Saturday, June 30, 2007

...and here's your answer...Congrats Kermit

WWII Memorial, Washington, DC

  • Each star represents 400 lives lost
  • There is a pillar for each State and Territory as each lost lives to the war
  • Arched entrances represent the different theaters of the war

Hole Hearted - Extreme

Check out my 1/4 By 1/4

I can do without the music but otherwise this is really fun to watch.

The Doghouse Project

The Doghouse Project, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Letters from Iwo Jima

I recommend this movie but not before first reading Flags of our Fathers (which I have) or at least seeing the DVD (which I have not, but just moved to the top of my Netflix cue).

Letters from Iwo Jima tells the story of the fall of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the outnumbered and isolated Japanese soldiers charged with the final defense of the island critical to the Americans as a jumping-off point for the attack of the Japanese mainland near the end of World War II.

Flags of our Fathers is the American perspective of virtually the same story but highlights the history and fate of the Marines that raised the second flag on Mount Suribachi, the pinnacle of Iwo Jima, and appeared in the world's most duplicated photo ever.

Yet another masterpiece from Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima is as much a lesson in the utter waste of war as it is a heartfelt saga of a select squad of young Japanese men who discover along with the viewer that there is more in common with the enemy than not.

JBird's Softball Game

JBird's Softball Game, originally uploaded by jroosh.

What dreams may come II

Just released today. Cirrus "Family Jet".


Do the Math

This: More than half of Americans won't vote for Clinton, poll shows


This: Fred is very popular with Women?


President Fred Thompson

God Save the Queen

Three Quarters Believe Global Warming A 'Natural Occurrence'

Almost three quarters of British citizens surveyed think Global Warming occurs naturally.

The online study which polled nearly 4000 votes found that a staggering 71 percent of people think that the rise in air temperature happens naturally. And 65 percent think that scientists' catastrophic predictions if pollution isn't curbed are 'far fetched'.

Emma Hardcastle, publisher at Pocket Issue which carried out the research, said: "If 71% of people feel that Man has nothing to do with the recent change in our climate then those same people are not going to buy into any movement to reduce their carbon footprint.

They will if you can prove the MMGW theory (which seems to be losing momentum) or at least disprove the alternative theories (which seem to be gaining momentum).

...the poll highlights the need for government and influential bodies to concentrate on getting the public to understand the facts about global warming and ‘why’ rather than ‘how’ they should reduce their carbon footprint."The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which represents most scientists...

Not true. In fact more and more scientists are speaking out against the findings of the IPCC, a politically-motivated body.

...stated earlier that the increase in global temperatures is 'very likely due to the observed increase of man-made greenhouse gas concentrations'. They define very likely as 'more than 90 percent certain'.

This poll reflects in my opinion the increased skepticism among scientists and the general public regarding man's role in effecting climate change. Meanwhile, MMGW enthusiasts are now hedging by shifting from the use of the word "warming" to the word "change" as there are now emerging theories that the earth may soon actually start cooling, further complicating the climate issue let alone man's role in whatever climate changes may be ahead of us.

HT Fred B.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One Year Ago Today

It was 10 AM on June 28th last year that I got the phone call that all parents hope they never get.

"...they think its Diabetes."

And it was.

A couple hours later our whole family was being trained to give each other shots of saline. JBird got her first shot of insulin.

We're not dwelling on this anniversary with self pity. Rather its an opportunity to celebrate the fact that we have pulled together as a family. That my daughter is stronger than we knew. That amazing technology keeps JBird healthy and allows her to live a normal active life. That we have a supportive family, friends and community.

I can now tell you from experience that when something like this happens to your child, you don't have time to dwell on the downside. You are called to action so quickly that there is no fear. And once you have adjusted to the new reality, you look back and find that ultimately it was a positive experience, hard as that may be to believe.

