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Archive for September, 2003

First lady…to disappear

September 29th, 2003 No comments

Cnn.com has an article on the First Lady traveling to Europe to promote literacy, among other things. Did anyone know we have a First Lady? This is honestly the first thing I’ve heard the First Lady do since her monkey of a husband took office.

When you think of First Ladies, people like Eleanore Roosevelt, Barbara Bush, Jackie Kennedy, and of course Hillary Clinton. Who you don’t think of, is our current First Lady.

Either she isn’t taking her role seriously, or she just doesn’t know what to do. I don’t know tons about her, but maybe that’s a result of her sitting idly by as her husband’s henchmen run the country (into the ground).

The only thing that does come to mind is the image of her comforting victims of the 9-11 attacks. While it is great she did that, but it was expected of her so she gets less credit for that.

This current trip isn’t expected, so maybe she’ll start making an image for herself, and her husband, right before re-election time. He certainly could use it.

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I’m sorry Mr. Seal, it won’t happen again

September 24th, 2003 No comments

I got a response from the deputy whom I spoke to about the photographing incident. He said he was able to determine which deputy it was who threatened me, and that he had spoken with that person.

Supposedly, the deputy was chasing a suspect on foot and tackled the man in question. He and another deputy were in the midst of detaining this suspect when I came to the scene. The deputy’s focus was completely on the subject being detained when I arrived to take pictures. He does remember telling someone not to take pictures, but does not remember specifically what was said.

I consider this response to be a line of crap. I feel like the teacher whom a student must apologize to for becoming a nuisance: “I’m sorry. I was so busy trying to make everyone like me that I forgot I wasn’t supposed to do bother the rest of the class. I won’t do it again.”

The deputy basically admits he knew I had a right to take pictures, yet says he was so involved with the suspect at hand that he yelled at me anyway. First of all, a second deputy was right next to him who could have spoken up. Secondly, the suspect was pretty much detained at that point. And most importantly, why, if he knows the law, did he tell me I couldn’t do that? If he knows the laws, that thought shouldn’t have even entered his mind.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to the deputy who called me back because I felt like I was being fed a line. It’s way to easy to blame stuff like that on the heat of the moment. I’m glad I got an apology, and I’m sure that deputy won’t do it again, but I still feel like I got a lame response.

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My interest fell when the finance TA was late

September 22nd, 2003 No comments

Last Friday was my first full Friday of classes. Before that, I only had three classes due to things not being scheduled for the first few weeks.

My finance discussion was at 8:50, meaning I was up around 7:30 to get there on time. Cam’s in that class too, of course. We were sitting there, going over the newspapers and realized that it was 8:55 already and no TA had shown up. 9:05 came and still nothing. That’s when the first batch of students left.

Finally 9:20 comes around and an Asian female TA comes in and announces that that Friday’s dicussion had been cancelled due to some mix-up with the TA’s. Cam and I, having no place to go, decided to sit in that classroom and read over some stuff for the upcoming quiz.

At 9:25 a very winded TA came into the room and apologized profusely for being late. We were somewhat bewildered because we had just been told that class was cancelled. The TA passed out some handout and began the discussion. He also mentioned that he would be having some sort of make-up session for being late and plans would be announced in lecture.

Professor Paker announced today that Chen (the TA) had slept too late, and will be setting two alarms in the future. An additional section will be held to make up for any lost learning, and office hours will be extended.

It really sucks that I have four classes on Fridays this semester, let alone one at 8:50. That’s too darn early. It’s even worse when the TA doesn’t even show up. I don’t think I’ve had a class yet where the instructor just didn’t show up, but I think an X-minute rule should be instituted at the college level.

At least the TA apologized for what he did and offered recourse for it. We’ll see how the next discussion goes before I completely write off his lateness.

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But I didn’t shoot the deputy

September 20th, 2003 No comments

I hope all of you know the song “I Shot The Sheriff”…

Cam and I went to the Badger game together today. I took my new camera with and got some decent shots.

The crowd was doing their usual antics, and began rowing just before half time. I decided to stand up while everyone else rowed, and take a picture of everyone in front of me. The girl behind me thought doing such a thing was horrible, and grabbed my calves/knees and began to shake me and pull me down. She did it forcefully enough to make me lose my balance. Before I fell, I reached around, grabbed her wrist, and threw it away. I didn’t want to fall and hurt the person in front of me, or even worse, break my camera.

