Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Nice Mashup

But do now watch it unless you have seen both Up and Inception...or you just don't care about potential spoilers.


You might have heard of the website Wikileaks. Wikileaks recently made news for publishing documents on the Afghan war (although they have been around for a while). They have taken on everything from Apple to the Masons to sorority initiations.

But now they have arrived as evidenced by the fact that geeks everywhere are satirizing them on Twitter. All you have to do is search Twitter for Wookieleaks. Wookieleaks is a Twitter meme where people are making up what secrets might be leaked a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A few samples of the leaks.

"Cantina footage shows Greedos head went back and to the left. Back and to the left. BACK and to the left."

Inquiry reveals cantina footage digitally altered; Han Solo discharged weapon first."

Dumb Gungan and Republic leader, Parah Salin, banished from Hoth for hunting Wampa from snowspeeder."

Strormtrooper armor has been found in effective, even from rocks thrown by Ewoks"

YT-1300 light freighter recall after reports of unintended acceleration. Senate demands Corellian Engineering Corp. hearing."

Protocol droid fluent in 6 mil languages discharged for violating DADT."

Obviously, there are all kinds of cultural references being sprinkled in there. Have fun coming up with your own "Wookieleaks".

Andy Griffith Pitches Medicare

They're stripping half a trillion dollars from Medicare to pay for uninsured people. Many seniors, having paid into the fund for decades, oppose that. The solution? Use more Medicare money to hire a pitchman.

These tactics remind me of our mayor, lying John Dickert, who also uses our money for propaganda purposes: And here I thought that rain had something to do with the recent flooding in SE Wisconsin. I should have known that lying John was in charge all along.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Four for Fridays

Hello everybody! Friday's back! This one kinda slipped up to me. This week's questions are about ecology.

1) Do you recycle?

2) What do you think of your communities' current recycling program?

3) Do you think, we the people, are doing enough about conservation?

4) Do you think the government should set aside more land for national parks and such?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Weekend Version

What's your perfect weekend?

Thursday, July 29, 2010


An Evening Grin -- Southern Baptist Woman

The lady was a Southern Baptist who attended services and taught Sunday School every week.

On one Sunday, an out of town acquaintance, a gentleman, was in the pew right behind her. He noted what a fine looking woman she was. While they were taking up the collection, the man leaned forward and said, "Hey, how about you and I having dinner on Tuesday?" "Why yes, that would be nice,"the lady responded.

Well, the gentleman couldn't believe his luck.

On Tuesday he picked the lady up and took her to the finest restaurant in that part of South Carolina. When they sat down, the gentleman looked over at her and suggested, "Would you like a cocktail before dinner?" "Oh, no," said our circumspect fine example of southern womanhood, "What ever would I tell my Sunday School class?"

Well, our gentleman was set back a bit, so he didn't say much until after dinner, when he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and asked, "Would you like a smoke?" "Oh my goodness no," said the woman. "I couldn't face my Sunday School class if I did!"

Well, our boy felt pretty low after that, so they left, got in his car and as he was driving the lady home, they passed the local Holiday Inn. He'd been morally rebuffed twice already, so he figured he had nothing to lose so he ventured forth with, "Ahhh ... mmmm, how would you like to stop at this motel?"

"Sure, that would be nice," she said in anticipation. The gentleman couldn't believe his ears, and did a fast u-turn right then and there, and drove back to the motel and checked in.

The next morning, after a wild and passionate night of the most incredible love making imaginable, the gentleman awoke first. He looked at the lovely Dixie darling lying there in the bed and with remorse thought, "What the hell have I done?

He shook her awake and pleaded, "I've got to ask you one thing, what ever are you going to tell your Sunday School class?"

The lady said, "The same thing I always tell them, "You don't have to smoke and drink to have a good time.."

Help me understand, I just don't get it!

OK, I feel officially old.
I see things that I just don't understand.
I still don't get the fascination with wearing something
compatible only to an unwanted creeper.
Fashion trends are beyond me at times.

Then today on my way on an errand for work, I saw the
most unusual vehicle, it's name - the CUBE.
If you have one and love it, can you explain it to me?

Back in school many years ago, when we pondered what
it would be like in the 2000's, we dreamed up flying cars
and without question AERODYNAMIC vehicles.

I don't understand why vehicles are being made in the shape of
boxes, and so NOT aerodynamic. A CUBE?

Maybe I'm just too old to get it but help me out here
this is just too backwards for me.
Am I the only one?

