Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels at the Janesville air show.

I was in a group that bought a VIP section to watch the show. The "section" was an area about 30X60 with a tent, buffet table with burgers, brats, hot dogs, and other picnic food, chairs, a VIP bathroom near by, and was situated about 100' dead center of the runway. It was awesome! Many. many thanks to my flyboy buddy Steve for setting this up. It was an incredible show. It rained ever so slightly as the wife and I drove in. But, once we got there . . . well, as you can see from the video, except for the sun being out of place, it was a perfect day.

UPDATE: I keep forgetting I can't embed larger screen size videos on this blog, so I fixed that. To see the full screen version go here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Final Idol

I finally got around to watching the final of American Idol . . . some thoughts:

I thought the over all show was great. It was nice to see my girl, Alexsis, back in action. She sure did look hot.

Allison's pairing with Cyndi Lauper was . . . OK. It didn't let Allison's voice shine. But, it was a cool moment.

Megan's singing with Mike on one of Steve Martin's songs was . . . fitting. Quirky song, quirky voice. I liked it.

I actually thought Matt sand Black Magic Woman pretty good. Similarly, I thought Kris did a good job with Urban.

I expected Lionel Ritchie to be pathetic, bit he wasn't. Danny did great. As I've said so many times now, he's got a natural soul in his voice that sounds great.

Speaking of pathetic, however, Rod Stewart seemed a bit off. He's a well known tipper (as in glass) and he staggered a bit at the open of Maggie May. My guess IS that he was drunk. Who knows? I thought it was a lackluster performance.

The award sections were pretty funny. While she makes me vomit, the bit with Tatiana was good. If nothing else, she was a good sport about the whole thing.

Skank bikini girl did seem genuinely surprised when Kara came out, and was bothered by it. For her part, Kara did great. That girl can sing! And what a rockin bod! Though she was clearly not comfortable showing it off. Which is nice change. When you've got a less talented skank all too willing to claim her fame just cuz she's willing to show some skin, it's nice to see actual talent not feeling they have to resort to that.

Then . . . Adam . . . and Kiss. I thought seeing David Cook sing with ZZ Top was awesome. Adam singing with Kiss was incredible! What a perfect fit! Mr. Theatrics meets the theatrical rock band. Plus, he sounded great. While Gene Simmons doesn't think Adam has a rock n roll voice, I thought he did great.

But, not as good as Adam did with Queen. Wow. There's an absolute perfect match. If Queen is looking for a front man, they've found him. If there's anyone who can sing on the level of Freddie Mercury, Adam can. Plus, as with Kiss, his theatric nature is a perfect fit. Adam with Queen would be awesome. I'd pay to see that.

As for the outcome . . . what a load of crap. Of course, it really doesn't matter as those who haven't won Idol have done very well. It's just thinking that, in some way, Kris has more talent than Adam . . . or Danny, or Allison, or Alexsis, and he doesn't. I'm sure Kris won for several reasons. First, all the tweens that voted for him. Bastard is good looking. Two, Danny's from Milwaukee. Three, Allison wasn't/isn't a skank and didn't win the horny boy vote. And, Adam's vague sexuality and the release of photos showing him sucking face with another guy likely turned many people off. The biggest shockers still, for me, is Alexsis, she got booted way too early, and the judges using their "save" card for Matt. That was a complete waste.

So, now we see and hear what happens next. David Cook hasn't made any huge splashes since winning. Archuleta is basically doing Disney. Much to my daughter's dismay. Danny, Adam, Alexsis and Allison, to me, are very marketable. It will be interesting to see what they all do next. There's the Idol tour which will keep them busy for a bit. After that . . . ?

Season 9.

Foreign Policy

Hey, Obama!

How's that "Let's just get together and chat" policy workin for ya?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Medical Ethics

The case of Colleen Hauser and her son Daniel has sparked debate over the question as to whether parents, who through religious beliefs, can deny medical care to their children.

Of course, adults do this all the time. Not always due to religion, but their quality of life has become such that intervention wouldn't improve their condition enough to warrant going through it. Dying with dignity. Given how precious life is, one can't help but respect the wishes of those who simply want to end their suffering.

In some cases, though, religion does enter in to decisions made. Scientology, and professional lunatic Tom Cruise and his melonhead pal John Travolta, have all spoken out against using medications on children. They're not the only ones. Here in Wisconsin, Leilani Neumann let her daughter die of untreated diabetes. A condition that, in many cases, is easily treated with medications, and in the case of Madeline, could have saved her . . . even minutes before she died. Obviously, prayers didn't help.

There are the "miracle" stories, however. Those unexplained cases where a person goes in to remission or becomes cured of their condition. But, when one compares the miracles to the cases where medications and treatments have provided improvement, the miracle cures are pretty rare.

So, what about it? What about parents who, because of their faith, prefer not to have medical treatments available for their children? Even when treatments or medication could help? After all, many of us prefer not to have government intrude into our lives making decisions for us. Isn't this a case of government intrusion?

