Thursday, November 29, 2012

Birds and Mouses

In the mornings I sit here and fill in my basketball spreadsheets and look at my database and procrastinate about taking my course in Access and while I do this I can watch the birch tree where I have my bird feeder. 

Note - thinking about adding a birch at the corner of the property since the golf course let a tree did with Jap Beetles.

Elwood calls it my ecosystem.

The last few weeks I have had five Blue Jays along with 20 or 30 sparrows attending my soup kitchen (a bird entitlement program) .  The one thing the Blue Jays do is they can make a sound that is exactly like a Red Tail Hawk.  I was reading about them and other birds benefit from Blue Jays.  Seems they will make this sound either as a warning, looking to see if any hawks yell back or to scare the sparrows.  Blue Jays are slow flyers and hawks will attack them

But - there is a pecking order with sparrows on the bottom of the list.  In fact it looks like it's a size thing as when the crows come walking in they are the kings and all watch them strut their stuff on the ground.  Have not seen the cardinals lately.

Odd thing about the Jays is that they sometimes migrate south and sometimes not.   They are monogamous, picking a mate for life and the male will feed the female as she broods (isn't that always the case?  LOL).  Both males and females will build the nest together.   

Life span can go to 17 years in the wild if they are careful. I don't believe birds ever die. I mean how often to you come across a dead bird just laying there.  Do they have grave yards? You would think with so many birds you would see dead ones more often.

NBA Chase is doing well except for that one stumble.

Lots of driving today.  Picking up matted prints in Madison, picking up 5 large canvas's in Sun Prairie.

Visited the Middle School yesterday to have my photo taken for their yearbook with Collin. The 6th grade art class made a special gift for me which is really cool (refrigerator art).

OH - I have to put some orders in today.

I was contacted and asked if I could do anything with a photo so I took it and  . . .augmented it slightly so I could enlarge it and make it look more presentable.  While at Hobby Lobby today I'll have to look for a good size frame.

I had thought about making this a tall slim image like a vertical pano but that green slash of glass was just too good to pass up. I had to get that in there somehow. Not sure why it was green but I loved the reflection being green.

I hope that dude does not read the blog  LOL

OK - I gotta get my football picks in for this week.  I'm in 1st place in two confidence pools and tied for 1st in fantasy football but I feel I peaked and am now going down.  Too many injuries, just like the Packers.

WHY did I pick LeSean McCoy as my 1st pick. He is killing me!  And my 3rd pick Jennings - a no show  sigh!   My best player was my 4th pick, the Bear Defense. . . .actually my BEST player has been Steve Ridlay my 11th pick.

Anyone know about mouses??  My mouse will just stop sometimes as I'm moving the cursor across the screen.   Is this a mouse problem?  Software?  It's an corded optical mouse on felt mouse pad.


OK - gotta make picks - cheers


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Faith and Butter

I know I'm the only guy in Wisconsin that follows pro basketball but it's only because I wager on it. I had a relatively large game last night not betting ON the Milwaukee Bucks but betting AGAINST the Chicago  Bulls.

Well late in the 3rd quarter the Bucks were losing by 27 and they put  all of their bench in to get playing time.  I had marked the game off as  a loss and was looking at the Bulls schedule.

Then a funny thing happened. The Bucks bench outscored the Bulls weary starters 31-4 and they won the game. WHOA!!  This happens a lot when a team comes home after a long road trip and relax with home cooking.  BUT  NOT WHEN UP BY 27!!    

So I'm 30-1 now.  Although 1 loss is actually 16 losses so I'm 30-16 in the NBA.  The 16 losses were tough to take but with backtesting I should  only lose the BIG game 4 or 5 times in a year.

I have faith.  And you know what Faith is?  Faith is Believe without evidence.  But Elwood and I have been backtesting every team with the last 10 years of data and we have faith.

The Fiscal Cliff. I'm so confused.  OK are both sides now giving a little or not.  Every hour I hear something different.   And come on - IT'S NOT A CLIFF.  It's a fiscal slope and actually a gentle slope at that. But slopes are not good.

On slightly the same subject. I'm reading a new book called "Patriots, A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse".  A work of fiction about a group of friends that bands together when the worlds financial infrastructure goes 100% belly up. Lots of great survival information (don't use hybrid seeds).

The thing is the book explains WHY the collapse (called The Crunch) happens and the author says It is a worse case scenario and could never actually happen.  1000% inflation, the dollar is worthless, the power grid is down  and so forth. 

So if you are one of those that collects things waiting for anarchy - better hope for a natural disaster.   
Here is a fun fact that was just told to me by a co-worker. 

When Social Security was established it was deemed that at 65 you could have social security, the average wage of a black male was 62.

When the average age of a black male was raised to 65 the government raised the SS age to 67.  Now that the average age of a black male is 67  the Government is talking about raising the SS age to 70.

Although it's 66 for me. I just made it!!  If you were born 1960 or later it's 67.


a few years ago I was in at a Pot Bellys on State Street and was watching a a "panhandler" and starting counting how many times someone gave him money.  I figured he was making at least $30 an hour.

Then on Ch 3 there was a segment and they had a woman with one of those cardboard signs near West town asking for money.  Along with pizza and other food she made about $40 an hour.

There was a dude I would give a buck too on the Square. Really friendly guy with a nice story.  One time I was on the other side of the street and saw him.  He was talking to someone and thinking them for a dollar with God Bless Yous and I was sort of shielded by a car and watching.

He walked across the street and was putting the money into a billfold and I swear there had to be a couple hundred in that wallet. He got no more for me.

I know give a dollar to the guys selling those papers. They are ACTUALLY
 homeless, not beggers making $50,000 a year.


BUTTER - A friend of mine works in the butter industry. He buys and sells butter by the train load and we were talking the other day and I learned a few things.

Except for the small Craft butter industry - all grocery store butter COMES FROM THE SAME PLACE!!  In your normal convenience/grocery store all the butter is exactly the same butter. zero difference EXCEPT for price.

Some butter will have a Wisconsin sticker and some will have a Fed Sticker and the difference is that it costs 2 cents more to get a Fed Sticker. The same people look at it. 

