Thursday, April 30, 2009

Car Clubs ultra inter sanctum

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

I was a little worried when it came to the Public Enemies Celebration on July 25th. We have all sorts of things planned but when it came to Picture Car Drivers and their cars I had nothing to have them do. No entertainment. So I ask the foremost Picture Car Driver Graham Man what I should do. I needed to know what went on in the ultra inter sanctum of car clubs.

I was glad to find out that they sit around and talk, drink and eat. Two out of three of those things will be available. Not sure about the drinking part.

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Columbus has a new/old Pizza Place. The Pizza Shak is back in their new/old place. YEA!! Let the pizza wars begin! DJ and I were talking about favorite food and she said her ultra favorite food is Spaghetti with her guilty pleasure being cans of Ravioli. I'm a Pizzaholic but I can not turn down Vienna Sausages.

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For Brewer fans PECOTA now has them in 3rd place with 85.7 wins and a 28% chance of making the playoffs. They actually have a greater chance of winning the division then making the Wildcard.

Something for baseball/weather buffs about Yankee Stadium. Lots of theory's about why there were 26 home runs at the new Yankee Stadium. Here is one theory

Although the field dimensions of the new stadium were designed to be exactly that of the old stadium, the shell of the new stadium is shaped differently.

Meteorologists estimate that the angle of the seating tiers in the new stadium could have a different effect on wind motion across the field. Here is the old Stadium.


and the new one

The old Yankee stadium had more vertically stacked tiers and a large upper deck, acting like a solid wall in effect, which would cause the wind to swirl more and be less concentrated. The new Yankee stadium's tiers are less stacked, making a less sharp slope from the top of the stadium to the field. This shape could enable winds to blow across the field with less restriction.

In addition, the slope of the seating would also lead to a "downslope" effect in the field which, depending on wind direction, would tend to cause air to lift up in the right field. Fly balls going into right field during a gusty west wind would be given more of a lift thus carrying the ball farther out into right field.

If the stadium seating tier shape is indeed the main issue, games will only be affected during times with the winds are from a westerly direction and above 10 mph. This typically occurs during the spring and the middle to late fall. The calmer weather during the summer should lead to a smaller number of home runs. In the meantime, the home run derby may continue.

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American Idol watchers. When our judges decided to use their "SAVE" card on Matt 3 weeks ago I thought it was a terrible bone-head blunder. Too early and on the wrong guy. It was meant to be used in case something REALLY DUMB happened like what happened to Chris Daughtry (not Chris Daugherty who won Survivor: Vanuatu). Daughtry was a leader in the competition but then it seems fans became overconfident knowing he was going to win. BAM - he was gone to the shock of EVERYONE!

So Idol suits came up with a new rule IN CASE this happened again. Once a season they could SAVE someone. So 3 weeks ago THEY SAVED MATT!!

Last night we see that Adam (who will win) is in the bottom two with Matt and I'm betting the judges were wishing they had that SAVE card to play again.

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Hope everyone is flocking to West James Gallery and Sharrow Drugs to pick up the new postcards.

Cheers
Rod


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PAPA?? IS THAT YOU?

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

Here is the scoop on Swine Flu and why everyone is getting all jiggy about it. In reality it's not that different then the normal flu which kills 60,000 people a year in the U.S. What is different is that a normal person that has had the flu in the past has some natural immunity built up. However this strain is new and there is no natural immunity. Thus you come in contact and you get it.

It's not an instant death thing, it's the flu. People survive the flu and I've always said there is an upside to catching the flu. You lose copious amounts of weight FOR FREE!!

So the deal is that IT'S THE FLU and it is easier to catch.
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I'm posting this again in case early readers missed it.

There is an article here in the Daily Citizen from the Associated Press called Midwest hopes for Public Enemies tourism.

Travel Wisconsin has the tour information.

The Chicago Tribune also has an article about Public Enemies. Probably all the major papers in the country have the AP piece. BTW - my photos of the AP people shooting photos are better. Just thought I'd make that clear :-)

Their is a Public Enemies poster is on the back cover of the new Empire magazine, June 2009 20th Anniversary Edition.
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Speaking of God Parents. I can't tell the good story about God Parents as it is not MY story to tell but I was asking around about what God Parents actually do. The consensus was that they give presents. So I have to think when a person is looking for God Parents they want to pick a couple that does not have children of their own. Seems rather obvious!

So I was wondering who MY God Parents were since I've never been told or perhaps was not paying attention. I'm thinking it could be Richard Branson. I don't think he has any kids . . . .that he knows of . . . . . . . but then I'm wondering if I'm one of his unknown kids!

Could Richard Branson be my long lost father? PAPA?? IS THAT YOU?





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For all of you Apprentice watchers I was doing some reading about reactions to the Rivers twins melt down and came across an article by Annie Duke the POKER PLAYA!!(as Joan Rivers screamed out).

Now you might not like her (annie) but she IS a great poker player and very good at game theory - I would LOVE to see her on Survivor. She mentioned that she would rather have Melissa on her team - here is her reasoning for siding with Brandi thiugh(sp??)

Let’s say that I’m on a two-man team with Melissa. She has lost as Project Manager and wants to win, so she will be Project Manager again. She’s weak at fund raising and she’s also less likable. I’d be heads-up against Melissa and she’d be drawing dead. By that time in the game with all of the personal attacks, I incorporated a life equity decision. When I walk away from the show, I need to have my soul intact. There was no question that Brande deserved to be there more. I didn’t want to reward Melissa’s crap.
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How about those Brewers.


They have now beaten the Pirates 14 times in a row and 17 straight times at home!! What are the chances. Well - taking last years winning percentages of Brewers .556 and Pirates .414 on any given day the Brewers have a 64% chance of beating Pittsburgh. They have a 41% chance of winning 2 in a row.

The Brewers have a 0.005% chance of winning 17 in a row or about a 1 in 2000 chance to win 17 (I'm sure balderdash will correct me on exact numbers). So if you take 2000 17 game series, ONCE the brewers will win all 17. (hmmmmm is that right?) Seems low!

ANYWAY - PECOTA now has the Brewers ending up in 4th place 2 games behind the CUBS with the Pirates in 2nd and the Cards winning 93 games.

The above is based on projections on future performances. The original version of this report, based entirely on real data has the Brewers winning 90 games, ending 7 games behind the Cubs BUT winning the Wildcard by 1 game over the Mets.

Gotta run

Cheers
Rod

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

DO NOT PANIC - REMAIN CALM!! NEVERMIND THE MASKS!

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com
Behind the scenes Part 3
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Check out the comments for the related sites!
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This is where Blake spent a good portion of Saturday. Content in the tub listeneing to the sound of thunder. And here is Blake when we told him the storms were past. Actually he has been getting better and just hangs out with us when there is thunder. His thunder cape works but he can still HEAR the sound of the thunder so we need thunder ear muffs also.

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REMAIN CALM!!!! Even though I received FOUR emails yesterday telling me to REMAIN CALM it seems the world is in a panic about Swine Flu. Panic because it is the only thing the news is talking about. Welcome to post Bush news depression. The economy is not crumbling beneath our feet. The Stock Market is not in a free fall. The Iraq War is now 3rd page news. No Pirates, at least no exciting pirate news. All we have is the flu.

