On "Monty's Day" he was allowed to be here with no admonishment.

Farewell Monty – our final journey.

I hate cats.

I don’t like cats – I never really have. At least that’s what I tell everyone anyway. This position is born from long-suffered allergies that made life near them impossible. When I got forced into a living situation with a pair of them ten years ago that changed. Sure one night I coughed so hard I passed out and face-planted the floor –  I got over it.

I don’t know, maybe I was just being prepared for my wife-to-be and her cat – Monty Python Hausman aka Monty Cat. When I met him he was fat and lazy and never came out of my now step-daughter’s room. That would be because of the Sadie Dog but this blog isn’t about her.

"Fat" Monty enjoying our new home in Elkhorn.

“Fat” Monty enjoying our new home in Elkhorn.

At the risk of over-sharing I’m going to tell you about him. I don’t really care though, this isn’t for you really – it’s for me.

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ZAGGkeys Folio – Air Apparent

My iPad 3 and Zagg Folio have been keeping my business life sorted the past couple of years but it was time for a change after I cracked my screen that happened because of the old Folio’s design. My new combo bests the old one is every conceivable way.

First, the annoyances of the old Zagg Folio are gone – impossible to open clasp, kludgy stand design, bulk, weight and near impossible iPad removal are all gone. Zagg clearly surveyed their users on what was wrong with the old design.

The friction hinge design is a huge improvement. No longer will your iPad flop around while you try to get it in the groove and it won’t flip over backwards when it slips out (cause of my prior crack). This also solves the clasp problem, simple thumb notch to help you open is all you need.

The new design is also incredibly thin and light, I hated adding the bulk to my iPad 3 but I really needed the keyboard and was afraid of weighing down my new iPad Air. Your Air simply snaps into the thin back where it has some thin leather padded protection. Taking it back out is a breeze just pressing out on the corners.

Finally the keyboard has a fantastic feel and is incredibly thin as well. Not only that but you have backlit keys as well (simple controlled with its own key on the keyboard). They also added a battery indicator button so when you need to charge is no longer the mystery it once was.

Zagg has done a fantastic job with this product, it’s a huge upgrade that matches the upgrade of my iPad Air itself. Can’t recommend it enough for turning your iPad into a full on laptop replacement.

User Cleanup

My blog has been besieged by spammers for weeks. You haven’t seen this since they haven’t been able to get past registration. Still, getting tons of registrations every day has been annoying to me.

So, I’ve converted the comments system to Disqus which is pretty ubiquitous now. People can also use Facebook as well.

If you had a registered account that you used to comment (couldn’t find any out of the tons of users) your comment has been exported to Disqus and should show up again shortly.

Thanks!

Rear Fog Lights

“What?” you may say. “There’s no such thing as rear fog lamps!!”

Oh, my noble reader, they do exist. Those of us who have owned a European car, and cared to read the owner’s manual (rather elite company) know of this feature called the rear fog lamp. These are one or two red lights on the rear of the car that meet or exceed the brightness of brake lights. Their purpose? To let you see a car ahead of you in the fog.

The Pet Peeve

People who turn them on all the time. I can somewhat stomach people who always have their fogs on, it’s dumb but it doesn’t hurt me. But these lights are very bright and if you are behind a car with them on, and I bet you have been at some point, you either think they are resting their foot on the brake or have a brake light out. The truth is, they have their dang rear fog lights on for no good reason! Example!!

Someone needs to read the owner's manual.

Someone needs to read the owner’s manual.

Note this is not only the daytime but it is very sunny out. In this case the Mercedes was turning and it’s more difficult to see but if you look to the right of the left turn signal you will see a very bright red light, it’s brighter than the brake lights. This is the rear fog light, there’s only one, and it had been on for miles.

When is the proper time to use them? Funny you should ask, but rear fog lights should be used, you guessed it, in heavy fog and not just a little fog, visibility shortening fog.

An Audi in very foggy conditions properly using rear fog lights (on either side of the license plate).

An Audi in very foggy conditions properly using rear fog lights (on either side of the license plate).

In this case I was in an elevated area where the fog was light but you can see it was very foggy out. This is a proper time to use rear fog lights which are usually on the same switch as front fog lights. You can see they help distinguish this car and because it’s dark and foggy the brightness is helpful and not hurtful.

