Monthly Archives: January 2013

An Ounce of Prevention…or Something Like That

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I hear people saying that they agree with Wayne LaPierre‘s point that instead of making new gun laws, we need to be enforcing the laws we already have. So you hear all this mumbling about this loon having a good point. In fact, they are talking about it right now on WRJN. Well fucking DUH, people. This is what these people DO. They make some kind of obvious statement which most people would agree with – that way, the rest of their message may carry more credibility. Does the audience not realize they are being duped?

Of course current laws need to be enforced. They need to be enforced for that gang banger shooting innocent kids; they need to be enforced for deadbeat parents ignoring the needs of their children; they need to be enforced for Wall Street executives who rip off millions of people. Yes – current laws do indeed need to be enforced. But that doesn’t mean new laws won’t cover that which has been missed.

And quite honestly, prison is a better alternative to life on the outside for many criminals. And death penalty? You think a drug dealing gangster doesn’t face death every single day? Prison and death are simply not a deterrent for most people who would have the ability to shoot another.

Seriously, it cannot all be about the punishment of a crime. Just like healthcare – preventative measures need to take a front seat for once. Instead of focusing on the consequences after a crime or after the contraction of a disease…let’s do what we can to prevent them from happening in the first place.

But that isn’t how our culture really works, is it? We live in a reactive society which hates having to sacrifice for tomorrow. We are just a bunch of spoiled, lazy babies. And LaPierre is still a poopy head.

 

Divorce is Not an Option? Okay, Hon.

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I have seen this photo, meme, screenshot…whatever the hell it is…on Facebook A LOT lately. And I do mean a lot, so do not think this is directed at any one person whatsoever. This isn’t personal and I can see the appeal of such a statement. Honestly I really, really can and probably have said something similar in my younger days. However, I think it is actually annoyingly unrealistic and perhaps, for some, even offensive.

Here’s why…

There are people who simply must divorce. There are people for whom divorce is a means of survival. There are marriages which are more unhealthy than some cancers. There are marriages which should have never happened to begin with. And there are some marriages which simply wear off over time.

I think sending a message that a divorce is some horrendous failure is irresponsible and unthoughtful. The end of a marriage is already one of the most painful experiences a person may endure. Why the need for additional shame?

I just think about that woman who is being hit, that guy who was manipulated into marriage, that daughter who constantly watches her parents fight, that son who will grow up never witnessing mutual love. I think about the couple who sadly just grew apart. Or the husband who has finally addressed his homosexuality.

We are on this planet longer and longer with the aid of medical advancements. ‘To death do us part’ used to mean 20, maybe 30 years. What if not everyone is meant to be with only one person their entire life? What if there is more to know, more people to meet, more experiences to be had? Who are we to tell anyone that divorce is bad or unacceptable or a failure? For some, divorce is just another difficult step on a long, learning journey.

And even if your answer is, “Well I just meant FOR ME. It is how I feel about my (future) marriage.”

Well, the first line is…”When I get married…” And I think that is appropriate because things like this are usually said by someone who isn’t married. Because most of us who have been married for more than a minute realize and accept that we will never know what the future holds. We cannot live life based on non-existent certainties and absolutes. Words like always and never truly have little meaning.

Seriously, people…this is like saying, “When I have a kid I am not going to (fill in the blank).” Most of the time, parents have to back pedal on those statements. So when a person states, “When I get married..lalala” and proceeds to judge those who clearly knew less or didn’t try hard enough…it kinda gets my goat.

And one more thing…people don’t get divorced for the fun of it. Marriages don’t end because of one fight or because someone is “mad”. It is difficult and painful and very, very complicated. So to simplify the decision in the manner stated above is bonkers.

But if it makes you better to say these things…then all the power to ya. Just know that some of us who have been here a while are having a good chuckle.

Unlocking the Phone Bullshit

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So bear with me here as I try to bitch about a topic I usually find massively boring and confusing. Technology baffles me. I prefer to think of it all as magic. How does the movie show up on my TV from Netflix? Pixie dust. How does the photo immediately appear on Facebook with a mere click? A top hat and wand, no doubt. Yea, I don’t get it and it bores me simply trying to comprehend, so I give up. Kinda.

Once in a while, some information will be accidentally stored on my cerebral hard drive. And today, a story I overheard on the radio exposed some of that data to my consciousness. But I am guessing it is more about how consumers are constantly being fucked over rather than any technical interest.

So, your cell phone is typically locked so that you cannot use a carrier other than the one with whom you originally purchased the phone and so you will have to pay roaming fees while traveling. Every phone has the capability to be unlocked so that the carrier could possibly be switched and so the phone can be used overseas.

