Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wow, reading the rules

Lots of rules for running for Mayor. Lots of I dotting and T crossing. Need to do a complete financial statement, income, debt, what you own. LOTS of rule reading I'm doing. I'm seeing why so few want it, and we end up with the type of people we get in this position. You're either a Narcissistic Megalomaniac, or so pissed at the way things are, you run out of frustration in order to fill the seat with something better. I honestly can't see why any normal person would want this job.

I don't need $120k+ for something like this. I'd do it for 30k after taxes. I don't need or want a Taj Mahal. My modest house is paid off. My 1995 Escort runs fine. I've learned to live on $17k a year for so long, I don't need that extra to put on airs. No $400 sun glasses for me, thanks. Racine could use the money. Speaking of money... This idea might piss off some, so I throw it out here now. I've watched the Medical Marijuana law states and they are not imploding from the easing of restrictions. I admit some are imploding, but their problems are not related to MM laws.

Madison has had a decriminalization law in effect for over 25 years. Make jokes, but they had a huge problem that would have swamped the prison system with college kids. Money spent for court costs, legal expenses, prison expenses were all lowered drastically with a small misdemeanor fine.

Oakland has a $50 per ounce tax for Medical Marijuana (MM). They have increased their bottom line due to income from a positive approach to the MM laws of California. What is stopping us from doing the same? I won't argue the merit of MM. I'll let someone else that has seen how it helped a loved one fighting cancer or other debilitating medical problem.

Racine is perfectly located between two major metropolitan centers. We could be the health capital of the Midwest. The money saved by our citizens when their homes and property are correctly assessed and taxed appropriately, would be offset with the income of a MM tax that Racine alone in the area possessed. It would be Racine's own Fireworks permit you might say. Hey, I have no problem with Feds and State Police on Racine's borders. Money for everyone and I'd have no trouble taking the bucks from Illinois folks that came to our clinics.

We would regulate, tax stamp and keep watchful eyes on the sales and uses/users. This would allow our Police and courts to work in areas that need them, both location and types of crime. For those of you rolling your eyes, There would be an employment increase. Clinics, health providers, doctors etc.

No matter what, change is coming. We could be in the front, or like usual, we could be tagging behind everyone else. Do I want to be Mayor with all the headaches? Like I said, there has to be something wrong psychologically with anyone that does, but I'd do it. I'd find new ways to promote Racine, find ways to raise taxes while lessening tax burden, and work at improving schools while enforcing laws that put an end to the rampant crime. Yes my ideas might be unorthodox, but they are not set in stone. I'd always do what the majority of the populace wanted, not the few rich cronies

Steer me right

You have fed laws, State laws, county laws, city laws. Am I right in the assumption that each takes precedence over the before? We have states with med marijuana laws, we have fireworks just a few miles up I-94, what are City rights for incorporating new or lesser laws over state and fed?. I have an idea for our city...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Farmer Bales Himself In Hay

You know you've been working too hard when . . .

Ten Thoughts to Ponder ~ On a Friday

Number 10
Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9
Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8
Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich ..

Number 7
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Number 6
Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

Number 4
All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 3
Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200.00, and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.00?

Number 2
In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

And The Number 1 Thought
Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers; what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

The Making of "Angel Flight"

"Radney Foster, Darden Smith, Darius Rucker talk about the making of 'Angel Flight.'"

That's a cool song.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! I'm back! Yep, back from that computer crash induced hiatus. Sorry to take so long. You know how it is... This weeks questions are about pets...

1) Do you have any pets?

2) What kind of animals were they? What were their names?

3) What pets did you have growing up?

4) What is your favorite animal?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Weekend Version

That ought to wake you up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back in Business!!!!!!!

Nice comfy chair....check
Cigarettes and ashtray...check
Can of Pepsi....check
Computer plugged in...check
Windows 7 downloaded...check
Firefox running....check
Blogs up and running....check

Well folks, guess what?

I'm back in business!

YEEE HAAAA! The glowing rays are radiating my eyes, soaking them in the afterglow. I'm feeling the warm euphoria flowing inside of me. The withdrawals are receding...The convulsions have stopped. Revival is here!

After three weeks of battling against the Hewitt Peckard technical dummies over imaginary recovery discs, I admitted defeat. Dismayed by the lack of progress, I took my business to Harbor PC in West Racine. A few days later, my computer was fixed. The hard drive was replaced and parts of the motherboard fixed. The computer runs like a champ now. All I have to do now is tweak my Firefox add-ons, get used to Windows 7 and organize my pics.

