Friday, May 31, 2013

Rome vs. America

Comparing Rome the civilization and America.

I've been thinking a lot about how long America will be around.  Seems like most superpowers last 600 to 1000 year and we are pretty young.  But Rome is an interesting case about superpowers (which America is).

Like Rome, America is an empire, we have influence that reaches beyond out boundaries.  America has a false economy based on cheap labor from overseas markets and sweat shops, Rome had cheap labor based on slaves. 

We also have an economy based on raw materials from other lands (gas and so forth) that is not found our borders, Rome had booty from their wars.    

Rome's economy was boosted up by external threats and had a huge military which helped the economy.  America has a huge costly military which actually helps the economy as long as it's being used.

Rome was a solid and stable superpower as long as they continued to expand.  When Rome stopped expanding the booty stopped and the slaves that had fueled the economy started to dry up. Their military became an economic drain and a political headache.  America??  See any resemblance? 

When a society reaches that point it has to do one of three things.

#1 Begin living within its means.

#2 Let the infrastructure degrade.

#3 Or delay the fall by building a huge deficit. 

The hardest thing to do is #1.  Rome opted for #2.  America?

I had been re-thinking my idea to skip art fairs early in the season.  At first I felt that bang for buck I should skip the early art fairs but then recently I was regretting the idea.  BUT, now I see why I wanted to skip the early fairs, weather instability.

My first fair will be Lake Mills July 20th.   My big problem is that my canvas guy seems to have gone on an extended vacation to Honduras so my canvas has all of a sudden gone up 40% in price and my floater frames no longer fit the 1 1/2 inch wide spreader bars.  Everything is now 1 3/4 inch.

grrrrrrr  does not seem like a big deal but it's a freaking headache.

Pretty good storms last night - Columbus received 0.64 inches of sideways rain (Madison about the same).

As one storm was approaching I looked at my radar and saw the green surrounded by red on the wind index.  That meant some small rotation and it was directly to the south and close.  I went to the deck and . . . there it was.  Not even near tornado strength  . . . . . 


How's YOUR lawn looking.  Grass sure does like to grow doesn't it. 

Massive terra forming across the fairway.  I'll have some before and after photos.  The gravel pit will be a hill soon.  Burying trees ALIVE!   I never thought they could fill in a 60 foot deep hole but for two weeks straight there has been a steady stream of dump trucks filling in the crevice.  Some serious hole filling. 

Literally, every 5 minutes a new truck appears and dumps dirt.  All I hear all day is the sound of a caterpillar, beeping and scraping.  It's crazy.  I have to find a before photo - you will be amazed.  

Where is the dirt coming from? Enerpac - the second photo is only 1/3 of the entire construction.

First photo is a poor image of what Enerpac will look like.  To ME it looks like a place I could get new tires at, but in reality this is 2+ stories tall. The flagship production facility of Enerpac - they  manufacture the worlds largest hydraulics.  REALLY REALLY big things. 


One last thing - I LOVE CAR-X.    I don't trust Chet's anymore but CAR-X always does me well. 

I had a muffler/tail pipe thing going on. I felt like ti was just a gasket or something.   Went to Car-X and yup - BUT there was a problem.  If they replace the gasket that rusty metal part COULD break.

So it will be $100 OR $600 as they would have to replace the cat converter. 

Final price was $109 ish! WHEW!  

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The ASCAP Mafia, Silver Linings

OK Baseball fans - this graphic was shown on TV . How many errors can you spot?  Answers near the end.


Check out a 4-page article about . . .ME!! In LocaLeben - The Magazine. You can order a copy for $5 or a whole year (6 copies) for $15 contact@localeben or (920) 306 1189

 We watched Silver Linings Playbook yesterday and feel THAT is the movie that should have won the OSCAR. ARGO was a fun movie and a good story and Zero Dark Thirty was fascinating in a documentarly way but Linings should have won.   Excellent adult date movie dealing with real people with real problems in a funny eye opener way.

Then we watched about 15 minutes of  Behind the Candelabra staring Micheal Douglass and Matt Damon and it was just freaking creepy and horrible.  It was like watching a bad porno creepy movie and we didn't even get the the sex part.

All we could see was Michael Douglas with a wig acting creepy and Matt Damon with a wig.  Add Rob Lowe wearing a wig and Scott Bakula wearing a wig and it was just uncomforting.