There are people who lobby legislators and spend a lot of money in attempts to make unlocking illegal. Obviously, it is in a phone company’s best interest if you cannot switch to use a pay as you go plan once a contract is complete. And the roaming fees are definitely a bonus. They want to keep you in a contract, like a high priced prison for as long as humanly possible. Kind of like going to a chiropractor…once you sign up for that first adjustment, your stuck for life. With me so far?

As of this coming Sunday, it will be illegal to unlock your own phone. This clearly limits the choice of the consumer. And there is already a White House petition in regards to this economic rape.

While this isn’t the usual kind of thing I whine about…I just felt the need to speak up. I am just so tired of corporations controlling us and our laws and above all, gouging our wallets. Apple makes certain that we have to purchase special $40 cords so that we can take advantage of the capabilities we paid for. And of course no charger is compatible with another. They use special technology to keep us at their financial mercy. I am just simply tired of it. So there.

Garnier Fructis Fall Fight Hair Care – A Review (The Rayne Report)

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Garnier - Fructis - Fall Fight Fortifying ShampooGarnier Fructis – Fall Fight Shampoo and Conditioner

What the product website claims:

Save Up To 1500 Strands Per Month

Notice strands in your bathroom sink or brush? Improve hair’s resistance to everyday hair-fall due to breakage.

The formula with energizing caffeine, fortifying biotin and fruit vitamins, strengthens hair from root to ends, reducing falling, breaking strands.

I have been losing hair since I can remember. I mean, I do realize we are ALL losing hair throughout the day. But mine would often clog the shower drain. A typical day would usually result in a quarter sized ball of hair lost in the shower. I already have the thinnest, finest most annoying hair in all the land – further loss will surely lead to baldness. I am so not in the mood to be bald.

Please visit The Rayne Report for the full review.

 

CAR 25: What Else is in the Trunk?

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Last night on Facebook, some questions were posted in regards to my recent blog post about CAR 25. I wanted to address these questions. Again, I will tell you that I have not spoken to The Mayor about this topic. I am basing what I have to say on my own experiences and the experiences of people I know personally.

1)Keith Fair isn’t the guy making a documentary to raise funds to sue the city. In fact, no one is trying to raise funds to sue the city with the making of the film.

While Fair is not the one making the film, he is a part of the movement. I know who is making the film. And they sure seem to be raising money here – http://www.indiegogo.com/patternorpractice

2) The purpose of the documentary is to highlight the discrepancy between the restrictions placed on minority owned establishments and those owned by persons who are of the caucasian persuasion.

I have heard the stories and watched the video about the documentary as well as talked to some of the people involved. However, it is my belief that race is being used as a tool to fuel a never ending feud between Fair (and friends) and our city’s administration. I don’t believe for a second that Mayor Dickert is racist. And I think that if Fair were white, his bar would have gotten the same criticism. It is about the behavior and safety of the customers it attracts – not their race.  I think this also goes back to lawsuits which likely crushed defendants emotionally and financially. And I think vengeance is a powerful thing. How many calls to the police is acceptable? How many altercations is acceptable? Especially when one of those calls is in response to an assault involving the OWNER! Of course the business is going to be criticized. 

3) The cost of the renovations to the bathroom which may have been necessary, also reportedly netted a close personal friend of the Mayor the princely sum of nearly $90,000 taxpayer dollars for simply serving as a consultant in a feeble attempt to match marble from 100 years ago. Do you honestly think you can find a stone today that matches one unearthed from over a century ago?

Where can I find this information? Reported by whom?

4) The people who have an axe to grind against Ald. Fair are desperately trying to sling mud, setting out to further their personal agendas removing any pretense of unbiased judicial process. As you know, and have written about in the past, here In America, under our system of justice, afforded to anyone accused of a crime, there is supposed to be the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Unfortunately, certain individuals believe it’s their right to condemn others without allowing the courts to do their job in making that determination.

I think it is odd for it to be okay to call Mayor Dickert and the city “racist” but not okay to mention the crimes of which Fair is charged – especially when no other explanation has been given. When I was accused of abuse, I shouted my story –the true story – from the rooftops. Where’s his story? If the charges are false…TELL US!! Don’t sweep it under the rug as though physically assaulting a pregnant woman isn’t significant…because the ignoring of that charge comes off as just that – a complete disregard for the abuse of women.

