Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Forced Labor

I'm doing my one day of forced labor today.  Seems they are gluing all the windows shut or something.  Even though this building goes from 65 to 80 to 65 in a matter of 15 minutes they seem to think making sure the windows don't open is the key.   I believe the real reason  . . . is jumpers. 

With our Governor showing complete disdain for public employees it's making everybody depressed.  So many have quit and nobody is coming to interviews they can't hire replacements.  So every jumper hurts the job numbers for Walker.  Thus, GLUE THOSE WINDOWS SHUT!!

Did I mention that Walker wants to privatize deer hunting in Wisconsin?   Soon you will have to PAY to hunt on public land.  OH - this won't be mentioned until AFTER he wins re-electin, but being on the "inside", the wheels are moving in that direction.   More jobs you know! 

DJ and I went to Paoli to visit an art gallery that showed interest in selling my work.  You know having work in galleries is all well and good but that 40% they take for commission really spoils my bottom line.

Lovely Days Gallery - Paoli WI

OH my - the monitor here totally sucks WOW!  I've been having monitor problems at home also.  When I started this selling art adventure a few years ago my monitor was "good enough".  But now when I'm trying to produce 24x36 inch pieces I can't really afford to have them come back NOT looking like I thought they would.

I should start to look into GOOD monitors!

I took a trip to Olbrich Gardens (Elwood has never been there). And strolled around for a bit.  It was cloudy so I was not to keen that I would get any good shots. Unlike what you read about clouds and photography - I'll take a bright sunny day any day (with clouds - blue clear sky sucks)! I'm a rebel rule breaker.

BUT, the clouds started to break up and I took this.

Olbrich Gardens - Madison WI 

I took this shot of some roses and when I was done processing it just looked . . . . too detailed!  So I played around and smudged it up a little. 


I see radioactive tuna is hitting the market in the U.S.  That means when you go shopping for tuna go at night and DON'T buy the glowing tuna.


Did you see that Walker is PAYING people to put yard signs up for him? and that Walker walkers are being paid to walk with Walker signs.  They asked one family why they were pro-Walker and they said they were not pro Walker. . . but for $100 they would put a sign in their yard.

But . . I digress

 Having some plant problems - looks almost like frost damage but I'm not sure when the last frost was.  Only on the north and north east and west sides of the house.   hmmmm 

Check out this video before it gets banned.  This 80 year old was taking her first jump out of a plane.  NEVER did she think that she would come out of her harness and be hanging by her feet.  The instructor is hanging on to her feet and can't pull his rip cord.!   FUN STUFF!!  


Have a find day!! Rod

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Mom Flips Her House

Speaking pf photoshop - cathy said " Ansel Adams' son Michael has said that he thinks his father would have loved Photoshop."

I think it's the other way around.

Annie Leibovitz said the same thing on Lettermen "Ansel Adams would have also loved digital."

About a month ago my mom who is 84 took a tumble on the outside steps and suffered a compression fracture in one of her vertebra.  Nothing you can do about it but let it heal.  She had a Vicodin patch which seems to me to be Gods way of telling her to have a good time and heal.  I would not mind having one of those on certain golf days.

She is fine now and seems more peppy then normal so I'm thinking she has a few extra patches stored away somewhere.

ANYWAY - her house as been on sale for a couple months for $99,000.  Yesterday she signed the papers to sell the house for $91,000 meaning that she profited about $75,000 on this flip!!   Not bad!  Although the flip did take about 50 years so I doubt any networks will be contacting her on her secrets.
I golfed last night and was spraying the ball all over the place and every time I sprayed I ended up under a tree!  It was uncanny.  On one hole I hit a long drive to the left and it ended up in a sand trap.  I was still 290 yards away (par 5) and preceded to hit my next shot 30 yards into next trap.  Using the same club (because it worked so well on the last shot) I bombed the 3rd shot 200 yards which ended up under a lone pine tree.


HOWEVER - on the very last hole as I was leaning over to place the ball on the tee I realized something, I GOT IT!  I knew what I was missing in my swing.

You see golf does not come naturally to me.  I'm like the helicopter of golf, everything goes in the wrong direction which is attributed to 20+ years of an inside out swing in softball.  The swing gave me a .400 career average in softball but a 23 handicap in golf.

As I straightened up I told Wade, Mark and Bob  "I got it, watch this next shot".

BAM straight down the middle 200 yards.   Next shot - BAM - perfect 170 yarder onto the green and I two putt for a par.

If I don't break my wrist on the back swing just a little it tenses everything up and throws my timing off.  I've remembered that a dozen times now.    