To see your 8-year old daughter rise to the occasion, adjust and then continue to live her life to the fullest as a kid, you count your blessings and take your cue from her. If she isn't going to feel sorry for herself how can we? She is the happiest kid I know. She wears her insulin pump as a badge of courage. She obliterates all the little petty challenges I have all day long in my work day with her smile and her giggle.

We are so proud of her and so grateful to Medtronic and JBirds heroes at the International Diabetes Center as well as the many volunteers, celebrities and scientists that are dedicating their time and their resources to finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

As for now, life goes on, better than before.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Do your kids call you for money?

Now your car can too! Hurray!

The PhotoViolationMeter™ Solution is to parking what photo radar is to "tempting thine stoplight."

It will call you with enough time to come back and plug the "meter" or you can pay over the phone.

Awesome. Another opportunity for the [please insert derogatory term] at the table next to you at Zelo to take a phone call with his ringer on 10.

"Sorry Liebchen, the Benz is calling again."

Thou shalt use thine ashtray and not flick thine butts out thine window

The Catholic Church, having resolved the whole purgatory thing has redirected its influential capacity towards thine world's drivers:

I. You shall not kill.

II. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

III. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

IV. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.

V. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

VI. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

VII. Support the families of accident victims.

VIII. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

IX. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

X. Feel responsible towards others.

Here are some more from readers of the article:

Thou shalt not tailgate.

Thou shalt turn into thine same lane thou started turning from.

Thou shalt not tempt thy traffic light.

Thou shalt not stop on a dime if thou art being followed by a larger and/or heavier vehicle. Thine car might be demolished from the rear.

Thou shalt pay attention and stay off thine cell phone.

HT Nate K.
[hey, check it out! doth thou supposeth that's an old red pickup that thine pope is riding in?]

Monday, June 25, 2007

Make 'em brighter!

Mailbag: Drivers are still seeing red over police lights this one too.

Some of these lighted squad cars are SO BRIGHT that I can not see the lanes in broad daylight even though I had my eyes checked recently and spent $600 on new glasses.

No pun intended but if you are complaining that squad car lights are too bright, you probably aren't the brightest bulb on the tree.

Do you know what the leading cause of law-enforcement deaths is? That's right - traffic stops.

Hillary has the Women's Vote Locked Up

....or does she?

The Hollywood actor and former Tennessee senator racked up an impressive list of conquests during his swinging bachelor days in the 1990s, but he appears to have achieved the impossible and kept their friendship and respect.

OK - I'm a big Fred Thompson fan but this is unreal. How many of us men can say that we could get an ex-girlfriend, wife, etc. to donate blood to save our lives let alone go on record for our candidacy? And he is in fact now married as most of us know so he's off the market. Obviously Fred only dated Republicans - or at least they were when he was done with them.

...and true to form, Fred doesn't make any qualms about the fact that he's chased and been chased by his share of female "voters".

“I was single for a long time and yep I chased a lot of women,” Thompson told them with a grin. “And a lot of women chased me. And those who chased me tended to catch me.”

[that's Lorrie Morgan by the way, one of Fred's are welcome]


I love this movie. In fact, I don't recall a movie with a better credits sequence (Ferris Bueller's Day Off maybe?).

I don't know if Will Smith has ever been in a bad movie and has proven he can play a wide range of characters. Kevin James was cast by a genius and he didn't disappoint. I think he was actually the star of this film. Eva Mendez was perfect as well, which belies her mediocre filmography (2 Fast 2 Furious? - she's lucky that one didn't kibosh her career). This is a great couples movie - a true romantic comedy without overtly being a chick flick.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Sometimes its good to be a cop."

That is one of the classic movie lines from "Only the Lonely" which starred John Candy, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Quinn and Maureen O'Hara. O'Hara came out of a twenty-year retirement to assume a role written with her in mind by Writer/Director Chris Columbus. He never dreamed she'd actually agree to do it.

More impressive however is the late John Candy's acting abilities. No one doubts his accomplishments as a comedian, but his roles in this movie and "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" (and do you remember him in "JFK"?) showcase his ability to perform drama in a comedic setting. Adam Sandler comes to mind.

