Friday, November 30, 2007
I know I've done this before, but really, this sort of skill can't be praised often enough.
How can they be so happy when they aren't the ones getting to drink the beer?
So as not to be sexist about this, let's recognize that guys can do it too. Guy power! (Although this guy looks a lot less graceful than the women and the beers clash with his hairy arms.)
And let us not forget one of the greatest beer servers ever...
Have a great weekend! And be sure to so the proper appreciation to those who bring you arm loads of beer.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
PEORIA - The rumble of the jet's afterburner was enough to shake a metal picture frame hanging on the wall inside an airport office for several seconds.
To aircraft fans, a quick glance as the jet shot vertical was enough to identify it as an F-18 fighter, but even the novice could recognize the signature blue and gold markings.
The Blue Angels, arguably the world's most awe-inspiring pilots with the most recognizable fleet of jets, appear to be the headliner for Prairie Air Show 2008.
Air Show Director Brett Krause confirmed the sighting at the Greater Peoria Regional Airport on Wednesday, saying the No. 7 plane and its pilot were in Peoria most of the day to plan a visit here next summer.
"We're pretty jacked up about this," Krause said, hedging on announcing details, including a date for the air show so as to work around the Blue Angels' availability. Krause added the Blue Angels' 2008 schedule, including the Prairie Air Show's request, is on the desk of the commander of the Navy awaiting final approval.
Thanksgiving was OK. It beats working (you know, the same reason we went to college, etc.) but it was the same old thing. We went to [Mrs. TEH’s] parent's house and had dinner. We stuffed ourselves silly, bitched about it, and then passed out in chairs and couches and on the floor in front of the TV. I'm actually getting, well, not burned out, but bored I guess with the holidays anymore. Same shit, different year. If it weren’t for [my four year-old son], I think Christmas would just drive me crazy. I don't want anything that anyone can afford and I never know what to get anyone else. My in-laws asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told them either an annuity that I can retire on today or a $75,000 gift certificate from SIU so I can pay for [my daughter’s] college. I don't think I'm getting either one. Even setting up our Christmas decorations is routine. This year we got it over with quickly and didn't set out all the stuff we usually do. The amount of Christmas decorating junk we have has finally reached critical mass and became untenable. I hauled half of it back to the basement utterly overwhelmed by its volume. So how are things in your house?
CNN) — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee outlined one special plan he'd consider for NASA's exploration of space.I’m quite certain if Joe Biden or Chris Dodd had sad the same thing about Rudy Giuliani, I would not have thought it “witty” either. Better political humor, please.
"Maybe Hillary can be on the first rocket to Mars," he said, referring to the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
The Republican presidential candidate responded to a question asking if more money would be put into space exploration. His witty response about Clinton generated cheers from the St. Petersburg audience and followed his description of the earthly benefits of NASA's programs.
The coming departure of 183rd Fighter Wing aircraft and personnel from the airport was a factor in what many enthusiasts consider the air show’s premature demise.I made a big deal here about opposing the moving of the 183rd’s planes back in 2005, and I even questioned whether the move would affect AR. I guess I have my answer.
“It weighed heavily on the organizers’ decision to close the show,” [AR organizer Kim] Curry says.
Maybe I'm out of line here and blaming the wrong people, but does it seem to anyone else that the organiser's just gave up a little too easily? It seems to me that there was a base of support for the event in the community that could have been appealed to before throwing in the towel so quickly. I never did anything like volunteer to help at AR in all the years it (and I) were here, but I had no idea it was in trouble either.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This is just an example of the current craze in global warming denialism: don't literally deny that warming is happening (the actual facts make that too hard), merely mock every possible effort to fight it. International agreements? Obviously ridiculous. Federal regulation? Just an excuse for more anti-business spleen from the Birkenstock crowd. Carbon taxes? You'd like that, wouldn't you? Government spending on amelioration? Forget it. We should spend the money on, um, clean drinking water for Chad instead. Yeah. Private efforts to inspire conservation? Just a bunch of hectoring, self-righteous Hollywood elites. Al Gore? He doesn't live in a cave, so he's a hypocrite.Look, we all have to function in the world that exists today, even while we are trying to make it better (or less worse in the case of global warming) for tomorrow. That means we have to drive the cars and take the planes and use the electricity that’s available and affordable at the moment.