I find it interesting when all articles about Swine Flu say - basic hygiene is the best way to combat it. hmmmm - geez - maybe I'll look into this basic hygiene thing. Always good to be reminded to have basic hygiene. And those surgical masks you see? They are meant to keep nasty bugs IN, not keep them out but it's a fashion statement. But then - you don't see any Swine Flu in Iran where all the woman wear burqas. hmmmmmm.

It's almost like The Weather Channel telling people that when it's very very hot, you should wear loose clothing. THAT YOU VERY MUCH!!!! Would not have thought of that. Good catch.

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Public Enemies Celebration July 25th is taking shape.

Here is a ROUGH schedule that can be changed on a dime or whim.

8:00 Mawell Street Days Begins

8:00??? Xplosion Softball Tournaments begins - anyone know who is in charge of this? I've been trying to find information on the net but all I can get is 2006 info OR this blog!!!

10:30 Picture Cars line up for the Picture Car Parade (all 10 of them - hoping for more as the time gets closer)

11:00 - Picture Car Parade will wind around Columbus - the same-ish route as the Columbus Carriage Classic (unless Todd has a copy write on that route).

11:30ish?? - Cars park on both sides of West James (couldn't do THAT with a 4-lane highway . . OOPS . . . sorry!

12:00 - 2:00 Kids games on the Boulevard next to City Hall. hmmm - need something for adults to do during this time. How about a dunk tank for Boyd Kraemer.

1:00?? Hay ride tours begin throughout Columbus.

FOOD is available from the Columbus Fireman throughout the day. Speaking of Hot Dog - check out Oscar Mayer's new Jalapeno and Cheese Dogs - they REALLY are very very good - in fact the new recipe that all Oscar dogs have is great!

2:30 - Fireman Motorcycle ride (I don't have an official name) enter Columbus with 500 Bikes (1000 people).

3:15 - Fireman Ride leaves Columbus.

3:30 ish - Very good Jazz Band takes the stage for 3 hours of music

6:00 1930s Costume Contest held by local taverns

That's all we have so far but things are taking shape.

If any Picture Car Drivers are reading this there are NO hotels available in Columbus - I would look into Beaver Dam and Sun Prairie both about 15 miles away.
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Coming soon (today-ish) to your local places where you buy postcards except Walgreen's who do not want them or something. They were like all "we don't want them anymore" so they don't have any. Collect them all, trade them with your friends. These are the first of many many.

All postcards have a little history blurb on the back.

Add Image
Have a nice Tuesday
Rod

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dog Guard vs. Invisible Fence

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What a weekend!!!

Rumblings about a Chicago Premier
Milo and Blake face off with the neighbor
Dog Guard vs. Invisible Fence
Shades of Rickie Bobby
Malissa and Joan Rivers redefine fruitcakes
Rain and flooding
History of the 32nd Infantry Brigade

Where does one begin!

Columbus had 2.82 inches of rain Saturday and another 0.22 Sunday. We took a drive around Sunday and the Crawfish River is very flooded along with the Columbus Country Club and Fireman's Park. I don't expect a lot more - just drizzle.

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Public Enemies - I'm hearing that there will be news about the Chicago Premier of Public Enemies in the next . . . . soon. It's all I have heard from "Deep Throat". OK OK "Lips are Sealed" which if you think about it are pretty opposite.

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I was playing poker (a sport I guess Joan Rivers does not appreciate . . more on that later) with my buddy Elwood in the garage and Blake and Milo were in their collar's hanging out in the middle of the driveway when our neighbor, who hates cats and reports any and all violations we make to the Association, backs out of her garage.

Being the only thing to look at Milo and Blake watch her back out and she spots the two household members and they have a good old western stare down. She drives slowly by staring and they stare right back. It was rather humorous.

Speaking of our invisible pet containment system. We first had Invisible Fence come by and give us their sales pitch which was slick and we thought it seemed pretty good. Price was about $1,800 with loads of hands on training for the dogs and cats.

Then adubya mentioned that his friend was a Dog Guard rep and looking at their site I saw that the president of my home brew club had used Dog Guard and liked it. So we have Brian come over and he gave us his sales pitch.

Now I'm saying this without a rebuttal from the Invisible Fence (IF) people but there seems to be a lot of hidden charges that were not mentioned with IF (broken cable, resetting things and so forth.) Anyway, Dog Guard is cheaper and I believe a lot of that comes with NOT having people come out and train your pets which you really do not need. Their collars are also smaller for cats.

Our pets had no problem at all learning - even Milo our cat which was my real worry. So go with Dog Guard. Too many reasons to explain but they get Grinders Seal of Approval.

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It seems Joan Rivers does not appreciate poker players, or blond playboy bunnies, or Clint Black or anyone that looks at Malissa the wrong way and does not meet her very high standards.

Check out the ending of Apprentice last night! But be warned - if you are at work out on headphones.





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Then there is the ending of the Nascar race yesterday. Rickie Bobby was from the movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" one of the worst movies I've seen that still has repeatable jokes that are funny. As luck would have it this race was at Talladega. YEE HAW GET'ER DONE "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity let's go racing boys!"



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And since many National Guard Units have been or will be shipping off to Iraq I thought it would be good to just give a piece of history of the 32nd Infantry Brigade.

During the Civil War they were referred to as the Iron Jaw Division. But in WWI they acquired a new fearsome nickname from the French, Les Terribles. SCARY!! They were the first division to pierce the famed German Hindenburg Line of defense.

It was in WWI when they earned their insignia, the vertical red arrow through a horizontal red bar. This symbolizes how in four campaigns they penetrated every line that confronted them.

In WWII they were in the South West Pacific and helped capture Papua New Guinea.

They were also mobilized during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

And speaking of the Cuban Missile Crisis - I believe Thirteen Days is a movie that should be required viewing for all Americans. Seriously this is a piece of history that I am very very glad I was too young to have to really know what was going on. Fallout shelters were just a fun thing but I've talked to my mom and they were near panic.

You REALLY should watch Thirteen Days and thank god you are alive.


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Have a good Monday!

Rod

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wet Weekend, Editorial Comment, Public Enemies

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

I just had to put this nice photo from the USA Today in. Some little baby donkey is getting some lovin!


Also in the USA Today, the paper (and online I see) version, is a 1/3 page photo of Johnny Depp with a tommy gun. The tiny article says the standout scene is in Little Bohemia. It's a two paragraph blip among all the other summer movies.

I was asked today why it takes so long from when a movie is filmed to the actual movie coming out and I explained that it was all editing and music and special effects that all had to be coordinated. Plus the fact that in a typical 16 hour day of filming if they get 2 minutes of actual footage the day was a success.

My coworker then says "By God if I get 2 minutes of actual work in in a day I feel it was a success too!"

And speaking of movies we watched an entertaining little flick last weekend that has DJ and I repeating lines from time to time. It's called Waitress.

