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Putting the Point in Pointless.

More of Jeramey's photos

Monday, April 30, 2007

NBA Playoffs


View of the Bradley Center
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Even though the Milwaukee Bucks aren't playing anymore, the NBA playoffs are still holding my attention. I could care less about March Madness, the NBA playoffs are where it's at.

I love this game.

The Weekend


My Dorm
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Despite the best attempts of MSOE, I have survived the weekend. Unfortunately, I might not make it out of tonight.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Your Blog is Your Resume

People are beginning to make compelling arguments that your blog is your resume now. I couldn't agree more. I can no longer count the number of job offers I have received as a result of people discovering my blog (and mine isn't even a good one).

Kohl's Going Solar

Evidence of Natural Capitalism is alive and well today.

Kohl's Department Stores, a Milwaukee-area company, is installing solar cells on top of 75% of its California stores. With a contract through SunEdison LLC, it appears Kohl's will essentially rent their roofs to SunEdison who will install the solar cells at no charge and sell the power back to Kohl's and to the local power companies.

This is huge. So huge that it's the largest solar cell installation in North America history.

Kohl's is already looking at putting solar cells in six other states, including Wisconsin.

It doesn't look like they expect the investment to pay off immediately, but they're paying a locked-in rate which they think will make the investment a huge success in the future (similar to the benefits Southwest Airlines is seeing from their fuel contracts).

From a business perspective this was a good move from two different angles. The first is the public goodwill and image boost associated with going to a renewable power source, this puts Kohl's in a tier above other "big box" retailers. Second, it's a great way to lock-in a profit boost down the road when your competitors are presumably all going to be having to pay more for power. Southwest did this and beat out all the other airlines, Kohl's takes it to another level with going renewable.

The only real downside for this is that everyone else could copy Kohl's, eliminate Kohl's future price advantage, and they're relegated to having to go down in history as the company that reinvented retail and changed community perception of big retail.

It's great to see Wisconsin companies leading the way on green energy.

Come on Wal-Mart, get in the game.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Megabus of the Skies


Megabus
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Say hello to Skybus Airlines, the Megabus of the skies. They're going to be flying in and out of Columbus with flights starting at $10.

Awesome.

Awesome Website

Wanna see an awesome website made by using a dry-erase board?

I'm definitely going to consider this model in all my future development.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good Looking Cows

These were some good looking cows that I just needed to share with you.

Another Hotel


Milwaukee Skyline
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Another hotel, condo, retail megaplex has been proposed for the Park East area. This one is a 30-story building adjacent to the development being led by Robert Ruvin.

This project isn't looking for any money from government sources, so if I were a betting man I would go for this one being built over other ones that are demanding city funding (the Park East Square for example).

Brewers Still in First


Miller Park
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Don't look now, but the Milwaukee Brewers are still in first place in the National League Central. We're three weeks into the season now, so discussions about it be an opening week fluke are becoming irrelevant very quickly.

J.J. Hardy has continued on his hitting tear that he was on before he was hurt last year, we're seeing signs of clutch hitting, pitching has been overall very good, and we've got a platoon system going in the outfield corners that should keep any slumps from affecting the team's productivity.

Huge win last night over the Cubs in extra innings at Wrigley Field.

If they stay injury free, they're definitely going to prove many critics wrong and emerge as the team to beat in the NL Central Division.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Southwest and Wifi


Southwest Jet
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
If Southwest Airlines puts wifi in their planes I would make them my exclusive carrier.

65 Days until Summerfest

We're now just a little more than 65 days away from Summerfest.

When do you think they'll release a schedule for the rest of the stages? I wish I knew. They've released the Marcus Amphitheater and nothing else at this point.

Back from the North Woods


A Fallen Tree
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
I'm back from the north woods of Wisconsin. I have a lot of back-blogging to do.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chipotle and Brady Quinn


Chipotle Burrito
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
NFL draft prospect and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn said on ESPN radio this morning that if he could, the first thing he would buy is a Chipotle, but they're not franchised.

He's apparently putting that education to work already.

Nintendo and the Wii Shortage


Nintendo
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
The Freakonomics Blog takes a look at the consequences the Nintendo Wii shortage may be having on retailors, competetitors, and customers.

Minnesota Twins Stadium Update


Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Originally uploaded by Homemade.
An update on the construction of a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis for the Minnesota Twins.

As I've said before, my stance on stadiums is always refurbishing and building downtown. I get one of two here. It's along a light rail line, which is a definite plus.

Taxpayers are being forced to chip in here, which I really don't like to see. I think the city stands to benefit though with improved development in the area. In my experience (no actual scientific data to back it up) open-air stadiums seem to attract more development because they're nicer to look at from neighboring builds than domes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Janesville Rail Yard


Janesville
Originally uploaded by akagoldfish.
A photo I thought that was worth sharing.

Blue Sky Root Beer Encore


Frosty Mug
Originally uploaded by Dan Bowling.
I bought a six-pack of Blue Sky's organic Root Beer Encore.

It's expensive at around 80 cents a can, but it's delicious.

I figure if it is organic too, I'll live longer. A nice side effect of delicious root beer.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Trip


Miller Park
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
The great baseball trip of the century begins tomorrow morning. Friday I'll be in Chicago to watch the Cubs play host to the Cincinnati Reds. Saturday I'll be in Cleveland to watch the Indians play host to the Chicago White Sox. Sunday it's off to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates host the San Fransisco Giants.

Total trip sticker price? Just around $150. Thank you MegaBus.

If you're interested in meeting up in any of those cities just give me a call (608-774-0704).

I'll be back in Milwaukee Monday morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snow in April


Downtown Milwaukee
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Snow in April in Milwaukee. I don't like it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Web414 - This Thursday


Web414 Logo Design
Originally uploaded by Mike Rohde.
Web414, Milwaukee's web developer community meetup, meets again this Thursday night at 7 P.M. We'll still be on the MSOE campus, but we'll be in Rosenberg Hall this time because of MSOE's spring break building schedule.

Mike Rohde will be presenting this time on the topic of the importance of iteration in the design process.

We would be happy to have you join us.

Google Maps vs Virtual Earth

Scoble has a post up about why Google Maps is beating Microsoft's Virtual Earth (which with Bird's Eye has much better imagery). Scoble argues it is because the ease of use, and naming.

My thoughts? The performance. Google Maps loads a lot faster and performs faster in Firefox.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Microsoft and Transparency


Power Microsoft
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Wired has the story on the origination of Microsoft's people friendly (not people ready) Channel 9 website.

The ending of the story is quite ironic, worth reading to the end.

Most Active Flickr Group?


female leadership
Originally uploaded by riddiculus.
Apparently Madison, Wisconsin is the city with the most Flickr members per capita. A wonderful distinction for the city to have, but I can't help but think it would fall if they counted the suburbs.

Hey Flickr, want to rerun the numbers based on metro-area populations?

Joshua Bell at a DC Metro Station


FVP
Originally uploaded by slagheap.
If you don't do anything else today, read this Washington Post story about world-famous Joshua Bell playing as a study/stunt at a Washing DC metro station.

It's an absolutely mind-boggling, eye-opening piece of research.

Entourage


Schlitz
Originally uploaded by Petromyzon.
I was happy to watch the return of the tv series Entourage tonight on HBO.

The one thing worth noting (I don't want to spoil the show for many who are waiting to download it via bit torrent), is that character Eric Murphy wore a Schlitz shirt for half the website.

It was nice to see a major tv character wearing a shirt from a now-defunct brewery from my neighborhood (now owned by Pabst and brewed contract-brewed by Miller).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Transit Health Care Woes and National Health Care


Chase Tower
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
"County Executive Scott Walker has targeted free health care for the 978 bus drivers, mechanics and other workers, and for about 600 transit system retirees."

And we wonder why we can't build decent transit systems anymore? If we have to pay for that many people to have health care after they retire, along with the current employees, the system is going to be broke.

This all comes as part of a rejection of a new contract that would have required transit employees to pay for part of their health insurance.

It's issues like these that make it seem obvious to me that we would want a national health care program. It would take all of the haggling over insurance and the like out of the game (as far as I understand).

In a country where we spend trillions on the military, billions on schools, and who knows how much on things like airport security and "homeland security", can't we spend a damn penny on national health care? We can simplify all of these health insurance issues if everyone is part of the same health care system. There is even people who will teach us how to make it work, in our own backyard, Canada!

Enron 2?


Enron, Houston Texas
Originally uploaded by hanneorla.
Something doesn't make sense to me involving the purchase of the Tribune Company. To me it has the makings of an Enron-like deal where the rich get richer, and the employees are left with nothing.

Riddle me this.

The Tribune in essence buys itself, giving itself to its employees in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). It does this with a $200 million loan from new billionaire chairman Sam Zell , a $50 million investment in newly issued stock by Zell, and more than $8 billion in financed debt. Zell's loan could be converted into shares at $34 (the shareholder buyout price).

Zell then invests another $65 million, he's now in $315 million. Out of that he now gets a warrant that allows him to bring his stake in the company up to 40 percent for an additional $185 million.

Let's recap.

Tribune, still turning a profit, but in a declining market (newspapers). Company has existing debt (roughly $5 billion). The company currently has a market cap of $7.88 billion.

All shareholders, including a family with a 20 percent stake, get to cash out at a premium price. Zero risk going forward for them.

Employees will now have the bulk of their pension saddled by company debt. In a declining market, I would assume this leaves them with a high risk.

BILLIONAIRE Sam Zell invests $500 MILLION in $8 billion dollar company and ends up with 40% of company. Looks like he is walking away with a steal, while potentially screwing all the employees of his new company.

Company finances bonds that will leave them with a $700 million yearly debt payment.