Calling a person a racist – calling a MAYOR a racist – is a very alarming accusation and there better be some real concrete proof. It seems to me there was quite a bit of proof in the case against Fair. While I think City Hall needs to be more verbal and clear to the public – I too think Fair should be since he is running for office. 

Talk about having an ax to grind. I am not going to name all names as I don’t think it is necessary. But there is a group of people in Racine…people who call themselves Democrats when it serves their purpose…who are hell bent on destroying John Dickert. Therefore, it is very hard to trust their motives and accusations. Their campaign to unseat the Mayor failed and they will do whatever they can to make his job and life miserable. I am certain of this.

I don’t think Dickert is the second coming. I don’t think any of us – especially those in politics – are ever free of blemishes. And I am not naive enough to think that you can successfully hold any political office without compromise, sacrifice and deal making. But I do think he is a good Mayor. I like him. And it is my instinct to defend his administration based on my intuition, gathered information and knowledge of all parties involved. If a day comes when I am proven wrong – I will be the first person to admit my errors.

5) The person who currently “operates” the channel for the city IS in the business of video production, and utilizes much of his own equipment to do so. He also uses much of his own personal resources and puts in the time to do so because the $780,000+ a year that the city receives from the cable franchise fees are not reinvested in the channel.

I do not doubt that Nelson has the best intentions and does the best he can with CAR 25. In fact, with that budget – it is commendable to say the least. I would indeed like to see more of that fee money to go toward the improvement of that channel. And I would love to be able to see Nelson work together with the new production company and wonder if that could be added to the contract (not sure how that works).

But when I google the website for Skies Fall – I have before me a professional and impressive website highlighting all of the equipment  space and experience that company has to offer. When I google Nelson’s company, I find nothing. And when I look at CAR 25’s website – it is really quite terrible. It seems to me that Skies Fall can simply offer more to the channel. I appreciate Nelson’s long standing position and his dedication. But it is clear he needs help. The channel needs help. A ten year contract is an impressive one. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way forever. Sometimes things need to change in order for the possibility of improvement.

6) The channel as is, has won awards previously for it’s programming so to say that it is in need of a revamping by an outside entity that has had zero experience in operating a TV channel is a bit of a stretch. That wasn’t mentioned in your writing so I’ll give you a pass on that but it’s funny that the Mayor’s commentary published in The Journal Times reflected this sentiment over the weekend when it was the North Beach Restoration programming that won an award in the 2011 City Livability Awards Program, for Outstanding Achievement Livability.

I tried to look for the names/years of these awards and just couldn’t find them in all of the muck of internet name calling and belly aching. What awards have been won and when?

Almost anyone can say they have won some kind of award. I don’t really put much stock into awards to be honest. Who knows what goes into their judging process. I go by my own eyes. And CAR 25 is reminiscent of public access from the 90s and can simply be better.

There is more I could write about the players in this game: my own experiences, conversations and that which have been explained to me. I could add links and case numbers and names. But I don’t feel the need to do that. But let me say that there is much more than I am stating here. There is much more going into the reasons for my beliefs. 

Car 25 – Let’s Pimp This Ride

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So here is my take on the Car 25 debacle. If I am wrong, have some facts skewed, have misunderstandings…all of which is very possible…feel free to let me know.

The Mayor and some on the City Council want to improve Car 25 and produce a more contemporary public access channel like they have in other cities. As it is now – it basically sucks. But it is still a necessary luxury – if that makes any sense. It’s a luxury in the way that it can be a beneficial asset to our city and image.  And necessary in the way that the citizens can have access to civic meetings and hearings which they would otherwise miss.

But Car 25 could be made much better and be far more watchable. I think that they want to scoot the operations over to a company who is probably promising to make a better product – one that could enrich and improve our community.

I think that the person who runs it now just cannot do what it would take to make the improvements with the money he has to work with and because of the fact that it is only one guy and not a company who specializes in this industry. I can’t imagine how anyone would run a decent station on less than 100k a year. And I can’t imagine it being a one man operation if it is to compete and compare with contemporary public access channels nationwide. I don’t fault the person running it now, but I think the product that is desired is too much to ask of him.

Some people who are very quick to shoot loogies at the Mayor and anyone who supports him heard the word “privatize” and lost their damn activist minds. They see this company coming in and taking away a job from this guy who has been doing it for a long time. They are looking at this as a 99% v 1% thing. They see this as a cronyism thing (because they love to accuse the Mayor of that and they seem to get points every time they toss out that accusation).

