One of my favorite songs - particularly when played with the fiddle.
The Cape Wind Project is a go. 140, 4-story wind turbines five miles off the coast of Nantucket. Ted Kennedy was opposed to it. The environmentalists are opposed to it. I suppose a number of Massachusetts residents hate it as well.
But the Native Americans?
The Wampanoag (try "Womp-a-nog") Nation of Martha's Vineyard says these wind turbines or whatever they're called will interfere with sacred rituals...something about the turbines possibly interfering with the sun (?).
Fine - but here's the other part of their claim I don't understand. Apparently, that stretch of five miles between the shore and where the turbines would be located was once above water (a thousand years ago or so) and the Wampanoag Nation is concerned there are long-submerged tribal burial sites out there...and the constructing and implementaton of the turbines would desecrate those burial sites.
Now there's probably a shitload of burial sites under water these days, representing a variety of cultures. Are you telling me that we're supposed to block the progress of a new technology that's environmentally sound for the planet because some burial sites from 1,000 years ago are a mile below the surface of the ocean?
One would think the Wampanoag Nation (keeping in mind there are many tribes within the Nation) would have more pertinent issues to deal with in this century...like how the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe chairman Glenn A. Marshall pled guilty in February 2009 to federal charges of violations of campaign finance law, tax fraud, wire fraud, and Social Security fraud – all in connection with the effort to secure federal recognition for the tribe.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 10:04 PM
Mexico issued a travel alert to its citizens regarding visiting Arizona in response to that state's new immigration bill recently signed by Governor Jan Brewer. The government bulletin urged Mexican citizens to carry "available documentation … (to) avoid needless confrontation." Which is what Mexican visitors to the U.S. should be doing anyway. The only people that need to fear anything are those who are here illegally - Mexican, Irish, Russian, Serbian, British, etcetera.
Now, if Mexico would just issue an alert for the remaining 49 states...
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 5:51 PM
Fox News gets ripped by the liberal media on a daily basis for being one-sided and distorting the news in order to make the Obama administration and the right look like a bunch of douche bags. And since Fox News describes itself as being "fair and balanced", I can see this as being a valid issue by the left. But is the left any different?
I've seen Bill O'Reilly on numerous occasions get into debates with other Fox News correspondents where they've disagreed. I've heard Glenn Beck admit things on his show in support of the left. But how "fair and balanced" is the liberal media - really?
Advertising exec Donny Deutsch was pulled from MSNBC last Wednesday during a week long guest hosting stint after an "unflattering" mention of MSNBC's No. 1 anchor, Keith Olbermann, the day before. It was during Deutsch's, “America the Angry", show where he analyzed the role the media plays in adding to the public’s anger and showed clips of various media figures from both the right and left getting into tirades on the air, including Keith Olbermann. Some say Olbermann got pissed which led to Deutsch being pulled from the network. Other's say Olbermann's reaction had nothing to do with Deutsch's removal.
The one thing that is not in question is that Deutsch was pulled for ripping on MSNBC "talking heads" - Olbermann. “The segment did not go unnoticed and we’re dealing with it internally,” said Jeremy Gaines, an MSNBC spokesman. And there goes Deutsch. Now how fair and balanced is that, MSNBC?
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 7:30 AM
CBS Sunday Morning did a segment on license plates this past weekend. Back in 2008, a Delaware man paid $675,000 at an auction for the "No. 6" DE license plate. Seriously. Fifty years ago, the state's license plates were black and white. The governor had "No. 1", the lieutenant governor had "No. 2", the secretary of state had "No. 3" and so on. When the state changed license plate colors, the old tag owners were allowed to keep the plates and they have since jumped in value.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 1:58 PM
"Boastful Mary Wanker" (BMW): A very proud female BMW owner, who's very nice but can be bitchy at the same time. If you've never heard of the radio talk show, Car Talk, then you either 1) don't listen to NPR or 2) spend too much time with your head under a car hood to listen to a car talk show.
It's broadcast weekly on National Public Radio throughout the United States and covers anything about cars and car repair with a sense of humor, hosted by brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, also known as "Click and Clack", the "Tappet Brothers". These guys are long-time car mechanics...and they're not your typical "car heads". Ray has a BS degree in humanities and science from MIT and Tom has a BS in economics from MIT and an MBA and DBA from the Boston University Graduate School of Management. Car Talk was first broadcast in Boston in 1977. It was picked up nationally by NPR ten years later and is currently on more than 370 stations, heard by more than two million weekly listeners.
This week's show featured a segment on automotively-inspired words. Car Talk's Click & Clack meet "Urban Dictionary". You can see more on the Car Talk website:
Subris (n) (rhymes with hubris) - the excessive pride which causes one to drive their Subaru off the road on a snowy day, thinking they could drive as fast as they want since they have all wheel drive. Victims of Subris generally lose any respect they had earned among passersby for having a great car.
Jag-S - That self important Pointy Haired Boss who uses up FOUR parking spots for his precious Jaguar.
Acurat - teen-something whos daddy bought an Acura
Volksy - adjective - referring to the kind, organic food, green movement, broom stick skirt, flower carrying type of life style often associated with Volkswagon owners.
slOwldsmobile - A blue hair peering under the steering wheel yet over the dash, usually driving 15mph.
Priusness (n) (rhymes with piousness) - the smug sense of self satisfaction felt by hybrid vehicle owners as they zip from the nearest $3.00 a latte Starbucks to their local Purse Dog Beauty Salon.
Camaro-isma (n) - The boost in sheer, unadulterated animal magnetism that young men hope to obtain when they make their first vehicle purchase an affordably priced sports car. Rampant in small towns, Ohio, and other places stuck in the 1980's.
Mercedes-Bends (n) - A painful and potentially debilitating condition caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood, the direct result of purchasing an outrageously expensive German car. Tends to flare up every 30 days or so, typically just before sending in the monthly car payment.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 11:28 PM
Continuing on with my "Graduate" jag, this is my favorite moment of the film. It begs "what did we just do?" or "what do we do now?" I have this friend in my life that I feel this way about - uncertainty.
What does it mean to you? Kazu Watanbe publishes the blog, Naive Cinema, and he wrote about "The Graduate". Here are his thoughts on the picture above:
The most curious scene for me is the last one in which Benjamin and Elaine get on a bus to escape and sit in the back. The shot duration lasts a little longer than expected and instead of embracing or showing some sign of affection, Benjamin and Elaine sit and do not look at each other, but rather smile slightly. It's an ambiguous image which does not fulfill the romantic notions of their escape nor entirely discredit them. In one sense, it could seem that their riding a public bus reinforces the idea that they are actually not in control after all, but rather are being moved forward by society, which the public city bus could certainly embody, in the same way Benjamin is being moved by the conveyor belt in the airport at the beginning of the film. In another sense, Benjamin's abandonment of his parents' car for the city bus can be seen as his final cutting off (along with the church scene) which finally establishes his removal from his parents' world.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 12:51 PM
I watched "The Graduate" last evening. If you haven't seen it, you should. I'm on a "Graduate" kick now.
#1 - The scream from "The Graduate" that everyone's familiar with.
#2 - This has to be the most effective, over-acted, forced scream I've ever heard in a non-comedy that's funnier than shit.
#3 - And finally, arguably, one of the most maniacal, wigged out, frustrated, psycho, I'm-in-denial-and-don't-want-to-hear screams in the history of cinema (non-horror), again featuring Katherine Ross.
It is courtesy of tvblinkx.com. First, go to this link.
Click on the PLAY button. Click on it again. Once the movie starts move the cursor to the 1:18:30 mark. It'll start playing at the 1:18:08 mark. The scream comes at 1:18:35. It's worth it.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 11:39 AM
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 5:53 PM
I don't follow baseball. By the time football season is over I'm toast. But I did listen to the Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates game yesterday while writing at the coffee shop. 20-0 Brew Crew.
The ass-whooping set/tied several records: tied the largest margin of victory (22-2 victory over Toronto in 1992 - a game I was at), surpassed the Brewers largest run total in a shutout (18-0 at Boston in 1990) and it was the worst loss for the Pirates in their 124-year history. The 35-run difference was the most in a 3-game series since Detroit outscored Minnesota, 45-10 in 1993.
Let's hope the Brewers didn't shoot their wad as I'll be at Miller Park in Milwaukee Tuesday with the boys to welcome the Pirates for Round 2.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 11:18 AM
My favorite comedian. To "get" Regan, you have to "watch" Regan. So watch him.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees graces the cover of EA Sports' Madden 11 video game, having won a fan vote over Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.
Good thing for Allen. He doesn't need the "Madden curse" hanging over his head all season. In a rematch of the NFC Championship game last season, the Minnesota Vikings (hopefully helmed by Mr. Favre) will kick off the 2010-11 NFL season against the defending Super Bowl Champ Saints at New Orleans on Thursday, September 9.
Good luck there, Drew. I have a sneaking suspicion you may be "seeing purple" for 60+ minutes.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 2:38 PM
Kirsten (top) and Bonnie (bottom). Bonnie's a new Facebook friend with a Milwaukee connection to me (sort of) - and she's a Marquette University graduate and an actress. I'm having a staged play reading of my historical, one-act drama, "Reveille!", this fall (more on that later) and I keep my eyes open for actresses who I could potentially cast in the stage production of the play. So far I have two in Cedar Rapids, one in Seattle, one in West Virginia and one in Oregon (Bonnie).
We met for coffee at the Marquette Union this morning to discuss my play - and just talk. (She was visiting from Oregon to see a friend perform in "Sunday in the Park with George" at Marquette University, directed by my friend, Tony Clements. Good show - go see it.) I absolutely love it when the "person" I see in a head shot turns out to be "the person" I meet face-to-face.
Thanks, Bonnie. It was a pleasure...
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 1:35 PM
I blogged about Pittsburgh Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s recent sexually-laced legal woes last month. Kudos to NFL Commish Roger Goodell for handing "Big Ben" a 6-game suspension. This is the exact reason why the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy is in place.
Here are a few excerpts from Commissioner Goodell’s letter:
My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.
Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare.
I believe it is essential that you take full advantage of the resources available to you. My ultimate disposition in this matter will be influenced by the extent to which you do so, what you learn as a result, and a demonstrated commitment to making positive change in your life.
In your six years in the NFL, you have first thrilled and now disappointed a great many people. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track.
Let's see...what games is Big Ben gonna miss? Atlanta, @ Tennessee, @ Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cleveland and @ Miami. Good luck, back-up QB Byron Leftwich. (Too bad the NFL's PCC doesn't cover matters like waffling about retirement. You know - 'cause that's such a big fucking deal to some people.)
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 2:14 PM
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 12:52 PM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
DOWN - Color schemes: NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, a longtime Green Bay Packers' fan, is now driving a purple car when he races. Isn't that like the Racing Sausages (Milwaukee Brewers) showing up for work wearing horned helmets and violet lederhosen?
- Mike Hart
That's a stupid analogy, Mike. The Racing Sausages are employed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Driver Matt Kenseth is NOT employed by the Green Bay Packers; therefore, he can dress his car in any colors he chooses. And he chooses the colors of Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings. Dick.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 7:11 PM
Remember the girl on the left? Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she is Pashtun, the most warlike of Afghan tribes. Her picture graced the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. She was "rediscovered" in 2002 (right) - probably around 30 years old then.
Soon after the reunion between NG photographer Steve McCurry and Gula, National Geographic set up the Afghan Girls Fund, a charitable organization with the goal of educating Afghan girls and young women. In 2008, the fund was changed to the Afghan Children's Fund to include boys.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 4:08 PM
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 7:59 PM
Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they can't and they have little faith that the massive federal bureaucracy can solve the nation's ills, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center that shows public confidence in the federal government at one of the lowest points in a half-century.
I talked about the lack of trust in our government back in early February when I set forth my "manifesto" of sorts on how Americans can become better represented in Washington - The People's Republic Ombudsman Party (PRO).
The president's top strategist, David Axelrod, says that it's not all Obama's fault. Axelrod accuses the Republicans of trying to de-legitimize government. During an NPR broadcast on the Pew survey, Axlerod stated:
"In Chicago, there was an old tradition of throwing a brick through your own campaign office window, and then calling a press conference to say that you've been attacked...I think it's a little bit the same with the Republicans. They meet, they decide we're not going to give the president any bipartisan support, and then they call a press conference to accuse him of not governing in a bipartisan way. And that, I think, grates on people."
Like the Democrats haven't done this in the past? What about "change" and "not politics as usual"...two of Obama's campaign promises? Go ahead, Axelrod - pass the buck, you douch bag. No, it's not all Obama's fault, but it is inherent in politics. And the Obama administration has done nothing to alleviate the public's opinion in government as Obama promised he would do during his presidential campaign.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 6:10 PM
Inability to get my DVD to me in an appropriate amount of time. WTF?
My package - a DVD of The T.AM.I. Show (first-time release) - arrived in Cincinnatti, OH on April 28th and JUST arrived in Forest Park, IL yesterday, March 18th. That's 3 WEEKS (and I'm not including weekends). It's a 5-hour drive between Cincinnatti and Forest Park.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 3:11 PM
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 3:38 PM
According to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article from March 25, 2010, Wisconsin-based We Energies (We's parent company is Wisconsin Energy Corporation) - which services more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin through its utility subsidiaries - paid its CEO, Gale Klappa, a 23% salary increase in 2009 - a base salary of $1,129,008 (same as in 2008) and a bonus of $10,450,220.
A bonus of $10,450,220.
Good for Klappa. Now, in this day and age of over-inflated CEO salaries and bonuses (need I remind you about Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Morgan Stanley, American International Group, Inc., Citigroup Inc., General Motors Corporation, Bank of America, CIT Group), the general public isn't too happy when they hear "$10 million bonus". We Energies stated, however, that customers don't pay for bonuses, incentive pay or stock options...they only fund 76% of Klappa's base salary. So who pays for Klappa's bonus?
In 2009, We Energies reported a record profit of $382.4 million, up 6.5% from 2008. That's where the bonus came from, right? Nope. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for capitalism and people earning a buck, including Mr. Klappa. But how could We Energies have a record profit last year when it also reported their sales were down - due to the recession? And if We Energies' sales were down in 2009, why is Klappa getting a $10 million bonus? AND if Klappa got a $10 million dollar bonus and We Energies had a record profit last year, why did the state Public Service Commission approve a $48.1 million rate increase at the end of March 2010 that'll tack another 2 percent onto the 7 percent increase customers saw added to their bills in January 2010? I know...decreased sales.
Now considering everything I've just told you, how is it that Wisconsin Energy was named one of the world's most ethical companies for the third year in a row?
Does any of this sound ethical to you? Profits are up. Sales are down. CEO Klappa gets a $10 million bonus. We Energies' customers get two rate increases in two months and, on top of all that, there's a salary freeze for most of the 4,700 employees that work for We Energies?
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 10:28 AM
Voluntary minicamp. "OTA'S" - organized team activities. They're happening right now in the NFL (or were, last week). And as the Minnesota Vikings returned to headquarters for workouts, they were surprised to find Wrangler jeans in their lockers - courtesy of their quarterback, Brett Favre. Not the Wrangler brand she's wearing (above).
There we go. Men's Wranglers. If you didn't know, Number 4's been the spokesperson for Wrangler for years. The jeans were a gift from Favre after having his best statistical season of his career and helping lead the Vikes to the NFC title game. No word yet on whether Grandpa Brett's (his daughter just had her first son) coming back for his 20th year in the NFL. I'll be sure to blog about it though when he makes his decision.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 4:09 PM
My best friend's in California - Donovan and Maria - are HUGE Beatles' fans. So is Nick in Cedar Rapids. So am I, actually. The other day, my goddaughter's older sister, Grace (she'll be 3 in July), said to her mommy (Maria):
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 3:47 PM
Actors Richard Devon (top) and my friend, Michael Gregory.
Devon was an American character actor best known for his roles in television and episodic television and film, including The Rifleman, Lassie, and The Twilight Zone, and the films Machine Gun Kelly, The Comancheros and Kid Galahad. He passed away in February of this year at the age of 83.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 1:23 PM
Ireland's Ryanair once ran an ad campaign headlined, "Expensive Bastards!", comparing Ryanair with British Airways. This time around, it's Ryanair that's the "bastards"...for charging it's customers to pee.
Based in Dublin, Ryanair operates over 1,000 routes across Europe and Morocco. It's reputation as a low-cost airlines with no-frills isn't a kept secret. Its vinyl seats don't recline, there are no seat-back pockets, safety cards are stuck on the back of the seats and life jackets are stowed overhead rather than under the seat - all to save on costs. And if you miss a flight, Ryanair won't compensate you.
But Ryanair's not finished. The airline is introducing a "toilet tax", forcing passengers to pay around $1.30 (U.S.) to use the toilet. On top of that, Ryanair is reducing the number of toilets on its planes to ONE.
Hold on to your shamrock, lads and lasses...I'm not done. You'll also be charged $22-$30 for your carry-on during the summer months. Saving costs? That's what you'd think, but really it's for our own good - 'cause Ryanair cares about its customers. Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara told the New York Daily News:
We are determined to incentivize passengers to travel light this summer by increasing our checked-in baggage fees for the months of July and August only...By charging for the toilets we are hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight. That will enable us to remove two out of three of the toilets and make way for at least six extra seats.
If you know me, you know I love the Irish. And I love Ireland. But this is shite. As the old Gaelic saying goes, "Cùm do chù ri leigeadh". Translated: "Hold back your dog till the deer falls." Really?
Not that this will effect many U.S. travelers - yet. You know the airline industry. They love to follow suit. So thanks, Ryanair, for setting a precedent. Thanks for charging for carry-ons (Spirit in the U.S. is already doing this). And for taking away all the bathrooms but one - then adding more seats. And then charging us to poop and pee. Shucks. I didn't know you cared that much.
Check out these Ryanair links: Ryanair parody on cheap travel and the making of the Ryanair cabin crew calender.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 9:32 AM
I'm in this video. Well - actually...I'm not in THIS video. I would've been seen near the end but it's cut from this version. I have it on VHS...somewhere. Really. And I met Robbie Williams - nice guy. The U.S. released the video in 1999. I believe it's Williams' biggest song to date.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 8:21 PM
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
UP - Brett Favre: The 40-year-old has become the only grandpa among current NFL players. Of course the Vikings will let him skip minicamps so he can spend time at the changing table trying to decide between Pampers, Luvs, Huggies or Wranglers.
- Mike Hart
Sure, it's funny. But again, I thought the train has left the station (according to GB Coach Mike McCarthy), yet Favre is still a hot topic among the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hacks. Hypocrites. Read here for previous MJS rants on Favre.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 10:08 AM
American Apparel's website is always chock full of great AA clothing - and great AA models. I've blogged before on the site. I'm an ass man, so I figured, "what the hell". Click on READ MORE! for the other 9 winners.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 9:06 PM
Jeff Simmermon at the blog, And I Am Not Lying, has a thing or two (or 50+) to say about the plethora of "bitches" in the universe. I can relate. I've had my share of a couple in the last two days.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 2:23 PM
Seriously. No one can get a word in edgewise because he constantly interrupts his guests.
I try and watch both liberal and conservative media because I favor issues on both sides. But whenever I turn on MSNBC and Chris Matthews' Hardball is airing, I switch it. Now, I rarely listen to Rush's radio show but he at least lets his callers talk. Hannity and O'Reilly (both of FoxNews) certainly do their share of interrupting, but NO ONE's as bad as Matthews.
The right bitches about the left. The left bitches about the right. I'm right. You're wrong. Vicious circle. So many issues to tackle and too many talking heads on both sides for my taste.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 7:52 PM
So I'm on the last leg of my 4-mile walk on the bike trail and I see a boy and girl playing in the woods alongside the trail. I said to the boy, "It's fun back here, isn't it?" He says, "Yeh." "I used to play out here when I was your age," I said...and I continued. "You know, while you kids are playing, you should pick up some of the paper and crap that's scattered about."
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 1:37 PM
Our first batch of maple syrup - the result of boiling around 40 gallons of maple sap. It's not as thick as store-bought syrup. Course it's pure maple syrup - no additives. And it tastes damn good. This is the last post in the "Aunt Jemima's maple syrup envy" series. Hope you enjoyed it reading it; we enjoyed livin' it.
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 9:40 AM
“You know, I go to the theatre to be entertained. I don’t want to see plays about rape, sodomy and drug addiction...I can get all that at home.”
Posted by Jeffrey James Ircink at 9:54 AM