Thursday, July 31, 2008

Defending Johnny Depp

There have been some photos floating around showing our hero Johnny Depp giving paparazzi the finger. Lots of people are saying "YEA - way to go, you tell'm Johnny" And then they print the photo.

Seems to me that people getting all excited and seeing the photo in print and online is counter productive. Score one for the paparazzi - they win. My feeling is that this is an insult to Johnny. Seeing this kind of photo showing Johnny in a manner I'm sure HE is not comfortable with makes ME feel uncomfortable.

Showing a person that is kind, gentle an caring in a moment of anger is just playing into a paparazzi plan. They WANT him to get angry so they can sell photos! They WANT him rubbing his crotch so it will get on the internet and news. I have seen several photos and videos of JD on Johnny Depp fan sites showing him in a a negative photos. Why ???

Would you guys want YOUR photos on the net in this manner?

Just MY opinion but I know I wouldn't.

I will now climb down from my soap box - this is NOT aimed at anyone in particular as it is happening in many places.

Are we in the beginning of a plague of biblical proportions?? Grasshoppers and toads! Everywhere.

Our front door area was covered with tiny grasshoppers and toads clinging to our house. WHAT UP!!! Is this normal? I was mowing the lawn yesterday and I had to keep stopping as a toad would jump out of the way!!

And speaking of mowing - good thing I mowed the yard yesterday - I only had a total of 10,125 steps. Perhaps it's harder to get 10,000 then I thought.
Columbus Train Station

Meeting about the train station art Saturday at the Visitor Center 9:00. If you have something you want to have hung up now is the time to go to a meeting.

Any art on the Station walls will get a LOT of people looking at it. We drove past last week and the place was packed with people.

It looks like Columbus is trying to get a second Chicago - Minneapolis train stopping in Columbus. One train twice a day is just not doing it with traffic.

Also in the works by our econo-visor Steve Sobiek is some sort of free bike deal (like Madison's "red bike" program I suppose) where bikes will be available for a quick jaunt to town. AND some sort of van service to and from Madison (I personally have been contacted about ways to get to and from Madison).
I saw a hitchhiker yesterday. Don't see that many anymore. I hitch hiked to California once. Never made it. I got to the Rockies and stopped there to was so beautiful. IF you ever want a REAL adventure - hitch hike across the U.S.

My parents drove me to the interstate in Janesville (what were they thinking) and let me off . . . now that I think of it it was sort of like taking your pet into the country to go wild!!

Anyway - I had NEVER hitched before but knew I had to use my thumb. I spent 12 hours in ONE place - I was never picked up! So I pitched my tent and woke up early, put my thumb out and stood for 3 hours. HELL - I then decided to go to another spot so I walked up to the interstate and a cop picked me up. My first ride ever was from the police LOL

He gave me a lift to the next exit where a family coming from church picked me up (what were they thinking).

I got to Rockford where two guys picked me up - they were heading to California to sell drugs on the beach. They were hoping I had some. I said no, so we drove. They also only had $50 in cash so they were hoping to borrow some. I said probably not a good idea and they agreed.

So we drove and drove. Since THEY had no drugs and I had no drugs they had to go with the next best thing.

Big sticks of incense! Yea - here are two guys in the front seat snorting big sticks on incense. I pretty much decided to dump these guys as soon as I could. BUT . . . . . the freakiest thing I have ever seen in a car was about to happen.

It's pitch dark on the highway goign through South Dakota. The car is ripe with strawberry and evergreen smoke and in the distance are two lights dead ahead on the road. They are where tail lights should be but both are drawing circles going the opposite direction. LIKE SOME SPACE ALIEN!!! WTF???

The two incense guys are FREAKING OUT.

After about 5 minutes we close the gap, CAREFULLY, and it's two bicycles with reflectors on the wheel spinning in opposite directions. The frames of the bikes completely over up the real tail lights!

I left those two the next day. Tomorrow I'll talk about getting picked up by a guy that was AWOL from the Navy and racing to San Diego. mmmmm K-rations. Love them!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stepping My Way to Cheese Curds and Sweet Corn

My new phone has a pedometer so I'm seeing how many steps I take in a day. They say 10,000 should be a goal. This would be 5 miles. Well - I'm pretty sure I walk way more then 5 miles a day. At 8:00 in the morning I already have 1,800 steps.

A website says 10,000 steps will help you lose weight. What if I walked 10,000 steps to buy two pounds of cheese curds, will that help me lose weight? I really think I need to walk 10,000 steps to buy celery instead. Did you know that celery has negative calories?

A stick of celery has something like 10 calories, the act of chewing it consumes 7 calories and the act of digesting this rabbit food consumes another 5 calories so you are burning 2 calories! SWEET!!!!!

Yesterday my way home is blocked because SOMEBODY hung a backpack on a tree across from the Capitol and lit it on fire. The bomb squad came out and for the next three hours . . . .walked around scratching their heads. Then they blew it up.

You would think SOMEBODY would have noticed a guy hanging a backpack on a tree and lighting it on fire!!!!!

Then driving home on The Wash near the airport six F16 fighters take off right over our head and then block away 5 cops have a dude pulled over next to the Prime Quarter Steak House and a Police Dog is TRYING to sniff for . . . drugs??

Poor dog. I could smell the Prime Quarter from across the street. What do you think that poor dog is going through. Drugs / Steak / Drugs / Steak / Drugs / Steak. I have to remember that ploy next time I get pulled over.
Any farmers out there?? Besides the 10 feet of water on your crops earlier this year has this been a good growing year? Wild flowers are fantastic this year and my garden is abundant. i seems everything is growing, regular rain and lots of sun.

Today is Farmers Market and Sweet Corn day.

The first recorded instance of Sweet Corn was in 1779 when a band of Iroquois Indians gave "Papoon" to European settlers.

In Europe, China, Korea, and Japan, sweet corn is often used as a pizza topping. BLAH!

Anyway - fresh cheese curds and sweet corn picked three hours ago! It's all good!

BTW - there are many ways to cook sweet corn but if you boil it only boil the corn for 3 minutes, longer and it'll get spongy.

Sweet Corn nutritional facts

Carbohydrates 19 g
- Sugars 3.2 g
- Dietary fiber 2.7 g
Fat 1.2 g - does not include the 1 stick of butter on each ear
Protein 3.2 g

Is John Micheal Bolger afraid of Sweet Corn also??
Sassy Cow Creamery News
Kara has mentioned in the comments yesterday that if you mention this blog you can get 1/2 off an ice cream cone at the Sassy Cow Creamery.

Let's not get carried away now!!! It only works once. Also - it looks like a number of you want to have a field trip AUGUST 29th to the Sassy Cow Creamery.

Let's do it!!! How many times in your adult life do you get to go on a field trip - Kids get all the fun. We could meet at the Kurth and caravan there. Lurkers are ALWAYS welcome - it would be a perfect time to meet and greet. There is nothing more fun then a group of adults all having lactose rush's at the same time.

Maybe someone can win a cow.
Had some storms go through last night at sunset and managed to get some nice photos! I was hoping for better but it was like shooting photos at the Grand Canyon - a 6 inch photo just does not do justice.

