Friday, April 27, 2018

"One year….."

"Where Will Foxconn’s Workers Come From?"

From The Shepherd Express:

When state officials held a construction resource fair in Racine, Wis., in late March to recruit workers for Foxconn Technology Group’s $10 billion manufacturing plant, only about 250 people showed up. It was a somewhat inauspicious beginning to a recruitment campaign that will ultimately have to find as many as 10,000 people for a job that’s well on its way to becoming the biggest construction project in state history.

Granted, not all those workers will be needed immediately. State officials have said they expect the construction of Foxconn’s 1,000-acre manufacturing campus to take between four and six years. That means there will be time to bring new recruits up to speed. Still, the relatively low turnout for the state’s construction resource fair is not the only sign that recruitment for the Foxconn project will be difficult.

Like many sorts of businesses, construction companies in Wisconsin have for years felt the pinch of a protracted labor shortage. Wisconsin’s construction-unemployment rate hit a record low for the month of November when it fell to 5.7% that month last year. Though seasonal layoffs have caused that number to climb, there are other signs that hiring remains difficult for Wisconsin contractors. In an employment report from April, the Associated General Contractors of America trades group sounded a familiar note, warning once again that the two biggest threats to growth in the industry were President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum and “a lack of available, qualified workers.”

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Four for Fridays!

Good morning everyone I hope you have had a good week. I am so happy to be home from the week I spent up north taking care of my mom and the nasty snow storm that we had up there. We had 32 inches of snow up there that weekend and no one was allowed to travel anywhere. After a long four weeks of my older sister and I taking care of my mom she is now able to take care of herself. Here are your questions for this week.

1) Are you enjoying this nice weather we are having?

2) Have you gone outside to enjoy the nice weather?

3) Do you think this weather will be staying now?

4) Do you have Spring or Summer allergies?

Have a great weekend!

Open Blog - Friday

The back of a VW bus.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Water diversion OK boosts Foxconn"

From The Journal

MOUNT PLEASANT — Foxconn Technology Group announced Wednesday that the state Department of Natural Resources approved the City of Racine’s water diversion application, which was made in part to support the $10 billion Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant.

The city applied to the DNR for a straddling community diversion, and the agency approved the city’s request to divert up to an average of 7 million gallons of water per day to the Village of Mount Pleasant. The diversion area includes part of the future site of the Foxconn facility.

Top government and economic development officials hailed the approval as a boon to the region’s ability to develop economically.

Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot said: “The diversion request approved today is something the Village of Mount Pleasant has been considering for years as we have explored ways to support broader I-94 corridor development, creating even more Racine County jobs, patrons and residents.

“We will now be able to provide clean, reliable, safe water to the businesses that will locate to this area, and the thousands of workers they will employ,” DeGroot said.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said: “From day one, county leadership has been careful and thoughtful in our approach to capitalizing on a major investment from Foxconn. We have worked hard to maximize benefits for Racine County residents and taxpayers, while also protecting the fabric of our community — including our natural resources.

“The approved water diversion to the Village of Mount Pleasant will strengthen our community, lead to greater opportunities for economic development and will do so in a responsible, environmentally accountable way,” Delagrave concluded.

Read more:

"News of the Weird: Apr. 26, 2018"

What a Bunch of Malarkey!

In Ohio in 2004, 6-year-old Alex Malarkey spent two months in a coma after a car accident, awaking as a quadriplegic and telling his family he had visited heaven, saw angels and met Jesus. Alex and his dad, Kevin, co-wrote the best-selling 2010 book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, but five years later, Alex admitted he had made up the story to get attention. “I did not die; I did not go to heaven,” he told The Guardian. In a recent effort to set the record straight, Alex filed a complaint Monday, April 9, in DuPage County, Ill., against the book’s publisher, Tyndale House, alleging that “any reasonable person would have realized that it was highly unlikely that the content of the book was true.” The Washington Post reported that while Kevin Malarkey is not a party to the suit—which cites several Illinois statutes regarding the right to privacy, defamation and financial exploitation of a person with a disability, among others—it does allege that Alex’s dad concocted and sold the story to Tyndale. The younger Malarkey did not receive any royalties from the sales of the book.

Maybe She’s a Furry?

Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield, Ohio, a family oriented destination, just wanted to provide a seasonal attraction for kids who wanted to pose for pictures with the Easter Bunny. But Ladonna Hughett, 54, had other things in mind when she plopped into the bunny’s lap, grabbed him in “inappropriate ways” and made “lewd comments,” reported Fox 8 Cleveland. She then moved on to ride a horse on the carousel, also in ways witnesses described as “lewd.” “I’ve never heard of somebody performing those types of acts on the Easter Bunny,” said Mansfield Assistant Police Chief Keith Porch. Hughett was arrested for public drunkenness and is no longer welcome at the amusement park.

Sauced on the Special Sauce?

On Saturday, March 17, police officers called to a McDonald’s restaurant in Okeechobee, Fla., found Derril James Geller of West Palm Beach had passed out in his car while waiting in line; he was arrested for driving on a suspended license and DUI. The Okeechobee News reported that in January, a local woman was charged with DUI after passing out at a different area McDonald’s drive-thru, and in December, a Texas man also received a DUI for nodding off in the line at that same McDonald’s.

Is the McArachnid Next?

At Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, N.C., April is Exotic Meat Month. This year, according to WTVD, the restaurant offered a “Tarantula Challenge,” where by customers were invited to enter their name in a raffle, and, if chosen, could claim a $30 tarantula burger, which included a pasture-raised beef patty, gruyere cheese, spicy chili sauce… and an oven-roasted zebra tarantula. Those who finished the burger received a commemorative T-shirt.

Zero-Tolerance Gone Weird

In Manchester, England, 75-year-old Peter Vipham of Rawtenstall, Lancashire, was shocked on Wednesday, April 11, when he was approached in the city center by two women who identified themselves as law enforcement. The officers told Vipham, a retired shoemaker, that he had been filmed littering—a small crumb of the pork pie he had been eating fell to the ground, and he flicked another crumb off his coat. Vipham offered to pick up the crumbs, but told Metro News he was not given the opportunity to view the video footage, and he refused to pay the fine. “If I had dropped litter, I would pay the (50 pound) fine, but I would never drop litter. I am against litter 100%!” Vipham declared. A Manchester city council spokesperson said the city would review the evidence and contact Vipham to discuss his case.



"10 Accidental Scientific Breakthroughs"

Open Blog - Thursday

Where's the donuts?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"Toronto van attack: Calm actions of police stun US"

The calm actions of a police officer who arrested the Toronto van suspect without firing a shot have prompted praise and, in some quarters, astonishment.

Video from the scene shows suspect Alek Minassian pointing an object at the officer and shouting: "Kill me!"

The officer tells the man to "get down" and when the suspect says he has a gun, the officer repeats: "I don't care. Get down."

Videos on social media show Mr Minassian lying down as the officer arrests him.

Many in North America are asking how the suspect did not end up dead in a hail of police gunfire. It contrasts with incidents in the US where police have shot and killed unarmed people.

"Research has shown that Canadian police are reluctant users of deadly force," says Rick Parent, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University in Canada's British Columbia.

"An analysis of police shooting data over many years revealed, that in comparison to their American counterparts, Canadian police officers discharge their firearms far less, per capita than US police. However, like American police officers they take many risks in protecting the public."

One US-based academic told the BBC that the officer would have had a "duty" to kill the suspect, if the object he was pointing was a gun.

Read more: 

"Full video: Port Authority commissioner confronts police during N.J. traffic stop’"

A former Port Authority official flaunted her credentials and told two New Jersey cops to “shut the f--k up” during a traffic stop that prompted her to resign this week, according to dash cam footage released Tuesday.

Caren Turner, a Port Authority board member who oversaw the ethics committee, bullied a pair of Tenafly police officers during a traffic stop that involved her teen daughter during the Easter weekend, the video shows.

She demanded the officers address her by her title and to know the specifics of the traffic stop.

The cops refused to entertain her requests, other than to briefly explain that the vehicle was not registered and would be towed.

“You’re just here as the driver,” an officer told Turner.

But Turner insisted she was "here as a concerned citizen and a friend of the mayor."

One of the officers was visibly stunned in the March 31 footage as she flashed her gold commissioner badge and repeatedly tried smoothing over the ordeal for her daughter and her friends, all of whom were 18 or over.

His partner told Turner she had no right to know what prompted the traffic stop, but she protested.

"That's my daughter," Turner said, later boasting that she and her friends were Ph.D. students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University.

"She's the backseat passenger. She was not the driver. This is not her vehicle. This is not your vehicle," he said.

Each moment of the 16-minute clip, first obtained by Politico, showed Turner stepping closer and closer to one of the officers, right until he was up against the hood of the cruiser.

