Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stealing A Blizzard's Beauty One Ice Sickle At A Time

Digital Art - Ice Sickles on Electric Kool Aid - Central Illinois Blizzard of February, 2007
This post presents a series of photos, and digital art which focuses upon frozen water. The recent blizzard which hit Central Illinois created many problems for tens of thousands of residents of Central Illinois. Before the snow and ice melted I decided to steal some of its beauty. I did not pour Kool Aid on the ice and snow - that's all digital.

Ice Sickle Tornado - Jerome, Illinois - February 2007

The photo above I titled Ice Sickle Tornado as it reminds me of a tornado. Last March (2006) a half mile wide F2 tornado came right through our neighborhood. We lost several large elm trees in our front yard. In fact if the ice sickle featured in the above photograph was actually a tornado it would be exactly where one of the elms that was felled once stood. Notice some of the broken branches in the tree to the right of the ice sickle?

One last thing about the above photo. If you apply some imagination, and if you look at the lower half of the ice sickle you might see within the sickle on the left half a glowing golden man wearing a golden head dress. To the right facing and embracing the golden man is a ghostly white long haired female with her head thrown back. Suffice it to say shield your children's eyes, because I don't think they're wearing any clothes! Spirits of Winter and Spring caught in a frozen embrace no doubt.

Ice Sickles at Sunrise - Springfield, Illinois February 2007
The ice sickles were so long they were actually reaching the ground. This photograph of a Central Illinois sunrise taken just behind some ground reaching ice sickles.

Fire and Ice - Sangamon County Illinois February 2007
To conclude this post I saved best for last. I love the winter sun blazing down through a clear crisp blue sky upon a snow covered field or a patch or sickle of translucent ice. There's just something about the contrast of fire and ice which speaks deep.

For two days I was "trapped" in our home which was completely snowed in from a recent blizzard. While a footpath allowed access to the street no automobile could pass through the knee high snow drifts. I took the opportunity to take the photographs posted in this series.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Don't Worry ~ Be Happy :)

Don't Worry ~ Be Happy!
Don't Worry ~ Be Happy
- Bobby McFerrin -

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry ~ Be happy

In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry ~ Be happy

The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Look at me I am happy
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I'll make you happy
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got not girl to make you smile
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
Don't worry ~ Be happy

There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Don't worry ~ Be happy

Put a smile on your face
Don't bring everybody down like this
Don't worry
It will soon pass
Whatever it is
Don't worry ~ Be happy

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Speculation On Pierce's & Michael's WNNS Departure

Brian Pierce's and Kellie Michael's Departure From WNNS

The State Journal Register ran a story today on the departure of Brian Pierce and Kellie Michaels from WNNS.

"Kevan Kavanaugh, Mid-West's general manager, confirmed the pair left the station Wednesday and will no longer be on the air. Kavanaugh didn't discuss details, calling it a personnel matter".
The SJ-R story written by A&E editor Nick Rogers went on to recap a recent, and heated blog exchange between Pierce, Dave of The11thhour, and myself over a quote which Pierce had attributed to Hillary Clinton. Pierce's blog post alleged Hillary Clinton had once stated that she "loathed the military". Both Dave of the11thhour and I had challenged the authenticity of the quote, and requested that Mr. Pierce provide a source for his citation. The SJ-R story continues by stating:

"By early afternoon Wednesday, the WNNS Web site,, listed Steve Parker as assuming their slot and Jim Leach, primarily a WMAY-AM broadcaster, filling in for Parker's afternoon shift.

The site also disabled or removed links pointing to Pierce and Michaels' personal Web pages.

One such site is "Briblog," Pierce's personal blog (http :// on which he writes about "all the stuff he doesn't have time to drone on about live on the air."

There is no obvious indication "Briblog" has had anything to do with Pierce and Michaels leaving WNNS. But a recent post drew Pierce into a fierce war of words among Springfield-area bloggers.

In a Saturday post titled "Hillary gets 'owned,'" Pierce questioned U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's support for the military as part of her presidential campaign.

The Briblog post included this passage: "Many have never forgotten that when she was co-president for eight years she was quoted as saying: 'I loathe the military.' "

However, another local blog, The 11th Hour (http ://, challenged that quote, calling it "bogus information" taken from right-wing Web postings.

