Friday, March 29, 2013

Bob Poser - Major League Ball Player

My Double Chocolate Stout came in 1st place last night in a Stout Competition beating out 12 other stouts including some professional ringers. 

I was looking up some stuff and decided to investigate a Columbus resident from long ago,.  Bob Poser.
Bob Poser was a Columbus Wisconsin native, Born March 16th 1910.  He played 26 games for the Minneapolis Millers and the Toronto (ILL) Maple Leaf in 1932 and was called up to THE SHOW to play for the Chicago White Sox.

His debut was on April 17th 1932, which is odd since he already had played 22 games in the minors.  He pinch hit for Milt Gaston on that day and struck out. The Soxs lost the game 6-1 thus ending his playing time in the majors for 1932.   He did not play any more in 1932 (injured?).  Bob earned a salary of $3000 that year which in today's money is $49,822.  Not bad for one at bat.

In 1933 he played 12 games for the Des Moines Demons hitting a robust .464  with 4 doubles in 28 at bats.  In 1934 he had 190 ABs and hit .289 with 10 doubles and a triple.

Then in 1935 back up in the Majors playing for the St. Louis Browns he came into On August 13 in the top of the 7th as a clean up pitcher as his team was losing 10-1 to the Philadelphia Athletics.  Poser did pretty well for 2 innings but the wheels fell off in the 9th and he gave up 6 hits and 4 runs.
His team lost 14-1, but he would get another chance.

One week later he was going to start against the Boston Red Sox who was led by Joe Cronin. In this game Bob was going up against future Hall of Famer,  Lefty Grove.

Lefty pitched well as he always did (he was 16-8 that year).  

Bob did not fair as well giving up 4 runs in two innings  and giving way to Fay Thomas in the 3rd inning.  The Browns lost 7-3.

However Bob would not have to wait long. Since he only pitched 2 innings the very next day he was called upon to pitch again against the New York Yankees with Earl Combs and Lou Gehrig.

 He entered the game in the top of the 6th when the Browns were already losing 6-1 with two runners on base.

By the time Poser left the game 2 2/3 innings later the score was now 12-1.

Six days later our hero Bob Poser would have his best and last outing in the Majors.  The one he would always remember.

It was the first game of a double header against the Washington Senators.   The manager of the Browns, Roger Hornsby had Dick Hoffman going but ol' Dicky only lasted 1 inning giving up 3 runs to his first 7 batters.  In comes Bob Poser for the game of his career.

The Browns were winning 4-2 as Poser takes the mound.  In his six innings he gave up eight hits, walked three and gave up three runs but when he left the game the Browns were inning 10-6 and Bob Poser was credited with the victory.

That was the last game Bob would play in professional ball.  He made $1,650 that last year which is about $27,000.

I believe he joined the Army soon after after that year. (correct me if I am wrong).  

In 1938 he wrote a book called" Sulfanilamid and Its Effect on Ent Injections" which makes absolutely no sense to me (if you can read Germain look it up) and in 1946 he wrote another book called "Case Histories for American College of Surgeons"

Bob passed away on May 21, 2002 and has been playing pick up games in the
Hillside Cemetery.

Happy Easter everyone!


Thursday, March 28, 2013


Probably not the best time for Amanda Knox to take a European vacation. We were wondering if the U.S. was on the list for extraditing to Italy.  Someone mentioned that perhaps her lawyers should create a list of all the countries that she could NOT be extradited, a extraditing list.

So I thought maybe this would be a good thing to have for ALL countries.  You know, a list for each country and what countries you would have to go to so you could not be extradited.  Make it an Excel spreadsheet of all countries and where you would have to go . . . . just in case.

Then it was mentioned that perhaps this is something, if you are trying to get elected, to not tell people that you have.  A list of countries you can't get extradited to.   Good point. 

So here is the thing about Lohse.  His WARP (Wins above Replacement Player) is 1.? so he will give the Brewers one extra win.  One win for a major league team is worth 5 million dollars in increased revenue (I bet you did not know that).  So his $10 mil a year contract is cut in half IF he performs at what PECOTA estimates say he will.

Did you know that PECOTA* was invented by Nate Silvers of

*PECOTA = Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm  -  a system for forecasting Major League Baseball player performance by fitting a given player's past performance statistics to the performance of "comparable" Major League ballplayers by means of similarity scores. 


And then there is Lyndon Johnson - that dude was a riot at parties.


34 years ago today - Three Mile Island.  If you don't know what that is you are way to young.


I really want to go here.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We need more Novelty Art

Don't ya hate it when you see someone texting and driving?


OMG - I finished Book two of what is called The Ender Wiggin Saga.  Book one is Enders Game( 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.). Where just when you think it the book has reached a climax the second climax hits you like a ton of bricks and really makes you think about your beliefs.

