mercredi, juin 28, 2006

Let Me Guess....

....Cindy Sheehan is going to "fast" for two months

Smoke and mirrors, all of it. You can bet fasting means protein shakes. Or closet feeding or intravenous nutrition... or other Oprah-ization of yet another practice intended to be difficult or an exercise in discipline.

Amateurs. All of them. Leave the heavy lifting to 98 pound models.

Jay Needs A Bun Sitter

No, not a bun sitter as in couch potato sitting on your buns... but a dear soul who will watch his pet rabbit for a few weeks.

Note: Bunnies pictured may not reflect actual buns to be sat! In fact, it might be a bun I know and love. And Clint, she's a little too old and tough to be dinner!

mardi, juin 27, 2006

Aaron is Almost Ready For An Intern

Aaron has his first commercial for senate up and running. How hard can it be to run against Nobody's Senator? We're about to find out.

lundi, juin 26, 2006

The Time Has Come

For me to put my sewing skills to real use.

Yes, I do believe I have recieved my calling. To make a Russ Feingold sock puppet.

I'm going to have to meditate on this one for the rest of the inspiration. Maybe drop a little peyote, something, anything to try and connect with the insane uncoordinated four year-old energy that is Russ Feingold.

Previously, on The Confidentials, I posted a quote to Russ: Put a Sock In It. Making a Russock isn't the same as putting a sock IN, because the sock itself IS, but my point is made enough.

It won't be anywhere near as cute as the dog, or Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (see a pattern here?) but if there was ever a Smarmy Eddie Haskell Dog sock puppet...well...

What inspired this?

Stupid quote after stupid quote after stupid quote posted in this JsOnline article. I read this thinking, this can't possibly be real. In any reasonable format, or even 15 years ago, if you'd had any camera time or mic time or whatever public discourse time and said any of this crap, you'd be laughed off stage, told to sit down and shut the f up, or downright told what a dumbsh*t you are. My how times have changed.

Who could do the voice though? I'd get annoyed by merely attempting to sound like him. Why, it would be self-defilation!

If you've ever doubted your importance in life this excellent post by Dennis York.

dimanche, juin 25, 2006

I hear the train a comin'...'s rollin' round the bend...

Today was all about the train... the Chicago St. Paul 261 steam train which was in Milwaukee for the weekend. I got up early so that I could see it come through the Tosa village. If you've never seen the approach of a real steam train in person, with the beating of the drivers, the whistle, the rumble... you really are missing out.

Pa joined me for this sighting, then he called me at about 3:00 to see if I wanted to go out the Oconomowoc with him and my 5 year-old nephew to get a few views of the train. Pa's idea was to first stand on an overpass and have the full impact of the train as it went by. We were unsuccessful the first time... as you can see....but the train had this unfair advantage. It was going really fast.

Next, we headed back to Milwaukee...hoping like all get up that we'd make it on time. Pa was a little saddened by this that his plan didn't work out, but I didn't want him to be discouraged. I mean, I just had a major shitty weekend and here I was cheering up Pa... And we had a gregarious five year-old in the car who was already consumed with the short memory of seeing a steam train from the freeway. So we went east on 94 and exited at 35th street. We drove down the old Canal street until where it ended which is right west of 35th. Which is also, coincidentally, right next to the passenger train tracks. If you're parked on Canal, you are ten feet from the train as it goes by. I stood and waited on one side of the tracks, Pa on the other. You'll see him take off just as the engine approaches.

Yes that is a guy falling off a big pile of debris at the end. The lengths people will go to for a shot of a steam train can almost compare to the paparazzi.

So Pa drove next to the train for about 3/4 of a mile. My nephew was thrilled, but I think Pa was the most thrilled. And I was thrilled to see Pa as happy as he was.

We went down to Amtrak and arrived as it was pulling in. We parked in the Postal lot and hopped out of the car... to this:

And in closing I would like to share just a few other neat shots that I took today. If you ever have the chance to see anything like this in real life, don't pass it up and say "next time". This time shouldn't be missed :)

(For some reason blogger won't allow me to upload any more pictures tonight.... so stop by my flickr album to see the rest) You know the best thing about this? It's 9:30 and I can hear the train's whistle as it's headed through the valley and back up to MN.

vendredi, juin 23, 2006

Dear Sir or Madman...

...true story. My buddy SliverTomCat wrote a letter with this greeting. She IM'd this phrase to me at about the perfect time on a Friday afternoon.

