Saturday, June 23, 2007

A note from my hiatus

I'm finding that it is much more difficult to not blog than it is to blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


This wasn't really my plan. I planned on coming back today and blogging it up. It has dawned on me that I have a ton on my plate right now, though, so after much contemplation, I've decided that the best course of action is to work at clearing my plate and go on a blogging hiatus until August 1. It kills me to do it because I hate to think of a month plus gap here, at the BBA, and at the Wisconsin Sports Bar, but my posting during this time would have just suffered. Nothing serious, just some personal business to attend to. I hope that those of you that read Jiblog will come back to visit me again in August.

Friday, June 15, 2007

3rd Blog Anniversary

Jiblog has been around for three years now. On June 15, 2004 I opened up shop here. A lot has changed in our political climate in 3 years. A lot has stayed the same. Sometimes the posts have come easy, and other times it has been difficult to write. It has been a rewarding three years and I've had the chance to meet and get to know a lot of great people I otherwise never would have known existed. Thank you to all of you who stop by here.

Now, go outside this weekend and work on those tans! I'm going to be without internet access all weekend, so there probably will not be anything new here until Tuesday, June 19.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flag Day

Yes, this is the same picture that I posted on Memorial Day. This is how I wanted to present it then, but I didn't know how. I'm Photoshop illiterate, you see, or at least I was. So what better day than today to re-present this photo in its intended form?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When the cats stops using the litter box and starts peeing on the carpet

Back in March, I blegged for help. Our cat had stopped using the litter box and started peeing and pooping on the floor. I did some digging around the net, and I found it difficult to find any kind of definitive information on the subject. As a friendly PSA to pet owners, I'd like to offer up some helpful information. Here's to hoping this post registers high with the search engines.

Our cat started to sporadically pee on the carpet. We have a pretty good system in place for getting it cleaned up, so we were a little bit more patient with the growing problem than we might have been normally. As it became more frequent, though, we began punishing her. Then she started pooping and peeing on the floor. It was time to have a vet check her out.

Fortunately, we have a very knowledgeable vet, and this is what we learned. The most common reason that cats stop using their litter boxes is because of bladder infections. The good news is bladder infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics and special (but pricey) food. The vet is probably going to want to take a urine sample to confirm the infection, though. Cats don't pee in cups, so prepare yourself for the fact that your beloved pet is going to have an uncomfortable experience with a needle. If it is indeed a urinary tract/bladder infection, pay up for the treatment. The special food is important. The infection can lead to the growth of crystals, which can make things uncomfortable or painful for the cat. I'll get into the consequences of that later.

The second possibility is a kidney infection. This is more serious. We did not have to deal with a kidney infection. If you go to the vet and you do have to deal with it, realize your kitty is quite ill. They may be able to treat it, though.

The third possibility is a growth in the bladder. This will create a feeling of pressure that will lead to the cat thinking it has to go right now, which leads to the accidents. The vet will probably need to perform surgery on your cat in order to remedy this.

Now, back to those crystals. They will cause pain that will probably be your first indicator of an infection. The cat will associate the pain with its litter box, which is what drives it to leave the box and pee on the floor. If you find both #1's and #2's, it is likely because the cat is straining so much to pee that it is legitimately pooping accidentally. Once your kitty has been treated with antibiotics and food, you may continue to have problems with it not using the litter box. They might permanently associate that litter box with pain, and thus continue to use your floor. In that case, the best thing you can do is buy a new cat box that is not similar to the old, and start placing it near where they like to go on your floor. Once our cat got better, she continued to use the floor. We were exasperated. So eventually I went out and bought her an all new litter box that was very different from the old. She began using it immediately after we put it in place and, knock on wood, we haven't had an accident since. You should be able to gradually move the box towards a place you'd rather have it placed permanently.

So, to boil this piece down, when your cat begins to show a pattern of using your floor as a litter box, get it to a vet, ASAP. The vet will be able to help you with a treatment, depending on what they determine to be wrong. After the treatment, your cat's litter box problems may not be solved. Experiment with different litter boxes and, if necessary, different litter. If that doesn't work, your vet needs to take another look at your cat.

