mercredi, mai 31, 2006

Burninating the Ethanol, Burninating the Lock Box


(if you haven't yet, check out Trogdor!)

mardi, mai 30, 2006

Is Blogging An Employment Deal-Breaker?

Aaron, the Podfather, emailed me with an offer I can't refuse. Well, I could if I really wanted to but I won't. The subject is blogging anonymously and doing so almost entirely out of fear of the employer reading the blog.

I am, technically, an anonymous blogger. Although some of the bloggers know me personally, I have used my judgment regarding to whom I'll disclose my identity. Those bloggers who are 100% anonymous are sadly missing out on a good opportunity to meet their peers... but in some cases it must be done.

So why post anonymously? It's important to protect your identity. Nothing illustrates that better than the modern day world and all its modern opportunities to invoke problems for yourself.


So with that, none of what I include here reflects the opinions of my employer. Something I think all bloggers should indicate - and only if it's true.


Is one's blogdom a deal breaker in the employment arena?

I think there are a lot of ways blogging can be interpreted by an employer, especially where the variety of work environments and job types are concerned.

Someone who writes for an ad agency or even the mainstream media would, I think, be encouraged in their blogdom. In positions that are hourly or of a structured environment with a lot of policies, politics and procedures will have significantly less leeway and poses more risk to themselves. When I say that, it's due to employee monitoring via network or spot background checks which are more likely in a structured environment.

If the blogger has poor judgment and decides to blog about their employer, they have to be ready to accept the consequences if they arise. It's incumbent upon the blogger to understand their employment culture and how to position their blogging. For the employer, a blogger can be a serious risk - depending upon their access to information within the company. If they decide to blog about work, they are a risk from the perspective of exposing trade secrets, financial leanings, or even the personal habits or traits of the management they work with or for (a huge safety issue I might add). They’re a risk whether or not they blog about it.

And the risk is on both parties. Employers need to have good selection practices, and employees need to be selective about their actions. Some may argue this, but its' within the employers right to present and position themselves in the media as they please. The employee should respect that especially where sensitive information is concerned. Employment is like any other relationship and is an agreement. They may terminate their relationship with the employer if they choose. They are not bound to them, however, per the agreement of service for pay, I think it's unethical to capitalize on the employer for personal gain or notoriety.

But wait, if the employer has high ethical standards, this shouldn’t be a problem, correct?

Corporate ethics are absolutely indispensable and priceless. And with proper enforcement by a good legal team and a management team of character, they have nothing to lose and everything to avoid. That said, strategic ethics are overall applicable, but individual behavior is more difficult to patrol. A lot of the ethical issues you'll see blogged are those of [peer] individuals and their decisions. Most situations are management calls and should be enforced as such, and it’s incumbent upon the employee to bring it to management’s attention instead of to the world’s without giving the employer a chance to rectify.

Business decisions - ones that affect employees - should not be confused with corporate ethics. It’s hard for people with very little understanding of business and capital philosophy to understand that all the time and know where to apply it. A business decision may not be interpreted as fair by the employee, but it is probably still ethical. This is where things can get dangerous if the person has good computer skills.

Companies should have blogging policies whether they are internal or external, but they should not forbid the blogger from blogging. It's not appropriate to ask employees or candidates if they are bloggers. And employers shouldn't have to patrol blogs if they have a policy in place and have an employment culture of respecting the policies as a term of employment.

And in addition to that, I don't think employers read blogs. They are running a business, and that’s no easy task and takes up most of the day. It's the evil folk who play politics that bring it to other employees' attention. You, as a human being, are responsible for that risk. Like it or not, you will always be subject to the whims of others.

Aaron thought that bloggers, by thoughtful and often analytical nature, would embody many of the traits that an employer would be seeking. I disagree with that… because not all bloggers have the interactive skills that an employer will need for a given position. They might be saving their opinions for later. That’s not appropriate if your position requires persuasive skills or requires some risk, for example. If you’re in an appropriate position, it works out just fine.

Other bloggers, with you know, rueful fervor, might be “bottom line” nose-tackles. If their blogging personality is reflected in real life as such, they might be just what the employer needs.

Most bloggers probably fall comfortably between the two. Kick in the pants opinionated, funny, and hopefully outgoing and persuasive at appropriate times.

At the end of the posting, you are who you are. With your judgment, ethics, and personality. Your employment is an investment and your actions don't have to be in accordance with the employer, but you'd be smart to protect your investment.

It’s Blogger Beware. Blogging is like the gun control argument. Guns don't kill people. Blogs don't get people fired. If that was the case, anyone who ever had a diary would have been fired a long time ago.

Serious Questions

6/1/06 - Note to the reader: In Aaron's posting, he referred to the commentary section as regarding race relations. This posting however is not addressing race relations.


I have some very serious questions for the black community of Milwaukee. And I know I should be long past caring, but I am not. I never will be.

Now. I need the audience to put themselves in a different frame of mind. Depending upon your approach to life, you will need to be very open minded in order to complete this exercise.

Let's suppose that racism does not, and never existed. That slavery never occurred and that black people migrated to the US through the immigration process of all American immigrants. Let's say that the civil rights era was never necessary, because the context of the relationship between blacks and non-blacks was not historically rooted in a racial divide. That the services like education and basic social integration were always a part of black life.

If a magic wand could be waved and all was healed...

What would the black community look like?

What would it feel like?

How would day to day life be conducted? Tell me about the social structure - the morals, the mores, the value system. What would, and would not be tolerated? And would those two sides be either supported or enforced? Would there be nuclear families? How would the children be raised? How would your politicians behave?

How would those basic day to day behaviors that support such a society look like?

