I know lately we've been concerned with the crime problem in Racine, as we should. But let's not forget this town has a number of good thing going for it too. Two of them were on display this past Saturday night at Horlick Field. The Racine Raiders played a very competitive game against the Wisconsin Wolfpack in front of 1300+ people. Unfortunately, the hometown team came up on the short end of the score. And another jewel of Racine performed at halftime; The Kilties. These are not the Kilties of old. This was a well formed professional drum and bugle corps with members of all ages. With the precision they performed at, there should have been a separate charge for the half time entertainment because it was well worth it. So keep the faith, not all is lost in the Belle City. Oh did I mention, some of the babes in the stands weren't bad either.
Thank you, Mayor Becker, for meeting with the bloggers this morning at Javavino.
I apologize for the fuzzy picture. I didn't want to distrub the cozy atmosphere with a flash. Guess I should've, anyway.
I also recorded most of the dialog on a voice recorder, but because of the awful acoustics, it is unlistenable. Unfortuanately, the inability to hear the mayor and others, and/or to distinguish their voices from background noise, was a major drawback. I doubt that I heard more than 10% of what was said. I've never been to Javavino before, but I understand that they hold musical events there. With all that brick, hardwood furniture, and hardscape floor, the audience's ears must ring after every performance.
Speaking of audience, I counted 14 people, including the mayor, at the start of the talk. A few more straggled in as it went along, but I doubt that we ever got to more than 20. Mighty poor showing for all of the bluster and bravado barked on the blogs. I met Drew and SER there. I don't know if AvengingAngel made it because I haven't met him before.
My impression of the exchange: same old stuff. The mayor goes on and on with statistics and stories on crime in Racine, but I think he greatly underappreciates the concern of the average citizen regarding it. And, to be blunt, I think that if he doesn't personally experience it, then it doesn't exist for him. When I made points concerning my experiences with the Racine Police Department, he countered with his experiences riding in patrol cars with police. Excuse me, sir, but don't you think that the mayor of the city riding shotgun with the police might make them act a little differently than they normally do? He also talked about driving through troubled areas and talking with residents. Again, that's nice, but you don't live there. Many of us do. And we are FED UP with crime. That point seems lost upon him. Utterly and completely.
As for the constant remarks that more police will not end crime, hello - nothing will end crime. Duh. The best you can do is keep it down. And that's what we're asking for. Again, this seems lost on him. Poverty, disease, injustice, etc., will never be ended, either. So should we give up on fighting those, too? Someone better tell the US government that terrorism will never end, so we might as well surrender now.
Again, thanks for the opportunity, but it just proved to me that Mayor Becker is out of touch with common people in Racine. He's in his element in trendy places like coffeehouses. How nice for him. And too bad for the rest of us.
Today's video is from 1987. A new band called The Call released their first single called "Everywhere I Go". They went on to release a couple more albums and still tour every now and then. Great "windows down, sound up" song. Hope you enjoy!
On a side note, I hope you guys like this little weekly thing I do, and hope it jogs your musical memory like it does mine.
WOW! ! ! The negative tone on this blog is amazing. This was a meeting set up weeks ago to listen to the neighbors about their opinions on a number of issues that will directly impact their area. Not sure where the negativism comes from on something as simple as neighborhood outreach.
I can see some people have some input that I am missing, but I would like to hear from them.
So here is the deal, I will be at Java Vino on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM. I invite any of the bloggers with ideas, comments and criticisms to come out from behind their anonymous keyboards and sit down and talk, face to face, person to person.
Hope to see you on Saturday.
I hope the post is for real and not a troll. :P
Does the invitation extend to "irregular" bloggers?