One of Racine’s Aldermen is playing this up and using those typically well-intentioned (well, some of them) people in his battle to muster more hate for the Mayor and to win an election he has no business winning. He said all the right key words to get a few soldiers behind him in his ultimate goal in fucking over Mayor Dickert. This is the same Alderperson who (with others) is currently trying to raise funds for legal fees so they can sue the City of Racine (gee, who will pay for THAT lawsuit??) on baseless charges of racism.

There is a group of people in Racine who have dedicated their lives to getting revenge on the Mayor and his friends. They accuse him of racism and abuse of power. They fill the internet with their false and exaggerated claims. And they could very well win this war because City Hall has craptastic PR. No one is out there giving the answers and explanations which could very likely shut down much of this insanity.

So, basically, this Car 25 thing is an exaggerated, selfishly concocted battle in a drawn-out, schoolyard war. Like I said, this is just how I see it right now being in a position where I can get very few answers and from knowing what I already knew before this particular fight.

The money aspect needs to be explained in detail. The bidding process and entire procedure needs to be laid out before the public (even though most of us will probably understand little of it). And I am sure there is a middle ground which can be reached. But this city is filled will adolescent ego maniacs and all anyone seems to care about is winning. Meanwhile, we will all lose.

It should also be brought to the citizens’ attention that all services in this city are nearing death’s door. The Health Department has been cut to scary * SCARY * levels. Every damn corner is hurting because of these non-existent, bullshit TOOLS that Walker supposedly gave to the municipalities. Cities and Villages were left in a lurch and have been forced to cut everything and take the brunt from the public. Mayors and Administrators all over the state are being forced to be the bad guys while Walker skips and frolics and sings tunes of surplus.

And before anyone brings up the 400k bathroom remodel at City Hall…let me say this (also without having any concrete details)…it is a century old building – an appreciated landmark which should be taken care of to the best of our city’s ability. We should have pride in this building just as we do our Capitol. Renovating a bathroom in a typical home can run thousands and thousands of dollars depending on what needs to be repaired, rebuilt and replaced. A commercial sized bathroom in an old landmark is of course going to cost a ridiculous amount of cash.

Could the costs be brought down? I am guessing so. And perhaps there should be some lassoing in of some loose pockets. But from what I have been told, there is a completely separate fund for which this type of maintenance is allocated. And that this money is not being taken from other budgets. That funding wouldn’t/couldn’t be used for other purposes anyway.

Plus do you want to cheap out now on 4-6 bathrooms which aren’t ADA compliant and will have to be tackled again in 10 years? Or should they do a good job now so they can last 30 years?

So yea…our city is broke. But there is also need for improvement. A city cannot thrive when it is on the brink of falling apart. Sometimes money needs to be shelled out and I bet it is a pretty tough fucking job to figure out the risk/benefit for every spent penny in the city.

One year, our family was completely broke. Our furnace broke down and we obviously couldn’t survive without one. Instead of buying the cheapest thing available just to get us through, we purchased a reliable brand which will last a long time…because honestly, who knows if we will ever be anything other than broke. If you gotta spend the money…then spend it wisely and do the shit right whether it is a furnace, a bathroom or a TV station.

Trying to make everyone happy is futile. But I do wish the city would make more of an effort to tell its side of the story and let people know what they are truly dealing with. And I wish the naysayers would look at all sides and without massive, unfounded chips on their shoulders. Let’s get it together, people.

The Rayne Report: Golden Globes

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Every year I look forward to the Golden Globe Awards. Why? Beats the hell outta me. I mean, really. Do these rich bastards really need more applause…more gushing…more congratulations? Hell no. But yet, like a fly to shit…I am drawn to the fabulousness, glamour and fantasies about my own acceptance speeches.

I would like to thank all of those assholes who called me bucky and jock-itch. I would like to thank all those guys for dumping me like a ton of bricks over…and over…and over. I would like to thank all those people who thought I was just a weirdo who wanted attention. And most of all I would like to thank that plastic surgeon who said I should just accept my Wisconsin body and be happy with the midwestern life. This award goes to all those asshats out there with a big ole side of screw you……….

They like me!!! They really like me…….

Heather…wake up. Heather!! HEATHER – WAKE THE HELL UP!!

Shit. Sorry guys. (yawn)

Anywho…I admit that I do like some of the award ceremonies. Oscars, Emmys and my favorite, Golden Globes. The GGs are always more entertaining. I am pretty sure they are served alcohol during the show and that has got to make a world of difference. The speeches are often humorous which is a major bonus. And I like that it celebrates television AND film.

So ok, ok, ok…while clearly I have not watched EVERYthing nominated, I have watched quite a few. And I will now give to you my winner predictions. If I am spot on accurate – feel free to send me some sort of award.

