Thursday, January 31, 2013


First off - notice on the right hand side of the blog - I have a Melotte for City Council DONATE button.   Gettin' classy!!   I also posted a new blog on that site.  Yea - that blog is not as fun as I can't just SHOOT FROM THE HIP like I do here!  :-( 
Second off - the birds are FREAKING out.  I took away their feeder to clean and wash it and now it's drying. 
My food poisoning is now more likely the Norovirus and this is todays theme as Josh, Jenny, Caydence AND Sydney all seem to have it.  DJ went over th take care of the kids, Josh and Jenny can fend for themselves.  Pray for DJ. 

And this reminds me of one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie - from Bridesmaids


The Norovirus, unlike the flu is  single-stranded RNA which means it's a tiny little thing that can float around and causes nausea, forceful vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and in some cases, loss of taste - WHICH is what I had, all of them.

In the UK they call it the Winter Vomiting Bug. SADLY after you get it immunity is very short lived!  FOOD is the main culpret for spreading and hospitals, prisons, dormitories, and cruise ships or any enclosed community it will spread like shit threw a goose.

Hand washing is the most effective way to NOT get it - alcohol based sanitizers are less effective then hand washing because the virus does not have a lipid viral envelope. Bleach in water should be used for cleaning.

The virus can live for 12 hours on hard surfaces, and up to 12 days on contaminated fabrics and can survive for months and EVEN years in water.


In other news - Columbus had 6 inches of snow and about 0.50 inches of precipitation bringing the 4 day total to 2.7 inches.


Reading two books at the moment - Ender's Game which is a wonderful book    "In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers."    Much better then I thought it would be and I think it's the 1st of 5 Ender books.

And a book I found at Cosco  called The Liberator.   If you like the authors Cornelius Ryan or Stephen Ambrose (who's father was my moms dentist - too weird) you will like Alex Kershaw.  

This book follows Felix Sparks and his infantry regiment for the 500 days they fought from landing in Sicily to Dachau.  They spent the most time in war of any regiment in WWII.  Fascinating. 

OH - and speaking of Lincoln (the movie).   I read that many of the Los Angeles Lakers went to see the movie and many of them . . . . . DID NOT KNOW HE DIED!!!   WHAT??    I'm trying to see if this is actually true - I can't believe it but it WAS on the internet so . . . . .


Lots of new shows coming on TV soon and some look pretty good. I see more science style searching shows this round.  Most will suck but who knows.  


STAY WARM - gotta feed the birds before they give up and die! 



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weather and parking tickets

Columbus had 0.94 inches or rain last night, more then I had expected.  Could have been 10 inches of snow.  Rain is so much easier to deal with.  I know Milo is so happy spring is finally here!  I have not told him what is coming tonight with up to 4 inches of snow (I actually think it will be closer to 6 inches!) .  PLUS - after about 4pm today we will have falling temperatures for 36 straight hours!  THIRTY SIX STRAIGHT HOURS!!!

I have friends all over the world and last month I took a before and after blizzard photo of my house and one guy in Columbia said "I wish I could just touch the snow sometime".

A friend that lives in Australia on the Sunshine Coast asked me to look at one of his photos.  I thought it was awesome and asked if I could tweak it just a little and he agreed.  

Here is the after and before photos.   . . . . actually I guess not but you get the idea - ALMOST the same photo!  I added a hint of color, made the rainbow lorikeet a little crisper while making all else a little blurrier to give it a 3D look.

Photo by Simon Green - processed by Rod Melotte

photo by Simon Green

Not sure how many of you Columbus people have looked at the budget but it's actually lower then the past few years.  Did you know there are 26 miles of roads that Columbus is responsible for?  If we redid all of those roads it would only cost us 31.2 million dollars.  SWEET!!

And people complain about West James  HWY 16/60 and how bad it is.  Well ladies and germs - not a Columbus problem. We don't own that road, can't fix it if we wanted too.  What we own are where the cars park, not the road.  That is a State Highway and is suppose to be redone in . . 2016??  Same with that area by the Hospital. State road but that WILL be fixed soon.

And the whole argument saying the Columbus Police force is 1/3 of the towns budget is wrong.  29.9% actually and NOT out of line with a typical 5000 pop city.  A little higher then most other cities( actually ALL other cities our size from what I can tell) but our crime rate has fallen since 2010.   I know I know - people REALLY hate our police force and this is a real problem, but they ARE doing their job.  They need to relax a tad though.  You really do not want your citizens to loath you (which it seems they do).

Parking and parking tickets are the biggest thorn in peoples sides. Talk about one tiny thing that REALLY pisses people off.  Every person I talk to get this look of hatred in their eyes.  They forget that while crime is falling in Columbus (real crime like burglary and theft, not organized crime like selling cocaine out of restaurants) all the people of Columbus can focus on are parking tickets!

Police Force - if you are reading this - take note!!  You want the public on YOUR side.

enough!  gotta run

Have a great warm Tuesday - don't get used to it.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This and that.

I'm looking for a place to work out.  Not with weights and so forth but more  . . .fun stuff, tipping over huge tires, climbing walls and so forth.  Anybody have any ideas in the area (Madison, SP and so forth)? I want to get some exercise (as opposed to being exorcised which would be totally different) but in a non-traditional way.  I sort of looked into Boulder Wall Climbing in Madison but you need 2 people and the walls are not THAT high.  

Any REAL ideas are welcome.

Walkers budget.  Not going to flame Walker here but I'm really confused on a number of issues,

1. he says that Wisconsin has a surplus yet State Agencies are hundreds of millions in the red. Where I work they are 80 million in the hole.   So . . . where is the surplus?  Does he mean surplus if he does not pay any bills?? 

