Thursday, March 30, 2006

This blog lists which restaurants in Indianapolis have chosen to remain smoking or have gone non-smoking.

Send your submissions to the Indianapolis Smoker
Lawgeekgurl links to an ad contest collaboration between the Apprentice and Chevy Tahoe. Someone apparently let this ad through. Watch it before it disappears. Thanks for the laugh, lawgeekgurl

Final Four Weekend

A friend told me I am writing more about basketball than politics these days. I guess so, but in Indiana basketball is politics.

Tonight, Reggie Miller will have his number retired by the Indiana Pacers. There are several national basketball figures already in town for the Final Four, so I imagine there will be a lot of star power at the game. A friend of mine has already seen and exchanged pleasantries with Dick Vitale downtown. Dick did not tell him he was a PTPer.

I did a technorati search for Indianapolis and Final Four to see what bloggers have to say about coming to Indianapolis this weekend. I do have a bit of civic pride in spite of all. I was disheartened to see a blogger from Baton Rouge of all places declare that he did know Indianapolis had anything besides a Speedway. How can anyone from Baton Rouge look down on Indianapolis? I’ve been to your airport. I have been to indoor flea markets that are larger than your “terminal”.’s Pat Forde has an article about the decline of basketball in Indiana on every level. He speaks about the decline of the high school basketball tournament since we moved to a multi-class format. This ensures the Milan miracle (inspiration for the movie Hoosiers) will never happen again. Of course, the Indiana University Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers have been in decline as well. Lastly, he talks about the disappointment that the Indiana Pacers have been over the past few years.

I am sick of the asshat Bob Kravitz deriding our new coach at Indiana University. The deal is done. Let’s support him and give him a chance to win. Hoosier and columnist Jason Whitlock has a lot of good things to say about him. I am excited. Let’s face it, after the Davis debacle if we run Sampson out of town, we’re not going to be able to lure blacklisted coaches Jim Harrick or Larry Eustachy here.

I was at the circle downtown for lunch. It was a beautiful day around the crowded circle. I saw friends that I haven’t seen for months because we have been shuttered up inside from the cold. They’ve built quite a concert stage and I will go to the concerts even though I am not a fan of many of the acts slated to play.

The last time the Final Four was here a friend and I started drinking around Noon and we were out until around 2 am when we were dragged out of a downtown bar after almost starting a fight with a guy whose hulking friend looked like Mr. Clean. That was my closest call ever for a bar fight and I do not anticipate a reoccurrence.

As Jim noted the bars will close at two am on Saturday night because of Daylight Savings Time, but Mitch Daniels has declared it's okay to pour past two. If I am able to stay up that late, I'll raise a toast to him for once. You see, I found a way to sneak politics into this post.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

An Indianapolis Welcome

Jim at 11 am air raid welcomes visitors to the circle city for the Final Four.


I love wikipedia. One can find almost anything he wants to know there. I was researching George Mason University and I noticed it had a fairly small list of famous alumni. The most famous one was probably Karl Rove. Of course, schools like UCLA, LSU, Florida and Indiana University have many famous former students, so they have actual category breakdowns for their famous alums.

For example, politics: Wendell Wilkie (IU), Tom Bradley (UCLA), James Carville, (LSU)

entertainment: Kevin Kline (IU), Francis Ford Coppola(UCLA)

Nobel Prize Winners Ralph Bunche (UCLA), Marshall Nirenberg (University of Florida)

They have different categories for athletes, business, law and so on.

Of course, then there is that "other" category for those difficult to place alumni. Indiana University has two and for some reason I had to laugh.

Jared Fogle, spokesman for Subway restaurants
Jim Jones, Peoples Temple founder and cult leader (from the Jonestown massacre)

Indianapolis Star is on top of things

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kelvin Sampson to IU?

There are several media outlets reporting that University of Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson will be the next Indiana University Men's Basketball Coach.

I don't know what to think. He wins, but he was under investigation for NCAA violations at Oklahoma and he recruits a lot of JUCO players.

