Friday, February 28, 2014

Michigan Lighthouse compliments of the Polar Vortex

St Joseph Lighthouse, Lake Michigan 1/2014

This is the St. Joseph Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Today, it is encased in ice
as the Midwest was hit with wind chills that reached   -50 degrees.

What it normally looks like

Help for Mitchell School


**Due to the response this will be opened up to all grades k-5.***

 My sister-in-law is a Kindergarden teacher at Mitchell School. As you know the school was devastated by a fire. Unified is trying to figure out where to educate the kids, but where ever that is they have to start from scratch most likely. 
My wife and I are looking to pick up some supplies to get her class back on its feet. Crayons, paper, Kingergarten reading level books, and basic supplies are needed. Most kids at Mitchell are not able to be provided these basic supplies by their families, so it comes out of the teacher’s own pockets most of the time.
If you feel you could help either by a cash donation or supplies to help these little ones get back to normal after their school has burned, please let me know. I would like to be able to present the supplies to her on Tuesday. (crayons,scissors,kleenex,hand sanitizer,pencils regular or the fat ones, plain white paper, kindergarten reading level books etc.)

Thank you for your generosity.
You can email me at if you have questions.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone and welcome back! Brrrr! Cold enough for you? Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if Spring is ever going to arrive.... Anyways, some questions for you...

1) What is your opinion of the stock market?

2) Which animal scares you the most?

3) Do you live your life around the days of the week?

4) How many hats do you own?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday

Goodbye February!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"School worker accused of having sex with cow"

Edit: I found a second video.

“Two men are in jail, one cow is dead, and three cars are totaled.”

I'm still laughing.

Which video is real? Are they both real? Does it matter to the cow?

"One Inch of Snow - Movie Trailer [HD]"

The end is near!

The Zodiacal Light and Some Other Things

Last night I was at a star party in very rural Arizona where it is very dark. I didn't have a lot of time for photography, but I had to get the Zodiacal Light after sunset.
Zodiacal LightThat nice vertical pillar of white is the Zodiacal Light. The Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflecting off of dust in the plane of our solar system. Since this dust is in the plane of our solar system, it shows up along the ecliptic (or Zodiac). The ecliptic is almost vertical with respect to the horizon at sunset for people in the northern hemisphere at this time of year so the light really stands out.
But there are some other interesting things in this image. The Pleaides stand out near the top and above the pole on the right you can see the faint smudge that is the Andromeda Galaxy. In the middle of the image about 2/3 of the way up is a small streak. I checked for satellites in the area and there now no bright passes (or Iridium flares) so this is probably a meteor. At the bottom you can see a curved line. That is clearly a jet (I sat it naked eye as well) probably training at the Yuma Proving Grounds.
I was just going to post this on flickr (which I did) and wasn't planning on a blog entry until I did a little closer inspection and started realizing all the other stuff that I captured.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Johnny Cash - "God's Gonna Cut You Down"

I posted this because SER posted about Johnny Cash a few blogs down.

It's also pertinent to local news.

Tonight - Pattern or Practice Racine Premiere

Related update: "Minority bar owners say Racine conspired to put them out of business" -

. . . . .

Press Release

Documentary Film "PATTERN OR PRACTICE"


Where:      ABUNDANT LIFE CHURCH – 3433 Douglas Avenue – Racine, WI

When:      Thursday  February 27th, 2014

Time:        6:00 PM     FREE Admission

Contact:      Pastor Elliott Cohen – 

As part of the celebration of Black History Month, the locally produced documentary film, “PATTERN OR PRACTICE”, will be shown at the Abundant Life Church at 3433 Douglas Ave. in Racine.  The showing will take place at 6:00PM on Thursday February 27th.  This will be the film’s first screening in the city where the story has been unfolding.  

Social justice advocate and church pastor Elliott Cohen, expressed surprise at the message of the film stating that he had been led to believe that it was primarily an objection to the closure of a number of minority owned nightclubs in Racine.  “Many of us have shied away from this film, not wanting to be advocates for bars and taverns, but after viewing it and realizing it’s actually about social injustice and how it affects us all, I recognized the importance of getting it to a larger audience.”

There will be a panel discussion and question and answer session will immediately follow the film for the purpose of discussing the impact of race on the social and economic landscape of Racine.

Open Blog - Thursday


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Useless Information

Did you Know:
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author who was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
Although he is primarily remembered as a country icon, his songs and sound spanned other genres including rock and roll and rockabilly—especially early in his career—and blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
He traditionally began his concerts with the phrase "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.", followed by his standard "Folsom Prison Blues".
Additionally, he most always dressed in black earning him the nickname "The Man in Black”.


"Surprise Torch Run"


I knew they could do it.

"Buy Low, Sell High Racine"

From Free Racine:

"I have a great new moneymaking scheme for the city of Racine. It might even help them pay for the cascade of lawsuits they are facing.

"OK, here is the deal. We have tons of really stupid property owners in Racine that have no idea that they are sitting on gold mines. Thousands of them are selling their properties, or trying to, for far less than the property is worth.

"The city has decades of experience in the real estate game. And they have an entire department that determines the value of Racine properties. All they need to do is buy the properties at the artificially low asking price and then quickly sell it at the real value, and pocket the difference.

"Here is an example. Some idiot is trying to sell his three story downtown property for $98,000. He doesn't even know that it is worth $225,000, even though the city sends him the results of their expert analysis of its real value every year! The city could buy the property at $98K, then sell it for its real value and walk away with $127K!

"If they did this with all the properties on the market for less than their worth, they could make tens of millions year after year."

Read more:

Seems to me that this scheme requires two idiots: the one selling the property for less than it's worth, and the idiot paying full market value for a property in Racine.   

"City of Racine and Mayor named in Federal Lawsuit"

From RacineUncovered:

"Updated-The City of Racine Deputy City Attorney has issued a press release this morning at 10:26 a.m. The City of Racine has been informed that a civil Complaint has been filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin naming the City and several of its officials and employees. As of this time, the City has not been served with the Complaint. The City of Racine denies that it illegally discriminated against any person or business. The City of Racine has no further comment at this time.
Deputy City Attorney

"Original- Eight people who once owned bars in Racine have filed a civil lawsuit accusing the mayor and other city officials of discriminating against them and forcing their businesses to close along with allegations of bribery, illegal campaign donations and fraud against current Mayor John Dickert."

Read more:


Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my late-February family!  How are you?  “They” say we’re dipping below zero again tonight, and even lower tomorrow night.  Lovely.  “They” are always predicting bad news.  I don’t think this winter is going to just roll over and die.  We may have to take drastic measures, such as sacrificing people to the Weather Witches.  I suggest, of course, that we start with the meteorologists.  Always blame the bearer of bad news, my dears.

I see that City Hall is closed down due to a possible asbestos leak.  Thank goodness that we have an enlightened and dynamic individual who rose to the occasion as soon as he heard word of the disaster: Mr. OrbsCorbs, who posted a blog on the situation (, linking to two different news sources.  Huzzah!

Overheard: “I thought that all of the bullshit in City Hall protected us from the asbestos.”  Oh my.

Another one of Mr. OrbsCorbs recent posts concerns a brazen Racine hussy who drunkenly bared her breasts to police officers in a parked squad car during downtown Racine’s recent Mardi Gras pub crawl (  Shame, shame on her!  Fie, I also say, fie! Drunkenness is not an excuse for coarse conduct.  It excuses nothing, but it exposes all of your faults.  I hope that this floozy has learned her lesson.  Main Street is not Bourbon Street.  I suspect that the morning after this stunt, it didn’t seem like such a good idea.  I hope she remembers that the next time that she’s inspired to do something dumb.

Harsh words?  I’m sorry; you’d have to be a woman to understand.  Women in the news for acting poorly hurt all women.

A bill has been introduced in our State legislature that would give local municipalities veto power over proposed roundabouts in their domains. Our Department of Transportation has come out against the bill:  Personally, I dislike roundabouts.  I hope local control is returned, but that will mean nothing if the control is returned to people like Mr. Mayor Dickert and his predecessor, Mr. Disgraced Mayor Becker.  They don’t care what snafus their decisions cause; they just want as much “free” money as they can get from the state and/or federal governments.  I say spend the money on bettering Drivers Education and enforcing traffic law.

