Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ben Franklin was a kook! But a good one.

Wow - I get to work today an all hell is breaking out that I'm suppose to fix yet, it's not any of my systems and not even in a real language I fully understand AND I don't it's a problem on my end of things.  THANK YOU VERY LITTLE.


Now I have time since my email questions are going unanswered and I can't really do anything until someone actually tells me what the problem is in a language I understand (typically English).

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The Governor Lewis Mansion website is live and raring to go. 

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FIFA - not a huge soccer fan but I think FIFA was the worst case of trying to be secret about corruption in the world. I did not pay a lot of attention to the sport but everybody new FIFA was corrupt.

Bribes of over $100,000,000 to have the World Cup in Quatar instead of the US. Then seeing they would have to play their games at midnight because of the extreme heat and messing up the worlds schedules because all the leagues in the world are playing at that time and then seeing that workers building the stadium were dropping dead from heat AND not allowing workers time off to grieve.

Screwed.

Then there is the NBA where Cleveland has a chance to win the title and THEN they will fire their head coach.  Yea - win a Championship and fire the coach. Seems logical.


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I'm reading a book called Storm Kings - Americas First Tornado Chasers and it starts with Ben Franklin.  What a strange dude that guy was.  His first real invention was the lighting rod but not before there was a death.

He was what was called an electrician which was a stage show that would wow people into electric tricks which he had no clue how they worked.  But that was why he became fascinated in it.

One thing leads to another and he has this experiment he wants to try but there are no tall buildings in Philly.

His idea was to take a 40 foot metal poll.  Go to the top of a church during a thunderstorm point it at the clouds and collect electricity.  OH, there MIGHT be a small amount of danger so wear rubber gloves.

He sent this idea to England. England thought it was a great idea and sent the idea to all sorts of places.  WELL, in St. Peatersburg a guy erected a 40 foot poll to his the top of his house, then attached a brass chain that ran into his house and attached that chain to a metal poll suspended in the air, below the rod was a compass suspended on a spike and below that was a large bowl of water with metal filings in it.

What could possibly go wrong.      

It was a dry summer but finally there was a storm approaching.  He was teaching a class with his friend Sokolow. They ran to his house and as he was leaning over the bowl of water in amazement looking at the metal shavings tremble Sokolow writes" A little sphere of dazzeling light congealed in midair, a globe of blue and whitish fire, about four inches in diameter".

It hovered for a moment and BAM  right into the dudes forehead. BAM!!The room implodes.

Back the Ben Franklin - He hears of this and for his stage show makes a small wooden doll house. He attaches a wire to the chimney that has a small rod and a wire going to the ground and stands on the other side of the stage and directs a large static discharge toward the little house. Nothing happens.

He then takes off the rod on the chimney and does the same thing with a large static discharge.  BOOM! the house explodes.  Of course the house is full of gunpowder so when the static hits it . . . . He called it The Thunder House.

He concluded the show by telling people to attached a rod that is grounded on their house.  And thus Ben's very first  patent. One of many.

BTW - his kite thing?  Very unremarkable. In fact no body ever knew about of for years it was so unremarkable.  His son, NOT a child but more like 30 years old helped him.          

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SO - Lots of talk about the 30+ new STOP signs which for the most part are getting "good" reviews except for the people that live on W Fountain Ave (4 Stop signs in 4 blocks) or W Prairie (3 Stop signs in 3 blocks).  Although W Fountain actually turns into Sturges so it's not "technically" W Fountain.

I was reprimanded for emailing the problem to a couple aldermen with the problem and a solution because one thought I was creating a walking quorum*. Actually I did not create a walking quorum but he did when he replied to me saying I should not email informational emails on problems or solutions. His reply actually tripped the secret "walking quorum trigger", not me.  Yet - I am the Black Sheep of City Council, it is my role to play.  SOMEONE has too!  I was told I cause more harm then good. I feel I just make everybody else look better!

*Walking quorum according to the FOIC = A walking quorum is a series of meetings, telephone conferences, or some other means of communication such that groups of less than a quorum are effectively meeting and can arrive at a consensus or understanding regarding governmental business that, collectively, would constitute a quorum.) 

This basically says you cannot email another aldermen for ANY reason at any time if the person on the other end responds in any way.  You can only talk on the phone so you can then deny everything because there is no record of it.  Just sayin'

Gotta love anal governmental rules.

This means that Person A cannot email Person B who then emails Person C which would create a quorum of 3.  Or Person A cannot email Person B and Person A cannot email Person C on the same subject because once again that would be 3 person conversation even if B and C don't email each other.

