Showing posts with label Best of the Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of the Blog. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2008

Best of the Blog - 2007 - Quarter Three

This post picks up with the popular "best of the blog" series where I highlight a few of our more prominent posts from the third quarter of 2007.

See here for
1) April 2007 - June 2007
2) Jan 2007 - March 2007
3) July 2006 - December 2006
4) January - June 2006
5) July 2005 - December 2005.

July 2007
  1. Electricity - Dan takes apart the electricity situation in Madison (in our first cross-post over at Chicago Boyz) and Carl meets the new (and likely stillborn) Illinois Power Agency
  2. Gerry Joins- Gerry shows us how ribs are done and then goes on a visit to Chi-town in "Fool for the City"
  3. Canada - Carl visits Canada and notices the rise of the "Loonie" against the sad greenback and asks how capitalist Canada really is
  4. Blog Series - Dan goes on an epic bike ride across the Wisconsin countryside (here is the seventh post with links back to the rest) and then he has a five part series on Wisconsin agriculture (work back from here)
  5. Other Stuff - Carl puts our military situation in perspective, tells a music critic he's an ass, Dan shows how he'd deal with robbers at his business, and calls us out for being lazy
August 2007
  1. White Trash Party - in one of our most-visited posts Dan parties like an old school hair metal dude
  2. Real Estate - Carl looks out his high-rise window and asks "Chicago or Dubai?", explains how "urban renewal" works, says demand for new housing will be hurt by the subprime mess, and shows the value of location
  3. Bad Business - Dan shows in a simple photo what bad business looks like and explains the impact
  4. Football - It's opening day (pre-season) at the Bears and Carl takes a classic bum photo (which becomes part of the genesis for "Drunk Bear Fans") and Dan kicks it up a notch against the Big Ten Network here and here
  5. Cooking - Gerry salvages a bad weekend by cooking some tasty looking crab legs and makes some kick-butt looking salsa dip
September 2007
  1. Pat Forde - not content just to "fight the power" on PSL's and the Bears & the Big Ten Network, Dan goes after the idiotic commentator Pat Forde here and here over his stupid comments (and failure to admit them) about the Illini and Zook
  2. Health Care Economics - Carl explains how the bad costing signals sent by cost allocation screws up health care and Dan predicts doom for Wisconsin should they ever embrace universal coverage
  3. Financials - Carl says that "technical analysis" makes you overpay for housing, explains how your rate of return assumptions are way too optimistic, and explains what Cook County ought to do instead of pulling the "tax increase" lever every time (like the Walker Texas Ranger lever on Conan)
  4. Football - it starts to get ugly in Bear country as Gerry points out in a post on Rex and has a great time (and cooks a fine meal) at a pre-game Bears tailgate with Carl and Dan... but let's not forget about drunken "Turtle" and the fun she brought us. Carl ends with a great book on football by the fantastic journalist Michael Lewis
  5. Air Zoo - Dan goes on a multi-part blog series about all the planes and firearms at the Air Zoo (start here and work backwards)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Best of the Blog - 2007 - Quarter Two

This post picks up with the popular "best of the blog" series where I highlight a few of our more prominent posts from the second quarter of 2007.

See here for
1) Jan 2007 - March 2007
2) July 2006 - December 2006
3) January - June 2006
4) July 2005 - December 2005.