The thing was I remember Liberace being all happy and smiley and kind. Not like someones old creepy leering grandfather.

Did I mention that we were both creeped out?

ENERPAC - well well well. I'm a big ENERPAC proponent but I didn't know they were going to do THAT.  

All day long it's dump truck after dump truck with a Caterpillar shoving dirt and so forth.  You literally can not hear yourself talk when outside.   Not that I'm complaining but who knew!!  LOL  They are filling up the huge crevice (full of frogs and waterlife).


The ASCAP Mafia.

I was in Hydro Street dropping of four images that were purchased for some lawyer office in the glass bank in Madison and a black suit and black suit-ess walk in looking around.  They talk to Aaron and Aaron calls Sandye and they move off.

I figure they are salesmen but the meeting ends in like 3 minutes with Sandye stalking off.  The black suit and black suit-ess then proceed to take notes and look at all the advertisements for upcoming live bands.  I FEEL Sandye had words somewhere on the order of "Go f*ck yourself" you know in her kind way  LOL (I love that woman  LOL - not LOVE LOVE, I admire her for her balls!) .

OK - I'm creeping myself out  

SEEMS they are with ASCAP and are demanding Hydro pay them for the privileged for having live bands.   WHAT???

ASCAP collects licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members, then distributes them back to its members as royalties.  In effect, the arrangement is the product of a compromise: when a song is played, the user does not have to pay the copyright holder directly, nor does the music creator have to bill a radio station for use of a song.

Well, almost.

The whacky thing is that the only bands that actually receive payment are the top 200 grossing US tours of the year.  Stiff Kitties had 3 million plays on radio stations - didn't get one dime.  In fact ASCAP does not HAVE to give ANYBODY money.  They are allowed to spend 100s million in court costs to collect money and are under no obligation to fork any money out to artists.

Seems rather slimy.

You and me pay ASCAP in a way.  Ring tones on our phones are charged.   In 1996 the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were sued for singing songs at camps that were  ASCAP's copyrighted s and they did not pay licensing fees.

Every time someone sings HAPPY BIRTHDAY, they own ASCAP!

What ASCAP does is lawyer up and enter with guns drawn forcing places like Hydro to pay up or suffer huge lawyer fees!  Then BMI will come and then SESCAP.

I'm not against paying artists but this seems rather scammy.

• That Bryce Hunter of the Detroit Tigers sure has similar numbers to the Bryce Harper that plays for the Washington Nationals, doesn't he? Even looks exactly like him, come to think of it.

• Well, it's nice to see Matt Jones has found another career since bouncing his way out of the NFL. Oh, that's not the former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver, you say? It's actually a picture of Matt Harvey, who pitches for the New York Mets and not the Baltimore Orioles?

• I'm sure the Chicago White Sox would love to have Manny Machado. He'd come a lot cheaper than Jeff Keppinger, at least. (It really is a wonder, though, that they nailed Machado's name while bungling the much-simpler Harper and Harvey.)

• Oh c'mon. Mike Trout is at least a few years from signing with the New York Yankees.

And, as Larry Brown Sports points out, the entire premise begins with a question that ends with a preposition.  I caught that one right away  :-)

Geocaching - I'll talk about that at some point.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wisconsin's Tornado Alley

Wisconsin has not had a tornado for over a year and a half but if we did have one chances are Columbia County would not be the place it occurred.  We're pretty safe.

Oh Columbia County has more then many counties but compared to Dane County and Dodge County we not even close.

In the last 169 years Columbia County has had 38 tornadoes compared to Dave (75) and Doge (60).


Mark June 7th on your calenders! 

Friday Night Out in Downtown Columbus - On June 7, 5:30pm-7:30pm the City’s Economic Development, Library and Recreation Departments are hosting Friday Night Out in Downtown Columbus and the Library lawn. The purpose is encourage Columbus families to help celebrate the end of the school year by coming to downtown Columbus and patronizing downtown businesses.

Friday Night Out will also feature:

· Free ice cream cones for the kids (courtesy of Snak Shack)

· Columbus Popcorn Wagon popcorn

· The New Columbus Hot Dog Cart

· Sign Up for the Library Summer Reading Programs

· Sign Up for Summer Recreation Programs

· Specials and Discounts at Downtown Restaurants and Businesses

The group Stage Hogs will be playing at Hydro Street Brewing Company, starting at 8pm. Please join us in Columbus!

