Jun 28, 2007

Bucks Draft Update (Ongoing)

After a full day of anticipating who the Milwaukee Bucks were going to pick, the NBA draft is now upon us. As my friends know, I am an out of control Corey Brewer fan - he fits exactly what the Bucks need - he's an athletic small forward who can defend and plays with a nasty streak. And he can hit a shot when you need it. It almost makes too much sense - although Conley would be a great pick too, if he's available.

Andy Katz has already reported that if Yi is available at #6, the Bucks are going to take him. As soon as he said it, I think I swallowed my tongue. Here's an unproven foreigner who refuses to work out for scouts against other live players, and who has said specifically that he won't play for Milwaukee - and yet the Bucks are actually going to take him. I have to think that if they do, they're picking him for someone else - otherwise, this will be a disastrous pick. In fact, if they take him, my wife might be behind the pick - since I probably won't watch any Bucks games next year. Frees up a lot of time.

My buddy logged on to messenger, and here's how our draft chat went:

Evil Grossmouth: Just saw the boston trade. And Seattle wants Green.
EG: Corey Brewer will be there at 6 now.
Christian Schneider: They're taking Yi
Christian Schneider: Andy Katz reported it
Christian Schneider: Done deal
EG: No word on then trading him to Chicago?
Christian Schneider: Hopefully for someone else
EG: Or Minnesota?
Christian Schneider: Unless they just told Andy Katz that to freak out another team below them Christian Schneider: But that's what he said
Christian Schneider: Sal Pal says the 76ers are trying to move up to the Bucks spot
EG: I think if they take him, there's a 85% chance they trade him.
Christian Schneider: Then there's a 15% chance I hang myself
EG: Yi for 12, 21 and next year's #1.
Christian Schneider: I'd do that
Christian Schneider: That Boston trade is terrible for them.
Christian Schneider: Pierce and Allen?
EG: I agree. Ray Allen's got maybe one good year left in him. but unlaoding Wally's contract is good.
Christian Schneider: But you have all that talent sitting there at #5 .
EG: I like what Seattle's doing.
Christian Schneider: Yeah, they'll be solid
Christian Schneider: I am 3:30 from a meltdown.
EG: And maybe 8:30 from redemption.
Christian Schneider: I have a Seattle t-shirt - I'll have to wear it more often now
EG: Better than wearing a Bucks shirt right now.
Christian Schneider: I am not optimistic
Christian Schneider: F***ing Bucks
EG: Dream scenario - KG to Phoenix, Yi, picks and contracts to Minnesota, Stoudamire to Milwaukee
Christian Schneider: Sure
EG: I will kiss Herb Kohl on the mouth if that one happens.
Christian Schneider: You just making stuff up?
EG: yes. trying to come up with distractions to avoid thining about the bucks going to war with the bad guys from 24 and wasting a lottery pick on a guy who will never play for them.
Christian Schneider: A lottery pick in a ridiculously deep draft
EG: From MJS:
Assuming Jeff Green is the pick at No. 5 as ESPN is reporting, it looks more and more like the Bucks will take Yi Jianlian with the No. 6 pick. Apparently, the Bucks are prepared to brace themselves for possible drawn-out negotiations with Yi's camp.

As Journal Sentinel columnist Michael Hunt just said: "How do you say holdout in Chinese?"
EG: Take the biggest unknown in a draft loaded with proven, winning talent.
Christian Schneider: I am going to puke
EG: First five lottery picks played in the Final Four. And we're taking a guy who won't even work out against some D-II college scrub.
EG: Sorry - four of the first five picks.
EG: And a 10-year defensive stopper sitting there in Brewer.

(Bucks select Yi)

EG: It's been nice knowing you.
EG: ESPN.com poll on who the Bucks shuld pick Brewer -49, Yi - 30, B. Wright - 20
Christian Schneider: Mother f***ers
Christian Schneider: F*** the Bucks
EG: "He's hip-hop, he's Fity Cent" - what the f*** is that?
Christian Schneider: Un f***ing believable
EG: Time to recall Herb Kohl.
EG: Corey Brewer will be a star in Minnesota, Chicago or Charlotte.
EG: There better be a trade involved here.
Christian Schneider: Weaknesses: Playing basketball
EG: Strengths - kicks ass against furniture
Christian Schneider: F*** this
Christian Schneider: Damn it
EG: Unless the Bucks trade him or start WWIII over this, this is an unmitigated disaster.
Christian Schneider: I am going to be sick
Christian Schneider: This isn't a fit at all
Christian Schneider: Let's pick a guy that will play the same position as Charlie Villanueva
EG: Look at it this way. it's not like they were going to be good anyway. And why is Larry Harris making draft picks based on what his dad -- WHO COACHES FOR ANOTHER NBA TEAM - tells him?
EG: Yi speaks better English than Stu Scott at least.
Christian Schneider: Scott is talking to Yi about the American parties he's been to - nothing like the parties in Cudahy
EG: Steve A making the same point I made.
Christian Schneider: That scares me
EG: Our Gm just used a #6 pick in a loaded draft on a guy HE NEVER SAW PLAY.
Christian Schneider: I might miss Minnesota's pick while I look for my cyanide pills