April 2007
  1. Rosemont Questions & Corruption - the late Frank Borger does a little bit of research on how the mayor of a small town near O'Hare (Rosemont) amassed a big estate and collection of exotic cars
  2. Fishing in the Keys - Dan goes fishing in Florida with our friend who runs the Chicago Boyz site and takes lots of great pictures
  3. Objectivity and Journalism - Carl goes to a seminar on journalism and hears the (lame) reasons why "traditional" journalism (i.e. don't know anything about the topic you are writing on) is better than our focused "blog" journalism... and Dan points out a specific example of their know-nothing style on a big media event and Carl does on the AMT
  4. Africa and China - Carl writes on the evolving relationship between Africa and China and how they can take risk and court controversy where we can't... and then summarizes another obscure spot on the map
  5. A bit of Everything Else - Dan finds the "worst company ever" right in his own building, Carl hates the refund anticipation loans and scummy companies that push them, Carl takes a good photo (a rarity) of jets at opening day for the White Sox, and Dan "eats his words" and picks up a new hobby that we will hear lots more about later
May 2007
  1. Sleight of Hand - ComEd pretends that they are a stand-alone company and begs for cash in a lie that Carl takes apart and our inept & terrible Illinois governor Blogo misses the point entirely in his letter to the editor on why his Gross Receipts Tax failed 107-0
  2. Traffic Cops - Dan hands it to 'em in a rant on the transparent ruse of traffic enforcement
  3. Baseball - Carl gets a great mullet photo and female Bobbi Jenks, watches the White Sox fall apart with the first chants of "Bullpen Sucks", and sees the sad spectacle of "the wave" (note that for some reason not too many more posts on the White Sox this year)
  4. BTN and Muay Thai - Dan starts on the Big Ten Network (in what would become a frequent topic) & sums it up well with "crap games" and continues his Muay Thai progression
  5. City Life - Carl provides a primer on city life with a cheat sheet for panhandler categorization and shows a particular urban jackass
June 2007
  1. Miller Field - Dan really does it right with a four part series on the new Milwaukee baseball stadium part #1, part #2, part #3 and part #4 and don't miss the sausage race!
  2. Moonrise - Carl shows the up-side of city living with this photo series of the moon rising across River North in Chicago
  3. Brick No Hit Back - Dan posts another of our most popular posts with his Muay Thai experience and pain
  4. Risk and Subprime - Carl reflects on financial risks and a possible future
  5. Frank Borger Passing - the obituary for Frank Borger, a prescient post he (jokingly) made on "going Green when you go" and Dan's thoughts on the internet and eternity in the blogosphere

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Best of the Blog - 2007 - Quarter One

This post picks up with the popular "best of the blog" series where I highlight a few of our more prominent posts from the first quarter of 2007. I find these posts to be fun to write because we do have a lot of quality posts "in the can"... often it is hard to choose.

See here for
1) July 2006 - December 2006
2) January - June 2006
3) July 2005 - December 2005.

January 2007
  1. Bears Playoffs - back before our dreams were crushed Carl and Dan were on a high cruising through playoff wins up to the crushing blow of the Super Bowl - here is the win vs. Seattle and the win vs. New Orleans. Dan comments here on the inanity of banning sports betting just in time for Super Bowl squares
  2. Investing - Carl says that focusing on the "percentage return" can be downright misleading and throws in his own (sad) story
  3. Rinnai Tankless Water Heater - Dan shows off his HVAC knowledge (always a hit with the ladies) in what is one of our most linked-to posts on the web
  4. Danny Davis Ignores Our Concerns - Carl goes through the madness that the vibrant central district of Chicago is represented by an old-school politician who cares nothing for its needs since they aren't his real constituents
  5. A Terrible Intersection in Downtown Chicago - Carl does a little bit of old-school journalism for an insanely dangerous downtown intersection
February 2007
  1. The Chief (Illini) - Dan laments the loss of the chief and then punches against the hypocrites of the NCAA
  2. iBonds, Cash Instruments & ETF's - Carl explains the details of how iBonds work in a couple of frequently linked posts along with other cash instruments... more important than ever in these days of volatility. Here is a primer on ETF's vs. mutal funds
  3. Handguns - Dan gets out his family photo, accurizes his Volquartsen Mark 3, and researches his Ruger Single Six
  4. CTA Failure - Dan notes the CTA meltdown from afar (Madison, to be exact) and Carl throws in his 2 cents in a post that invited angry CTA employees and was ultimately closed for comments
  5. Utility Buyout - Carl notes that the TXU (Texas utilities) buyout was an unholy alliance between NIMBY's and investment bankers and was going to signal capitulation on new generation
March 2007
  1. RMS Titanic Menu - Dan writes an awesomely detailed and researched post on the menu of the RMS Titanic... another of our most popular and most-linked posts
  2. Cook County Meltdown - A year before Cook County pushed for the desperate tax increase Carl highlighted the precarious finances of Cook County (the county where Chicago resides) and said that succession might someday be in the cards
  3. K31 - Dan restores a K31 rifle here and then gets a mysterious one sent to him in the mail (see the K31 category on the sidebar for all the posts)
  4. Nevada Power Crisis - Carl goes back to Nevada (where he once worked) and writes about a CEO who isn't afraid to take on the power crisis head on
  5. My Dorm Room - Dan goes back to school today in the lap of luxury not like our good ol' FAR rooms at U of I