So when you buy butter buy the cheapest butter you can get WHICH is at Kwik Trip.  Also, Grade A butter has a better flavor then AA.  Sort of like syrup.  The worst syrup when it comes to flavor is the highest grade.

You can freeze butter for a year.  The worst time to buy butter starts in November as this is the busy butter season.   The drought hurt butter this year. Less cows.

Just sayin'


Monday, November 26, 2012

Lincoln - AWESOME

All good things come to an end.  Yesterday in the NBA I lost a big game in my Chase.  O'well.  Here is my graph now.

Still in the black and this is what happens, win lots and lots of small games but when I lose  POW!!

Packers - Well the injuries are finally starting to add up.  At least The Bears had injuries (5 actually) in their last game.


For anyone that watches The Amazing Race they understand a little more about Bangladesh. What a horrid country.  Dirty, and crowded.  The fire that killed 100+ reminds me of the fire that happened in New York back in the early 1900's and why Unions are NOT a bad thing.   When the fire in the factory started the managers told workers not to worry.  Exit doors were locked and fire extinguishers were not even working.

The factory made T-shirts and polo shirts for Walmart so Americans could get cheap clothes. 

When the fire alarms went off workers tried to exit the building but their managers blocked the exit and told them to go back to work.  When there were flames they all ran to the one emergency exit and found it locked from the outside. 

OH - the building were inspected and classified as dangerous but the government did not want to get involved (smaller government and all that).


Great news for anti-Walker people.  It seems that either Walker is a criminal (which he is) OR, just a very very bad manager.   Everybody below him is being carted off to jail and saying he knew they were breaking the law.  So if the head of organized crime only tells people to break the law, does that not make him a criminal also?  Not according to him.

Seems to me that even if we see Walker being led away in handcuffs the tea party zealots will all blame the liberal media and scream it's not fare.  

BTW - seems the right is looking into toll roads in Wisconsin.  But they won't raise taxes.  But they WILL raise fees! Not the same thing I guess!  LOL 

Yet another reason to never drink soft drinks. A latest study links soft drinks to knee arthritis.  For some reason soft drink sugar effects the cartilage in peoples knees!

This is so so true and so so funny

Watched the movie Lincoln Saturday - WOW - what a fantastic movie.   It was odd seeing Lincoln smile, I thought I was the only guy who had see that grin.  But seriously - a very very good movie and David Spader was a hoot!!

It's a movie with mostly dialog but fascinating.  Applause at the end and many people were commenting that it did not feel like a 2.5 hour movie and it didn't.   Speaking of corrupt. Yea he was but . . . . it's what Republicans do I guess!!  LOL  At least he was corrupt for the good of the country and not for himself (unlike a certain Governor) . 

Of course I mentioned OSCAR on Facebook and Jenny said Les Misérables was going to win the OSCAR.  So as I was surfing the web I found this amazing portrait that became a poster.

OMG - this image is so so amazing.  HDR photography at it's best!

If I could have one photo in my life like these I would be a happy man.


OH - and my rant on Walker and Health Care. Nevermind - what he is actually doing is bringing the US closer to a one payer system which is what the left wants.  You see by having the Fed find insurance for Wisconsin residents we will actually have cheaper insurance.  The reason is that going national you will have a bigger group to choose from.  Wisconsin Insurance companies HATE it that Walker has screwed them and say if we go national they will lose customers and go out of business.

This is a good thing.  With less insurance companies the big ones will get bigger.  Sooner or later we will have ONE insurance company.  Thank You Walker for moving us towards a one payer system.  Walker - not the brightest bulb in the pack.  BUT - Wisconsin likes dumb people in charge.      


My West Coast Blaster is awesome!!!  I had two bottles this weekend and I impressed myself.  Gotta give Brian my neighbor a few bottles as it was his hops!! 



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Walker? Really? Come on!

As one person said - Governor Walker is like those Japanese solders that hid in the jungle for years and years after the war was over.  Refusing to quit the fight.  He's a dead-ender.   And now we see he is going to run Wisconsin from California.

By refusing to go along and help the poorest citizens of his state with their Medicaid coverage he is going to let the Federal Government do all the work.  Yet, he himself, along with all the Republicans say a State is better at governing then the Federal Government.  So when the shit hits the fan he bails out like a little child.

I mean come on, the least costly and most consumer friendly thing about Obamacare.  The part where citizens and businesses can compare insurance and features. The one part where people IN Wisconsin could really be helped.  NOPE - Walker says he will let the Fed, who in this case will do a poorer job can do it.  Walker is a freaking uneducated asshole nutcase.

Two states that were against Obamacare, are doing it "in house" and are doing a very good job.    Walker says it will put too much financial strain on Wisconsin.  DUDE - IT'S FREE.  The Fed will cover the cost of letting us do it for the 1st year. After that it will be covered by charging insurers to participate.  There is absolutely no reason to have the fed do this.       


Have I mentioned my NBA system?   You know I'm a systems guy and for years have noticed that the NBA, like the game itself, is very streaky and somehow I needed to find a way to profit on it.

I think we found it. Elwood and I have been back testing and we started to run it with real $$ this year.

So far 20-0.  yup - TWENTY Wins and ZERO losses.   Back testing for the last 6 years   1308-414 for a profit of 776 units over 6 years.

The cool thing is I think we can do it in Baseball and Hockey.

The Benzine Blaster.

My neighbor gave me about 5(?) ounces of hops that he grew so I used them in a beer.  It's one week from being perfect carbonated (I hope) but I tested one Sunday.  GREAT BEER!!   Tastes sort of like Hopilisious but more malty which is what I was hoping for.

It's all logical so it's not some weird-o system. 


WOW - The earth was lucky last week.  A  ginormous sun flare, one the the biggest ever recorded blasted from the sun and JUST missed us.  I mean this was THE BIG ONE!! 

NASA warned -

Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by this once-in-a-generation “space storm”.

Holy shit batman - This is like one of my favorite shows Revolution where the earth loses all it's electricity.   I'm wearing my aluminum helmet from now on. 


