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Putting the Point in Pointless.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Brewers Announcer Darron Sutton

OnMilwaukee.com has a quasi-memorial to Darron Sutton, the Brewers TV announcer who the club elected not to re-sign.

I'll miss his voice, he wasn't an announcer who struggled to make intelligent comments during the game and was always able to provide insight that I wasn't getting elsewhere.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Madison

I'm going to Madison to celebrate Halloween. Don't expect anything out of me until Sunday.

Stay out of trouble.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Schools Opting Out of "No Child Left Behind"?

Apparently Wisconsin State Senator Tom Reynolds believes schools can opt out of the "No Child Left Behind Requirements".

As Reynolds understands the law, "school districts can opt out of no child left behind requirements." Read on...


Wow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Google Myth Goes Pop

It didn't occur to me at the time, but Google's purchase of YouTube indicates a huge shift in Google culture.
The Google Myth is simple: to produce good businesses, hire the best engineers and leave them alone except for occasional priority setting.
Venture Beat Capital takes an excellent look at what Google's services really are doing and why they needed to buy YouTube.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Incubus Single Available Online

The new Incubus single "Anna Molly" is available online for your listening pleasure. Here is a link to the high quality stream.

I dig it.

Man at Work Museum Construction Gets Rolling

Construction for the Man at Work Museum is fully rolling with the cut-out for the glass corner of the building emerging. Last week workers began exposing the corner of the building in preparation for the creation of the 30-feet in diameter glass tower.

Yours truly was there to snag some photos. Even outside of the fact that this building will be part of my university upon it's completion, I think this project is amazing. The project is paid for completely by a donor to the school who is committed to making the building a high-class, excellent establishment and an important structure in the downtown Milwaukee area. In terms of the scope of this project and the impact I think it will have, I'm genuinely surprised at the lack of media coverage it has garnered so far. The museum will expose not one, but two of Milwaukee's hidden treasures, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Man at Work collection.

The museum will create a perfect bookend on Broadway to the Kern Center, finally giving MSOE a legitimate face in downtown Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has done one legitimate story on the museum, with

UWM to Play Marquette!

UWM Athletic Director Bud Haidet signed the deal that will ensure his school plays Marquette for the next five years in the Battle of Milwaukee.  This was a change of heart for Haidet, a stance I had reported on a couple of days ago.

Say hello to the one college basketball game of the year that I care about.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How To Rule The World - Scott Adams

Scott Adams has a plan to rule the world the easiest way possible.  He cleverly includes Oprah.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Crazy Frog Brothers

Want to watch two goofy kids dance to Crazy Frog? Watch this video.

2006 World Series

My prediction?  The Detroit Tigers will win.

Barack Obama Coming To Town

Barack Obama will be in downtown Milwaukee a week from Tuesday in support of Jim Doyle.  Doyle's website has all the details.

I'll be there, will you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Halloween

It has been decided, I'm going to be Flava Flav for Halloween.

Yeah, boyeeeeeeeee.

Craig High School Marching Band

Photos I took last week of the Janesville Craig High School Marching Band are now online.  Lots of multiphoto stitched images of the whole band are in the grouping.  Check 'em out.

Web Hosting Change

All signs point to me switching my web hosting company from VitalSpeeds to MediaTemple's Grid Server.

I'll be doing research tomorrow to find out what customers think of the service.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Spike Lee "When The Levees Broke"

I downloaded and watched Spike Lee's documentary, "When the Levees Broke", about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

It was an excellent documentary.  You never heard Spike Lee attempting to put words into anyone's mouth.  The film itself did not draw any conclusions, it just gave you information.  The people in the film certainly give their viewpoints, but they served only as an inspiration for thought.  They came out provocatively, rightly so, as for most of them their homes and lives had been destroyed.

"When The Levees Broke" made you want to do something.  It made you understand natural disasters on a new level.  There was not a bone in my body, a thought in my mind that wasn't touched by this film.

As someone who went to New Orleans after the disaster (albeit in December), I thought it accurately captured the essence of what was happening in that city and what had happened.

Want to do something meaningful?  Help the people affected by Hurricane Katrina.  They still need you.

If you watch only one film for the rest of your life, make it "When The Levees Broke".

ESPN360 - Bad Business Model

Mark Fletcher drew my attention to how bad ESPN 360's business model is.  They play the games online that you can't catch on TV and you get access to an assortment of ESPN shows.  Awesome, right?  A dream come true for out of market fans?  Give ESPN some money and then watch your favorite team, as long as you have an internet connection.

Turns out, ESPN doesn't want to make it that easy.  They instead charge your ISP.  If your ISP pays, you get access.  If your ISP doesn't pay?  There is nothing you can do, but beg them to pay.

Why can't I choose to use the service on my own?  I don't know.  They're locking out all kinds of customers this way, myself included.

ISP's shouldn't be forced to pay for the service and then spread the costs to all of their customers.  Only the people that use this service should pay for it.

I would hate to see a world where every service operated this way.  I can't imagine how high our ISP bills would be.

Google Going Solar (Sort Of)

Google is going to start constructing the United States' largest solar electricity system.  Located in Mountain View, California the system will supposedly be able to power up to 30% of Google's needs during peak times.  In comparison the system will provide 1.6 megawatts of power, enough to supply 1,000 average California homes.

It beats out Microsoft's system that generates 480 kilowatts of power.  Microsoft unveiled their system in April in Mountain View, home of Microsoft's Silicon Valley offices.

They should offer a tax break for all companies (especially technology) that deploy at last 50 kilowatts of solar power.  Can you imagine how much less power Silicon Valley would need?

Marquette and UWM Not Playing? Boo.

The fact that UWM and Marquette called off any deal in the works to create men's basketball games between the two Milwaukee schools screams of self-interest and greed.

The series should be played.  The biggest two universities in Milwaukee should square off in basketball on a yearly basis.  It's a school pride game, it's great advertising for both schools in the community.

Apparently the two schools couldn't agree on the dollars and cents though.  It's a shame, because I wanted to see the them play.

View of Chicago

When I fly, I always try and fly Southwest out of Midway Airport in Chicago. You don't get much of a view as a passenger, but apparently the pilot gets quite the view.

I'm jealous.

BarCampMilwaukee Photos

I missed BarCampMilwaukee, however, I don't have to miss the photos.  Pete tapped into the Flickr API to create a page that shows you all of them.

Tags:

Milwaukee Wifi Network Open For Bidding

I've written about Midwest Fiber Networks struggle in deploying a wireless network to Milwaukee before.

I'm catching up on older info here, but I wanted to keep you updated.  The contract for the network is now up for bidding again.

My money is on EarthLink winning the bid.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Milwaukee To Get Indoor Football Team

Early next month there is an expected announcement that Milwaukee will be home to a new National Indoor Football League team.

From Don Walker's blog...

Milwaukee appears to be on the verge of bringing back indoor football.


The National Indoor Football League is expected to announce early next month that Milwaukee will field an indoor team. The team, as yet unnamed, would play at the U.S. Cellular Arena beginning next March.


League president Carolyn Shiver said the announcement is part of a larger move by the league to expand to 50 cities by next spring. The league's season runs from March to July.


Shiver said league franchises are jointly owned by the league and local investors. She declined to name the two local investors.


The Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League played at the Bradley Center from 1994 until the end of the 2001 season. At that time, Bradley Center officials told team officials they could no longer play at the arena.
You can find out more about the NIFL here. The league is not affiliated with either the National Football League or the Arena Football League.


More details will be in Tuesday's Journal Sentinel.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Microsoft Webcam

This is the most amazing webcam I have ever seen.  The webcam has 2 megapixel video recording and can take 7.6 megapixel still pictures.

My next technology purchase might have to be the LifeCam NX-6000.