Now to catch up on the blogs.......

As the primary approaches......

KK's comment on campaign ads for national races made me think just how some people miss what is really important in elections. (Not that I am saying you missed the point KK, you were just venting and I get that.)

People need to remember that the most important elections that effect your every day life are not the national or even the state elections. It is the ones people could care less about: The local ones. Village board, city council, school district, elected commissions, County Board, etc. These positions are the ones where (for the most part) you get a local person who finally gets pissed off enough to run for an office. Your civil servants are your local ones who work their 40 hour a week job, then take on the daily business of the local municipality. Your vote really wont change much in DC or even Madison. But it does change alot in your City, Village or Town. And if you get a good one in office that is willing to commit the time and energy, those are the people you re-elect. (Especially if you live in Sturtevant where yours truly is up again in the spring..... what a fast two years!)


A: Excuse me sir, may I talk to you?

B: Sure, come on in. What can I do for you?

A: Well sir, as you know, I have been an employee of this prestigious firm for over ten years.

B: Yes.

A: I won't beat around the bush. Sir, I would like a raise. I currently have four companies after me and so I decided to talk to you first.

B: A raise? I would love to give you a raise, but this is just not the right time.

A: I understand your position, and I know that the current economic downturn has had a negative impact on sales, but you must also take into consideration my hard work, pro- activeness and loyalty to this company for over a decade.

B: Taking into account these factors, and considering I don't want to start a brain drain, I'm willing to offer you a ten percent raise and an extra five days of vacation time. How does that sound?

A: Great! It's a deal! Thank you, sir!

B: Before you go, just out of curiosity, what companies were after you?

A: Oh, the Electric Company, Gas Company, Water Company and the Mortgage Company!


This is a pretty neat site, it has animation of how to make all types of knots, fishing, boating, climbing, etc. I didn't see a hangmans noose...

” All Types of Knots”

Sculptures of Native American scenes

Sculptures of Native American scenes made out of paper by Allen and Patty Eckman ...

These stunningly detailed sculptures may only be made from paper - but they are being snapped up by art fans for tens of thousands of pounds. The intricate creations depict Native American scenes and took up to 11 months to make using a specially formulated paper

They put paper pulp into clay moulds and pressurise it to remove the water. The hard, lightweight pieces are then removed and the couple painstakingly add detailed finishings with a wide range of tools

They have been making the creations since 1987 at their home studio, in South Dakota, America.

Ever Have One of These Days?

Hurrican Allen: 1980

You might remember the old days of television weather before we had all these fancy computer graphics. They had weather maps with magnetic numbers and H's and L's for the highs and lows they could move around. When they wanted to show you a satellite photo, they taped it up to the wall and pointed a television camera at it.

When I was growing up, KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota would give away the old satellite photos. You sent in your name on a postcard and if they drew it, you got that day's satellite photo. As a nerdy boy, that was really coo. Fortunately, Sioux Falls was not a major media market and didn't have a lot of competition since I got a couple of them. I still have one of them and just scanned it in to my computer.

I was lucky enough to get the satellite photo for August 7th, 1980 (the date is printed at the top but got cut off in the scan...I thought it was more important not to cut off the bottom of this one!) Hurricane Allen was the first named storm of the season and it was a doozy. It reached category 5 status with top winds of 190 mph making it one of the most powerful hurricanes of all time. Fortunately, it wasn't quite that strong when it made landfall north of Brownsville, it was down to a category 3 storm.

Okay, now I am totally geekin' out here. This hurricane was named Allen. Look at the satellite photo...they called it Hurricane Alan when they wrote the name on the photo! Yeah, a 30 year old, um, well not quite a typo but you get the idea!

Anyway, this is one of those old childhood pieces of geekenss which I still have and treasure to this day, yellowed and fading but a little piece of history.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Last two shuttle missions

How hard is it to get viewing space, hotel, etc for a launch? It'd be a hoot.

How do I run for mayor?

I'm sure some of you can use jobs, and Madam Zoltar would head the list.