After golf we all go into to the Door Creek clubhouse and sit in this little glass enclosed area and yell at each other.  It is so freaking loud.  Like an echo chamber with 20 people all talking at once.

I left there and went to Hydro Street and found that the Madison Homebrew bunch had left Hydro and went to The Kurth.  While I was at Hydro Street all of a sudden people are pointing at me  "There he is!!"  I was about to run but then a woman says "You're the artist that did those images on the wall?"

I say yea and she calls over to her friend and is pointing at me "Bob, here is the artist that did the photos".

Come on now - I feel a little uncomfortable being called The Artist.  I'm the guy that snapped the pictures.  Perhaps I'll change my name to "The Artist". Do you think that would be a little ostentatious?   

So I go to The Kurth to meet up with some Sun Prairie Worthogs and the Madison Homebrew and THAT place was like an echo chamber.  sigh.


I've had these ideas for a while now but could not work on them.  It seems when people look at my one vertical panoramic scene of Lake Monona they are thrilled to see the odd shape for wall art.  So I thought perhaps I should do a few more to see if this is something people want.

Here are a few.  I would love to hear if this is a viable idea.

Sun Flowers

Sunset Lake Monona

 Some of you might have seen this already from my newsletter - if you are not on it send me an email and I'll put you on it.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Post Art Fair Coma

With more and more art fairs under my belt I'm gaining more artist friends and one thing we were talking about yesterday in Stoughton during the parade lull was the fact that after a day of work at a fair the normal "MO" is to go home and just crash.   I thought it was just DJ and I.

We would get home, eat some food, drink a gallon of fluid and BAM, dead asleep by 9:00.  It seems this is normal.  WHEW!   Of course then I wake up at 10:30 after the news and am refreshed and raring to go!

This weekend I had to honor of having my booth next to an old work acquaintances, Bernie Tennis.  He has recently stopped working for The Man (as I have) and is now an Event Caricatureist. He was outstanding!  Saturday he worked from 9:00 to 3:00 before he took a 10 minute break. 

I'm going to talk him into going to Hydro Street Brewing for a night and also to come up to Columbus Aug 5th for the Ale and Art / Time Machine event.   People were lined up waiting almost all day.  Color takes about 20 minutes and B&W 10 minutes and he is not expensive at all.  Check out Bernie Tennis dot com.

As for Stoughton. 

Well, I tell ya. DJ said she wished she knew how do so something creative and I said - it really does not take a lot of talent to make money.  For instance.  At this Arts and CRAFT fair there was a booth selling RED NECK WIND CHIMES. 

Yea - empty cans of Bud on a stick!!!  THEY SOLD OUT!!!  and of course there were the dog puppets, Green Bay Packer stuffed dragons (because when you think of the Packers you think of dragons I guess) and some sort of tube bow and arrow sets.   Also portraits of Elvis were selling.

ME?  well, let's just say there have been worse outings . . . . . but if you take the attendance to sales ratio it was in the bottom three.  STILL, bottom three is not horrible and the weather was nice and I got to hang out with DJ all day so it was fun.  Plus the fact that people LOVED my work and I must say, my canopy was like a fly zapper, people walked past stopped and came back and gushed.

Literally, one little girl had a bloody nose and she kept walking a little to close to my canvas for my comfort.  She was crying I DON'T WANT A BLOODY NOSE and then would lean over my bin of 8x12s!!!   DUDE!!!! 

It was warm but once again we had a tree providing shade.   OH - and something I'm finding is that even poor art fairs are good.  I was invited to a new ART fair (stress ART) and gallery in Paoli.  Lovely Days Gallery.  They really wanted me to be in their Art in the Park event Saturday August 11th.  So add that to the list.

OH - there was one photographer who had a booth at the fair Saturday that was looking at my work and commented on my use of "photoshop".   He said he didn't know how to use photoshop so all of HIS art was real photography.   I could sort of tell he was looking down at my obvious cheating because I said 100% of my worked used "photoshopped".

He did not come back on Sunday and his area was empty.  I don't like to rub things in because I know photography is a hard sell but I hate people telling me THEY are a purist with REAL photography!
OK - I have to order some things before Deforest  - OH - one thing that was catching peoples eyes  was Curly!

Curly Lambeau
        Have a great Monday


Friday, May 18, 2012

Tobacco spit rubbed on her legs

Ever have one of those days where you just feel more important then all the other days?   Yesterday was like that in a small way.

