Thursday, March 31, 2011

QE2 is ending! Hide your money!

You know it's not even worth talking about Walker and his cronies in charge of DOA and what they are doing - the shock value is gone.

I talked to my brother who lives in Springfield Illinois and for a while I thought he had gone to the dark side.  He is a business owner ( MMLP Architectural Services - " MMLP Exists To Improve The Built Environment ") and when I told him all that was going on in Wisconsin he seemed unfazed.  But then I realized for seven years HE had Rod R. "Milorad" Blagojevich for Governor which makes Walker look like a rookie!

So I guess he is excused from getting all humped up over what is going on in Wisconsin.

The big thing I'm getting ready for today is that I'm taking Milo into the Doctor. The last time he went in DJ took him and she said "I will NEVER take Milo to the doctor again". I guess there was blood all over the room as Milo is not really Doctor friendly and has all his claws (and a few extras it seems). I have a special suit I'll put on this time.

He seems to have a cough which could be a hair ball or mouse stuck in his throat and has had a snotty cold for like a month.  Nothing better then him cuddling up next to you at night and sneezing in your face!


As you might have noticed the Stock Market has been doing very well for the past couple years.  Seems natural disasters have little impact on the markets and even gasoline prices are not hurting.  People complain about the price of gas saying it will hurt the economy but in reality it has very little effect.  Of course if the price of gas went from $2 to $4 over night THAT would hurt but a few cents at a time people and companies adjust.

Plus I have these cool coupons you can use when you go the the gas station.

Anyway I think I might start to slowly move some money into some saver areas in the market.  You see one of the things that has really helped in the past year is the QE2, the second round of the governments "quantitative easing".

This comes to an end in June which also coincides with the typical summer stock doldrums.  My feeling is that money managers also know this and THEY will start to go saver in May to get a jump on everybody else who will be going saver. 

What QE2 did was keep BAD things from happening by dumping 80 billion dollars into Treasury bond purchases. It created a sort of base.  By printing more money and keeping interests rates low the corrections have been manageable. But there won't be a QE3 because of there are inflation worries.  I believe that while there is a very good chance for stocks to go up!  There is a bigger chance for stocks to go down or stagnate in the summer.  and let's not forget,  people are just WAY TO bullish!  

Remember our pheasant friend?

Seems he has been tap tap tapping on all the windows in our neighborhood.  He was at out walk out basement window this morning.  I think he is looking for loving! Wants to be somebodies pet perhaps.

Thirteen years ago today the Brewers played their first National League Game!

Have a wonderful Thursday.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A company is actually NOT a human.

I downloaded Firefox 4 and am very impressed - there is a definite increase in speed on the internet and while the look is a little different it's easy to get used too. Much cleaner and you have more screen to work with. THUMBS UP.

IE9 ( or before "9")is still the very worst and slowest browser you can have - I can not understand how people can use it.

What do you guys think about auto-speeding tickets! There is a place on I-95 where they set up a camera and on all vehicles that are going 10 mph over the speed limit a $133 is generated and automatically sent to the owner of the car. The town of 4000 has generated over one quarter of a million dollars in like 4 months in tickets!

Law makers are trying to outlaw the machine even though the average speed has dropped and there are 30% less accidents. The Law makers say it's BIG BROTHER!


Speaking of lawmakers - I'm glad that Walker has shown us that where a court orders something you really don't have to abide by the rules! WHO KNEW IT WAS THAT EASY!! Break a law? Just say it's not MY law and you don't have to follow it! SWEET DEAL!

I took Elwood to vote yesterday for his very first time. I think he was proud. In fact he has watched every debate on TV . . . have you? Did you watch the Prosser/Kloppenberg debate? Are you telling me that Elwood is more informed then you are? What get's me are all the people that voted for Walker because they had people telling them to vote that way! One woman told me that she voted for Walker because everybody TOLD her how bad Barret was. if you are going to vote - do your OWN research, make your OWN decision.

OH - the referendums! vote YES on both (tee hee) - they are trying to limit the amount of money big business can put into politics - basically saying that a company is actually NOT a human.

So I sent a scathing Letter to the Editor of The Columbus Journal! I also told Paul it was not personal. My beef is that their "Guest Column" was all political spin telling us how wonderful the budget bill is. I read it and was angry and through down the paper in disgust.

I feel that if you are going to have a "Guest Column" and it is a political opinion ON EITHER SIDE, it should be called for what it is . . .Political SPIN. Perhaps they should call it "Guest Political Opinion" so people know it is full of half truths. All it was last week was a LARGE Letter to the Editor. I don't feel our newspaper should have a large political column UNLESS, there is a rebuttal, ON THE SAME PAGE!

Reading the newspaper should be news not spin. I read the Guest Column's and agree and disagree but when I see something that just makes me angry for the next few hours . . . . maybe I should just not read the paper . . . .and is that what The Columbus Journal wants?

So while Paul (the Editor and a real newspaper dude) contacted me and did explain that they do put both sides up and they are not leaning one way or the other (which I feel is true) and I did feel guilty for a few minutes . . . I stand by my Letter.

Of course I probably alienated all sorts of people and now I will have to count ALL the Red Bud trees by myself (my count the Red Bud Project) now since I will be banned from further Letters to the Editor!

Looks like I might be going to Opening Day for the Brewers. One project this year is I'm betting (a small amount) on EVERY Brewer game (or at least until my small bankroll runs out of money).

Their 1st game is in Cincinnati and the Brewers are +106 underdogs! (meaning bet $100 to win $106). I bet the Brewers.

The 19th century Baltimore Orioles - As you are no doubt aware, the Orioles of that vintage were a tough bunch of men. They drank all the liquor in America, they went decades without sleeping, they brawled against Norse gods, and they saw all of their children killed gruesomely by primitive farming equipment. 

SO what would YOUR 19th Century Baltimore Oriole nickname be?  Mine is Manslaughter Klondike - The operating assumption is that I'm generally furious about my station in life, the disloyal opposition across the diamond, and this thing deep in the chest that feels increasingly like a fatal catarrh.

Go to the Rum & Monkey blog to find YOUR name.


Did I post this here?  This is the most amazing video of the Japan Tsunami - heck just that siren makes me get goosey bumps! WHEN will the water STOP rising! HOLY CRAP!!!!


Have a calm dry day!


Monday, March 28, 2011

The war on the impoverished

Government - an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.
   14th century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun

Remind me not to go to anymore Art Fairs at the Alliant Center. A very good  photographer/Art Fair friend, Cassius Callender (his work is on the 7th and 2B floors at 1 W Wilson), was driving by the Coliseum/Energy Center and was amazed at all the cars. So he decided to he should stop in to see the throngs as he had skipped the show.

What he did not know was that along with the Art Fair there was the State Girls Wrestling Tournament, Bead-o-rama and a few other things going on.  So he paid the $6 fee and came into the mostly empty Energy Center. Yea - when I saw that after three years they were still charging $6 a car I THOUGHT it was for the Art Fair.  

My guesstimate was maybe 400 people walked by and perhaps 100 were actually there for the Art Show!  It was my very first losing money adventure.  But still it was a good time.   Cassius told me that he has had 3 events at the Energy Center and none of them are attended very well.

