Friday, July 29, 2016

Iowa City: Groomer Charged with Animal Neglect after Being Accused of Kicking Dog & Causing Serious Injuries

There's a sad story circulating online and in the local news involving a dog who went to a local veterinary clinic for grooming and who left with multiple fractured ribs and bruising in the lungs.

According to the Press-Citizen, a 22-year-old groomer at Creature Comfort Veterinary Center was charged with animal neglect after he reportedly admitted to Iowa City Police that he kicked this poor dog while grooming it earlier this month.

The dog's injuries were severe enough that he was kept under medical observation for several nights at a local pet emergency center during his initial recover period.

Creature Comfort Veterinary Center has issued the following statement:
The owners and management of Creature Comfort Veterinary Center are aware of an animal injury during grooming and subsequent citation for animal neglect issued by the city of Iowa City against the groomer. Any animal injury is of paramount concern and is not tolerated in any respect. Immediately upon learning of this incident, the groomer was discharged from his employment. We will have no further comment while the legal issues are being resolved.
On the positive side, the dog is recovering.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Iowa City: Hillary Clinton and Cookie Monster Win the 2016 Johnson County Fair Mock Election!

I'm positive that you have been sitting impatiently to hear the results of the mock election at this summer's Johnson County Fair here in Iowa City. A record number of mock voters (1686 total) were asked to vote in two separate mock elections.

Adult voters were asked to vote for their preferred presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton won with an impressive 854 votes, followed by Donald Trump with 411 votes, Gary Johnson with 135 votes, and Jill Stein with 92 votes. I'm not terribly surprised that Clinton won here in Johnson County, but I am surprised that Trump didn't get as many votes. I'm also surprised that Stein didn't do better here in Iowa City!

Child voters were asked to vote for their favorite muppets. Cookie Monster won with 326 votes, followed by Miss Piggy with 247 votes, Kermit the Frog with 235 votes, Grover with 62 votes, and Gonzo with 33 votes. I guess there were more muppets to vote for, but the newspaper didn't list those candidates.

Trump Greeted by Protesters in Cedar Rapids, IA

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited nearby Cedar Rapids this evening, which means that tons of people showed up to protest. I was actually invited to join the protest by my son's birth father, but didn't go. But it was interesting to see on Facebook Live.

First off, I saw a lot of people lined up across the street from where Trump's rally was being held. From what I could tell, the crowd was loud but peaceful -- except for a few torn up protest signs.

Later on, I saw some video of Trump speaking in front of the Iowa flag. I'm not 100% certain if he was speaking in Cedar Rapids, or if this was from an earlier rally in Davenport. But Trump was very upset with the anti-Trump rhetoric at this week's DNC.

As opposed to the chaos at last week's RNC, where we were treated to plagerized speeches, chant's for Secretary Clinton's imprisonment and execution by at least two RNC speakers, conflict from Cruz, and an attempt to free delegates from actually having to nominated Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

Anyway, Trump was so upset with the DNC at this rally that he had to hold himself back from hitting others.

But some of his supporters showed up at the protest and received ample opportunity to speak out against the protest. For example...

This man wants you to know that he's not a homosexual because he's wearing a multi-colored shirt. He made a big point about this in his interview. He was upset because some of the protest signs say "Love Is Love," but he's not feeling the love. He did note that Trump was pretty upbeat and happy at tonight's Cedar Rapids rally.

Meanwhile, this guy reports that he was entertained at Trump's rally. When asked if he had a message for those who disagree with Trump, he chuckled and replied, "Probably shouldn't be alive!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Josie & the Pussycats Featured on This Week's "Cupcake Wars"

I finally watched this week's "Cupcake Wars" on Food Network. This episode was celebrating Archie Comics' 75th anniversary by featuring a Josie and the Pussycats theme!

I have to confess. I don't watch "Cupcake Wars" often. It appears that the current season features celebrities who are trying to raise money for the charity of their choice.

This week's episode featured...

Charlie and Max Carver, both from "Teen Wolf." They were supporting Team Rubicon, an organization that trains veterans to assist with disaster relief. Then there was Adrienne Bailon from the bands 3LW and the Cheetah Girl and from the talk show called "The Real" and her friend Julissa Bermudez, most recently from "Empire Girls." They were supporting World Vision and the group's ongoing assistance for earthquake relief in Ecuador. And then there was Katherine McNamara and Emeraude Toubia of "Shadowhunters." They were supporting Foster Care to Success, a scholarship program for foster children. And lastly, there was comedian Ron Funches, most recently from the film "Get Hard" and his assistant Randy Emmons. They were supported the Doug Fluties Jr. Foundation for Autism, a vocational program for teens and adults with autism.

The program's judges consisted of Elizabeth Chambers, owner of Bird Bakery; Florian Bellanger, owner of Mad Mac Macarons; and Archie Comics creative consultant, Jesse Goldwater.