Who knows where John Candy would be today.

I have watched this movie probably five times. It is well written and perfectly cast. I will be adding it back into my Netflix cue once again as it is one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies.

Smithers Three is now Smithers Four

Congratulations to Smithers, Mrs. Smithers and Little Smithers on the birth today at 8:12 AM of Baby Girl Smithers!

God Bless the Smithers family. Pumpkin Loaf all around!

Hog Heaven in Eden Prairie

I don't know Tom Giannetti, but I'm a big fan. As owner of St. Paul Harley-Davidson/Buell, he is obviously a gear head, but he is also a Diabetic and a well-known local Diabetes fundraiser. I would like to renew my motorcycles license and rent a Harley for this event. I will keep you posted.

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal: Tom Giannetti's struggle to bring a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership to the southwest metro is finally over.

Giannetti, who also owns St. Paul Harley-Davidson/Buell, has acquired a site near Interstate 494 and Highway 5 in Eden Prairie and expects to have a dealership running later this summer. It will be Harley's seventh store in the Twin Cities.

Eighth Annual Lightning Run July 27 & 28, 2007 Party, motorcycle rally, food, music, silent auction, raffle for a new Harley, and more! Parade through St. Paul to the Holman Air Field in St. Paul. Post parade party at Myth Nightclub. All proceeds benefit the Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation.

Hot enough for ya?

Today was hot. Tomorrow will be hotter. This weekend will be hotter still. The weekend forecast calls for 90-95 degrees and dry. By Sunday afternoon, you will be tired of the heat. In anticipation of this fact, I give you:

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buick Cans Tiger

Autoblog is announcing that Buick has fired Tiger Woods.

This is not a surprise.

I am a huge fan of Tiger Woods. Not because I'm a huge golfer but because Tiger personifies and glorifies practice, humility and discipline in professional sports while the rest of sportsdom personifies and glorifies bling, self-promotion and asinine end zone dances.

Having said all that, no one in their right mind thinks Tiger drives a Buick. That ad campaign was a non-starter.

Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth.

Global Warming...Global Cooling.

Anyone that reads my blog knows that I don't support the theories of Man-Made Global Warming to the extent that:

1) It is a crisis

2) That it is proven

3) That we need to take action

4) or Else

My position is that there has always been Global Climate Change and that there always will be and that if we are in fact changing our climate "to the warmer" that fact is not yet proven as there are a few other theories that have not yet been disproven and are just as logical and intuitive as Algore' fact probably more so.

I don't want to leave our Earth worse off for my grandchildren any more than the average Global Warming Enthusiast does. I also feel that reacting too much too soon before the other theories are disproven is a waste of scarce resources. I will keep posting on the topic as long as that is the case, in my opinion.

Read the sunspots (some excerpts below)

Politicians and environmentalists these days convey the impression that climate-change research is an exceptionally dull field with little left to discover. We are assured by everyone from David Suzuki to Al Gore to Prime Minister Stephen Harper that "the science is settled." At the recent G8 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel even attempted to convince world leaders to play God by restricting carbon-dioxide emissions to a level that would magically limit the rise in world temperatures to 2C.

The fact that science is many years away from properly understanding global climate doesn't seem to bother our leaders at all. Inviting testimony only from those who don't question political orthodoxy on the issue, parliamentarians are charging ahead with the impossible and expensive goal of "stopping global climate change."

Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now. Ten thousand years ago, while the world was coming out of the thou-sand-year-long "Younger Dryas" cold episode, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade -- 100 times faster than the past century's 0.6C warming that has so upset environmentalists.

I and the first-class scientists I work with are consistently finding excellent correlations between the regular fluctuations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate. The sun and the stars are the ultimate source of all energy on the planet.

