Tuesday, February 28, 2012

THAT is why we like Daytona

And THAT, is why DJ and I love the Daytona 500. WOW! Just like 100% of the announcers said " In have never seen anything like THAT happen before ". I case you missed it, with 40 laps to go there was a caution flag and all the cars were slowing down to a crawl (like 100 mph or something) and way in the back, all alone were two trucks on the top outside of the track, trailing jet engines that were drying off the track and one lone car . . . . that was having problems.

All of a sudden, in his words, "I was no longer in control and I became a passenger". The car loses grip on the track, spins out of control and rams into the back of one truck with the jet engine.

At that point all hell breaks loose as 200 gallons of jet fuel ignites along with the trucks HUGE tank of diesel fuel!

This is all happening just before we come back from a commercial. No one was hurt.

The race was finally won at 11:50 by local Cambridge dude Matt Kenseth.

OH - the action started in lap #2. The newest sensation on the track is Danica

Patrick. The first woman to race in NASCAR. A winner on the Indy circuit. this is her first BIG race, she is in the lime green car, watch what happens to her!

DJ and I both love watching the Daytona 500. It's a sign of spring coming. Next up is DJs second favorite sports event - The Masters!! I doubt there will be the fireworks in the Masters as there was in Daytona last night.

News on DUC computer. Seems there are people getting ripped off that I did not know about. Ch27 was going to do a report on DUC but the guy they were helping filed a law suit so they had to drop the case. I'll call Ch27 tomorrow so they can open the case back up.

Watch Ch27, maybe I'll be on it???

New postcards for Columbus are on the way!  Should have them by next Wednesday.  I'm printing 6 new ones and 3 old ones.


Monday, February 27, 2012

This and that - waiting

The Daytona 500 was postponed for a day and I think that is awesome!! I love watching the Daytona, the Superbowl of racing. I don't watch many races during the year, maybe 3 or 4  but today I can sit back and relax and watch it . . . if it does not get rained out.   Actually I'll work on Art stuff . . multi tasking you know.

Just a random thought here. The Wisconsin State Government agencies are having a hard time hiring people. I know DOC can't find people to fill positions and HFS, where I worked is having problems finding qualified computer people. Weird, low paying jobs with small benefits are not that attractive.

Here is my thought. The Republicans, who ALWAYS say government should be treated like a business . . . even though it's really government . . want to make sure the largest "business" in Wisconsin, which handles hundreds of millions of dollars that go to people that REALLY need help, is run by the lowest paid bottom of the barrel vilified people?  Is that what they consider good business practice?

The knowledge running these systems by people that really know what they are doing is evaporating and there is no one to take their place. Just sayin'.


STILL no resolution on my computer. I guess the police have parking tickets to give out and don't really want to be bothered with actual crime.

When we purchased a new washing machine a few years ago from Sears and one of the selling points (we were told) was that in 2 years we could have a FREE preventive maintenance visit from a trained technician. I'm pretty sure they know that 99% of people will forget . . . unless they have a smart phone and put it on their calendar. So today I'm waiting around for the dude to show up.

It was suppose to me Saturday morning but we got a call Friday confirming Saturday afternoon . . .no . . . the appointment was for Saturday morning which all of a sudden was a problem for them.

So they said Monday morning the 27th and I would get a call a day ahead of time to confirm . . . which I didn't get! The trained technician is probably Bradly from DUC Computers and he'll wreak the washer so he can fix it for $352.


Today's big job . . .besides watching the Daytona is making a new set of Columbus postcards. I'm waiting for the new 20x30 images for Hydro Street to come and have plans for the NEXT set which will be Civil War re-enactors.

Columbus will have a Civil War reenactment in June during the Columbus Carriage Festival (or whatever it's called now).  So I plan on attending a few wars BEFORE the war in Cbus so Hydro Street Brewing will Civil War images up.

BTW - Hydro Street Brewing is getting ready to add 5 more taps and are doing very well. 
Columbus Carriage Classic

I actually saw one of the Oscar movies.  Moneyball.  It's rare we see a movie the year it's nominated. Wait, we also saw Bridesmaids so that is two. 

Well . . . I'm stalling . . .

see ya!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Brew Day, Braun, Snow,

WOW - the trees are magnificent today. Officially (since I'm the NOAA Columbus official) Columbus had 2.0 inches of snow and 0.2 inches of precipitation which seems weird because that is the default amount for water/snow. Another observer in Lake Mills sent a photo to me of their 8 inches!! NOT ONE OF THOSE PHOTOS! dirty minds!

The BIG news in Wisconsin is Ryan Braun getting a NOT GUILTY vote in his PED case and I think ESPN is going to catch a lot of shit for leaking the whole mess. Remember when the MLB union negotiated their latest contract the random drug testing was in there WITH THE GUARANTEE they any findings would never ever become public.

Geez - guess that didn't work and Braun was dragged over hot coals with GUILTY unless proven innocent. And since no one in history had ever successfully won an appeal - automatically guilty. But not this time. (I won't say I told you so).

I had a rough day yesterday.

For most people they go through life in a pretty regimented style. They have 5 day work weeks, work 8 hours a day and everything revolves around work.

What many people find is when they take that regime away life sort of changes in more ways then you thought. NOT working sounds great and it is for the most part but what next???? All of a sudden you are not as . . . important.

I find that I always have a list in my head of things that have to be done. Sunday nights I sort of draw up a schedule, Monday I do this Tuesday I do that Friday is Brew Day and since my photography business is keeping me somewhat "busy" it works out nice.

