Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hopefully, Last Week Is Over.

I know a few around the area blogosphere have had some trying situations in the last few weeks. I'm not an exception and it is why I have been pretty quiet as last week it was my turn.

During the early part of the week, I was hit with a RAGING sore throat. Not strep according to the doc, but just bloody beet red. Monday & Tuesday nothing seemed to help..I eventually took a Vicodin so I could sleep.

In an aforementioned post, I was debating about trading in my Monte Carlo Z34. Loved the car, hated all the problems it was starting to have. Thought I could fix a lot of problems for the price of a new(er) car. I broke down and traded it in and bought a 2001 Chevy Tracker. Wanted a small SUV to haul around a small amount of my catering stuff when I do that sort of thing, but something that would still get decent gas mileage. This fit the bill and the price was right. So, this is all good, why are you complaining? I used to dabble in cars when I was younger as my father was a Chevrolet technician (in his day it was called mechanic). My "training" tells me that the water pump on this Tracker is going bad. The dealership will fix it free of charge as they gave me a 3 month, 3000 mile warranty. The shit of it is, the dealership is in Beardstown. I could take a picture of it to show you how nice of a car it is, but someone stole my digital camera...

....along with many other things that were taken when my house was broken into last Monday night. Someone(s) busted out a basement window and basically took off with about $2500 worth of stuff. Another house, a garage and a car were also burlarized on my street within a few days of each other. My nice, quiet street is now a giant crime scene. At first, I didn't want anyone to know, but now, I really don't care. I figure the more people who know, there are more ears out there who might hear something. So, if someone offers you a Kodak V603 digital camera for cheap.....

I hope snow on Easter Sunday is an omen of a better week....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lawmakers Trying to Make Wrong Laws

Well, our good friends in Springfield are acting stupid again. Makes me wonder how they got enough smarts and common sense to get there in the first place. Yes, it is another rant about gun control. They are working on three bills that would affect law abiding gun owners instead of law breaking criminals. More rights going down the toilet for us law abiding gun folks while the criminal element acts like it is the wild, wild west and gets a slap on the wrist if they get caught.

From the Peoria Journal Star :

SPRINGFIELD (AP)—An Illinois House committee on Wednesday rejected the idea of requiring gun owners to use special ammunition imprinted with codes to help police track bullets found at crime scenes. Two other gun-control measures won approval from the Executive Committee.
One allows revocation of gun permits for owners who fail to keep their weapons away from children or people with a serious mental illness. The other tightens rules on providing trigger locks as part of gun sales. The ammunition measure would require all bullets made or sold in Illinois to have a laser coding by 2010. The bill also says any ammunition used in the state would need the coding by 2011. Rep. William Davis, D-Homewood, said he sponsored the proposal to help local law enforcement. “A shell casing that may have some type of identifying number may provide significant evidence to solving a particular crime,” he said.

What mental deficient would require putting identifying marks on the casing? I pull a .357 magnum revolver. Some criminal shoots you in the head and walks away. Where is the casing? IN THE REVOLVER WITH THEM!!! They toss the casing in the Illinois River off the McCluggage bridge. If they use a 9mm and leave the casing, what does that do except prove the bullet in your head came from the casing that was left? None. Why? If the gun used to shoot someone was stolen, I bet the odds are the ammo are stolen, too? The criminal element doesn't have a FOID card to stroll into Wal-Mart and buy ammo. The police would most likely track the casing to the person from which it was stolen, not the illegal shooter. And what good would it do in tracking the criminal element if they put identifying codes on the bullets? Same result as putting it on the casing...it will get traced back to the purchaser, not the shooter. Stupid law, number 1, de-bunked. Oh, does this law make you feel any safer from an illegal user of firearms? Once again, NOTHING, ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY NOTHING that is going to deter Joe Criminal from putting an illegal firearm in your face.

I'm going to address the next two as one. "One allows revocation of gun permits for owners who fail to keep their weapons away from children or people with a serious mental illness. The other tightens rules on providing trigger locks as part of gun sales."