She decided that me throwing her hands off me was a little too much and told me to settle down and not go overboard. Then she told her friends that people like me shouldn’t be in the student section. I should “have more fun”, “lighten up” or leave. The thing is, I was taking a picture, not being belligerent. However, for the subsequent rowings, I was defiant and stood through them just because I’m like that.

Halftime came and Cam and I went to meet his parents under the stands. As we were walking over to his parents, Cam noticed a man being detained by a couple of officers on the landing of the first flight of stairs.

The detained man was lying on his stomach, hands cuffed, with an officer at his head and one at his side. I decided this would make for a good pic, and climbed up three stairs or so and flipped on my camera and its flash. Just as I was focusing, one of the detaining officers, a Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy, shouted at me to not take a picture. Dumbfounded, I took my eye away from the viewfinder to say “What?”. He responded by repeating the order to not take a picture. I asked why and he said “Do not take a picture of him” (referring to the alleged law-breaker). At that point I was angry and told him I could take pictures and this forced the deputy to say that if I did he would take my camera or film away.

I ended up not taking the picture. Not because I thought doing so would be wrong, but because I knew it would be that much of a hassle to get my camera back after the deputy would confiscate it. I’ve done research in the past on the topic of where taking pictures can occur, mostly because of my fun with Halloween last year. Everything I found said that one can take photographs of anyone (minors included) as long you are in a public place (this is an excellent resource on such things, and a good read in general). Seeing that Camp Randall is a very public place, one would assume that photography is allowed. The ticket stubs do not prohibit fans from taking photographs either (they do however restrict video cameras and radios).

Knowing that the First Amendment protects the right to taking photographs, this situation really bothered me. When I got home later, I made a call to the Officer In Charge at the Dane County Sheriff’s office. He spoke with me and said that he would take the situation seriously. He asked if I would file a formal complaint, but that seemed to be too much work on his part and mine. Instead, I left it as informal and told him to get back to me with some resolution.

Because I had no way to identify the deputy at issue, I had to give a description of what I remembered him looking like. Shortly after that conversation, the lieutenant I spoke with earlier called back asking me to come down and look what were essentially mug shots of the officers. Quite the flip flop, eh? I wasn’t able to pin down who it was, but narrowed it down to 4-5 deputies.

I think the deputy didn’t want me snapping pictures because he either was doing something wrong, or just doesn’t understand the right to take photographs. I didn’t see any wrongdoing, so I’m going to assume the latter. The most disturbing part is was boistrous threat to take away my camera if I took that shot. I really wish I would have.

I should be getting a response from the Sheriff’s office sometime soon. I’m glad the deputy I spoke with took things seriously and realized the depth of the situation. I’ll be more glad when the deputy who yelled at me realizes the extent of his misdoings.

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*Snap*

September 19th, 2003 No comments

(There are links to two galleries in this entry: Gallery 1 Gallery 2)

I finally got my camera today (Canon Digital Rebel). I ordered it on 8/25, and it was 9/18 before it was delivered. I’m not complaining though, I knew that it wasn’t even shipped to the retailers yet when I ordred it.

My first impression is that it’s big. It’s not “huge” per se, but it’s darn big. I was expecting something smaller, but I’m not unhappy with the size at all. The larger it is, the more professional and advanced it seems.

The pictures are amazing. They’re tons clearer than my Kodak DC4800 ones, and larger also. I shouldn’t even compare the two. I have a 512mb CF card in it, and it only holds about 200 pictures at the highest resolution below “raw” files.

I took tons of pics at the Union Terrace today around sunset. That area is extremely picturesque no matter what time of day, but it seemed great when I was there. There were boaters/sailors out on the water, ducks at the shore, and plenty of people interspersed doing their thing.

I got a few closeup shots of spider webs, then some flowers, and a great shot of a bumblebee. I never knew the little weedy area at the Union end of the lakeshore path was so infested with these bees.

After I went to an AISP event, I wandered around taking more pics. I got plenty of pics of the capitol. I plan on having some of these shots printed by a local shop so I can see why they look like on paper.