Yesterday was suppose to be jury duty day but it was canceled. All of a sudden I had an . . off day. A day with nothing planned. I've had a few of these (less then you would think) and every time it's actually depressing. You don't want to sit around watching TV all day wasting your life.

So anybody that finds themselves with no regiment in his future REALLY, get a hobby, get something you can do with your time to make you feel you are accomplishing something. Otherwise you will go NUTS!!


Brew day - I'm brewing a Kentucky Common a once-popular style of ale from the area in and around Louisville, Kentucky, it's rarely brewed commercially today. Being cheaper than imported beers, it was popular among the working class around the turn of the century . . . last century.

I'm brewing it as a test for some Civil War reeanactors who were looking for Civil War beer. Civil War beer was actually Bud, Miller and the likes but this seems like it would taste a little better . . . well . . . poop would taste better but . . . not that I have tasted poop . . .just sayin'.


OK - forgot to actually hit POST! so it's a little late. OH - I took an online spelling test. I average 6 correct words per minute. I think I did something wrong. They should give a test on typing AND correcting.

AND FINALLY!! Check out what Caydence can do!!

have a weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Small World

I slept too well last night and don't feel like writing. I didn't wake up 3 times with pets and when I sleep well I wake up groggy.

I invited some friends up to Hydro Street Brewing for our monthly get together of old softball players last month.

We had a team that played in the #2 league in Madison for a little over 20 years.

We started playing every Saturday at Tenny Park in Madison, just pick up games but there was a core of about 30 guys and a few woman that would play 2 and 3 games every single Saturday there was no snow on the ground for perhaps six years until they tore up the diamonds. Those thirty split into two teams ours being the better and our sponsor was Creative Software who's owner was our 1st basemen, the company wrote all of Weather Centrals software (Weather Central is the worlds largest private weather service).

So we then worked our way up the ladder and along with playing 2 and 3 games on Saturday we played twice a week in league and tournaments. Zero power, a ton of hits and great fielding and frankly, just good smart softball.

Oh, we did have the most on field fights with other teams . . probably the most caustic team in Madison with a large number of bench jockeys . . even our girlfriend fans would have verbal confrontations with the other teams fans . . LOL we had one time when Chris our SS had his arms held back while some guy was punching him in the stomach and I had one pitcher throw OVERHAND a ball at my head once when I was at bat (this was underarm slow pitch). But that is another story.

We were called once a bunch of old yapping Chihuahuas, and then we won the Championship.

But then we started to get older and got married and kids and so forth we called it quits in the middle 90s and slowly drifted apart. Sort of sad.

ANYWAY - a friend I will call . . . Larry was having a brew and a Columbus friend I will call . . . . Doug came up to the table and we talked. Larry and Doug I believe had one of those "I think I know you" moments but did not act on it.

Seems Larry is a truss designer for houses and Doug knows a thing or two about wood and a few weeks later they are in some big company meeting and BAM. They have a common link! ME!!!

Small world.

That reminded me of an adventure I had a number of years ago. A friend and I went on a baseball vacation. Two weeks on the road to see 10 Major League Stadiums. As we jumped into the loaded car for two weeks of camping the last thing Chris said was "We need toilet paper" and he ran to the house and got a roll.

Anyway the vacation was a success except for Chris opening the car door on a biker, and I think we stole some salt from a McDonalds once. . . HEY, when you ask for ketchup they give you like 20 packs! I think they can handle missing a salt shaker.

We got rained out in Detroit and could have had a double header the next night AND we could have seen Crosby Still, Nash and Young for free but, we had TWO games in TWO other cities the next day and night. sigh.

The odd thing was we were camping in Pennsylvania and had picked a campsite way in the back of a National Park. The ranger drove by and we waved. Then he drove by again real slow and looked at us. Then about a half our later here he comes again.

He stops and gets out and and says, "I see you are from Wisconsin" and we say yea, Madison Wisconsin and he says "I have a friend from Madison". Really that's cool what's his name and he says Bob Anderson and Chris and I look at each other and Chris says . . . . That's my brother!

Small World.

On the way back we were in Cleveland and there are few camping places in the middle of Cleveland so we found this hotel. Chris goes up to the guy behind the caged glass window and says how much for a room. The guy looks at use weirdly and says "for how long". Chris has this big "?" above his head and says "All night".

It was a very active hotel it seems, people coming and going all night, must have been a good place. Oddly it was the ONLY time we needed that roll of toilet paper.

That's all I can type.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NO - not politics, DUC Computers and the Auditorium

Is it just me? Seems I would take Rick Santorum MORE seriously if he had those big clown shoes and a big red rubber clown nose on when he made a speech. And Newt says Obama WANTS higher gas prices! Yea - I believe every politician wants higher gas prices during election years. Makes perfect sense.

I was watching the 4 hours PBS (that liberal socialist station) special on Clinton last night until I had two things recording at once and had to miss the Monica days. I believe this whole hatred between the two parties started with Gingrich and Kennith Star.

I grew up in a liberal family and just as I dislike Fords (the car) I disliked the Republican party . . . but in reality, I did not REALLY care either way, it was politics and yawn!

But then I saw the Republican attacks on Clinton which really had nothing to do with actually running the country, their complete hatred for anything Clinton and at that point it seems it was Game On. No more even pretending to work together for a common goal.

sigh - sorry - watching that show I had forgotten all about Clinton and the Bosnia and Herzegovina war in 1994. It was all hearts, puppies and bunny hugs as DJ and I were linking up!  Who can care about politics when I'm chasing a hot chick.
The Terrier emailed me yesterday and mentioned we should not drink Columbus water on the 1st Friday of the month.  Probably the date when Chlorine is added to the wells or something.  She also had a GREAT idea on how to balance the budget.