Jib is not a vet, just a pet owner with a pet owning experience.

The funniest things happen when you go offline

This blogger has been offline a lot lately. I can't and won't deny that, and I apologize to all of my regular readers. But the damndest thing happened while I was gone the last 24 hours. Slate linked into my Alberto Gonzales post. I was offering up a very blunt opinion in that post and, like most significant links I've experienced at this blog, I never really expected it to be a post that anyone would pick up on. I just wish more people had left a comment, because I know that more people than Grumps had to have disagreed with me.

To end a blog Sopranos Style

When the day comes where Jiblog must ride off into the sunset, I think I've decided how I'll do it. I'm going to do it Sopranos-style. I will write a post that will have the promise of wrapping up everything I've done here. It'll become clear part way through the post that I was writing it after a case of beer. It will ramble. There will be something in there that makes everyone cringe, perhaps even feel a little sick to their stomachs. My readers will begin wonder if I'm actually going to get to my point, and then things will appear like they are finally reaching a conclusion when, all of the sudd

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

No more Mr. Wizard Day

A year and a half ago, give or take, I declared a "Mr. Wizard Day" in celebration of the fact that Mr. Wizard was still alive. Today it saddens me to announce that October 25 will no longer be Mr. Wizard Day. Rest in peace, Don Herbert. Thanks for all the fun science knowledge. Today's kids don't know what they missed.

Enjoy the Citizen Blogging Summit this Friday

I highly recommend the Citizen Blogging Summit this Friday. I'm very disappointed that I will not be able to attend. Good luck to Sean and all of the panelists.

Gonzales a turd, but GOP makes the right play

Okay, "turd" may not be me at my most eloquent, but it is an efficient description. The fact is the GOP had to stand up for itself against the Dems. Unfortunately, they've let themselves be pushed around so much that the stand had to be made for Gonzales.

Republicans blocked a Senate no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Monday, rejecting a symbolic Democratic effort to force him from office amid blistering criticism from lawmakers in both parties.

The 53-38 vote to move the resolution to full debate fell seven short of the 60 required. In bringing the matter up, Democrats dared Republicans to vote their true feelings about an attorney general who has alienated even the White House's strongest defenders by bungling the firings of federal prosecutors and claiming not to recall the details.

Republicans did not defend him, but most voted against moving the resolution ahead.

Gonzales is awfully tough to defend, but in fairness, many Republicans weren't sold on him to begin with. The GOP has allowed the Democrats to kick the hell out of them for years, though, and a nominal stand had to be made on Gonzales. Here's to hoping that the yellow bellied Republicans start fighting back on ground more favorable damn soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bush ill at G8; Japan's Prime Minister cringes

President Bush came down with a case of the stomach flu at the G-8 summit.

The president was already dressed when he began feeling ill in the morning, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. He said doctors are keeping an eye on him but that Bush's illness — whether a stomach virus, a light touch of food poisoning or something else — is "not serious."

He stayed in bed to try to rest and recuperate, missing the morning session of the summit being held here of eight industrialized democracies.

Something tells me that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went out of his way to avoid Bush today. No sense in family history repeating itself.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Meteorology porn

No, all you Googlers out there, there will not be nekkid pictures of meteorologists in this post. Instead, I'm trying to coin a term. Meteorology porn is my preferred, but I'm cool with meteorological masturbation, too. Either term would apply to the situation we experienced today in Wisconsin. For 48 hours, meteorologists have been in heat over a strong weather system heading this way that they expected to spawn widespread severe weather across the state today. As this afternoon got closer, they seemed to approach climax, and the voyeuristic media was whipped into an apocalyptic frenzy. Unfortunately for both, it was largely much ado about nothing. A few areas got some nasty storms, but this was ultimately no worse than any typical June storm system. The weather forecasting needs an embarrassing term for their behavior on days like today, and I'd be happy to tag them with either of the ones above.