Hey - I just noticed you can buy T-Shirts on CNN that will have their headlines. For Instance you could have "Iwo Jima flag-raiser gets citizenship papers" ON A T-SHIRT! Wow - I have been looking for that one at Sharrow Drugs but they were sold out.
OH - final note - does ANYBODY know a Chris Olsen from Oconomowoc? I'm trying to clear my name here. While looking for a missing credit card DJ found an old YMCA card between car seats with her/his (I'm betting her) name on it from some pilates class from 2005.

I see my google ad's are all about lactose intolerance. Too Funny!

Rod M

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Sassy Cow Creamery

Before I get into our Sassy Cow Adventure I must talk about what happened to DJ's dad sixty-three years ago today.

Mel was riding on top of the USS Indianapolis (a Portland-class cruiser and Flag Ship for the Pacific Fleet) as a Marine near the end of WWII when the front of the Indy was blown off by torpedo. The ship plowed into the water and sunk in twelve minutes leaving Mel and 779 of the 1,197 floating in the water.

Life jackets were pretty new back then and were designed to stay a float for maybe a day or two.

The real problem came when sharks, hearing the noise decided to investigate and started nabbing the sailors one by one.

The ship sank so fast that only a few SOS's went out which were quickly dismissed by the Navy as being a Japanese trick and this being a vessel of war with radio silence, no one thought anything about the Indy not coming one on schedule.

And there they floated. In a 100+ degree, cloudless sea with no water, no food, very few flotation devices , no one knowing they were there and one by one, being eaten by sharks. Day after day after day.

After five days the survivors, now numbering only 317 were accidentally spotted by a PBY (the same plane my dad flew in WWII in search and rescue) and what LT. R. Adrian Marks the pilot saw was horrific. In the crystal clear water he saw survivors from an unknown ship with hundreds of oceanic whitetip shark's circling just below.

Against orders he landed the plane in choppy seas and as Mel has said, many tried to swim to the plane and sunk due to lack of strength. When some did make it they were asked "what ship are you from" and it is then when the Navy found out their Flag Ship had been sunk.

The call went out for a major rescue and the PBY started to get people on the plane. When the plane was full they started to tie survivors to the wings damaging the plane but saving lives. All the while the sharks were thrashing the waters.

It was total darkness when the Cecil Doyle arrived to help the rescue and again, against all orders turned on search lights knowing there was at least one submarine in the area to look for more survivors.

Three hundred seventeen were rescued.

I won't get into the rest of the story but two movie companies are looking into making this a major motion picture.

If you want a fantastic book on this look for "In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors". There is one,(maybe two?) photos of DJs dad, Mel Jacob in the book.

The Sassy Cow Creamery

After the cement guys came for our patio DJ, Blake and I decided to go get my new cell phone and on the way back from Madison stop off at The Sassy Cow Creamery.

The Sassy Cow is a brand new farmstead milk bottling business between Columbus and Sun Prairie and near Bristol. Just find "N" near Bristol and head north - can't miss it.

We stopped in and were looking around when owner James Baerwolf came out and we started talking. Of course I was on edge, could this be THE JAMES that stole my cell phone Friday? I looked deep into his eyes searching for clues, I felt like calling him, maybe interviewing him ON THE PHONE but he did not seem to be the type.

I think the book Freak-o-nomics mentioned "farmstead milk bottling business owners rarely steal cell phones".

So I relaxed but took a photo anyway just in case.

He does look a little shifty though!!

ANYWAY - the place is spotless and you can see into the windows at the milking process (no milk is actually visible). The great news is THEY HAVE ICE CREAM. And it is really good. In fact they also have Organic Milk (I should have asked what that actually means) and all sorts of dairy products. (The next time you make Habanero salsa make sure you go there first . . . that is a story for another time though).

ANYWAY - They have 100-ish Organic Cows (as opposed to inorganic cows) and 400-ish normal cows (like ANY cow is normal? - they have like 5 stomachs, yea - normal).

This is an abnormal cow - stay away from milk from these dudes!

Back at the Creamery, DJ and I get ice cream (good price) and go outside to eat it. We sit on the provided benches and look at the scenery. The distant white barns are where the normal cows live.
(click photo to enlarge)

DJ and I are eating our ice cream and of course Blake is wanting some also so we give him a nice taste.

Totally forgetting he is Lactose Intolerant.


We're done eating and I go into buy some milk and Smooth Hand Luke (that is what the cows call him) says that fresh milk, as of this morning, will be available in 15 minutes.

We hang and get our fresh milk. We will not be strangers to the place! You really should go there to check them out.

Coming events - This Friday a brat fry from 11am to 2pm with creamery and farms tours and Friday August 29th, 3pm to 8pm is pie, ice cream and root beer floats night! Also be offering tours of the creamery and farms!

Hey - let's skip the Kurth that Friday and go to the Creamery (Kurth afterword to wash down the dairy products). Seriously - it would be a hoot. Let's show support!!

As I was waiting for the cement guys I was looking in the garden a and took a few more photos. The Monarch butterfly's are making an appearance. Fear not the Monarch caterpillar.

Have a great day.

OH Johnny Depp is going to play the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's new gripping, spooky, Alice in Wonderland . Mia Wasikowska will play Alice.

OH - cell phone is up and running - same number as before. AND I have insurance.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Where in the World is Gary Errthum

Well - I remember a few weeks ago getting some heat about taking over the Columbus paper.

I had a Letters to the Editor and an article about the Train Station and a photo of the Train Station painters.

But then I look in Saturdays paper and there is one Gary Errthum, or at least the likeness of him as I believe what we are actually seeing is a cardboard cut out.

Our Mayor, Nancy Osterhaus, gave out so many keys to the city when Universal Pictures Studio were in town that when Fall River went to buy a few keys to their city for themselves they were told "Keys to the City" are on backorder.

So they had to substitute "Keys" for "Cheese" and handed out Cheese to the City when handing out awards.

Here you see cardboard cutout Gary handing the coveted Cheese to the City to the Dodge County Credit Union, Savanna Oaks Cultural Center, Mobil Mart Owners , CJ's Bar and grill (come taste their new Grill Cheese Sandwiches) and The American Cafe.

Stay tuned, next week is Gary's Amazing Beef Stick Extravaganza. Who will win The Beef Stick to the City Awards.

I want to thank all of you for the cell phone offers (except Adubya and CW) . Yea - Adubya and CW said I could use CW's cell phone because CW had become yet another iGeek with an iPhone. HOWEVER - Her Razor was PINK.

Nice try Adubya - I can see it now at bowling. Adubya whips out his iPhone, another guy on our team who's name I forget (they all look the same) whips his iPhone out and the third guy that limps and is also bald takes his out.

I then take my PINK phone out. Yea - I can see that working out great!!
We're at home today waiting for the cement dude. I think there is a 50/50 chance of him showing up. DJ has it at 60/40. I suppose he has tried to call me all weekend to say he can't make it.
Here is something just for Sparkles!!

I bottled Scorched Earth Brown Ale yesterday and brewed up another batch. This time a Kick in the Ass American Amber. At the momnt this stuff looks like it will have a pretty big kick alcohole-wise. We'll have to see.

