The Saddest Sight in Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI: home to America's Black Holocaust Museum. Now with fewer letters.


Anonymous Ursidae

In addition to poor reproductive skills, Pandas also have very sensitive eyesight.



I think my secret admirer might be getting desperate. They're trying the old writing-my-name-on-their-body thing again. At least they changed up their username a little bit this time.

The Secret's Out

It's never really made sense to me why some people have trouble parallel parking, it's a very simple calculation once you know the equation. Just make sure you keep those FOIL rules straight when you're reversing, one misplaced exponent and the jig is up.

What's my secret? Never get into a car without estimating its k value first.


Risking Your Yolk

Not a Double Egg-Flip, a Double-Egg Flip. 

When it does work out it's completely worth it. 


Why am I upset? Because I didn't win, the Beige Blizzard did.


The holiday season has begun.

I'm not a person who passes up the chance to wear a tie very often. That sentence seems ambiguous but I'm just trying to say that I like to wear a tie. This tie isn't appropriate for most events that I am interested in. It is appropriate for holiday parties though, which are always events that I am interested in. I am also interested in Kermit themed accessories, so this was really just a win-win.

I'll give you $5 if you can guess what this leg belongs to.


1A-70A: First Names

Are you getting a load of all those first name clues? Seems unfair, especially for a Tuesday, since you either know them or you don't. Luckily for me Allen Ginsberg once spent the night in the house I grew up in. Total gimme.

A Thursday Night

Just hanging out in my jeans jacket and sweater vest; with kermit, and a cat around my neck.


Brics Apartment

I got an email this afternoon. It's addressed to gsc-parents@lists.wisc.edu and consist mostly of Japanese characters. The Grad Student Collaborative (GSC) is a real thing, and despite not being a student anymore, I still get their emails. None-the-less, the high Asian character content and my non-parental status led me to label it junk almost immediately.

Then the replies started coming in. As of 7:54 8:35 9:57 PM there have been 79 101 115 in all. Annoying at first, but then, as they continued, amusing. By my tally there have been 73 requests sent to the entire list to PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM THIS LIST. Intermingled with those have been roughly 17 responses directing people to the unsubscribe link at the bottom. Neither tactic seems to have been effective. And then there're the 26 requests for everybody to stop using the Reply All button, sent via the Reply All button. Very meta. This internet, so fraught with challenges!

A couple of my favorite responses:

From Shang,,,,,,,,,Ma:

From Jennifer Moore—provider of wise, yet irrelevant advice:

From TIM MACAFEE, who can not write in English:

I didn't want to be left out:

It's a lie. I'm very interested in this event.

Geographical Graphs

Madison had a snow day today. I may not have had a job, a class, or any other commitment that got cancelled, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a scotch at 11:00 AM to celebrate the snow anyway. Later, after finishing the crossword, I practiced my U.S. map. Did you know that if you set the Four Corners intersection as the origin, your X axis should go from -3 to ˖4 and your Y axis should go from -4 to ˖3?

Maine, Texas, & Florida still never look right.


Still Not as Bad as Improper Recycling

Despite my habit of regularly getting out of town, I really do like the city of Madison. There's plenty of "60 sq. miles surrounded by reality" naysayers out there who rant against Madison's leftist politics, but it's hard to see their point when the city is always getting ranked as a great place to live, has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, provides pretty extensive municipal services, and has a great public education system. Not to mention how much people from Madison tend to love living in Madison. And really, if you're going for a derogatory nickname you might as well use "The People's Republic Of Madison", it sounds more menacing. That being said, there are two surefire ways to hear me rant against the city.

