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The latest news here is 11 alders want to charge ASM with the extra costs associated with moving the date of the Mifflin Street block party:
"As an adult, I find it disturbing that many of the officers are downtown dealing with a drunken party while my constituents have to go with less police coverage," said District 20 Ald. Cindy Thomas, who signed the letter.

The effort to bill the student group was organized by District 7 Ald. Zach Brandon.

"When ASM contacted your office for the purpose of negotiating the date of the Mifflin party, they assumed the role of de facto organizer," the letter to the mayor reads. "As an organizer, ASM should be billed for the cost of providing police protection and other city services."
Yes, folks, these alders want to believe that because ASM was arguing the students' position, they are in fact the organizer of the party. This despite the fact that the "event" is more or less "organizes" itself, and probably would have happened on the new date anyway.

When I first heard about this yesterday morning, Amy said "Guess who started this?" Me: "Zach Brandon?" Bingo! Although while I expect this crap from people like him, Thomas, Compton, etc, I was a bit disturbed at some of the other participants:
Joining Thomas, Brandon and Van Rooy in signing the letter were: Jed Sanborn, District 1; Ken Golden, District 10; Larry Palm, District 15; Lauren Cnare, District 3; Paul Skidmore, District 9; Isadore Knox, District 13; Judy Compton, District 16; and Noel Radomski, District 19.
I certainly would have expected better from Lauren, in particular.

For all the crap PD gets about "wacky" stuff on the city console, you'll notice they had *no* part in all of this.

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Last night the House moved one step closer to allowing drilling in ANWR. At the same time, they defeated a proposal to require better mileage in cars:
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, who offered the ANWR amendment, noted that the bill does nothing to improve the fuel economy of automobiles, which he said use 70 percent of the country's oil, and that it was wrong "to then turn to the wilderness areas and say we need energy."

An attempt to require automakers to increase fuel economy to a fleet average of 33 miles per gallon over the next decade was defeated 254-177.

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New York, a co-sponsor of the auto fuel economy proposal, said it would have reduced oil use by 2 million barrels a day -- more than could be taken from ANWR -- by 2020. He described as "a bunch of nonsense" claims by opponents that the increased fuel economy would cost the auto industry jobs, force consumers to buy smaller cars and reduce automobile safety.
Hmm. Better mileage would result in a reduction in demand twice the size of what ANWR could produce. Makes sense, right?
"We don't need to micromanage our auto manufacturers," countered Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan.
Yes, let's let automakers do whatever they please! The market will work things out! Just like it did with seat belts. And air bags. And gas mileage so far.

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So I-PASS is a wonderful, wonderful thing. We didn't have to stop *once* at a toll plaza in the Chicago area. I think the slowest I had to go was 20 MPH or so.

Tonight we had dinner with the Rupperts at Rockne's, here in Streetsboro. My steak sandwich was surprisingly good, but everyone else ordered gyros. I think they were fine, but I was a bit taken aback when the waitress called them "ji-ros", like "gyroscope". I've always known them to be "ghe-ros", with varying amounts of emphasis on the "g". Perhaps Chief Wiggum was from around here?

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There's been talk lately about requiring older drivers to renew their driver's license more often (Wisconsin is currently every 8 years), as well as requiring them to take written tests after a certain age:
That's where state legislation under consideration would have come into play. If passed, the law would require drivers older than 75 to pass a vision test every three years and pass both a written test and a vision test every two years after age 85. The driver's licenses of those who don't take the exams when required would be invalidated.
The basic idea seems sound to me, but not everyone agrees:
Bill Darby, 66, who lives in the Town of Edson in south-central Wisconsin, said driving is a necessity in the rural area. The state shouldn't get involved in telling him whether he's fit to drive, Darby said.

"If my eyes get bad or my reaction time is getting extended too far out, and I thought I should not drive, I'd quit," Darby said. "To do it based only on age and nothing else, I have a problem with that."
The state shouldn't get involved? "I thought I should not drive"? Isn't that the point? That people don't realize they shouldn't be driving? How many drunk drivers honestly think "I haven't had that much to drink, I'm fine" when they clearly aren't?