(Minnesota takes Corey Brewer)

Christian Schneider: Hey
Christian Schneider: Corey F***ing Brewer
Christian Schneider: That would have sucked for him to be a Buck
Christian Schneider: I mean, he only would have started right f***ing away
Christian Schneider: Brewer is smiling in his stock photo because the Bucks didn't draft him
EG: And given exactly what we needed - shooting, defense and size on the perimeter.
Christian Schneider: Good to know the Bucks just got softer
Christian Schneider: Yi makes Villanueva look like Marques Johnson
Christian Schneider: I actually feel kind of liberated.
Christian Schneider: Now I get to pick a whole new team.
EG: Silver lining - maybe they're trading him to Dallas, where Del works. At this point I'd do cartwheels to have Devin harris.
Christian Schneider: Yeah, if he gets us Harris, I'm fine with that.
Christian Schneider: Charlotte is about to screw up their pick
EG: I'm fine with that until Corey Brewer plays in 8 all-star games for Minnesota.
Christian Schneider: Noah's going next
Christian Schneider: And he's about to do something crazy in his interview
Christian Schneider: "This is your draft pick on drugs"
EG: if he does, that means Yi's not going to Chicago.
EG: I hate him. he's going to try and act like he's a gangsta, instead of a millionaire's kid who looks like a very ugly woman.
EG: There's nobody left on the board except Acie law that the Bucks really need. I wouldn't mind Al Thornton. he's ready to start from Day One.
EG: So I'm hoping that Chicago take him and then trades us Thornton and Duhon for Yi.
Christian Schneider: I give up
Christian Schneider: Bucks? Who are the Bucks?
Christian Schneider: Milwaukee has a team?
EG: I'm goping to be able to read a sh**load of books and watch a ton of movies this winter.
Christian Schneider: Yeah, maybe this is good for me. I'll be smarter and thinner - more workout time.
Christian Schneider: For Boston, they made just about the only move they could that would be worse than drafting Yi.
EG: Short term they're better with Allen than Yi. Long term I'm not so sure.
EG: We should be on ESPN right now. We're nailing every one of these picks.
Christian Schneider: I am pro-Noah's suit
EG: So let's recap the first 9 picks - 7 guys who made it to at least the Elite Eight in march, the reigning college player of the year, and a guy who only plays well against chairs.
EG: And we got the guy who plays against chairs.
Christian Schneider: Who picked one team he wouldn't play for, and it was us.
Christian Schneider: I would send him back to China in exchange for Audrey Raines
EG: That is the line of the night. You must really not like this guy if you'd rather have Audrey Raines.
Christian Schneider: That is saying a lot.
EG: is it a bad sign that I'm clicking the re-clicking the ESPN trad tracker every 30 seconds hoping to see a Bucks trade involving Yi.
Christian Schneider: Maybe Larry Harris was actually trying to order some Chinese food and accidentally dialed the wrong number.
Christian Schneider: He wanted some General Tso Chicken and ended up with a side of Yi Jianlian.
Christian Schneider: I think I would actually rather go play in China than play in Sacramento.
EG: -I am now Pro-Spencer Hawes, learning that he is a Republican. We should trade Yi and Simmons for him and Ron Artest and Mike Bibby.
Christian Schneider: I was just going to say - did they just say Hawes has a Bush bumper sticker?
EG: Trade Yi to Golden State.
Christian Schneider: Pleeeeeeease
EG: Yi for #18 a future first-rounder and That guy with the worst FT shooting in history.
Christian Schneider: Why would they say that about Hawes but not mention that Noah is a socialist?
Christian Schneider: Law
Christian Schneider: Gotta be
Christian Schneider: Bam!
EG: And Philly will take Al Thornton.
Christian Schneider: I'm good
EG: And hopefully trade him to Milwaukee.
Christian Schneider: If they were going to trade, they would have just swapped picks
EG: I would settle for Thornton, 21 and Shav randolph for Yi.
Christian Schneider: Why does Philly want Milwaukee's trash?
EG: If a trade is made after something like 3:00 on draft day, it can't be finalized until after the draft and the teams have to keep their picks and make them for the other team.
Christian Schneider: Yeah, but the reporters always know about them before they happen. Most of the time.
Christian Schneider: Think if I called the Bradley Center, they'd let me talk to Larry Harris?
Christian Schneider: Good thing I didn't go to the Bucks' draft party - there would have been a scene
Christian Schneider: Nice to see the new Hawks uniforms welcome them to the NBDL
Christian Schneider: Somewhere, Acie Laws I and II are looking down and smiling.
EG: Tell him you're Del Harris, they'd probably put you right through.
Christian Schneider: Must be nice to root for a team that is actually trying to get better
Christian Schneider: Good thing the Bucks turned the 76ers down
EG: I just puked in my mouth.
Christian Schneider: Probably were going to give them both first rounders
EG: They could have had Thornton and Crittendon instead of a Chinese guy who will never play for them. Phillt has 12, 21, and 30.
Christian Schneider: Correct
EG: I think they would have given up two of them is what they said.
Christian Schneider: The Celtics screwed this all up with their terrible trade
EG: Billy King is one of the 5 worst execs in the league and Larry Harris couldn't even outsmart him.
Christian Schneider: Because they would have taken Yi
EG: Correct. If they don't make that trade, we get Jeff Green and I am happy.
Christian Schneider: We missed it
EG: Thaddeus Young?
EG: It's a bad pick, so maybe Larry Harris told him to make it.
Christian Schneider: I don't really care who goes from now on
Christian Schneider: This is a disaster
Christian Schneider: Go Marquette