With millions and millions of out of state dollars coming into the state to help Walker defend his righteousness, why not tax all Super Pac money and contributions.  Sure the $12 million out of state "donations" would not completely cover the $143 million short fall from his "balanced" budget which he blames on the people of Wisconsin for not spending more (although he did lower wagers by 10+% to tens of thousands government employees).

On to other news.

I received an email from Fall River - seems a guy there had exactly the same thing happen with the DUC Computer scam artist.  Charged $350, hard drive taken and computer dead.  He is also in contact with another person in FR that had her computer ripped off.  

The Columbus Police called and left a message on DUC's phone.  That will put a stop to the madness I'm sure.  

I'm ordering the prints for the Hydro Street Brewing Auditorium display this morning.  Can't decide if this one makes the cut yet.  Lots of negative space with a certain otherness to it.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Have a nice final warm day as America finally cools off to actually be BELOW average for a little while.  brrrrrrrrr  NOT FAIR!!!   Much of Europe is warming up. They have had a hideous winter with over 600 deaths due to the cold.

bundle up . . . . tomorrow and for the next week.


Monday, February 20, 2012

I got nothin!

WELL - I sold a nice large canvas this morning so I;m feeling cocky but then I call my high school friend The Gambling Barber and I find he is in the Islands this week! sigh! bastard!

So here I am forced to do paper work today getting ready for Art Fair season. However I was asked if I ever do family photos or portraits which normally I refer people to Michael Martin  Michael Martin Photography  BUT - once people see that I get weird at times and understand that I take creative license - (insert evil laughter) I might agree.

ANYWAY - since I have no words other then  Note to GOP, seriously?  That's the best you have?  I'll just shove a few human photos in front of you.  I do try to stay away from humans you know.

So here are a few that have somehow slipped past me.

One thing I've been doing is taking other peoples photos (how have the rights) and creating something new.  Giving the images a little more . . . .pizaaz and constructing something unique. 

OH - how did that get in there!! 

OK OK - like seriously - I have to get some real work done today!  

Have a great Monday! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Columbus Pioneer

Yet another image of the Columbus Auditorium.  I'm looking for so good info on the Audi that I'll be able to hang on the wall in Hydro Street Brewery. I'm sure there will be a lot of interest when customers see the images on the walls and it would be nice to have contact information and so forth.   Lets get this ball rolling AGAIN.

Yea - I know people are worn out from the constant struggle but  this is just a REMEMBER? thing - let's not let people forget.


Remember the Columbus Pioneer?  That good newspaper that Cbus had for like 2 months?  I wrote for them (unpaid) and shared a beer with Joe Morey at the Kurth.  He really liked Columbus but it seemed no one liked buying advertising in his newspaper.  We felt it was because businesses felt by buying advertising in the Pioneer they were putting Paul out of business with the Columbus Journal and Gutter Gussie would have no where to post 2 pages of the all important bowling scores or pictures of people handing checks over to other people.

So Joe who spent $20,000 was leaking money like a sieve.  People LOVED the real newspaper and it was selling well, but in newspapers it's all about advertising.  Even the Hospital refused to spend one dime on the Pioneer.

So after Joe's wife had a baby they had no more money and left town.

Of course everybody was running around with their hands in the air  screaming SCAM SCAM I LOST MY $32 to a SCAMMER.  Good God it was embarrassing listening to that simple minded crap.  Thirty Two Dollars and they decided to get lawyers involved to get their money back. Really?  You know who is going to get money?  Lawyers! 

He filed bankruptcy so no one got their precious $32 back.

Well he is trying to start a new paper up in Wausau (which happens to be where my beer is at in a competition) and he is getting some flak.

Here is the newsy on FOX news.

Fox News Wausau

Joe- good luck to you up there - you had a pretty darn good paper.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Police/Beer/Survivor Men vs. Woman!

Busy day already this morning. From calls from the Police which show up as BLOCKED on my cell phone to making a huge yeast starter for my One Putt Twelve IPA which as luck would have it boiled over on BOTH burners (lovely).

The police called saying that they contacted DUC and I can go pick up my computer today and we will discuss a refund. Man!!! I gotta deal with Mr. Twitchy again. crap!

You know I try to put money back into the community but . . sigh!

One Putt Twelve is a wonderful IPA I make but THIS time I'm fixing the water first and making a big starter. Upon reading I found my starters were a little small. The beer was turning out fine but it's another of the tiny things that add up in making a good beer.

I'm also going to Walmart to get 4 gallons of RO water (on 37 cents per gallon) to dilute the Columbus filtered water 3:1, adding 1 oz of Sour Malt to the grist along with 2 teaspoons of Calcium Sulfate and 2 teaspoons of Calcium Chloride. I need a lot of calcium since Cbus water has almost zero and IPAs are high mineral brews. I need Sulfate because it accentuates hop bitterness and I need Chloride for flavor and fullness in a beer.

Since Columbus water is lacking in ALL of those they have to be added in for a beer that needs a lot of minerals.

That's the plan at least - brew day is tomorrow.

Men vs. Woman

This years Survivor is Men vs. Woman, all living together on one island. OR - in reality it should be Woman vs. Men. Whenever there is a split and men are on one side and the woman on the other the woman always THE WOMAN ALLIANCE!! You never see THE MAN ALLIANCE!! You can have the cute girl alliance or the hunky guy alliance, that is a given but the woman always gang up on the men and the men are useless in defending themselves.

