No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for March, 2006

March 31, 2006

Yet another reason to not do business in Wisconsin

by @ 8:46. Filed under Lawsuit madness.

This morning’s paper has the story of 2 guys who were awarded more than $385,000 from DaimlerChrysler for an oft-broken 2003 Dodge Viper, which went for about $80,000 new. Let’s review a few items from the story:

  • The lawsuit was filed in 2004 by James Mortle of Muskego and Joe Kiriaki of Franklin over a muscle car they bought because of its performance prowess. – That’s all well and good, but this intent should have come back to haunt them, as their later actions will show.
  • On Aug. 1, 2003, according to court records, 71 miles after the 500-mile break-in period, the differential broke for the first time. – I didn’t know break-in periods only last 500 miles nowadays. My 2004 Subaru Outback Sport had a break-in period of 1,000 miles.
  • It was repaired, but just 13 days later, with the odometer reading 686 miles, the differential broke again, court records say. Over the next six months, the differential broke four more times, each time while being shifted from first to second gear at around 50 mph. – Now that is very odd, especially considering that Road and Track states that the maximum redline speed in first gear is 59 mph. Further, 50 mph in first gear would be roughly 5085 rpm on the engine, well below the peak of its power (500 hp at 5600 rpm).
  • When the Viper was running like it was designed to, Mortle reached 122 mph in a quarter mile on a drag strip, he said. – That’s odd; R&T only got to 119 mph in the quarter-mile. I’m reasonably sure they ran the engine right up to the redline and the rev limiter to get that performance. They also tested the more-aerodynamic, lighter (3000 pounds curb weight vs 3390 pounds curb weight for the stock Viper), more-powerful (520 hp) Viper Competition Coupe wearing racing slicks, and that car only reached 122 mph in the quarter-mile. I strongly suspect that these two yahoos stopped off at the aftermarket performance shop and did some engine modifications (modifications that would tend to void warranties; I know Subaru would void my warranty if I were to apply some of the performance-enhancing parts out there).
  • But after the differential broke for the sixth time, the manufacturer refused to cover any more repairs, records show. Mortle asked for a replacement Viper under the state’s lemon law, according to the lawsuit, but the manufacturer refused, contending that he and Kiriaki abused the car. – Frankly, I’m surprised that DaimlerChrysler waited until the 6th blown differential to suspect something. Taking a car out racing tends to void warranties; at least, it would void mine if I were crazy enough to take my car out racing. Further, doing bonzai quarter-mile runs at a speed an unmodified Viper is incapable of reaching just screams, “Car abuse!”

To wit, we have a pair of yahoos who pushed their car beyond its limit, almost certainly violated at least one part of their obligations under the warranty they had, and got a judge and jury to ignore that to give them one big payday. I sure hope the other car manufacturers were paying attention.

March 30, 2006

And then there were 2 backwards states

by @ 16:23. Filed under Politics.

Coming hard on the heels of the Kansas Legislature’s override of their governor’s veto of concealed carry, Nebraska’s Legislature has passed a concealed-carry bill 32-12. Governor Dave Heineman said previously that he woudl sign it, making the veto-proof majority just icing on the cake. That leaves Wisconsin and Illinois as the 2 states where law-abiding citizens cannot defend themselves with weapons.

Assuming that Sgt. Schultz won’t reverse course and become a RepublicRAT next year, if we get Mark Green as Governor, we’ll join 48 other states in the land of sanity next year.

MMSD at it again

by @ 15:44. Filed under MMSD - The Crap People.

Yesterday, MMSD, The Crappy Water People™, dumped 800,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage into the lake from the Jones Island treatment plant. According to MMSD, the partially-treated sewage, which had the solids removed and was disinfected, flowed while gates were tested for an underground channel at the plant between 10:19 am and 10:53 am. A couple of questions:

  • How did it take over a half-hour to figure out there was a problem?
  • Will the DNR finally start taking action that matches what they do to fishermen who “pump personal bilges”?

March 27, 2006

Green-Walker joint press conference

by @ 6:44. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Mark Green and Scott Walker will have a joint press conference at the Milwaukee headquarters of the RPW (7223 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis) at 3:15 pm today. They will be discussing the future of the governor’s race, and the Green and Walker teams are asking for a show of party unity. For those that can make it, they ask that you get there by 3 so the show can start on time.

March 26, 2006

Time to kill the spam

by @ 9:57. Filed under The Blog.

The spam bots have become quite aggressive and smart. Therefore, I am now requiring registration to comment. Sorry for the inconvenience.