"Ma'am, take a step back. I can't move back any farther and you keep stepping toward me," he said.

She then disparaged both law men as “a disappointment” for standing up to her.

Read more:

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my children of the sun!  How are you?  Have you been enjoying the absolutely fabulous weather we've been having?  Tomorrow might even see the 60's.  Now the thing is to heat up slowly, not suddenly one day it's SUMMER, in the 90's outside for the next three months. We've been extraordinarily lucky thus far this year.  It's almost as if I don't want to upset the apple cart by talking about it too much.  Sometimes, if you're bragging about your conversations with certain individuals, you might not wake up.  Ahem.

I'll tell you that I haven't really been following local politics too much since the departure of lying John.  I hope Mayor Mason is better than his predecessor.  He almost can't do worse.  A rattlesnake would do better.  If only there were some way to force those who supposedly represent us to truly represent us.  I suspect that 95% of politicians above the local level are criminals, thieves, liars, etc.

I suppose I've been absorbed by Mr. Trump's buffoonery.  At first, I was afraid that he would start a nuclear war.  He appears to have stepped back from that position.  Whew.  However, he now seems intent upon dismantling our government.  It's almost impossible to keep up with his shell game.  He's not my president and never will be.  Nor is what's-her-name, Hillary.  Corruption and madness shall soon overtake Washington.  Wait, they already have.

I suspect the departure of Paul Ryan is somehow related to Trump's BS.  He wants to stand true to his party, but the new head is an asshole whose commands he could never follow.  How many more good people will the Trumpster chase out of Washington?  How many are left?  Take us on a Magic Mystery Tour, please, Mr. Trump.  Blind us to reality and make your warmed over poop sound intelligent.

So I don't know what is going on in downtown this weekend, but I'm sure it's good.  Things will just continue to ramp up with the warmer weather.  By June-July, we're awash in celebrations and other events.  By that time, some of the stuff has to be moved to the weekdays in order to fit it all in.  My personal favorite is the 4th of July parade.  I rarely go anymore, but it's the best big-little parade.  Does Milwaukee do a parade on Independence Day?  How about Chicago?  Kenosha?  I know that some of the smaller towns west of here do up the 4th of July.  Raymond has a parade and fireworks, I believe.  Others have one or the other.

Is Caleb Robinson doing Smok'd on the Water again?  Mr. OrbsCorbs exposed me to Chicago hotdogs and I now love them. Mr. Robinson appears to be the only one who can get it right.  (PS - it starts with the dog.  If you're not using Vienna Beef franks, you're not making a Chicago dog.)  I can't believe some of the crap that passes for Chicago dogs out there.  I hope to see Caleb's hotdog cart at some of the festivities.  Get there early, before they're sold out.

Well, thank you for reading my blog this week.  I love readers.  The more, the merrier.  I love you.

Enjoy the weather.  There's supposed to be some rain out there, for the plants have to drink once in awhile.  Let's hope this isn't a false start to spring.  I hate seeing everything get nipped by frost.  If you're near the lake, you can plant your tomatoes a couple of weeks early.  There's a micro-climate there and it protects the more tender plants.  Don't push your luck, though.  Plant too early and get bit by Jack Frost.  Chomp, chomp.
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Open Blog - Wednesday

This could take awhile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"Legal Marijuana’s Big Moment"

Alex Brandon/AP Photo
Despite hostility from the Trump administration, signs indicate federal decriminalization is only a flipped House away.


A couple of weeks ago, John Boehner was dining at one of his favorite Washington haunts, Trattoria Alberto on Barracks Row, when in walked Earl Blumenauer, the Democrat from Oregon known as one of the most fervent advocates for legal marijuana in Congress. In years past, the two men would have had little in common, but earlier that day Boehner announced he was joining the advisory board for Acreage Holdings, one of the largest marijuana corporations in the country. It stunned many in the political world because the former speaker, whose tastes favor merlot and Camel Ultra Lights, had on several occasions spent political capital to defeat legalization measures: In 2014, he supported the congressional blockade of the District of Columbia’s recreational marijuana program and the next year he opposed efforts to legalize marijuana in his home state of Ohio.

Blumenauer was still so stunned by the turnabout, he couldn’t resist hailing his former adversary, who only a few hours earlier had advocated for marijuana’s full federal decriminalization, or its “descheduling,” in the parlance of Capitol Hill.

