Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Long Long Title Books RULE

Yesterday I took some vacation time and was honored to attend and photogize some events at the Bethel Lutheran Homeless Book Club. The event was for the book clubs latest book "Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II". The author, Robert Kurson made a special trip to Madison to speak to the book club.

I wish I would have asked why why why would he have such a long title for a book!  This is a record for me as the longest title of a book that I have ever read (or started to read). Before Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II came along,  the longest title for a book I had read was  "In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors" the book DJ's dad is in.

Perhaps I will make it a habit to only read books with greater then 50 consonants in the title.

ANYWAY - after hearing Robert speak (and not having read the book) I quickly went to the Cbus Public Library and checked the book out because it's not only a true story but fascinating. It's about two deep sea divers finding an unrecorded  WWII Germain U-boat just off the New Jersey shore and how they pieced the puzzle together. There was no record of this sub or who these sailors (mostly Germain teenagers) were. 

It was just another coup for the bookclub as it was their second best selling author to talk to them.  Actually I don't like using the work "homeless" as people tend to to think "homeless" means destitute or the beggars on the square.  As one guy put it yesterday, maybe "houseless" would be a better term.

Anyway - typically I would not post this but I just really liked this person and her smile, even while homeless and suffering some pretty bad everyday life problems she has a great smile.

This is Laurie. 

 Sure, a number of the houseless people are not up and up citizens of the community but that does not mean that they are not deep down good people.  They do what they have to to survive in a world that you and me don't really understand or even know less about.  Just finding a place to sleep every night is an ordeal.

So back to Kurson. He drove up from Chicago with his son (the one that is looking at me wondering why this homeless dude has a big camera . . . or is he just trying desperately to stay awake?) and talking about his adventures and how his very first book became a best seller and is being made into a movie as we speak.
So if you you are looking for something to read this gets pretty high marks on Amazon.

Look out for the Brewers - June 2010 is the first winning month since May 2009.  And don';t look now but Prince Fielder is one behind the League leader for HR's.  Also in the last 20 games the Brewers Pitchers are hitting .297, have a .350 on base pct AND are slugging .514  LOL

The team ERA is 3.64 and they are 12-8 and lead the divisions (for the last 20 games).
GRRRRRR - I have a phot oin my camera that I was sort of excited to look at - but when I call it up I het SORRY - UNEXPECTED END OF FILE OCCURED!!


I did rescue ONE shot and as I was working on it a tad I came up with a couple different variations and now I'm confused which one I like best!  So . . . I combined the two!  Of course this is all in low defination so I'll have to start all over if I want to blow this up. 


BTW - if you have a mortgage over 5.5% I would seriously think about refinancing as rates are near ALL TIME lows at 4.6%.   We are looking into the F&M Union Bank in Columbus hoping to keep the money local.  The PROBLEM with the  F&M Union Bank is that they do not give you a hint of what the rates are for mortgages which sort of bugs me a little as I can not watch them on a daily basis like other banks! 

People don't need exact numbers but we do need some way to gauge what the rates are doing. I have to look at OTHER banks sites which to me is not good for business, having to go to a competitor for information on interest rates.

just sayin'

How to Prevent Your Cart from Driving Over a Cliff

A California man fell to his death after driving his golf cart down a twenty-foot embankment and over a sheer rock cliff. He was on the second hole at Pala Mesa Resort Golf Course when he lost control of the golf cart and drove over the raised concrete curb designed to prevent golfers from driving off of cliffs. He was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Look for Warning Signs

Most golf courses with sheer cliffs have warning signs that specifically point out the areas of relevance. Look for one that says something like "DANGER – 100 FOOT CLIFF AHEAD. DO NOT ENTER!" and steer the golf cart in the opposite direction.

Save Yourself
If you do find yourself in a golf cart that is headed for a cliff, do not remain in the cart. Dive out of the golf cart immediately and try to roll as soon as you hit the ground

Limiting your playing to golf courses that are flat and void of cliffs and ravines will greatly increase your odds of survival.

Have a nice hump day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gulity Pleasures + How to Avoid Being Eaten by an Alligator on a Golf Course

We all have guilty pleasures, we just don't admit to people that we have them. Be it SpaghettiOs or Vienna Sausages or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or non-scripted television shows (notice I did not call them reality shows) like Survivor, Big Brother and so forth. I'm sure you can name a couple guilty pleasures.

Well - this summer for lack of anything better to do on Monday night DJ and I watched the first episode of The Bachelorette simply because the star Ali Fedotowsky had caught our attention from other shows. She was drop dead pretty, had a personality  and for some awful reason felt she needed to be on TV in order to find a husband.

Anyway - the show was more interesting then we anticipated. Unlike The Bachelor where you have 14 woman cat fighting and playing dirty and just trying to have sex with the guy so he would pick her you have 14 hunky guys that for the most part are acting like "normal" polite guys trying to merry one outstanding woman.

Well - Insecurity runs rampant!

In fact at this point the one guy that Ali IS falling in lust with is SO insecure that I believe he dumps her because he loves her too much in later shows.

Yea - this guy has been on Ali's radar from the first show. DJ says "look at how she looks at him when they are together". Then last night she said something on their 1 on 1 date and DJ says "those are key words she just said, he's the guy that wins".

PROBLEM!!! He is so afraid of getting hurt, even though he PROBABLY would be the winner that he will eventually (I guessing here) explode because he can not stand her continuing to see the other contestants (as the rules say).

You can't just say "OK, I found my guy, shows over". SO - he dumps her.

There are a lot of really REALLY terrible non-scripted shows on TV. MOST dating shows are complete trash, but I have to say that The Bachelorette belongs with Survivor, and Amazing Race as non-scripted shows that actually have some interesting things going on.

For one thing it is discussed WHY Ali can't find a man in the first place. She is human and as all humans has a personality flaw where she has problems trusting men. She seems to feel that men are only after one thing and a real relationship can't happen.

Now you will say that it ain't gonna happen on TV but if you look statistically at it it's really no different then OFF TV marriages. Marriages do happen on these shows and they DO stay married (40% success rate so far).

The Bachelor is different - I believe one man picking a real relationship between 14 sexy woman all of which are using their bodies whether on purpose or not - is not a fair way to start a marraige.
OF COURSE - if you want to see the real action from last night - check out Ali confronting the coward Justin after he is caught of having TWO other girl friends! Want to see a guy swinging from a hook  LOL BUSTED!!

ANYWAY - enough - I needed to get that Ali stuff out of my head.
We all know golf courses are death traps.  I had a neighbor that fell dead at Yahara while putting and DJ is always worried when I golf at Yahara now - HOWEVER - there are other hidden dangers on golf courses and in the next fea days I will list them and how to stay away from the danger and what to do IF you are IN danger. 

How to Avoid Being Eaten by an Alligator on a Golf Course

Alligators on the golf course can be extremely dangerous. Bruce Burger of Venice, FL found this out the hard way — he was pulled into a pond when an 11-foot alligator chomped on his right arm. Bruce was playing the 6th hole at Lake Venice Golf Course when he reached into the pond to retrieve his ball. He used his golf club to beat the alligator, which eventually let him go.

SO - how can you avoid this?

Throw Marshmallows

Most people already know: ALLIGATORS LOVE MARSHMALLOWS! This is why they are drawn to your golf ball when it lands in the water. Make sure to carry plenty of marshmallows in your golf bag. I prefer the Jet Puffed brand because they are easy to throw, but any kind will work.