March 25, 2006

Walker out of gov race; not-so-instant reaction

by @ 20:12. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Unless you’ve been in a cave since yesterday morning, you know that Scott Walker dropped out of the governor’s race yesterday afternoon. That leaves Mark Green to take on Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale). I don’t think I’ve made it much of a secret that I supported Walker in the Republican nomination, and I am sad to see him drop out because of a combination of a lack of money and the RPW (and indeed, the RNC) standard operating procedure to back the least-conservative of multiple candidates at all costs (in the RPW’s case, even pulling the rug out from the conservative should he survive the party bosses’ attempts to rig the primary). In this specific case, other than Green being in the same back pocket of ADM that Doyle is, he appears to be not much less conservative than Walker. Further, I’m relieved that the money differential won’t be magnified by a bitter and expensive primary fight.

Tomorrow’s Sunday Insight with Charlie Sykes (10 am, Channel 4 in Milwaukee) will be a much-watch as Charlie dumped the regularily-scheduled format for an interview with Walker. Judging from the inaugural podcast he and Jeff Wagner did, it will be must-see TV. I will try to live-blog it.

It will be good to still have an upstanding young man (Walker’s only 38) here in charge of Milwaukee County for at least the next 2 years instead of a thug like Lee Holloway, who, assuming Walker would have been elected governor, would have assumed the duties of county executive effective Walker’s swearing-in. He ruled out jumping into the Senate race against Nobody’s Senator, Herb Kohl.

Beyond this helping Green and hurting Doyle, who now must start “prematurely” spending his massive war chest funded by WEAC, the Indian casinos, the trial lawyers, Archer Daniels Midland, and everybody else that bought Wisconsin policy the last 3 years, there are some other winners and losers. Paul Bucher has to be wondering whether Milwaukee County Pubbies and conservatives will be voting in the Republican Attorney General primary (and presumably for him) or the Democratic Sheriff primary for David Clarke. Over on the Dem side of that race, it wasn’t a coincidence that the chorus of “Damn it”s from Madistan had a high-pitched tone; both Kathleen Falk and Peg Lautenschlager are sweating it out to see which one of them is deemed the weaker candidate by those of us in Milwaukee County (and perhaps elsewhere) interested in not seeing a Dem in that office next year and no longer with a very-vested interest in being on the Pubbie side of the primary.

One UGLY week

by @ 18:35. Filed under The Blog.

Sorry about the lack of posts. Let’s see what all went wrong this week:

- The South (I refuse to call it Atlanta) regional continued to be my Regional of Doom; I lost my national champion Duke out of there, and I will finish under .500 for the tourney.

- My unplanned computer upgrade didn’t go as smooth as planned. Had some power issues that I think I finally solved by locking the voltages and frequencies at what they should be instead of letting the system adjust them at will.

- Scott Walker dropped out of the governor’s race. More on that in a bit.

- I’ve been getting some spam comments sneaking through my anti-spam defenses. I’d rather not have to make everybody register to comment here, but if I must, I will.

(Revisions/extensions) – Forgot to mention the bad sensor on my car, which I did mention on Monday. At least that was under warranty, though my 15,000-mile checkup wasn’t.

March 23, 2006

Ramjac7 is back, I think

by @ 16:54. Filed under Miscellaneous, The Blog.

He’s now The Asian Badger, and over on WordPress’s free host (not to mention my unwieldy blogroll). He hopes to be able to afford to come back to Wisconsin after his Asian stint.

March 20, 2006

Monday from Hell

by @ 23:59. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Took the war machine in to Frank Gentile Subaru for its 15,000-mile checkup with the check-engine light on first thing this morning. The good news-they got the scheduled work done nice and quick. The bad-they didn’t have the part to cure the light (an air-fuel mixture sensor). The ugly-$225 plunked down. So, they sent me on my way until they could get the part from the dealer not 5 minutes from my house. I got that out of the way this afternoon and came back home to find my new memory waiting.

That’s when things got REAL ugly. First, old reliable wouldn’t boot up with the new memory, so I put the old back in. At first it refused to boot up with that as well; then it did boot up only without the USB ports working (which is a bad thing because I have a USB keyboard/mouse combo). Then, right after that started working again, poof! I went down to Milwaukee PC to pick up a new power supply (and a new DVD writer; when I finally put the old one I got as a gift in, it didn’t work), only to find that my bank didn’t like the idea of putting that on my debit card. I went and got some boku cash from the bank, then got the bright idea of doing a full upgrade to the Athlon64/PCI-E standard (since the new memory is DDR instead of DDR2, I’m sort of “stuck” in the AMD camp). Being a gamer at heart, I went a “bit” overboard on the video card at Best Buy (where I also picked up my new DVD writer, which also does laser etching :-), then went back to Milwaukee PC to pick up the board (one of the original SLIs) and a “slow” 3200+ processor, along with my new modular power supply (no excess power cords).

