dimanche, avril 30, 2006

Happy Day Without Illegal Immigrants Eve

I just felt like saying it :)

So if we had to celebrate and perhaps have our version of Drinking Liberally... called Drinking Conservatively... wait that just wouldn't make any kind of sense would it...

UPDATE: Well I reckon Casper done made it for real...

A Very Good Idea

A Day Without _____ Day.

Very good Clint!!

samedi, avril 29, 2006

Mark Greene

Mark Greene was in Franklin today as many of you know. I went. The main purpose of his visit was to talk about sex offenders and protecting children. At first I figured he was playing to the audience, but I was wrong. He's very involved in this issue and I am extremely encouraged by how much he understands what's going on and what we as a society are up against.

He talked about many of the stumbling blocks to keeping these heinous criminals out of our communities. I was surprised to hear that across the country there is a backlog of about 350,000 unprocessed rape kits sitting in state crime labs.

There is also a law in congress (I believe it's congress) to make offender data and evidence available and applicable to the court systems in all 50 states. This means that if an offender from Illinois commits a crime here, that the data/evidence/charges in the IL legal system would be admissible in court here in Wisconsin. Know what? There is a representative somewhere who has an anonymous "hold" on this legislation, meaning it cannot be expedited. I'm going to find out more information about this. My stomach turned when I heard this.

He also talked about GPS tracking and that he would pass it. That's fine, and good, but it's not enough. There is only one answer to dealing with sex offenders and that's to separate them from all of us. Lock them up forever, we have no use for them. All that happens is that the rest of us have to rearrange our lives so that they can have civil liberties. So that they can trawl among us and use the internet. Hell with that.

I have a better answer on what to do with them but it's probably not appropriate to post it. I will only state that this is an issue that makes me extremely angry and for very good reasons.

Mark talked about his views on what to do about the DMV, the DNR (as my Pa calls them, "The Real Terrorists"), education and a few other items. He didn't get too specific on ethanol, which I had hoped someone might take him to task on it. Many of his responses were standard and reflect what he's said in the past. I would like to see him speak again sometime in a room where the topic is centered on the rest of his approach to serving as governor, and to hear more debate.

And....Mr. Greene didn't say peep about TPA...


vendredi, avril 28, 2006

The Mighty Enabling 2007 Proposed MPS Budget

My first impressions are well, not based on educational portions of the budget. It seems that the proposed budget is focusd on "health and nutrition" initiatives while "tightening the belt" in spending across the system. Here's how that translates to me right off the bat:

"We're going to take the responsibility off the parent for providing for their children, and to do this, we're going to have to spend less on education."

Point it out where I'm wrong. I'm an open-minded kind of gal. But feeding your children is not MPS' job.

By enabling parents who will not parent, we enable their abdication of responsibility. The more you provide - the higher the expectations will be in the future to be provided for. MPS and its teachers are already taking the brunt of these effects, starting with children's behavior. We can't become their parents, and that's what this proposal means.

MPS should teach them the ins and outs of health and nutrition but they can't be responsible for feeding them. This is not a heartless statement, in fact, a long time ago a very loving person talked about teaching a man to fish. You know, so he can feed himself for a lifetime. How about starting with focusing on what will enable them to provide for themselves.

The other thing that hacked me off is this (p. 27 of Overview document):

"A Common Average Salary ($50,400) was established for teachers. The previous method used a unique average salary for each level (high, middle, elementary, K-8). The difference between levels have become smaller and the common average salary simplifies the budgeting process."

People, I am 34 years old and it took me a really long time to hit that 50k mark. And I had to prove that I'm worth it. These folks are getting it MANDATED. Why? Because it's easier for the administrators to understand.

Salary banding and performance-based compensation are not difficult compensation concepts. Anyone with a nominal understanding of comp can administer this. How do they suppose Fortune 500 companies do it? Do they throw their hands up and say, this is just too hard to do, this paying everyone differently thing.

Seems to me that that large HR box in their org chart needs an overhaul.

Sigh. Take a look for yourselves. Or take a look at the Journal's analysis (which may or may not mean a whole lot).

Right click to download the Proposed Budget and Overview.

Word For the Day

feck·less ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fkls)

1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective.
2. Careless and irresponsible.

Used in a sentence:

The feckless Wisconsin GOP failed to advance a viable TPA measure. In fact, they demonstrated a new standard of wasting time, energy and money and produced a big fat snotwad of nothing. Akin to willow wood, fairy food, pumice stone, wiffle balls, yoga bricks, dried out peeps and other matter with form but no weight or substance. At least all of the above are useful, except TPA.

Okay that wasn't a sentence.

Nothing's Too Good For My Little Girl

"nothing's too good
for my little girl,

give her the best, I say...
It's only what's best
for my little girl, all the way"

Let me guess, you're an adult now, and it's your body, and you can make your own decisions.

Okay, fair enough. But it might not seem fair in the future when someone googles you for a background check for that incredible new position you want. Instead of finding your professional credentials, they might just find the bottom line.

How about wondering which of your co-workers don't have to imagine you in your underwear, because they've seen the goods? The price of your education is one thing, but your credibility is priceless.