Bush Blair Memo

The NY Times has seen a memo from two months before the war started in Iraq. It is obvious President Bush was determined to go to war with Iraq. Here are some revelations:

-From private talks between George Bush and UK PM Tony Blair, the memo makes it clear the US was determined to go to war whether or not he had UN backing.

-He is quoted discussing ways to provoke Saddam Hussein into a confrontation.

-The US "was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours", Mr Bush said. If Saddam fired on them, the Iraqis would be in breach of UN resolutions, he suggested.

-He also indicated the US "might be able to bring out a defector" to talk about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, and mentioned a proposal to assassinate the Iraqi leader.

-Although the US and UK pushed for a second UN resolution on Iraq, the memo cites Mr Bush saying he did not believe one was needed.

-the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq.

New York Times.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Road Trip

I went on a roadtrip to Pittsburgh last week to pick up a friend's car. We started out late in the day, so we only made it Columbus, Ohio for the night.
Some thoughts about Columbus:

--Don't go to downtown Columbus after 10 pm and expect an easy time finding a full meal.

--Anytime a Columbusean(?) tells you some place is two blocks away, they really mean 1/2 a mile.

--You and your Columbus taxi driver may not exactly share the idea of what constitutes a nice bar.

--Priceline may be cheap but you also may end up next to this, which is usually not a good sign.

We then stopped in Wheeling, WV, which has a couple of cool bridges.(link, link2)

Random thoughts about Wheeling:

--People in West Virginia tend to stare at you.

--In spite of this, if you actually talk to them they are really friendly.

--We met the guy from the Wheeling visitor's center. He was really nice and very eager to tell us all about Wheeling. He recommended we eat at Coleman's fish market. They are famous for fried fish on two slices of plain white bread. It was absolutely delicious.

Here is a picture.

EDIT: The friend who I accompanied on this trip told me that I left some things out about Wheeling.

This information came from our new friend at the tourist office.

Step back, St. Louis. Wheeling was the original "gateway to the West".

Also, Wheeling was once larger than Pittsburgh, but the State of Pennsylvania sued because the Wheeling bridge blocked tall ships from traveling to Pittsburgh. Wheeling built a new bridge to accommodate the tall ships and Pittsburgh eclipsed them in growth.

I don't really have a lot to say about Pittsburgh. We were too tired by the time we made it there. Downtown looked really nice, but my friend said that it was pretty dead when he was there.

Oh, I did buy a case of Yuengling, which is a favorite beer of mine and unavailable in Indiana. Pennsylvania has some messed up liquor laws. One cannot buy beer at grocery stores as it is only available at liquor stores and beer stores which close at ten o'clock and you have to buy it in case form. It is not available as a 6 pack. However, after ten, you can buy it at taverns and if they serve a significant amount of food, they are allowed to sell a 6 pack. Whew, and I thought Indiana had crazy laws.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hoosiers are Gun Crazy

I know the Star online opinion polls are far from scientific, but 53 percent of those who answered the Star's poll do not believe Indiana's laws make it easier for criminals to have access to guns. For a good comparison of the difference betweeen gun laws in Indiana and our neighbor state of Illinois at the bottom of this link.

One of the main problems with Indiana is that background checks are not required at guns shows in Indiana and one does not need license for a private resale. Also, there are gun stores like Don's and Bradis, which are number 2 and 13 nationally in gun sales linked to crimes. What is the rationale of the 53 percent who said our laws do not contribute to criminal access to firearms? I would like to know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nick Hornby

I saw author, Nick Hornby, last night at Butler. He gave a reading and tirelessly answered a lot of questions from the audience. I was quite impressed with him, perhaps mostly because he seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. After the reading, he signed my copy of About a Boy.I chose that because it was the only book of his that I owned in hardcover. My friend brought Songbook. He had him sign the essay about Paul Westerberg. Later, my friend noticed he had written:


Nick Hornby

Monday, March 20, 2006

New Indianapolis Blog

I just discovered Consuming Indy , which describes itself as:

Consuming Indy is your guide to great restaurants, shops, events and happenings in Indianapolis. We strive to try, support, publicize and give time and money to people and businesses doing interesting and cool things in Indy.