Then we went through a series of elimination competitions, first a taste challenge featuring special ingredient options that "pop" in your mouth (such as popcorn, poppy seeds, soda pop, or pop rocks). That competition got McNamara and Toubia kicked off the show. Then there was a presentation challenge, where the celebrity bakers were asked to design cupcakes that captured the Pussycats' style. That ended the game for the Carver brothers.

The final competition was between Bailon and Funches. They were tasks with baking 1000 cupcakes. They were to be placed on displays of their creation that celebrated the Pussycats' rock & roll lifestyle. Bailon created a leopard-print stage mock-up and prominently displayed cut-outs of Josie and the Pussycats. Funches prominently displayed his cupcakes on a stage with a drum set and working microphone.

I won't ruin the winning entry, but I fully agreed with the judges' decision!

I'm sure that this episode of "Cupcake Wars" will re-air sometime in the near future. You should definitely check it out on Food Network!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Who is Freddy?

I've written several times about Charlton Neo, which is a resurrection of the classic Charlton Comics lines; as well as Pix-C Web Comics, which features public domain characters from Charlton Comics as well as a few other original characters. Pix-C Web Comics features strips from a variety of genres, including superhero, horror, action, and humor romance. Pix-C Web Comics recently launched two new strips. We're going to talk in this blog post about one of those strips: FREDDY!!

Freddy made his debut back in 1958 in a comic book titled FREDDY #12. Basically, he was one of Charlton Comics' attempts at capitalizing on the teen humor craze. I'm not 100% certain, but I'm fairly sure that FREDDY's sales were nothing compared to ARCHIE. But FREDDY was published sporadically through 1965.

And I'm pretty sure that Freddy hasn't been seen until he made his Pix-C debut this past weekend! This new version of FREDDY features writing by Paul Beale, pencils by Jenny Godin, inks by Donnie Willman, colors by Michel Plourde, and lettering by Paul Polley. Here is a brief snippet from the first two strips:

And so, who is Freddy? (I hear you cry.) Freddy is the teen next door. He has an on-again/off-again girlfriend. He enjoys going on adventures with his best friend. He suffers through all sorts of indignities. And he's just like you!

He even has his own version of Betty, Jughead, Reggie, Mr. Weatherbee, and Mr. Wilson:

I decided that I wanted to check out FREDDY #12 on Comic Book Plus. Comic Book Plus is an online collection of public domain comic books. I wanted to check out Freddy's first comic adventure. I discovered "Teacher's Pet Problem," where Miss Bunsen instructed all of the students to bring their pets to school so they could "fully discuss them."

I'm still not sure what class  Miss Bunsen teaches, but she really didn't think through this assignment. I'm sure she thought that everyone would bring their dogs and cats, which would be problematic enough. But these are weird kids! One of them has a pet bear and another one has a box full of bats!

Fortunately, the bear didn't eat anyone and all of the students got to go home early from school.

This is pretty standard humor when it comes to FREDDY. And I expect more of the same from Pix-C Web Comics' new FREDDY comic strip -- though with a 21st century twist! You too can keep up with FREDDY and the rest of these new weekly strips, but you first need to have access to Pix-C Web Comics' premium site if you want to see what's happening! You too can read FUNHOUSE -- not to mention Yang, No NameTuffy Turtle, N.E.O., Kid MontanaThe KnightingalesDeathwatchThe SpookmanSadistikMs. Molecule, and several other great characters, by becoming a patron of Pix-C Web Comics. Those who become patrons (for as little as $1 per month) gain access to several weekly online comic strips. The more you pledge, the more perks you qualify for. I've been contributing $30 per month towards this venture. I encourage to you to become a patron too!

Incidentally,  you can now read older Pix-C Web Comics on this Free website. Becoming a Pix-C Web Comics patron will give you advanced access to new Pix-C stories that are not readily available to those who access the Free website (such as FREDDY), so definitely make your pledge today!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

KICI Radio 105.3 FM Hosted Successful Benefit & Donor Appreciation Concert!

I have written before about KICI Radio 105.3 FM. It's a new low-power FM radio station that will be debuting in Iowa City later this year. It's a community radio station that is a project of Uptown Bill's Coffee House and the Extend the Dream Foundation. It is dependent on the donations and sponsorships of others. I'm actively involved with getting KICI Radio on the air -- and I can't wait to begin actively producing content for the local radio audience.

Anyway, the folks at KICI Radio have been busy planning a Benefit & Donor Appreciation Concert. Steve Cook Sound Production teamed up with Jamie and Matt Kearney to organize an evening of live art and music, featuring Wandering PintJames TutsonCedar County Cobras, and Dave Zollo. We wanted to get the news out about KICI Radio and we wanted to publicly thank those individuals and businesses who have already stepped up with their tax-exempt donations and volunteer hours!

I reached out to a few local businesses for sponsorships, but otherwise didn't do much except show up for yesterday's concert and chat with people about community radio from our informational booth.