This extent of liberation doesn't work like you think it does, or like Sex in The City says it does.

Just a thought for the day.

Rush is Charged

Does this mean we can "move on" now?

jeudi, avril 27, 2006

Please Make Some Sense...

...or at least try to be consistent

A few years ago, Bush had a great idea. Lower our taxes, and kick it off with a $300 check for most tax-paying individuals.

The percentage of our population that saw the logic in this were very happy about it and we reaped a lot of rewards as a result of lowering taxes. And being laid off at the time, that $300 sure helped me.

Another percentage of our population threw a fit, and mischaracterized the effort. Tax cuts for the rich, some people won't get a check.... notice the focus on "who didn't get a check" regardless of the fact that "they didn't work."

We also had Hollywood telling us how selfish we were - we needed this money for social programs - the list went on and on.

But today we have a robust economy to show for it. Good idea, good timing.

Now, we have a very very bad idea on our hands. Unlike what we saw with Bush's efforts which was backed up by substance i.e. a tax cut, we're looking at a one-off. And:
  • $100 doesn't do squat, it's petty cash that will be gone in three days
  • Is this backed up by an oil refinery being built?
  • Is this backed up by drilling - anywhere domestic?
  • Is this backed up by anything?

All it will do is hemorrage cash through administration and redistribute tax dollars. It will not buy any brownie points, it will not be an effective popularity stunt, in fact, people will forget it in a blink of an eye. Or the next time the price floor goes up, and it will.

And what would an oil refinery cost?? Would an oil refinery cost roughly $100 for every taxpaying citizen?

I am sure we have a huge percentage of our population - the ones who don't understand supply and demand - who are tapping their fingertips together thinking they're sticking it to the man. But all it is, is the government "making reparations" on behalf of the "big bad oil companies who compensate their execs with a 400 million retirement package".

The big issue I have with this???

Why don't people bat an eye at having +% of their earnings confiscated by the government, yet flip their lid at the increase in the cost of gas.

With the 40-hour work week a thing of the past, and being expected to be available and/or monitoring emails via crackberry while you're on vacation in the Caymans with your love of your life and/or your family...

... I would say that the effort we expend on trying to earn a buck nowadays to stay ahead of the tax curve should be the focus of what hacks us off.

Our earnings are being siphoned and many of us have forgotten that.

Put my $100 toward increasing supply or diversifying our energy portfolio. If you want to spend the money, please do something productive with it.

Q-Tips ARE For Your Ears!

Seen and heard on the iPod...

(Let me say something, I'm gonna marry my video iPod. It's got 30 gigs so it'll never fill up which means it can satisfy me although I don't know if I could satisfy IT. All I have to do like any man is feed it, give it compliments i.e. new songs, plug it in from time to time, and it's happy. Why can't everything be such an equitable relationship?? And it looks good, too. We are happily seen together and I don't have to deal with any judgements such as "what's she doing with ____.")

Alright. Q-Tips ARE for your ears! And the Tribe Called Quest Anthology is, too. I love Q-tip, he has a unique voice, command in his delivery, and he is a Vivrant Thing!

Well, that was uncomfortable...

Went to my stats this evening and someone did the following search:

"ladys blowing up ballons"

And found this here establishment.

I am afraid, I'm very afraid! Not only because well, the obvious, but that perhaps I may have actually typed "ladys" or "ballons"

Which I didn't do, so I'm not sure where that came from. Go away!

(and yes, I am painfully aware that their asses will find me now)

mercredi, avril 26, 2006

I Heard Something Really Stupid Today

Well, this isn't the only stupid thing I heard today. But it's darn near the top of the list.

I promised to never blog about work but technically this isn't you know, a dooceable offense. We have instant messenger (unfortunately - I would like to get some work done) and I had a conversation today that went a little somethin' like this - hit it:

Co-Worker: You know, you're close with the top brass. Can't you ask one of them to talk to the Chief about like, helping us with gas?

Me: Do you mean ask the Chief to pay for our gas?

Co-Worker: Yeah I mean it's like $350 a month and all. I would think they could kind of lend us a hand

Me: That's not going to happen

I repeated this convo in my head throughout the day and it took up a lot of valuable space that could have been utilized more efficiently and synergistically and organizationally streamlined... I digress... it was just plain stupid.

Worst of all, this woman persisted until I was reduced to explaining the many reasons why this would never happen, why it was stupid, and why hell no, I would NOT approach anyone about this. I would never even admit to anyone I work with that I even entertained 10 minutes of my life in this conversation. Why am I blogging about this????


Good One, Dennis!

Eugene Kane's Diversity Training is Long Overdue

Anyone with me on this one?

Corporations and societies spend untold amounts in training efforts in order to foster cultural diversity and understanding. And as people we spend emotional effort on this too.

Then we have Eugene Kane's efforts.

I don't think racial sensitivity is a one way street. And free speech is free speech, but hold the man to the same standards - it's not too much to ask everyone to play by the same rules. Isn't that what this is supposed to be about, anyway?

h/t to Elliot for my initial hack off!!

mardi, avril 25, 2006

...Or Ah Shall Tauunt You A Second Tahmmm!!

