Friday, November 30, 2007

Some good news from Irving

Despite the Packers getting bitch-slapped by the Dallas Cowboys last night, there was some good news for Green Bay fans.



Mainly, the fact that the Sunday School Teacher is no longer on the sidelines. He is someone else's
problem now. (Hmmmm, could the relative proximity of Irving to College Station have had something to do with the re-emergence of Bad Brett? I would not ignore that possibility.)

Just two years (plus 2 games) ago, another blogger* wrote.
"I'm going to tell you the facts, gentlemen, and the facts are these: At Green Bay, we have winners. We do not have losers. If you're a loser, mister, you're going to get your ass out of here and you're going to get your ass out of here right now. Gentlemen, we are paid to win. Gentlemen, we will win."
- Vince Lombardi

Something has clearly changed about being a Green Bay Packer over the years. When Mike Sherman talks about his 2-8 Green Bay Packers, he says they've done some good things, are dealing with devastating injuries, and really hope that they'll do better next time. As I watch Mike Sherman fumbling with his note cards on the sidelines, it makes me wonder, What would Vince Lombardi do?

Vince Lombardi taught us that being a winning organization was more about attitude and hard work than personnel. When he came to Green Bay, he turned a group of losers into a team that worked harder, prepared better, and expected to win every game. It wasn't that Green Bay had the greatest players in the league, but the Lombardi attitude turned them into the greatest team in the league. The players became champions because of what their coach and then they themselves came to believe. They were winners, and they paid the price and had the attitude to make it happen.

Mike Sherman is not that kind of guy. He comes off like an accountant in his numbingly boring and uninsightful interviews. He seems to suffer over losing, but also seems to be prepared to live with it. His interactions with fans and the media are wooden and full of platitudes. I'm sure he probably gets mad sometimes, but I can't imagine the experience would be very inspiring. What does he expect from his players? Well, he says he was disappointed in this guy or that play, and moves on to the next week where the same thing happens over and over again.

They will eventually win some games, but the Super Bowl will never again become a reasonable possibility without a dramatic change in attitude. Mike Sherman is clearly not the guy to make that happen.

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all-the-time thing.
You don't win once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
- Vince Lombardi

No excuses from Coach McCarthy following the loss, and he benched two under-performing players. He's more like Vince than Sherman.

From 8-20 in 2005 and early 2006, to 14-2 from the end of '06 until yesterday.
Under the leadership of the Evil Genius and The Kid from the Sou' Side the Packers have come a long way. Even after the beating in Texas the following is true.
  • The Packers' record is 10-2
  • They lead their division by 3-1/2 games
  • They control their playoff destiny for a first round bye and second round home game
All of this was beyond anyone's imagination in the fifth year of Mike Sherman. Now that he is gone, the Super Bowl is a reasonable possibility.

That news is good enough for me.


*I cannot remember the blogger, but he wrote a lot of fantastic posts. I made a Word doc of this one and posted it on my office wall. Let me know if this rings a bell.

I don't believe him



I don't believe Anderson Cooper's denial of knowledge of the Hillary-General Kerr connection. Since Cooper and Kerr reportedly play on the same team (not that there's anything wrong with that); Kerr's position on the Clinton campaign would have been of interest to Cooper when it was announced. I'd guess that Kerr was picked for the debate specifically because Cooper became aware of him when Kerr endorsed Clinton.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I was drinking - price break



The German wines from Sendik's that I endorsed last week are now an even better bargain. The Burg Layer Schlosskapelle 2006 Bacchus Spätlese is now only $7.99 for a liter and the Rüdesheimer Rosengarten 2006 Spätlese is only $6.99. At these prices, these will make terrific party wines.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's for the children

To pay for highways, buildings and environmental programs, state government slid 87% deeper in long-term debt over the past 10 years.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state had $8.28 billion in general-obligation, transportation and environmental debt in mid-2006; the same debts totaled $4.41 billion in 1996.

The 87% increase was three times the U.S. inflation rate over that period.

