Saturday, July 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by stuffle.
If any regular readers of this blog are interested in cars, you may be interested in reading my ongoing blog about helping my dad build a Daytona Coupe. I have that story on my old blog which I now just use for ongoing stories like that.

Good News on Pabst City

The city of Milwaukee was considering doing something very, very stupid. Specifically, the city was considering providing a lot of money to developers to take the site of the old Pabst brewery and turn it into a movie theater, video arcade, House of Blues, and condos. Thankfully, nine of the alderman have functioning brains, and voted down this horrible idea.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against the city of Milwaukee helping developers through TIF districts, etc. if done intelligently. In this case this is the wrong type of project for that area. The reasons for this are many:

  • The location is right by the city jail. Not exactly the best location for an entertainment facility. Nor is that a really good place to put condos.

  • Given the location, putting in a movie theater and an arcade is not exactly going to bring in the best elements of the city. Another strike against anyone actually wanting to live in the condos.

  • Milwaukee already has an "entertainment district" to a certain degree, and it is not in the area of the old Pabst brewery. Putting a House of Blues in the old Pabst Brewery land would just draw people away from the already successful areas of town. This would hurt existing business, not help.

  • If the House of Blues wants to come to Milwaukee, great. However, they should locate more towards the east side, where they can have a more synergistic relationship with existing entertainment type businesses.

  • While Pabst City would bring some jobs to an area that needs them, they would not be of the high paying, family supporting variety.

The bottom line really is that if the city of Milwaukee wants to spend money to help develop a blighted area, they should do it intelligently. They should not do it by sinking money into something that will only compete with existing entertainment venues by drawing people away from areas of the city that are already successful. What they should do is court some kind of business that will provide stable, high paying, family supporting jobs. Perhaps a pharmaceutical company or something. That is the type of industry this city needs to support more. Unfortunately, we seem to be better at driving those businesses away than we are at bringing them in.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Oops! Sorry 'bout That...

I have been reading a lot of new stories about Jean Charles de Menezes lately. He is the man who was shot by British police as he was acting suspicious in the London underground. There seems to be conflicting stories on how, exactly, this went down.

Some news reports, like this one, indicate the de Menezes was "pinned down" when he was shot. If that is the case, there are two things that strike me. First off, of the police have him "pinned down", it would seem that they would be able to ascertain at that point if this person is a real threat or not. Second, it would seem that shooting someone who you have pinned down would be exceptionally dangerous. It would seem that you have a really good chance of shooting a fellow officer in a case like that. If this is truly the way it went down, I can understand the outcry.

Others news reports, like this one, mention nothing of de Menezes being pinned down. Reading these reports, it sounds like de Menezes was behavng suspiciously, ran from the police, did not obey orders (all not good ideas), and then was eventually cornered and shot. If this scenario is true, the shooting is perfectly understandable, and the outcry is just stupid. After all, a cornered person who is thought to have a bomb strapped to them is a very dangerous person.

Given what these people are up against, I have no problem with the British police having a "shoot to kill" policy. It is simply a fact that if the cops tell you to stop, thou shalt stop, period. Don't run, don't try to get away, don't act suspicious. If you do run, and you get killed (either shot, like de Menezes, or die in a wreck like so many people who lead police on a chase), there is really no one to blame other than yourself, and only yourself. Don't want to die? Then don't run...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Watertown Tire Fire - Day 2

Well, it is day 2 of The Great Watertown Tire Fire, and all is well. The tire fire is still smoking, but the giant plumes of black smoke billowing into sky are gone. Now, there are just pillows of steam and smoke that just look like clouds above the trees.

Luckily, the weather has cooperated. None of the smoke really drifted into town, so it doesn't smell like burning rubber or anything. Rather, it all went up into the atmosphere and drifted east to pollute areas that are already stinky, like Milwaukee.

AAMOF, I wouldn't even really know there was a fire near by if it wasn't for the news shows and the fact that we live about a block from the water tower that is closest to the fire. It has been nothing but a constant line of pumper trucks getting water. They even have people out there directing traffic near the water tower. These narrow country roads were not really designed for that sort of traffic. Oh well. At least at night they turn the sirens off...

I just feel sorry for these poor fire fighters, though. Fire departments from several surrounding communities are here. Watertown has a mix of full timers and volunteers, but a lot of these communities only have volunteers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Tire Fire from Our Backyard

Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Our daughter took some pictures of the tire fire. Here is the perspective from our back yard. I have uploaded all her pictures to flickr.

Now That's a Fire!!

I'm at work and my wife IM's me to tell me there is a tire fire just a couple miles NW of our house. The (increasingly less sparse) details are in this article. She hasn't had to evacuate yet, though she did say it kinda stinks aroud there. I am about 40 miles east of this at work, and the sky certainly looks dark in that direction from the limited vantage I have out my office window (too many trees and other office buildings in the way).

I miss all the cool shit...

Update: If you click on the "Viewer Images" in the linked article, there is a picture with the caption "Picture taken from my home on the west side of Watertown". That picture appears to be taken from a couple blocks south of our house...

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Season was Cancelled? No One Cared...

As a former OS/2 user and a casual hockey fan, I found this cartoon to be really funny. Around these parts, once the hockey season was cancelled, people shrugged, said "so what" and then kept watching the Bucks and the Packers. Not really a big sport around these parts, but I'm glad it will likely be there this winter. It helps fill the void between the World Series and the start of spring training... That, and I really don't like to watch Poker, which is what ESPN evidently decided to replace the NHL with last year.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Let's Go, Yankees!

Well, the Yankee's just took three out of four from the wretched Red Sox and are just a half game out of first! It has been a tough year, but at least they are close to being back where they should be. Now if the Sox would just get back in the basement, where they belong, life would be good!

The Yankees really did their best to throw it away though when Cano threw a double play ball past Jeter and into left field. This eventually leads to a bases loaded, no outs situation with the Yanks up by two.

One absolutely beautiful 5-2-3 double play later followed by a 4-3 to get Damon, and the game is over. Let's keep it up, Yankees!!

Another Busy Weekend

Well, it was another busy weekend. Maybe sometime I will get back to posting something of substance, when I actually have time to pay attention to the rest of the world and what is going on in it. In the meantime, here is what I have been up to.

Friday Night: Went to Miller Park with my brother to watch the Brewers beat the Nationals in extra innings. We sat in the Miller Lite Beerpen. Every Friday night home game, the Loge right field bleachers are called the Beerpen, and you get a free Miller sponsored Brewers shirt with your ticket. The Brewers won in extra innings after Stanton balked. At first, it looked like Weeks was going to be thrown out at first in yet another stupid base running mistake. Then the balk was called, walking in the runner who was on third. It was a thing of beauty!

Saturday Night: Went toTony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam at the Bradley Center. This was a birthday present for our daughter, Ashley (who just turned 15, man the time flies...). Ashley took her boyfriend, Manny. Ashley and Manny are both skaters, and spend a fair amount of time hanging out at the local skate park. They also like watching this sort of thing on Fuel. I thought the whole thing was amazing. Lisa and I both like the motocross the best, though.

Sunday Afternoon: Lisa had to work, and we had tickets to the Brewer game from our 10 pack. I sold the extra ticket to a guy from church who also has a couple of 10 packs so he took his son with him (he had already sold his other ticket from his 10 packs to Mark, another guy from church). This was another close game that the Brewers won. Luckily , Toma Ohka was sitting them down quickly and the game was short, because it was really, really hot! I caught a foul ball, and gave it to my friend's kid. When I got home and told my wife, she yelled at me for that. Oh well, I guess no good deed goes unpunished...

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Now that Apple has added PodCasts to iTunes, I have been checking some of the out. There are some pretty cool ones out there, so if you haven't checked any of them out, I would suggest doing so. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Back from Cuba City

Over the weekend, we went down to Cuba City, which is a small town in SW Wisconsin. We went to visit some friends down there (Paul & Chris). It is a beutiful part of the state. A lot of farms and hills. Periodicaly, I think of moving back there. I would miss all of the things that there are to do around Milwaukee, though. I am torn.

Basically, we drank beer, played cards, sat around a fire, lit off fire works, watched Paul & Chris' son play soccer, went to a steak fry, drank more beer. It was a great weekend.

Now that we are back, it is back to work. Yippeee! On the plus side, Lisa is working once again. She found a job in housekeeping at the local Holiday Inn Express. She seems to be enjoying work so far.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Let the Blame Fest Begin

So, how long will it take before someone attempts to make political hay from today's tragedy in London by blaming the whole thing on Bush and the war against terror, etc? For all I know, some heartless a-hole has already started doing just that.

I can see the arguments now. If only we were not fighting in Iraq, this would not happen. It is only because of the failed foreign policy of this administration... blah, blah, blah Bullshit! The reason attacks like this occur is simple. There are, quite simply, evil vile people on this planet who just want to hate others and want to cause others pain. The contrast between civilized society and these vile humans was vividly shown today as the acts occurred at a time when the leaders of the civilized world were getting together to discuss ways to actually help the rest of the world.

Terrorist acts like this have occurred during several administrations, in several different world atmospheres. These sorts of acts occurred before Bush, and will occur after he is out of office. The big difference between the Bush administration and certain other administrations is that Bush is willing to confront these people in the ways that are necessary. Thank God that we have an administration that is willing to confront this scum head on and take the battle to them.

Monday, July 04, 2005

OK, Now That was Stupid...

I sometimes criticize Ned Yost for making some really stupid moves. However, I have never seen him replace a batter mid-count like Jack McKeon did for the Marlins tonight. With an 0-2 count, he pulls the batter and puts in Lenny Harris. Why you would do something like that (barring injury to the current batter) is beyond me, but hey, it works out well for us. After all, Harris only gets one strike to work with, and we don't have to face Harris in a situation where it might matter, and where he has a full count to work with...

An Open Letter to Karla Homolka

People like you really ought to never get out of prison. At least your husband is serving a life term, even though you should be too. You should feel lucky to even be alive at this point, and yet you have the audacity to whine about how the press following your every move?

"The thought of being relentlessly pursued, hunted down and followed when I won't have any protection makes me fear for my life," she said in an affidavit.

Ya, well, your victims probably were not overly comfortable with being tortured, raped, and killed, either. I guess you reap what you sow, eh?

"People are always going to interpret what I do as bad. They'll pick out one bad thing from a sea of good and I'll be judged on that," she wrote in prison correspondence that was published in a newspaper.

Oh cry me a friggin' river... When your "one bad thing" involves torture, rape, and murder, and also includes drugging your own sister so your husband can rape her, then guess what? Ya, people are going to focus on that, and no, normal people are not going to feel sorry for you one bit.

Your lucky you are even alive, let alone free, so quit yer bitchin'!!

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Man, what a week. I was really busy at work, and then the weekend came and things just got worse... :) Actually, the weekend was very fun, just a lot of stuff going on right now.

Friday night, Ashley had some friends over for a birthday party. It is hard to believe that she is 15 already...

Saturday, Lisa and I went down to summerfest with my folks. We specifically went to see Those Darn Accordions and Pat McCurdy.

Sunday was church (which ran long). After that, we went to the the Brewers game, which also ran long (3 hrs and 40 min, for a nine inning game). We had the "pleasure" of seeing the Brewers blow an 8-2 lead... It was just utter frustrating. After we got home, we quickly prepared salads and stuff for today's cookout and then went to see the fireworks.

Finally, today we were supposed to watch Ashley march with the high school band in the July 4th parade. However, it stormed and the band did not march. Instead, we just went straight to having a cookout in the garage. My folks and Lisa's folks were there, as was my brother and his family. It would have been nicer if the sun was shining, but it was still fun.

Now that it is all over, I am going to rest for a while...