So that's that. Sure, global warming is real, but we shouldn't fight it with international efforts, federal efforts, local efforts, personal efforts, higher taxes, or additional spending. And if you support any of that stuff but still drive a car or use electricity yourself, then who the hell are you to pretend you're better than the rest of us?
Alternatively, we could all cut the smarmy posturing (mirrors in space!) and actually do something. Unfortunately, merely typing these words and posting them has roduced CO2, so there's no reason to listen to me, is there? I'm just another liberal hypocrite.
No one is suggesting that we need to go back to the Stone Age to curb man’s effect on the planet. There are reasonable measures that can be taken that still allow us to enjoy life, but still use less polluting energy in the process. And the only way this is going to work is if we, globally, work together to achieve that.
I, or Al Gore (one word), as individuals could drive our Hummers to the airport get on a plane and fly continuously around the world for the rest of our lives, refueling in mid-air, and those individual efforts would do nothing to towards making global warming worse. It’s just too insignificant. But the collective use of fossil fuels as it exists today is causing a problem.
Now, obviously the collective effort requires individual effort as well, and there are things that every person can do now, but the ultimate solutions are gong to have to be more systemic. If cleaner alternatives are not available or practical, the individual is not going to use them. And we should all do what we can now, use CFLs, buy more fuel efficient cars, or if you have the option, do as Al Gore (one word) does and purchase more expensive electricity generated from eco-friendly sources.
Having said all that, I can now expect comments from people who will miss the point and want to tell me all about how Al Gore (one word) spends a lot of money on electricity and flew on a private jet therefore global warming doesn’t exist because he’s a hypocrite. Sigh.
If I were an editor at one of these fine papers, and my reporters turned in one of these stories, I'd tell them to figure out whether Romney or Giuliani is telling the truth. You won't find it in either story. So which is it?Right! Do your fucking jobs and quit giving equal credibility to both sides of an argument that has demonstrable facts. I’m happy that blogs are around to take up the slack, but in many cases they shouldn’t have to.
My curiosity piqued, I did something crazy: I typed "Massachusetts crime statistics" into Google. And you know what I found? This! A page on the state's web site with their crime reports!
So what's the answer? Statistics aren't yet available (at least not there) for 2006, so what we have are data from 2002, the year Romney got elected (which should serve as the baseline), plus 2003 through 2005. And what do we find? In 2003, total crime declined 3.1% from the previous year, and violent crime declined 1.7%. In 2004, total crime declined by 4.5%, and violent crime declined by 3.2%. In 2005, total crime declined by 2.9%, but violent crime increased by 4.75%.
As for the murders Giuliani mentioned, in 2002, before Romney took office, there were 171 murders in Massachusetts. Then there were 139 in 2003, back up to 167 in 2004, and 175 in 2005. Without knowing what happened in 2006, it appears, then, that on the whole we can say that Mitt Romney's tenure saw some decreases in overall crime, but the murder rate was about the same when he left as when he came in.
Was that so hard?
Here's the thing: Politicians lie. The only thing that will keep them from lying is if they know they'll pay a price. And the only ones who can make them pay that price are the reporters whose job it is to tell us what's going on. Unless reporters are willing to step in when candidates are arguing over "facts" and tell you which side is being honest, there is absolutely no incentive for the politicians to tell the truth. Rudy may well now be saying, "Hell, how about next time we just say crime increased on Romney's watch by a thousand percent? Who's going to stop us?"
For more on blogs and their influence in Illinois, see Rich Miller’s article in the Illinois Times last week. (Or just regularly read Marie’s blog.)
Monday, November 26, 2007
During my few brief stints in retail (in the 1970s and 1980s), I don’t remember there being these extremely early opening times for stores the day after Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why they’re needed now. Is it just a publicity thing; see which store can open the earliest? It sucks for the workers, so for their sake I say boycott the early hours and force the retailers to go back to normal, or at least reasonable, schedules. Of course, anything happening at 4:00 AM is pretty easy for me to boycott.
It does remind me though of how silly the carding policy is for alcohol sales. I’m 47 and get carded almost everywhere I buy booze retail. There is simply no way I could ever pass for being under 21. I wish, but no way. Stores rather than taking a chance on a cahier’s poor age judgment, simply require them to card everyone.