So, friends don’t let friends drive European cars with rear fogs on okay? If you know someone please, the time is now, do an intervention!

Kim Kearby Visitation

Kim Kearby’s family will be holding a visitation followed by remarks on Friday, September 27th at Justens Funeral Home in Round Lake. Further information can be found on Justen’s website.

The Daily Herald was kind enough to publish a piece on Kim today as well, you can view that on their website. The Herald told me Jeanne had passed my blog posting on to them, I’m glad the family received it and glad so many of you have shared it with others. When the ones we loved have left it’s passing the memories around that keeps them with us.
Thanks everyone.

Remembering Kim Kearby

This morning I learned of the untimely passing of Kim Kearby last evening. As of this writing I’m not aware of the circumstances, my prayers go out to Jeanne and the Kirby Family for the loss of a truly special man.

Kim first and foremost loved the kids of Round Lake and wanted what was best for them. His actions continually reflected this and I will defend that to anyone who dares to say otherwise. Second, he was a proud leader of the teachers and staff of Round Lake. There’s a reason the Education Association of Round Lake grew to include virtually all staff members  – you couldn’t do any better than Kim Kearby.

There was no reason for Kim and I to get along – he was an old hippie who had never given it up and I am a libertarian. Sure, we had some common ground on a lot of social issues but we had just as many massive differences. When I attended his retirement party I had to endure Union songs, that’s how much I liked him. Kim Kearby was a giant in a small man’s shoes who has left an unfathomable void.

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Box Office Upgrade

Seems everything has been installed and PM&L is ready to go with online ticketing shortly. It was great working on this project and seeing it come to fruition after a long period of time pushing for it.

I did a report to evaluate the options and lay out the process for what the project would enfold back in May. Here’s a look if you’re interested in all the things we looked at. It seems like a simple change but there’s a lot that goes into it.

PM&L Ticketing Upgrade

Neglected Blog

I’ve had way too many projects going at once to keep up on the blog. What I do know is it needed a facelift and being neglected I don’t see doing the time to do that. :P So we’re going with a quick switch to the WordPress default theme and leave it at that.

Maybe sometime I’ll have a chance to have at this…..probably not.

Hypocrisy, Hollywood be thy name.

So, a lot of Hollywood types have latched on to the whole Bloomberg “Demand A Plan” scam. Mayor Bloomberg already has some of the most onerous gun laws in the nation yet it doesn’t stop criminals from killing lots of people. Maybe the Mayor should spend more time wondering why people use the subway for murder in his fair city but I digress. Chicago’s laws are tougher where gun owners have had to sue to own or carry a gun, yet homicides exceeded 500 this year.

Who are these Hollywood folk who see fit to use their celebrity to try to convince us they know something we don’t? Let’s take a look.

Jamie Foxx

Maybe he’s looking for publicity for his new film but Jamie Foxx is right at the top of the list. The very same Jamie Foxx toting a gun on a blood spattered poster for Django Unchained the new Quentin Tarrantino film he’s starring in. It promotes those important morals, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of vengeance.” In 2007 he starred as a blackmailing gun-wielding FBI agent in The Kingdom.

Jason Bateman

The guy who brought his career back from life support on the cult hit Arrested Development. They were happy to feature a dopey security guard running around shooting mice with a gun in the episode “Not Without My Daughter”. It’s also damn funny to teach the nerdy character a lesson at the business end of a loaded shotgun carried by a probation officer in “Making A Stand“.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Another Arrested Development star, see above.

Carey Mulligan

Young new star who last year starred in that placid film Drive where an all-around bad ass Ryan Gosling has to protect her from her estranged convict husband’s friends with just a car. Well, of course, it wasn’t just a car it was pistols, shotguns and the beautiful scene where Ryan just kicks the ever loving crap out of a guy in an elevator.

Beyoncé

Come now Beyoncé, did you really think we would forget “Thug Love”? Let me remind you:

A thug is what I want
And a thug is what I need
And my friends don’t understand
How my baby laces me
A thug is what I want
And a thug is what I need
And my friends don’t understand
And I think its jealousy

I know, her thug must not use a gun.

Jeremy Renner

I’m amazed Mr. Renner has the gall to open his mouth on this topic at all. Let’s run down his IMDB hit parade shall we?

  • Hawkeye in The Avengers (I guess shooting people with bows and arrows is okay)
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • The Town
  • The Hurt Locker
  • The Assassination of Jesse James…
  • 28 Weeks Later
  • S.W.A.T.

It appears to me Mr. Renner has little interest in a role unless he’s using a gun or other weapon to mow down a bunch of people in it.

Amy Poehler

Seems most of the cast on Arrested Development took time to put down their guns and join in this “PSA”.

Jessica Alba

Double duty packing heat for Robert Rodriguez in Sin City and Machete not to mention her big break starring in one of my faves, Dark Angel where she was a gun-toting wunderkind. She even brandished one of those evil “machine guns” with a “high capacity clip”, an HK MP5. She’s going back for more as well, the Machete sequel is in post-production and she’s filming the Sin City sequel. Lock and load Jes!

Rashida Jones

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No ear protection, check. Person in close proximity also with no ear protection, check. Closed eyes, check. Proper elevation, check. Well done Rashida!

Rashida got her hunt on for some great laughs on Parks and Recreation when the whole gang hit the woods and Rashida was happy to mishandle and break various safety precautions with a Remington shotgun. But hey, it was just in good fun wasn’t it?

Aziz Ansari

Yep, Aziz was in that episode of Parks and Recreation as well, he had a Mossberg shotgun to greet visitors at his cabin door.

John Legend

As if his lyrics weren’t criminal enough he was happy to hook up with Talib Kewli for a little ditty called “Around My Way”, take a sample:

No place like home when the cops ask you about your neighbors
Beat on you, threaten to incarcerate you
Till you spill your guts like you a Garcia Vega
We roll blunts not the papers
Cop the greatest take it coast to coast
L.A. to Chicago like Smooth Operators
Cop the Dro and cop the blacks
Cop the four, cock it back
Drop the flow, rock a hat on top a stocking cap

Roll the blunts and cock one back John, priceless.

Nick Offerman

Another Parks and Recreation cast member who apparently can’t remember what he puts to film. His character has a claymore (not the sword, the explosive device) and a sawed off shotty on his desk. For fun and games he likes to wield a revolver around the office with his finger on the trigger.

John Slattery

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John Slattery, OB Magnum.

Now we come to two points of disappointment for me for I am a huge Mad Men fan. I thought John was clean until I checked out an appearance he made on 30 Rock. Um…yeah.

Jon Hamm

It should be no surprise that he who portrays Don Draper is the cleanest of the lot. Yes, he wielded some guns in The Town but nothing that glorified them as he was “the law”. He’s also carried portraying a soldier in We Were Soldiers (a personal favorite) as well as Mad Men.

Selena Gomez

Does dating Biebs count?

Jennifer Aniston

Badly handled a revolver on 30 Rock and a shotgun in The Bounty Hunter. No, I didn’t even know about that movie until I started working on this.

Conan O’Brien

Another disappointment but like Jon Hamm he’s also clean.

Chris Rock

I saved the best for last because when I saw him come up in this I could not believe my eyes. Chris Rock? Really Chris? Are you kidding me? If you know Chris Rock you know why, for the rest of you perhaps you have heard of one of Chris’ most famous routines known as, and I quote, “Black People vs Niggas”. Check it out on You Tube if you haven’t already.

So, after exploring some issues concerning propagators of the thug life shall we say, Chris drops some knowledge with the line, ”What, you think I’ve got three guns in my house ’cause the media is outside?” So, apparently Chris thinks we need to do something about the guns “as a human being” but I guess he’ll be keeping his three?

There were more folks in this video but the point has been made – Hollywood doesn’t just live in hypocrisy, it takes hypocrisy to the bank. When someone like Jeremy Renner, who would be flipping burgers if it wasn’t for the “gun culture” propagated by his films, has the gall to tell me I need to demand a plan from politicians things have gone far enough alright.

These folks are the ones putting the guns in your living room every day goofing with them and killing lots of bad guys with them. After all, guns are funny as hell right? Meanwhile mine and those of respectable gun owners are locked, secured and out of sight.

Whether it’s comedy or action there’s really no difference though because the money is made one way or the other and guns are things of amazement instead of dangerous tools to them. Do we need to look for ways to prevent Newtown from happening again? Absolutely. However, we don’t need lectures from those who earn their living glorifying guns to tell us what they are.