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Best of the blog - 2005 (1 of 2)

Following up on my "best of the blog" series I am taking aim at 2005. There will be two posts in this series (it takes a while to get through the process since we have a lot of good ones to choose from, but I am looking for "the best"). It is fun going through the old posts... I have fun reading a lot of them and honestly have forgotten a few of them that spark a laugh.

July 2005

  1. "Negotiating With Terrorists" - Carl says that while the terrorists can hurt us superficially, in the long run they will lose because their negotiation strategy basically comes down to "convert or die", which is unpalatable to everyone in the West
  2. In "My Wrists, My Wrists" Dan profiles his new, smaller revolver
  3. In "First Responders... and More" Carl says that you need to rely on yourself and your neighbors more than the police, fire, etc... and that a low respect for the collective intelligence is a hallmark of the liberal mindset
  4. Dan explains how "Foam" and out-of-control environmental regulations doomed the space shuttle
  5. There were a few good photo essays... Dan biking in southern Wisconsin, Dan at the fair, and Carl with llamas
August 2005

  1. Carl is confused and jokingly asks whether the "IAEA" or "IKEA" has more influence on events in Iran today, and Dan obligingly visits the super-efficient IKEA retailer
  2. Dan writes a long post with many photos of his Ruger 77 at the range
  3. Is it tax time yet... Carl gets ahead of the tax season with "The AMT is the New Tax Code" and points out the tax that ensnared millions in 2006 and will again in 2007
  4. Carl laughs at "Cthulhu is my Homeboy" and remembers HP Lovecraft
  5. Dan takes the Lake Express across Lake Michigan with tons of good photos (and a few blogger teething problems, since resolved)

September 2005

  1. With "The Chains" Dan takes aim at the maddening way that football measures the spot... now an annual tradition
  2. Dan comments on Katrina in a series of posts here, here and Carl chimes in here
  3. Carl loves list with the "Most Important Individuals Since 1500" and the "Top 500 Songs of Your Lifetime" (since 1980) from Blender
  4. Dan visits Philadelphia and the title "Filthadelphia" says it all
  5. Dan and Carl both talk about markets and oil markets in particular in light of Katrina and NIMBY policies

October 2005

  1. Canada flexes its awesome political muscle in "Canada Speaks Out About Iranian Evil... and No One Cares"
  2. Dan tees off on "The Sham of Gun Buybacks and the Invasion of Privacy" in Madison
  3. Dan creates his first podcast and meets stunningly inept retail help at Radio Shack
  4. In light of Roman Polanski being a scumbag child molester Dan pens a letter to Sony
  5. Carl predicts fireworks (that haven't come yet... but it isn't over) for Exelon in Chicago in light of Illinois botched energy deregulation
November 2005

  1. Carl points out that the idiotic Fois Gras ban in Chicago causes an uproar while eating sushi from women's naked bodies barely elicits a snicker
  2. Carl notes that the French have problems too comparing Katrina with their riots
  3. "Concealed Carry in Wisconsin" is on Dan's mind here
  4. In "Speedtrap, Shmeedtrap" Dan laments the speed trap and one guy who tried to help
  5. The European diplomatic initiatives uselessness is noted by Carl in "Engagement = Appeasement"
December 2005

  1. Carl does some investigative reporting in "The Worst Intersection In Chicago"
  2. In "Other People's Money" Dan sheds light on a charity scandal in Madison
  3. Dan refuses to play along with Freakonomics in "Merry Incentives, Baby"
  4. Carl asks to call it what it is in "Need to Rename the Anti-War crowd"
  5. In response to a lame article on Chicago Carl says "Pathetic Article on Chicago Patronizes Everyone"


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best of 2006... part two

Here is the follow up to the "Best of 2006" part one...