Choir Music

I am a pretty big fan of Choir music. I was part of a couple of choirs in my younger years but unfortunately I stopped doing that and lost my voice completely, but I still get goosebumps when I listen to them. I was messing around on the computer acting like I have nothing better to do and I came across the movie trailer to The Social Network and they had a choir version of Creep by Radiohead. I have always loved that song but this version took my breath away.. Had to share it.

I've listened to a few more songs that this choir had done or at least Scala &kolacny brothers and although they were neat to listen to, they didn't really get the feel of the songs down. I listened to With or Without you by U2 and although it was very pretty, they could in no way get the hurt and agony right. Really no one can do that except for U2. This song though I think works beautifully..

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my cool cucumbers. How are you? You better get in your summer fun while you can. In just another week, it will be September. Oh dear. School has already started in many places. Can advertising for Halloween be far behind? I expect to see Christmas ads soon, too. Really, fall is one of my favorite seasons. It’s just that my least favorite season follows it. That’s what I get for always looking into the future.

Junior is finally back in school and it’s a blessing, the peace and quiet around the house. It seems that I can get so much more done when he’s not around. I guess you could call him “high maintenance,” just like his father. It’s easier to think and prioritize and implement when someone isn’t shouting for your attention all of the time. I love him dearly, I do, but I’m so thankful for the school day. Then the likes of our beloved Ms. kk get to supervise the not-so-little dear.

There are times when I’ve toyed with the idea of returning to school myself. I have my Masters in Psychic Phenomena, but I think it couldn’t hurt to get my PhD. “Doctor Zoltar” has such a nice ring to it. If I had stayed in school and taught, I would have been tenured by now, pulling down over 100K annually. But no, I had to answer the call of the wild and that two-bit, toll booth Lothario. I gave him the best years of my life, and in return I received Junior and a stack of bills. Humph!

The important point, though, is that education is vital. If you’re in school, stay there. If you’ve dropped out, drop back in. Education gives us the tools we need to work and build and interact with our world. And you’re never too old to learn. Keep your mind open and alert to new things, new ideas. Read, inquire, ask, learn. Go back to school and get new skills. Go back to school and get a new you. That’s the best advice that Madame Zoltar can give you.

The second best advice I can give you is to wash your hands often and always wear clean underwear. The third is, love your fellow Irregulars. I do. And I thank you for reading my blog today. I appreciate you spending your time with me. Bless you.

For the ⁿth best advice on anything, contact:

Enjoy the fabulous weather my dears. Vegetables are ripening and nature’s bounty is being harvested. Hip hip hooray for late summer! What a glorious time of year. Curriculum!

Open Blog - Wednesday

Sunny days.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A little Tuesday night Grin

A friend of mine just started his own business, making landmines that look like prayer mats.

It’s doing well. He says that Prophets are going through the roof.

Another Bad Universe Preview

Bad Universe premieres this Sunday, August 29th, at 10pm ET on the Discovery Channel. Here is another preview involving high explosives.

I could have warned them about letting him play with explosives! You will have to watch the show to see the super slo mo replays!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

I have long been interested in intellectual property (or IP) issues. Back in college, I took an intro to tech course which had a large section on IP. I remember writing a few papers on it.

The issues have changed a lot over the last 20 years. Today the radio show Marketplace had a piece on copyright. Obviously, we need to protect IP. The problem is these protections can be abused to stop true innovation.

When this country was founded you could get copyright on your works for only 14 years. That length has been repeatedly increased. It's a bit confusing, but you can see a table of the lengths of copyright on types of work and how they vary based on publication date and whether it is individual or corporate ownership here.

Now call me crazy, but I don't think most authors are going to quit creating if they can only profit from their work until 70 years after they die. 14 years used to be fine and we had all kinds of classic work published. Many of these extensions have been pushed by corporations, notably Disney pushed for an extension when the copyright on Mickey Mouse was about to expire.

Now a good reform is that you don't need to register a work to get a exists by the creation of the work. All my photos are copyright by me. If another website reposts them, I can send a takedown notice if I want. This blog entry is my IP as well. Blogger even states this in its terms of service: "Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate." Although the JT does not claim copyright of your work, they do have some things they claim they can do with it.

  • You are granting us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to use, copy, modify, transmit, sell, exploit, create derivative works from, distribute and or display such Submission, in whole or in part, in any manner or medium now known or hereafter developed.
  • You automatically waive any claim that any use of such content violates any of your rights, including privacy rights, publicity rights, moral rights or any other right, including the right to approve the way we use such content.

  • In other words, once you post they can take it and do what they want with it (they also mention not posting work that you don't own but we all know that is rarely enforced there).

    Another big issue is patents. Used to be you had to invent something to patent it, but now things that hardly qualify as inventions get patents (I am looking at you and one click shopping, Bezos). There is a practice called patent trolling where companies are formed strictly to buy as many patents cheap and the try to find anything that might violate it (usually in very questionable ways) and sue.

    Then there is the whole problem of orphan works. These are works that are still under copyright but due to corporate mergers, aquisitions, bankruptcies and buyouts, no one knows who owns it so the work is not available in any form and you can't buy it even if you want to.

    So if you can't tell, I think the whole IP system is messed up by corporate interests and is desperately in need of reform. We hear politicians talk about the need to spur innovation...well cleaning up the IP laws in this country would further that goal a lot more than tax cuts but we don't hear a thing about it.


    The Cassini spacecraft just keeps sending back splendiferous images of the Saturn system. It's latest gym is below (get big versions here!)

    Cassini is on the night side of Saturn. You can see the sunlight scattering through the upper part of Saturn's atmosphere producing that neat effect. The Moon is Enceladus. Look closely and you see a little blurry streak coming out of the bottom of Enceladus. That is a geyser erupting!

    Okay, it gets more interesting. Since we see the night side of Saturn, we should be seeing the night side of Enceladus, so why is it so bright and easy to see? Two things are going on here. First, the imaging team brightened Enceladus by a factor of two relative to Saturn. Second, the Moon is being lit by sunlight reflected from the other side of Saturn...aka Saturnshine. You ever see a slender crescent Moon and the dark side is illuminated just a little bit so you can make out the outline? The dark side of the Moon is being lit by sunlight reflected from the Earth and given the name Earthshine. Same thing here with Enceladus.

    Love those Cassini images.

    Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    The Rap Guide to Human Nature

    Rap is normally not my first choice in music, but there are a few notable exceptions including Baba Brinkman. Last summer I blogged about his excellent album A Rap Guide to Evolution. After creating that piece, he received an email from David Buss, author of Evolutionary Psychology. A collaboration was born leading to the Rap Guide to Human Nature described as a "controversial peer-reviewed comedy hip-hop show".

    I love the description on the website.

    "How can you use a woman’s cell phone bill to predict where she is in her reproductive cycle? Why are men (but not women) far more likely to risk their lives in public than in private? How does political conservatism help fight infection from parasites? And what does evolutionary psychology have to say about the gangsters and gold-diggers who symbolize rap music in the popular imagination? In The Rap Guide to Human Nature, Baba Brinkman explores the most fascinating findings of evolutionary psychology, the surprising behavorial science of the world's most bizarre primate."

    Both the Rap Guide to Human Nature and the Rap Guide to Evolution are available as pay what you will downloads from his website. I have to give you a video of a track from the album, The Short Term Mating Dance.

    He has a second new album called Rapconteur which features raps about Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Kalevala, Mosquito, and the Merchant's Tale. I can see high school kids everywhere getting down to Gilgamesh and Beowulf.

    Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

    Jensen Kinnitt, 2010 World Yo-Yo Champion

    I thought it was something when I got my yo-yo to just spin at the end of the string.

    Vote Yes, I Mean No!

    Tomorrow is the primary in Arizona...don't know what the date is up there in Wisconsin. However, here is a little political satire put together by a local husband/wife team here in Tucson. Vicki is a fellow partner in crime of mine in the improv troupe I mention periodically.


    Sharpen Your Pencils.. Amazing!

    Can Sex Offenders be Cured

    I read this article and the first thing that came to mind was Becker.

    You decide if they can be cured....

    Can they be tell me

    Open Blog - Monday

    Aw, c'mon and greet the new day.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Jupiter Must Be a Big Target for Asteroids...

    Because we are looking at another potential impact just two days ago on August 20th. This report comes from Junichi Watanabe of Japan using a fairly modest 6 inch telescope and a decent webcam.

    So far, no one else has reported this impact and initial follow up observations reveal no impact scar on Jupiter. If it was a small impactor and burned up higher in the atmosphere, it is possible for there to be no impact scar (as was the case with the previous impact).

    We still need a lot more data, but if we keep finding them at this rate, we might have to revise our expected impact rate upward a bit (at least for Jupiter!)

    Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.