Then the second book, Speaker for the Dead, which is nothing at all like the first book (first book was actually a prequel) grabs you. This one takes place 3000 years later but centers around Ender Wiggin ( The planet Lusitania is home to a small Portuguese colony, a newly discovered sentient race called the Pequininos, the last surviving Hive Queen of the Buggers (book 1), and Descolada, a virus that will destroy the human race if it gets off-planet.) And this book puts you though a ton of emotions.

Now I MUST read book #3, Xenocide.  I rarely if ever read a series of books back to back.  I think normally I need to change the style of writing but I'm also reading Trading Bases (A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball) and Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development (just in case . . . ) so my reading thing is pretty varied at the moment.   Also reading Boom Town The 7-1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns.

Actually Principles is interesting. I'm on the "city tree" section and why many times city street trees in the downtown area are NOT a good thing if they are the wrong kind of tree.  Although trees do have a positive impact on shopping if done correctly.  Also novelty art on downtown sidewalks create a positive shopping experience.

If you have ever been in downtown Sturgeon Bay it really does put a smile on your face. (can you see me proposing novelty art in Columbus?)  Large flower pots in the downtown area are a bonus adding color and life. Easy to take care of (Master Gardner's will take care of them for free).

ANYWAY - I'm coming to Chapter 8 - PARKING.

Sometimes I feel like IF elected I'll be 

OH - in sad news.  IN case you missed last nights City Council meeting, Alice Schmidt is retiring from all of her Historic groups and will no longer do the calendar.  The Mayor was awesome last night and gave her a hug and everyone applauded (not that he was giving her a hug but for her).

Now my job is to have her write articles for a Beaver Dam magazine that is trying to expand into Columbus. It's called Localeben. I'll have a 4 page spread in it this next month and Alice will hopefully have a column about Columbus in future issues.    



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kyle Lohse? Really? sigh. Another Cardinal castoff

I think the Brewers are becoming like the Minnesota Vikings. Let's just grab other team castoffs and hope they do well.

I'm not very excited about Kyle Lohse at all.  I see another Greg Suppan in the works. MAYBE he will win one more game for the Brewers as he is about 1 game better then the average replacement player.

Yea - he will chew up innings but that is about it.

The guy gives up way to many flyballs and St.Louis is where flyballs go to die.  Milwaukee is where flyballs go out of the park and is one of the best homerun parks in the majors.

I was reading a blub in Baseball Prospectus last night about Lohse and the writer was commenting on whoever's team Lohse lands on will have a Suppan-ish pitcher.  AWESOME!!

Lohse had Yadier Molina catching him last year who is one of the very best at framing pitchers which is important for control pitchers but the Brewers have two very very good catchers themselves with Lucroy (5th best) and Maldanado (7th best) but then since Lohse is not a strikeout pitcher he relies on defense and the Cards had very very good defense, Brewers? not so much in the infield but the outfield which will get a lot of work (hopefully facing us as opposed to running away from us) is in fact the best defensive OF in the NL at 9 runs above average.

I believe the Brewers will have a hard time making it to .500 this year. The bright side is that last year the bullpen was chaos.  Why will it be different?  Because bullpens are 100% random.  It's been proven that year in year out for every teams a bullpen is basically a random event.

Every team has a closer that is randomly good, great and sometimes awful. The rest are just a bunch of grade "C" pitchers being random.  Last year the Brewers were randomly pitiful.  Maybe this year they will be randomly average.

The other bright note is that Rickie Weeks will have a better year which will account for 2 or 3 more wins.  The rest of the hitters all had better then average years so they will probably not be as good as last year.

Lucroy is not a .330 hitter like last year and will be closer to .270
Hart will be out a little
Weeks will be better
Shortstop . . . who is it?
Aramis Ramirez is freakishly consistent - no change
Braun had an MVP year
Gomez is hitting for more power which is good AND bad
Aoki was a surprise, can he steal 30 bases again?

I put the Brewers at 80 wins hopefully not in last place(remember, Houston went to the AL).

I think the Lohse deal hurt the Brewers in the long run but helped them in the short run with dealing with the chaos in the starting rotation.

Baseball Prospectus projects Lohse to have a 4.48 ERA and be 8-12 this year.

In other news - we're going to be Arbitron family. Sort of like a Nielsen Family except for radio.  COOL.  FEAR US.  DJ and I each have our little log sheets (or will soon).

My brother and mom had some snow yesterday.  In fact 16.5 inches more then their previous record on this date.  18.5 inches in Springfield ILL.  All I can do is laugh.


Does human survival justify the extermination of another species??  Just curious.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The B-52's

DJ put on an old CD the other day, a blast from the past.  The B-52s.  I had forgotten about these guys.  I had never purchased one of their CD and all I knew of them were their hits but WOW their other songs, the ones you never hear are awesome. Now I need to buy another CD.


So since I'm at work all week (when things break they all seam to break at once) which is real bad timing as I have a number of things I have put off that are now due April 1st.  So I'll just post some new photos and maybe you will be happy.

First of all, the below image will be on the cover of the new Yellow Book, Madison Edition. You know, that book that you instantly toss out?  Got the word Friday that I made the cut.