Speaking of Hydro Street - I've been hearing more and more great things about the food and beer.  I believe the shake down cruise is over.  Like all new restaurant/brewery's there is that transition period (Ale Asylum is going through one right now) with new equipment, new cooks and so forth. Like the Daytona 500, it takes a couple laps to get up to speed! 

WELL - I was talking to a Columbus personality (who shall remain nameless) yesterday and he said "I have eaten a lot of white fish in my life and Friday night at Hydro Street I had the best White Fish I have ever had.  

DJ LOVES Aaron's Cinnamon Brown Ale and said "This is going to sound weird but that was the BEST Grilled Cheese Sandwich I have ever had".    Personally I love their Beef and Beer Sandwich and those chips are GREAT now.

So I've been reading Europe 101 - History and Art for the Traveler by Rick Steves (I'm a Rick-nik) and Gene Openshaw.  WONDERFUL book, very entertaining.

I'm up to Rome now and amazed (again).  Did you know there were 200 Colosseum's in the Roman Empire?   Not just one. There was only ONE called "The Colosseum" which came from the word "colossus" a 100 foot tall bronze gleaming statue of Nero at the front entrance. 

I also did not know that there was a canvas awning that stretched over the Colosseum.  It was the first domed stadium.  All of the daily entertainment and slaughter was free. 

I also thought Hannibal,Elephants and the Punic Wars were fascinating. In fact Hannibal and his 50 War Elephants reminded me of the WWII invasion of Europe.  Same strategy.  Take the long route.  

Hannibal took 50 War Elephants and 50,000 men and marched 1,200 miles across the Alps and as Rick Steves says "forcibly penetrated Italy from the rear".    

From what I read War Elephants did quite well.  Sort of like when tanks were used for the first time in WWI.  The Romans had this WTF?  OMG! moment.  Horses would run away.  

Yea - it was cruel to elephants (they came out of the fights much better then the humans) but so was building the transcontinental railroad  to horses.  Humans are not kind to work animals normally.  

Hell - look at the Audubon Society and John James Audubon the founder.  

How do you think he was able to draw all of those fantastic birds!   HE KILLED THEM FIRST and then stuffed and posed them. 

In the late 1890s 5 million birds a year were being killed for the fashion industry.  One store in New York had 2,600 Robin carcasses used for the feathers.   

Harriet Hemenway, President Theodore Roosevelt started a campaign to stop this butchering and laws were passed.

ANYWAY - I digress. 



Monday, May 20, 2013

Storms and taking photos of . . . EVERYTHING

WELL NOW - we had damage INSIDE the house yesterday.

Josh, Jenny and the kids were over grilling out yesterday and the storms were coming. We have all the iPads with live radar working and as the storm neared I was out on the deck watching the darkness arrive.

Josh comes out and we're looking and Sydney is running around the deck.

I say, "LISTEN, you can hear it!"  Jenny, inside looking out, says "what can you hear" and I say "you can hear the gust front" and I point.  Jenny from inside the house says "I don't hear nothin!".  At that second Josh swoops baby Syd into his arms and starts to move towards the house while I continue to point and yell LOOKIT!!.

Flying plant
BAM - a wall of wind hits us and a plant INSIDE the house lifts up, spins around and is literally spraying dirt all around the kitchen landing 5 feet away.  Of course Josh and I squeal like little girls at how exciting this is while baby Syd is FREAKING out.

Crazy wind that registered at 48mph on my wind gauge.  The one storm dumped 0.25 inches of rain and the temperature dropped 21 degrees in 10 minutes. 

This is what a cow looks like JUST before he licks your lens!

More on that later.

I picked up Elwood from Madison and stopped at Eddies for a Nitro Stout and some burgers with the plan to get some yard-work/landscaping done.   We had a task list of things to do (we do that).

The big project was to remove a Juniper from in front of the house.  McKay does some good things and some things that just do not work out well and the Juniper just looked ugly.

We  had a few beers to prepare for hard labor and then one or two more to hydrate ourselves properly.

But before that we "went to work" we did a few tiny things like look in awe at our Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).   ANYWAY - it's never gotten this tall, 14+inches!

