Housing inspection debacle

March 29, 2006

The meeting for answers to the housing inspection move seems to have created more questions than it answered. If it was truely a cost saving move, will moving Inspectors to the fire department really save money? If the department couldn’t do it’s job before, should they be advising the Fire Department on how to do it? How will driving a Fire Department truck to where the cars are parked save money? Does Tony LaHood actually think anyone is buying into his statement that the inspection department is vindictive and carry grudges?

Several things didn’t seem to make sense in the Times article in today’s paper. The first was Craig Malin running the meeting. If he was his usually wordy self, I doubt any questions got answered by him. He is a consumate politcian who can talk for 10 minutes and not say anything the average Joe can comprehend. How is there $197,000 available to help move inspectors to the Fire Department when this is supposed to be a cost cutting measure? Why is the Fire Department taking both sides of the arguement? Either the job can be done or not, unless you take the Queen of Denial slant that there are different versions of the truth.

Tom Carnahan wants the bad property owners to pay more for services so it isn’t subsidized. While making sense at first glance, all it does is raise rents to people who can’t rent from better landlords. No one, except the government is going to take a loss on their profits. I do, for once, agree with Fritz Miller that all city departments should take a hit of some kind. I think the department needed work, but not beyond rehabilitation.

end of the rainbow

March 29, 2006

This would be my luck. If I looked for the pot at the end of the rainbow, it would be a porta-potty.

Symphony parking

March 28, 2006

Driving down Kirkwood Blvd. from Bridge to Jersey Ridge I noticed a boarded up house. What a way to show out of town Bix runners how prosperous this city is. LeClaire St. between 14th. and 15th. keeps sinking like Venice. The city has barricades around another hole. LeClaire by Save-A-Lot is another joke. With cars parked on both sides and limited visibility I’m surprised they aren’t wrecks everyday. Iowa St. by Lincoln school is fun when idiots park right to the crest of the hill. You get the idea.

Whoever is in charge downtown, and I don’t think it’s Winborn, should remember a couple basics. If you make it a nice place to live, people will want to live here. If crime is low, people will want to live here. If the basic quality of life is good, people will want to live here. If people want to live here, they will visit here. Instead of being 10 years behind California, and 5 years behind Cedar Rapids, why not come up with an original idea.

Remember Tuna Brigade, Dubuque has Ice Harbor, Cedar Rapids has the 5 Seasons Center, and we have the bridge to the river. Even the paddlewheel excursion boat to Dubuque docks in LeClaire. Maybe you could hold concerts in the emply parking ramps and be the only Iowa city with Symphony parking.

a couple things

March 26, 2006

Is the Adler ever going to be finished? With all the barricades and lanes blocked for one little stage it’s bordering on rediculous. Don’t seem like there’s much going on at the River Center compared to the QCCA Expo center. How does an old, shabby, tired looking building take so much away from the River Center?

Another accident at Iowa and Locust Streets today. There’s already a stop light, what next? What’s it take to get the roads fixed in this town? I hit a pothole and allmost lost my truck. They’re so bad you can’t dodge them anymore because they’re all over.

Parking ramps aren’t getting used, they should have built them closer to the police station and the cops could have used them. Let’s hope they get some use during the BIx Fest.

I don’t mind development, but doing it just to get State monies is stupid. The Freight House won’t work, and if they plan a $58 million “market district” it won’t work either. The Quad Cities has a market district, it’s called Le Claire. If anyone wants this sort of stuff, it’s a short drive.

I also think we don’t need the gateways “welcome to Davenport” junk; because of all the cameras around, and the fact if your car gets stolen and chased it’s another ticket in the mail for you, tourists will pick and choose. Pick somewhere else and choose to stay away from this speed trap.

truth is stranger

March 25, 2006

Just some stuff from the news that got me thinking. In Texas the police are going into bars and arresting people for public intoxication. That ought to be good for business.

Locally, the gunfights have getting out of hand in hurry. The only good thing is that these guys can’t seem to hit anything but gas pipes. I think the Sherriff’s department should issued permits to carry to any law abiding citizen who wants one. It might change these punks habits if they have to guess whether someone is packing or not.

The police union aren’t happy campers anymore. I wish I could have been at the meeting between the police union, Bladel and Malin. I bet that was something.

On the council it seems to me like Meyers, Lynn and Hammerlink are getting a lot of grief for doing what they said they would do if elected. How quickly people forget. The Tuna Brigade brought this whole mess to us and it seems Ed has enlisted. Too bad.