2.  OK - let's say there IS a surplus (we all know there isn't but . . . ) so he wants to give the surplus away by lowering taxes and giving every family $200?  That's $300 million going down the drain. Why not SAVE that money for a rainy day??  $200 a family will do absolutely nothing to help Wisconsin.  It'll help China as we spend it on iPhones and so forth.  Is he really going to give away the cushion?  

Tells me Walker will not run for a 2nd term.  That was pretty much a given anyway.   Running for a 2nd term would be one the the stupidest things he could do.   Why you ask?

1. He could be in jail with his right hand man who was just sent to prison yesterday.
2. He would risk losing (a very real possibility) which would crush his hopes for running for President in 2020 or ANYTIME..
3. He will run for President in 2016 (25% chance).  Remember, in the rest of the Country he is loved by the neo-cons. Only in Wisconsin is he hated and laughed at.  Wisconsin is ranked 42 in job growth and predicted to be last in 2013. But - THAT is Obama's fault, at least that is what he says.

Since the Beyonce Lip-Gate happened at the inauguration, does this mean Obama is not our President? Do we have to do it all over again?

OH - BTW - we are in a negative Arctic Oscillation.  Not a good thing if you like warm weather.  Yea - we will get to 40 next week but . . . . the overall trend is a colder then normal February.  A negative Arctic Oscillation is  " atmospheric pressure over the polar region is relatively high and the pressure over the middle latitudes, at about 45 degrees north, is relatively low. This pattern allows cold air from the polar region to plunge into the Midwest. "   

 We have not been in this for a few years.  The big news on TV is  COLD BLAST HITS!    People, it's WINTER, I think winter means cold?    OMG it's cold in Minnesota!!!


Columbus news - you know that rotten stretch of road just off the ramp on Hwy 73 near the Hospital?  It's going to be fixed by the state.  In fact they are going to completely re-due that area in 2014 but there will be a temporary fix before that.   Also 2016 is the West James FUBR Hwy  construction.  Lots to get done before that time.  Trees will come down (sad) and the road will be widened a tad.  Bicycle lanes will be added.

Before everybody gets all upset.  The DOT has done some outstanding work on other towns. They are not just doing this on the cheap.  Actual thought is going into this and while it will be totally frapped up for a while the result will looked pretty good I'm sure.    Yes - trees will be removed but other trees will be planted.

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Columbus is the Mr. Bates of cities.

Quick note - is now live 
No blog yesterday  -sort of busy with getting car fixed, Doctor appts and then a meeting in the afternoon with the Auditorium people.

It seems I am the reason for this future excitement (more on that later).  At least that is what I have been told.  I could be a pigeon for some mammoth undertaking by a New York mob that is trying to buy all of Columbus for themselves.  Lately I seem to be a target for ne'er-do-wells (computer stolen by a Columbus business, art scams from Ethiopia , mailboxes almost being smashed by city employees (wrong house). . I won't go into that, way to weird).

So I went into the meeting figuring that this new group knew a guy that was good with a hammer and they would take out a loan from Quickloans because there was a sale on interest rates of less then 18%.

BUT - what I found was an organization that had all the cards in place financially, CHECK! knew what they were doing with renovation CHECK! and knew what to do AFTER the Renovation was finished. CHECK!

That's a big thing - the AFTER renovation. These guys want to make money, not just make pretty!  It's not just a hobby and a wish to make the place usable. They have plans. 

Photo courtesy Michelle Martin
What I can tell you at the moment (notice how I added that so you believe I'm keeping secrets?) is that I came away impressed.  

One person was a theater dude and knew the in's and outs of what needed to happen stage wise.  I mean the little things that SOME investor/developers would not worry about until later.  Like the problems with the Auditorium for handicap entrance ONTO the stage (a bigger problem they you would think).  Size of bathrooms and dressing rooms and so forth.

Another person was most concerned with the audience side of the stage, seating, coat checks, bars and so forth.

But what I truly loved was their love for the building and it's history.  For instance. The dressing room with the graffiti from the 1920s.  They of course need that room, but they realized that through normal use the graffiti might be damaged so this is a concern.  One thing they talked about was deconstructing those walls intact, and display the walls elsewhere in the building.

Another plan (all plans are still slightly fluid . .in a jelly-like fashion) involved those round rooms  (see image below).

The round room on the "1st" floor would hold a small bar (wine and so forth) while the round room above it would have a hole cut into the floor, a large beautiful chandelier and a balcony so you could look down onto the bar.  Again - the plans are fluid but it's a vision.

The main thing they wanted to stress was keeping the "historical integrity".     OH - I should mention this is a local group.  Not some fancy pants from the East Coast . . . but there could be some East Coast people involved (not sure of the pants they wear - I'll keep an eye out for anything fancy). And yes - unless there are some huge surprises this is a financially viable group.  They understand the cost involved.

Oh yea - a correction from my last post. 400 seating might be to many.  The seats are a little small so a few rows will need to be taken out.  I'm not sure if they intend on getting new seating.  If so I see a seat sale in the future. 

My brother is an historical architect reconstruction guy and we toured and talked about the Auditorium a few years ago and he said the most important thing was, what will you do AFTER the reconstruction.

Taken care off.  It will become the home of The Red Bud Players which people REALLY should go see a performance (including myself). They have had 26 performances and will compete in the Wisconsin Association of Community Theatre one-act play competition in late February.


Columbus Redbud Players  on Facebook

Plus sound systems and so forth will be hidden as much as possible, again, to retain historical integrity. 

