Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dairy Queen On South Macarthur

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Photo: Defunct Dairy Queen - South Macarthur Blvd - Springfield, Illinois

Woe is we! The Dairy Queen on South Macarthur Blvd in Springfield, Illinois seems to have met its final end.

I've never understood why businesses which have lines of customers forking over money close up, and go out of business. Who really knows for sure why the D.Q. on Macarthur was shut down. Operating a restaurant isn't a way to get rich quick, and many fail - even those at good locations.

I've known several families who own, and operate restaurants here in Springfield, Illinois, and I suspect that if they had operated this D.Q. it would still be open.

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Photo: Drive Through - Dairy Queen On South Macarthur - Springfield, IL

Long hard hours, and watching every penny is what it takes to make a place like this now closed D.Q.turn a profit.

Anyone who grew up on the southwest side of Springfield, Illinois from 1965-2005 would surely have some delicious memories of this Dairy Queen.

As a child, whenever my family would drive back from Lake Springfield, from a day of fishing, we'd stop, and pick up some cold treats. Were the cones larger then, or did it just seem like that? I guess I was smaller then, so the cones just seemed bigger.

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Photo: Dairy Queen - South Macarthur Blvd - Springfield, Illinois

When I had the opportunity to take my child to the very same Dairy Queen I remember the sense of completing the "Circle of Life".

I became "my father" in those moments. What a thrill it was to know that I was doing for my child what my parents had done for me, and at the very same spot!

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Photo: Closed Dairy Queen On South Macarthur Blvd - June, 2005

If this D.Q. never opens again, and it looks like it won't, families will miss out on that opportunity - and that's sad to consider.

Traffic on South Macarthur is expected to grow in the future with the planned South Macarthur extension. It would be nice to see the Dairy Queen reopen.

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Photo: Dairy Queen No More - Macarthur Blvd - Springfield, IL - June 2005

Perhaps I'm just lamenting the loss of another connection to my childhood, but I can't help but feel a little pain at the sight of Dairy Queen in its current state. It truly was more than just a place to eat.

More Mad Mad Mad as a Cow

Now here's the first time I've heard of this explanation (NYTIMES):

In response to questions, Dr. John Clifford, the Agriculture Department's chief veterinarian, revealed another surprise: the animal's disease strain did not closely resemble the British-style strain found in the first mad cow, which was born in Canada and raised in Washington State.

Instead, it was closer to a strain found in France - a result, another scientist said, that suggested that the infection had come from a different pool of infected feed, possibly imported from France.

So we now are being told that PRION infected feed (which must have included ground up PRION infected cow brains or spinal cord - which is ILLEGAL in the U.S.) was imported into the U.S.!

I assume this contaminaed feed reached, and was consumed by more than just one cow.

Cows with BSE (Mad Cow) don't always live long enough to become symptomatic. And what with the state of food processing plants in the U.S. today the actual application of safeguards against preventing brain, and spinal cord matter from ending up in the nations foods supply is highly questionable.

One sick cow could contaminate, and kill thousands of people with one of the most horrible, and deadly diseases known.

Taiwan resumed its ban on U.S. beef after news of this second infected cow was released.

Frighteningly, I must assume that infected cows remain in the nation's food supply, and that a coverup is taking place. The coverup is one of design, using test that are not sensitive enough to reveal the disease in contaminated beef, delaying tactics (it took seven months to order an accurate test be performed in Britain) & spin (More from NYTIMES article):

"I enjoyed beef this noon for lunch," Mr. Johanns [Agriculture Secretary] said. "It is the safest beef in the world."
This coverup will work as people contract BSE - but will collapse when consumers start showing symptoms, and people start dying. It can take a decade or more for this to happen. In the mean time the administration in charge of protecting the U.S. consumer has instead given the Beef Industry the keys to the USDA.

Unlike the NYTIMES story, which I referrenced in this post, the CNN.com story mentioned none of this, so I'm assuming they couldn't care less - until hospital beds begin to fill with spastic bodies drooling and gasping for last breaths, and until the sobbing families of victims start to make the story look sexy enough to spend airtime on.