Early Morning Grin - Life as a senior gentleman:

Yesterday my wife asked why I didn't do something useful with my time. She suggested I go down to the senior center and hang out with the guys. I did this and when I got home last night I told her that I had joined a parachute club.

She said "Are you nuts? You're 69 years old and you're going to start jumping out of airplanes?"

I proudly showed her that I even got a membership card.

She said to me, "You idiot, where are your glasses? This is a membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club!"

I'm in trouble again and don't know what to do! I signed up for five jumps a week!

Life as a senior citizen is not getting any easier.

The Hershey Company

Maybe I’m watching too much TV and the ads, but I feel The Hershey Company should be ashamed of themselves for the new M&M ad which has been running the past few weeks.

It involves sticking a pretzel inside of an M&M.

To me this is one of the sickest commercials out. It lets the mind wander way off track. This one makes me think of “shower buddies” too “prison pals”...

The Ongoing Conjunction

I finally got a nice night to take a few pictures of the ongoing gathering of Venus, Saturn and Mars in the west after sunset. Not from Tucson, as I am traveling. This time from the Hume Observatory, home of the GORT telescope, in Sonoma County, California. So without futher ado, let's get to the pics.

Venus is the bright bright guy on the right between the trees. Mars is just above the tree in the center...Saturn is right above Mars.

Although its summer, I tried to evoke the decoration on the top of a Christmas tree.

Just as I was about to leave, I snapped one more picture. During the exposure, a car started up and illuminated the trees.

The conjunction is ongoing and you can watch it progress for the next couple of weeks. No telescope necessary, just a clear sky after sunset.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my beauteous rose bushes! How are you? I hope that none of you were caught in that terrible storm in and around Milwaukee last week. Oh my! The flooding was horrific. And the resulting damage is awful, just awful. Pictures like that one of the SUV in the sinkhole look surreal, but the devastation is genuine and many people have been adversely affected. It’s such a shame that these things occur. Sometimes I wonder if an anti-rainmaker (dry-maker? drought-maker?) could make a living around these parts. Perhaps that’s a career that Junior should give some thought to. He’s going to have to get serious sooner or later.

I’m performing my civic duty this week by announcing that the Racine County Fair starts at noon today: Hooray! They have everything from the BoDeans to a mooing contest to demolition derbies. Great fun for the entire family. Be there or be □ .

Also, don’t forget about the Starving Artists Fair this Sunday, August 1, in East Park on the Gateway campus, Main Street between 10th and 11th Streets. At the same time, and across Main Street, the Masonic Center will be hosting its annual Job’s Daughters Craft Fair.

There’s always so much to do in the summer in Racine. I can’t keep up with it all. I don’t even try. One of my favorite summer pastimes is working in the garden. Just weeding and watering seems to soothe me. Here’s a secret I’m now broadcasting to the world: I like the smell of dirt. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been attracted to the fragrance of soil, especially rich, black dirt. I don’t know why. It’s not like I want to bury my face in a pile of dirt (at least, not for long…), but there’s something about the odor of organic products that gets me, maybe even in a primal way. Oh dear, I never really thought about it that much. Anyway, I always thought that someone in the perfume industry could make a lot of money with a line of products that smelled like soil from around the world. The magical scent of Sahara sand, or soil from the Sphinx, or loam from Luxemburg, . . . I would buy it. Hmmm, maybe I’ll make it! Madame Zoltar’s® Eau de Cologne “Cultivated Clay,” or “Saturated Sandstone,” or “Earthy Earth,” or a million others. Shower up to clean off that everyday grime and then splash on the scent of cultured dirt. Hmmm, . . .

Hold on! I just checked the internet. I should have done that before: Demeter™ has had the fragrance “Dirt” on sale for years. I should have figured. My million dollar ideas haven’t made me a million, or anything, yet. But I do hope that I’ve made some friends along the way, because that’s what matters.

Thank you my dears for reading my blog today. I so enjoy our time together. You are each and every one special to me. Especially YOU! It’s always great when you are around.

If you have doubts or fears, or just too many beers, contact me at:

Enjoy the summer. I see lazy, hazy, crazy days ahead, filled with fun, sunshine, and good fortune. Get out there and grab some of it. Metagrobolize!

Kia Commercial

Have you seen the Kia Commercial were hamsters are singing, “you can get with this, or you can get with that”?

Some are going down the street in a toaster others in a cardboard box, etc.

My question is, “by watching this ad, what group of people do you think Kai is targeting”?

I have asked several people and the answers they gave me are different from what I would think.