And if you did not know, would you be opposed to someone outside of your race, helping you? Would you be open to learning from someone else - as in taking in what they had to teach you and take in that self-sufficing responsibility? Would you not wait for things to happen, and start making your life work, each and every day? Would you demand the same of others, because you have worked hard to create the value of your life?

What would it feel like to own all of it? All of your life? The whole thing?

Can you for one moment imagine how it would feel to cast off everything you once thought about what it meant to make it? Or what it would be like to live in a community where everyone was in some way, shape, and form, on the same page as you are? At least where the basics are concerned?

Everything you could possibly need in order to make it happen is at your disposal. It really is. But you have to let go of everything you ever thought about what it means, because it's the opposite.

If it's going to happen anywhere, it will happen in America.

Murth Mobile

Whenever I hear John Murtha's name, I immediately think of the Mirth Mobile.

Too bad Murtha can do a lot more damage.

lundi, mai 29, 2006


Courtesy of The Burninator!

In case you all have forgotten, the sky is falling. Literally. But first don't forget the glaciers are falling. This can only be remedied by our banding together and smoking shitloads of nature and exhaling it into the atmosphere - enough to soothe the distress of the ice shelves which are really, really pissed off at us dude.

Today the BBC had this report on Al Gore's recent remarks at the Hay Festival. You know, stuff like this:
"He said the only way to bring about the change was 'a sea change in the public's understanding and opinion'".

Which immediately gave me flashbacks to this afternoon as I was walking in to Alterra at the lakefront. I couple of unwashed and uncombed asked me if I had a minute for the environment. (Note: They used to ask if you had a minute for Greenpeace, now it's for the environment, on which they have a representation monopoly. We need hearings). So they asked me if I had a minute for the environment. I shook my head no, and had one of those awkward moments where my inner child wanted to leap out and yell something and cause a scene. You know, something like "F no, I don't have a minute for Indoctrination".

So my point. Al's comment. Their comments. It's not about changing minds. It's all about owning minds. This one ain't for sale.

(Al and Trogdor the Burninator. Separated at Birth?)

Happy Memorial Day

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who has come before us and is with us now defending our freedoms despite wind, rain, snow, sand, heat, and worst of all, the media.

Some of you have given your lives. Some of you have dedicated your lives. Some of you have sacrificed your lives in the forms of long lived memories, the triumphant and the painful. Your families have stood by you and made the same sacrifices and greeted you with open arms - big and small - upon your return.

We as a nation cannot exist without you and your dedication and moral unity. I support you and thank you for all you have done. Right down to the walks I take in my neighborhood, the afternoon drives while barefoot, the purchases I can readily make when I need them, and my simple existence as a free woman, free of oppression and tyranny. Here to live my life as I choose within and according to the God given, moral and ethical code that this nation stands for.

I salute you.

Today please stop by my flickr album and see my photos and footage of the Blue Angels, taken at the former 440th last summer.

The angels firing up

The Pilots filing in

And.... my favorite, the Angels filing to the runway.

Demure Thoughts

I love to read Demure Thoughts. Jen says it like it is and more. Sometimes people try to say it like it is and they sound crazy (see: Xoff, Vogler), but when you're a smart cookie, you don't need to worry about that shit!

She had one specific post on Susan Sarandon which was why I linked to her to begin with, she just went off on her. I can't find it now, but trust me, it was one for the ages!

dimanche, mai 28, 2006

I Hope Neil Young Will Remember

South of the border don't need him around, anyhow.

While I've always loved your work, your latest sounds like it was written by a pack of fifth graders.

Go sing it on the steps of your parliament. But first pay your taxes. You know, your protest song permit.

The Dope Man's Toaster Oven

I'm just sayin. I have come to start calling these the Dope Man's Toaster Oven.

The DMTO must be the way you know you've made it in dopedealerdom, because this shit isn't cheap. I can't imagine how they can pay for this and still have money left over for anything else. Winners of the Dope Man's Toaster Oven must really have hit their sales and/or recruiting targets.

These are bad examples of what I'm talking about. I'll get some real ones. You know, with really shitty orange-skin paint jobs or wavy compound with high gloss finishes. Teal or Robin's Egg Blue. Or Velvet Purple.

When I see a real classic defiled, I have to avert my eyes. It's just too much for me to take.

Spotted Asshats

Great job Chris!

samedi, mai 27, 2006

50 Conservative Tunes

h/t to Charlie Sykes.

Check out 50 Conservative Tunes at National Review.

Good stuff, I don't agree with all of it, like #37 and a couple of others, but in all it's confirmed many of the artists/songs I've always thought of as conservative. As a more libertarian type, Rush tops my list - esp "Trees" (The trees are all kept equal / By hatchet, axe, and saw).

Bloggin' From The Porch

What could ruin such a lovely moment? Late afternoon on the porch, sheryl crow cowboy hat and iced darjeeling tea and all?

My stupid neighbors.

For the record, I only have one set of stupid neighbors.

A long time ago my pa made a statement about our neighbor's dog: Mental Dogs Have Mental Owners".

I can't agree more. Many afternoons/evenings in the living room or on the porch have been interrupted by...

Repeat 30x

Repeat about 15x

Once in a great while....

"Bud-dee" started walking off this afternoon, and I sat here patiently watching him stroll down the street, piddling anywhere possible. He wasn't moving fast enough. I wanted to see Bud-dee just keep moving. Then she came out of the house, the 13 year old. She discovered this. normal fashion, stood at her stoop and yelled and yelled and yelled to him.

