Meyer's Minutes Meyer's Minutes

  • Cell Phones/Texting

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    At the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy, I'm just not able to relate to the obsession with cell phones and texting that's sweeping the country these days.  It's not that I'm averse to modern technology.  I embrace it.  In fact, new technology is essential to the profession I'm in.  But these people that can't go five minutes (or less) without talking to or texting someone just absolutely drive me nuts!

    The reason I raise the issue is there's some new research out from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.  It finds that a third of U.S. teenagers with cell phones send more than 100 texts a day, as texting has now become the most popular means of communication for young people.  It also found that three-fourths of young poeple between 12 and 17 years of age now have cell phones.   And this stat takes the cake:  text messaging has become so much a part of teenagers' lives that 87 percent of those who text said that they sleep with, or next to, their phone.  I have three words for these people:  GET A LIFE!

    Maybe it's just my rebellious/nonconformist nature, but I'd sooner throw my cellphone in Lake Michigan than become a slave to it. 

  • Final score: 45-0

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    Three Lakes High School defeated Phelps High School here in Wisconsin in baseball action this week.  It wasn't your normal game, however.  The final was 45-0 and the game was called on account of the "mercy rule" after just 3 innings!  In the first inning alone, Phelps gave up 22 runs, 23 hits, 21 walks and 11 steals.

    Ben Wales was, by far, the star of this short game.  He went 6 for 6 from the plate, hit for the cycle, drove in 12 runs, and was pitching a no-hitter when the game was called.  But, believe it or not, none of those stats will count when all is said and done.  The reason?  WIAA spokesman Todd Clark says that, according to national rules, the game will be ruled a forfeit because it failed to reach the required number of innings.

    So, in the end, Three Lakes still gets credited with a win, but Wales essentially gets punished by not having his stats count simply because his team was too good.  Something wrong with that picture.

     

     

  • Mandating Extra-Curricular Activities

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    Word is the New Berlin school board is considering a proposal that would make participation in at least one extra curricular activity mandatory in order to graduate.  Why?  School officials say students involved in extra curriculars have better test scores and lower truancy rates.

    Personally, I don't like the idea for various reasons.  First, if a child isn't at all interested, why should they be forced to participate in something outside of the school day?  Secondly, many high school kids have after-school jobs or family obligations.  And finally, I'm not sold on the notion that if you get involved in extra curricular activities you'll improve your test scores and have a lower truancy rate.  Isn't it possible that those who have the desire to be involved in extra curricular activities simply have the tendency to be better students?  In other words, extra curriculars don't make for a better student - good students are simply more inclined to want to be involved in extra curricular activity.  I think that's a pretty good theory.

    More meetings on the proposal are being planned.

  • Bad Cars

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    With so much focus on the problems plaguing Toyota lately, it was very interesting to run across a list from msn.com of cars with significant problems from past years.

    Among them, the Yugo.  The boxy Yugoslavian vehicle sold for less than $4,000 when it hit the U.S. market in 1985.  Remember the old saying, "You get what you pay for?"  That saying, in a nutshell, describes the Yugo.  In the story, they quote a guy as saying,  "I once test drove a Yugo, during which the radio fell out, the gear-shift knob came off in my hand and I saw daylight through the strip around the windshield."  It quickly became the butt of jokes.  One popular one:  what comes with every Yugo owner's manual?  The bus schedule.

    The Chevrolet Vega:  Leading up to its 1970 release to U.S. consumers, the first Vega prototype literally fell to pieces just eight miles into a shakedown drive on a General Motors test track.  The 4-cylinder engine produced only 90 horsepower.  And the story quotes a former Vega owner as saying, "My Vega actually broke in half going over railroad tracks.  The whole rear end came around slightly to the front, sort of like a dog wagging its tail."