**When I started this post, it was my intention to have it published before the show, I mean…duh..makes sense, right? But WordPress was being super weird and would not save or publish anything so I had to re-do much of the post. Very frustrating. So I decided to incorporate the prediction blog with the review blog. So this will be long – my apologies.

The Big Screen

Best Picture, Drama

Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty

(did not see Django or Pi)

My prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

My Choice: Argo

Winner: Argo

My Take: Zero Dark Thirty WAS quite good. And I feel that it is more of an Academy choice…more popular and sensational. But for some reason I feel I like Argo just a tad more. Argo didn’t have the assistance of gorgeous costumes or brilliant special effects. This film took a story out of recent history – added some additional nuances for entertainment value and laid it out there with only the might of writing, direction and acting. And I gotta tell ya, I love a movie that can make you sit on the edge of your seat AND provide burst of laughter. Argo really surprised me. Affleck really surprised me. And while I really liked ZDT as well – I did find Argo to have more than one level of entertainment and I guess I just like the story better. And I did also like Lincoln. I liked it a lot. But just did not grab me like Argo did. It was so hyped that perhaps I was expecting more out of Lincoln.

Needless to say, I am thrilled about the choice – but really quite surprised. And it was clear that many people in that theater last night were also surprised. I heard gasps and saw looks of confusion when the winner was announced. I think this is great and deserved for Affleck (who also won best director!!).

P.S. Creepy, fun fact: Affleck looks SO much like my dad did in the 70s…

                    

 

Please visit The Rayne Report for the full review/article…

 

They’re Real! Mascara by Benefit – A Rayne Report Review

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Product: They’re Real Mascara by Benefit

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This is what the Benefit website claims this mascara will accomplish:

They’re real! lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates. Our jet black, long-wearing formula won’t smudge or dry out. A specially designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!

What else you need to know:

94% saw dramatic length & volume*

90% saw base-to-tip curl*

94% saw visible lift*

100% saw long-wearing results*

*Results observed in a consumer panel survey

 

My eyelashes are sparse and thinning more with each passing year. It is just one more depressing thing about getting old (grumble grumble). Because of this, I am constantly on the look out for a great mascara. And, subsequently, I am constantly disappointed.

Please visit The Rayne Report to read the entire review

Flight (2012) – A Review (The Rayne Report)

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Daaannnngggg. Well, I must say…this movie was far better than I had expected. I was never super excited about seeing it and didn’t even know what it was really about (what is with studios and their marketing lately…they only give decent advertising to the crappiest films). Denzel Washington is certainly deserving of his Oscar nod and I am not one of those people who gush over everything he does (cough cough…Mom…).

Since this is my first movie review on this site, I will warn you that there MAY be spoilers from time to time. BUT they will be fairly insignificant if at all. I really do try to keep it vague because there is nothing worse than knowing everything about the movie you are going to see. When trailers basically show the entire film – ugh – annoying. So, please know that I will be writing these with that in mind.

So…in the end, when he dies…

Tee hee…I kid.

Flight isn’t the next Godfather or Casablanca. But it was definitely compelling, captivating and well acted. Based on a true story, Flight is about an alcoholic commercial pilot who finds himself in a very dangerous and traumatic situation. Most of the movie is about what happens after that event, how he reacts to it and the consequences.

This film is essentially a biographic movie about the life of Whip Whitaker – but during only one very pivotal moment in his life. We are brought into his world of excess and disease. And we see how alcoholism can wrap its tentacles around a person and control their every decision. We also witness a perfect example of a “functioning” alcoholic.

 

Please visit The Rayne Report to read the entire review.

 

Introducing The Rayne Report

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Please check out my first review over on my new site The Rayne Report (still considering a name change…any suggestions??). Here is a snippet…

 

Dewey’s Restaurant & Sports Bar – Racine, WI

019When a new restaurant opens in Racine, I mentally jump up and down clapping my hands like a kid at Disney World.  Alright, so maybe it isn’t just mentally. But who can blame me?? It is not very often that we get something new which isn’t the old same ole chain eateries. Plus, I likey my food.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to trying out Dewey’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on the corner of 6th and Main Streets in Downtown Racine. And after several weeks of its doors opening, I finally tried it out last Saturday afternoon.

(see The Rayne Report for rest of the review)

 

 

Please visit and subscribe to The Rayne Report where I will use my relentless need to express my opinions by reviewing…well…anything. Restaurants, movies, products…whatever it is, I will critique it for ya. Come visit and discuss, k?