Figures show that debt rose the most - by $1.8 billion- under Thompson between 1996 and 2001, when he resigned to become a cabinet secretary for President Bush. Debt increased by more than $1.5 billion in Doyle's first three years.

Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, said the growing debt is another risky budget decision governors and legislators have made to benefit themselves politically.

It isn't for me. I don't expect to be around to pay off this debt. Hopefully my kids will have the opportunity and good sense to get away, too.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Smokin' Names

A virtual friend has pointed out that any worthwhile barbecue pitmaster should have a barbecue nickname. The Blues Name Generator posted by Tom McMahon works well for BBQ too, with some minor modifications.

BBQ Name Generator
Originally Planet Proctor's Blues Name Generator
Letter
Your First BBQ Name
Your Middle BBQ Name
A
Blind
Bones
B
Muddy Money
C
Crippled Legs
D
Smokey Sal
E
Texas Eyes
F
Woody Lemon
G
Ugly Killer
H
Brown Hips
I
Happy Lips
J
Boney Fingers
K
Curly Boy
L
Pretty Liver
M
Jailhouse Gumbo
N
Peg Leg Foot
O
Red Mama
P
Sleepy Back
Q
Bald Duke
R
Skinny Dog
S
Fat Bad Boy
T
Big Baby
U
Yella Chicken
V
Toothless Pickles
W
Smokin' Sugar
X
Fat Boy Cracker
Y
Hickory Tooth
Z
Steel-Eye Smoke
Rule
Use your first initial Use your middle
or last initial
Example: SD becomes Fat Sal
Wow. This thing really works.

Boney Dog reporting.

Kringle-blogging

With apologies to Mr. Heyer, you can beat factory-bakery produced kringle at home. Last Christmas, Mrs. Headless baked a pair of kringle using this pastry recipe. It was her first try at kringle. The recipe is a multi-day affair, so plan ahead, it is well worth the effort.



On the left below is her raspberry-strawberry jam & sliced almond filled kringle. On the right, her turtle kringle - chocolate, caramel & pecan filling.



These were the best kringle I had ever eaten. Granted, I've never had the chance to try kringle still warm at the bakery.

For more
kringle filling ideas, there are other recipes here and here.

Note to Mrs. Headless, consider this a hint if you please.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jeff Wagner, closet leftist?

I know it is just a throwaway line, but Jeff Wagner pulls one out of the leftwing playbook.

In rejecting a four year $42 million dollar offer from the Brewers to sign with the Cincinnati Reds for a couple of million more ($42 million, $46 million - at those numbers, does it really matter?), Cordero has demonstrated that he has a peculiar way of showing his gratitude.
So someone other than Cordero should decide when he is making enough money?

How much is too much to host a radio talk show? Should Sykes settle for Wagner's pay, or Wagner for James T.'s? Some people believe so.

And if $1 million a year shouldn't matter to Cordero, why should the minuscule cost of Healthy Wisconsin matter to you, me and Jeff. That property tax increase is only several hundred bucks, why should we care?

Don't go there Jeff. You are making a bad point for them.

Bidding ends December 10



I don't know that I'd want a "game issued" (i.e., sweaty) uniform, but I do find these retro Badger uniforms to be very fashionable.

Badger fans will have an opportunity to bid on uniforms that are reminiscent of those worn by Wisconsin during its run to 1941 National Championship. In celebration of that memorable season, these vintage uniforms will be issued for one game only, and worn in the Wisconsin vs. Wofford men’s basketball game on Dec. 3, 2007.

Each uniform package includes the jersey, shorts, socks, and shoes. All items are official and authentic Wisconsin basketball uniforms. All items are game-issued and include a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan.

A cool concept celebrating a largely forgotten part of Badger history. Bid here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A bumper sticker for Pete

COEXIST. The point they missed.

When I first saw a COEXIST bumper sticker (on a Prius in Madison, of course), one of my reactions was that in certain parts of the world, that sticker would be considered extremely offensive. The placement of a Star of David within inches of the Islamic Crescent would provoke outrage.