    The Ford Pinto:  The Pinto's tendency to explode during rear-end collisions earned it a reputation as "the barbecue that seats four."  A mere fender bender could lead to an inferno, since the vehicle lacked a real rear bumper or reinforcements surrounding the gas tank.  Multiple lawsuits were filed over the Pinto's safety issues, and Ford came under fire when a memo revealed that the automaker had decided it would be cheaper to pay off lawsuits for any Pinto deaths than to pay for a redesign of the vehicle.

    Then there's the Trabant.  This was communist East Germany's most popular vehicle for nearly 30 years, and it could also be seen in the other communist bloc countries.  A 2-stroke engine gave it all of 18 horsepower.  Its fiberglass-like construction and reinforcements of recycled cotton and wood gave it an exceptionally flimsy aesthetic.  Its lack of basic features, such as turn signals and brake lights didn't help.  To fill the gas tank, you had to lift the hood, add gasoline and oil, and shake. This was the prize for enduring a 15 year waiting list before taking delivery of the compact 4-seater.

     

  • This Is Not A Simpsons Episode

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    They certainly do things differently in Denmark.

    Reuters is reporting that a few hundred warehouse workers and drivers at Danish brewer Carlsberg are on strike to protest a company decision to limit beer drinking at work to just lunch breaks.  Before this new rule kicked in April 1, beer was free for the taking at the brewery and both drivers and warehouse workers had the right to drink three beers per day outside lunch hours. 

    Just think about it.  Workers striking because they are now only allowed to drink beer during their lunch break!

    Why am I picturing Homer Simpson leading this strike?

     

  • Random Stuff

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    Some interesting tidbits today:

    A Qantas airline passenger had to be restrained by flight stewards after he threatened to bring down the plane with the power of his mind.  An Australian reporter on the flight said it appeared that the man was (surprise surprise) under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both.

    An employee at a fitness club in Minnesota called police after spotting a bearded man who appeared to be covered in blood using the showers.  Police surrounded the club, but later learned that the man had simply been playing Jesus in a local church play.

    A 19 year old Florida woman - Tasha Lee Cantrell - was riding in a car when the vehicle's driver was pulled over and arrested for drunk driving.  Cantrell asked the sheriff's deputy for a ride home afterwards and the officer agreed.  As Cantrell was sitting in the back of the squad car, she opened up a can of malt liquor.  Cantrell was immediately arrested for underage drinking.

    And a survey has found that women, on average, spend 2 years and 10 months shopping during their lifetimes. I know...your reaction is, "That's all?"

     

     

     

  • Brewers Opening Day

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    As always, it's a festive mood today for the Milwaukee Brewers home opener.  But just how the team will fare this year is very uncertain.  Alot will depend on how the revamped pitching staff fares, which is also very uncertain.

    What we can count on is for Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun to be the cornerstone of this franchise once again.  When you look at the numbers these guys have produced, it's staggering.  Since Ryan Braun was called up from the minors on May 24, 2007, he and Fielder have combined for 233 home runs and 679 runs, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  But if the Brewers don't get Fielder signed to a long-term deal, this dynamic duo may not be together much longer.  Braun is locked up for another 6 years.  But Fielder's current contract expires after the 2011 season.  It'll take a king's ransom to keep Fielder in a Brewer uniform long-term, but can this team really afford to let him get away?  Enjoy and appreciate these guys while you can.

     

  • Food Police After Ronald McDonald

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    To say we're living in strange times is an understatement.  For example, a group calling itself the Corporate Accountability International (fancy name for food police) is calling on McDonald's restaurants to retire clown mascot Ronald McDonald.  They claim Ronald McDonald has hooked kids on unhealthy food, spurring an epidemic of diet-related disease.

    I'm happy to tell you that McDonald's is fighting back, saying Ronald McDonald is the face of their charity program, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and promotes good things for children.