She walked toward him and must have followed him around the block, leashless. The girl made it back to the house first where she sat her lazy ass on the stoop and called to him. Then, the crowning jewel: "Mom, Buddy won't come here".

No wonder this woman is unmarried with kids.

Now they've all taken off in the van and left the girl's bike out front. At 4:30. any minute now, I will be witness again to another incident, kids strolling by and strolling off with the bike. Hope they take their dog Buddy, too.

vendredi, mai 26, 2006

The Return of The Femcast

Femcast Revisted. Femcast II.

Stay tuned peeps, Aaron will be posting the 'cast this weekend!

It stars yours truly as in moi, Yours Truly as in the one and only Yours Truly, and the wonderful, hard-working and recently graduated Belle!

All kinds of wonder and suprises... should be a good time once Aaron edits out all of our laughter.

I know which one I am in the pic. Now, is the fourth Aaron, or someone else?

jeudi, mai 25, 2006

This IS Thriller!!!!


(I couldn't resist, sorry, bad joke...)

Mini, Mini, Mini McGee. Okay first question, why, to begin with, did From Whence It Came* see it necessary to change his maiden name, and that of his son?

Does junior now detest being called Mini McGee....can't handle it, and instead of handling it wants to change his name?

Or do the many charges against him - as noted on CCAP - in the name of Mini McGee amount to too much? So now he won't DBA McGee?

Because one thing is for sure, going Jackson isn't a step in a more "black direction".

One thing I heard this morning that was an embarassment to the Early Spin, was a caller who posed the question "What's the name of Janet Jackson's odd alter ego". For one, it's not her alter ego, it's her damn middle name. And it's not Demitra Jo, it's Damita Jo. Bad for the Early Spin to just immediately respond that "the whole family is weird" after hearing this guy's incorrect comment!

* Sr. McGee

mercredi, mai 24, 2006

Must.... Stay.... Focused....

My goal this evening is to throw the American Idol vote. Oh yes, I plan to make votes based upon who's prettiest or cutest or whatever.

I want to cancel out the vote of someone who like totally means it and has like watched all season and stuff and has even, you know, dreamed of this evening just so they could vote and all.

Best yet? I'm gonna call from three different phone numbers. Granted, all the phone numbers actually exist and unfortunately they all belong to me... I'm sure I could get out there and steal a cell phone or two and make calls on behalf of other people....

But the bastards. They bought out Burt Bacharach. THEN thier asses bought out Dionne Warwick and she sounded infuckingcredible.

They're on to me....

h/t to Jay Weber!

(and yes, Jay, the hunting photo is great)

UPDATE: Clearly, I don't understand the system of American Idol and how it works. You know, there are a lot of people that do though. Had this not been a Test but a Real Election..... well, you get my drift.....

It's Pointing Day at the Drudge Report

mardi, mai 23, 2006

It's That Orange Blossom Special

...bringing my baby back.

The Orange Blossom Special is possibly the most recognizable fiddle tune of all time. I know that at least for me, it's one of my favorite songs, ever.

It's an interesting story. I'll make it brief so I can get on to what I love about it. The OBS was written in the 30's by a fiddler named Ervin Rouse... to call Ervin a Talent or a Prodigy or simply an amazing fiddler would be doing him a disservice. He was all of those things and more. He was also one of those people who can do one thing well and the rest of their lives and minds leave much to be desired. Ervin was schizophrenic and considered an Idiot Savant type at the time.

So while he was an outstanding fiddler, he was not much of a composer. But one of his compositions was the Orange Blossom Special, which was written about a train that traveled the eastern seaboard. The OBS train itself was a very big deal at its time. All the way from New York to southern Florida.

For many years it was a steam train...and then it was a diesel. Funny thing is, the song itself was kind of written about the diesel. Why is it funny? Or... at least odd?

The genius of the tune, is in its imitation of the sound and character of a steam engine. If you've ever really listened to or witnessed or simply had a love for steam, you're aware of the utter sense of the life of the engine. It has a heartbeat, a cadence, a buildup and a build down. It blows off steam, it announces itself... it eats, it breathes and it screams. You can almost associate a personality with a steam engine.

What separates the fiddle from most instruments is that it can imitate, very closely, many sounds in life. In this tune, the fiddler can imitate the bells, whistles, and sound of the train. I'll show you a few examples in a minute.

But what makes a great Orange Blossom Special? Many bands and artists have covered it, or simply played it. But not all collaborations play with it or perform it. In my humble opinion, there are a few things that make a version special:

- Proper fiddling. OBS can sound simple but it has an enormous amount of steps and notes that go into each bar. Many fiddlers breeze right over a lot of the notes because they're playing it by ear, which is fine, but they lose much of the character of the sound of the train. Without all of the steps and notes, you don't have the full beat of the train sound. I mean, a train doesn't skip a'd skip the track altogether.

- Leave the drums at home. It drowns out the beat created by the tune.

- A little improvisation. Make it yours.

- Passion. You should want to get up when you hear it.

- Musicianship. It's just got to sound right. You know a good OBS when you hear it.

Now. These are a few of my favorite versions :) In particular order, too...

Earl Scruggs and Roy Acuff. This is a classic arrangement by a group of bluegrass masters. There are no drums, fabulous banjo accompaniment by Scruggs. And practically expert fiddling... the clacking in particular is amazing.

Vassar Clements. Vassar makes it sound easy....that's because he speaks and thinks in fiddle. While this version has drums, I happen to like it because I grew up hearing this off the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will The Circle Be Unbroken". That album was a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration of some bluegrass and country legends... people who were good at what they did and were serious musicians. It's one of those versions that falls under the "Musicianship" category. For the record, the visual resemblance of Vassar Clements to Ervin Rouse is uncanny. I have a theory that there is some relation somewhere.