Jun 26, 2007

Head to Overlawyered

I'm up and running at Overlawyered.com - three posts so far. Head on over there and drop a comment, pretending that you can actually stand me.

Jun 22, 2007

Trousers Goes National

I've been a fan of the website Overlawyered.com for some time now, and I've been invited to guest blog there next week. It deals primarily with goofy lawsuits, and how abuse of the legal system costs us all. (On the other hand, abuse of the penal system only costs you your eternal soul. And vision.)

I believe I'll be starting on Tuesday - So feel free to send me tips on things you want to see posted at cmschneid - at - hotmail.com.

Jun 21, 2007

The Campaign Finance Temptation

My new column is up over at WPRI. It discusses the idea that somehow we can pass laws that remove the temptation for politicians to break them, which seems to be the overriding principle of campaign finance reformers in Wisconsin.

Jun 20, 2007

Brewer Playoff Tickets Now Available

***UPDATED to include stuff I forgot at midnight last night***

My dad’s not a real emotional guy. Being a 30 year military man has probably hardened him up quite a bit. But when I told him on the phone that I was going to the Brewer game against the Giants on Tuesday night, his voice weakened a little and he said, “You boo that jerk.”

The jerk he was referring to, of course, was Barry Bonds. My dad, having grown up in Milwaukee, was always a die-hard Braves fan from his youth on. His dad was a Milwaukee cop, and would often times sneak him into day games at County Stadium. While he always claimed Eddie Matthews was “his guy,” he has since taken a hard pro-Hank Aaron stance, seeing as the all-time home run record is about to be stolen from The Hammer. (His favorite childhood story is when he rode his bike by Warren Spahn’s house and saw Spahn out mowing the lawn – a completely foreign concept these days. Imagine one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time waving to you from his middle-class lawn.)

Needless to say, when you go to war with my dad, you go to war with me – because that’s how we roll (we are much like the McGee family in that regard). It was with this in mind that my buddy and I drove to Milwaukee for game two of the Brewers-Giants series.

When we got to Milwaukee, my buddy showed me his super-secret parking spot by Miller Park, and it was a miracle. Honestly, I would give up the ingredients to the secret stadium sauce to al-Qaeda before I would give up the location of this parking spot.

On the way to the stadium, we walked by the Saint Vincent of Pallotte church. I imagine the “pilates” exercise routine was named after Vincent, who is best known as the Patron Saint of Rock Hard Abs.

As it turns out, my buddy got tickets to the Club Level, which is the upper level in the right field bleachers. There’s a buffet up there where you can stuff your face with brats and burgers. As I was sitting in our seats before the game started, sun shining and burger in hand, I concluded that it really didn’t get any better than this. Then I remembered that Jessica Alba is still single, so I immediately recanted. It most certainly could get better. But I still enjoyed the moment.

Before the game started, I noticed a 10 year old kid walking by me with a four-inch thick stack of all-star ballots, every one of which I'm sure he will fill out. By the time that kid is done, Prince Fielder may not only be the starting first baseman in the all-star game, he may also have won the Wisconsin Democratic Presidential primary.

The Brewers jumped out to a quick 1 to 0 lead, only having to swing the bat once (on a Corey Hart single). Tim Lincecum of the Giants walked three straight batters to force in the first run. Then back to back sacrifice flies made it 3-0, which is all the Brewers would need.

The real action on the field didn’t really have a whole lot to do with the actual game. As everyone knows, the Brewers provide a girl to go out and play catch with the left fielder, to warm him up between innings. In this case, the left fielder happened to be Barry Bonds, who can barely run after numerous knee surgeries. After the top of the first inning, the ball girl was out throwing with Bonds, and she sailed one about 10 feet over his head. Nobody else was paying attention, so he had to limp all the way to just behind second base to pick it up.