I do like the “We Card Everyone Under 40” signs though. If I’m over 40 can I refuse to be carded? Will they have to start carding to determine if someone needs to be carded? I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought alcohol at any of the establishments that have that sign, so I’ve never had the opportunity to refuse on the basis of my advanced age.
My worst experience was about seven years ago when I tried to buy a six pack at Schnucks (along with other groceries). I was carded, but all I had was a speeding ticket. It had my birthday on it but the store would not accept it. I was 40 years old! Even the bag boy was laughing at the silliness of it all. But ultimately it was my own fault; go too fast, no booze for you!
Update: Some places will simply ask your birth date, not because they think you’re under age but because they need to enter a date into the machine. I guess this is supposed to be a way of forcing the cashiers to card everyone. The result is I have to announce my age in public (not a big deal, but still I don’t need someone behind my in line thinking “damn, he’s fucking old!”). I guess I could lie and shave about 10 years off since they aren’t going to card me anyway.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Boating may resume on Lake Springfield starting tomorrow at daybreak, City Water light and Power officials announced today.Because there's nothing I want to do more in 40 degree weather than go boating!
The lake had been closed to boaters as a result of clean-up efforts following the Nov. 10 explosion and fire at the Dallman facility.
Seriously, I understand why they had to officially close the lake, but are there really people who go boating this time of year? I've wondered that through this whole thing. I guess maybe if its a warm day. I don't live by the lake or even see it much, so I have no idea how many boaters there are this time of year. All I know is I have no desire to be one of them.
Time to boycott Outback Steakhouse and Ned Kelly's (if it hasn't already left your town). Those are obvious actions. What else can we do to show our childishness, er, patriotism. You know, something along the lines of Freedom Fries. Should we now refer to "kangaroo courts" as "freedom courts"? Any ideas?
SYDNEY -- Australian Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat in national elections Saturday, according to preliminary results, most likely ending the political career of one the Asia-Pacific region's most enduring conservative leaders and a key ally of U.S. President George W. Bush in the region.Voters were ready to hand control of the government to Australia's opposition Labor party, headed by former diplomat Kevin Rudd, who has promised to boost relations with China, pull some troops from Iraq, and re-make Australia as a leader in the global effort to stop global warming.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Back when I was a child, my father, who worked for the State here in Springfield, had a boss who was a veteran of the Normandy campaign in WWII. I can’t remember if he landed on D-Day itself or shortly after but he was there. I think I remember the man’s name, but I’m not sure so let’s call him Mr. Vet. While in Normandy, Mr. Vet befriended a French man. This man would write to Mr. Vet fairly regularly. In French. Well, Mr. Vet didn’t know French, but he found out that my mother did (she was a French major in college). So Mr. Vet would give the letters to my father who would bring them home for mom to translate. However, I don’t remember her ever writing replies for Mr. Vet. Maybe she did.
While she was transcribing the letters, I can remember my mother reading them out loud. The French man was very expressive about his gratitude toward Mr. Vet and the United States for liberating France. I remember one reference where he compared the effort to the French assistance given to the Americans in the Revolutionary war. I was amazed at this guy’s enthusiasm even 25 or 30 years after the war.
Anyway, I have no idea if either man is still alive. A quick look in the Springfield phone book for Mr. Vet doesn’t reveal anything, but I may have the spelling wrong or the wrong name altogether.
As the WWII generation dies off, I sometimes find it hard to remember those days when they were everywhere, working the jobs and running the world. When I was a kid, WWII seemed like ancient history but the guys (and women!)who were there were all around and no more than middle aged. That seems strange now.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
CHICAGO (AP)—Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has won the backing of another former Illinois governor.I think I heard Giuliani say something about having personally pulled Edgar out of the 9/11 wreckage. He was going to elaborate but had to take a call from his wife.
Giuliani’s campaign says former Governor Jim Edgar is endorsing the New York Republican. Giuliani has two campaign appearances in the Chicago area this afternoon.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Please get help. Short of that, if you are really bent on achieving your goal, please leave the rest of us alone. There are plenty of inert, non-living objects that you can crash into. And this goes for those of you wanting to do it with a gun. Noone wants to go with you and you have no right to decide otherwise.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Update: BriBlog does the right thing and removes the pictures (see comments). And golly folks, we got through this without even one dismissive wave of the “politically correct” accusation hand.