 What you don't see in the photo is the squad car just on the other side of the arch.  He refused to move so this was the only shot I could get.  I was standing in the street dodging cars.

Then I had some orders from more Door County shots so I was combining all my Door folders into one big one and found an image that was hiding.


And a few others.  I have so many shots that are un noticed it's silly.  I think I'm the Steven King of Photography.

This is from the Peninsula State Park Golf Course.  

Something not so sale worthy but a pretty picture is looking east over Green Bay towards Marinette where there seems to be a big fire. 

A shot near Cave Point on a foggy day.


As for the campaign.  I submitted a Letter to the Editor, my last chance but I guess it did not make teh cut.  I was a little  . . . . ticked off when I saw it was not in the newspaper.  I have been running a positive campaign, not that I lacked ammunition but because I'm not that kind of guy.  But I felt I needed to, one time, get a little teeth.

 “If you built it, they will come” works in the movies but not necessarily in a small city.  According to the US Census Bureau, comparing Columbus to surrounding towns, we are in the bottom 20% for population growth. So while we gain business we are not gaining residents. It’s like our government believes if you build a McDonalds in the country, houses will spring up around it.  That’s not how it works. I say add residents and the businesses will come to us.  Residents bring businesses, businesses do not necessarily bring residents and we need residents to increase our tax base.

I believe the biggest difference between me and my opponent is that he wants to run Columbus as a business, to make money to pay for things.  I believe we should run Columbus as a city that cares first for its quality of life.  Businesses have employees. Cities have residents.

Columbus  should put more effort into increasing the number of residents that live in this historic community. They not only pay taxes but also spend money in the businesses that are here which creates a loop.  More residents bring more business naturally.

How do we do this? By selling ourselves to the outside world.  By not being shy about boasting what we have and who we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-business at all as business  generates tax income.  But if there is one problem with Columbus it’s that in the last six years we are terribly lagging behind almost all other towns in the area in residential growth.  Other towns are grabbing tax paying families.
It was said “we cannot afford anything other than what we have right now”.  Well, perhaps what we have been doing is not working. 
That is the most politically aggressive I want to get (unless I lose and then finally the gloves can come off).    I tell ya though (smiling).  If elected, that first city Council meeting is going to be fun and no, I'm not going to wear a white wig.   

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Heine Ride Announcement

Its gonna be a fun night.

All I'll say is DJ is drinking a LOT of fluids tonight in prep for tomorrow's hopefully unremarkable virtual morning! 

In other news - only 50 days until the 23rd Annual Ride for Your Heine.

Doug Caldwell and friends (last year approximately 50) ride from Julies Java House to Minnesota Junction (there is actually a Wikipedia page for Minnesota Junction). The 23 mile journey (23 miles in 23 years) has two stops, Beaver Dam and one in Rolling Prairie (where do they find these towns - located between the towns of Oak Grove and Burnett) and ends at Heinie' Famous Pizza.

And yes - I believe I will ride the ride.


Tuesday I attended the 2013 Agribusiness Dinner at Kestrel Ridge. It was the 1st time I had been in that room at Kestrel.  Very elegant.  Alice in Dairyland was there to talk to use (sort of like we were children but . . . I suppose most of her presentations are for a younger crowd).  Good food, lots of great people, sort of a who's who in Columbus and I met a lot of  people I had never had the opportunity to meet before.

Well done Steve Sobiak for putting this together.


I was asked if I could do a portrait for a friend of mine so last week I had a photo shoot at the Sun Prairie library.

And they said I could not take photos of humans!!


Speaking of the weather - long range forecasts actually have us NEAR average in 10 days!  WHOO HOO!!

Cute Corgi photo of the day


The campaign is going well but has come to a grinding halt the last 10 days as I'm having some major problems getting literature printed and will go to an emergency source tomorrow if I don't get it tonight.  Sort of irritating. I hate depending on others and being put on hold.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Five Years Ago Yesterday

First photo.
It was five years ago yesterday that I started a blog post called "16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp".

And all hell broke loose.  The very first photo of Johnnie Depp arriving in Columbus to be broadcast around the world , people screaming outside Josh and Jennies house, girls with light jackets on shivering in the cold for 16+ straight hours.

Thousands of spectators from literally around the world ringing Columbus saying what an amazing town this is.

As I was walking around taking photos I met a woman who was also taking shots. Her name was (and still is) Michelle Martin.

I believe that in the entire town of Columbus Michelle and I are the only two people that took the ball and ran with it from the filming of Public Enemies and we have become success stories.

Now the movie is barely a blip on the movie radar and I feel Columbus dropped the ball on this one.  Once again, let's not brag and call attention to ourselves.   DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

A major motion picture closes the town for 2 weeks, the #1 R rated mobster movie of all time staring Johnnie Depp  and  - zip - nothing.

The little town afraid of success.

Remember all the players we were talking about?  What have they done in the last 5 years.