When Russell's character Jenna, a waitress in a cheery southern diner, discovers that she's pregnant, she doesn't exactly jump for joy. Motherhood was never in her plans, and she's already saddled with her needy, jealous and infantile husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto).

At first, things seem hopeless and her dreams for a better life are in ruins, until a good-looking doctor (Nathan Fillion) arrives in town and mixes things up. With the support and love of her friends and co-workers (Adrienne Shelly and Cheryl Hines) at Joe's Pie Diner, Jenna exhibits her skills with crusts and fillings which are particularly appreciated by Joe himself (Andy Griffith). She then gains the courage to embrace independence and create the life of her dreams.

Here is the trailer. I've had this on Netflix for like 2 years and I'm glad we FINALLY watched it.






In other news - WOW - where did that cold front get all it's momentum! So now this weekend we're looking at 2-3 inches of rain starting tonight! I'm thinking the big stuff will hit about noonish tomorrow. It's going to get REALLY interesting with a 1-2-3 punch!

First the front will go through bringing rain from the northwest, once that is through a system will push up from the south bringing large rain on Sunday and then the trailing end of the tail, like a scorpion, will swing by from the west clobbering us Monday! I can certainly see 3 inches of rain in the next 3 days.

Tonight when I get home I'm going to clear out the Coreopsis trench in the clay garden. I might need the drainage.

I was ask a few months ago if I wanted to participate in a golf tournament at Whistling Straits. I had golfed at the complex and love it but when I asked when It was I was told late April. Well, I felt the weather in late April was always rather dubious and I could sit outside in the cold rain for free if I wanted too.

Of course by saying that I'm risking the next outing at The Straits but . . . . . I have the beer.
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OH - as promised - Milo is always a little angry when we yell at him to stop picking on poor little Sierra even though Sierra is always picking on Milo (like little birds pick on hawks). And then when Milo retaliates, Sierra SCREAMS and we yell MILO!! STOP THAT!

Well - Sierra is not always the good cat in other ways as she is ALWAYS putting her nose in where it's not wanted.

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You will probably not notice a small shift in some of the content in this blog in the coming weeks but there will be one. It seems there are times when I have sunken to the childish levels of another website with some personal attacks and I feel I have been caught up in something I really do not feel this site is all about.

It takes two to fight and I'm not going to do it, I won't be baited.

I received an email from the Public Enemies 1st Assistant Director and he commented that while at times some of my information about the movie was not correct the blog was always entertaining.

With that said, I feel some of the blogs in the past week were justified and no misinformation was posted. As the website in question quoted "The city has not at this time approved any project". This tells me that while I was perhaps a little premature I was not posting misinformation. Notice I never put any blame on anyone. I was concerned and I let my concern be known but NOT in a personal way. "This is what people are thinking about and let's make it known that SOME people do not think this is an option".

Perhaps if someone had raised a fuss earlier the Anchor Bank would not have been moved or if I had kept quiet about the rotting flags on the flag poles they would still be wrapped around light poles.

HOWEVER - since this is not a political blog - who the frap cares anyway.

Moving from a city where no one cares about anything and no one really knows anybody to a town where everybody knows everybody and they all live in the same house I can see how people get caught up in things. Things get blown WAY WAY out of scale and if a person is not careful he/she can get on the wrong track.

Sometimes I feel I'm an adopted orphan that is thrust into the Brady household with Greg,Peter and Bobby on one side and Marcia, Jan and Cindy on the other side.

Pick a side, we're at war.

Well - I don't want to pick a side, I'm for and against both sides (or all seven sides). Someone has to see things just a little differently. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm wrong. But not voicing an opinion when you have one is normally wrong. Being quiet when you see something you believe is bad is wrong. I really did not like voicing my opinion last week but you can't just ignore something just because you are on the same side.

sigh.
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SO - have a nice weekend - stay dry.

Rod

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This and That

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

I have a few things taking my attention away from anything creative today, such exciting things as property release forms and what golf balls should I buy this year. I'm going to join the Door Creek Golf League on Wednesday Night and have to get my balls in order.

I did notice that either the biggest bone blunder in business history OR the most brilliant marketing idea EVER started on this day in 1985 with the coming out party of New Coke.

Depends how you look at it. New Coke was a complete marketing failure. Before New Coke, Coka-Cola was losing ground in the cola wars and was in 2nd place. Exec's felt they needed to change and thus New Coke. Which totally and utterly bombed. HOWEVER - it was SO bad everybody was talking about it.

When OLD Coke was reintroduced U.S. Senator David Pryor called the reintroduction "a meaningful moment in U.S. history". Every major newspaper in the country headlined that Coke was back and TV stations interrupted shows announcing Coke Classic was back.

Coke took charge and zoomed ahead of Pepsi and has never looked back.
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Also on this day William Shakespeare, who I was named after, was born and also died on this day in 1564 and 1616. You will have to figure out which is which.

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I had a taste of a new brew a few days ago and I'm quite excited. Still a month away from actually being ready to drink but I was wonderful. Rare hops were used in a simple recipe and it was YUMMMM MEEEEE.

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We arrived home a few days ago and in the front mailbox garden were two mallards. We had seen them there before and I think they like the fact that I dumped some fresh barley in the garden.

Then as we walked into the house and stepped into the kitchen there were broken beer bottles on the floor and a clock in the living room was tipped over. The animals were standing there looking a little guilty.

WHAT GOES ON HERE WHILE WE'RE GONE!!

SOMEONE knocked the 6-pack of empties onto the floor. I know that Milo and Blake work together at times when there is a container of cupcakes on the counter. Milo will push the container onto the floor and hopefully the top will come off. Then Blake will help himself. Once out of 12 cupcakes we found four whole ones still in the container, 3 with the tops eaten off, 2 empty muffin cups and three were completely missing.

Oddly Blake did not eat his dinner that night!

Milo will also push cups of coffee onto the floor - he HATES coffee. Whenever we're in the living room on a Sunday morning he will jump up and try to tip over the coffee.

I'll show you what Sierra does tomorrow - she ain't no angel either.

Have a great day and enjoy the good weather that will start this afternoon.

Rod

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day, Mom's Birth Day, Premeier's and a Story.

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(NEW) www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

June 23, 2009 will be the Public Enemies Premier at the Mann Village Theatre, Westwood. Built in 1930, and opened in 1931 the Mann's Village Theatre is a favorite of movie studios, which frequently select the theatre to premiere their top films. In the year 2000, the Village Theatre celebrated its 70th Anniversary.

And yes - theatre is spelled correctly.
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Well today is Earth Day and unlike what I was told by my parents it was invented in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. (I was told it was Eddie Albert as it is his birthday . . . . long story - it is also my moms birthday).

In defense of the Eddie Albert story (the Green Acres dude) he was a very intense social and environmental activist for his last 30 years. An interesting thing about Mr. Albert as that he was married to MarĂ­a Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell untll she died of a brain tumor.

I pity that poor woman when she was in school and had to learn how to spell her name.

