Friday, November 21, 2008

Not Playing

I’m sorry, Elliot.  I love reading your stuff, but I’m not going to join this circular reach around. 

Oh crap… I just did.  I mean, you can't really have a circular reach-around. Not that I've tried anything like that.

What's the deal with Elliot? Is he an imaginary blogger or not? How weird would that be, to have an imaginary friend that lived on a blog?

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Posted by Owen at 1730 hrs
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An Economics Lesson From Culvers

Report card day is a celebratory event in the household.  Recently we celebrated at Culvers, where the kids enjoyed a sundae after dinner.  While our oldest daughter savored her sundae and our son--the world’s slowest eater--took a bite, put his spoon down, told a joke, picked up his spoon, held it up to the light to see if he could see through it, scooped all the custard to the middle to make a tower, called the outer edges a moat, then built a “bridge” to the outer edge before taking another bite, the middle two girls had a different experience.  They had chosen to share a custard treat.  As a result, they sat across from each other at the table, each with a death grip on her spoon, and shoveled the custard as quickly as possible.  Each was determined to keep up with the other so they would each get at least the same amount.  It wasn’t about enjoying the custard or being grateful for it, it was about making sure each got her share. Where did they learn this?

The same is true with our federal tax dollars.  Our legislators have their own Culvers blue spoons and they try to get as much fudge, whipped cream, and frozen custard as they can.  I’m not sure they even care about what they are getting sometimes, it only matters that they get it. Sure, the federal government has obligations in each state, but our legislators should not be arguing that the federal government should pay for a community pool in one legislator’s district because another legislator scored a teacup museum in his.  Federal money should be used for federal issues, of which there are many.  If legislators want money for pet projects, they should get it from their own state’s taxes. 

Especially in this time of recession, we need our legislators to be more careful with our money.  It’s not about getting as much as the next guy for their districts.  It’s about making frugal, thoughtful decisions about whether the people of Florida should have to pay for a virtual reality spray paint simulator in Minnesota.  Whether it’s really wise to bailout industries that drove themselves into the ground at the expense of others. 

It’s Americans’ sundae.  Get your spoons out of it. If you don't stop eating like that, I'm going to take that sundae away from you. If you don't demonstrate some better manners, we're marching right out of this restaurant and we won't ever take you here again.

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Posted by Wendy at 1224 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Al-Qaida #2?  Where’s #1?

An al-Qaida person apparently attempted to insult President-elect Obama in a new message.

Why haven’t we heard from bin Laden?  Because bin Laden is dead and has been for a couple years.  They can’t recycle an old message because Obama wasn’t politically significant when bin Laden was alive.  The words “Barack Obama” never passed the lips of bin Laden because he would never insult a secret Muslim, so Obama will have to get his insults from the #2 guy.

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Posted by Wendy at 0807 hrs
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Butt-Out Tool

Anyone ever use one of these?  Does it work?

image

One of the more unpleasant chores of field dressing now takes just seconds to accomplish using the innovative Butt-Out Tool. This tool is the fastest, easiest way to disconnect the anal alimentary canal from deer or similar-sized game. Immediately after harvesting game, insert the Butt-Out Tool into the anal canal and twist until it grabs the membrane. Continue twisting another half turn, then steadily pull the Butt-Out Tool out of the canal. Extract 10” of membrane, tie the membrane off and cut. Its time-saving ease of use makes this the tool every deer hunter needs in his pack.

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Posted by Owen at 1704 hrs
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A safely, armed citizenry

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online.  It’s called, ”A safely, armed citizenry.”

You can tell what’s on my mind.

This past presidential election cycle was a heated one. Since the election, there has been a run on firearm purchases. Handgun sales, for example, soared 82 percent in Wisconsin after the election.

All of this collective firepower is about to be put to use. It will only be a few days before hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites load up with high-power rifles, shotguns, and pistols and walk out their doors. Their greatest concern will be how, where and if they will have the opportunity to spill blood.

Of course, I’m talking about opening day of the gun deer season. On Saturday, thousands of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Socialists, Communists and Anarchists will head to the woods in the hopes of harvesting some good meat and possibly a nice trophy buck. OK, perhaps the Greens won’t be out hunting, but the other parties will be well represented.

During the nine-day gun deer hunt millions of rounds will be fired, and about 350,000 deer will be harvested. While there will inevitably be some tragic accidents, it is worth noting how incredibly safe the gun deer season is. Fewer hunters will be killed during a decade of gun deer seasons than people will be gunned down in Milwaukee during an average summer.

Also, I throw this out there again.

One more slightly related thought: I will once again use this space to advocate for limited hunting within the city limits. It can be done safely and there are some giant deer in the city. I noticed that the Baraboo City Council recently unanimously approved deer hunting within its city limits. There’s no reason why West Bend can’t follow their lead. For example, how about limited bow hunting on private land within the city limits? If we can’t hunt them, remember that it’s always car season.

Follow the logic: Nothing could be safer than hunting in public parks. Nothing could be prettier than watching the sun set in the park, watching for deer to shoot as the kids walk home from school.

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Posted by Owen at 0740 hrs
Firearms + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Illuminating the Unintentional Consequences of Futzing with Light Bulbs

I was in the light bulb aisle today to get a 60 watt bulb to replace the hall light.  We use different light bulbs throughout the house.  Some need only 25 watts, some get 45, a few get 60, and the Easy Bake Oven gets 100.  We tried 45s in all our lights to save energy.  In some rooms it works, in others we need something more.  You know, just those regular consumer decisions we regular joes make every day.  But 45 is too dim for the hall and 75 is too bright.  60 is just right.  Like porridge and the three bears!

Today, however, when I realized we had exhausted our stash of 60 watt bulbs, I was surprised to see that the wattages have all changed.  35s are now 34.  45s are 37, 60s are 52, and 75s are now 67 watts. 

What. The. Heck? Do they expect me to do Chinese arithmetic, right there in the store?

So I assume that the light bulb people want me to replace my 60 watt bulb with the new 52 watter.  Well, I don’t really need to assume that because they tell me on the box that they want me to replace my 60 watt bulb with a 52 watt bulb.  But I know from experience that 45 is too dark and that 60 is the minimum we need so that I don’t trip over the flat floor on my way to the bathroom.  I don’t want to split the difference.  I want a 60 watt bulb.  So instead, I chose a 67 watt bulb, thus using more energy and defeating the purpose of messing with light bulb wattages.

In the words of the infamous Chris Crocker, “Leave GE aloooone!” I mean, they wouldn't just lie to us about inferior bulbs, would they?

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Posted by Wendy at 1707 hrs
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

David Bowie - Space Oddity

I've always had a thing for David Bowie.

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Posted by Owen at 1957 hrs
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Lobbyist vs. Deer

In this weird story, words that should never be uttered in the same sentence collide:  “impaled” and “groin.” I made the mistake of clicking through to the actual article, which includes a photo of the victim, bloody boxers and all.  This is just the latest in the Boots and Kittens recurring theme of "things you can do with your groin".

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Posted by Wendy at 1139 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Carjacking

There’s a reason why I roll through stop signs when I drive through the north side of Milwaukee.

Carjackers added insult to injury early today when they forced their victim to strip naked and shot him in the leg before stealing the sport utility vehicle he was driving on Milwaukee’s north side. According to police, the 35-year-old victim was approached by three men - two of them with handguns - near N. 16th and W. Wright streets around 1:20 a.m. today. He was taken to a hospital, but his injuries were not expected to be life-threatening.

I’m not afraid of black people. I’m afraid of gang-bangers and hooligans. What's that? You think I'm racist? It’s interesting how you equate crime with black folks. Is there a little projection afoot? You must be the real racist. It's not like rolling through a stop sign is illegal or dangerous in this situation, even in the daylight hours when I might be in the area. Not the same in the light-y as it is in the dark-y. It's not that kind of neighborhood, if you know what I mean.

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Posted by Owen at 1406 hrs
Culture + Law + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life and Science

At this hour of the evening, as I sit in my underwear and blog, I ponder the unponderable. I have a rather intimate relationship with death.  We seem to cross paths fairly frequently. I am of the opinion that in many cases medical science has extended life beyond what is natural.  Frankly, I know where I’m going when I die and I don’t need to live an extra 10 years pissing in a bag and hurting every time I move.  Just a thought… a dark thought, here in the dark.

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Posted by Owen at 2330 hrs
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fifty-Two Percent

Good point.

Commenter Stuffed reminded me that Prop 8 in California only passed by 52%, which is a “narrow defeat” and not the “overwhelming mandate” Obamatrons are claiming with their 52%.

I guess we can still hold out hope that a man and a man could someday marry in California. A man's got to dream, I guess.

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Posted by Owen at 1254 hrs
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Friday, November 07, 2008

Snow

I’m in my hotel room in Minneapolis about to head to work.  I woke up a while ago and was greeted with a view of snow.  Not just a flurry.  Snow. *sigh* I guess it’s that time of year.  Not that I'm feeling sad or anything.

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Posted by Owen at 0847 hrs
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Toad, Spider, Whatever

Our son was wiping off the kitchen table this evening when he let out a scream.  On the table was a spider that was the size of a small toad.  Seriously.  It was the grossest thing I have ever seen on my kitchen table (and I have made Tabasco Soup!).  I pulled the .22 out of the junk drawer and shot it at point blank range! Then I threw its disgusting remains into the trash.  Ew.  No really.  Ew, ew, ew.

We had just brought in the newspaper, and we think it came off of that.  Ew.  Off to the park!

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Posted by Wendy at 1953 hrs
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama

May the sadness and drinking begin. That is all…

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Posted by Owen at 2230 hrs
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We interrupt this election to reflect on West Bend

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online.  It’s called, ”We interrupt this election to reflect on West Bend.”

I start out with a few final thoughts on the election and they lurch into some bragging about West Bend.  Check it out!

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Posted by Owen at 0757 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Obama Responds

More accurately, his campaign responds.

The Associated Press found that Obama’s aunt had been instructed to leave the country four years ago by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya. The woman, Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUHN on-YANG-oh), is living in public housing in Boston and is the half-sister of Obama’s late father.

A statement given to the AP by Obama’s campaign said, “Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed.”

The campaign said it was returning $260 that Onyango had contributed in small increments to Obama’s presidential bid over several months. Federal election law prohibits foreigners from making political donations. Onyango listed her employer as the Boston Housing Authority and last gave $5 on Sept. 19.

Perhaps this should be cause for the Obama campaign to take a good hard look at all of those little donations.  One wonders how often ineligible donors are giving to his campaign. 

Also, notice the hedging.  All “appropriate” laws should be followed.  Who defines “appropriate?” It’s almost Clintonian.  He could have said something like, “she should be deported immediately as the judge ordered four years ago,” but that’s entirely too concrete for a slippery politician like Obama. 

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Posted by Owen at 1213 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Days

Here is a peek into our lives today:

Daughter #2: It’s two days today: Halloween and Martin Luther Day.

Me: Reformation, not Martin Luther Day. Martin Luther wouldn’t want today to be about him but about fixing things in the church.

#2: Right, it’s about the 95 Feces.

Me: Theses.

#2: Whatever. I'll repeat whatever you drill into me.

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Posted by Wendy at 1247 hrs
Culture
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