It started out just like most days before a large art fair, getting things done, hardware on frames and going over the way to many matted prints ( I'm going the Costco rout and having less total images - you know they have a rule, only 4000 items in the store).   I had been waiting around for a $240 check to arrive from a football pool I won (2 years in a row) and getting paper work done.

Got an email from an acquaintance who happens to own 17 Taco Bells and he wants me to contact the VP of Wollersham Winery.  Seems Taco Bell dude wants a Private Label put on some special wine and I'm the go to guy for label's it seems.   All of a sudden I feel slightly more important.

Then I happen to notice that the City Of Columbus has a few of my photos on their new website (surprise) but they are formatted poorly.   I'm given credit so I feel I should go down to City Hall  and see who I should talk to about fixing these.   

As I enter City Hall I see our Mayor Bob Link and he slaps me on the back and says hi.  After talking to counter people I'm told I should contact Boyd the City Administrator who I know or Steve the Economic Development Director who I also know. The three top dogs in the City. 

After that I go over the Hydro Street Brewery to see their new outdoor Beer Garden and while I'm there Lori Compas comes in with some advisers and talk about defeating evil doer Senator Fitzgerald (who hates home brewers).   We talk a little and shake hands and so forth (she is from Fort Atkinson). 

After that the Beer Garden is finally legal a Marc Rhode comes in and I take a photo of him being the 1st person served in the beer garden.  He was also the first person ever served by the Brewery when it opened.

Here is what the Beer Garden looks like.

It's not as large as the Hirschgarten in Munich which seats 8000 but still it's very nice at attractive.

So it was a day of feeling good.



While in Fort Atkinson I was at the drug store and saw some high school year books.   WOW - you would think in 40 years they would have changed somehow - I picked one up and seriously it could have been 1973.  Only a few more color photos but the rest was basically the same. 

These two dudes are up to no good. (not from Fort Atkinson).


If you are near Stoughton this weekend check out their art fair and if you do stop by and say high to DJ and I. 

OH - Mosquitoes bites.  Katie at Hydro Street had a few mosquito bites and we were talking about how to ease the itch.  A guy next to me said the best way was to take some chewing tobacco and chew it a little and then rub it on the bite.   I said the problem was that you would actually have to CHEW the tobacco first.  He said have someone else chew it and THEN rub some on the bite.

Wellllllll - I'm not real sure Katie wanted someones tobacco spit rubbed on her legs.  MIGHT work but  . . . . . .   I said the best way was with honey.  Just put a small dab of honey on the bite.  She did, it worked.  MUCH better then chewing tobacco spit!

Have a great weekend - Rod

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Camp Randall

Yea - like you guys are seeing this move also right?   It's creeping me out! 


I need your help.  I get a lot of requests for images of Camp Randall! If you went to UW-Wisconsin and want a Camp Randall memory, is there some place OUTSIDE the stadium that stirs that memory? 

I walked around this bastion of cement and from what I could see . . . it's just a huge block of cement.  I look on the intertube and all the images are from the inside or above.  Since I don't get down there a lot maybe I missed something? 

Speaking of Camp Randall - what happened to all the concerts????  Are there no groups big enough to come to the Stadium?  Did the neighborhood say "TOO LOUD?" like when you move next to a 80,000 seat stadium you are concerned with noise?  

Have you ever thought about if you could go back in time and see one  band that you missed, what band would it be. Me?  I would want to see The Doors!  Just for the coolness factor.  Not Led Zepplin or The Stones and The Beatles, well, could you actually HEAR them when they had a concert?

My very first concert was Jethro Tull, the Aqualung tour and oddly that was The Wood Fairy's 1st concert also.  Saw Tull 3 times, took a few concerts to get his cod piece out of my brain, sort of uncomfortable that first concert.  Saw Pink Floyd six times and (I have to say it) was one of the first 1000 people ON EARTH to hear Dark Side of the Moon live.  Remember, their very first Dark Side concert was in Madison one month BEFORE the album came out.  My mom and dad were there.  I was front row (the worst place for a Floyd concert).  

Who would you want to see?

BTW - searching I think I found a spot for photographs maybe the Camp Randall Memorial/Hall of Fame? A panorama with an ultra wide lens.   hmmmmmmm  However - it faces due east - best light is early morning.
Three friends die in a car accident and proceed to an orientation in heaven. They're all asked, "When you're in your casket and friends and family are talking about you, what would you like them to say?"

The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher, which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say... Look, he's moving!"

Did you know that the medical term "stroke" comes from the 16th century, when a person suffering a cerebral hemorrhage was thought to have been hit by "the stroke of God's hand."