Once again, does the criminal element give a rat's ass? No. If you choose to have children and guns in the same household, I would hope to God that you have enough common sense to keep them as far apart as possible. (However, we all know due to recent events, just because you have kids doesn't mean you have common sense.) If not, then I agree with lawmakers in that their guns and permits should be confiscated until the time that the children are 21 and\or have moved out of the house. In lieu of that, maybe two questions should be included on the FOID application: "Do you have children under 21 residing in your residence?" "Are you caring for a mentally disturbed person in your residence?" "If yes to either of the above, please submit a minimum 2,500 word action plan that would outline your efforts to secure your firearms from usage by either children or the mentally disturbed. Failure to do so in a legible manner will render this application null and void."

I have friends with children. If I know they are coming over, all of my ammo and handguns get locked up in an inaccessible place and the long guns are stored in a place where it is impossible for a child to get to without a ladder, trouble light, channel locks and a screwdriver IF they knew where they were. Trigger locks may deter children and the mentally disturbed, but the criminal element who sits around all day with nothing better to do has all the time in the world to figure out how to remove one.

So, our dear lawmakers, why don't you try making laws like this:

First, make the government more responsible in doing background checks for those applying or re-applying for gun permits (FOID in Illinois) to hopefully weed out those mentally unstable from obtaining firearms. Hopefully, this would stop the issuing of guns to those who lie on their applications. Second, make illegal usage a federal offense. Next, make these laws:

Using a gun of any kind that is not legally yours to commit a crime: 30 years in Menard busting rocks with a ballpeen hammer for 16 hours a day. Additional charges such as rape, burglary, robbery, intimidation, etc. are added and to be served consecutively..30 years is just for the gun. No early release or parole.

Discharging a gun of any kind that is not legally yours in the commission of a crime: Add 25 years to the above but at San Quentin. Same rocks, same ball peen hammer. No early release or parole.

Using a gun of any kind that is not legally yours and wound someone: Add 25 years to the above minimum 55 you already have earned, but at Rikers Island. Bigger rocks, smaller ball peen hammer. No early release or parole.

Using a gun of any kind that is not legally yours and kill someone: Slap on another 25 years to the 55 you already have at the Holiday Inn of the Rockies, ultra max security, Florence. Boulders and a toy hammer. No early release or parole.

And get rid of laws that say if you are a minor, the sentence ends at 21. Bullshit! You go from Juvie to the big house: do not pass go, do not collect another illegal weapon. When the juvies figure out that Bubba is looking for new girlfriends and they are potential candidates, the fear of God or the law might not have an effect on them, but maybe the fear of Bubba might be deterrent enough.

Prisons won't fill up. After the first several dozen people get 50+ year sentences, the word will get out that you'll be in need of a walker upon release should help put a damper on illegal usage.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You Call This Eggs What?

I get several food links sent to me daily. Some are ho hum. Some amaze me and others make me think "WTF?".

From the WTF category: A New York (and where else but maybe L.A.) chef has taken a classical breakfast staple in Eggs Benedict and turned it into this:



The top pic are the ingredients, the bottom the finished dish.

You've gotta be kidding, right? And this probaby sells for $30. That would promise a chef one good arse kickin' if he tried to serve this in Peoria.

Read the whole thing here:

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Museum

Yep, I'm against any tax, fee, etc. to support it. I think Peoria should do what E.P. is doing with the 80 acres they have...let a few developers submit plans and let the winner go at it and develop it with some city guidelines in place. The reason for this blog is that I received an e-mail from a former Peorian who said this about the museum:

"...seems to me if they can't do the marketing and promotions to raise enough money to BUILD the museum, why should anyone expect they'd be able to market and promote the museum once it's built??? Wow, I'm all a-tizzy from over here; no wonder you're pissed."

See, even ex-Peorians think its a bad idea.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

T.B.T.B.

Too Busy To Blog. I must've had a severe moment of Superman envy a few months ago. It seems like either I'm at work or catering\help cooking\teaching\judging culinary contests of late. I can't remember my last day off before today. I scheduled myself into a working frenzy. Throw in the fact that I am trying to repair various plaster and paint cracking issues in my living room officially certifies me for "What the hell were you thinking...are you on crack?" status.

Lots of people are tired of the cold, funky weather. I still remember delivering the Peoria Journal Star during the winter of 1978-79. 20+ inches of snow fell on top of the snow we already had, the temp dropped to -20 and the windchill was so cold that I think the weather people had to make up the number for wind chill as I don't think their equipment registered anything that low at the time. So, until we are strickened with that type of crappyass weather again, I'll just be thankful. Of course, I remember grandma saying that 78-79 was a sunny walk through the rose garden compared to the winter of '36.

