Friday, January 31, 2014

Quantitative Easing

I had this all written and then a friend of mine turned me on to this trailer which is the FUNNIEST trailer I have ever seen - I CAN NOT WAIT for this movie.  A Million Ways to Die in the West ----------------------------------
Happy Chinese New Year, The Year Of The Horse
The largest human migration in the world is commencing or is taking place.  Most workers in China have ONE holiday and this is it.  Over 2 BILLION people are on the move as migrant workers get to go home and school let out.

20 years ago I was contacted by the University to do a Sleep Study.  Just filling out 20 pages of questions and charting my sleeping habits for a week.  Got $40.  I've done this for 20 years and wish I could see what I've been doing the last 20 years.

Last month I filled out another one and thought I was done for a year.  BUT NOOOOO!!

They are so curious why I'm still alive (I guess) they want me to come in for a highly paid sleepover.  Hooking me up to wires and telling me to go to sleep.   Dinner, breakfast and money just to sleep!   BLOG WORTHY!!!

Quantitative Easing  - the "fed" is doing their thing and starting to reduce buying bonds.  It's pretty interesting as we start to deleverage.

this is explained about the 24:10 area in the awesome youtub video I posted yesterday

For those that refuse to watch the video . . the central bank has been printing huge amounts of money out of thin air and uses it to buy financial assets and government bonds just like how we got out of the Great Depression.  This drives up asset prices and makes people more credit worthy. BUT, it only helps people that OWN financial assets.

So the Government needs to get involved.  The Central banks buys bonds from the gov, the govs gets a bucket load of cash.  The gov in exchange gives money to unemployment and other stimulants.  Giving money to poor people so they can buy things which in turn stimulates the economy.

People with more money spend more BUT, it increases government debt.  HOWEVER, it lowers the Government debt burden.

As said - the last few years have been very very risky.  Printing money is inflationary. So now the fed is taking their foot off the accelerator a little. If they can balance deflation and inflation they can have what is called a Beautiful De-leveraging.         

What about interest rates?  They are as low as they can get which is why the central bank was printing money.  Interest rates are tweaks the Central banks uses but in this case there were no more tweaks to be had.


Made out of freaking coat hangers!

 Check out Davic Machs coat hanger collection

Have a great weekend - GO SEAHAWKS!! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Macro economics and Boyd Crowder

When I was a kid 20 years ago I was a baseball card and baseball stat freak.  Then when I got older I turned to SABRmetrics which which is a study of science of baseball stats.  Then the stock market and The Investors Daily and macro economics.

In collage my all time favorite class was Econ,  love, love, loved it, yet a useless class for furthering my career.

Oh - I'm still a sports numbers geek (missed ANOTHER free 10 oz of Fro You BUY ONE POINT last night a friend of mine did win though!!).

Probably not many people have heard of Ray Dalio.  He purchased his first stock at the age of 12 a couple years after my brother (14) tried to talk my parents into buy a new stock in a company called Xerox for like a dime (they didn't).

Ray now runs and invented Bridgewater Investments with assets of over $120 billion.  The guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to economics.   

I urge you, if you are at all curious on how the economy runs, the actual mechanics, this is a very entertaining video - it's a half hour but for me I stopped everything I was doing and watched it.  fascinating.   As I have always said - debt is not a bad thing, borrowing is NOT a bad thing. As long as what you borrow increases your wealth.


I was listening to sports talk radio and there was an ad for some fantasy football contest and at the end they said .  blah blah  "Professional Football Players Championship Game".  


"Professional Football Players Championship Game" ???   you mean the Super Bowl?  Is  "Super Bowl" trademarked or whatever?   I know the NFL is freakishly strict.  My mother in law REALLY wanted a Green Bay Packer symbol on her gravestone - NO WAY was that possible. NFL has strict rules about stuff like that.


I've always wanted a companion to one of my vertical images and finally have one

 To go with 


One of my favorite TV shows is Justified (Old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal-mining towns in Eastern Kentucky.)

A facebook friend said he watched the newest episode and said my hair was looking more and more like Boyd Crowder's hair.  I took that as a compliment.

Cheers - Rod 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Will Break You In Half

"I Will Break You In Half" - Now THAT is how you end an interview!  See - we need more of that in Columbus politics.  People saying what they really think. 

 OK OK - I only took part of the quote.  The whole thing was

“You're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

OK OK  so perhaps I'm doing Republican Rep Michael Grimm (no relation to the TV show or the fairy tales) a disservice and should put what he said FIRST

"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this balcony. You're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

I guess the reporter asked a dicey question about Grimms and his illegally raising campaign fund.

  Seems like a nice guy to run the country! 


The weather - the problem is not the jet stream that has been in the same place for a month.  We are actually the collateral damage.  The offending situation is a HIGH pressure out west that is preventing movement.  While the west gets drought the HIGH is preventing movement of the Jet Stream which in turn keeps the blasted Polar Vortex in the same area and we keep getting pieces blasting US as they break off.

The HIGH does break down a little but firms up again by the middle of next week which AGAIN gets freaking cold.  

While the Europeans have the best weather models we here in America have some new tools that have come online in the last few months and were developed at UW- Wisconsin Madison.

No one has noticed but temperature forecasts 10 days out have REALLY improved.