Before getting too close to the edge of the bank, begin throwing marshmallows into the part of the lake as far from your golf ball as possible. If you are playing with a partner, make sure to work together. Have your partner throw marshmallows while you look for your lost golf ball.

Important Note: Do not try this on a crocodile. Crocodiles are immune to the lure of sugary treats.

Hold Mouth Closed

Alligators bite with force of 1200 lbs. per square inch, but they are very weak when it comes to opening their mouths. If an alligator attacks you while you are reaching into the water, simply wrestle him on to the shore, jab him in the eyes with whatever you can get your hands on, e.g. a green tool, a beer can, your nine iron, your thumb, etc.

When he releases his bite, immediately remove any articles of clothing, or appendages from his mouth and then try to maneuver yourself onto the alligator's back.

Important Note: If you are working with a partner, make sure your partner DOES NOT begin throwing marshmallows into the center of the lake while you are on top of the alligator.


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Columbus 4th of July Celebration is Nigh

The big question is can we make it a whole day without rain?  So far we have had rain 16 of the 27 days this month and in Columbus we have had 7.82 inches of rain.

Here is some odd facts. I was comparing Columbus to Madison and Madison is about 1 degree warmer on average then Columbus. But Columbus receives 0.7 inches of rain more the Madison.  In July the record High in Madison is 107 while the record High in Columbus is 98!

Anyway - I think we're pretty much done with rain in June and we are in for a nice stretch of weather, at least until the remnants of Hurricane Alex hit us the first part of NEXT week. So you better run down to Caldwell Lumber and pick up your plywood.  Maybe they will be having a sale.  I checked out Pic-N-Save yesterday and it already looked like people were buying provisions.

Speaking of wind - many people slept through it  but Friday night/Saturday morning after the rain came through there was a HELL of a lot of wind.  My anemometer which measures wind has been on the fritz ever since a bolt of lightning got rather close but I searched around for other stations and most had straight line winds up to 50mph that morning.

I had one damaged plant, a butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) that took a hit but - I cry not for that thing - weed is the correct word and if not for it being a Monarchs version of a Filet Mignone (not unlike a Burning Bush being a Filet Mignone for bunnies) I would not have it in my garden.  And by Monarch I mean the butterfly, not Queen Elizabeth.  I would not want to look outside and see Queen Elizabeth munching on my butterfly weed.
Well, maybe it would be sort of cool. Certainly blog worthy.

OH - those butterflies you are seeing lately are Admiral Butterfly's.  We have had a few of them that think our yellow house is a giant flower or something as they just fly around annoying Sierra all day. They eat sap flows on trees (such as linden trees (also called basswood) which are blooming now) , fermenting fruit, and bird droppings and only visit flowers when these are not available.

Too bad because my clay garden is in 95% full bloom now.  I've been trying to get a nice photo of the Shasta daises with little to show for it.  I just can't get what is in my brain.  I liked that photo I had on the blog last week but as with many things, when I did that photo I was not intending it to be  . . . so good. So it's in low def and I'm trying to recreate it. Same with the Rainy Day in Madison photo. Never intended it to be so nice.

Anyway - here is one photo of the garden I took yesterday - my buddy Elweed hates these- he is more into the EXACT look of a flower - not some sort of artsy fartys photo.

And one more of my coreposis - I like the tiny bee in the center.


 The 4th of July is Nigh!  

Nigh? What the heck is nigh anyway - it's not like we're saying keystrokes!

So the schedule of the big weekend is here and all kicks off on Thursday night at Firemans Park with Billy Karaoke and "Local performers can take the stage and display their talents in front of everyone?"

So . . . . I guess we could not find anybody for Thursday night!  It also sounds rather  . . . porno-ish!

Friday night is MUCH better with The New Invaders   a rather good 60's tribute band COMPLETE WITH GO GO DANCERS!  They have performed with Eric Burdon, The Animals. The Grass Roots and Country Joe and The Fish.  From what I have seen they are pretty pretty good.   Performing 7:30 to 9:30 Friday Night.  e

Saturday 2 to 5:00 Jesse Walker and his country band is on stage. He won THE BEST COUNTRY ALBUM in the Madison Area in 2004.

Saturday night rock out with 76 Juliet  GET READY TO DANCE!!  7:30 to 11:30  There website sort of sucks and they are apologizing for it on their sucky website. Looks like a new one will be up soon.

Sunday after the Parade is Neil Diamond and the crooners! (Diamonds and Martinies).  2:30 to 6:30 and then back to country with Cross Country Junction 7:30 to 11:30.

It's like a mini free Summer Fest! 

AND OF COURSE - The best fireworks in south eastern Columbia County!!! So seriously - I have to think it is one of the best in Wisconsin. No HUGE crowds and I have been completely impressed every time I see them.

I have ore but - my time is up!

Have a Monday


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Clay Garden Takes Off

Have I mentioned that there is a KURTH Reunion this Friday and a fare thee well to Suz who is single handily (actually DOUBLE handily) going to save California from themselves.

I'm a LITTLE ticked off at DIRECT TV.  I was watching the Brewers last night and with two outs in the top of the ninth, leading by 2, a guy on 2nd and 2 strikes on the batter, DIRECT TV see's it's 10:30 and shuts off the game.  FU - FOXNET or DIRECT or CLEANING PERSON that pulled the plug.


No rain last night - OH there was a line of storms heading our way for sure. But they sort of broke up 20 miles away AND THEN formed again on the other side of Columbus!  That same line forced the Brewers to close the roof last night and MAN - I bet it was sticky in that stadium. I've been there when that happens and it is like walking into your house on a warm day with all the windows closed and no ventilation! 

The "storm" had just passed and I had just walked across the golf course and let a mouse go that Milo and Sierra had been stalking. Wednesday night we let Milo out as I new it was going to storm and he would not go far. Well, during the height of the storm he is crying to come in. I get up and let him in and go back to bed.

But wait . . . . .what is Milo and Sierra doing making all that clatter.  OH MAN . . .he must of had a mouse!  Well, I guess they will get it sooner or later.  So last evening they are both acting like pointer dogs looking under the stove.  I manage to capture the little mouse with ease (no wonder lumbering Milo could catch him) and I released him a hundred yards away on the other side of the course. Hey - I gave him a chance to correct his life and start over.

Milo is catching at least a  mouse a day now when he gets outside (he has learned to open a sliding screen door if we do not lock it) and I have a new routine. He has a password he must repeat "No Mouse in the Mouth".  Actually I have a flash light and I shine it at him like a cop! Then yell  DROP IT DROP IT before I let him in.  as long as he is not disguised as a UPS driver I should be OK. .    

I was accepted into another Art Fair in Green Lake Sept 25-26. Suppose to be a good one.

Speaking of flowers - my Clay Garden has taken off.   I took this photo of a Shasta Daisy 3 days ago but now everything has changed.

I was walking the yard pulling weeds (I get a certain satisfaction out of pulling weeds) and my Clay Garden has really come alive. I will use June 23 as the bloom date for this Garden this year.  The next photo was taken last night. No massive setting up with tripods or anything - click and shoot and hope it's in focus. 