Johnnie Depp - 9 movies and 4 in post or pre production.  The one I'm really waiting for now is The Lone Ranger which looks outstanding.

Link to trailer - looks GREAT

Michael Mann - director did one more movie and two TV series. The ill fated LUCK and Witness

Bob Wagner - 1st asst Director, remember him? that high strung guy that yelled at everybody (including Grahm man and I in Oshkosh) - he contacted me a few months after filming and said the cast would read my blog and while it was not always 100% accurate it was always entertaining.

He's been 1st asst Director in two movies since PE, Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I could go on an on but that would take many many pages. Anyway - to relive that first day, and what got me mentioned in Vanity Fair.

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 4:00 to 6:45

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 7:00- 8:30

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 9:30 - 12:45ish

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 1:00 tp 6:00 

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 6:00 to Frozen


Many of my friends were all excited over the new season of The Walking Dead.  I was not that excited because I'm not a Zombie sort of guy.  Along with vampires and other things of that nature.

But I was looking at Netflix and I saw The Walking Dead and with nothing else to do  I thought I would watch it for 10 minutes just to get an idea of what it was all about.


It has received a number of award nominations, including a Writers Guild of America Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series Drama and has become the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history.

The basic premise is a sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes, awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating "walkers", resembling zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way.

Here is a cool thing - the entire production is paper-free.  The production strives to be "green" in every way including little things like reducing vehicle idling.

I can't wait to watch another episode.

That's it for today - gotta run


Friday, March 15, 2013

An entirely different kind of exhaustion

I was finally able to go back to working out. If you remember, after three grueling Monkey Bar gym events I got a little carried away with push-ups and strained some tendons in my left arm.  I let them heal for a week and was about to go back, I was missing that adrenalin rush I was getting from extreme exercise.

BUT - my campaign got in the way and 2 weeks went by.

Yesterday I thought instead of doing the Muscle Training I would try their Boot Camp which was more cardio/muscle.

OMG - While I would have muscle fatigue before, I had whole body fatigue with this.  Plus, I almost crashed through a window which might have been embarrassing 

After tossing a 5 pound ball back and forth which sounds easy at first we got into groups of three for a rely race.

Run 30 yards to the other side of the gym, back and forth, then "skate" forward and then backwards 30 yards and THEN monkey crawl (only hands and feet touching the floor) forward and then backwards.

RUN - I can do that.  My turn came and I sprinted towards the other side - HOWEVER - I was just getting to top speed when I realized I needed to slow down. My new shoes have SO MUCH TRACTION on that carpeting that when it came to slow down, my legs were already weak from previous exercising that I could not stop without tumbling forward.

There was no sliding to a stop.  At 10 yards away I was just getting to top speed and I was having trouble slowing.  Luckily I was flailing  enough to slow and as I neared the window I was praying it would hold because I was going into it.  I did veer to the left a tad looking for the support and managed to not kill myself.

The rest of the race was a blur.  All I remember was the final leg and I collapsed gasping for air.

Once I got home I noticed my left knee is bloody with floor burn and I'm moving like an old man today.  I have a photo shoot this afternoon and hope I can have a little more mobility.

I've been listening to some interviews with Europeans about their impressions of America and Americans.  Very very interesting.

For one thing they are amazed that in America success is encouraged.  In Europe it's almost the opposite. Success is sort of looked down upon and discouraged.  Also something interesting is that it is considered impolite to ask someone in Europe what they do for a living as they do not want share that part of their lives.

In Italy the word "dream" is always used with irony or sarcasm.  And you would NEVER tell someone to "follow their dreams" A vision for the future is laughed at.  They believe that dreams do not come through and even thinking of change is ludicrous and a waste of time.   

There is a word used in Italy "magadi (sp?) which is used in every other sentence which translates to "if only" or something like a regret,  something that will never happen. When the woman was with Americans she said her friends would encourage to "do it" which for many Europeans is so far out of their comfort zone because you don't go for your dreams, that's ridiculous and will ever happen.

 One other thing that struck me (many things actually) was that they said where they come from there is NEVER a time where they can look out upon the land and not see the presence of man. In America the space is so vast they can imagine the world before the presence of man which is breathtaking.

Construction of Sagrada Familia began in 1882, completion date in 2028

In America National Parks are like their Cathedrals.  While we are in awe to their amazing Cathedrals they are in awe with our National Parks.       

anyway - - - -

Just looking into Europe. 

Amsterdam to Rome to Paris and all points in between.  It will be in a Rick Steve's Tour which is a small group (24 people) and not what people normally think as one of those crowded bus tours.

 NO NO NO - not that one! Although it would be a hoot.

Trust me - we have looked into the bus thing and read hundreds of websites NOT hosted by Rick Steve's to see the REAL opinions.

Speaking of  Cathedrals.  This is St. Micheal's Church, Old Town, Chicago where I attended my brothers son's wedding.


Lastly -  Milo the cat.

Took him into the vet yesterday for a  . . . . costly procedure.