The Columbus Crawdads are an amateur adult baseball club based here in Columbus and are in the Home Talent League (I was in HTL long long long time ago).  This year if all goes well
there will be beer sales and all home games will be at Firemans Park.  Last year was their first year which explains why I had never heard of them before.  By the time I was able to get some photos they were done.

The tentive schedule is

Sunday, April 27 Montello 1pm
Sunday, May 4 @Sun Prairie 1pm
Sunday, May 11 Portage 1pm
Wednesday, May 14 @Portage 6pm
Sunday, May 18 @Rio 1pm
Thursday, May 22 Poynette 7:30pm
Saturday, May 25 Cottage Grove 1pm
Sunday, May 26 @ Poynette 1pm
Sunday, June 1 Marshall 1pm
Thursday, June 5 @Montello 7:30pm
Sunday, June 8 @DeForest 1pm
Saturday, June 14 @Montello 1pm
Sunday, June 15 Rio 1pm
Thursday, June 19 @DeForest 6pm
Sunday, June 22 Monona 1pm
Thursday, June 26 Ashton 7:30pm
Sunday, June 29 DeForest 1pm
Thursday, July 4 @Monona 1pm
Sunday, July 6 Poynette 1pm
Thursday, July 10 Waunakee 7:30pm
Sunday, July 13 @Marshall 1pm
Thursday, July 17 Lodi 7:30pm
Sunday, July 20 Sun Prairie 1pm
Thursday, July 24 @Rio 7pm
Sunday, July 27 @Cottage Grove 1pm
Sunday, Aug. 3 @Portage 1pm

This is great news for Columbus as it brings in people from other towns to experience the wonderfulness of Columbus.  Check them out!  I know I will.

Just envision a warm summer night, soft breeze in small town America cheering on a local team under the lights, craft beer in hand to cool you off, kids laughing and playing and in the distance a dog barks as a train rumbles by in the night. 

Crack!  the sound of the ball hitting the bat as crowds cheer, your beer flies out of your hand hitting the family behind you who were not paying attention because they were swatting mosquitoes.

I can't wait.   


Did you know that you can not hold a brain in your hands that has not been dead long (or a live one I suppose).  It would just goop through your hand like weak jelly!  WHO KNEW!!  it's not a solid thing I guess.  Brains are weird.  So the above cartoon is not real and could not actually sit on the bed like that.

BTW - if that ever happens to you and you can't get back to sleep?  Get up, take one aspirin and a gulp of milk.  The aspirin thins the blood just enough to let carbs in the milk spike the insulin level just enough to allows the amino acid tryptophan to cross into the brain and before you know it you are waking up.

Or it's a freaking placebo but it always works.


In case you missed the State of the Union Address you really missed some fun!  things are changing in Washington.   I think our Mayor could take some guidance and make our Council meetings more interesting.  Think of how many people would tune in to watch the Council meetings!! 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How cold is it? Growth for the sake of growth is bad.

Luck was invented by the weak to explain their failures 

I'll get to a couple more comments about IamanORGE later (why do these people comment with ridiculous claims, it's like tossing gas on a fire to put it out, is he baiting me to find out AND PRINT the REAL truth?).   sigh

So far this year this has been the 18th coldest winter on record so that should make people feel good. We are actually tied with 1969-70 for 18th but if we can drop an average of 0.2 more degrees we will tie 1883-84.  sweet.

The Weather Channel took the 100 largest cities in America and ranked all 100 on how many "cold" days there were each winter.  Not HOW cold, but HOW MANY. 

First Place went to Minneapolis, 2nd place was Anchorage, 3rd place??   MADISON WI!!  

Madison is the 3rd continually coldest town in winter in America for the last 30 years.

YEA BABY!!!   

We all know I'm a numbers geek.  I've poured over the last 5 years of Columbus budgets, have studied Lake Mills, Cottage Grove, Edgerton and Stoughton and Prairie du Sac and Waterloo  budgets just to get an idea of what other towns are doing and . . . .I do it for FUN!!  

Why do I bring this up?  Wisconsin Basketball!  :-)  

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt has a contest on Facebook, guess the final score of the Badgers and win 10 oz of FroYo.  Well . . . . . I have guessed (not actually guess but . . ) correctly 4 out of the Badgers last 5 games.  The one I missed they held the ball for the final 24 seconds and I lost by 2 in a blowout.  

We spent my first 10 oz Sunday after a lunch at Texas Road House where I was forced to ride the saddle and yell  YIPPEE I'M A COWBOY!            

I have  GoPro camera and the very first YET boring thing I filmed was below my bird feeder.  I just wanted to see how good the camera was and started recording.  Not bad at all - I'll have to learn the editing software.  I recorded 1.5 hours so perhaps a feature film is in the works! 

It gets really exciting around the 2 minute mark of this intense video.  WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT!


Wisconsin Tourism Federation -  WTF   LOL 


IamanORGE - "any reasonably sized multi-state company and you will find they have had a run in or
two with some type of regulatory issue"  

This is like Lance Armstrong saying everybody cheats so it's all right.  Not sure this is a great argument.
State agencies have assessed ... his company more than $400,000 in back taxes, back wages, fines and penalties.
And this is the developer we said - sure you can borrow $150,000 - not a problem and don't worry about paying it off on time like everybody else does. Let's be clear though - I don't hold grudges.  That is all in the past, actions are stronger then words in my book, I've only met him once and he seemed very nice. OH YEA - one more thing and this is more of a general opinion and not aimed at developers . . well . . sort of but all developers. 

