Saturday, June 20, 2009

Immature Saturday

Some would argue that applies everyday around here, but I want to take us down a notch below the usual level.

First up is a new species of mushroom called Phallus dresii discovered on the island of Sao Tome. This stinky mushroom (gives off quite an odor acccording to reports). It was named after Robert Drewes of the California Academy of Sciences for, "inspiration and fortitude to initiate, coordinate and lead multiorganism biotic surveys on Sao Tome and Principe." I don't know if it is dyslexia or the subject matter, but I totally misread the word "multiorganism" the first time I read this story. Drewes seemes honrored to have a two inch long, phallus shaped mushroom named after him. There is someone comfortable with his masculinity.

Next up is what Mona Lisa did after she gained fame: She posed for the Renaissance Playboy of course. Since photography hadn't been invented yet, Da Vinci did her centerfold. Yep, a painting that may be a nude Mona Lisa has surfaced. They even think this may have been part of a series (Girls of Da Vinci perhaps?)

Four Celestial Bodies

It was cloudy for the nice conjunction yesterday, but it was still pretty good this morning (click to embiggen)


The crescent Moon is obvious with Earthshine. Venus is very prominent with Mars slightly to its upper left. You might have to click for a larger version to detect Mercury almost directly below the Moon (it is hard to see at this resolution, but the full picture is a pretty big file). The Moon was very close to the Pleaides, but I got up too late and the sky was too bright to get a good shot of them together.

I went ahead and zoomed in on the Moon, Venus and Mars for a closer shot.
The Moon will be even a more slender crescent tomorrow morning and almost directly left (north) and a little higher in the sky than Mercury (well, for Tucson at least). New Moon is Monday at 3:35pm EDT, so the crescent could be a little challenging, but I have spotted it that close to new several times, so it is definitely achievable.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Racine Raiders' Season Opens Tonight

"The Racine Raiders kickoff their 57th season of play Saturday against the Leyden Lions of the Mid-States Football League (MSFL). The game will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Ralph 'Babe' Serpico Memorial Field in Melrose Park, Ill.

"The Raiders are coming off of a disappointing season where they went 5-7 and posted their first losing season since 1978 when the team, known as the North Shore Gladiators, went 1-9 under head coach Jim Perry.

"That was one year ago, however, and the face of adult amateur football in Northeastern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin looked much different."
More information:

Don't Eat The Dough

I never got into the raw cookie dough thing, but I know that many people like it.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I stand was 12 years not 5. They made 5 billlion dollars in sales in the 12 years .

The world is full of them.

As an example, the George Foreman grill; from when they first came out, within 12 years, they sold 90 million of them! The first Motorola cell phone known as the “brick” weighed 2 pounds and sold for $4,000, now they give them away with a year contract!

My favorite household gizmo is my KidtchenAid Mixer. Cobalt Blue.

What’s your favorite?

Taking Invasion of Privacy to the Next Level...

I am almost at a loss for words, but might be able to find a few choice ones for the city of Bozeman, Montana. It is known that employers can check out the web for information about you and there is even an industry that will help you spruce up your online presence.

Okay, public info is public. Fair enough. But Bozeman now wants to not only see your private profiles on sites like facebook and Myspace, but for you to GIVE THEM YOUR PASSWORDS to "any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc." (and I bet they want your Adult Friend Finder and eHarmony accounts also!)

That does not just give them access to my info, but the info of all my friends as well.

Just don't tell them? Say you don't have an account? Well, lying on a job app is a firable offense.

And you are in a Catch 22 since it is against the Terms of Service of many sites to divulge your password to others! They say they are trying to judge your character by asking you to break the a contract with a social networking site...but if you don't tell them, you are breaking law! WTF?!?

And of course many of these sites have associated email accounts and calendars with them. Giving out your password potentially lets people read all your old emails, doctor appointments, vacations, hot dates, etc.

I thought it was bad when employers wanted to start doing credit checks...better throw away your diary...they might want to take a look at that as well!

Storm everyone OK out there?

I'm doing Ok just have a little water in the basement right now and a very scared little boy on my hands. I've been watching the weather channel and It's kinda freakin him out.I just can't seem to turn it off.

How's my JTI family doing in this storm?

"Cashing in on crayfish"

There's a nice story with a Racine slant in the Journal Sentinel Online about trapping and selling crayfish:

When I was a kid, a neighbor used to take me and his brother to the Pike River in Kenosha to catch crayfish by tying some raw liver to a line, throwing it in the water, and waiting. Every now and again, we would pull up the lines and find a few crayfish clinging to the meat.

I don't know why we went to Kenosha, but I guessed there weren't any good crayfish spots in Racine. The JS article, though, highlights a man catching them in Root River. Another great story about a local, "little guy" entrepreneur.