To me, this is a no brainer. Colleen is now on the lam with her son. Once found, she should be arrested for child neglect and the son should be given treatment. We're talking children here. Dependents. Young people who look to adults to make responsible decisions for them. Danielle is 13 years old. Far too young to understand or make life and death decisions on his own. What's more, the Hausers are catholic. I assume they believe in the right to life for babies. What about the right to life as a 13 year old? Again, this might be different if Danielle's condition were such that treatment would only provide a small level of quality of life improvement and death would be ultimately unavoidable But, it's not. How it is, why it is, that a parent would stand by and let their children die when they can be helped is beyond me. It's not only insane, it's criminal.

The fact that Danny said he would kick and punch anyone who tried to help him does make for a dicey situation. Problem is, once he's dead, we can't ask him if he'd like to do that over again. I wonder what Danny would think about all of this when he turns 30 and has kids of his own?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get your motor runnin . . . head out on the highway!

Well, in this case, get your pedals turnin, and head out on the, err . . . road. Not since sometime before I broke my ankle have I been out on a bike. In other words, years. I've been wanting to get back on, but with little motivation and the arthritis having a larger say in matters, I just haven't.

Well, it took my girlie to get me back in a swimming pool, and now, it took my girlie to get me back on a bike. A daddy can only walk around so much to watch his little girl on a bike. It's boring. The obviously answer . . . get on a bike and ride with her.

So, I did. First, thanks to all the smart people in the world for modern pharmacology. And heating pads. Thank you all.

Second, I'm doing it. The biggest bummer of having arthritis in the back and neck, is the constant pain and inability to do the things I used to be able to do. Running is out. Forever. But, getting on a bike and pedaling away . . . nice. I'm huffing and puffing a little right now, and the knees are sore, but I'm doing it. And, it's great. My girlie is very happy. We bike all over the neighborhood, in the cemetary, and at the park. Over the weekend we went out 5 times! I think we did about 10 miles all told.

Just what I need, too. This past winter was a tough winter as far as pain goes. Anything I can do to keep the body moving, lose some weight, and provide some motivation through the winter months will help the bones and ease the pain.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Idol Chatter

Main Entry: in·jus·tice
Pronunciation: \(ˌ)in-ˈjəs-təs\
Function: noun
1 : absence of justice : violation of right or of the rights of another : unfairness
2 : an unjust act : wrong

The last word says it all . . . WRONG. As I told my wife and tweeted, Kris did a good job on last night's show. Probably the best performance he's had. Ever. Still, while he might have kicked 2 field goals from 55 yards out, Danny and Adam kicked two field goals from 75 yards out.

Give me a break. The vocal talents that both Danny and Adam posses are FAR grater than that of Kris'. Kris is ok. Very middle of the road. Very boring. There's no compelling reason to listen to him sing a second song. He has no stage personality what so ever. Maybe he'd make a good bluesy folk singer. Think the tweens that make up his fan base are going to buy that CD?

I don't think so.

There's no question Adam is a vocal force. It's uncanny how he sings. Plus, he's got stage personality. Almost to a point of over load. Still, he's a freak. He has vocal ability like Ian Gillan. The likes of which Idol has never seen before. He's sure to win.

But, Danny . . . he had the most natural cool of them all. Allison had it, too. Something about the way they sing, the way they sound, it exposes them. Danny's rendition of You Are So Beautiful gave me goosebumps. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

The other day I came across a celebrity site that had some vote on American Idol. I voted for Danny. I got quite a surprise when I got the results. Over 35,000 people had voted. Adam had 15k, Kris 12k and Danny 8k. A distant third.

Turns out the sampling was accurate.

Clearly everyone thought it would be Danny and Adam in the final. I sure did. Unfortunately, this isn't about actual talent anymore.

One can never under estimate the power of the tween vote.

Congratulations, Danny. You sure made me proud! Hopefully we'll hear more from you in the future.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wanda Sykes

I like humor. Any regular reader knows that. I use humor a lot. Mostly in a self deprecating fashion, and mostly dry, but humor none the less. I don't expect everyone to like my brand of humor, nor do I expect everyone to "get it". But, I try to be witty on a universal level.

Along those lines, I don't mind anyone taking a shot at someone else for the sake of a laugh. There are many good Bush jokes. There are many good indian jokes. Again, I think the ability to laugh at one's self is essential.

But, I have two rules. One, jokes have to be funny. Two, while I don't mind shocking (dead baby jokes come to mind) there is a line. Bill Maher wearing a t shirt with a bloody heart that's been stabbed after the death of Steve Irwin was just tasteless. Not surprising, but tasteless.

So it is with Wanda Sykes. Her joke about wanting Limbaugh's kidneys to fail just wasn't funny. Now, dogging on people you don't like is often kind of amusing, I admit. But there are two issues about this that bother me. First, the reference to 9-11 in the joke. Tasteless. Second, the President shown laughing his fool head off. Is this guy that clueless?