Also, if your interests lie in humorous historical recreations by older people, try this.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
That's Augie on the left and Molly on the right.
Augie is a seven years old toy poodle and Molly is a teacup poodle who is less than a year old. This picture was not set up. I walked into our dining room this afternoon to find them just sitting quietly together on a chair in the corner. I have no idea what possessed them to do this, but I was quick on the draw with my iPhone camera and was able to catch them in the act of...doing nothing.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I'm guessing it's all the immature swear words.
Note: The image is not a link, use the link above.
Although I never did TV news (never wanted to), my experience with radio broadcast news wasn’t much better, even two decades ago. The hours sucked and the pay sucked even harder. You have to either be really ambitious (and, sorry, self-centered) or just really, really like the work itself. I fell short on both those counts. I moved on and I’m happier for it.
The thing I liked the most was doing a talk show. It was kind of fun have an audience when I spoke my mind. I find blogging satisfies that same desire (with a much smaller audience) while allowing me to hold down a job that actually pays a decent wage and doesn’t require me to cover a fire at 2:00 AM.
I never ventured into TV news because I really didn’t want to be recognized on the street (although that’s a feature, not a bug for some people). I also didn’t like the idea of having to base all stories around some visual. That just seemed like extra work that often didn’t add anything to the “news” aspect. In fact, the visuals often made a story “newsworthy” when in fact it wasn’t, it just looked good on TV. And it’s still that way. It just wasn’t for me.
Well, I never let facts get in the way of a good beer blogging buzz, so I am reprinting a version of the story here in all its falseness.
Socialite Paris Hilton is spearheading a campaign to stop a herd of elephants killing themselves - after bingeing on alcohol. The hotel heiress was horrified to discover 40 of the animals were electrocuted after drinking rice-beer, which is brewed by locals in north-east India. And Hilton is now urging Indian residents to lock up their booze.
She says, "There would have been more casualties if the villagers hadn't chased them away. And four elephants died in a similar way three years ago. It is just so sad. The biggest problems are in Assam and Meghalaya. The elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them."
The AP retraction goes like this:
GAUHATI, India (AP) - In a Nov. 13 story, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that Paris Hilton was praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India. Lori Berk, a publicist for Hilton, said she never made any comments about helping drunken elephants in India.
Have a great weekend! And please don't feed the elephants Indian rice beer.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We will be traveling on Thanksgiving but only because we can do it by car and are only going less than two hours away. Otherwise, we would be staying home.
I understand wanting to get together with distant family, but why does that have to happen on Thanksgiving? If the point is to be with loved ones, you can do that any time of year.
What’s really odd is that this happens all over again just a few weeks later at Christmas.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction barring a suburban school district from implementing the state's new law mandating a moment of silence at the start of classes, calling the statute too vague and "likely unconstitutional."Look, this idea was not well thought out before it became law, and its spirit, if not the law in its entirety, is routinely being ignored by schools across the state.
Gettleman asked the parties in the case to return to the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse Thursday when he could consider making the injunction statewide.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Barack Obama, who's been scolding Hillary Rodham Clinton for not hastening the release of records from her time as first lady, says he can't step up and produce his own records from his days in the Illinois state Senate. He says he hasn't got any.The article also mentions that John Edwards is now scurrying to get his "papers" released. It's "papers" arms race.
"I don't have - I don't maintain - a file of eight years of work in the state Senate because I didn't have the resources available to maintain those kinds of records," he said at a recent campaign stop in Iowa. He said he wasn't sure where any cache of records might have gone, adding, "It could have been thrown out. I haven't been in the state Senate now for quite some time."
Obama's statement that he has no papers from his time in the Illinois statehouse - he left in 2004 - stands in stark contrast to the massive Clinton file stored at the National Archives: an estimated 78 million pages of documents, plus 20 million e-mail messages, packed into 36,000 boxes. While any file from Obama's time in the state Senate would be far smaller, the idea that no papers exist at all is questioned by one historian.