Another interesting thing was that just before WWII Albert toured Mexico as a clown and high-wire artist with the Escalante Brothers Circus, but secretly he was working as an undercover spy for the U.S. Army intelligence, photographing German U-boats in Mexican harbors.

Albert was a genuine war hero and was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for his actions during the invasion of Tarawa in November, 1943. He was the pilot of a U.S. Coast Guard landing craft and he rescued 47 Marines who were stranded offshore while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire.

Things you never knew about Oliver Wendell Douglas.
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Then there is my mom. She was once stolen by gypsies! Her family lived way up north on a subsistence farm and one time a band of gypsies were coming down the road. Her parents told her to bring in all the pots and other things as they might be stolen.

She did as told but that night she snuck out the window and went to see what the gypsies were up too. (OK she was not really stolen). As luck would have it she was caught and spent some time around a large camp fire listening to the exotic stories before she went home and snuck back into the house.

This story has nothings to do with anything but since it's my moms birthday (81?) I was looking for some of her old writings and found this. It's not earth shatering but a fun read . . .

In Holway, the area we lived in was almost entirely Old Order Amish. Of the thirty or so pupils attending Lincoln School there were only eight who weren't Amish. The called us the "English".

I was entranced with the Amish people. I loved everything about them, their strange but so becoming clothes, their clean, fat farms, their clip-clop footed horses and secretive black buggies, the way they talked, and most of all their unfailing courtesy.

Once in a fast and wild game during noon hour a smaller boy slammed into me and knocked me down. Instantly the game stopped. Instantly the boy was leaning over me anxiously saying, "Im so sorry! Is thee hurt?" and an older boy was helping me to me feet and telling him, "Learn to look where thee's going, William." and a girl was exclaiming over my slightly scraped elbow and leading me by the hand to the teacher, Miss Bergmann, for cleaning and a bandage. The fall hadn't shaken me, but the concern did. At Washington School the whole pack would have tromped right over me.

There were two things that made Lincoln School special for me. One was that for the first time in my life I had friends. They wee Amish, and we weren't allowed to visit in each other's homes, but form the time we met on the way to school until we parted on the way home, we were friends. The other special thing was that for the first time I had a classmate, non-Amish, who was accustomed to getting straight "A"s without a struggle.

Since we both wanted , and expected, to stay Top Dog, Eugene and I both threw ourselves into a brain-battle and became learnaholics. At the end of the year Miss Bergman insisted, with report cards to prove it, that we finished in an exact tie. I've never believed that. I've always wondered if she was kind enough to not want either if us ti lose or wise enough to not want either of us to win.

Miss Bergman is a shadowy figure in my memory. She may have been a much better teacher then I realized at the time. She had to prepare eight of us for High School, while not offending the Amish parents who wanted their children to learn nothing of "the world" beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. It's significant of the problem that no other books except textbooks were ever allowed in Lincoln School.
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After typing that (and getting some carpel tunnel) I now realize why I have this soft spot for the Amish. On October 2 2006 when that gunman killed 5 girls in that Amish school, I was devastated, I truely was, more then my brain was prepared for. Back in the late 80's I was driving around and saw a scene that has burned an image in my minds eye that I can still make out every detail. I wanted to take photos but I knew it would be frowned upon by them, even though I was quite far away.

It was a barn raising and all the man were raising a side of the barn, the woman were on the front porch and children were playing in the front yard. I can see every detail.

Then there is the part of the story about "learnaholics" which my brother was as I believe he was a "A" student. Well, the apple fell pretty far from the tree and rolled down the hill when it came to me. I doubt I ever did any home work and I know I never practiced cello even though I was 1st chair all the way through school and even in my brief time in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony I don't think I ever practiced.

Of course now I "study" but it is more like I "obsess" over a topic.

Have a great Wednesday.

Rod









Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teamwork - a new idea for Columbus

But first

From what I have been told Alice Schmidt makes some pretty darn good homemade soup.

Also - the first person to contact me will "win" two tickets to this event donated by Dale and Kris.

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As for the 4-lane deal. I'm just going to see what develops on this one. The parties now know that there is some disagreement with the project so let's just let things come out in the open as they will need too.
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I have been in contact with Craig Gerritsen the GM of Vita Plus and we are looking into some sort of road trip/tour of the Vita Plus facilities. After all they do feed all of the Clydesdale's (well, most of them I guess). To be honest I do not have a clue what they do besides some sort of grain stuff. Anyone interested? Must I go all by myself? He is looking for something near future and no dates have been mentioned yet.

And sorry - you can not not take the Amtrak to the destination. I just took this a few weeks ago.

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I attended the Columbus Community Development Authority meeting last night and our new Mayor was a no show, hmmmmm not the greatest start. If I was Mayor (which I never ever want to be) I would attend ALL meetings as soon as I could to get a handle on things. I guess he does not feel the need to understand the teams that surround him.

I'm giving him a chance to change my mind - honest but when you say you are going to be somewhere you really should be there. I was all pumped up. I'll have to put my suit away for another day.

**Note - It seems he was invited but had to attend a birthday party. OK FINE - off the hook this time.

ANYWAY - I came away from the meeting feeling much better and in more of a positive mood then the last few days. It's weird but I feel like many of the organizations are in a rebooting stage. Like everyone is in a "let's start over" mode.


I feel so good I must post a cute donkey photo!


Back on topic:

The CDA is one of my more favorite groups to listen too because they remind me of SIM CITY decisions. I can understand SOME of the things going on but still am unsure of TIF which I believe is Tax Incrementing Financing**? If it is it's a tool that was not used in SIM CITY.

** TIF is a tool to use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains.

SO - In no particular order some news from several committees I have attended lately. The new grocery store plan is moving ahead but slowly. However - my view and a few other people have noticed that Pic-N-Save has gotten much better.

There are a few restaurants looking into Columbus but I'm afraid the Red Bud Hamburger Joint (my name) might fall through because of the need for a $15,000 to $20,000 ventilation system for the grill. Main Street was prepared to pay for SOME of that (it's their building) but not ALL.

The funny thing is that the Popcorn Wagon MUST stay in that building. Even if a Tattoo Parlor decided to rent the place (God help us) it will have to house the Popcorn Wagon. It's the rule.

There is a little business buzz coming from other towns (Green Bay for one) when they heard that the CDA had an outstanding success with their business appreciation luncheon (which I won an award and then was almost arrested and gunned down in cold blood).

But I'm boring myself with old news -

Just because our new Mayor has a "anti-growth lets survive and not thrive" mentality does not mean we're (I include myself in the "we're" for the sake of ease in typing) going to sit around and put our collective heads in the sand looking for some trace if sanity.

NO! - remember this plan?


She ain't dead yet Jim.

It seems the male portion of the train depot is becoming available along with all the parking and so forth. Their is a plan on the table to purchase this area and surrounding parking and if so it does not take a rocket scientists to know that the smart thing to do is to develop this into a corridor for people to get into Columbus.

Now of course this is a challenge as the Mayor is against development, at least until we get the pot holes fixed and leaves picked up. So how can one group accomplish this task? One group can't.