My 2nd favorite new show was canceled  :-(  I'm sad    LAST RESORT is no longer.


Seriously - if you have not watched The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns - it's must see TV.  WOW.  You know I always new what it was and what caused it but Ken Burns really brings it home.  I mean WOW!!  What a freaking nightmare.   PBS!!!  Way to go.  It's like a horror story nightmare that really happened.  I mean having your family sit in the kitchen with wet bags over your everybody's heads to survive.     

Well - since no one is at work no one will read this so . . . .

Have a great Thanksgiving.


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Coming War with China

Ferrari S70 - zero to sixty in 2.3 seconds.  You don't  even have time to pucker.  900 horsepower.   I believe this will be my next car.  I hope I can put a trailer hitch on it.


Gave my 1st presentation to the Columbus Middle School (6th grade art class) yesterday and all was well.  Today's presentation will be better as I know have a clue of what 6th graders are interested in with my stuff.   90% were loving what I was saying and 10% were SOOOO BORED!!!   LOL

While the Tea Party right wingers are REALLY interested in who is having sex with who in Washington and the Tea Party 9 in Wisconsin are calling on King Walker to arrest federal judges (seriously that are) something , under the radar has been quietly happening in the South China seas fort the last year.

You see China has been stealthy claiming ownership of the HUGE, strategically vital petroleum rich South and East China seas. And quietly (I guess not REAL quietly) the Pentagon has been slowly but deliberately moving more and more "resources" to the Pacific.

Already six Carriers are in the area.  The B-1 bomber will receive new extended-range air-to-surface missiles next year.  Guam is getting refurbished and fixed up.  At the moment Australia ahs 250 Marines and will expand to 2500 and four brand new Littoral Combat Ships will be cruising around the shores of Singapore.     hmmmmmmmm!

Notice Obama is taking a little trip to South East Asia soon.  China is watching closely.


PLEASE NOTE - in the comments there is a rebuttal to the below which seems logical.  HEY - just repeating what was told to me by some angry people yesterday (as I was complaining about a parking ticket I had received).   SO - take the below with a grain of salt and thank you for correcting me.   Never a problem being correct!! 

Check out this awesome map.  If cost tax payers in Columbus $1800 to advertise for the Chamber of Commerce.  They told the City Council that it was to bring business to Columbus.  Notice that unless you pay $$ to Chamber you are not mentioned.

I thought that since you had to pay dues to Chamber they would not have to spend Columbus tax dollars to fund themselves.  If all the business that are NOT in Chamber for various reason (like funding the Republican Party) asked the City Council for $1800, would they get it?  I hope so. From the sound of it it might happen.

I know I don't want MY tax dollar going for this map.  OH - the other side lists all of the Chamber companies.       

I'm not anti-map but this is clearly just an advertisement and I do not believe I should have to pay for it UNLESS, other non-chamber businesses are mentioned.   What are they doing with their dues anyway.  I HOPE Main Street Org will receive $1800 also.

But the real news is that Hostess has liquidated and you will never see Twinkies, Cup Cakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Sno Bals and the like ever again.  SA IT AINT SO!!!  

Sunday Night - PBS - Ken Burns  THE DUST BOWL!!!   I saw clips and it looks really interesting
Five Hour Energy Drink - Come on good grief.  OK - they are investigating 13 deaths allegedly from Five Hour Energy Drink.  While I'm sorry for the loss do you know how much of this is consumed?  In four years 1 billion four hundred thirty million little drinks have been consumed.  And the big worry is from 13 alleged deaths?   Over one million a day are swallowed.

You have a 1 in one hundred eleven million chance of allegedly dieing every time you consume one.  Do you think there are other things we might be exploring.  How many people have died from swallowing their iPads!!     Just sayin'.


Rod Out


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roman Nose

Been a little busy this week.  I got the thumbs up on my latest.  Now I have to figure out how big to make each image. 

The wall is 5 x 8 feet.  Here is my final-ish set of images.  Although I'm going to lighten up Amelia a little.


But my real stress is that today and tomorrow I'm giving a lecture to Mrs. McDainal's 6th grade Art Class.   They are doing section on photography and for some reason believe I would be a good person to tweak their imagination.  

I visited the classroom last night and they have things that I would have thought were from the future if I had them when I was in 6th grade. . . . . I suppose it would have been from the future.    Remember when you would see Super 8 films on a white pull down white screen?

Well that screen is now a pull down laptop.  Instead of a mouse I just poke at the screen.  WHAT NEXT!  Speedometers on your windshield??

Mrs. McDanial's said they want to know all about me.  I'm wondering how much I should cover high school . . . . hmmmmmm    Maybe I'll just gloss over that part. 

Bridgejumper was 6-1 last week (22-13 this year) and up I'm 10.92 units in the NBA. 

Today I have to put a bottle of West Coast Blaster in the fridge to see how it's carbing.


Did you know there are 63, 8-time AWIs in Wisconsin.  One guy has 15 OWIs  Wait - what is it  DUI?  DWI?  OUI?  OMVI? DUBAL (Driving with an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level)  DWUI (only Wyoming uses that one).

OH - The Republicans came up with a new excuse on why they lost.  THE VOTERS!!!  Yesterday Paul Ryan called them the "Urban" voters.   Who gave those guys the right to vote anyway!   


Look at this photo - DISGUSTING

Yea - Victoria Secret is really taking heat for this fopa.   I, as a quarter blooded American Indian  . . . . . well, I liked it, BUT perhaps I'm not a true test.  They have apologized for their ignorance.

Actually head dresses are a pretty big deal in the American Indian community. 

For American Indians every feather in a head dress has to be earned.

The first feather an Indian receives must be earned for being seen as an adult member of the tribe.  The warrior has to prepare himself to receive such an honor and that often require days of fasting and meditation.

Other feathers are like merit badges of honor, they are not just some sort of decoration and are taken very very seriously.   The odd thing is that in Indian culture the female Indian is held in very very high regard but not allowed to where a headdress.  They are more in-tune with mother earth the ANY male can ever be. This is why Custer was able to escape his first battle.  He captured a bunch of female Indians and used them as human shields (the Warriors did not appreciate it).