Yahoo Might Be Bought Out?

I fall asleep at the wheel for a few days (READ: fall behind on my technology reading) and there is discussion about Yahoo being bought out.

As a Yahoo user and shareholder, this is news, but isn't terribly unexpected.  I've lost 42% percent of my money in Yahoo in roughly the last 12 months, you knew discussions about buying the company would certainly be coming.  Yahoo stock is cheap right now and the company has a lot of undeveloped assets.

Gilbert Arenas is a Little Crazy

Esquire did a story on Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas, some of the ideas he has are insane. 

A quick sample...

1) Gil dreams of playing basketball on desert islands amid circling fans on water skis, and of building an all-glass basketball court.

2) The Stealth says he's left his hotel room on road trips six or so times during his first five seasons, and that he's bought colon cleanser from an infomercial. (Frankly, I'm not sure I believe this one, since I'm almost positive I saw Gil outside his hotel room in Richmond earlier this month.)

3) Agent Zero says he'd like to own every movie in the world.

4) The Machine trained himself to sleep on the couch, because he doesn't like women touching him.

The D.C. Sports Bog has a rundown of all the weird points in the article, which make for a better quick read than the article itself.

U.S. Population To Reach 300 Million

At 7:46 ET Tuesday morning, the United States will become a nation of 300 million people, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates...  Read more.

That's crazy.  I didn't know the country was growing so fast.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Would I Have Been A Nazi?

The Expatriate

Achtung! You are 30% brainwashworthy, 13% antitolerant, and 14% blindly patriotic

Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism does not reach unhealthy levels. If you had been German in the 30s, you would've left the country.

One bad scenario -- as I hypothetically project you back in time -- is that you just wouldn't have cared one way or the other about Nazism. Maybe politics don't interest you enough. But the fact that you took this test means they probably do. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

Did you know that many of the smartest Germans departed prior to the beginning of World War II, because they knew some evil shit was brewing? Brain Drain. Many of them were scientists. It is very possible you could have been one of them.

Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would not have been a Nazi.


Yeah, those results shouldn't really surprise anyone. That seems like the thing I would likely do. Take the test yourself.

Menards Moving Facilities Out of State

From the JS (for which I can't get a permalink)...
Eau Claire - Home improvement retailer Menards has decided to build manufacturing and distribution centers in Iowa and Ohio, resolving a longtime wetlands dispute with the state Department of Natural Resources, a newspaper reported. Eau Claire-based Menard Inc. had wanted to build in the Eau Claire area, but the DNR wanted to preserve two small wetlands on the Town of Union site near Menards' headquarters. "We spent more than three years of frustration and over $1 million of our money trying to build this project here in Eau Claire and never received permission to do so," Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott told the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire. "We are obviously frustrated and disappointed." Menards portrayed the DNR's steps as regulatory roadblocks. DNR officials said they were protecting the environment and didn't treat Menards differently than any other entity seeking to fill a wetland. In February of 2005, Menards announced that two expansions involving 185 jobs would go elsewhere because it couldn't get DNR approval for the proposed building near Eau Claire. Menards reported it added 100 workers to its truss plant in Plano, Ill., and 85 others to the store fixture manufacturing plant it opened in a former Menards store in Belgrade, Minn. The company says Eau Claire lost out on another 600 to 800 jobs that will by divided among distribution centers under construction in Shelby, Iowa, and Holiday City, Ohio.

I'm sure there were plenty of behind the scenes politics here, but if Menards wanted to build their new plants in Eau Claire they could have found other space. If they're actually committed to the people of Wisconsin like they seem to tout, why didn't they make this work? Why didn't they build it somewhere else in Eau Claire? I've been to Eau Claire, they have plenty of space up there. John Menard has been a longtime anti-environmentalist/cheapskate from everything I see.
That history includes a 1997 plea agreement in which Menard and founder John R. Menard Jr. agreed to pay $1.7 million in penalties on charges that they violated state hazardous waste laws. The case included allegations that John Menard, a billionaire and one of Wisconsin's richest people, used his own pickup truck to haul bags of chromium-contaminated incinerator ash produced by the company and dump it into his trash at home.

Documents showed at least 13 instances in which the DNR issued notices of non-compliance or notices of violation against the company for air, water and hazardous waste regulations.

"No other corporation or individual has had so many contacts with the DNR concerning environmental enforcement," Justice Department lawyers said in the court documents.

As one of the largest private firms in Wisconsin, with an estimated $5.5 billion in 2003 sales, Menard is the only company the DNR has referred twice for criminal violations of state pollution laws in the past seven years, lawyers for the Justice Department said. More.

Good for the DNR to stand up to John Menard.

I don't shop at Menards, do you? Why? They don't appear to love the environment of this state, nor do they truly want to provide jobs for the people of this state.

I'm going to Home Depot.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Studio 60 Rocked

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was awesome last night. Classic Aaron Sorkin writing. I felt like I was watching a great episode of The West Wing or Sports Night.

In case you missed it, you can watch it online legally and for free.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Studio 60 is on NBC in an hour.  The lone highpoint in a day where I can feel a cold coming on.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bill Simmons Comes to Wisconsin

Bill Simmons, sports writer extrodinaire, has a running diary of a weekend he spent in Wisconsin.  I love his writing, and find him amusing, but come on, Wisconsin doesn't have that much of an accent.  His sterotyping of Wisconsinsites is a little cruel, we're definitely not living in 1992 (it's a comfortable 1996).  Either way, he has a few good points in his story.

We've passed at least 10 signs for cheese-related stores or foods so far. You have to hand it to Wisconsin: The people here have listened to every health-related study from the past 25 years -- watch out for fried foods, butter and cheese, beware of heavy beer, make sure you eat enough vegetables and fruit, try to exercise as much as possible -- and basically said, "You know what? If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I love Wisconsin.

See what Simmons gets wrong here is that we really haven't listened.  We were too busy eating.

The Lambeau atmostphere makes it official -- the person who invented tailgating should go straight to Sweden to pick up their Nobel Prize.

He nailed that one right on.  I'm off to eat a half-pound cheeseburger, french fries, and watch some football.

Map Company Finds Cash

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel...

A Wausau software company that sells interactive maps detailing more than 100,000 miles of trails for snowmobilers and other off-road travelers will announce today it has raised $400,000 in its first venture financing round... read more.

Milwaukee's Murder Rate Down

Contrary to what everyone seems to want to tell you, homicides are actually down this year in Milwaukee.

The 45-year-old man is the city's 83rd homicide victim of the year, Burkee said. There had been 99 homicides reported as of Oct. 7 of last year.  Read on...

Paul Ryan Gives Money to Charity

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, in an attempt to distance himself from former Congressman Mark Foley, gave the remaining $3,000 contributed to him by Foley to my former employer, the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville, and the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha.

While this is of course a positive move for the organizations, you should never be happy to see it come as a result of a politician distancing himself from a colleague involved in a "sex scandal".

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Empty Bleachers


Empty Bleachers
Originally uploaded by WisDoc.
I thought this was a good picture of Miller Park that warranted being shared with you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Question

Where did the week go?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Elevator Pitch

A video that gives a simple explanation of how the "elevator pitch" works. Great to watch if you're not familiar with the concept.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bug in Google Maps

There is a bug in Google Maps, literally.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Green Park East Redevelopment Approved

The Journal Sentinel has a report about an exciting development in downtown Milwaukee.

A $104 million proposal for a luxury hotel, condominiums, offices and retail space in downtown Milwaukee's Park East area won approval Thursday from the County Board, which voted to sell a county-owned site for the development.

The board voted 16-3 to sell the parcel, bordered by N. Old World 3rd and N. 4th streets and W. Juneau and W. McKinley avenues, to a group led by Ruvin Development Inc. and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp. Their plan calls for a 175-room hotel, 70 condos, 55,000 square feet of offices, 31,000 square feet of retail space and a 330-car parking structure. Read the rest of the story...