Madison doesn't actually have a parking problem. Maybe it's because downtown is stuck on a ¾ mile wide isthmus which precludes the archetypal Midwestern city's wide airy streets that makes people think  it does, but it doesn't. Regardless of that, and despite the ridiculously cheap parking ramps scattered around downtown, people still complain about the lack of parking. None of that bothers me though; I hate it when I can't find a spot right in front of the place I'm driving someone's car to also. This is what pisses me off:

Are you getting a load of that spot's dimensions‽ That CR-V may well be an SUV for beginners, but it's no Smart Car either; it shouldn't look comically small in a parking spot. I'm 100% positive I could park another one of them in there with only minimal bumpage. It's like the city designed all of its metered parking stock to make sure it's prepared for the unlikely eventuality of the entire metropolitan area's populace deciding to sell their Priuses and buy F-350s. Not in the PRoM. Add to that the excessive use of yellow curbs throughout the city and sometimes I get a little rant-y about it all. Take this classic Madison Double Yellow for example [see below]. Why there's a need for 5 feet of yellow curb between every two oversized parking spots all the way down the street I do not understand. Let me repaint the parking lines downtown and I guarantee at least a 68% increase in total parking spots.

View Larger Map

Annoyance level: -4 Ws

Height Limitations
In addition to it's pretty good politics, Madison has a pretty good looking state capital too. It's all white and get's lit up at night and is apparently the largest granite dome in the world. The badger atop Lady Wisconsin's head sits 284 feet above the ground, which makes it the tallest building in the city. That's largely a result of state and city's rules limiting buildings within a 1 mile radius of the capital to the height of the base of the columns supporting the dome. Which in practice means the Madison skyline consists of 1 big white dome, completely surrounded by 187.2 foot high buildings.

It's all in the name of preserving sight lines, which I think is idiotic. A couple of tall buildings nearby are not going to block out the view of the capital.  And it's not like you have to give up all control over what gets built. There's still zoning commissions and design committees that every new construction project has to make it through. It wouldn't even have to be some big office building that sits empty all night. People want to live in downtown Madison; mix that use up and practice some of the sustainable, public transport oriented, anti-sprawl development you're always preaching. And get more than 1 bright white building in your skyline.

My feelings on this subject are clearly related to growing up in Philadelphia, which by the mid-1980s was the 5th most populous city in the country but still didn't let buildings get higher than the brim of Billy Penn's hat on top of city hall. Then people realized that didn't really make any sense and One Liberty Place got built in 1987. Then over the next 20 years 7 more supra-City Hall buildings got built. City Hall continued to be visible from almost every direction, downtown was completely revitalized, and Philadelphia ended up with a real skyline. Suck on that Madison.

Annoyance level: -3 Ws

[Philadelphia 1976 v. Philadelphia 2008]


This Wireless!

I spent the afternoon borrowing things from the internet at some pretty high speeds. It turned out to be one of your classic win-win-win situations.

Win #1: The 'k' Barrier. Goodbye 1,000 k/s download speed, hello 1.1 M/s download speed! I'd never seen that 'M' down there before and it felt good. Real good.

Win #2: The CIF Barrier. Which is sort of like The 'k' Barrier, but with different letters and a lot more emotion. Dealing with the post-Napster world was pretty unpleasant. There was KaZaA. But KaZaA sucked. Or sucks? I don't know. Is it still around? It doesn't matter, nobody cares. Luckily Rochester had the Computer Interest Floor, words I really never expected I would say. But they did host the CIF Server, available only to IP addresses from NYSERNet institutions, and chock full of really cool stuff. At really cool speeds. The world was at our fingertips! That 1.1M makes me feel like I'm back in college.

Win the 3rd: 5 seasons of Dennis, Mac, Charlie, Frank, & Sweet Dee on the Command Station.


Welcome to Mustache Week

Every year, as November turns over to December, a great change occurs on our faces. Our beards of November are trimmed and shaved to become the mustaches of December. And so it has begun—Mustache Week is upon us again. Someday I'll finally be able to pull off the Jagged Edge, but not as a 28 year-old. Instead, December 1st - 7th, 2009 will feature The Double Swoosh: One swoosh, next to another swoosh.