Saturday, December 31, 2005

To My Loyal Readers, I Need a Favor

I started this little slice of the blogosphere six months ago part out of curiousity, part out of ego, and partly because I thought I had content that folks would like to see. In regard to the latter, I am trying to find ways to increase exposure of this blog to a wider audience because I feel there are more people out there who would appreciate viewing the kinds of things I post about. So this is where I need your help.

There is an organization called The Best of Blogs that holds an annual competition with the intent of recognizing the work of the small bloggers like myself and my friends listed to the left. I would be much obliged if you would go to this link, and nominate my blog in the Best Poetry, Photo, or Art category. Important! All nominations must be made by January 3, so don't delay. And if you would like your blog nominated, just leave me a comment and I would be delighted to return the favor. Thank you, and have a Happy New Year.


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What Is This?: Answer

For those out there who replied with or even thought to themselves "jet engine exhaust", you were right! Congrats to Marplanauta for responding with the correct answer. And for having the correct answer, you win a lifetime free access membership to This Blog Title For Sale.

Lockheed F-104C Starfighter from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Food Ain't Great, But There's No Waiting For A Table

Originally uploaded by richmanwisco.

The Blue Moon Restaurant in Columbus, Wisconsin burned on November 29, 2005. The familiar smell of charred wood was still in the air a month later.

Blog Journalism Takes the Next Step

I do not pay much attention to the "mainstream" media; the first I learned of this incident was through Jeff Jarvis' blog. Jeremy gives an excellent first-person account of his harrowing experience. And no, this isn't the first time that witnesses to events have blogged their experiences. But it's the way the "mainstream" media has picked up on Jeremy's story that is a telling portend of the future of both "mainstream" media and blog journalism. Also note the comments. What you see highlight both all that is good, and bad, about participative journalism.
Jeremy Hermanns dot org » Alaska Flight #536 - Rapid De-Pressurization and Panic at 30K Feet
Nothing can describe the helpless feeling you go through during a time like this, when you are absent any control, you cannot breathe, and everyone around is stunned into fear.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Lincoln County Courthouse At Night

Merrill, Wisconsin.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

What Is This?

Leave a comment if you know what this is, the more detail the better. Leave a comment even if you don't know and want to invent something to describe it. Have fun!

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tracking Santa with Google Earth

For those with Google Earth, check out Santa's travels here, in real time.

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Where's Santa?

Once again, under special Open Skies arrangements, you can track Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world.

NORAD Tracks Santa 2005

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Merry Christmas from This Blog Title For Sale

Friday, December 23, 2005

Knick Knacks at the Market

Watertown, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gateway Arch

Saint Louis, Missouri. Designed by Eero Saarinen (who also designed the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1957) and completed in 1965, it's a unique structure that seems to defy gravity. Yet its builders claim it will stand for over 1000 years.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Performancing - A Serious Tool For Serious Bloggers

I am writing this entry using a very useful new Firefox extension called Performancing. Steve Rubel talks about it here. Now I can blog without even having to log into Blogger.

Performancing for Firefox |

Intelligent Design Takes One on the Chin

The federal judge in the Pennsylvania court case debating Intelligent Design ruled against the school board today, saying it cannot be taught in biology classes. I'm sure this isn't the last we've heard of ID. I predict fundies will claim victory based on the scope, and they will find some other way to shove it down the public school child's throat. But at least they can't claim that it is science. And that's the most important thing to me.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Monona Terrace

Madison, Wisconsin. Based on a design by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Send Your Nuts To Bill O'Reilly

Click here for more information on how he continues to slip out of reality.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Year In Review From Our Friends at JibJab

Famous for their Bush-Kerry duet during the 2004 campaign, the JibJab folks are back with their Year-In-Review. Click the link and enjoy!