"This land sat empty for 15 years and you couldn’t give it away."

The thing is empty land doing nothing is not costing the citizens of Columbus anything. Bang for buck in the long run a corn field as a MUCH greater positive impact then long term liabilities.

Anybody that thinks developing a corn field into business is cost effective is living in the past. It's just not true. There are OTHER reasons but financial is not one of them. All it does financially is line developers pockets.

Business really has no tangible financial returns , we have no sales tax, no income tax. If we spend $100,000 in creating jobs there is no bases to believe we will ever get that $100,000 back through taxes.

Columbus's primary funding source is property tax. We fight other cities for business with subsidies, gifts and business friendly approaches but never consider long term maintenance and the costs it assumes.

All it does is drive UP property tax's down the road. Columbus funds new growth for short term cash and we do not consider that 2 generations down the road we will be paying DEARLY for what we do today.  But who cares about 2 generations from now right?

I CARE!  There are better smarter ways then giving away money.

OF COURSE - that is only financial speak. There are other reason for developing because people want stuff so I'm not ANTI-growth.  I'm anti-growth just just for the sake of growth.



Another new post card

Monday, January 27, 2014


I want to address the last couple posts for people that might not really know me.

I am passionate about Columbus, this is my home and where I plan on spending the rest of my life.   One of the problems with our towns government is that people don't always know EXACTLY what is going on.  I understand the need for closed door meetings at times but many things are discussed and people OUTSIDE of the loop can only hear what is presented to the public and then we must make our own opinions.

This can, of course, lead to wrong conclusions and the since there is very very little of the nuts and bolts presented to the public, there is lack of communication.  If I had my way there would be more communication to the citizens about what is going on with their town. I believe the "city" should have it's own column in the newspaper.  People are actually interested in sludge and how things happen. 

Now - as I said I'm passionate and pretty harmless for the most part.  But when I feel there is something wrong, when something really gets under my craw,  I let it be known.  Free speech and all that.  I talk to a lot of people in my district who do not have a voice - I HAVE A VOICE.  

I feel I'm a very very fair person, neither a right winger or left winger, Oh I lean left socially but tend to be more centrist financially. I understand business and how it interacts with consumers.  I have no problem with The Gateway or the Commerce Center.  Both are a needed growth that will cost Columbus a LOT of money in the long term but are still needed.  They will help Columbus financially in the short term (20 years-politicians rejoice as it makes them look good) and will harm Columbus with long term liability which most politicians ignore because they will not be around. 

So if people get upset on what I say - HEY - I'm not the only one saying it.

In a comment from a few days ago someone in our city's government was defending Mike Eisenga which I sort of laugh at . . .really?  defending? are you serious? 

ANYWAY #1- he brings up his side of the TIFF story and defends the purchase which I have no idea what he is talking about or even why he is defending it. Obviously if he feels he needs to defend it there must be ANOTHER side to the story that I am unaware of and will need to look into this. 

I was talking about tax breaks (for lack of a better term) or perhaps what I meant was letting late fee penlites go because it's "only $10,000"  (an alderman's actual words).  Geez, I think the Senior Center would like $10,000. 

 Then out of the blue he goes on about Badger Care Plus like he has a clue -  my best friend for 55 years, the guy I went to kindergarten with is on Badger Care Plus, I know every freaking detail of that plan and the Badger Care Plus Core.  I help fill out all his papers and know all about that system and how wonderful it is for people that really need it.  I have worked at a homeless shelter and most people are clueless what "poor" and homeless REALLY means.

Then there is the slander comment.  What? Lost me on that one but I do know that slander is when you have a phone bank (or one person) spreading lies before elections!  I'll talk slander if you want, I have a recording from her. 

HOWEVER -  IamanOGRE does say something correctly "If you don’t change your ways your political career will most likely be very short lived".  

WOW - that sounds like a threat to me doesn't it?  Coming from someone that knows the inner workings of government and hides behind a newly created alias?  hmmmmmm  And it's the day before my birthday, how rude is that!

Well, perhaps you are right.  I should become a politician that speaks out of both sides of my mouth like a true politician.  The guy I ran against last year said in a newspaper article that roads were a big priority yet, I guess not in reality, a TRUE politician it seems. From here on I'll keep things all happy and nice and not make waves.     
Sadly a lot of what are on these pages are the EXACT things people tell me when I go door to door. So SOMEBODY is not making a good impression with the people of Columbus.  I'm just a giant piece of tofu soaking up peoples feelings. If I knock on 20 doors and hear almost the same thing every house . . . . . .?  Should I just ignore them?  Is that what politicians do?

It's about time someone who was passionate about the town he lives in wants to help the citizens of Columbus.  I'm tired of one guy and his friends being on city council.

Outspoken?  yes, Passionate?  yes.  Willing to say what is not my mind, right or wrong?  yes and never ever afraid of admitting I was wrong. Sadly many times being wrong FINALLY brings out the truth.  I will freely admit when I'm wrong.        