Just so you have an idea of what the Clay Garden actually is this is a point and shoot shot of it. I call it the Clay Garden as it is pretty thick clay and all the plants are clay lovers. Threadleaf Coreopsis, Day Lilies, Shasta Daisies, Coral Bell Huchera, Purple Cone Flowers (not blooming yet), Blue Wonder Catmint, East Friesland Salivia and two other things I can remember at the moment.

OH YEA -Stinging Nettle. I was not REALLY sure if it was Stinging Nettle until it rubbed against my arm. then I was pretty darn sure. 

No blog tomorrow - I'll be on the course at 7:05 IN THE MORNING celebrating balderdash's bday on the course!

Looks like lawn mowing night tonight . more rain off and on Saturday and Sunday AND THEN - CLEAR for as long as they can see . . . . probably go into a drought!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who's Will Stop the Rain! Rain Rain Go Away

Don't forget - KURTH Reunion this Friday and a fare thee well to Suz.

Good Grief. Did it rain last night? I thought I heard the PITTER PATTER of billions and billions of tiny rain drops! What! - from like 1:30 to 6:00? AND don't worry - we ain't done yet even though it looks like we are in a weather bubble at the moment. .

The atmosphere is still rather ripe as the storms are  now feeding on their own rain from the previous storm.  I suspect I'm not golfing tonight as the finale'  should be occurring this afternoon and my gut feeling is it will be not unlike LAST night!

Speaking of last night, Columbus had 1.47 inches of rain.  Of the 23 days in June we have had rain in 14 of those days for a total of 6.49 inches.   And you wonder why your yard needs mowing every other day now?
My clematis is literally growing 5 inches a day.

The Bachelorette - I typically do not watch the dating reality shows - too much bickering, fighting and normally I just do not like the people. But somehow I started watching this years Bachelorette and it is hilarious!

This one guy who mumbles a lot and is SO needy and says he will be CRUSHED if he is not picked. He loves Ali SO MUCH he goes out and gets a tattoo on his wrist to show just how much he loves her. But he does not have a chance to show her . . yet.

So he has his big date with Ali and in the interview before the date Ali says "All Kasey has to do to get this weeks rose is to act normal". They are on a date in Iceland on that volcano.

WELL - he is proclaiming his undieing love for her saying he will never change and will protect her and yada yada yada and then pulls out his tattoo. WHOA!!!!!   You can see Ali's shock and she makes a joke and leans away from him a little. Bye Bye Kasey!

The last we see is Ali in the helicopter taking off and Kasey is all alone on the volcano waving good bye and fading into the scenery. It was a scream.

NEXT week we see that one guy  has not one but TWO other girlfriends (I know who it is - not surprising) and we see what Ali is like when she is VERY VERY angry!

Seriously - I don't like dating shows but once you get into all the personalities it's pretty entertaining. Will I watch the next? Probably not - HEY - Big Brother is on soon! I should get on that show!
OH ON - if you check out my weather station - I will call it SATANS WEATHER STATION

When the lightning struck nearby check out the Current Temp, the tame 24 hours ago, the dew point and wind chill.

have a good day.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

KURTH - Say Good Bye to Suz Night

Well - pretty exciting last night- I love my iPhone. I have an app on my phone and as we were watching a recorded show it was getting a little dark. So I flipped on the radar but instead of the normal rain I was looking at Base Velocity. This measures the motion of the storm.

I noticed that near Edgerton there seemed to be a lot of circular motion and I told DJ to turn on the real TV to see what was happening.

On flips Channel 27 and Bob Lindlier hyperventilating looking at "street view" and talking about twigs and stem damage on neighborhood trees. Bob is about to pass out so we turn to Charlie Shortino from Channel 15 and luckily he was not on as he would say it was sunny out, but David George, who scares me because he has to first names, was there and in STORM MODE! He seems to have it together.  Best weather dude out there.

We all survived as the weather bubble once again diverted the strong storms south of Columbus.

In case you do not know about Grinders Weather Bubble. The first documented appearance was on the very first day of filming Public Enemies. It was a cold day and the forecast was for rain.  I called up the weather bubble and we were saved.

Of course the problem came when I did not know that this caused the June floods.


SUZ is leaving for California so we are thinking of a KURTH party THIS Friday night to say so long to Suz.

We can reminisce about the good old days and laugh at some of her most candid remarks . . such as . .


and one of my favorites
and remember that one time she said
and when she came back from Green Bay a little calmer and changed her license plate to

But the kicker was at a Packer shareholder luncheon as she hoisted a frothy mug and said with that sly smile.

Ted,  if I ever pass you in California and you are laying there dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water. I would let the vultures take you and do whatever they want with you with no ill regrets.

We will all miss Suz.

I hope many people can make it Friday. Should be good weather!

Speaking of weather - the atmosphere is pretty juicy but I feel the BIG blows will be tomorrow afternoon. Late tonight my feeling is that the atmosphere will be cooled down enough and storms will go south. But tomorrow afternoon will be pretty dicey!

And last - to continue the Sue Hawk Survivor vent -  I can not resist!

I plead to the jury tonight to think a little bit of the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is full of, pretty much, only two things - snakes and rats. And in the end of Mother Nature, we have Ted Thompson The Snake, who knowingly went after prey; and Bret Favre, who turned into the rat that ran around like rats do in Wisconsin, trying to run from the snake. I believe we owe it to the Wisconsin spirits we have come to know to let it end in the way that Mother Nature intended: For the snake to eat the rat.

Have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, June 21, 2010


FIRST OF ALL - I, in no way, wished to make people angry at the Columbus Carriage Classic. You know me - I'm like Tofu, I just take on the flavor of whatever is around me at the moment my fingers hit the keyboard.  I have a very small finger filter.

Driving past the CCC this weekend I saw a lot of cars in fantastic weather and I was happy. Next year no one will even remember that the CCC was a free and all will be good.

I also want to congratulate Josh who received or will receive his official Black Helmet for the Columbus Fire Department which I believe makes him a full blown Firefighter although there are a lot of different classifications. It's really interesting to learn about all the little nuances of being not only a firefighter but a rescue artist.

Congrats Josh.

There is a LOT that goes on that people sort of take for granted in the Fire Department.Hell, some of the stories just in training make me shrink.

Just for information the Columbus Fire Department was organized on October 26th 1877 and now has 40 members when at full strength.

HAPPY LONG DAY!! As you all know today is the longest day of the year. But don't worry, tomorrow is only 3 seconds shorter. So at some point tomorrow, take a 3 seconds break and REALLY enjoy it.

Oddly because of the wobble of the earth sunrise and sunset are not in unison. In fact last Thursday was the earliest sunrise and we have already lost one minute, but, the sun will set at 8:41 for the next 13 days. During this time we will lose 5 minutes of morning sun.

SO - it's all good! It's the sunset we hate to see going away right?

The pop corn girl in Madison - part of my The Square Carts Series.




Friday my regular coffee group was coming back from getting coffee and we were talking about the thunderstorms from the previous night (orange sky, rainbows and so forth).

There was a woman/girl ahead of us (with my advanced age I'm having a problems on what to call 30 year old's now . . young adult?, old kid?  tweener?)   ANYWAY she is a ways ahead of us and we're talking.

I'm explaining how Blake is going deaf and does not hear thunder that much anymore and we enter our building.  We walk down the stairs and I comment he just will not come out of the closet.