Speaking of Madmen. Our favorite one Saddam Hussein ended his grueling four hour hunger strike, after missing just one meal.

What a fricking amateur. The big bully can murder hundreds of thousands but couldn't hold his own in a room full of 22 year-old models. Saddam, you big powder puff, leave fasting and not eating to the professionals. You know, a bunch of young women who are far more skilled at this than you are.


Attack of The Thwackers

Nope, it's not Daffy Duck or Sylvester the Cat. It's much much worse. And I totally share this sentiment by Nick....only he said it so much more eloquently.

I might have said it something like:


and grab the offending objects right off the offenders feet....

jeudi, juin 22, 2006

Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat?

I just felt like sayin' it :O)

Doing The Right Thing


Many years ago, when I was like, ten...I remember being particularly interested in the Bembenek case. I have no idea why, because I had a hard time focusing on things like class, news, mass, things like that.

It's fascinating really. The Bembenek case is essentially part of Wisconsin culture and history. Many murders have taken place since then, but few are as recognizable and memorable. Psychopathic and serial murderers aside.

But now two former state crime lab officials have been deposed and are on record stating that evidence was withheld. I'm not saying I told you so, but I'm not surprised. I remember being in my early teens and a relative telling me that they worked with people who were married to some of the cops. It was a big setup/coverup. In this person's words, "everyone knows she didn't do it".

There are many things about life that are really disappointing. The perception of fairness and lack thereof happens to be one of them. And seeing a powerful faction hang together for a purpose is really frustrating... sometimes I hope that people's conscience or cognitive dissonance will kick in, but it's always too late when it does.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I am a believer in the idea that it's Never Too Late. That's the story of my life, really. But when your whole life has involved professing your innocence (not always using the right methods or approaches either, I might add), that simply has to be exhausting. At what point do you give up, at what point do you, or can you, let go? Especially if your perceptions have become out of proportion around an event like that?

Which reminds me. The next time I think life is hard or the head gasket is too expensive or that my knee hurts or whatever, just pop me upside the head.

Axe Me Later. Now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you must believe me when I say "this hurts me far more than it hurts you".

But someday you'll thank me for my wisdom in pointing you in the direction of the first installment of "Ask Me Later, Now".

Casper will never seem the same. Then again, neither will we.

mercredi, juin 21, 2006

Stick a Fork in Us...

....because we're done.

Unless we do something very very different, quickly.

I'm talking about the county pension problems. There really is only one answer to this situation, and it's not that different from the good old days when we didn't have the option to borrow our way out of every problem.

We simply have to stop the outflow of cash.

The pension provisions have to be rewritten, there is no other answer. It's a mistake, and it has to be corrected. It's too bad that the employees' expectations were raised to unreasonable levels, but it has to happen. Really, there is a market value for the pensions and years of service and pay level and that's what they have to get. A reasonable pension can still be made possible for all.

But this should have happened immediately. Walker should have said, hey people, I'm really sorry, but before you get used to the idea of this type of package, we have to change it. We have to correct these accounting errors (albeit by intent) for the good of all.

Really think about that. Think about what a stink that would cause. But consider these points:

- There are less of them than there are of us.
- There will be a major stink, but it will die down

If we don't do it, and quickly, here is a sample of the consequences:

- Taxpaying citizens leaving the city
- The city rotting even further
- No base to pay for anything
- Future pundits looking back on us and saying, Milwaukee should have done the right thing. This might not have happened otherwise.

And what's "This"?

A terrible mess that will never recover. Socially, economically, culturally.

None of us should be forced to pay for this crime, and make no mistake, it's a crime.

It's no different from any corporate white-collar crime. It's just on a larger, more diluted scale among people who have a large stake in the crime and will defend it to the teeth. But because it's government, it's being swept under the rug. Really think about the same situation or equivalent at a corporate level. There would be hell to pay.

C'mon Walker, Tosa Ranger, be a hero. Make my day. You have my support to do it.

lundi, juin 19, 2006

Land of 1,000 Mullets

Dennis York has some bitchin' Steve Perry do's posted. You owe it to yourself to stop by!

Believe you me, this guy was about 6'1, 135 pounds and getting into every girl's stirrup pants. Or tapered Guess jeans. You decide. That face just screams
"I want you to you want me".

dimanche, juin 18, 2006

Dear Natalie

My Dear Natalie.