People that have lived here all their life do not understand what they have in this town.  It's a breath of fresh air that opens your eyes opens your heart.  Columbus is the inhaler for someone with asthma. People are drown to Columbus not because of it's thriving business atmosphere but because of the way of life, the people, the small townishness.     

That is why I'm running for City Council. Because I see things drifting away from the people of Columbus.  I hear people saying our government does not care.  

I care.  

New postcards appearing at West James Gallery sometime this week.

Here is #1

Thursday, January 23, 2014

C C C Cold coming - worse of the winter.

Melotte for City Council - Because I Care
Alice Schmidt - Treasurer

The business of life is the acquisition of memories

Normally when I write something after a day or two I feel perhaps I was a little harsh.  I feel somehow that I was harsh on our city administrator when I did not mean to be.  I believe he is a good city admin, I just feel the job of Economic Developer should not be taken so lightly that we include it with another position.
As for our developer friend - anyone who thinks I should, or ANYBODY, should go lightly with him is either blind or has ulterior motives.

I'm not anti-business.  I'm anti crooked businessmen that make Columbus look like fools. 

I applaud him for his under handed tactics as he does have the city council in his pocket giving him tax breaks and so forth - well done.  



Remember that last REAL cold spell?  Yea - well, this next one looks identical OR worse!

Check out the next 10 days - this is a chart that shoes tempurture anomoly for the next 10 days.  Blue is bad.   We could hit -20 for the 1st time and will not make it above zero for a few days. 


Started my starter for my next brew and East Indian Porter. Never made one before. My patest Porter is aging very nicely.  It was sort of dubious when young but is aging wonderfully.   You could call it a Black IPA I suppose.


Ever Badger game Orange Leak Frozen Yogart gives away 10 oz of FroYo for anyone that can guess the final number of points the Badgers will end with.   I have now won 10oz's in 3 of the last 4 Badger games!  Had 68 last night.  I would have had 4 in a row but the Badgers did not shoot the ball in the last 28 seconds of a game.  One bucket away.



Seventeen year old Joe Bush got a high school assignment to make a video reproduction. He chose history as a theme and tucked it all into two minutes. Take pictures from the internet, add the track Mind Heist by Zack Hemsey (from the movie Inception ) and then you get something like this. Hold on tight!

Don't worry about sound - it gets louder

BTW - the movie Inception is crazy good and confusing at the same time.  Being inside someones dream AS they are dreaming of being in a dream.   


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is Hell Growing? City Council, Worst 1st base EVER,

The City Council was interesting last night and no, not because of the sludge problem Columbus is facing.  YOU CAN'T STACK THE STUFF!  But more of the Economic Development and Energy Sustainability Director position.

With Stave Sobiak gone some on the Council feel this is the time to have the City Admn take over the position because he has a working relationship (friends) with developer Michael Eisenga (Millionaire's children on BadgerCare), (Michael Eisenga's business no stranger to state investigations),  (Wealthy divorced donor helped write controversial child-support bill),  Eisenga is also the ONLY person delinquent for paying a revolving loan from the city for $143,000, but I digress. 

They want to split the Energy Sustainability part and give it to Water and Light and the  Economic Development would go to the City Admin (because he is not very busy at the moment?).

A few problems.  One is that if we give Water and Light 1/2 a position, we LOSE 1/2 a position which we won't get back.  Then they say The City Admin would fill in the rest with a raise.  I don't think he has the time to go out and spend 20+ extra hours a week drumming up business and I have heard ZERO talk about downtown development.  Their BIG push is Eisenga's COMMERCE CENTER.

The argument is that other city's of our size do not have a separate Economic Development position.  Well, when I brought up the fact that our police departments budget is HUGE compared to other towns our size the two Aldermen Auxiliary Police Officers on the council said something on the order of  "well, you can't compare Columbus to other towns"   yet here I guess they can compare?

Columbus needs someone, from the city, who wants to make $50,000 full time or less part time to go out and be a salesman for the ENTIRE city, not just the commerce center and we don't want to hire outside contractors (which was suggested).

It's a tough little problem but just getting rid of  the Economic Development position is irresponsible and shows that the council does not really care about the business for the WHOLE city. We need a salesman marketing person for that position, not and administrator.

I will get off my soap box now.

Melotte for City Council - Because I Care
Alice Schmidt - Treasurer


The Mayor brought up an interesting thing.  The house next to the library parking lot will soon go up for sale. His idea was to buy the house and rent it out for a while. The library NEEDS to expand and if we had that house we could raise it (not mentioned in council), build an addition to the library and use that land for parking lot.

Having a large library would be a huge economic boost to the downtown.  Studies have shown that there are significant economic benefits throughout the city with good libraries. I think it's an idea that needs to be explored.     Making Cities Stronger - Public Library Contribution 

HOWEVER - this is the house that would be torn down for a parking lot.

Talk about mixed emotions.  I don't know the history of the house.

The big question is  what is the selling price.

HELL - this was on a test. 

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.
Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
     2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct........leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'



Brewers - according to Baseball Prospectus the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers had the worst combination of 1st basement IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL (at least to 1900).

Using the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric which combines all sorts of statistics no team has ever had a worse 1st base.  Betancourt, Gonzalez, Francisco were pathetic.  Doug Caldwell of Caldwell Lumber (Unsurpassed Quality, Award Winning Service, Affordable Prices) would have been a step up in quality and I'm not sure he played baseball.  So when people laugh that the Brewers sign Overbay to a contract (he's like 60 isn't he?) don't laugh! 