As I was setting up a shot at the capitol, a stream of homeless people came out the church across the street and streamed towards their apparent sleeping place under the capitol’s steps. One man saw me and asked what I was doing, so I told him I was taking a picture. Then he asked “are you taking a picture of that thing up there?”. He was referencing the capitol. I hope he knew what “that thing up there” really was, although he did seem deranged.

I’ll have a longer review of the camera eventually, but I wanted to at least get something up on the first night.

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Milwaukee’s hidden secret: old world third street?

September 17th, 2003 No comments

Rachel Ray, of Food Network Fame, took her show “$40 a Day” to Milwaukee, and the episode aired tonight. In this series, she attempts to travel to locations and spend a maximum of $40 a day on food and beverage.

She starts off at Miss Katie’s Diner, and has an omelet and hash browns. She talks about the place as if it’s the end-all be-all of breakfast, yet I’ve only heard it mentioned a few times in the Milwaukee area. It does, however, have some notoriety from then President Clinton’s visit there in the mid 90’s. As far as I’m concerned, a good omelet can be had just about anywhere, and the same can be said for hash browns.
Rachel Ray $40 a Day
After that, she hits up Old World Third Street downton for some shopping. She visits a cheese store, where she tries on the obligatory cheesehead and points out cheese formed into stereotypical Milwaukee shapes. I guess she had to do it, and if anything good came out of it, Foamation got some more plugs.

Then she heads to Usinger’s to look at their sausages. The worker behind the counter shows off her wares: a few rows of brats and their counterparts. The worker points out that Milwaukeeans, and Wisconsinites in general I guess, like to beer boil their brats before grilling them. Rachel marvels at the idea, but shrugs it off. Then the worker finally mentions that Usinger’s sausages are cooked up right across the street at Mader’s, so Rachel heads over there.

Because she’s dining on a budget, and Mader’s is somewhat on the pricey side, she decides to ask for a special. To me, if they have specials, it should be advertised, but Ray points out that you should always ask because a deal could be had. The waiter informs her of a $5.99 lunch special, which includes a brat and some knackworst.

What was funny about this segment was how the waiter incorrectly, at least to me, pronounced Usingers as “uss-in-jers”. Sadly, Rachel uses this pronunciation when closing this segment. Oh well, at least they got their name in there even if said incorrectly.

Next she heads to a Harley Davidson store, where she tries on some leather. When she’s ringing up her purchases she asks the cashier about the Safe House. It had been recommended to her by someone “at her hotel” (which they never mention), but he was mysterious about it. The cashier was equally sly, but nonetheless Rachel heads over there.

The door of the Safe House is, of course, unsigned. Instead it reads “International Exports Ltd.”. She realizes it’s still the place, but that’s only half the battle of getting in. Miss Henny-Penny greets her at the door and almost literally makes her jump through hoops to get in. She’s forced to hula-hoop to the amusement of those watching her on closed-circuit tv in the bar. She enters, everyone claps, and a fake moment ensues because you know darn well the whole thing was explained to her before she got there.

Rachel orders a FREE beer (she had a coupon, again, from her hotel), which defeats the purpose of the show. The bartender suggests a Sprecher amber, and she takes it. Good to see Sprecher getting its name in there, although some of their root beer might have been better to hawk.

I’m disappointed that they never mention you don’t have to do stupid things to get in if you know the password. The Safe House is pretty well known in Milwaukee, and I would guess its password is also. I think she completely missed something by leaving this out of the show. Do YOU know the password? I do.

Lastly, she hits up the Third Ward and inundates passers-by with requests for recommendations on a place for dinner. More than one person recommends Three Brothers, and another group mention African Hut. Rachel decides on Three Brothers and finishes up the show there.

Three Brothers is a Serbian place and at some point I’d like to go there. The food she ordered looked great, and the prices were in the $10-15 range. She apparently loved the meat version of baklava that she was served, however it was never disclosed what sort of meat was inside it. Apparently that is secret.

The episode showed a good sprinkling of Milwaukee landmarks, and focused heavily on the Old World Third Street area. The Spice House, cheese shop and a few mediocre restaurants (ok, I haven’t tried Third Street Pier) line it, but the brick-lined street is more entertaining than some of those places. I wouldn’t really say that is the highlight of the Milwaukee area, or even that much of a tourist trap. Sure, it used to be the best shopping area around, but not anymore.

