Saturday, April 17, 2010

No More Playing in Dr. Laurel Clark Fountain

The above story appeared in the print edition of the Journal Times today, Saturday, April 17, 2010, on page 15A. I looked for it online at, but couldn't find it. So I scanned it in.

I understand the dilemma. State law requires a considerable upgrade to the plumbing if humans are going to run through the fountain. We can't afford it. There was even some concern that we might need to provide a lifeguard, or some sort of supervision, even if we could afford the upgrade.

I think it's a shame. Isn't there any of that stimulus money left to use for this? The work necessary to meet state guidelines should generate a couple of temporary jobs, like the other stimulus jobs. These would probably be skilled. And the lifeguard/babysitter job would be regular seasonal employment.

Maybe this is something the people of the city could get behind as a fundraising drive. Give your spare change to make the fountain safe.

Those kids running through the fountain are a joyous scene. It reminds me of kids running through opened fire hydrants. The glee on their faces, their squeals and shouts - it just makes me smile. Too bad that we can't come up with some way to allow it to continue.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jethro Tull - "Locomotive Breath"

Drew's Four for Fridays this week got me to thinking about fate, and that got me to thinking about one of my favorite Jethro Tull songs:

Moon & Venus!

I thought I would try my luck at getting some pictures of the Moon and Venus. They are not as good as Hale-Bopp's pics. I think they came out not too half bad.
Doesn't really show how skinny the moon is.

Going Meteor Hunting This Weekend?

Turns out it might not be such a bad idea in your neck of the woods as there has been a piece of the recent fireball recovered. The first piece was found up near Livingston, Wisconsin.

There are probably more up there, although they may not be easy to find!

Nerd, Geek, Dweeb or Dork?

kk, I think you are more of a geek where I fall more in the nerd category.


I need to find a cleaning service in Racine/Sturtevant...any suggestions from you guys of who to or not to use?

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! This week has been rather a strange week for me. So I've got some deep thoughts for you!

1) Do you believe in fate and/or destiny?

2) Has anybody from your past has contacted you out of the blue?

3) Have you ever wondered what became of that certain person? It could be anybody.

4) Have you ever tried to contact someone you had not seen in years?

Enjoy your weekend!

"Friday is ‘Rowdy Roddy Piper Day'"


Don't forget, today is Rowdy Roddy Piper Day in Racine.

The Journal Times has a nice story:

The sidebar to the Journal Times story says that "wrestling legend Road Warrior Animal" will be there tonight at Memorial Hall. He and Hawk were the Road Warriors, one of the most badass tag teams ever:

Oh, and thank you again, Mayor Dickert. Seriously. I think this is a gas.

Originally posted Sunday, April 11, 2010, 9:42 PM:

"RACINE -- Friday will be 'Rowdy Roddy Piper Day,' in Racine, according to a press release issued by the Racine Civic Centre.

"According to the release, Mayor John Dickert has officially proclaimed April 16 'Rowdy Roddy Piper Day' and Mark Eickhorst, the city's public information officer, will be presenting Piper with an honorary award.

"Piper, who is in the World Wresting Entertainment Hall of Fame, will be coming to Racine Friday for the Great Lakes Championship Wrestling event and will be featured in the ring at Memorial Hall, 72 Seventh St.

"Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7:30 p.m.

"Tickets start at just $10 and can be purchased at the Festival Hall box office. All reserved tickets for $30 and up include a pre-show meet and greet with Piper."

That's the entire article. Thank you, Mayor Dickert, Mr. Racine, and all others involved in this wonderful event. Thank you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun Game to Play

Big Game Deer hunt........

Big Game Hunt

The Midwest Fireball

I posted about the one I saw last November here in Tucson that was seen over much of the western U.S., and last night was your turn. This fireball was seen mostly in Iowa and Wisconsin around 10pm.

They even caught the smoke trail on a Doppler radar image. Reports of (probably) sonic booms from the meteor as well.

Anyone there see it?

April is STD Awareness Month

Please do your part to spread it around!

City Council Spends $50K of Our Money to Cover Their Asses

"Settlement ends Becker-Tingle era in Racine politics"

Racine's City Council did NOTHING to curb Becker's behavior when he was mayor. They all went along for the ride, gladly approving whatever the pervert requested. Now that the ex-mayor's freewheeling ways are coming back to haunt us, our council members gather in secret meetings to approve payoffs and avoid confrontation.

These cowards are traitors to Racine. Instead of manning up and accepting responsibility for their failure to act while Becker was tearing up City Hall and ruining our reputation, they hide in silent shame. Fifty thousand of out dollars because the council was afraid to call out a pervert. All the same little piggies are still in place, ready to spend more of our money to hide their misdeeds. Fie on you! Cowards, traitors, swine!

A Challenging Observation on Tax Day

Tax day comes and may bring stress to reward yourself by trying to catch a threesome of solar system objects at once. Venus continues to rise higher in the sky as Mercury is setting earlier each night and getting dimmer. Mercury is still there, but more difficult to see. Tonight, we get the crescent Moon joining them. The Moon was new at 12:29 UT (5:29am MST) on April 14th. By the time the Sun sets tonight, the Moon will be almost 38 hours old (on the west coast) and I can usually pick it out by that time shortly after Sunset.

Mercury may be more difficult. It is below the crescent Moon so make sure you have a good horizon. After the Sun sets, you can safely use binoculars to scan for Mercury. Here is the obligatory Stellarium screen shot for Tucson.

I have improv rehearsal tomorrow night, but will try to sneak out to get a photo!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Beatles 3000

I love the Beatles! Words cannot describe this video! I had a good laugh watching this one! Just watch it....

How Much Would You Pay for the Universe?