Do you think this rule is ever broken on a National level? Congressmen and Senators talking to each other and coming to a consensus?  NAAAAAA!  
  
BUT - that is water under the bridge and yet another BLACK STAR in my permanent record.        

So much for transparency.  Perhaps we should let citizens rule government and government rule citizens.   

ANYWAY - moving on.   I'm over it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

weather whopatooli

It's going to be a beautiful day - once this upper trough tracks through the sun will come out and get up to near 80.  The stratus deck will yield to fair weather cumulus this afternoon. Dry tomorrow with above average temps which MIGHT produce some T-storms later tomorrow night from the mid day heating and more moister entering the state.

Very interesting weather story coming Friday as several LOWS and a cold front mix it up in a weather whopatooli over Wisconsin. A HIGH ridge sped up in the last 12 hours creating a dry but cool Saturday.

78 today, 82 and sunny tomorrow, 81 and who knows what on Friday, 61 Saturday and then slowly warming.

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Went to the new Palace Cinema in the Madison Sun Prairie metroplex. WOW.  They figured out how to get people to go to movies.  Finally a sound system that beats mine, and recliners for every seat. 

On Tuesdays tickets are $5 and a free 44oz popcorn.  A thing of water was $4.50, beer $7.50.  

We saw Tomorrowland. I'm still not sure what I thought of the movie but I liked the message.  All of the gloom and doom about the future is a self fulfilling prophecy.  We take all the "hope" out of our lives so no one really tries to make things better. Instead we should show how good the future could be so people work to get to it. 

We are feeding the wrong wolf. 

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We refinanced our house yesterday and should save about $200 a month.  rates are goign to start moving north soon with more good economic news.  

Oil - seems the US oil industry has found a comfort zone.  Last week the ALMOST the first time in a few years the number of oil wells stopped dropping (did that make sense?)  OK  last week the number of operating oil wells dropped by only 1.  Seems $60 a barrel is comfortable and next week there might actually be an increase in the number of operating wells.   

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The average age of humans keeps raising - however the average age of the oldest humans remains the same - normally in the 115 to 117 level. However, there are more of them.  

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Oh - not to stay on the marijuana theme but National Geographic has a huge article about it.  One thing I have always wondered is why scientists just don't take all the good stuff out of the weed for medical purposes. Just the GOOD chemicals. 

WELL - it seems that in 1970 the US government made it illegal to do ANY research with the weed that it deemed as bad as heroin.  Something that had been used for over 1000 years to cure people could no longer even be looked at by scientists.    

NOW they have tried to isolate the different compounds but there is a problem. it does not work because there is an "entourage effect". They all need to work together.  They have found that the same areas of the brain effected by marijuana is the same part that is triggered by runners when they say they get a "runners high" and they part of the brain plays a very important function in memory, balance, movement, immune health and neuroprotection. 

And I still have 20 more pages to read :-) 

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There is a pretty deal going on in the art world as a few larger shows are making photographers label ALL images "reproductions".  Well YEA.  A lot of photographers are saying "no" to those shows.

It seems the problem is that there are too many photographers that are selling scenic's and travel photos which are pretty pictures but . . are they art?   I have a lot of gorgeous images but it's only because I was there at the right time and with the right equipment.  It's nothing "I" did.  Just a dude with a camera.

Anyway 

Whacky Bonus photo of the day! 


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If case you have not noticed there is a new store getting ready to open downtown at 111 S Ludington.  Columbus Comics and Collectibles.  There are no comic and graphic novel stores in a large area. 

People in Portage need to drive to Madison.  Soon they can stop in downtown Columbus.

Facebook -  Columbus Comics and Collectibles

there is a good article to read - The Benefits of Comic Books and Graphic Novels - Discover 10 benefits your kids can reap by reading comics and graphic novels. 

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And finally - I want to give my heart felt condolences to our Mayor and his family for their loss over the weekend.  Kelly's dad passed away suddenly.  I met him a few times and he was a ball of energy and seemed like a really super guy.

Elwood and I were sitting on the front porch one Saturday evening and he drove by, stopped the car and introduced himself.  We talked a while and he introduced us to his game, Crombalia (sp?) and gave each of us a copy of the game. 

I'm very sorry for your loss Kelly. He was a cool dude and will be missed. 

