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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Local Blogger Activity

There's a flurry of activity in the local blogosphere. Here's a quick and thoroughly incomplete run down:

Larry posts his thoughts on the minimum wage over at Simple Thoughts of a Complex Mind.

Amy is doing a series on local bloggers at the Snarling Marmot.

Zach, of zachishere, continues searching for that perfect blend of graphic design and blogging functionality.

I found another local blogger over at brandoncrainblog, who took recent honors as a photo blog of the week.

DocLarry over at Lost Chord comes to the defense of Granny Geek. Apparently Cones of Reasonable Privacy (TM, patent pending, copyright 2006) don't get in the way of chivalry. That's good to know.

Of course there's more of the usual news tidbits at Chatter and craaazy-evil-biologist ramblings at the Curbstone Critic.

Sadly there are only cobwebs collecting at 417pundit.

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Free Wifi hotspot: Ziggie's on North Glenstone

Another great spot in North Springfield to soak up some bandwidth for blogging activities while having some lunch can be found at Ziggie's on North Glenstone (just north of Chestnut Expressway). I had a grilled-chicken salad the other day and it was excellent. The service was attentive and friendly without being in my way.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Springfield, MO Radio

Radio Tower, Sunset
Originally uploaded by longristra.
The state of Springfield radio is not good. I learned quite a bit about this ruthless industry from someone I know who used worked for Power 96.5 Jams. Power is owned by the Journal Broadcast group, and operates Power, KSGF, KTTS, and Z.

Admittedly my opinion of radio is changing, I've matured and I'm having a hard time finding "my music." I've never been one to seek out new music on my own (I leave that to guys like Vapor or Zach.), I've just been one of those sheep that listen to whatever was being played. Growing up I was pretty much a fan of the typical top 40 stuff, pop, contemporary, rock, and some alternative. These days I'm having a tough time finding a station I can keep on the dial for extended periods of time.

I obviously don't fit the demographic for Power 96.5 Jams. There's way to much hip-hop for my tastes. Occasionally I'll catch a top 40 song on that station but it's in between songs about bizzos and clubs. Nothing I can relate to. That being said, I feel too young for stations like Alice or even worse, KGBX or one of the oldies stations.

I don't listen to any of the Christian or gospel music stations as again, I don't really fit the demographic (though there aren't many bizzo and club songs).

I do find myself listening to KSMU on my daily commute. However, as I previously ranted, the afternoon guy's voice annoys the heck out of me.

I'm going to have to admit something a little embarrassing in order to proceed with this rant. Since moving to the country (see my blog Geek Acres) I've... well... I've started listening to country music. I don't know what it is, but the country life and the country music seem to go together. That being said, occasionally my radio will be tuned to KTTS. Other than not knowing some songs and not liking others (still can't handle too much twang), my biggest complaint with KTTS is with the morning show. I wonder if the co-hosts can go a single commercial break without using the EXACT SAME audience cheering track break after break, day after day.

Much to the chagrin of the local blogoshpere, I do listen to NewsTalk KSGF as well. As much crap the morning show host, Vincent David Jericho, gets from the local bloggers, he does have a good show put together. Compared to the other talk station, it's a well-produced and well-engineered sounding station. I can only take Vince for so long though, especially way he goes off the deep-end with some of his super-Christian or anti-science rants.

I used to enjoy listening at lunch time to the Bill O'Reilly show on KSGF, but that has been moved to 9 PM at night for some silly reason. I rarely listen to the radio at home. Again, I find Bill's show entertaining and informative, and while I may not always agree I thought it was a good show. It was replaced during the noon hour by Laura Ingram. I can't take listening to Laura Ingram or Sean Hannity waving the party flag no matter what. The Savage show can sometimes be entertaining but mostly it's maddening. My favorite show, of which I get to listen to very little, is the Neal Boortz show. I just finished his Fair Tax book, and I'm a supporter for sure now (more on that in another post).

None of the "alternative" rock stations get much time on my dial either. It seems like most of today's rock is about pent up anger or aggression. I don't like listening to music that makes me mad. It was good when I was a teen, but now I want a little more from my music.

What's your favorite station? Are you a satellite radio user, and if so do you think it's worth it? I'm thinking it might be worth investigating.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush says "shit"; Journalism in a tizzy; Get over it fercrissakes!