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas at the Market

The Market is a small mall containing gift, craft, artisan and antique shops just off Main Street in Watertown.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Laclede's Landing, St. Louis

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

17th Street Bar and Grill - Amazing Barbecue

Holy mackeral! Folks who've been following the blog know what a barbecue snob I am. Well, dear readers, I treated myself to some of the finest Memphis style ribs you can find at the 17th Street Bar and Grill in Murphysboro, Illinois. The ribs were dry rubbed then slow smoked, with sauce added just prior to serving. The smoke through was complete; the meat was pink throughout. And boy were they tender, with a mellow but deep taste. The sauce was thin and totally complimentary. Folks, if you come within 50 miles of Murphysboro, you owe it to yourself to partake in this little part of pork heaven.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Travel Thoughts

I'm going to let you in on a secret: I love to fly. My flight today was aboard a Beechcraft B1900D twin turboprop, which I've lovingly referred to as the "flying minivan". It seats just 19, and with every seat being next to a window AND on the aisle, all constituents are happy. There is no flight attendant to serve drinks, which is fine since there are no lavatories. And did I mention it's as loud and bad sounding as a Spinal Tap concert? But the thing that is really endearing me to this particular plane is the intimacy you feel with the skies around you. It's a feeling you never really get when flying in the larger twin-jet aircraft. I really get the sense of just how small we are in the vast volume of our sky, and at the same time seemingly defying gravity. I suppose you can get the same feeling riding a modern roller coaster, but those rides last no more than three minutes. But, when the wheels hit the ground, it's back to reality.

Monday, December 12, 2005


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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Another "life in the small town" treat. The Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train made a stop here in Watertown last night. About 1,000 people showed up in the snow and the cold to donate items to the local food bank and enjoy some entertainment.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

In Memoriam

Lake Monona, Madison, Wisconsin. 12-10-2005.

On This Day

On this day in December 1967 the world lost one its best soul singers. Otis Redding was not just "The King Of The Soul Singers", he was an incredibly hard working man. The weather between Cleveland and Madison, Wisconsin was marginal even to an optmist. But there was a gig to play, and Otis was not one to let his fans down. He had recorded "(Sittin) On the Dock of the Bay" just three days earlier. While that song made him famous to the mainstream, he was widely renowned in smaller communities as a stellar performer and songwriter ("Respect" became a mammoth hit for Aretha Franklin). His musical achievements were recognized in many ways, including his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. It was his dedication that drove him to make the trip to Madison, with the tragic result of his plane crashing into Lake Monona. He was in the co-pilot seat, my father was in the pilot seat. It was believed that engine failure due to icing caused the crash while the plane was on final approach to Truax Field. The event changed not only the music world, but also my life. This post is dedicated to the memory of Otis, my father, and the others on the plane that fateful evening.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sweets on the Wharf

Monterey, California.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

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Monday, December 05, 2005

General Mitchell Airport, Monday, 0715

On the way to Wilmington, Ohio. A frigid 5 above zero outside. Another week on the road.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Any Chance I Can Park Here?

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Sunday Morning Snow

Watertown, Wisconsin. Light, fluffy, easy to shovel. When I get around to it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

But What About The Ducks? Does Anybody Ever Think Of The Ducks?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Scene of the Annapolis Fire

One week ago, a section of downtown Annapolis fell victim to a five alarm fire. Yesterday I was able to have a look at the damage. The building in the middle is a total loss, while the flanking buildings may yet be saved. Also while I was in Annapolis, President Bush delivered a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy (just a few blocks from here). It was very interesting to be at the scene of events that are reported around the country. It gives you a bit of a sense of attachment, the ability to say, "I was there."

Late Afternoon On Main Street, Annapolis

Annapolis, Maryland.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Around Every Corner

Annapolis, Maryland.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Shoutout To River Rant

Hey folks-
While doing some random browsing one day I came across a nicely written blog by a guy named danno called the River Rant. People in Detroit are an angst ridden lot, and few express their angst better than danno. He was nice enough to link my blog, with good result, so I'd like to return the favor and ask you, dear friends, to check out his little corner of the blogosphere.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Towne Cinema Marquee

Watertown, Wisconsin. A camera toss experiment.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Watertown Christmas Parade of Lights

Main Street, in downtown Watertown, shortly before the Parade of Lights. Not the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but one of those chances for the locals to crawl out of the bars, watch an event.....and then crawl back into the bars.