Things were adding up on his health so it was time.  He had what we thought was an ear infection,  a wort lumpy thing in the petting zone and something was going on with his back hip.    

Well, he had a polyp in his inner ear which pretty much clogged everything up and was extremely uncomfortable (he had been telling us that for a while) a wort was taken off and x-rays on his hip which showed a spinal stenosis at the sacrum (a narrowing of vertebral canal) . . . could have been worse.

OH - birds - saw my first Robin last Saturday (might have said that already).  Yesterday saw my first red winged black bird.

Have a great weekend.   Love ya all!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sharks are people too.

I was watching Hawaii Five-0 last night and Ed Asner reprized his role as August March, a bad guy jewel thief from the 1975 Hawaii Five-0.  The show ended with him shooting a woman.  Anyway, I looked to see if he actually was on the how many years ago and WOW looking at his IMDP list of appearances it was like traveling back in time.

Speaking to time travel.  I was preparing my first group of mass mailings for THE CAMPAIGN and  watching "Looper".  I'm always a nut for "time travel" or "first contact" science fiction (I watched CONTACT (Jodie Foster) again for the 1st time in 10 years, great movie a few weeks ago).

Looper was interesting, I won't give away much but it's about a guys who's job is a Looper.

Time Travel has not been invented yet but in 30 years it is. So his (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) job is to execute bad guys that are sent back in time.

But sometimes the loop has to be closed so without knowing it they kill themselves and then get a ton of money and they can do whatever they want . . . for 30 years.  It gets a little twisty as he does not kill himself (Bruce Willis) but finally kills himself (Bruce Willis) later and then 30 years from now he comes back to try to not kill himself(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) again!

Of course there is Emily Blunt involved and a little kid that can blow up people by screaming and then at the end of the movie we see "Looper" has a entirely different meaning.

Oh - in case you were wondering, lots and lots of guns that can not hit the broad side of a barn.  Literally. They are made to not miss from 15 feet but can't hit anything from 15+ feet.

Well, Emily's can.


This is a blast from the past (2009) and one of my all time favorite performances on American Idol.

Adam Lambert - Mad World.


I'm looking into a joining a new Gallery on the Square in Madison. The pricing is just outside my comfort range but the clientele might be perfect.  I just don't know how much traffic or the particulars.  Plus I would like more space.  I'm going to meet with the people next week.

Since my high end work seems to be going towards offices and conference rooms and since downtown Madison is ripe with ultra high end lawyers . . . . . . . .seems like a fit.


Sort of laughing at what is happening in Florida. Kids and sharks.

Why do kids go to Florida for spring break?  Gulping down food, having sex and enjoying the warmth.  Well, thee have been thousands of sharks near the beaches in florida this week and the reasi they are there?  Gulping down food, having sex and enjoying the warmth.

In fact there are so many sharks that they are like standing in line waiting their turn.  They are actually backed up waiting for the other sharks to leave.

Sharks are temperature dependent and off the coast f Florida is perfect for what they want to do.  Sharks are people too!   But sharks are not big fans of nasty tasting humans and only bite by accident, not as a food source.  

this is why most shark attacks are not lethal. YUCK - spit out the human and move along!

So - in Florida  beware of sinkholes and sharks.


Monday, March 11, 2013

This years plan landscaping plan.

Thanks Callie - good suggestions.  I've heard of Brugge.

BTW - if there are any armchair travelers out there Rick Steves has a GREAT GREAT free app for ipod and iPad call . . . Rick Steves Audio Europe. Pretty impressive for free. hundreds (literally) of have hour tours.
Lots of rain this past weekend.  1.54 inches to be exact and the precipitation race is starting to be a run away. 

 This month we see a rapid rise in temperatures in the area.


I'm pretty sure my friend adubya that moved to NY to be with his loved one (while abandoning his male friends) will either have these OR , has them already - Google Glasses. A augmented reality wearable computer with a head-mounted display.  Hey - I would have them in a second if they cost $25.  However there is one small problem.

A bar in Seattle has posted a message on their FB page

"For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. And  ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."

Of course he will probably wear this on the golf course to find yardage WHILE wearing an UnderArmor touchscreen T-Shirt which is still a year away.

Fascinating interview with inventor of UnderArmor - wow - talk about a guy with an idea that became a billionair in 10 years.

An NFL football player said a t-shirt weights 6 ounces dry but 2 pounds wet.  Why not build a t-shirt out of woman's lingerie that will not soak up water.  Now - he is getting close to challenging Nike for market share.

BUT WAIT - there is more - how about a dress that turns clear when you get turned on.  Wait . . I suppose it's when SHE gets turned on and is made out of opaque smart e-foils. When the body gets excited and the heart races, the coils turn clear.

 I don't know - I think there might be some draw backs on this idea.  I'm not exactly sure how well this will sell.

How about this little baby!

This will take a photo every 30 seconds ALL DAY LONG!!   careful in the bathroom! 