Another local blogger, Jerome Prophet (, joined the call for Pierce to cite a "reputable source."

A heated online exchange among the three included this response from Pierce: "I simply don't take this thing as seriously as you guys do. I've been in media 32 years. I cume (reach a cumulative audience of) 35,000 people a day on the radio show. ... I can say anything I want here - that's the fun."

On Monday, Pierce edited his original post to remove the questioned quote and extended an olive branch. He acknowledged not "researching the topic completely," but added, "I hope you react similarly to the tens of thousands of blog posts that get the facts wrong."

The 11th Hour acknowledged the sarcasm, but accepted the apology. On Wednesday, that blog posted this response to the WNNS news: "Just to be clear, I really, really had nothing to do with this. I sent no bad karma or nothin'. I certainly would never wish anyone to lose their job. So best of luck to both of them in the future.""

Did Pierce's Blog Statements Befall Him?

First and foremost I want to mention that I have no knowledge about any actual meeting between Mr. Pierce, and his manager. I'm using total speculation as a vehicle to express my ideas on blogging. If you're reading this Mr. Pierce, and Kellie Michaels I want you both to know I have nothing but the greatest respect for you. In all honesty I have never listened to your radio program, but Mr. Pierce earned my respect when he deleted his Hillary Clinton quote, and stated that he had made a mistake. It takes a mature person to do that.

I believe it is very likely that Brian Pierce's blog post on Hillary Clinton started a chain of events which led to his, and his spouse's departure from WNNS. Brian had made an arrogant, and inflammatory statement, even citing his station's cumulative audience value in an attempt to impress his readers, and to belittle his critics.

I'm paraphrasing here (note the lack of quotation marks)

Most importantly Mr. Pierce went on to state that he did not consider making unfounded statements about Hillary Clinton to be all that serious of a matter, and that he would go on to say whatever he wanted in the future because it was fun.

From the stand point of his employer this could be considered a dangerous declaration.

Unlike most bloggers Pierce's employers provided publicity for, and a link to Mr. Pierce's personal websites. If an average blogger becomes embroiled in an online dispute most find themselves unable to play the CUME card which Mr. Pierce used. In that sense Mr. Pierce was not only relying upon his personal prestige, but also that of his employer.

Citing your employer is a double edged sword, which can indeed cut both ways. Pierce was essentially yoking his unfounded, and untrue quote which he attributed to Hillary Clinton around the necks of his employers. Furthermore his declaration that he'd go on making whatever statements he wanted in the future because it was fun, alluding to the wild west, had to set off alarms in the minds of his managers.

If Mr. Pierce had been a journalist, and had falsely quoted a candidate for the Presidency, and then said something similar to, "I don't take this as seriously as you do, I work for the New York Times, and the New York Times is read by millions of people, and I'll write anything I want on my personal blog, and by the way how many people read your blog?", then it would be all too obvious that that New York Times Journalist had stepped over the line of propriety, and that the New York Times would be right to terminate their relationship with that journalist.

Yet is being an on air radio personality different? Is there a lower standard for such personalities? Dave of the11thhour suggest that there has to be another reason for their dismissal, than just Mr. Pierce's blog postings. I feel that Dave who worked in radio for several years is a bit jaded when it comes to the motivations of radio station owners, and managers. I am not idealistic about the motivations of WNNS management.

I don't believe that Pierce was dismissed simply because he made up a quote, or used a quote without citation. Nor do I believe he was dismissed due to making an arrogant statement. I do however believe that his approach led to problems once he was asked about his blog by his employer.

I suspect that Mr. Pierce was brought in to discuss his blog post, and was told that it made the station look bad, and that according to the terms of his employment contract that WNNS could terminate him if he didn't stop. I suspect at that point Mr. Pierce argued that it was a violation of his privacy, and first amendment rights for WNNS to tell him what to write on his blog.

At which point his manager probably stated that he couldn't claim a right to privacy since the station had links to Brian's website, and that Brian himself had mentioned his affiliation to his employer on his blog.