I think you might want to sit down for this one.

You have been separated from real life for a long time now. I understand that success and being voted into office and working for the media, tends to do this to people. Being in a vacuum is a tough spot, especially when you aren't aware that you're in a vacuum.

Now, there's something you need to be aware of. And I have to tell you a story in order to illustrate it, so bear with me. There are no cameras nearby so I realize this might be a stretch.

To the media, you are p0rn. You're eye candy. To the rest of us you're just The Fat One with the fat mouth, but to the media, you're a peep show.

And you are pretty much like one of these girls gone wild scenes. Or a p0rn star. For a short time, you draw a crowd, some people get their jollies and watch your antics, maybe some of them take some pictures. But at the end of the day, nobody cares about who you are. But they got their rocks off watching you.

You're p0rn to the media. You're an opportunity. They don't care about you, in fact they are USING YOU.

And no, they aren't your friends. No, they don't care about your opinions. You serve their purposes.

You like the attention when you act out but when it dies down, you're wondering why nobody's calling you back. I mean, you put out and all. But it hasn't translated to anything permanent, like credibility...long term success.

It's because you're easy. You are a sure thing. You have devalued yourself to the point of only being good for a few jollies. Do you like that?

You're not associated with being an artist anymore. You're associated with being stupid. You don't know this or how bad it actually has gotten, but you are incredibly dumb. Even the dumb are pointing at you and saying how dumb you are.

That's pretty bad.

vendredi, juin 16, 2006

People Who Don't Know How To Deal With People

I have heard a lot of accounts of kids fighting in MPS schools or beating up other kids, and the teachers not doing anything about it. I've heard more accounts than I am comfortable with.

Tonight Fox 6 had a story about a woman named Tammy Hill whose son is being bullied at Urban Waldorf school. As a parent should be, she went in to talk with school administrators. Note: this is good parenting. You care about your child's safety, welfare, and dammit... their education.

Ms. Hill is a black woman, who is trying to send her child Aaron to a good school - given the choices within the MPS system.

She is trying to do right. Be a good parent. Show her son that she will protect him - and give him a good education.

They told her they were tired of her.

What school can, in good conscience, condone threats and bullying??? And before you answer with "oh, they don't condone it," take into consideration that the intent or "caring" and taking care of the problem are mutually exclusive. Caring alone doesn't do it. Taking care of the problem does two things - it shows you care by taking care of the problem.

Are they afraid of the kids? Afraid of the parents who don't care about their bully kids, but only care if the teachers bother their bully kids by holding them responsible for their behavior?

What a bunch of f'ing chickens. You snobby do-gooder Waldorf administrators have no business teaching anyone anything. Right now you're teaching your students and their parents where your values are: in protecting your own chicken asses. High Standards Start Here is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. We all can see what you're about: yourselves and your own butts. We also know what you're not about: integrity.

lundi, juin 12, 2006

Believe It Or Not....


Netflix has The Greatest American Hero on DVD!!!!

Yes, why yes I do want to move it to the top of my Queue.

Looks More Like an Art Bell Convention

These are the people at the DailyKos convention... in tin foil hats.

Check out this gem from this article:

“It’s to stop THEM from frying our brains,” said Lisa Schiff, who writes a regular blog — or web log — under the name of “Crkrjx”. She explained that the tin foil helmets were an “elaborate joke on the much-despised mainstream media”. She said: “Everyone thinks that because we are on the Left we must be conspiracy theorists, even though we have some pretty good ideas.

“I mean,” she added with a sly smile, “look at my hat. I’ve given it a receptor aerial so that it can pick up the truth.”

(“It’s to stop THEM from frying our brains" - Lisa, it might already be a lost cause...)

jeudi, juin 08, 2006


I love waking up to good news. I only have a few minutes to post this a.m., but a big salute and pat on the back to our servicemen and women who got 'er done.

mercredi, juin 07, 2006

Pillow Fight at Aaron's

Get flooped at!

Anniversary of Blogging, But Not A Blogiversary

Last May I began blogging. I had a blog called Me and Misses Jones. I'm far from a missus, but it was a great place on a great lake. And my ass is always at the lake.

I'm glad I blog. Some days I miss the content from my old blog because it was obnoxiously funny and spry, but a lot has changed since those days. This blog gives me more of an opportunity to talk about some of the things that are important to me, and important to many people. While I'm not one of those folks who professes to "give back to the community", I think it's important to uphold the community and the virtues it stands for and aspires to. If I have any ability to do that as a side effect, I'm pleased.

Me and Misses Jones. Still got a thing going on :)

mardi, juin 06, 2006

The Future of Healthcare?

That might not be the most accurate title, and this may turn into a "coffee tawk" type of post, but you're welcome to use my place to kick back and talk about it, or tell me I'm wrong or full of it or whatever.

I've thought about this post for a long time, and the bouncing around in my skull was exacerbated by the announcement that St. Mike's would close.

Most people are aware that Milwaukee has exorbitant health care costs. There are a lot of reasons, mostly price fixing and the existence of Medicaid (doctors and hospitals cannot charge below a set amount dictated by the government, it's illegal). But one of the largest reasons is the uninsured. We hear plenty of squawking about the poor and uninsured not having access to health care, which is true for the most part, but the poor benefit the most from our current setup.

Why? Because those of us who pay insurance premiums and actually pay our copays are subsidizing the health care of the poor. St. Mike's had to close because they did not have enough paying customers to offset the cost of the gunshots, stabbings, other violent crime injuries, children whose parents do not monitor their health, and last but not least, my favorite, drug abuse and overdose. No rational paying customer is going to use that hospital because they aren't going to get in to see a doctor. And they don't want to deal with that atmosphere when they are in an emergency situation. Would you? If you were on the northeast side of town would you go to St. Mike's, or would you go out of your way to go somewhere else?

I'd take my chances and go elsewhere.

Now, St. Joe's will take the major brunt of the patient care load that formerly went to St. Mike's. They can do this for now because St. Joe's offers a wider variety of services for which they can demand a premium rate and offset the cost.

But there is going to be a larger problem with this.

SE Wisconsin is one of the first areas in the nation to experiment with a business healthcare coalition. For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept, a BHC is a group of businesses who partner with an insurance company or group to create a pool of providers, services, and facilities that will agree to a set cost for treatment or a condition. The aim is to reduce cost for both the patient (by still agreeing to pay 80-100% of the service IF the patient goes to the set group) and for the insurance company. Businesses choose these plans for many reasons including the fact that they don't have to absorb up to 60% of the premium cost per insured. The insured pays more of the premium and gets more coverage. If the insured stays within the group.

It sounds like an HMO and it's pretty close, but with better administration, and focus on quality resolution of health issues at a lower cost for all parties. When I look at this what I see is providers trying to maintain a steady stream of business at a lower negotiated price. The clientele is going to go elsewhere if the providers can't compete. And the clientele doesn't have much of a choice unless they want to pay a premium of 70+ for a single person per pay period.

Here is the problem... Hospitals like St. Joe's won't be able to mark up unchecked forever. No insurance companies will have them within their preferred network and therefore the clientele has to go elsewhere. Like a healthier community.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. The government will be forced to subsidize the hospitals to keep them open, or it'll be a socialized medicine model. Either way, you and I will have to pay for it. We may not pay for it out of our healthcare premiums and provider copays, but we WILL pay for it out of other tax revenues. We won't have a choice after a while, this is a fact.

Part of me says this: Drug abusers or overdose patients must go to a separate clinic to be treated. Not a regular hospital where the cost would be higher. People who are injured as a result of engaging in illegal activity - violent criminals who are injured in gang fighting or shooting or other crimes must go to these same clinics. Not hospitals. Hospitalization is too expensive, and it's not fair to pay for criminals to be treated if they've inflicted it upon themselves. Heartless, yes, but perhaps it'll do two things: motivate, and self select. If you're a criminal screwing around and you get stuck in a high security clinic, in pain, bleeding, and waiting because some crack or heroin addict is making all holy hell noise, it might motivate the motivateable to at least try to turn their lives around.

Because right now we just reward them. A dry, clean bed with plenty of attention and drugs to numb the pain? Sounds like a good deal to someone who hasn't taken responsibility for their lives, doesn't it?

And yes this approach raises all kinds of sensitivity questions and issues around entitlement. You know, entitlement - the E word - which caused all of these problems in the first place.

Would those clinics be horrible. Yes. Who, in their right minds would staff them? I have no idea. But if the security was tight enough and no bullshit/our rules or you'll be on the curb was the condition of treatment, it might be tolerable.