I finally got home about 7, and started the long process (because I can’t really handle those tiny screws, not because the rest of it is hard) of rebuilding. I was actrually surprised when WIndows booted up instead of dumping me into reinstallation hell, though I did have to reactivate both Windows and Office. After a few reboots as I updated the drivers, I’m finally rocking again, but now I’m wiped out.

Total carnage weekend (Slaughter Saturday and Suicide Sunday)

by @ 1:26. Filed under Miscellaneous.

The East regional (I steadfastly refuse to use the politically-correct NCAA city designations because those change from year to year) went to hell in a hurry. After a 7-1 first round there, I went 1-3 and lost both my participants in the regional final, including my national runner-up. I had a similar performance in my perennial regional-of-doom, the South, but fortunately my national champ survived to play another weekend. Elsewhere, I lost my West champ while going 2-2 in each of the other 2 regionals. 6-10 in round 2 (4-4 Saturday, a dead-man-buried 2-6 Sunday), 5 of my Elite Eight teams gone, and half my Final Four and National Championship game (fortunately, the losing half) blown up. On the basis of my first-round and play-in 22-12, I’m now 28-22 with a shot at still finishing above .500 on the tourney.

The few winning plays from round 2 are underlined, dead current picks struck out, “replacement” teams in italics and my dim hopes bolded.

Second round Midwest: "˜Nova 82 over Arizona 78, BC 69 over Montana 56, UWM 60 over Florida 82 (that’s right, the Panthers are Sweet-16 dancing again), Ohio State 52 over Georgetown 70

Second round East: UConn 87 over Kentucky 83, Illinois 64 over Washington 67, UNC 60 over George Mason 65, Tennessee 73 over Wichita State 80

Second round South: Duke 74 over George Washington 61, Texas A&M 58 over LSU 58, West Virginia 67 vs.Northwestern State 54 (dead game), Texas 75 vs NC State 54 (dead game)

Second round West: Memphis 72 vs. Bucknell 56 (dead game), Pittsburgh 66 over Bradley72, Gonzaga over Indiana 80, UCLA 62 over Alabama 59

Midwest Semis: "˜Nova over BC, Ohio State over UWM (too much inside from the Buckeyes) Florida vs Georgetown (dead game)

East Semis: Illinios over UConn vs Washington (dead game), Tennessee over UNC George Mason vs Wichita State (dead game)

South Semis: Duke over A&M LSU, SIU over California West Virginia vs Texas (dead game)

West Semis: Pittsburgh over Arkansas Memphis vs Bradley (dead game), UCLA over Gonzaga

Final Four: "˜Nova, Tennessee TBD from the East, Duke, Pittsburgh, TBD from the West

Champion: Duke over Tennessee, Bruce Pearl still gets hoisted off the court on his players’ shoulders TBD

March 19, 2006

In memoriam

by @ 20:18. Filed under Miscellaneous.

How appropriate is it that Dennis Pork, who accepted WisOpinion’s blogger of the year on behalf of Dennis York, and my NCAA bracket both died horrible deaths yesterday. Oh well; I had a great time drowning my sorrows at Pork’s funeral, and the procession is following Jib’s top-secret map of it.

March 18, 2006

Massacre Friday

by @ 2:25. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Editor’s note; this will be updated throughout the day. Times updated will be noted (last update 2:25 am 3/18)

2:00 pm 3/17 – It is not a good day to be from the Big 10 – Wisconsin and Iowa both lose, Wisconsin blown out, Iowa upset on a last-second shot 64-63. Throw in Bucknell with a 59-55 skinning of the Razorbacks and there goes my first Sweet 16 team out of the West. At least Ohio State is still alive after getting a scare from the smartest team in the tourney.

6:53 pm 3/17 – The carnage continues. I lose my first Elite Eight team in SIU (in guess what bracket – South) and another game. At least I’m guaranteed of going .500 in the first round as I hit 16 wins.

8:45 pm 3/17 – There’s just no stopping the South carnage. I lose my 3rd Sweet 16 team, and my 2nd in the South. At least the other 3 teams won, with UConn waking up late to put away Albany to avoid being the first #1 to lose since the NCAA went to at least 64 teams, to pull me back to .500 on the day and 20-9 going into the final 4 games of round 1. My Final Four remains intact.

2:25 am 3/18 (last update) – Owie, stingie. I should’ve known that Conference USA would screw my only perfect regional. Throw in the Kansas Chokehawks and I ended up 21-11 on the round and 22-11 overall. At least I didn’t lose any more Sweet 16 teams.