Then my redneckish friend comments that Lenny (his dog) jumped into bed with him last night. At that point the woman sort of turns around  a little and looks at us in a funny way.

I'm the only one that noticed and as she goes through the door I say STOP STOP.  The two friends stop and look at me and I say "did you see what just happened?"  I can see the wheels turning and I repeat what Tim said "Lenny jumped into bed with me last night".  They both immediately see the connection and Tim, my redneck friend, turns beet red and we're all laughing.  My friend (dog) won't come out of the closet and his friend (dog) jumped into bed with him.  


I felt I was on a Seinfeld episode and Tim was George  .Elweed will be Kramer,  DJ is Elaine. Oddly all my firneds are on shows.  WHO'S is Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation.  Here is WHO'S in action - if you have not seen this show and live in Columbus - it's an absolute must for people that live in small towns. SO SO true! 

Another friend that is in a TV show is my buddy Todd from the Carriage Works.  He is David Wallace from The Office. As we all know David is the sane one when it comes to Dundar Mifflin and is always having to deal with the buffoonery (the town of Columbus) which is all happening around him.


Lastly - has anyone else that watch's gas mileage noticed  a pronounced increase this year over last summer in mpg?   I'm getting about 50 miles per tank more then the same time last year.  I wonder if the ratio between gas and ethanol has changed this summer? 

Have a great Monday - watch out for storms later today around 6ish

PS - anyone that has this emailed to them having problems with photos going over the words? 


Friday, June 18, 2010

Under Glass - Suz is leaving the area - KURTH REUNION

FIRST NOTE - Suz is leaving for California (I think) and plans are in the works for a KURTH send away night Friday the 25th to say by to Suz and we all get a chance to smack her on the ass one last time.

So make plans and I'll have more info when I make it up!!

Of course at the end of her email she says she might not make it  - so . .the hell with her anyway! Let's party and smack each others asses instead. 

Sort of a disappointing thunderstorm last night. I woke up at 1:48 to lightning and rain smashing the side of the house. I looked at the radar and saw a giant red blob from Columbus to Lacrosse. After the initial onslaught there was a calm and the radar had a hole. The rest would start up soon.

Nothing - it all vanished!! 0.16 inches of rain. The first of the 1-2 punch was over.  Left hook came and went, a glancing blow. This afternoon we will have round two, the upper cut, coming from the south west, maybe around 3:00ish.

So I've been playing with a new . .thingy with photographs.  I've been calling it Under Glass. I've had a number of photos that while nice are just missing something that would draw people into the scene.  Nice enough by themselves but missing . . .something.

So while playing around I started experimenting.

This photo was taken on Gaston road north of Cottage Grove a couple of years ago.  It was near 100 degrees that day and I had a long sleeve shirt and pants on. DJ was in the car with the AC running.  I had driven past this field after golf a number of times and had stored the field in my memory banks. 

That day we had to deliver something to a friend of DJs that lives on that road and I noticed those clouds. I mentioned that we should drive up the road about a mile as I wanted to see something.

As luck would have it those tracks were perfect! The clouds were as I had hoped and I got out and started sweating and taking photos.

Call me daffy but I like it.

SO - yesterday I was in the hallway and a guy I do not know comes up to me and sort of angrily starts talking about the Columbus Carriage Classic charging $5 a day.  I say "WHAT?  No they would not do that, that's crazy."

But upon further investigation . . they ARE.

OK - I can see their point. They want more money but this is certainly NOT the way to do it.  I feel they over estimated what they have.  Yes - it's a very very good show if you are really that interested in horse and buggies. In fact it's one of the best in the States.

The problem is that there is nothing else there!  So while they get people watching it's more of a past time, do they really want to spend $5 a day?   I loved watching the horses in that beautiful park, but do I want to spend $5?  Not really.

Being a super genius at self promotion and promotion in general (I would have been a great snake oil salesmen) they went about this in the wrong way and I feel charging $5 will do more harm then good.

There is a MUCH better way.

When I was on GRABAAWR, a 500 mile bike adventure, farm families would put up little stands and sell bananas and other healthy food for the thousands of bikers that would ride by.  One day a group of us road up for a little break and a kid was selling bananas for $1 each.   He had a little glass jar and there were dollars in it but not enough to retire on yet.

As we road off we all commented that $1 was too much for a banana, they were greedy.

25 miles down the road we stopped at another little stand.  This kid also had bananas. But those bananas were 10 cents.  You know what happened don't you. HIS jar was packed full of dollars as bikers would give him $2 for being nice!!

That is what CCC should have done.  Instead of charging $5 a person and making people angry because it just looks like greed!  They should have charged $2 and a sign saying any donations would be a big help.  I bet you their jar would have been full!  People would feel they helped and THEY would feel good.

That is the trick to making money. Make the person who is paying feel good about paying extra!

But - who listens to me anyway. LOL


I'm sort of laughing at the Senator from Texas that apologized to BP for how Obama forced them to pay up and take responsibility.  Poor Poor BP having to take shit from Obama.  I'm sure we all feel sorry for them.  Well, at least the Texas Senator feels sorry for BP.


On this date the War of 1812 began.  It started in 1812 and there is a pretty good Overture called  . . you guessed it, the 1812 Overture.

This is significant because it was this piece that turned my head to classical music.  Any music that can have actual canon firing, when you are an 8 year old kid, is pretty darn cool. It was at that point that I decided I wanted to play in an orchestra and for the next 15 years I played cello (it was more manly then a violin or viola). 1st chair my entire career . . until I was in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony.

Sadly, I never got to play the 1812 Overture.

Oddly the 1812 Overture has nothing to do with the War of 1812. The 1812 Overture is all about Napoleon being defeated by the Russians in Waterloo on this date in 1815. You did not know those dudes just south of Columbus were Russians did you!  ME neither!!  yea - makes you wonder about TREK now don't it!  

While the 1812 Overture has nothing at all to do with America it seems to be a staple on the 4th of July. It's the canon.  We Americans love a good shelling! 

Also on this date in 1778 the British abandoned Philadelphia. Sometimes I think America should abandon   Philadelphia.  Talk about a town with just a little too much testosterone. Ever watch an Eagle game? Ever see any woman in the stands?  Check it out next time. Oh, there are a few . . probably gay.   NOT THAT THAT IS A BAD THING.

am I in trouble now? 

I better stop.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Round Well Played

It was another weird day yesterday. Meaning there seemed to be no wetness touching my skin when I ventured outdoors!  It was a little disconcerting.

Thus with no rain OR lightning we golfed and my hot streak continued.  I play league at Door Creek and I used to HATE that place. For some reason I was just never comfortable but this year I have renewed confidence (meaning I can get off the tee) and am having a great year.  Although . . . I did have one bad shot off the tee.  It was the #5 short Par 3 over water.   It was only 120 yards and I bombed my tee shot 20 yards.

Well - THAT first 20 yards is out of the way.  My second shot of 100 yards landed 10 feet from the hole and I drained the putt for a par. That was how my night went when things went bad.

The very next hole (I did not realize this until now) my tee shot boomed 230 yards and left and I was under a tree.  I punched out disgustedly and then hit a WONDERFUL 7 wood onto the green and 2 putted.

The golf gods are smiling at me AT THE MOMENT!!  OH - when I get this feeling it's never good as the golf gods tend to knock you down pretty fast.

Anyway - I'll take low net for the 2nd week in a row in league.