Kitchen Science...Try This at Home

One of my favorite podcasts is the Naked Scientists (and its sister podcast, Naked Astronomy). In spite of its name, this is a perfectly safe podcast for almost all audiences (save for an occasional mild double entendre). Both podcasts originate from Cambridge University. A rotating cast of faculty members tackle the science news on a weekly basis (monthly for Naked Astronomy) in a humorous fashion aimed at a general audience.

One of their weekly segments is called Kitchen Science. Kitchen Science focuses on experiments that you can do at home. And since its does not originate in the U.S., they do more fun experiments that a U.S. based broadcaster would dare air for fear of being sued. Recently, they showed how to build a homemade cloud chamber to watch cosmic rays and radioactive particles decay, the science of Pop Rocks, and how to make a fire tornado.

Many of the activities have videos showing how to do them as well as the segments from the radio show. They are great activities to play with at home or for teachers to check out for classroom use. The podcast and all materials on the website are free, so the price is right for the cash strapped (and many of the activities have low cost, using readily available materials).

So it's a fun site to explore, whether you are a teacher looking for ideas or a bored tinkerer looking for something to put together and play with in your spare time.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Wednesday

That pic came up in an image search for "happy wednesday."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pot, our VA, and a Dane Co. ballot.

Amazing! I might actually live to see it happen. Dane Co. Supervisors are including the question of, "Should Wisconsin Legislature make a medical marijuana law?" for this November's ballot. The VA in a surprise move that Orbs noted down below has decided to allow Vets in states with Med pot laws to use without putting their VA med benefits in jeopardy. This is important as one friend of mine in Arkansas has been denied some of his VA medical benefits due to his use. He is still screwed as Arkansas isn't one of the enlightened states, but we are closer than ever before. One news clipping stated that Vets in MML states may also use it if they live in VA nursing homes provided they have a private Drs. Rx to use.

When it finally goes to our state legislatures, please join with me in letting them know emphatically, YES! These brain tumors cause migraines that need either a couple Oxycontin or bit of the evil weed, and I'd much rather do the weed. Think of all those that have suffered with cancer and other maladies before you slam the door on what might help them in their suffering.

Radio Controlled SR-71 Jet

OK, forget the plastic boat (below), I want one of these instead. I'm impressed.

What's the range of the remote control box and what's the range of the plane? If you gave it too much fuel and it got away from you, it could invade someone else's airspace, maybe start a war.

"Boat Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles Completes Its 9,000-Mile Voyage"

"After floating on plastic for more than 9,000 miles, the crew of the Plastiki arrived in Sydney, Australia today, more than four months after the ship set sail from San Francisco."

Here's a video posted before the voyage:

I'm gonna save up my plastic bottles and build an aircraft carrier.

Open Blog - Monday

It's not that bad, is it?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Riding by the Root

After all the storms that blasted us with tons of rain and the temperatures dropping down to more comfortable levels, I decided it was a good day for a drive. Noticing that the water levels were high, I thought it would a good idea to take some pics of the river that flow through this town. The Root River. Glad I did! There were some flooding in areas, but nothing like what happened two years ago.

The Root River by Linwood Park in Caledonia

The river just north of the Horlick Dam

The Horlick Dam

The river along side Spring Street

Overflowing at Island Park

Into Lake Michigan...

My Weekend Breakfast Companion is Gone...

That would be Daniel Schorr, longtime NPR commentator who I have been listening to for decades (he joined NPR as a correspondent in 1985 and I was listening to it already when I was in high school, so the times match up fairly closely).

Lots of tributes have been made to him the last few days on a variety of NPR new shows (he appeared on most of them). Strange that I got sick of all the Michael Jackson tributes, but I am not tired of hearing about Schorr. Guess I feel a much closer connection with Schorr so I like hearing more about him. The other thing that might be making it work is that most of the people reporting on it are his friends and colleagues making it much more personal that most coverage.

Two of my favorite Schorr moments they talked about. First, was the time when he was reading Nixon's famous Enemies list live for CBS News. He got down to number 17 and (surprise) read his own name!

The second one of my favorites was related to that. Nixon used the FBI to investigate Schorr under the pretense that Schorr was being considered for a government job. Schorr met Nixon many years later and went to talk to him. (I am paraphrasing the following since I haven't found the transcript yet). Schorr said, "I don't know if you remember me..." He was cut off by Nixon who said, "Daniel Schorr. I considered hiring you for a job once!" Talk about chutzpah!

And to top it off, he was friends with (and even peformed with) Frank Zappa.

I will miss your commentaries.