So while female Indians are ranked highest on the totem pole the males show their pride with rewarding feathers.  After 10 feathers (rare) you were allowed to go out and get an eagle feather.

If you had 12 feathers you were allowed to have a better horse.

A Chiefs war bonnet was actually feathers from good deeds and worn in very high honor.

Warriors war bonnets (head dresses) were said to protect a warrior in battle.  One warrior chief, Roman Nose, wore his head dress and rode between the tribe and solders and despite being fire upon numerous times was never hit.

Interesting stories about Roman Nose.  

ANYWAY - I gotta run and prepare.

Have a great Thursday


Monday, November 12, 2012

Cracky it's cold!


So I ate like a pig yesterday. I could not stop eating.  My brain was telling my body it needed more fat to ward off the cold.  DAMN YOU BRAIN!! 

Milo was depressed all yesterday also.  He was just mopeing around. Cats, you can't understand them and you can't eat them.  

Not me though, I wasn't depressed - I'm now up 7.17 units in the NBA and my Bridgejumper system in the NFL is 5-1 with Kansas City +11.5 tonight!  I decided to play one poker tournament a day just to see what would happen and in my 1st week I finished in the money 5 out of 7 times.  Life is good.

Of course the problem is that I'm not sure how to get my money back into the US. When the republicans made it illegal for banks to accept gambling money (unless it is for horse racing or state lotteries which they said is NOT gambling) it shut off the flow of millions of dollars into the US.  Me being one of them.    

So I've been building this off shore bankroll for like 8 years now!    I'm virtually rich  LOL 

This week I'm giving some sort of presentation to Mrs. McDaniel's two 6th grade art classes in Columbus.  This means I'll be stressing out all week on what to say and show but it'll be fun (I keep telling myself that).   Yea -intimidated by 6th graders!

Actually the one thing I have been surprised about is how kids like my art when they see it at art fairs.  I think it's the colors.

I mentioned I was working on a rather large project for a Research Company.   It's one of those really cool places you wish you worked at. You know the kind with a pin ball machine, huge screen TV and just cool things in a converted warehouse.  They had purchased my 2x7 foot image of a B17 for their conference room and then got an actual propeller from a B17 to hang next to it.  Well they wanted something Andy Warholish with certain celebrities.  There has been a lot of back and forth on this one and I'm 4/5s OK with it.  They are fine but I feel I'm almost there.

ANYWAY - this is the project as it stands now.   I created a faux plywood background to make sure the colors would match in the 5 pieces!

I took a look at a bunch of Andy Warhol images . . . . not a fan. 

My hair is starting to look like Albert hair.

I had a real sweet image of Steve Jobs but they wanted a younger Steve Jobs.   Here are two rejections of Steve.


Pretty consistent amount of rain fell over Wisconsin yesterday.  Looking at the early data almost all stations reported about 0.80 inches of rain.   Here is the Columbus graph as it stands today.


Anybody else see the special on Discovery about filling that 727 airliner with crash test dummies and then crashing the plane?   It was really interesting.   One thing I learned is you really don't want to sit in 1st class.   Safest place to sit in a plane is near the back.   Also, watch out for those foot rests when you tuck.  They can break your ankles. OF course all accidents are different but a little knowledge is always helpful.   If you ever have a chance to see this 2 hours special it's well worth it.  DJ and I both had heart pounding moments.  We looked at each other and said "Why is this so nerve wracking".

In fact the one thing researchers have found is that survivors are the ones that actually pay attention.  This is true in everything.  Survivors are the ones that when they enter a room like a theater or something, they identify where the exits are.  Not like they are afraid but just being aware.

Knowledge might save your life.  When interviewed, survivors are always the ones that knew what to do in case the unthinkable happened.    

 . . . . . Weird . . . there are three crows in our yard SITTING in the grass.  And they are in a triangle!  hmmmmmmm  what does it mean. Are they signalling the mother ship?

Also - Blue Jays can make a sound just like a hawk it seems.  I kept looking outside for the hawk but  I see it's a Blue Jay.

NOW - there are literally hundreds of seagulls on the golf course - this is not even a fifth of them.   I think we are having a birdageddon.  The entire 16th fairway is covered with seagulls. 


Anyone know the number for the Beaver Dam Newspaper.  We still have not gottin it on time.


There was a comment in Fridays blog - "It's all good that the new Shopko is in Columbus but what struck me when I first walked in was how dated it felt inside and out. Swore I was walking into 25 year old Walmart that was due for an update. Compared to other shopping venues in our area it's very ordinary. If Columbus is a bedroom community as you say the new Shopko will not lure them away from shopping near work."     

True that - maybe that was my problem.  It's like - This is a generic big box store. In the encyclopedia (remember those?) for "big box store" there is a photo of Columbus Shop-Ko Hometown.  I'm not even sure they have music - always real quiet.
Have a great Monday

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hire from within.

Two words - Deep Sea Chicken Farming!!  Think about it. 

New study - if you drink 3 or more energy drinks in a day you will have problems sleeping.   REALLY??   

Today I will start making a batch of "Baileys Irish Cream"  Never made it before.  The one thing I'm confused about is if the REAL Baileys Irish Cream has milk products . . . how does it stay fresh.

Anyway I have the recipe (more like making a strong milk wine then beer) and will attempt it.  Then next week I brew a batch of my all time best brew -  Dbl Chocolate Stout.


Been working on 5 large images for a research company in Madison for a large wall so I have not had a chance to do much more photogizing.   I did send one image away for printing yesterday in preparation for Springfield IL (land of Lincoln and all that).

A couple months ago I was on the road and needed a quickie burger or something.  So I drove into a McDonalds and had a cheeseburger.  Something odd happened.  I only ate half of it.  My taste buds rejected it and when I got home I told DJ that I no longer liked McDonalds cheeseburgers.

Have not been to a McDonalds since.  Yesterday McDonalds came out and said that for the 1st time in 9 years they had a drop in sales.

I did not know I was eating that many!! 

Seems I was mistaken about our Police Chief - he now lives in Columbus.  I stand corrected.