July 2006

  1. "It Really Is No Big Deal" - Dan responds to the fallout from all the heavy traffic we get from Carl's CCP post... and Carl responds to the loonie commenters with his own (mostly unnoticed) post "Fascists and Communists"
  2. "Kids Say the Darndest Things" - Dan answers his daughter's question as to why they are all shooting each other in the Middle East
  3. "Wants... and Needs" - Carl can't take people who can't tell the two apart
  4. "The Chicago Tribune Can't Connect the Dots" - in Chicago we just take it for granted when armed felons kill innocent people, and don't ask why it has to be this way
  5. "Madison Gas & Electric Marketing Genius" - Dan stands in wonder at the marketing that his utility bills are generating, while Carl asks about "The Real Conspiracy" in electric power... not who you'd expect
August 2006



  1. "World Trade Center Part One" and "World Trade Center Part Two" - Carl visits the site of the World Trade Center to see how little has been accomplished since 9/11/01
  2. "Terms, Models and Economic Conditions" - Dan sees his customers in a new light
  3. "Santa Barbara Poor" - Paul feels for those that don't have $1M for housing... not. He also says "Send Her Back" to those that can't be bothered to learn to speak English
  4. "Chicago Air and Water Show" - Carl catches a great air show from his balcony
  5. "Paper Tiger" and "Paper Tiger Part Two" - Dan examines China's challenge and looks into his own inventory to bolster his opinion
September 2006



  1. "Jackass Drivers on the Edens" - Carl catches some looney-tunes going backwards on the Edens
  2. "James J. Woods" - Dan participates in an Internet blogger project to memorialize the 9/11 victims, and Paul joins in with "A Loss of Humanity" on the nature of evil
  3. "Electricity Deregulation and Impending Chaos in Illinois" - Carl says that the rate freeze is ending and Illinois isn't prepared for the future
  4. "Ruminations" - Carl sees a review for "The Road" and reflects on the Hell on earth
  5. In "Progress in Women's Rights" and "All I Need to Know I Learned From Bitch Magazine" Carl talks about the HP scandal and women's rights from a bent view

October 2006

  1. "A Century Apart, Same Themes" - Dan ties together the logistics of the Plains wars and WW2 in the Pacific
  2. The Bears inspire Carl's best photo ever with "Bum Stylin' At the Bears", Dan's great Ribs recipe in "Gameday Ribs, Part One" and Carl marvels at the drunkenness in "Bears Fans Gettin' Faced"
  3. In "The Alternative Minimum Tax" Carl describes the AMT and how it could be a "retarded stepson" of the flat tax (which is kind of a good thing)
  4. In "Madison Good, Madison Bad" Dan ruminates on the big city / small city elements of Madison
  5. "Sad" and "War in the 21st Century" Dan covers Stalingrad and Paul imagines fighting it with today's media

November 2006

  1. More cooking with "Gameday Ribs Part Two" and "Gameday Ribs Part Three" on Dan's awesome recipe
  2. "Sprawl Wins, Again" where Carl sees the endless fields becoming suburbs
  3. In "Taxes and the Democrats" and "State Income Taxes" Carl analyzes taxes and their impact on behavior
  4. "The Right Tool for the Job" has Dan's new air pistol for NRA qualifications and gives a demonstration while Carl has a more jovial time at the range
  5. Carl ruminates on being a Yokel in "Why We are Life in the Great Midwest"