There is a show on SPIKE called "1000 Ways to Die"  it's sort of the video version of the Darwin Awards.  I believe the Brewers could have their own show called "1000 Ways To Lose".  I mean, how often can you say you lost a game because you lost a Suicide Squeeze war.  That has to be close to some sort of a record where two teams try three suicide squeezes.

Stoughton Art Fair this weekend.  If you are bored take a road trip!

have a cheery day


Monday, May 14, 2012

Columbus to build $400 million HIGH SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE

Just a heads up - I talk about Survivor below but will not reveal the winner.

I hope everybody filled out their questionnaires about whether Columbus should build a new high school and  try to merge with Fall River.  It does seem that Fall River does not want to be assimilated into Cbus,  so screw them anyway.

Currently grades K through like 8 or something are being schooled in the original school house built . . . a long time ago.  Four years ago the town took a vote to bring electricity to the school for the first time but residences voted "NO" to the $5 one time raise in property taxes.

Superintendent of Schools - DOCTOR Bryan Davis (who also subs as the school nurse)  said "we will make do with what we have, computers are just a passing fade anyway, we're waiting for The Cloud".

Columbus Wi Middle school

 However he is worried about the health of Columbus students as their school doubles as the gymnasium.  "We really need more room for physical activity" he commented.  "Education?  Governor Walker has told us that the need to edu-fy our youngins is not as important as we first thought!"  

Columbus Girls Basketball team working out

However - with more and more outsiders entering the city bypassing Sun Prairie and moving to Columbus the City Council feels the need to upgrade.

And thus - The SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE is in the works. 

unknown sources say "we can save a good deal of money by building THE SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE, on the very tips of the town but still inside the city limits.  By doing this we will not have to have any school buses, busing kids that extra 3 miles.  All we will need is a 3 mile long sidewalk from the Travel Center.  It's win win.

The city saves on buses, the Travel Center/Arby's with it's quick link to the highway and quick exits will have all sorts of unattended children buying stuff, helping taxes.  What could possibly go wrong."

 Now if we can just get the people of Columbus to fork out $500 for every $125,000 home (on average, prices may very) we will get that gymnasium we need to compete with Fall River.

In other news - over the weekend we find that our President is the first Gay Muslim born outside of the United States that eats dogs (according to Wikipedia).  If it's on Wikipedia it must be true!

Also over the weekend Elwood came up and as we were getting near Columbus we spotted some wild flowers beside the road going 70 miles an hour (we were, not the flowers).

I've searched and can not find what they are - WARNING - DO NOT GO TO wildflowerfarm.com as I get all sorts of RED FLASHING WARNINGS   - - -

Here is the flower - four petals. 

In our search for flowers NOT going 70pmh we came across where I believe "Lord of the Rings" was filmed.

Anyone know of this flower?

Survivor - WOW - I have never seen a jury that were more adultlike - and what REALLY floored me was Kat's speech.  WHAT?  Who are you?   Tarzan was playing us all along and had a chance but went one step too far.   And  Colton, wow - you give him a chance to make amends for his . . ass-idness and he screws it up, sadly I think we have not seen the last of him!  His mother was brave and smacked him down a little which was nice.

Probts says that this season was a letdown but NEXT season with a HUGE twist is going to be extreme!  Three tribe format that will put the breaks on 5 person alliances and with 3 returning players, all of them were evac-ed in their first try!

OH - I gotta say it. Remember what I said on this blog February 16th 2012 when everyone was pissed at the males for trying to "take out all the woman"? I said:

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.  

Yea - High Five ME!!   I called it! 

I gotta get on this show!!!

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Was Republican turnout stronger then Democrate?

I just realized - if I won an award for my blog (2008 Business of the year award)  . . .does this make me an award winning author?  

Also - did anyone else see the meteorite  last night at 8:43 looking north?

I'm a little worried about the turnout numbers at Tuesdays practice elections.  Both sides received about 650,000 votes. However it's been rumored that Falk received a lot of Republican votes.  If this is so, they the right actually out voted the left.

I'm not too concerned about Walker winning or losing as long as Fitzgerald, who is just a whore to big business and his own pocket book OR any of Walkers other lockstep followers lose. If the left controls the Senate and the right controls the Governor,  nothing gets done because of deadlock and that is a good thing all of a sudden.  Better then going backwards as Wisconsin now is.

I mean really? Walker's ads are so misleading with twisting the economy numbers HIS way and then using an entirely different set of numbers for Barrett.  Good Grief. Are Wisconsinites THAT gullible?