Had some feedback on my comments about not hiring people from Columbus for jobs IN Columbus.  I guess I'm a conservative right winger in this regard.  If you work in government I believe you should live in the Town/State/Country that is paying your wages.

The argument was that a company/government should ALWAYS hire the most qualified person.  If this were the case perhaps we should have someone from the UK or maybe France run for President. Perhaps we should fire all American employees and hire Indians.  Perhaps we should outsource our government jobs overseas.

As far as private industry I'm not so strict but I feel if you have a company in Columbus you should go out of your way to hire someone that lives in Columbus.  Small towns are like families and I feel you should hire your family, even if there is someone slightly more qualified.

My off the cuff argument was about the woman who stole money in the Columbus bank and that MAYBE if she did not live in Beaver Dam, but lived in Columbus, she would not have stolen fellow townies money.   But I suppose she could have stolen from hundreds of  thousands of people money, I really don't know.

ANYWAY - I STRONGLY feel that if you are on the City Council, Police Department, Fire Department or any organization that deals with Columbus politics, you should live in Columbus. 

The observation was that if you grow up in Columbus and get a job in Columbus that somehow it means you are a country bumpkin and have not experienced the outside world.   I would love to see just how many people that live in Columbus actually grew up here.  I bet the percent would be surprisingly low.  Columbus is a bedroom community.  Many people that live here don't spend a dime here. 

Makes sense. 

If you work in Madison or Sun Prairie or Beaver Dam you have access for much more the Columbus has and are in a routine.  That is why I go out of my way to buy what I can in Columbus.

In other news it seems that the new Columbus Home Town Shopko is the lowest ranked Shopko of them all. Hopefully it's because it's new.  I hope that is not one of the TIF area, I think it was (not a fan of TIF projects but they have their uses).

The only hope is that more commercial development will spring up next to it (I believe that has to be the plan).  BTW - get your prescriptions out of Walgreens who tried to steal Sharrow Drug customers.  Take your prescriptions to Shop-Ko where Sharrow is now locate and have a flashy new drugstore and hired all of the Sharrow employee's. Nick is still in charge.

Again, keep your money in Columbus and not some corporate behemoth who never did pay me for the postcards they purchased and sold.

OH - and Sharrow Downtown is still open.  Awesome little gift shop (I guess you would call it).  Sort of like a nice Five & Dime. . . . . remember "Dime Stores?"
Black Friday will start Thursday it seems but remember - there are better deals online.  We purchased our snow blower on Black Friday online.  Better deal they going into the stores.

Karl Rove's PAC groups spent $103,000,000 (that's one hundred and three million dollars) and not one  of his candidates won!

I just can not believe that Romney was surprised he lost.  REALLY?  Seriously?  I actually thought FOX News and the Republicans were just spinning when they were saying they were going to win but . . . THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT.  and these guys think they are good with numbers?

Kind of scary ain't it. 


But the REAL bad news is about coffee.  Arabica beans (the GOOD coffee), under three different carbon emission scenarios, under the BEST scenario will have 65% less yield.  Arabica coffee comes from "very limited genetic stock," so scientists are scrambling.


Have a great weekend - Could break records on Saturday for warmth. Probably not but . . .

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Actually it would be more of a Fiscal Slope and not a cliff.  The logic is that Obama has vowed to have less government spending (smaller Government) which will hurt the economy. Plus, in theory,  the Republican House will do everything they can to stop Obama from achieving anything and Obama was so pissed off at the House last year for blocking everything he decided to stop even trying to work as one unit for the better good.

The Government is one of the biggest economical engines in the U.S. make it smaller and you have less money flowing.  Is there waste in Government?  yes, But just as much waste in private industry.  You pay higher taxes because of government waste, you pay higher prices for private industry waste.

It evens out.

The reason the newest buzzword is "Fiscal Cliff" is that all of a sudden the media needs news.  For the past year they have been able to fill their news with poll numbers and what candidates are doing and now . . . . ummm . . . . geez,we need to find news!!    They should do what the Columbus Journal does - just have photos of people giving other people checks and articles about Brownies selling Cookies!!  As DJ says "What's next, Cakes selling Pies?"  And Poultry Bingo which seems much better the the Chicken Shoot.

But I digress.

So - what the hell happened in the stock market yesterday! In the long run?  nothing. It's the fear of the unknown and has nothing to do with fundamentals and is not a bell weather of things to come.  Happened in 2008 also and is a normal thing after an election.

What I found interesting was just what sectors fell.

The biggest losers were coal stocks. Coal was counting on a Romney win as he had promised loosen regulations on safety and pollution rules which in turn would add profits to coal mines.  The next biggest lowers were banks.  Same thing, Romney had promised that banks and financial companies would have looser and less costly regulations then under Obama who supported closer monitering of bank business practices.   Energy stocks (oil and gas) took a beating with Obama's promise for more alternate energy.

Defense stocks took a hit because of the cutback in spending (smaller government). 

Health Care stocks were the least losers especially hospitals stocks that had a very good day.  The healthcare industry (and the poor) like Obamacare.

This was purely a political emotional sell off, nothing more.   Companies are still making record profits (while not hiring people).


Columbus had 0.12 inches of rain/slush the other day - here is the current graph comparing the last 4 years.


In Columbus news - The City Council voted to go against the 53% of citizens who want Halloween at Night and went with the "but we have always done it this way" vote of being afraid of the night and have Halloween on Sunday afternoon.   But more importantly the City Council renamed Fireman's Park Drive to Veterans Parkway.  Screw the Firemen.

A "personal banker" at Associated Bank ini Columbus is facing a second set of forgery charges for taking money from one account and putting it into her account.  A true "personal banker".  The banker lives in Beaver Dam.  We would not want to hire anybody from Columbus would we.

And of course there is the over anal Winter Parking Regulations.  No parking on the street between Midnight and 6:00.

Of course the citizens of Columbus wish it was alternate side parking but I guess we are too dumb to figure out what day it is.  OH, the argument was that the citizens were notified and if they wanted to voice their opinion we could have.  It was posted on the door of City Hall.  Geez - I guess I did not look that day.   We ARE allowed to park vehicles on our lawns in front of our house though.  Obviously the Chief of Police does not live in Columbus (would not want to hire anyone from Columbus would we).


Did you know that in order to be a cabbie in London you need to pass a test after a FOUR YEAR  COURSE. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Last Night - Too funny

OK - we now have 18 months before the next election starts.  Probably my last political blog for . . . 18 months.

And I hate to say I told ya so.  I have lots of new money in my off shore bank account.

ANYWAY - just a few quick observations and random thoughts from last nights local and national elections and stuff as I type.

It looks to me that every village and town that was voting to raise Levy Limits (the maximum amount you can raise property taxes) passed with a YES which to me does not sound that we're in bad shape economically.  If people don't mind paying more for services.

What's is going on in Albany  LOL.  At one point they had 100% of the vote in and it was 6 to 4.   Then an hour later they had 200% of the vote in at 1200 to 600.  hmmmmmm  

Fall River - sorry guys, no big sports complex for you.


Mark Pocan.  Mark Mark Mark.     Mark Pocan was running for Tammy Baldwin's seat and as we all know Tammy Baldwin won her Senate bid and as ALL the news agencies are saying "becomes the first openly gay Senator".    BUT WAIT - So Mark Pocan wins and what is the very first thing he does in his winning speech?

HE KISSES HIS HUSBAND!!!    LOL  Now THAT was funny.  Never seen that before.  


Colorado and Washington have become the first states to totally legalize marijuana. Not just for medical purpose but for entertainment.

Same Sex Marriage passed in a few states for the first time in history.  The world is changing and the Conservatives are confused by their old ways.   

SNOW - we had a trace of snow yesterday and 0.12 inches of drizzle.  Land O' Lakes in Vilas county had 4 inches, Rhinelander had a little less then an inch.


FOX Entertainment New - WOW - When all the networks flip Ohio blue, FOX goes totally crazy in denial.  On FB adubye posts that we really need to switch to FOX to see what is happening and as I do Karl Rove is running wild in denial.   

They actually are so upset they walk out of the studio to confront their research team IN THEIR OFFICES.  They go in and with microphone in hand as the stunned research geeks "HOW CAN YOU CALL OHIO A WIN",  and the two researcher number geeks are trying to explain the science behind this but you can see the interviewer get all glassy eye and her brain is starting to hurt.

Back down the hall,  Karl Rove, now has his own numbers and is telling the FOX people that the experts, who are paid to do this, are wrong and he refuses to except it. It's almost like he is saying "There is still time to change those votes".   


BUT WAIT - what about The Donald!!!     Well, Mr. Trump (Republican Presidential, maybe in 2016) is FREAKING OUT on Twitter.

His tweets


He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!
The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one!
We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!
This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
House of Representatives shouldn't give anything to Obama unless he terminates Obamacare.
Hopefully the House of Representatives can hold our country together for four more years...stay strong and never give up!

Donald Donald Donald. 

Angus King becomes the first Burger King menu item to hold office.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The beginning of the end for the GOP

Is this the beginning of the end for the Republican Party?   Could be.  Look at the Senate which after tonight will have won 3 of the last 4 elections. The one loss was the Tea Party election but they are no longer a relevant organization.

The GOP is basically a white male party and with 50% of America now NOT white this party is slowly losing relevance.  Social conservatives are losing ground every election.

Americans are not really excited about, "small government, anti-tax, no compromise activists" that won two years ago.  Seriously - the GOP is almost 100% white and with the nation's white share shrinking every year the only ones left will be the white billionaires who now control the party.

Pew Research said that in 2008 76% of the blacks in America were Democrat's and 4% Republican. 61% of Latinos are Democrat's.

It's no wonder all of the white Governors are anti-union. It's because unions who consist of workers (not the billionaires) also contribute to the Democratic Party.

In the past this was an even deal.  Unions contribute to the Democratic Party and the Chamber of Commerce contributes to the Republican Party.

ANYWAY - tonight - what to watch.

Virginia - a big breakthrough for Obama in 2008. Virginia mirrored the national election in 2008 and if there is an  early  call for either candidate  that dude will probably win the national election.

OBAMA - wins

Ohio - of course Ohio.  The reason Ohio is so important is that this state resembles America. Everything about America is contained in one State.   Obama leads in Ohio but in 2008 he carried the male vote.  Probably not this year so he really needs the females to come out.  

Ohio has a ground zero - Lucas County. Watch what Lucas County does.  This is where the big Romney Jeep ad hit.  Lake County (east of Cleveland) picks the winner normally.

Obama - wins

North Carolina is leaning towards Romney. No big black vote for Obama this time.  The key are here are the minority counties.  Durham.  If there is heavy turnout in Durham County, good for Obama, if not, good for Romney.

Romney Wins

Florida - God help us with those people. Complete toss-up.   The good thing is that by the time we actually know who FLA voted for in 3 weeks the election will have been won.    You know why Florida is so weird?     It's because the northerners who move there move to south Florida so the south is liberal.  While the southerners who move to Florida move to northern Florida so the north is conservative.

Who Cares - toss up

New Hampshire - these guys got it together.  BAM - results are in  Watch Manchester. What Manchester does the state does. 

Obama wins

Pennsylvania - Lost of media talk about Penn but there is no0t a chance in hell Romney wins.  He NEEDS to get the blue collar vote. The reason for the media is that Pennsylvania has a very large amount of independent voters.

Obama win with ease. 

Michigan - Macomb County home of the Regan Democrats  and Oakland County. If Obama can break even in this very republican area it's trouble for the GOP Romney HAS TO WIN Oakland County.  Obama has to win the Minorities because Romney will win the white vote.  Romney needs 55% of the white vote.

Obama - no problem

Colorado - 70% of the Colorado votes are already in.  Problem is that there are problems.  Obama should win because of woman, Latinos and the young vote, but by how much.

Obama but it could be close

Wisconsin - Who cares about Madison. Milwaukee and Green Bay - this will come down to the nothern "Walker" counties.  Obama won the north in 2008 but Walker won in 2010 and the recall.

Id the north is blue this goes for Obama. Red, good news for Romney.  And of course there is Paul Ryan and Rock County.  Obama won with 64% in 2008 . . . . . Ryan is on the ticket twice as he is running for Congress also.

Obama - not a chance he DOES NOT wins Wisconsin - are you seeing a trend here?

Late Night

Iowa - early votes are already tabulated. Young voters will count a lot for Obama. Probebly not as much as 2008 but still an abundance.  There is a lot of stuff going on in Iowa besides THIS election. a big gay mariage fight  and a number of  big lower level political fights

Probably Obama

Nevada/Las Vegas - I'm bored

Obama - not even close

The media says this is a close election - NOT. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

I live

Why get rid of the electoral college?  Think about this - if the election was based on a Popular Vote any recount would need to be THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!!  Not just one state.  So take Florida and multiply that fiasco by 50.

Another thing is that certain groups would not have a voice.  The only people that would decide the election would be the cities (which would be good for Democrats). The entire middle of the country would be skipped, we don't care what coal miners and foresters in Vermont want, who cares.

Another thing people complain about is the two party system. The electoral college gives us political stability by encouraging a two-party system.   What if we have seven National Parties?  What happens when the winner of the election wins with 17% of the popular vote.

The electoral college has performed well for 200 years.

I find it amazing how the media continues to say this is a close election. Not close. Not a runaway for sure but not close.

There was a episode on Good Morning America about polls and my guy, Nate Silver, was interviewed.  Seems there is a difference in opinion between people that use their brains and people that use their hearts.

One poll says close but if you take all 45 polls in a group, that margin of error pretty much goes out the window.  

Right now Obama has an 86.3% chance of winning and Democrats, again will have control of the Senate with a 91.5% chance.  

Nate Silver who created this number crunching software was a baseball statistician, a man after my true heart. And while FOX News says he is using hocus pocus and is crazy (remember they do not believe in actual facts "vote with your heart, not with your brains) he is freaking good.  In the last election Nate predicted 49 out of 50 states. 

Wisconsin is now ranked as a SAFE for Obama with a 94% chance for Obama winning WI!   Tammy Baldwin has a 77% chance of beating Thompson.

Case close

HOWEVER - the Washington Redskins game before the election has predicted the election 17 out of 18 times.   The Panthers beat the Redskins yesterday meaning Romney will win. 

Yea - Friday night was an epic alcohol night for me.  Probably in the top 4 (or bottom 4 depending how you rate things).

Started out at the Harmony Bar where my 1st Friday of the month group meet.  We played softball in the #2 league in Madison for 22 years.  Well, I got to the Harmony about 4:00 and had a beer and burger,  45 minutes later I have another been (Bells Two Hearted Ale). 5:15 comes and I'm starting to think I'll be the only one here this Friday.  But Larry shows up and buys me a beer. 

Fifteen minutes later Mike shows up and buys everybody a beer and then Charlie shows up and buys everybody a beer.   See where I'm going?   Buy this time I'm drinking water AND beer.

Well, we all part ways maybe about 6:30? and I'm driving home and get a call on the phone,  DJ and Jenny are at Hydro Street and say I should stop by!!  WHY NOT!!!

I get to Hydro Street and DJ is drinking a Scotch Ale and say's I should help her drink it.  WHY NOT (forgetting that it has 8.7% alcohol).  

So we/I finish the Scotch Ale and it was pretty good so "we" have another.  We get home safely and then I realize just how inebriated I am. NOT GOOD.

Long story shorter - epic night.  It's not often in my life (maybe 3 times) that I have hugged the porcelain god. I did it on purpose to get that poison out of me. 

Milo, our cat, was by my side the entire night.  No matter where I was he was laying next to my feet trying to make me feel better. 

Lesson learned.  I've always prided myself in not overdoing alcohol. BUT - it seems once every 10 years I have to be reminded of the consequences.


On a side note I bottled my West Coast Blaster made from fresh hops from our neighbors and in 3 weeks it'll be ready to drink.  I tasted it while bottling and REALLY thought it was good. In fact it was a little like Bell's Two Hearted Ale).

I took some photos of his hops and a few others for customers that, well, are now somewhere spread over the east coast.   My printer is located in New Jersey and has been out of touch for a while.  Finally got a message where they are starting over will all orders.  Seems they were hit hard. 


Speaking of the Hurricane.  It's going to give our economy a boost it seems with massive construction spending and this will trickle down in all sorts of other industries.  The car industry will reap Sandy rewards.  

Gas prices are going down but don't get excited.  The reason they always go down in late fall is because we start to get crap gas.  Winter gas sucks.  It's mixed with . . . something so it does not freeze.  Your gas mileage will drop like a rock.  Out two cars are now getting 10% less mpg.   So in reality you are paying MORE for gas now.  Just seem cheaper. 

 That's it for now.

Catch me on the twitter tomorrow night as we watch the returns!



Friday, November 2, 2012


THEY ARE EMPLOYEES - NOT ASSOCIATES - good grief - why do companies insist on calling people who work for the associates.  I would feel insulted if I was called an "associate".  I really hate that term.  Seems so fake. 

We had a good amount of rain in October - average is actually about 2.40 inches and in Columbus we had 5.57 inches.  This is what I reported to NOAA (member of CoCoRaHS).

There has been a lot of talk on the web about global warming and large storms and so forth but weather is not an exact science.  I don't think there is any doubt that there is global warming, at least among all the non-Tea Party people, but is it causing huge storms?  Who really knows.

Remember a few years ago it was predicted that because of Climate Change we would have many more tornadoes and we have actually been in a calm the last few years.  Also predicted were many more hurricanes and again, there have been very few hurricanes globally compared to the norm.

HOWEVER - the storms we have had have been pretty major.

The one thing scientists are noticing is that all of these big storms are being run by the northern latitudes.  Every time there has been a huge storm it's been what is happening north that has been running the show.

Take Sandy for instance.  Normally a storm like this would skirt the eastern coast and drift east as the waters cooled.  However with this one there was a very large blocking bubble of high pressure that just would not move.   At the same time we here in the Midwest we were under the influence of a large polar blast of air that had leaked down.  Both unmovable objects and there was no where for Sandy to go but west.  