Looks like our friend Faver-ra is coming back....

TUESDAY, April 25, 2006, 10:04 p.m.
ESPN: Favre tells Packers he's coming back
Brett Favre informed the Green Bay Packers today that he will play the 2006 season, league and team sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Favre shared his decision with general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy in a telephone conversation this morning, ESPN is reporting.Stay tuned for updates.

Is This What The High Road Looks Like?

You SO totally had me there, Russ! You are such a joker and in fact, you had us all going. Even the writers, producers, actors, hosting company, and all the PAC hacks that strategized on your internet ad.

Give me a break. Is "it was a joke" the new "oh dear, I have learned from this lesson. No I am not sorry because I am a better person for having screwed up so terribly".

Presidential material, my friend.

lundi, avril 24, 2006

Go Get 'Em, Mav!

For decades men have fought the corded devil, the joystick, the game controller. From the evil beginnings of pong (and it's sidekick, the forked TV>Game switch), to atari, colecovision and to its' modern day incarnation - Playstation...

Men have been reduced to sofa-bound, dorito-stuffed versions of their former glory. Alongside said slumping sofas lie piles of cell phones, keychains, quarters and Big Gulps. But help is here. It's the resume, the cover letter, the savior we like to call: Monster.com.

Go get 'em, Mav!!!!

samedi, avril 22, 2006

CIA Officer Fired for Leaks

Well this is interesting. I'm trying to find other sources on this story about a CIA officer who leaked information to the press, to reporters including Dana Priest, works for the Washington Post.

I have been on the couch for days with this awful whatever-it-is I have. Do I have anything better to do???

vendredi, avril 21, 2006

Yes, Russie SHOULD Put A Sock In It

You have to be kidding me.

There is something I don't understand about the Fringe Left (and, in a sense, I'm blessed that I don't understand them and it's a testament to self-awareness).

Do they actually look at their own behavior, point by point, and accuse the Right of doing those exact same things? In psychology it's called Projection - accusing others of your own traits and behaviors.

I've seen this other times and have pointed it out since the Clinton years in particular.

Russ' ad yet again confirms my point about their behaviors being projected on to the right. As I watched the ad, I was checking off boxes in my head:

- The Fringe Left cares least about the constitution and have called it a "living breathing document"

- From every corner, they discredit and consider our Founding Fathers to be a bunch of stodgy dead white guys whose efforts are irrelevant in today's world. These Real Men have been rolling in their graves for quite some time at the fringe left's statements and actions.

- Eavesdropping on those who are in disagreement. Where should I begin. Our pal Clinton broke and bent the law without blinking an ogling eye, brought definition and form to Assassination of Character, used the IRS and other bureaus of investigation to terrorize "enemies of the regime" and others who were somehow a threat to outing them.

Go get a grip Russ. And don't come back until you have at least a shred of self awareness.

Using What For Money?

The Museum OWNED a piece of the rain forest? It wasn't possible for them to send their peeps just to visit, study, etc. on forest preserves? Did they think they could save part of the rainforest by snapping up some of the real estate??

As a kid my neighbor was an entymologist from the museum and he went to Costa Rica all the time, but I dont' think the museum owned the joint yet. He bought home some of the coolest stuff - Rhinoceros beetles, the biggest butterfiles and caterpillars I'd ever seen... it rocked!!!!

All that aside, I think Mark Belling made a great point with regard to Lynde Uihlien's objection to the museum's sale of the property: If it's so great, why don't you buy it? She did. And good for her, not everyone can own a piece of the rainforest.

What The Son-of-A!

In the spirit of Brit Spears, I just don't feel good y'all.

Since Tuesday I have had a headache, been nauseated, had no energy, my vision isn't all that great and I can't think clearly. Anyone else have a case of Jones-itis?

jeudi, avril 20, 2006

Put A Sock In It

Sometimes I would love to walk around with a big ass tube sock. At my folks' house we have one drawer that's full of single socks - all from the 70's - and I have the perfect use for them.

I think I'm going to stick them all in my backpack and stuff them in the mouths of people who should just shut up. Mini McGee, Steven Avery, and Dassey's little dog his attorney, too. Maybe I would have to settle for photoshopping a sock into their mouths, which wouldn't be nearly as satisfying, but the visual would take the edge off.

I heard this on the news this evening:

"Dassey's lawyer argues the teenager was coerced by police into making the confession.

He claims investigators promised they would help his client if he gave a detailed account of the crime, and it would be okay even if he participated in the murder."

Now I recognize that a criminal attorney is an entirely different species from other attorneys. That disclaimer said, I have a hard time understanding how these things can be uttered and worse, how they can be believed or confidently backed up by the utterer.

If I was the judge and this "person" said this in my court, you'd see the equivalent of a baseball coach getting thrown out of the game.

They would not leave my court without a sock in it.

This attorney should be ashamed of themselves. Dassey, although a criminal, apparently has a conscience and couldn't live with what he knew any longer. Coerced or not, he'd have made the confession. Unlike his uncle, who is 50 miles due west of Denial.