My research team began to collect and analyze core samples from the bottom of deep Western Canadian fjords. The regions in which we chose to conduct our research, Effingham Inlet on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and in 2001, sounds in the Belize-Seymour Inlet complex on the mainland coast of British Columbia, were perfect for this sort of work. The topography of these fjords is such that they contain deep basins that are subject to little water transfer from the open ocean and so water near the bottom is relatively stagnant and very low in oxygen content. As a consequence, the floors of these basins are mostly lifeless and sediment layers build up year after year, undisturbed over millennia.

Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called "proxies") is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia's Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.

In some fields the science is indeed "settled." For example, plate tectonics, once highly controversial, is now so well-established that we rarely see papers on the subject at all. But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year. In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases." About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all.

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.

Meantime, we need to continue research into this, the most complex field of science ever tackled, and immediately halt wasted expenditures on the King Canute-like task of "stopping climate change."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lakeville Twins' Parents Speak to Congress on Diabetes Funding

...their mother, Ann, testified to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, about the real-life battle she wages daily: late-night blood sugar checks, counting carbohydrates and fighting off thoughts of side effects that she calls "the things we don't want to talk about."I remember when we were in the hospital with Abraham, and he would cry and cry when the nurse came in to give him shots," Ann said, as tears streamed down her face. "He would scream 'Make her stop, Mommy, make her stop.' My heart was crushed. I was Abe's protector and now this disease had made me helpless."

In the four years since the twins were found to have diabetes, Ann estimated that she has given 5,500 insulin shots and 23,360 finger pricks. She took a leave from her job as a schoolteacher to tend to her twins full time, suffering financial hardships.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hosted its ninth annual Children's Congress in Washington this week. The Strader family became super heroes in the juvenile diabetes community and were chosen to share their story with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good Morning Milwaukee

Good Morning Milwaukee, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Seminar, originally uploaded by jroosh. 309...Milwaukee...please...hurry

Sunday, June 17, 2007

World's Strongest Dad

I've posted this before, and I know many have seen this story, but it is the best expression of fatherhood I have ever seen.

We try to be the best fathers we can, and give our children as many advantages as we can and hope that they will have more opportunities than we did but Rick Hoyt's father dedicated his life to seeing that Rick could just live a life and make the most of what God gave him.

Recently Dick and Rick Hoyt appeared on Oprah (I think it was an encore) and it was noted that they used to compete in sixty events and recently have backed off to "just" forty.

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

Team Hoyt Web Site

Happy Fathers Day!

Stay out of my car.

In their weekly radio address, Democrats on Saturday called for a new direction in energy policy, away from gas-guzzling automobiles and reliance on foreign oil.
"America deserves more fuel efficient cars," said Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington.

But she added "the only way consumers are going to get more out of a tank of gas is if the president and his party help deliver votes in a narrowly divided Congress."

I am all for reducing our alliance on foreign oil but our government isn't going to accomplish that by imposing arbitrary regulations that they will end up delaying later anyways when they realize the technology is already going as fast as it can.

Market and social forces have been incenting automakers to increase fuel efficiency since the fuel crisis of the 70's. In fact the primary reason the Japanese were able to make inroads into our market was the fuel efficiency of their cars. Then we noticed their quality and durability. Honda came out with the Civic, America responded with the Chevette (I know, I know, stop laughing, its the best we could do). The American automakers have been playing catch up ever since. Government had nothing to do with it.

But a group of senators close to the auto industry — both Democrats and Republicans — argue that car makers can't meet that steep of an increase, especially for SUVS and small trucks. They will try to get approval this week for a more modest boost in the federal requirement to 36 mpg for cars and 30 mpg for SUVs and pickups by 2025.

American automakers have never been good at small cars. We're good at trucks and SUV's, which skews the CAFE numbers of our so-called domestic manufacturers. So-called because the lines are getting more and more blurred. Congress enacting these numbers will therefore be penalizing domestic manufacturers more than foreign manufacturers, further accelerating the demise of our automotive industry. It's just another side effect of government over-involvement in what should be a free market.