There is the rub. It seems for the past (fill in some sort of time estimate here) _______ all the groups that are worried about Columbus have been doing their own thing. And how has that worked out for them?? Not well. WHAT IF!!!

We all know that each group has their own personality, just like sports team with players all different. However, that does not mean the different personality's can not work together for one goal.

What if they all worked together to achieve one goal! Weird concept what? Strength in numbers.

From what I have seen there seems to be a small current of electricity in the air from members in the groups and many of the silent majority (or minority - whichever) towns people. All we have to do is start to harness that energy. Put all of those electrons together and maybe we can get a spark.

It will take work and time but its better then treading water which it sounds like people have been doing for the last 15 years. The owners of the downtown businesses are a problem with their "let's just survive" attitude but, hey it seems the average age of many downtown businesses is like 85 or something, need I say more.

Boyd mentioned that Columbus does not understand tourism which I agree with BUT, I can see WHY it does not understand it. Because it's new!

One of the first things DJ tried to do when we moved here was to go shopping after work for a birthday present for her dad. Everything was closed by 5:00. So we drove to Beaver Dam to go shopping.

That's OK - it will change. Get one store to be open and make money and others will follow (unless it's 6:00 bedtime).

Then something I have been pushing ever since the very first time I sat down with what were then strangers and they asked "what can we do" I said you guys REALLY need to advertise more. You need signs telling people there is a town here and that by not turning off the highway you are missing something.

Not big gaudy signs pointing at a stupid truck stop or McDonald's but something that's says the people of this town are proud of their town.

It was suggested we place a BIG monument style structure (not unlike the St. Louis Arch but bigger) that shows we are proud. I wish I knew where they were talking about but . . . I don't.

Mayor Link said he wants to run Columbus more like a business which is fine but I'd rather he ran it more like a small town. Still if he does run it like a business what is the most important element for the success for a business? Advertising. And it is advertising that is nonexistent in Columbus. Will he in fact run Columbus like a business and increase the advertising budget?

It does not matter if you have the greatest product in the world if no one knows about it. On the other hand you can produce total crap but have great advertising and be super successful. Look at Miller and Anheuser Busch! AND DO NOT GET ME STARTED WITH Millers "new" Triple Hopping! What total BS! WOW they are soooooo smart.

Well - this has been a long and boring (for most people) blog so I'll leave the subject for another day.

Have a WONDERFUL Tuesday. The weather can only get better!

Rod

Monday, April 20, 2009

Four-Lane Main Street OUT - Venice of the MidWest IN

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com
Save Columbus . blogspot

Columbus new direction
Midwest Horse fair
FIRE FIRE!
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After watching The Amazing Race leaders in City Hall, after finding stiff opposition to changing Columbus into a four Lane Highway, decided another direction was needed. In Amazing Race a city visited was called Venice of the East, thus, a light bulb went off and Columbus will now become The Venice of the MidWest.

A city official who refused to me named said "This is so right on so many levels. We have had two 100-year floods in the past decade. Mother Nature is to be telling us something. This is a biblical decision and will be written about for decades."

The plan is to build another dam south of Columbus and let the gates rust closed on their own. "No need to pay maintenance fee's on this project". Then, let the city slowly fill with water. "This will solve many inherent problems with a modern day city. For one thing we will no longer have the pot hole problem. Another thing is that leaves will float and downstream and we will no longer have that pesky leaf pick up problem, money saved. Another problem fixed will be the sewage, the original problem and the need for a four lane highway.

"Instead of digging for a new sewer so we can take all the Fall River crap we can now just let it float south towards Sun Prairie."

Businesses in the downtown are, of course, a little worried but Sharrow Drug will become Sharrow Bait and Tackle with offices on their 2nd floor. Julies Java House is already ready for the extra water as they have that goofy door over the parking lot that goes to nowhere.
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OK - enough silliness. I for one disagree with the Vienna project AND the Four-Lane Highway and I hope the idea people know that we can agree to disagree on this one.

The Four Lane Highway is scheduled and I believe this is just wrong and dangerous to the citizens of Columbus. By doing this we can get free money at the expense of killing the downtown. While other small communities are actively creating a buzz with their historic districts Columbus is trying to kill it by pretending that the money saved by growth on the outlaying areas will offset the loss of businesses and good will downtown.

The perfect city is like a donut. The middle is the downtown that typically a city will get it's highest income from, it is the heart. The downtown is the engine they lowers property tax's. Surrounding the downtown is residential and then comes the industrial. Columbus is the perfect shape for a community except at THIS point the downtown is being ignored.

Many people mistakenly think that the Historical Group and the Main Street Group are only around to save old buildings when in fact they are the ones that see other towns that were floundering building "old" buildings or putting money into the historic buildings in the center of their town and creating a buzz. It is what makes the smaller towns unique. It's why businesses from large cities move to small cities.

What does Columbus have going for it. Beautiful surrounding country? No. A navigational river? No. Stable government? No. So why would a buisness want to move to Columbus.

Because of the very kind people, the simpler live, the beautiful trees and the historic downtown district. Why has this not happened?

Three reasons.

1. The people in charge and the "old school" residents who no longer see Columbus is beautiful. It's like when you buy a new home and every day you drive up and say "What a beautiful home" and you take care of it. Then 20 years later the house is still beautiful but things are getting rusty and you still love your home but you no longer "look" at it.

That is what is happening with Columbus. Long term residents no longer "look" at Columbus.

2. Some downtown businesses no longer feel the need to try. They are content with surviving as opposed to thriving. If I was a downtown buisness I would have a big planted container with flowers and I would sweep the sidewalk every morning. I would have pride some pride.

I was in Cooperstown where the Hall of Fame is (pop 2,200) about 15 years ago and I was amazed at how beautiful the town was. Every store had flowers and clean sidewalks. They had pride in their little town and that is what I remember.

It sounds dorky but flowers (big plantings) are something people remember and they take very little up keep. Heck - Columbus has Master Gardner's LOOKING for something to do!

3. Organizations like Main Street need funds to fix broken buildings. This all starts with the City Council getting off their butts and realizing they are sitting on a gold mine. As one official from Lake Mills (big buzz town) said "Columbus has something in place that took us 20 years to achieve, and it is just sitting there".

sigh - wow - this has gotten long - sorry - I think it's my Rotary Club speech coming out finally.

On to funner things.
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I attended the Midwest Horse Fair which is run by a bloggette in Columbus. I was AMAZED at this event. I was the judge for the photo contest and I think I made someone very happy with the Best In Show Ribbon.

After looking at all the photos I was torn between a professional digitally enhanced photo and a smaller Youth action photo which was the only entry in the Youth/Action area so it already had a Blue Ribbon. I really liked the professional digitally enhanced photo but . . . . . the youth photo I felt had the essence of why you own a horse. I wish I could post it here. When I looked at it I felt "freedom", I felt the cool moist morning wind flowing across my face. I could hear the morning birds. I felt the photo.

Congratulations unknown youth person from Michigan (I see it is Sara Harrington). I also see not one male won a ribbon.

I hope I can be a judge next year.