Sweet Woodruff - Galium odoratum

Sweet Woodruff - Galium odoratum

And we marveled at how some Georgia Blue ( Veronica peduncularis) was now blooming

Georgia Blue ( Veronica peduncularis)
And I can't remember what this is but we call it erosion control as it sucks up amazing amounts of water.

And finally the EAST side of the house is starting to take shape.

So - after contemplating life we started to dig up the Juniper which was harder AND easier then we thought it would be.   After chopping off all the branches it looked like it would be easy.  BUT once we started digging the roots were crazy thick.

We got it, collapsed and decided to have a beer.

Here is the thing - the NEXT day, DJ and I did more work Sunday morning the Elwood and I did all day Saturday.   GO FIGURE!!

Actually while I mowed the lawn (longest it had ever been I believe) DJ did the clean up of the front to perfection.

HINT - anyone that does yard work GET GLOVES.  Seriously, it really makes the jobs much more fun.  DJ will attest to that.  When I started working I got gloves and WOW - what a difference.  Then I told Elwood and he said he did not need gloves as he did not mind dirty hands.  I said that was not why.

A month later Elwood had gloves and  WOW, what a difference "this is amazing" he said!!  It's just knowing that there us nothing that will puncture your skin, no tiny sliver, no reason NOT to stick your hand deep into he dirt.

Now we can start improving and rearranging the front yard. 

DJ did a GREAT job.


Back to cows.

We took a side trip looking for photos and came accross this barn near Marshall.

There is a woman who's job, for the Library of Congress (I guess, is to take photos of . . . everything. Americana sort of stuff.  I'm thinking I should do that around here.  The reason is that you never know when something will go away.  For instance - she took a glamor shot of that giant cowboy down in Texas (some University) and 2 weeks later it burned down.

SO - I begin. 

Have a cheery week and be glad you do not golf in league on THURSDAYS! LOL  AGAIN - Thursday will totally suck!  Fourth week in a row.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A few photos!

A couple photos before I start to do some framing in prep for a Wine and Art Walk Thursday Night in Sun Prairie. 

Last night a storm moved through south of Columbus around sunset and Facebook lit up with photos!    Here is one I got from our deck and yes, they were that color. That is why everyone was out of their houses look up!

Those are mammatus clouds.


Then there is this little building between Beaver Dam and Minnesota Junction!   Yea - DJ and I had a WTF? moment and I had to pull over.

WHAT??  are we in Westeros?


I've been thinking about how long the United States will be around.  Seriously.  No one can really think The U.S. is here permanently can they?   I mean civilizations come and go.

I've been reading the history of Civilizations and I gotta think that America is just another passing Civ.  We might be around for another few hundred years but not many civilizations make it past 1000 years and if they do the last few hundred years are all downhill.

Just sayin.

OK - work to do - cheers

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mayor OKs Columbus ET Landing Zone!

All of you Columbus peeps!  Ever wonder what is on the other side of the hill when you come in on Hwy 73?  Yea - you see the construction for Enerpac but then . . .WHAT?  That corn field north of 73 now has a lot gong on BEHIND the hill.  What's going on over there that is so secret.  

Well this reporter wanted to know so he climbed the security hill and took a peek.

IT'S AN ET LANDING ZONE I BELIEVE!!  What else could it be.

I guess we all know what all of those "closed-door" meetings were about for the city council. 

OH - the towns government SAYS it's Enerpac but notice that once the Enerpac was OK'd people started to . . . "retire" or get "voted out" of office. How convenient .   BUT WAIT - there is more going on then you think.  

Is that an EGG? Next to the mammoth scooper?  hmmmmmm
As I watched what was going on I was shocked.  All of this Enerpac construction is ONE GUY (human?)!   It only looks like hundreds.

Here is what happens.  The big dump truck (see below) is driven to the ET landing zone.  The "driver" jumps out, hops into the scooper, fills up the truck,  hops out of the scooper, hops into the truck and drives off,.  

And look at the "driver".  No human sits like that.  IT HAS GLOWING EYES FOR GOD'S SAKE.

I'll have more photos as soon as I make my aluminum cap to protect myself.

This reminds me of my blog from April 22, 2010 

 Yea - it's all starting to make sense now isn't it.   PLUS - look what building that the hidden rocket is located!!!!