Oh well.  People still gave me "real" compliments (as opposed to the courtesy compliments) so my head swelled while my billfold did not. 

Walkers war on the impoverished.

I would much rather have a Governor wage war on poverty rather then the impoverished.  Perhaps if he just lined up all of those damn poverty people and shot them he could get rid of their blightyness.   But then the Middle class would become the lower class!  Gotta shoot them also I guess!  Only the rich should be able to live a comfortable life. 

I mean cutting $41 million in tax breaks for low-income residents?   Eliminate food stamps for LEGAL immigrants?   Eliminate child care for State Employee?  A 19-year program that spends $293K annually to help offset state employees who work downtown (who also pay up to $200 a month just to park their car).

Eliminate the requirement for health insurance plans to provide coverage for contraceptives?  Cut $500 million out of Medicaid? Lower the eligibility limits to receive Medicaid (since ALL Medicaid people are just cheating anyway).  Cut 50,000 people out of Badger care?

I had always assumed that one of the primary goals for a government was to take care of the people it was governing.  But I see that Walkers feels the primary goal of a government is to screw the people and balance the budget.

I'm all for balancing the budget but can you really do it in one year? 

There are two party's in America.  The republican party which is the financial party. They are very worried about money.  And the democratic party. The party that is for the people.  Does there have to be one or the other?  Can't they two MAYBE compromise? Is that not what this is all about? 

Of course both sides think they have the best idea but it seems that while the Democrats, for the most part, (not always) are open for compromise, the Republicans just want to ram things through and clean up the mess later.   Everything the Fitzpublicans do is aggressive, in your face and giving you the finger.

I AGREE on a few of Walkers ideas but put a throttle on it dude.  But that is not his style is it.  This man has to go.  When the times comes to recall his ass, remember how you feel!  He is betting in 8 months people will have forgotten his rage.


BTW - might have a Letter to the Editor in the Columbus Newspaper next week.   Who am I spanking?  The Columbus Journal.  Sometimes I just gotta say it.  I know I was not the only one.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The Ninth Gate

I believe the Badgers went through The Ninth Gate last night! But actually I'm talking about the Johnny Depp movie The Ninth Gate. What a tremendously horrible movie. Not the plot (which was 100% predicable) but the production! It was directed by Roman Polanski and I swear he was in a "that's good enough" mode. One take, good enough, next scene! The worst choreographed fake fight scenes you have ever seen, the kind where it just turns you off to the movie!

Acting? hard to tell. Was it BAD acting? Yes but again, "one take, good enough" move on. The ending just sorts of fades away like he ran out of ideas. The sets were weird as you could tell they used the same exact road multiple times, just put different signs up! And don't get me started with the Styrofoam castles! Frank Langella who I really like was buffoonish wearing clown glasses that looked like a last minute "let's give him clown glasses".

And (spoiler aleart but who cares) Emmanuelle Seigner who plays the devil I hope to never see her "act" again!

There is no redeeming value in this movie! Now Ias I'm looking for reviews I see this one.

New York Times - "about as scary as a sock-puppet re-enactment of The Blair Witch Project, and not nearly as funny".

The Badgers! Not surprised. They were a good home court shooting team but when they are away from their comfy surroundings they tended to really suck at shooting. And when you have a shooting team and have nothing else in their bag of tricks . . . you are screwed.

Remember - this years Badgers were not meant to be that good. They played about like what people, BEFORE the season, said they would play! So while some are disappointed at the ending of the season I feel they played over their heads in league, which is not cutting them down at all.

Yesterday I spent a good few hours getting a muffler and tail pipe put on the Civic. Only $518 - SHIT!! Then the guy comes out and says "your right brake light is out". I say I'll fix it and this old guy next to me says "you probably just saved $100".

I see it's whining season for people that live next to rivers! "OH WE ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT FLOODING"    WELL YEA - YOU LIVE NEXT TO A FREAKING RIVER!

It's like every year they are surprised that there will be flooding AGAIN!  "Last year was the worst flood since 2008. When will we get a break".  Wow - all the way back to 2008?   It's like we will be hit by the "four year flood" two years in a row.  What bad luck!  Maybe next year we will have a drought and they can complain that their piers no longer reach the water.

We had home brew club last night and we're starting to outgrow our store where we meet!  The Sun Prairie Worthogs are starting to get people from further and further away.  The interesting thing is that we're getting a little cocky.  You see the Madison Home Brew Club no longer has anything to do with brewing, they are now an organization that spends all year planning festivals!  The WortHogs are all about brewing and are winning awards.  We're the tiny death star orbiting the Madison Home Brew Club kicking sand in their faces in contests.


Too funny - this is for Dog lovers


I'm working on a project for some posters and this is the 1st - the clients have not seen this yet so you are the first! I have to make a few more so they can pick and choose.

This is weird - did we go back to the OLD blogger for posting photos? 

The tricky thing is they sent me photos to work with all in 72pix and all very tiny and they want 12x18 size posters!

Going to pick up my uHaul today from Beaver Dam. I ordered it at NAPA in Columbus and I have to pick it up in Beaver Dam.  I asked why Beaver Dam and they said it's whereever the closest place is. . . . . . . Glad I don't have to go to Green Bay!!!     I should have ordered it in Sun Prairie!  I wanted to give Columbus the business!     


On a golf forum there was a guy asking about good golf courses in Wausau as he is coming north on a business trip!  We explained that perhaps courses in Wausau would not be open yet.  Well here is a report from T-dog.

"I've been here a week almost and its been freezing(9 degrees at night)and windy and snowing I don't know how a human could live here. It must be super nice in the summer or maybe the state pays people to live here. I can't wait to get home and play golf instead of looking at frozen lakes and ice. Sorry if this offends anyone I'm just buzzed on Pabst and cheese curl."

I as at my work place yesterday and saw another group was leaving State Service along with a good amount of upper management. In fact the architect for Medicaid in Wisconsin quite. He was the guy that kept the process running smoothly! I think the only people left in DHS are Walker appointees now!

Also from people I've been talking to there is another large group retiring June 17th. This is crazy!  They are asking me if I would be available to come back and work (for money) as a consultant. 
GET OUT AND VOTE - it is so freaking important!! I have heard that record numbers are early voting and 95% of people being asked say it's all about the Supreme court and getting Prosser who called the females in his court a bunch of "bitchs". Do we want this guy as a judge??


Have a great weekend remember - Alliant Energy Center Art Fair 10:00 to 4:00 Saturday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We won Mega Millions . . or al least a part!

1.21 inches of rain on Tuesday and the storm total ended at 1.41 inches! 
One thing I have noticed since I ended my "sitting on my butt all day" job came to an end.  I'm much more active during the day.  I had read that one thing that happens when a person "retires" is he becomes more active and eats less.  I have the think they are right!

Yesterday I had to drive into Madison to pick up a frame from an individual for a photo I was working on along with like 5 other stops.  I also took a look at the US Bank as a woman in that building said I should take photos and submit them for consideration.  Well the bank people were not real crazy that a guy was walking around their bank with a camera. I didn't take any photos, just looking.  But it goes in the "not sitting thing" I was talking about, more exercise I normally would not get.