If you are looking for what we (Dj and I) have been up too . . .we are boring.   The fun news is that we are ordering a few trees this year.  A Black Hills Spruce for the south corner of our lot since the golf course decided to let the Japanese beetles kill their tree so there is an opening.

This is a wonderful little woods we are creating. Our neighbors have 2 trees, the golf course still have two and we will have 3 birch and a spruce.  A bird haven and golf ball stopper.  Another Heritage River Birch will be added to the back yard.  Plus on the east side of our house we're putting another Summer Ninebark, three Neon Flash Spireas and two Fineline Buckhorns.  The east side finally gets worked on this year.

Then we're going to move one of our Goldmound Spirea from the bottom of the deck to the corner and add another clematis going up the deck.

McKay's had a suggestion for three French Lace Weigela but those need full sun (at least 6 hours) and I think they are stretching the position so that spot still needs some ideas. The problem is that  Fineline Buckhorns might look weird all by themselves. I'll have to see how much sun that area gets.

So that's the plan. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Road Trip Across Europe?

Gotta laugh at the media - WE ARE EXPECTING OVER A HALF A FOOT OF SNOW! 

Wow - half a foot. 
We should be getting a good amount of rain this weekend, nearing one inch.  I hope this does not cause ponding problems for farmers.  Did you know that fog is actually a better snow melter then rain?  Fog creates it's own heat and melts snow faster then rain.  I've always been underwhelmed at how much snow melts with a good rain. You would think more.

Did you see the trees thin morning - awesome beautiful.  I just can not figure out how to get a good photo that has not been done a zillion times though.

We have a new bird at the feeder this morning - three small Grackles???   Have not seen these for a while.  They are not iridescent though.  Look like small red wing black birds but without coloring.  hmmmm 

OH and a cardinal has just shown up for the first time in a few months.

Speaking of photography - FINALLY - I get my #1 lens back from being repaired.  My 10mm wide. It's been almost 2 months and I'm so excited.  
SO - DJ and I have been doing a little planning dreaming of late.  Every bunch of years we go on a big adventure/trip and it's time to start the multiple year planning.

Our first adventure was an Island Adventure to St.John USVI and can be found here - on the Adventures on St. John blog  which was really 2003 and not 2006.  I think I must have moved the blog at some point.

Then to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we took a ride across America to Sedona Calif.  Voted one of the best small towns in America.  You can find that one on the Great American Roadtrip blog  

So what do we have planned now? 

Hold your breath - Road Trip Across Europe!  North to South to North  Netherlands/Germany/Italy/Switzerland/France.  The original thought was 10 days but how many times will we get to Europe anyway.  Let's shoot the moon and be crazy, 21 days. 

The planning begins (we're thinking 3 years down the road here).  We start in Amsterdam travel south to Rome and end up in Paris.  I'll probably bring my camera and laptop so you can travel along with us.   So that is the pre-plan plan.

Monument Valley on the Navajo Indian Reservation. 2006  R.Melotte

Don't forget to set your clocks appropriately this weekend.  Did you know that in 1928 Russia started Daylight savings time . . . AND FORGOT to set them forward again.  It was not until 1985 that they remembered to set them back.   Now they decided to abolish it completely.

Retailers in America LOVE DST as Americans love to shop in daylight.

However - beware - in a 20 year study there is a 5% greater risk of heart attacks the week after we move the clocks back in the spring. But this is reversed in the fall. The week after we gain an hour of sleep there is a 5% LESS chance of a heart attack.  It's all about sleep!

Speaking of sleep - did you know too much sleep is very bad for you?  If you sleep more the 9 hours a day you have a ton of risks and it's could be a sign of health problems.  


this looks like something I would have printed up.


Someone else's  - THOUGHT OF THE DAY - If I were Neil Armstrong on my death bed -  my last dying breath I would whisper "we weren't the first". 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Columbus council members speak up

This was published in the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen
written by PAUL SCHARF Staff Reporter

A direct link to the article IS RIGHT HERE

COLUMBUS – Around 50 people turned out for a mayor and city council candidate forum sponsored by the Rotary Club of Columbus/Fall River at city hall on Monday evening.

With contested races for all four offices on the ballot, there were a total of eight candidates offering their views to the public – although few sharp distinctions were drawn by any of the ccandidates.

The format involved opening and closing statements from the candidates surrounding four rounds of questions. During each round, opponents for one office each handled a single question (which only they received).

The candidates include: Mayor Bob Link and challenger Kelly Crombie; District One council member Roger Sneath and challenger Aaron Adams; District Two council member Dave Bomkamp and challenger Rod Melotte; and District Three council member Larry Herzog and challenger Michael Thom.

Bomkamp joined the meeting from Florida via Skype.

“I want all of you to know that I take this job very, very seriously,” stated Link, who is completing four years as mayor.

In handling a question on budgeting experience and how one would govern the city budget, Link said that city taxes have declined proportionally on his watch.

“I am fiscally conservative and not afraid to make decisions for the benefit of all taxpayers,” he stated. “Columbus has been able to grow and thrive during the economic recession.”