So I'll keep ya'll up to date on this and I am VERY sure you will see progress.  Yet another thing the group knows about is self promotion!  They are not going to do this quietly without anybody knowing about it.  OH, we/they have plans (insert evil laugh).  One of the biggest "dropping the ball" things Columbus does is the lack of self promotion.

Story time - about 20 years ago I was struggling at work with  . . . . . "permanent record" problems . . if you know what I mean. Yet I felt I was doing a crap load of good work with a only a few problems from time to time.  My boss Manu, talked to me and said I needed to be more outgoing about the good stuff I do.  

I guess I was being like Mr. Bates (Downton Abby).  WELL - lesson learned.  If you are not going to tout yourself, no one else is going to.

Columbus is the Mr. Bates of cities.  Keep things quiet - we don't want anybody to know how wonderful Columbus is.

ANYWAY - Speaking of self promotion (I mean - this blog is nearing 600,000 pages read, that's not an accident).

ANYWAY- Speaking of self promotion and I'll only boast this once (or twice). I WAS TOLD that the only reason this whole auditorium (The Broadway Theater)  thing is happening is because of this blog.  They would have never known about the empty Auditorium. 

The story behind The Broadway Theater name is that Dickason used to be called Broadway.

And here is something creepy - Both the main people involved with this undertaking have the same birthday . . . .ON COLUMBUS DAY!!! 

OK - I have work to do.  Have a great day and stay tuned.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Auditorium plans moves forward.

I know I know the big news of the day, according to NRA members (might want to fact check this one) is that Obama has proposed taking all of our guns away. They should be dropped off at Walgreens or you will go to jail and your property will be seized and given to the Russians.

But that is not the big news.

The BIG news is that there is a local group that wants to purchase the Columbus Auditorium, completely restore while keeping it's historical value and integrity using private money, changing the name from "the large empty decrepit theater above the city hall" to The Broadway Theater. (like the Stoughten Opera House)

You can not underestimate what this means to the city of Columbus. I have ALWAYS said Columbus is the WORST at self promotion and boasting about what it has going for it. This can be compared to what a vibrant Barrymore Theater and Blue Moon Cafe did to the Atwood Community in Madison, WHICH, is about the same size as Columbus. (that's weird isn't it).   

Once restoration is complete The Broadway will be a 400 seat multi purpose venue.

Not only will this provide jobs for Columbus but it will bring thousands into the downtown district which in turn will create more jobs.  Momentum will bring new excitement and with excitement new shops will vie for space. 

I'll say it again You can not underestimate what this means to Columbus.

HOWEVER - there are some sticking points that the City Council needs to approve (if they have not already).   An 18 month lease is needed for Due Diligence which I believe would be for $1 which is the same as what it currently is from the CAC.  AND - no one else will be allowed to enter the building.  

From my point of view I see no reason why this would not be passed, (has it passed already? the video of the CC meeting is not online yet).


I'm proud to announce that Alice Schmidt has joined my team and will become the Treasurer for my bid as Aldermen 2nd District.

While talking to Alice I was shown a labor of love she and the historical group has been working on.  A huge binder full of historical photos and story's on the history of Columbus. I was paging through this and it is truly TRULY gold and if you love Columbus you will want this. It's not for public distribution but I urge the Historical people to move forward with this.  I WANT one.  And if I want one others will want one.

I'm also very excited that Columbus has a new Historical group.  I was amazed a few years ago when I found out there was no group.  WHAT?  Columbus? no historical org?  crazy.

This is why I want to be on the City Council. Over the past 10 years it seems we have been on auto pilot, just going through the motions only trying to survive but not really thrive.

I do not think the people that have lived here all their lives understand how awesome this city can be.  We are always so close to getting over that hump and then we take two steps backwards.  We should rename Columbus to Colimboland.

I feel Columbus is in for a fantastic next 10 years and I want to be part of planning for years to come. I don't want Columbus to squander the future with 10 more years of stagnation an inaction.  Every time I see a vision of the future I hear people automatically downplaying it. No one seems to think of the future. "Let's just survive this year" seems to be the thought process. 

I got 16 people to paint the Railroad Station for free. I believe I can inspire the citizens of Columbus with my enthusiasm and my desire to make this city a better place for all. 

I want to Move Forward but with Common Sense.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sabotaging my own campaign?

WOW - think of my surprise when I look at the paper and I see the headlines.


Holy shit!!  We said no to the Death Star?   I didn't even know there was a Dearth Star out there and we said no?? What is Obama thinking.  First he wants to take all of our guns and then says no to the Death Star!    This is serious shit dude?

I am so angry I could not even read what they were talking about but I did run to my gun closet to make sure my 14 guns were not locked (it would take time to unlock all those guns in case of an emergency).

Then I see the $1 trillion coin was nixed.  Thank goodness they are seeing the light on that one. What we NEED is a $16 trillion coin.  I mean come on.


Seems Levi Strauss believes I shrunk 7 inches.  For my everyday pants I always wear 501s 32x34.  Like clock work. Always the same. Every 3 or 4 years 32x34.  So I went to Kohls and found some and did not even try them on. That's one thing I always liked - fit perfectly.

I get them home and just before washing them for the only time in their lives I try them on and WHAT??  

Seriously?  The legs are literally 7 inches longer then the ones I normally wear.  SEVEN INCHES?  I don't think they will shrink 7 inches.  Maybe "I" shrunk 7 inches?


I was having a "argument" on Facebook during the Packer game.  I was pretty sure by half time that the Packers were going to lose.  If it's one thing Don Capers is incapable of it's changing strategy during the game.  He can come up with great game plans but if it's the wrong one.  Well, he only had ONE so we are screwed.  He can not change on the fly.