I did not take many photos of the Horse Fair - there was way way to much to take in - next year I'll be more prepared. Did you know there are parking lots that are actually over the horizon that I never new existed at The Dane County Expo Center (oops Alliant Energy Center). I did take one photo though.

I believe this is a Trojan horse and there could be an army hidden inside. I post this just for that reason. If you see a horse like this be watching for people dropping out of it at night!

Rhonda - I would love to hear some stats on the Fair - how many horses, how many attended, what the $$ impact to Madison is and so forth.
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And lastly.

We all know how dry it's been, in fact we have had zero precipitation since April 1st until Sunday. Columbus had 1.02 inches Sunday through Monday 7:00.

Friday I was in the back yard and saw some smoke on the horizon. This has been common as I've seen people burning fields. But then about 15 minutes later that tan smoke has turned to jet black reaching the heavens and about that same time I hear sirens and see trucks speeding down Hwy 89.

WELL - I hop on my horse . . errr . . . DJ and I hop in the car and take off looking for a photo opportunity. I feel a TINY bit guilty (no, not really but I feel better saying that) so I suppose I would not make a good photo journalist covering disasters.

These are not really frame worthy but I did a study and on a rating scale of 1 to 7 you get a 0.25 grater rating with a faux frame.




That's it - have a good Monday. I think I'll be meeting the new Mayor tonight!

Rod

Friday, April 17, 2009

Columbus: E W James to Become 4 Lane Highway

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

I wish the above headline was going to be put into TruthinessInColumbusPolitics but it is true. The plans put forth by the always brilliant Department of Transportation has Columbus cutting the sidewalks in half, and taking all parking away so from East and West James Street so they can have a 4 lane Highway running through the middle of Columbus.

If they are not able to do this Columbus will lose all sorts of street funding. Sounds like black mail to me!!

ARE THEY ABSURD? Have they been smoking crack? Yea - seems like a WONDERFUL idea. Lets make the streets unsafe for pedestrians and basically kill downtown.

I tell ya - you ain't heard nothing yet when comes to complaining. Knowing how ten television stations jumped at the chance to come to Columbus for the Public Enemies Celebration I think we have something going on here as being a "pet" city and I think we could get some pretty good air play and some pretty bad press for the DOT if this happens.

I also believe that if our new Mayor Bob Link let's this happen it would be the BIGGEST bone head blunder among all the other bone head Mayor blunders in the history of all Columbus Mayors.

I hope I can get some loud support on fighting this crock of BS if/when the time comes. I'll have more on this once I get more details.

Now I'm on the warpath.
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Even before I knew I was one quarter blooded American Indian I was always wondering why the Indians were always the bad guys. When a group of people try to take your land and you fight them why are YOU the bad guys!

There is a celebration in Tennessee this weekend as for the first time two Cherokee Nations are getting together to celebrate their history. In 1838 federal troops rounded up 18,000 Cherokee (and other Indians) and forced them to march with only the clothes on their back and no food from Tennessee to Oklahoma, 1000 miles. Along the way 4000 died for various reasons.

The Cherokee were given used blankets from a hospital in Tennessee where an epidemic of small pox had broken out. Because of the diseases, they were not allowed to go into any towns or villages along the way for food and clothing.

In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi - “the Trail Where They Cried”. Now called "The Trail of Tears."

This all started with Andrew Jackson made a promise that he would remove all eastern Indians from the territory. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. The Cherokees sought help from the US Supreme Court and the court ruled in their favor. Yet Jackson refused the ruling.

Many Cherokees were forced marched and became known as the Cherokee Nation. The ones left behind are called the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

Cherokee were not the only tribe removed. Also removed were the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes).
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This whole wonderful story started when I came across this plaque in Madison that so brightened my day when I read it.


It says:

On July 21, 1832 during the Black Hawk War, the U.S. Militia "passed through the narrows of the four lakes," Madison's Isthmus, in pursuit of the Sac Indian leader Black Hawk and his band. Near this location, the Militia shot and scalped an old Sac Warrior awaiting his death upon his wife's freshly dug grave.

sigh.

On a side note. Once I took that photo I walked up the street feeling a little blue and took this photo. What caught my attention was that round green roof with the glass building behind it. Just lots of geometric texture.

BTW - I now have been FORCED to create a small buisness that now has it's own small buisness account. Figured the IRS would like that.

Melotte Photo Imagery

Have a good weekend. I'll be at the Midwest Horse Show being a photo judge . . . somewhere. Not sure where I'm suppose to go but . . . . . I'll be there.

Rod

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Presentation #2, Not what I had hoped.

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The very first thing I have to mention is I'm all over a campaign to save CHUCK! Stupid Jay Leno is sucking all the good shows on NBC whith his new 9:00 Tonight show and CHUCK, along with 4 other shows are goign to bight the big one and becanceled. CCHUCK, I believe is one of the best family shows on TV and is on the bubble. For those that have never seen CHUCK it is sort of like a modern, grown up Get Smart . . . sort of.

So if you want to save CHUCK go to this link and sign the petition. It does FACEBOOK if you have it.
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Presentation #2

I MUST thank the Rotary Club for inviting me to their weekly lunch and don't take any of the below personally - if you have read my blog before . . . . I like to have fun, normally at MY expense but sometimes it leaks into others. All in good fun though.

As for my presentation. WOW - the perfect storm of ineptitude hit me. When I was contacted by Dennis I felt pretty good about giving a presentation as I can talk about pretty much anything with ease and if I don't know a subject I just make up stuff as I go. The odd thing I have found is I don't get nervous beforehand , I believe it is because normally I don't have a plan so how can I get worried. this time I had a plan.

I looked into the Rotary Club to see what it actually was and I came away thinking the audience was going to be basically like the Community Development Authority presentation with downtown buisnesses so all week long I was talking to myself about what I was going to say and thinking of entertaining things.

Well - I get there and I see many 80 year olds. Now I truly love the older/greatest generation, I look up to them because they have gone through a LOT in their lives a I just love listening and talking to them. BUT, my presentation was not geared toward them. Then some High School kids are their and hmmmmmmm this is getting tricky because I have a few things that might not work or could seem inappropriate.

Then there is the Chief of Police. O man! Now if any of you remember my LAST presentation and what happened afterward (involving a gun carrying man in uniform) I had to perhaps cut THAT part out of my presentation.

THEN - we sing "America" who's melody is actually the British national anthem, "God Save the King" but I have no problem with that. It's just not REAL American. However - at one time it WAS the National Anthem of America so I suppose it is as American as you can get . . .from something stolen from Britain. (Did you know that Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics in one half and hour?)

OK - so it's the first time I had sung "America" since . . . . . a long time. Then there is a prayer which his fine but I'm getting a little more uneasy and I'm thinking how Richard Pryor would handle this. And then . . .

And then comes the "Rotarian four-way test" which I think my blog would fail in real life but in theory I'm 100% pro.

1. Is it the truth? FAIL
2. Is it fair to all concerned? FAIL
3. Will it build good will and better friendships? That ties in with my life motto "pay it forward" WIN (unFAIL??)
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Define "all"

sigh!