How this attorney could have said such a thing is beyond my understanding of my fellow man.

UPDATE!!!! YES! Russ SHOULD put a sock in it!!!

Can't a lady get a workout?

I was trawling through the cube corridors when a co-worker stopped in front of me.

"What's with the incognito at the club?"


"I see you at the club after work and I don't know if you're ignoring me or what the deal is"


Anybody else out there have this issue... when you're working your working, but when you're working out, you're working out.

If I said hello to everyone I work with while at the club, I'd never get my workout on. I'd never manage to break 150 beats per minute. It would take forever longer to get things done and by then, I'd lose my mojo.

Besides, work already has me for 8+ hours a day. This time is all me.

mercredi, avril 19, 2006

With a Backhand Like John McEnroe....

Karen over at Stepping Right Up! has a great idea for Scott McClellan's replacement.

The White House press room would never be the same. Imagine the Snoop Slaps. Oh the humanity!!!

(drums fingertips together)

mardi, avril 18, 2006

If You Think Bush Is Insane

Dear Mr. Xoff....

If you think Bush is insane...you haven't met our friend Mr. Ahmadinejad....

To help clarify, one wants to prevent armageddon. The other believes he can hasten it.


Blog neighbor

It's a Death-Defying Life I Lead

...I take my chances....

(are you with me, wireless card??)

It was migraine day and I've been on the couch all afternoon, but I wasn't too under the weather to get pissed off at what I heard on the news, and think of a way to recoup my future losses.

MPS has announced that next summer, they'll be piloting a program to provide WiMax or wireless broadband to the teachers and some students. Well I started putting two and two and two together, even in a painkiller induced state...the multi-talented Jones that I am...

My neighbor is an MPS teacher. She doesn't watch her kids or her dog, so there's no way she'll be watching her network. Hmm. My taxes will pay for this network, and I'll be darned if I'm going to live next door to it and not at least *try* to participate. Okay so I have no clue how WiMax is structured or how I would do it, but if she broadcasts the signal you can bet I'm going to try to jump on it!


UPDATE: I have more thoughts on this of course, the queen of after-the-fact that I am.

- Who is going to pay for the computers and support? This is supposed to be a low-income target audience. You know that's next, we'll be providing computers. (Many of them don't have shoes, much less read or add or write at the level they should for their grade).

- This is the only case of "it's good for the kids, so it must be good for us" I've seen. Like any limo lib, the bourgeoisie often has a much better package. We'll see.

- What are the parameters of acceptable use? Is it an open network? Are there filters in place? Are we potentially looking at network abuses?

- Who's going to make sure the network is maintained within budget? The state already appears to have a problem with doling out millions to IT contractors. Nothing wrong with IT contractors, btw. But we seem to have a track record of overpaying for many services that are on contract. If it's the teachers union... will Doyle send the contract the way of one of his donor dodos????

The questions go on and on....

lundi, avril 17, 2006

Thoughts on Tax Day

I took care of taxes as soon as possible this year.... no sense in waiting. And I had a day off with jetlag plus time to git 'er done.

Tonight I went to the 'post with my empty half and half bottles (love this stuff - in all its' yummy, unhomogenized goodness) to cash in for the deposit. I brought the ticket to the counter as credit toward my purchase.

"You owe me six cents" the nice pierced lady said.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out exactly six.

"That's the way it ought to be - all a wash" I thought aloud....

(Just wish they hadn't washed me as hard as they did this year!)

Rollin' with the little homeys

Yesterday I learned that the fastest way to mess up your house is to play hide and seek.

I live in an old duplex that's just full of places to hide. Now I need to put all the stuff back that was outstuffed from said places.... My nephew said aloud, "I love coming over to Aunt Phel's, there's lots of room to play, and there aren't like, dog bones and stuff everywhere."

Sometimes it's the stuff laying on the floor and the piled coffee cups that tell you how incredibly fortunate you are.

dimanche, avril 16, 2006

The Gadgetry: My Foldout Rattan Table

Believe it or not, I've gotten sneers a plenty for this table.

Why? It's not a typical dining room table. A couple of ex-boyfriends thought it was cheesy or unrefined. That it looked collegiate. Ah ye's of such petite faith. Just for that, I wouldn't show them how cool it really was.

But it's cool. You're about to see why.

The underside has a stamp, "Inspected, April 1, 1950". This table was in my friend's parents cottage in Pickerel for 20 years. Before they sold the place, I begged for the table. The leaf was detached and had been sitting in a closet, but with a little putty, hidden hinges, and some ingenuity, my friend and I got it back together and operating again.

It's not Pottery Barn, but it is amazing and in beautiful shape. The curious have gotten a glimpse of something altogether different than they were expecting :)

samedi, avril 15, 2006

Almost here...

Old school details

Satin liners
Darts and tucks

Velvet ribbons on the ease
An old hemmer foot
Peek ruffle
And the Goddess...
She is almost here

vendredi, avril 14, 2006

Can A Bunny Get A Witness?

I just felt like repeating it =:>

jeudi, avril 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Tribes

Amygdala: Emotional center, where emotions are attached to actions in the motor area [of the brain].

I have a theory about Introverts and Conservatism, and Extroverts and Liberalism.

You've been taught forever to think that introverts are shy, quiet, reserved, and somehow maladjusted, while extroverts are happy, bright, articulate, and Normal. Am I right?

What if introversion and extroversion are actually very different than that. What if they are not only temperaments, but energetic pathways. What if they are Just Fine The Way They Are, and dependent on unique use of specific neurotransmitters - one going to different places in the brain than the other?

I'm introverted and all my life, people have told me I need to be more outgoing, faster, witty, whatever. Basically asking me to be like everyone else. It was true in childhood, adolescence and teen years, and it's darn tootin true in professional life. In fact, your professional life can pivot squarely on your temperament.

But what if an introvert processes information in a long neural pathway - going through parts of the brain associated with logic and feeling in order to create a 3-D holograph of an idea or answer... as opposed to an extrovert going through a shorter neural pathway and straight to the emotion and the verbalizing of the idea?

I was listening to the Podfather's cast this week with guest Chris of Spottedhorse. Chris said that he believed we are now a country of two tribes. I think he's on to something. And I think in many ways it's chemical, temperamental. Don't get me wrong, it's also educational, cultural, societal and character based and all the other things that cause opinions to be formed, but the extent to which we decide to inform ourselves might depend upon how we are wired.

Here is my premise:

Introverts: Long neural pathway. Uses neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Thoughts travel through the frontal lobe of the brain and have more detail and form. The introvert is not always shy as categorized, but requires time alone in order to recharge and fully formulate and internalize thoughts and information. Is not always quick on the draw with a response - instead - he or she is at the office holding up the economy. Satisfaction with a job well done, a little more time to do something... Contentment. Thought out plans, weighing all options, long term consequences, cerebral and sensitive, logic, Let's Consider The Best Way To Do This, And If We Should Do It.

Extroverts: Short neural pathway. Uses neurotransmitter dopamine. Thoughts travel a shorter path through verbal and emotional centers, gathering and assessing information quickly and attaching thought to emotions. The extrovert must be in social situations in order to recharge - be it parties, copier talk, phone calls or visits. Is almost always very quick on the draw with responses - and is more likely to be the salesman closing the deal, or in other situations - in groups holding protests which are verbal, social, and emotional situations. Exhilarating. Quick on the draw, rules implemented as quick fixes for woes, Feelings, Heart-Centric, throwing cash at the situation, It Will Come From Somewhere - But We Must Do Something.

The Introvert will think it through, but the Extrovert must Do. Planners and Executers. Now if we only had the architects and the unions on the same page, the same blueprint, building the same building for the same purpose. Seems like a stretch nowadays, but you see how they fit together and in fact, have purpose after all.

I think it explains why we mostly see liberals blasting out their opinions right away while it seems like conservatives are keeping the gloves on.

What I am proposing here is not broad based or wide-sweeping or an explanation for all. It's a tale of two tribes, it's a premise of the extremes. It's not science, but it's not rocket science, either.

I've thought about this for quite some time. Would be interested in knowing what other folks think, too.

The info I've learned about introverts and extroverts is based not only on meyers-briggs types of tests (they're okay, I mean...), but other sources such as Marti Laney and other experts on the introvert/extrovert continuum. I however, am not an expert, but I am a blogger. And an INFP. The introverts as conservative and extroverts as liberal however.... is mine all mine ;)

mercredi, avril 12, 2006

Bring Out Yer ....Peeps >>Bwonnnngggg<<

"But I'm not dead yet!"

"You'll be stone dead in a moment."

Folks, it's the Wednesday before Easter. This is your official reminder. It's time to open those peeps and expose them to the fresh air and release their inner preservatives - by Thursday evening at the latest. For in a matter of days, they shall be peeps al dente!

UPDATE: Sleepy peep. Goodnight, sweetheart :)

News Flash! Quintuplet Peeps Surgically Separated - Successfully! Incredible photo sequences of surgery phases 1-6.

mardi, avril 11, 2006

If Any Good Came From the Holloway Scandal...

It's this.

The old OIC building was sold to the Greater Philadelphia COGIC (Church of God in Christ). It seems to be... to simplify it: a blessing.

If you are an old Milwaukee buff like I am or love to see history unearthed, unplastered, undrywalled...un-noise-reduction-tiled.... you will be inspired by this story by local photographer and historian Larry Widen.

How I would love to visit the building and see it in its open and rough state - and see the amazing ceiling and all it's glory - through the gaping hole of awful 60's tiles. Apparently much of the existing features are well preserved after all these years. I'm not an architect but it surprises me that the ceiling features have held up under the force of extreme heat and cold over the decades.

I don't know all the details of the deal (after April 23 it will be public). But after driving past OIC for the past few years and wondering what it was like inside, I'm tickled to see that preservation and restoration is underway. The new owners will spend more in restoration than we would have spent to prosecute Holloway. And a piece of our history will be returned in the process.

They've posted a short video and it's worth the time. Click here to view.

UPDATE: A big thank you to Larry Widen for use of the photos. For more information about Milwaukee theaters and historical photos, visit his site at http://www.larrywiden.com"

Credits also to JS online where the photos are published.

More Fun Than a Barrel of Stormtroopers...

I thought Sean had a pretty good posting about the generalization of SE Wisconsin conservatives and those leaning so. It's a pretty bold statement that was made by an out of state Republican, and I hope that the force eventually outs said sayer....

lundi, avril 10, 2006

Dah dah dah, dunt dah dah, dunt dah dah...

Maybe someone's beaten me to it, but I think it bears repeating :)

(Click to listen)

UPDATE: Where is my blogiquette? h/t to Chris!

A 230 Year-Old Experiment

This whole immigration thing is bothering me. I suspect it will for a while.

I don't have any articles to quote, I probably won't reference anyone else's two cents, just my own. This is not going to be the most organized or well thought entry I've ever posted, but it is what it is, and where it goes nobody knows.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the premise of what I've been seeing over the past few weeks which is this:

People leaving a country for a better life from a country that regulates an underclass. Coming to this country, the land of endless opportunity, and cursing it. Saying it's terrible, evil, unfair, awful, racist. And that's just what the politicians are saying as they side with the masses.

The excess of our freedom has put us in the red.

We are being asked for things that are less than zero. The expectations of living in the US are a fairytale to people who do not understand our civics, and that nothing is free. Money doesn't come from the money fairy, and everything dries up eventually. You can't push zero for more.

Three Stories.

I know many people who have moved here from other countries and their experiences have run the gamut. My old boyfriend, Miguel, whose parents immigrated from Mexico told me "you must understand this is the only country in the world where you can come in with nothing and make yourself into something. This opportunity does not exist anywhere else in the world". He's extraordinarily successful. I wish I would have been more mature.

My other friend from South America came here when he was twelve. He wants to remove all the freeways so we can't drive anywhere. There is a lot he'd like to force on all of us, like rationed napkins, but he doesn't get the premise of our country - Freedom. He has however made a complete sh*tload of money in his IT practice. He also believes in rationed healthcare and education on the dole. Those low-quality services are in fact good for everyone else who hasn't made it yet but he'll take the top of the three-tier plan, thank you.

My sister in law has been working on her citizenship for years. I stood in line with her downtown, I held their line in place so that she and her husband, my brother, could just sit for a moment together after standing in line for hours. Holding a baby.

All three of them with different experiences and different levels of "getting it", understanding what we're about in these United States.

And overall if all these protestors can curse these United States, I won't hold back either. But I'll be a little more rational: they just don't get it. They don't understand what citizenship here is about. They don't understand what has been said for eons to the point where it only registers as a faint murmur: There is No Free. This is not heaven with endless supply and all cares are cast away, this is the United States. Until you get to heaven, you exist here as Free within a Framework. That's all we're asking you all to do, live within the laws that we ask you to.

Any other country would not even offer you that option. Do things the right way, that's all we ask. If you can do that, we're more than willing to have you participate in our 230 year-old experiment.

dimanche, avril 09, 2006

C'mon Already, Rutabaga

I have a confession to make: I'm a chronic vegetable roaster. My claims to fame are converting both Yam and Onion haters.

Aside from a roast in the oven, nothing slows the neighbors walking past my house more than a pan of shallots, yams, red potatoes, carrots, and garlic roasting in the oven at 450 with a bunch of butter, salt, and honey. On one occasion, my neighbor was walking her dog, whose nose was up in the air tracking the smell.

For the faint of heart, toss some shallots, mushrooms and garlic with melted butter and salt and roast until you have a purpley, slightly crispy concotion. Use your wooden spoon. About 3/4 of the way through, take your finger and taste the self-saucing sauce from the back of the spoon. You'll just die right there.

But tonight I believe I have met my match. Hella Rutabaga I've started to call it. It's taking forever and I have a gas stove you know....

50 minutes in the oven and it's not said uncle.

In the meantime, I have a guinness reduction sauce (yes, I reduced guinness with some honey on top of the stove) just waiting to be smothered on said rutabaga and left to glaze in the last part of roasting. But alas, it has not succumbed to my roasting charms.

Son of a!

What A Crock of Doodle-Doo

This was posted on Yahoo's home page last night under their news headlines section. A few things occured to me immediately:

1) Millions of women with mitral valve prolapse should be checking out any second. This should have happened in epidemic proportions in the late 90's.

2) Our economy is pretty darned good right now so watch out for falling bodies.

3) We are the hardest working nation in the world and our economic prosperity and our freedom are a testament to our hard work.

4) Boy those folks on the prairie had it easy.

And last but not least... how irresponsible is it to say "Strong Economy May Create Heart Attacks".

Really guys, come on.

samedi, avril 08, 2006

Don't Trifle, Brett

He's not even worth the bandwidth anymore. Overstaying your welcome is one thing. Going out on top is also one thing. But overstaying your welcome to go out on top is quite another. That didn't exactly make sense but I'm sure you get the spirit of what I'm saying.

Our days with Brett are over. He is now snug as a bug in history. Let's face it, Brett's done playing.