ANYWAY - I did a bunch of errands including going to Sharrow Drugs for a prescription and looking for a non-hoody sweatshirt and noticed that Cardinal Custom Embroidery had set up shop on the corner in Columbus.

I think they were closed as I was out pretty early.

OK then . . . . .did you know that in 1839 "OK" was first published?   OK stands for "oll correct" a popular slang misspelling of "all correct".   I guess back in the 1830's one of the "fun" things young educated people did was to purposely misspell works then abbreviate them, sort of like "kewl" for "cool".  Back then popular slang was included "KY" for "No use" ("know yuse"), "KG" for "No go" ("Know go"), and "OW" for all right ("oll wright").

But when OK was printed in the Boston Morning Post as a joke . . . it took on a life of it's own. 

I was turned on to this you tube video - Jenny should see what Caydence does!


Hey - for Columbus residents - I hope you are not buying clear garbage bags from the city for like $1 a piece. You can get a whole box at True Value that lasted us for 10 months (I wrote the date on the box). I think they cost like dime apiece.

Did I mention that we finally got our LED street lights on our block? Columbus will be the first city/town in Wisconsin to be 100% all LED street lights! They are GREAT! They light up a more focused part of the ground and don't radiate all of that orange light to unneeded area (like roads). You don't need to light the roads at night - the cars do that and it is MUCH healthier for the trees.

I suppose Walker is against LED lights as they don't use enough oil or coal energy! I'm actually not totally against EVERYTHING Walker has done and a few things he has signed I've actually suggested. Plus a number of things people are getting all anal over are actually Democratic ideas.

BUT - Hitler was pretty smart on some things also and just because he invented the modern highway does not mean I agreed with a few other things he did.

Remember - Art fair Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center. Humans are free, cars cost $6.
I suppose I'll have to come into work tomorrow to make sure all is well (and deliver a piece of art to a guy on the square).

Nuff for today!  too cold in this room for more typing - man summer went fast didn't it?

OH - Mega Millions - DJ was feeling especially poor last night and as I went grocery shopping I purchased two Mega Million tickets.  Yea yea - 200 million would only be 150 million after taxes but - I could REALLY use a million right now (Ho-chunk and double it.  So I check the numbers this morning. YEA BABY!!! $7 BIG ONES!!!!!   A 1 out of 307 chance!!!!!!   SWEET!!!!  


Monday, March 21, 2011

the (lesser) signs of the apocalypse

1.35 inches of rain yesterday!  
An interesting research on Walker is near the bottom of this blog (in case you get bored halfway through).
Meeting Places - in case of disaster, after much discussion and having the family shoot down meeting at the closest brewery (which seemed totally logical to me) we decided that fire stations were the place to go. I think Jenny wanted to meet at Taco Bell but if I could not have breweries she could not have Taco Bell.


Friday I was in the basement putting some hardware on canvas and there was a tap tap tap at the walkout basement door. I assumed it was Blake wanting to come in and turned around and saw this.

Elizabeth said it was one of the (lesser) signs of the apocalypse (thus another reason to have meeting places).    Notice Mr. Pleasant Pheasant is looking at my bag of bird food!  I think he has been watching me from the bushes!   

When we moved into this house it seemed that there were no birds.  Seriously, I kept saying that here we are on the edge of country and there are no birds!   We planted trees and Elwood and I have been landscaping and I've had my bird feeder up for 2 years now and this is the most birds I have ever seen this spring.  Along with the normal Red Wing Black Bird, Grackles and Chipping Sparrows we have House Finches ( I thought they were Purple Finches), Juncos, Cardinals, Blue Jays (1st year appearance), a pheasant, two mallards (not here yet) Cow Birds, Robins, Woo Woo Birds (also called Mourning Doves).  The Doves you see with the iridescent necks are Rock Doves, have not seen them, nor have I seen any Hoopoe's (see above) which would be a  slightly greater sign of the apocalypse . . . it's good to know what the signs of the apocalypse are so we know it when we see it.     

We're going to put up another feeder next to the other clump of birches.  This one will be made so big birds can't get to it.  Jenny says her feeders are just Grackle feeding stations!  I know we can go through an entire tube of food in one day if the Grackles are around.    


Caydence, Sydney and Jenny were over Saturday and Caydence is getting over a cold (which oddly we ALL seem to have at the moment).  I took this when DJ was playing with miserable feeling Caydence!

Man she looks like she is really feeling this cold!   I tell ya - children with down syndrome are just awesome! 

For any of you that are still in protest mode - this site should be archived in the history of Madison.  It's outstanding.  A 360 degree view of the protests with the sounds!  Check it out! 


The Japan nuke reactors have not melted down . . . YET!!  The have evacuated everyone in the last few hours from the plant and their government is now saying that "drastic measures might be needed".   DO YA THINK????    REALLY?   NOW MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME!!!  

At least we started bombing Libya - that will calm things down a bit!  A good bombing always puts people at ease. 


Speaking of Christmas trees - I'm not sure they will EVER pick ours up!  It's like they just decided to not come down our street!   It's becoming mulch!   Also - what about garbage like old gas grills, can I leave them out and they will pick it up? What the deal with stuff like that???

Inquiring minds want to know! 


And Finally Walker - never mind that email thing - old news and as one researcher said - it really makes no difference because what has happened SINCE he sent out the letter.  

Here is a true Political Science assessment on Scott Walker's impact on voting intent and partisan ID in Wisconsin since his inauguration. 

Voting Intention of certain voters

June 2010

29%    Democrat
13%    Independent voting Dem

11%    Pure Independent

26%    Republican
21%    Independent voting Republican

These numbers are what generated November 2010s landslide for the Republicans in Wisconsin and allowed Scott Walker to be elected with 52% of the vote.  Yup, he launched his extremist agenda based on an election he won 52 -47.  The "pure" independents split almost down the middle between Walker and Barrett.  Hardly a transformation mandate from the Wisconsin electorate.

MARCH 2011

30%    Democrat
18%    Independent voting Dem

11%        Pure Independent

25%    Republican
14%    Independent voting Republican

    As you can see the recent protest activity has not really generated more Democrats, or caused people to leave the Republican Party, what the poll does show however is that soft partisans and Independent leaners have shifted strongly against the Republican Party.  Put another way, the impact of Scott Walker is rather than emulate his hero Ronald Reagan by destroying a union   and reaping great popularity as a reward, In moving against public sector unions Walker has in effect ripped the label "Reagan" off the term "Reagan Democrat" and made them simply Democrats once again.  Not a winning long term electoral strategy.

    And the blowback against union busting misogynistic Justice David PROSSER is mounting.  He was hit hard this weekend in the press for his abusive and sexist treatment of Justice Shirley Abrahamson calling her a "Bitch" in Chambers, and threatening to "destroy" Justice Shirley because she was on the side that held corrupt dishonest racist Justice Michael Gableman violated the law  with  the blatant lies and racist slanders he leveled at then Justice Butler.  That is how Conservative Republican Justice Prosser acts toward women they disagree - they call them bitch and threaten them in an attempt at intimidation.  Prosser is a shameful bitter bully and merits immediate enforced retirement.