Thank you, Andy, for your recent post, Bush says "shit"; Journalism in a tizzy. Finally, some real perspective on the subject.

Intelligent Debate on Minimum Wage

I missed the last bloggers meeting... I enjoy the meetings because it's such a diverse group that comes together to share ideas. We may not always agree with each other but we respect each other (well, except for maybe John!) and have a great time sharing our ideas.

Though I wasn't in attendance for the last meeting I can still participate in an intelligent discussion. Earlier I posted a little rant regarding my view on the minimum wage, and attempts to increase it. In summary, I said if people want to make more money they should earn it.

Ron, of Chatter, posted a reply, to which I also responded. I thought the discussion was interesting enough to recap. I truly would like to understand where the opposing view is coming from and solicit more input on the subject from the local blogging community (except for maybe John). Ron wrote:

Of course the best way to earn more money is to work harder, have an education and be an asset to your employer. But what does that have to do with a minimum wage?

Could you live on $206 a week? Could you support a family on $10,712 a year? Do you think that's a fair and adequate wage, especially with current gasoline prices?

To which I responded (edited for grammar, typos, and spelling, 417pundit):
No, Ron I couldn't live on $206 a week. I decided early on that I wouldn't be able to survive on my minimum wage job I had in high school.

So I decided to do something about it. I got an education and that allowed me to get a job that lets me live the lifestyle I want to live. I didn't do it alone, I had family and to help and Uncle Sam to subsidize me (and early on, Uncle Sam even gave me money to go to school).

Now I'm not saying others can't live on $206 a week. I know people who are, but that's the lifestyle they've chosen for themselves. It certainly doesn't include worrying about things like paying for gas (see you at the bus stop).

As far as raising a family on $206 a week, I'm not arguing the fact that no one can properly care for a family on that wage. However a family with two parents earning minimum wage probably can survive on $412 a week, though I wouldn't suggest it.

What I do suggest is that people take some personal responsibility and make decisions to get where they want to be under their own means instead of crying and complaining.

If you've decided you want to raise a family you better get a job that pays more than minimum wage. That way you can support your family and the lifestyle that you've chosen. I'd sure like to have a boat and some other toys but I'm not whining to my employer that they don't pay me enough to support the lifestyle I want.

The same people that will cry about not getting a minimum wage increase will be crying that they can't afford a big mac after the market adjusts to compensate for the increased cost of burger flippers.

I noticed I didn't answer Ron's last question, do I think it's a fair wage. Yes, for the jobs I know that pay minimum wage I do think it's a fair wage, in some cases more than fair. Take this job for example. Think he ought to find a better use of his time to support his family?

So Springfield Bloggers, what's your $0.02 on the subject? Better hurry and respond before the cost of creating the $0.02 thought goes up because of an increase in the minimum wage! ;)

Note: the church image and the open house image were taken from flickr. Credit belongs to their respective authors.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
My niece's 4th birthday party was this weekend. I drug out the camera equipment for a little fun. See the slideshow for all the action.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Root! Root, root for the home team!

high five
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I was able to catch a Springfield Cardinals game the other night. I spotted some family friends on the outfield big screen. I hustled over to get a shot of them celebrating! They won $75 in the Great Southern pick a teller/vault game.

Denying the poorest workers a raise

I somehow followed some links to a press-release from Nancy Pelosi. Here's a line that really got me:

"For nearly nine years, the Republican Congress has denied American workers an increase in the federal minimum wage, freezing it at $5.15 per hour.

Now, it's true that the congress did not raise the minimum wage, but let's be sure to understand it's a MINIMUM wage.

You want a raise? Here's a few helpful tips. You're going to have to get an education, work harder, or become more valuable to your company. At least that's how I was taught to get an increase, by EARNING it.

A friend of mine told me an experience where some of his minimum wage employees were discussing their wish for a dollar raise to the minimum. He agreed that 4 out of 5 of them would be getting a raise, and one would be looking for another job.

Hell, why just a dollar, let's make it so the minimum wage is $40k a year. Everyone has a right to a big screen don't they? No, I'm sorry, everyone is ENTITLED to a big screen.

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Monday, July 10, 2006


There's a new blog in town, 417pundit, and so far it's author isn't making many new friends. The introductory post states the author will take local bloggers "to task for errors, illogical thinking, and contradictions."

The first ground-breaking post taking a local blogger to "task" is based soley on typos and grammatical errors.