That is the thing at the moment with America. Woman are always cast as the weaker sex, but look at advertisements on TV, who is ALWAYS portrayed as a simpleton, man. While woman are going nuts over a beautiful new house the men are coveting a can of Bud or somehow making a fool of themselves.

Rick Santorium has it right when it comes to woman an the military. Put more woman in combat situations and men will do stupid things! It's not a cut on woman, it's a cut on men.  If you have a male being tortured and screaming the other men will fight to get to him.  IF you have a woman being tortured and screaming the men will to totally stupid things - it's our weakness.

And yes - woman SHOULD be put in more combat situations but I really can see how there COULD be a problem.  It's on our genetic code, protect woman.

In survivor, last night, if you watched the show during the very first competition Kourtney (one of my favorites for the 1st 20 minutes of the show) breaks her wrist. The men, who were leading have a choice. Take the win right now OR continue and risk losing.

The men, as they should, take the win and now everybody is all anal about how mean the guys are . . . but wait. If both sides were all male would people be upset? No, but since it's woman on the other side we're suppose to treat them differently?  Not as equals but treat them because they are "weaker"?  I think not. 

From the casting of the males it looks like this is what the producers were going for . . .a lot of macho male gorillas except the one REAL gay guy who . . . . has a LOT of power all of a sudden (I won't say more on that subject).

SO you have a lot of macho males who will TRY to not fall for the womanly charms (but will ultimately fail) and for the most part a good number of hot strong willed woman who will gang up to take out all the males.

Of course the woman tribe is already bickering among themselves which is what always happens. This is not more evident then in a show a never watch anymore, Apprentice.

Whenever it's Man vs. Woman notice what happens. The men will have raging in your face chest pounding arguments, then 3 hours later they are fine and working together. Woman will also have raging in your face chest pounding arguments and will NEVER work together as a cohesive unit, they will carry a grudge to the very end of the show.

The whole trick is for the woman to band together, titillate the men with their charms and get ONE GUY to switch. 

Man vs. Woman, the men are doomed.


BTW - the Grackles are back.  I just looked out my window and there must be a hundred in my yard.    Red Wing Black birds are maybe a week away.

The Grackles found an open spot of water on the golf course are it's a bathing frenzy, water splashign everywhere!!  Those crazy Grackles!

Have a nice Thursday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Outing Diversified Utility & Communications E James St Columbus Wi

Some people say I can be taken advantage off because I'm so kind hearted and wonderful but so far in life paying it forward seems to be working.    That is why when I was "working with" Diversified Utility & Communications (formally from Watertown)in Columbus I was fine with the guys incompetence. I felt I was doing the right thing and wanted to help out Columbus Businesses.

But things spiraled out of control and buy the time I tried to put a STOP order on a check I wrote ONE HOUR EARLIER, it had already been cashed.

Here is what I WAS going to give the Small Claims people before more facts hit the fan and there are a LOT of people in my boat . . . .it's getting crowded!

On 11/28/11 I took my laptop into DUC to get fixed – it would go on/off/on/off /on/off/on/off. I was was told, in his exact words it would be “$120, no wait $130” and “at least it’s not the hard drive”.

On 11/30/11 I picked up the computer with an additional $137.02 charged. Seems a new memory stick, AND a new hard drive were needed. I did not WANT a new hard drive but that's fine, not much on it anyway as the computer as wiped clean a couple months earlier.

Arrived home – computer would not turn on at all. Returned it to DUC.

12/1/11 picked up fixed computer, he installed another new memory stick, charged another $64.81. I was a little ticked and mentioned it but at least I had my computer back.

Arrived home – computer would not turn on AGAIN! I tried to stop my check from going through (his Master Card was broken it seemed). However the check had ALREADY gone through. Total time was about 1 hour since I wrote the check. I find out from people watching that he runs to the bank and cashes the check immediately - PLUS he asks it to be written to HIM and not the company.

Returned computer - what could I do???

This time he says it’s the CD ROM drive – however he would fix that out of his money and kindness as I told him in no uncertain terms that I did not want to spend any more money on the computer (I only expected to play $130 in the first place).

Since then I have gotten the run around as he said HE got scammed with a new CD ROM and had to order another one. Now, almost two months later the computer is still at his place and every time I call, IF I get an answer it’s just a few days away. Typically he does not answer and does not return phone calls.

So now it's time to get the Police involved. Small Claims Court is no help because even if I win it does not mean he would have to pay anything. He does not have too. Well, he HAS too but if he does not nothing really happens.

Stay away from this twitchy guy. He's just taking your money and using it for . . . . other things!

The Better Business Bureau has a number of complaints against him and now has one more.

If you know someone with problems with DUC please have them contact me. I don't know why but the more names I get the more power we have against this dude.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Is that you Whitney??

I have these two songs going through my head for some reason. On one side is this Adele song and on the other side is Whitney Houston screaming at me, you know the song. HELP!!!!!

But you know what blew me away last night at the Grammys (besides Nicki Minaj's performance which scared me) was The Civil Wars. WOW - BLOW ME AWAY!! I was doing search's this morning and one thing that keeps coming up is "Who are The Civil Wars".

Of course their performance can not be found anywhere because The Grammy people keep everything under lock and key forever which sucks. There are some amazing performances in the past that can never be seen (Pink's acapella from about 5 years ago) . . .anyway . . .