It's one thing for Sykes to make retarded comments about Rush being a terrorist and wanting his kidneys to fail. It doesn't surprise me. And, I know it's a joke. Or, it was supposed to be. The fact that Sykes doesn't seem to have much of a career as a comedienne might say something about her comedic intellect. But, I digress.

The other thing that bothers me is the President laughing about references to 9-11 . . . and not so funny jokes. I could care less if he laughs at or about Rush. Though, he probably shouldn't be laughing at desires to wish him dead. I don't know. Maybe it's me. Holding the PRESIDENT to some kind of standard went out of style with Clinton.

No reason to expect anything new from Mr. Change.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Quick hits for a Friday

First he was. Then, he wasn't. Now, he might be. I would love to see Aaron Rodger wear the #4 jersey this season.

Here's one of the dumbest editorials I read about the Carrie Prejean ordeal:

Miss Cali: Pretty Until She Opens Her Mouth

You know what's offensive? Perez Hilton judging a women's beauty contest. If this retard is so concerned about tolerance, why isn't she upset that the question was asked in the first place?

Kris stays, but Allison goes home. One reason Allison got booted is that she isn't a fake boobed blond skank, luring the vote of the horny boys. I'm sure Kris' fan base of JoBro'd preens is rather large, and the reason he's moved on. I think Allison is a babe. She's not Britney . . . thank god. She has real talent. I'm sure we'll hear more from her in the future. Still, it's a shame.

Pelotox is a liar.

Now that Doyle has raised every fee and tax he can, without saying he did, why doesn't he just spend more, like Obama, to fix the State budget?

Speaking of Obama . . . while his budget trimming is akin to pissing in the ocean, he still is trimming. And, I'll give him credit for that. What's interesting, of course, is what he's trimming and the backlash he may suffer as a result.

My heart goes out to those in California dealing with the wild fires.

Somebody help me. Why does Obama continue to hold town hall meetings?

We're allowed to rip a CD and put it on our iPods. But we can't rip a DVD to do the same . . . according to copyright laws. RealNetworks is fighting the fair use battle in court trying to defend their software which allows one to rip a DVD for personal use. This battle has been going on since the VCR came along. Real may ultimately lose, and that will be a shame, but it shows how out of touch hollywood execs are. There will always be a method to rip a DVD. Hollywood would be better off embracing the technology than trying to make criminals of those who actually buy DVD's and want it on their iPod.

Speaking of movies . . . I watched Gran Torino finally. Uh, might I be the only one who thought this wasn't that good? I liked the story, but the movie, I thought, was poorly directed and poorly acted. Not sure what the big hype was all about.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Oldie but goodie from Supernova

Roxanne by Dilana

Brett Favre

Here we go again. First, no one seems to know for sure exactly what's going on so I think we should all chill. But, I have two thoughts.

First, if you didn't believe what an attention whoring jerkwad he can be, do you believe it now? What more do you need? The guy needs medication!

Second, who cares if he plays for the Vikings. Did you watch his season with the Jets? Maybe he's got something left, but likely not. I can't imagine with all the Viqueens have invested in Tarvaris Jackson that they'd be willing to bring Brett in . . . even as a backup. But, the Viqueens have been known to make momumentally stupid decisions.

Clearly Brett has no regard for the rest of the Packer organization . . . or his fans.

All of this gets the big . . . whatever.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Strange Creatures

That last one? Frightening!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Idol Chatter

First, I'm glad to be done with that wannabe ass cloth Jamie Foxx. His performance sucked. What makes him an expert?

Anyway . . .

Rock isn't Kris' thing. He didn't suck, but he wasn't that good either. Clearly not in the same class as the rest.

Adam is effortless with his singing. His problem, though, is his phrasing. He was a little too smooth and polished tonight. He needed to rough it up a bit. Plus, his movements seems a bit contrived.

Danny did much better than the judges gave him credit for. I honestly don't know what goes through their minds at times. His voice is very compelling. The song choice was one where you couldn't wait to hear how he handled the end . . . which he did extremely well. A little rough on the first note, but spot on on the others. For Simon to criticize the scream at the end . . . THAT'S HOW IT ENDS, DOOFUS!

Then . . . Allison. Jinkies! Again, what the judges were thinking . . . ? I'm starting to think it's an Adam conspiracy. Allison did great!! Such a natural talent with her voice, her expression, and her moves. While I know of one person who will disagree, she ruled the night.

The duets were cool. Kris wasn't in the same league as Danny, and Adam and Allison did great on their song.

Who goes home? Kris. If there's a second person in the bottom, I don't know. I want to say Adam but the coolness of his song may keep Adam out. Danny hasn't been in the bottom and performed well enough to stay. But does Simon carry any weight? Does Allison have enough supporters to keep her in?

Whatever. Kris goes home.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Today's Babe

Gotta love the redheads . . . and the ones with all the smarticles. Patti Anne Browne. Newswoman on FoxNews.