I’m glad that the Winter Olympics ended without incident.  Many of the “experts” were predicting terrorist attacks.  Ha!  Come to Madame Zoltar® when you want a real expert.  I’m an expert on everything.  My rates are lower than the pay that those “experts” draw.  “Next time, try me, Madame Z.”™ You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, my illustrious Irregulars and friends, for stopping by my blog this week.  As always, I crave company and positive feelings.   I love my family, and you’re it.

If Main St. isn’t Bourbon St., then which street is?  Ask

Irregulars, put on your winter gear and face the world for another week.  This is boot camp for spring.  Let’s prepare ourselves for a return to weather sanity.  Let’s prepare ourselves for whatever comes.  Osphresis!    

Open Blog - Wednesday

Me Tarzan.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Racine woman takes 'Mardi Gras' theme a bit too far"

From RacineUncovered:

"A 32 year old Racine woman was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting/Obstruction an officer after taking the Mardi Gras theme a bit too far at this weekend’s Racine Mardi Crawl event which is held in downtown Racine. Felicia K Martin was given a $200 signature bond during her initial appearance today in Racine Courts.

"According to the criminal complaints on February 22,2014 at 11 p.m. an officer with the Racine Police Department was at the intersection of 3rd and Main, when the suspect stopped directly in front of the squad car, yelled 'woooo hoooo' and exposed her breasts. This created a disturbance since this began to incite the crowded sidewalks nearby. According to reports, it was clear that the suspect was wearing no shirt at all.

"When officers stepped out to speak with the woman she allegedly stated it’s 'Mardi Gras and she could do it' and according to reports its appears that the suspect may have been intoxicated. The complaint states that the defendant gave a name which was not on file. Officers located her ID in her purse while she was being detained. Racine Police were going to issue her a municipal citation but when the defendants name was run, it was discovered that there were two active warrants from the Mount Pleasant Police Department. The defendant was transported to the Racine County Jail."

Read more:

See also:

Why have a Mardi Gras-themed event if you can't do what you do at the real Mardi Gras?

"Racine City Hall closes due to asbestos scare"

From JSOnline:

"Racine City Hall closed suddenly Tuesday, and will remain so through Wednesday, due to an asbestos scare that occurred during renovations.

"According to the mayor's office, asbestos dust from renovations on the third floor of City Hall may have escaped the containment area Monday. The release was discovered Tuesday morning, and the city is investigating.

"'In an abundance of caution and concern for the health and safety of city employees and City Hall visitors, Mayor John Dickert decided to close City Hall until results of testing are available,' a press release from the mayor's office said.

"Committee meetings that were to take place at City Hall Tuesday have been rescheduled to Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., at the City Hall Annex."

This is hilarious in view of how Dickert tried to hide lead abatement issues in his Neighborhood Stabilization Program.  It became a scandal, a city worker whistleblower was fired, and a slander trial almost took place.

Party on, lying John!

Ice Could See for Miles

I started writing this awhile ago, so please forgive me if it's a little late....

Looking through my binoculars, I spotted a small flock of scaup and Goldeneyes between lumps in the massive ice shelf. Intrigued and yearning for pictures of White Winged Scoters and Long-Tailed Ducks that may be floating around beyond the sea of ice, I decided to take a journey across... Hell, there was a photographer taking pictures!

As I made my way across the Arctic like landscape, I followed the footprints laid out before me. Believe me, the ice was thick. More than halfway across, I looked behind me in the distance, the lighthouse....So strange seeing it from this angle off shore. Climbing up a steep embankment of ice, I slipped and fell hard. I sat there for a moment, checking myself and camera for damage. I was fine, my camera was fine. Just my ego was bruised.... I contemplated for a moment, deciding should I move forward or go back.Was risking an injury or busting my birding gear worth it? Eh, no.... I need to work. So I made my way back....

So just how much ice was there? At the time, I estimated about a hundred yards off shore, some open water and then more ice, as seen in the picture above... Everywhere I looked seemed to be encased in ice. The Pugh Marina and the Festival Lagoon were frozen solid. The Causeway was completely surrounded by ice. The area between Myers Park and Carre-Hagel Park was solid enough to support a coyote... Open water was few and far between.