Somehow in that moment, when things may have been resolved they only became worse, and Mr. Pierce was terminated. I'm totally guessing on all of this, but I'd guess at that point that Kellie Michaels in solidarity with her spouse quit.
If True Was It Just?

I believe the lesson to be learned is not to mention your employer on your blog. You'll find no links, and no stories about my employer on this blog, and you never will. There won't be any company water cooler gossip, and no trade secrets posted here. There won't be any sly references to my mangers either. Especially important you'll find no statements on my blog which use my relationship to my employer as a means of propping up an invalid claim about anyone - including Hillary Clinton.

In the end we live in a rapidly changing world, and we're all sailing in uncharted seas when it comes to blogging, and so the safest course to sail is a conservative course. Assume that at all times everything you write will be read by your beloved grandmother, your pastor or priest, and your employer.

Where the private, and the personal meet has always been an area of contention, and blogging makes things all the more complex. What is clear is that WNNS has a right to defend itself from potential liability, and bad press just as Mr. Pierce has a right to blog. What is less clear is how those rights coexist.

My hope is that as time passes and employers, and individuals become more sophisticated about where the line falls on such matters that people won't find themselves victim to these types of events.

In the meantime I recommend to all bloggers looking for a safer blogging experience to either remain anonymous, or practice a high level of care when it comes to what you say, and in how you refer to your employer. Yes this is self censorship, but it will make a more responsible blogger out of you too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NEO Apophis - Lucifer's Hammer!

Apophis - One Mean Snake & Ancient Egyptian Spirit Of Destruction!
Life on Earth is doomed. Doomed I say!

Apophis, which happens to be a Near Earth Object, an asteroid in this case, is threatening to do the smack down on Earth in less than thirty years! That's right there's a threat that some city, or region will be wiped off the face of the Earth in less than thirty years. Odds of this happening are approximately 45000 to 1.

Apophis was discovered back in 2004, which seems like a long time ago, but the fact is since its discovery nothing has been done to ward off the approach of Apophis, and time is running out.

If Apophis hits Earth it will release the equivalent of 100,000 times the energy released in the Hiroshima A-Bomb, and that's a pretty big blast! Not only would a large area be wiped off the face of the Earth, but the dust thrown up into the atmosphere would cause major problems for crops around the world.

NEO Apophis - Asteroid & One Nasty Spud

The approach of the asteroid Apophis is and issue which seriously needs to be addressed, and soon. If humanity waits much longer there may be nothing it can do, but hope. The difference between human beings, and the dinosaurs which were wiped out by a collision with an asteroid or comet, is that human beings have a choice in the matter.

While Apophis isn't presenting humanity with a ELE (i.e., extinction level event) it does illustrate the need for a coordinated response to such a threat. A few billion dollars may be all it would take to insure that Apophis, and other NEOs could no longer threaten Earth with such disasters.

On April 29th, 2029 Apophis will pass so close to Earth that people will be able to look into the sky and see it pass by! As it passes by the Earth's gravity will alter Apophis' path, and when the asteroid returns in 2036 it may just smack into Earth.

Check this CNN article out on the coming of Apophis!

Also this Space.Com Article

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Springfield Illinois Firestone Tire & Auto Art

Springfield, Illinois Firestone Tire and Auto Macarthur Blvd

I'm too poor to be an alcoholic so I do art. This one just leaped out at me. I took it a few months ago during a rainfall. The streets were wet, and all the lights from all the businesses, and traffic lights were gleaming mystically long across the pavement. I just love that effect, but it's often hard to capture that je ne sais quoi which seems so appealing in those moments.

Perhaps its the mixture of darkness overcome by light? The light is not wasted like on an ordinary night. It is not dulled, but made spectacular. Each bit of light bounces off the water splashed street coming together with the eye to form rivulets of color.

Is this theme one of sadness overcome by joy, death overcome by life, beauty and radiance?

I'm not sure what it is, but it uplifts me to see it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Does WNNS Talk Jock Brian Pierce Hate Our Troops?

Spreading Lies About Their Future Commander In Chief?

Update: Brian Pierce has done the honest, and honorable thing by retracting the unfounded quote from his blog post which he attributed to Hillary Clinton. The following serves only as a record of the exchange.