"Most of those guys do keep this stuff, especially the favorable stuff. They've all got egos," said Taylor Pensoneau, a historian who has written about Illinois legislators and governors and worked with them as a lobbyist for the coal industry. "It goes in scrapbooks or maybe boxes. I don't think it's normal practice to say it's all discarded."
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said Wednesday that "Obama has a track record of leading the way on reform and disclosure," adding that "correspondence with state agencies and records of requests Obama made to them on behalf of his constituents are available to the public and have been accessed by our opponents and members of the news media."
Pressed for details, LaBolt said Obama did not keep any correspondence with the general public. Ditto for letters to or from state associations and lobbyists, memos on legislation and correspondence with Illinois state agencies. The campaign said Illinois agencies have copies of his requests for information or help, but accessing those records would involve contacting the agencies and asking them to comb though eight years of records to find correspondence from Obama.
Obama hasn't always claimed there were no papers left from his time in the state Senate. Earlier this year, campaign spokesman LaBolt asked The Associated Press to narrow a request for records on whether Obama had ever urged clemency for a convicted criminal.
"You're asking us to do an extremely exhaustive search into every record we have from the U.S. Senate and state Senate offices," LaBolt said at the time. At the news conference in Iowa last week, Obama said he didn't "have a whole bunch of records from those years," but told reporters to "let us know" if there are "particular documents that you are interested in."
Good lord, who cares. Can we talk about real issues and not instigate fishing expeditions for some "gotcha" nugget buried on page 43 of some attachment to a memo issued 15 years ago?
I've been impressed with much of what Obama has said and done but he has self-defeating moments like this that really make me wonder.
Look back Springfield also got a mention in the article. I won’t bother bitching that no address was given for the site since I haven’t bothered posting there in two years, although Marie has.
Good luck, Russ, on the book but, hey, don’t forget the blog!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library is seeking original material related to the 1908 Springfield race riot for use in a major exhibit scheduled to open next year.Is my thinking too narrow on the purpose of the ALPL? The 1908 riots were very relevant to the history of Springfield and perhaps even the nation, but it happened more than 40 years after Lincoln died. Or does anything that happens in Springfield automatically have a Lincoln connection. It is, after all, ironic that the Great Emancipator's home town had race riots. Does the ALPL host other exhibits not directly related to Lincoln? Just wondering.
“This anniversary marks a terrible but important part of our history,” said Presidential Library and Museum Executive Director Rick Beard. “The items we are seeking that may have been passed down by family members will be a direct link to something we should never forget.”
The library is seeking family photographs and letters; items that belonged to the victims; postcards of the riot; funeral home programs; police badges; saloon memorabilia; material from buildings damaged or destroyed in the riot; or any other items with direct connections to the riot.
Monday, November 12, 2007
This is just something I’ve noticed over the years and isn’t a big deal; I just wonder why it is. I mean, there are plenty of younger vets, and middle aged vets but somehow the old vet has become the expected icon of veteran imagery.
And what the hell is this?
Bush looks like some kind of patriotic angel hovering over the photographer. Who thinks up these shots of propagandistic opportunity?
My guess is that they didn’t want to make any statements until they knew for sure whether there was any danger to the public. For example, if there had been a danger and a spokesperson had announced there was none, that would have opened up the city to even more liability. And had there not been any danger, and it was announced that there might be, a certain level of panic theoretically could have ensued, which would not have helped anything.
Or maybe they really just didn’t give a shit.
No matter what the reason, the city really needs to work on this. Although given Mayor Davlin’s attitude toward the issue, I’m guessing it won’t be a top priority.
“Tough.” That was Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin’s response Sunday when pressed about why it took officials two hours Saturday to release information to the public about the power plant explosions and possible dangers to the community.Wrong answer Mr. Mayor.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I was on my way to the Pleasant Plains High School presentation of Bye Bye Birdie when the incident happened, so I knew nothing about it until I got home hours later. And even then the first thing I heard about it was from my daughter (who had been in the play) text messaging me about how the power plant had blown up (!). I called her and she told me that it was her information that one of the smoke stacks had collapsed causing an explosion that was releasing poison gas! Eeeek!
Well, it turned out not to be quite THAT bad. And it was nice to have the SJ-R online with the real story to counter the rumors. Although i can imagine folks living in the southeast part of town (like Marie) had quite a fright at first.
