Ok, I don't usually post surveys here on my blog, however, since I know a Southern beauty down in Tennessee who does have an accent, and we've discussed the intricacies relating to it, I thought I'd take a moment and test myself to see just where I stand.
You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."
We live on a sphere of extremes and oddities. In fact it's not really a sphere, but it is a wild planet, mottled with deadly volcanoes, rattled by killer earthquakes, drenched in disastrous deluges. But do you know which were the worst? Some of Earth's valleys dip below sea level. Mountains soar into thin air. Can you name the lowest spot? The tallest peak? Do you know how far it is to the center of the planet? Where are the planet's hottest, coldest, driest and windiest places?
101 Amazing Facts of Earth is presented in question and answer format, so you can cover the answers to test your knowledge of the home planet. Sources include the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with other SPACE.com reporting.
Well folks, I'm back in Milwaukee again after spending the weekend up in Minneapolis. It certainly wasn't a white Christmas down here, but up by my parents there were a few inches of snow on the ground, so I was happy.
My entire family (except Ben, still in Iraq) was able to converge, and food, fun, and gift giving was enjoyed by all. We even had an opportunity to record a DVD of the gathering to send off to Ben. So, in a way, even he gets to share in our celebration. Ah, the joys of modern technology!
When all was said and done, I returned to the great state of Wisconsin laden with new books, a new digital camera (from Scott), a small supply of my mom's homemade cookies and chocolate candies (which I've been known to drool over!), and plenty of great memories to tide me over until the next get-together. The high point of the trip: Sharing in the rare blessing of family for the holidays. The low point: Spending 13-14 hours on the road to make it happen. :)
Thankfully, however, the high points outweight the low, so, it's all worth it!
To those that have yet to celebrate their family Christmas' today, have a Very Merry Christmas Day, kick back, put your feet up, save me some egg nog, and until next time,
Well, folks, I'll be gone for the weekend, visiting family up in Minnesota. So, until I return on Sunday, this blog is on vacation. Have a very Merry Christmas, share some love with family and friends, and I'll see you early next week!
Here's a little known fact: Cats love Christmas! But what they love more than anything, is to get into the spirit of the season, and wear their Christmas hats. Yep. So, to that end, here are some photos of festive cats in Christmas hats! Enjoy! .... And Meowy Christmas! :)
...Or, for those of you who don't know your ancient Latin, in English the above title would read, "Thuffering thuccotash!" Yes, even animated ducks with irreparable lisps can be translated into a dead language! So, if you're the type of person who would spring such Latin witicisms upon your fellow man, then this list is for you: Handy Latin Phrases. Enjoy!
UPDATE - 6:30 PM (Wed.):
Haha! An error has been brought to my attention... It's not an animated Daffy Duck that goes around saying "Thuffering thuccotash!", it's a certain mischevious cat named Sylvester. I happily stand corrected. Thanks for the heads-up David!
Have you ever been in a retail store and felt compelled to start dancing along with the music in the background? It happens. A good beat has that effect on all of us. But don't forget, most stores have security cameras. If you're not careful, you might end up on YouTube -- like this guy! ... [video].
Anyone still looking for a unique gift this Christmas? How about a Star Trek portrait? I'm listing my final round (of 2006) for bidding on Ebay at a significant "Christmas discount". One time only, and all auction listings end Tuesday night! So, if you're still looking for a unique gift for that Star Trek/ Star Wars fan on your list, feel free to stop by and put in a bid.
Due to holiday rush, all custom work will begin AFTER Christmas/New Years.
Wow. According to the local weather, here in Milwaukee, we've just recieved our seventh day in a row with temperatures well above 40 degrees. Definitely not typical for this time of year, but, you certainly won't hear me complaining. We got BLASTED with winter at the begining of the month. Now we're we're enjoying Spring-like temperatures. Hey, works for me!
I've got some great news for all my art fans out there...
I have finally finished "remastering" all of my digital landscapes, and they are now available online. Each one is digitally enhanced, retouched, and shines more vibrantly than ever before. Plus, as a "bonus", I have also released six entirely new landscapes! So, when you have a moment, feel free to stop by the remastered collection and let me know what you think.
In the meantime, though, I think it's time for me to head off to bed. :)
So, have a wonderful Wednesday all, and until next time,
On December 1st, the first major snow storm of the season dumped 12-17 inches of heavy snow throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. As of this morning, however, all of that white stuff is gone. Since Sunday, warm weather and rain has melted it away.