December 2006

  1. For "Trans Fats" Dan does his own research on this now-banned substance
  2. Paul bemoans our missing beer in "New Glarus Blues" and has a fish fry to sample the local color
  3. In "Energy, Taxes and Expropriation" Carl asks whether or not it is a good idea to defer taxes after all... or they'll just take it later
  4. For "No Perspective" Carl comments on frustration with the pace of our current war
  5. In "Ikegwuono Reinstated" Dan points out the rampant lies that power college football as well as dukes it out with some commenters on the company's dime

Monday, January 15, 2007

Best of Life in the Great Midwest in 2006... part one

Since Dan went through all the trouble of classifying the posts with the upgrade to the new version of blogger, I thought I'd do the service of highlighting some of the best posts (in my opinion) in 2006. Going through all the posts is a bigger job than I thought so I am starting with the first six months of 2006... and will follow up with a second post for the rest of 2006.

January 2006

  1. "The Epic Scale of Corruption in Chicago" - how our local law forces stand idly by in the face of pervasive malfeasance
  2. "A Real Academic Debate Topic" - was Stalin really planning to attack Hitler, and if so, was Barbarossa Hitler's best option, and not a military mistake?
  3. "Terrorist Repellent" - Dan buys an entire pig and processes it himself
  4. "The Haj and Crowd Dynamics" and "The Sea of Desolation" - deconstructing the madness of the crowds at the annual pilgrimage to Mecca
  5. "Carnival of Cordite - .45 Edition" - good photos of Dan's newly purchased .45

February 2006

  1. "Midwesternness" and "Midwesternness Part 2" are Dan's and Carl's posts on what it means to lead a Midwestern life, which are key to this blog
  2. "Madison - State Capital at Night" - Dan's photos of the capital illuminated at night
  3. "Swedish Fish and Odd Synchronization" - a brief post on linked things that aren't quite right
  4. "Oly!" - linking that famous (low grade) brew and the every four year extravaganza
  5. "The 2% Option" - Paul from Indy joins the blog and says his piece about the leveraged mortgage craze

March 2006

  1. "Income Stream" - Dan summarizes 1) why he blogs 2) why there is no point in polluting our site with ads
  2. "A Liberal Education" and "A Liberal Education Part II" and "A Liberal Education Part III"- Carl starts a firestorm by comparing the (pathetic) reality of most liberal education curriculum today against both the "classical" liberal education as well as the job market
  3. "When The Rolling Stones Were Great" - Carl's favorite Rolling Stone album Let It Bleed gets 4 of 5 stars and riles him up
  4. "I See Myself" - Dan finds himself in Albion's work
  5. "Gridlock Around the Clock" - is there a problem with a speed of zero at midday? Not in Chicago, apparently

April 2006

  1. "A Little Off the Top, Bottom and Sides, Please" - Dan starts a fashion revolution and blog-storm by shaving his head... one of our most popular posts ever
  2. "Madison Gas & Electric" - Carl from Chicago summarizes his memories of Dan's local utility and being a FIB
  3. "Why I Hate American Idol" - Paul vents about this smash TV show
  4. "In the Eye of the Beholder" - Trent Reznor wants it to mean one thing, but Carl sees something else
  5. "Culling the Herd" - Dan runs his business his way

May 2006

  1. "Ron Burgundy and Metaphysics" - an offhand movie reference moves into moral issues (and littering...)
  2. "Buying A House" - Carl takes on the prevailing wisdom of home ownership
  3. "You Can't Be Serious" - Dan takes on psychics and flying monks
  4. "A Classic" - the immortal tilt-a-whirl
  5. "Memorial Day and Deconstruction" - this one is hard to summarize in a sentence... starting with Memorial Day and working into French philosophy

June 2006

  1. "Photoessay at Sunrise" - Dan at large at daybreak in Madison
  2. "Sincerely, George McCaskey, Director of Ticket Operations" - the Bears insanely request "voluntary" personal site license payments
  3. "Can Mitzie Have A Side of Asparagus" - Paul comments on inane Chicago policies
  4. "Boycott the North Face Over CCCP Clothing" - like Dan's shaved head post, this brief post by Carl starts a firestorm of comments r/e communism
  5. "Coastline" - Dan looks for bearings out there...