We learned earlier this year of the lack of tolerance for offensive images in parts of the Middle East. I contend that the below two images would be considered equally offensive and would provoke equal outrage.



Don't believe it? Then put your life where your mouth is and drive a Prius with that smug and edgy bumper sticker on the streets of Beirut or Kabul. I'm still computing the over/under for the number of lashes that you would receive in Riyadh.

Promoting religious tolerance through religiously offensive bumper stickers. Good fun in Madison. A chance for moral indignation in Milwaukee. A death sentence in Tehran.

Black Friday - Humbug.

There is nothing like long lines and missed opportunities to take me out of the mood for anything, especially for massive Christmas spending.

The news reports of Black Friday shopping have me wishing that I could stay in my house all day. Mrs. Headless was out at 05:00, but aborted her shopping after a bad experience at her first stop.

Being bait & switched with teaser prices that are unattainable will also make me less, not more, likely to purchase a given product.

This Black Friday marketing must work, or they wouldn't do it. It just doesn't work with me.

Screw 'em.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sheboygan - More than just exeptional bratwurst

Do not leave me alone with YouTube.



I think Steve is Mr. July on the Althouse Men in Shorts 2008 Calendar.

Putting our lives in perspective

Varifrank's Law #20.
If you feel the need to whine about the current circumstances of your life, imagine yourself standing on the stage of a college lecture auditorium, in the audience sit all the members of your ancestry extending back all the way in time to the stone age. Father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grand fathers and mothers and so on and so on. Now, imagine trying to tell them how tough you have it and then try to imagine how hard they would laugh at you for complaining about the air conditioning on your Lexus not working or your condo in Florida going down in value.
Beyond that Lexus and condo ...
  • Look at all the fresh, safe, high quality food in front of you today. More of a feast than your ancestors could ever imagine.
  • Consider the medical care you receive. Unheard of for even my parents' generation, and a bargain even without insurance coverage.
  • Technology. I can't begin to believe what I can buy today for just one day's wages. Products that were beyond science fiction as I was growing up.
  • A public education. Yes, despite our bitching, for families and children that care, our educational opportunities are exceptional.
  • Living in the United States of America. Our stable government has allowed me to live with never a day of fear, cold, or hunger in my life.
The list is endless.

Give thanks.

Black Friday, are you feeling it?



Set those alarm clocks for no later than 03:00 so you will be in the queue for that $99 GPS receiver. Step right up. Don't be late.

That was an Old Style* flashback moment for me. I think the last time I heard Tom Waits was my college roommate's constant playing of his Small Change LP. Here is a live version with Mr. Waits.



*Old Style was about as wild as it ever got for me, except for maybe the Everclear enhanced Kool-Aid at
that Jonestown party.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why now?

Just because I wanted to give the finger to the fascists and fascist appeasers who comprise the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.



The First Amendment to the United States Constitution: Deal With It!

Coexist with these Islamic killers? Don't be stupid. They will hack your head off at their very first opportunity.

NB: I would still be quite honored to have
Tom McMahon 4-Block my Jena-Jude blogpost.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Paul Soglin: Deathnocrat

I shouldn't pick on noted intellect Paul Soglin, but he begs for it. However, this post goes beyond Paul to include his entire Party of Taxes.

Paul* recently wrote:

The death of a doctor last week in Milwaukee County highlights the never ending debate over the role of government in providing for our health and safety. Dr. Krishna Chintamaneni was driving on I-43 and was killed when the wheel flew off a semitrailer truck.

[...]

Somewhere there was failure. Somewhere there was some government agency too busy, too over-worked, stretched beyond its resources that was not able to effectively follow up and enforce the regulations.

Quick. When did you last check the torque on your vehicle's tires? What does your Owner's Manual recommend?

Paul's answer is more taxes and more spending. Prioritization of finite resources is never a solution for Paul or these other taxers. They always demand another government program and increased taxes.

Instead of maintaining bridges they divert motor fuel taxes to build under-utilized choo-choos, then demand higher taxes to fix the bridges. Rather than inspect motor vehicles these motor fuel taxes pay for buses. Spending is never enough.