OH - Warren Buffett will give anybody ONE BILLION DOLLARS if you can pick all 63 games of the NCAA tournament correct.    They would be 25 million a year for your life.   Of course there are
9,223,372,036,854,775,808 different ways to pick but THERE IS A CHANCE!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Birthday? Again? and why I pick Seattle.

WOW - I got an email from my brother and there was a quote that is so so true.

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. 

Yea - I've been doing that! I have a big birthday coming up and frankly - not a big deal.  I have not had a big deal birthday yet, you know, one where you get all depressed because you are FREAKING OLD!  Maybe 100 I'll get excited over.  Perhaps because I don't feel old and still act foolishly and sometimes irresponsible.  I think that is the key!


Seahawks!  That is who I'm putting my money on.  Why?  The refs.

OK here are my theory's. Seattle was the most penalized team in the league right?  Denver and Manning are awesome and in a regular season game I would take Denver.  But in the Super Bowl the refs "let them play".  You have to REALLY grab a guy to get a flag.  The Seattle defense, because they will be "allowed to play" will make the Denver offense miserable.

On Offense Wilson will be on the run all day which is fine for him.  The Denver defense rushes up the middle to the QB which hurts guys like Brady but is horrible against guys like Wilson who are great outside the pocket.

Seattle - I think the spread WAS Seattle -3 and now is +2.0  I'm surprised and elated they are dogs.

As you know I am running for Columbus City Council District 1 against Larry Herzog who is a fill in candidate for the far far FAR right. This is an important election for Columbus.  I am running because I CARE what happens to my town. I'm not some whack job that votes along party lines - I like science AND business, which is weird I know but that's how I roll.

If you wish to contribute to my campaign $25 would be appreciated or less (or more).  All contributions will go for yard signs, flyers and trips to Las Vegas (fact finding).

Seriously though - it costs about $400 to run a campaign and I could use some help. 

Melotte for City Council - Because I care
Alice Schmidt - Treasurer



Thursday, January 16, 2014


Thank you Joan for your comment.  As some may know I am running for City Council District 2 and one of the things I really want to do is inform people of the decisions the Council is making.  It seems while the local newspaper hits the big points sometimes the smaller ones (which wealthy developer is getting a tax break THIS week and so forth) are missed.  Not sure about the School Board.

But I will need to be less politically crass and more politically correct. 

I believe the term "meeting was posted" means they stuck a sticky note on the door of City Hall. I REALLY want to get the people of Columbus more informed and to show them what is REALLY happening in City Hall.

I watched a show on PBS called   "The American Experience" this was a 2 hour look at 1964.

WOW - holy cow! I guess when you are really young you don't know what is going on in the south.  I really want to watch the movie "Mississippi Burning" now (loosely based on the FBI investigation into the real-life murders of three civil rights workers in the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1964).

I never understood the term "civil rights workers" until the show.  "Civil rights workers" were a group of collage age youth who's goal was to help the blacks in the south register to vote.  The Clan and whites were burning black churches and killing blacks but America really didn't care.  In Mississippi in the 1960s if you killed a black person . . . was it really that bad?

So 1000 activists were going to help.  Three traveled to Mississippi and knew they should not be on the road at night.  All was going well until Police pulled them over for a bogus tail light problem, detained them and let them go at 11:00 at night.  They were never seen again alive.

ANYWAY - my parents took me and my brother on a vacation to Florida in the early 60s which meant traveling through Mississippi and Georgia. I was told (I was a young child) to not tell people we were from the north.  When I asked why (and I remember this) I was told because  people in the south were still angry over The Civil War.

I thought this was odd because that was a long long time ago but . . . . mom and dad know best.   Little did I know what was REALLY going on!  YIKES!!

I'm not a big Lyndon Johnson fan because of Nam but I do give him credit for convincing the Democratic-Controlled Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation.

If you have a chance find this documentary - it's an eye opener.

You know you are getting old when you go to bed healthy and wake up with an achilles tendon problem  - WTF.

I thought it would go away. As the day goes on it gets better but MAN - I wake up and can't walk.  Yea - I hurt my ankle in bed - YEA BABY!!   LOL

Got my new glasses - I look smart now!


Where do you buy something for your elephant.  I went to the dollar store but they were out. 

I wish they would make trash cans that held more. 

OOPS - they are announcing the OSCAR nominations 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ignorance on Richmond Street and Singing Time

WOW - I went to the School Board meeting last night after my Parks and Rec meeting because of the Richmond Street controversy in Columbus.  The School Board purchased a house to be used as a transition program for handicapped individuals as they progress into adult life.  It's to show real life situations and to help them gain confidence.   

Currently the board rents industrial offices and pretends they are apartments.  Now the handicapped can be shown gardening, lawn mowing, laundry and other things you and I take for granted.  This is a WONDERFUL experience.

But the people on Richmond street are afraid their property values will sink and safety to the other children in the area.  They came up with all sorts bogus complaints including the rooms in the house were too small and handicap people are afraid of small rooms and there are stairs and the laundry is downstairs and yada yada yada. We don't want those people next to US!


So there was a public forum where they expressed their "opinions" on how renting an office building not near THEM is better the a house NEAR them.

Jenny was one of the people that defended the board and I am so freaking proud of her!  She said it like it was, and whether she knows it or not when she confronted  the ignorant and said what everybody wanted to say and the ignorant were all muttering loudly NO NO THAT'S NOT IT (when it really is) Jenny, bless her heart, spoke louder with a more demanding voice, she hardened!  MAN it was great. So so proud.

They voted to buy the house.  Personally I would LOVE to have that house next to my house!!

This weekend we were baby sitting Caydance and Sydney and out of the blue Sydney says "It's singing time".  and as she is singing and walking around  she see's my tripod.

"MiRoFone" she says and carry's the MiRoFone to the living room and starts singing to it.  I see this and say wait, I adjust the height (she was leaning over) and straight the handle nad she says "thank you" and starts to sing.

 WHAT????  Where did she learn this??  No one knows.  But DJ grabs her iPhone and records.

Here is Sydney with the help of Caydance performing a classic fusion "Jingle Bells Wheels on the Bus".


WOW - is Coach Ryan having a stroke?  His latest news conference was  so weird it was creepy.  So many people are hoping they lose sooner or later.  Ranked #3 in the Country is taking its toll on the coach.

I think the problem is that the Badgers are not winning because of a huge Center or a Guard that scores 30 points a game.  It's been a team effort and they have been dominating

Went to see "Saving Mr. Banks" last weekend. GREAT GREAT movie about how Walt Disney spent 20 years trying to get rights to Mary Poppins for the movie but the writer P. L. Travers resisted.

Lost of things to talk about after the movie.  Why no pears, why the hatred of the color red and so forth.  All are clues in the movie.  Bravo to  "Saving Mr. Banks".  Oh yea - and WHO is Mr. Banks.

Better go to the movie!  IS there any movie Tom Hanks is i that is not great? 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christie, Talking to Australia and High Fiving FAILS!

And then there is Chris Christie who stood on the podium and said how sorry he was that HE was mislead about bridge-gate.

Well - if nothing is ever found that links him with this "problem" the damage has already been done.  Most people who follow politics know he is a lovable bully who loath's public schools, teachers and gays but normal people who do not follow politics think he is a nice moderate republican which in reality he is FAR FAR FAR from being moderate.

ANYWAY - this shows the public that he is just another politician. While the left jumps all over him, the right is ALSO jumping all over him, or at least the ones that think he is to "liberal".

Could this be Christies,  Howard Deans Scream moment?

In other political news - Columbus WILL have a primary in February as there are 6 candidates running for 3 spots on the city council.  District 1 and 3 will have a primary while I will be going against Herzog.

Is this not exciting? When I moved here there were ZERO people running and friends of Council members were being assigned chairs and just voting how the current member wanted them to vote. Last year we had 8 people running for 4 spots and this year we have 8 people running for 3 spots!  WOW!!  Columbus has finally woken up!  Or at least the non-tea party people have awaken.  

What was found out was that a primary is not automatic with 3 candidates.. Since the School Board will also have a primary (9 people running for 4 spots, costing Columbus $10,000)  the CC will piggy back onto the School Boards elections.

I was asked my opinion and I thought having a primary was a no brainer.  Do you really want a candidate winning election with 34% of the popular vote? 

The problem are clubs and groups.  With a watered down set of candidate's the possibility that a person who has the biggest group of friend, no matter WHAT their views will win. It takes normal Joe Citizen out of the running and the person with the biggest club or group wins.

What if there were 11 people running for one spot.  Who ever gets to 30 votes wins?  You either have 2 people running or as many as you want, you can't set an arbitrary number.

I WILL be running for office and will be asking for a small donation of $20 if you want to help move Columbus forward, or at least in the direction I want it to go.  More people orientated.  People bring jobs. Jobs don't bring people.  Lets fix the infrastructure of Columbus, make it a place families WANT to move too. That is how we help Columbus.

I'm NOT against The Gateway (awesome looking building) or Commerce Center, it's good to have that area but we need SMART growth not just growth for the sake of growth.  Let's fix what we have!!


Have you ever had a high five moment but then realize . . . it's just you?   OOPS



The "cold snap" which has been called THE POLAR VORTEX has left the building

It was NOT unusual!  There were no records broken.  Madison had 5 consecutive days under zero.  This has not happened since way back in 2009!! The longest streak was 21 days back in 1895, perhaps you remember this.

We had
10 days in 1996
9 days in 2000
9 days in 1994
8 days in 2008

So far this year we have had 17 days below zero - the most since 24 in 2008-2009, Normal is 17.
The record for most days is 51 in 1884-1885;  the record for least days is 2 in 1997-1998.

Australia** is having huge problems with record heat. Bats are dieing  by the hundreds of thousands,  ostriches are dropping dead from heat.  I talked to a friend this morning via Skype (is that not awesome) and it was 1:00 in the morning at Packsaddle Farm in Western Australia, the temp was 94 degrees.

Speaking of Skype.  Trying to find a time for me and my Aussie buddy to link up, where he is 16 hours ahead of me is problematic to say the least but how - is technology awesome?  Seriously.  A face to face conversation FOR FREE to Australia is so amazing!  It blows my mind.    