Crombie, an attorney, said his studies in law and government would aid him as he relied on budget help from the city administrator and finance director.

Regarding how he sees the city working in partnership with the school district, Crombie said: “This is one of the main reasons I decided to run for mayor.” He said that he does not want to see contention between the two, but added, “We’re in this for what’s in the best interest of the whole community. The schools are one of our best assets. I would like to see more cooperation between the school and the city.”

Crombie called for examining a merger of the school community learning center and the city recreation department.

Link said that the city and school district have been working well together.

As to what improvements could be made to the police and fire departments, Link expressed the need to continue to cooperate with the rural fire group and the village of Fall River.

“I think that the police department could expand its role in education,” said Crombie. He added that a school liaison officer would be a benefit to the community.

Crombie and Link also fielded a question on the importance of the senior center.

In closing, Kelly stated: “I am only going to promise you that I am going to get up every day and work as hard as I can.”

“We are now proud of what we are doing in Columbus,” Link said. “People have noticed.” He said that one sign of the city “going in the right direction” is that there are fewer letters to the editor regarding city politics in the Columbus Journal.

Aaron Adams, co-owner of Hydro Street Brewing, is challenging three-term incumbent Roger Sneath in District One.

Adams called for new investment in the downtown, additional city festivals and restoration of the auditorium above city hall – a topic that has recently received new attention with the involvement in the project of Gail Bostian and J.T. Cestkowski.

“I think that the auditorium would be a great asset to the city of Columbus,” Adams said. “I see this auditorium as being a potential center for Columbus.” He said it could draw more people to the downtown.

Sneath said that the involvement of private support will be necessary to restore the auditorium. “I believe we have, right now, the sparks of what could be a great match in restoring the auditorium,” he said.

Other questions for the pair related to improvements at the library, energy sustainability and parks and recreation.

“I’ve always prided myself as a calm voice,” Sneath said, stating he is good at conflict resolution.

Blogger and photographer Rod Melotte is challenging two-term incumbent and former mayor Dave Bomkamp in District Two.

“The one thing I cannot stand is sitting on my hands waiting for things to get done,” said Melotte.

“It takes time to learn to do this job properly,” Bomkamp said. “It is something you have to have in your heart. We work together well as a team. I think it’s a great council right now. I think the city is moving in the right direction.”

Their first question related to the new Gateway Project on Highway 73 on the south end of Columbus, which will include a new facility for Enerpac.

“A lot of people from around the world will be visiting Columbus because of Enerpac,” said Melotte. “I think it is going to be a fantastic vision for Columbus as long as we can foster that idea.”

“It was something that did not happen overnight,” Bomkamp said. “The project really should spring forward because of the infrastructure we are putting in the ground. We need to make sure this takes off like it should.”

When asked about his vision for the future of Columbus, Bomkamp said, “I think the city is going in the right direction.”

He said that the choice of the next city administrator is important.

“We need to have people of some experience on the city council that can have a vision,” said Bomkamp.

“To me a vision is a dream,” Melotte stated. “A vision starts with the first small steps. My vision is for a thriving downtown Columbus district. If you think outside the box, we can get this done. I think Columbus has a fantastic future – we just need to focus on it.”

With regard to cooperating with other entities in order “to build a better Columbus,” Bomkamp said, “I think we have done a lot of that in the past.” He pointed to cooperation with Fall River for emergency medical services and the intergovernmental agreement with Fall River for the sewer system.

But Melotte said that even more communication is needed. “It makes sense to work together as a team,” he said.

The two each also answered a question on the strengths of the city.

“Columbus is ripe for growth, but we’re underperforming,” Melotte said. “We need to brand ourself, just like a business. Let’s put Columbus on the map.”

Melotte said that if he is elected he would hold regular town hall meetings, and also shared that he planned to answer all 16 questions from Monday night’s forum at

“I believe I am a good team member,” Bomkamp said in closing. “I believe we have accomplished a lot of things.”

** There are SO many things I could say as a rebuttal but I'm not going to. I disagree with many statements from a few of the incumbents but I'm not an attack dog. Let's just say I agree to disagree and I do believe Columbus is under-performing. Politicians attack, I'm just a concerned dude that feels it's my civic duty to help out the town I love.
One-term incumbent Larry Herzog is facing a challenge from Michael Thom, a carpenter running a small business, in District Three.

“I’m very approachable and open-minded,” Thom said in answering a question about leadership style. “I’m a great communicator and a great listener.”

“The leadership on city council is a lot more collaborative,” said Herzog. “You have to find a way to co-exist. Not everyone is going to agree 100 percent. I feel very strongly that we shouldn’t be managing the day-to-day operations (of city employees). We need to allow them to do their job effectively.”

“I have some time, and I have the ability, and I want to see the city move forward,” Herzog said regarding his service experience.

A question on rural partnerships and agriculture led Thom to say: “I’d like to see the expansion of farmers’ markets. I think there is a real interest in people wanting to buy food locally.”