By ignoring the unintended consequences of their actions, Paul and his ilk have killed millions. The latest example is their taking food from the starving to fight an imaginary climatic crisis.

The blood of millions is on the hands of Paul Soglin.

Paul's
projection doesn't fool me.


*Che, Fidel, Hugo and Paul. Some notable one-name icons of Madison's communist community.

"Pre-operational terrorist planning"

Terrorists probing air security on a flight to MKE in October. Where has this been reported by the local media?

Annie Jacobsen reports:

This TSA Suspicious Incident #177, Unclassified but For Official Use Only (U//FOUO), "has many of the elements of pre-operational terrorist planning" according to TSA Office of Intelligence. It was leaked to me earlier today in my ongoing efforts to compile terrorist dry runs and probes on airplanes.

A FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer — i.e. armed pilot) flying in non-mission status on October 24, 2007, on a flight from Washington D.C. to Milwaukee, identified himself to flight crew in advance of take-off. When flight crew witnessed suspicious behavior by four passengers, they reported the information to the FFDO.
H/T - Little Green Footballs

I'll have a decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato

More great writing from Mark Steyn, and a terrific tribute to the United States of America.

And just when you think you’re on top of the general trend of novelty, it veers off in an entirely different direction: Continentals who grew up on Hollywood movies where the guy tells the waitress “Gimme a cuppa joe” and slides over a nickel return to New York a year or two later and find the coffee now costs $5.75, takes 25 minutes and requires an agonizing choice between the cinnamon-gingerbread-persimmon latte with coxcomb sprinkles and the decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato. Who would have foreseen that the nation that inflicted fast food and drive-thru restaurants on the planet would then take the fastest menu item of all and turn it into a kabuki-paced performance art? What mad genius!

But Americans aren’t novelty junkies on the important things. “The New World” is one of the oldest settled constitutional democracies on earth, to a degree “the Old World” can barely comprehend. Where it counts, Americans are traditionalists. We know Eastern Europe was a totalitarian prison until the Nineties, but we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies; France and Germany’s constitutions date back barely half a century, Italy’s only to the 1940s, and Belgium’s goes back about 20 minutes, and currently it’s not clear whether even that latest rewrite remains operative. The US Constitution is not only older than France’s, Germany’s, Italy’s or Spain’s constitution, it’s older than all of them put together. Americans think of Europe as Goethe and Mozart and 12th century castles and 6th century churches, but the Continent’s governing mechanisms are no more ancient than the Partridge Family. Aside from the Anglophone democracies, most of “the west’”s nation states have been conspicuous failures at sustaining peaceful political evolution from one generation to the next, which is why they’re so susceptible to the siren song of Big Ideas — Communism, Fascism, European Union. If you’re going to be novelty-crazed, better the zebra-mussel cappuccino than the Third Reich.


I don’t believe the U.S. Constitution includes a right to abortion or gay marriage or a zillion other things the Left claims to detect emanating from the penumbra, but I find it sweetly touching that in America even political radicalism has to be framed as an appeal to constitutional tradition from the powdered-wig era. In Europe, by contrast, one reason why there’s no politically significant pro-life movement is because, in a world where constitutions have the life expectancy of an Oldsmobile, great questions are just seen as part of the general tide, the way things are going, no sense trying to fight it. And, by the time you realize you have to, the tide’s usually up to your neck.


Which isn’t a bad theme song for the first Thanksgiving, either. Three hundred and fourteen years ago, the pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand. The land is grander today, and that too is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker’s dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii. Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Uh huh. Right.

Opening with a sweeping statement directed at climate change skeptics, the summary declares that climate systems have already begun to change.

Unless action is taken, human activity could lead to "abrupt and irreversible changes" that would make the planet unrecognizable.

Will just one of the 10,000 delegates please explain to this simple bumpkin why these see-oh-two levels lead to "irreversible changes," but the historically higher levels of greenhouse gases were reversed and resulted in our current climate?