Winning calls from the prediction post underlined, losers and losing calls struck out, future picks still alive in bold, and substitute teams for early eliminations in italics:

Play-in – Monmouth 71 over Hampton 49

First round, Midwest: Villanova (1) 58 over Monmouth 45, Wisconsin (9) 75 over Arizona 94 (in the battle of fading programs, the Mildcats have fallen further than Bucky), Montana (12) 87 over Nevada 79 (your historic 12-5 upset split, plus a Milwaukee connection with Montana coach Larry Krystowiak, a former Buck), Boston College (4) 88 over Pacific 66, UW-Milwaukee (11) 82 over Oklahoma 74 (too much offense from Rob Jeter’s group), Florida (3) 76 over South Alabama 50, Northern Iowa (10) 49 over Georgetown 54 (no, there’s no anti-Thompson bias here :-) and Ohio State 70 (2) over Davidson 62

First round East, er, DC: UConn (1) 72 over Albany 59, UA-Birmingham (9) 64 over an over-seeded Kentucky 69, Washington 75 (5) over Utah State 61, Illinois (4) 78 over Air Force 69, George Mason (11) 75 over Michigan State 65, North Carolina (3) 69 over Murray State 65, Wichita State (7) 86 over Seton Hall 66, Tennessee (2) 63 over Winthrop 61

First round South, er, Atlanta: Duke (1) 70 over Southern 54, UNC-Wilmington 85 (9) over George Washington 88, Texas A&M (12) 66 over Syracuse 58 (this 12-5 upset’s for you, Owen), Iona (13) 64 over Louisiana State 80, Southern Illinois (11) 46 over West Virginia 64, Iowa 63 (3) over Northwestern State 64, California (7) 52 over North Carolina State 58, Texas (2) 60 over Pennsylvania 52

First round West, er, Oakland: Memphis (1) 94 over Oral Roberts 78, Arkansas (8) 55 over no-longer-a-surprise Bucknell 59, Pittsburgh (5) 79 over Kent State 64, Kansas (4) 73 over Bradley 77, San Diego State (11) 83 over Indiana 87, Gonzaga (3) 79 over Xavier 75, Alabama (10) 90 over Marquette 85 (sorry CareBears, Novak and a bunch of freshmen can’t get it done), UCLA (2) 78 over Belmont 44 in the battle of the Bruins

Second round Midwest: "˜Nova over Bucky (if one Wildcat doesn’t beat you, the other one will) Arizona, BC over Montana, UWM over Florida (that’s right, the Panthers are Sweet-16 dancing again), Ohio State over Northern Iowa Georgetown

Second round East: UConn over UAB Kentucky, Illinois over Washington, UNC over George Mason, Tennessee over Wichita State

Second round South: Duke over UNC-Wilmington George Washington, Texas A&M over Iona LSU, SIU over Iowa West Virginia vs.Northwestern State (dead game), California over Texas vs NC State (dead game)

Second round West: Arkansas over Memphis vs. Bucknell (dead game), Pittsburgh over Kansas Bradley, Gonzaga over San Diego State Indiana, UCLA over Alabama

Midwest Semis: "˜Nova over BC, Ohio State over UWM (too much inside from the Buckeyes)

East Semis: Illinios over UConn, Tennessee over UNC

South Semis: Duke over A&M, SIU over California TBD vs TBD (dead game)

West Semis: Pittsburgh over Arkansas TBD, UCLA over Gonzaga

Final Four: "˜Nova, Tennessee, Duke, Pittsburgh

Champion: Duke over Tennessee, Bruce Pearl still gets hoisted off the court on his players’ shoulders

The Defense of Marriage amendment – part 2

by @ 1:56. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

In part 1, I stated why I am voting for the Defense of Marriage amendment in November. Now, I’ll specifically take on various conservative/libertarian arguments against this, mainly culled from Charlie’s Isthmus column.

- It’s unnecessary – As I stated previously, it is very necessary (at least if one is not in favor of government sanction of gay marriage), not only to pass something like this but to make it part of the Wisconsin Constitution, especially in Wisconsin. There already exists in the Wisconsin Constitution legitimate legal grounds for a court to overturn any statute that does not extend the full benefits of marriage to gay couples; a clause that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

- The “infamous” second sentence (“A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”) will not only allow Wisconsin to ignore other states’ “gay marriages” that do not explicitly use the word “marriage”, but force Wisconsin to invalidate items such as “domestic partner” benefits for both public and private employees and for both gay and straight employees – To extend this sentence from invalidating a broadly-encompassing government sanction of gay marriage to invalidating a single benefit that has been extended to non-married couples would take an overreach essentially equal to that taken by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in forcing gay marriage there. As my non-lawyer mind reads that sentence, it would take a single legal status attempting to confer most of the legal privileges of marriage to unmarried individuals to trigger this. Morever, something such as “domestic partner” benefits, even one offered by government, is not a legal privilege restricted to marriage.