I also didn't know that crayfish are an invasive species in Wisconsin. I know that some people eat them, but we only used them for bait.

Another Pretty Morning: Update

UPDATE: Well, a lot of use were clouded out today. Tomorrow is a different arrangement by worth trying. The Moon will be over near the Pleiades tomorrow morning. Venus and Mars will still be very close together. The Moon will be even lower in the sky Sunday morning, but will provide a useful guide to find Mercury. Mercury will be almost directly south (to the right) of the Moon Sunday morning. Don't give up quite yet...still some interesting sites to see!

Conjunctions of planets and the Moon happen on a fairly regular basis. The players, however, are constantly changing and we get different combinations at different times.

Tomorrow morning, June 19th, we get a nice trio before dawn. This trio will consist of the Moon, Venus and Mars. The Moon is a waxing crescent. If you have binoculars (or a telescope) train them on Venus and you can see its phase as well! Venus is about half lit right now and even a modest pair of binoculars reveals its phase. Mars is not nearly as bright, but should be easily visible between the Moon and Venus. Mercury rises right beneath the Pleaides later (exact time depends on where you are) but it will probably be very difficult to see in the pre-dawn glow.

This should be particularly nice rising over Lake Michigan!

Here is the sky chart for tomorrow to embiggen.


I am not that great at getting up in the morning, but will set my camera up before bed tonight and an alarm to see if I can drag myself out in the morning.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Okay, so I am bragging about my nephew

Since I have not heard otherwise, my nephew did the 49 mile walk/trot/run/slosh/climb today. I cannot tell you how very proud I am to call MARK JORGENSEN my nephew. To do this in honor of his daughter with who know me, know that I am emotional and affectionate...I cannot help that, but to see that a member of our family shares his love of his child with the world like he did on this marathon is beyond me.

He says he is blessed, I am blessed by him...I think he is my hero.

Here is what you guys did not know about this man, as a 5 year old child, he held my hand and told me that when 'Grandpa died' (my dad) that it only meant he would be back in another way; that the world went around and that 'Grandpa' wouldn't want me to be sad....a little kid, holding his Aunt's hand while she sobbed....I guess love runs in our family big time...

Did I tell you I am proud of him??? Did I???

Rock and Roll Revival

Welcome back, you rockers! Have you ever watched your favorite TV show and see a commercial on with a familiar tune on it? Yes, I have. It's been happening more and more lately. I think it's sad. I've heard many rock and roll tunes used in many commercials. Take Led Zeppelin "Rock and Roll" for Mercedes Benz , Heart "Barracuda" for a Nisson van, and the Beatles "Revolution" for Nike shoes for examples. Even songs from the Who are used in the CSI television series as the opening theme.

This bums me out. I've always felt a song should fit to listener's personal experience, not to sell products. How would you feel if a Bob Dylan song (or any other classic tune) be used in a commercial selling laundry detergent?

On the flip side, I read an interview about Pete Townsend that gave me some insight. Yes, it's the artist's right to do whatever they pleased with their music. I may not like it, but I have to agree with the facts.

So what are your thoughts about this?

Why Does Obama Need Secret Service Protection?

Come on, with reflexes like this guy also a trained Ninja or something? I know he has a reputation for being a cool, level headed guy, but this is getting almost creepy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

RIP DailyKenoshan

Too bad. I didn't go there very often, but when I did, I had a good time. Last year, the JTI was the DailyKenoshan's First Pick for a local blog:

It's sad to see anyone leave the local blogging or news scene. I can understand, though, how it could become too much. Good luck and best wishes to John Nordquist and Lisa Loring. You will be missed.

Who is this person?

Riddle of the Day

Another one to put your thinking cap on.........
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a big one.
Michael J. Fox has a small one.
Madonna doesn't have one.
The Pope has one but doesn't use it.
Clinton uses his all the time.
Bush is one.
Mickey Mouse has an unusual one.
Liberace never used his on women.
Jerry Seinfeld is very, very proud of his.
Cher claims that she took on 3.
We never saw Lucy use Desi's.
What is it?

To The Moon...Two For One Special

Tomorrow is a big day for our continued exploration of the Moon. NASA is launching two missions on one Atlas 5 rocket...currently scheduled for 5:12pm EDT.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (or LRO). It will go into orbit around the Moon with a suite of instruments to measure temperature, gravity, and UV albedo. That may not sound exciting, but the really cool part is it will have a very high resolution camera (almost identical to the one on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) that will be able to take pictures with a resolution as fine as 18 inches...the pictures from this are going to be spectacular! LRO will be searching for good landing sites with an emphasis on the polar regions, a likely spot for a lunar base.