“We need to accommodate the greater Columbus community as a whole,” said Herzog.

“I think there is a tremendous upside,” Herzog said regarding economic development. “It’s very bright for development in Columbus.”

Thom said, “By adding more shoulders to our tax base, it will lessen the load on all our shoulders. We need an effective means of selling ourselves. Given the tools we have, I think we need smart growth, not only geographic growth.”

“I believe this comes down to priorities and perspectives,” Thom said in closing.

“There are tough decisions,” said Herzog. “There is only a finite amount of money, and you want to provide as much as you can (in terms of city services).”

This spring’s general election is April 2.

The moderator for the event was Rotary Club member Mike Throndsen.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Well now - THAT was the hardest job interview I have ever had.

I have not blogged for a few days as I was prepping for the big forum for City Council.  All candidates received 16 questions of which each pair of candidates would be asked 4. 

Of course the current City Council has a HUGE advantage because they've been working on the issues for years (and years and years in some cases). So us newbies had to fend for ourselves and investigate, interview and do our own due diligence all knowing that the current members would be sure to tell people that they were better because they knew the facts and we know nothing.


I had Monday off and spent the day prepping for the big "debate"/forum.  I was feeling pretty confidant.   . . . wait - actually I did have work to do as I had to order a few more prints from call-in customers (I'm really getting more and more people every week ordering prints  .. but I digress) . . I was feeling SO good that I was wondering why I was not nervous.   Was it confidence? or ignorance.

The 16 questions were all about city problems and six were good, I could cover those, four were awesome and I was worried about speaking too much and WANTED those. Three were problems but I could cover my butt and three were going to be a problem.   

 For instance - the Senior Center.  How many of you have been to your towns senior center.  Well - I spent an hour and a half at ours and looked at their budget, had a tour, talked to people and when I was done I really appreciated what they do and I knew the controversy surrounding it (half the seniors so not live in Columbus but many of those give LARGE amounts as donations, also many of our seniors go to other towns centers so it evens out - plus a few other things that I REALLY wanted to nip in the butt but . . . ).

Another question  - The auditorium, BAM, I'M READY, bring it. The Library - talked to people and had some good ideas (although not as good as the the aldermen that answered it), The budget (love numbers) and so forth.

NOTE - just to show how the entire night was a blur I do have some of the facts - the DUDE was actually charging me in my intro. 

WELL - my intro was pretty good but maybe a little fluffy but still, I had to introduce myself.  I think that was fine.  Still, pretty calm and collected but . . . . I was feeling myself starting spiral a little.

Once the intro was completed I said to myself "OK OK - I'm good, stay calm.  Wait . . . did I say I was running for congressmen instead of COUNCILMEN or whatever"?

It's all good . . . I think.

First question for District 1 is the Library - damn it - wish I had that one.  Question #2 goes to Rod Melotte - blah blah blah Gateway.

OK - here was a learning experience.  I was so confidant in answering this question, heck I wrote an article about it  I DIDN'T HAVE TO WRITE MY ANSWER DOWN!  

I froze!  I know I babbled something and was about to get coherent again and my tunnel vision was getting a little wider when this dude is lunging towards me grabbing my mic and my brain freezes.  I guess I was a little to far away.

You see, I was going into my speaking mode where I lean back and talk to my friends, comfortably.

OK - that thought process is completely gone.  babble babble and I start to relax again and lean back in my chair in comfy mode and I'm starting to pull it together and AGAIN BAM - this large blur is comes out of nowhere, was he suspended from the ceiling? Grabbing my mic.

It was about this point when I remember Paula (council chairmen) saying to us before the forum, "do not push this secret button as it's the panic button".  WELL - what better time then now, this dude keeps attacking me, and once again my brain freezes up. 

I believe I finished my questions with nothing but beeps, chirps and giggles. 

I did finish the rest of the forum well (I think, I can't remember 90% of what I said) and by the 4th question my heart was no longer actually visible through my shirt and I was ready to begin.  Too bad it was over except for my closing which I was told got the biggest laugh in a good way, or maybe that was when my opponent who was skyping in from Florida who lost connection and his head appeared on the screen behind me with a Zor Shriner hat on, I don't know, it was all a blur.

I think I need to buy a personal teleprompter.  I also need to write my notes on the questions that I will crush. No more relying on my mammoth brain to work with me as it was off doing other things leaving me defenseless.  I do know that the people in city council have more answers then we did.  On the job training seems to have an advantage in these types of forums.

I'm going to have what amounts as a rebuttal on my site sooner or later as some of the things said by council members were just wrong or I disagree with them.

Switching topics

It's interesting what people want when they contact me with orders.

The Stellnovas have already used one photo for posters in a Pennsylvania Music fest and are considering another one for an Album cover. (not this one but . . )

Another image needed was of The Rainbow Bridge.

And the bow torpedo tubes of the USS Cobia

And the Approaching Storm on Rock Lake Lake Mills

Now I can relax for a tiny bit - WHEW!!