I like to consider myself a man worth a grain of salt, so I have a basic tool kit with all your essentials: screwdrivers, wrenches, tape measure, flashlight, allen wrench, nuts, bolts, screws, etc. But the one item that I've used time and time again over the past few weeks? The locking pliers. Let me tell you why.
1) They hold stuff of all sizes tightly. Last week I needed to fix my toilet, as the lever arm inside the tank somehow snapped off. I needed to pinch the chain together tightly so I could affix the nut to the back of the tank without the chain falling off. It was tough to do with my big ol' paws but once I was able to get the locking pliers in place...boom. I was able to get it fixed in just a few short minutes.
2) They can grip tighter than a needle nose pliers. I was trying to open up my shed after the winter and broke the key off in the lock in the process. I didn't know how I was going to get my shed open until I grabbed my locking pliers and pinched the very tip of the broken key with the very tip of the locking pliers. That little morsel of key was all that I needed to pry the broken key loose and use the spare key to open the shed.
3) They can pick up things I can't reach. I dropped a sock behind the drier and couldn't reach it, even with my long arms, I needed about three or four extra inches. Boom. Locking pliers came in to save the day.
I don't know why I thought about this, but I've come to appreciate the ingenuity that is the locking pliers.
Brian May...standing up for what he believes in. May 21, 2013 1:19 pm
I don't watch American Idol or The Voice or any of those other singing shows, but I respect their merit. I believe that they are show where the cream will rise to the top, and and true talent will be recognized. I can see how famous singers can get surly about the relatively instant popularity that some of these people can attain. According to the New Musical Express, Queen guitarist Brian May thinks that the BBC version of The Voice is the "ultimate insult to music" and the "dullest, dumbest, most depressing show on TV." Again, I've never seen it, but conceptually it makes sense to me, and the ratings seem to go against what May says. I love Queen, but I gotta say that I disagree with May here. Interestingly, I also learned from the article that May wants to keep culling badgers in the UK to stop cattle from getting tuberculosis. The more you know.
What were you doing when you were 18? May 20, 2013 12:22 pm
Saturday was a pretty busy day for me, as I was heading from an early afternoon event to dinner to an evening event to drinks downtown. Now, I can handle a busy day like that but I'm not always convinced by phone will. I have an android that lasts the majority of a typical day with only moderate use. I have a tendency to use it on the weekends a few more, and even with battery-saving apps, I find myself with a flashing red light sooner than I would like.
If I do get 10 minutes in the car or a half hour at home, I immediately plug in my phone but often it's not enough. If I could charge my phone in 30 seconds though, that would be nice.
This is 18-year old Eesha Khare, and according to NBC, the device she is holding is a "fast-charging device is a so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries."
She invented it because she, like me, had issues with her cell phone battery. When I was 18, I was a freshman in college and my biggest concern was passing calculus and trying to figure out where I was going to get a case of beer for the weekend. She's winning a $50,000 grant from Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Where's the beef? May 16, 2013 12:05 pm
We give away a lot of prizes on the radio, from gift certificates to water park passes to jet skis, TVs and furniture. One thing we have not given away is livestock. In Japan last year, golfer Luke Donald won not only a golf tournament but a Miyazaki cow as part of the prize. According to an ESPN report, The cows get names, are rumored to drink beer and get massaged with sake, and have a high amount of fat that is prized by those who can afford to eventually eat it..
It's another version of Waygu beef, similar to Kobe. Sounds freaking delicious.
As you might imagine, the logistics of shipping a head of cattle from Japan to England, where Donald is from, is kind of difficult. So, he had the cow butchered and sent to the United States, where he hired two chefs to help him prepare the beef, which runs upwards of $160 a pound. After months of wrangling, Donald finally acquired 200 pounds of the specialty beef, valued at approximately $80,000. Given that the purse at the event was $2.5 million dollars, $80k is only a fraction of the prize money available. But it's easily the most delicious.
Said Donald of the beef: ""It's very marbled and the knife just eases through the meat. Definitely the best beef I've ever had."