It was like a big ball.  It went north and bounced west.  All of that warm moist air hitting all of the cold air we had.

This has been happening a few times now. Large bubbles of unmovable norther latitude air.  Last winter Europe had a hideous winter.  It's like the north pole has a giant yamaka of cold air and it slipped to one side. While Europe was getting unending cold with the yamaka of air, we here in the States were reaping the rewards of warmer air.

Our outlook for the winter of 2013 is a chance for dryer then normal precipitation and normal temp.  How do they come up with this.  It's not through some giant computer simulation.  It's what I do every day.   NOAA looks at the past and predicts the future.  It's like gambling.

They take all of the data and say, when this happened and that happened this was the result.    As I said - weather is not an exact science.


BTW - I'm 3-0 on wagering on the NBA.  The Lakers look like the 2010 Miami Heat. Too many stars at the moment, they are not really sure how to all work together.

I'm thinking of placing a wager on every  Milwaukee Bucks game.  I did this with the Brewers two years ago and swore I would never do it again as I found it hard to bet against my favorite team.  However with the Bucks it's different.  They always lose. The perennial bubble team.  If they come in last place that's fine, I don't care.


WOW - political ad's are nasty here in Wisconsin. In ILL when there was an ad on TV it was simple and easy.  Vote for Bob Smith Republican Coroner.  Here in WI we have Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Two Timing Thompson with there ad's.  I think Tommy just wants to sweet job in Washington so he can get his girlfriends back.    As Governor he had 3 or 4 girl friends (this is pretty much a known fact).

Watching the news this morning for 1/2 hour we saw 20 political ads and two non-political.  Honestly?  I have no problem.  WAIT - do you really want to see the SAME annoying ad 10 times in a half hour?  That is what will happen.    Political ads I can tune out - easy but seeing the same ad 10 times in a row is just freaking annoying - mark my words!!!

Rotunda in the IL Capitol

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'll never buy a car from Jon Lancaster again.

I'm disappointed  - a good friend Mr. Knowitall post a 2 minute video blog every week or so on Facebook and I was going to share it on this blog but it looks like it's just a Facebook thing.

3-0 in the NBA so far wagering!!   And my Bridgejumper NFL system is 16-8 ATS.

I'm in 2nd place in two confidence pools and 1st place in my fantasy football league with two star players doing nothing (jennings - you probably heard of him on the Packers)

I'm on fire!!


a quick political thing - I hate how the media handles polls.  One poll is meaningless yet they continue spout numbers disregarding the polls bias. What has to be done is to take ALL the polls together and number crunch.

In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin has a pretty good chance of winning, in fact an 82% chance.

For President Obama is pulling away and is almost back to where he was before the first debate debacle.  The newest pool says he has a 8% lead in Wisconsin but in reality it's more like 4% - HOWEVER, that 4% has very very little margin of error (+/- 3.4%) as it's a combination of many polls.  Even with -3.4% Obama wins.

As I have been saying all along - this race for President and Senate is all but over.  Even the sports books are seeing Obama odds are increasing to -300 (bet $300 to get $400 back).

Remember - the media wants you to listen to the news. 


Jon Lancaster

This is probably not interesting at all to most people but I just have to get this off my chest so I can move on.  I am more mad at myself for not walking out on the deal THREE times with Lancaster but we really liked the car.  I've had to come to terms with letting myself down. I'm normally pretty good at buying used cars. In fact I enjoy it.

When two sides can work together and help each other out both feel good and will work together again.  I've never had a dealership NOT want to work to mutual benefit so it was a learning experience.   
Yea - so Jon Lancaster.  We get there and really like the Honda Fit.  I take the information and look at all the other Fits around and they are all in about the same price range.  I really did my research on this one in a obsessive way.

However - the facts sheet on this one have all sorts of additions that I know this Fit does not have.  Like I KNOW it's not a hybrid but the sheet has that highlighted.  

We take the car for a test drive and go a few blocks and the gas light is on, we're almost out of gas so we can't test drive it and the salesmen who was in the car is worried.  Which was a good thing because it also had a flat tire.

I ask about the extra layer of whatever on the hood and they say it was because it was towed behind something, fine. So now we know that the mileage is only engine miles, not tire miles.

I talk to the salesmen and I know it is only a few days before they need to make a deal and I tell him I know and so forth.

We come back to test drive the car again and I HATE having the salesmen in the car with me, never again will I let that happen.  But we really like the car.

They come down $200 which to me is an insult. If they are going to have one price then tell me.  I get grumpy but they will not drop it a penny more. We should have walked out right there but I liked the salesmen who was knew!  But it gets real sleazy after that.

Once we have agreed to buy the car we tell them we have 2.79% financing and they say that is nice.

We go over the warranty and numbers are spoken and are talking about the extended warranty. Now many people say don't ever take the extended warranty but that's actually a fallacy.  If you plan on owning the car for a very long time it's a good move.  YEA YEA you could take the monthly premiums and put them in the bank but come on, will you REALLY do that?

So at one point I say "so all we will need to pay is $280?"  Yes,  "That is all, no more, $280 total".  Yes.  I look at DJ because I know that is wrong and repeat my question "So for extended coverage,  you say $280 and nothing more over 5 years".  Yes.  (that's fucking BS, I know it's not true).

He types up the invoice thingy and it's actually closer to $2300 which is what I thought it would be.  Should have walked out right there!

Meanwhile we have told the guy that we have financing at 2.79% from UW Credit Union and he says OK.

Paper work is all finish and I'm looking over everything about ready to sign and notice that financing is not 2.79 but more like 3.8% from some hippy dippy weirdo bank. WTF - should have walked out right there!! But he corrected it to 2.75% OH - he said we never told him.  Bull Shit we didn't.   DJ and I both mentioned it.  Or else they just don't really listen to customers.     

So I should have walked out 3 times.  The only reason I didn't was I like the salesmen.  He was either new or REALLY good at acting new.  He seemed to be the only honest one there but had only worked there for 4 months.

I'll never buy from Jon Lancaster again.

BTW - love love love the car.