Packers are very good against pocket QBs and QBs that can scramble but if you get some dude like the former RGIII (thank goodness his effective career is over) or other good very scramblers (who was that Falcon dude that killed us a few years ago) "we" are in for a long long day.

ANYWAY - the argument was that "I" would rather lose in a blowout that shows weakness then in a close game.  My opponent said he would rather lose being competitive.  Well, I'm pretty sure my feelings at the final gun of the Packer game was somehow better then Seahawk fans at their final gun.

With 31 seconds to go in the game after a fantastic 21 point comeback you have to think you have won the game.


Had a revelation this morning about 3AM. Have I been trying to sabotage my own campaign?

I was accused of "shooting from the hip" by a person that emailed me trying to talk me out of running for City Council.  And in a way I have to agree with him.  On this blog I do "shoot from the hip".  I use this blog more as a way to get my feelings out where I can see them. Words are therapeutic.  

If you know me you probably know that my emotions tend to stay centered and typically I try to keep things on an even keel.  If all around me are super excited I tend to be more subdued by looking at the other side.  If all around me are doom and gloom I look for the bright side.

But by typing my thoughts sometimes I discover what I'm actually thinking and feeling.  It's like my typed words are a charactercher of my thoughts and at times they do get me in trouble by poking the bear.

All of a sudden I need to be careful. I need to suppress my thoughts, at least my finger thoughts.

When I received my first phone call to run for City Council I was surprised for one thing. Me?  Are you freaking kidding? And when I hung up I knew there was a 10% chance of THAT happening.

The second call was pretty much the same but I had had a few days to think about it and when I hung up I said, there is a 30% chance of THAT happening. 

Then Assembly person Mary Arnold called me and urged me to run and when I hung up I said, yea, there is a 50% chance of THAT happening. And seriously, it was at that point when I knew I was running.  50%?  BS!  I'm in.

I knew I was running right there but I was not a 100% all in yet. I could run but if I lost it was no big deal.  There were parts of me that were screaming ARE YOU CRAZY?  ROD - what are you thinking, you are not a politician. You loath politics. OH, you have thoughts and opinions but . . . . . .

So in retaliation my blogs sort of took off.  They had not had a lot to write about lately but all of a sudden there was a purpose.  SABOTAGE THE CAMPAIGN.  GET OUT GET OUT before he goes all in.

Too late.

With an extra few weeks or so to have this entire idea rattle around, meld and take root, I REALLY want this.

I'm sure my opponent, whoever that might be, has been scouring the 1064 pages of posts looking for something that will bring me down but at least I HAVE 1064 pages of thoughts.  People know who I am and what I stand for and that I love talking to people. I'm accessible and will listen.  I won't always agree but I'm open and actually do look at both sides. 

It's time the City Council had some fresh blood to get this town moving forward again, with common sense.

I'm going to have a new political blog soon with video so people will understand where I'm coming from.





Friday, January 11, 2013

Hat in the ring, hat in the ring

Being the official rain guy for Columbus and reporting to NOAA daily I have this race going with the last four meteorological precipitation totals.  

Here is the latest chart.

2009 took the lead for a about a week but with the blizzard and "we" regained the lead.

I am typing on almost zero sleep today - pray for me.  Had a meeting last night and got home about midnight, went to bed and about 2:00 rolled over and OUCH.  My right arm hurt and woke me up.  As I was getting back to sleep.

drip drip drip  Oh know.

I had promised myself the next time I heard that drip I would get up and figure it out.

You see our refrigerator has been slowly rotting the hardwood floors under it but know one could find the cause.  Repairman would throw up there hands and say "I don't know" and then charge us.  I would constantly be crawling with a flashlight - nothing.  Floor wet but not one tiny sign of where it was coming from.

So I vowed to get up no matter when it was and find it in action.

After two hours sleep here I was sprawled on the kitchen floor not finding ANYTHING.

Just before I gave up for the 30th time I grabbed a black hose and tugged it.  It moved, it was not attached to anything.  It's about a foot short from reaching the pan that would catch defrost water.

OMG!!!!   Have I found it???   Stay tuned.


I woke up because of my arm.  I had my flu shot yesterday.   I never get flu shots (well once) but if you have been near a TV and read my blog about The Spanish Flu you should be concerned.

But the real reason was my little bout with Food Poisoning last weekend.  God looked down at me and said "I will give Mr. Melotte a small 36 hour taste of the flu just to tweak his memory, it will be funny".

That is the thing.  People forget what the flu is actually like.  It's like the Grand Canyon . . . but opposite.


Yea - if you ever have a trip planned across the country  (like my Road Trip Across America blog) and the Grand Canyon is on the itinerary everyone will tell you it's the most amazing thing you will ever see.  If 500 people say that you start to get excited but tell yourself not to get all crazy like and then you start thinking you will be underwhelmed as your expectations are SO high.

Then you get there and OH MY GOD!!!  It was seriously the first time I have had my breath taken away . . well second, I was kicked in the balls in junior high gym class but that was a totally different feeling.

It was MORE then the best ever.  There is a reason it's a Wonder of the world. I can't wait to go on my trip next year to see Colossus.

I sent my money to the tour group but have not heard back yet.

 Back on topic.

Same with the flu.  You remember how bad the flu is but you survived and really how bad can it be.  Well, last weekend I had a reminder.  It is WORSE then you remember - trust me.    


OH - when I filed my papers to run for Columbus City Council I thought I would follow procedure and would throw my hat into the ring.   Seeing no ring was in the area I thought that I needed to do SOMETHING. So I told Anne Donahue ( a very wonderful woman that I have spoken to here and there) to step back a second.

She did while her finger slowly moved toward the security button and I tossed my hat on the floor behind her.