So now that 90% of what I was going to say seems inappropriate it's my turn to speak and I'm handed a microphone and nothing to hide behind and I get up to say something and I can not believe that my mind seems to be growing more and more blank by the second. I have not had a microphone in my hands since . . . FOREVER. So I just tell myself the old way to calm your self "Pretend you are naked in front of a large group of people".

It did not seem right and THAT version was certainly not working AT ALL!!

I now know how Blake and Milo feel when we throw them into the center of our invisible fence to teach them not to go in there (more in Milo later). I'm just hoping someone will have pity on me and drag my catatonic body out of the field in time.

I even forget my joke that woke me up Monday night at 2:00 when I thought of it.

"Giving a presentation is like having a Colonoscopy, it really is painless and you don't remember a thing of what you said afterward"

There is always room for good Colonoscopy jokes in a presentation.

Anyway I blathered through what seemed to be two hours of saying the same two sentence's over and over until a cell phone went off and I thought maybe I was suppose go do some karaoke or something or maybe it was the Rotary Clubs equivalent to the gong show and I was about to get the hook!

I feel bad I did not do a better job but then . . . I'm not a public speaker (sober . . . . . see!! I could not say THAT yesterday).

Well - the good news is I decided to unstress and golfed afterword and I was crushing the ball off the tee 230-240 yards right down the middle. But the next 6 shots to get to the green were always a problem. If you have golfed with me you will know that this is the opposite of how I normally golf.

Typically I yank the ball to the right 150 yards and then make 3 amazing trouble shots to the green and one putt bogie.

I did have a nice test marketing of my photos which seemed to be getting positive reactions. I'm still not sure how I want to market them since I have never really "marketed" photos before. My goal it so maybe create a table top photo book about Columbus but those are freakishly expensive or I can matte and frame them but I'll have so many (I'm going to photograph every inch of Columbus and put them in a life size mural). And then there are postcards.

Like I have a lot of time on my hands LOL
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Our Dog Guard

Milo and the Invisible Fence installed by Dog Guard. We did research and those are the guys you want.

Anyway. Blake is doing great. He looks at the devil flags and understands not to go near them.

Milo. Well - Milo was out in the yard yesterday and was doing pretty good but then we watched him slowly enter the center of the yard. He was eying the flags, thinking.

He approaches and stops.

Crouching, his back feet do a little dance and he SPRINGS towards the flags and JUMPS, sacrificing his body. ZAP!!! and he is through.

darn it all.!

have a nice day.

And Rotary people - I really did have a nice time - thank you.

Rod

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Public Enemies Celebration - July 25th

The official name for the July 25th Columbus event is The Public Enemies Celebration. We had to get the name OK'd from Universal and we're good to go.

Talk about a huge day for Columbus. The Xplosion with softball teams from all over the U.S. and Canada with games in Fall River and Columbus, Maxwell Street Days, a wedding at a nearbuy church AND The Fireman's Thunder Run thingy (not the real name) with 500 Harley's coming into town for an hour.

Add TEN TV stations and 3 or 4 newspapers with reporters and then throw in 15-25 Pictures Cars PLUS we're working on a Model A group making a pilgrimage from the Milwaukee area and it should be a blast.

We will have loads of food, a live band and a group of Swing Dancers from Madison saying they would be interested in participating. Kids games are taking shape and the bars . . .well . . they are doing something but they never come to any meetings but like to make sure we won't hurt their business.

Personally I say screw them.

Robbie has been a superstar contacting all the TV stations and they are all pumped to attend. In fact one wants to have a lot of interviews and then for an entire week before the event run the news pieces daily.

And this is not even mentioning the Red carpet event in the works for the movie on July 1st.

ME?

Well - I'm not on the White Board at work so people are running around with their hands in the air wondering where I am. Hey guys, I'm taking the day off to kill grass and give a presentation at the Rotary Club (free lunch I think, maybe not, I don't know).

As Dennis was talking to me about the presentation after I agreed all I heard was blah blah balh as my mind was screaming at me WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!

Sort of like the presentation I attended yesterday for our new Time Reporting System. After 5 minutes the woman said "And that is 95% of all you need to know" so my brain went all "And now you only get 5% of my attention" and she was all blah blah blah for the next 25 minutes.

I strive for blah blah blah in presentations. I like giving people some time off from thinking. If I can bore people into a catatonic state I have achieved my goal.

DJ just left to go to work and was all "Good luck with you presentation" and I was all "I'm just going to be me" and she was all "that's unfortunate".
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Speaking of giving a presentation - on this day in 1912 the Titanic sank.

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Here is the feel good story of the month. Many of you have probably seen this as it is such a big thing it's been on the news. Over 4 million hits in the few days since it's been on YOUTUBE, but in case you have not seen it you really should watch this.

Youtube will not let me embedded this.

Have a great Tuesday. I'll be spraying grass killer this afternoon on the area I'm planting 13 Cotoneasters Acurifolia's, 3 cornus variegated , 1 Black Choke Berry and 1 Miss Kim Lilac.

That is this years addition to the back yard. There's MORE but that will wait until NEXT year.

Cheers
Rod



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not another bandwagon

How about those Brewers.

One thing you really should do if you are looking for an online website for seeing baseball that is not on TV is go to MLB.com. WOW - the information age is here. You can get so many stats including how many inches the breaking ball curved, a graph on fastball momentum, the batters favorite pitches, everything!! You can watch the Brewers walk batter after batter. I's great.
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I had the opportunity to drink Doug Caldwell's IPA last weekend and it was pretty darn good - just thought I would mention that and now I own him.

Crystal clear and tasty smooth. here is a photo of when I was sitting in the sun have a brewskie watching the pets get zapped.

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I have a new bandwagon I'm jumping on when it comes to Columbus and from what I hear it's a touchy subject. Getting LIVING plants growing on the downtown streets of Columbus.

I'm not saying we need THIS. And I'm sure that since the people in charge feel the downtown area is not worth putting money into which is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever heard. The downtown is the most important part of a city - without a doubt hands down most important. The downtown is the engine that all other parts of the city revolve around.

It is the money maker. It's where the highest income from property tax's are or should be.

I'm going to have to measure the width of the sidewalks. Watering is not a problem. We (we LOL THEY) can hire high school students on summer break to water a couple times a week. Large plants are much easier to maintain then tiny ones that dry out daily.

Another thing I would like to see if the City Council can get some balls. Start to put REAL pressure on downtown businesses to clean up their act. That store with the broken awning is embarrassing and HOW can they get away with that? Hell - I might rip it down myself in a few weeks.

Look at the 4th photo down in yesterdays blog. I had to crop away part of the photo because of that ugly crap! Why is this allowed??? WHY did "I" have to fix the flag on the City Hall. It's been ripped and hanging upside down on a nail for TWO WEEKS!!

Think I could have taken this photo with a ripped flag rapped around nail? Think the Department of Tourism and the Associated Press would have been able take nice photos?

The people of Columbus have to start SEEING their town. It's like people walk in a cloud of gloom no longer looking.