VOTE Kloppenrberg for Wisconsin Supreme Court!     

Friday, March 18, 2011

Find a meeting place.

Luckily I never pulled the stock market trigger - once I saw stocks were zooming on GOOD economic news I felt that there was no panic and investors were acting rationally.


Then there are the Badgers - I can't remember WHO we played last year in the "first" round but it always seems the Badgers play some abnormal team. Some team that won a lot of games because they play a totally different style then the Badgers are used to.

I mean - come on, Belmont took all 5 guys out at once and replaced them with 5 different guys? They made 55 substitutions? sheesh!!


I'm waiting for the DIRECT TV guy today - they narrowed in the time as between noon and 4:00 - THANK YOU!!! After spending 1.5 hours on the phone they FINALLY realized maybe the receiver is broken!! YEA - like I had been saying all along!


In bad news I can not seem to find my notebook of beer recipes! I know I had it because I told myself to not lose it again so I put it somewhere where I would remember it. Now if I could only figure out where that was.


No real news to speak of on this side! You know with this whole Japanese disaster thing is that we all feel so safe, nothing can happen to us.

But what families really should do is just decide that IN CASE there is a major disaster - have a meeting place that the family can go to. Think about it - an EMT pulse takes out the internet and cell phones and for some reason you can not GET to you house. Your family is spread out - where do you go???? Where is the meeting place. Have two places - one close by on the other side of town and one somewhere safe - far away that you can all go towards.

I'm sure most people in Japan have no where to find their loved ones, they might all be alive but miles apart.

Get a meeting place.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reacting to Japan - Brewers

Never take financial advice from some dude on the Internet.

One thing I'm going to be watching very close today are the reactors in Japan.  I feel that it is inevitable that we will have three meltdowns and one explosion on those nukes and this will end up being WORSE then Chernobyl!   Have you heard ANY good nuclear news yet this week?  This is like a cancer where you are always one step behind nature!

The stock market is reacting to the bad news and my feeling is that if the meltdown happens this weekend (I'm putting my money on it) the market will totally tank on Monday!

The U.S. economy is strong so it'll bounce back, but the bad global news is taking it's toll.  So before 3:00 I'm going to make a decision to see if I can cut off losing the 10% meltdown fee!

The only good news is that today they might restore SOME power to the plant.  The dumping of water by the military is like shooting a squirt gun at a forest fire! It's pretty much for show only, it's not really doing anything.  The 50 people trying save the reactor's are on a suicide mission and they are calling for retired people to replace them.  Not because they are expendable but because they are old and by the time the cancers take off they will be in their 90s.

When the major news organizations are getting all their reporters OUT of Japan, totally . . . it's not a good thing.  When the military is moving the 7th fleet away and the aircraft carriers are not allowing news people trying to get away from Japan to land on the carrier because of radiation . . . it's not good.

When Elwood brought up the earthquake and so forth last Saturday he said this is REALLY bad.  I went one step further and said "This is biblical!".

During this event we have been hearing about how amazing the culture is behaving, no reports of looting or anything bad. The people are reacting in very very adult manners (unlike New Orleans and Katrina).  But an odd thing is that they were interviewing Japanese and asking them about the 50 people inside the power plant trying to save Japan.

In America I would assume that the 50 engineers who are giving their lives to stop the inevitable meltdowns would be called heroes.  But in Japan it's different.  Every person they talked to said that they were just doing their jobs, nothing more. They were where they had to be.  Nothing extraordinary.  Just doing their jobs!         


I got rejected yesterday!  The Spring Green Art Fair said I was not good enough . . or at least their reject letter said something to that effect!  This is not a totally bad thing as it was one of my "maybe" shows, more of a craft event during the William Tell Fest thing.  I would have had to spend all weekend talking Shakespeare-speak and wearing odd clothing and DJ would have had to have an apple on her head all day!


Should grocery stores be doing this?

Could you pass the canned Cat please?


I'm coming to Madison today to get Robert Plant (my against the regulations plant) from my office and take some photos of the Glass Bank and the Madison Skyline for a poster I'm working on.  The Glass Bank is sort of spec photos as a woman who works in a company told me to contact the person in charge of walls space (probably has other duties also).  But I need a few shots before I talk to the wall person. 

I'm also going to look into a new camera - can't afford it YET but I feel  Nikon D90 is in my future.

One thing I'm learning about retirement is I drink a lot less water.  I had a headache all day yesterday and thinking back - I really don't drink a lot of water.  
Brewers - it's looking like Wily Peralta has won the 5th starter roll to open the season. The guy I'm watching is (CF) Carlos Gomez - he is very important to the Brewers and his hitting really needs to get better.

Braun never took geometry in school and has poor range in RF!  Hart has average to below average range so they really need Gomez who has world class range in Center Field! So far Gomez has a .360 OBP but it's all hitting. No walks yet - however in 30 AB's he has 4 doubles a triple and 2 HRs in spring training.

The Brewer defense is a problem. Not that they make errors but as a whole, they just do not cover a lot of ground. The infielders are all low error no range fielders! The outfielders are low error no range (except for Gomez) and catching . . . well, Greg Zahn was pretty good but Lucroy has yet to prove he can hit but he does have an average arm. Not sure about calling a game.

Pitching - the new guys are good with the bats! Marcum and Grenke are very good bunters and Nearveson is and EXPERT bunter. Gallardo is a tremendous batter.

Gallardo, Narveson, Wolf and Marcum are much better hitters then the average pitcher so 4 of the 5 starters give the Brewers an extra hitter in the every day line-up. almost like a weak designated hitters.

Another thing going unnoticed is that Brewer pitchers are VERY good at holding runners.
The PROBLEM with the Brewer lineup is that against RHP, the are all righties except Fielder.

and that's my Brewer take for today!

Have a good Thursday!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Pledge of Allegiance

First of all - I am not anti Pledge of Allegiance. I'm anti making a law that says you MUST say it.

Charlotte, in 2006 in Florida a small student was ridiculed and called "unpatriotic" by a teacher for refusing to say the Pledge. The federal district court in Florida ruled that the 1942 state law requiring students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the school district had to pay the parents $32,000.

In 2009, a Montgomery County, Maryland, teacher berated and had school police remove a 13-year-old girl who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom.

My beef is not with the Pledge, but with the forcing people to say the Pledge!

Suz - - - - geez - I feel like Walker trying to explain myself . . .DON'T MAKE ME RUN TO MY CAR!

Suz - I'm fine with the National Anthem before sporting events although I did get tossed out of a Brewer game once for mooning Tommy Thompson after the Anthem - I guess we were a little too close to the Family section for that Bachelors Party! Probably not the smartest thing to so since he was pretty far away and could never see us.

Perhaps I should explain why I even brought up the Pledge. There is an person who is a DEEP Tea Party dude that berates anybody that is not on his side. He thinks FOX News is centrist. I asked if FOX is centrist who is slanted to the RIGHT! He said THERE WERE NO CONSERVATIVE News organizations. He is constantly berating us liberal socialists because we are killing the Constitution.