I'm waiting.

Is that question too hard?

Any time now.

I said "please."

If I rewrite this at the HIGH SCHOOL level can you answer?

Oh crap.

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That last post dumbed down my blog.

Don't look now, but Wiggy got dumber, too.

What I am drinking

From Tom DeZell's Sendik's Wine News of October 3.

At some point during our visit that day, I mentioned to him that I was looking for affordable, good quality, German white wine in liter bottles, preferably a Spätlese. He made it very clear on that day that he would be on the hunt for us. Almost five years have passed in taking this project full circle. Claus sent samples via our wholesaler, and we picked two that we were very enthusiastic about.

These two wines were sourced from St. Antonius Weinkellerei in the Nahe, and the winemaker is Anton Biroth who is a fifth generation winemaker there... Our regular price on the liter of Burg Layer Schlosskapelle 2006 Bachus Spälese is $12.99. We will be featuring this wine for $9.99. The second liter bottling of Rüdesheimer Rosengarten 2006 Spätlese would normally sell for $10.99. We will be featuring this wine for $8.99 or 3 for $24.00.

Both of these wines are loaded up with stone fruit goodness – all peaches and apricots. Rich and spicy with good levels of sweetness, both wines have enough acidity so that they will finish clean. They will appeal to a very broad audience and are perfect for fall and winter holiday entertaining. Enjoy!
I made the mistake of opening the Burg Layer Schlosskapelle 2006 Bacchus Spätlese first. It has a noticeably greater amount of residual sugar than the Rüdesheimer Rosengarten 2006 Spätlese, although the Rüdesheimer Spätlese is sweet in itself, it is tough to switch to the drier wine after tasting the unctuous sweetness of the Schlosskapelle wine.

Both are bargains at these prices. Stock your cellar before I buy it all.

Hello, hello



Random Thoughts

I may have hit the blogging wall. My new job is more demanding and mentally consuming than my previous position and I have little mental energy left for stirring up controversy after I get home. This silliness may get me started.

I made my first project status presentation to plant management yesterday. After witnessing the PM's for eight other projects get grilled and put on the spot, it was my chance to give an update on the project from hell. I went through my talking points with nary a question. This may have been related to being able to report some success and progress, or could have been due to ass-chewing fatigue and the consumption of pizza before they got to me.

Wrangler 5 Star Premium Denin Jeans were never even close to being on my radar screen, but that ad with Brett made them must-haves for me. The fact that the ad campaign provoked sniping from some Twin Cities pundit (another freaking LOSER from the Land of 10,000 LOSERS) makes it all the better. Decent jeans at a really good price with plenty of room for my rear end. What an awesome and effective ad campaign. Wrangler jeans are available at a Walmart near you.

On a more serious note, there was a nice essay by Charles Bork yesterday at National Review Online on the proper ratio of gin to vermouth in a good martini. His conclusion, 7:1 was optimal. My input, be sure to use a decent vermouth. I like Lillet Blanc for an exceptional, albeit different, martini.

Elsewhere, Paul Soglin, the formerly important Madisonian and currently irrelevant blogger, announced that conservative Republicans are to blame for the large accumulation of cerumen he experienced recently. This assertion is based on Mr. Soglin's knee jerk blaming of all things that irritate him on evil conservatives.

Bleg - Help me out here, Soglin's blog is satire, isn't it?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dang! This should be a movie.



Iraqi insurgents apply some
major whupass to al queda.

BAGHDAD - Former Sunni insurgents asked the United States to stay away, and then ambushed members of Al Qaeda in Iraq, killing 18 in a battle that raged for hours north of Baghdad, an ex-insurgent leader and Iraqi police said yesterday.

The Islamic Army in Iraq sent advance word to Iraqi police requesting that US helicopters keep out of the area because its fighters had no uniforms and were indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, according to the police and a top Islamic Army leader known as Abu Ibrahim.