Then there is this article in the paper saying  hmmmmmmmm, maybe Unions don't have as much say in how people vote as we thought . DAAAA!!  

When someone says they are backing so and so and we are officially endorsing Bob Smith.  Who cares!!  That is the one thing people normally do not listen too.  Endorsing, I believe makes the endorser feel important but no one actually listens.

As for the recent election. I still believe, and it was reinforced at golf last night, that many many people that voted for Walker will not vote for him THIS time. So even though Walker got a lot of votes I feel these were the right-wing zealots, not average Joe.  The big question is will the left turn out to vote.

The polls are all saying it will be close but answering your phone and saying you will vote is different then actually getting off your butt to go vote.


Golfed last night - working on the stack and tilt method of golfing. Worked sometimes and sometimes it didn't. I had a round where I was typically wild but it seemed that every time I was wild I was penalized by having a tree RIGHT in the wrong spot and when I had two great shots my ball would end up in the worst 2 square feet on that entire hole.

I guess it was payback night for being lucky on other nights!

I had my camera with me and took 2 shots. Really, the back nine of Door Creek is pretty boring for photos.  It's pretty but the front night is much more dramatic for photography!  (hmm very green ain't it)

I hit the green on this 180 yard par 3.  And then 3 putted.

OK - what could POSSIBLY go wrong here.

Two cannibals meet one day. The first cannibal says, "You know, I just can't seem to get a tender missionary. I've baked 'em, I've roasted 'em, I've stewed 'em, I've barbequed 'em, I've even tried every sort of marinade. I just cannot seem to get them tender."

The second cannibal asks, "What kind of missionary do you use?"

The other replied, "You know, the ones that hang out at that place at the bend in the river. They have those brown cloaks with a rope around the waist and they're sort of bald on top with a funny ring of hair on their heads."

"Ah ha!" he replies. "No wonder... those are friars!"

Have a nice day! and let's not think about the Brewers today!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Cloud will change the entire landscape of computers.

So it seems a number of you were afraid to watch the Youtube video - it's not bad - pretty funny actually!!  Fear not.


There has been a bunch of news lately about Obama's approval ratings and how they keep dropping.   This is not big news at all. Happens almost all the time.  Here is the approval ratings for the last 11 Presidents. 

The one surprise was Bush II zooming up at the end??


The Cloud - I've been fascinated by The Cloud ever since DJs dad had me watch a video on how cloud computing will change how humans interact with computers and the Web.

VERY basically cloud computing is having a centralized computer and we all can access our data anywhere in the world. 

Right now we use cloud computing a lot.  Facebook and pretty much the internet is cloud computing. Most people use their home computers accessing the cloud. 

I believe that by 2020 Americans will no longer be buying computer boxes and the computer as we know it today will be a relic.  

In the old days electricity was only direct current and there were thousands of tiny electric companies (like your computer). But when alternating current was discovered and it could go hundreds of miles without losing strength, electric companies all combined into very large companies. This is sort of like cloud computing.  Right now every house has it's own tiny electric company.  In the near future it will all be on mega giant servers.

The Cloud is in the process of making your stand along computer obsolete.  Already many games you buy are using cloud processing.  The last few I have purchased use Steam.  The game is not actually on your computer at all, it is in some central warehouse online.  If there is a tweak to the game, YOU don't do anything, they fix it right there.

The Cloud will save trillions of dollars.  Amazon found that out when they went to using  cloud computing. They are using only 10% of the capacity.  Google is the foremost cloud user, seriously, if I had spare money I would put every cent into Google.  That is just the business side.

I feel cloud computing is basically a NEW internet.  Each home will have plug-ins like they do for cable, just plug in and start using. You will have a keyboard and screen, no real box with hard drives and so forth.  No more installing software, worrying about a virus, blue screen crashes (do those still happen?) upgrading software and so forth.   No more Apple vs. PC which is just a stupid argument anyway.  You can not compare the two. Different animals. 

Right now cloud computing is more of a cool buzzword as there are lots of things to be worked out but it's happening already.  Look at Apples iCloud!  If you have a smart phone you are cloud computing already but more like a caveman writing on a rock at the moment.

What I like is the huge huge amounts of data that will be available to normal people. All information will be available to the consumer. 

OF COURSE - with everything centralized the aliens will know that and can take out earth with one giant blast of their plasma beam. Yea - remember Battlestar Galactica?   

But the generation that will totally embrace cloud computing are the ones that have had Facebook all their lives! The generation raised on broadband connections, Google search and Facebook won't worry about relying on Web-delivered applications and resources for work and play.  

(remember when the internet started and no one know where to find anything?  I remember going to Borders and looking for books with internet address  LOL) 

Mark my words - the computing world has become to change into something very different then what we have now! 

BTW - check out Dropbox.com.   This is what got me onto the cloud thing today.  It's awesome and free.  If I had dropbox YESTERDAY morning I would not be kicking myself for leaving my thumb drive at work yesterday.  It would all be up there in the cloud where I can access it anywhere on any computer in the world.  :-(

Have a good good day!


Monday, May 7, 2012


WOW - tough few weeks for the Brewers, very depressing.  It started with just a few raindrops, #5 Starter Chris Narveson has season ending surgery. OK , not all THAT bad.

Then teh storm hit,  Matt Gamel, Prince Fielders replacement, BAM, season ending injury.  This is bad because the Brewers have absolutely no one that can play first base on a regular basis, nobody!   Then BAM, lightning, Carlos Gomez, one of the fastest players and one of the best center fielders in MLB pulls a hamstring (or something like that).  BUT WAIT,  HAIL,  now one of the top five fielding short stops in the Majors rips his knee and is probably out for the season so the guy that WAS filling in at 1B needs to play shortstop. And then last years MVP Ryan Braun tweaks his achilles heel and those things take forever to heal.   NEXT?

OH WAIT!  Cory Hart is playing with only half a brain. The guy is not in the game at all. I've seen four bone head blunders lately.   Running the base blunders, fielding blunders, missing signs at the plate!!

The only good thing is that it's early May with 140 games to play!

Things I did not know.  After watching Survivor last week I find out that 22 year old's think that 28 year old's are so over the hill old that they can not possibly win a physical challenge one on one.  I had never considered a 28 year old to be "old".


Things I did not know.   When you need to have CV joints replaced on your car you probably need to have your tie rods also replaced.

OK - for anybody that does not know. A CV joint on your car is like a knee joint. It is a constant velocity joint and is part of a drive shaft, the shaft that attaches to a car's transmission at one end and the wheel at the other.  They are only in the front of the car. Perhaps you have heard of a universal joint.  Those were in the back of the car when cars had back wheel drives.  But with front wheel drive cars manufacturers had a new problem, as they had to turn the tires as well as go over bumps.

CV joints just wear out, get dry like human knees. My Subaru has 17,000 miles and I guess that is a lot.  The hardware does not cost much of installation is  . . . .a bitch.  $500.  When you see a car beside the road with a tire that fell off?     CV joint.


If you replace the CV Joints you PROBABLY need to replace the tie rods. The tie rods basically turn the wheels when you turn the steering wheel.  Pretty important. IF the CV joints wore out the tie rods probably are really loose and need to be replaced.   In a nut shell they transfer and control motion between two components.  BAM $300!!  And don't forget to have your tires aligned!

LOL - I was told so many times to MAKE SURE I have my wheels aligned after all that.  I asked about that at the garage and was told that is like asking to make sure when you buy a new tire and have them installed to make sure THERE IS AIR IN THE TIRE!  

So when you cars wheels  makes a noise when you turn a corner. It's going to cost you some money sooner or later and oi you wait too long your wheel will fall off OR when you turn your steering wheel, nothing will happen!   Get it fixed or just always go straight!

Things I did not know.  Elwood had his SuperBowl this weekend and we took our trip to The Flower Factory.  He's been saving all year for this trip, had his program (catalog) all marked up with what he was going to buy and had spent the last 400 hours of his life referencing, cross referencing, double checking, looking for alternatives and had his game plan AND game face on!

I on the other hand said - "if I see something I like I might pick it up on the spur of the moment" which made him turn white. It's how I roll.   

The Flower Factory
The problem I have with The Flower Factory is that everything is labeled with their Latin names and no photos. If you go there you must know what you want.  Their catalog is extensive with zero photos.  It's basically like the stock section of the Wall Street Journal but with flowers instead of stocks.

The nice thing about FF is that it's very natural and everything labeled!

WELL, all was going well until we were looking for "Lilium 'Lollipop' (Asiatic)". Yes , you must say it correctly.  We find the wall of Lilium and come to the EMPTY bins of the Lollipop!  OH KNOW!!!!  THE DAY IS RUINED!!!!  all hell breaks loose.  THIS IS A TRAVESTY!!  LORD JESUS WHY OF YOU FORSAKEN US!!   SOMEONE IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS!!!  He throws his catalog down in disgust and screams THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!!!  (with four explanation marks).

I talk him off the edge of the cliff and when I say talk I more or less just kicked him off!