Many thanks to the emergency responders and to CWLP for making it possible for us to keep our lights on through all this. Shit happens and they were ready for it.
Friday, November 09, 2007
However, I much prefer John's Halloween-esque post on reason he has a fear of blood. I mean, damn.
I picked up a six pack box of Erdinger last weekend at Friar Tuck. They had a big pile of them. For those of you who have been to the Springfield store, it was one of those stacks of beer they have in front of the refrigerated section.
The Erdinger folks have a website here. Be sure to have the sound up on their home page. Why is it German only sounds pretty when talking about beer?
And they even kindly included instructions on how to pour an Erdinger.
Have a great weekend! And drink wheat beer not WEAK beer.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Ryan was one of Thompson’s former lieutenant governors, and when Ryan was indicted on corruption charges in late 2003, Thompson, then chairman of the Winston & Strawn law firm, arranged for Ryan to have a free defense worth anI guess I never thought Thompson’s defense of Ryan, both legally and as a friend, somehow denigrated the office of governor. Nor do I think it’s hurt Thompson’s reputation. In fact, since he’s been out of office for nearly 17 years, I’m not sure he has much of a reputation as a former governor. By that I mean he wasn’t all that memorable as a governor to begin with and after nearly two decades a lot of people don’t remember much about his governorship if they are even old enough to remember him at all.
estimated $20 million.
Thompson kept a low profile during Ryan’s trial, but after Ryan was convicted in April 2006, Thompson became the main spokesman for the appeal effort, arguing in written motions and to reporters that Ryan didn’t get a fair trial and underscoring the view that the conviction was a “travesty.”
On Wednesday, then, Thompson and his wife accompanied Ryan, his wife and other family members on Ryan’s ride to the federal prison camp near Oxford, Wis., where he began serving a 6 1/2 -year sentence.
Yes, Thompson was one of Ryan’s lawyers, and lawyers should act and speak forcefully on behalf of their clients. There’s no shame in that.
And yes, Thompson is a friend and former close professional and political associate of Ryan’s, and friends should provide support in times of trouble and need. There’s no shame in that, either.
But Thompson is not an ordinary lawyer, nor is he an ordinary friend.
He’s an elder statesman. The dignity and respect of the office of governor of Illinois are both his burden and his advantage in life, no matter what positions he goes on to hold.
My memories of the Thompson years are ones of a fairly calm period in state government. In my senior year in high school, I worked at White Oaks Mall and would occasionally see him come into the bookstore in which I worked. He seemed to go through repeated cycles of claiming state government was in great financial shape at election time and then would suddenly discover things weren’t so rosy once he was reelected (again and again). Then there was the Gary Dotson case (that was fun hearing the governor talk about seaman stains). And I covered a few local visits by the governor when I was in radio news. But that’s about the extent of my impressions of Thompson as governor and I was probably paying more attention than most at the time. He seemed competent enough and not particularly controversial or politically aggressive. In other words, nothing to write home about either way. So I don’t see where he has much reputation to lose.
But what say ye? Is Thompson’s reputation in ruins due to his association with Ryan?
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
We’re talking about the green signs. You know the ones that sit on the edge of a town that tout the accomplishments of a particular high school athlete or team.OK, now I can wonder about something else.
The “high school champions” sign program has been around for about 30 years. The initial motivation was to honor IHSA state winners in the communities they hailed from. “Sometime in the ’70s, we started to develop policy on it,” said Mike Glaffey, media liaison for IDOT.
General guidelines are in place for each of the nine transportation districts in the state. Up to four signs per municipality are allowed. A request can be made for any individual or team that places from first to third in any school-sponsored statewide competition. The signs stay up for a year and are then to be taken down and given to the town they were put up in.
“We don’t have rigid statewide rules. We leave it up to each district to monitor things,” Glaffey said.