After the top of the second inning, the same thing happens. She launches one over his head, and he has to chase it down again. I don’t know who this woman is, but she deserves some kind of distinguished medal for warm-up girls.

Later in the game, with the Brewers in the field, Geoff Jenkins launched a throw to the infield, which drilled Prince Fielder directly in the stones. With Fielder doubled over in pain, Ned Yost had to call time out for a meeting on the mound while his first baseman got things sorted out. The funniest part was the reaction of the guy sitting in front of me, who thought Yost called time out because Ben Sheets was injured. I actually thought he was going to jump off the balcony (he was going over anyway if a home run ball came our way). The next inning, Fielder overcame his testicular complications and doubled off the wall.

With one out in the fourth inning, Ben Sheets still hadn’t given up a hit. I was trying to think of a way to point this out without jinxing him by saying it overtly. Instead, after the inning, I was going to say something like “there’s a zero on the scoreboard in a pretty interesting place,” or something like that. Just as I said that, my buddy says “Hey, you know what? Sheets has a no-hitter going.” Naturally, the very next hitter doubles, then Ryan Klesko hits a two-run home run. I then officially renounced him as a friend.

With the score 6 to 2 and the game on auto-pilot, I decided to stroll the concourse in search of Dippin’ Dots, frequently referred to as “the ice cream of the future.” However, as everyone knows, the Dippin’ Dots company has been making this claim literally for 15 years. How long do we have to wait before it becomes just “the ice cream?” Will we be out of Iraq by then?

Late in the game, Barry Bonds came up for the final time. The infield shift the Brewers put on for him is ridiculous. If Rickie Weeks were any further out in right field, he'd be sitting next to me in the bleachers. Which would be good for him, because I would share some of my delicious popcorn with him. Needless to say, Bonds grounds right to Weeks, who throws Bonds and his robotic knee out.

It was all smiles on the way home, as I entertained with some ridiculous German techno music in my car. We discussed the Brewers’ record, and calculated that they had gone 16-21 since starting 24-10. We then figured that even if they went 16-21 again, they’d still be 56-52 and probably still in first place in the division. Oh, and did I mention that we’re both grown men with families? I probably spent more time on that calculation than I have on my investment portfolio in the past two years.

Anyway, bottom line: Big win for the now 40-31 first place Brewers, a hitless night for Barry Bonds. Until Jessica calls, this is as good as it gets.

Jun 19, 2007

The Big Butt Turnaround

You won't find anyone who hates smoking more than me. It's a filthy habit, with no upside. It gives you bad breath, yellow teeth, irritates other people, drains your financial resources - and as a bonus, you get to die a slow, cancerous death. I've lost a grandfather and uncle to throat cancer due to smoking. However, recent events are forcing to joint Sir Mix-a-Lot in the "pro-butt" camp.

While I personally hate smoking, I obviously recognize individuals' right to light up. It's not my job or anyone else's to make personal health decisions for anyone else. But the anti-smoking ninnies have gotten so insufferable, I'm having trouble aligning myself with them, even though - in principle - they're right.

In fact, the only legitimate benefit of smoking is that it identifies which girls in a bar have - shall we say - lowered inhibitions. Or low self esteem, which is even better.

On the way to work today, I pulled up next to a guy that had to be 70 years old. Hair slicked back, sweatsuit, sunglasses - the real deal. Dangling precariously from his lip was a cigarette with about a 3 inch ash on it. There's absolutely no doubt that cigarette doesn't leave his lips when he's drinking coffee or eating breakfast in the morning. And you know what? There's nothing I or anyone else is going to say to that guy to get him to quit smoking. That cigarette has probably been stuck to his bottom lip for 50 years. And yet his state and local governments are crapping on him with all these new anti-smoking laws and regulations.

So while we should certainly discourage young people from smoking (even though the more we do, the cooler it gets), I say let the old people choke down their heaters. They've lived full, rich lives - and they don't need young whipper-snappers telling them what's healthy and what's not. Here's to you, old people - enjoy the full, rich feeling of your lungs being overtaken by delicious tar.

Jun 18, 2007

Anti-War Booty

I just finished reading David Maraniss' outstanding book "They Marched Into Sunlight," which juxtaposes the anti-Vietnam War protests on the UW-Madison campus with an actual battle fought overseas. I'll have plenty to say about the book in the next few days, given that it contains so much interesting information about Madison and Wisconsin.

There's one story from the book that I found particularly entertaining, which involves former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin during his protest days. In May of 1966, there was a demonstration to protest the policy of the UW giving out grades to the Selective Service, which had announced that deferments would be granted based on academic performance.