So yes, Americans do deserve more fuel efficient cars, but our government has and will have nothing to do with providing them. Americans already have access to increasingly more fuel efficient cars and as long as the economic and political costs associated with fossil fuels remains high, which is to say for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be an increasing incentive for automakers worldwide to provide them.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Interpreter

Directed by Sydney Pollack, The Interpreter is a sweeping action drama. Think Line of Fire and another Kidman film The Peacemaker put together only without the excellent car chase scene of The Peacemaker but with the tragic personal life subplot of Sean Penn/Clint Eastwood's character.

The movie has a twist at the end, but you won't be too surprised.

Sean Penn (hate his politics, love his acting) and Nicole Kidman (let me just say Tom Cruise is a fool) were both quite excellent.

Mrs. Roosh gave it a thumbs up too.

Coffee Cooler Girls

Coffee Cooler Girls, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Friday, June 15, 2007

La vie en rose - Louis Armstrong

...from French Kiss...just watched it tonight...Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, great date night movie.

Fridley, we have a problem...III: Update

I just sent in the last two payments on my baby girl's insulin pump. As she will tell you, she's not a baby anymore, but she'll always be my baby.

The medical company offered one-year interest-free financing for the 20% of the cost that we had to cover, but I've been making extra payments, so we're done.

It made me think of the issues we've had with the device and in all fairness to Medtronic I wanted to express my appreciation for this technology and even more importantly, their product support. I was impressed at how knowledgeable their customer service reps were as it related not only to their devices but also to the daily care and treatment of Diabetes.

There is a lot of debate over medical device company profits and whether they are excessive. I don't want to get into that other than to say that I am grateful that there is an economic incentive for a company to develop and support a life-saving device like an insulin pump.

...because it keeps my baby alive every day.

It wasn't that long ago that a child diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes would die soon thereafter.

As for the issues we've had with the pump, it turns out that there was a human element involved in the insulin-dumping that was occurring. The pump was not defective.

Nonetheless, Medtronic was awesome. They sent us a total of three $9,000 insulin pumps at their own expense. No questions asked. No red tape. Not even paperwork to fill out.

I am proud that they are a Minnesota company and I give a personal HT for each and every employee at Medtronic.

Rodney Atkins - Watching You

Remember. They're watching you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stop the Madness

When I heard a liberal legislator on the radio this morning blathering on about how Detroit has done nothing to improve gas mileage in twenty years I knew it was coming from someone completely out of touch with reality.

...and BikeBubba beat me to it.

Furthermore, due to a host of other issues and market forces, less and less people are buying from "Detroit" any way, so it's a weak point in the first place. How many people do you know that own two American (assuming you can tell which are American) cars any more?

Gmaps Pedometer

My friend Smithers has this cool gizmo that records his rides with GPS and then maps them.

...for example.

That works great for Smithers because he rides all over town. I have the same route every time I go out. But I was curious as to the distance I am riding.

A friend emailed me the link to the Gmaps Pedometer where you can map any route and it will calculate the distance for you. For all I know this service has been out for years but I just found out about it today.

I was a little disappointed though. I thought my route was closer to 24 miles and the map shows 20.

Check it out here.

When will we learn?

Yet another government entity thinks taxpayers should be in the sports business.

The St. Paul City Council discussed Wednesday a $40 million initiative to renovate Midway Stadium and build a new 332,000-square-foot open-air soccer stadium to host the Minnesota Thunder.

$40 Million, if I am not mistaken, is what was spent to build the whole Metrodome. (update: ok - it was $55 Million and over twenty years ago - which would be over $100 Million in today's dollars)

The proposal asks the state Legislature to contribute $25 million in bonding money next year, said St. Paul City Council Member Jay Benanav. "Most who come to Midway Stadium are not from St. Paul. We think this is a statewide issue."

You think wrong. Have you ever been to a Saints game? We went last summer. I am sorry, but just like a Vikings/Green Bay game, there is no way I would ever bring my family there again. Keep my taxes out of this. The City of St. Paul, which owns the stadium, should pay for it.