Sooo........ My X (shhhhhhh) birthday is coming up this weekend. Not sure when I started to not look forward to my birthdays. Guess I should be happy I'm still here, yes? Eh... doesn't do much for me anymore. I've never really liked birthdays. The free drinks are nice. :) But all the fuss.. forget it. it's just another day to remind me I'm getting old. When I was a kid I remember thinking that I'll never be 30!!!!! Passed that milestone and guess what? I'm still here! People ask me what do I want for my birthday. I don't really like cake. It kinda grosses me out for some reason. So.. my wish is to take a trip to stay with my FIL and his wife, up north. Just to get away and because I know he won't be around forever. Used to be .. have a party! Now, the best time I have is sitting in front of a fire with Dad. My Dad has been dead for many years now, and I never had the relationship with him that I have with my FIL now. He's pretty amazing. 76 years old and I keep him up until 3 in the morning talking and watching fireworks and throwing more wood on the fire. He loves my dog Minnie and cracks up at her antics in the lake. She loves him too. When ya get older things mean more to you. I want to go up north for me. But also because Dad enjoys us coming up. My DH works too much to be able to get away very often. But I'm making sure we do this this weekend.
oh.. and I love going there and looking at the clear skies and all the stars. Last time we were there I saw 3 shooting stars!
Guess I am rambling.
My first blog here... and I sound like an idiot. LOL.
Friday, August 1st will feature a total eclipse of the Sun. Unfortunately, it is not visible from the the U.S. but we can watch it thanks to webcasts.
Unfortunately, due to the time difference, the eclipse starts at 5:09 am CDT and totality begins at 6:08 CDT if you want to watch the Exploratorium's covervage from China. The Exploratorium in is well known for its eclipse webcasts and you can watch it live online. If you don't want to get up this early, they archive their webcasts so you can watch them at a more reasonable hour! You can even watch the achived footage of previous eclipses.
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. Total eclipses only cover a very small portion of the Earth since the Moon's shadow is pretty small (a maximum of 147 miles for this eclipse). People outside this line can see a partial eclipse, but we don't even get that.
I took my grandson to see Sen. McCain today. Besides getting to see two truly great Americans (John and Cindy), he got to see the freakin' nutballs that permeate our society.
It started with the protesters outside Memorial Hall. I noticed that our esteemed Mayor or someone in City administration, allowed the protesters to be situated directly next to the entrance. There were two buffoons prancing around with McCain and Bush rubber masks acting like total idiots. My grandson's only comment: "What jerks.".
Inside, we were treated to one questioner who demanded to know if McCain believed in the absolute truth of the Book of Revelations; that we are living in the "end times". McCain politely expressed how faith has brought him through tough times, but the nutball wouldn't stop asking about Revelations and finally had to be shouted down by the crowd. Grandson comment: "Sheesh. Why doesn't he just shut up?".
There were one or two other what I call "plants", one from McCain's camp and one from Obama's, but most questions were from people like us. I was very happy to see many college aged people attending and asking questions relevent to their situation.
We were finally treated to the last questioner who brought up some esoteric dispute between the Navajo and Hopi indian tribes. Nothing like closing out with a solid nutcase.
The biggest reactions were in response to the McCain's stance on Energy, the War, and Obama's tax plans.
All in all, a very interesting town hall.
Update: Here's JT's take on the Revelation nutball. Interesting how they describe the question as "about religion".
One man in the balcony asked McCain about religion. McCain responded by saying he believed in an America founded as Judeo-Christian. The man asked McCain to answer his question better and the audience yelled for him to get off the mike. Audience members cheered when a volunteer finally took it from him. The man continued to yell from the balcony and others in attendance yelled for him to sit down, which he finally did.
This isn't as insensitive as it may sound. My mother was a die hard Cubs fan, and with the possibility of them sweeping the series over the Brewers, I would be getting the persistent reminder of how many games the Cubs have taken. She also would have called me after every inning giving me an "update", even she would have known damn well I was watching the game too.
Here's a video from one of my favorite bands, Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin is an exciting band to listen to, whether in the studio or live in concert. They are known to stretch their songs out to unbelievable lengths. This song here can be found on their Physical Graffiti LP.
Now, I present to you, live from Knebworth Festival, Stevenage, England, August 4,1979 -Ten Years Gone.
On July 29th, 1958, NASA was established with the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act. From its humble beginnings, less than 11 years later, it put the first men on the Moon.
I have mixed feelings about NASA (as does everyone I talk to in my circles). NASA has done a lot of great things: the Moon landings and Hubble are two very high profile projects. But we have to remember the strength of the unmanned program as well including Voyagers, Pioneers, Mariners, Viking, the Mars rovers, Galileo, Cassini, Swift, GLAST, Chandra, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope to name a few.