WELL - he was ALL FOR making it a law to say the Pledge so I commented that by requiring a student to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. I have not heard his reply.

That was where I was coming from. Just tossing some gas on a Tea Party fire (they really have problems defining what exactly they stand for).

As for the Pledge - Francis Bellamy (a socialist) wrote the Pledge in 1892. It was designed to be said in less then 15 seconds. When he wrote it he had considered adding "equality and fraternity" to the words but then realized that at that time schools and education, as a whole, were against equality for women and African Americans so he left that part out.

Originally you were suppose to stand and recite the Pledge with a Bellamy salute (hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down) but this looked REALLY close to the Nazi salute so in 1942 the rules changed with the more traditional hand over heart for civilians.

In 1923 the words "my flag" were changed to "the Flag of the United States" because immigrants were being confused, who's flag, the new country? or their birth country? can't be loyal to BOTH!! Pick a side!

A year later "of America" was added. In 1940 the Supreme Court order that all students in public schools be made to take the Pledge. This was a problem for Jehovah's Witnesses who considered the flag salute to be idolatry (the worship of a physical object as a god which is considered a major sin in the Abrahamic religions).

Of course since America is such a kind, forgiving and liberal FREE country, mob violence and intimidation against Jehovah's Witnesses ran rampant.

One year later the Supreme Court reversed the decision because "compulsory unification of opinion" violates the First Amendment.

And that is my Pledge story. Not anti-Pledge at all.


As for me. WOW - I'm getting pooped. Doing things all day wears ya out. I'm use to sitting on by butt all day. Now I see why my good friend and recently retired coworker dissed her chair and stood all day. I always told her she was the sane one in the group but in reality I was always a little afraid of her and her strange ways!

I washed and mopped the kitchen floor trying to show DJ that it's not ALL bad that I can sit at home eating Frito's all day. I also put hardware on six large canvases, and erected my canopy frame in the basement. I have am Art Fair on March 26th at the Alliet Energy Center.

Caydence came over last night and she has her first "adult" cold. Talk about looking all coldy. Of course she was all happy and smiles. We will have to teach her that colds are miserable and not a time for smiling. Sydney is doing fine and all is well with everyone!

SO - that is it - today I'm matting 8x12s and vacuuming (damn Frito's)

Have a nice . . what day is it again? . . . . . oh yea Wednesday!

HEY - I see my building is on the front page of the Cap Times with headlines "Scott Walker has inspired an exodus of public workers". HEADING FOR THE EXITS!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


WOW - who knew I would be so busy on my 1st day off.  I got so many little things done yesterday it was crazy. The most important was getting a new license plate sticker. I was so excited when I got my "12" in the mail that I ran outside and slapped it on the license plate. However - the plate was so dirty the sticker didn't stick and I was left holding a non-sticky sticker.

So after about 3 weeks of avoiding the cops I finally got to the DMV and exchanged my stickless sticker for a new one!  CAN'T GET ME NOW COPPER!


In other news I'm actually still going to work at times part time.  With the so many quicky retires it left no one to tend the shop!  So we all signed "volunteer" forms. That's right, we highly paid leach to society scum bag public servants are working for free.  We're training anybody who is left to do our jobs!

I've never really talked about what "I" did. There were three programmers left on the HSRS system. When I started there were perhaps ten.   It's is/was an old system that for 10 years the suits have been trying to replace. Literally millions of dollars have been sunk into the big black hole.

I was in charge of the 250ish reports. John knows the system inside and out, Dave did the GUI interface, the screen stuff and I did the number crunching and output. Mostly LTS (Long Term Support) but also Mental Health, and Alcohol and Drug whatever, Birth to Three and a few other things that seem to be dead now.

Ten years ago the suits said HSRS will be gone in five years!  In fact for a while there was a BIG sign that wasa to do list - I would see it everymorning when I arrived at work.

RETIRE HSRS ASAP!  yea - that is always good for moral!

Its still a long way off. The problem is that it's like a house that was build 20 years ago and every few months a new contractor is hired to add on another room. But each guy has his own way of constructing.

So in the end you have a 400 room mansion but the plumbing goes all over the place. It works GREAT but trying to recreate it is impossible. It's a house of cards.

Of the 66 people in IT for Dept of Health seven retired last Friday. Twenty more can retired at anytime with June 17th the next big day for massive retirements. As a whole about 24% of Public Servants for the State if Wisconsin can retire on June 17th. You can see that there has not been a lot of hiring for a number of years! 

You ask - why retire?  Simple - fear.  I won't kid you, the State had awesome benefits.  Unlike many other States where the public employees get good pay, Wisconsin was pretty smart, they pay lower but have good benefits and the benefits are why people decided to work for Wisconsin.  I've had a pay DECREASE three years in a row!  Now you want to take $50,000 away from me?  I'll lock in and retire NOW!

Now as our Division head said - there is no reason to to look for a job in government.  Low pay, poor benefits and trailing edge technology and the republican party tells people you are scum!  Sweet deal!

You might be wondering who our Senate representative is . . . . .In Columbus it's Senate Majority Fitzgerald.   Here is Fitzgerald area in Blue and notice how Columbus has been added.

This is called gerrymandering - rather than using uniform geographic standards, gerrymandering is a practice of political corruption that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected, and neutral districts.

Both sides do this although the Republicans have used it a LOT more!

Columbus is pretty neutral so it is normally used just to have more numbers so the rest of the district will have more power.

Actually Wisconsin as a whole is politically neutral and is a HUGE swing State. Wisconsin is an emotional State. Notice we voted for Obama and the next election we voted for anybody that is not a Doyle Democrat thinking that ANYBODY is better - wrong!!

So when election time comes the flavor is always what side the emotions are on at that moment. This is why Republicans play the fear card so often. They know fear is a powerful emotion. They tell you everything is going poorly, the Budget is in crisis (not really), the sky is falling. Vote republican and we will save you.

Speaking of Fitz . . . he is now saying that the FAB 14 will not be allowed to vote in committees because they are in contempt? What? - do that just make shit up as they go?

I see there is a NEW cause out - The powers that be want to make it mandatory for school children to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day!  I'm against this as it goes against the Constitution (which actually is not a REAL government document but that is a different story).

A democratic republic built on freedom of dissent should not require its citizens to pledge allegiance to it, and that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects one's right to refrain from speaking or standing.

Another problem is that the people who are most likely to recite the Pledge every day, small children in schools, cannot really give their consent or even completely understand the Pledge they are taking.

It's called brain washing!

Nuff said - I need my oatmeal!   taking Blake to get his toenails clipped today - he is walking on high heels!

Have a great Tuesday!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan

Well - winter is slowly giving ground to spring and we here in Wisconsin are really happy. It's been a long winter! Except for November the four winter months have been below (temp) and above (snow) average every month.

What has been odd is that this spring we have not had those AMAZING beautiful days - just a small daily climb with a storm every 3 or 4 days! Very very subtle temp climb to summer. This is actually a good thing I feel and is setting up for a good summer, not like last year but a NORMAL summer.