According to the book, Soglin met a girl during the protest, and wanted to take her back to his apartment, as any sane young man would do. Unfortunately, he knew he had to be there for the cameras in case the cops came in to bust everything up. So he snuck outside and found the campus police chief, who assured him that the cops wouldn't be moving in soon. Having heard what he needed, Soglin and the girl snuck out a little past midnight.

The footnotes say the story was provided by Soglin in an April 10, 2002 interview - and it's a good one. Naturally, a sizeable portion of the book is about Soglin, as he was an active leader in the anti-war demostrations prior to his years on the city council and as mayor. In fact, it's probably hard to pick out a more influential political figure in Madison politics over the past 40 years.

This actually illustrates how interesting Soglin is these days. When such a large political figure exits the public stage, it seems they always move on to the lecture circuit, academia, or some special emeritus position where they can stay involved, but not really work all that hard. Soglin, on the other hand, has just continued out in the workforce. Essentially, he's a dude with a job, like everyone else. (Although he does teach a class at the UW) And he's also a dorky blogger like the rest of us. That is actually great - although a little different than the paths taken by other political bigshots.

Washington's Scooter Obsession

I follow national politics less than I do Wisconsin politics, if only because of the nature of my job. And seriously, one can only take so much.

Furthermore, I am one of the 99% of Americans who have completely tuned out the whole Scooter Libby story. Sure, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are self-aggrandizing dirtbags, and Libby probably got a raw deal - but who really cares at this point?

That's why I watched in horror yesterday, as the panelists on "Meet the Press" spent a big chunk of the show discussing the "Libby pardon" controversy. As if anyone outside the beltline even cares. This is so typical of the Capitol Hill press - this story is a big deal to everyone they talk to, so people must care around the country, right?

Much talk was bandied about the table regarding what effect a pardon would have on "the base" of the Republican party. Seriously, who are these members of "the base" who are waiting breathlessly at home to make their decision on whether to support George Bush based on whether he pardons Scooter Libby? Are the hard core Republicans really going to vote for Barack Obama if Libby does hard time?

Honestly, this just shows how completely out of touch those in D.C. are. The bunny rabbit in my yard that continues to eat my shrubs has more to do with my daily life than both the Libby and Alberto Gonzalez "controversies" combined. If a meteor flew in from space and landed on Scooter Libby, it wouldn't make any difference in the life of any American. Is there really that little to talk about?

Jun 15, 2007

You Mean There Are Reasons for the Cold Medicine Law?

Once again, the issue of requiring identification for cold medicine has reared its head. At least once a year, someone starts bitching and moaning about how they had to stand in line for Sudafed, and the whole airing of grievances starts all over again.

Now, I certainly am not immune to complaining about meaningless government regulations. As a legislative staffer, I worked on plenty of goofball bills that I probably wouldn’t have minded seeing go up in flames. But I also wrote the cold medicine bill – and it’s one of the proudest things I’ve done in my time working for the Senate.

So while I hate to inject actual facts into the parade of complaining, I have to do so, just so people know there actually was a reason to do this.

First, a distinction has to be made between the issue of meth labs and the issue of meth use. The law was intended to keep meth cooks from being able to purchase large amounts of pseudoephedrine to set up toxic meth labs in their homes. These are the poisonous labs where children often live, and police have to raid wearing Haz-Mat suits. Of course, the bill isn’t going to eliminate demand for meth – nobody ever said it would. To argue that the bill is ineffective because meth is coming in from Mexico is a red herring.

In fact, statistics show that the number of meth labs seized in the state has dropped by 60%. So, in fact, the bill hasn’t “done nothing.” It actually has accomplished something fairly extraordinary – which is why, if you ask anyone in law enforcement in Western Wisconsin, they’ll tell you that this is the best law enforcement bill they’ve seen in a long time.

Secondly, some of the criticisms of the bill are just factually incorrect, and not by a little bit. Here’s one, for instance:

For the last two years, the law has required that all drugs containing pseudoephedrine – an ingredient in meth -- be dispensed only by pharmacists who are required to keep a record of your purchases. Buying too much cold medicine in a 30 day period is now criminal act.
Actually, the state law (to which this quote refers) actually only deals with the tablet form of pseudoephedrine products. It has nothing to do with pseudoephedrine in liquid or gel caps. Under state law, those can be sold by any store in the state, without any photo ID or signature. You could buy as much as you want. You can even hand it out for Halloween, if you wanted (the federal law which passed after the state law required liquid pseudoephedrine to be kept behind the counter).

As a side note, following passage of the bill, the easiest place to get large amounts of pseudoephedrine in tablet form was from Jim Doyle’s Canadian drug website.

Opponents of the law are fond of saying that the "99.9%" of the people who use Sudafed responsibly shouldn't be incovenienced by the remainder that don't. Let's say they're right - using their numbers, the 0.1% that don't use the drug responsibly would amount to 5,500 meth labs in Wisconsin. It would take the combined police forces of five states to raid and clean up that many labs, and the treatment costs of the innocent people poisoned would be astronomical.