But the Chuck Norris part kicks ass.


'What will your obituary say?' at

I say creepy because as a high school baseball player, I had a terrible problems with infected ingrown toenails on my right big toe, which was also my push off foot when I pitched. It was quite painful, and after games my big toe would look like it was about to fall off. Meanwhile, my dirty, soiled sock would usually smell like I had died in it. It's like the silly random obituary generator knows me...especially when it comes to Chuck Norris missing me terribly after I die.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Closure 63 years in the making


The family of Pvt. William Bernice Clark never had a funeral for him, never got to say goodbye and never really accepted his fate among the fallen during the Normandy D-Day landings in World War II.

That was until the young soldier's dog tag, recently discovered in the sands of Omaha Beach in France, was returned to his native Tennessee on Wednesday — exactly 63 years after that tragic day.

"This feels like an ending," said the soldier's first cousin, 79-year-old Lota Park, who along with another cousin accepted the dog tag at a ceremony in the small town of Huntingdon, about 90 miles west of Nashville.

The tag has blackened with age, but his name, identification number, religion (Protestant) and blood type (Type O) are all clearly visible.

It remained out of sight for more than five decades until a collector from England found it five years ago while combing the beach for D-Day artifacts, likely near the very spot where the 20-year-old Clark was killed. The collector gave the dog tag to a World War II buff from New Jersey, who turned it over to the National D-Day Memorial.

"It's in pretty remarkable condition, considering it was buried in the sand for 58 years," said National D-Day Memorial Foundation development director Jeff Fulgham, who presented the tag to Clark's surviving family members.

The lost Jiblog posts

I was ruminating over past June 6th posts, and I came across this one from 2005. In it, I discuss posts that I had hand written on paper that day but hadn't gotten around to acutally posting to this blog (and I never did). I really hope I can find these hand written pieces back, because I'd really like to remember what I wrote in these lost posts:

2. How Watergate killed bad sports coats, fedora hats, chain smoking, and the note pad.
3. Is it possible medical advances are stunting further human evolution?
5. The myth of best friends with benefits

June 6, 1944

D-Day boggles the mind, especially in this age where there is such a low tolerance for military casualities and weak national will to see wars through to their successful end. Everything about the mission, from storming well defended beaches to the logistics of moving men and materiel into place to the fortuitous break in the weather to the stunning loss of life is difficult to get one's brain around today. Do yourself a favor today: Read, remember, and if you can, thank a World War II vet while you still can.

Bush as pinata

I'll let the AP set the scene:

President Bush drew sporadic, startling criticism Tuesday night from Republican White House hopefuls unhappy with his handling of the Iraq war, his diplomatic style and his approach to immigration.

"I would certainly not send him to the United Nations" to represent the United States, said Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and one-time member of Bush's Cabinet, midway through a spirited campaign debate.

Arizona Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) criticized the administration for its handling of the Iraq War, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said, "I think we were underprepared and underplanned for what came after we knocked down Saddam Hussein."

Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) of California said the current administration "has the slows" when it comes to building a security fence along the border with Mexico.

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado recalled that White House aide Karl Rove had once told him "never darken the door of the White House." The congressman said he'd tell George W. Bush the same thing.

The criticism shouldn't be surprising for a number of reasons. First, Bush is a lame, lame duck. The Republican candidates are not risking much by taking shots at him. Secondly, amongst the Republican base, Bush has managed to anger nearly everyone on multiple issues. The candidates can score easy points with those all important primary voters by going after the president. Third, the Republican nominee cannot go into the general election next year with the cinder block called George W. Bush tied around their ankles. Attacking the president gives them the chance to break with him in the eyes of the public. Don't be surprised if eventually the Democrat candidates move past attacking Bush while the Republicans linger on it. They need the disassociation badly. Given that, Bush will be lucky if he isn't the first President to leave office with a negative approval rating because he is going to take a beating from all comers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Is it really that amazing?

Captain Ed on Fred Thompson's recent strong showing in polls:

It's amazing how far a non-candidate can go in a race.