The second mission is the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). LCROSS will separate from LRO shortly after launch (and it's a good thing too as you will see!) and engage in a long, looping series of orbits around the Earth before heading to the Moon. LCROSS will take along the Centaur upper stage that put it into orbit. The upper stage will separate from the other piece, called the Shepherding Spacecraft, and head on a collision course with the Moon. The upper stage will crash into the Moon blasting a small crater. The Sheperding Spacecraft will follow the upper stage and fly through the cloud of debris kicked up by the upper stage. The Shepherding Spacecraft will take pictures and data as it flies through the debris on the way to its own crash landing. The impact will take place sometime in October (exact day and time TBD and depends on the exact launch time). NASA is going to time the impace to that it can be observed from the U.S. Amateur and professionals astonomers will train their telescopes at the Moon in hopes of seeing the impact...and it better be clear here in Tucson that night!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Charlie's New Buddy

Meet Chucky Chipmunk:

Now my pet has a pet.

Come to Florida ABBY....

I'll be here waiting for you!!!!!!!!!

I knew wine was good for me! I really, really did!

Water and Wine

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine.. . and those who don't.

As Ben Franklin said:
In wine there is wisdom,
in beer there is freedom,
in water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials,
scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day,

at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than
1 kilo of Escherichia coli,
(E. coli) - bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming
1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when
drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whisky or other liquor),

because alcohol has to go through a purification
process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Water = Poop, Wine = Health .

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid,
than to drink water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information:
I'm doing it as a public service.

Porkers Oink It Up With State Budget

"Madison — Facing a record deficit that forced them to raise taxes and fees by $2.1 billion to balance the budget, Assembly Democrats added millions for projects they can brag about back home - a $500,000 upgrade for an opera house; $50,000 for a shooting range; and $46,000 for a town's recycling bins.

"As they erased a $6.6 billion, two-year deficit, Assembly Democrats added $36.7 million in regional favors, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary."

Oink oink oink. Grunt snort grunt! Snort, oink oink grunt, snort oink.

A Sweet little poem!

A fart is a pleasant thing,
It gives the belly ease,
It warms the bed in winter,
And suffocates the fleas.

A fart can be quiet,
A fart can be loud,
Some leave a powerful,
Poisonous cloud

A fart can be short,
Or a fart can be long,
Some farts have been known
To sound like a song.....

A fart can create
A most curious medley,
A fart can be harmless,
Or silent , and deadly.

A fart might not smell,
While others are vile,
A fart may pass quickly,
Or linger a while......

A fart can occur
In a number of places,
And leave everyone there,
With strange looks on their faces

From wide-open prairie,
To small elevators,
A fart will find all of
Us sooner or later.

But farts are all bad,
Is simply not true,
We must never forget.......
Old farts like you!

Kinda brings a tear to your eye - right?

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my soggy friends. How are you? If only it would rain once in awhile, then maybe summer would get here.

The stunning Ms. ABBY submitted an email this week, in which she wrote:

My dearest Mme,

As you know, I will be flying to Florida on the 24th of June and returning to Racine on the 30th.....Could you please make sure there are no snakes on the planes and plenty of cocktails waiting for me when I arrive?....

All my love,


My dearest Ms. ABBY, I can assure you that your flights will be reptile-free. However, even I cannot control what you might encounter once you arrive in Florida. I strongly suggest that you follow Ms. Beejay’s lead in regard to snakes and other local critters. She has the experience.

I also detect that a cocktail or two may be part of Ms. Beejay’s repertoire in dealing with snakes, so there should be no problem in that regard as she believes in being quite prepared.

Below is a screenshot of the lead story in the Religion section of the June 13th Journal Sentinel Online.

The Wonewoc Spiritualist Camp sounds like an interesting place to visit perhaps, but at “$40 for a personal reading, $25 for the séance,” it is definitely in the low rent district. I am not a snob, mind you, but you sometimes do receive spiritually what you pay for materially. Those with the greatest gifts can command the highest prices. Remember, it’s always best to look for the Zoltar® label on your psychic, spiritual, and astrological purchases. Zoltar® is your guarantee of the greatest psychic bang for your hard earned buck.

Finally, below is an ad which has been appearing in the local newspaper for some time now.

I have a few things to say to “Mrs. Hilton.” First, if you are in any way related to that bimbo, Paris, you and your entire gene pool should be eradicated. Second, you should be aware of whose territory you are encroaching on when you set up shop, dearie. Third, well, I don’t expect you to last long enough to get to three, honey. I give you until yesterday to stop hawking your scam on my beat. Do a disappearing act, now.

Imagine the nerve of some people to just parade in and start tapping a market that you’ve worked so hard to develop. This ain’t hot dogs, you know.