It's entirely possible that I am missing here, and please correct me if I am. In fact, I hope someone does correct me. This deal just leads me to believe that every employee of the company is getting screwed, while at the same time the super rich shareholders are walking with cash.

Cold


Bernie
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Tailgating a baseball game in sub-32 degree weather just isn't right. I did it tonight, and I'm doing it again tomorrow, and all I can really say (because my jaw is frozen shut) is thank god for the roof over Miller Park.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Vista OEM Ads


My desktop
Originally uploaded by Garota Sem Fio.
The ad's in Vista aren't Microsoft's fault. Seriously.

I used a clean (read: non-DellHPGateway) install and didn't have any complaints about the install and initial boot-up process.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Miller Park


Miller Park
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
It was so cold last night that the stadium turned blue and yellow.

Crazy.

Midwest Airlines Takeover

Despite AirTran's guarantees that the people of Milwaukee would not see a decline in quality and service if they were to take over Midwest Airlines, I'm not buying it.

They recently increased their buyout offer and are trying to fight their way onto the board of directors. Hopefully shareholders are wise and realize the value of the Midwest brand name and the quality that comes with it. Those shareholders in Wisconsin should also be well aware of the investment that Midwest makes in the Milwaukee community through donations, sponsorships, and general partnerships. You can rest assured that money would dwindle to a fraction of its previous level if AirTran takes over.

It is the quality of companies like Midwest that prevent Milwaukee from becoming Detroit, Michigan or Gary, Indiana. Let's not let AirTran take that from us.

Breakwater In Bad Shape


The Submarine
Originally uploaded by MilwaukeeMark.
Underwater photographs show rocks that have fallen out of place and rusted steel sheeting. The worst sections are in the areas that protect the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Discovery World center and Summerfest.

"The breakwater needs some care soon," Reinelt said. "Certainly if not this year, we need some work done in 2008."
Coming the summer of 2008, Summerfest - "The Big Gi... Wave"

Hopefully they manage to fix that before it becomes an issue. A catastrophic event in that area would all but kill Milwaukee tourism.

This is part of a larger Journal Sentinel article on the Port of Milwaukee.

Power Consumption


Home Office - My Desk
Originally uploaded by fensterbme.
I would like to go on the record with some thoughts, just so hopefully I can go back later and realize I predicted this trend.

The biggest environmental issue that has yet to be raised and is the most easily addresses will be a large turning point in computing in the next few years, and that issue is the reduction of power consumed by your computer. The pollution generated as a result of your computer running non-stop is virtually invisible. People think computers are clean, however, those hours of web surfing you're doing may be killing the environment.

There is great opportunity in many different areas when it comes to this problem of power consumption. Many of the solutions are extremely complex and/or are already being implemented, cleaner power sources, replacing CRTs with LCDs, changing daylight savings time to reduce the usage of lights, implementing virtual servers, the list goes on.

The areas that are being missed and are easy (so easy a high schooler with ambition and business savvy could sell old-timers on it) are the easiest to address. Getting users to turn off their computers late at night and getting them to go into standby more often during the work day.

I haven't seen a compelling case made for this yet, and I think a teenager armed with the right information could make a killing going around convincing businesses to turn off their computers at night and implementing group policies and checks to ensure that this is happening. Utilizing devices to measure power consumption will further help illustrate the power saving effects.

Walking through any cube farm at night will show you that this isn't being done. There are lights on everywhere, little green LEDs indicating devices are running, the hum of thousands of case fans.

Leaving your computer on at night is like taking money, throwing it in the toilet, and peeing on it. It costs you money and isn't even fun.

This is one of those cases where there is a direct correlation between saving money and helping the environment, people need to take advantage of it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Brewers Action


Johnny Estrada
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
I'll be at the Brewer's game again tonight.

Today is one of those days that no matter how much Miller Park cost and how badly the taxpayers got screwed, you're happy it's there.

With near freezing temperatures, high winds, and random snow flakes, the roof is going to be my best friend tonight.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

October Road


Laura Prepon Sundance 2006
Originally uploaded by gr8phul1.
The new ABC show October Road is excellent, and a worthwhile replacement for The O.C.

Train Speed Record Broken


Engines 01
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
The French have done it again, taking their TGV train over 357 mph. Imagine a system going from Minneapolis to Boston with stops in Chicago and New York.

Even at speeds of 200-250 mph, it would revolutionize the corridor.

Opening Day


Ben Sheets
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
My opening day photos are now online as well.

Brewers On Deck Day


Polish and Me
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
I have my photos online from the "Brewers On Deck" fan appreciation day on Sunday.

Opening day was awesome today, I'll get my pictures from that online sometime soon.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Opening Day


Miller Park
Originally uploaded by compujeramey.
Take me out to the ball game...

...and it's root root root for the Brewers.

Roll out the barrel...

I'll be at Miller Park in an hour, hurray! Standing room only? Oh well.