Whitney Gould weighs in on what I think is the most exciting element of the development.

But while the Rana plan envisions using recycled materials and energy-efficient systems, it lacks the environmental sophistication of Ruvin's, which puts 70% of its footprint in green features. Rana's plaza, mostly a hardscape, looks like an afterthought. And, with its corner location, the parking garage (incorporating a car wash, retail and rooftop tennis court) seems too prominent and oversize. All told, this complex strikes me as weighted too heavily toward the automobile, a strange turn at a time when city planning has at last begun to address the needs of pedestrians.

She also throws her support in for the projects apprecation for the deveopment that had came before it.

It is anchored on the northwest corner by an unusually elegant hotel and condo building, its fa├žade an interplay of slate and glass panels. With wider swaths of slate at the bottom levels and more glass at the higher ones, the 20-story building appears to dissolve into the sky. And the jazzy mix of dark and light evokes, in a refined way, the crazy-quilt skin of the Sydney Hih building in its hippie days. Ruvin would restore that much-bowdlerized Italianate gem for condos and wrap a sleek, transparent addition around it.

Another piece of history would get new life here: The 1853 Gipfel Brewery, the city's oldest brewery building, would be transplanted from a block west and restored as a pub along the Juneau side of the development.  Read the rest of her story...

What truly excites me about this project is the emphasis placed on pedestrian use, environmental responbility, and the determination to respect the history of the area through the retention and restoration of the historic buildings.

There is a photo gallery that contains images of the two proposals for the land.  The Ruvin proposal has rougher looking renderings, but everything I read about the development puts a smile on my face.

Now let's see it happen.

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Yummy Chipotle


Yummy
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
In case you were curious what eating a Chipotle burrito looked like in reference to my last post ("Free Chipotle..."). Here is a photo of the event from last year with the great Ben Neher trying to eat a burrito.

Free Chipotle on October 3rd

Tomorrow is Chipotle's birthday, which means free burritos for all (at least at the one in Milwaukee).  I would assume this is a nation-wide promotion, so I would encourage you to go to Chipotle tomorrow and enjoy a free burrito.  I'll be at the Chipotle on Ogden in Milwaukee at least once tomorrow (I'm planning on going twice).  Will I see you there?

Shred Day Party

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "Day Watch"...

A Citizens Bank branch in Menomonee Falls today invited businesses and residents to bring documents they want to destroy securely to a large mobile shedder that will be at the bank for "Shred Day," Oct. 18.
The branch, at N56-W16949 Ridgewood Drive, will serve refreshments as a crew from Iron Mountain, a records management company, shreds the papers brought to the bank. The free shredding will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Branch manager Maggie Stauff said the event was organized to help people and businesses reduce their risk of identity theft.

The crew from Milwaukee 2.0 (Tad, Sam, and myself) will be there.  We're going for the refreshments and staying for the shredding.

Gali


Basket Kitty
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Is it wrong to miss the family cat when you're at college?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A High Definition Perspective

Want to make things a little more clear in your life?  Try a high definition television.  My roommates recently bought a high definition tuner and an antenna for their HD-ready TV and we haven't looked back.  I wasn't sold on HDTV being that much better until it was in my living room, but I couldn't live without it now.

It's nice, it's real nice.

Packer Season Ticket Waiting List

I've moved up on the Green Bay Packer season ticket waiting list to #37,929.  I should look if this is transferable, I could be using this to pick up women.

From last year at this time...

I received a letter in the mail a couple of days ago indicating that I've moved up to number 38,353 on the season ticket waiting list for the Green Bay Packers. I signed up sometime around 1998 and was in position 47,000 something at that point, I'm making progress!

At this rate it will take me approximately 95 years to get my tickets.  Awesome.  I better keep exercising so I live longer.