Friday, May 31, 2013

Really people?

There's the phrase "pick your battles" which I really like. But when you're going to battle, location is important to. A place not to get in a kerfuffle? How about a KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION CEREMONY. Come on people.

Arrests have been made after Cleveland police broke up a fight at an east side elementary school, following what turned out to be a false report of shots fired.
Police said the fight broke out during a Kindergarten graduation ceremony at Michael White Elementary School Friday morning.
Cleveland Metropolitan School District Spokeswoman Roseann Canfora said the fight took place outside of the school after an argument between two teenaged girls allegedly erupted inside the building. Then the fight spilled outside, involving several other adults either in the school parking lot or street.
She said at least eight people have been taken into custody for aggravated rioting, including two juveniles who are reportedly not students at the school and that no students attending the school were involved.
Police said a hammer and a stick were taken as evidence. However, neither object was used as a weapon during the fight.

Good to know the hammer wasn't used as a weapon at a kindergarten graduation ceremony.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

Think it rains too much on the weekends? Blame humans.

I found an old article (thanks to Reddit) that says that we're responsible for it raining more on weekends.

New research shows weekends are wetter. The cause, scientists suspect, is the build up of pollution during the week, resulting in rain at the weekend.

"We knew that cities have an effect on local weather with urban heat islands and so forth, and people are pretty sure that we're having a general global effect with carbon dioxide," said Dr Randall Cerveny of Arizona State University.

An examination of five decades of data on hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic showed a similar cyclical pattern.

According to the post, there was about 22% more rain on Saturdays as opposed to Mondays, so don't blame the weatherman for the weekend rain!

Why I wish I was a pro athlete

It's gotta be easy being a pro athlete.

NBA player Quincy Pondexter, who is on the recently eliminated Memphis Grizzlies, took to twitter to ask a seemingly innocuous question about who the most recent winner of the Miss Tennessee crown was.

The reigning royalty, Chandler Lawson, got wind of the tweet and replied.

Here's the awesome exchange:

So not only did he NOT KNOW WHO SHE WAS, he has a date set up with her after just three tweets. 

If only it were that easy...

Wisconsin's #3!

When I first saw this news, I was a bit angry to find out that Wisconsin was "only" third in the rankings of most bars per capita. Then I looked at the top two: North Dakota and Montana. Each state has a population of less than one million people, and combined, the two states have 1,024 bars. Wisconsin? 5.7 million people and over 3,000 bars. TAKE THAT. Also, how does New Hampshire have only 38 bars?!?! I can come up with over more than that, just within the city limits of La Crosse, off the top of my head!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm a little tea pot...

My roommate from college is getting married this weekend, and I bought something from off the registry the other day (You're getting an iron!). I did not do my shopping at JC Penney (not that I have anything against the store), but I think this connection between a freaking tea kettle and a 20th century dictator is a bit of a stretch.

 This unfortunate tea kettle seems to heil Hitler.

Apparently there is a billboard in California that featured the kettle and it was distracting to drivers. According to "The Daily Beast" JC Penney has taken down the billboard as well as the listing for the $40 kettle...after they all sold out. Be careful who you give this gift to, I guess.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

$54,000 bar tab

I've been to a few establishments in my life where I've opened up a bar tab, and generally if it gets anywhere over $50 for the night, I'm feeling pretty guilty about myself. Well, apparently a teenager in Japan went to some swanky nightclubs and racked up over $54,000 on his dad's American Express card.

According to, Kyoto District Court ruled last week that bar owners and the credit card company bore the lion's share of responsibility for the misuse of the card in 2010, media reported.
The court ordered that the boy's father pay 800,000 yen out of the 5.5 million yen bill his son had racked up.

That's about 15%, or just shy of $8,000. I had no idea that much burden is on the retailers to help prevent fraud. I also have no idea how a 16-year old can rack up that much in one night! There were some insinuations in the link that there may have been females of the escort variety, but, according to the post, "There is no suggestion he paid for sex."

Good to know.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Brian Urlacher.

I hate most things about Chicago. The drivers, the weather, the Cubs, Jay Cutler, etc. Growing up in Milwaukee, I wasn’t a fan of Michael Jordan, but I came to respect and appreciate who he was and what his career meant. When Brian Urlacher came into the NFL in 2000, I had many of the same feelings. I hated that he was so good right away, earning Rookie of the Year honors and a spot as a Pro Bowl alternate in his first year. When he was healthy, he was undoubtedly the best in the league. He was the player that, as a Green Bay fan, you kept your eye on when the Packers were on offense. 

I typically only watched two games a year – when Chicago and Green Bay squared off – but it was easy to see Urlacher’s impact on the game. He stood out physically on defense, so even a casual observer could see that Urlacher played the game on another level. The Packers have gotten the better of the Bears over Urlacher’s career, winning 18 of 27 games, but #54 has made it difficult for Green Bay each and every time. Urlacher was the catalyst that helped turn the Bears defenses into some of the best of the era. He’s deserved every award and accolade he’s attained over the course of his career, and I’m in full support of his candidacy as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

He’s had some great games and plays against the Packers, and I’ll miss seeing lining up against Green Bay twice a year.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All hail the locking pliers

I like to consider myself a man worth a grain of salt, so I have a basic tool kit with all your essentials: screwdrivers, wrenches, tape measure, flashlight, allen wrench, nuts, bolts, screws, etc. But the one item that I've used time and time again over the past few weeks? The locking pliers. Let me tell you why.

1) They hold stuff of all sizes tightly. Last week I needed to fix my toilet, as the lever arm inside the tank somehow snapped off. I needed to pinch the chain together tightly so I could affix the nut to the back of the tank without the chain falling off. It was tough to do with my big ol' paws but once I was able to get the locking pliers in place...boom. I was able to get it fixed in just a few short minutes.

2) They can grip tighter than a needle nose pliers. I was trying to open up my shed after the winter and broke the key off in the lock in the process. I didn't know how I was going to get my shed open until I grabbed my locking pliers and pinched the very tip of the broken key with the very tip of the locking pliers. That little morsel of key was all that I needed to pry the broken key loose and use the spare key to open the shed.

3) They can pick up things I can't reach. I dropped a sock behind the drier and couldn't reach it, even with my long arms, I needed about three or four extra inches. Boom. Locking pliers came in to save the day.

I don't know why I thought about this, but I've come to appreciate the ingenuity that is the locking pliers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brian May...standing up for what he believes in.

I don't watch American Idol or The Voice or any of those other singing shows, but I respect their merit. I believe that they are show where the cream will rise to the top, and and true talent will be recognized. I can see how famous singers can get surly about the relatively instant popularity that some of these people can attain. According to the New Musical Express, Queen guitarist Brian May thinks that the BBC version of The Voice is the "ultimate insult to music" and the "dullest, dumbest, most depressing show on TV." Again, I've never seen it, but conceptually it makes sense to me, and the ratings seem to go against what May says. I love Queen, but I gotta say that I disagree with May here. Interestingly, I also learned from the article that May wants to keep culling badgers in the UK to stop cattle from getting tuberculosis. The more you know.

Brian May labels The Voice 'the ultimate insult to music'

Monday, May 20, 2013

What were you doing when you were 18?

Saturday was a pretty busy day for me, as I was heading from an early afternoon event to dinner to an evening event to drinks downtown. Now, I can handle a busy day like that but I'm not always convinced by phone will. I have an android that lasts the majority of a typical day with only moderate use. I have a tendency to use it on the weekends a few more, and even with battery-saving apps, I find myself with a flashing red light sooner than I would like.

If I do get 10 minutes in the car or a half hour at home, I immediately plug in my phone but often it's not enough. If I could charge my phone in 30 seconds though, that would be nice.

Image of Eesha Khare

This is 18-year old Eesha Khare, and according to NBC, the device she is holding is a "fast-charging device is a so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries."

She invented it because she, like me, had issues with her cell phone battery. When I was 18, I was a freshman in college and my biggest concern was passing calculus and trying to figure out where I was going to get a case of beer for the weekend. She's winning a $50,000 grant from Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Where's the beef?

We give away a lot of prizes on the radio, from gift certificates to water park passes to jet skis, TVs and furniture. One thing we have not given away is livestock. In Japan last year, golfer Luke Donald won not only a golf tournament but a Miyazaki cow as part of the prize. According to an ESPN report, The cows get names, are rumored to drink beer and get massaged with sake, and have a high amount of fat that is prized by those who can afford to eventually eat it..

It's another version of Waygu beef, similar to Kobe. Sounds freaking delicious. 