And lastly, it was good to see Nicki in the Times, if only on the opinion page. We need her to keep the Tuna Brigade on their toes. I like how Charlie says “out of order” when all she was telling was the truth. The way it’s going, the meetings won’t be held in the bat cave much longer.

car guys 2

March 24, 2006

You may be a street rodder if…

you’ve ever driven 100 miles to a car show in the rain with no widows just because you pre-registered.

your garage is cleaner than your house.

you can’t find a can opener in the kitchen, but you know where every tool you own is.

you need both hands to shift into Reverse.

you can’t remember the color of your girlfriend’s eyes, but you can rattle off-in the correct historical sequence- the displacement of every small block Chevy ever built.

your yearbook picture is a pair of greasy jeans sticking out from under the bumper of a 40 Ford.

Led Zeppelin and Bobby Vinton are ok, but you consider serious music to be a blown Hemi cruisin the Interstate.

you’ve ever tried to set off a car alarm by rapping your pipes.

you ever rebuilt a carb in the kitchen sink.

you dust by adding more hose to your compressor.

you rap your pipes under viaducts just to hear the rumble.

you part with big bucks for a rusted Duece coupe shell, but can’t afford to get a new dryer for the wife.

real car guys

March 23, 2006

Down at the local parts emporium today the talk turned to paint jobs and the cost of the same. While all us grey hairs there have painted at least one of our rods, age, dexterity, or time constraints had a few get paint work done. The consesus was a presentable paint job runs in the $8,000 to $10,000 price range. This is not for a multi-color, metalflake, or candy paint job, just a nice one color job. Everyone there could remember building several rods earlier in life for less than that in their lifetime. I know I myself put together a pretty nice 40′ coupe from the ground up for around $2,500 in 1969.

Then the bench rancing starting in earnest. In the early days of the hobby, if you owned it, you built it. There where no kits around for suspensions, engine swaps, rear end conversions, wiring and so on. You just tackled the problem when it came up and moved on to the next step. At most car shows and cruises today maybe 1 in 10 could honestly say they built their own car. They don’t know horsepower, cam duration, rear end gearing, camber settings, interior materials, or even exterior color, unless the person who built it told them when they bought it. If they break down by the side of the road they call the motor club on their cell phone and wait instead of get the tools out of the trunk and fix it. But because they can afford a couple hundred thousand dollars for a car, they get all the attention. Which makes us real car guys happy because that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about the cruise, the seat of your pants driving experience you can only get in a 60 plus year old, split windshield car. It about the sound of the exhaust, the whine of the rear end, and the wind in your face, and the real car guys know this. That’s why when you see us driving down the street we’re grinning ear to ear in the pouring rain getting soaked and living life. And we remeber when sex was safe and hot rods were dangerous.

My two cents worth

March 22, 2006

The Village of East Davenport seems to be the subject lately so here goes. Back in the 1970’s there were at least 12 bars on Mound and accross 11th. streets, three resturaunts, a barber shop, Isabel Bloom’s studio, a dry cleaners, and other assorted small businesses. The cottages surrounding said businesses were homes, not shops. There were Octoberfests held every year and not a lot of trouble. I believe the parking parking problem is a no brainer. When you have two lane streets with every building on the block a small business, you will have parking problems. How are the businesses in this part of town going to compete with the Freight House market when it happens?
The business license thing is another joke. Evidently the city doesn’t check on a regular basis. There’s a surprise. When these people pay for their license, do they have to pay late fees retroactive to the date they opened? If not, why not? As the old adage goes- ignorance of the law is no excuse.

fractured fairy tale

March 17, 2006

Once upon a time in the city of Denial, the state of Disrepair, the leaders had a decision to make. The Esteemed Royal Honcho, Winbag; the Queen of Denial, Barney the Dinosour, Charlie the Tuna, and Merlin the Math Magician got together to further the idea that they were legends in their own minds. The peasants were restless for repairs to the sewers, streets, and neighborhoods. While you’re at it they shouted, let’s get more police on the streets to keep the shooting down, they cried. The leader’s in their feeble attempt to build castles in their honor, ignored the peasants, but listened to their complaints for hours on end, pretending to be interested.

The leaders threw out many diversions, a Royal warehouse for local artisans, a Royal Skatepark, a fee to further fill the coffers, machines to catch you fleeing too fast, a threat to do away with the royal checker uppers. And for a while it worked; instead of talking about all the monies the leaders were spending, the peasants were squabbling about who should get the axe. They never thought about their Royal taxes being raised while the sacrificial employees looked elsewhere for work, and more services were getting cut.

One day the peasants revolted and the Royals were taken to task for their actions. An emergency tele-conference was called and sadness overcame the Royals when the Wizard told them he couldn’t help them with a brain.

Jerry Murphy gone

March 17, 2006

Jerry Murphy passed away this morning. The Quad Cities is less one of the best mixologists and story tellers in the business. It was a pleasure to have known him. When I quit drinking years ago, his bar was my last stop. What irony it’s the day before St. Paddy’s day.