He finds something else but there is a cloud over his head.  We talk to the people at checkout and a woman takes us aside and say "Check out Kopke's" which is just north of The FF.  We go there and it's like a super WalMart for annuals with a small Perennial section AND they have Lilium 'Lollipop' (Asiatic). . . . . .for $17.50!!  sigh!!

He buys one and we get lost trying to find our way to pay for anything.  Seriously, we did. We ended up in some area that had EMPLOYEES ONLY signs and had to reverse and after 20 minutes and asking people we found where the counter was. All was well. 

Columbus had 1.63 inches of rain yesterday with 1.13 inches coming down in 25 minutes and flooding back yards.


I'm not seeing any of my liberal friends boasting about the big spike in tourism for Wisconsin and how Wisconsin has moved from something like 40th to 20th in a recent magazine for small business coming here!

Walker can not take credit for any of this (but he did) of course just like he should not be blamed for Wisconsin losing jobs.  Things like job creation can not be measured after 1 year or even 4 years (like Obama).  Look back 10 years from now to see how things are going.  This is a global economy and 1 and 4 years is very very short term thinking.  There are other things you can blame governmental officials on but the economy is not one of them.

With that said - check out this video!!




OK - why don't female softball players wear baseball hats!! Do they think they are better then males?  "We don't need no baseball hat? It's just a crutch?  Come on guys, don't be sun wimps!"   Do female baseball players spit? Spitting is part of the game, it softens the infield!  Keeps the dust down!


OH - another photo from Lake Mills.  This is Mill Pond (seems every town has a Mill Pond).

Mill Pond - Lake Mills

Have a great Monday - going to the Brewer game tomorrow!  Whoo Hoo! or what's left of the Brewers!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Shots of Lake Mills and the Coming Storms

I created a couple graphs on how the Brewers are doing run-wise compared to last year and used a 10 game moving average.  Here are the results.

The first is Runs scored per game.  Blue is last years 10 game moving average and red this this years! 

And pitching.

Ouch.  Need I say more.


WOW - just saw Ted Nugent on a TV interview.  WOW - that dude needs so serious medication! He just WENT OFF on a female producer off camera for no reason at all.


One thing that sort of irritates me a little (I think I have mentioned this once to thrice) is that people seem to believe that since I "retired" I sit around all day.   Heck I thought that also when I was working for the man and would talk to retired friends.

I spend the good part of yesterday matting prints and stressing out over art fairs and what needs to be done. From 9:00 to 2:30 I was heads down matting.  OH - granted, I take breaks and it's not like I'm sitting at a desk all day coding.  About 2:30 the storms were rolling south so I hopped into the car and drove to Lake Mills who are always screaming MORE MORE WE NEED MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF LAKE MILLS!

So with storms and clouds I took a drive.  Now THIS is what being "retired" is all about. It's not that I'm not working, but I work at what I want to work at.

Here are the few I have gotten too so far.

Rock Lake Mill Pond - Lake Mills
 There was a storm rolling in over the Lake.   For any photographers out there this was one of those times where you are all set up, take some photos and then a minute later . . NOW is a good shot  . . and then a minute later now is a better shot and it keeps going, you never know if THIS ONE is the good one?  That on? Should I wait?

Again - with this rain bow I took a bunch and it kept morphing si I/m not sure if this is the best one yet - but it's the first I looked at so . . .

Back at Bartels Beach looking south.

That's what I have at the moment.  Lots more to go through.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bad Day for the Brewers

Can a day get much worse for the Brewers?  First Gamel goes down with a season ending injury  . . . which statistically is not THAT bad of a thing (more on that later).

Then the Crew get's beat by former nemesis Greg Suppan who killed the Brewers when he pitched for the Cards, then killed the Brewers when he pitched for the Brewers and now he comes back after spending last year in Triple A (isn't he like 60 years old?) and shuts down the Brewers.

Then Braun, who a day before had three home runs and a triple has a achilles tendon problem which I suspect will have him out for a week.


 Speaking of Gamel.  Let's not get too excited about him going down.  If you look at his production this year he was below what ANY replacement player could do!  His BWARP (Wins Above a Replacement Player, which includes hitting AND fielding) was -0.3 (Braun is at +0.7). 

BTW - Fielder is at 0.0 at the moment and Pujols is at -0.5 

BTW(2) - get Morgan out of CF and install Gomez full time in Center.    

Then the Packers have to deal with Hargrove whi they signed as a Free Agent now being suspended for 8 games for something he did a few years ago with the Saints!!  

And what about Junior Seau who committed suicide yesterday.  Here is the weird thing with that!  He was on the 1994 Superbowl Chargers.   Eight members of that team have died.  Mims (enlarged heart), Griggs (auto accident), Culver (ValueJet flight crash on Everglades), Bush (cardiac arrest), Whitley (overdose drug problem), Lee (cardiac arrest), Miller (struck by lightning), Seau (suicide). 

Is that weird or what!

Something weird in Fort Atkinson.  My mom speaks of her neo-con friends who continually spout racial insults about Obama.  Well, the far far right local newspaper, the Daily Jefferson County Union is actually supporting Compas as opposed the Fitzgerald for Senate. 

OH - and looking at their website I see Fort is having a 'Trot for Pot' event.   hmmmmmm   (construction of a rest room I guess).

A couple people asked about a flower in my rock wall.  It's a Purple Robe Saxifraga (Saxifraga x arendsii).  Seems to like to climb down but not up!  The plan is to have a vein of them running down one of the cracks between boulders!  They typically bloom for about 3 weeks in early spring.

three years in the making
Those are Red Chokeberries on the right which are one of my favorite plants and below them are Sweet Woodriff.  Those two combined make an amazing aroma!! And Blake who got all excited when he saw me and I had to walk him off the cliff! 


I've been working on a poster trying to get all the tiny little things they want to work together. 


Some pretty big rains last night.  Columbus received  0.03 inches all the storms formed up just north of Columbus and many places received 3+ inches of rain.

OK - back to work you go!  

Have a good Thursday! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Employment Numbers, the Left is Spinning

I've always tried to make my artwork affordable for normal people.  Many moons ago I fell in love with some artwork at East Town and on my 3rd trip back, even though I REALLY could not afford it I plunked down $200 for a painting.  Pretty much screwed me over financially but I really liked it.

So knowing that pain I've always tried to keep my prices a little lower by looking for inexpensive ways to frame, print, mat and so forth.  Not cheap ways but cost cutting ways (don't worry, I still have a fine mark-up as there are many images that are produced that are collecting dust).

At Sweet Lips Gallery in Lake Mills I produced some large images with faux matting that people seemed to appreciate . This cuts about $60 my price to produce. 

So - what I'm getting at is I had this cool matting idea for my submarine image that totally failed when I created it.  Too dark so I deleted it and started over.  Here is my next try.  If you have any ideas let me know!

I tried darker, navy blue with gold but it was just too dark.  Maybe I'll leave this one alone!!  


There has been a lot of BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) comments lately from the Republicans saying the liberals are lying about how many jobs Wisconsin has lost since Walker has taken over.

In one respect the "right" is correct when they quote that according to the BLS  Wisconsin has actually GAINED jobs.  And I have to agree with them.

There are two numbers the BLS posts.  One is the CES (Current Employment Statistics) number which counts how many jobs employers have. It's designed to measure employment, hours, and earnings with significant industrial and geographic detail.  Self-employed persons are excluded,  agriculture sector is excluded, private household workers (nannies, housekeepers, and the
like) are excluded.  So if Wisconsin all of a sudden lost all of their factory workers but they all became farmers - Wisconsin would have zero employment.

Then CPS survey measures the number of employed persons. Multiple jobholders are counted once, self-employed persons are included, agriculture sector is included, private household workers are included.

CES - Wisconsin lost a ton of jobs, CPS Wisconsin gain jobs.   Oddly, the left, the anti business people are siding with the big corporations while the right, the anti worker people are siding with the workers.


However - this is all silly.  Focusing on JOBS is stupid.  I'm pretty sure Walker or any Governor does not that that much say in creating jobs. Just like Obama does not have a lot he can do in creating jobs.  The economy is way way too big for any one administration to have that much influence, at least in the short run which is all everybody focuses on.

All a politician can do is TRY to steer the boat a degree or two one way or the other.

HOWEVER - there are so many other reasons to vote out Walker. And I'm not even that worried about Walker if we can get Fitzgerald voted out (VOTE COMPAS) who I feel is worse then Walker.

Vote Walker out because he has created civil discord in Wisconsin.  People are angry at friends, it's all "us against them" now and for silly reasons.  There are better ways to run a government then to create disharmony.  I believe that word is compromise.  I'll vote for any politician that will run on the compromise ticket.

I am 100% anti the uneducated Governor of Wisconsin.  Many people will say, well, "I'm doing pretty well and I'm not educated formally" . . . .well . . . you are also not the Governor of a State.

OK - that is my spiel.

Have a great Wednesday - it MIGHT be golf league tonight - have to see about the rain.