The thing is I tried a new technique since I have this ultra cool refrigator now.

After boiling the brew for a few hours you have to get it from 212 degrees to 80 as FAST as possible. The faster it cools the better tasting and clearer it will be. Since I do partial boils the beer is concentrated so this time I mixed it at the very end with ultra cold water which was at 34 degrees.

It worked GREAT until things started appearing that I had not seen before. I took some photos and asked questions on a homebrew forum (very active forum over there).

The responses were basically

"That, my friend, is perfection", and "that's beautiful! nice job!"


However - there is that little alcohol problem.
Time for breakfast!

I'l have to get before and after photos of our back yard.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

James? Is That You? The Story of Case #08-6792

Cell Phone : Hello?

DJ: Hello? Who is this?

Cell Phone: This is James.

DJ: James, why do you have my husbands cell phone?

James: I have your husbands cell phone?

Dj's cell phone is now handed over the the driver of the car, Rod.

Rod: JAMES, why do you have my cell phone?

James: It's your cell phone? I just bought it for $40 from a guy.

Rod: I want my cell phone back, how can we arrange for me to pick it up.

James: Well, it cost me 40 bucks but I'm not that kind of guy that does that sort of thing, I just bought it from some other guy.

Rod, who is now completely unaware of the traffic around him but he does not give a shit thinks and thinks.
You see, the car was parked in the 4th basement of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in downtown Madison. It was left unlocked because nothing is in the car and it's a bother to key-lock this particular car and . . .good grief, it's in the 4th basement of THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

Nothing in the car 99% of the time, except THIS time my cell phone dropped out of my backpack in the back seat. At work I looked for it and when it was not in it's special compartment I knew exactly where it was. In the backseat. No big deal.

Except on this particular day someone decided to rummage through our car and found a cell phone.

When DJ entered the car I said "Call my cell phone" thinking maybe it MIGHT be hiding somewhere but knowing it was stolen (stuff in the car was not where we had left it).

And that is when James answered the phone.

Back in traffic I decide perhaps I did not want to meet some stranger to get my phone so we go back to DOJ can call in the caverly. I tell James I'll call him back in 10 minutes.

I park at DOJ and we talk to DOJ security who call the Capital Police Station (right across the street) and they respond immediately 15 minutes later.

Information is taken and Officer Jason calls James!

James's story has changed ever so slightly and he is on a bus now and hesitates when he is asked for his last name. But he is willing to give back the phone EVEN THOUGH it cost him $40.

We arrange to meet him at a point near Oscar Mayer at a bus stop in 25 minutes.

We're on stake out across the street as back-ups are called in on this Friday after work (not a way to start a weekend).

The bus's come and go but no James. We wait for 1/2 hour but no James. Officer Lee calls James and James is now a little pissed and tells Jason (who he now thinks is me - white guys all sound alike) WHY DID YOU BRING IN THE COPS!

Faux-Rod says he is sorry and just wants his phone. James again says it DID cost him $40 and faux Rod agrees to meet him in two hours at the library at 8:00.

No meeting was held as faux-Rod watched for any activity at the library at 8:00.

Meanwhile we disconnected that phone and I, Real Rod, on the drive home was just itching for a certain neighbor to look at him funny as we drove in the driveway.

Real Rod drank heavily at the Kurth that night hiding the need to take someone down. Luckily Caralea - Mary's 10 year old Black Belt wielding daughter did not piss him off or he could have had broken bones on top of all the other anger.

THEN (oh - it never ends).

I'm buying a phone the next day in Madison and of course my Razor is now $330. I settle on another phone for much less but as I'm about to pay for it I see my Credit Card is still at the drug store in Columbus (I hope - I'm calling after this). ARG!!!

That's my story!

Thank goodness no one ever calls me! Except last night my friend Elweed was over (DJ was at Jenny's house) and we decided to order Pizza from the Pizza Shack. Wait - NO PHONE!!! ARG!!!!
On a slightly funnier note.

I was at Wal-Mart yesterday to buy a small funnel and a strainer for my beer. I also needed a scale so I could way my Hops for beer.

I could not find them so I ask a guy where is scales were. The guys asks "How big of one do you need" and I say "I need to measure ounces and half ounces".

He gets this big smile and I say "For Hops, I'm making beer" and he says "Yea right" and smiles, "follow me". Sheesh!!

They were $28 - I didn't buy one.

That's it.

I'm looking forward to tomorrows blog"

Have a great day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Here I go AGAIN

Not a big blog today - I'm off to BUY A NEW CELL PHONE.

That is all I'm going to say at the moment - I'm still a little . . . . "don't want to talk about it" mood. I will say the police were involved.

Otherwise = it's brew bottling day and oil change day and so forth.

Have a great Saturday - stories tomorrow.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Neighbor at it again

I'm a little conflicted today.

I have so much I WANT to say. I want to point fingers and name names at a certain neighbor that seems to still be in Junior High. But I'm going to wait until I get my entire stock of ammo ready.

It seems neighbor lady contacted the Neighborhood Association and pointed fingers at wrong doings such as "illegal staining of light posts" and not having exactly 12 shrubs and so forth.

This entire thing has my mind wrapped around it and I can not gets words to come.

My vocabulary is as bad as . . . like . . . . whatever.
grrrr - I am unblogworthy today.

I need a beer.

I'm bottling this weekend - in four weeks my first brew will be drinkable . . . . or not!! Supplies keep coming from UPS for new brew - the pipeline is loaded and primed with beer.

I think the UPS driver has made stops 4 of the last 5 days at our house this week (including a new shipment of postcards) .
The Brewers - WOW - I have watched a lot of baseball in my life and I have never heard a stadium so quite for an entire game as it has been in St. Louis the last two days. The Brewers were a very sharp pin to the Cardinal balloon.

The Crew have won 14 of their last 19 ON THE ROAD!!

Ryan Braun Go-ahead Homer - video powered by Metacafe

Big meeting today - have to prepare.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yes Officer - I will Obey the Light! !

One thing I really hate (I don't HATE it actually but you get the drift) is walking up to a stop light and there is a Police Officer standing there. You look both ways and not a car is within 2 miles but there he stands, hand on his gun, finger twitching, just waiting for you to step off that curb.

He looks you in the eye and says, "Do you feel lucky?" I thought maybe I could dash across but decided I could wait THIS TIME.

It's almost as bad as when you come to a stop light, look both ways, no cars and then next to you is a mother with two 5 year old's, standing, waiting for the FREAKING light to change. If I walk against the light will this start the slide to drugs and sex for the 5 year old's? Will they now see it's OK to GO AGAINST THE LAW?? Nothing bad happened to HIM!!

Sometimes my life is so so complicated.
And then there is the stupid newspaper box.

Everyday I end up getting wet buying my USA Today. There is a hanging basket of beautiful flowers five feet up and two feet over from my box. And every day they have just watered it and I must stand there getting wet to get my newspaper. One of us has to get our timing better.

I live in hell everyday!

photo courtesly stolen from Universal Pictures

I stole this from the FBI Site!! Yea - I'm a bad bad man!!

Sort of stuff we all know but there is some PE stuff near the end!

One of the most famous cases in our 100-year history celebrates an anniversary today: On July 22, 1934, the gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago, moments after leaving the Biograph Theater, where, ironically, he had watched a gangster film starring Clark Gable.

In the Depression years of the early 1930s, Dillinger’s bank robberies, shootouts, and jailbreaks earned him nationwide notoriety, but to the Bureau, he was just Public Enemy #1. And after months of pursuing him, a tip led Melvin Purvis, Special Agent in Charge of our Chicago office, to the Biograph on a hot Sunday night.

The day before, Purvis and Special Agent Samuel A. Cowley, who had been appointed by Director J. Edgar Hoover to head the Dillinger investigation, had met with a woman calling herself Anna Sage, a friend of Dillinger’s girlfriend, Polly Hamilton. She was hoping that her cooperation with the authorities would earn her reward money and keep her from being deported to her native Romania. She told Purvis that Dillinger planned to take both her and Hamilton to a Sunday evening movie at the Biograph or the Marbro.

Stakeouts were arranged for both theaters. A hand-written document from our Dillinger file, a diagram of the Biograph, illustrates the placement of some 20 men around the theater and across the street. The diagram shows the letters “A,” “B,” and “C” outside the theater box office, with an “X” next to each letter. A legend identifies the significance of the letters: “Dillinger companion,” “Dillinger,” “informant."

A diagram of the stakeout of the Biograph Theater from our files

The informant—Anna Sage—called Purvis at 8:30 p.m. that Sunday to say they were going to the Biograph. Two hours later, Dillinger emerged from the theater with his two companions. Purvis, standing nearby, lit a cigar. It was the signal for his men to move in. As they did, Dillinger realized what was happening and reached for his pistol. Agents fired, and Dillinger was hit. He staggered, then fell.

Dillinger’s death signaled the beginning of the end of the Gangster Era, but the nation’s fascination with those times lives on. A new movie about Dillinger, directed by Michael Mann, is scheduled for release next July. The film, Public Enemies, stars Johnny Depp as Dillinger and Christian Bale as Purvis.

Mann, a Chicago native, spared no expense to re-create the Biograph Theater and the look and feel of 1930s-era Chicago for the film. “Getting it visually right requires a lot of dedication,” he explains, thanking us for our “spectacular cooperation” in helping to make the film authentic.

The actual Colt .380 that Dillinger reached for as agents were closing in Ross Rice, our spokesman in the Chicago field office, says that when he compared the movie sets with archival photos from those days, “you couldn’t tell the difference. I felt like I was stepping back in time.”

On Lincoln Avenue, where the Biograph still stands, the film crew “essentially rented out the entire block,” Rice says. The fa├žade of every building was redone to look exactly as it did on that steamy night when Dillinger went to see Manhattan Melodrama. Attention was paid to every detail, from the streetlights to the trolley tracks right down to replacing the bricks on the street.

Mann says the film also strives for “period-accurate psychology,” to help illuminate inner thoughts and motivations of Purvis and Dillinger. That process included talking with agents while doing research for the film. Their “zeal and passion,” Mann says, helped him understand just how badly Purvis wanted to catch Public Enemy #1.
And speaking of hummingbirds.

I looked out at the garden this morning and saw what I thought was the biggest bumblebee I had ever seen. Then I realize it was a hummingbird. I stood in butterfly garden yesterday and there was a constant buzzing from bees. Not many butterflies yet. But the humming bird was flicking around at some little red flowers.
Have a great day as always!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Negative/Charlie Hoss/Gas/Depp & Mann/Brewers

Test results have come up negative on me being pregnant. The leg cramp was just a "Charlie Horse".

It is speculated that the term Charlie Horse comes from Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourn who suffered leg cramps through out his career which lasted from 1880 to 1891.

It seems in the late 1800's they played baseball indoors, sometimes in a hallway and sometimes in the living room. Here is an action photo of a traffic play as Radbourn slides safely just missing the gentle head touch tag of a teammate.

Hurricane Dolly is about to hit the coast but no one really cares. Gas prices SHOULD not increase as it does not pose any real threat to oil rigs (not that that would be a reason to NOT raise prices).

Oil dropped again yesterday by another $4 as seems people are driving less and investors are pulling money out of the Oil market. That's been the problem lately, investors. Not really supply and demand but people investing. Now they are leaving the oil market, taking their money and running. The price support is no longer there.

For the first time since January gas prices have fallen two weeks in a row.
Here is an article from the LA Times

Depp as Dillinger: Mann kills on 'Public Enemies'

When I saw producer Kevin Misher painfully limping into Chaya Brasserie for lunch this week, having just returned from spending months in Chicago producing "Public Enemies," the upcoming Michael Mann 1930s gangster movie, I have to admit that my first thought was: "Oh no, Mann must've been using live ammunition again." Anybody who's ever worked on a Michael Mann film has stories to tell that sound like tall tales, at least until you spend some time on his sets and see for yourself that pretty much anything can happen when Mann has a full head of steam.

Outside of James Cameron and perhaps David Fincher, no one is as much of a hard-headed perfectionist as Mann, who has a special zeal for authenticity. When I spent time on his "Ali" set in Miami, he insisted on shooting a scene where Ali first sees Malcolm X at the exact mosque where Malcolm was preaching. He also shot a scene set in the backyard of Ali's Miami home at Ali's real house, even though the backyard was right in the flight pattern of Miami International Airport, meaning a plane flew overhead every 90 seconds, repeatedly drowning out the dialogue. One of the production guys shook his head, grumbling "We didn't have this problem when we shot near LAX with 'Heat.' " Why was that, I asked? "Michael got the flight controllers to reroute LAX traffic to a different runway for a few hours."

Frankly, when I scheduled my lunch with Misher back in May, I thought for sure the producer would end up canceling. "Public Enemies," which stars Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, was slated to finish shooting June 30 to beat the SAG strike deadline. But having seen what happened on Mann's last movie, "Miami Vice," which went endless months over schedule, I figured the odds of Mann being done on time were about as slim as the Dodgers finishing the season with a winning record. And yet, here was Misher, bloodied (he actually hurt his leg in a hiking fall) but unbowed. So how did Misher and Universal Pictures manage to keep Mann on schedule?

Misher says Mann was incredibly focused about finishing on time, no doubt because the filmmaker saw the strike deadline on the horizon, knowing it would wreak havoc if he had to shut down before shooting was completed. That doesn't mean that Mann has lost any of his thirst for authenticity.

"Whenever we could we shot exactly where the events happened--if we could find where Dillinger walked, we shot where he walked," said Misher. "We shot at the Biograph Theater on the very street where Dillinger was killed, so that scene was exactly where the real events happened. All we did was change the facades of the buildings and reverted them back to period. We also shot at the Little Bohemia lodge up in northern Wisconsin, which is the scene of a famous gunfight between the FBI and Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson." Mann even dug up vintage tommy guns that were made in the '30s to be used by the gangsters. When I asked for details, Misher threw up his hands. "You gotta ask Michael," he said. "The guns are his department. He knows all there is to know."