But why he pulled that stunt Saturday morning is beyond me. He wouldn't save major news for a slow news day. Brett needs more than that, and he wants more than that. Why would he cry wolf??? What's the point in tiring us out over him?

I'll be honest I don't know how CEOs and major sports stars with families maintain their position and keep it all together. And when you've lived through as many personal setbacks as Brett has over the years he's been with us, it's hard to imagine how he's found the endurance to keep going. And maintain his focus. Brett is like the rest of us - regardless of what it is that we do best - we go through phases where we just can't focus. I'm losing focus even as I write this. Probably because deep down I know Brett's best days and days with us are altogether, over.

He just needs to say it. But I won't be waiting.

jeudi, avril 06, 2006

That Cuba Sticker Might Have To Come Off My Car

Today I was driving from work to the club to work out. After all I was "off" for two days. I turned south on 74th from Lloyd Street and noticed something very strange. There was a red Explorer rolling toward me on my side of the street. What?

So I got closer and I could see this Explorer was tailing a teenage girl who appeared to be walking home from Tosa East. As I approached, the driver of the Explorer made no attempt to get over to HIS side of the road. In fact, he didn't even appear to flinch. The girl has her head up in the air and appears to be shutting out whatever is being said to her.

I slowed down as I passed the Explorer. All the windows were rolled down halfway and I could see there were about six passengers. Now I am about to tell you what really made me uncomfortable.

As I looked at them - trying to show them that I see something wrong here - I notice that the passengers have slightly tilted their faces down... and covered their faces with one hand. All of them.

I was a little nauseated right on the spot.

I didn't continue at a normal speed. I moved at a slower speed but did not stop. I could not see the plate because I didn't have my glasses on. They followed her for about another block. So I called the Tosa Police and reported everything I saw just in case they were looking for an SUV full of fools who should be in a Paddy Wagon.

Drug dealers? I don't know. They were a bunch of cowards so it's possible. I was scared they would snatch her up. They sped off by the time they got to Lloyd street.

So if you live over there and see this crap going on, get their plates. There is no good that comes of people who cover their faces when confronted.

I'm sure they were aware of me but since they covered their faces like cowards they probably didn't get a look at me. But when you turn your empty head around and see a Cuba sticker on the car that passed you, you're marked.

These are a few of my favorite iTunes....

On the iPod. I got one in February for the first time and I just adore it. Kinda big though if you're trying to run. My MuVo was nice but didn't accept all formats. It's okay. I have 30 gigs of luuuuv now...

Some songs are arranged in a manner that give me goose bumps. Here are a few of such tunes:

Maybellene - The Genius... Chuck Berry. There is so much about this song that's out of this world. I actually don't have the words to describe it. So simple, so well-timed, so well played.

San Francisco - Scott McKenzie - I love the layering and progression in this song. Each time I listen to it I hear something new. And it makes me think of Steve McQueen for some reason....

For the Love of Ivy - Mamas and Papas - Only one of the many incredible harmonies they did. This is one of my favorites. The iTunes clip doesn't cover the best parts of the song though.

San Antonio Rose - Bob Wills. I love Bob Wills. Like Maybellene, this song is simple but the beauty is in it's simple musicianship - woven loosely and sounds tight. And Bob Wills in his day was a honey!

Orange Blossom Special - I just felt like putting this in. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has an all-star take on it with Vassar Clements on the fiddle. Johnny Cash did it at Folsom and the song about a train, sounded like a train. But.... Earl Scruggs will always be the best!

I could go on, but you know what... record companies do all the going on with excessive production. I'll keep it real :)

Outpost: We Put The "Nut" In Nutrition

I just felt like saying it :)

mercredi, avril 05, 2006

I am going to puke...

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen

And here is the sound I thought of when I saw it:

mardi, avril 04, 2006

Send Couric as Far Down the Dial as Possible

There are many things that are just not news.

My first job out of college was working for an unnamed news wire service. I quickly learned the connotation of Importance.

And there are some news stories that I avert my attention from as quickly as I can. Katie Couric's move is one of them. CBS is the bottom of the news barrel if you ask me. It's a good place for her to be.

Personal Story. True story, too. In 2002 I was in New York for a long weekend with a long time, now ex-boyfriend who was crazy about The Shoe Dangler. The Perky One. He was dying to be outside Dean & DeLuca to see the Today show's outside segments and hopefully get a glimpse of her.

I had no interest, but with this man, if mama ain't happy...ain't no one happy.

We stood in the four people-deep crowd at Rockefeller center. He was craning to see Miss Katie and because we agreed to never separate while in New York, I stayed close by.

"Can you see? Can you see her?"

"Can you???"


"Well here..."

"No, really, it's alright - you look"

This does not work. I feel arms around my hips and suddenly, a short fluffy blonde emerges above the crowd. Katie Couric's head follows this hoisting movement and I am looking down on The Perky One.

Oh yes, he did.

Couric's brow furrows and she puts her mike in her other hand and "shoos" me down. Her lips purse together in frustration. I lean forward, trusting that the spaghetti armed man hoisting me up can handle the shift in weight. I never lost my eye contact with her as I leaned forward - and I stuck as much of my tongue out as far as I could. And, at the time I had a tounge piercing and the day before bought the nastiest toungue ring I could find in the East Village. She did not back down, my formidable opponent. The glare emanating from her was a sight to behold. I don't think I could match it if I tried. She has officially raised the bar of bitchy glaredom. She is the Barry Bonds of the bitchy glare.

My family has some sense of pride in me. I've accomplished many things they have not. But all of my accomplishments in life apparently pale in comparison to irritating Miss Couric.

I still laugh every time I see her :P

lundi, avril 03, 2006

Do We Have Any Power?

Run Forrest, Run!

I have no interest in taking the freeway to work, so every day I go through the city and also through Lincoln Park. Today as I went over the bridge I noticed that the river seemed much higher than normal. It was muddy but that's to be expected after heavy rains.

But what I didn't know was just a couple of miles up the road, our old pals at MMSD done did it again.

What was the excuse this time? The sewer leaked.

Now I don't know about you, but if in my job I gave the same type of weak excuses that MMSD has made lately in their job, my ass would be fired. And know what? Their spokesfolks don't have to work very hard lately to "explain" what happened. They just throw an excuse out there and we take it. Nobody asks any questions - or demands any action. Why are we allowing this to be so easy for them?

How is it that we have no real leverage in this matter?

Or do we? What really is the answer? Is there an answer?

From what I have been told by architects who work with the city, the deep tunnel cannot be "fixed". It's flawed by design. There is no solution by "fixing" the tunnel itself.

Then of course, none of the aldermen wanted their districts ripped up back in the day when we were starting this mess... when we should have separated the sewers to begin with. Now, we are broke because of the pension scandal, other entitlements, and various cash hemmorages and have no way to fund a solution. Like phasing in a separated sewer sytem.

Nope. We're just like much of the nation who has a mountain of debt. After paying the regular bills... the rent, gas, food, a little entertainment... most of us have some cash left over to enjoy life or fund our savings strategy. Those with crippling debt don't have this option and couldn't wiggle out from it if they tried. Welcome to Milwaukee.

I'm not one to ask for handouts. But a big part of economics is positioning. Am I being ignorant, or isn't it possible for the Dems That Be (Doyle, Feingold, Kohl) who want to play the hero card, to reposition some type of funding to fix this problem? By fix I don't mean grant another contract to a Doyle Pal. I'm talking about an actual phased plan to convert our combined sewers into a split sewer system. Will it take being sued by another state to make this finally happen? Why are we so complacent?

Tell you what.

I'd trade my current situation of avoiding the freeway every morning because we have to pretty it up - for waterways and wastewater treatment done right.

(Update 21:22: On the way to the club I was still cranking on this one in my head. Here's what I came up with...yes the government ought to fund it. Because ensuring the stability of the infrastructure is the government's job. Now if they'd only stop doing things that aren't their job....)

Love Me Love Me Love Me, I'm a Liberal!!!

Not really. But I just felt like saying it :)

Or... singing it!

dimanche, avril 02, 2006

Thoughts on "Crude Awakening"

If you don't have a subscription to the WSJ, you're in luck. My Pa is their second editor. Just kidding.

What he is, is a truck driver. Also a very fast reader who happens to retain everything. I wish my college education could have been a fifth of his.

The WSJ has some really great guest columnists, and now and then Pa sends me something that is incredibly insightful. A few weeks ago he gave me an article called Crude Awakening and I've kept a copy of it with me ever since. I can't post it here of course, but since someone else has taken the risk I'll link to it.

Here is the premise. We need to diversify our energy portfolio. Think about it, if we're too heavily invested in any one source of energy we're putting ourselves at risk. Especially if it's not the sources that yield the most energy - I'm talking about uranium and coal. Not wind, not ethanol, or solar.

You should really read the article for full context... but there are two things that jumped out at me:

- Our problems with price are not the result of importing "Foreign Oil" from the Persian Gulf (and furthermore, we are not dependent on Persian Gulf oil). In fact only 5.6% of our oil comes from this part of the world. The rest comes from North American countries. Switching 5.6% of our consumption doesn't seem like such a large number does it? Yet the collective "We" makes such a big stink about emboldening the middle east and going to war for oil.

- We need to rethink the way fuel the power grid and... motor vehicles. In this article the author proposes moving our natural gas to the highway instead of using it to heat buildings. I'll go with him on that because if we power the grid with coal and uranium there would be a significant cost savings (and therefore electricity would be the cheaper way to heat - I'm all for that). The part about natural gas on the highway is still up for grabs as far as I'm concerned... I'll be sold on it when we build more NG refineries. But he makes his points well and maybe I just don't get it yet. After all, I don't have Pa's education. Instead I was taught to feel good about myself for trying. And vindicated for complaining about gas prices in spite of the cost of warm fuzzies like ethanol.

Don't get me started on all the crying over the oil company's profits, either. The government made 2.5x what the oil companies did last year through gas taxes alone. Who's really the greedy entity here?

samedi, avril 01, 2006

I just felt like saying it.

h/t to Ragnar Mentaire at I Am the Force

Your Momma's So Tactical.....

I think I'm in love. I have to have this shirt: