Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Idol Chatter

The top 9. I'm still reeling a bit from Alexsis' departure. But, I'll try and carry on.

Anoop. Nice. Safe. Boring. Did anyone see American Dreamz?

Allison. I liked what she wore. Being as young as she is, I thought she got away with it. It wasn't overly provocative. Just bright and fun. Her vocals, for such a young person, are amazing. She did, and looked, great.

Danny. I'll predict right now that he will win. Flawless performance.

Adam. The only thing he has to watch is over singing something. He's got a range like an Ian Gillan.. He just has to learn good decisions with his voice. That being said, he did great.

Lil. Going down hill . . . and fast. Bad song choice, pitch problems, and a bit bombastic. She'll be one of the bottom.

Matt. See Lil.

Scott. The judges surprised me. They all really liked his performance. I thought he had major pitch problems. Good voice, so-so interpretation, kind of boring. He may be in the bottom as well.

Megan. (Sigh) She's likely gone. SImon was dead on. What makes her unique actually got irritating. Bad, bad, bad song choice.

Kris. A really good performance. Paula was actually insightful this time when she said he took a 30 year old song, made it his, and turned it into something for today. As though we're all hearing it for the first time. I haven't been impressed with Kris . . . up till now. Great job.

Danny still ruled the night. Megan goes home.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What does rail compete with?

One of the many issues surrounding rail is what is it supposed to compete with? I keep hearing that a city should have a modern, viable transportation system to serve it's population. I also keep hearing that this should include trains. What I don't understand is, why? what can rail do that wheeled transportation can't?

Answer? Almost nothing.

Yes, in areas of dense population where driving a car is prohibitive due to congestion, lack of parking, or sky high parking costs, a commuter rail system works. In New York and Chicago, widening the streets for commuter traffic would be all but impossible. So, rail fills a need. Solves a problem.

What commuter problem do we have in Milwaukee? In Wisconsin? Even with a freeway system that was never finished . . . we lack a northern bypass and a middle connector . . . we have little congestion on our freeways. Unless there's an accident or construction going on, getting around Milwaukee during "rush hour" might take an extra 15 to 20 minutes. Whoop dee doo. Compare that to the hour it takes to get from one part of Atlanta to another and now you're talking traffic congestion.

The stupid little loop Barrett wants downtown? A waste of money on a moronic scale. That train wouldn't do anything a bus couldn't do. Well, except cost a lot of tax payer money in subsidies. And, pollute the air with wires. And cause us to tear up perfectly good streets and create traffic problems. So, what problem does it solve?

In the case of passenger rail like a Milwaukee to Madison system, I can understand why we'd want to pursue a rail alternative. First, it's a good 90 minute drive. So, it's long. Second, parts of the freeway are just two lanes. It can get congested and backed up extending the time it takes to travel. Buses don't improve anything as they travel on the same road. You're not driving, but it still takes 90 minutes.

Now, not that we have a huge problem with traveling from Milwaukee to Madison, but I could see an alternative rail system working. IF . . .

First and foremost, people would use it and it would self sustain. That's a big if. The system would need to be convenient and fast. Which leads me to . . .

Second, it would need to be a true high speed rail system. I've posted before on the complete buffoonery that is Doyle's plan. Not only is the system not high speed rail, it's not ultra modern, and it won't be convenient. Updated, diesel fueled, locomotives are not ultra modern. At 110 MPH, it's also not very fast. Add in the time it takes you to get to and from stations and it likely takes longer than traveling by car. Speed - Convenience. Pick one, cause you can't have both. If it's going to compete with cars then there can't be many stops, making it less convenient. If it's going to make lots of stops for convenience, then it's not going to be very fast.

Fact is, commuter rail works when there's an existing problem of dense population with an inability of cars or buses to move people around. Passenger rail works when the system is much faster in total time than it would be to use a car . . . AND . . . can actually compete with planes.

If I could get to Indianapolis in two hours on an elevated, electric rail system, I would use it over driving, and flying. Here, it would compete with using air travel. I have to drive to the airport, and I have to get to where I need to be in Indianapolis. Driving would be more convenient, but would take 7 hours (or so). Assuming the rail alternative would be competitively priced over flying, I would use it. In the Milwaukee to Madison example, maybe the two cities are still too close to be adequately, conveniently serviced by rail. Expanding the freeway is a much better use of transportation money.

But, get me to Indy, St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo, anywhere that's 8 hours by car, in two hours . . . and that's a viable alternative to driving . . . and flying. Assuming it's competitively priced.

In the end, commuter rail simply cannot compete with cars unless there's an existing problem. Passenger rail cannot compete with cars unless it can compete with air travel . . . and win.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not your typical burger commercial




Food and TV fans will know the babe as Padma Lakshmi, from Top Chef.

I'm hungry. Just not sure sure for what.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looking for a gun?

Was watching Future Weapons on the Military Channel. They reported on the M134 Minigun, an electric gatling gun. Awesome. So, I did some looking. I came across this clip from the Discovery Channel. Jesse James had apparently lost some challenge and was none to happy about it . . . and with the car. Some guys have all the fun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Number

There's no name for one trillion to the tenth power. Just an equation type thingy, 1.0 × 10ˆ120. I'd like to propose, Obamaplex. One trillion to the tenth power. A tribute to the debt of trillions he will leaves us for the next ten years . . . optimistically.

A Problem Where There Isn't One

Leave it to government to fix something that isn't broken.

The common council today voted 8-7 to pass the prevailing wage provision. The provision essentially says that any contractor that receives aid of a million or more, including tif districts, must pay their workers a "prevailing wage". A prevailing wage is the pay rate of the largest county, including benefits, as determined by the department of labor. Generally speaking, the rate is about the same as union scale.

Well, one would argue, that since Milwaukee is the largest county this really won't affect local contractors.

Wrong, lumber breath. Fact is, many, if not most contractors hire less expensive, non-union labor to stay competitive, which saves money. Many jobs on work sites are unskilled and simply don't rank being paid more than a certain amount. With the provision, though, all workers would have to be paid the prevailing wage, thus raising costs.

There's more.

Another provision within the ordinance requires development firms to fill 40% of their project's construction jobs with unemployed or low-income Milwaukee residents

What? The wage provision is moronic enough. The extra provision makes this irresponsible. What about ability to perform the job? Competently? Safely? I guess those issues don't matter.

First, developers generally hire and pay pretty well. No one is getting minimum wage. No one has been complaining about a developer's low pay. There simply isn't a problem here.

Whether you agree with the provision or not, it will raise costs. And for no good reason other than government wants it that way. Contruction won't be better, won't be faster, won't be safer . . . in fact, you'll get nothing for the extra costs incurred. Add to that the extra provision of needing to hire low income or unemployed residents, and the provision becomes very problematic for Milwaukee developers.

In this time of recession, loss of jobs, and people lining up practically for miles for work, this is irresponsible. What's more, many developers were against this, and the MMAC was against this. Not surprisingly, the unions were for this. Tom, Mr. Jobs, Barrett was for this. Which really makes me question his competence.

Voting for the provision: Nik Kovac, Milele A. Coggs, Willie C. Wade, Joe Davis, Sr. Bob Bauman and Ashanti Hamilton, and, I believe, Michael Murphy. There's one more. I'll confirm names tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Today's Babe

Sometimes, it's the little known, less seen models that catch our eye. In the case of the yellowbook.com commercials, it's Alexandra Daddario. She's been on a soap and in this (and a couple other yellowbook spots) and that's about it. When I first saw the commercial I thought . . . whoa. She's hot. It took a bit just to find out who she is. No pictures, but here's one of her spots:

As I said . . . whoa.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live Like You Mean It

Well, OK, then. I'm outta here, that's for sure.

What kind of dumbass, what-the-f*ck-does-that-mean slogan is this? Where's the connection to Wisconsin? Who DOESN'T live like they mean it? How can you help but not?

"Well, I'm living. But . . . I don't mean it. I mean, I guess I should be dead. Or, that's what I want . . . I think. But, I don't really mean that either. Can I go eat now?"

Sounds like something Jay and Silent Bob would come up with.

Natasha Richardson RIP

This is truly tragic. One minute your having the time of your life, the next . . . gone. Such a freak accident. And one where everyone thought she was fine until after about an hour after her fall.

She was a beautiful woman. I feel very sad for Liam and the rest of the family. My heart goes out.

Idol Country Week

My thoughts:

Michael. The one guy who could actually sing country . . . sucked. I agree with Simon. I couldn't understand him. I hate that. Lazy enunciation of words while singing.

Allison. Wow. With her unique sound and a good performance and a good song, she nailed it. She has a natural growl to her voice . . . not put on, that makes her stand out. She may not win, but she's good.

Kris. If a person can make want to listen, they've got something. I'm still on the fence with this guy, but he put forth a great performance. Didn't give me shivers, but I listened all the way through.

Lil. Poor choice of song. She sounded very average. Hated what she wore.

Adam. Again, I agree with Simon . . . self indulgent bombast. OK, he hates country. He's still the most gifted one there. Here's a guy who might be better off not winning.

Scott. He's kind of the Archuletta of this season. To me, anyway. Nice, nice voice, but . . . nothing special. I'm not sure what his niche is, or would be. He needs to take some chances. Everything has been too safe.

Alexsis. Not a great performance. She's got an "it" factor to her, but she fell short this week.

Danny. If he could have figured out how to bring a little more emotion in to the start of the song he sang, it would have been perfection. As it was, he blew me away. Gifted singer.

Anoop. Wow. Where did this come from? A very moving performance. Excellent song choice and a great performance.

Megan. First, she looked gorgeous. Second, when I hear her sing, I think of all the "quirky" singers there have been and are who are successful. She's has a distinct sound, and I like that. She just needs work on her pitch. I thought she was a little contrived last week. Not so, this week.

Matt. Everyone loved his performance . . . and I have no idea why. I thought he was off key, hesitant, not good. But . . .

Who goes? Michael.

UPDATE: Alexsis goes home! I'm shocked! Even with the possible save by the judges, she goes home. Personally, while I think she has a little work to do on her vocals, she's waaaaaaaay more marketable than several of the others. Especially, Michael. But, the public has spoken and she's out. I thought she'd be one of the final four.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Idol Finals

Finally. I've said it before, they want to increase viewership, shorten the show. A lot of wasted time. Thank heavens for the DVR.
Also, I like Kara as a judge. She makes sense and she's intelligible. Paula can be shown the door after this season. No one would miss her.

So, I just watched the Mike Jackson performances. Here are my thoughts:

Anoop, Jorger, Scott, Matt, and Jasmine . . . boring. Good, not great. They could all make good broadway singers, but that's about it.

Megan. I'm on the fence. She has a unique voice. But her choice of Rockin Robin was horrendous. She looked goofy.

Lil sounded good . . . really good. Not sure if she can win the public over, and I hated what she had on, but she did a good job.

Allison. I have to remind myself this girl is just 16. She's got some soul in her voice. She needs time, really. But there's real potential there.

Kris . . . I don't know. I don't think he's all that, but everyone seems to like him. I'm still waiting for that performance.

Adam. This boy has it. He'll be in the final.

Alexis. This girl has it. She'll be in the final.

Danny. Wow. He blew me away. I hadn't been too impressed up until tonight. He sounded awesome! He'll be in the final.

This week should be interesting . . . country music theme. I don't see country in any of them. SOng choice will be critical.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pork. The other properly done, not last minute, imperfect white meat.

My head is spinning.

First Obama said earmarks weren't earmarks if they weren't last minute.

Then he said that earmarks properly done are . . . OK, I guess.

Lastly, apparently all he has to say is "this isn't perfect" and, again, everything is OK.

Well, as the Geico caveman said . . .


I'm not even going to mention the private signing.

Drinking Right 2

Once again, upon returning home from Papa's I get requisite, "So, what did you talk about?" from the wife.

"Lots of stuff. Idol, football, politics, kids . . . the usual."

"Who was there?"

"Chris. Had a nice blouse on though I couldn't peek down it. Fred, Steve, AB, Chad, though Holly wasn't there. Probably hard for her to be around me."


"She wants me. I can tell."

(Long pause)

Anyone else?"

"Leah Vukmir."


"Leah Vukmir. Representative for the Tosa area. She was making eyes at me."

"So, what about her?"

"She's hot."

"What. Did. You. Talk. About. ?."

"Nothing. I wasn't sitting at her table."

"Anything else?"

"Chad was telling me about a movie he saw with . . . people, I guess, that were called "howlers". They had the ability to make your eyes bleed with their voice. I told him I knew someone like that."

(long pause)

"I'm going to bed."


Drinking Right

Many people will say something like, "I don't care what people think . . . " as it pertains to personal opinion or behavior trying to make themselves out to be "independent" or "individualistic". I think everyone has a certain "don't care" attitude as it pertains to some of their own behavior or opinion.

I actually do care what people think. Especially my friends. So, it came as a bit of a surprise when I walked in to Papa's and had people coming up to me asking if I was alright. I guess I've come off rather "pissed off" lately in my tweets and posts.

First, thanks for the concern. It's nice to know people take notice of a change in attitude, equate that to the possibility that there's something wrong as I'm not usually like that, and actually ask about it. I realize, of course, that for those concerned they were simply wondering if I hadn't taken my meds lately . . . still, I appreciate the thought.

Second, I have been rather pissed off lately, and it's from reading the news. Between what Obama is doing to the country, what Doyle is doing to the state, to what parents do to their children, to a new day a new shooter some where . . . it makes me angry and frustrated.