Please send your questions and comments to me at:

Thank you for reading my blog this week, my ginger snaps. The weatherman says it will warm up by the end of the week. If it doesn’t, I’m beaming him to the hot side of the sun.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Going to Mars With a Science Lab

NASA's next mission to Mars is called the Mars Science Laboratory (which earlier this year go the name Curiosity in one of those name that rover contests for students). This rover will be much larger than the previous ones, nuclear powered so it is not subject to the limitations of solar power, carry a larger suite of instruments to determine if Mars does or ever did support life, and be able to drive a lot farther and faster.

And you can send you name to Mars with Curiosity. NASA has been adding people's names to CDs and such put on spacecraft for years. My cat and I have been happily traversing the near and far reaches of the solar system for years with NASA (we are going to the Moon, hopefully Thursday if the Shuttle goes off tomorrow as scheduled...more on a blog tomorrow) and we are making another trip to Mars. Hope you will join us!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

New Exam............!!

Your not on the Clock !!!

1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Gobi March

I just have to post this. I am one proud Aunt.

My nephew is participating in the Gobi March, one of the 4 Desert Endurance Races. He is in stage 3 and so far is not doing too badly. Last I checked I think he was ranked # 66 out of 145.

Money is being raised by this group to make people aware of various childhood illnesses, treatments, facilities, etc. I have a great niece with autism. Her Dad is doing this for her! What a guy!

Want to take a gander at what the route entails go to and click on race details.

Running a marathon is good, doing it for seven days...yikes. And here I took a seven mile bike ride this a.m. and thought I was the athlete of all time (NOT)!

Hale, this sounds like something you would do...

Gang Fest

I read in the Journal Times about problems at North Beach yesterday with kids and gangs: As usual, none of the individuals involved or their parents are at fault. Once again, the blame falls squarely and completely upon society. As a member of society, I agonize over this whenever it occurs: how can I prevent the children of people I don’t even know from running wild? What is the matter with me that I cannot control them? Where did I go wrong? Why do I keep making people have babies that they do not care for? Why don’t I raise them all by myself?

After much soul searching, I have come up with a suggestion that may help ameliorate this situation somewhat. It may even help with our city’s current economic problems. My suggestion is this: Gang Fest, to be held on the Festival Hall grounds in beautiful downtown Racine. The downturn in events held there has impacted the most important part of our city, downtown, negatively. Another festival there cannot but help improve things.

At Gang Fest, local gangbangers can meet and exchange ideas on gang life and gang death. Target practice at a festival firing range could help immensely with the issue of innocent bystanders being hit by stray bullets, and local merchants and artists could display the latest in gang fashions and collectibles for sale. Specialty booths could offer lessons in improving gang signifying skills, or not snitching, for instance. The possibilities are endless. Maybe it could even be made into a combined Gang Festival and Gun Show. If we try, I’m sure it could become the biggest in the Midwest.

Anyway, that’s it for now. But I want everyone to know that I am working diligently to accept more and more responsibility for things that I haven’t done in order that the thugs and scammers of Racine can continue to leech off of the other citizens.

Thank you, and have a blessed day.

Happy Bloomsday!

"DUBLIN: Thousands of James Joyce fans Tuesday cast aside worries about recession in Ireland to recreate Bloomsday, the fictitious day at the centre of the author’s most famous novel, ‘Ulysses.’"

I actually read Ulysses in college. Without the help of the teacher as a guide and translator, though, I doubt that I would have made it. Finnegan's Wake, Joyce's last work, is even more impenetrable. Scholars are still working on deciphering that one.

I prefer Joyce's short stories, but I'm always willing to celebrate a brilliant author.

Happy Bloomsday, and God bless the Irish.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blue Angels

These jets have always impressed me.
Pictures and comments are complements of
Admin Chief for the Blue Angels...Chief Flora, retired USN...
1) We see strength in our Military and sadly, we see the Twin Towers ..Something I never want to forget.
2) Niagara Falls .... so beautiful.
3) I wonder who wins this battle?
4) USS Constitution out for her annual turn in Boston harbor.
5) Blue Angels over San Francisco Bay .
6) Too Close for me... Backoff Buddy.
15) Ya couldn't ask for anything nicer to look at...
16) Nice Boats huh...
17) zoom...zoom "THE END "

Notice to All Hunters........

They walk among us, are allowed to vote, and they reproduce !!!

School's Out!

Enjoy the summer RUSD students!

No more pencils, no more books,
no more being run down by school buses doing 45 mph on North Main Street.


It's Hammer Time!

I love guerrilla theater. I'd even shop in a store downtown if this ever happened there.

Here's the original MC Hammer: