Thursday, April 26, 2012

Horse Trainer FAIL!

I'm going to come right out and say it. 

If you are at a baseball game and catch a foul ball and there is a little kid sitting next to you - screw you little kid.  I'm keeping the damn ball. GET OFF MY YARD!!  HEY - I've been waiting for 57 damn years to catch a foul ball and you??  HEY, you are like 4 years old and can't even pee standing up and have 53 more damn years to catch one.

Of course it'll probably be traumatic and he will hate authority and become a serial old person killer and the cameras will be on me and I'll be on Sports Center as the dude who refused to give a little kid a baseball and a youtube video will now go viral and I'll get beat up in the parking lot and days later I'll get hate mail and someone will throw a baseball through my window.

Youtube - man, you can't get away with anything now can you.  

Seems this horse "trainer" at the Midwest Horse Show feels it's OK to strike a horse when she is upset.

Horse Trainer FAIL

The trainer has been identified and is now getting bitch slapped by the world (as she should).  Her statement is that the horse would not go into the trailer and she had been trying for an hour.  It's just noise she said.  So . . .I guess after an hour it's OK to start striking a horse. 

I would love to be one of her kids!  And if she does this in public? What does she do in private! 

Animal Services and all sorts of organizations are taking action and I believe her life has become rather hellish since the incident.  Admittedly, the bat did not "hurt" the horse.  That bat would not hurt a human but if your child did not eat his peas would you swing a bat at him to make him eat?


SO - it looks like the citizens of Columbus might be getting their taxes raised at the tune of $500 for every $120,000 house.  HOPEFULLY Fall River will also be getting that much as a new combined High School is being talked about.

I don't know all the facts but from the sounds of it a combined Fall River/Columbus Junior/Senior High School on completely undeveloped land is in the works.  Too bad this is not on TIF land?? (is it?) .  Will the citizens be forced to fund the entire thing?  No government loans?  OH wait - Wisconsin can not afford education.

Looking at the current high school you can tell they probably have not discovered computers yet. And if we do move to a new school this can be converted into a Kohls Grocery store pretty quickly.
I'm going to reserve judgement for the time being and hope someone can point me to any meetings there might be.  I'm sure there will be some banter on the huge increase in property taxes (which Walker said would never go up).



Taking a page from balderdash - I might be switching to colored golf balls this year.  I have always coveted his balls and how he can find them so easily when he loses one.    

Here is a list of all the orange balls 

Wilson Staff Elite 50
Precept XP3
Bridgestone E6
Volvik Crystal
Nike PD Long
Srixon AD333 (UK only?)
Srixon Z Star VX Tour
Maxfli Noodle Ice 

Titelist DT Solo and NXT are now available in yellow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

American economy is not bad at all.

 A friend who is code named "cathy" commented in the comments yesterday that a service called "Play On" might be something to look into when trying to get programs on to my TV. At the moment HBO GO can only be played on my computer.   So I was looking into Play On  and did a search in Google (the 9th wonder of the world).  I found this review for Play On.

"Not since Shania Twain bared her midriff, and gained legions of fans outside of the country music scene, has there been a disc that blatantly wears its intentions on its sleeve."

hmmmm - that seemed like an interesting crossover on describing the  service but I was not really catching the real meaning.  wait . . . . . OHHHH!!!!!   It's a DIFFERENT Play On.

Here is a REAL review and it seems legit.

Play On Review

My problem is that is it just a stop gap?  What if I get the service and all of a sudden it's really not needed.  I mean with cloud computing coming and we won't even need PCs anymore and being able to breath underwater with telephones in our heads and radios in our teeth . . . .

HEY - just thinking out loud here!!  what if  I invented a way to click my teeth and send Morse Code to friends!!  A NEW way to communicate. This could be the new face book.  TOOTH BOOK!!!  


My trailer purchase fell though - I was too late. sigh.  Better call uHaul for the Stoughton Art Fair May 19&20.  Man, renting will cost me 5% of the trailer!   grrrrr.


A couple photos from the back yard.


The Tulips were a freebie from Jungs so I just planted them to see what they looked like. 


So - Wisconsin is dead last of all States in job creation.  SWEET!!  Well done Governor.  Well, he will fix things by cutting teacher salaries next year by up to 30%.  Walker passed a new bill which combined with Act 10 is a nightmare for teachers!  (who really needs teachers anyway - overrated public servants that stand around all day talking).

Cutting an pasting a little here . . . . . 

The new rule will prohibit school districts and other governmental bodies from including most so-called "add-ons" like paying for additional education.

For example, in the Monticello School District, the maximum a teacher could earn in the district was $52,927-- which is what someone who has a Masters degree, 24 hours of college credit and 12 years of experience is paid.  Under the new rule, the maximum a teacher will be able to earn  in future contracts is $38,167, which is the maximum for a teacher that has the minimum educational requirements, but many years of experience.

Not being a teacher and getting bored of this subject you can read the post here.

Boring teacher post that I really don't understand that much because my eyes gloss over.

ANYWAY - I was talking about the U.S. economy and really how good America is doing compared to the rest of the world.  When you talk macro-economics you really have to talk about the whole world.

Check out these numbers.

Greece - unemployment is 21.8%
Spain - unemployment is 23.6%
Portugal - unemployment is 15%
Italy - youth unemployment is 31.9%  (much less then the above 3 countries)

The U.S. unemployment is down 2% in the last two years to 8.5%.  We have added 4.1 million new jobs in the last 2 years. Growth is 2.5% which is slow but it's growth.  Consumer debt to income ratio is at it's lowest since 1994. Car sales are up and one very good indicator of the economy is RV sales which were up 35% over the same time period last year. My art is selling which tells me people have "extra" cash.

The US economy is doing fine considering just how deep of a hole we were in - HOWEVER - with the huge problems overseas it's not all wonderful.  Of course the Republicans are super quick to blame Obama which is so short sighted it's embarrassing. 

Don't listen to the doom and gloom conservatives. Even GOP-leaning economists are telling their party to tone down the rhetoric on the economy. 

Last years debt-ceiling showdown stalled the economy (conservatives LOVED that) and sliced 20% out of the stock market and that can not happen again.  It really seems that Republicans WANT America to fail just so they can say "we told you so".

Remember - when you listen to the news they WANT you to be worried so you will tune in tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Genocide Remembrance Day - Եղեռնի զոհերի հիշատակի օր

Today is a big day in the Armenian community.  I know this because where I purchased my doughnut today I commented on the music and the woman behind the counter explained it all.

The systematic killing of the Armenian population by the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I is remembered today across the world  as Turkey slaughtered 1.5 million Armenian's.  This was the very first recorded genocide where an entire race was  systemically almost exterminated.

Entire cities were rounded up and marched hundreds of miles into desert without food and water and left to die.  Many others were loaded onto barges, towed out to sea and sunk. 

If you know an Armenian  he or she is a child or grandchild of a survivors

I watched VEEP last night on HBO and was disgusted with the word "retard" used seven times in jokes.  It totally put a damper on the night and all other comedies fell angry ears.  Oddly "nigger" is frowned upon but "retard" can be used in jokes!  I had expected more out of Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

I've started watching Boardwalk Empire and am totally hooked.  Too bad I can only get it on HBO GO and not Netflix.  I have to watch it on my computer. Not really a good way for the two of us to sit down for a evening of 1920's entertainment.   I love the fact that Steve Buscemi who is just butt ugly and is now a star. They make if look pretty good BE. 

OK - this is just silly.  There is a restaurant in Las Vegas called the "Heart Attack Grill".  They have delicacies like the Quadruple Bypass Burger, four half-pound beef patties, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato and half an onion served in a lard-coated bun.

Well, since February there have been two heart attacks.  The place is CASH ONLY BTW.  I guess the 4000 calorie double bypass" burger was just a little too much for the woman.

Gotta run


Monday, April 23, 2012

Doodlebobs on Vicodin

Just so you know - if you take too much Vicodin this is where you will end up - these three had one too many!!  THIS could be YOUR mom.

And now - the REST of the story.

OH MAN!!!  What a nightmare!  It was like evil dominoes.

Elwood and I are on beer #4 of landscaping Saturday planting 3 more Red Chokeberry's and a Forsythia . DJ is at Josh and Jenny's house babysitting for the weekend as J&J have their first weekend off in 4 years and are in Iowa at a wedding.   All is going well until . . . . .

ring ring - It's a stranger saying she is a friend of my moms and my mom has fallen and will not go to the hospital.   SHIT!!

OK OK - I call mom and talk her into taking an ambulance to Fort Memorial Hospital (why do they call hospitals "memorial" seems foreboding).  WELL - I put coffee on and I need to take Elwood back to Madison so while I'm preparing coffee Elwood is picking up the yard mess.

We get all loaded and I'm driving Elwood to MadCity and I need to get gas and then drive to Fort Atkinson. I get to the Fort emergency room and mom is laying well and smiling and we wait (moms friend and I).   I boot up my iPad and check in and then TEXT DJ to tell her what is happening and all this while I'm being told by moms friend how much she really hates computers and as I find out she hates basically any technology that does not have a dial on it.

I'm I'm not too sure she likes ME (well, I was looking at my fantasy baseball team) and I also realize that I have not shaved in 4 days.

Here is the thing.  I was going to shave but thought I would keep the stubble for warmth while landscaping outside. I also decided that I might as well wear the same clothes I had on FRIDAY working outside and since I was outside AGAIN who cares about any odors and dirt.

I quickly realized this is why the nurses looked at me sort of weird and ask my mom "if this "gentlemen" was disturbing you" knowing that they were calling me a "gentlemen" hoping I would not like flip out or something.  All I was worried about was security coming to get me.

MEANWHILE, my moms friend, Jan, who won't shut up is explaining about how dry heaves and how they work and why it is so bad and then demonstrates dry heaving as a nurse walks in.  Of course the nurse is worried and I explain it's just a demonstration of dry heaving.  I KNOW this whole conversation will come back to haunt me later as my mom says she has never had to dry heave and is now concerned.

By this time TEXTING is taking off with my phone ding dinging all over the place and anti-techno Jan is giving me dirty looks because I'm communicating non-verbally (Texting is the 2nd lowest form of communication I found out.  Facebook is the lowest form of communication it seems, I'm doing both).  I believe Jan does not own a toaster as it has too much technology.

Xrays are negative and all organs are in shape and it seems mom has a super bad bruise in the back. They say she can go home as soon as the  pain killers come and a Doctor comes to talk to her and Jan gives out a moan about Doctors and how she hates them AND computers so much and how they just want to make more money.

Pain killers come and mom takes one and within 10 minutes her and Jan are holding hands and singing songs like we're in The Sound of Music or something and I find out they gave her a Vicodin, a opioid pain relievers, also called a narcotic. Now I know where the songs are coming from.

I'm told somebody should stay with her Saturday night to make sure she does not get too loopy (too late)  . . . hmmmm . . . I was not actually prepared to stay overnight.  For one thing Blake and the cats are at home and DJ is at J&Js house.  Well, Blake will have to fend for himself, what could possibly go wrong . . . or at least MORE wrong.

I get mom home and comfortable and go to Sentry to get contact solution and since it's now 10pm and I have not eaten since 11am (unless you call beer food which I do at times but not when I'm really hungry) I get a big slice of frozen Red Barron Pizza.

I get home and mom is in bed snoring but wakes up enough to tell me she was dry heaving and I start the oven but realize that this oven will take an hour to heat up.  So . . microwave here we come. 

The microwave technology is like 30 years old but we all know there has never been a good piece of pizza made in a microwave.  I have no choice.  I read the instructions (specially made for microwaves it seems) and put it in the oven.  OH OH.  Moms microwave is too small for the slice.  Instead of spinning happily around as it is suppose to to make "a perfect slice of pizza" it just bumps along the side randomly.

After 3 minutes the cheese is all melted and the whole thing is sort of a soggy wet piece of bread with goopy cheese-like substance.  I still eat it.

It's bed time so I find a bowl to put my contacts in (luckily both eyes are identical so I don't have to worry about what lens goes with what eye).

And I fall into a dirty smelly sleep.

2 hours later I wake up with pains in my stomach and my insides are sort of liquifying and I Red Baron-it to the bathroom.

Morning comes at 6:00 and mom is doing well.  She gets up with pain, sits in the living room for a bit and then goes back to bed.  I wait until Tuttles Pharmacy opens at 8:00 and realize that I have had the same clothes on for 3 days, a 4 day old scruff of beard, smell and am dirty with 2 days of hat hair and now I must go to a pharmacy and get narcotics for someone that is not me.   Sweet!!  

Luckily the pharmacists is a brother of a friend so I'm all good on that one.

It's now 10:00 in the morning and I need to get back to Columbus to rescue my dog. I do mom things and she says she dry heaved again (not REAL dry heaves I bet you, the kind where you swear your stomach will come out your nose).  All is well so I take off after talking to neighbors.

I get to Cbus about 11:00 and walk in to Armageddon.  There is poop everywhere, both cats are crying and  . . . . I can't find Blake.  After looking all over he is in the basement and I need to carry him up the steps and he seems oddly non-stable.  Bumping into walls and stumbling.  I look and he is out of water.  I wonder how ling he has been with no water.  I fill up his water stepping in a puddle of pee and he inhales 2 cups of water.  I fill it up again and he drinks 2 more cups.

I go about the house de-pooping and finding "spots" and cleaning with the steam cleaner and filling up cat food and cleaning more.

FINALLY - I can get to the shower and can clean myself.  I get all squeaky clean and walk out and there is vomit all over and 4 cups of pee in 3 different spots!!!  OH MAN!!!! This is like a nightmare! 

So that is my story.  The house is near spotless FINALLY and I can relax!!


I took a large number of photos from our backyard Saturday.

FINALLY, after 3 years it's coming together. When you see someones rock wall garden I hope you appreciate how much work goes into it. They don't happen naturally.  Rock walls are tough to plant.

Sierra's out!!!   The six pound Tiger.

A close up of one of my tulips!

Yea - not loving it. Next to the above it looks blurry!  It's impressionistic though.

 Have a good Monday

Friday, April 20, 2012


ummmmm - OK - everybody show their hands!!

Yea - if I was that woman I would be freaking also
And that little boy - HEY - THAT STRANGE LADY IS GRABBING MY BOOBY (notice he has his hands down his pants!  it's the freak family from Target!)

Walkers job creation took a hit last month as Wisconsin lost 4,300 jobs.  But that's OK because most of those were teachers and they don't really count as skilled labor.   Remember, Wisconsin use to be one of the top States for education and that was a waste of money.  Walker believes that making the Wisconsin School system more like 30th as opposed to 2nd he can balance the budget.  After all, since he is uneducated and talked people into voting for him, education is not THAT important.


While organizing for my art fairs I came across a shot that I worked on for Mary about a year ago and . . I really like it, not sure if anybody has sen this one.

The Brewer game yesterday was like paying the baseball Gods back.  Hairston  robbed the Brewers twice in the 8th and 9th while the umpires robbed the Dodgers the game before.


I was not looking but found a trailer that is perfect for art fairs.  The same size as the uHauls I rent for $50 a weekend and I can get this for about $1000.  If I only had $1000.  I think I'll go and stand on a street corner in Columbus and beg for change.

I've been trying to think of the downside of having a trailer (besides the $1000) and besides "where do I store it when I'm not using it" I can't think of many.  It would make packing and unpacking SO much easier.   It would solve the problem of buying big things but we can't get them home (snow blowers, 9 bags of yard waste, and so forth).

My Subaru is right on the edge of pulling a 5x8 cast iron uHaul and this would be so much lighter.  Anybody else think of anything I'm missing?   DJ does not seem as . . . . enthused but she was not enthused about DVRs, satellite radio and sliced bread so maybe she will come around :-)

MY problem is that this is sort of a spur of the moment thing  as I was not really looking but the price seems right.  Is it??  hmmmmmmm


Has anybody else noticed that no one is really coming out and saying they want to be Romneys VP?      


Francis Lawrence, director of I Am Legend and Water for Elephants, to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games.

But the biggest news is that JELLYFISH POPULATION IS BOOMING.  which means the price of jelly will be dropping!

And I must retract a trivia - I was thinking of Ivan Calderon and not Ivan Rodriguez - different Russian guy! They all sound alike.

And . . NOBODY commented on my great photo find yesterday?? Fitzgerald and Robert Quarles??? Neal McDonough who play Quarels was one of my favorite actors in Band of Brothers. sigh - I work so hard and get paid so little blogging!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Betting the Farm

I can not believe that Gov Walker has become a rock star for all of Americas Crypto Fascists Airhead Zombies! He is running around the U.S. collecting $10,000 from all of the ultra rich neo-cons because FINALLY, they have someone who does not care about the workers and citizens but is more interested in big business.

The question is - can money win elections? Well, he seems to think so. I don't think he will and I firmly believe that he along with most of the recalled republicans will lose.  I don't care what the newest polls say.  When almost all of the Republicans I know will not vote for him I have hope. 

In the last election all of the candidates that were associated with Walker's corrupt administration lost! I laugh at his latest ad's saying in one year he has solved the $3 billion deficit. Yea -I got a bridge you can buy also. It's an accounting trick.

We still owe the money, just not THIS year. It's like your credit card. Let's say you owe $10,000. So, you have a deficit of $10,000 right? No, not if you say that that money is owed IN THE FUTURE!! So right now you own $200 for your payment. Not $10,000.  You have solved the budget dilemma.

Anybody that thinks Walker is doing Wisconsin good is a gullible lemming being taken for a ride. Seriously.  He is Wisconsin biggest scam artist twisting facts.

BTW - I officially endorse Barrett! I'm sure the newspapers will be all over that one.

And as for Senator Fitzgerald? If you watched Justified this year. He really reminds me of Quarles, the creepy bad guy.

TV bad guy

Fitzgerald - real life creepy bad guy

TRIVIA - who was the very very first batter any Madison Muskie faced in their very very first game.

Ivan Rodriguez!  I was listening to the game on the radio and remember because I was surprised the Midwest League had a Russian!  Obviously I was wrong about that Russian thing.  Ivan announced he is retiring from baseball and I thought I would bring that up.


This is never ever a good sign.


How's your gardens!  Hopefully we will get some good rain today!

In my clay garden the speedwell and catmint flowered the last week of June in 2010 and the last week of MAY in 2011. Remember last year we had a spring that never ended. 

The butterfly garden is typically a month behind the clay garden and seems to be on a more even keel and the last two years the 3rd week of July it blooms.

And here is what the back of the house is looking like so far. 

OH - the rock garden that Elwood slaves over every two weeks is doing great! 

We're going to plant another group of Heritage River Birch between our house and our neighbors house as a privacy screen.  I think there is just enough room and they look so nice.  It'll give both parties a little bit more privacy.  It's a mutual thing.

You can see a tiny wooden X just on the other side of the Cotoneasters.

Well - I better get going - I have a dentist appointment this morning  (cleaning - - - - new dental hygienist - I'm SCARED!!!).

And Milo cost us $160 yesterday.  Two kinds of ear infections and a really really bad upper respiratory cold - AWESOME!!!  That cat catches every flu, cold, infection you can think of. 

Not bragging but I won 8 out of 10, $5 baseball bets yesterday!  Feeling cocky - bettin' the farm today!  OH - one of my losses?  The Brewers.  I had the Dodgers at +155 and was feeling good.  Anytime I can go into extra innings with a big dog it's a good bet.  Even though I lost!     

Have a great day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mac vs. PC - seriously - who cares!!

Columbus had 0.91 inches of rain this weekend. No tornadoes! Odd weather as the tops of the big storms were sheared off at the 20,000 foot level by strong winds and the big big storms just could not grow as expected.

I got a pet peeve. I complained on Facebook about Apple software and all of a sudden all of the Apple fanboys and girls perked up like fresh meat. 

This whole Mac vs. PC thing. Good Grief, why is it every time someone says I hate Apple software the Mac people start pointing out how much better Macs are and every time someone says I hate PC the Mac start pointing out how good Macs and PC people are stupid for buying PC's. WHO CARES!!! Seriously.

This is like if I complained that my VW Bug was not very comfortable and an Infiniti owner said "Infiniti's is SO much better you should have purchased a Infiniti instead, you are stupid".

Or it's like me telling a person that just took a photo with his iPad that iPad cameras suck and he should buy a Nikon if you wants REAL photos.

I think what bugs PC owners the most is not the Macs, it's the owners of Mac's who continually boast they are better and superior.

NOTE - it's 7:45 and we're having 40mph straight line winds.

One big thing PC owners are ALWAYS being reminded on is Mac Security which is an illusion because it only SEEMS safer - hackers go for bang for buck. Only 5% market share - why bother. Security through obscurity is not really security at all is it?

And speed. Well daaa!! Of course they are faster. OS X is only intended to work with a very limited range of hardware.  Windows is just an operating system, I can attach any hardware I want and it's not always top of the line.

I was reading a forum that focus's  on the two and it's amazing how both sides argue.  However the one thing I found were the people that use BOTH seem stable and not crazed. 

"I use both yet can't see an argument.  They both have particular uses and to judge them with absolutes is like comparing apples to oranges.  I love macs for multimedia (especially with my xbox 360, photos,iTunes etc) but I also love windows for programming."

Personally speaking I believe Macs are incredibility overpriced because they are a big business monopoly and can charge whatever they want.  For ME, bang for buck on what I use a computer for they are not worth it. Sure Mac's are better quality but geez, I'm pretty happy with my desk top computer and it was $400. It runs all of my software from CS5 to games and Excel.  For ME Windows7 is very stable (it's never crashed) , very fast, very customizable.

So are Macs better then PCs?  Are Nikons better then iPads? Is an Infiniti better then a VW Bug? 

Depends on what you use them for.   I have an iPad and an iPhone so I appreciate Apple a lot but just stop trying to shove the OS you like down everyones throat. If someone is CONSTANTLY saying their religion is the best, well good for them, just be quiet and enjoy whatever you believe.

I've been hearing about so many drunk drivers getting pulled over with the 4th and 5th DWIs.  When will we get REAL laws about drunk driving.  Is it the Tavern League putting a stop to actually getting tough?   One country has laws where if you get pulled over for the 2nd time, you lose you car.  The government keeps it.  And if you borrowed someone else's car?   To bad, your friend loses HIS car. 

Do you THINK that would stop drunk driving?  What, in Wisconsin you get your license taken away. Big woop!  That's not going to stop anyone from drinking and driving.

Take the freaking car!  238 people were killed  in 2009 in Wisconsin due to drinking and driving.

nuff said

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't forget about your putter

I'm gearing up for golf season and went to the range Wednesday and actually golfed a round yesterday! Sadly I forgot that an important part of golf is putting!! I was striking the ball fairly well but putting was FUBR on the shaggy dry greens of Kestrel Ridge. Shot a 48 but had 21 putts OUCH!!!

I got to look at Hydro Street Brewing's Quarterly report and am very pleased. WELL DONE!! They have a beef and beer sandwich which is outstanding and their K of P Porter is one of the best porters I've tasted. The Stout is pretty darn good and I've been talking to people about their lighter beer and people seem to love them. Soon you will be able to buy Hydro Brew at a few local bars.

This Saturday Mark Croft (Kroft?) will be performing . .. not that I really like him but he seems to have a pretty large following in these parts. I don't DISLIKE him, just not my taste in music.

HSB is getting building permits for an outdoor patio and are looking to expand so all is well.

I've been talking to a lot of older people this week at Hydro Street and I'm going to get a good photo of The Griswold House in Columbus (now the Zeidler Funeral Home) (I did ge some nice shots). That is the house on 146 Dickason, built in 1857 and has a cupola on top of the roof.

OK - 1/2 hour later - I just ran out to take some photos of the Griswold House before we have 7 days of rain.

photo by me

I asked about that cupola and what it was for and the woman said that it was used in the old days to spot the Indians that were coming down from The Dells. Seems when the train came in they would meet it and trade goods. That's pretty cool!!!

George Griswold (was that the same guy in Family Vacation?) built this house as an exact replica from his hours on New York  but construction was held up for a few years until the railroad came to Columbus so he could get the pink brick.  
Also I talked to a 95 year old woman who gave the first $5000 to restore the Columbus Auditorium. She seemed a little disappointed that it's sort of gone on the way side but she LOVED my eight photos that are on the walls of Hydro Street!

It seems that when the American Players Theater were just forming they wanted to use the Columbus Auditorium but since it was in disrepair they decided to go to Spring Green.

Once again the people of Columbus with their short vision put the nix on REALLY helping the town.  Do you think having 100,000 extra people in Columbus every year would help any?   OH WAIT - many people in Columbus do not want the town  to thrive.  We would not want all of those people roaming the downtown area.   sigh!

As she said (sort of)  "I'm 95 and have seen a lot and it seems many people in Columbus just have no vision". 

photo by me


Ever want to buy stock in a "word"?   I want to buy shares of "Recusal".  It has not been used much and is actually at it's peak at the moment.  The word was not used a lot until the 1960s according to Google Ngram. 

Here is the graph for the word.

recusal = the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves.

So this word is being used a lot in Wisconsin when one of our Supreme Court judges "allegedly"  put his hands around another judges neck in an argument which seems like a normal stable thing for a judge to do!  Well he wants all of the other judges to recuse themselves from any disciplinary action.  sigh!

OH - Walker our kindhearted Governor is complaining that the Democrats are only talking about chaos and division and he only wants to be positive and forget about the past.  Mean ol Democrats.

Well, here is an idea.  FINALLY the democrats are learning from the current Republicans and are playing dirty.  I've always said that I believe it was election fraud to have fake Democrats in Primary's.  BUT, now there is a fake Republican that will force Walker to have a primary.

Why not just have everyone vote for the fake Republican and get rid of Walker right there.

Seems most people are all up in arms about the Unions being bashed. But from my point of view it's not THAT big deal, I was not in love with the union anyway.  The only bad thing is the argument "I'm a Republican, why should I HAVE to pay dues that go to the Democratic party".

Well, I'm a Democrat why should I shop at ANY business that is in the Chamber of Commerce who give their dues to the Republican party.  Perhaps we should boycott any Chamber of Commerce business . . just to be fair.

 It seems Kate Winslet's 3D boobs in #D Titanic are banned in China.  They are worried that people watching the movie will try to reach out and touch them!

"To avoid potential conflicts between viewers and out of consideration of building a harmonious ethical social environment, we’ve decided to cut off the nudity scenes."

"Considering the vivid 3D effects, we fear that viewers may reach out their hands for a touch and thus interrupt other people’s viewing."

Perhaps instead of reaching OUT, they might reach DOWN?


And finally - yesterdays Brewer game.  The Brewers are looking pretty darn good except when they look pretty darn bad.  HOWEVER - the pitcher yesterday that killed the Brewers ALSO killed my fantasy team.   The good thing is that I traded Fernando Rodney a reliever on Tampa Bay for Garza a couple days ago so he's mine now.


OH - that North Koren Rocket.  Did you see that thing?  I was looking at it and it looked like something from the 60's.  I told DJ "That thing will never fly" (because I'm an expert) and she laughed and said something on the order of scenes from The Right Stuff (or something like that).  Well, I guess it didn't fly very far.  BOOM!!    Back to the drawing board dudes.  

So while 25 million people starve they have exploding bottle rockets. 

I can't believe that kid is not wearing a bike helmet - what a horrible parent!  

Perhaps there should be some sort of class before you put your new boat in the water.  FAIL!!

BTW - Columbus is RICH in color this time of year - Screw the Redbuds, this city has so many flowering tree's it's amazing!! Redbuds are fine but there are so many colors in Columbus it's magnificent!

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


MAN - I;m a little ticked off this morning. You see I paid maintenance to my x-wife for a large number of years and I was fine with that. There were circumstances that I won;t go into but life was/is tough for her and maybe I'm a sucker but I felt better about myself if I could help out financially. I have good health, she does not and . . . .well . . .it's a pay it forward kind of thing.

HOWEVER - this ended a couple years ago and all was well. Until all of a sudden the Dept of Children and Families contacts me and says, wait a minute you owe a couple months from like the early 90's. WHAT???

Since everything was taken out of my check automatically how can this be. Well, they say, you will have to contact Milwaukee County! Milwaukee County says well, you will have to pay to see all those records from so long ago.

OK FINE - I'll just pay those few months . . .OH WAIT, now they had $75 for processing fees for a few years and yesterday I got a new fee of $65 for disbursement fees. What a freaking SCAM. These guys are worse then loan sharks.

OH the fee covers the cost of maintaining records (which I must pay to see). TICKED OFF!!!

I'm too pissed off to write more!! No one ever told me until a year later I was "late" in a payment. THEN when I complain they said we send letters out ever month. WELL , I GUESS NOT FOR THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS!!!

So the letter says on April 1st they will request the $65 from my employer . . . .so . . .should I pay this now?? Has my employer paid it?

OK - I stepped away for a half hour and am still mad . I think I have to go to a driving range and crush some golf balls!!

BTW - Brewers are REALLY looking good!!


OH - did I mention I took a 20x30 photo to Hobby Lobby to have it dry mounted and when I go it back it was 19.75 x 29.75 and no longer fit in the frame? GRRRRRRR!

At least they are paying for a redue AND a new photo!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fantasy Draft

The Masters - anybody see that dude get hit in the balls yesterday! He crumpled like a sack of potatoes! Was that Bubba's shot? The camera quickly averted to a different scene. I wonder how they would explain THAT in a politically correct way. Remember - an announcer will be escorted off the course if he calls the crowd "fans", they are patrons!!

BTW - can they make those BIRDS LOUDER????

Well - I had my first "professional" fantasy draft last night in Baseball and this morning I'm looking over my team.  NEXT YEAR I'll have my ACCESS database up and working to help with the process but my goal for picking was to take quality from positions that were short on quality.

The very 1st pick of the draft was Miguel Cabrera if you are wondering. I drafted 6th. Here was the 1sty round (for anybody interested).

Miguel Cabrera
Albert Pujols
Matt Kemp
Troy Tulowitzki - I wanted him
José Bautista
Robinson Canó - my 1st pick

I felt that there is a huge lack of good hitting second basemen while there are many outfielders that will have bigger numbers there was a huge drop off after Cano, only Dustin Pedroia was close. The PROBLEM I had in the draft was that my OF did suffer.

Here is my team and the projections for stats - It's a Head to head league. In draft Order (Draft) Batters - AVG/HR/RBI/R/SB Pitchers - W-L/ERA/K/WHIP

(6)Robinson Canó 2B(NYY) Best 2B

(19)Hanley Ramírez SS(Mia) stay away from injuries 2nd best SS

(30)Félix Hernández SP(Sea) ** should be better then last years GOOD season

(43)Ryan Zimmerman 3B(Was) ** surprise MVP?? 5th best 3B

(54)Dan Haren SP(LAA)

(67)Craig Kimbrel RP(Atl) I picked the 1st closer * many more Ks the Axford

(78)Carl Crawford OF (Bos) oops - DL my 1st OF and I wanted SBs  SEE NOTE - TRADE

(91)Michael Bourn OF (Atl) again - looking to win the overvalued SB race.

(102)Heath Bell RP (Atl) WOW - two top 6 Closers!!

(115)Ricky Romero SP (Tor) on average he was drafted 86 in the thousands of yahoo leagues - this could be a mistake pick!

(126)Cameron Maybin OF (SD) again - SBs I hope - if not! I'm screwed

(139)Josh Beckett SP (Bos) I'm HOPING he has as good of a year as last year. PECOTA says no! NEXT year I'll have better analysis!

(150)Billy Butler 1B (KC) wow - no real 1Bs left

(163)J.P. Arencibia C (Tor) wow - no real catchers left

(174)Joe Nathan RP (Tex) OK - I'm good on saves!

(187)Jesus Montero Util (Sea) it's always good to have at least one Jesus on your team

(198)Jeff Francoeur OF (KC) Gotta find SOMEBODY!!

(211)Clay Buchholz SP (Bos) at this point I'm picking up guys that have more upside then down

(222)Edwin Encarnación 1B,3B(Tor)

(235)Héctor Santiago RP (CWS) - the new closer for the White Sox

(246)Chone Figgins 3B (Sea)

(259)J.D. Martínez OF (Hou)

(270)Fernando Rodney RP (TB)

So I don't know - I only decided to join a $$ League a week ago. I'll do things differently next year with better projections AND a new app I'm working on.

NOTE - I just traded Carl Crawford for Alex Gordon 

That's all I got at the moment!!  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brewers, Time Machines, Three Cups of Tea, Wind

Finally, it's here. Opening Day! Last year I attended opening day in Milwaukee. I asked my buddy balderdash if anybody was bringing "good" beer and he said probably just Miller Lite. So I picked up some of Ale Asylums Ambergedden. WELL, little did I know that for a few hours before the 1st pitch we would be playing drinking games and doing shots!!

Of course when THEY lost they would take a few gulps of Miller Light which is like 3.9% ABV. when I lost I would take gulps of Ambergedden which is 7% ABV. Add in a few real tasty shots of some concoction and . . . . I was RIPPED.  Now I see why they have auto focus on cameras!  Who Knew!! 

Anyway - this years Brewers by most counts are suppose to come in 3rd place behind the Reds and the Cards. The Cubs are way way way low and I'm considering betting against them in EVERY game this year.  I'm 2-0 so far in baseball wagering, but maybe I'll bet against the Astro's who will spend their last year in the NL.

What I'm NOT going to do is bet on or against the Brewers in every game. I did pretty well and won a lot of . . .peanuts but man that played with my brain. It is so so hard to bet against your own team!!  So this year I'm trying something new, at least till it crash's and burns. I've been working the numbers and running the simulations.

As you know I'm a simulation guy.  Back in the day I was part of a project to test the worlds most sophisticated prototype Black Jack card counting simulation software (this is where I got my alias Grinder, I was a little famous in Black Jack circles). I could "play" 1 billion hands (a little overkill) of Black Jack overnight and was in contact with the worlds leading Black Jack players .  I was pretty good at card counting.  But then Texas Hold'm came along and I became an expert small stakes poker player (wrote articles for Full Tilt Magazine) .   Just a little bragging from the past.

Back on topic

I have peanuts on the following teams today

Texas -180
Minnesota +123
Tampa Bay +117
Colorado -122
The Angels -205
San Diego -130

OOPS - a good friend of mine was just fined 1 million dollars. Greg Mortenson who wrote Three Cups of Tea was a bad boy. I met Greg when I was helping with the Homeless Book Club of Madison and he came to give a little talk about the book and it seems some money that was donated went to vacations and so forth. HEY - why not, he put in the work.  :-) 

Speaking of giving back. I see the doctors and nurses that gave faux medical excuses during the protests have been fined. Big surprise there. Oh and I see that the Walkers estimate of $7.5 million to cover the protests ended up to only be $200,000. Geez - I hope he is better at math on other things.  Looking at Wisconsin's short fall with his budget I guess not.  Take out 500 million dollars of spending money from State Employees and he forgot that they would not spend what they don't have.

Check this out - the most coolest weather geek website ever SERIOUSLY.

Here is a still photo but if you go to the site you can see almost real time wind in motion.

Wind Map

Is that RAD or what!!

I was asked to dabble around with some sort of poster for The Great American Time Machine Experiment using my "Time Machine" image,  (show below). I would so love to blow this up HUGE!!!  Someday a bank or something will want to fill a wall.

Anyway here is the 1st idea for a uncompleted poster.  The problem is that it can just get too busy!   That little thing up in the right corner is just something I was playing with. Gotta start somewhere. 


Today is Friday right?  No one corrected me yesterday when I said happy Wednesday!!  hello?  anybody out there?? 

three cups if tee

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More landscaping

The GOP has temporally left Wisconsin with guns blazing and high hopes. Yet there is a 900 pound gorilla in the room that no one seems to notice, at least the media. Well, one guy noticed it several primary's ago and he almost whispered it on national TV.

I think they don't want to say it out loud because it will make them look like they are picking sides.

The GOP's REAL problem is that . . . . nobody cares.

Wisconsin officials predicted a 35% turnout for the Primary or 1.5 million voters. Well, only 779,000 turned out. Even less then Illinois. One reporter commented "you could have a Green Bay Packer rally in the middle of Chicago and get more people then the number who voted in ILL".

Of the Republicans I know (I actually know more then a handful) are not very excited about the options. And the ones that are still gung ho it seems that don't really have a clue what the candidates stand for but more of a "anybody but Obama".

Those same ones are still mad that Obama gave the car industry money (actually the Republicans were responsible for that) and they forget that it actually worked (instead of taking credit they point fingers).

Mitt Romney = John Kerry.

I want to congratulate my home brew buddy Nick Zweifel for winning a seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. In fact in almost all of the elections in Wisconsin the left won. Walker seems to have united the Democrat's.

Jet Blue - the big news which I thought was pretty obvious is that that Jet Blue Pilot has mental issues. REALLY?? DO YOU THINK? When a pilot starts screaming WE"RE ALL GOING TO DIE!! that I believe would be a clue. I really could not see why they threw him in jail and NOW?? they say wait, we think he should have a look at his mental condition? Good grief YEA!!!


I'm sure most of you have seen this but here is the video of the Dallas tornadoes lifting the trailers into the air - AMAZING. Don't see THAT everyday.


Of of our most favorite shows on TV right now is "Once Upon A Time". If you have not seen this it is written by one of the LOST writers and the premise is that all fairy tales are real. The evil queen of old has cursed everybody to never be happy and now in modern times all the fairy tale characters are in one town. Oddly only the evil ones know they are from the past. ANYWAY - here is a very awkward moment (thanks Jenny).

When the main character is forced to arrest her mother on suspicion of murdering her stepmother, only for your estranged song to convince her that she might be being framed by her step-grandmother, his adoptive mother, who also murdered her grandfather, and then killed your boyfriend, who was also her boyfriend, after she paid him to murder your mother.


It's a great show, going back and forth from fairy tale land to present day.

I gotta get me some of this!!   It would be great for my shelter I'm building for when the world goes whacky and I must defend my family against the zombies!


I was mowing the lawn yesterday and smelled this wonderful aroma.  I looked and our neighbors have this awesome flowering tree that is wafting this amazing aroma!   I thought it was a flowering crab but it's actually a Purple Leaf Plum. 


I'm only a tree expert when I have to be but I know where to look things up.  We were looking into Red Buds but were told those are really hard to grow especially in our area with the wind.      

We and our neighbors are thinking of putting Lombardy Poplars  between our two house as a privacy screen but man, after reading about this tree I wonder if there are alternatives!   Yea - they grown 6 feet a year but are very short-lived and susceptible to a large number of pests and diseases. Plus long before Lombardy poplars die, they will become disfigured by these pests and diseases, rendering them unattractive as landscape plants and necessitating their removal.  PLUS their roots will cause  havoc with basement foundations.

One alternative is the European aspen (Populus tremula 'Erecta') BUT - the McKay guy is coming over Saturday morning (9:00) and we're going to discuss alternatives!!  (He mentioned more birch trees but they don't get as high).   I know we want to order more Red Chokeberries which are one of my favs.

OH - a photo of out pear tree which seems to like the warm weather. The Don Wyman  flower crab which seems to like sunshine (they normally bloom at the same time). Our neighbors yellow . . forsythia (????) which I really like and their Purple Leaf Plum  which will be an AMAZING tree when it gets bigger! 

 That's it - gotta work on an idea for posters for The Great American Time Machine Festival today.

 Have a great Wednesday


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why Gas Prices Are NOT So Bad.

This is when you know you have too much time on your hands.

Facebook post of the day:


A friend of mine mentioned that he felt a lot of people were moving back into the city because gas prices were so high they could no longer afford to commute. I tend to disagree and actually think all of this talk about gas prices killing the economy is just people making up news.

Once again if you stay away from the political sites you will find words like this

Consumers are "unfazed by higher gas prices," said Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York,  "This is a pleasant surprise on the overall picture for the economy."

 In 2008 when gas was at an all time high you heard words just like the above but it was drowned out my the media tryign to sell their news..

But two years later in 2010 when prices fell, spending on gas for an average American home totaled only $12 less per week according to numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The reason gas is such big news is that we are constantly reminded of how much it costs.  If we had Milk prices every 5 blocks we would be up in arms about Milk being so expensive.  Plus, honestly, no one likes to buy gas.  The big reason for gas being in the news is IT'S IN THE NEWS!  The media blitz's us everyday to make sure our lives are filled with anger.

In Wisconsin we get Santorum ad's telling us Romney is JUST like Obama and  Romney has ad's telling us  Santorum is an idiot and both saying Obama is the true cause for high gas prices and then the news says GAS IS GOING UP ANOTHER PENNY!!!!    STAY ANGRY MY FRIENDS.   

Gas goes into the same category of thinking a balanced budget is a good thing.  It's not. Really, it isn't. Show me a country with a balanced budget and I'll show you a country that is stagnant. A balanced budget tells me that you are not looking at the future and your goal is to only to survive, not to thrive.

To thrive you would have to take a chance and spend.  When Walker said Wisconsin is in debt.  Well, YEA, we are.  But also we have the highest Credit rating you can have.  This means we pay our bills on time.  I have a mortgage, I'm in debt, but I also pay my bills on time, does this mean I'm fiscally irresponsible?  I'm not sure I could actually SAVE a few hundred thousands of dollars to buy my house with cash.  This is what a balanced budget would make me do.  I'd be living in an efficiency apartment  and nobody would be building homes.

Don't get me started on macro economics. It was my absolute favorite class in college.   

Back to gas prices.  The thing is gas rises so slowly that humans can adjust.  DJ drives 25 miles to and from work every day.  If gas prices went from $3.50 to $4.00 in one day that wold cost us an extra $5 a week.  So basically to cover that cost we would have to not drink one Coca-Cola a day or maybe instead of having a pizza and spaghetti instead.   Not that hard to recoup that cost. 

But we only go up 1 or 2 cents a week so over the long haul yea, it adds up but people have the ability to figure out how to deal with that.

Plus we're in the good gas season now and not that horrible winter gas. My Subaru gets 40 to 50 more miles per tank so price per mile has actually gone down in the last few weeks.

 I'm done - I have not completely bored myself

See ya.