Rod      

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Wallter Tower, disc golf, plants

So more and more people are using the Columbus Disc Golf course and it's a work in progress. A new facebook page  Friends of Columbus Disc Golf has appeared and with more and more people playing they are giving suggestions on how to make the course better.

One problem which I warned people about before it was installed was the swimming pool parking lot.  Until we actually played the course we were not sure how big of a problem it would be (well, I did but . . ).  No cars, no problem.  But as we play more and more AND as the golfers get better (oddly) it is becoming a headache.

We moved the tee once and I feel we need to move it again.  I was talking to a couple of golfers yesterday who tapped a car teeing off on #4.  I think if we moved the tee box further west to the other side of the #3 basket we might solve this problem.


For any of you that are wondering just what this sport is all about this is a wonderful documentary that most disc golfers are praising as it gives a real good look at the sport.  It's not what many people think it is. It's grown up!  

https://youtu.be/KTq42kg4qeg



On a side note. The golfers yesterday were wondering about trash baskets.  They had picked up a few beer bottles as they played but had nowhere to throw them. It's something DGers do,  pick up trash on disc golf courses left by non golfers.

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Did you know that the 10th President of the United States John Tyler  (Tippecanoe and Tyler too) who took office in 1841 has a two LIVING grandson's?  Well, he DID have 15 children after all and #13, Lyon Gardiner Tyler had 6 kids, two when he was 67 and both of those are still alive.

They can both say they are the grandson of the 10th President of the US.

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Read an interesting article exploring bike helmets.  Seems they DO protect you but are they really needed?  The argument is that with all the stats and numbers on how they protect you but really no more then wearing a helmet all the time.  If people that climbed a ladder wore a helmet there would be less ladder deaths. In fact it is 55 times more dangerous to climb a ladder then to ride a bike.  If people wore a bike helmet while taking a walk there would be less head injuries walking.

There is one biking death every 10,000,000 miles in America. The argument is that NOT wearing a helmet is 4 times more dangerous, so NOT wearing a helmet there is 1 death ever 2,500,000 miles.

Helmet makers make it sound like biking is an extremely dangerous activity.  Perhaps we should just ALWAYS wear a helmet, LIFE is a extremely dangerous activity.  Driving in a car which is MUCH more dangerous then biking.

I have always been a proponent of helmets as I have been on many 500 mile week long events but hmmmmmm.   Of course kids should wear helmets as they fall down and there is nothing ever wrong with extra protection but it's not JUST biking that causes injuries.

Speaking of biking. I WISH Columbus had more bike paths. I have heard this a number of times now from random people. I'm ready to jump on that band wagon if someone pushes me! :-)  There is always more room for another windmill to chase.

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OH OH - Elwood and I worked on the wall of the water tower (The Wallter Tower) Saturday and a number of you stopped by to say Hi.  Thanks for not calling the Police.

There was zero dirt between the rocks so people were stuffing the crack full of garbage. We spent the day with the help of the Water Czar who brought us dirt stuffing and filling cracks and then we planted an unknown sedum which is easy to grow, snuffs all weeds and is super drought tolerant.

 We planted the below sedum 2 years ago and then added more last year.  Little sprigs.  It flowers yellow and in the fall turns a pinkish.


Of course the boulders are MUCH bigger at The Wall but we are filling in slowly. We got 2/3rds finished with the dirt and will plant more in a few weeks.  If you would like some of this miracle sedum feel free to clip a few sprigs off the larger clumps. You really don't need much.  Landscapers use this one a lot it seems.  Does not like shade though.

If you have dark shade or dappling sunlight I suggest lamium.  Here we have the "battle of three armies" under my deck. The Lamium (light green) was the size of a shoe box 2 years ago. In the back is Sweet Woodruff which has a wonderful aroma and getting squeezed is blue flowered periwinkle which did not survive very well 2 winters ago.  The lamium has beautiful purple flowers. All snuff weeds in their own way and need very very little sunlight! In fact it's a little shy of sunlight. You can see it grows more toward shade. The original clump was bottom right corner.  Seems a little aggressive LOL.

  
     
Of course after working on the wall we toasted our manlyness with a beer and took photos of the back patio before it really starts to bloom . . it was a perfect weather day.

OH - and before I forget.

I stopped at Mary Arnolds house and took a few photos of their house and tree.  Here is one of those shots.  The bigger this image is the better it looks!
First art fair  Hilldale Madison June 13th
I'm on a facebook page about Fort Atkinson where I grew up and they have a LOT of old photos of Fort.  I've been cleaning some up and making them look better!
Nuff said!!

later!  Rod