I'm not sure if she thought she should go stamp on it to kill it or press the security button.   I obviously thought it was much more funny then she did as there was some awkward silence after the toss.

I retrieved it and left quietly.


I was asked at work for more photos of the kids!

Here is Caydence with her new Christmas doll - she loved it.  Caydence is doing well and the school system is Columbus is AWESOME!!!  It actually has a reputation outside Columbus for Down Syndrome children (I'm not sure how to say that politically correct).  

And her "little" sister Sydney.

And of course with Caydence's new doll came a new little rocking bed thing.  Milo loved the rocker.

That is all I have - have a great great weekend - Go Packers.

OH OH - DJ is coming home - tummy not feeling good.  


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Po-lumbus - Poking the Bear

I watched the majority of five minutes of the Yea Whatever Awards last night.  For me this Award  . . thingy lost relevance for me when a few years ago the BEST NEW COMEDY was awarded to a show that had been canceled 3 weeks earlier.  Katy Perry and One Direction won a lot of awards so we can sort of see who the voting public is on this one. NOT that I don't dream of Katy and One at night or anything but  . . .REALLY?  The Best?

Hunger Games won a few things and I did like that movie but . . . . the best?    Hunger Games . . Lincoln . . . .can't decide which is better.  Tough one there.   Of course MY favorite category is  ON-SCREEN CHEMISTRY!!  Which was of course won by the three Hunger Games dudes and dudette.


In a stunning vote last night the City Council of Columbus Wisconsin became the first community to outlaw the use of  "LOL". 

When asked the reason for this vote it was learned that in super secret stealth encrypted emails that were dug up by unnamed enemy's of Mr. Kraemer the former City Administrator between he and the CEO of WalMart*1 (I believe his name is Wally Walmart - please fact check this) who was looking to buy land next to ShopKo, the former Admin said "well, if you think that is a good deal I got  2000 more acres LOL".

The CEO thought Kramer was being serious as he understood LOL as being "Land of Lincoln", Springfield ILL and promptly purchased an additional  2000 acres.  We all know that LOL is intertube slang for when something is not at all funny but the user wishes it were. 

Subsequently Kramer resigned his position immediately and has not been heard from since.

Meanwhile the Police Department has been spending hundreds of hours a day issuing 25 demerit points on all blogs and Facebook posts. Letters will be in the mail soon.  

"This is a crime and is a gateway acronym to much harder acronyms" someone was heard probably saying.

Tabled for the next CC meeting were YOLO and 224  more acronyms (which is an acronym in itself) as the City Attorney needs to be involved and the use of demerit points of improper use of an acronym are discussed. 

*1 NOTE - WalMart was actually intending to buy Columbus but the deal fell through when looking at the conditions of the streets.  

In in more important news - Arrested Development IS coming back.  In May as a brand new NETFLIX show.  Fourteen brand new episodes are being filmed with the original characters.

This is where cheese curds come from

What an angry little town we have.

I visited 6 stores downtown and got an ear full of complaints, some valid and some not so valid. I think that some people say "I know it cost a lot to repair streets but they need to have it done" but do they how much?  It's about 1.2 million dollars a mile you know.

This is going to sound really weird but seriously - it's on topic, I'll probably lose the election because of this (I hope not). But I'm a numbers lover. I keep track of every thing (not to the point of being "weird".

I have simulated thousands of hours on SIM City (In SimCity, the player is given the task of founding and developing a city, while maintaining the happiness of the citizens and keeping a stable budget.)  keeping track of every penny and where it goes and if it does any good.  SIM City is a amazingly sophisticated city growth simulation where I am basically God running a city making my little SIMS happy and sad going through economic cycles and so forth.  A guns and butter thinking "game", I'm not a thumb jockey.

Does it mimic REAL life problems with real people?  no - but it's more the most people have as a background.

ANYWAY - The roads of Columbus.

The problem with Columbus roads is NOT Columbus!  Columbus and all towns have their hands tied when it comes to infrastructure because of STATE Government.

You see when infrastructure fails in most other States around the country a town can raise taxes by lets say 0.5% for a short time for a quick smack of cash to rebuild infrastructure. People don't like it but the roads get fixed.   In SIM City the roads need repair the SIMS complain and start to move out of town and ask for a new government.  The gov raise taxes for a short time to get a shot of cash to fix the roads and infrastructure the SIMS start to complain again (they are actually never ever happy) but on something different. Things get fixed, taxes go down, roads are smooth, business returns and the city moves along.

The problem is our current State Government will not let city's raises taxes for any reason. It's their pledge. NEVER RAISE TAXES!   So all money that is used for fixing things HAS to come from property taxes which are going to public safety and other services. It's not that the City is ignoring infrastructure, it's just that their hands are tied.  Do we crush the Fire Department and Police Department so we have smooth roads?  No, in order to MAINTAIN what we have property taxes need to be bumped up! 

It totally blows - I know.  So we have an economic downturn with less sales, less sales tax, the city worth has dropped because property worth has dropped and people wonder why their property tax has risen.

This is a very very basic explanation but is part of the big picture.  

I just pray that Godzilla does not trample though the center of town because we are all screwed.   

OK OK - while I'm writing this I'm listening to the August 4th CC meeting and some guy is talking about the Waste Water process and showing slides and talking about replacing the Vertical Line-Shaft with a Dry Pit Submersible Type and then going on and on about greasing the shafts and I feel uncomfortable all of a sudden - I gotta fast forward a bit.    

I'm a hands on guy and and need to be shown -  NO WAIT!!!  let me rephrase that.

Drop it drop it - just move on.

