Mark's blog

Sporadic blog posts on a wide variety of topics, by Racine, Wisconsin web designer Mark Czerniec.

(Also check out my weekly roundups in Another Week.)

Joe Biden accomplishments

Joe Biden accomplishments

Joe Biden accomplishmentsBiden national debt increase is just HALF of Trump'sMany worry about government spending and the national debt, which has increased under both presidents — but debt growth under President Biden has been only half of what it was under Trump —...

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Amy B. Czerniec, 1966-2024

Amy B. Czerniec, 1966-2024

Amy Beth Czerniec April 9, 1966 — January 16, 2024Amy Beth Czerniec died on January 16, 2024, at her home in Racine. She was 57. Born in East Troy on April 9, 1966 to Donald and Carol Dibble, Amy grew up in Kenosha. She attended Roosevelt Elementary School and Lance...

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McDonald’s mobile app misery

McDonald’s mobile app misery

I don't eat at McDonald's often, but it does hold that promise of convenience when I'm driving from A to B and need something in my stomach fast. Usually these days I order via the McDonald's mobile app, which can be handy when their system works. Sometimes, though,...

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Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson is a threat to democracy. One of Ron Johnson’s top aides attempted to hand off a list of fake electors to Vice President Mike Pence minutes before Pence began counting electoral votes on January 6, 2021. Confronted about this, Ron Johnson kept changing his story.

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‘Moby-Dick’ by Herman Melville

‘Moby-Dick’ by Herman Melville

Nearing the end of my 60th year, I have finally read Moby-Dick, the 1851 novel by author Herman Melville about a voyage aboard the whaling ship Pequod to hunt the huge white sperm whale which previously took the leg of Captain Ahab, a monomaniacal, raging narcissist who foists this mission on his crew only after they put out to sea.

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Rabbit pest control? I’m going cwazy!

Rabbit pest control? I’m going cwazy!

Effective rabbit pest control — how to keep rabbits out of the garden — is a maddening quest that’s rapidly turning me into a cartoon. Visions of rabbit extermination have started taking over my dreams, and my days are spent shopping for increasingly ridiculous wild rabbit control solutions.

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Trump’s black family on Twitter and alter egos

Trump’s black family on Twitter and alter egos

Grabbing my first cup of coffee this morning, I turned on Milwaukee's NPR station and heard, of course, about Donald Trump and his "Look at my African-American over here!" remark from yesterday. Continuing on to Twitter, I saw that Trump was already beginning to churn...

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Fusion: Kenosha live music, performing arts venue

Fusion: Kenosha live music, performing arts venue

Live music in Kenosha is nothing new. The city has long supported a roster of bar bands that rock out on a small stage while patrons and bartenders shout over them to converse or place orders. What's new — over the past year or so — is a Kenosha venue called Fusion,...

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Cicero, Illinois: Tour of Shirley’s childhood home

Cicero, Illinois: Tour of Shirley’s childhood home

Just before this past Christmas, my mom's cousin Wanda died. Back in Cicero, Illinois in the late 1930s, 40s, and early 50s, Wanda was like a big sister to Shirley. My own sister Karen drove us down to attend Wanda's wake and, arriving with plenty of time to spare,...

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‘The Room’ (movie): Tommy Wiseau’s bad cult masterpiece

‘The Room’ (movie): Tommy Wiseau’s bad cult masterpiece

The Room is regarded as one of the very worst movies ever made — but because it is so totally clueless regarding its heaps of bizarre flaws, it is also hilarious to watch. In fact, it's so much fun that it will be showing on some 700 screens across the United States...

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Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum in Kenosha, WI

Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum in Kenosha, WI

Many people whiz down Green Bay Road between Kenosha and Racine every day, and although they may see the Hawthorn Hollow sign across from Petrifying Springs Park, most don't know about the treasure inside its gates. Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum is...

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Our best video yet: Zoey reads along with Uncle Mark

Our best video yet: Zoey reads along with Uncle Mark

As Mark was going through his computer looking for old photos he came across this video from 2010. We had our great nieces Nadine and Zoey over for the weekend. As you can see Nadine couldn't last much longer. I bet she heard the first time uncle Mark read Nils All...

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Video: Zoey’s bedtime story gibberish

Video: Zoey’s bedtime story gibberish

The date of this video is November 13, 2010. We came across it the other day and decided to put it on YouTube. I hope you enjoy it. Our great niece Zoey and her older sister Nadine were staying with us for a couple of days. It was 9 p.m. and Nadine was done for the...