I just don't know why he can't tell me the winners of tonight's NBA games, being 16 hours ahead.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

City Council.

City Council last night was a quick affair although there was some mocking of public officials by a certain City Council member.

There was a new ordinance being discussed about a no wake rule on the Crawfish River during flood events. It seems in the last few floods some boaters were pushing water over sandbags. WELL, Aldermen Davidson was laughing at the foolishness of this folly saying it was not enforceable and really not needed.

I believe that this is not something that will be patrolled but IF, there is a problem at least the city has SOMETHING to fall back on and say STOP IT!  Davidson just wants to bury his head in the sand and pretend this is not or will never be a problem.

The exciting news was with The Broadway Theater group who gave a quick update saying estimates are in from engineers and architects and the number are within in range of expectations, no surprises.

They will have some fund raisers (of which I hope I an informed of) for short term money while they look for investors which they seemed to not be to stressed over.

The time from when they start the reconstruction  to the finish date is still about 6 months!  No start date was given but all is still moving forward.  SWEET!!!

You know what landslides are right?  Check out this little landslide that happened at a copper mine near Salt Lake City. To get some scale check out the buildings and tiny cars. 

No one was hurt except for 14 of those HUGE house size dump trucks which are now under 80 feet of dirt.  This actually caused earth quakes and cracked the bedrock at the bottom.


As of this morning Columbus is doing MUCH better with water main problems then Madison is (who look like Madison water bills will be getting an increase).  Well done Columbus Water and Light.


For any cat lovers out there!

DJs car did not start this morning - weird - dead battery or something.  I could not find my jumpers for some reason (hmmmmm, I did not look in DJ's car trunk) and called AAA.  They were busy  LOL

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The upside to -40

So where is the silver lining when we have not seen zero for a few days? Seems this will have a large effect on the Emerald Ash Bore. Underneath the bark of trees the temp is normally 5-7 degrees warmer but with the current conditions and length of this "cold snap" the larva of the Emerald Ash Bore can't survive.  In fact there are quite a few insects that will have problems surviving.

 Mother Nature us doing it's work to protect the planet.

However - We have a little area under our deck that seems to be a refuge for birds at night and I've found two now that have not made it overnight.  I feel so bad. I keep thinking that for birds, the last 2 nights will be the worst experience they will ever have. I'm doing what I can by putting high quality food out for our feathered friends. Although I see Jeffery, our Coopers Hawk had a Dove luncheon on our deck a week ago.  

We also have bunny dung everywhere but upon research, GREAT!!  Bunny poop is awesome fertilizer, like the best there is! One doe and her offspring will produce over one ton of manure in a year.  Rabbit crap is packed with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and many minerals, lots of micro-nutrients, plus many other beneficial trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, sulfur, copper, and cobalt. 

It's the Chia Seed of poop. A super poop.

Have I mention why animals, including humans feel so AWESOME after a super poop?  You know, when you dog takes a big one and then gets wild with excitement and runs around?  It's because the super poop rubs against a gland that makes you feel GREAT!!!  

HEY - I'm getting new glasses. I can't wait. We signed up for VSP insurance through work and we're saving about $250 on a pair of glasses.    WOW "good" glasses cost a freaking amount of money.  And don't give me the Stanton Optical 2 pair for $60 thing.

Have you looked at the Better Business Bureau?  350 complaints in the last 3 years. My optometrist said Stanton is the best advertising for THEM.  GO ANYWHERE but to those guys.

I'm getting non-reflective, thin, no line bifocals and for the first time getting transition lenses now that they are perfecting them. I never liked gray but now I can get brown which are like blue blockers and great for golf.

Good glasses cost more because they are not molded and polished like cheap glasses. They are digitally created with a LASER BEAM!   

What is up with bathtubs!  Why do I have to buy a SPECIAL tool to get the plunger thingy out of the water go down hole.  I had to buy a SIX-STEP FAUCET SEAT WRENCH!

WHAT?  They did not have the technology to make it a SCREW???  OH we can't have just anyone messing with a drain in a bath tub, better leave that to the professionals.


Remember last week when I politely complained about the audio during American Hustle at East Gate?   Free tickets baby!!!   My new philosophy, be friendly and ask for free stuff is working.

20 years ago yesterday Nancy Karrigan took one to the knee from Sonia Harding.  I love the Winter Olympics.  Sadly Lindsey Vonn will not be in the Olympics after so many knee ops.

WOW - it's hard to find a photo of Vonn fully clothed! I had to search through thousands of swim suit and short skirt images! What a drag. 

And finally - the age old right wing whine about how we need to drug test welfare recipients because all they do is buy drugs with the money we throw at those lazy evil sucking off society deadbeats.

Arizona tested 87,000 welfare precipitants, they found 1 on drugs.
Florida tested 51,000  welfare precipitants, they found 21 on drugs.

At a cost of $42 for each test that is $5,796,000 of your money wasted in order to catch 22 people to save $40,000.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hide your Children, It's a Polar Vortex

Well, first of all let's all hope Dennis Rodman, who has taken a group of ex-NBA players to North Korea to give Kim Jung Un a birthday present . . . LOSES!!  We all know what happened to Kim Jung Un's Uncle right?