I was going to apply for an Art Fair in Lake Mills in August. I ask the contact person if there were any openings and she said maybe - HOWEVER - she looked at my web site and warned me that the Jury was really anti digital manipulation as they considered it cheating and not really art and that several artists had been rejected because of this.

WELL - if it is one thing I can totally be accused of is digital manipulating.  In fact I think 100% of what I do is digital manipulation.   Don't get me started on this archaic thinking but this is not the first time this problem has come up as there a number of fairs that are anti-digital.

Anyway - I was in the clubhouse last night and spotted an image so I ran to my car to get my DIGITAL camera and snapped a few shots.  Then I cheated and manipulated them.  STICK IT, LAKE MILLS!

And BTW - I'm just seeing what works and what doesn't here.  There seems to be two factions when it comes to my window box photos.  Some who like it and some who don't get it. That's fine! No worries.

I can't see what this really looks like as I'm still on my 6 inch 1970 green screen monitor and have not gotten my NEW duel 19 inch flat screen monitors!    


So the gardens are coming along but I had this flower in the middle that at first I though was a weed but then it had such pretty flowers . . . . did I plant this??  What is it? 

Then last night as I was looking into the weeds next to the golf course I spotted my flower.  hmmmmmm it would be weird if I had planted a flower that I can find in the weeds next to a golf course.

It's called Solanum dulcamara or bittersweet. It's not a good thing. While pretty now but it will climb over everything up top 4 feet high. Then it will have berries that are VERY POISONOUS. Human death's while rare have occurred. I have to wonder how many berry's those dead guys ate.

This reminded me of what happened yesterday. I was looking up kinds of Salvia as they had 4 for $1 at the Farmers market. So I googeled and one guy on a forum as "Can I smoke Salvia, I just purchased a bunch of seeds).

Dude you can smoke anything you want.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My First WOW Piece and my thoughts on BP.

Sautuday, as you all know I was at the Sun Prairie Art Fair and as soon as 1:00 rolled around the crowds seem to drop off. Of course it was because of the World Cup right? Well, maybe not. But anyway as luck would have it I did not have to miss the two goals scored and the one big brain fart by the England goalie.

It's all right here in Lego form.


I think I might start offering note cards at Art Fairs. I was asked by Sharrow Drug to do note cards but the logistics and price points made it more of a hassle then anything else. I'm still looking into this as half the Art Fair people hate note cards and half love them.  Making conversation for a $3 sale over and over can be wearing.  One thing I learned is that the question "How did you do that" needs to be answered 30 times an hour.  Sort of wears you down a little.  Art Fairs are not physically tiring but more mentally tiring. 

With that said I have been working on a major piece - my vision would be this would be on a 30x46 Gallery Wrapped canvas.  I'm combining two images into one.  

Of course this being SO LARGE that I can't actually MAKE one because it costs to much.  I'll just have to have a demo of it.  I can also sell this in two pieces that would go together or separately on their own!

The funny thing is that this image was SO large that I could not save the finished product because I did not have enough RAM in my computer LOL

Have you heard about that dude that was cleaning his boiler in his furnace and got his arm stuck?  He was there for like 2 days and could not move. So, what did he do?  He asked himself  "What would MacGyver do?"   Well, he figured MacGiver would saw off his arm, stick it in a freezer, call 911 and they would reattach it once he was rescued.

He was rescued and he could only cut half his arm off because of the pain.  The thing is that his efforts actually did save his life. Once the rescuers arrived they had to cut the rest of his arm off and the hospital said that sepsis (another name for blood poisoning) was setting in.

And all this because he had dropped a vacuum cleaner attachment and was reaching to get it.

What's this brightness in the sky??????    We have had 4 sunny days this month and 12 of days of rain!!  How's the grass in your yard look, rather tall?    Our average high is 3.4 degrees below normal so far this month. Columbus and Madison were in the 0.70 inches of rain area but many places near us had 2+ inches yesterday.

Speaking of the oil spill.

I'm not blaming BP at all on the oil spill because I bet if ANY, of the Oil Companies had this accident the results would have been the same. No one was prepared. The actual BAD thing about the accident is not the accident but the lack of being prepared how to handle the accident.  Drilling is NOT the bad thing, mishandling the accident is the real crime here.

The thing that is asked is how could this have happened in the first place. Sadly I can understand totally how it happened.

It's not that the Oil Companies are evil and careless.  It just that there is SO much competition and it's all a risk/reward thing.  For years and years the companies are forced to choose between risk and reward. The problem came when their risk always worked.  They had to many victories. To many times they tossed the risk dice and it worked. 

It's like speeding up when a yellow light flashes on - it's risk vs. reward, run the yellow light and hope no one is coming the other way.  You have never had a major problem in the past right?  But it's still a risk.

The oil companies ran that yellow light over and over and never had a major problem so why not run THIS yellow light.

BAM!!  A car t-bones BP. 

So while many people are all upset at oil company carelessness I can see how they got careless. It's still wrong to be careless but think about it, every time you run a yellow light you are risking your LIFE that no one is coming the other way.  Most of the time you win!

So while some are saying stop drilling I say drill but make sure you have a back up plan for accidents. not any of the  "geez, now what do we do" crap that seems to be what happened.   It's not BP - I have to think that if ANY of those oil companies had a solution they would have come forward and be a hero.  But none did did they.

I bet they do now!  


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

News You Can Abuse - Oh God

Anybody watching the Bachelorette?  You can tell who the winner will be - Watch to see what guys come down with horrific colds!  Then you will know who got close LOL   

A 62 foot tall Statue of Jesus (nicknamed The Touchdown Jesus) was struck and destroyed by lightning in Ohio yesterday!

I find this a little disconcerting when Jesus is struck down by lighting.

In other news State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Nebraska is suing God.  Chambers said God has "made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants".

The court told Chambers last week that his lawsuit may be dismissed because he had failed to serve notice on God. Chambers acknowledged that failure in court last Tuesday while sitting a few feet away from an empty table reserved for God and God's attorney. 

There has been no word from the God camp on this subject.  However if I were Chambers I would be worried about the next thunderstorm.

In St Austell, Cornwall (wherever that is) Sheila and Richard Woolhouse were stunned when they were taking off wallpaper in their house and THE BABY JESUS wrapped in linen appeared!! 


OK - nuff of that - DJ had a brilliant idea. She has this huge purse that she really likes but it's sort of a black hole.  Things get lost and one time our dog Blake was missing and he ended up in her purse.

So I said she should make compartments for the purse, but, she said they have that already.  SO, why not make a purse that you can PUT IN YOUR BIG PURSE.

I can hear the advertising already!  WE WILL PUT A NEW PURSE INTO YOUR OLD PURSE!!  Then all you have to do is take the inside purse out and put it in your other BIG purse!!   BRILLIANT!!
 Tonight for sky watchers there will be an event worth looking at at sunset . . . .IF there are no clouds!   Venus and the slender crescent Moon gather for a beautiful twilight conjunction - get your cameras out!

On this date in 1832 General Winfield Scott was ordered to assume command in the Black Hawk War in Wisconsin. He took over command from General Henry Atkinson (name sake for my home town of Fort Atkinson) who was unable to kill Indians fast enough!