While I'd agree that any law should be sensitive to the fact that many older drivers *are* fine, I don't see how having special restrictions on older drivers is any different from having special restrictions on very young drivers. The biggest differences I can see are there are probably more younger drivers, and they can't vote.

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I've always been somewhat fascinated by freeways: I was the only one in Gar-Bar's freshman history class to identify roads/bridges/etc as "infrastructure". Something that's really interested me is the history of the freeways in the Milwaukee area. Due to NIMBY pressure in the '60s and '70s, something like half of the proposed system never got built.

While in Milwaukee this past weekend, we made a visit to some friends who live on the near North side, off of Appleton Ave. To get there we took the Stadium Freeway, which abruptly ends at Lisbon Ave. The original plan was for it to meet with the Park West Freeway, which was never built (some demolition on the east end was all that ever happened). Now, I've driven up and down I-94/43 plenty of times, and have known for a long time that to build the freeway a swath two blocks wide was razed. I've even seen pictures of what the area looked like before the freeway. But to see an area in the middle of the city and realize that it would have all been torn down to make way for a freeway is pretty shocking.

Matlock Expressway indeed!

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Ahh, the world of Best Buy...

Due to a whole chain of events, we decided we wanted a new receiver, one that could actually do 5.1 (or better). Someone on FLO mentioned one, and after some looking, we decided that's the one we wanted. BB had a deal last week where you got a boatload of bonus Reward Zone points if you got a receiver, so we figured that was the week to get one.

Upon getting to the Madison East BB, we learned two things. One, we liked the model two steps up better, and two, it was the end of the model year. More or less that means all of last year's stuff is out, but not in boxes, while all of this year's stuff is in boxes, but not out on display. We wanted last year's model - the few extra features on the new one weren't enough to justify the $100 difference between the two (last year's was on clearance).

So they only had the demo unit. I asked to check on the computer, noting we were already going to Milwaukee that day anyway. The guy checked, and he claimed only one BB in the area (Brookfield) had any, and that he'd call to double check. 15 minutes later "no, sorry, they don't have any". Whatever, we'd just stop at the stores when we were out there. Things went like this:

Delafield - Demo unit only, for $50 *more* than other stores were listing as the in-box price. The store itself is a "new design" BB, which seems to look more like Circuit City. Ugg.
Brookfield - After waiting 20 minutes for someone to help us, the guy looked on the computer and found the 5. "We *have* to have these, let me find them." That was quickly followed by "Oh, we use those in the speaker room, so that's where those 5 are." Kind of a strange store, with a layout I've never seen before. After finding out the new model was $100 more, we moved on to:
Mayfair - Demo unit only. *Old* style BB - small, dark, and cramped.
Southridge - By this time it was pretty much a last ditch effort (I didn't want to go to Northridge), but I figured it wasn't that far out of the way. We walked in, and I could quickly see they didn't have any. A "friendly" BB person (ok, he was actually kind of friendly, if not slightly hyper) pulled the standard "is there anything I can help you with?" line. I said no, noting the model we were looking for, and that there were none there. "But we *have* to have some of those! Wait. Hmm...let's look over here." We walked over to the home theatre area - bingo! Apparently they (this store, anyway) have this model in both the "Receiver" and "Home Theatre" areas. There were two sitting there in boxes. It's still a mystery as to why these were not on the computer, and/or why nobody noticed them.

Moral of the story? If you're looking for something hard to find, never trust BB and their computers. Do some legwork or pick up the phone.

Anyway...the receiver is nice.

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I just discovered Cygwin/X yesterday. As someone who uses a bunch of Linux/Unix systems, both at work and at home, this is pretty slick. Now if only I could figure out how to copy to/from Pine...

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It seems as if we went right from winter to summer here, skipping over spring. Of course, I'm sure we'll have enough spring-like weather in the summer to more than make up for it. And I'm not moving the snow blower out of the garage just yet.

That said, I'm going to enjoy this weather, damnit. Once the leaves start popping up we'll be all set.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.