Johnny Cash. I love this particular version of OBS which was recorded at Folsom Prison in about 1955 from what I understand. Cash did NOT use any fiddle, he used two harmonicas, one in C and one in D. The man in black didn't play harmonica, but he did for this song. What I love about this version is that he shifts the sound and cadence of the train to the drum and guitar. It mimics the sound of the mechanics perfectly and keeps the beat of the song, although slower, and allowed Johnny Cash to sing the lyrics with his brilliant, resonant voice. His delivery just floats over the music and takes you along for the ride. Whenever I sing it in my head, this is how I sing it. (It's off the At Folsom Prison (Live) CD)

Johnny Gimble and Texas Swing. This is a very playful, well arranged version. The fiddling hits all of the notes and steps and musically illustrates the "ambling along" of the train on its journey. They incorporate a little narrative showing which parts are the whistle, bells, and train. And... this is the version where they create the sounds of a diesel, a donkey, a cow... it's good.

Last but not least. I stumbled across this version recently by Old and In The Way. It's a down home, hick, hillbilly, Americana version of the song. Very much proper fiddling, musicianship, no drums, and just good.

So if the song was written by this obscure, great fiddler, how did it become a classic? One evening Ervin Rouse sat down with a well known country musician by the name of Chubby Wise. They put words to it....shaped it.... put air in its lungs and made it into the song we know today. Chubby was the one to popularize it and introduce it to the masses. He had a happier ending than Ervin who sort of "retired" to the Everglades and brought his fiddle with him to the local bars and play. He'd remind folks of his accomplishment, but I imagine it's one of those situations where people said... "okay." He died of many physical ailments, most of which were associated with his alcoholism.

It was a stroke of genius on Rouse's part... bringing this incredible, immortal tune into the fabric of American music. Inspiration is a funny, quirky, sometimes overwhelming and amazing touch of spirit. I guess that "Inspiration" is the perfect word for it.

So Can It Help Keep Business In the City?

Badger Mutual is paying for 16 surveillance cameras to be mounted along National Avenue between 16th and 27th streets.

So is it an investment in the community, or is it their way of trying to keep their headquarters in the city? And if it's the former, will it produce any safer of a community?

I'm not so sure it'll stop crime. It'll move it "inland" to the side streets, possibly, but I think there is only one thing criminals understand, and that's force. Ever dealt with a criminal? I'm talking about people who commit the types of crimes they want to surveil: prostitution, drug dealing, pandhandling, and intimidating people. These types of criminals are desperate and they aren't thinking about what they're doing. A camera isn't something that's going deter them - they won't make the connection between camera/gonna getcha. So what does that leave us? Footage of crimes.

Ah, Demotivation

A demotivated h/t to Nick!

Still Irrelevant

..... it's because she's more enlightened than we are and understands this in secret ways that only the silk ribbon around her wrist can explain. Silly rabbits.

Rot in hell. But go take care of your kids and husband first

It's The Courthouse. Serve Them Their Papers.

"Six gulls diligently tending to three nests atop the last remnant of the courthouse annex overlooking the Marquette Interchange are being forcibly evicted."

They're BIRDS.

And as animals they look for opportunities.

This is why I quit journalism. This crap. And look how well I turned out. eheheheh

dimanche, mai 21, 2006

Quelle Suprise!

Joyce Garbaciak is moving to 12. When they said they were announcing the addition of a familiar face, I was expecting it to be Mike Gousha (and yes, I know that he said his course was undetermined). I'm glad for her.

One change I would like to see is for Channel 4 to dump the creepy and useless Mark LaPointe. ::Shudder::

The Innocent Bystander

Chicks have a trick, which is to surround yourself with less attractive/less in shape women than yourself. You know the drill: it's to draw attention to one woman as the Most Attractive.

Now and then I wonder if Belling uses this method on his TV show. In particular, the use of Joel McNally. Every week the guy sounds completely unhinged and clueless and it gives Belling the opportunity to point out that the flip side of whatever issue he's talking about, is McNally.

I don't know about you all, but every time the camera pans to him I flinch. It's not necessarily his position and ideas, which I disagree with, it's the fact that he is always, ALWAYS, shtraight outta 1978. The hair, the brown suit, the orange stripey ties, and the 1982 Brewers ball club mustache. Talk about being stuck in time. He probably has Carter flashbacks on a daily basis.

I know I kinda do, but they're remedied by thoughts of Reagan.

Congrats to Belle!

It's Belle's graduation day!

Way to go Belle, best wishes for a bright future.

Do Ya?

Ever since Wigs posted about Jeff Lynne and ELO, I've had the Travelling Wilburys album going through my head. So last night (yes last night) I spent about an hour trying to dig up my copy. I forgot, it's on.... cassette....

I do love Jeff Lynne and ELO, it reminds me of easy summer days in the early 80's. But what reminds me of Jeff Lynne.... is all the guys in leisure suits on Halloween with their 'fro wigs on. Anyone else get that?

jeudi, mai 18, 2006

Is That A Gun In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To Be Here?

Fellas. You all need to stop swinging those things around and be grown ups.

And I'm not talking about the guns. I'm talking about the egos.

It's a wonderful thing to have the NRA convention here in Milwaukee. I can't think of a better place to be honest. And despite all the huffing and puffing between city officials and the NRA, I think people and businesses are pretty chuffed to have that convention income in our pockets. The attention on the city as A Place To Hold A Convention isn't too shabby, either.