Abu Ibrahim said his fighters killed 18 Al Qaeda militants and captured 16 in the fight southeast of Samarra, a mostly Sunni city about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

"We found out that Al Qaeda intended to attack us, so we ambushed them at 3 p.m. on Friday," Abu Ibrahim said. He would not say whether any Islamic Army members were killed.

Elsewhere, asked to comment Senator Reid said "This is unfortunate, we had the chance to quit while we were behind."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Finally getting started

I took more than a year, but I'm getting started on restoring the hull of my 1962 Thompson Sea Mate. I pulled the outboard, removed the windshield & hardware from the deck, then yanked her off the trailer. Tomorrow I will carefully flip the boat keel-side up with the help of Mrs. HB and the Ubergeek.





The gallery of photos I posted when I first brought home the "Hoarded Treasure" is here. I'll be refinishing the hull with paint from the George Kirby, Jr. Paint Co., in business since 1846. I need to remove the outer keel, to seal and caulk it in order to reduce the current leak rate. I should be done well in advance of the Thompson Reunion next August in Marinette.

232 Years of Heroes



To commemorate the 232nd Anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, I have made a contribution to the Semper Fi Fund.

Please consider a gift to this or another worthy charity.

Cakeblogging

Mrs. Headless's friend's birthday party is today. Her BFF expects a big-deal cake. Mrs. HB gave it her best shot, with help from Epicurious. It was supposed to look like this.



Sorry Michelle.

We'll miss you Geoff

Tom Hardicourt notes the full page ad that Geoff Jenkins had published in today's JS-on-Dead-Tree.

In the event you didn't read the JS this morning, Geoff Jenkins ended his 10-year run with the Brewers with a touch of class.

Taking out a full-page ad in the sports section -- and believe me, that doesn't come cheap -- Jenkins thanked Brewers fans for their support during his time in Milwaukee. "You have made me feel like a part of your community and those memories will last a lifetime," Jenkins wrote.

Whether you were a fan of Jenkins or not, you have to admit that is a classy way to leave an organization. I don't remember any other player making such a gesture upon leaving the club.

This reminds me of a story I read about Gorman Thomas, I think it was in an LATimes article 20-some years ago. It was reported that Gorman was the only major league ballplayer to send flowers and his condolences to the family of a baseball beat writer (BoSox, I believe) for the writer's funeral. Thomas had been interviewed by the reporter just one time. Some people are brought up right.

We are fortunate to have had these two exemplary individuals play the majority of their baseball careers in our outfield. I believe that each would have been a media star had they played in a major market.

What is his name?

I have always been lousy at remembering names, often to an embarrassing extent. Moving to a new area and starting a new job this week gave me a chance to try a technique for better remembering names. I heard the technique in a recent radio interview (I cannot remember the name of the person who was being interviewed).

The technique is when being introduced to someone new to mentally ask myself the question "What is his (her) name?" and then answering the question mentally. The results have been amazing. Of the 30 or so people that I have met, I know the names of at least 90% and have a good guess at the other 10%. In the past, I would be happy to remember 10%.

If you have this problem with names, give this trick a chance.

UPDATE & BUMP (from 10/30/07 to 11/10/07)

This technique really works. I'm still batting better than .900 with over 50 new names/faces. I believe this works similar to placing a shortcut on your Windows desktop. It establishes a pathway between the visual and memory portions of the brain, making that
link immediately upon seeing the face again. I now have names pop into my mind without having to think.

Friday, November 09, 2007

No it is not.

Take that Wiggy.

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Is Genius better than College (POSTGRAD)?

UPDATE:

How obnoxious is that? As if I need an excuse or encouragement.

I was expecting a "Rides the Short Bus" ranking based on my ADD prone ramblings on any topic popping into my head. But the GENIUS label certainly is appropriate and supported by
valid scientific research.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tell me how this works

I (with my brother) am one of Madison's smallest landlords in terms of the number of properties managed - we own one. We try to be responsible and look out for our tenants. We added insulation to the property and even had the coin-op washer & dryer replaced at our cost with free running machines.

This year we have received notices from Madison's Building Inspection Unit for issues as small as a hole in a window screen and trash cans left at the curb. Each time with the threat of fine if the problems were not addressed within 30 days.

Notice anything in the photos below?



How about the missing structural column to support the roof over this porch?



Or the rotting porch deck boards?



Or the missing balusters and inadequate railing?

This porch has been in this condition for over one year. I finally called the Madison Building Inspector to report this condition on September 21. These photos were taken on November 3.

This is not my property. This property is managed by one of Madison's largest landlords. Signs for this company are displayed on residential properties all over the campus area.

Small hole in a window screen, fix within 30 days. Major structural defects with potential for significant injury to the students living in this multi-unit property, never mind.


How does this work?

Periodic Random Food Images

Mrs. Headless has had a hankering for Handmade Ricotta Cavatelli ever since she saw the recipe. This Sunday she decided to make it. Of course, being who she is, she had to start with homemade ricotta for the pasta. She ended up with a massive amount of cavatelli.



We served the cavatelli with my homemade marinara gravy, and some pepper and cheese filled Italian sausage from Sendik's butcher department. The pasta had a velvety texture, but I didn't really taste the ricotta. All togehter, it was a special meal. My marinara gravy turned out excellent this year. I need to remember how I made it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

New from Nini Wang



I received this in an email last week and tracked down the original blog post. Visit
15 Minute Lunch for a good laugh.

I may need to blogroll this guy.

The new job

I started my new job on Monday. After a day of online training and security screening, I finally spoke with my new supervisor Tuesday morning. He told me that I will be running a different project than the one I was hired to manage. I'll be managing the top priority, highest visibility project for the next refueling outage. Pretty cool I think, I like the vote of confidence.

Slowly I learned more of the story. Other project managers told me I was taking over a doomed project and that the project is behind schedule with less than 6 months until implementation. The project had also failed in two previous attempts at implementation. The other PM's were steering clear of this job.

Then I learned that the CEO of this Fortune 500 corporation had a hand in the firing of the previous project manager, unbelievably high level attention for a project this size.

Finally, I get this email note from the owner of my new company (portions redacted).
Welcome aboard. We, and specifically this project, need you. If this
project fails rest assured we will be blamed regardless of our degree
of culpability...

So don your armor and proceed into battle (and watch your backside).

PS - Please don't run out the gate with your arms flailing.
I actually laughed out loud when I read that.

Oh yeah, on Thursday they expanded the project's scope to more than
double what was previously planned.

I see my options as:
  1. Meet everyone's expectations and fail;
  2. Complete the work successfully; or
  3. Run away with my arms flailing.
I intend to dust off some Lombardi quotes and go for #2, although #3 is still a possibility.

I suspect my blogging is going to suffer.


Palo Verde pipe bomb



Yes sir
Mr. Drudge, the security systems at U.S. nuclear plants work.
A nuclear power plant in Arizona was locked down Friday morning after security guards discovered a pipe bomb in a contract worker's truck, authorities said.

Plant operator Arizona Public Service called the discovery an "unusual event" and sealed off the site, with no traffic entering or leaving the grounds.

A bomb squad from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department declared the pipe bomb a "credible explosive device."

The contract worker was entering Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station at a checkpoint for a standard security inspection at the beginning of the day shift. Guards armed with automatic rifles check identification and search under the hoods of all vehicles entering the plant.

APS security discovered this bomb at the very first checkpoint for entering the Owner Controlled Area. Think of this as a checkpoint at the airport before you even can get to the parking, departures and arrivals areas. I won't give away any secrets, but a lady I worked with was detained by security at this checkpoint after firecracker residue was found on her car. These are not your typical barely conscious TSA workers that are providing security. These are heavily armed nuclear professionals and they are serious.

This bomb was detected before the metal detectors, bomb sniffers and x-ray units were even encountered and was outside of the security fence and razor wire that define the Protected Area, the lowest level security area at the plant.

This is a non-event from a security standpoint, but could be possible evidence of probing of the plant's defenses by terrorists. A good catch by Arizona Public Service.

Zeke would be proud.