This was a typical float in the parade. Not really typical, it was the one built by my son's Cub Scout pack. It was actually one of the better floats in the parade.

A horrible mishap? Frosty gone up in flames? No. Just a hot air balloon gondola complete with burners. It's the most popular thing in the parade. Hey, if you can't have big balloons, then this is the next best thing. Really.

How To Keep Adservers From Ruining Your Browsing Experience

I had a real problem today with using some of the game sites that I frequent. The pages were taking forever to load. I went into science mode, and started making some observations. You can see the status of your page load in the left side of the status bar in Firefox. Turns out pages were doing fine until they tried to load from something called "". Being the curious type, I was intrigued and googled that phrase. Not much showed up, and even entering that as a url returned nothing. Through piecing some bits of information together, I found that advertising banners were being loaded from servedby. To think that a poorly run adserver can ruin my browsing experience doesn't sit too well with me. But I did stumble on a couple of solutions to this problem. One way is by creating a "hosts" file. This is a file that sits in your C:/Windows folder and requires a little bit of knowledge to set up. Luckily, for you Firefox users, there is a plug in extension that is easy to install, and you control what you want to block. It's called Adblock. You might have a pop up blocker, this is a banner ad blocker. Here is a link to Adblock, and here is a link to a forum page that contains an extensive list of adservers. A note of caution: some adservers may be your friend, and you'll need to visit your favorite sites to make sure you don't block something you really wanted to see. But my tests so far show my pages load MUCH faster, although I notice my own blog page doesn't load everything. So I'll have to tweak a little. Your mileage may vary, all standard disclaimers apply.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cruising Salinas Tuesday Night

Salinas, California.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

A slice of pumpkin pie, found with Google Image Search, from

To all of my friends and relatives that have been so kind to come back to this little corner of the blogosphere, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Indeed, there is much to be thankful for. So I encourage you all to take some time and think about all the great things that you have and remember, you may not realize exactly what you have.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Locals Night On Fisherman's Wharf

The week I spent in California featured unseasonably warm weather for this region. It was staggeringly beautiful....and very romantic. Fisherman's Wharf is one of the tourist spots in Monterey, not far from Cannery Row, featuring shops and restaurants.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Salinas Valley Fish House

Salinas, California.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

All In And Tied Down

Monterey, California.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Late Afternoon On Cannery Row

Monterey, California.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

A Shop On Cannery Row

Monterey, California.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Sign?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Moonrise Over Monterey Bay

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cannery Row

Made famous by John Steinbeck. Cannery Row, Monterey, California.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

LAX Layover

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Outbound MKE 8:26 AM

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Sony DRM Update

Sony BMG seems to be getting the message, this time. But remember, they snuck the software in their CD the first time, hoping nobody would notice. You have to wonder.....

Hot Diggidy Sun-Dog

See that bright spot on the right side of the picture? No, it's not defective camera optics. That is a sundog. I wrote a whole paper on it in college; you can read more about it here.

Travel's been slow, hence the lack of photos lately. That will change next week, when I spend four days in Salinas, California. Monterey, the Napa Valley, should be plenty of photo ops.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Creeping DRM Crisis

I would guess most of my tech savvy friends are aware of this situation, but most of the folks who visit this blog are probably not aware of the latest attempt by big media to turn us all into criminals. So I depart from the usual diet of photographs to present this public service. The bottom line is this: if you have played recent music CDs by Sony/BMG on your computer, you may have seriously damaged your system through the installation of a rootkit. Not only is the software installed when you play the music, it installs without notification to the user. Better still, it reports back to Sony what you have played and when you played it. Even better still, it cannot be uninstalled, and attempts to do so may disable your CD/ROM drive. Just more proof from big media that they really don't want you to buy their product; they can make more money by suing you for obtaining it illegally. For more information on the Sony rootkit, click here. For an article by the gentleman who discovered the rootkit and developer of a utility than can detect rootkits, click here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005