The truly amazing thing, frankly, is that Universal Pictures, having lost tons of moola on "Miami Vice," had the stomach to get back into the ring with Mann a second time around. But like Martin Scorsese, Mann is a great filmmaker who's a magnet for movie stars, so the studio couldn't resist the idea of an action-packed period thriller with Johnny Depp at the top of the bill. As Misher put it: "If you're looking for action, I don't think you'll be disappointed. We've got three bank robberies, two prison breaks and who knows how many shootouts."

Slated for July 1, 2009, "Public Enemies" gives Universal a big summer tentpole movie. But instead of the dumbed-down dreck that decorates most studio summer slates, "Public Enemies" has the opportunity to be a critical success as well. It also boasts a romantic storyline--"La Vie en Rose's" Marion Cotillard has a hefty role in the film as Depp's love interest--that could draw female moviegoers too.

Universal Chairman Marc Shmuger says the studio got revved up when it first read the script, which was written by Ronan Bennett, with a rewrite by Mann and Ann Biderman. "It really felt like the most exciting thing Michael's done in years," said Shmuger. "It's a seminal gangster saga, but it's also a classic doomed lovers story. They meet on the run and you know that they know that the relationship can't last, which makes the film really heart-wrenching. With that combination, well, let's face it, there's just not that many filmmakers in the world besides Michael could do that."

Shmuger admits that it was a tough shoot, but that comes with the territory in Mann Land. "When Sam Fuller said that 'Film is a battleground, love, hate, violence, action, death--in a word, emotion,' he must've been thinking about Michael Mann," Shmuger says. "With every movie, he goes into battle. I'm sure you've heard all the legendary stories about the fallout and casualties. But that's the only way Michael knows how to make movies. And we're willing to take the bet that out of that commitment and passion will come a great movie."
OH YEA - who is pumped.
Speaking of movies.

Many of you are gaa gaa over The Dark Knight and I can't wait to see it. However the superhero movie I'm interested in is The Watchmen.

This was another adult Graphic Novel written by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, From Hell) and the only graphic novel to win a Hugo Award, and is also the only graphic novel to appear on Time Magazine's 2005 list of "the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present."

Watchmen depicts superheroes as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who struggle with neuroses and failings, and who—with one notable exception—lack anything recognizable as super powers.

I'm not sure how this will come over in movie form and if people will be interested in watching this style of movie but it was a great read.
And the Brewers are the water cooler talk in these here parts!

This is how the race looks. The Brewer's are the thin blue line and the Cubs are the thick blue with red dots. - Who has momentum ????

Yea baby!!! Bring It!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The National Nightmare Continues!

I thought I was finally able to move forward with my life. The dreams had stopped and I was able to once again focus on important things like my beautiful wife and beer.

But no. Once again evil has risen like a phoenix and the dreams will start again.

The Wardrobe Malfunction is back in the news and I must relive the horror once again.

Pardon me - I must take a breath and relax.

The courts have overturned the $550,000 fine imposed by the FCC and families and children across the nation are the losers. I can still see Janet Jackson's bejeweled right breast, her leather bustier in tatters. Like a train wreak I can not stop staring. Justin Timberlake looking shocked and repulsed at the vivid scene in front of him is unbelieving. Who knew this could ever happen on live TV.

How can I go on. I MUST go on.

Go to my happy place.
Grinders Island Brewery
Striving for Mediocrity

If any of you artists out there are looking for a doodle subject, at SOME point I'm going to need a label for the brew. Just thought I'd toss that one out to see what sticks. If I have to do it myself you don't know WHAT is going to happen.
This morning I came up with a new name for an as yet to be brewed beer.

John DillinAle. Complex yet soft and slightly sweet but still has a kick!

Seventy-Four years ago today John Dillinger was shot to death outside Chicago's Biograph Theater by John Michael Bolger . . . .wait . . .that's not exactly right.

Members of the "John Dillinger Died for You Society" traditionally gather at the Biograph Theater on the anniversary of Dillinger's death and retrace his last walk to the alley where he died, following a bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace".

Anyway - I updated Wikipedia which had it wrong by saying filming STARTED in Crown Point! HA!! Here is the updated Wiki version.

Director Michael Mann's current project Public Enemies - an adaptation of Bryan Burrough's book Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43 - features Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis. Filming began in Columbus Wisconsin and included locations in Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Madison, Manitowish Waters, Beaver Dam, and Darlington, Wisconsin, Crown Point, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois.

That's better - Columbus gets top billing for being first - NOT Crown Point.

Who is that striking gray glob pictured in the middle column bottom photo on the left. What? is that ME?? They just can not take a bad photo of me can they!! Just look at that friendly smile!
WOW - this morning I was in pain.

I was sleeping like a log and all of a sudden I an wreathing in intense pain. I'm grabbing my calf and I can feel a baseball size knot - worst pain I have had in a long time. Once I'm able to get out of my fetal position I fall back to sleep and dream I'm checking into the hospital but the check in person is on a tiny TV and it is so loud I can not hear her.

The final question to get admitted is I must read her lips! WTF kind of hospital is this anyway!!!

Finally I'm in a wheel chair and I don't even get a room to myself and THEN the nurse says I have to pay for this visit.!!!! I guess insurance does not cover cramps!

I wake up and my right leg IS STILL CRAMPED!! I can barely put weight on it.

I have the dreaded Nocturnal leg cramp.

Upon further review I find something very scary - read on.

The precise cause of these cramps is unclear. Potential contributing factors are believed to include dehydration, low levels of certain minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium), and the reduced blood flow through the muscles attendant in prolonged sitting or lying down. Less common causes include more serious conditions or the use of drugs.

But then I read this!!

Nocturnal leg cramps (almost exclusively calf cramps) are considered to be 'normal' during the late stages of pregnancy.

OH NO!!!!! I'm too old to have children.

I have to go now - I have to go to Walgreen's to get a pregnancy test.

On a side note -take a look at Angel's Scrappin' paragraph on a Wisconsin map blunder - interesting


Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Morning Clean-up

Just cleaning up a few things on the plate today.

First of all there will be a meeting at the East James Gallery/Visitor Center concerning art work Saturday August 2nd at 9:00 (where did July go???). All interested should attend.

Second - I keep forgetting to bring a Thank You letter from home from the Columbus Auditorium Corporation for helping make the City Council understand why the Auditorium is so important. And now that that is on your minds let's not forget just how powerful you guys are (in case you are needed again).

Thirdly - toads - WHAT IS UP WITH TOADS!! I was mowing the lawn yesterday and I had to keep stopping for toads. Lime green ones, jet black ones, bumpy brown ones and bigger bumpy brown ones. I bet I counted over 20 yesterday.

Toads and frogs are actually the same creature but toads and frogs differ in appearance. A distinction is often made between frogs and toads by their appearance, prompted by the convergent adaptation among so-called toads to dry environments.

Do you know what you call a group of toads?

A KNOT of toads.

Do you know what you call a group of frogs?

An ARMY of frogs.

I think I have a knot of toads in my yard which brings be to the subject of beer.

That's exactly right - I'm racking the Scorched Earth Brown Ale from the Primary fermentation carboy into the secondary (clearing) carboy in preparation to bottling next weekend. Then two weeks of bottle aging and we're good to go. The readings are showing an alcohol content of about 4.5%.

This clears a carboy for the next beer in the pipeline. An American Amber. The trick with American Amber (like Kurth Amber) is having the right type of Carmel-type malts and late hopping. Moving the hops to later in the boil will increase the hop flavor and aroma and at the same time keep the bitterness in check.

So we have

Scorched Earth Brown Ale
Lazy Porter
Toads TAle - American Amber

Then coming up in the brew pipeline is a DOUBLE CHOCOLATE STOUT! I've read so many good reviews of this recipe that I must try it.

Also in the design phase is a Nutbrown Maple ale. DJ says how are you going to drink all that beer. I have been thinking that also but out of the two cases per batch one case will be drunkin by others which leaves four sixpacks per batch.

If anyone has any special request I'm all ears!

Grinder's Island Brewery had an upgrade this weekend with a new refrigerator which will really help out with the crucial "cold break" after the boil. Having very very cold water is really going to help quality.

OH - Growlers - don't use them for storing beer unless you want to create bottle bombs! Seems they are not made to store high carbonation liquids for long periods of time and are poor for bottle aging. Thanks - they would have been sweet!

If you guys have any clean-ish beer bottles I could sure use them. They cost $4.50 per six pack empty! Seems a shame to spend so much on EMPTY beer bottles. No twist offs!
Moving on.

efudd in Oshkosh sent this to me - I tried to hand it off to Mista Professaa but he would not touch the subject. MANURE!!

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time some one came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term 'Ship High In Transit' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T ' , (Ship High In Transport) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.
Brewers - COOL - I guess if you sweep a team on the road they have to give you a player! I love that rule.

After sweeping the Giants yesterday, Ray Durham, who was sitting on the Giants bench was told he now plays for the Brewers and was on the Brewer plane heading to St. Louis for the very very very important four game series.

He gives the Brewers an extra left handed bat and will be insurance over Weeks. Plus it would be a pretty good platoon with Durham vs. Righties.

Work work work.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Third Week of July Flowers

Well - it's the third weekend of July and it's time for a garden update. A couple new additions of color have started to enter the scene, purple Astors and Black Eye's Susan's.

"Little" Astors - over 3 feet high! WHO KNEW

Black Eye Susan's just starting to look around at their home

The group of Daylillies are in full bloom but fading and starting to look a little beaten up are the Gay Feathers. I'm still waiting for a few Speedwells to look like that are not pretending to be lettuce and there is a Moonshile Achillea (sp) that just looks sick and I don't think it is going to do anything this year - maybe a little flower but it has struggled all summer with dead leaves.

Moonshine Achillea

THEN there is the Fennel. I purchased a tiny fennel at the Farmers Market. The lady said butterfly caterpillars love to eat it. I thought maybe ONE would but it would be a one meal snack. LITTLE did I know it would grow 4 feet high!! And NO ONE is eating it.


Two things about taking outdoor natural light photos of flowers. One, you need good light. This comes in all sorts of different varieties and not ONE type of light is the best. Cloudy is good, blinding sun is good . .. it all depends on the shot.

The big factor is wind. Either you want calm OR a nice breeze for a blurry motion shot. I'm still working on blurry motion shots (perhaps some beer is needed).

Yesterday - blinding sun and calmish.

Without further ado here are some of the better shots from yesterday.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Talk to ya later,


Friday, July 18, 2008

Introducing Mista Professaa

The Dark Knight.

This is a huge weekend for movie goers and could be the highest grossing weekend in movie history with the top two films alone grossing over $200 million.

Dark Knight opened this morning at 12:01 on 9,200 screens and 4,366 theaters inching past Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's Edge which had 4,362 theaters.

Dark Knight is the first major film ever to have portions shot using IMAX cameras with six action sequences totaling about 35 minutes projected in the large-screen format. The sequences cuts back and forth between traditional letterbox and large IMAX shots, but given the darkness of most scenes you will hardly notice and the panoramic views of Gotham and Hong Kong should be amazing.

Advance ticket sales are among the highest ever recorded as fans do not want to be left out.

I'm betting Dark Night hits the $132 million mark at the box office.

I have the original Dark Night Comic and I can still remember to this day laying in bed opening up this NEW style of comic. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I still remember the chills I had as I flipped the page that introduced the new Dark Knight to the world. I have chills thinking of my chills!!

A comic book for adults! WOW!

The Dark Knight Returns changed the way we look at superheros.
I just went for coffee and Madison has thousands of Tibetans in town because the Dalai Lama is visiting. I really like the Dalai Lama.

Anyway there were three taking photos of the area and all of the flags in town have the American flag AND the Tibetan flag flying and they were taking photos of them and the flag poles.

I offered to take a photo of the three guys together and they really appreciated it. Next thing I know one of them is putting his arm around me and telling the other to take a photo, then the next guy does the same and then the next! I'll probably be on the cover of the Tibetan Free Press.

Side note - If you want to see a VERY good movie - check out Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt. It's a true story. I love this movie.

"Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) journeys to the Himalayas without his family to head an expedition in 1939. When World War II breaks out, the arrogant Harrer falls into Allied forces' hands as a prisoner of war. He escapes with a fellow detainee and makes his way to Llaso, Tibet, where he meets the 14-year-old Dalai Lama (Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) -- whose friendship ultimately transforms the self-seeking Harrer. "

Speaking of photos - I was looking at some photos I had taken in the past and realized that photos I took then were much clearer then the ones I'm taking now. Michelle mentioned getting my camera recalibrated, I'm going to do that.

She was here with her little Canon friend and they were mocking my Nikon (it's a Ford/Chevy thing except without the stupid little window decal kid pissing on the other car . . . actually the Canon people mock Nikon people - Nikon people don't mock Canon people, we know we are superior).

ANYWAY - I have been told for many many years that I take nice photos and I "must have a good camera". I always think - well, a good camera helps but give me a little credit. But then along comes Michelle.

All of a sudden I FEEL like I'm just a guy with a good camera because I see her shots and see things I have been missing and details that I have gotten too lazy to look for.

My talking point here is that in reality - the camera is just a tool to capture what you are seeing. Your eyes are the real camera here.

The two photos that I have gotten the most compliments from were not because of the camera. One was taken with a 1.1 mega pix Olympus and the other - the Columbus downtown photo, was with a $120, 300 mm lens.

I guarantee that if Michelle's Canon was taken from her and she was forced to use a little hand held 1.1 mega pix Olympus - you would still see outstanding photos. I know I like to compliment Michelle (it's a passive way to put pressure on her) but she deserves it. I know there are people where I work that have told me that when their daughters get married she is the one they are going to try to be their photographer.

I hope she does not get sucked into ONLY weddings though. I believe she is better then only weddings.
Before Mista Professa takes over the blog I must introduce you to Apocalyptica.

Apocalyptica is a cello quartet the likes you have never seen or heard before.

I'm a metal head liking groups such as Shinedown, Disturbed, The Dead Pool and Within Temptation, but in my past I was also a classical cello player. This morning a woman at worked turned me onto four guys from Finland.

They were at a cello camp and were tired of the normal music they were playing so that started to jam playing music that a has never been played on a cello before. They are performing at the Berrymore Theater in Madison in a few months.

I bring you Apocalyptica.

And a little Metallica - Nothing Else Matters.

Mista Professa

HI, I'm Mista Professa and I'm going to learn you a few tidbits of information you will never want to know and will be completely useless in your common and dreary life. So put in your thinking caps and absorb some of the things I have learned in the past few weeks.

Yeasts are not at all like humans.

There are five kinds of sugar, Maltros, Maltotriose, Glucose, Sucrose and Frutose. Yeast likes ALL sugar but they are real picky HOW they eat the sugar and each type they eat in a different way.

All five kinds of sugar are in a brew and when a yeast comes across one he decides what hewants to do. Sucrose and Frutose are sucked in through the cell walls and then metabolized inside the cell. But
Maltros and Maltotriose are transported into the cell and then metabolized. The interesting thing here is that a yeast will only eat one kind of sugar at a time. Humans will eat a little of this and a little of that. Yeast are like Blake (our dog) he eats his favorite thing and then goes on to the next favorite.

This is important to know when you are making a beer recipe and deciding on what is going to go into the brew. Too much of one kind of sugar and you can get a stuck fermentation.

Then there is HOPS and beer. Many people have heard the word hops but don't really know what it is.

Beer is basically Malt and Hops.

If you look at the painting of the train station. Malt is the large walls of paint and hops are all the detail work. Malt gives to the alcohol and much of the base flavor. Take a chug of beer and you taste Malt. GULP!

But if you taste the beer you will notice subtle flavors and aroma. This is the hops talking to you. There are three kinds of hops, bittering, flavor and aroma.

When making beer it's the hops that makes a beer good. To much or to little "bittering hops" and the beer can taste flat or too spicy.

The trick with hops is you must boil the hops to get the oils but as soon as the oils are extracted, they start to vanish into the air. That is why when you boil the brew you are adding hops at different times and then as FAST as you can you try to get the brew cold.
Bittering hops are in for the entire 60 minutes. Flavor hops for 5 to 20 mintes and aroma hops from a few minutes to a few seconds.

Moving on.

There is a world wide hops shortage which is REALLY hurting many microbreweries.

In my friends Rod's next brew, an American Amber, the recipe called for Horizon hops for bittering and he found it was very very hard to find. There is a thing called alpha acid which tells you how bitter (strong) a certain hop is along with it's character - this one is floral and spicy..

Horizon had a rating of 13% - pretty high. HOWEVER - he then learns that Horizon has a very low Cohumulone. YEA - WHO KNEW!

Cohumulone is a part of the alpha acids. Low cohumulone means that during the boil the oils are easier to extract from the alpha acid. So when looking for an alternative hop he can not just look for another floral and spicy hop with 13% alpha acid. He has to take Cohumulone into account.

As you can see. My best friend Rod is not just out to make beer, he is out to make very very good beer. Making good beer is easy. Making VERY VERY good beer takes a little more work.
Thank you Mista Professa - I'm sure the audiance is on the edge of their seat wondering what will happen next.

Talk at ya later!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Truth in Advertising

God I love summer. Hot and humid, short shorts and tank tops, windows open and loud music!

Summer! BRING IT!
Some of you will notice that there is a little google ad on the bottom of each blog. How this works is google somehow reads each blog and figures out an appropriate ad for the words. Now normally it's all about grinders and other stuff having to do with my nickname and I make my penny a day.

However last night I looked and BAM 65 cents! WOW - I'm going to get rich. I wonder what the ad was???? So I log on to see what is getting people so excited!

Gas and Bloating Relief

Sadly I think it is all about my homebrew! I was reading the Homebrew forum and one of the posts Subjects is "my homebrew gives me HORRIBLE gas".

OH MAN! It's going to get pretty exciting that first night at the Kurth when I unveil my "Scorched Earth Brown".


Because a few of you were asking about it last night here is a photo of the progress at Grinders Island Brewery. The left carboy contains Scorched Earth Brown an American Brown Ale. The right carboy contains Lazy Porter a Brown Porter (as opposed to a Robust Porter or a Baltic Porter).

Progress? The Scorched Earth will be racked into a secondary carboy for clearing perhaps this weekend and will stay there a week. Then bottled and perhaps 2 more weeks of bottle aging. This is actually a longer process then needed. Most homebrewers are so anxious that they start drinking their new brew within 2 weeks , it taste yucky and they never brew again.

A homebrew will get better with age for up to a month or two of bottle aging and will stay fresh for 6 weeks.

With Scorched Earth in a secondary carboy this clears up the Primary carboy for something NEW!! WHOO HOO

OK - enough beer talk.
I saw something pretty cool on the radar yesterday before I left work and called a coworker over to see it. A gust front! Amid all of the storms was this tiny line traveling south and then it escaped the big storm and was free.

We both watched it saying this was something you don't see every day on the radar.

What happens is that the cold air is push towards the earth so fast, like a mammoth downdraft that it has no where to go so it pushes out. This is called a "fine line" and in most cases it is actually insects that have been caught in the colliding winds at the front that is showing on the radar.

I went to the dentist today. Not sure how long I have been going to him, 25 years? He keeps moving farther and farther away from me though. When I first started with him he was a few miles away. He kept moving farther and farther west and I keep moving farther and father north and east!

Takes a couple days to get to the west side of Madison now . . I'm not even sure he is IN Madison, Middleton???

WOW - now THAT is a boring topic, even boring me a little! Moving along!

It's almost lunch time (I just got back) so it's a small blog today.

I'll talk about Michelle tomorrow :-) and her little Canon friend! (insert evil laugh).


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hybrids for Peace

I don't know what is up with that title - two trains for thought colliding.

I have Columbus on my mind today for reasons I am not able to divulge at the moment but I do have some exciting stuff I CAN divulge. But, I have a few rants to get out of the way first.

Wait - let's not call then rants, how about . . . . talking points.
I'm still annoyed at the HONK FOR PEACE people. I was crossing the street and some Peace Donkey starts blasting his "horn of peace". I jumped and almost took out his peace headlight.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for peace if it is justified but honk for peace just annoys the piss out of me!

And speaking of honking.

This weekend in is the Hybrid Fest. The largest gathering of Hybrid owners in the country. People from all over the country are driving thousands of miles to Madison to show how much gas they are saving.
Yankee Stadium?. NOT. So if up in Green Bay they tore down Lambeau Field and built a stadium NEXT to the old Lambeau Field, and then they named it Lambeau Field, would it be the same? Would it still be the "hallowed fields" the frozen tundra? The house that Ruth built?? I think not!

So they are wreaking Yankee Stadium and building a NEW Yankee Stadium. WHY I ask. I'm not a Yankee fan but I view Yankee Stadium as the Lambeau Field of baseball. sad, very sad. I bet they come back with Yankee Stadium Classic.

BTW - I waved the white flag in the 13th inning last night after the National League failed to score wit the bases loaded.
The USA Today has a VERY VERY good commentary by Drew Sharp on the whole Farve vs. Packer situation. It's worth the price of the paper. Maybe it's online.


I wake up and hear the weather dudes telling me how horrible I'm going to feel today if I take a step outside. Nice going - make sure everyone is in the "I feel horrible" mood BEFORE they even look out the window.

