Sunday, March 29, 2009


This from today's Milwaukee JSOnline in which Judge Randy Koschnick expresses encouragement from the results of a survey.

The late-February poll, conducted by a professional pollster for the MacIver Institute, had Abrahamson leading - by a 41% to 13% margin. But the remaining 46% of those who responded were either undecided or didn't know either candidate. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

"I think the poll was actually good news," Koschnick said. "She has the advantage of incumbency. I'm the challenger. Heading into the election, I have an excellent chance of winning this race."
A number of things come to mind. Koschnick is being a bit delusional if he thinks trailing by 28 percentage points is an encouraging sign, regardless of the origin of the survey. Plus with no money and no help from outside sources, how does Koschnick expect those 46 percent undecideds to get to know him?

And regarding the origin of the survey, one would have thought the author of the article, Steve Walters, would have identified the pollster and noted that the MacIver Insitute is a far right-wing conservative group.

Just another example of the demise of objective and accurate reporting and how Faux News-like the JournalSentinel has become.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pork Loin and Sauerkraut

My wife's side of the family is mostly Irish. The Rock side is classic American mutt ... a dash here and there from almost everywhere in Europe according to research my Dad has done.

However, when cooking it's my German side that most often makes an appearance -- in this recent instance a craving for sauerkraut and pork occurring while visiting the local Pick 'n Save. I saw the sale price for the boneless pork loin (with packages of sauerkraut conspicuously placed nearby -- ah the power of suggestion) and I was hooked.

I had to hurry. It was nearly 10:30 am. I knew I was going to use the slow cooker to cook the pork and wanted at least seven to eight hours. So, I quickly gathered the following ingredients.

3-4 pound boneless pork loin
1/2 cup of flour
2 tbls of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbls of minced garlic
5-6 red potatoes, cutup
package of sauerkraut
1/2 to 1 cup apple juice
pepper and salt
1. Add oil to a frying pan. Roll the pork loin in the flour and brown all sides of the pork, about ten minutes.

2. Slice the onion and cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Add garlic on top of onion.

3. Place the pork loin on top.

4. Cut up 5-6 red potatoes and place strategically around the pork. (I've always wanted to use the word strategically in a recipe.)

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add sauerkraut on top and pour apple juice all around.

7. Let it slow cook about seven to eight hours.

Mmmm good. Unfortunately, I discovered at dinner that no one in my immediate family (wife, 13, 8 and two-year old) likes sauerkraut -- the dog did. Everyone agreed the pork and taters were tasty, however.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Strip-search Case before Supreme Court

I remember this case about a [then] 13-year old girl who was strip-searched for, get this, ibuprofen.

I can say with certainty that school officials better not ever touch my children – especially if searching for ibuprofen.

Still, the case is interesting as it will likely set a precedent on the limits of school searches and what rights do adolescents have.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on the Yard

I thought it would be fun to provide before and after pictures of the yard as the season progresses. This first picture is of the north side of the house. Arrayed alternately through the garden are two different varieties of hostas – I'll have to ask Kelly if she knows the names of the varieties. We have been trying to induce vines to grow on the trellis but without much luck. It possible because of a lack of sunlight.

There used to be some huge ugly bushes here in front of the living room windows. I chopped them down late last season and managed to dig out two root systems before winter struck. A bit of work. Once the ground has thawed sufficiently I will remove the others. With finances not as robust as previous years, we are thinking of splicing some of the hostas and replanting in the front; intermingled with flowers for color. Haven't given it much thought yet.

We are in the planning stage for this year's backyard garden. Last year we tried onions and carrots without much success. However, every year is a learning cycle and we now know that we need to add more sand to the soil. This year we plan on trying potatoes and onions, abandoning the carrots. Additionally, we will be planting cherry tomato plants again. Last year's crop was especially tasty. Also, we are going to try the latest fad – upside down tomato plants.

As always the purpose of the backyard garden is to be functional as well as decorative. Consequently, Kelly will be given the options of which flower types to grow. I do know that we will be surrounding the outside of the garden with marigolds again.

I had hoped to built a more permanent enclosure around the garden this year. I was going to plant posts at approximately six foot intervals and insert frames of two x fours with chicken wire stretched over the frames between the posts. I was also going to lay out some flat bricks along the edge for decoration and to provide a buffer for the encroaching grass. Don't know if that will happen.

Anyway, more later as the plans become more fleshed out.

Elaine Paige - Memory

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Beginning

There is too much beauty in the world -- and to be angry all the time as so many local bloggers seem to be, and as I often was, is such a wasteful use of energy and time.

So we will start over. Here's to a new blogger day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lord Limbaugh the Bellicose

Dave Letterman had this to say to Katie Couric recently about Rush Limbaugh.

Letterman: What about this bonehead Rush Limbaugh? Honest to god, what is going on there?

Couric: [laughing] Dave, don't do this to me. Please don't do this to me.

Letterman: No, because now ... he gets up at Washington and he's the keynote speaker at some function and he comes up ... he he he looks like a Eastern European gangster. You know, he's got the black jacket on. The black silk shirt and it's unbuttoned like "Oh yeah, when you think Rush Limbaugh you think ... oooh, let's see a little flesh".
I saw the video of Limbaugh. Letterman is exactly right. Limbaugh was grotesque. He was careening all over the stage and sweating profusely. It was really a frightening scene. And his message "pro-failure"; project much.

I couldn't get the thought of Luca Brasi out of my mind when I saw Limbaugh. You know Brasi, the Corleones' very frightening hitman. I can just see Limbaugh playing the role at Connie's wedding. He's been practicing his lines outside and finally is escorted in to see the Don. And he says very stiffly, "Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home on the wedding day of your daughter. And may their first child be a masculine child."

Except, the problem is Limbaugh is not frightening in the least. Physically he looks like an ugly Pillsbury Doughboy. So I don't really understand this kowtowing to this limpid load of lipids.

It's just funny that the Republican party seems to have lost its balls. These were the guys who were always talking tough, you know the chickenhawks. Now they're crawling all over each other to offer their obeisance to this loudmouth.

Good. Five years from now they'll be a regional party.