The Minnesota Thunder now plays at Central High School's James Griffin Stadium, and has been looking for a permanent home since it moved from Blaine to St. Paul in 2004, said Manny Lagos, director of soccer operations for the professional soccer team.

Who is the Minnesota Thunder? We have a professional soccer team? Seriously? Statewide issue? We should not be spending money on stadiums. I do not believe anyone has ever demonstrated a positive ROI on Sports Stadiums for taxpayers anywhere in America.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yee Haw!

HT AlphaPatriot and so on and so on...

MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine

Theodore Roosevelt 100 Years Ago

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag.. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." Theodore Roosevelt 1907

In case you are wondering:

HT Lynn S.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's a Tie

"Uh oh."

Polls are, well polls. Which is to say not worth much especially this early. But it does make for interesting discussion.

Thompson is in a statistical tie with Giuliani according to these recent polls despite not officially being a candidate and having not participated in two Republican debates. I can't imagine debates not helping Fred Thompson as his stage presence and speaking skills are definite assets. As conservatives put the face and the name together, I predict Thompson will pass Giuliani in the polls and be the leading candidate for the nomination.

LA WASHINGTON — Republicans antsy for a conservative standard-bearer in the presidential race have begun to rally behind Fred Thompson, propelling the former Tennessee senator to within hailing distance of the lead for the party's nomination, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani holds first place in the survey, with support from 27% of the Republicans and independents who said they plan to vote in the party's 2008 primaries.But Thompson, an actor who played a prosecutor on NBC's "Law & Order," runs just behind, with 21%. Indications are he will join the race within the next month.

Rasmussen Reports:
2008 Republican Presidential Primary
National Poll: Giuliani 24% Thompson 24%

It is not unusual for a candidate to gain ground in the polls when they first announce their intentions. However, Thompson’s rise has been meteoric.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Non-Ending

I feel vindicated somehow.

I have always enjoyed the irony when someone shares their excitement for last night's episode of The Sopranos or American Idle (intentional misspelling) or whatever the latest prime time fad happens to be and in the same breath asks how anyone can have time to bike, read, work out or blog for that matter.

I don't subscribe to HBO or any other premium cable channels so I've never sampled even one episode of The Sopranos.

It's not that I feel I'm above it all, quite the opposite actually. I know myself well enough to know the last thing I have time to make time for is a show designed to draw you into it's serial plot line.

I would probably have enjoyed The Sopranos and furthermore would likely have invested in an HBO subscription, a DVR, and countless hours of viewing. Again, knowing myself and in the interest of leveraging my DVR investment, I would have felt compelled to check out West Wing, 24, CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Law and Order and on and on.

As it stands, I'm satisfied with a couple syndicated episodes of Raymond each week and SpongeBob on the weekends with the kids.

I love SpongeBob.

Thankfully, all the episodes are interchangeable so you can watch them in any order you wish.

When I was younger I watched Star Trek, The Next Generation. The last episode of that show was a true grand finale and I still enjoy contemplating the reality-bending concept of that last installment.

As such, I can appreciate the seemingly widespread disdain for the producers of The Sopranos choice of a non-ending, which is being described as the new worst ending since Seinfeld. Others complain that they thought their cable went dead. Like a bystander to a fatal car accident, I am thankful to have not invested the time.

At least now there is this new controversy to displace Paris Hilton on the front page.

Typical Hypocrisy

I saw a Silver Lexus RX SUV at Jujubee's softball game tonight with this sticker on its back bumper:

Free speech and all that...okay, that's your right.

...but just because someone made a bumper sticker doesn't mean the phrase Pro-Child and Pro-Choice have anything to do with each other.

But what was so sickening is that there was a six-year-old little boy bouncing around in the back seat, hanging out a lowered window. No belt. No booster. Mom driving: no brains.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lake Harriet II

Today we hauled the bikes to Lake Calhoun and biked around Isles, Calhoun and Harriet. We stopped - again - at the beach at Harriet for the kids to cool off.

Good Morning!