- This represents an absolute freeze on social and legal policy, which can never be changed – Again, wrong. The only “freezes” are that a gang of 4 lawgivers-in-black cannot cram their wishes down 5 million Wisconsinites’ throats, and that 50 Assemblymen and 17 Senators in the Legislature cannot unilaterally do the same. An “evolutionary” change instead will require those 50 Assemblymen and 17 Senators to vote for it in 2 separate biannual sessions, then a majority of the public that cares vote for it; just like this amendment.

- This limits the power of individuals, not government – Like a broken record; again, wrong. I don’t see any prohibition of two or more consenting individuals to do what they please; instead, I see a prohibition against government granting a special sanction to certain actions taken y those consenting individuals.

- But, but, but government needs to recognize stable relationships regardless of who enters it – No, it does not, even if other governments recognize “common-law marriages” (more-properly called long-term shack-ups). The main reason why government does recognize marriage is that society has recognized marriage as providing the best general situation for the raising of the next generation. Of course, it does so in what can be called a ham-handed fashion. Morever, with the advent of “no-fault” divorce, government has started to not recognize marriage as a stable, lifelong relationship.

- But, but, but gays only want “in” on marriage, not to destroy it – What legal privilege automatically granted to married couples, other than the special tax rate given to married couples, can gay couples not get? Tax deductions for children are marriage-neutral, and various legal contracts, including wills and life insurance, can easily be written to replicate the publicly-recognized situations enjoyed by married couples, right on down to the joint-property mandate unique to Wisconsin. That special tax rate is hardly special for a couple where both people work full-time, which I suspect describes nearly all gay couples; they would end up paying a higher tax than if they weren’t recognized as a “married” couple.

Since the governmental reasons for gays to merely want “in” on marriage through government recognition have been severely damaged, and society as a whole does not (at least not yet) accept that gays should enjoy the full privileges and benefits of marriage, what reasons other than its destruction in its present governmental form and a further damage to its religious form remains for the push for government recognition of gay marriage? The only one I can think of is to attempt to force companies that do not offer “domestic partner” benefits to offer benefits to both members of a gay couple. However, there is a “slight” flaw in this attempt; health coverage is not a right, and neither is spousal coverage. I strongly suspect that a large number of companies that do not offer “domestic partner” coverage will drop spousal coverage (if not health coverage entirely) rather than have the expanded definition of “spouse” imposed on them. The companies that don’t will quickly find themselves in court, sued by heterosexual unmarried couples wanting theirs. They’ll likely win, and everyone can start kissing health insurance for their significant other goodbye.

The Defense of Marriage amendment – part 1

by @ 0:14. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I’ve delayed this as long as long as I could and then some, but Charlie called me out. This is part one of a 2-part series; part two will deal with the conservative/libertarian arguments against. I will be voting “yes” on the amendment in November for a mix of reasons.

The first reason is that it will, at least temporarily, keep the government definition of marriage as close to my religion’s (WELS) definition as government can keep it: 1 man and 1 woman. Despite the relatively-recent (and probably necessary) divergence between the Christian and government definitions of marriage (namely, “no-fault” divorce), the acceptance of adultery by society, and the rise of activism among both the gay and polygamist crowds, society as a whole still accepts the basic definition of marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman.

Indeed, that divergence belies the claim that government does sanction a stable relationship through marriage. That leaves only special legal and tax statuses given to married couples based on the societial recognition that married couples do best with raising the next generation. Even here, most of those statuses can either be duplicated by non-married couples through legal processes or shifted into marriage-neutral policies. The only major “marriage-only” policy that cannot be replicated is the tax policy, which was written (imperfectly, as only government can write it) as a recognition that one parent works full-time and the other raises the children and maybe earns a small salary in a part-time job. Even though (in no small part due to goverment’s ever-growing appetite), this ideal is workable for fewer and fewer married couples, there are very few gay couples that would have children, and even fewer where that ideal would happen.

Related to keeping the government definition of marriage what it is, it is absolutely necessary to put this into the Wisconsin Constitution rather than Wisconsin state statute. As the lawgivers-in-black-robes in Massachusetts proved, activist liberal justices will use the most-obscure loopholes to void the will of the people as expressed by the Legislature. Indeed, it would be even easier in Wisconsin; we already have as part of the state Constitution an “equal-rights” clause based on sexual orientation. I’m surprised that the activists haven’t used this to hammer through gay marriage in Wisconsin.

Another reason for using the Constitutional process is that it is the only process that directly involves the people. Neither judges ruling by fiat nor the Legislature passing a statute does this. Morever, by putting it into the Constitution, it does not “freeze” the definition for all time; it merely takes the mechanism of change out of the hands of the state version of the lawgivers-in-black (only federal action could take it out of the hands of federal judges), as well as the unilateral hands of the Legislature. Instead, if Wisconsin society eventually does want to extend full marriage rights to gays, it will simply go through the same Constitutional process as this went through.