I look forward to reading it in the future.

Who are these people?

Half of Hoosiers oppose lifting Sunday alcohol laws

Indiana laws prohibit the sale of alcohol in grocery, convenience and liquor stores on Sundays. A recent Indianapolis Star poll asked Hoosiers whether they favor or oppose such sales.

• Oppose Sunday sales: 50 percent
• Favor Sunday sales: 43 percent
• Not sure: 7 percent



The radio industry was rocked by a payola scandal in the 1950's, which ruined the careers and reputations of influential DJs like Alan Freed. Somehow, the teflon Dick Clark managed to emerge unscathed even though he was involved as well.

Payola happens when record companies pay radio stations to play its song and they do not disclose the payment. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has implicated nearly 190 stations in illegial deals with recording giants Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. Most of the stations involved were owned by the large radio corporations. There are two stations under investigation in Indiana. They are X102 in Auburn/ Fort Wayne and X103 in Indianapolis.

Here is a map to see if a radio station near you is under investigation.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Checks and Balances at work

Although Congress is in lockstep with the Presidency, it is still nice to see the Courts can still help ensure the President follows the law.

Court blocks EPA from easing pollution rules

Appeals panel: White House-backed change violates Clean Air Act

A federal court blocked the EPA from easing clean-air rules on aging power plants and factories.

ALBANY, New York (AP) -- A federal appeals court blocked the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday from easing clean-air rules on aging power plants, refineries and factories, one of the regulatory changes that had been among the White House's environmental priorities.

The rules, strongly supported by industry representatives, would have allowed older plants to modernize without having to install advanced pollution controls.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington declared that the EPA rules violate the Clean Air Act and that only Congress can authorize such changes.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

You just don't see a headline like this these days: Navy Exchanges Fire With Suspected Pirates

St. Patrick's Day

When I was a kid growing up in rural Indiana, St. Patrick's Day was a day where one wore green or he got pinched. That was the extent of it. I came from Protestants--Baptists and don't ask me how that happened because the matriarch of our religious family is Italian, but anyway, I never associated drinking with the holiday.

I married into an Irish family. By the volumes of parties, I think St. Patrick's Day falls just behind Christmas in their ranking of holidays. It's not just my wife's family either, I work with a guy whose surname begins with Mc----- and he takes an the entire week of work each year around the holiday.

Each year, the drinking starts before the parade and goes well into the evening. My 78 year old father-in-law hangs with the best of them, but of course, he is in good practice because he drinks like it is St. Patrick's Day every day.

I had a deposition at 3 pm and a brief due by the end of the day. I made it to the bar by 5 and pounded beers just to catch up. My wife's cousins and brothers were there as well, which can get confusing as all of her brothers and male cousins share three names--James, Patrick or Michael. Anyway, my brother-in-law is an ex-college football player and is quite a bit bigger than me and just about anyone else. He has a 10 year old son and is the coach of his peewee league baseball team. He knows I played baseball and not football when I was younger, so in his eyes, I automatically know more about the game than he does. He asks me to help coach the team. At this point, I have had so many beers I can barely speak, so I just say yes. Now, I am coaching ten year old boys baseball. I am kind of nervous. I am not around ten year olds that often. I have no filter on my mouth. I can see myself saying "shit, piss and f-ck" around these kids. My brother in law still has his defensive lineman body, so he told me I am going to have to demonstrate how to slide to these kids. I just hope I don't throw my back out.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

News You Can Use

Inside 465 gives instructions on how to change your computer to DST. I'll always miss having that special designation (Indiana East) on worldwide windows operating systems. Come April we will be just another face in the crowd of EDT.


Mark Few has long been near the top (only Thad Matta is higher) for my IU wish list.

This is the first I've heard him actually talk about the IU job.

Few: 'I would never say never'
Tired of Myspace and Facebook and all of the sites that bring people together? Try Isolatr

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Apples and Oranges

I know not to compare apples and oranges, but this is just for some perspective. What are the priorities of Federal regulators? Is it a bigger crime to allow companies to operate virtually unfettered by safety requirements or to allow one breast free for a second on national television? Here is your answer:

March 8, 2006: The federal government said Wednesday it had fined the company that owns the West Virginia mine where a dozen miners were killed in January more than $100,000 in new penalties.

They are part of 208 citations that the federal agency issued against Ashland, Ky.-based International Coal Group for problems at Sago in the calendar year prior to the Jan. 2 explosion

March 15, 2006 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday upheld its proposed $550,000 fine against 20 CBS television stations for a stunt involving pop singer Janet Jackson briefly exposing her breast during the 2004 Super Bowl football game halftime show.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Senator Feingold guestblogs at dailykos

Like all Americans, I woke up on the morning of September 11th, 2001 as though it was simply another day. The horrific events that unfolded made it anything but, and our lives were changed forever. In the days after 9/11, I was proud to stand with the President in strong support of the authorization to use force against those who attacked us. During those days our President showed great leadership. Politics were put aside, the country pulled together and for a brief time we were united.

In the four-plus years since, everything changed. The President exploited the climate of anxiety, misusing the trust he was given in the wake of the attacks on 9/11 to, among other things, grab intrusive powers in the Patriot Act, and take us into a war in Iraq that has been a diversion from the critical fight against terrorism.

More at link

Monday, March 13, 2006

Create a New Slogan for Indiana


Some of the submissions thus far:

"Come visit the 19th century!"

"There's more than corn in Indiana -- but not much."

"Indiana: Now open until 9 p.m."

"Indiana, flat, fat and all that."

and then there was this one: "Indiana -- escape the ordinary," suggested Larry and Elly Linneman, Spencer.

I ate lunch in Spencer yesterday on my way to visit family. I agree there was nothing ordinary about that place.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Click on image to enlarge

Thursday, March 9, 2006

The Essence of SUVs

In the age of Clear Channel, I should appreciate an independent radio station like 92.3 WTTS and I do. As far as commercial radio stations go, they are better than most. On the other hand the DJs get on my last nerve. Sometimes I wonder if it is what it would be like if NPR personality, Terri Gross was a DJ at a rock station. I am tired of hearing how Bonnie Raitt or any other artist is the "essence" of WTTS or "this is Jack Johnson from his 'sophomore' effort". It's always an "effort" or an "offering" it's never just an album or even a latest release. I don't know why they bother me so much. I guess it is just that smattering of pretentiousness. It got the best of me today when I saw a couple of WTTS employees leaving Luna Music on Mass Ave. They were getting into a Land Rover Discovery with WTTS emblazoned all over it. I couldn't help but say a little too loudly, "the 2006 Land Rover Discovery is the very essence of a SUV." I don't even think it even makes sense, but I could not help myself.

Message from the AFL-CIO

No pay raises for years.

Since 1997, Congress has voted eight pay raises for itself but not one dime for workers making the minimum wage. The annual salary for members of Congress has gone up by $31,600 in that time, while a minimum wage employee working full-time earns just $10,700 a year


House of Representatives dumps food safety laws

Remember when Republicans supported state's rights? I understand a need for regularity in food labeling, but usually the government sets a mininum standard and allows the states to pursue stronger measures. This is not the case here. In a similar bill, the House rejected a measure which would allow states to label food that has been treated by carbon monoxide. The poisonous gas is used to redden meat in order to give it a fresh appearance.

The House approved a bill Wednesday night that would wipe out state laws on safety labeling of food, overriding tough rules passed by California voters two decades ago that require food producers to warn consumers about cancer-causing ingredients.

The vote was a victory for the food industry, which has lobbied for years for national standards for food labeling and contributed millions of dollars to lawmakers' campaigns. But consumer groups and state regulators warned that the bill would undo more than 200 state laws, including California's landmark Proposition 65, that protect public health.


Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Bush's Updated Bill of Rights

This is great from Slate.

Newly partially declassified recently classified documents to be released, White House says.


Tuesday, March 7, 2006

NJ Bill Would Prohibit Anonymous Posts on Forums


Makes certain operators of interactive computer services and Internet service providers liable to persons injured by false or defamatory messages posted on public forum websites.


Monday, March 6, 2006


I saw each of the nominees this year and I ranked them in order of personal preference:

1. Crash
2. Good night and Good luck
3. Munich
4. Brokeback Mountain
5. Capote

I really enjoyed all of these films and a case could have been made for each one of them to win the Oscar, but I was glad to see Crash win. I saw the movie last Spring, which is traditionally too early of a release to gain consideration for Best Picture. I was surprised to see it win, but I guess the creators of the movie had an ambitious advertising campaign and it paid off. I reviewed the movie here, my only complaint was that it was a bit too earnest at times, but otherwise it was great.

Brokeback Mountain was a great movie and I was surprised that it did not win. One of the local news channels was covering an Oscar party held at the Greenbriar Cinema. The reporter interviewed one blowhard who was upset that Brokeback Mountain did not win. He ranted that Brokeback lost because because homophobia still exists in this society. I agree homophobia is a real problem in society, but this was not the Bruceville Rod and Gun Club members who were voting for Best Picture. Instead, it was the Academy, I do not believe homophobia played a role in the outcome.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Gone for a few days

I am off to the Wisconsin Dells for a bachelor party. Your inner voice may be asking 'why would anyone choose to go to Wisconsin during the first week of March for a bachelor party?'. Well, I am wondering that too. I would much rather be headed south, but I guess it's not about me.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

NFL players take note

Several NFL players will be cut today to make room for the salary cap. None of them will be humiliated like this poor man.

Romanian Soccer Player Sold for a Chunk of Meat

BUCHAREST -- Romanian second division soccer club UT Arad sold a player in exchange for 15 kilograms of meat, local sport daily Pro Sport reported on Monday.

However, fourth division Regal Horia made a bad deal because defender Marius Cioara decided to end his footballing career and take off to Spain to find a job in agriculture or construction.

"We are upset because we lost twice -- firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team's food for a whole week.


Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Now this is a bill I could get behind...

Ohio lawmaker to propose ban on GOP adoption

AKRON, Ohio - If an Ohio lawmaker's proposal becomes state law, Republicans would be barred from being adoptive parents.

State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to "introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents." The e-mail ended with a request for co-sponsorship.

On Thursday, the Youngstown Democrat said he had not yet found a co-sponsor.
Hagan said his "tongue was planted firmly in cheek" when he drafted the proposed legislation. However, Hagan said that the point he is trying to make is nonetheless very serious.

Hagan said his legislation was written in response to a bill introduced in the Ohio House this month by state Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville, that is aimed at prohibiting gay adoption.


Thanks to Jim for emailing this story.

Adventures in Homeland Security

Former Taliban member is a Freshman at Yale. "In some ways I'm the luckiest person in the world I could have ended up in Guantánamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale."

On the other hand:

A British legal resident of the United States faces deportation because of a marijuana arrest 14 years ago. Read his story here.

Thanks for the links, Invisigirl.

Governor Daniels stumps for major moves

Smoking Ban Starts Today

The smoking ban takes effect today. If a restaurant serves people under the age of 18, then they must prohibit smoking. I walked by Rock Bottom and saw they have chosen to ban smoking. What about your favorite watering hole? Did it choose to close the family room and remain a smoking friendly establishment?

And how was your week?

Americans know more about the Simpsons than they do the First Amendment

Study: Few Americans Know 1st Amendment

CHICAGO - Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey

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