Furthermore, as the bill was being debated, stores were already moving their cold medicine behind the counter voluntarily. Wal-Mart and Target had already done so, without any new state law. Additionally, soon after the state law passed, Congress passed its own federal law that nearly mirrored the Wisconsin law (it allowed for the state law to take precedence in areas where it was more rigid). In fact, the federal law goes further than the state in requiring liquid and gel caps to be put behind the counter, which the Wisconsin legislature thought was too heavy-handed. So even had the state law not passed, there’d literally be no difference in how you buy your cold medicine today. Maybe you should send George W. Bush a letter to complain.

Also, you may recall that when Wisconsin passed its law, all of the neighboring states were passing equally or more stringent laws of their own. Minnesota and Illinois passed similar laws, and Iowa’s law is so tough, you can go to prison for saying the word “Sudafed.” Naturally, because neighboring states pass laws, it doesn’t necessarily make them good laws (see: ethanol). However, what we do know is this: if Wisconsin is the only state where you can buy unlimited amounts of pseudoephedrine, the meth labs would explode in our state. It would be a complete disaster.

Of course, nobody in southeast Wisconsin was aware at what an issue meth was in the western part of the state. Most of the resistance to the law is because nobody understands the problems that meth labs cause. I would bet that most people outside of Milwaukee are oblivious to the daily details about the violence in the inner city. Does that mean it's not happening? Sheriffs in western Wisconsin have estimated that 65% of the crime they see is somehow meth-related, whether it be child or spousal abuse, theft, or other violent acts. It has literally become an epidemic there – and the statistics show that the meth labs were heading east. The new laws seem to have thwarted the movement of meth labs, for which everyone should be thankful.

In fact, you know where nobody complains about having to show photo ID to get come cold medicines? Places like Iowa, where law enforcement has been overrun by the presence of meth labs, and where they've pulled 1,000 children out of those labs since 2001. I don’t easily fall prey to the “if we can only save one child” line of argument, but we researched case after case where infants in Wisconsin were living in homes with explosive and toxic chemicals, sleeping on floors covered in feces, surrounded by the corpses of their dead house pets. There are hundreds of kids like this that are going to be sick for a long time because they lived in a home with a meth lab - not to mention the physical and sexual abuse they generally endure. So I’m sorry if I don’t exactly feel sympathy for you when you have to wait a couple extra minutes in line for certain types of cold medicine.

Naturally, this isn’t going to keep anyone from complaining. But there’s a reason the bill passed the Senate unanimously and the Assembly 95 to 4. It’s not like conservatives like Scott Jensen, Scott Fitzgerald, John Gard, Mike Huebsch, Tom Reynolds, and others were “bamboozled” into voting for it. They simply had done their homework as to the dire need for the new law.

In the end, the new law has prevented meth labs from moving eastward in Wisconsin, and has kept Wisconsin from being swamped by would-be meth cooks from neighboring states. Of course, the threat of a statewide epidemic isn't enough to override the frustration of someone who has to wait in line at a drug store. That's just the way it is.

Jun 13, 2007

Journal Sentinel Gets the Hard News

At first, I thought the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's story on people addicted to suntanning was a little goofy. But then I saw the picture accompanying the article, and appreciated it in a whole new way.

Hopefully, tomorrow's front page story will be a hard-hitting investigative report on the scourge of cheerleader car washes.

Jun 12, 2007

Time to Move Some Product

I always promised some of my friends that if I ever went public with my blog, that I'd give them a little free advertising. So here goes:

For the best cup of coffee in Madison, head over to Indie Coffee on Regent Street and say hi to JJ and Barrett. Get yourself a waffle and a cup of coffee and mooch off their wireless internet.

In fact, they also have live shows by national acts there from time to time, and they're usually free. There's a Portland, Oregon band named Horse Feathers that I had in my Top 5 CDs of the year list last year, and they're going to be at Indie this Thursday night at 8. I'm fired up for the show, and it's free-ninety nine.

So come on down, enjoy some coffee and tunes, and know that you're sticking it to Halliburton in the process.

Also, until now I've been afraid to say anything, but I noticed that you've been putting on a little weight. Fortunately for you, I have the perfect remedy - grab yourself a Piladio video from my former co-worker Valerie, who left our office on a mission to give you rock hard abs. It's a mix of pilates and cardio, and it guarantees that you will never look like me (I have offered to be the "before" model in her next commercial).

For a preview, click here - and be prepared to drop a few pounds just by watching the video.

And finally, a buddy of mine told me about Lala.com, which is a service that allows you to trade CDs via mail with people across the country. If you have CDs piling up that you never listen to, you can trade them for CDs that you want for $1.75 per disc (75 cents of that is postage).