March 17, 2006

Ask Me Later tries to do what Dennis York couldn’t

by @ 21:52. Filed under Miscellaneous.

(H/Ts – Dennis and Elliot)

After Dennis got screwed by MU Cerebellum in MKEOnline’s Blog of the Week contest, somebody nominated Ask Me Later for this week’s version. Let’s not have happen to Casper and Cantankerous what happened to Dennis.

The MMSD damage is in

by @ 9:39. Filed under MMSD - The Crap People.

The Journal Sentinel reports that MMSD, The Crappy Water People™, dumped an estimated 3.27 million gallons of sewage as a result of Monday’s March rain. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 2.7 million gallons of raw sewage from the combined sewer system, one of 6 such dumpings allowed by the DNR.
  • 570,000 gallons of really-raw sewage from a separate waste-only sewer in St. Francis. This dumping, illegal under both the state permit to MMSD and federal law, was, according to the MMSD the result of a bottleneck from leaky sewers in St. Francis and Cudahy. They hope that a relief sewer scheduled to be constructed starting this fall will eliminate that.

Just remember, that 2.7 million “allowed” gallons is 2.7 million gallons more than you or I am allowed to dump overboard if we’re out fishing and a sudden call to nature happens.

Slow blogging, and a price rant on computer memory

by @ 9:08. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I’ve been having some memory problems, which has been leading to the infamous BSOD and numerous program crashes. Hopefully my new memory arrives tomorrow so I can get back in the flow of things. Sorry about the lack of posts; I definitely owe the Blogfather my take on the gay marriage amendment sometime today.

That gets me to the topic du jour this morning – the price of memory, and the general lack of availability of high-quality, high-speed memory in Milwaukee. First, you have to recognize that not all memory is created equal, even beyond the difference between DDR memory (used in most modern AMD systems, including my own, and thus my focus) and DDR2 memory (used in most modern Intel systems), and between memory speeds (in the DDR world, the main ones are DDR333/2700 and DDR400/3200). Low-quality memory will have a preset high CAS (2.5-3 clock cycles in the DDR world, higher in the DDR2) setting and correspondingly-high RAS and pre-charge settings, which produces a noticeable drop in system performance. High-quality memory will have low CAS/RAS settings (the optimal in the DDR world is 2.0 CAS/2 RAS-to-CAS/2 RAS pre-charge/5 active pre-charge), and a correspondingly-high price tag. Side note; I recommend you do NOT root around your BIOS to mess with memory timings because timings that are too aggressive will result in system failures right out of the box.

Since I have a nVidia nForce2 system board that supports dual-channel memory, I also like to take advantage of the performance increase that offers. That requires two identically-sized memory modules; and for optimal performance, those 2 modules should be from the same batch of the same manufacturer (often refered to as a “matched pair”).

With that and the fact I’m looking for 1 GB of memory in mind, let’s see what 2 modules of 512 MB of PC3200 memory goes for in Milwaukee. I could go to Circuit City, take my 1-module-only rebate and a temporary price break on both, and end up paying a net of $85 (with $130 coming out of my pocket and $45 coming back in rebates) for a high-latency set (3-3-3-8). I could go to Milwaukee PC and pay either $120 up-front for some cheap memory (presumably high-latency), $150 for “certified” memory (presumably high-latency; I don’t know if the “certified” is equivalent to “matched-pair”) or $180 for some almost-high-test (2-3-3-6) memory. While the almost-high-test memory can probably run at the optimal 2-2-2-5 settings, there appears to be nobody in Milwaukee that carries memory that will run at those settings by default, and nobody appears to offer “matched-pair” memory (with the MPC caveat)

OR, I could go on-line and pay $66 (including basic shipping) for some low-grade “matched-pair” memory, $91 (including basic shipping and a $15 rebate) for some almost-high-test (2-3-3-6) “matched-pair” memory, or $135 (again including shipping) for “matched-pair” memory that will by default run at the optimal 2-2-2-5 settings and can be overclocked at will. What do you suppose I did?

NCAA update through 3/16 – 14-3 and the Sweet 16 intact so far

by @ 6:50. Filed under Miscellaneous.

We had an exciting day yesterday. My national runner-ups survived a heck of a scare; even before the CareBears laid a bomb, we had a bomb scare in their arena; and what double overtime giveth me, single overtime taketh away. My bracket survived Upset Thursday with a couple of scratches, but everything after the weekend is intact so far. I never could figure out the South bracket though.