So anyhow, here's what I'm seeing from city officials and the NRA in the past few days:

- Don't Go There. Make a commitment not to confiscate weapons from the citizens, especially in times of disaster. Well, I agree with this to some extent, with the only caveat being that law enforcement better confiscate weapons from criminals, disaster or not. I mean, if law abiding citizens don't stop them in their tracks, first.

- Can You Call Your People Off? The Mayor's invited the NRA for tea and discussion about illegal guns and violence. What's that got to do with the NRA? They represent legal gun owners and law abiding citizens. Shouldn't the mayor be meeting with the police, aldermen/women, and "community leaders" to come up with solutions, since they're a hell of a lot closer to the problem? It's like asking HR to manage your employees' performance.

- Girls With Guns. Women are apparently the fastest growing demographic of the handgun market. I say it's about time. Most women I know who are gun owners are some pretty straight up individuals (which isn't to discredit all the crazy women who own guns). That said, I think it's fine and dandy for ladies to pack heat. And any woman who's been followed on foot or targeted knows what I'm talking about.

Now for MY take on all this. My take is pretty simple. We're one of the last states to allow concealed carry in a country whose constitution upholds the rights of the citizenry to bear arms. Except if you bring them out of your house, then we'll arrest your ass. At least in Wisconsin.

This isn't the purpose of the NRA's choice of Milwaukee for the convention, but it sure doesn't hurt the cause. People in this state need a kick in the ass to be motivated to do anything. You all know what I'm talking about. In many other states, especially on the east coast, people don't diddle around about things or cackle and run about flapping like a bunch of hens in the morning.

That is - the few here who DO make a squawk.

People in this state have a major problem with motivation and I don't know if it has to do with the fact that Wisconsin has a tradition of assaulting its citizens with rules, laws, and other restrictive/ confiscatory bullshit that we just take.

It's getting better. And in my opinion, I think it may be generational as well as concurrent with technological advances as well as the evolution of how we get/exchange information.

I hope the NRA can put a smoking barrel under the ginormous ass of Wisconsin and therefore help motivate us to get concealed carry.

Grandaddy Has Arrived

Seems like everyone and their uncle is googling the "Nature Anthem" by Grandaddy!

I must have gotten almost 200 hits on it so far.

Oh, and the video is really cute. Yes, it makes me think of camp!

mercredi, mai 17, 2006

What's Better Than Not Getting It?

Showing the whole world just how little you get it.

Is there anything they do get?

Anyone who has ever used their ass to close the door of a crammed cutlass supreme, sat on a suitcase to close it, laid on the floor writhing and pulling the button and buttonhole together knows that you can't cram square pegs into round holes.

But if it makes you feel better to find one or two instances to support your misperceptions... go ahead and be my guest. You have a MUCH larger audience to do that in front of.

PS to Chris: "Asshats!"

I'd Love A Copy of This Mini McMugshot

Well if you're going to violate the law, you might as well get it over with and do it right in front of the cops.

Mini McGee was arrested IN COURT for violating a restraining order against citizen Rucker.

Rule number one when you're in court and it involves a restraining order... maintain your credibility and position. This can only happen when you have your emotions (and if you're the victim, your fear) in check. And from personal experience with such a situation, the judge can *always* smell the crazy person in the room. Who's the perp. Tsk tsk tsk...

(if anyone gets a copy of the mugshot, please flip it phel's way!)

Pretty Fly For A White Guy

Sorry folks, I know it's been a slightly junk food laden cast here at the Confidentials for a few days, but I think I'm not the only blogger on the coast right now!

You'll all be sorry when in like, I don't know, 30 minutes when I'm pissed off again.

lundi, mai 15, 2006

A Devious But Brilliant Scheme

(Yet another oldie from the draft archives... wrote this after posting the pic of Mav and whatever old playstation relic he was on)

I was talking with SliverTomCat after the overwhelming response to the posting on male kryptonite aka Video Games.

She said, and I cut and paste:

"I think we have found the answer to my prayers. I am going to start wearing "playstation" and "Nintendo" for hire T-shirts! It is brilliant!!!!! You saw how crazy they all went over that picture of Mav, they won't be able to keep their hands off of me!!

Mawahahahahahahaha ...... oh this is too good."

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to spring!!!

dimanche, mai 14, 2006

Say Mac, Can You Help A Lake That's Down On Its Luck?

How did Charlie Sykes put it, Bohica? Bend Over Here It Comes Again?

I was at JSonline today (I can read now that my hangover has lifted) and saw the story about our newest invasive species, the Quagga mussel. Most people in Wisconsin have seen the pictures of items covered in Zebra mussels...and have heard of intake maintenance nightmares for local companies.

Remember that? I guess those were the good old days.

The Quagga mussel has all but wiped out the zebra mussel within a few years' time. That's not good, there are zillions more quaggas than we ever had of zebras, and the damage they do is scores worse.

I'm starting to wonder if the conclusions I've had over the years about the horrible stench at the beach were misguided. Apparently the Quaggas filter all of the plankton out of the nearshore areas and this causes the rancid algae that builds up along the shores and the beaches. The past five years in particular have been some of the stinkiest times I can remember along the lake, and apparently, that rise has been concurrent with the rise in Quaggas. The JS Online article features an interview with Tom Nalepa, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory:

Nalepa says a recent survey of 160 sites across Lake Michigan show a complete flip-flop in the invasive mussel population. In 2000, zebra mussels made up 98.3%. In 2005, quaggas made up 97.7%.

But Nalepa says a more worrisome figure is the "stunning increase" in the number of overall invasive mussels now found on the lake bottom.

In 2000, Nalepa says, his survey showed an average of 899 zebra mussels per square meter of lake bottom at those 160 sites. Quagga mussels now average 7,790 per square meter of lake bottom.