YEA - of course it bulges!   THERE IS A FREAKING ROCKET INSIDE! 

Call Davis Clark of the DPW and ask him what is REALLY going on (is he even human? I'm really looking at people now!!).  ET landing zone and all of a sudden barricades go up around a assumed rocket launch site?  This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

No wonder I lost the election - I know THE TRUTH.  (even though people contact me because their alderman does not answer emails).  And they call me a chameleon loose cannon that shoots from the hip!!  HA!  I know who you are!

OK - Brewer game - I have never seen a Manager go to the mound and remove a catcher before  LOL  Brewers look like the 27 Yankees when they play Pittsburgh.

Sad about Angelina Jolie.  Her mother AND grandmother died of breast cancer and Doctors said she had an 87%  chance of having breast cancer so she had a double mastectomy. (a co-worker, female,  just said her breasts were replaced with laser guns).  But in seriousness I believe if there is one woman in the world that will come out of that operation just fine it would be  Angelina.  She writes "I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."

I've always liked her but when she was asked to be in a James Bond movie she turned it down saying ONLY, if she could be James Bond!    If you have not seen the movie SALT, she is James Bond in that one I believe.  Pretty damn good action flick!

BTW - the latest 007 movie was boring I thought even though I really like Daniel Craig. 


DJ has taken up knitting in a big way. She went to ShopKo to get some new needles but I was not expecting this.  She does do things in a big way.

WAIT - is she an alian?   hmmmmm



Monday, May 13, 2013

Duct Tape Is SO Much Better Then Stitches

Once again I managed to not do the Heinie Ride so my streak continues.  DJ and I did the route last week and it looked very pretty.  I was concerned with the hills coming out of Beaver Dam but it's not like I have never done hills, just that I was not really in ride shape yet.   BUT - I was game for the challenge until the NW winds of 15-20mph sprang up which would have been an "in your face" wind for 20+ miles and I said - NOPE.

It seems that getting in riding shape takes longer when you are almost 60 then when you were riding 600 mile, week long rides.  WHO KNEW! 

For bikers there is a team biking a 6,300 mile trip to Alaska to name a mountain after his father. They are in Madison at the moment and here is there website.

Mount Lawrence Film

I'll have a link to their blogs on the right side.


WOW - what  do you think about that 45 million dollar bank heist!  ALL IN CASH!! 

If you have not heard about it here are the talking points.

Hackers hacked into banks, got pin numbers for debit cards, raised the limits as far as they would go on thousands of cards.  Then all across the world an army of people went up and down cities taking out money in ATMS.  In two hours 45 million dollars  around the world (in $20 I suppose) were taken from thousands of ATMs.

In Manhattan, robbers just went walking down the streets stopping at every ATM and emptying them. 

Planted three Neon Flash Spirea this yesterday.


OH - you know that saying "sharp knives never cut?"  That is total bullshit! THEY CUT DEEPER!!!
I can prove it.  I was about to cut some onions Friday and my butchers knife was dull so I gave it a really good sharpening and then preceded REALLY cut my thumb.  The lucky part was that my thumb nail got in the way.  I had one of those, grab your thumb and DO NOT LOOK AT IT while squeezing the bejesus out of it.

After 15 minutes and seeing that you had not passed out yet, I wrapped it in TP and duct taped it tight, STILL without really looking at it.     


That actually works you know.  I was playing softball in league many many years ago and a bat hit my shin and split it wide open.  I can still see it in my minds eye.  No insurance so I duct taped it.

Worked great.   Ahhhhh - I miss those days.

Gotta run!


Friday, May 10, 2013

RAIN -upper 80s' by Tuesday!!

Another 1.47 inches of rain the last 24 hours!

BIG warm up AFTER the totally sucky weekend.  Upper 80's by Tuesday


I see the city has taken down the link to the towns ordinances which to me says that we can do anything we want now since it's not posted  :-)

There are FREE wood chips (good for landscaping) available at the Recycling Center, new hours are: Wednesday 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday 8:00am to 3:00 pm.  Brush pickup started April 1st.  And here is a link to DPW Calendar for brush pickup and so forth


Columbus Recreation, Columbus Community Hospital and the Columbus Police Department will be hosting a Bike Rodeo on May 18th from 9:00am - 12:00pm.  It will take place at the Columbus Elementary School parking lot.

