In the crazy world in which we live, a blog looking to make sense of it all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meanwhile At Another Blog

Over at PeoriaIllinoian, he recently reported that PollyPeoria has thrown in the towel on blogging. Before this, Scott Janz and a couple of others announced the same. Fortunately for us, Scott reneged and came back.

In a previous post of mine, I mentioned how I enjoy to do it, though time and work constraints mixed with inspiration limit my blogging. I don't expect to hang up my blogging just yet and I'm trying to post every 2-3 weeks; so far so good. But I became curious about a few other blogs I haven't seen or heard from in a long time so I did some surfing. I even discovered a couple of unknown blogs in the process.

Someone we haven't heard from for a long time is WillyNilly. And I miss Willy. Please come back. The P-Town Snarker, what ever happened to him? Even a better question, whatever became of the Pottstown Pundit? A Bird in the Hand and Coffee and a Cubicle haven't posted in months.

I found a new blog (can't remember how I came across it) that had an interesting tidbit on "wonderboy" Aaron Schock. It seems the kid can't get anyone to accept awards on his behalf. And I'm really enjoying some of the new bloggers post such as Tales of a Peorian (I wish Meghan the best of luck on the new gig) and Newsanchor Mom. A few others featured mainly their hobbies and everyday life; a couple featured way too much about poker for my taste.

Common Sense of it All: I could go on, but it just goes to show, another cool aspect of Peoria is the diversity of its bloggers.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Luciano Displays Common Sense

I'm not a big fan of Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star. I don't read his features very often, but he does sometimes offer readers a good article with a good opinion on a valid issue. Today's was probably one of the best. While Mr. Luciano always has strong opinions, today's was right on with razor sharpness.

Mr. Luciano goes on the explain that while it is now illegal to smoke in public places, the fact remains the same, it will continue to happen. He compared the situation to the "Just Say No" campaign of the 1980's to keep kids from doing drugs. As Mr. Luciano claimed, "People still do drugs." I think I would have used the analogy of the speed limit. It's well posted at 65 mph, but yet, you still find a large number of drivers travelling well above that; especially in the Chicago area.

I also liked how Mr. Luciano referred to no-smoking ban proponents as "do-gooders." I have noticed in the past week from letters and comments from others stating how they liked going to an establishment without having to deal with cigarette smoke. The same could have happened for these "do-gooders" before the smoking ban was enacted if they would have gone to already existing smoke-free places. Examples include Apple's Bakery, LePeep Restaurant, Panache, Rhythm Kitchen, Adams Street Cafe, Paparazzi, French Toast, Monical's, Jubilee Cafe. I could go on.

Mr. Luciano also goes on the about the complex problem of enforcing this law and how it will probably go totally unenforced in establishments in small towns. The best part of today's article is:

"...smoking will continue. I'm not saying that's legally right, it's
just how it is. The bleeding hearts will have to learn to deal with
it. Not everyone wants to be saved by the government."

Common Sense of it All: The smoking ban can also be seen as continued legislation of morality. And with dumb and/or unpopular law, it is going to be infringed upon in large order.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I have to hand it to other Peoria bloggers. They seem so dedicated and continue to do an excellent job at reporting and expressing well thought opinions (whether I agree or not). I am really amazed at how they can keep the pace.

I surely don't have the time to put in a great blog like CJ Summers or Billy Dennis. And when I do have time, a few other bloggers have already beat me to the punch (I think the press calls this "being scooped"). I then don't feel the need to rehash news.

But my 2008 resolution is to blog a bit more often, whether it's something newsworthy or something to the likes of East Bluff Barbie. At the minimum, I'd like to contribute something worthwhile to the Peoria blogosphere at least once a month. So January should be wrapped up for me.

Happy New Year!!

Ways Around The Smoking Ban?

Two-thousand eight has begun and despite the smoking ban in Illinois, the sun still rose in the east, the moon still shines at night and we all still pay taxes. But yet I still have the concern that freedoms were lost.

Now I'm all for the smoking ban in places such as schools, churches, municipal buildings, libraries, retail shops, etc., but as for restaurants and bars there should have been some type of exemption. Reason - these are places no one HAS to go there and are completely personal choice. If you don't like the bar or restaurant, you don't have to go in, smoking ban or not. Employees are another consideration, but a vast majority of employees of the bar and restaurant industry claim that's why they chose to work there; they could smoke on the job. Couldn't we just mandate these places put signage out to indicate whether it is smoking or non-smoking?

I am not a smoker. Never have been. There are a few bars I never went to partly because of the smoke, but mostly it wasn't what I preferred. Smoking ban or not, it will still be the same way. A non-smoker does not like to go to Joe's Tap because of the smoke. This non-smoker will probably still not go to Joe's Tap because he doesn't know the clientele and/or the now smoke-free atmosphere because it just does not appeal to him/her.

If a bar owner ran a cigar bar, where smokers could enjoy a good cigar and drink (Cognac perhaps), this law would either run the owner out of business, or he would be forced to drastically alter his business plan; perhaps one that would not work. Why can't smokers have a place to enjoy their habit? Using tobacco is still legal, right? Under this cigar bar situation, what non-smoker is wanting to patronize this business that caters to smokers?

Another problem I see with this ban is that private clubs are banned from smoking right in their own property. Is this even constitutional? And this leads me to believe this will be a prelude and precedence to residential smoking bans as I have previously predicted. Don't believe me? It's already happening in the northwest with apartment complexes.

But as with any new law, regardless to how well drafted it is (this one sure isn't), there will always be people trying to skirt around it. Here's some ideas:

  • Like many adult establishments, and if you can work it out with your town council, set up a "BYOB" establishment. Sell tobacco products and light up there. I don't know if it would really be profitable, but it's an idea.
  • If your bar already has a beer garden, and you have the capital, spruce it up. Include flat panel TVs, music, heating units, fans, hot barmaids, etc. Inside, leave nothing; no entertainment at all. Save energy by lowering the thermostat in the winter and perhaps turning off the A/C in the summer. Cut staff inside. All your business will be outside anyway.
  • Sit out spittoons and allow chewing.
  • Purchase your tobacco from out of state if you can or just quit as a way to stick it to Illinois. Patronize places that let you smoke "under the table" or look the other way; avoid or boycott places that are fascist about this ban.

Common Sense of it All: I think this smoking ban goes too far and the Illinois Legislature allowed no room for compromise. While bars and restaurants will continue, the bars with outdoor beer gardens, or the bars able to establish such gardens will thrive. Those that don't or unable will suffer. And like the unpopular speed limits, this law will undoubtedly be broken all the time. It's just the continued legislation of morality. Freedom comes at a high price. I'm willing to lose lung and life for it.