I was so impressed with the turnout for yesterday's concert. The weather was quite oppressive yesterday. It was hot and humid and muggy and we were treated to a heat index of close to 100 degrees! But we had a steady stream of people at the concert. And those people were so generous! We ended up receiving close to $900 in donations -- most of which came in the form of individual donations in the amount of anywhere from $1 to $20! That money will be extremely helpful towards our goal of purchasing an transmitter/antenna, as well as music licensing fees!

Several months ago, it occurred to me that we could fully fund KICI Radio for an entire year if everyone who liked the page contributed $20 to the station. My experience at yesterday's Benefit & Donor Appreciation Concert completely reinforced that belief!

Please follow this link to KICI Radio's Go Fund Me page and send a few bucks to our radio station. This is a project that I fully believe in. I have contributed my own time, energy, and money. And I really can't wait to get this station going here in Iowa City -- and online via web-streaming.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Clinton/Kaine 2016

So this happened today...

He's not my first choice. But I'll vote for them.

Details/Cast Images Released for "Young Hyacinth," Prequel for BBC's "Keeping Up With Appearances"

"Young Hyacinth": Rose, Daisy, Daddy, Hyacinth, and Violet
One of my favorite Britcoms is "Keeping Up With Appearances." It's the story of social climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet") and her hapless husband Richard. The show aired in the early 90s, but has re-aired on various public television stations here in the states continuously over the past two decades.

We learned last year that the BBC was rebooting several of their classic Britcoms and that one of those reboots is "Keeping Up With Appearances." We finally learned some details about this reboot, which is titled "Young Hyacinth":
In the new show, set in the late 1950s, young Hyacinth shares a cramped cottage with her down-at-heel family and is forced to work as a maid for her father’s wartime RAF squadron leader. And, in very un-Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) fashion, she even has to share a bed with her sisters Violet, Daisy and Rose. While Hyacinth has yet to meet Richard, her long-suffering husband played by Clive Swift in the original series, she is going steady with a young man called William.
"Young Hyacinth" will start as a one-time special on the BBC. It will air sometime in September 2016.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

North Miami: Police Shoot Group Home Therapist // Man Lying on Ground with Arms Clearly in the Air // He was with Autistic Client & Not Armed

The story of yet another police shooting involving an unarmed black man is going viral today. This shooting happened in North Miami, FL. The shooting victim is a behavioral therapist who works for a group home. One of the clients -- a largely non-verbal autistic man -- had left the facility and 48-year-old Charles Kinsey was trying to get his client to return to the group home.

According to the police, somebody called 911 and said that someone had a gun and was suicidal. They rolled up on the scene and began aiming weapons at the pair.

The autistic man was sitting on the road. He was perseverating. He was rocking back and forth and playing with a toy truck. His worker laid on the ground with both of his arms clearly in the air and explained the situation. He explained that the client did not have a gun, but instead a toy truck. He explained that he is a behavioral therapist at a group home.

In response, a police officer fired three shots at the men and ended up striking the therapist in the leg. The two men where then handcuffed and Kinsey was left to bleed out. He was eventually transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital for inpatient treatment.

It's unclear to me if the police charged either Kinsey or his client with any crimes.

North Miami Police have clammed up with details. They have not identified the officer and they have not issued any details outside of saying that the officer is currently placed on paid administrative duties. There was a press conference this morning, but little new was added to their response. Basically, they brought in another county to investigate the shooting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Married Gay Dads to Appear Tomorrow on Nickelodeon's "The Loud House'' // America's Culture Warriors Are Already Freaking Out!!

I really need to watch more television. There is a cartoon on Nickelodeon called "The Loud House," which features to adventures of Lincoln Loud and his ten sisters. I've never seen it, but I should! Especially tomorrow night (July 20th) when the episode "Overnight Success" is broadcast.

"Overnight Success" will feature a "bi-racial gay couple" on the program, apparently the first such couple to ever appear on a Nickelodeon program. The couple are named Harold and Howard McBride and they are the parents of Lincoln's friend, Clyde McBride.

You can watch a clip of their first appearance here:

In the episode, Lincoln will host his first sleepover with his buddy Clyde -- and the McBride fathers are completely over-the-top with their over protectiveness!!

Of course, the One Million Moms group is already freaking out. They are upset that this cartoon will feature a married same-sex couple and they want you to communicate your outrage to Viacom. Here's why:
Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage on a network that is designed for kids. Just because something may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn't make it morally correct. Nickelodeon should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda. 

Nickelodeon has decided to be politically correct instead of providing family-friendly programming. Families tuning in to watch a children's network may encounter a premature discussion on sexual orientation that is completely uncalled for. Conservative families need to urge Nickelodeon to avoid controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend. This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand. Mature issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is extremely unnecessary.
My experience after sixteen years of being a gay dad is that most kids really don't freak out over gay parents. It's their parents who are uncomfortable about it and who project that uncertainty onto their kids. Kids get gay families. They understand gay dads and gay moms, just like they understand hetero parents.

Anyway, I would not have learned of "The Loud House" or the McBride dads if not for the outrage. So thank you, One Million Moms! I can't wait to buy the episode on iTunes and post a review!