Bike Rodeos are a great way for kids and their parents to learn about biking safety with practice.  Kids bring their bikes and practice and develop safety skills that will help them to become better bicyclists and avoid typical crashes.  

  • Madison BMX will be there teaching the kids safety techniques while biking.  GREAT with summer ahead.
  •  Ride your bikes around town with the Columbus Police Department
  • FREE helmet give-aways
  • Register your bikes in case they get stolen :(
  • Much event you should not miss.


As some of you may already know Columbus is having their City Wide garage sale this weekend May 10th - May 13th.  

The City of Columbus will have SURPLUS ITEMS FOR SALE at the pavilion on Saturday from 8am - 2pm.  Some of the items we have are listed below:

$1.00 each / basketballs / good condition
$.50 - $1.00 soccer balls / good condition
$1.00 each / Misc. cleats for softball, baseball, football and soccer
 $5 each / Paper shredders /  great condition
$ 5 each / Shelving /  great condition
$5 each / 8' rectangular tables / heavy duty / good condition




The meeting last Tuesday was  . . . shall we say . . .tedious.  Approving purchases of a plow and a wing for a snow tractor, repairs on sludge trucks, storm water management agreements and street closing for parades.

If I was on the city council they would not be so tedious as I actually find some of these things interesting. I would LOVE to see a sludge truck  (seriously, I would). 

Then the new business was all about "taking actions". Drain water problems continue to plague the Public Safety Building and will cost oodles of money to fix.  My one question is "were these problems NOT known before the city purchased the building"?   I mean really, you would think an inspector would have noticed water problems THIS bad before the building was purchased.  And if he did, did we get a deal on the building?

Nepotism language was discussed for city hiring policy but I am not privy to that wording at the moment.

The vortex slide continues to move forward for the swimming pool.

The big debate was about the Public Library's request for a new parking lot beside the library in that open space and who should pay for it. 

I actually have mixed feelings and so does the council.  There is no one RIGHT and WRONG.  The city should pay for it I feel.  The library had been saving money for years thinking they were getting an addition and not doing repairs, but when that fell through they used the collected funds (most of which came from my over due books I believe) were used on a new furnace, carpeting paining and so forth.

Dave Bomcamp has a good view of it stating that the parking lot is a good idea BUT, let's put it in the budget for NEXT year.  I sort of agree with Dave on one level.

Jenny Perkins is all for the proposal but she is on the library board and I wonder if she will have to recuse herself from voting.

Aaron Adams I BELIEVE is for the lot but spending the $16,000 this year as opposed to next year was his worry.

Not sure where Michale Thom stands as either I missed any comments or he did not have any.

Davidson is/was totally against the lot but softened his tone saying let's put it off until next year.

Paula was dead set against (I believe) and stated a plethora of "why's" which some were very relevant and some were not.   I respect Paula (and all the council members) but have to disagree with her on a number of her "why's" even though many made perfect sense.  

** The Mayor was pro parking lot!!!  

Oddly I receive a number of phone calls on city related things (no really, it is odd - I have two call backs on other city matters with building permits because they can not get answers from other aldermen - why is it I can get answers on day one but the people in government ignore calls).  (BTW - I WISH people would call City Hall and ask about the removal of the ordinances 920-623-5900).    Seems the city website has become a deadbeat site as nothing is being updated - - - - only taken away. I believe we have a new city council and Mayor, I'm not sure though.

 Back on topic.

"As a mother of three small children who frequents the library and just made it through a long winter of crossing the road from the city lot to get to the library, so I didn't have to park on the highway, I would definitely argue that it's needed. In the very LEAST they need a crosswalk (complete with those red flags people can grab and wave while crossing) from the city lot over to the front of the library. Crossing there with kids can be scary".

A couple of Paula's ideas were improving ways to get across the street and better snow plowing on the highway.  Hopefully when the video comes out I can list the multiple "why's" as it was impressive to say the least. 

OK - my thinking points. 

Building a new parking lots will cost the city $16,000 this year and if we wait it will probably cost the same next year, MAYBE, more but not less.  We can piggy back the construction on other things next year just like this year.