Good Morning!, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Zero to 60

I mentioned in a previous blog (...he's been playing himself ever since" ) that at least once, upon seeing Fred Thompson on the big screen (I think it was The Hunt for Red October) and discovering he was also a Senator, that he'd make a great presidential candidate. Apparently a lot of other conservatives had been thinking the same thing over the years and in rare form, actually "drafted" Fred.

In early March, only a handful of Fred Thompson's good friends knew that he was even thinking about a bid for president. Three months later, according to several polls, Thompson is in second place nationally, trailing front runner Rudy Giuliani.

Ask people closest to Thompson how this happened...The former senator was simply minding his business when out of nowhere there arose a powerful Draft Fred movement, the likes of which have rarely been seen in American politics. "The groundswell for Fred is the closest thing to a real, genuine draft that I've seen in my 40 years of politics," Senator Lamar Alexander said recently in Chattanooga.

...when Thompson acknowledged on Fox News Sunday that he was seriously considering a presidential run, support for a potential bid exploded. Thompson and his friends were flooded with phone calls from would-be supporters eager to start raising money. Public officials began to endorse Thompson without any promise that he would become a candidate--a risk in the trade-and-barter world of politics.

Read more at The Weekly Standard and even more at Let Freedom Ring.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Lake Harriet Bandshell

Lake Harriet Bandshell, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Sebastian Joe's

Sebastian Joe's, originally uploaded by jroosh.

Sale of Chrysler

The Autumn of your Life

Job crunch ahead as boomers retire

I have been sharing with clients for years that due to shifting demographics and the retirement of our baby boomers, younger individuals may find their services in high demand much later in life than the previous generation.

So the "bad" news is, you are going to live much longer than you think, so you have that many more years to fund some level of lifestyle and health care.

The "good" news is, if you possess credentials and experience that our economy values or are willing to pursue several different careers over your lifetime, your services will be in demand much later into the autumn of your life.

I'm not talking about being the greeter at Wal-Mart. Rather, starting a new business, pursuing a new degree or credential, or even moving to another part of the country where your current skills are in higher economic demand.

The message is be willing to reinvent your career if necessary and stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

Manchurian Candidate

What is our President thinking?

Conservatives were clearly enraged by the immigration bill due to it's amnesty provision and were relieved that it died.

...and yet he persists.

Is he looking desperately for a last-minute legacy of his Presidency? Has he become (more of) a liberal?

I don't get it.

Bush hopes to revive immigration bill

U.S.News: The Senate yesterday fell 15 votes short in an attempt to invoke cloture end debate and proceed to a final vote on the bipartisan immigration compromise bill. Most commentators see that failure as the collapse of the effort to reform the immigration laws at least for this session of Congress. That outcome is being described as a major defeat for President Bush.

So the failure to invoke cloture is a victory for conservatives but a defeat for Bush?!

Houston Chronicle (AP): Derailment of President Bush's immigration overhaul plan could be the death knell for his second-term domestic legacy. With the president's bids to revamp Social Security, rewrite the tax code and extend expiring tax cuts apparently doomed, the White House sees the immigration bill as the last, best hope for a major domestic victory.

There it is!

Mr. President, with all due respect, are you shooting for an all-time record low approval rating?

PS: It wasn't a good movie either.

"See you Next Year!" "BFF!" "Commie!"

He's probably right, but maybe another channel of communication next time. Like, run for the board or something?

Parents upset over 'censored' message in yearbook

The (yearbook) committee sent a letter to parents asking them to pay $5 to publish a message to congratulate their students. The letter stated the message will include "all of your wonderful words."

Altman and her husband submitted this message: "So proud of you Remy for achieving fantastic grades, participating in so many wonderful after school activities and surviving so many of the Belleview teachers' liberal teachings. You are what you believe you can be. Aim high, always. Love, Mom & Dad."