    While I haven't done any research on this, I feel pretty confident in saying it would be very difficult finding someone who says they started going to McDonald's because of Ronald McDonald.  And even if that were the case, who cares?  I know this will come as a surprise to the busy bodies at Corporate Accountability International, but McDonald's is a business.  What you do in business is advertise your product to try to maximize your profits.  The last time I checked, burgers and fries are still legal products.  And in a free country if people want to consume those things, they have the right to do it.

    And one last point:  odds are the PARENTS took their kids to McDonald's for the first time in their lives.  It wasn't Ronald McDonald pulling up in his yellow convertible forcing the kids into his car at gunpoint and forcing a cheeseburger down their throats.  And if Mom and Dad decide it's okay to treat junior to a happy meal now and then, that's their business.

  • Miller Park Concession Prices Going Up

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    Sportservice, which handles concessions for the Milwaukee Brewers, announced this week that prices on many items will be increasing this year.

    Here are some examples:  hot dogs will now set you back $3.25;  a jumbo dog will be $4.25 at the concession stand, $4.50 from a vendor;  brats will climb from $4.25 last year to $4.50 at a concession stand, $4.75 from a vendor; and peanuts will climb from last year's price of $3.75 to $4 at a concession stand, $4.25 from a vendor. 

    Okay, okay, I know...let's cut to the chase.  How much is beer going to cost?  Here you go:   16-ounce and 24-ounce cups will cost $5.50 and $7.75, respectively.  In each case, it's an increase of $.25.  A 16-ounce plastic bottle of beer will now cost $6.50 at a concession stand, $6.75 from a vendor, while a 12-ounce import bottle will cost $6.00.

    Are you as amazed as I am that people continue to pay these prices - particularly for beer?  For those of you that are not beer drinkers, that $7.75 price tag for a 24-ounce cup of beer is roughly the amount you would pay for a six pack at a liquor store.  When you stop and think about it, it's really unbelievable.

    Oh well, all the more reason to tailgate before and after the game - right?

  • Political Correctness Run Amok

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    We've all been witness to the nuttiness that is political correctness.  The examples of it are too numerous to mention.  But in this particular case, I'll reference Easter.  When I was in school it was called "Easter Vacation."  Now they call it "Spring Break."

    Taking that one step further, the city of Davenport, Iowa, removed "Good Friday" from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints.  According to ABC News, the Davenport Civil Rights Commission recommended changing the name to "Spring Holiday" to better reflect the city's diversity. City Administrator Crag Malin then fired off a memo to municipal employees announcing the name change.

    Fortunately, there's at least one sane man in that city.  City councilman Bill Edmond said his phone was ringing off the hook from people upset because "this is nothing but political correctness run amok."  Plus Edmond said Malin made the change unilaterally and never brought the issue before the city council for a vote, which is a requirement for a change in policy.  Edmond said the city council was blind-sided by the change and were then left with having to, in his words, "clean this mess up."  Edmond went on to say, "How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000 year old holiday?"

    Well it didn't take long for the city to bring back the name "Good Friday," as Malin was overruled.

    This was a well-deserved victory for the people and for sanity for a change.

    And one little added tidbit here:  The Davenport Civil Rights Commission chairman, Tim Hart, in explaining the recommendation of the name change, said, "Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state."  Pardon me while I scream, "NO IT DOESN"T!!!!"  Did this clown ever actually read the Constitution?  It guarantees FREEDOM OF RELIGION and says the government SHALL NOT ESTABLISH A RELIGION.  The phrase "separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution.  And every law, rule or regulation that has ever been crafted based upon that myth should be repealed today.

  • Rotten Sneaker Contest

    Posted by Kelly Meyer

    And we have a winner!  Eleven year-old Trinette Robinson, of Connecticut, is this year's winner of the National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest.  Thanks to her stinky shoes, she took home 25-hundred-dollars, a supply of Odor-Eaters products and won an all expense paid trip to New York to see a show on Broadway.  Robinson said she stepped in horse manure to give her sneakers a little extra kick.

    What I want to know is, how do they get people to judge this contest and what do THEY win?!