This seems to be a sensible recommendation from the Consumer's Union - but the Beef Industry probably doesn't want to do this due to cost - what do you think the cost will be in a few years when people refuse to eat beef?

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Commentary

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mad As A Cow, & I'm Not Going To Take It!

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Photo: One Millions Cows Were Incinerated In U.K. Due To Mad Cow*

Very interesting development in the mad cow story that has been in the news lately - see here. Hopefully, my readers have been bothering to follow this story. In many cases the advice (F.D.R.s) that we have nothing to fear but fear itself it true - or mostly true. Many times fear just makes things worse.

Which is why I tend to think of myself as skeptical. When I heard that jets crashed into one of the Twin Towers, I recalled a documentary on the Twin Towers which I had watched on PBS, and remembered one of the designers said it was designed to stand up to an airplane crash. I thought, they'll be some dead, but the towers will be repaired - and we'll all learn from the lesson, and life will go on.

It wasn't too long after that comforting thought I realized I was wrong - there was reason to fear - as I watched in horror, as the towers fell.

The Mad Cow Disease is one of the most hideous diseases to suffer, and die from - whether your a cow, or a person who ate some cow. Die of stroke, or a heart attack, and often times you don't even know what hit you - bammo - lights out.

But Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (which is the name for Mad Cow in humans) is nothing to sneer at. Unlike lung cancer you can't give up a vice to avoid getting it. Unlike heart disease you can't take a cholesterol pill to help you avoid it.

The only way to avoid it is to stop eating beef. And most, including myself derive a great deal of pleasure from eating beef. It's true that Mad Cow isn't known to effect birds (chicken, and turkey are safe), fish, pork, or lamb. But beef really is king in America - and everyone abroad, once their standard of living rises high enough become addicted to beef too.

This make is very difficult to believe that beef will simply go away, it won't, anymore than sex went away after HIV.

Like sex, after the dawn of AIDS, beef can now be seen as either safe beef, or unsafe beef. We for the most part leave it to the cattle industry, meat processing industry, and the government to keep beef safe in America.

Beef is a huge industry.

So when other country's beef started killing people we took appropriate steps to keep our beef safe.

At least so we thought.

A few years ago one cow with Mad Cow disease was discovered in this country - it never made it to anyone's dinner plate. The culprit was from Canada, and Canadian beef imports were banned. That ban was lifted recently.

Now we see the second confirmed case of Mad Cow in the U.S.

What is interesting about this case is that the cow did not come from Canada.

Why is that so very interesting, and important?

And here we get to why I'm writing all this for my blog.

The reason why it is so important is that it shows there's something wrong with the system of protecting the consumer from this disease.

Some beef industry spin masters are saying things like, "We stopped this animal from entering the food chain, which shows our system works." Total absolute bullshit! Pardon my french.

The only way a cow can get Mad Cow is if it consumes PRIONS. PRIONS are simple proteins that by their shape manage to twist other like proteins into becoming PRIONS. The darned things aren't alive, so there's no way to kill them. They are so simple that they are hard to destroy.

Because PRIONS are not alive, and are so simple you can't kill them, or confuse their chemical structure with sanitizer, heat, or radiation (actually heat will work, but only if you burn the cow to the point where it becomes a pile of ash).

So where do PRIONS come from?

They come from neurological matter - brain matter, and possibly spinal cord fiber from PRION "infected" animals.

Cows don't "catch" PRIONS from other cows like getting a cold, or through sex. They have to get it from eating PRIONS.

Simply put, COWS HAVE TO EAT THE BRAIN OR SPINAL CORDS OF OTHER COWS TO GET MAD COW DISEASE!!!

So the cow that just died of Mad Cow was a cannibal?

The conclussion is that it must have been in some way being fed feed with ground up brain matter from other cows mixed in.

BUT THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW IN THE U.S.!

In fact that law's enforcement is absolutely critical to keeping the entire beef industry in the U.S. from crumbling like the twin towers. Without it, an epidemic like that seen in England is only a matter of time.