Basically, you go on line and list the CDs you want to get rid of. If someone has requested one of them, you ship it to them in the prepaid envelopes they give you and get credit for one CD. Then, when someone has a disc you want, they ship it to you. Pretty simple, and you can't beat the price.

So there you go - the economy's humming along, so you have the money to spend. What else are you going to spend it on - going to see a movie about having sex with horses?

(An irrefutable argument - I should have gone to law school.)

Attention Horse "Lovers"

If you were questioning the value of the new Sundance Theater here in Madison, a new movie showing there should put those concerns to rest. According to the synopsis of the movie "Zoo," it is "a look at the life of a Seattle man who died as a result of an unusual encounter with a horse."

Ummm....that "unusual" encounter with a horse happens to be him having sex with the horse. I've had many "unusal" encounters with women, and sadly few of them ended with sex (they usually end with her calling the Dairy Queen manager to get me out of the store). I suppose sex with a horse isn't unusual... if you happen to be another horse. However, there's not much change of horses going to this movie, seeing as how they refuse to pay $4.50 for popcorn.

That leaves humans, which will be able to pay $11.50 for the privilege of seeing this high-brow work of art, described thusly in the Yahoo review:

Visually, the film is quite beautiful, and flows across the screen with a dreamy, ethereal quality. Scenes are often shaded in deep violets and midnight blues, and the many shadowed, slow motion shots move as though underwater.
Oh yeah, and it's got a guy banging a horse.

Final thought: Did he have to buy the horse dinner? Oats and an apple is pretty cheap. "Is that a carrot in your pocket?"

Jun 11, 2007

Well-Considered Brewer Tirade

I was too busy drinking on Saturday night to express my feelings about the state of the Brewers' season, so one of my good friends did so for me:

Mark the date and time. Saturday, June 9, 2007. 10:16 pm. The Milwaukee Brewers are mentally destroyed and their playoff hopes are dashed. Yeah, yeah, the Cubs lost too and we're still five games up and we play in baseball's worst division. Nope, its over. This is a mental nut-punch from Mike Tyson wearing brass knuckles. Wouldn't be surprised if the franchise never wins another game.

Where does one even start? Great Sheets start wasted? Check. Great Turnblow 8th where he threw nothing but strikes wasted? Check. Insurance runs in the 9th to make it 3-nil? Its over now cuz CoCo is coming to slam the door....right?

By my count (because I was scoring the game at home), CoCo had the Rangers down to their last strike in the game 47 times. ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH TWO OUTS. And it wasn't a freak home run. Single, walk, single, single single, single? Can that be right? F***!

Oh well, at least we didn't lose two in a row to the team with the worst record in baseball. Oh wait, what's that you say? That actually did happen? And we now have seven more road games (six against good teams) before we're back home? If we're over .500 by the time we get back to Milwaukee it will be a bigger miracle since loaves and fishes.

I swore I would never trust this franchise again. I made a blood oath on the day the Jose Hernandez-led Brewers became the first major league team to ever have more strikeouts than hits in a season (1999?, 2000?). But what did I do this year? I went back to them.

Being a Brewer fan is like being in an abusive marriage. (Gosh, he apologized for pistol-whipping me and said he'd quit drinking and stop cheating on me. I mean, c'mon, he's only human. Let's give the old guy another chance!)

I hope I have this email rubbed in my face three months from now as the Brewers are wrapping up a division title and Prince is clearing space on his mantle for an MVP trophy, but I'm terrified that tonight was one of those crucial games that will haunt this team; probably forever.

Line of the Day

My buddy Mike, when commenting on Paris Hilton's revelation to Barbara Walters that she's suddenly become religious in prison:

"Paris Hilton finds God. Then gives him crabs."

Jun 9, 2007

Bachelor Weekend

My wife took our daughter to Milwaukee for the day today, leaving me and Cole. Needless to say, there was a lot of this going on:

There's also a rumor going around that he got to eat a pop tart for dinner. Let's just keep that one between you and me.

Jun 7, 2007


I don't even know if there's really a joke here, but this video is instructive...

This kid seems to be the most depressed masturbator ever. It looks like he's thinking about 9-11 while he's strangling the ostrich. And couldn't the mom spring for a magazine, as long as she's that open minded about the whole deal?

A Round of Sanitizer On The House

Yet another reason for teenage boys to lock themselves in the bathroom with hand sanitizer:
Instant hand sanitizers have grown in popularity, but there may be reason to keep some of them away from your kids. In a 27 News Parenting Project Medical Alert, there have been recent cases where children have gotten sick from ingesting hand sanitizer. The problem is, many popular brands have very high levels of alcohol...some more than 60-percent which translates to 120 proof.
Is that why after I wash my son's hands, he orders a pizza and starts calling all the one year old girls in the neighborhood?

I actually feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan now - it's not that she goes out and gets bombed and crashes her car on purpose, it's just that she has really dirty hands.