New Vikings Stadium May 16, 2013 11:47 am
When I first saw the design for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium design, my first comment was a sarcastic remark about how it's cute that the Vikings think that Adrian Peterson is still going to be a healthy, functioning running back in the NFL come 2016. All joking aside, it's a pretty impressive stadium. It's no Lambeau Field, but I think that Minneapolis will be getting its $975 million worth. It is interesting that Forbes valued the franchise at $975 million in 2012, and now the ticket price on the stadium is the exact same. Could the Wilf family afford that by themselves? Possibly, as Zygi's fortune is approximately $1.3 billion dollars. But if you can get the taxpayers to pay for your new toy, why not? It worked for Miller Park (and plenty of other stadiums around these fifty nifty United States.
While it bugs me that the design is not symmetrical, if done right, it could look really cool and kind of futuristic in downtown Minneapolis. The natural light coming in through the roof is cool, and it allows the team to play through a snow storm. Let's just home the roof can support the weight.
Just because you're famous... May 15, 2013 11:35 am
I collect shot glasses. I have them from many of the cities I've been to in our great country, from Baltimore, Phoenix, Washington DC, North Carolina, etc. They look nice on my shelf and occasionally, I'll fill one with tequila and pour it down my gullet. Generally speaking, the shot glasses range from $5 to $8 or so, depending how fancy they are, and I'm ok with popping a few bucks on a souvenir. But what the hell is this?
$950 for a shot glass? Are you kidding me? Apparently "goop" is the website that Gwenyth Paltrow started, that, according to the website, "is a digital media and e-commerce company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow...in the fall of 2008 to share all of life's positives." Does she realize that the cost of that paycheck is like two weeks of work for me? How is spending almost $1000 on a shot glass one of life's positives? Just because you're famous and can afford stuff like this doesn't mean everyone else can. Or anyone else can. I've talked about my love for Gwenyth, especially in the Iron Man movies, but that was before I knew about "goop." Do people really pay this much for stuff?
Sandwich Battle Lines May 15, 2013 10:06 am
When it comes to fast food rib sandwiches, people are pretty split. Either the opinion is that they are the greatest sandwiches ever (I tend to lean toward this camp) or that they are a revolting non-meat product (I may lean this way after eating my second or third). The stalwart in this industry has been the McDonald's McRib, but there's going to be a competitor unveiled this summer - the BK Rib Sandwich.
According to USA Today, the BK Rib Sandwich sold ?extremely well? during a test run at Burger King locations in Louisiana. The new sandwich will debut nationally on May 21 and have a price of around $3.49 a la carte, or $5.59 as a meal with fries and a drink.
In most of my fast food endeavors (which I prefer to be few and far between), I tend to order off the dollar/value menu, but for the right item, I may splurge. And I'm a sucker for the "limited time only" gimmick, so you better believe I'll be dining on the BK Rib Sandwich this summer.
Different strategy for the Brewers? May 14, 2013 2:32 pm
The Milwaukee Brewers have been a tough team to figure out in 2013.
They started out 2-8, won nine straight to move three games over.500 before losing nine of ten to fall to 15-20.
The Brewers topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Monday night to help break out of that funk, but it was an interesting offensive game plan that helped Milwaukee do so.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke sat Rickie Weeks after playing him in 35 straight games and seeing a .181 batting average in return. Roenicke also reluctantly sat slugger Ryan Braun with a stiff neck Monday night, giving Roenicke two open slots in the line-up to tinker with.
The result? An idea I can get behind.
Milwaukee batted Norichika Aoki in his regular lead-off role, had Jean Segura bat second and then inserted Carlos Gomez into the No. 3 spot for the first time in his career.
The result? The trio went 7-for-14 with six stolen bases.
It's an incredibly small sample size, being just one game (against the Pirates too), but it's an idea that, for the Brewers, just might work.
This should be good... May 13, 2013 11:43 am
Mike Tyson is one of those people that if you hear any story about him, as crazy as it might sound, you know there's a decent chance that it's true. The latest news about Iron Mike? He's set to appear in a new animated comedy series on Comedy Central's Adult Swim, called Mike Tyson Mysteries. Here's a snippet of the show description:
Mike Tyson is taking the fight from the boxing ring to the streets? by solving mysteries! Armed with a magical tattoo on his face and a trusty associate by his side ? a talking pigeon ? if you have a problem that needs solving, Iron Mike is in your corner.
I'm not sure I'll be a regular watcher, but if I stumble across it, I know I'll have to watch at least some of it. The good news (or bad news?) is that it's only a 15-minute show. I still have a feeling it could be horrificly bad and offend a great deal of people in that short amount of time.
Calm down, moms. May 9, 2013 1:53 pm
Apparently "pinterest stress" is a real thing, with mothers being obsessed with having the cutest invitations/Christmas cards/baby announcements/whatever. Is it really a big deal?
Per NBC: "In our exclusive TODAY Moms survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers, 42 percent said that they sometimes suffer from Pinterest stress ? the worry that they?re not crafty or creative enough. Symptoms include staying up until 3 a.m. clicking through photos of exquisite hand-made birthday party favors even though you?ll end up buying yours at the dollar store, or sobbing quietly into a burnt mess of expensive ingredients that were supposed to be adorable bunny cookies for the school bake sale."
Maybe I'm not capable of this made-up thing because I'm not creative enough to want my dog to wear a bow tie to announce the gender of my baby in a facebook picture. (Note: I don't have a dog or a baby.)
I just don't get it.
Is being a mother that big of a competition?
How was he not already in? May 8, 2013 3:13 pm
He was the first player to top 7,000 yards rushing and finished with 7,125 career yards on the ground. That?s over four miles worth of turf that Ron Dayne chewed up in his tenure as the Wisconsin Badgers? tailback from 1995 to 1999. He graduated at the NCAA?s all-time leading rusher.
You?d think that would be enough to be a first-ballot selection for the College Football Hall of Fame, no?
According to the National Football Foundation, a player becomes eligible for consideration ?ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.? For Dayne, his final game as a member of the Badgers came Jan. 1, 2000, when Wisconsin beat Stanford 17-9 to win the Rose Bowl, a game in which Dayne was named MVP.
By my calculation, that would have made Dayne eligible for entry into the College Football Hall of Fame at the beginning of 2010. Why did it take him three more years to get selected? I don?t have a good answer. Apparently graduating as the NCAA?s all-time leading rusher and as first-team All-American with a Heisman Trophy and a slew of other national awards under your belt doesn?t make the first-year cut.
Two days later... May 6, 2013 2:31 pm
Saturday morning, I partook in the 43 mile bike tour portion of the Grandad's Half Marathon event in La Crosse and I'm proud to say I accomplished the task. It started off in the high 30s for a temperature (especially brisk when riding 15 to 20 mph) and finished off around 70 degrees. Needless to say, the attire I was wearing to begin the race was quite uncomfortable by the time I was done. I got off my bike in Riverside Park my Achilles' tendons, calves, hamstrings, lower back and hands were all quite painful. I proceeded to lay on my bed (after showering) for approximately six hours and not sleep because I was too sore to get up and too sore to fall asleep. It was an interesting predicament. I woke up Sunday morning with my calves and hands being the only things that were really still sore, and by today, I'm feeling pretty good. I can still feel where the bike seat was for 3 hours and 45 minutes on Saturday (too much information?) and I think I'll lay off the bike for the rest of the week. Props to everyone that finished and to those that rode the 60 mile race: you're crazy. Congrats to all the marathon runners too. Excellent weekend for a great event. (Also, I'm really bad at cropping photos in paint, but that's me at about the 19 mile marker on Saturday. We were stopped at one of the aid stations for Gatorade and a bagel.)
Interesting medical test May 3, 2013 1:52 pm
My mom's a diabetic so I've watched her prick her fingers for over 20 years, but being able to tell if you have heart disease with a similar procedure? I'd be curious. It is the #1 killer in the United States, so the earlier you know...
LeRoy Butler and Jason Collins May 1, 2013 1:45 pm
When I was eight-years-old, LeRoy Butler was my favorite Green Bay Packers player. I wore his No. 36 jersey until I literally could not squeeze into it any longer. I, like every kid in Wisconsin, emulated the Lambeau Leap that he created by jumping into snowbanks cradling a football.
Nearly 20 years later, I?m proud that one of my heroes growing up is a man of conviction.
According to his @leap36 Twitter feed, Butler was forced to cancel his speaking engagement at a Wisconsin church due to the support that he showed to NBA journeyman Jason Collins, who announced this week that he was gay. What exactly did Butler say?
?Congrats to Jason Collins.?
That?s it. One four-word tweet to a colleague, another professional athlete who was choosing to make the most important announcement of his life in a very public way.
Here's something you don't see in America every day. And those are some extremely nice neighbors to venture into the battle zone and try to shoo away the monkeys that could literally rip your face off.
Texting during a job interview? Apr. 29, 2013 2:53 pm
I don't think it's bragging to say that I'm proud of my interviewing skills. When I was hired here almost 2 years ago, I was prepared and professional, and I thought I came across as a very quality candidate. Apparently the interviewers thought so too, because here I stand many hours of radio later. However, it appears that employers are seeing the quality of interviews decrease, according to this USA Today report. Here's a snippet that I really like:
Human resource professionals say they've seen recent college grads text or take calls in interviews, dress inappropriately, use slang or overly casual language, and exhibit other oddball behavior.
I know that might be way the current generation acts, but it's generally not their peers that they are interviewing with. It's disappointing that that group has that reputation, but on the other hand, it might give people like you and I a little more job security.
Datone Jones Apr. 26, 2013 1:01 pm
When the Green Bay Packers were finally on the clock Thursday night with the 26th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the task was to find value. That doesn?t mean getting a Hall of Famer or even a perennial Pro Bowler, but rather a player with the talent level worthy of a first-round pick that fits with the team?s scheme and productivity needs.
The Packers found that person in UCLA defensive end Datone Jones.
If Green Bay?s front office was going to sculpt an athlete to be the edge rusher to get to the likes of Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford on a consistent basis, it?s likely they?d come up with the 6?4,? 280-pound frame that the former Bruin will bring to Dom Capers? defense.
Baseball is one of the traditional American sports holding onto as many vestiges of the good ol' days as possible that I feel like they're missing out on opportunities to make the sport both current with the times and have a high a quality product as possible. Last night the Brewers would have loved to have instant replay available, as a difficult call was made on Martin Maldonado that unfortunately ended the game and snapped Milwaukee's nine-game winning streak. I think anyone staunchly opposed to instant replay and use the argument that it would slow down the pace of an already slow game need to remember the fact that managers come out to argue nearly every close call they feel goes against them, so if we could go to the tape and eliminate any doubt, why wouldn't they? Part of me feels bitter that that Brewers lost on a fluky and controversial call, but I have felt for a while that it's a facet of technology that needs to be incorporated into today's game.
My Top 5 Apr. 24, 2013 2:12 pm
I noticed today that Gwyneth Paltrow was named People Magazine's "Most Beautiful Woman" and I have to say I don't disagree. She is quite the beautiful lady. I saw a trailer for Iron Man 3 (which comes out next weekend - stoked!) and there's something incredibly attractive with the way she plays Pepper Potts. She's not overdone with make-up and pair that with the strawberry blonde hair? Damn. Not saying that she's not "hot" but I can see why see won the "beautiful" award. Despite being 16 years my senior, she's definitely cracked my top 5 (along with Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Alex Morgan). The average of those four ladies is 33.4 years old. I don't know what that says about me, but I like numbers. And Gwyneth Paltrow. Congrats on the award.
Memorable Days Apr. 23, 2013 2:56 pm
I've talked with some people over the last few days about the crazy week in Boston/West, Texas and even here in town, and I've asked them whether or not they think this is one of "remember where I was" events. I can think of four days for sure in my lifetime (I'm not that old) where I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news: the shootings at Columbine, 9/11, the shootings at Virginia Tech and the shootings at the Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.
For people older than I, some of those types of events from the last 100 years might include Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination, the Miracle on Ice or the Challenger explosion.