NO NO NO it NEVER happened. Kim Jung Un's uncle was never thrown to 120 starving dogs!  Excuited yes, eaten. no.  The story about this first broke in Wen Wei Po a Hong Kong newspaper which is basically like the Nat'l Enquirer of Hong Kong!

Still!!!  Rodman would be smart to lose  #NBAonCrack.

OH - did I mention that it was cold?  It's 7:39 in the morning and I have -16.8 and still falling. Should fall for a few more hours.   I WISH my weather station was working for the internet but alas, my Win98 machine has become a dust collector and my actual weather station has the wrong plugs for a computer built in the last decade. 

I decided this morning about 4:00AM to look into upgrading.

Yea - 4:00AM.  I was wide awake.  You know - when you wake up and your brain is just doing too much thinking.  Well I do have a cure and it has worked 100% of the time.  1 aspirin and a gulp of milk.  I believe the aspirin thins the blood just enough to allow the triptophan in milk to put you to sleep.

Or it's a placibo.

ANYWAY - it's freaking cold.

Polar Vortex's are nothing new.  They resemble Hurricanes almost and are normally in the arctic, however sometimes they break apart.  The last time we experienced one was 2009.

An example is if you take a pot on the stove with suds or whatever and stir it in one direction.  In the middle would be the cold air in the arctic a vortex of extreme cold.  But when you stop stirring the spin slows and it breaks up into little eddies.  This is what has happened. The spin slows, breaks up and slides down the side of the earth.  The good thing is that these do now last long.

Here in Wisconsin we will be in the middle 30s by Saturday.

This is NOT like a arctic oscillation which is like a Yamaka of cold air on top of the world that slips down.  These can take a while to fix themselves. 

So hang tight, feed the birds.

OH - I saw White Walkers this morning (only Game of Thrones people would get that).

Downton Abby - for ANY Downton Abby fans - check out this spoof that stars Lady Mary(Michelle Dockery)

 'Downton Abbey' Spoof Awkwardly Puts Lady Mary in TV Cop Drama


Packers - well, what comes around . . . . . .  Last week the Packers won because Julius Peppers took an inside route to Rodgers and Rodgers escaped to win the game because Peppers did not hold the end.  This week Jarrett Bush of the Packers took the inside route, didn't hold the end and Kaepernick escapes and basically wins the game. 

But what lost the game was that the Packers only had three quarters of offense while the 49ers used all four quarters. 

Wisconsin Badgers  LOL.  Well, now - talk about a BIG game getting a "oh yea the Badgers" on TV stations.  I have to think that the Iowa coach learned a lesson last night.  Don't physically threaten the ref's during a game.  There player fouls our guy and he just goes BERSERK!!   Not only do our guys, who are losing 41-39 get two free throws, but ALSO FOUR MORE because of two technical fouls!  All of a sudden its 44-41 and the #4 team in the goes on to beat the #22, BY FOUR POINTS!! 


And finally - my NBA systems are 156-116  +28.4 units. Has to be one of, if not the best, in the country. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Feed Your Birds!

Well now- here comes the REAL cold weather.  This last cold weather ain't nothin'!  This will be the coldest in the last 18 years.

How about a fun drinking game.  Take a shot every time you hear "Frozen Tundra" for the Packer game.  Game time temp will start at about 2 and drop from there.  Then Monday I suspect Madison/Columbus will have a high MAYBE -5.   YEE HAW!!!  Madison is always a degree or two warmed then Cbus.

FEED THE BIRDS!!  I was looking to see how birds survive in this weather because if I had nothing to wear but feathers I would freeze.   Well, they have lots of ingenious ways but what humans can do is have food ready for them in the morning.  Keep your feeders full of GOOD food. Black oil sunflower seeds are by far the best.  Suet, either in a feeder or on the ground and peanuts are great. Oddly birds crave salt.


I have officially turned in my papers to run for City Council. Not because I have an agenda but because I care.


The NBA continues to do well  +60 units so far this year.   A friend of mine in Las Vegas has been emailing me for picks and I give him good ones, he picks and chooses all the losers it seems.  I think he has lost a few thousand so far but most of it in poker. He wins as much as he loses in the long run so I'm not too worried. He's a contrairian friend.  Whatever he does, do the opposite.  If he puts his money in the stock market, take yours out.


I purchased a new step ladder.  The one we had was from DJs dads house and was a wooden one built before WW1.  Josh called it The Widow Maker.

WELL - it's awesome. I had forgot what itwas like to feel secure on a ladder that did not wobble like Galloping Gurdy on a windy day.

So something I have always wondered about is how do sewer systems work - seriously

So I found this on youtube

Did I mention we had to buy a new Science Machine?  Oh, some of you call them "Microwaves". 

Costs more to fix them then to buy one.  So I went to Sears and all they had were $140 ones so off to Target and I found one for $65.  But then at the checkout I put on a smile and asked for $10 off even though the sale ended a week earlier.  I got it.

Weird thing was that the guy ahead of me had the same card number as mine - what are the chances and get this, he even had my same pin number. So weird. 


Fireman's Pavilion in Columbus  


Then there is Sarah Palin. She defended Phil Robertson and his remarks about homosexuality but I guess when asked on FOX "News" about the wording she said she had not actually read anything about it.  sigh!


Danville Mill just east of Columbus.