Jun 5, 2007

Me and Avril

The other day, a friend of mine sent me this video. I'll give you a couple minutes to watch as much as you can.

Okay, all done?

Yes, that is the new Avril Lavigne video for her song "Girlfriend." I found this all disturbing on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that my friend is an Avril Lavigne fan. (In fact, see my previous posts for proof that Canada is secretly taking over our country.)

First of all, from what I could tell by looking her up, Avril Lavigne is 23 years old. In this video, however, she looks like she could be 15. I feel like after watching it, I am now going to have to report my new address to the Department of Corrections every time I move.

But what's really odd about it is how it reflects the new ethos among American teenage girls. This makes me seem really old, but I actually remember the days where boys were the ones that actually did the chasing and the girls were the ones who showed some sort of discretion in picking who to "date" (if that term still even exists).

Back in my high school years, it was the days of girls wearing big sweaters and stirrup pants. Modesty actually was still considered somewhat of a virtue. The drill was pretty well set: I asked girls out, and they said no. Girls as aggressors didn't really happen. It was the natural balance of the universe. (I am, of course, blaming the fact that I could never get a date on cultural factors, rather than the fact that I was a zitty geek. In fact, I asked the same girl to the homecoming dance for four straight years - she said no the first three, then finally relented our senior year.)

This even leads to a broader point about "female empowerment," even if it is at the high school level. Why does "feminism" usually mean "women being as boorish as men?" If we're truly after equality between the sexes, why does that necessarily mean we need to accept women doing all the obnoxious stuff men do? Couldn't we also attain some level of egalitarianism by expecting better behavior by men?

It just seems that if we're looking to level the playing field, we should be expecting more of people, not less. I don't know of anybody who would look at the problems of the world and decide that what we need is more people acting like frat guys.

And.... scene.

Jun 4, 2007

Clips of Note

Clip 1:

It's Business Time


Clip 2:

Possibly the funniest fight scene ever recorded:

H/T: Sports Guy

Jun 3, 2007

New Feed Info

For those of you that use newsreaders, I've changed my feed. You can now access it at:


Otherwise, just click on the feed icon on the right side of the page.

I'm not even sure what this all means, or why I'm doing it.

Jun 1, 2007

Time To End All Imegrashun

One thing struck me about the National Spelling Bee last night - there were three Canadian spellers in the finals. Who let all these immigrants into our spelling bee? Isn't it the NATIONAL spelling bee? Are these kids from Canada willing to spell words that our American kinds aren't?

According to the Washington Post:

The 80th annual bee began Wednesday with nearly 300 students traveling from across the country; some also came from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, American Samoa and New Zealand. Three finalists were from Canada.
First of all, kids from Canada on average are smarter merely because Paris Hilton doesn't live in their country. That raises the Canadian national IQ by about 10 points per person. Secondly, Canada is secretly plotting to take over America's most sacred institutions. You think it's just coincidence that Steve Nash won two straight MVP awards? If we don't fight them now, your kids will be speaking Canadian.

On the other hand, this influx of immigrant spellers could provide Scripps-Howard with a valuable marketing opportunity if they play their cards right. They could set it up like the old WWF, where the Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik come on and insult Americans before they do their spelling. Can you imagine the tension when the kid from Al-Qaeda stands up, spells "quixotic," and wishes death to America before he settles back into his seat? It would be the greatest TV show ever.

And as long as we're on the topic of spelling bees, and since everything is always about me, I thought I'd relay my spelling bee story. Back in 5th grade, I worked my tail off to excel in spelling bees. I won my class, school, city, and county spelling bees, and went to the state bee in Richmond, Virginia. (I punctuated my school bee victory by thrusting my arms in the air and falling to the floor, like I had just won the Tour de France.)

At the state bee, I worked my way into the top 10. If you made it into the top three, you got to go to the national bee (the one on TV last night.) I stood up to spell the word "proctor," only the guy pronouncing the words had an accent, so I couldn't totally understand. I even asked him to repeat it a couple times. So I spelled the word "poctor," not hearing the "r" in his pronounciation. Then, I got dinged.

I was so mad, I took off the cardboard number around by neck, ripped it in half, and threw it on the stage. (If I really were smart, I would have lit it on fire.) I stormed off the stage and out of the auditorium. The next day, there was a picture of me in the Richmond newspaper in my happier times, before I was rudely forced out of the competition. No mention of my meltdown.

Needless to say, my parents were aghast. I think they covered their faces before slinking out of the auditorium. But I had missed my one chance to be a nerd on national television. I may have even been able to meet Jessica Alba - had she been born yet.

So I guess you could say I was the Bad Boy of Virginia Spelling Bees. Kind of like the Dennis Rodman of nerds. Had I gone on to the nationals, I likely would have gone on stage with a cigarette and a flask of Wild Turkey.