And it might be a good thing. It might not.

But where we are headed is in neither direction.

Key Limes, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways:



(hecho en mexico, for anyone who doubts my plurality)


dimanche, juin 04, 2006

The Gift of Life

I would like to echo Patrick's thoughts on Organ Donation, especially with the timing of Kevin's father's heart transplant surgery on Sunday.

The thought of making the committment to do this doesn't necessarily register in the mind of a healthy person. We think about our bills, our worries, the price of gas. Sometimes I say "I don't know what I don't know", and it's very true in a situation like this....where I've never been faced with that type of need for myself or for a loved one.

I wouldn't try to sway anyone's decision because it's not a simple one. I'd like to be here and live the gift of life as long as humanly (and healthily) as possible. But if for any reason that changes, I would like to give the gift of hope and life.

Just one more's amazing how some things come into your life in clusters. A few days before meeting Kevin a friend of mine told me about how he is taking care of a loved one who suddenly became very ill, and it turns out, has kidney failure. This person was also placed on an organ waiting list. I think it's fascinating how life will time and coincide different subjects and issues and present them to you. I just felt kind of compelled to write about it.

samedi, juin 03, 2006

A Lovely Saturday Afternoon

It didn't get much better than this. 74 degrees, partly sunny, dry, and so was the humor. Today was the Badger Blog Alliance spring fling/get together. I met so many wonderful people and families today, and to those of you that I didn't have an opportunity to speak with, I hope to next time. I think that the Wisconsin Blogosphere is pretty blessed to have such a great group of people who enjoy each others' company. Although I am new since February, I'm glad to be within the blogdom of you all!!!

And to the bloggers/readers who couldn't make it - hope you are able to next time.

As Kinda Promised

On a couple of occasions today I found myself mentioning Pooh Bear, the lop. Might have had something to do with conversations about

I'm no cuteologist. But when Bun lops up to you and sticks her head under your hand to be pet, or when she lays down like she does in this video to be pet, she's hard to resist. I have sat with her for about an hour at a time just watching TV and petting her.

And, I apologize, it does contain a little baby talk and with You Tube, the sound is not always in real time.

Eight Random Things!

In case you aren't aware, I have been very interested in astrology for a long time. What got me started on it was the concept of mercury retrograde. In about 1994, I made a decision to look at the activity of random three week time periods and compare them with mercury retrograde time periods (which last about three weeks) and look for any similarities.

Mercury retrograde is said to manifest itself in many ways including miscommunications, computers crashing, systems crashing or being slow, people being late, people missing events all together, and running into old friends.

So one of the blogs I read, Astrological Musings by Lynn Hayes, tagged me to participate in Eight Random Things About Me. Since I am a leo, that would technically be true... me me me. But since I am 0.04 Taurus rising and a cusp Leo and an amicable Libra moon... I'm not entirely a tight fit for the Leo profile.

And, Lynn hits on politics as well - and I read all sides of the spectrum as you all know (and most of you do, too). Lynn brings an astrological viewpoint to current events and politics, and is well worth the read. Especially if like, you know your aspects from a hole in the ground.

So without further ado - Eight Random Things about Me.

1. I once met Carl Sagan and Berke Breathed in the same evening. I lied to Carl Sagan and to this very day, I feel very bad about it.

2. I love Charo.

3. Chevy Bel Aires make me think of my Grandpa on my mom's side, who I called Bapa. He smoked Bel Aires.

4. One of my lifelong dreams is to sing the National Anthem at a baseball game. Not football, hockey, or basketball. It has to be America's Pasttime.

5. I make up a lot of words, and people laugh, but I am totally serious about them.

6. I joke about number two a lot. And passing gas. Mostly with girlfriends though, because girls are always constipated. That's why chicks complain about feeling fat all the time.

7. Sometimes I get things stuck in my head and laugh about them at inappropriate moments. And I make noises trying to hold the laugter in. Like those reverse snorts or elephant noises like Eddie Murphy did in Daddy Day Care. There's nothing wrong with me, honest.

8. When I unwrap a drinking straw or a plastic utensil, I have to tie the plastic sleeve into a knot.

Now you know :) I won't "tag" anyone, but feel free to participate and link back!

jeudi, juin 01, 2006

Team Aniston

Yes, she's abnormally perfect.

38, perfect posture, perfect hair, perfect body, no cellulite?

Props lady, I give mad props!