HOWEVER - the city will need to plow the parking lot in winters so the $16,000 NOW will balloon over it's lifetime and also create more $$ with future repairs (I HOPE there will be a few trees planted) and as everybody knows - the city totally SUCKS at plowing city parking lots (not my words but I agree).  The parking lot next to Jodie-o's and my daughters former house was horrible this winter.  The lot on the other side of the street was pretty poor also.  

HOWEVER - safety is an issue.  With last years snow, cars were forced to park a few more feet away from the curb and further out onto the highway (this was a big problem in my part of town which has no sidewalks and people had to share the road with vehicles, I was almost hit walking twice).  

The mother above is correct - there IS a safety problem with crossing the highway. 

My personal opinion (if anybody cares) is to put this in next years budget.  It's a compromise. As long as it gets done. I'm normally am against putting things off but it's a chunk of change which is not in this years budget.  Let's write it in NEXT years to do list and get it done.       

With the auditorium's insurance problems behind us the "old girl", once she is active, will need more parking anyway and 13 spaces will help a lot with bigger functions.   

NOTE - seems the city took down the link to ordinances - hope it's just a glitch!  Seems there is one that makes it REALLY hard to put a new pool in and is out of line with 99% of the rest of America. When an aldermen does not help call Rod  LOL.

hmmm - sorry - lost my train of thought here with the above problem.

Just the fact of losing green space in town rubs me the wrong way also. It is sad but people have to remember that Columbus is looking towards the future.  All towns can not stay stagnant and this is one of those painful growth things.  We do need more plant life downtown but that is a different topic.

I hope all are watching Enerpac construction - WOW!  If you have not seen it, take a ride out to 73/151 and be amazed at the terra forming - I'll get some shots this afternoon of progress.

Also discussed was the bi-yearly survey which I believe has been used wrongly in the past years.

The survey should be used as a tool, not as a bible for what has to be done.  Remember the people who fill out the survey do not have the entire city to think about, just their personal opinions and we (the Council, not me) should take it for what it is, a snapshot of one point in time by people that do not have all the information available.  It's a wish list.

I plan on putting the upcoming agendas online as requested.  

OK - that is all - I need to prepare for the 6th grade art class presentation.


Monday, May 6, 2013

17 Years Ago and We Let These People Vote?

I know, many of you are saying 17 years ago DJ and escaped the worst spring ever in Wisconsin and flew out to Las Vegas to get married.

But no - I'm talking about  - - - 17 years ago the Magicicada's (Brood XIX to be exact) emerged from their 17 year old holes and erupted in a sea of sound across the midwest and east coast  - billions and billions of them.   Websites are showing that the emergence has started on the far east coast, starting like a trickle so far. 

Scientists say this will be a full scale outbreak year.  Soil temps need to be at 64 so we're still a ways away as this part of Wisconsin the soil is 48 degrees 4 to 6 inches down.

This years army of cicadas is known as Brood II (not sure why).  But here is the good thing.  They cause no harm to humans except for filling the sky's and a noise that can be as loud as a lawn mower at night (seriously).   In fact not only do they cause no harm, but I've read in many places they are pretty darn good tasty (I can not vouch for that one).

I'm actually looking forward to the outbreak.  I love that noise.

BUT WAIT - in reality the cicada does GOOD.  Because they totally overwhelm predators that also think they are tasty only 15% are eaten. The rest live a few weeks and die leaving in some areas 300 dead cicadas per square yard.  But what happens is that a dead cicada is like a super duper amazingly rich fertilizer.  400% better then what people use and the nitrogen itself contains an unusual isotopic signature.  It has been found that trees grow much faster for 2 or 3 years AFTER an outbreak.  Flowers produce seeds 9% larger. 

The cicadas have been sucking on roots and so forth underground for 17 years, then they emerge, crawl up trees, shed their hard skins and start singing looking for a mate.    

Then they die leaving super charged nitrogen all over the ground.


Pretend you have an entire yard full of chicken McNuggets and you let your dog and cat out!  Yea - it's a free buffet.  As I said - they ARE tasty.   Large, slow moving, protean rich flying chicken McNuggets.  mmmmmmmmm  what fun!!!   

Vomiting and constipation can occur (although if you have a cat you already have vomiting . . . unless you have a dog that cleans up after your cat).

I'm thinking cicada beer!!  Who's with me!


We got the tree in.  Josh came over and with his firefighter muscles and we were able to get the tree to the downhill side of the hole.  Of course that was a small problem as the last 3 feet going UP to the hole proved to be a rather large problem.