Avg High Temps
Nov 48.5 Avg 43.8
Dec 26.7 Avg 30.6
Jan 23.8 Avg 25.6
Feb 29.6 Avg 31.3
Mar 36.8 Avg 43.4

Total snowfall
Nov 0.5 Avg 4.5
Dec 26.8 Avg 12.5
Jan 20.1 Avg 12.1
Feb 23.8 Avg 8.7
Mar 6.3 Avg 6.4


Today is my last day as state employee - there is little reason to work in Wisconsin government, the pay is poor, the benefits are not that great any longer and the people you were proud to work for believe you are a leach. So why bother. It's not an occupation to be proud of any longer. I would tell any young person to stay away from Government jobs!

In my 23 years working for the State I helped create a $300,000,000 system that tracks EVERYTHING for Special Needs individuals, what they need, who they are, where they are, how much they cost, EVERYTHING. But the current Governor really does not care about Special Needs people, he will defund, strip and or eliminate Health Care for Special Needs people, trust me, I'm on the front lines and know what is actually happening.

The sad things is - there are three of us left that tended to this program (over 65 years of experience on this one system) - guess how many will be working on this system on Monday! ZERO! We have worked and cuddled and massaged this system for 20+ years and are now being told by our Governor and the by the people of Wisconsin - it was all for nothing, we don't care that you cared for us! You are overpaid and your 60+ years of knowledge is no longer needed or wanted.

They have been working on replacing HSRS (my system) for over 10 years and have are not even close to replacing it! It's HUGE! I personally ran over 250 reports monthly for the fed!

I guess the National Guard will now run the system? Contractors that know NOTHING about the system?

A coworker ask me why I was leaving on such short notice (like MANY people in Health Services), he said they can not do anything to our pensions in the next 2 months (that I have worked 23 years to build up). Well, they also can not pass The Bill without a quorum right?

The Majority Leader has already put HIS BROTHER in charge of Employee Trust Funds. Sort of says it all right there.

But on the bright side I feel the Republicans have made a huge mistake. They have energized the middle class. I solidly feel that the middle class will take back the government and in a HUGE way! Anger does amazing things. While the tea baggers and anti-union morons are gloating and pounding their chests, the unions and the massive amount of pro-union citizens are organizing because they know it's now a war. IT'S ON!

It's big money vs. the middle class and I have never seen the middle class so energized!

As for me! I'll have a lot more time with photography projects and I suppose I'll have to stop forcing my wife to clean the house while I sit on the couch drinking beer and tossing potato chips on the floor! I suppose the house chores now go to me and you know what? That is a good thing! DJ is the one getting screwed by the idiots. I locked in.

As for this blog - I'm still writing it, I lost my work family that always gave me great ideas and different viewpoints of the world. I liked being around Republicans who were ashamed to being Republicans, I liked being around extreme left wingers, it told me that I AM in the middle.

BUT - my life goes on!

Anyway that is my story!
read at your own risk!

A personal message to "Nickname unavailable" who in the comments said yesterday "Same as 9/11 because you won't be able to get such cushy benefits at the expense of the rest of Wisconsin's taxpayers anymore? Wow, you people are insane."

You are either an elitist big money buffoon or an ignorant red neck asshole who does not have any education past high school or you are just another lazy clueless greedy piece of white trash that works for private industry. I hope whoever you work for fails and you find yourself on the unemployment line - BTW - who do think is behind the counter or giving you your free unemployment money? - Public Servants! So for you my personal message is - Fuck You!

BTW - don't bother responding - I'll just delete your ass!  THAT, my friend is what Republican Democracy is!

And THAT, is how your middle class public servants feel right now!

Until Monday!

if you have nothing to do - go to the Square Saturday - I here there might be a small get-together.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Retiring is suppose to be a happy time not a sad time!

WHOA - Pulled that Rabbet out of their ass.

Minutemen were members of teams of select men from the American colonial partisan militia during the American Revolutionary War. They provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that allowed the colonies to respond immediately to war threats, hence the name.

It was like the Minutemen were called to arms.  As the illegal voting of the NOW - non-fiscal part of the Bill was being rammed through the Senate people were literally RUNNING to the Capitol trying to save democracy!  People without coats, people in cars parking where ever their was an opening leaving their car and RUNNING to the Capitol!

  - - - -pardon me if I seem a little disjointed - many of the people around me have given their 1 day notice and are retiring tomorrow!   It seems like something "I" should do  - this is so fucked up.   The Republicans have REALLY screwed public workers in the ass! My contract is up TOMORROW (all of a sudden) after tomorrow the republicans can pretty much do what ever they want to us!  Putzpatrick's brother was put in charge of the Retirement system!   Go figure!!! 

ANYWAY - Walker has basically admitted he has been lying along!  The Collective Bargaining part of the bill was PART of the Fiscal package so he could not just get rid of it.  Until he decided that it did not have anything to do with fiscal so he split it out!  

Then he says he can get rid of Collective Bargaining because the people voted for him to get rid or it!  NOT so sure about that one!  

People here are STUNNED!!  It's like the rub has been ripped out from under them, it's like the same day as 911 happened!!  
OK - I turned in my paper wit hall the others!    One side says don't go crazy - nothing is goign to happen but the other side says . . . why risk a LOT of money for 3 weeks!!  

MAN!!!  This is SO messed up!   Retiring is suppose to be a happy time not a sad time! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winning Battles!

WOW - what a LONG drive to work - there were 7 cars off the road between Columbus and Sun Prairie! As I was driving I was thinking this is the worst I have ever seen 151 but U did not want to say that out loud! Then DJ says "This is the worst I have ever seen 151".

The other lane seemed better but in order to get there I had to get out of my tracks and jump over the . . I don't know what you all the 6 inches of snow that line the lanes. I was cruising at 40mph catch up to cars and by the time I was in the left hand lane I was going 30 and just hanging on to control!! SHEESH!! Took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to work more then twice as long!

In other news Governor Walker is quietly euthanizing inconsequential and redundant Public Servants before the Union thugs catch wind of it.

Thank you Onion for letting me steal an idea.

But let's get serious.

In reality - Wisconsin is winning! You can tell by the news conferences (called pressers by the media) which appear at random times whenever Walker feels threatened . . .which seems to be every day now.

The newest problem is that he PROMISED that he would NEVER negotiate but it seems he is caving in and HAS BEEN negotiating.  Then when things are looking promising  he threatens the Wis 14 with arrest.  Which actually would be contempt of court if he did arrest anybody for a non-felony!

ALL the polls - even by conservative leaning pollsters are against Walker and conservative pro-Walker newspapers like the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel are having anti-Walker headlines!  He is losing this war.  Wisconsin has won ALL the battles!

BUT - Michigan - look what their Republic Governor is proposing - The Governor, at his whim, can declare ANY town as being in an emergency  fiscal situation.  And when he declares it he has the power to REPLACE the towns government for people of HIS choosing.  Furthermore - he can actually unincorporate the town, actually dissolving the town OR merge into another town.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?