"What was taken out was surviving the liberal teachings," Altman said. She wanted her daughter, years from now, to appreciate how well she did in school even though Altman felt teachers were biased. "Despite all the liberal teachings and so forth, she's come out with a good education," said Altman. Yearbook committee member Blair Mellon says they took out the "liberal teachings" part because it was a political statement and not appropriate for the yearbook.

School leaders agreed. "It is a keepsake for children," said Tustin Amole, Cherry Creek Schools spokesperson. "It's something that they are going to be looking at years and years from now and just not an appropriate forum for political statements."

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Nooner, originally uploaded by jroosh.

What an awesome day for a ride on the SW Lightrail Trail (leave a message for me at the office!).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Funny but True

HT Freedom Dogs

Everyone knows Fred Thompson is going to run and that he will undoubtedly leverage every aspect of his background, including his notoriety as an actor, to gain popularity as a presidential candidate.

What is also encouraging is that Fred and his people are well on their way to leveraging the Internet as well - a strategy the Republicans have not been known for.

Net-savvy Fred Thompson ready to stir race

With a campaign built on new technology and a flair for the dramatic, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson appears ready to stir up the race for the Republican presidential nomination, generating 500 responses from potential contributors and volunteers immediately after news leaked of his determination to run.

"Can't keep up with the incoming. … Drinking from the fire hose," said Thompson's inundated potential campaign manager, Mark Corallo, in an e-mail to The Politico.

Thompson, 64, ...told USA Today he plans to use the people's press, the Internet, as a significant means of garnering support.

A search on the popular college-oriented social networking site Facebook turns up 85 groups in support of Thompson and just three against him, sporting names such as "Draft Fred Thompson 2008" and "Run, Fred, Run!"

Thompson's focus on the Internet as a campaign tool is mirrored by the top Democratic contenders, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who already have mined the Web's ability to collect demographic and voting information. College-aged Americans are plugging in to the race through the Internet, and Thompson is the first Republican to have "one of the most profound personality cults we've seen in politics for a long time," according to National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg.

Fred Thompson jokes are even circulating online, presenting wild claims that "every night before he goes to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson," and "Superman is only vulnerable to two things: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson."

Others say "Fred Thompson glared at the Mexican border and stopped illegal immigration for a month."

Recently, Rasmussen polls indicated Thompson, still not yet officially a candidate, has pushed ahead of Romney to take second place...Thompson is ahead of Romney by two points

Some bloggers say it's difficult not to think of Ronald Reagan when describing Thompson, as both are former actors, well-spoken, well-liked and on the older side.

...his use of Internet media shows a sense of undeniably 21st-century street smarts that could catapult him to the White House

Am I a Good Man?

It's the line in Saving Private Ryan that brings down the house and always brings tears to my eyes even though I have probably watched that movie five times.

D-Day commemorates that period, that day depicted in the movie, one of my all-time favorites.

Matt Damon's character (played by Harrison Young as the elder Ryan) is essentially asking his wife if he had led a life worthy of the sacrifice of so many others'.

Even after watching that movie, I can't begin to imagine actually being there and having my life on the line. The stories of courage and sacrifice exhibited that day are incredible.

But they are true and so we commemorate them today in the hope that we will never forget the sacrifices made that day to preserve our way of life.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Way to go Guv. (II)

WSJ: If he's looking for tips on handling Nancy Pelosi, President Bush might want to consult Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. The Republican Governor is using his veto power to good effect on policy and making himself more popular.

Last month the Democrats who run the Legislature in St. Paul pushed through a big tax and spending increase in their $35 billion state budget. Last week Mr. Pawlenty responded by vetoing all six of the spending and tax bills the Democrats sent him. The usual media and interest group suspects are upset...

HT Fraters Libertas

Monday, June 4, 2007

Putting on Airs

India’s largest automaker is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle.

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine’s pistons.

Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008. Barring any last-minute design changes on the way to production, the Air Car should be surprisingly practical. The $12,700 CityCAT, one of a handful of planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units; MDI says it should cost around $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi.

Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours. Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction.

Yah, but it's ugly.

Popular Mechanics June 2007