ANYWAY - Since I decided to run for City Council my goal is to watch every Council meeting in the last year. You can not run for a seat if you are not remotely up to speed on what is happening. BTW - Aug 4th got pretty intense near the end.

The one thing I do not want this blog to become is another "Truth In Columbus Politics" (TICP)  who's sole purpose was to elect Bob Link to be Mayor no matter how many facts they had to make up.  They never outwardly said that was their goal but it was pretty obvious when once he was elected the Truthinness site disappeared.  Was it just a coincidence?   hmmmmmmm!

ANYWAY - I suspect I have made enough enemas (don't correct me, I know you want too) and that some people are making phone calls and asking what we can do about this Rod Melotte guy with that dang blog!  Oddly a friend of mine said I love "poking the bear".   Sometimes poking the bear is the only way to get to the truth. And sometimes just asking is easier but not as much fun.

But all kidding aside - there is not enough poking the bear around here. 

WELL - I guess I got the Police Departments attention as they came after this blog on their Facebook page saying I was getting the facts wrong.  WOW - that's a first!!   They opted to instead of actually commenting on the blog and correcting me by posting the blog on their Facebook page.

Hey - my blog is like a canary, people come up to me and complain about city stuff and I put it out there.  If something is not true, please correct me. I WANT to be corrected.  Just the fact that people ARE complaining is a problem with communication and should be looked at.  THERE is a REAL problem - Communication!!!  Don't get me started.

The issue the Chief had was that I said  . . .well . . .  here is what was posted on Facebook.

"This commentary was recently posted online... CORRECTION- the police department is not requiring this and did not approach the city council about this. The fire department drafted an ordinance and I did support the use of these Knox Boxes for safety reasons. The author of this blog should have gotten his info. right.." 

The blog was the "Lock Box - right! Talk to my hand! " on January 4th.   And CORRECTION - I never said the Police Department was "requiring this". Does two Corrections cancel each other out?

Here was my problem - the part about REQUIRING all businesses and apartments to have a knox box.  If I lived in an apartment I would certainly want one and would stress the apartment complex to have one.  I'm still trying to find the actual date when this was all discussed.

OH - My reply was on Facebook

Rod Melotte And so it begins! I feel honored that someone has taken the time to read my blog. As for the misinformation - I apologize but it seems to have worked as we now have the correct information out there. Most of you know that my blog is a tongue and cheek commentary on living in Small Town America and has over 500,000 hits. I've also written about how the Columbus City Council voted to install a new Glass Dome Over the city. Yes - I am running for City Council and will be more careful with my commentary/jokes as I believe it is a very VERY important function to be taken seriously. But I'm not going to change my thoughts or my blog. IT'S A BLOG for gosh sakes!!


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You know - this whole election thing - I can't lose.  If I win maybe I can bring some new energy to the Council , maybe a view of things not from somebody that has lived here were 40 years with lifetime friends everywhere and opinions from the past.  If I lose - I can take the gloves off and say what I REALLY want to say.  Yea - the election has sort of crippled me!

One last tiny little thing and then I'll move off my soapbox.

It has come to my attention that 1/3 of the Columbus budget goes to the Columbus Police Department (fact check this please).  I'm not against this, seems weird but I'm on the outside looking in and do not know the facts on this one and I have nothing to compare this too.  Is this normal?   This is not an issue for me, just a big question mark. 

But what does concern me is that one of the functions of the City Council (I believe) is to oversee the Police Department - well . . . . . how can it be fair if 50% of the Council are Auxiliary Police (please fact check me on this one also please). 

Is this not a huge conflict of interest? 

One last side note  - I might disagree with many things?  The Mayor and I do not see eye to eye on a number of things but that does NOT mean we can't work together for a common goal.  Politics should not be oil and water.  More like Milk and Chocolate where you can mix together for something better the the original.   But would you rather have six YES people or wish to hear other sides to problems and make a decision based on looking at all sides before voting.

ONE last thing that is bothering me.  People come up to me and say - I HATE so and so and I HATE that person.

NO - you HATE his job or the job he or she is doing - You don't hate the person.

Rod - Out  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Columbus - a strip mall nirvana?

Read the first part at your own risk. 
WOW - THAT was fun.  I was driving home Saturday night after leaving Elwood off.  IT was about 11PM and I stopped at Arby's on East Wash for a $1 Ham and Chedder Melt. Just a little something something.

I was on the road again and took a bite and the texture was a little . . . . off.  But I was sort of hungry and took another bite and . . . man it seemed weird.  I only ate half and tossed the rest away a little disappointed.  

It's now 2AM and I'm laying on my stomach but something is odd.  My head is not touching the pillow.  My stomach is so extended it's like I'm laying on one of those big bouncy balls. Rolling over I don't feel any better . . OH MAN I don't feel good.  

For the next 18 hours my body is trying to expel every drop of liquid and is trying to turn itself inside out.  I'm double gushing!!  WHERE IS IT ALL COMING FROM!!! 

ANYWAY - at the 24 hour mark I done and at the 36 hour mark I was feeling much better.  I decided to get food in me.  hmmmmm Oatmeal might be healthy, maybe some milk, a little banana, yogurt, bread.  

WELL - ya'll know what happened next!!  EVERY FREAKING 5 MINUTES - LITERALLY!  for the next 5 hours I was back in the bathroom.  And you know the problem - you better make damn sure that is just a fart.  Being wrong can be catastrophic!!    OH - YOU LAUGH!!

I feel MUCH better now - lessons learned - Do NOT drink Milk.  Dairy products are bad except for yogurt.  Do not eat oatmeal, seems like a good idea but fiber is not what your body needs at the moment. Starch is what is needed.   