Check out The Civil Wars



I got a letter from Water and Light.  At first I thought it was going to be a notice that since I was blasting the Columbus water they were going to disconnect me  . . . .but I was wrong.

It was from Vicky Billingclerk saying "Like dude your water bill is like totally bonkers!
Your consumption which is like 3,465 gallons per month and you topped out over 10,000 gallons last month.   Like perhaps you should look for a leak? or something.  (not her exact word).

Well yea - how about the outside faucet mysteriously coming on, would that be classified as a leak?

Madison Mallards Hot Dogs

 I hope so. 

OH - why a hot dog?  I was looking for my faucet leak but came across the hot dog I got at the Mallards game last year and thought it was much more funny!  mmmmmm  ball park hot dogs - and it was cold. The Mallards know how to make hot dogs for sure.

Mom?  I put a dent in the car!!


One thing I noticed when I was doing my taxes.  The pension plan does not take enough out of my monthly check for taxes . . OUCH!!!!   Glad I got a job to cover what I owe.

I was going to blast Walker again but I lost interest.  OK - so Wisconsin's budget has a 143 million short fall because we did not collect enough taxes.  Well, YEA - cut $400,000,000 in State employee wages and you come up $140,000,000 short? who could have predicted THAT.

But that least he is taking the Home Mortgage money Wisconsin got to help home owners and using it to fix the budget.   

OH - Walker last year  ....("democrats" relied on one-time federal stimulus dollars as if the money would be there forever – but it’s already gone. Gone are the segregated fund raids, illegal transfers, and accounting gimmicks." -Scott Walker, Budget Address, 1 March 2011.

Well - not entirely I guess.

This is the last 3 months of GDP for the U.S. Wisconsin is ranked NUMBER 3 if you reverse the order! Thank you Mr. Walker.

DJ and I started watching Downton abbey because of a SNL skit!!   After seeing this we were intrigued and now love the show!


Anyway - better clean the kitchen, fill out a lawsuit for a computer dude, get dog food, go to the post office, work on another Auditorium image, read more about water (I had a water epiphany last night) get jury photos together and fill out another application for an Art Fair.

Wait - what is that I hear in teh background?? . . . .Is that you Whitney??      MAKE IT STOP!!!!! 

OH - speaking of Auditorium photos!

Have a great week

Friday, February 10, 2012

What? Winter?? Cold?? Quoting Batman

Has anybody seen my winter gloves? It's been so long since I wore my WARM gloves that I can't find them. HMMMMMMMM And for anybody that cares southern Wisconsin is actually ABOVE average in precipitation this winter . . . AS PREDICTED!!! We will just forget about the prediction of slightly colder then average.

The Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would make it legal to take home brew off your property to share. Currently the DOR has deemed it illegal to share home brew with your neighbor. Many homebrew competitions have been canceled in Wisconsin because it's a $10,000 fine to carry a bottle of home brew off your yard. This is a problem for many home brew clubs as it is illegal to share.

On a Federal level we're all good but in Wisconsin the Department of Revenue says no no - "after the event in India where like 15 people died from illegal moonshine it's way to dangerous to make home brew".  I don't think they understand that beer was originally made thousands of years ago because it was the one that thing humans could drink that WOULD NOT KILL YOU!

There is absolutist nothing that can survive in home brew that can kill you.  Nothing can survive in the combination of alcohol and low PH.  It's why beer was invented in the first place. 

But remember, the DOR also felt making movies in Wisconsin was a bad thing.

SO - now Republicans are trying to pass Bill 395 that would make it OK to do what we have been doing for decades. The Tavern League is dead set against Bill 395.

I was reading in Beer Advocate about more more and more communities are having small brewery's open, not unlike Hydro Street Brewing in Columbus.  America is starting to be like France with wine. Local, small breweries making enough for the community. Slowly chipping away at the mega brewery's that are now owned by non-americans (Bud).

You know - seriously - if I had understood the Columbus water before I moved here I seriously doubt I would have moved here. The water is so terrible. Who in the past decided to dump Baking Soda into our water and call it good??? Can our water dudes fix this???

I have a copy of the Sun Prairie (SP) water. WOW - that is nice water.

Sodium - Cbus 106ppm SP - 4ppm
Calcium - Cbus 19ppm SP 66ppm

I've been asking others around the U.S. what there water is and there are a number of communities that also soften there water but our? It's the worst in America . . so far. No one, that I have seen so far, has more sodium in their drinking water.

NOTE - since I put the question out we are not the WORST!! Actually Carmen Indiana is the worst so far with 250 ppm sodium.  The installed RO water systems.  So while I do not have to have water softeners I might get a RO water system (about $200).   

Working on shots of the Auditorium and it seems there is Audi burn out. HOWEVER - I still think there is hope. I have said all along that there is a majority of people that live in Columbus (normally not people that grew up in Columbus) that are excited about what Columbus can be!

These people see a future. To quote Batman (don't ask) "Tomorrow is one dream away. Don't look at the past and stop looking at the present, instead look at the future . .. if we ask ourselves . . .what can be . . .what will be . . tomorrow, then we are asking the right question. Because to hope, to dream, to predict is to shape the city yourself."

So lets not let renovating the Auditorium fall by the wayside.

Columbus Auditorium

Cold - no worries - this is just a dash of winter - the next 7 days will STILL be above average . . on average.  Once this cold flows south we will have warmer weather flow back over us and Canada and Alaska is still way above average - there is no REAL cold weather north of us.  Europe is where all the cold is . . . VERY cold.

Now I must prepare to brew - as Oaked, Dead and Arrogant will be brewed today.


Cute photo of the day

Caydance and Josh

Caydance and Josh at a Down Syndrome walk. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Auditorium

Locked up and closed to the world for 60 years, no heat, no electricity. The last performance on stage was 1934 before the city government, who wanted a new high school, condemned the building before it's time. Now to expensive to renovate for today's standards and to beautiful to demolish it sits empty and quiet in Columbus Wisconsin.

I've started working on a new set of images for Hydro Street Brewing (HSB) and this set will be of the inside of the Auditorium. This is the very first image I've worked on, I have not even looked at the "good" ones yet that I took, or at least the ones I was excited over when I visualized it through the view finder.

Sandye (who's birthday is today) and Aaron of HSB want to get people interested in The Audi again so I thought I would help. Only 30 more shots to go!

BTW - Aaron's new Scottish Ale at HSB is very very good. He changed the yeast from the last Scotch and WOW - it's a big tasty beer at 7.9% but you don't taste the alcohol (but you do feel it).

I was going to brew up my Creamy Dreamy for HSB but every time I mentioned it Aaron would turn this greenish color. It's really a very good beer but resembles Miller and Bud . . .more like Spotted Cow. Aaron said if people liked it he might be forced to brew it. hmmmmmm . . . you certainly would not want to brew something people love LOL The thing is that the beer has rice and corn in it as adjuncts (not unlike Bud).

SPEAKING OF BUD - I'm STILL laughing at spelling Dunkleweise and blogger saying "DO YOU MEAN BUDWEISER"? Did Bud pay off Blogger?

My next beer is called Oaked Arrogant Deadman-ageddon. A big bad American Strong Ale weighing in at 7.2% ABV (with new water).

At this moment we are experiencing the 5th warmest winter in Wisconsin history. I think they should measure how warm winters are by how many people fall through the ice. Maybe keep track on when the first and last ice fishermen falls through??


If you watch American Idol and DVR'd last night episode you missed "The Accident".

Fast forward to about the 1 minute mark, you can tell she is getting dizzy or faint. Once off the stage she is down for the count. No word on what happened yet.



DIRECT TV owners - now you can get Pandora radio for free. If you do not know what Pandora is (it's awesome) it's a radio station that YOU develop. For instance, you make a station called . . Led Zepplin and the station starts to develop a playlist just for you. You can thumbs up and thumbs down songs and every time you do that it learns more about your tastes and tweaks it's play list.

At the moment I seven stations, The Blues (it's very good with blues) Jethro Tull, Sirenia (orchestral gothic death rock from the Netherlands), Blackmores Night (you really have to hear these guys to understand how unique that are . . . .in fact . .


and Lacuna Coil, Pink Floyd.

Nuff said - I have to call Charter now and ream them a new one for doubling our Internet fee a month after I negotiated a lower price. Perhaps they thought I was only talking about a one month deal.

have a day.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finition de l'eau

What if Santorum won three States and nobody really cared!

What of M.I.A gave the finger to 100 million people and . . . everybody yawned!

What if the government bailed out the auto industry and then Republicans blamed the Democrats when ACTUALLY - the Republicans were the ones that started the auto bail out. So now we have Obama taking credit AND the blame for the bail out.

I was called a liberal on Facebook by a friend - I suppose I could be that but seriously, if Republicans actually had their act together I might lean more there way but WOW - bumbling buffoons.  

Look at Norway!  They LOVE their government, a government that actually works together for a common good.  Not this constant tug-o-war.  Norway has high taxes but those taxes go towards good.  Like mass transit where many cities no longer have cars above ground. 

Then I'm concerned about this whole electromagnetic pulse thing. If some third world country wanted to really crush the world they would take out satellites and kill the internet. No internet America comes to a scream halt as all banks would fail. 

If I was President I would make AMERICA in to a 3rd world country to save us! If 3rd world countries were elevated into 1st world countries . . THEN . . they would not be against us!  WE would be in control. 

Simple!!  Yes - you may say it - I am brilliant!

My final findings on the Columbus water when it comes to brewing is boring unless you are a brewer.

Bottom line - if you brew in Columbus you are totally screwed. I've showed the brewing salts report to many well known brewers across America and to a man they pretty much say -"WOW - that totally sucks to be a brewer in Columbus Wisconsin", followed with "is there ANY WAY you can get a different water source? "

Sadly . . no.

They took out calcium and replaced it with sodium. The exact opposite of what is needed for brewing and there is basically no way to fix it unless you have different water.

You can add minerals but with every one you add you also increase sodium, that horrible taste in the water. (BTW - I'm not anti Columbus Water and Light, it was not their idea . . .but who's bright idea was it anyway).

So - what can a brewer do?

First of all stop trying to create the perfect water. The goal is to get a PH of 5.2ish but that number is like using one number for your cholesterol. We know there is much more to cholesterol then just one number and mash PH is the same.

Adding minerals to lower your PH will effect other minerals. So if you are a brewer in Columbus you now know our water has almost zero good minerals and a lot of bad minerals. What we have to do is dilute and after that . . .it's simple.

Remember, we don't want to recreate someone else's water, we want to make good beer with OUR water.

We have

Total Alkalinity 248
Sodium 106ppm (above 70 makes beer sweeter)
sulfate 4ppm (50 is the minimum for any beer, sulfate accentuates hop bitterness)
chloride 4ppm (accentuates flavor and fullness 0-250 is needed)
calcium 19ppm (50 is the minimum and it is needed in EVERY aspect of brewing)
magnesium11 ppm (a yeast nutrient, we're ok on this one)

So for an All Grain Brewer (I'll get to Mini Mashers in a bit) what has to be done is to dilute with RO Water of Distilled Water to get rid of the sodium and then add back the good stuff.  Oh I forgot - let your brew water sit overnight to get rid of the chlorine, Columbus has 0.29ppm chlorine, Sun Prairie has 0.22ppm which is not a lot different then Columbus but still get rid of it.  It's corrosive to stainless steel.

If you dilute 1:1 with RO or DI the  sodium goes to 53 and is more in range, you REALLY want to have the least amount of sodium as you can get so the more you dilute the better.  Once you dilute then you can easely add back what you need in two easy steps.

Base Line average after dilution.

Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz malt.  OK - I had to look up sauermalz.  Sauermalz is an acid malt and used in small quantities gives very very little taste but will lower the mash pH which leads to a better working mash, intensified fermentation, lighter color, improved flavor stability, and a "well-rounded" beer flavor.

Deviate from the baseline as follows:

For beers that use roasted malt (Stout, porter): Skip the sauermalz.  

For Light Ale add 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride and sauermalz (will NOT add sour taste at low levels).

For very minerally beers (IPAs) Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.

Follow the above and you will not brew a dumper - HOWEVER - brewing is an art and once you see the difference then you can start to tweak the formula. It's easy

For mini mashers that use extract it's different.  Extract has it's own minerals from wherever the extract was created.  However I feel you can still tweak for a better beer. Sun Prairie I would not worry that much.

What I will be doing is this.

When I want to brew a Pale Ale, IPA or any lighter brew I will use 100% Distilled water or RO water.  No Columbus water will touch this beer.  RO might be better as it does have some minerals in it. I'll have to add some Calcium Chloride to increase the Calcium though and I might experiment on a tiny amount of sauermalz.  I don't think Cannery carry's that!

Otherwise I'll experiment with amounts of water. I don't want all of that sodium in my brew.   The extract will have all the good minerals in it already in the boil but not the mash - thus Calcium Chloride.
OK - on to chores - headlight, the search for Calcium Chloride and photos of the inside of the Auditorium this afternoon.


HEY - notice DIRECT TV now has Pandora!!  Awesome!!! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Columbus Water for brewers.

For brewers.

The water in Columbus has never gotten very high ratings from the water drinkers in Columbus and since I've been obsessing on the water of late I've found some interesting things!

For one thing the concerns about the high amount of chlorine in our water are unfounded! Yes there is chlorine but not that much, only 0.29ppm. When compared to Tucson AZ which has between 1.00 and 1.25ppm. You know like the BAD Chlorine where you can smell the water in the next room? (Sun Prairie is 0.22ish).

I believe the reason Cbus has bad tasting water is the high amount of Sodium which is at 106ppm. Our water is high in both bicarbonates and sodium. In other words it's as if we added baking soda to all of our water. This is why it tastes so . . . flat and not that clean refreshing tastes.

In beer the sodium accentuates sweetness. This is why all my brews always seem to be a little sweeter then I expected. The Dunkleweise (spelling checker said "do you mean Budweiser" - seriously? sigh) at Hydro Street, while good does seem a tiny bit sweet (although this is the lowest amount of IBUs I've ever had in a beer . . which is a measure of hops)! We shall see what the judges say as I'm entering it in a contest.

The sodium is there because it replaced the calcium at some point which is very low. Calcium is needed for clarity, flavor and stability in beer and yeast really need calcium.

SO - at this point.

Not a lot of Chlorine in our water - however a LOT of sodium that has replaced calcium which is needed it beer.

Many brewers are overly concerned with PH when they really should be looking deeper. PH is like a one number Cholesterol reading. In order to FIX it you need to dive deeper into the problem. In our case it's lack of calcium and too much sodium.

Letting water sit overnight will get out any chlorine.

So you would THINK that adding calcium would be easy - gypsum is the normal way t go but to get THAT much calcium into the water would make it horrible tasting. So we are now looking into adding lactic acid instead.

If interested - this is a map of water hardness (CaCO3). We are at 248ppm

The investigation continues!  Sorry sorry - I can't stop thinking about water . . . I gotta pee.
Anybody watch DownTON Abby (not DonTOWN Abby which I though it was).

SNL had a faux advertisement about it and now I feel I need to watch it . . . not gonna do it. My plate is full.  Hell on Wheels keeps getting better and better, Person of Interest also keeps getting better.

Did I mention how much sodium is on our water?  The Bicarbonates are REALLY high!  Not even good for dark beer - have to figure that one out!  SHUT UP  STEP AWAY FROM THE REPORT!!!

OK - I have to get real work done today!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Chlorine is evil and creates Chlorophenols

I just gotta post this.

Friday night as I was swilling down campfire Porter like there was no tomorrow at Hydro Street Brewery a "shall remain nameless" individual whispered into my ear that I should drive north of town and check out a pro-Walker sign.

 I don't want to get all like political or anything but I find it interesting that Walker is lawyering up with big name lawyers and "voluntarily" meeting with the Milwaukee County DA in charge with the John Dow investigation.

This last week I have been obsessing over the water in Columbus.  Not the bad things but I was interested in the flavor minerals in the water and how they help/hinder brewing.   What I found is that Columbus water is very very close to Dublin Ireland.  A little more sodium is the only real difference.  This also means that it's REALLY hard to make a wonderful IPA because the minerals reject hops in lighter color beer, HOWEVER this also means our water is WONDERFUL for Stouts and Porters.

It's so freaking hard is crazy  7.7PH out of the tap but we don't care about that.  It's the PH in the mash that we need to bring down which is crazy hard to do (Ale Asylum let's there water sit overnight before brewing.   
I'll give this report to Cbus Water and Light for their records, it's something they do not test.  Here are the results of the main things brewers look for.  While you can make beer with normal water, award winning brews need help.

Sodium  106ppm - this much sodium will accentuate the sweetness in the malt. It's not a bad number.

Calcium(Ca) 19ppm - horribly low for brewing, Calcium promotes clarity and flavor in beer and yeast need calcium. 50ppm is the bottom end for brewing.

Magnesium(Mg) 11ppm - like calcium  11ppm is fine.

Ca and Mg will give you the Effective Hardness of your water.

Using the above numbers you can find the Alkalinity and yada yada - I used the below chart for finding what has top be done and frankly - it's a lost cause for making incredible lighter color brews. 

HOWEVER - there is all of that Chlorine. We all know that chlorine can be boiled off. However in brewing, unless you boil the water BEFORE you mash the wort (soak the malt in 150 degree water) the Chlorine will produce Chlorophenols which is a serious defect in the beer giving beer a band-aid like flavor or that "home brew" taste.

Another problem with Chlorine is that it attacks Stainless Steel and will corrode it like saltwater on iron. VERY VERY bad for Stainless Steel.

Bottom line - if you are a brewer stay away from all chlorine and use a water filter that get's it out of your water.

Super Bowl half time. I thought Madonna was great. Well done and who cares that M.I.A gave the finger (did anyone actually see it??). But think about the future - in 20 years who will be the half time show. Steven Tyler is like 83 right but who knows.

What 30 year old rock band will be on stage for Super Bowl LXVI . . .Nickleback? I can't stand seeing acts like the The Who and Roger Daltry with reading glasses and a cane "rocking out".

The best advertisement it seems was the Clint Eastwood ad. There were funnier ones but the one where everyone just sort of stops and listens was Clint. This was a +7 million dollar ad.


But there are a group of ad's that I have not seen. They are by Subaru and I love every one.



Thursday, February 2, 2012


No earth Quacks recently.

Jimmy the Stick - Year 17

Seventeen Years ago my buddy Steve McDowell and I were talking about groundhog day and how we felt that PROPERLY the groundhog did not have a clue about the sun.  Why not save money and have an inanimate object observe the sun instead.  Less upkeep.

So I went out looking for an appropriate inanimate object and found.   JIMMY THE STICK.

Unlike Jimmy the Ground hog which is actually Jimmy the 7th I believe.  JIMMY THE STICK is the original.  That's right my friends, I have been with Jimmy the Stick LONGER then I've been married to DJ (I did not tell her about Jimmy way back then).

Jimmy has had adventures.  He went to Las Vegas in the trunk (I forgot about him on that one).  He was almost held by servicemen for a photo (they backed down at the final moment . . . .national security I believe).  Last year I put him out and we had the Ground Hog day Blizzard and we did not find him for 7 days!  Over the years he has become slightly brittle and yea - he lost a stem a few years ago but he's a trooper.

This year he wanted to have some friends so who would be better friends then our little feathered  Brown Chipping Sparrows!  They know all about twigs.

Jimmy did NOT see his shadow.  This means an early spring. There is actually some science behind Jimmy.  You see if Jimmy DOES see his shadow that would mean that we are probably cold  and dry which would indicate that the jet stream is below us and winter is still in control. 

Clouds mean wetter air which indicates that we are in a more Westerly flow of air and the jet stream is north. 

The good news is that there is NO extra cold weather north west of us. Even Alaska is predicted warmer then normal weather for the next 10 days.  Europe is FRIGID, that is where all the cold weather is. Everywhere you look over there it's cold.  Warsaw, high of 5, Oslo, high of 4, Moscow, high if 4, Berlin high of 18.  Fairbanks is suppose to be up to like 12 today which is above average.  Their RECORD highs are in the middle 30s. 

We should be about 4 or 5 degrees above average for the next 10 days.

DJ blurted out last weekend saying "I think that flu shot is really working, I'm the only one in our family to not to catch a cold recently".


Remember the scene in Bridesmaid?  One of the funniest most disgusting scenes that almost made me pee my pants!


Yea - I guess the flu shot didn't work as advertised for DJ.

I hope my shot does better!
Speaking of movies - I can not WAIT for this one to come out on HBO.  Produced by Tom Hanks.



Grand Opening at Hydro Street Brewing.  If you go I have an untasted Dunkleweizen on tap that day (DunkleGrinder).   I brewed it for a quick turnaround.  I'm entering it into a Dunkle contest.  I'm not expecting ANY ribbons as I had never brewed a dunkle before (Dark Wheat beer) and since it's under forced carbonation I have not had a chance to taste the final product. 

We have only had one blue ribbon winner in the Sun Prairie Wort Hogs (SPWH) so a goal this year is to get more ribbons.  Can't win if we don't enter. Since the Madison Home Brew Club no longer actually talks about brewing (more Great Taste of the Midwest organization)  SPWH is the only club around where we actually talk about brewing.

I'm still waiting for the water report from Nebraska which will tell us how much of the flavor minerals we have in the water and how to adjust the chemistry.  


OH - no jury duty - DANG IT - They settled the case.  I was going to get papers for my OWN law suit.  Now I have to do a little extra work. 

Have a great foggy Thursday.