Somehow I the crew was able to get setup shots of every place surrounding the Journal building, but not the building itself. Sure the cafeteria there doesn’t serve the best food, but they still could have shown it.

I believe the Food Network had more crews in town over the past year to shoot segments for other shows, and I think those might prove to be just as interesting.

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Verisign goes wild(card)

September 15th, 2003 No comments

This entry may go over some of your heads, but we’ll see. I read on Slashdot today that all unregistered domain names (i.e. ryanseal.com) will point to a web site hosted by Verisign (sitefinder.verisign.com to be exact). To be technical, a wildcard (*) A Record was created for the .com and .net TLD’s, which references 64.94.110.11. For the lay, this means that if you accidentally type in “bookstooore.com” in your browser it will take you to the Verisign site instead because that domain name is not currently registered.

The Verisign site you are taken to is relatively small, but has their own search engine on it, and some links to commonly searched topics. This all seems harmless to the common user. When you think about future uses, things get sticky. Verisign could easily put up banner ads, pop-ups, targeted editorials, tracking information and more at this site, and make tons of money off of people who simply made a typo.

Verisign was designated by ICANN as the administrator of all .com and .net domains. This means they host the name servers which turn the domain names into 123.123.123.123 addresses that the Internet really uses. This does not, however, allow Verisign the right to essentially create a monopoly on unused domains. By taking over all unregistered names, Verisign gets to use them as if they had registered the names themselves.

While it seems quite the backlash has begun in Slashdot’s response area on this topic, ICANN needs to know also. Comments should be sent to comments@icann.org.

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Ice cream that will stone you

September 14th, 2003 No comments

A new contender added its name to the list of ice cream shops competing for business on State Street. This one happens to be called Cold Stone Creamery.

The whole logic behind the place is that everyone has had their fill of ice cream scooped onto a cone or put in a dish. This place will do that, but first has its own mix of things to do first.

You pick your flavor of ice cream, from a display of about ten selections ranging from “cake batter” to “sweet cream”. At that point, the crew member asks what size you would like. Your choices are “like it”, “love it” and “gotta have it”, and somehow relate to small, medium and large.

The crew member scoops an appropriate amount out of the vat of ice cream and throws it onto a marble slab which is continuously cooled to 16 degrees. Next you pick out some toppings and the like and the crew member mixes them into the ice cream with two metal paddles.

Last, the ice cream is formed into a ball and scooped onto your cone dish etc. and you can enjoy.

I had the cake batter ice cream, with pecan pralines mixed in. I wasn’t sure what cake batter ice cream would taste like, but I was definitely impressed when I tried it. It really tasted like a white cake battter that somehow had been turned into ice cream. The drawback to it was that it was so rich I had a hard time finishing it without being overwhelmed.

My “love it” sized waffle cone (the waffles are made at the shop) came to $4, making it quite the pricey dessert. However, after realizing that size was just too much to eat, the smaller size would certaily work, but only save me $.50.

The ice cream seems to border on being a custard due to its richness, however it is hard-packed into the display vats. I still would put this ice cream in the same category as Kopp’s, but not equaling their quality by any means. When compared to other Madison ice cream offerings, this place wins hands down. Just keep in mind you’re gonna pay for that quality.

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It’s back

September 10th, 2003 No comments

Looks like the administration did a quick 180 on the Jump Around Fiasco.

I’m glad to see Wiley stood up for the students, not the whining whining alumni. A study, subsequent to one performed prior to this week, confirmed the structural integrity of Camp Randall, even with the new additions. Because of this, “Jump Around” will once again be played between the third and fourth quarters.

In addition, Wiley suggests that those in the upper deck refrain from jumping around during the song. Wait a second…All I’ve ever seen the alumni do is stand up during intense parts of games, and clap when the team does well. They take forever to notice the wave going around the stadium, and sit for most of the game. Telling them not to jump is like telling the Pope not to pray to Allah. OK, so maybe the cheering etc. is more fun to me than the game sometimes, I’ll admit it.

Another note, what are all those people who purchased t-shirts going to do now? I guess they were hoping for a stalemated battle between students and administration, and got quite the opposite.

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You can pack it up and pack it in, but don’t even begin to jump around

September 8th, 2003 No comments

Update: I just received a link to a site selling Jump Around protest shirts.