The Space Shuttle is a real mixed bag. It was very overpromised and underfunded in its design phase and lots of compromises were made. Same thing with the International Space Station. Both had so much more potential but politics and funding held them back. These high profile manned projects have an ongoing conflict with unmanned projects that produce more science per dollar.
Many people criticize NASA for how much it spends without realizing how small its budget is in reality. NASA receives less than 1% of the federal budget. Many people are surprised it is that low.
As we begin the next 50 years, NASA is preparing to retire the shuttle and shoot for the Moon again. There will be several years between the end of the shuttle program and our new rockets being ready to fly. We will have to rely on other nations to supply the ISS and ferry astronauts back and forth. NASA has been asked to go to the Moon and given little extra money to do it. Science could suffer if things do not improve.
At some point, I believe NASA has a chance at a second set of glory days, but its going to take another Sputnik like event, most likely the Chinese beating us back to the Moon. Then we may decide leadership in space is important again.
Richard Branson's company Scaled Composites unveiled White Knight 2. The first of the craft has been named "Eve".
This strange looking craft is part of his space tourism business. You attach a smaller rocket powered craft (still being built) called Spacehip 2 underneath the wing. White Knight Carries Spaceship 2 up to about 50,000 feet. Spaceship 2 is dropped off and ignites its rockets to go on its suboribital flight to space, reaching an altitude of over 60 miles and giving about five minutes of weightlessness.
Their publicity claims this is the largest carbon fiber aircraft, important to make it strong and light. Trips start at $200k and they claim 250 bookings so far.
Well, looks like I picked the wrong line of work if I want $200k to drop on a spaceflight!
With the Cubs playing in Milwaukee this week, it brings back a nightmare from last year. The first series the Cubs played at Miller Park, my seat was surround by the most obnoxious, PIAs, gold coast Cubs fans from Chicago. I was ready to tell them I had Leprosy or the plague hoping they would go away. At the end of the game, one of the jerks didn't want to go through the Marquette construction, so he had the gonads to ask me for directions around it. The route I gave him would eventually take him to Madison, if he didn't get lost around 6th and Mitchell in Milwaukee. I was laughing inside when he said "Thanks". Just doin' my part to help a fellow sports fan from the Windy.
With all that is happening lately, who or what do you think is getting the most news coverage. Pick from the menu or insert your own. 1) Brewers 2) McCain 3) Obama 4) Shooting in Racine 5) Packers/Brett Farve/Ted Thompson 6) All of the above 7) None of the above 8) I abstain
Sorry guys. I had the week from hell, and has really limited my posting. Sorry for being tardy.
Todays video is from 1987. I was piss drunk in my friends car when he said you have got to hear this band. The band was Marillion and the first song I heard from them is this one. It's called Kayleigh. Enjoy.
Not too far from me. Surprised I didn't hear the gunshots. I usually do. Surprised I'm writing this. If you had told me 40 years ago that today I'd be living in Racine and regularly listening to gunshots at night and reading about the results the next morning, I would've scoffed. It's a nightmare, Mayor Becker, a real life nightmare that we're sick of living.
I drove through downtown yesterday. I do that everyday. There were plenty of people out enjoying the sunshine and partying on Monopoly Square. All white, all well-to-do. That's wonderful - for them. What about the rest of us, Mayor Becker?
And before anyone asks, "What would you do?" two things:
1) I'm not the mayor or the police chief. I didn't run for the job. I didn't present myself as qualified for the position nor did I seek it. When I take my auto to a mechanic to have it repaired, I do not expect him to ask me how to fix it. He is the mechanic. That is his job.
2) If it were up to me, I would issue communications and protective gear to block captains or whatever representatives the neighborhoods elect to truly represent them. We'll arm ourselves. Let us patrol our own hoods. We're sick of waiting 45 minutes for the police to show up. We're sick of judges who release the animals back into our neighborhoods and homes over and over again. We're sick of people who don't live here and don't give a damn telling us what our problems are. We're sick of swimming in blood and fear while Becker's constituency parties, parties, and parties downtown. The decadence is staggering, in more ways than one.
All Becker needs now is a violin to play while the city located outside of downtown burns behind him.
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