I don't usually post about breaking news events here on my blog, but this one hit rather close to home... This morning at about 8:07 AM, a massive propane explosion occurred about fifty blocks from where I live, leveling a large section of a one of Milwaukee's oldest and most productive industrial plants (Falk Corp., -- for those that live around here). Twenty-five casualties are confirmed at this point (no fatalities as of yet), and an unknown number of workers are still missing.
It's still too early to assess much else about the disaster, but it does appear to be an accident. The devestation, however, could have ripple effects for Falk industrial customers around the nation (possibly even putting an end to manufacturing for a while).
The concussion from the explosion could be heard and/or felt from as far away as Port Washington to the north (18-20 miles), Oak Creek to the south and Muskego to the west. A number of storefront windows within a 10-20 block radius were blown in, a large section of Milwaukee's Menomonee Vally has been evacuated, and numerous emergency agencies remain on the scene as they continue to secure and investigate the area.
Odds are, you'll probably hear about this on the national news.
There will be another local press conference at around 1 PM today, so I'll post an update here as anything new comes to light. In the meantime, though, please feel free to check out the local media page regarding the event:
A fellow Wisconsin blogger has also uploaded a video segment of the local media coverage to YouTube. This footage is from earlier this morning -- about the same time I broke the news here on my blog. It's not pretty. Pray for those who were at work there when the explosion took place. Many are still missing as rescue workers continue to search the debris.
UPDATE II - 5:30 PM:
The Milwaukee rescue teams have completed both a primary and secondary search of the entire disaster area, and have now accounted for all missing individuals. The total fatalities remains at 3, however the number of injured now resides at 46 (three of whom are in critical condition).
I look at the devestation this blast left behind, and I have to admit, there were a lot of very lucky Falk employees this morning. A gas leak evacuation was already underway at the time of the blast, however, had that not been so, the death toll could have been MUCH higher. In the end, emergency response teams, rescue workers, and the nearby community did an exceptional job containing what could have been a far deadlier event.
The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.
To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 23 and 25 degrees - one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.
As we all know, things are pretty volitile over in Iraq, especially as insurgents continually try to undermine democracy in the region. But, it would seem these same insurgents may, in fact, be loosing sight over the very reason they are fighting. Here's an example taken from a recent television interview to prove my theory. Feel free to watch, and judge for yourselves.
Wow, yesterday (Friday) was one killer of a snow storm! The official snowfall numbers are in, and here in West Allis (suburb of Milwaukee where I live), we recieved nearly 12" of the white stuff. Closer to downtown Milwaukee, a record 10.1 inches fell, beating the previous record of 2.8" set in 1985. And, just to the south of us, in Kenosha, WI, they recieved a whopping 17" -- yesterday's record snowfall for the area. Chicago -- just a bit further south -- clocked in at only 6 inches.
Yes, Winter is here, and it decided to bury Southeastern Wisconsin. Yesterday it took me four hours just to dig out the sidewalks and front steps where I live -- and I could probably go back outside right now and shovel even more. I ended up getting very little of my own work done during the day, and when I finally did get to bed, I slept for 12 hours.
Thankfully the snow has stopped falling, and we did start to see the sun by mid-afternoon Friday, but the temperatures have dropped significantly from the mid-to-low 60's we were having earlier in the week. Right now, it's only 14 degrees. Winter is here, and it's here to stay... I'm just hoping the entire snow season won't be like this. It's pretty, but it's a real bear to move. :)
Ok, I stand corrected: not only has Winter arrived, it's arrived with a bang -- a big wet sloppy bang. Snowfall is heavy, thunder has been heard around the area, and blizzard warnings have been issued for all of Southeastern Wisconsin.
So far, here in milwaukee, over 6" of snowfall has been recorded. I even gave up on shoveling earlier this morning, because, as soon as I cleared a section of sidewalk, it would be entirely covered again. It's wet. It's sloppy, and it's still falling.
Snowfall predictions have risen to 13-15 inches.
According to the news, ALL Milwaukee Public Schools are closed (total closings so far: 606), many flights out of Milwaukee's international airport are cancelled, cars are crawling along the highways, a salt truck has overturned... and it's not over yet.
The local news had this to say: "If you leave the safety of indoors, you are putting your life at risk. If you must travel, bring along a winter survival kit and stay with your car if you become stranded."
Well, it's official. Here in Milwaukee, we are recieving our first significant snowfall of the year. As of right now, it is 4:45 AM (Friday morning), and we already have at least an inch of white on the ground. We were told to expect 6"-12".