As you might imagine, the logistics of shipping a head of cattle from Japan to England, where Donald is from, is kind of difficult. So, he had the cow butchered and sent to the United States, where he hired two chefs to help him prepare the beef, which runs upwards of $160 a pound. After months of wrangling, Donald finally acquired 200 pounds of the specialty beef, valued at approximately $80,000. Given that the purse at the event was $2.5 million dollars, $80k is only a fraction of the prize money available. But it's easily the most delicious. 

Said Donald of the beef: ""It's very marbled and the knife just eases through the meat. Definitely the best beef I've ever had."

New Vikings Stadium

When I first saw the design for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium design, my first comment was a sarcastic remark about how it's cute that the Vikings think that Adrian Peterson is still going to be a healthy, functioning running back in the NFL come 2016. All joking aside, it's a pretty impressive stadium. It's no Lambeau Field, but I think that Minneapolis will be getting its $975 million worth. It is interesting that Forbes valued the franchise at $975 million in 2012, and now the ticket price on the stadium is the exact same. Could the Wilf family afford that by themselves? Possibly, as Zygi's fortune is approximately $1.3 billion dollars. But if you can get the taxpayers to pay for your new toy, why not? It worked for Miller Park (and plenty of other stadiums around these fifty nifty United States.

While it bugs me that the design is not symmetrical, if done right, it could look really cool and kind of futuristic in downtown Minneapolis. The natural light coming in through the roof is cool, and it allows the team to play through a snow storm. Let's just home the roof can support the weight.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just because you're famous...

I collect shot glasses. I have them from many of the cities I've been to in our great country, from Baltimore, Phoenix, Washington DC, North Carolina, etc. They look nice on my shelf and occasionally, I'll fill one with tequila and pour it down my gullet. Generally speaking, the shot glasses range from $5 to $8 or so, depending how fancy they are, and I'm ok with popping a few bucks on a souvenir. But what the hell is this?

$950 for a shot glass? Are you kidding me? Apparently "goop" is the website that Gwenyth Paltrow started, that, according to the website, "is a digital media and e-commerce company founded by Gwyneth the fall of 2008 to share all of life's positives." Does she realize that the cost of that paycheck is like two weeks of work for me? How is spending almost $1000 on a shot glass one of life's positives? Just because you're famous and can afford stuff like this doesn't mean everyone else can. Or anyone else can. I've talked about my love for Gwenyth, especially in the Iron Man movies, but that was before I knew about "goop." Do people really pay this much for stuff? 

Sandwich Battle Lines

When it comes to fast food rib sandwiches, people are pretty split. Either the opinion is that they are the greatest sandwiches ever (I tend to lean toward this camp) or that they are a revolting non-meat product (I may lean this way after eating my second or third). The stalwart in this industry has been the McDonald's McRib, but there's going to be a competitor unveiled this summer - the BK Rib Sandwich.

According to USA Today, the BK Rib Sandwich sold “extremely well” during a test run at Burger King locations in Louisiana. The new sandwich will debut nationally on May 21 and have a price of around $3.49 a la carte, or $5.59 as a meal with fries and a drink.

In most of my fast food endeavors (which I prefer to be few and far between), I tend to order off the dollar/value menu, but for the right item, I may splurge. And I'm a sucker for the "limited time only" gimmick, so you better believe I'll be dining on the BK Rib Sandwich this summer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Different strategy for the Brewers?

The Milwaukee Brewers have been a tough team to figure out in 2013.

They started out 2-8, won nine straight to move three games over.500 before losing nine of ten to fall to 15-20.

The Brewers topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Monday night to help break out of that funk, but it was an interesting offensive game plan that helped Milwaukee do so.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke sat Rickie Weeks after playing him in 35 straight games and seeing a .181 batting average in return. Roenicke also reluctantly sat slugger Ryan Braun with a stiff neck Monday night, giving Roenicke two open slots in the line-up to tinker with.

The result? An idea I can get behind.

Milwaukee batted Norichika Aoki in his regular lead-off role, had Jean Segura bat second and then inserted Carlos Gomez into the No. 3 spot for the first time in his career.
The result? The trio went 7-for-14 with six stolen bases.

It's an incredibly small sample size, being just one game (against the Pirates too), but it's an idea that, for the Brewers, just might work.

Monday, May 13, 2013

This should be good...

Mike Tyson is one of those people that if you hear any story about him, as crazy as it might sound, you know there's a decent chance that it's true. The latest news about Iron Mike? He's set to appear in a new animated comedy series on Comedy Central's Adult Swim, called Mike Tyson Mysteries. Here's a snippet of the show description:

Mike Tyson is taking the fight from the boxing ring to the streets… by solving mysteries! Armed with a magical tattoo on his face and a trusty associate by his side — a talking pigeon — if you have a problem that needs solving, Iron Mike is in your corner.

I'm not sure I'll be a regular watcher, but if I stumble across it, I know I'll have to watch at least some of it. The good news (or bad news?) is that it's only a 15-minute show. I still have a feeling it could be horrificly bad and offend a great deal of people in that short amount of time. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Calm down, moms.

Apparently "pinterest stress" is a real thing, with mothers being obsessed with having the cutest invitations/Christmas cards/baby announcements/whatever. Is it really a big deal?

Per NBC: "In our exclusive TODAY Moms survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers, 42 percent said that they sometimes suffer from Pinterest stress – the worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough. Symptoms include staying up until 3 a.m. clicking through photos of exquisite hand-made birthday party favors even though you’ll end up buying yours at the dollar store, or sobbing quietly into a burnt mess of expensive ingredients that were supposed to be adorable bunny cookies for the school bake sale."
Maybe I'm not capable of this made-up thing because I'm not creative enough to want my dog to wear a bow tie to announce the gender of my baby in a facebook picture. (Note: I don't have a dog or a baby.)

I just don't get it.

Is being a mother that big of a competition? 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How was he not already in?

He was the first player to top 7,000 yards rushing and finished with 7,125 career yards on the ground. That’s over four miles worth of turf that Ron Dayne chewed up in his tenure as the Wisconsin Badgers’ tailback from 1995 to 1999. He graduated at the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher.

You’d think that would be enough to be a first-ballot selection for the College Football Hall of Fame, no?

Apparently not.

According to the National Football Foundation, a player becomes eligible for consideration “ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.” For Dayne, his final game as a member of the Badgers came Jan. 1, 2000, when Wisconsin beat Stanford 17-9 to win the Rose Bowl, a game in which Dayne was named MVP.

By my calculation, that would have made Dayne eligible for entry into the College Football Hall of Fame at the beginning of 2010. Why did it take him three more years to get selected? I don’t have a good answer. Apparently graduating as the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher and as first-team All-American with a Heisman Trophy and a slew of other national awards under your belt doesn’t make the first-year cut.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Two days later...

Saturday morning, I partook in the 43 mile bike tour portion of the Grandad's Half Marathon event in La Crosse and I'm proud to say I accomplished the task. It started off in the high 30s for a temperature (especially brisk when riding 15 to 20 mph) and finished off around 70 degrees. Needless to say, the attire I was wearing to begin the race was quite uncomfortable by the time I was done. I got off my bike in Riverside Park my Achilles' tendons, calves, hamstrings, lower back and hands were all quite painful. I proceeded to lay on my bed (after showering) for approximately six hours and not sleep because I was too sore to get up and too sore to fall asleep. It was an interesting predicament. I woke up Sunday morning with my calves and hands being the only things that were really still sore, and by today, I'm feeling pretty good. I can still feel where the bike seat was for 3 hours and 45 minutes on Saturday (too much information?) and I think I'll lay off the bike for the rest of the week. Props to everyone that finished and to those that rode the 60 mile race: you're crazy. Congrats to all the marathon runners too. Excellent weekend for a great event. (Also, I'm really bad at cropping photos in paint, but that's me at about the 19 mile marker on Saturday. We were stopped at one of the aid stations for Gatorade and a bagel.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interesting medical test

My mom's a diabetic so I've watched her prick her fingers for over 20 years, but being able to tell if you have heart disease with a similar procedure? I'd be curious. It is the #1 killer in the United States, so the earlier you know...

From CBS Los Angeles:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LeRoy Butler and Jason Collins

When I was eight-years-old, LeRoy Butler was my favorite Green Bay Packers player. I wore his No. 36 jersey until I literally could not squeeze into it any longer. I, like every kid in Wisconsin, emulated the Lambeau Leap that he created by jumping into snowbanks cradling a football.

Nearly 20 years later, I’m proud that one of my heroes growing up is a man of conviction.

According to his @leap36 Twitter feed, Butler was forced to cancel his speaking engagement at a Wisconsin church due to the support that he showed to NBA journeyman Jason Collins, who announced this week that he was gay. What exactly did Butler say?

“Congrats to Jason Collins.”

That’s it. One four-word tweet to a colleague, another professional athlete who was choosing to make the most important announcement of his life in a very public way.