“John!” Blumenauer said, greeting the former speaker warmly, “What happened?”

“Well,” Boehner replied, “my thinking has evolved.”

He’s not the only one. In Washington, evolution on the marijuana issue is proceeding at warp speed in political terms. Boehner is just the latest in a string of noteworthy newcomers to the legalization movement that has been barreling through state houses for the past decade. Just in the past several weeks, Mitch McConnell fast-tracked a Senate bill to legalize low-THC hemp. Chuck Schumer announced that he would introduce a bill to deschedule marijuana entirely. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner struck a deal with President Donald Trump, who promised to not target Colorado’s legal marijuana industry in exchange for Gardner releasing his hold on Trump’s Department of Justice nominees. The Food and Drug Administration opened a comment period on the scheduling of marijuana ahead of a special session of the World Health Organization convened to re-evaluate marijuana laws, and both chambers of Congress passed “right to try” bills that might have accidentally legalized medical marijuana for terminally ill patients. Taken together they suggest that nearly 50 years of federal marijuana prohibition is about to disappear, and it’s happening in the face of an administration that has expressed its outright hostility to the notion.

Read more:

"Mutt Not for Me"

From The Shepherd Express:


People do love them their dogs—me, not so much. But for those of you’s so crazy for the canine that one’s not enough, you got a couple, three in the domicile, here’s a little story you can read them at bedtime like a regular member of the family:

So there’s these three dogs cooling their paws in a kennel at the city pound. Great Dane asks Terrier, “So, what’re you in for?” Terrier says, “Fock, crapped all over the house, and I mean ALL OVER the house. There wasn’t a room, stretch of carpeting or piece of upholstered furniture I missed. Hey, what do they expect? Leave me home all day alone inside, plus the leftover chop suey they fed me the night before had gone bad? Give me a focking break.”

Great Dane asks, “They sentence you yet?” Terrier says, “Yeah, they’re putting me to sleep in the morning.” Dane says, “Yeah, that’s tough. Sorry to hear it.”

Then Great Dane asks Chihuahua what he’s in for and Chihuahua says, “I chewed up to hell and back every goddamn piece of footwear in the house I could find while my owners were downstairs having a retro ’50s sock hop with their loser guests.”

Great Dane says, “No shit.” Chihuahua says, “That’s right. No shit, just a lot of chewed up shoes.”

Great Dane asks, “What’re you getting?” Chihuahua says, “They’re putting me to sleep in the morning.” Dane says, “Yeah, that’s tough. Sorry to hear it.”

So then Terrier says to Great Dane, “Hey buddy, you didn’t tell us what you’re in here for, yet.” The Dane says, “Well there I was, up in the master bedroom, minding my own business, not bothering anybody, just working over one of those pissant rubber Garfield squeakies, you know? Boy, that’s a load of laughs, ain’a? Christ. So in walks my owner’s wife and the next thing I know, she’s taking off all her clothes right there in front of me, I kid you not. Then she turns on this exercise music—‘ching, ching, chinga-chinga’— and she’s jumping up and down all over the place, bending over, bending backward, squatting down, squatting up and she’s getting all sweaty like.”

Chihuahua says, “Ay, Chihuahua.” Terrier swallows hard and asks what happened next.

"Well sir, this goes on for like a half-hour. All the time she’s looking over at me, eyes all wild like a rabbit’s just before you get it cornered in the garage, saying, ‘Good boy, you’re such a good boy, I love you,’ over and over. And I’m just lying there, eyeing her up and down, chewing on my Garfield squeakie, harder and harder ’til it’s ready to burst wide open.

“Then she squats down right in front of me on her knees and starts stroking my ears, my back, all the time with the ‘good boy this’ and ‘good boy that,’ ‘roll over, that’s right.’ She gets up, sashays over to the bathroom, turns around to give me one last look, and goes inside. I want to follow her real bad.

I could use a good, stiff drink out of the toilet right about now, I kid you not. I hear the sound of the shower, her, standing under the nozzle, all alone getting all clean and soft. The shower stops and I picture her patting that purple bath towel all over her pink skin, up, down, all around, finding places a dog can only dream about.

“And then, I thought I heard her call my name. Now maybe it was a tree branch against the bedroom window, maybe the postman ringing the front bell not once, but twice—I really got to chew that knob a new one, one of these days—or maybe it was fate, but I swear I heard her call my name, and I did the only thing any dog would do under the circumstances.”