General Scott moved quickly to recruit more Indian killers and had an extra 800 recruited in New York. One small problem, the troops were exposed to an Asiatic cholera. The first case appeared near Buffalo. By the time the troop ship reached Chicago only 150 solders were left due to disease and desertion.

This gave Henry more time and a reprieve. So I suppose my home town is called Fort Atkinson because of Asiatic choler. Otherwise it would be Fort Scott.


1895 8th Grade Exam.

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA .. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal..

There are five parts

Grammar (Time, one hour)
Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
Orthography (Time, one hour)
Geography (Time, one hour)

Since many of you take GREAT joy in correcting my words I will start you with Grammar, remember - you have one hour.

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.

2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications

3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.

4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,' 'play,' and 'run'.

5. Define case; illustrate each case.

6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

There ya go - should be pretty easy!

Have a great day

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adults Are So Mean . . But It's So Funny

Hope y'all like the new look site.
Later in the show I have some photos of Caydence's first experience with Birthday Cake. Can you believe she is 1 year old? 

Also some news from my first outdoor Art Fair.

WELL - the first bit of news is that as of yesterday the world has fundamentally changed with that little discovery in Afghanistan. It probably will not be HUGE news but it's a long run BIG news for the world.   All of a sudden world leaders are sitting back and saying  whoa - let's sort of rethink Afghanistan.

In case you have not heard - Afghanistan could soon be rich with the discovery of $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and the big one lithium.  Now this sounds boring but this will make Afghanistan the one of the most important countries in the world for mining.

This is truly a game changer and will make Afghanistan like Saudi Arabia in wealth over time. Mark my words.  Look back in 10 years and tell me I was wrong. Not gonna happen. 

I was walking down State Street Friday going to UW Bookstore and was completely enjoying myself.  . I love the fact that there are so many different odors that waft from store to store. The Soap Opera carried me for almost a block and after that it seemed every open doorway had a different aroma. Even the bike shop brought back old memories from the past and sort of reminded me of a newspaper printer I had worked for in the past.

Booths of restaurateurs eating food that I had no clue what it was but if they were not looking I would grab a bite.  
I reached the bottom of State Street and managed to get past all the beggars and where were food carts everywhere.  

So I took a shot of the Hibachi Cart.  I'm working on a little project and today I'm going to try to meet with the Street Vending Coordinator of Madison.  I was told by the FIBS cart guy that I HAD to talk to him because he is writing a book about the carts and my shots would work well. 

This one COULD be a little bright - I don't have my good monitor yet (we're getting duel 19 inch flat screens today or tomorrow as opposed to a 1979 dark greenish screen I have now).

I purchased my portfolio thingy and started up State Street again.

I walked past more beggars (many actually but all harmless) making their $20 an hour and I came upon one guy that was beating some cans. I liked this guy as his girlfriend "God Blessed" me for tossing 35 cents into the can. I don't mind giving change to some people, it's not like I don't waste 35 cents in any particular day.

Here he is - I'll have to print one and take it to him

Sunday was the big Number 1 Year Birthday Party for Caydence, Josh and Jenny's happy little girl and she was a real trooper for the entire party, laughing and watching and having a great time (as far as I could tell).  All was going well and the present's were opened and she loved the paper and one really cool ball that all the adults all loved also and then came time for the birthday cake.

Jenny gave her a piece and just let her explore it. 

She was enjoying the frosting and the gooyness and all the adults were oooing and ahaaaing and making and so forth

And then things went horribly wrong

It was at this point when all the adults stopped ooooing and ahaaaing and in complete unison, broke out in giant guffawing laughter.  OH MY!!!!     

After the first 15 seconds the 30 adults regained their composer and were laughing at themselves for laughing an poor Caydence's. 

Josh came to the rescue and all was well in a little while and Caydence was all purple and smiley and gooey purple and enjoying herself again.


I had my first outdoor Art Fair Saturday and I am pretty happy with results. I learned a lot and am rethinking a few images. One woman said  "This looks like paint by numbers"  which taken out of context sounds bad . . . . . . wait . .even IN context it was not one of my high points!  LOL

But over all I have to think that was the ONLY negative-like comment.  In fact I have to say that I am very very happy with response (and sales).  I had some high school girls with their parents in the booth all asking questions and one said "That is what I want to do I love it" and she told me she was taking her first digital class next year. 

My booth - one couple really loved the booth itself and I offered to sell it to them . . .for a profit.  They looked at all the details and said it was so professional compared to the others.

Not to toot my own horn but one of the biggest compliments came from a guy  who was obviously totally bored. He was hanging back and then walked into the booth.   He came up to me and was looking at some of the canvas and he said  "My wife drags me around to all of these shows every weekend and I have to tell you, your work is the first I have seen that is actually different and interesting, well done".

WOW - that sort of pumped me up.  That was worth a sale right there. . . .well . . almost. 

I learned some things about some of the images. The Popcorn Cart and the Cows in the Field were huge attractions. No one purchased a large print of either of them but they had the most attention by FAR.  The problem is that they are not actually center pieces, so I'm thinking of a way to make them more marketable.  The panoramas were pretty much a loss.  People glanced but that was it.

So it's a learning experience, seeing what works and what does not - I LOVE the challenge!!  It's like a game. One thing - stay away from MOST pictures of Madison unless they are something different.

That my story.

Have a great Monday.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Ultimate Small Ball Brewers Win.

It's not on YouTube but you can see all the highlights it on the Brewer site.   Bottom of the tenth, no outs, Gomez, one of the fastest guys in the Majors pinch hits and walks (which is weird in itself). Craig Counsel bunts and Gomez instead of stopping at 2nd as a normal human, hits 2nd and puts on the afterburners heading towards third.  The 1st baseman see's this and instinctively throws the ball over the head of the third baseman. Brewers win.

When the Brewers obtained Gomez from Minnesota the Twins fans said he was a human highlight reel with his speed, if he could get on base. The guy had 3rd base even if the ball was not thrown away.  WOW!! 1st to 3rd on a bunt! THAT is a weapon.


There is a new comet heading our way that will be visible by the naked eye. Comet McNaught will be making it's first appearance ever and should be visible in the very early morning. Since comets are variable no one really knows WHAT it will look like so . . who knows!  it's looking good so far from what I have read.


The kid sailing around the world in her sailboat was an interesting story but nothing to get me all THAT interested . . . until I read her blog  Abby's Story.  All of a sudden a news story got personal.  The blog was written by her as she was sailing. Yesterday the blog was written by someone involved with her (parents?) and it sort of hit home. She is a real person and had real people worried about her.

It's weird how words can put a face on a news story.


I read something that has been with me in a weird way.  Yesterday 316 years ago the very first woman was hanged in the Salem witch trials. This has always interested me a little as I had a relative that was hung as a witch in Hartford.

While most "witches" were hung, Giles Corey (81), was crushed by being pressed to death.   Don't worry - I won't get graphic here.   He would not confess that he was a witch so they laid him on the ground and piled rocks on him. More and more were piled on the planks he was under and every time they asked him to confess he would say  "MORE WEIGHT".

For two days they would torment him and at times they would stand on the rocks and tell him to confess.  "MORE WEIGHT" he would say.   At noon on the third day he died and his last words were "MORE WEIGHT". It was the only thing he said for 3 days.