However, I think the insanity of the weather probably has a lot to do with all the sickness going around. Luckily, I've avoided it for the most part. I had a few days of sniffles and the 8 hour flu. Yep, 8 hour flu. It is the worst kind of flu there is. Why? You feel it coming on and it comes on very fast..almost a crippling effect. Weak, sore, burning legs, nausea, your kidneys feel like they want to explode out your side, backache, hot & cold sweats, clogged nose, dizziness and a blistering headache. You don't know whether to sit on the porcelain god or pray to him. Of course, you think "Oh, shit, I'm getting sick" and the sickness starts playing psychological war games on you. Five hours later, the fog starts to lift and you start feeling better again which makes you wonder what the heck is really going on with you. Did I just contract some disease that will spring up 30 years from now or what? Or is there really the 8 hour flu? Maybe some alien being will spring from my bellybutton in the near future. It would also be the funkiest form of food poisoning one could contract. Lord knows.

And maybe flu and weather has taken its toll on the blogging community. Several bloggers out there in the Peoria Blogosphere has slowed down or stopped. East Bluff Barbie recently divulged that she has been down with real flu for about two weeks. Can't be funny and full o' flu...just doesn't seem to mesh. Randall is sick of the weather and has postponed all blogging until a. the weather improves b. the weather people get the forecast right c. the garbage tax is rescinded. This is sad because his sarcasm is priceless. Pointlessly Hypertechnical seems to have been on a hiatus too, but with two small children, I'd probably throw my computer out the window. Unless my link has gone haywire, Prego's Meatball Mansion has tumbled. The owner of pink flocks has said some goodbyes and there have been no suspects in quite awhile. However, Keith over at A Visual Experiment has been blogging and picture taking up a storm. His culinary students must be doing really well as he has time to do this instead of bonking them over the head with a meat mallet.

As that kinda leads back into food, I have a challenger in my favorite fast food sandwich category. On occasion, I get the yearning for a Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Yes, folks, Chef Kevin does cave in and doesn't create some culinary masterpiece for his dinner AND one of the most unforgivable sins of all, goes to a chain restaurant. However, I was roadtrippin' it yesterday and picked up a Dairy Queen's Flamethower Grillburger. EEEOOWWW! This burger has some heat! Granted, I didn't need a half pound burger, but this monster was high on the yummy meter. Didn't have the balls to click on the "nutritional information" link for this thing...I just felt my heart clog.

Back to the road trip. Went to Beardstown yesterday. Nice enough day for a drive if you weren't stuck behind a funeral procession going down US 24 and SR 97 for 20+ miles. Sorry for those people's loss, but it really sucked following them that far. I'm looking at trading in the Monte Carlo and that was the reason to head to Beardstown. It has been a great car over the last 12 years, but I'm starting to sink some money into it. However, out on some twisty little roads, I remember why I love that car. Every mechanics nightmare, the dreaded Chevrolet 3.4L, just hums and its midrange response is still headsnapping. The Z34 suspension and Goodyear RS-A tires just hang in the corners and the (due to the relatively new) four wheels discs stop that car on a dime. Yet, now there is an oil leak. Sink the money in it or pull five figures from savings and buy something new(er)? I hate car payments and won't do that. Dilemnas, dilemnas.

Is spring on the way? A friend of my mother's swears she saw a robin. I hope she knows road kill left from last year doesn't count. Now seriously, any robin that would fly its ass up here in this weather has something wrong with its gene pool and needs to freeze his arse off. However, the lone male cardinal who hung out all winter in my back yard has been fending off two recently arrived rivals in a turf war. I think he won as he hangs out in the big maple tree and is chirping up a storm. Guess he is trying to hook up with Ms. Cardinal and get his chirp on. Hopefully, this means spring is close. However, this too is not good. It means another year of needing nuclear devices to keep the mad weedwacko from going Rambo on my hollyhocks. My view of the river disappears (damned neighbor's tree). It also means another year of attempting to rid myself of a destructive groundhog who likes to create various entrances and exits under my shed and eats my landscaping flowers. Little bastard. I've got a plan and if it fails, I've got a .22. Nobody will notice as I live in the East Bluff. A day without gun play makes you feel like you've moved to Dunlap.

I'm all blogged out at the moment. Ahh....back to the living room.