I thought this would fit well with the recent Apollo 13 blog...Neill Tyson sounds off on NASA...and a lot more.

Wednesday Grin

I just got a call from an organization asking me to donate some of my clothes to the starving people of the world.

I told them to kiss my ass..

Anybody who fits into my clothes ain't starving !

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my precocious peonies! How are you? Oh, how I do so love this time of year. It is glorious to see the various plants and shrubs and trees coming to life, some of them blooming, others barely budding in yet. The hyacinth have mostly come and gone, daffodils are now appearing, and most tulips are yet to show. And that’s just some of the bulbs. Those blazes of yellow you see here and there in yards around Racine indicate Forsythia, a shrub that blooms early, and brigthly, in spring. I’ve also seen some tulip trees beginning to bloom south of downtown. Spring: the colors are rich and resplendent. The show changes daily. The beauty is stunning. Oh my!

Let me say first off to you my dear friends that I am not prepared to do my blog this week. I have had a very, very busy week, capped by a very, very busy day today. To top off everything else, I am house and dog sitting for a friend who just had a liver transplant. My friend doesn’t want her pooch too stressed out by her absence, so she wants the dear dog to stay home. I, however, cannot stay at her house all of the time because I have my own Zoltar® brand product line to oversee, as well as run my retail operations, and maintain a loving home for Junior – which means being cook, maid, laundress, shopper and driver, as well as helping him out with his homework and trying to pound some moral sense into his black little heart. Ahem.

If I could only trust Junior, he could do most of the dog duties, as well as keep on eye on my friend’s house. Yes, if only I could trust him – ha! Just like his father, I can trust him to do only one thing: whatever is wrong, or incorrect, or immoral, or unfaithful, or all of those combined. Is that some sort of genetic thing with men, or perhaps just a Zoltar trait? As soon as my back is turned, both he and his father start straying toward the dark side. It’s a full time job just trying to counter that.

So, it’s running late, I have nothing prepared to say, and I’m too tired to try. I think the honorable thing to do is to keep my blog short and sweet. I love you, my dear Irregular friends. Thank you so much for stopping by to ponder my musings each week. I really do appreciate it.

Don’t forget to transmit your coded messages to these coordinates:

Like father, like son, they say. Oh dear, I’ll start crying if I ponder that. Have a lovely week my wonderful friends. Don’t forget to stop, look, and listen to the show that nature is putting on all around you. You’ll be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

40 Years Since Apollo 13

Today marks 40 years since Mission Control received one of the most famous transmissions in history: "Houston, we've had a problem." This simple sentence (which seems like an understatement in retrospect) started one of the most dramatic survival stories in human history, watched by millions around the country.

Most people know the story from the excellent movie Apollo 13. As good as it was, the movie couldn't tell the whole story (it would have been several days long!) The website Universe Today is currently in the early stages of an interesting series 13 Things that Saved Apollo 13 (enter Apollo 13 into the search box to find all the parts...would be nice if they put a little link to the entire series there). The series is based on the work of Jerry Woodfill, an engineer at NASA who was there for Apollo 13.

The first three parts are up and focus on the timing of the explosion, a stuck hatch that actually helped the crew, and why Ken Mattingly's measles scare turned out to be a good thing in terms of getting them back alive. As a bonus, today's episode of the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast features an interview with Jerry Woodfill.

I was REALLY young at the time so can't say I remember anything specific about Apollo 13 (although I do remember watching some Apollo launches, including Apollo 17 because I got to stay up WAY past my bedtime and that was a big deal!) Even though I know how it ends, I still find the story more gripping and scarier than anything our masters of horror have managed to dream up...and more fulfilling when the astronauts and the fine people at Mission Control triumph in the end.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

National High Five Day

"National High Five Day falls on the third Thursday of April each year, which falls this year on April 15, 2010. The holiday originated at the University of Virginia in 2002, and has since spread across the nation, and around the globe."

This Thursday, April 15, you are supposed to "high five" everyone you meet - provided, of course, that they are also celebrating National High Five Day. Otherwise, you'll be left standing there with your upraised arm, looking pretty silly...

City asks residents to fill out online survey

Have any of you seen this????

City officials want residents to fill out an online survey to assist the city with prioritizing community development and housing needs.

The survey will be available through May 1 at the city's Web site;

City of Racine Survey

Where da' Higgs at?

The Higgs Boson, that is. The Higgs Boson is a particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics that gives everything in the universe mass. It has not been seen yet and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is busy looking for it.

But the LHC's little brother, the Tevatron at Fermilab is still in the game as well. In some ways, it has a head start since it has been collecting a lot of data and it is a well understood machine (big complex machines like the LHC can take several years to fully understand all the quirks of the accelerator and detectors). If the Higgs exists in the right energy range, Fermilab could still scoop the LHC.

And rapper Funky 49 has put together a nice video about Fermilab and their efforts to find the Higgs. Funky 49 has geek cred as a Nerdcore All Star. Lots of nice shots of Fermilab, Wilson Hall, the famed bison herd, and the Collision Detection Facility (CDF). Enjoy.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Does anyone have any ideas of what is about to happen this Monday on the next episode of 24?

Best of Racine, next edition

**Just bumping up to be sure everybody gets their vote in.**
Grocery and Home Improvement stores are in big competition, please vote

gang, here is the next batch of categories for
your nominations - Please vote for your favorite stores -

1. Clothing Store
2. Grocery Store
3. Discount Store
4. Convenience Store
5. Home Improvement Store
6. Hardware Store
7. Pet Store Store
8. Craft Store

I will pop it up at least once to be sure everybody gets their vote in :)

If I missed one, please feel free to add it as well, thanks!