The interesting thing here is that when a assumed witch died or confessed and THEN died the government of the town would take control of  his or her estate.  But because Giles never confessed all of his belongings and his estate went to two son-in-laws.  THAT is the outstanding thing. Well done Giles. WOW.  An 81 year old went through that for his son-in-laws. Impressive.


TODAY I AM SOMEBODY!!  I have my GOLD Starbucks card.


Tonight I prep for the Sun Prairie Taste of the Art Fair.  Last night I put up the canopy just to make sure I knew how to do it. Piece of cake** .

Did you know that "piece of cake" originated in the 1870’s when cakes were given out as prizes for winning competitions. In particular, there was a tradition in the US slavery states where slaves would circle around a cake dancing at a gathering. The most “graceful” pair would win the cake the in middle.    

Books - I just finished reading "Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Crichton. Sort of an adult Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was a great book and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The reason for no 5th star was that I wanted MORE.  The book was great but it was too . . . "light".  So since I'm in the sailing mood I'm reading Master and Commandar by Patrick O'Brian (not to be confused with the aweful movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" with Russell Crow).

Have a great weekend and I'll let you know (if you care) about my first REAL show.  BTW - sounds like I'll be in a gallery in Door County next summer.  WHOO HOO!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Your tour guide.

If you go out at night about 10ish and face south and look almost straight up you will see a bright star. This is Arcturus. Arcturus is a Giant Orange star and gives off 180 times more light then our sun.  That light takes 36.7 years to reach us so the light we see started on it's way ABOUT October 1st 1973. 

Not sure why, but I was looking at it last night with a iPhone app and it intrigued me.

I finally golfed last night and I tied for best net round in the league even though I was fighting tree branches all night.  Every time I had a less then stellar drive I would be in a position where the ball was hittable BUT, I could not take a full swing.  So I would punch it out, make a great 3rd shot that would land near the hole and 1 putt.   My drives were always going left until I corrected the problem and hit it out of bounds on the right!  sigh. 


I hope you are getting excited for Independence Day Celebrations in Columbus - remember - some of the best fireworks are in Cbus.


Four years ago today DJ and I were in the last part of our Drive across America.  We drove to Sedona AZ to get rehitched and were driving back through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.  I tell ya - The Grand Canyon is one of those places you are just waiting to be let down with.  So many people go on and on about it that you feel your expectations are so high it can't possibly be that good.

WOW - There are not many things that can literally take your breath away but when you step to the edge (or near the edge) it is so surreal.  No words or photos can describe what you feel as you look at it.  Large birds flying 1 mile below your feet and miles and miles of the most magnificent beauty you can imagine. You feel so small and insignificant. 

The Colorado river has been carving it's path for 17 million years.  So you better get there soon before it all crumbles away.

I took this shot from the rim, you can see the brown Colorado river near the lower center. That is the Bright Angle Trail leading to Plateau Point in the lower left and ending 7.7 miles away at the cliff.

Monument Valley

have a great day

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Aaron Rogers Rips Kornheiser a new Kornhole

Aaron - you are too funny and I agree 100%. On ESPN radio they asked Rogers who he likes on TV. He mentioned Kornheiser (former MNF dude) he said "He is terrible . . .I don't think he is funny, I don't think he is insightful. I don't think he knows anything about sports."  Then he said Dennis Miller was one of th worst MNF guys ever . . . and he was 10 times better then Kornheiser. At least his stuff was funny".

So . . . . I suppose no Christmas cards from Tony this year.

I wonder if he was trying to get some of the press off Underwood and the Wisconsin Dells sex thing. From what I have heard the two woman in question have conflicting stories.


Sunday was "get'r done" day and DJ and I did chores all day like grocery store, mowing, weeding, cleaning, laundry and so forth and we both said that once finished we would sit down, have a beer and relax in the sun.

We both finished, got a beer, went to the deck, sat down in the sun and within 5 minutes it was pouring.

However the storm passed in 20 minutes and we were treated to a rainbow for over an hour afterward.

Speaking of rain - we are in Day #9 of June and it's rained on 7 of those days

June 1 - Trace
June 2 - 0.68
June 3 - 0.37
June 4 - 0.00
June 5 - 0.87
June 6 - 0.18
June 7 - 0.16
June 8 - 0.45

If things are not nice and lush now they never will be!

Check out these hailstones from West Bend Sunday. I would not want to be hit with one of those babies! Not liking the sharp pointy things!

Where were you 26 years ago yesterday. I hope you were not in Barneveld as a rare F5 nighttime tornado wiped out 90% of the town.

 The tornado had a width of 400 yards and traveled 39 miles in 59 minutes.  Later in the night Columbus had an F1 tornado.  I can't find any news on this.
Lastly - Should the Tea Party support legalizing drugs?  Their platform is to stop government waste correct?  Fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government right?  The government spends $70 Billion dollars a year fighting drugs yet there is no evidence that this war is reducing drug use. Thus - the Tea Party MUST support legalizing drugs!

Unless they just pick and choose their hand wringing worries making rules up as they go.

have a great Wednesday and WHOO HOO - I might be able to golf tonight!!! 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Snowball and Square Carts

Thank goodness blogger is back up and running.

Before I get into my 1st Art fair that had the word "art" in it (as opposed to a Vendor Show) I must enlighten you with a Tuesday smile.

I introduce you to Snowball. If you have not seen Snowball you are in for a treat. Scientists are now studying Snowball as he is the first non-human that can actually carry a beat to a variety of music. Many animals dance to music but normally it's just an excitement thing, however, it seems birds are of a different feather.

It's long been known that birds are as smart as dolphins. For instance, crows can make tools for getting food. One time DJ and I were eating a fast food meal and we watched a crow find a discarded Burger King bag, he hopped around it, grabbed the bottom of the bag and emptied the contents on the ground. We thought that was pretty cool until we saw what happened next.

The crow found the onion rings and starting with the biggest ring, he placed each onion ring on top of each other biggest to smallest and then scooped all of them in his beak and flew away. OUTSTANDING!!

Well, it seems snowball actually loves and listens to the music and can dance to the beat. Scientists have studied all of the tapes they have received and have said that he is not trained to do this.

As for this weekend. Friday and Saturday I was attending the Portage Art Walk and what an event it was - WHEW!!! Let me tell you it wore me out,  almost in the same exact way standing for 16 hours a day during the Public Enemies shoot did.

The total number of people that entered our building was fifty (50). That’s right five zero! Yet - I made money and it was a good dress rehearsal (yet it seems I missed the weekend). And although I did make a SMALL amount of cash (stress small) I also made a few good contacts. A good number of people said I MUST get into the Spring Green Art Fair and Baraboo and many artists stressed I SHOULD attend the better Fairs. One Restaurant ask if I would be willing to show my wares for 2 months in their restaurant.

So I came away feeling good. The compliments were for the most part real ones as opposed to just being polite so it's all good and just seeing what people were looking at and how they were behaving was fascinating.

Here is my assistant trying to bring in the crowd.

So remember - this coming Saturday I'll be at the - Sun Prairie "Taste of the Arts" in booth 138 in Sheehan Park (across from the library) - 120 arts/craft vendors, whine and cheese tasting and all sorts of fun.  I'm in the newbie area (this is what fairs do, put the new artists in the poorer spots), the far outside area facing out to the west.