The miracle food was rice.  As soon as I had rice - BAM - everything was good. 

So I was going to have a letter to the editor but all of a sudden since I'm a candidate (also called The Challenger Rod Melotte in the newspaper twice) it seems a letter to the editor is more of a campaign thingy.  Dang it Paul - you saw through me.

I was watching CC meetings from the past and was amazed. Let see - Jodio's  - A cop goes into the bar at 2:30AM  and says to the bartender - you are drunk on the job. Bartender says - "no I'm not, test me. Go out to you car, get your breathalyzer and test me."  Cop goes away without testing.
10 days later Jodio's gets 50 demerit points for having a drunk bartender. Reason they know this? Glassy eyes and she smelled of alcohol.  IT'S A FREAKING BAR!!!  AT TWO THIRTY IN THE MORNING.  Absolutely no actual evidence. 

Then there is the sewer gas problem.  Ever since they "fixed" the sewer pipes 5 or 6 stores downtown REEK of sewage.  Yet it seems everyone is passing the buck. If they call to complain they get a letter "What do do if you house smells like sewage". Lots of home tests have come up with nothing.   Good thing we have a good fire department so when a building explodes they will get some practice.  Hope City insurance covers the lawsuits!         

Anyway this is what I WAS going to have in the paper

The Snow Removal Debate

There has been a controversy on the City Council about snow removal in the downtown area.   Presently, very early in the morning when there is an overnight snowfall the city will brush the snow from the downtown sidewalks onto the highway so the snow plows can subsequently plow the snow leaving not only the sidewalks clear but the parking spaces clean.   Timely, efficient and inexpensive.
It seems there are some businesses on the arteries that think this is unfair and wish to change this. Their argument is that why should the downtown and their 59 connected businesses get this freebie when they have to shovel their own sidewalks. 

There have so far been four other methods discussed.

1. Have all 59 business owners get up at 6AM and shovel their own sidewalk before the plows go through (they currently do their own shoveling during the day).  This is a ridiculous idea with so many problems it’s not worth talking about.

2. Have all 59 businesses get together, form a consensus and hire a contractor to shovel their sidewalks by 6AM.  A good idea if you have a business group that all works together as one and actually live in the same state as their stores.

3. Have the city charge, per foot of sidewalk for shoveling which would be about $5 per per store for each 2-4 inch snowfall and thereby adding layers of bureaucracy. 

4. Do nothing.

My opinion is that the downtown sidewalks are basically an extension of the highway. There is absolutely, positively no place to put unwanted snow except onto the highway when you shovel.  You cannot compare downtown snow removal problems to artery snow removal problems. Apples to Oranges.

Twelve other towns were contacted on how they dealt with this problem with no consensus on the best solution.

Here is an idea.  Instead of thinking Columbus is always doing it wrong, maybe Columbus is actually doing it RIGHT.  If your government can do something timely, efficient and inexpensive without adding layers of  money leaking bureaucracy isn’t that a good thing? 

Is it the perfect solution to the problem?  No, but is there a better solution?  From the looks of it this is a problem all city’s deal with.  Go with what works, keep it simple, don’t muck up the process that works with more layers, more people and more bookkeeping. 


I was told each candidate can have two columns in the paper of unspecified length between now and march something.  I better keep my opinions to myself. . . . . YEA - like I can do that!!!

Anybody know a inexpensive printer.  I'm making a flyer.  Seriously - after watching the City Council meetings and some of the bullying going on  . . . I just get riled.  There are some good people on the council, not all are bad.  But talk about an anti-downtown bias.

Columbus is like a tree with the downtown the trunk and arteries extending outward to where the water is.  The arteries catch the water on it's tips, use some for themselves to grow and transfer the rest inward to not only grow the trunk but also grow the all the other arteries. It's a system that really works.  Invented by nature.

It seems some on the council don't care about the trunk at all, they only want to grow the arteries. Screw the trunk, it's just old historic wood.  But the old historic wood, the downtown is what Columbus is all about. Without it we become Oshkosh!!

Do you actually know what Oshkosh looks like?  It's a very very beautiful town.  But all you think of is that 10 miles of strip malls.  That is the vision I think some leaders hope for. A strip mall nirvana.  Screw the downtown.  Just old wood.

We need to change this idea of us vs. them, downtown vs. arteries and get all the businesses to work together as one unit where all profit.  Don't chop down the tree to feed the roots. 


Friday, January 4, 2013

Lock Box - right! Talk to my hand!

NOTE - I have been scolded for the Lock Box posts and have been corrected.  Since there was no information posted anywhere I assumed the business owners new what they were talking about.  I guess communication to businesses and the public was missing when the lock box thing came out.  Something I wish to correct if elected onto the City Council.

There is/was a new ordinance (or something like that) in Columbus forcing all business owners to purchase a $250 lock box and put keys to the business in it so the Police can have access to the buildings in the off hours.

As originally written the police wanted all houses in Columbus to purchase a lock box (for $250) and put the keys to their house into that box so the Police could enter the house whenever they felt like it . . or if there was trouble (I guess).  That failed.  I've talked to a few business owners and there is no way in hell they are purchasing a lock box and there are petitions being passed around.  

Mama Mia's is back open for business.  While the City Government ponders what to do about Cenex selling liqueur to minors and their pending demerit points I wonder how many demerit points Mama Mia's gets for selling cocaine out of their restaurant.  From what I halfway heard on the news the owner posted like $500 bail and was told to not sell anymore cocaine out of his restaurant.

I'll let you know the number of demerit points they get.   One more time buddy and you will be forced to go in front of the Council.