Maps don't lie... I did a little research to find out exactly how much ice was out there, begging a question to was Lake Michigan frozen over? The answer was, no... Getting there it seems. Below is a NASA photo of the Great Lakes taken on February 19 2014. From what we see here (and according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory)  Lake Superior is at 95.3% ice cover, Lake Huron is at 94.7%, Lake Erie is at 95.9% while Lake Michigan is at 80%. Lake Ontario is the least with 32%. Experts say Niagara Falls may have something to do with that. Records have not been broken, yet... In recent times, Lake Superior was been completely over once while Lake Erie got nailed three times. A couple of close calls with Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. With the warm spell we had last week, it is considerably less than that now. The upcoming Arctic blast that we are going to have this week could change things....

Personally, I think this is the harshest winter we have had in recent years. Think of how many sub zero days we have had. The buckling roads. Potholes. School closures. Birding sucks (minus the Snowy Owl invasion) The layers of clothes. Need I go on? I just want spring to get here.....

Open Blog - Tuesday

You figure it out.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Will The Real John Dickert Please Stand Up, Redux"

Party on, lying John!
From Racine Exposed:

"Contrary to the vociferous claims by The Journal Times, Alderman Jim Kaplan, Alderman Greg Helding,  and other supporters of John Dickert, it has been revealed that he is not Mayor 24/7 and that he has additional claims on his time, including:
"1. Senior Advisor for Heartland Solutions Group.
"2. Political Advisor for TrendPo.
"and now:
"3. Broker for First Weber."

. . .

"Dickert declined to comment. Which Dickert was speaking? Only two weeks prior, John T. Dickert had made a political contribution as a Broker for First Weber. It’s an interesting question that needs to be re-opened,  and properly investigated. The People of Racine deserve an answer to the question of  'whether Dickert was acting as a public official or a private citizen when he made the allegedly slanderous comments about former city employee William Bielefeldt while on the radio last year during his mayoral campaign.'"

Read more:   

You have to understand that Dickert is working for Racine even when he sleeps. In fact, especially when he sleeps. He's already got 8 hours in when he gets up in the morning. Anything after that is overtime.

Local Loyalty - Castle Lanes

Welcome back!
This week's edition is -

5615 Castle Ct.,
Just off Hy. 31, between 16th and 21st Streets.
With all this cold and snow, what a great place to go,
have fun and stay warm!
Castle is open Mon. 9am-11pm
Tues and Wed. 11am-11pm
Thurs 9am-12am
Fri. 9am-1am
Sat. 8am-1am
and Sun. 11am-10pm. 
Castle was built in 1978, and was bought 
by the current owners, Phil and Patti,  in March of 1991. 
What makes them unique, is the Northwoods Wisconsin lodge setting, offering bowling leagues tailored to bringing people together.
They have received recognition in -
Besides their website (the link as their name above), 
they can also be found on Facebook.

The 3 words Phil chose, were in the form of a phrase - 
"Attention to details" . 
Castle offers automated open lane hot line 
when you call our phone at 633-1199.

If you haven't been there yet, stop on by and give them a try!
Don't forget to tell them you saw it here!


Open Blog - Monday

Rah, rah, for the JTI team!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"DHL IS FASTER - Trojan Mailing (International)"

That's brilliant.

"Stop the Abuse of Children in the Fashion Industry"

"As someone who was abused as a child model, I am calling for the creation of an action committee to define and enforce labor protects in the fashion industry. 54% of models begin working on or before the age of sixteen. Agencies start recruiting at age thirteen. Many of the pictures in your favorite fashion magazines are little girls dressed up to look like women. This past fall, New York State passed the Child Model Law, granting protections for minors working as models in the fashion industry. Protections such as school-night curfews and on-set hour limits, chaperones, tutors and mandatory financial trusts are now law. Endentured to their agencies, models often return home traumatized and with little to no compensation. With the global clothing and textiles industry now generating upward of 2.5 trillion dollars a year, fashion can afford to offer positive work environments for their models. Please join me in helping to improve the labor conditions for these young workers."

Useless Information

Did You Know:

#42 From the Brooklynn Dodgers won the 1947 World Series by stealing home plate.

This awesome player/person the first black professional baseball player is none other then Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson

Additionally, #42 is the only number ever retired by the National Baseball league.