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Unlocking the smartphone labyrinth: From Sprint to Verizon

Unlocking the smartphone labyrinth: From Sprint to Verizon

Getting decent phone service at a reasonable price has been our elusive goal for years. Now we have ventured deeper into these mysteries, chasing questions like "How the hell do you unlock a Sprint smartphone for use on another carrier?" and "How can a three and a...

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‘The Way’ (2010 movie, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez)

‘The Way’ (2010 movie, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez)

Regular readers may remember the recent review of The Alchemist here, which also touched upon the unique biography of author Paulo Coelho. The book Coelho wrote before The Alchemist was The Pilgrimage, a story about his walking the Camino de Santiago which led him to...

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‘The Alchemist,’ by Paulo Coelho, and following your dream

‘The Alchemist,’ by Paulo Coelho, and following your dream

Paulo Coelho's bestseller The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream is one of those books that has been sitting on our shelf for years. His book The Pilgrimage is up there too, along with The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I hadn't read any of them. I...

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‘Treme’ (HBO series in New Orleans, 3 1/2 seasons)

‘Treme’ (HBO series in New Orleans, 3 1/2 seasons)

Treme is an HBO TV series about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer, who previously collaborated on Homicide: Life on the Street and the masterpiece HBO series The Wire, Treme is named for the New Orleans neighborhood where...

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‘Neil Young Journeys’ (2011 Jonathan Demme movie)

‘Neil Young Journeys’ (2011 Jonathan Demme movie)

It helps if you're into Neil Young. Back in the mid-1970s there was this guy Brian, who wore his dirty blonde hair down to the shoulders of his Army surplus jacket. He would come around the park across from my house carrying albums, like After the Gold Rush. My mom...

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‘Locke’ (movie by Steven Knight, starring Tom Hardy)

‘Locke’ (movie by Steven Knight, starring Tom Hardy)

Locke, the 2013 British drama written and directed by Steven Knight, is a movie in which we see just one single actor driving at night from point A to point B down England's M6 motorway. His drive is spent taking and making a series of stressful phone calls....

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How long is a turkey good for?

How long is a turkey good for?

Forgive me if I pause to discreetly gag while writing this, dear reader, but our house currently smells of roast wet dog. The lesson to be learned from this is that the expiration date of a fresh turkey should not be stretched — not even by a couple of days. We're not...

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‘Boyhood’ (2014 movie, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke)

‘Boyhood’ (2014 movie, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke)

Boyhood — the Richard Linklater movie that won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Drama on Sunday, and is sure to be among the Oscar nominations this Thursday morning — at first appears to be an interesting experiment in time-lapse photography, but...

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Messages through the wall, heard on radio

Messages through the wall, heard on radio

You have probably heard the story of how, as a POW during the Vietnam War, Sen. John McCain tapped messages through his prison wall to his fellow American prisoner, Ernest Brace. The conversation started with McCain tapping out "Shave and a haircut," and Brace...

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Christmas with the Pilgrims, America’s earliest Christians

Christmas with the Pilgrims, America’s earliest Christians

  Pilgrims Going to Church (1867), by George Henry Boughton The Pilgrims considered Christmas an abomination The Pilgrims — the people we celebrate each Thanksgiving, who came to America on the Mayflower, signed the Mayflower Compact and founded Plymouth Colony —...

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‘Birdman’ (2014 movie, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone)

‘Birdman’ (2014 movie, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a masterpiece of moviemaking. Presented as if it were one continuous flowing shot, it gives a tremendously heightened sense of real life, of the seer inside us who follows paths — hallways, staircases, sidewalks — and...

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Historical Jesus: ‘A Marginal Jew’: Volumes III & IV

Historical Jesus: ‘A Marginal Jew’: Volumes III & IV

As someone who's made a regular hobby of studying the Bible for about 30 years and counting, I find it hard to express how enjoyable the John P. Meier book series A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus has been to read. Chapter by chapter, Meier peels away...

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Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin: The rich flee climate change

Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin: The rich flee climate change

Energetic thinker Russell Brand — whose brand new book is called Revolution — has a YouTube show called The Trews ("The Trews is news if the news were true") on which he discusses current events and world problems. Back in August, The Trews gained attention through...

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