“You come when you’re called,” Terrier says, barely able to get the sounds out.

“Did I ever. Bingo! Bango! Bongo!” Dane says. “Next thing I know, she’s reclined on the bed smoking a cigarette and I’m sitting here in the joint, shooting the shit with you guys.”

Chihuahua and Terrier are silent. They stare at Great Dane with a look a dog would put on only when in the presence of a Cujo, a Lassie, a Rin-Tin-focking-Tin. Finally Chihuahua asks Dane, “So, what’re you getting?”

“My nails trimmed. She’s picking me up in an hour.”

Ba-ding! ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


"Fourteen dead cats found in dog crate in Caledonia"

From The Journal

  • CALEDONIA — Fourteen cats were found deceased in a dog crate outside on a foreclosed Caledonia property, according to the Caledonia Police Department.

    Last Wednesday, Caledonia Police responded to the 5500 block of Six Mile Road after restoration company staff working at the property saw the cage which was covered by a blanket with the animals inside.

    Inside the cage officers found 14 cats, ages 1 to 4, which were reportedly packed into a wire cage that was made for a larger dog. The animals had reportedly been left outside during last week's snowstorm.

    Police said the responsible party is a 57-year-old man, formerly of Caledonia, who was evicted from the property. The man had prior issues with police after an animal on the property wasn't being tended to.

    "SC Johnson updates its slogan: 'A Family Company at Work for a Better World'"

    From The Journal

    RACINE — For the first time in nearly two decades, SC Johnson is updating its identity and putting a spotlight on its purpose by adopting a new tagline.

    SCJ, which since 1998 has referred to itself as “A Family Company,” will now be known as “A Family Company at Work for a Better World.” The company said the updated tagline is not just semantics — “It’s a reminder that SC Johnson holds itself to a higher standard,” the company said in a news release.

    The company said SCJ has “built a legacy of trust by demonstrating for decades that it is a family company that works tirelessly to meet the needs of consumers while protecting the planet for generations to come.”

    “SC Johnson has a long legacy as a family company committed to doing what’s right, for our consumers, communities and the environment,” stated SCJ Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson. “This is something we have been doing for generations, and we want people to know more about the many ways we are at work for a better world.” Johnson is the fifth-generation family leader of the global consumer products company, which has been headquartered in Racine for 132 years.

    In anticipation of the tagline change, SCJ is releasing three videos featuring Johnson explaining how the company acts with purpose to make a better world for the next generation. The videos will appear on digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Instagram, Spotify, NPR and The Washington Post.

    Read more:

    Open Blog - Tuesday

    I like Mr. Happy Robot.

    Monday, April 23, 2018

    "8 Things That Piss Off Cats"

    Essentially, your cat will be pissed off at you when and where he/she wants to.  I loved my last cat with all of my heart, but one night, as I lay dozing, he was watching some sort of wild animal outside.  He got worked up.  He marched over to me and wrapped himself around my right arm, using his nails and teeth to hold him in place.  YEOW!  I was trying to throw him off my arm and I was sprinkling blood everywhere.  I finally whipped him off and he hid under the sofa, making deep howling noises.  Yup.  They're wild animals. 

    When in doubt . . .

    Add Bacon Apron
    Add Bacon Apron by TheArtOfTheGetaway
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    "Smarter driver: Are older cars more dangerous?"

    I can't believe the brakes on some newer cars. They stop on the spot. I hope their drivers remember that not everyone else on the road can stop like that.


    Open Blog - Monday

    Run, run!

    Sunday, April 22, 2018

    "Costi Hinn Pleads for His Uncle Benny Hinn to Repent of Prosperity Gospel"

    "Hamster on a Piano"

    "By Paul Mobbs: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – The Gaping Hole in the Middle of the Circular Economy"

    The laws of thermodynamics govern the universe. Of all our scientific theories, thermodynamics is the least likely to change as we learn more. In other words, thermodynamics is the bedrock of science.

    As a consequence, any “sustainable” solution to our overshoot predicament must first be checked to confirm that it does not conflict with the laws of thermodynamics. Unfortunately, most solutions promoted today, like renewable energy, recycling, and a circular economy, do conflict with thermodynamics and therefore are not useful strategies.

    We must reduce our population and our consumption. And we will, one way or the other.

    Here is a nice essay on the thermodynamics of a circular economy by Paul Mobbs.

    Read more:

    "Tony Orlando & Dawn~Knock Three Times - early rare music video"