Is it really, though? Non-candidates don't get as much scrutiny from the press because their stories are still in the feel-good realm. They don't have to take whithering attacks from their opponents because those individuals-real, announced candidates-have to use their resources to combat other real, announced candidates. They don't have the opportunity to screw up at debates. In other words, they haven't faced the live fire of a Presidential campaign yet.

I'm not down on Fred Thompson. Honest, Fredpostles out there, I'm not. I just can't get into the guy until he throws his fat in the fire and proves himself a worthy candidate. He's masterfully played his pre-candidacy. Now let's see what he's got as candidate.

Things you wouldn't have heard 15 years ago, Vol. I, No. 1

"After being offline for the better part of two days, my feed reader really filled up."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mother Nature's Alarm Clock

Lightning that hits within a block of you is never a pleasant way to wake up. I was already wide awake when it hit, but I'm sure a decent part of my neighborhood wasn't. I'd wager that a lot of people around here are going to have some extra laundry to do today after that one.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What was your life like 19 years ago

A Pole wakes from a 19 year coma to learn that communism has collapsed.

A 65-year-old railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy, Polish media reported on Saturday.
"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere," Grzebski told TVN24, describing his recollections of the communist system's economic collapse.

"Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin."

Grzebski awoke to find his four children had all married and produced 11 grandchildren during his years in hospital.

Wouldn't life be bizarre for any of us after spending 19 years in a coma? Ganted, Grzebski woke to find that his nation's situation was completely different, but all of us would find the world a strange, unfamiliar place after 19 years in a coma.
19 years ago, I was convinced that my baseball card collection was going to make me very wealthy. In fact, I was fairly certain that there would be an NYSE type exchange for baseball cards by now. Many family members, friends, loved ones have passed in that time. Back then I did not even know that the town that I currently live even existed. And that does not even touch upon the technological and social changes we've all witnessed.

So where were you 19 years ago?

Gore doubts his own political aptitude

This is interesting:

Former Vice President Al Gore isn't sure he has the 'aptitude for politics' it would take to be elected president, but he has not ruled out running in 2008, he told the Tennessean newspaper.

Gore, who has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for president, said on Friday at a signing event for his new book "The Assault on Reason," that he wasn't sure he has what it takes to be elected president in today's political climate.

"I don't expect to get into this race," he said in a story on the paper's Web site. "I have given the reasons why. I strongly prefer to serve in other ways.

"I haven't definitely ruled out a return to politics for the rest of my life, but I don't expect to re-enter politics because I don't think I'm very good at some of the things that the modern political system rewards and requires," he added, saying his "aptitude for politics" did not match what is required in the political system today.

Well, I give him this much-he's pretty good at self examination. Gore doesn't have great political skills when it comes to presidential politics. I know a lot of people on the left are pining for another Gore run, but it would not end they way they want it to.

What's new in the land of Leinenkugel's

If you are curious, the The Capital Times has a story up today on the Jacob Leienenkugel Brewing Company, including an interview with Jake and Dick. Here's a brief summary-Miller has increased their expectations for the Leinie's, and we will continue to see distribution expanded to more states for select Leinenkugel beers. The latter is good news for people like myself who travel and enjoy having a little taste of home when on the road.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Why punish innocent Iraqis?

Settling Iraqi refugees in Beirut, I can understand. But Detroit? Why do that to these poor people? Haven't they suffered enough?

Immigration aid workers here expect that as many as half of the nearly 7,000 Iraqi refugees who will be brought into the United States by the end of September will settle in the area.

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan has received government data on numerous refugees recommended for resettlement, said Belmin Pinjic, the service's director of refugee services.

"That's the first sign that someone is in the process and should be coming," he said. "How long that process should take, we don't know."

The agency has already started to contact the prospective refugees' family members who live in the Detroit area, Pinjic said.

The only good news is it should be cheaper for them to buy a house in Detroit then, say, Fallujah.

(For the ill humored, this post should be read as written...with tounge in cheek.)