UW Athletics has temporarily suspended the performance of “Jump Around” between the third and fourth quarters of football games. The tradition, along with the “Student Section Race” which precedes it, is suspended until further notice.

Likened to the 7th inning stretch, and “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” at baseball games, “Jump Around” by House of Pain, is a lively song that pulls fans deeper into the game for the final quarter. Students jump on the bleachers for a minute or so after the Student Section Race has finished and the players are prepping to begin the last quarter.

The Daily Cardinal and Badger Herald cite a UW Athletics spokesman who says the department got numerous calls from game patrons saying they disagree with the lyrics and feel unsafe as thousands of students jump simultaneously in the stands. Supposedly those in the press box and upper level of the stadium notice swaying or shaking of the stadium when this is going on. Also, safety issues due to the new addition to the stadium have been raised.

The lyrics, are only mildly offensive. They include references to “smackin’ da ho”, “a pig is a cop”, the Bible’s psalms, shooting your enemy and one curse word. If these lyrics were that much of a problem, the complaints should have poured in 13 years ago when the tradition began.

It was said that the athletic department knew the song was going to be suspended, but told police only and not the students. That’s just asking for a rebellious response. The students did so by gesturing with their middle fingers, sitting down during the game and cursing at the “sound guy”.

I have little fear the students will sit idly by while this longstanding tradition itself, sits idle.

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Ironman 2K3

September 8th, 2003 No comments

Gallery of Ironman pics
I spent much of my Sunday watching the Ironman Triathlon here in Madison. It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26 mile marathon. Do you think that could be any harder?

I think if you chopped the race into its three parts, I could have done the swim part back in the day. I’ve never comptetively biked, so I have no clue on that part, and the run seems really long. I’ve only ran 8k once, and that was tough enough. I have extreme admiration for those who put all the time and effort into training for this.
Ironman 2K3 Winner Dave Harju
I think it’s obvious that this isn’t a race to most of the people taking part. While it would be great to win the Ironman at some point, just finishing is what counts. You look at the faces of the people coming past and you can see determination pouring out. They are there to prove themselves, and nothing more.

State street was lined with supporters, spectators and the usual bums. The outlying areas were just as full with people cheering the racers on. It has to be great to question yourself, only to be brought back up by the cheering crowds of Madison as you pass by. Madison’s scenery, location and community is perfect for an event like this. I have little doubt that the competitors feel the same way.
Ironman Competitor with child
The racers are welcomed to the finish by more cheers from the crowd, and the announcing of their name as they reach the last stretch. You can see the runner’s smile increase as they realize how much attention they get for finishing the race. Everyone who crosses the line is a winner. They reset the finish tape so that each comptetitor comes in like a champion.

For the last 50 yards, Competitors’ children are allowed to finish with their parents. The kids have the greatest smile on their face because they think the cheers are for them, and at the same time the competitor is beaming because he or she finished the toughest thing they’ve done in their lives, and get to share it with their family.

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Day 2

September 3rd, 2003 No comments

Today was day 2, although it felt like days 2-10. I have three classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Two power (75 minute) lectures, and one 50 minute lecture.

It all starts off with philosophy. The instructor is of some descent other than American, but I’m not sure which yet. She’s giving us off for Columbus Day, so I’m guessing she’s Spanish or the like, maybe? I can already tell that some of the topics we discuss are going to strike a chord in religious people, and all hell will break loose. Although, does hell exist? First topic we’re going to hit: abortion.

Next up was finance. The instructor is, once again, of a nationality which I canot discern. His name is B?lent Paker, I believe. He started out by writing an hour’s worth of class notes on the board, and dedicated not more than 30 seconds to administrative/syllabus related things. Now THAT is down to busines…yeah, get it, the finance guy was down to business.

The next class I had was in the same classroom. While the mass of sheep left the room, Cam and I moved up a few rows for better seats in the next lecture. You have to have close seats for lectures, right? This class was Operations and Information Management, OIM, and was just as long as the one before it. We got out 20 minutes early and the afternoon still seemed unending.

I can’t say any class stands out as being too hard, or even too easy either. I’m not used to having classes in the afternoon, but it’s really nice having a chunk of time in the morning to wake up and read the news.

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