Dave of the11thhour wrote a post challenging big time Springfield, Illinois radio star Brian Pierce to provide a link to a reputable source which shows that Hillary Clinton had ever actually stated that she "loathed the military".

Pierce states on his blog

Hillary Clinton has started her Presidential campaign by attempting to align herself with the military and be tough on terror. Many have never forgotten that when she was co-president for eight years she was quoted as saying : ” I loathe the military.

A Commenter Request A Source

Anonymous said...

I know this is showing up on all the rightwing blogs and you can’t help but unquestioningly repeat it as a loyal unthinking droid, but please provide a link to where Senator Clinton said she “loathed the military”. She never said it, so please post a retraction. That is, before you delete my comment.

2:34 AM

Anonymous said...

Oh, and when I say provide a link, I mean a credible news source not some other ideological blog that claims she said it. A little proof please.

2:37 AM


WNNS' Brian Pierce Responds - Sort Of?

Briblog Blog said...

It began here:

Speaking of "droid", you my friend, are the one up at 2:30am reading blogs.

I wouldn't have posted my name either.

6:46 PM

JeromeProphet Responds To Brian

JeromeProphet said...

It began here?

Your link doesn't provide a direct link to any story which supports your claim.


11:03 PM

Is Brian Pierce Too Big of a Radio Star to Care?

Briblog Blog said...

I have no moral high road I have to take here. The shit is deep on the net - it's the Wild Wild West. I simply don't take this thing as seriously as you guys do. I've been in media 32 years. I cume 35,000 people a day on the radio show. I've worked at stations that reached a million people a week. What are your page counts? I do this for fun. I can say anything I want here - that's the fun. To Dave, JP & the rest of you - I promise three things. I will continue to say what I want about Hillary. I will never blog about your blog on my front page & I will never delete your comments.

You win the pissing match.

9:36 AM


Brian Pierce - Please Provide A Link
JeromeProphet said...

Am I supposed to be impressed?

Hey everybody Brian's voice was heard by a million people!

So was Hitler's.

Have you found a reputable link yet to source your allegation that Hilary Clinton ever stated that she "loathed the military"?


12:23 PM

Does Honesty & Accuracy Really Matter to Brian Pierce?

Note: Brian Pierce has done the honest, and honorable thing by retracting the unfounded quote attributed to Hillary Clinton. This post serves only as a record of the exchange.

I Implore you Mr. Brian Pierce of Springfield, Illinois WNNS to find a link and post it which supports your claim that Hillary Clinton actually stated that she "loathes the military" as you have quoted on your blog.

If you can't find a source won't you at least admit that you can't find one, and remove the claim which you, Mr. Brian Pierce of WNNS located in Springfield, Illinois have made on your blog?

Isn't that the honest thing to do radio talk show host Mr. Brian Pierce of WNNS located in Springfield, Illinois?
Has Brian Pierce of WNNS Really Worked at the Following Radio Stations?


Maybe so, but in all honesty despite his claim to fame I have really never heard of him before - although I did include a link to his blog on my blog roll..

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saint John's Hospital Bloody Smoke Stack Redux

Does Saint John's Incinerator Poison East Side Neighborhood's Air?

Ten years ago there were nearly 7000 hospital waste incinerators poisoning communities throughout the nation. Due to tighter EPA standards less than one hundred still operate today.

Saint John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois continues to operate a medical waste incinerator in the heart of downtown Springfield. Most of the air pollution which Saint John's incinerator produces flows east across Springfield's east side neighborhoods. The east side of Springfield is made up of poorer less politically powerful neighborhoods.

Medical waste incinerators produce dioxins, and toxic heavy metals which have threatend the health of those who breathed air contaminated by these obsolete devices.

One can only wonder how long such an eyesore, and potential threat to public health would be tolerated if it were located just west of Panther Creek - Springfield's posh upper class subdivision where many of the doctors who work at Saint John's live.

How it is possible for any medical establishment to justify poisoning the very air people breath?
This incinerator is just one block east of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and Museum. It is an eyesore which needs to be demolished. It is time for Saint John's Hospital to stop polluting the air of east side and downtown Springfield residents!



Did Someone From Saint John's Post A Comment?

If so it was well written, and only took about a half hour to write from the time of the initial visit.

email jp






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