Sweat is a good thing. It is an opportunity for your body to show you everything is working just fine. If people would stop complaining perhaps EVERYONE would feel better. It's OK to feel hot, it's not a new thing. I see people standing and complaining about how hot they feel. YOU'RE STANDING STILL!!!

I can see a firefighter complaining about how hot he is or a tar dude on a roof. grrrrrrr! 13 innings and lack of sleep is bringing all this to the surface. AND THE WRONG TEAM WON.

And THEN - I'm just informed that I spelled my two favorite designers wrong yesterday.

balderdash taps me on the shoulder laughing and tells my I spelled Varsace and Oscar de la Ranta wrong. NO - those are the knock-off designers, I like them better. Deal with it.
===== taking a breath ====================
I have an article that is forming in my pea sized brain for the Isthmus about Columbus and the aftermath of Universal. I'm still finding direction and have a few random sentences but no flow yet.

I know the Columbus Econo-visor Steven Sobiek is now worried and is wringing his hands hoping I say something good. No worries. Columbus LOOKS like it is standing still but there really is a hope bubble that is growing.

Steve mailed a few cool things about plans for that area near the Auditorium a few days ago.

if I could only find them - hold on. - OH - you think I'm organized don't you!

BINGO - these are the plans for upgrading that area. Are they not SWEET? Once the Auditorium is fully functional and this is up and looking good . . how exciting. It reminds me of that feeling of when you see something being built in the middle of know where. SOMEONE is looking into the future and seeing great things. What we now need is a cool diner, a place for people to go once they get downtown. Then a book store, and maybe a micro brewery.

Makes me tingle.

No wait - that's the 2 pounds of cheese curds doing that. nevermind

OH - speaking of micro brewery. Check out this new little thing I have been working on.

Grinder's Island brewlog

See ya round!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yea - you know what I'm talking about.


Whatever happened to $4.01 and $4.02. Gas went from $3.97 to $4.07 skipping a few numbers! And whatever happened to the .9 on the end. Is it still there? I guess I haven't noticed it lately.

Still - gas is cheaper then filling your tank up with Aquafina.
DJ made a comment this morning on the whole Favre thing that I don't think about (only talk about without really thinking). "It's like watching your parents fight, you love them both". And for US guys there is no way we can win.

Whatever happens happens. When someone at works starts to talk about it I immediately get bored. It's like rehashing what has already been rehashed. When I hear Favre/Packer talk it's like eating a hair ball. Been there done that (if I was a cat, I personally have never had a hair ball).

That does remind me of a funny story!

I lived with a guy (Chris) once and I came home and he was on the floor writhing in pain clutching his sides.

He did not know what it was and I said maybe it was gas or something. He was getting real bad and I happened to have charcoal tabs (not sure why I would have them but I did). I knew they were good for gas (or something like that).

He took a few but it did not help. Finally we decided he had to go to the emergency room. I was dating DJ at the time so we drove around and found a place and they admitted him.

The quickly deduced it was a kidney stone and started to medicate him. Feeling a little sick to his stomach he thought a bucket would be in order and just as they gave him one he blew chow. BLACK CHOW!!! He said the nurses eyes got REALLY big as jet black vomit filled the bucket! NOT EXPECTING THAT WERE YA!! LOL

He explained and all was well.
Eleven in years ago today my favorite designer was killed. Varsace.

The mad scientist is at it again. Look at those beautiful carboys!! The one with the pretty towel is a Porter fermenting away. A wet towel with a fan (not pictured) keeps the wort at a nice constant 66 degrees, 2 degrees cooler then the ambient 68 degrees in the basement.

The tube coming out is a blowoff tube that is inserted for the first few days because of THIS!!

messy messy during the second stage of fermentation. The yeast are now eating the sugar and farting out Co2 and Alcohol.

YIKES - it's all I have time for today - meetings!!

Have you ever noticed just how much "work" gets in the way of "fun"? I have to find a job that "fun".

There was a woman in our building that was a homebrew hobbiest that quit and started The Grumpy Troll Brewery.

hmmmmmmm! ;-)

Hey - I just moved up a place!!!! Check it out.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Favre vs. Beer

Who is that handsome looking chap on the left on the top left photo.

What? That's ME?? Oh My!

WHEN will they EVER learn to type!! And it's a newspaper for God sake!
We're in the house looking at the garden and stuff and hear in hushed shouts Millie! Millie!

Looking out the window we see our neighbors dog squatting on our yard taking a HUGE dump!! I wish I had my camera, it would have been handy as I see Milo on his perch watching Millie dump - he is smiling!

Neighbor cleans up the mess and takes a bucket of water and washes away the smeary evidence. We smile as ammo has just been given to us if we ever need it.
Have you guys seen all the little toads on the ground? I saw like 10 of them this weekend - the size of my little finger nail!! OR, were they just large mosquitoes bloated with blood! I'm not laying on the ground for a while.

But seriously - I saw a bunch of them just hopping around in the yard. Is my garden a TOAD Garden? And speaking of toad gardens. Sort of hard for a butterfly yesterday with 30mph winds!! Saturday we watched little white ones fly in from the west, circle both gardens and then get blown away by the prevailing westerlies!

And Rhonda - WE SAW YOU!!! Yea - while you are looking down at our house and laughing, we are driving past your house. Should have stopped in but we were in a rush.
Favre - I'm not even going to attempt to come up with a solution AND, I'm not even going to bother trying to figure out where I stand on this whole thing. It makes my head hurt and it's a no win deal. I'm ambivalent on the entire situation. I'm not going to waste my brain cells on creating a thought process.

The problem is that this situation is SO complicated I can not just come up with a feeling. First I would have to think about it and weight all the facts and then once all the facts were known I would have to look at the problem from each of the over 100 different ways things could work out and then weight THEM against each other.

And while I'm doing THAT I COULD be thinking about beer.

And once THAT thought process shows itself, Favre vs. Beer, beer is the winner. Beer is MUCH easier to think about. Trying to figure out how many Homebrew Bittering Units (HBU) I put in my latest brew in the final 10 minutes of the boil is WAY more interesting then trying to figure out the Favre situation.

BTW - HBU = multiply percent alpha acid in the hops by the number of ounces.
This is SO much fun I love it.

Speaking of beer. My NEXT beer will be an American Amber (like Kurth Amber). The Cannery Wine and Hops Shop (Sun Prairie) did not have the ingredients I needed. But they are young and are going to order. I also joined a class on homebrewing - I feel I know what I'm doing but tips and suggestions are always nice.

I did not know that the area has one of the nations largest homebrewing clubs.

DJ thinks this is a new hobby but in reality this is a continuation of a life long pursuit. I started fermenting things in High School with balloon wine in my closet. My parents made wine and I took up the fermenting hobby and even reached the "picking my own grapes" stage of making undrinkable wine.

I hated waiting a year for the results, beer? I was not a big beer fan until I found micro brews. Bud Light? Yuck! Who wants to spend the time make Bud!

I've ordered two 25,000 gallon stainless steal fermenting tanks for the basement. I hope DJ will not mind! She THINKS the cement patio is for a patio. No, it's the first section of a large driveway for trucks hauling equipment!

OH - I forgot - we're watching Big Brother 10. Yea - I said it!!
Nuff Said