You would think 3 feet would be easy?  Come one, what's the problem.  Well, with a 400 pound root ball it was a big problem.

Here we are moving the tree

Well, OK, maybe that was a different tree.

Front to back birch's, Charlie, Alpha and Beta with Spruce in the background
What we did was lay the tree on it's side and the three of us grunted and rolled it in.  And guess what, it plopped into the "hole" perfectly straight.  THANK GOD as we could not move it once it was there.  The root ball was 28 inches across and 30inches deep of pure wet clay.

We also planted 7 more new plants and a Black Hills Blue Spruce.  I still have 2 Buckhorns, 3 Neon Flash Spireas, 1 Ninebark and maybe one more of my favorite plants (and robins most tasty berries) a red chokeberry.  PLUS three more plants Elwood purchased for the yard, another clematis and other random flowery things  

You see this was Elwoods super bowl.  We drove to the Flower Factory Saturday morning (it poured all morning Saturday, our wagon was filling with water) and he spent his yearly allowance of $100 on plants for his garden.  The guy, I swear, knows every plant at the flower factory by it's Latin name.

I wish I could find him a job with plants (and on a bus line).

We are complete redoing the rock wall with woodruff which looks grea. The plants we had there covered the rock and were looking sort of . . . sad. 

OH - Auditorium update.  Moving forward - insurance is no longer FUBR, talk about a clusterf*ck situation there.  Seems know one knew who had the original insurance for the place. SO - now we are back on track and figuring things out! It's like people are TRYING to make this whole thing harder.


Today is No Diet Day, No Homework Day AND Nurses Day.  Plus 76 years ago today the Hindenburg crashed.

Herb Morrison went to Lakehurst to record a normal voice over for a newsreel on the Hindenburg and recorded the famous "Oh the humanity".  That recording was flown to New York immediately and was inserted into America's very first coast-to-coast radio news broadcast.


It seems 42% of Americans do not know that Obamacare is now the law of the land.  12% believe the law was repealed by Congress.  7% believe it was overturned by the Supreme Court.

90% of Americans who already have health insurance are in full Obamacare mode and don't know it except they have stronger, better healthcare and it's more secure (you can't get kicked out when you get sick).

Enough politics.

Have a great first part of the week.   mmmmm 70s.    

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rain Rain Rain

0.59 inches of rain drizzle yesterday/last night.

What I hate is that yesterday we received a few trees for me to plant.  Seems our two birch trees that are in the yard came from Jungs.  I thought they were McKay trees. What is the difference?  Well, it seems McKay trees ARE FULLY GROWN!!

Well, not really but the root ball weighs like 300 pounds and is the size of a Volkswagen. 

SO - I'm in the yard digging a big ass hole and finding it not too hard until I hit the black clay about 2 feet down.  It starts to rain so I abandon the hole for now.  Then a little net searching and I see that birch trees like to be planted in SQUARE holes.  WHAT??  Yea, if you plant a birch in a round hole the roots can grow in a circle (what a dumb ass tree - who knew they were not the brightest trees in the tool box).  hmmmm  Our other two trees are doing fine but . . . . . .square it is.

I think it will look like I'm digging a grave.

The Black Hills Spruce is nice and cute but that birch will be a monster to plant!!

I'm working on some photos for Madison Magazine for a feature they are doing on Antique and Wooden boats.

I'm also trying to download Photoshop CS5 on my laptop as I'm giving a lecture to the 6th graders at the Middle school next week.  Not having much luck though.  Since CS6 is out CS5 is no longer available.  OH  I can upgrade to CS6 for a fee.   grrrrrrrr


I brewed my First Wort IPA yesterday and what has become a habit is I get to watch a movie during the process.  Yesterday I watched "Zero Dark Thirty", the true story of how this woman tracks down Osama.  Pretty darn good movie.  Only the last half hour is military-ish.  The other 2 hours show this amazing, tenacious woman tracking down every lead and how she uncovered OBL's hiding place when our Government, pretty much, abandoned looking for him. She is the true hero.

She joined the CIA right out right out of high school and spend 12 years looking for him. It was all she did.

I'm including  a link for people that read this on their tablets


The beer came out perfect and is fermenting as I type.  mmmmmmm beer