Ryan's typical work day will begin at 7:30 a.m. and include duties such as mopping floors, cleaning toilets, raking leaves, cutting grass, painting and shoveling snow, [prison spokesman Mike] Truman said.I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Not because Ryan used to be governor and such tasks are beneath him, but because he’s an old man in ill health. I’m thinking he won’t be shoveling all that much snow.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Here's one thing about being a white guy: You hear a lot of "private" talk from other white guys who assume you're on the same side of the fence as they are and feel free to start spewing, especially when they've had a few drinks, or they're (ahem) "angry," and this is the kind of shit they spew.Maybe we all hope that the people we are with at any given moment think just like us. But wouldn’t you think that on a touchy subject like blatant racism one might be a little more cautious? That’s not been my experience though. There is a certain portion of the population that is very sure their hatred for Blacks or Hispanics or Arabs, or all of the above, is a widely held belief. And when I say “population”, I’m talking about white population here (including many women, I might add), because that’s the ethnic group most likely to convey their racist inner thoughts to me.
Unfortunately, the only thing I ever seem capable of expressing to them is my utter bafflement why they think I would ever be on their side. Mind you, guys like this are in the far minority, but there are more of them floating around out there than you'd think.
As Neiwert points out in another post, confronting these people accomplishes nothing and may even be counter-productive in some ways. You then are dismissed as, to use an old phrase, just a “n**ger-lover”, or “politically correct” as it’s known today.
No larger point here. I just find it strange the assumptions some people make about my thought process just based on the color of my skin. But then, that’s what racism is all about, isn’t it?
Monday, November 05, 2007
It turns out the woman who sent the package was Alice Elliot, the maker of the documentary that features two Springfield women with developmental disabilities. Apparently, my mother was friends with the two women, Kathy Conour and Diana Braun, in “Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy”. Mom met them through her work with the church. Conour and Braun were even at my mother’s funeral where I met them for the first time, but I had not idea they were so famous.
From what I’m told, she was visiting Conour and Braun one day when Elliot showed up with a camera for her film (or maybe Elliot was there and my mother showed up, I’m not sure). Anyway, Elliot wound up interviewing my mother for the film. When she heard that my mother had died, she sent the footage she had.
I have not seen the film, so I don’t know if my mother’s part is even in the final product. However, there is going to be a showing of the film here in Springfield a week from Saturday. I’m going to have to go to see if mom made the cut.
I haven’t even seen the outtake that was sent to my sister, so if she does appear in the film, it will seem very strange, almost like seeing someone speak from the grave. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Monday Morning Update: Well, the strike is on. An interesting part of the linked-to LA Times article above says that during the last writers strike in 1988, producers took over the writing duties on soap operas. This allowed them to stay on the air. I wonder if anyone noticed.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus announced his intention to seek re-election to the 19th Congressional District, which includes parts of Springfield, today via a series of videos released on his Web site.I guess lying is one of those principles. Or maybe it reflects "integrity and personal responsibility".
“Faith, family, integrity and personal responsibility … those are the values I work every day to represent in Washington, D.C. And they are the reason I ask again for your trust and your support in this campaign for Congress,” Shimkus said in the videos. “To me, real leadership means standing strong for the principles that I'm convinced we share in central and southern Illinois.”
Friday, November 02, 2007
It is almost impossible to buy a manufactured product these days that isn't made in China. That is, until you go to your favorite beer store. There it's hard to find the ubiquitous Made in China label.
But hold on, Macau is coming.
The folks at Macua have a most awesome website and it proudly boasts this about the beer:
Macau is a true "Euro-Asian" beer. It is brewed using advanced Japanese brewing technology and the finest European ingredients. The Macau pale lager is respected as a refreshing, very light, subtle, yet smooth tasting pale lager with just a hint of fresh malt and citrus flavor that tastes wonderful with food or just by itself. If you want to drink a true Euro Asian Beer from China which is 100% formaldehyde free (unlike other Chinese beers) then ask for Macau the next time you're dining at your favorite Asian restaurant. You'll love it because...it's all good..Yes, all good, made in the fine tradition of the Japanese and completely formaldehyde free! Take that you silly Germans.
Check out the logo with the, ummm, not-smiley, er, expressionless face.
And while the blog post linked to above talks of it being introduced to New York, the Macau folks have a larger plas as seen on this map.
Notice that Central Illinois appears to be part of the plan. I realize the graphic is a bit small, but the points on the map are the same expressionless non-smiley faces.
Have a great weekend! And don't get stuck on a slow beer boat to China.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Personally, I love taking the train. It really is the best way to get from here to Chicago, especially if you’re staying downtown. I know there are horror stories out there regarding delays, but I’ve mostly had very positive experiences.