That IS a stunning increase. And apparently these critters, unlike the zebra, can colonize in almost any conditions (except mud, which Lake Michigan has little of) including very deep cold waters. Here is one effect observed on fishing:

University of Michigan researcher David Jude says a research expedition netting fish off Lake Michigan's eastern shore last month yielded a surprise catch. "We probably had a half-pound of fish and 600 or 700 pounds of quaggas. . . . I could barely get it in the boat," Jude says.

That came after dragging a net for 10 minutes across the bottom of the lake at a depth of about 300 feet - too deep for other invasive mussels.

This is one susceptible lake that's down on it's luck. Many more invasive species are in the waters that we don't hear about such as the Sea Lamprey (attaches to fish and sucks out its fluids, eventually killing the fish) which have in recent years been somewhat brought under control and of course, Asian Carp. I think the Asian Carp are going to be a very big problem if they manage to get through the much-debated barrier in Chicago. I'm not sure any price is too high to protect Lake Michigan from this terrible fish.

This is a very good article about invasive species in fresh waterways.

I guess my purpose of this post is more to inform, I have no idea how invasive species can be controlled outside of not bringing them here in the first place. We have a lot of issues that look similar to this though. Think about it.

samedi, mai 13, 2006

The Only 1952 Babe In tha hOWse!

Wore said dress to a wedding this evening...

Will post pics tomorrow of said finished dress. In a sea of little black dresses, I was an island of hand made perfection. Someone's gotta do it. It might as well be... moi :)

vendredi, mai 12, 2006

Crazy Old Boyfriend Quotes

"My lifelong wishes have been fulfilled: a drippin' wet woman in a bathrobe holding a pot of mashed potatoes"

- Time-pressed prep for dinner, Christmas 2005, insane (but funny) ex-boyfriend

"I think I am going to change my name to Tortilla The Hun"

- Tex Mex breakfast. Date and time undocumented, somewhere on the east side, 2006

jeudi, mai 11, 2006

I want to walk up the side of the mountain

"...I want to walk down the other side of the mountain
I want to swim in the river and lie in the sun
I want to try to be nice to everyone"

Note: I want to try to be nice to everyone! Some folks make that a little hard :)

I have had this song going through my head all day. I swear this was a camp song.... yep I was a camp counselor!

mercredi, mai 10, 2006

Don't Hate on '08

Brian Fraley has a nice discussion going on '08 candidates. I have feelings here and there about some of the would-be candidates but nothing in particular yet.

I just know what I don't want and that's no way to want.

What I wrote is that I'd prefer a Slade Gorton to a John McCain.

Although the political landscape has changed so significantly that people with good decision making skills and penchant for policy can no longer simply go to Washington to do their job. We are now rife with grandstanding and popularity contests. Washington is now little more than a reflection of Reality TV and the Red Carpet.

I would like to believe we are not doomed, but I do, in a sense, think it's high time to 'throw the bums out' again. None of the interests they are listening to our OUR interests. They're all just having a massive hookup with lobbyists, fringe interest groups, lawyers, Hollywood, and people who have no real concept of what issues really are and what they mean to America or what it stands for. We and they have listened to too many people who have led us astray and we need to remember who America is.

So I'm going to try to avoid hating on 08. But if anyone wants my attention now, they better start laying down the law on what's going to be tolerated on election day. I don't want to hear any of this bullshit about disenfranchising people when I haven't heard the latest grandstand about how we're fixing the system. If I've missed it, say so.

I'll stop now because politics IS the new crack cocaine and I am apparently on a bender!!!

Headline-Napping... or Blog Envy

I'm going to have to steal from another blogger. Okay maybe it's blog envy, especially because Nick can run more than three miles straight right now (unlike some of us who are getting back into the swing of high impact), or perhaps it was just his very good idea.

Nick's provided a list of headlines from his blog post Drafts. I took a look at mine. I have some work to do, I think. Or perhaps I need therapy.

Work is cheaper :)

Here they are... if any are particularly interesting I can expand upon them at a later date:

A Devious But Brilliant Scheme
Key Limes, How Do I Love Thee?
Crazy Old Boyfriend Quote (a la "I just felt like saying it")
High Fructose Corn Syrup: The Other Inefficient Fuel
Whatta Pain in the Entrails
Mariah Carey Called, She Wants Her Megalomania Back

Well... the last one would have been about Feingold but I tend to invoke it a lot. Perhaps it doesn't count....

mardi, mai 09, 2006

Who Was The Three-Headed Guy In "The Holy Grail"?

I loved this.

I knew what it was as I read it... but I have this creative, wandering mind...

(Good Casper!)

Response from the Mayor

We'll see what, if anything, comes next.

"Ms. ___:

My office has asked the police chief to look into this. She has
confirmed she is investigating the situation.

I share your concerns. Please feel free to let me know if I can be of any further assistance.


Tom Barrett

Update on Animal Behavior...

I'll have more to say about this later.... I'm not awake yet.

Here is a most recent update from the person in the Heights whose family was pursued by the gang.

And apparently, the Washington Heights Yahoo group will pick the types of responses that get posted on the group's board. God Bless Blogging...

"I spoke to Alderman Murphy who contacted the police chief at our district, an officer came by today and spoke to me, the vehicle in question was stolen and is as yet unrecovered. I did not get any explanation as to why there was no police response to our call. Upon further conversation with my husband this evening I found out that after we had been pursued and an attempt had been made to run us off the road he asked the dispatcher how far away the police were, we had been on the phone for several minutes at this time, and she replied that a squad had NOT YET been dispatched, apparently they never were! Thank you to all those who sent such supportive emails, now, more obviously than ever, we need to look out for each other. I will update again if I get any further information."

lundi, mai 08, 2006

Vivaaaa..... Las Vegas!