For instance - he could dissolve Columbus and make it part of Waterloo using the Waterloo Police department, OR - just replace the City Council and Mayor and everybody else with anybody he wants! (If Columbus was in Michigan I suppose).

So much for democracy!

HUGE rally this Saturday - rumors and spin have it a 150,000.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

The truth is out!

I get to work and have a number of emails informing me that people I work with are all retiring . . .   FRIDAY!  geez- "I'll" be the guy shutting off the lights for Health Services! And I was trying to get out BEFORE everybody else!

But then - I get an email from a Minnesota friend Graham Man and it's all very clear now on Walkers intentions.

In a strange turn of events during a routine investigation of political contributions several large deposits were traced back to Zygi Wilf current owner of the Minnesota Vikings. The unrest in the state of Wisconsin apparently was a distraction to upset the City of Green Bay economic stability to force the public sale of the Green Bay Packers. With the sale of the Packers Zygi Wilf would position himself to purchase the team and bring it to Minnesota to finally get the Super Bowl win he has been obsessed with and apparently will stop an nothing to obtain.

Governor Walker was unable to be reached for comment and rumors are he has left the country! His parting words were "you cant do anything while I am away without my vote!"


After the Odd Fellows Brew Clinic was over Saturday I drove home to Kestrel Ridge and decided to see how the protest was going. I could tell that it was waning but still there were about 500 protesters in front of Kestrel Ridge and they were VERY loud!  I could clearly hear them from my house.  Well done Columbus!

When  town of 5000 can get 500+ protesters out on a cold evening - you know a guy is not liked a whole lot.

I was thinking of different sports and how the people in that sport think of Union people.  For instance, bowling, I bet most bowlers are pro-union,  Golfers?  Probably some golfers are pro-union but as you get better and better you turn more and more Republican (notice Aduba, like a 5 handicap and voted for Walker . . although he does regret it now).  80% of Pro golfers are Republicans and I think we save Adubya just in time.   Soccer? 98% of soccer players are still not of working age so they don't count .  Polo, now I have to think that polo is probably a Republican sport.   If Union guys played polo it would be on Draft Horses with big long mallets.

This is the only photo I could find of Draft Horse Polo.  I believe these are specially bred horses with incredibly long noses.  They are bred for finding truffles in the ground in France (those chocolates are SO good).  

 Notice it takes two union members per horse which is a union rule. 

OK - since there are only 5 of us left in the room (was 30) I better get to work. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

No real ranting today!

NOT a ranting political blog (like you have been getting used to) - well - maybe a TINY bit on top!

Got an email yesterday from the head suits in the building - With the overwhelming amount of people retiring by the end of next week we are finding that large conference rooms are very hard to come by for parties. 
One of the reason the WIS 14 are in Illinois is so people get a chance to really see what the Bill has in it - it's pretty BIG and there are still things being revealed.

Check this out! (not ranting - informing)

Walker proposes cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit and eliminating indexing on the Homestead Credit, (this will really hurt Elwood) an effective tax increase of $51 million for Wisconsin’s poorest families. This is in contrast with over $200 million in tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy in the budget and the “budget repair” bill.

The governor’s budget reduces staffing and funding for the Department of Revenue, a department which has outperformed expectations in recent years in collecting delinquent taxes. Rather than fund positions to make sure that everyone pays their fair share in taxes, the governor is cutting within this department and lowering expectations for delinquent tax revenue collections by $20 million from what was collected in 2010.

At a time when Scott Walker is dramatically cutting public school funding, he is expanding private, tax supported schools that have consistently failed to be better than public options. (well, at least SOME have consistently failed. I think there is a little spin on that one)!

The budget phases out income eligibility criterion so high income families can now get tax vouchers for sending children to private school.

One of the nonpolitical things that gets me is that every morning I walk to work and has 7-10 huge Network satellite trucks.  Every day I walk through the epic center of a movement - it's rather exciting.  Last week I took a 360 degree photo in the dead center of the capitol rotunda.  YOU can not GET any more deeper in a movement - dead center!  With four networks filming "I" was in the epic center!  COOL

I'm getting to know some of these trucks.  I walk past $100,000 cameras on tripods standing in the middle of the sidewalk, no one around - I look inside open doors and see news people putting on make-up and reading script!  I trip over FOX cables that are laying all around and say "good morning " to the reporters.

Today a new truck appeared in front of my building.  Truck #11. One of the smaller ones.  

So yesterday I was walking around at noon looking for anything interesting and I must apologize to FOX News when they showed violent protests in Madison but with palm trees in the background!   


Even Legos are getting into the action! 

As I was walking around the doors of the Capitol seemed to be painted or something - I walked closer and saw hundreds of post it notes!   As I was take some photos a woman who I didn't know turned around and - I DID know here!  I love the expression on her face.

I took these this morning and am thinking of make posters of them.  
makes a nice background on your computer screen


FINALLY - it's Friday

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Madison Metro unveils new streamline bus system


Walker is having a private dinner and is closed to Civilians (and Union people )

Lori Marcks - General Manager/Events Director
Madison Metro shows off new ride plan!    With the recent cuts in the budget Madison Metro has had to switch some of the bus routes and cancel 50% of their buses!  With this in mind they are now selling "External Seating Cards" for a reduced fair for Public Employees. 

In the below photo you see new State of Wisconsin Contractors (who have replaced State Employees) boarding the buses on the square using their new found freedom and cost saving measures. It's WIN WIN.  State Employee Contractors are SAVING money.

Although if you still have your monthly Madison Metro pass you may still have inside seating on bad weather days.

Sydney! 7.1 pounds, 22 inches long, long fingers. Born 4:15 Wednesday morning.

Here are some iPhone photos 

 This is Caydence at our house after a long day

I was so nice to walk into the hospital room and see Sydney laying on Jennys chest. When Caydence popped out it was, here she is, take a glance, gotta go!! And no one saw Caydence for hours and days as she was in the ICU. Sydney was warm and cuddly and nursing. All is well.

In MY world, DJ and I have been taking care of Caydence who is a JOY, she learned "button" last night.

I think the main thing that concerns me with the budget is that communities can no way to raise cash now for growth.  Fixing roads - GONE.   Property tax is the main tax supporting local education, police/fire protection, some free medical services, and most of other local infrastructure.  Need a new bridge?  to bad!

 Of course there are ALL SORTS of other bad things but I won't go into it!  Yea - there is that education thing but - education is overrated .. I guess.   At least the Dept of Tourism got a BIG boost in revenue!


Speaking of Columbus - I'm still planning on taking a count of all the Redbuds in Columbus and will need volunteers to spend an hour on some Saturday when they are flowering.   My idea is to hand out maps of Columbus with a grid. Each group will walk the sidewalks and with a marker plot each redbud they see.  Maybe mark especially grand Redbuds for the Redbud of Distinction award (or something).    I'll put something in the paper asking for volunteers.

When do Redbuds flower in Columbus - it's early spring isn't it?  Know any dates?


HOPE - I tweaked this a little.  People said they wanted to purchase this but had a few suggestions.

Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's a Girl

Well - we new it was going to be a girl for months so the BIG surprise was if it was NOT a girl!

Not much time to "talk" (or as some say whine) this morning as we off to the hospital (baby was at 4:15).


First off - FOX News - it's been proven MANY times that they not only slant the news but just make it up. Check this out from last night - they are showing the violent protested in Madison - odd - I had never seen the palm trees on the square.

It's ALMOST like they are trying to make us believe something that is not true!

The Capitol Palm Trees

Anyway - The Budget - a couple nuggets

Recycling - no longer needed - Communities are no longer told to recycle and all funding for helping towns recycle has been eliminated - those funds will go to creating large industries (also called getting rid of the farmland that makes no money).

Arts Board: completely defunded - but this was not a surprise because the Republicans have defunded the national endowment for the arts.  We don't need art - we need big business.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board: 21.5% cut

 Historical Society: 7.9% cut, loss of 18 job

 Medical College of Wisconsin: 13.1% cut

Public Defender Board: 4.4% increase - these are the people that protect the Governors office from lawsuits

Department of Public Instruction: 8.2% cut ($530 million)

Department of Natural Resources: 15.8% cut, loss of 69 jobs 

 UW Hospitals and Clinics: completely defunded ($153 million) that right - UW Hospitals - GONE to Big Business

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: A new entity with a $99 million budget and executives appointed by the governor.

Increase of $15 million to the Dept of Tourism 

Wisconsin Technical College System: 21.3% cut

OH - here is a good thing - it is now impossible for towns like Columbus to ANY town to raise property tax.   So ANYTHING new - new roads, FIXING roads, new school, is now on the chopping block.   This cripples towns from growth.

20,167 UW Hospital employees will be laid off!

$900 million in education - GONE - we don't need education in Wisconsin - we have a Governor with a high school GPA of 2.57 - he didn't need no education.  Teachers are just over paid scabs anyway working 30 hours a week just standing there talking.

BTW - Public Employee Benefits are 100% funded by Public Employees - tax payers don't pay a single dime into the fund, says so right on the ETF website - odd - Walker makes it sound like we are cheating the tax payers doesn't it.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lead burns red and makes you dead

That's the phrase of the day! "Lead burns red and makes you dead". I think I'm going to try to put this into common every day lingo - could be a catch phrase that sweeps the country! Sort of like "The Whiter the Bread the Sooner You're dead" hmmmm both end with dead!

Anyway - there will be no labor strike for Jenny as Doctors are inducing labor tonight with Sydney (sp?) is due tomorrow. So tomorrow I MIGHT not have a blog - but of course the world comes to an end at 4:00 today when Herr Walker gives his budget speech from an unknown bunker.  

 "Lead burns red and makes you dead"

I was working at the liqueur store last night and a person came in and we were talking and he was involved with city council meeting in Sun Prairie.  The problem was that 7% of Sun Prairie teachers are retiring which really puts the squeeze on classes.  Add the 15 to 20,000 teachers that will get layoff notices in Wisconsin and education will REALLY suck for schools!  NO MORE BEING #2 when #25 is good enough.

ANYWAY- I was talking to another customer that was looking for 15 pounds of dextrose. Why on earth would you need 15 pounds of dextrose ( a type of sugar). Seems they were making moonshine which is illegal.  I said I had never tasted moonshine which was sort of odd because I think I have tried almost everything illegal (a long time ago).  They said that would bring a sample in someday!

So I started to look up to see what the heck moonshine is.  Basically a whiskey.  One way to test if moonshine is safe is the flame test!   Put some moonshine in a teaspoon and light it.  Safe moonshine burns with a blue flame, but a tainted moonshine burns with a yellow flame. Practitioners of this test also say that if a radiator coil had been used as a condenser, then there would be lead in the distillate, which would give a reddish flame. Thus the common phrase, "Lead burns red and makes you dead."

and there ya go!
Let's look at the OTHER side of this budget crisis! 

We all can agree that what is happening is a hostile corporate take over of Wisconsin Government. That one is a no brainer - but is it a bad thing?   Having the power plants no longer run by the government and now run by the Koch brothers in private, for profit industry might not be all that bad.  Although it is too bad Wisconsin can no longer erect wind turbines (bill passed last month making it impossible).

Government, by nature, is very inefficient.  Any bad decision can be put off to the next people in charge 3 or 4 years down the road.  I've personally seen millions wasted because the decision makers know that by saying "we were wrong" it makes them look bad.  But if they can say, keep going, even though it will ultimately fail (which it does) then they will not get the blame because they have moved on. 

The problem comes with privatizing the government is that the citizens will ultimately have to pay higher prices - SOMEBODY has to pay right?  It's no longer a tax but it's a charge.  So while you will not get higher taxes you will have higher charges.   

What about the schools!  $900,000,000 will be subtracted from public schools!  $550 per student!  10% of the teachers will be laid off with another 7% retiring THIS year.  Those teachers will ultimately be fired and will not get their jobs back. In their place will be teachers from private educators (after all, a teacher will have no rights, who can he or she complain too . . the government?  LOL)  who now can teach what THEY believe is the way of the world.  If they want to teach the world is flat - who are you going to complain to . . the government?  LOL    Perhaps schools will be cut to 4 days a week.

I gotta tell ya - Walker knows how to create jobs though.

Is seems every 30 years the government needs pruning.  30 years ago they made a "window"  to get old government employees to retire.  Now it's fear that is causing massive retirements that are crippling agencies.  But is that a bad thing?   He has in line all sorts of private workers in line to hire!  They don't care about helping the citizens of Wisconsin - it's a job!   Unlike present employees that actually CARE about what they do!

It's one of the reason people take Government jobs!  We care!

One of the problems with this whole economy thing that people "complain" about, is the fact that private industry knows that they can be more efficient with less people, thus, there is no need to hire more workers.  They are making money hand over foot!! 

So the same probably holds true with government.   So you say - why are you being such a whiny baby then.

Look at it from an insiders point of view. 

24 years ago I took a job knowing that State Government is a sweet deal, we make less then others, have poorer working conditions but the benefits are pretty darn good. Plus the great thing is that in a small way we are serving our country.  Many of us have this pride!  But no beating around the bush, State Government has good benefits, not going to lie.

So I, like 300,000 other employees go to work every day, do our jobs, cause no trouble. We don't sit there wringing our hands looking for ways to screw the people we work for.  WE LIKE TO SERVE!  

BUT - all of a sudden three years ago we take a 10% cut in pay.  OUCH,  last year, another 10% cut in pay  OUCH,  This year we bargain with good faith and understand budget problems BAM - 10% cut in pay AND we lose all rights to negotiate AND there is a chance people who have worked hard for 25 years will each have about $48,000 taken out of our retirement banks that would pay for health care. Money we have worked for and thought about for 25 years!!  

OH but wait - then the Governor tells the citizens that PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE BAD PEOPLE SUCKING WISCONSIN DRY!   WE ARE BROKE AND SOMEONE HAS TO PAY.  So now we have the people we were proud to work for for 25 years . . . HATE us!

And you wonder why some of us are a little cranky?