Which means we have a real problem on our hands, because somehow that cow did come down with Mad Cow, which implies someone has been breaking the rules on rendered cow brain matter - and has mixed it in as a cheap source of protein into cow feed.

No one seems to be talking about the implications.

If one cow came down with Mad Cow from bad feed, then that means that other cows may have PRIONS in their brains, but just haven't shown symptoms yet. In fact these other cows may end up on your serving plate without ever having shown any symptoms.

Now, you might say, "Well, as long as I don't eat cow brains, and stick to hamburger, or steaks, I'll be fine, right?".

Wrong! Because it only take one little mistake in the slaughterhouse and the spinal fluids end up on your meat. At which point the meat should be thrown away.

But if they don't catch it, or don't want to waste a big chunck of expensive meat and simply ignore it - then that contaminated meat ends up at the local grocery store - or at Hardees!

AND LET ME REPEAT - NO AMOUNT OF COOKING, WILL DESTROY THE PRIONS!

It looks like a coverup is taking place about this second Mad Cow incident, and I'd bet it's only a matter of time until dozens, perhaps hundreds of cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease hits the U.S. The Japanese, who love cheap American beef has already banned it - I'd be considering very carefully why they won't allow our beef into their country the next time you take a stroll through the meat section of your local grocer.

*PhotoSource: Uncredited. Obtained From The Interenet. Probably Under Copyright.
eys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Commentary, Mad Cow Disease

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Soon to Meet the Wrecking Ball

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Photo: Old Walgreens On Left - New Walgreens On Right - Springfield, IL Summer of 2005

The Walgreen's at the corner of Ash & Macarthur, in Springfield, Illinois is soon to be replaced with a brand spanking new building.

The old building holds many memories for me. I recall going there as a child. It was an Eisener's Grocery store then. It's funny how you don't remember much about your childhood until you start to think about one aspect of it - and then suddenly a massive flood of competing memories comes rushing in.

One of my early memories of Eisener's is being in the checkout line with my mother, I must have been around seven, or eight. My mother and another shopper were talking. They sounded horrified that milk was rumored to soon reach $1.00 per gallon. Suprisingly milk can be found for just twice that amount all these years later. Food in America - what a deal!

Construction is almost done, I imagine the new building will be bright, and beautiful, and look just like all the other Walgreen's throughout the nation - and just about the same size as the old store. Another part of my childhood-teenage stomping grounds will be gone forever.
Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Macarthur, Ash, Walgreen's Drug Store.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Office Space

Office Space - A Review

Office Space is one of my favorite movies. It aired (is that the proper term for a cable network?) again tonight on AMC.

I Love this movie. Everytime I watch the movie I get more out of it. I love the point of transition between the "dedicated" yet timid employee, Peter Gibons (Ron Livingston) into the confident yet couldn't care less Initech (Initiative + Technology) employee.

I don't know how many of my readers have ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery, and hang around work just long enough for the big check to come rolling in - but this story portrays (plot line is different) what most people's attitude might be during that wait.

Jennifer Aniston also gives a good performance as Joanna.

One of my favorite scenes is the scene in which a laser printer (or is that a fax?) is taken out into the countryside and murdered.

Check this site out http://www.bullshitjob.com/

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Movie Review, Office Space

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

One Year Into the New Era of Private Space Exploration!

I would love to work at this company!

I include below two photographs of their historic June 21st, 2004 space launch.

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Photo: Space Plane In Sub-Orbital Flight

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Photo: The First Private Space Plane

Image Sources: Please surf to the link included in this post to find photograph source information. The site includes several other exciting photographs of the this privately owned space plane!

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Space Exploration

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Usually It Rolls Downhill - Doesn't It?

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Image: Excerpt From Atty. General Gonzales' Torture Memo - In Blood Red Colored Font

They made him the nation's chief law enforcement officer for this DOJ Torture Advice?

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Iraq, Torture, Department of Justice, War on Terror, Terrorism,
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

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