I'm gonna need you to come in tomorrow.... so if you could be here about.... niiiiiine....

...that would be grrrreaaaat

Way to go Mav! Hope some of your peeps will help you with the move.

"Betta than anything you have heah in the Laas Veeegas"

This is Animal Behavior

Thank God we have the internet to alert each other. This was posted through our neighborhood watch group. If you live in the Heights, don't be hesitant to report this crap:

"Last night at about 9.30pm my family and I were returning home, we noticed several small groups of young black males on Vine between 52nd and 53rd. We turned into the alley between 52nd and 53rd and saw a Chevy van parked on an apron, we pulled up just past the van and all of the black males then walked into the alley just behind us, there were about 10-12 of them. My husband called the police on his cell to inform them of suspicious behavior at which point the gang began to chase us north up the alley, they pursued us on foot and obviously we kept in front of them, about ¾ of the way up the alley they cut through to 52nd and assumedly met the van which had reversed out of the alley and driven up 52nd. We saw the van on52nd and Lloyd and took down the license plate at which point the van began to pursue us, then then pulled along side and attempted to run us off the road, we were on the phone to 911 the whole time, giving directions and plate number etc, the 911 operators response was mostly along the lines of “uh huh” . We then chased the van for several blocks, giving 911 details on where they were and the direction in which they were heading but the police failed to show up during this time, we finally gave up chase and came home. We then waited for the squad to come that we had requested to report this incident and the squad also never arrived, we waited until 10.45 (an hour and 15 minutes) then called and were told that if we couldn’t wait up any longer they would cancel the the car. I will be calling the alderman this morning to report both this incident and the lack of police response to it."

I forwarded this to the Sheriff because of 911's response and the lack of Police response. I also replied to the sender and said they should forget about the Alderman, who will do nothing, and go right to the Police Chief. I know they should in theory go to the head of the 3rd district, but forget it, that person needs consequences that are swift.

I'll be following up with these folks. It may be time to pack it up.

UPDATE: I have also forwarded this to the Mayor, pointing out that this is on HIS back doorstep. And, I also pointed out that if the current residents leave or are chased out, the next group of residents probably won't care this much.

5:58: Patrick Curley from the Mayor's office posted on the WHNA Yahoo club that he has "forwarded the email to the Chief's office". I don't hear any exhales...or spell check:
"Lorraine, I forwraded your email over to the Chief's office. Very disturbing information. I'll kep you posted. Thnaks for contacting us. Patrick Curley"

vendredi, mai 05, 2006

Yes, Of Course He Has A Problem

....his problem is that he is a Kennedy.

And he's cursed with having people around him and related to him who are concerned about power. The capitol police, the party powers that be, The Family itself, and probably many other interests that we know nothing about.

It's not who Patrick Kennedy is, it's the leverage he represents. It's the people who have a vested interest in his very existence.

Everyone around him made some disturbing decisions that night and I'm glad we're seeing all of this in the light of day. How ironic it is that over the past x amount of weeks we've been defending the Capitol police over the McKinney incident (and rightfully so, because the officer was doing his job), only to have the rank of the CP demonstrate lawless behavior that goes against the actions of the file, who are only trying to do their jobs.

Kennedy himself gets no sympathy from me. It's a shame he's addicted to substances and has emotional problems, and it's a shame he was born into the Kennedy family. But his life is still his.

Mr. Kennedy, if you want to declare your problems as a first step to getting help, do it in front of the mirror. By doing so in front of the rest of us you aren't facing anything or doing anything heroic or honorable. You're just looking for a pat on the back and the attention to further divert you from dealing with your problems.

jeudi, mai 04, 2006

The Goddess Has Returned!

And she has been appeased!

To the tune of about $75...

I traveled far on foot over the hills of Brookfield with the Goddess on my trusty Swedish mule's back in search of the man they called the Guy Who Knows His Old Singers. When I arrived the three ladies who shared a monacle drummed their fingers together and taunted the Goddess and didn't believe she was Who She Is. They doubted her prowess.

After hearing how antiquated she is (uhm, yeah she's immortal - she's gear driven and not belt and pulley driven or subject to obsoletion via hardware upgrades!) ahem. After hearing how antiquated she is and how the new machines can do embroidery, I kindly asked:

"Could I please speak to the man who will be fixing my machine?"

The "yarrrrrr!(s)" ensued and they tossed the monacle between themselves in disgust but I got to see my man. The Guy Who Knows His Old Singers.

He was glowing at the mere sight of The Goddess in her pristine condition. Transfixed, if you will. The Goddess was appeased and it was a happy ending.

Now she is home where she belongs, ready to take on the challenges of the patterns of her time. Welcome home, dear.

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

Transit in Milwaukee right now is a lot like economics, which is a matter of positioning.

For a while I took the freeway even during construction. But the project's at a different level and I don't need to subject myself to sitting through it. And you know, the fact that my fuel pump died on the temporary ramp from 94 east to 43 north a few days before Christmas sort of sealed the deal. Till this day I'll contest that if the guy in front of me who didn't know how to handle a utility truck would have stepped on it a little and I didn't have to keep downshifting in normal speed conditions, none of that would have happened.

At least I had enough sense to use what power was left to pull out of traffic.

Alright I digress. Construction picked up after that time and I couldn't take the freeway anymore. A 13 minute drive to work was lasting 45 minutes or more depending upon time. 45 was the best I was averaging.

Since that time I've been going through the city to get to work. Now this means that I go through the inner city. This isn't something that bothers me because I'm the Queen of Ghetto Routes but even my resolve is starting to be tested with all of the shootings we are having in the city. Throughout the History of Jones I've had pretty good safety karma in this department, but with the sharp increase in shootings, my odds of being near a shooting have increased.

And these are only the shootings we hear of. Shots are fired in the city all the damn time.

I'm kind of concerned about my lack of options now. I drive stick and there is no way I'll subject my car to construction conditions and I'm not going to reroute to a given perimeter and burn up precious fuel and scree. To reiterate one of my earlier postings, I'm just a little concerned about summer and that's defensible with our crime and activity statistics.

Well This Is Encouraging...

From JSOnline....

Bucyrus earnings up 59%
Bucyrus International (BUCY), said first-quarter earnings soared 59% as sales of new machines nearly doubled.The South Milwaukee mining equipment company said net income rose to $14.5 million, or 46 cents a share, from $9.1 million, or 29 cents, a year ago. Sales were up 57% to $165.6 million. The company had $53.5 million in new-machine sales, up 93% from a year earlier.

I hope that means just what it looks like.

More mining. Use of coal. More diverse sources of energy (and, I hope, less use of natural gas by power companies).

Jaime Pressley Is Hella Cool

And she is a fabulous actress in her role on My Name Is Earl.

I think she was born to play the role of Joy. Why can't all loud, ignorant people be as funny???

It's A "Wish-I-Had-Photoshop" Day

I would have a field day creating this image.

mercredi, mai 03, 2006

Is It, Or Isn't It?

Let's be clear about something. Running for office and urging someone to do so is as American as baseball and apple pie. It's who we are.

So should you be publicly chastised for stating who you think should run for office?

One explanation of Libel, Slander and Defamation is as follows:
"In English and American law, and systems based on them,
libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of publishing (meaning to a third party) a false statement that negatively affects someone's reputation. "Defamation" is the term generally used internationally, and is accordingly used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between 'libel' and 'slander'."
Defamation could, albeit loosely, be applied to the Spice Boys' instance of calling Clint "wacky". It's not exactly the term itself that's a problem, as much as the manner in which they characterize him. To Carvillize it, "it's the intent, stupid".

It's also pretty bold since Clint's blog shows his name. It makes a public statement to a wider audience by a mainstream media outlet, that Clint is x, y, or z without having much knowledge of him. Now of course Clint can respond in his own arena, but you get my point, it's not the same thing.

How nice to see the Spice Boys continue to miss the point. Good job fellas, we are widely entertained by your demonstrated lack of journalistic prowess.

lundi, mai 01, 2006

Drinking Conservatively a bit of an oxymoron when you're celebrating, but a few of us managed to do so this here evening. Heck we even pulled in heavy artillery: prank calls to Elliot.

Yesiree a small gaggle of us got together this evening to celebrate Day Without Illegal Immigrants. Which you know, is not limited to any particular race or ethnicity. If you've been paying attention you'll note that it's all about whether or not one breaks the law to be a part of our wonderful experiment, these here United States.

So it was Aaron, A Significant Friend of Aaron's Who Shall Remain Nameless For Now, Casper, and myself (Jones). And you know if you're going to kick off an event or a week you might as well do it with Gusto on a Monday evening.

(For those of you who done all missed us, we warned you here and here). (So there).

We spent some amount of time talking about blogging and the issues we blog about. One in particular was the topic of the evening which was of course Today. We also ran amuck with discussions about future topics on The Podfather's podcasts (stay tuned, folks), Co-Blogger at Ask Me Later Ramon Fabulosa (who later stopped by for a prank call to Elliot), Casper's Digideroo playing, Aaron's adventures in Giving An Offer A Blogger Can't refuse, and you know, my insight into dating a local conservative of notoriety who shall remain nameless. Did I say that?

Did I mention we prank called Elliot?

Uhm. I mean Ramon did?

So, I am still feeling the affects of said evening.

And now for the Piece De La Resistance of the evening...the one and only thing we had as an output besides a bar tab......

Aaron offered up the idea of a blogger calendar. Now who would buy such a thing is yet to be determined and we might have to invest in stem cell research or cloning in order to have an audience...but how fun would it be to have Casper and Elliot squirrel it out for the coveted title of Mr. January? All I can see is either of them in a surprised, demure pose shyly covering their polka-dotted boxers from behind.

Come on. You can see it, too.

So on the way home in honor of such a happy and entertaining event, I listened to Zap Mama, Abdullah Ibrahim, and of course, Ladysmith Black outer space!!!

It ain't the digideroo, but still joyous :)


POST DRINKING SCRIPT: Thanks Casper, Sorry Casper. Aaron your stats should now be through the roof.

FULLY SOBER POST DRINKING SCRIPT: Yeah, the first 30 second of the call were prank, the rest was a how-do-you-do.... but I mean, it was kinda pranky!

FULLY SOBER POST POST DRINKING SCRIPT: Casper, I take that all back. You didn't call me on my brutal mispelling of "didgeridoo".


Vintage Sesame Street

I am just dyin' up in heah!!!

Day Without Enablers


The mayor and Wisconsin senators will appear at today's Day without immigrants rally at the lakefront. Does anyone else...kinda see a problem with this???

Why the (honk) wouldn't they be advocating policy change so that it's somehow easier to come here legally??? I mean if you think America is so great (and it IS) that you want to be an elected representative here, why aren't you fighting to protect the integrity of the system?

Perhaps I should knock Barrett's door on the way in to work. Nice and early.