Then there is the whole sidewalk shoveling controversy downtown.  Who should shovel the sidewalks.  Actually it is a tricky problem with many sides.   Should the city do it for free as it does now?  Mayor Bob says "This is not fair to the "artery" businesses" who have to shovel their own sidewalk.   Should business owners do it themselves?  This would be good IF they did shovel but some don't shovel at all.

The vision is to shovel the snow into the street so the plows can take it. But that would mean 6-8 in the morning and many stores do not open till 10:00.

My thing is that downtown is a different animal they the artery stores.  It's an apple to oranges thing.  Downtown all the stores are next to each other. Customers can go store to store without going into their cars. What is Mayor Bob talking about with all his "fairness blustering".  Give me 59 examples (the number of downtown businesses) how their problem is the same. Are their sidewalks directly connected to the street/highway?   

So either you let the city do it in one clean swoop for $500 OR "downtown" needs to hire someone to do it.  Don't leave it to the store owners to do it willy nilly. Maybe Main Street Org needs to discuss this as I believe this is in their jurisdiction.  Main Street Org is in charge of "revitalization and management of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts."  right?

If they want to create a pleasing atmosphere for the downtown area this should fall into their realm.


When I did that RAW Madison thing I gave an interview which I really hated.  When it was over I told myself "WELL, I'll never watch THAT train wreak".

Last night DJ said "I googled Rod Melotte and there were like 21 million hits".  So I looked and this video was out there on Youtube.

This is like listening to yourself on a record - YUCK!!


OH - if you have never seen this video - it's a stitch.  Last 2 minutes and is pretty funny.

I'm reading a Sci Fi book called Enders Game and I found out last night that it's being made into a movie with Harrison Ford as the adult star. It's a page turner all right.  How do authors do that.  What makes a "page turner".   It's a Nebula and Hugo Award Winner.

All I know is that reading a chapter is like eating 3 cookies and all of a sudden you see you ate the last bite of cookie and didn't know it.  ARH - I hate that.  If I was on a desert island and had only one book this would be the one.  But what would I do on the 2nd day.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. 


Have a great weekend - GO PACKERS!!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Flu and Cinnamon Milk

A weekend wasted is a weekend well spent.  

No - I don't have the flu.

There is a show on an unknown network, IFC, that is really worth checking out.  It's call Portlandia. I have no way to tell you what it is exactly but in someone else's words a "Peabody Award-winning satiric sketch comedy television series that takes place in Portland Oregon".

It stars these two people.

Here is a small clip of one of the bizarre sketches.


And here is a non-enhanced photo of a photo of my grandfather that has been hiding for a number of years.


We watched the final few episodes of Downton Abbey and they were suffering from The Spanish Flu. I had never heard of The Spanish Flu so I had to look it up to see what it was.


OK OK - I was actually looking up Cinnamon Milk which was what the Doctors were prescribing.


Between January 1918 and December 1920 the Spanish flu infected 500,000,000 people world wide killing what is believed  1 to 3% of the worlds population.  The odd thing about this flu was it did not kill weakened people, it killed the healthy.

What it did was infect the healthy by creating a cytokine storm which means the body's immune system would overreact and basically kill itself.  People with poor immune systems were fine for the most part.

This flu came in two waves.  The first wave was like a normal flu and it did killed the unhealthy at a normal rate. But then it mutated and the ultra deadly 2nd wave hit.  To top that off aspirin was in such short supply that knock off aspirin was being created. The Bayer aspirin patent ran out so all sorts of companies were making what happened to be poison aspirin.

It was the perfect storm.  If the flu did not kill you the aspirin did.

Then late in 1918 all of a sudden for no know reason, the virus mutated again and deaths dropped dramatically.  For instance, in Philadelphia 4,500 people died in one week in late October.  One month later only a handful.

Here is the kicker.  remember the N1H1from a few years ago?  The government was begging everyone to get shots?  They believed the N1H1 was a variant of the Spanish Flu and were scared shitless.  N1H1 was called the swine flu while the Spanish Flu was more of the avian flu style but they had so many similarities the people that know were freaking out.  The N1H1 was a combination of the avian AND swine flu. 

Well, only one person died on Downton Abbey.

BUT WAIT - what about Cinnamon Milk.

WOW - what a wonderful concoction this is.  Not only is it a great insomnia home remedy but it also increases circulation in hands and feet for people that have cold hands and feet.

"Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) is a warming tonic, great for this chilly time of year. Drinking cinnamon milk helps to warm our interior and increase circulation throughout our bodies. It can help to prevent and cure colds and flus. It's also great for chronically cold hands and feet." 

Cinnamon milk also is great for the digestive system and helps cramping and will firm up those loose bowels.  An effective diarrhea remedy.

1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
honey to taste (try about 1 teaspoon)

Warm the milk and add the ingredients!!

OR - you can read this blog and fall asleep. 

Here is another shot of the Black Barn on Hwy 73 coming into Columbus.


Mr. Curious was on the job this past weekend and was wondering just what Enerpac does. If they are going to relocate their World Corporate headquarters in Columbus (currently in Menomonee Falls) I'd like to know what they do.

WELL - Enerpac is the "global leader in high-force tools".  The technology leader in hydraulic jacks. Their equipment raised the roof of Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium. They make equipment that is used on some of the largest structures on earth.

It was their hydrolocs that lifted the tempory support towers for the Millau bridge in France (those red things).   They raised the temporary towers that supported the 36 ton steel deck.

Millau is the tallest bridge in the world. 

Another project has them lifting a 15,000 ton oil rig and U2 uses their hydraulics for lifting their stage.

So - pretty big stuff happening in Columbus!   Who needs Trek.  They can have Waterloo, we have Enerpac.