community an additional 15% of their income.

      3. Public Employees and Politicians are the worst tax evaders - often
      taking their retirement money and benefits, for which they contributed
      very little to nothing, out of the Community and the State, then
      fleeing to an income tax free States. Those who practice Loot and
      Scoot need to be assessed a penalty of 25% from their income and have
      deductibles and co-pays on benefits increased by 50%.

      4. The property tax exemption for Non-Profits, to include Churches, MUST end!

      5. No more TIF.

      The whole concept of tax shifting using TIF to spur economic
      development has gotten out of hand in Ratcine, WI. While the Masons
      home needs to be properly and fairly assessed and they need to start
      paying their fair share.


      Tim & Cindy

      Four for Fridays

      Here's your questions:

      1)  Do you know anyone with the coronavirus?

      2)  Do you wear a mask when you leave your home?

      3)  Have you been tested for COVID-19?

      4)  What did you do with your stimulus money?

      Have a great week.

      Open Blog - Friday

      Oh my.

      Thursday, June 25, 2020

      New TIDs for hotel/convention center and Horlick Malted Milk campus go to Council

      From The Journal

      This rendering shows the proposal for a $48 million hotel, at right, and additional convention center space, in background, at the north end of Festival Park. If approved by the City Council, the newly created TID 24, would provide funding for the project. 

      RACINE — Two proposed Tax Increment Districts, or TIDS, to fund two major construction projects are set to go before the City Council at its next meeting.
      The Planning, Heritage and Design Commission on Wednesday held public hearings for two proposed new TIDs, TID 24 and TID 25, and unanimously voted to send them to the City Council for final approval.
      The commission also submitted for approval the reallocation of funds from existing TIDs, TID 9 and TID 14, to the new TIDs which would also assist with financing those projects.
      The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 21.

      Judge halts Racine’s COVID-19 ordinance, says Racine ‘engaged in direct attack' on court’s order

      From The Journal

      RACINE — A Racine County Circuit Court judge has again halted the city’s enforcement of its COVID-19 restrictions and put the city on notice it could be in contempt of court in the future if the city again attempts to “undermine the orders of the court.”
      On Wednesday, Judge Jon Fredrickson issued a temporary injunction order, suspending enforcement of the city’s new “Safer Racine” ordinance.
      The Racine City Council passed the ordinance on Monday night, three days after Fredrickson on Friday issued an injunction order halting enforcement of the city’s “Forward Racine” order.
      The judge last Friday ruled the Forward Racine order could not be enforced while a lawsuit challenging the order worked its way through court. Racine’s original order was put in place by Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox on May 13, just after the state Supreme Court struck down Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order. Bowersox issued Forward Racine, an updated order, on May 26.
      Following the judge’s temporary halt to Bowersox’s order on Friday, the City Council on Monday voted basically the exact same restrictions into law via a city ordinance
      Take that, Butterball.

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