Notice how my photos are rich in color? - that is how outsiders see Columbus. In color.
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Blake and Milo Electrifried.

We recently had a Dog Guard fence installed and have been showing Blake and Milo that when they get to the yellow flags the warning beeps starts. Both were OK but Milo thought it was a dumb game. Put him in the zone and then shove him back towards home. Blake just thought I could not make up my mind on going for a walk.

So Saturday Brian from Dog Guard comes by and the rubber tips on the collars come off.

Milo was first to test zappation and Brian warned us it would not be pretty. Cats always react differently. He picked up Milo and tossed him in the zapping zone and Milo just plops over dead DON"T TAZE ME BRO!! His lifeless body is dragged out like he is paralyzed. We stand him back up and he's fine. We do this a few times and he gets the idea that he really does not want to be picked up anymore and continues to play the paralyzed cat when we do.

Blake is next and he get led into the zone and screams like a little girl and backs away. Those yellow flags are the devil. But he has learned that the buzz is a warning and he's all good. Sort of.

Sunday we do a little more learning/testing and then for shits and giggles we put both on a leash and let them wander around supervised.

Milo

The first thing Milo has to figure out is that damn leash. He keeps stepping on it with his back feet and comes to an abrupt halt. he looks at me like I'm doing something. Not understanding that it is HIM stopping himself. He is happy to be outside in the sunlight and with leash trailing tests the zone and goes running to Blake for comfort. He then decides to test the side of the house where he thinks he found a hole.

It's beside the house and he keeps a distance between him and the flags. He jumps onto the rocks and hugs the house. Then turns around backwards and starts backing into to zone slowely. ZAP!!! And he goes running to safety. Then he tries the left side of the house and finds that if the side garage door is open he can enter the door and go out the open front garage door.

He walks down the driveway where there are no flags and thinks he is safe. He then jumps through the zone ZAP ZAP YEOW and he is on the other side. This freaks him out because he knows safety is on the OTHER side and he wants to get back to the house. So at full speed he jumps BACK through the zone ZAP! and I can see him getting zapped in mid air like a cartoon cat.

It's all he needed. He learned. We were told that cats are pretty smart when it comes to avoiding getting zapped. He is fine now and I we have no problem with him being outside.

Blake.


Blake Blake Blake. sigh! We were not worried about him learning but more about him being so frightened he would not go outside (almost the opposite of Milo). He was wandering around the yard and snooping in the garden and took a poop. He did not realize he was so close to the zone and crossed into it and he was sort of stuck in the middle convulsing and screaming like a little girl again and falls out on the other side.

Here is the strange thing. He thought this was great fun. WHOO HOO!! WOW what was that!! Let's play. So he is prancing back and forth trying to get ME to go through the zone like it's a game. I get through (not wearing MY collar) and grab his collar to take it off but he lunges back into the zone ZAP ZAP and again he is flopping back and forth freaking out. He lands on the other side and he is fine. All smiles.

We still need to correct him a as he will just walk into the field, he does not have the fear yet. So he is still in supervised mode.
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This is going to be an interesting week.

Have a great day
Rod

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Photographer Groupie.

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www.FrontPorchColumbus Dot Com

Not sure how the photos will look on a REAL computer (this one I think was built in 1977 and is missing a few pixels).
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So you probably noticed I was absent Friday. That is because I had to get up early and get downtown to meet a few Picture Car Drivers and some dudes from the DOTourism for a photo session.

Even though I helped coordinate this little session I felt like a photographer groupie. Hanging around listening and trying to not get in the way. I did have a chance to take a few photos though.

We stood around waiting for the guys to show up so I was flopping around the street like a fish on his belly taking some shots here and there of the three Picture Cars at 6:30 in the morning!

SIX-THIRTY I'm normally still trying to relearn English (my native tongue) so trying to relearn the dials on the camera were a chore. I think I managed it though.

They showed up and I just sort of bebopped around trying to personality mirror and nodding my head in agreement with them and trying to look cool. Letting them do all the work while I steal a shot from time to time.

As "we" were waiting for the sun to creep across the street for a rolling shot the main dude was running all over taking shots of beautiful Columbus (except for one deadbeat store).

Finally the sun is in the right place and Mr. Photog tells the guy with the walkie talkie to roll'm and the three cars turn the corner about the same times the lights change and all sorts of traffic runs down the street.

Well - being the groupie and having a huge camera envy thing going on (his is MUCH bigger then mine) I ask if I can jump in front of the cars to slow them down and he say's YEA - he would really like me to jump in front of the cars. SWEET!!! They LIKE me!!


It's about 9:30 now and getting traffickie but the sun is wonderful. He (I think his name was Todd) lays down in the middle of the highway and the picture cars turn the corner. I am in the middle of the street with arms raised stopping traffic. Except one car does not understand the universal sign of STOP I'M IN YOUR WAY and decides that because there is a guy in HER lane with arms outstretched saying STOP, it actually means that the OTHER lane is probably empty so she starts to GO AROUND ME!

WHAT THE FUCK!

I slide into HER new lane leaving the original lane empty of a human speed bump. I'm hoping the drivers behind her are at least slowing down so they can call 911 when she wakes up and pulls back into the original lane BUT NOW I think she is trying to pass on the OTHER side but she is just maneuvering her two ton Chevy so she is all like "OH - I did not understand the arms raised deal, so sorry."

This is Todd doing scrunches to get in shape for the next shot.
These guys are so in shape!

The guys got their shots and I saved the life of a photographer. No thanks needed, we do that you know, it's part of the job.

Notice the rumble seat** on Car #1.
Cool . . no it really was cool - they were shivering.

** also called a dickey seat. Rumble is short for rumble-tumble which I suppose is what would happen if the car tipped over.

"this type of seating became largely obsolete in the mid-1930s when cars became too fast and streamlined for the comfort of passengers in such a seat. Their popularity was further diminished by the frequent injuries, including decapitation that sometimes occurred in accidents."

Can you imagine a rumble seat going down the interstate at 80?

I took this while waiting for something to happen

and this


After that was over I had some breakfast and took off to the train station for the 1:00 train. I got there about 12:15 and hung out until 1:00 when Rod (the station authority) came out and said the train was an hour behind! Awesome. hmmmmmmm

Finally I had my train and I asked Rod (the one that is not me) if it would be possible to not let the train run over me as DJ would be mad. He said he would TRY!!

Talk about a rush! I'm laying on the tracks, the engine is rumbling and rumbling and I'm just hoping everybody did not get on and the engineer did not forget about me. It's not like he can see me!

I survived.
============================
DAMN IT.

I had a big piece on our Dog Guard when MS WORD freaked out for some unexplained reason and BAM - my WORD page is now blank and the UNDO is all gray! AAAAGH!!!!

As any of you know once you write a blog and it disappears it is hard to recreate it. Perhaps tomorrow. I'll talk about Blake screaming like a little girl as he hits THE ZONE but he is fine and actually thought it was great fun. And Milo finding a hole in the network but learning NOT to go near The ZONE.

Damn - I just found it - well - tomorrow!!!

Have a wonderful Monday
Rod (the one that is me).