Winning calls from the prediction post underlined, losers and losing calls struck out, future picks still alive in bold, and substitute teams for early eliminations in italics:

Play-in – Monmouth 71 over Hampton 49

First round, Midwest: Villanova (1) over Monmouth, Wisconsin (9) over Arizona (in the battle of fading programs, the Mildcats have fallen further than Bucky), Montana (12) 87 over Nevada 79 (your historic 12-5 upset split, plus a Milwaukee connection with Montana coach Larry Krystowiak, a former Buck), Boston College (4) 88 over Pacific 66, UW-Milwaukee (11) 82 over Oklahoma 74 (too much offense from Rob Jeter’s group), Florida (3) 76 over South Alabama 50, Northern Iowa (10) over Georgetown (no, there’s no anti-Thompson bias here :-) and Ohio State (2) over Davidson

First round East, er, DC: UConn (1) over Albany, UA-Birmingham (9) over an over-seeded Kentucky, Washington 75 (5) over Utah State 61, Illinois (4) 78 over Air Force 69, George Mason (11) over Michigan State, North Carolina (3) over Murray State, Wichita State (7) 86 over Seton Hall 66, Tennessee (2) 63 over Winthrop 61

First round South, er, Atlanta: Duke (1) 70 over Southern 54, UNC-Wilmington 85 (9) over George Washington 88, Texas A&M (12) 66 over Syracuse 58 (this 12-5 upset’s for you, Owen), Iona (13) 64 over Louisiana State 80, Southern Illinois (11) over West Virginia, Iowa (3) over Northwestern State, California (7) over North Carolina State, Texas (2) over Pennsylvania

First round West, er, Oakland: Memphis (1) over Oral Roberts, Arkansas (8) over no-longer-a-surprise Bucknell, Pittsburgh (5) over Kent State, Kansas (4) over Bradley, San Diego State (11) 83 over Indiana 87, Gonzaga (3) 79 over Xavier 75, Alabama (10) 90 over Marquette 85 (sorry CareBears, Novak and a bunch of freshmen can’t get it done), UCLA (2) 78 over Belmont 44 in the battle of the Bruins

Second round Midwest: "˜Nova over Bucky (if one Wildcat doesn’t beat you, the other one will), BC over Montana, UWM over Florida (that’s right, the Panthers are Sweet-16 dancing again), Ohio State over Northern Iowa

Second round East: UConn over UAB, Illinois over Washington, UNC over George Mason, Tennessee over Wichita State

Second round South: Duke over UNC-Wilmington George Washington, Texas A&M over Iona LSU, SIU over Iowa, California over Texas

Second round West: Arkansas over Memphis, Pittsburgh over Kansas, Gonzaga over San Diego State Indiana, UCLA over Alabama

Midwest Semis: "˜Nova over BC, Ohio State over UWM (too much inside from the Buckeyes)

East Semis: Illinios over UConn, Tennessee over UNC

South Semis: Duke over A&M, SIU over California

West Semis: Pittsburgh over Arkansas, UCLA over Gonzaga

Final Four: "˜Nova, Tennessee, Duke, Pittsburgh

Champion: Duke over Tennessee, Bruce Pearl still gets hoisted off the court on his players’ shoulders

March 14, 2006

1 down, 63 to go

by @ 22:28. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Monmouth 71, Hampton 49

The roll kick is up…

by @ 22:19. Filed under The Blog.

…and it’s Wide White straight through the uprights and onto the roll. Joey’s a promising UW system grad, with his B.S. in history, and he takes history pretty seriously.

Attention gambling degenerates!

by @ 8:16. Filed under Miscellaneous.

(Cross posted at TheWisconsinSportsBar)

The NCAA tournament starts tonight, with Hampton (16-15, won the Mid-Eastern tourney) and Monmouth (18-14, won the Northeast tourney) playing for the right to get destroyed by nominal #1 overall seed Villanova (24-4, 2nd in the Big East) in the Midwes…er, Minneapolis regional. Take Monmouth to win their first NCAA tourney game. Morever, the Marquette CareBears got their wish; the only way they’ll run into the Milwaukee Panthers is if they both make it to the championship game, which isn’t happening.

As for the rest of the tourney for you moderate degenerates, remember – gambling is illegal except in Nevada and off-shore havens, so if you get busted for using these nose picks in your pool, don’t come crying to me.

First round, Midwest: Villanova (1) over Monmouth, Wisconsin (9) over Arizona (in the battle of fading programs, the Mildcats have fallen further than Bucky), Montana (12) over Nevada (your historic 12-5 upset split, plus a Milwaukee connection with Montana coach Larry Krystowiak, a former Buck), Boston College (4) over Pacific, UW-Milwaukee (11) over Oklahoma (too much offense from Rob Jeter’s group), Florida (3) over South Alabama, Northern Iowa (10) over Georgetown (no, there’s no anti-Thompson bias here :-) and Ohio State (2) over Davidson

First round East, er, DC: UConn (1) over Albany, UA-Birmingham (9) over an over-seeded Kentucky, Washington (5) over Utah State, Illinois (4) over Air Force, George Mason (11) over Michigan State, North Carolina (3) over Murray State, Wichita State (7) over Seton Hall, Tennessee (2) over Winthrop

First round South, er, Atlanta: Duke (1) over Southern, UNC-Wilmington (9) over George Washington, Texas A&M (12) over Syracuse (this 12-5 upset’s for you, Owen), Iona (13) over Louisiana State, Southern Illinois (11) over West Virginia, Iowa (3) over Northwestern State California (7) over North Carolina State, Texas (2) over Pennsylvania

First round West, er, Oakland: Memphis (1) over Oral Roberts, Arkansas (8) over no-longer-a-surprise Bucknell, Pittsburgh (5) over Kent State, Kansas (4) over Bradley, San Diego State (11) over Indiana, Gonzaga (3) over Xavier, Alabama (10) over Marquette (sorry CareBears, Novak and a bunch of freshmen can’t get it done), UCLA (2) over Belmont in the battle of the Bruins

Second round Midwest: ‘Nova over Bucky (if one Wildcat doesn’t beat you, the other one will), BC over Montana, UWM over Florida (that’s right, the Panthers are Sweet-16 dancing again), Ohio State over Northern Iowa

Second round East: UConn over UAB, Illinois over Washington, UNC over George Mason, Tennessee over Wichita State

Second round South: Duke over UNC-Wilminton, Texas A&M over Iona, SIU over Iowa, California over Texas

Second round West: Arkansas over Memphis, Pittsburgh over Kansas, Gonzaga over San Diego State, UCLA over Alabama

Midwest Semis: ‘Nova over BC, Ohio State over UWM (too much inside from the Buckeyes)

East Semis: Illinios over UConn, Tennessee over UNC

South Semis: Duke over A&M, SIU over California

West Semis: Pittsburgh over Arkansas, UCLA over Gonzaga

Final Four: ‘Nova, Tennessee, Duke, Pittsburgh

Champion: Duke over Tennessee, Bruce Pearl still gets hoisted off the court on his players’ shoulders

March 13, 2006

If it’s raining,…

by @ 13:31. Filed under MMSD - The Crap People.

…MMSD, The Crappy Water People™, must be dumping. According to their storm update page, they started dumping the combined sewers at 3:30 am, burning up the first of the 6 of those they’re allowed. These dumpings affect all 3 of Milwaukee’s rivers (Milwaukee just after it enters the city on the west bank, Menomonee just after it enters the city, and Kinnickinnkick at I-43/94), as well as the Lake at the Jones Island plant. Worse, there was a separate sewer dump into the lake in St. Francis. Supposedly there have been no diversions.

The stats as of 1:20 pm:
- Deep Tunnel is storing 326 million gallons out of a capacity of 400 million gallons
- Jones Island is treating 277 million gallons out of a capacity of 300 million gallons
- South Shore is over capacity, “treating” 305 million gallons out of a capacity of 300 million gallons

I bet I can guess who’s going to get one of Charlie’s Deep Tunnel Awards Friday :-)

March 10, 2006

Continuing to tack more links on

by @ 9:58. Filed under The Blog.

Hopefully Marcus Aurelius doesn’t unleash hell on me for waiting forever and a half to add Blogger Beer to the roll.

Speaking of Поле Выстраивает Chris…

by @ 9:45. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

…he has a message from him and Gen. Patton to our “friends” in Madison. The short version – the Glorious Guards Shock Army will be assaulting the shores of Lake Mendota, making the drive to the Mississippi, and basically raising a bunch of havoc with the status quo.

Lieberalism infects even small-town Wisconsin

Chris of On The BorderLine and BadgerBlogAlliance (side note: That gives us 2 Chrises. We have to find better way than posting the Russian for Field Marshall for the Spotted Horse one) brings us the sordid tale of the happenings in Hudson. It all started with a series of actions a bunch of pro-Big School thugs, both private citizens and police officers acting under the color of law, took against their opponents. A citizen finally wrote the local paper, the Hudson Star Observer, only to have it heavily edited. First, the fill-in editor claimed that the “letter contained many items that had been brought up before”, then told the person, “I’m just not going to take anymore criticism from you.” Today, the disturbing truth came out; it was Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende that edited the letter with full permission of the HSO.

Un-<expletive deleted>-believable. That’s right; you have the police department heavily involved in intimidation of those exercising their political rights, then the police chief actively censors the speech of someone brave enough to speak up. This isn’t Havana, or Beijing, or even Thug Holloway’s Milwaukee County and Captain Ahab’s Dane County, that we’re talking about. This is small-town Americana. Just un-<expletive deleted>-believable.

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