I took this photo Sunday of my favorite cows.  If you signed up for my newsletter this will be a repeat but . . oddly not everyone reads my blog so . . . . . 
And another project that I'm working on is for the second two weeks at Starbucks on the Square in September (first two weeks will have something else).
I'm calling this project  

The Square Carts

On a side note - two artists in Portage that were near me had outstanding products - Jenni pained glass and I was very very impressed and even though it's pricey they were real works of art and were usable in every day wear.

Hopfinger Studio 


Another guy that had bad luck was Rob who does Hand made one of a kind steel sculptures.  Fantastic stuff  and he just needs to find the right venue for yous work.

Strezlec Arts
Have a great rainy Tuesday!  brrrr


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ken Griffey Jr is Making Me Hide!

About 15 years ago I traded all of my Mark McGwire baseball cards for a crap load of Ken Griffey Jr cards to a 12 year old. His cards included some Japanese Griffey cards which were pretty cool. Then I purchased some Ken Griffey Sr cards (shown with rookie Brewer Jerry Augustine) and I was feeling good - the kid had his hero Mark McGwire and I have a ton of what I thought might be a Hall of Fame player.

I then purchased 50 of Jr's "Score" Cards because it was #1 in the set and I felt that a #1 card is on the end and would get beat up.  Those cost me an unheard of $1 each (I see they are $80 a piece now).

The PROBLEM is that that 12 year old is probably 6'8 275lbs now and looking for me!

I also have a few Bill Ripken F*ck Face cards (worth like $2) displayed with my Willy "The Dupe" Dipkin Card (which is worth $400, I lucked into that one).


Speaking of the Brewers - OK - we all know the pitching staff SUCKS - but being the forever optimist you have to look at the good side.  I believe the Brewers have a REAL closer as opposed to that poser Trevor Hoffman, (I never thought he would be any good).  Also a catcher that can hit home runs with only half a bat in his hands. I'm not sure how good he is defensively but . . . really, who needs a defensive catcher anyway.

If you look at the Brewers and forget they were suppose to be good this year you see a lot of good things. Casey McGhee, Escobar and Gomez are not letting us down, Corey Hart is streaking and leads the NL in HR's. Fielder a perennial cold starter is heating up and has a .400 OBA and as for pitching . . .well . . . . there are some young arms getting some playing time and Axford looks like the real deal in in closers!

One thing that hurt was with Hoffman being ineffective and then the NEXT closer (Hawkins) going on the DL!  It was scrambling time.

So THIS year is probably in the dumper, BUT, still fun games to watch. Plus - we're STILL not the Cubs.  As of yesterday with the Cubs payroll each victory for Chicago cost them about 8 million dollars, each win for the Brewers was 3 million.  Suck on that Cubbies!  And GO Cinci - if The brewers can not with at least it's not the Cubs or Cards.  GO REDS!!!!  

But - what about the 800 pound gorilla game that happened last night in Detroit.  A Perfect game, the 21st in MLB history is taken away by a VERY bad call on the VERY last play.

The UMP that made the bonehead call knows he blew it and is taking it like a man. The PROBLEM is not him - it's Bud Selig and his cronies who refuse to enter the 19th century.  Baseball has continually left umpires out in the cold when it comes to technology.  THEY know that mistakes happen and are not opposed to replays - but NOOOOOOO - the game has always been this way so let's not change!!!

Selig is to blame for this mess. You can't change the scoring now because buy their own standards the ump makes the call. So for Galarraga he will never ever get that night back and instead of being in the record books FOREVER, will fade to obscurity. THANK YOU BUD for being so anal.  

But then - if you think about it, the only REAL stat that counts in baseball is Win and Loss!
I got my booth assignment for Sun Prairie on June 12th!  I'm in the 2nd Men's Room so I think it's a good thing, lots of traffic.  I'll have more on this next week.  I'm more concerned with Portage at the moment.  I'll be on the stage at the Portage Center for the Arts. The worry was that as of LAST Thursday the lights were not working and was pitch dark.   I purchased 40 flashlights in case there were no lights (not really but  on the right could be what people actually see with my ONE flashlight).  And it was hot so it could be pitch dark and 110 degrees!  PERFECT!!  I'll be like a tour guide in a cave. 

Does my iPhone have a flashlight app?


This past Spring was the 3rd warmest ever for the Dane County area. #1 was 1977 (the first year we started Tenny Ball in Tenny Park) and #2 was in 1878.

Last night was the 3rd out of 5 Wednesdays that our golf league was canceled. Columbus had 0.68 inches of rain, Madison about 1/3 of an inch, Jefferson 2 inches.


Side note - Milk should have a sort of liquidy texture right?  I think I might take this one back.

 Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Homeless Book Club of Madison

I had the privileged to photograph a meeting of the Homeless Book Club of Madison yesterday. The event was to document a meeting between Garth Stein, the author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel",  and the members of the Homeless Book club.

The book is about an old dog looking back at his life and knowing that as soon as he passes he will come back as a human.  

But I'm not here to tout his book.  What got me was that I was expecting something different when I attended this meeting. For me "homeless" typically meant those nutballs, beggars and fruitcakes you see begging for spare change on The Square.  However, except for Susan, I honestly could not tell who was homeless and who was running the show yesterday.  I guess my point is the next time you hear the word "homeless" don't think of the weirdo's begging. Think of normal people, like you and . . . . some other people who just could not make ends meet and have no place to live.

This is from the first page of the book.      

A funny thing one member of the club asked Mr. Stein was what kind of dog Enzo was as it's never mentioned.   He said that each country that the book is printed in (it's a #1 NY Times Best Seller and ranked #61 in Amazon which is 5,928,701 above my moms book) has a different dog on the cover according to what they believe would be the most appropriate dog.  I WISH I could remember hte dogs . . . .grrrrr  sorry.

Here is a little photo of the event as it was held at the Bethel Lutheran Church.  Since January they have placed 6 individuals into home.  They have computers for members to do various things and it's a very good operation.

To learn more about the Homeless Book Club of Madison check out the blog Streets of Madison.

Then there is this whole Middleton thing about the people protesting the Middleton Schools for allowing parachute jumpers to perform - they also did not like the rock climbers that stressed to the kids about achieving goals.  They believe that once the kids see a parachute jumper they will all flock to join the air force or something and Middleton Schools are promoting WAR.

Yea - a bunch of "liberal" hand wringing social workers I say.  It seems that many people in Madison and Middleton consider themselves "liberal"  ONLY, if you a agree with their liberal views.  If you have an opposite view then you are not allowed to speak or show that point of view or you will be protested upon because "we are liberal and we can not stand non-liberals".

John F Kennedy said a liberals is "someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal', then I’m proud to say I’m a 'Liberal'".

Oddly the word liberal means something different in Europe where it is more closely associated with a commitment to limited government and laissez-faire (**) economic policies and more closely corresponds to the American definition of libertarianism

(**)-means allowing industry to be free from state intervention, especially restrictions in the form of tariffs and government monopolies.

ANYWAY - how the hell did I get on this subject anywho . . . . . hmmmmmmm


iPhones are getting a new pay plan - no longer will there be a flat $30 data charge. Seems 3% of iPhone users use 40% of the data streams, so heavy users will be charged more.  What I';m wondering is will there be a time when I can unhook my iPhone from my hand?  Will the fun wear out so I will not be forever holding "my precious?".

Also - I JUST found out that Trevor Hoffman has not been any good since balderdash spilled beer on his Trevor jersey!!! 

Gotta run