The easiest thing to do is vent, and what more perfect place is there to vent than a blog or a tweet?

It was actually suggested that I should remember the name of my blog, pop a couple of "goof balls" and chill. I have a better idea . . . I'm gonna change the name of my blog to the Indignant Indian and really let loose.

Seriously, though, it's not how I want to be regarded. I like being a nice guy, a goof, childish, immature, and a pig. But, a nice pig.

So, like being slapped in the face with a wet fish held by a girl I just tried to hit on at a grape stomping festival, I came to a realization . . . I'm not drinking that wine. And, I need an attitude adjustment.

Now, in spite of how I've come off lately, I'm not walking around all mad, and moody. Still, I have been a bit consumed by bad news. So expect some changes. Nothing drastic. No stoopid sabbaticals or anything like that. Just getting back to some lighter stuff. I've often said this isn't a political blog, and it snot. There are those with waaaay more smarticles than I and do a better job. I'll still have opinions, but I'm gonna post more "happy" stuff.

Because, what you think DOES matter to me. I'm actually quite emotionally frail. I'm high maintenance and need lots of attention. I'm paranoid. I hear voices. I talk to them.

Wait. The TV is on.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Idol chatter

There is no greater annoyance on this planet than Tatiana. I'm sure she was voted back in just so we could all watch her cry and make a complete ass of herself. Such a self indulgent twit, Like nails on a blackboard, she grated on my nerves. Good singer, not great. Pleasant looking, not a babe. Needs to lay off the late night tacos if you know what I mean. And while listening to her sing was tolerable, listening to her talk was inhumane. I guess it was worth seeing her get the boot one more time. Kinda fun watching her and Paula out crazy one another. Can we get on with the real talent, please?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Let's play dirty

I think republicans should start calling for an exit plan to the Afghanistan war. Or, out and out call for its end.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Governor Doyle is a moron

"We have to really evaluate what we want to do," Doyle said. "We aren't going to launch anything that doesn't work."

He said this in regard to his plan to cut emissions. But, one can't help but wonder why he doesn't apply this philosophy to other issues.

Because he's an idiot. That's why.

For example, why did Doyle need to form a task force on global warming . . . when the debate is over and we know the answers?

"If I were on a jury and somebody was presenting the two sides," he said, "it seems to me the evidence on that side is absolutely overwhelming."

Complete and utter moron.

Here's another one . . . let's say the feds can't move on global hoax initiatives because of the economy. Doyle has made it clear that he'll go ahead with his pea brained schemes. Not only would this kill the state's economy, it would bury it in a time capsule to be uncovered some time after the next ice melt. Not only that, but wouldn't it be like opening your windows with the air conditioning on to try and cool your yard on a hot day?

Here's another one, Doyle's not-quite-as-fast-as-high-speed-rail rail would run on diesel fuel since he plans on using existing tracks and upgraded engines . . . that run on diesel fuel. Spain's trains (that run mainly on the plains) are about 19% more eco-friendly than older technology. They also travel at 200 mph. Doyle's Super Chief, running considerably slower, would run for longer periods of time, thus pollute more. Wouldn't this run counter to wanting to cut emissions?

Add to that TurboTim's desire to stick it to oil and gas companies and you have to wonder what fuel will cost to run the trains.

Add to THAT the fact that cars will become more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient that by the time the train is up and running it will be ancient technology the day of it's launch.

Jim Doyle makes Kelly Bundy look like a Mensa member.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Quick hit questions

Is anyone else getting a little tired of seeing Heidi Klum . . . everywhere? All the time?

Is Rihanna really that stupid?

While it's inexcusable to "forget" about a child in a day care van. But, how is it the family didn't notice THIER CHILD wasn't home? I know an aunt was in charge and the mother was gone, but, why isn't anyone asking how it is she didn't notice HER SISTER'S CHILD wasn't home?

Is this the wort season of Idol for talent?

In retrospect, was Steele the right choice?

Is there a good republican candidate?

Is Hillary nuts?

Doe anyone care about how much Obama lies?

Did Obama bring down the NASA satellite that was to study CO2 emissions? Afraid of what it might find out?

Do the libtards in Wisconsin not understand the state's deficit DOUBLED under Doyle?

As cars become more eco-friendly, as urban sprawl becomes moot, as planes become more efficient, as we won't . . . can't rebuild to support TRUE high speed rail, why the obsession with serving less than 5 percent of the population with ancient technology?

Are McNuggets THAT good?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Today's Babe

In honor of the Oscar's, Freida Pinto: