Wednesday, March 30, 2005

At Least This Story Had a Happy Ending...

We seem to have more than our fair share of insane killers up here in Wisconsin. Here is the latest incident from Kenosha. But besides the crazy actions of the guy himself, there is a more subtle point in the article that is probably missed by most:

Officers David Monson and Luke Hofmann saw the man and ordered him to stop, which he eventually did after yelling at the officers. He then put a scissors to the baby's neck, Bartholomew said. Monson drew a gun, Hofmann drew a stun gun, and the man threw down the scissors and fell on the baby, Bartholomew said. He then got up and grabbed his 5-year-old son by the head and twisted his neck. "The boy went limp and fell to the side," Bartholomew said. Monson shot the man twice and then seven more times as the man tried to grab his children, Bartholomew said. "He was continuing to be aggressive up until the last shot was fired," he said.
The cops shot the guy 9 times before he stopped being agressive? Remember my post about the hated 9mm gun below? Examine this quote. He didn't shoot 9 times, he shot the guy 9 times. Please, please when shooting someone who is beating up kids, use a .357 or .45 - with hollow point ammo. There will be none of this shooting people 9 times before they stop. It will be one and done.

Who Is Feeding Terry Schiavo?

How is Terri Schiavo still living? Well she is getting fed, of course. There is no way someone in that condition could live without food and water for 13 days, is there? I would love for a doctor who really knows to e-mail me and explain how she is hanging on.

One thing I did remember that applies here is the German Army in Russia. How does that tie in, you ask? Well, as the German Army got surrounded in Stalingrad and the rations went down an interesting phenomenon began to happen. The strongest and largest soldiers started showing adverse affects from malnutrition and dying first. Of course virtually all of the Germans who surrendered died in Russian camps, but that is another post for another day.

If you are a larger or more muscular bound person, you consume more energy to keep your ship afloat. The smaller guys in the German Army were able to handle the smaller rations better for a longer period of time. I think this may be what is happening in the Schiavo case. She has been bed ridden for 15 years. More than likely most if not all of her musculature has decayed and it probably takes very little energy to keep her breathing and keep her kidneys functioning.

Unless someone is feeding her, which I think is exactly what is hapenning.

I Told You So

The NFL has gotten off pretty squeaky clean with the recent steroid allegations. Baseball has taken a huge hit and I have written previously about this. But now, it appears that there are some cracks in the armor.

As I have said before, the real issue isn't if these players are jeopardizing their health for a few minutes of fame and fortune. The real issue is the fact that no one cares. The NFL will continue to rake it in year after year because they have an outstanding product on the field and on TV. If there is a fan riot (i.e. quit going to the games) over these behemoths taking 'roids and human growth hormone and all of the rest of the chemicals, then and only then will the NFL take real action.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I'm Starting to Smell a Rat

Everyone who reads this page on a regular basis knows my stand on the Schiavo case. It is basically over with the only thing left to do is take care of the corpse. But something is fishy. How has she lived so long without food and water?

I have read lots of pages about this. Check here, here, or here. The most optimistic estimate I have found is that a person could live for a week tops without water. That is a normal, healthy person. Terry Schiavo has been bedridden for 15 years and we are now on day 12 of the death watch!

Someone is hydrating her - there can be no question. So what the hell is going on here? If all of the legal options are exhausted and no one is going to do anything else, why is someone keeping her alive?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Springtime In The 'Hood


It is finally warm enough to go for a walk so I decided to do a little photoblogging on the way. Click on any photo for a larger version.
With Spring comes kids on the playground with attentive parents. The woman was doing some sort of Tai Chi stretches. Posted by Hello

Winter gives spring the finger. Posted by Hello

Hey crazy old man - 1) There is no grass to mow 2) Have you ever heard of oil? Posted by Hello

Baron the poodle. He's a good boy. Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Just kicking back, enjoying the sunshine and warm temps. Not a bad plan. Posted by Hello

Ah, yes, the grill - love that smell. Posted by Hello

And of course with the coming of spring the species "Madison Moonbat" emerges from it's slumber. The bumper sticker on the left says "Question Gender". Don't ask me what that means - please.

UPDATE: I have been working very hard at my photography (reading and practicing) and prefer one of the above photos over all of the rest for content, centering, light, focus, etc. I would greatly appreciate in the comments if my readers would tell me which one they like best and why. Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Now Why Don't We Have This For Football?

Today I watched two of the most unbelievable basketball games I have seen in some time - Louisville's win over West Virginia coming from 20 points down to win in OT and the unbelievable Illinois victory coming from 15 points down in the final 3:30 to send the game into overtime and then winning to advance to the Final Four.

I have theorized that the bowl games have the NCAA people bribed to continue the crazy, stupid Bowl Championship Series, which should be just called the Bowl Series as it seems that it rarely determines any sort of champion. Just imagine if we had a tournament of the best sixteen football teams every year - think that would generate any interest or $$$?

There is no question that March Madness is probably the best sporting event every year. I always look forward to it even if my team isn't doing good. It is just darned exciting.

Chief!


Well, here we go - good luck to my beloved Illini tonight - if we win, it is on to the Final 4. If we lose, well, what a season it has been.
UPDATE - Well, we definitely got beaten by the better team tonight. Our poor shooting and their great inside play equals our loss. Oh well, great season - nothing to be ashamed of. Hopefully our football team can win more than one Big Ten game this year. But I am not counting on it.
UPDATE 2: Holy cow I wrote the above with 3 minutes left and we were down by 15. It is now tied with 31 seconds left!
UPDATE 3: OVERTIME!!!
UPDATE 4: 11.8 seconds left, Illinois 90, Arizona 89. This is it.
UPDATE 5: YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR YESYESYESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Posted by Hello

Why the "9"?

For a very long time I have wondered why the Madison Police Department carries tiny handguns like the 9mm. This may sound sexist, but we have a lot of female officers here in Madison and I think they like the 9mm guns because they don't kick (and they are cheap to shoot, but that goes for everyone).

I assume if you are using a weapon in self defense you want it to, well, work. There are many stories about Madison Police shooting criminals and then the criminal keeps on terrorizing, rather than dropping dead. I once ran into an officer at a convenience store and he had on his hip a revolver. I asked him what caliber and he told me that it was a .38. .38? I understand that you can get some hot loads for a .38, but lets step up to something real. When I said how 'bout a .357? He said well, this .38 can do a lot of damage on your leg or arm. Again, if someone draws a gun or knife on me, I sure as hell am not going to shoot for the arm.

I have heard stories from very reliable sources that the .357 revolver was devastating in close quarter combat in Vietnam.

I was reminded of all of this when I read this 'after action report' written by some of our Army folks after an ambush in Iraq. Yes, it could be fake, but sounds pretty real. Here is my favorite part:


******The 9mm round was a terrible decision for the Army to make. The 9mm Pistol replaced the .45 caliber Pistol just as I was leaving the Army. Believe me, one round from a .45 would have done more than wound the enemy soldier. Special Forces, Seals, Rangers, etc, and all those who engage in CQB (Close Quarters Battle) are being issued or buying their own .45s. There is an old addage: "Never go to a gun fight with a handgun that uses ammo that doesn't start with a "4".
Which reminds me, time to hit the range and give my HK USP .45 Compact with Stainless Steel slide a workout today. Ain't it pretty?

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Very Definition of Opposite

I have mentioned many times the works of Dr. Victor Davis Hanson. To me the combination of his writing and the content of the writing is second to none as far as the current stable of history writers go. Basically, I am jealous and hope to be half as good as he is someday.

He also writes many columns for websites and is in syndication. Today's offering by Hanson on NRO Online wraps up the Churchill flap quite nicely. Dr. Hanson and Ward Churchill are the very definition of opposite.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Liveblogging the Illinois Game

Here is my first attempt at liveblogging - today is the Sweet 16 match up between UW Milwaukee and my beloved Illinois Fighting Illini. I plan on making an entry after every TV timeout, which is 16, 12, 8, and 4 minutes, and, of course at halftime and the end.

15:44 Illinois 14, UWM 12 - Holy cow what a start! UWM got a few fast break points and a few threes but are unable to stop us - we have two threes also. I really don't think UWM will keep up this pace - once their shots stop falling they will have to play some "D" and will start to get tired. I guarantee their bench isn't as deep as ours.

10:32 Illinois 21, UWM 15 - As predicted, UWM has iced up. The crowd is definitely into it. Illinois has missed some shots too, though. If we can keep UWM in a halfcourt game, it seems that they have problems running their offense.

6:18 Illinois 27, UWM 23 - A little back and forth but UWM is eating our lunch on fast breaks. They are leaking one man every time we shoot the ball and have at least 10 points from it so far. Eliminate that and we will be fine. Our offense has cooled off a bit. Our halfcourt defense looks great.

3:38 Illinois 29 UWM 25 - Looks like we are in for a game. More fast break layups for UWM - I don't understand why we aren't getting back on defense. Whenever we are in the halfcourt game we are dominating them. Luther Head is limping bigtime.

Halftime Illinois 39 UWM 32 - We pulled away a bit by playing some great defense. Dee Brown has had a great half as has Deron Williams. Again, when we are in the halfcourt game, UWM has no chance. Hats off to UWM for hustling, pressing and getting easy points on the fast break.

15:22 Illinois 51 UWM 39 - UWM played some poor defense to start the second half, allowing the Illinois guards some open shots. Deron Williams is playing an unbelievable game. We are now getting back on defense - again, when in the halfcourt game UWM has serious problems. They have no depth it appears, so later in the game, we should be fresher since our coach liberally substitutes with quality players.

11:43 Illinois 58 UWM 45 - UWM, it seems, has resorted to bombing threes now. I think they have realized that they cannot stand up to us in the halfcourt game. Not a bad strategy. We are shooting very well and are getting good shots to boot. I think maybe UWM is getting a bit tired.

7:30 Illinois 64 UWM 51 - UWM put on their press and it definitely had Illinois flustered for a while. We have wasted a few timeouts but no turnovers as of yet. However, our guards, especially Deron Williams are coming through. Williams and Dee Brown both hit big threes. We need to keep the foot on the gas and put these guys away.

3:56 Illinois 70 UWM 61 - Deron Williams got his fourth foul and Luther Head has four too. We are doing a good job working the shot clock down but our shots are not good. We played poor defense for two series and gave up a two and a three. They are not going to give up - we have to beat them. They are definitely going to bomb the threes so look out.

Final: Illinois Fighting Illini 77 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 63
Our guards were just too much for them. Hats off to the panthers, though. They played tough and hustled the whole game. Tucker was unstoppable. What a great season we have had. Elite Eight!!!! Oskee Wow Wow!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A hero... but wish he was armed

In the latest senseless shooting in Minnesota an unarmed guard was a real hero. He went out to attempt to talk to the psycho who was shooting people, in order to get him to give up his gun, I guess. No one will know because that nutcase shot him dead. You can see the story, here.

But guns rights activists should be so proud of themselves, that he had to be unarmed, and walk out to what turned out to be certain death. The man was very brave and tried to do his best to save innocent lives.

Unfortunately, he wasn't armed. And he paid for it with his life, and many others died when they didn't have to.

Poor Terri

I have received literally boatloads of e-mail (that is more than 10 for me) from all sorts of people that want me to talk about the Schiavo case some more - so I say, give the people what they want. Who would have thought anyone could give a damn about what some guy in Wisconsin thinks about one of the most written about and talked about issues of the day.

The case is so fascinating to me I can hardly contain myself. I have always had an interest in law, and this case is all about that and more. There are literally thousands of pages of legal documents you can read, countless blog posts and non-stop media coverage.

It looks like she will die soon - from starvation, mind you. In a modern, western society. Unbelievable.

I am going to try to make this my last post about poor Terri, so here goes.

I am disgusted with all of the politicos in DC that have decided just now to take action on Terri's behalf. I think it is OK, but why now? Just to score political points with right-to-lifers? I am also disgusted with Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, who seems to grab this bull by the horns, but won't address the problem they have with lunatic sex offenders murdering little girls in Florida. So whats the big emergency now, Jeb? Now that all of the cameras are on, you think poor Terri's situation is a big deal? Disgusting. Jeb Bush's poor handling of these cases will cost him a run at the presidency someday, mark my words.

But I am more disgusted with the Democrats like Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, John Edwards (technically not voting, but please) and the rest that vote for a brutal procedure such as partial birth abortion.

What does this have to do with poor Terri? Well, is it not the feds that are trying to insert themselves into the Schiavo case? Yes. Is it not the federal court system that decided Roe v Wade? Yes. Then what the hell are the Dems doing preaching to me that the federal court system should not be interfering in the Schiavo case? Partial birth abortion and the Schiavo case are life and death issues. Poor Terri is granted rights under the Constitution just like everyone else - and in my opinion that includes a viable fetus. For the Dems to try to block the federal action on the Schiavo case but not block federal action on Roe v Wade as applies to partial birth abortion is the most hypocritical stance I have seen - EVER.

I guess the logic is that the 9 month old fetus has no Constitutional rights whatsoever and neither does poor Terri. What a bunch of crap. I was going to post a link to what exactly a partial birth abortion is, but I got sick to my stomach so if you are interested, you can Google it and find about it yourself.

You will find lots of interesting views around the blogosphere about the Schiavo case. Many authors are smarter than me when it comes to Federalism - and that is what these cases are all about in the end. But no one will delve into the blatant hypocrisy of the Dem leadership. Remember, most Americans have short memories - but not me.

I guess the bottom line is that if you don't have a living will after seeing this circus, you are just plain stupid and deserve what you get if you are in poor Terri's shoes. And poor Terri, if you are reading this from a better place, please forgive us for starving you to death.

What Is Wrong With These Kids?


The school shootings in Minnesota are very troubling. Stuff like this never happened when I was a kid - never. So what is different now? We have an unhinged media that constantly bombards kids with all sorts of filth - everything from gangsta rap records, to the Osbournes to risque advertisements. But obscene things and violent video games have always been around. Much more importantly the parental structure in our society has totally broken down. That is the big difference.

As an interesting aside, they say that the kid shot everyone with a .22 handgun. Now I am no ballistics expert, but do know a thing or two about guns, being a proud gun owner. Above is a photo of, from left to right - my wedding ring (for perspective) a standard .22 LR cartridge, a .22 hyper velocity cartridge, a .45 cartridge and a .38 cartridge. Anyone who has shot a handgun at a target knows how hard it is to hit the bullseye from 30 feet standing still, much less in a combat situation. Add that to the minimal stopping power of a .22 and I am led to three possible conclusions.
1) The gun really wasn't a .22 at all
2) All of the killings were done execution style
3) Someone in the media - again - is either lying or doesn't know what they are talking about.
UPDATE: Now they say he had a 12 guage shotgun and some other guns. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Kenosha


I love this picture except for support number 17 up there in the right corner - DAMN - this photo would have been perfect if not for that. I got everything in the frame - the boat, the lighthouse, the sunrise, oh well - learning.
Every year for Fathers Day, my dad and I go salmon fishing off of Kenosha. It is fun, relaxing and just good to get in the fresh air. We have gone every year for maybe the past 10 or so. Kenosha is doing it's best to clean up their awful downtown area. They made a good start by cleaning up the wharf and pier areas. It looks really nice now - worth a day trip especially if the tall ships are coming to call. Kenosha did it right, as far as I can tell. They didn't simply blow up the whole area - they took it one step at a time, involving private businesses (condos). Posted by Hello

Yours truly with a nice one. Posted by Hello

The days catch. Yes, only three last year. We usually limit out, which is 5 fish per man, but that is why they call it fishing, not catching. Posted by Hello

The More I Know, The Less I Know

Two stories of late have brought to light how little I know about some things.

The first is the Schiavo case. A doctor I am not. I suppose the only time I would challenge a doctor is if I was diagnosed with some sort of terminal or major disease - then I would get a second opinion.

I know how I feel about the whole thing but as I read more and more about the case it has become increasingly evident that this situation is one of the most complex and emotional that I have ever come across. You have the two camps, the husband vs. the family fighting a PR battle to try to get their side of the facts out. Each side has hired teams of doctors and lawyers to try to settle the issue. Not to mention the stacks of medical reports that are available to read. I have heard everything from 'her brain is runny Camembert' to 'she may be able to walk someday'. As always, I have to believe that the truth lies somewhere in-between all of this huge amount of information.

This morning on the way to work a talk radio host had as the topic 'should we drill in ANWR for oil?'. Again, everyone has an opinion but nobody knows anything about the situation. Think of how complex this question is. Seems simple? Here are just a few things that raced through my over-active mind when I heard the question.
1) How big of an area will they trash when they drill?
2) How much oil will they get?
3) Is it federal land or owned by the state of Alaska?
4) Will the transportation costs to get the oil to a US market make it worth it?
5) With modern technology, will the drilling procedure be less invasive?
6) Will it be privately funded, publicly funded or a combination of both?
There are many more. Some of these questions are easy to answer, some not.

I think the point of my post is that as I get older I have learned not to make kneejerk 'up' or 'down' opinions, rather read and try to get somewhat informed before making a decision. On complex issues like oil drilling or the Schiavo case however, it seems that discretion is the better part of valor - the average Joe just doesn't have the time or grey matter to fully understand these situations.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Will the Real Religion of Peace, Please Stand Up

Last week a mentally deranged person burned down a Catholic Church here in Madison. So what did the parishioners do the following Sunday? Ask for his head on a spit? Riot? Go on some sort of rampage against the perp's family? No. They prayed for him.

Now I am not a particularly religious guy, nor am I a big fan of the Catholic church. But there can be no denial that living your life based on the principles of the philosophy of Christ is a no lose situation. Most great leaders of our time - Churchill, Roosevelt, Reagan and others were devout Christians, albeit of different sects. But the result is the same. Having a strong moral compass, to borrow a term from Dr. Rufus Speers, ends in good people doing great things. That moral compass is based on one thing and one thing only - the philosophy of Christianity; good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.

Interesting Tie-In

Here is a neat story from CNN of all places about a research team in Hawaii that found the remains of a scuttled Japanese sub from WW2. I am a WW2 history junkie and love stories like this where they find old artifacts, manuscripts or whatever.

Read the story. See what the mission was? The subs carried fold up planes that originally were going to be used to drop insects that were infected with typhus, cholera and bubonic plague on US cities. That mission didn't seem to be working, so they were going to bomb the Panama Canal. The article is unclear whether the sub was captured by US forces or if the Japanese sunk it themselves.

Whenever you are presented with a leftist that is squawking about what a terrible place the US is or how the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo were crimes against humanity, all you have to do is mention something like this. As a matter of fact, this story ties in quite nicely to my post about the kamikazes below. When you are faced with a brutal, corrupt regime that is your enemy, you must eliminate it or be eliminated yourselves.

As an aside, the article mentions that the anti-aircraft guns were intact. I have to admit that I don't know too much about this particular class of sub, but I do know a thing or two about subs in general. I have never seen one with "anti-aircraft" type of armament. I think the researcher may be trying to describe the deck gun, which was used as an offensive weapon, usually against transports or other lightly armored ships (typically the deck gun was a 4" or 5"). A sub would never get into a shooting match against a destroyer on the surface and subs definitely hated planes. If sighted by a plane, the sub knew that an all out attack by destroyers or destroyer escorts would be imminent so would be more inclined to dive rather than sit there and shoot it out with a plane. Many a sub was damaged by bombs dropped by planes, believe it or not.

UPDATE: You learn something new every day. Trust me, though, not too many aerial battles were fought from sub decks.

Right Tool This Time

There really isn't too much that is headline worthy right now except the dance of the dead going on in Florida over Terry Schiavo. Regular readers here are well aware of my opinions on that subject.

One thing I noticed over the weekend in my usual (too large) quantity of news that I digested was the overall look of the President.

Every time I see him, it seems that his walk is a little taller, and his tongue seems to be getting sharper, as well. There were highlights of a press conference from last week on Meet the Press. Before, in press conferences, it seemed as though he was trying to use a wrench to drive a nail. He is definitely using a hammer now. His answers are very prompt, not the usual stammering and stuttering he is famous for. Reporters seem to cower now - there is no more badgering or persistent follow-ups if the reporter doesn't get the answer he or she wants. Bush, like him or not, is getting respect. I think people on the hill are finally realizing that the war was just and that the winds of democracy blowing through Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and other places are not just coincidence. Bush has the wind at his back - and it seems that not much will stand in his way.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Aw, Come On Tim

On Meet the Press this morning, Tim Russert has a panel of pundits talking about the items of the week. Included in the panel is Gwenn Ifill. You will remember her from the presidential debates as being the mediator - I believe in debate two of Bush v. Kerry. She has shown herself today to be the usual super left liberal that most journalists are. The question is, why, being obviously a Democrat supporter, should she be allowed to mediate the presidential debate?

By the way, the pundits on Meet the Press are discussing the baseball/steroids deal - still no mention of the NFL.

Barry Bonds will pass The Babe this year in home run totals. I hope the Babe gets lots of mention for his stats of pitching, too as well as fielding and all around hitting. What sets the Babe apart from Bonds is the statistics of the guy who was second behind Ruth in all of the hitting categories in Ruth's prime. Look at that and then you will see how far ahead Ruth was in comparison to the players of his day. Bonds is great, juiced up and all but there really is no comparison.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Revisionist History

I am watching the history channel and they are giving a very patronizing view of the kamikaze pilots during the battle of Okinawa. Rather than saying what they were - murderers - the history channel has decided to describe them as some sort of heroes. They have spent at least 15 minutes lionizing these bastards. Unbelievable. No mention of how intoxicated they were, or how they were being used by a criminal, brutal regime to try to get the USA to sue for peace.

I wonder how the families of our sailors and aviators that were on those ships feel about this translation of events. Fathers not coming home, husbands never to be able to have families. Sons not being able to work the farm anymore.

For a much better translation (read: factual) of how the events of the Battle of Okinawa and the kamikazes affected us and still affect us today, read Victor Davis Hansons excellent book, Ripples of Battle.

What That Guy Said

A while ago I posted "Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel" which took myself to task for taking apart losers like Paul Krugman, Dick Morris, et al. Well, the guys over at Wizbang feel the same way. Spending time taking apart lunatic bloggers or columnists just takes away time from writing your own original pieces.

The author makes some good analogies:

Taking apart these shallow thinkers is like eating junk food - "filling and good for a quick fix, but ultimately unhealthy for you and it ruins your taste for more healthy food".

Also, his mom used to say to him what I have heard many times before and applies equally as well to the topic - you can't teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig. Well put.

Laptops In The Classroom

Ann Althouse has some interestine blog posts about laptops in the classroom here and here. Ms. Althouse is a law professor here at the UW in Madison. She has a much better blog than mine and is a nice person to boot. She actually answers e-mail!

I was a history major in college - I graduated in 1990. Back then laptops were basically a non-entity and the only computers in dorm rooms were Apple 2e's or other such anchors. All of my papers were typed on an actual typewriter. I remember playing a football game on the computer with my dorm buddies where the X's and O's would run around on a field after plays were chosen by each side and we of course turned this into a drinking game - but I digress.

If I had access to the laptops of today I am not sure I would even use one in class. Some background first.

In the lower level classes (always very large) it usually worked like this:
Once a week the whole class would attend a "super lecture" given by the professor. Attendance was never taken as the class was so large. You took notes. Then twice a week you would meet in a small "section" of maybe 20 or so people with a grad student. Here attendance was taken and the grad student would expand on the super lecture and add some things, give quizzes and take care of other administrative things.

In the 300 and 400 level classes, usually history majors were the only ones involved so the class sizes were much smaller. The "super lecture" was maybe 50 and the sections were 15 or so.

The way I took (and still take) notes would not work very well on a computer. I usually would put a main header and then place bullets under it. I also used lots of arrows and stars to highlight certain points. The arrow is very useful if you are taking fast notes. For instance if you are discussing Nazi Germany and you bullet Hitler, then later talk about Eva Braun, you can simply use a large arrow from the words "Eva Braun" back up to "Hitler" in the margin and write "dating" on the arrow. Then when reviewing your notes you can instantly know what that means. Quick short cuts like this are very important with certain lecturers. Some are very fast and don't care how fast you are in taking your notes. This would be very hard to do on a laptop. Another thing about taking notes in a college setting is that you have to understand that many of the professors wrote the texts you have to read for the class. On exam answers they expect and want you to repeat their theories on the tests. Like it or not, that is the truth. If you see something in the text AND hear it in lecture you BETTER have some mention of it in your exam answer (all history exams are all essay). If you take manual notes it is very easy to use a large star or double underline something if you catch it in a lecture. If using a laptop it would be difficult to do this in a quick way, in my humble opinion.

This isn't to say I would not have used a laptop if I had one. I certainly would have. I just think if (when) I go back to school for my masters and PhD that for note taking I just like a good ol' pad of paper and a pen.

Enough Already


It has snowed and sleeted and freezing rained upon us here in Wisconsin for the last three days and I can hardly stand it any more. Here is a picture for my readers who have suffered the same fate. It is just to remind everyone that it will all be over soon - the sooner the better! This was taken last fall at a vacation house in Galena, IL. Autumn is definitely my favorite time of year. Colors, football, grey skies. *Sigh* Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005

*Sigh*

I am very depressed as of now and my weekend is ruined. The government has decided that the very best way to resolve the Terry Schiavo case is to - yes - starve her to death. Since I have been blogging I feel the best post I have ever had was this one. It also got me tons of e-mail. Anyway, read it again and watch Terry starve and watch her parents cry. If you don't have a living will for gods sake get one today - now - immediately. Or Terry will be going through this for nothing. I think I am going to cry.

UPDATE: It is a total circus! If you weren't convinced to get a living will before, you must be convinced now!

UPDATE 2: Where the hell is the ACLU and all of the other death penalty protesters that get mad just because Rummy sends terrorists "to bed without supper"? That quote is a classic and can be found in Andrew McCarthy's brilliant column on NRO here. Read it twice.

I'm Not The Only One

I really wasn't kidding about blogger in my post from March 17. It has been a disaster this week. More regular and frequent blogging in a few days. I will keep trying but if the situation doesn't improve I will just wait a while and hope blogger sorts itself out.

Roid Rage

All over the news everywhere is footage of the congressional hearings about steroids. I have a lot to say about this. And you have a lot to read.

The first question I asked myself is "why are the feds involved?" After thinking a while I have come up with three likely explanations.
1) Either the illegal drugs were transported across state lines, making it a federal issue.
2) All illegal drug activity is a federal crime (Sorry, not up on my drug possession and trafficking laws)
3) Big shot politicians want to look good grilling celebrity baseball players on national TV.

Anyone who has watched the hearings or even the highlights has seen what a colossal waste of time and money it is for everyone. It works like this: congressman chastises player, player denies using steroids, repeat for each witness. Oh sure, Sosa, you never used 'roids - and I'm Shaquille O' Neal.

After trying to sort out the "why" question above, I have been tumbling around the "who cares" question in my head for a while. Baseball is a business like any other. Their object is profit and putting butts in the seats. Certainly Major League Baseball doesn't care if their players are on the next wonderdrug - as long as it sells tickets.

Next time you are at a game look around. Does anyone really care that the players are on 'roids? Doesn't seem so. Most baseball fans, I assume, are like me - we go to the game to relax, have some good food and a few beers and be with friends. Socializing. Like a bar, except with fresh air and a game going on. Sure, there are some that are interested in the purity of the sport and keep score and are concerned about the records and so on. But I think that is the vast minority.

And what about football? You think a lot of baseball players take 'roids? Check out the behemoths playing in the NFL. Absolutely no one cares about that.

So if Major League Baseball doesn't care and the NFL doesn't care and the fans don't care, who cares? I care for the one reason below.

If the drugs are illegal, it is nice to see some celebrity athletes get prosecuted as an example for youngsters. I hope lots of kids will see some of the athletes go to jail and will, as a result, not make that deal with the devil - trading their future health for a small amount of present success on the diamond, court or field.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that I have an awesome new laptop with wireless internet connection. It is a real screamer and this is my first post from it. The bad news is that blogger, my blogging software platform has been bogged down the last few days. It has been very difficult to use to say the least. So for a while, until blogger gets it's act together, blogging will be sporadic. Sorry, it's really not my fault.

Happy St. Paddys Day!


Mmmm - Look at my lunch - Corned Beef and Cabbage. Guiness Later with dinner - I love the Irish. Posted by Hello

It Was Only A Matter Of Time

It was only a matter of time before someone sued my alma mater, the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign, over the use of the Chief as a mascot. There is another article in the Trib about the Chief today, too. All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Chief will reach a climax this week and next as we advance through the NCAA basketball tournament.

I love the chief and I would assume most Indians would, too. The only time you ever see him is at halftime during mens football and basketball games. He doesn't do the dunk tank at the fair and you won't see him signing autographs after the game. Pretty respectful. But lots of very sensitive people don't think so. So they want to get rid of him along with the logos for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and others. Interesting that no one has ever mentioned the Florida State Seminole. He comes out before the game on a horse and tosses a flaming spear into the ground at midfield! People down south are very serious about their football - I assume they simply don't hear or beat up those who don't like their mascot.

The losers that hate the fact that the chief is around have the most twisted logic in my opinion. If you get rid of all of these mascots, you will have exactly zero things to remind you of the peoples that used to reside here, with the exception of a few small museums. Look around. Tell me how many things you see on your way home tonight that invoke Indians or their customs - zero. Unless you pass an Indian casino, but that is a different post for a different day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Does Anyone Wonder Why No One Reads The Paper Anymore?

If you can stomach it, try to get through this op-ed (registration required) by Nick Coleman in todays Minneapolis Star Tribune. It recites the same old tired mantra chanted by the left every day, day after day. Less guns equals less crime. Truly sad, after the mountains of research that have been done that show that nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, Nick Coleman, who probably lives in a gated community in the suburbs sees no reason to own a gun because he lives as far away from poor, gang ridden communities as he possibly can. I suppose the line of thinking for these liberal elites would be "screw those poor mothers in the 'hood, it's ok if they get shot, just not me". I can't fathom where else the line of thinking and living leads to.

Coleman mentions the massacre by that lunatic at the church meeting in Brookfield, WI, not an hour from here. Of course, what he fails to mention is that IF ANYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM HAD A GUN ON THEIR PERSON THEY COULD HAVE SHOT THAT LUNATIC DEAD BEFORE HE KILLED THEM ALL. When there is an armed person holding up inside a house do the cops show up with baseball bats or assault rifles and body armor? I just simply cannot understand why leftists like Nick Coleman cannot put these things together.

Another factoid Coleman tosses out there is that the guy in Atlanta who killed the judge and others did it with a gun. Well, yes. But the real problem was that the jail didn't have the monster cuffed and he overpowered a female guard - but no mention of this in the article.

Most leftists like Coleman are thrilled to provide as evidence that we are not supposed to have guns the text of the second amendment of the Constitution which states:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The logic works like this: Leftists say that the "well regulated militia" represents trained officers and army personnel, and that those are the only ones that should be armed. Of course, anyone who has actually read anything about the founders and the Constiution know that the militia is the people and that they certainly wanted the people to be armed. And since when does the Bill of Rights take rights away?

But if Coleman actually believes in this false logic as most leftists do, then he must certainly believe that that female guard in Atlanta had the "right to bear arms", just as gun control lunatics like Richard Daley in Chicago and Rosie O'Donnell have legions of heavily armed guards around them all the time. And that "right to bear arms" of the female guard certainly left many people dead - so what is better? Poorly trained weak female prison guards that have the right to carry or a well trained armed populus that makes any and all criminals think twice before they try to carjack a "soft target"?

Mr. Blue Hands


Check this guy out - I love the Illini and all, but this guy is nuts. Mr. Blue Hands they call him. He got a nice article in the Trib today.

Anyway, GOOOO Illini!!!!! Lots of people have us going all the way in their office brackets. What a great season it has been even if we don't go all the way. Quite a nice break from the disaster that has been the Illinois football program for the past several years.

UPDATE: Several readers have emailed asking if Mr. Blue Hands is, in fact, Carl. I don't believe it is, but I suppose we will have to wait to see if he chimes in to verify this. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals

Over at www.yourish.com we are celebrating the third annual eat an animal for PETA day. Won't you join me? Hmmm, I had a little ham for lunch, maybe some good ol' meatloaf later.

Daley Squealing Like a Pig

This is an interesting article in todays Trib. Daley usually gets his way when it comes to Illinois politics as far as I know (Carl probably has better insight on this than me). But here it sounds like he is squealing a bit since Blago, the Governor of Illinois, won't let Daley's crazy gun control legislation get to the floor of the Illinois House and Senate. In this case, Daley is such a dimwit - proposing legislation so illegal guns can't get in to the hands of criminals? Huh? As if the criminals will abide by anything! I think he still feels the sting of having his unbelievable lawsuits against the gun manufacturers stuffed where the sun don't shine.

Of course none of the gun control legislation applies to Daley's bodyguards or police force.

What is hapenning here is that Blago knows that he needs those downstate votes. Those guys like their guns and hunting. No guns, no votes. So he is leaving Daley out to dry by not letting the legislation get to the floor.

I Am Definitely Getting Better At This / Morison Set Update

I have only been blogging for about 5 months now (I suppose that is an eternity in web years) but I have noticed a big change in the way I go about my business here on the Kunzeblog.

When I started, I usually read some other blogs, grabbed whatever topic everyone else seemed to be talking about and then start in on some reasearch on that topic. Now that I have readers (yes, I really do) I simply don't care what the other blogs have to say. I find that my blog is, well, more entertaining than the others (after all, it is mine).

I think that it is funny and interesting to see how I have moved forward in my thinking and writing. I guess that is another step up after promising not to shoot the big fish in the barrel like Krugman, Morris and the rest.

As far as the Morison set goes, I have finished Volumes one through eight now. I just read again about the terrible battle of Tarawa (Betio Island). That has to be one of the most brutal, unbelievable battles of all time. The Morison set is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever read. He was there, unlike most WW2 authors. The biggest selling point for me is that he is a good writer to boot.

Good.

Bernie Ebbers is guilty as sin. This bastard, along with others at Worldcom took my hard earned money, as well as much more of many others, and pissed it away. Hope he has fun in jail.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Vegas

Worked out bigtime tonight and feel great - too great, in fact. I can't sleep. Here are some thoughts from my trip to Vegas last week.

If someone asked me to sum up Vegas in one word, many would come to mind.

Noisy, constant, buzzed, corrupt, lavish and hip come to mind. But one is the winner and that is smoky.

Holy crap! Everywhere you go it seems that everyone is smoking all the time. Even in the non-smoking sections of restaurants it wafts over to your seat - how gross. I am an early riser; even at the breakfasts people were smoking. I don't know what it is, but the older I get, the worse smoke affects me. In college it was no big deal, but now it is like someone punches me in the face if I get a whiff. Remember when jets had a smoking section in the back of the plane? I would literally die if I had to sit on an airplane today with smokers. The air is bad enough without them.

To expand on this, it seems like the younger set is bent on destruction as far as tobacco use goes. The vast majority of adults 25 and younger are smoking. My anecdotal evidence from last week shows that the pattern from the bars in Chicago continues in Vegas: everyone young smokes. I don't know if there is any proof, but it seems as though the tobacco companies are having their way with the kids.

Vegas isn't all bad, though. They have increased the shopping in a huge way as each of the large hotels has a big shopping mall now. Caesars was very impressive as they had all of the designer boutiques. The food was excellent. People like Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril and all the rest are opening restaurants. I ate at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Caesars and it was outstanding. I also had some great seafood at a restaurant in the Rio and a great steak at the Mirage. Nothing is cheap, though. Those days of the $5.95 all you can eat buffet are long gone.

The shows are probably the best part of Vegas. If I go again, I will go to one every night. I am not a fan of Celine Dion but my dad is and he dragged me along. I have to admit, I didn't really dig the singing, but the band was good and the stage show was absolutely dazzling. I am not an easy guy to impress, either. If you go, get some of the nosebleeds for $87. She plays at Caesars. Also, when you go inside, don't forget to purchase the most expensive plastic bottle of Bud Light ever at $7 each. Penn and Teller were funny and great as usual. I think next time, if there is a next time, I will try to catch some of the Cirque du Soleil shows. There are 4 or 5 of them playing the big hotels and most of the people I talked to said they were unbelievable. Darn it I wanted to see Wayne Newton, but didn't have time.

Oh I almost forgot - I went to a Monet exhibition at the Bellagio. It cost $15 but was one of the most unbelievable things I have ever seen. I wasn't really a Monet fan before but now understand quite a lot better what a great painter he was.

Photo Essay - Hoover Dam


This is another of my famous photo essays, this time Hoover Dam which I visited last week. I am going to describe each photo (you can click on for a larger version) and what that part of the dam does. We will move with the flow of the Colorado River, that is, north to south. The area around the dam is owned by the feds - but after that, to the west is Nevada and to the east is Arizona. Above is Lake Mead, the largest manmade lake in the world - until the Three Gorges Dam in China is finished. It is quite unimpressive to me. The lakes here in Wisconsin offer much better views.
UPDATE: For some "damn" reason a couple of the photos will not enlarge when clicked on - sorry about this.
Posted by Hello

Lake Mead, part of the Colorado River system flows south to the site of the dam. Pictured here are the intake towers on the Arizona side. There are also two on the Nevada side. The water flows into these towers, then down steel and concrete tubes to the generation house and makes the turbines turn, creating electricity. Notice the white sides of the hills. That is calcium deposits and represent where the highest level the water was at one time. This lake is down quite a bit from normal height due to drought conditions and the rapid expansion of Las Vegas - over 5,000 people a month! The city is thinking of putting some sort of construction limits on to help ease the situation.
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This is a shot of one of the two spillways. This is on the Nevada side. They are used if the lake rises above flood stage, which has happened twice since construction. It is a concrete and steel tube 50 feet in diameter. You get some big time vertigo when looking down into it.
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Here is a shot of the dam on the lake side. The lake exerts over 45,000 pounds of pressure on the dam - per square foot. You can also see the cars on top - yes, you can still drive across it and my dad and I walked across it. But you are now subject to a search. Also, you can see the two intake towers previously mentioned in the background. The pedestrian bridge in the foreground goes to the Nevada side intake towers.
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Here is the best I could do to try to get the dam in one frame. It is very difficult as the viewing positions are far away and have railings - and that is somewhat scary to me. You are over 700 feet in the air. You are looking at over 6.6 million tons of concrete - it was so well engineered that it has settled only .25" since built! This is now the river side - the water actually moves in this order: through the intake towers, around the dam, through the generation facility and then downstream. For whatever reason I used to think that water flowed under the dam, but this is not the case.
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The horseshoe shaped structure at the bottom of the dam is the power house. The turbines are located inside. After the water goes through, it exits out the bottom and empties into the Colorado River.
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A nice shot of the turbines inside the powerhouse.
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