Friday, February 28, 2014

Brrrrrrr - not another commettee!

Accordion to a recent survey, replacing words with the names of musical instruments in a sentence often goes undetected!


I'm getting tired of the talking heads on the news telling us how miserable we are. COME ON PEOPLE - deal with it.  OH - IT'S SO COLD WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!

Well, we can run our water a little here in Columbus.  The frost level under the snow is 25-35 inches but where the real problem is in under the streets where all the plumbing is and the frost there can go down to 5 feet.

But then there is California getting rain and people are complaining - OH IT'S NOT ENOUGH!!  Stop whining people, IT'S RAIN, isn't anything better then nothing.  And then there are so many accidents because . . . . . .people don't know how to drive in rain?  Really?  You mean the tops are still down on their convertibles??

I can not feel sorry for them because they cannot drive in rain.


After today's high (about 4:00) we will have 72 hours of falling temps don't to 5 or 6 below Monday BUT - then we will have an entire week of getting warmer every day.  This is the back side of the polar mass.

We are having what Europe had last year and we all (this blog did) laugh at them last year.  sigh  sorry sorry


Ryan Braun hit the 2nd pitch he say out of the park in Spring Training.  Yea - the games have started, spring is on it's way!


Gotta Bottle an Oatmeal Stout today and am researching a new style of beer (for me) for a competition.  A Saison (Farmhouse) beer.     hmmmmmm  I'm not even sure I have ever drank a Saison.  I think Ommegang Hennepin is a Saison.


There is a plan being proposed by the Mayor for a Marketing Tourism Commission which is a step in the right direction but I think it's not a GREAT plan.  My worry is that the people on the Commission are not professionals and like everything else in Government will take way to long to make decisions.

We need to hire a marketing/tourism PERSON!  Not yet another group of people making slow and ponderous and non-professional decision.  The more people in a committee the longer everything takes.

UNLESS - this committee works in conjunction with a marketing/tourism and is only an advisory board.

I'm not against committees but they are not a replacement for real marketing.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

OH OH - I'm on a RANT!!

At least I know I'm on a rant  :-)

Had the CDA meeting last night and lots of ideas were tossed about but little action. I'm not ranting about that.  It's just how things are. At least there are ideas and visions which I feel Columbus lacks.

However I think we are progressing out of the dark ages and while I don't agree with Alderman  Michael Thom on EVERYTHING I love his ideas and drive and the get'r done attitude which, again, Columbus lacks.

My rant is the City website which literally, a middle schooler could create a better website.  I know there are issues with who would be in charge (which is a big issues) but then I find out it's 100% HTML?   really?  Are we like Battlestar Galactica trying to stay not one, not two, but three decades behind the rest of the world?   

If we stay with HTML code the Cylons can't get to us?

I was communicating with LeAnne Odekirk this morning who used to live in Columbus and was a marketing person for Sun Prairie (they actually have a person for marketing their city) and we had a nifty website for Main Street all set to go live and then they went a different direction and scrapped it.  Even she said our city website was sort of embarrassing.

The Chambers website kicks the City's butt!

The problem is who controls the content. Right now it's a volunteer, no one is actually assigned and that is why we need to hire a marketing person that has webskills to take us into the 21st century.

While I feel we need to keep the flavor of Columbus as an historic, unique, home town community we really need to market so so much better.

As all the candidates are touting roads roads roads because they feel it's what will get them elected there are bigger things that need to be addressed.   Not that I believe roads should not be a priority it's not like there is a magic bullet and BLAM - we have $500,000 a year going to roads.

Yea - $500,000 is what is needed a year for the concrete!   But there are a few hundred thousand of hidden costs NOT included with the $500,000.  Should we ignore? the infrastructure under the road which is being ripped up?  (just playing devils advocate here).        

whew - OK - I feel better now!

HEY - did you hear I'm running for City Council? A donation would be awesome - I care about Columbus. I'm not just a seat holder.  I have a donate button up there on the right and it would be used to cover the cost of door cards and mailings.

Seems Amtrak is looking for writers to go on trains rides and write about the experience -  DUDE - that would be so awesome!!!  I gotta talk to someone about this!

I love Kindle - being able to download the first few chapters of a book before you buy it is so nice.  I've starting to read Divergent so when the movie comes out I will be disappointed in it.

I watched Enders Game with Elwood this weekend. He loved it, I read the book and thought it was a fluff piece. The book is more of a mind game and not an action book but the movie was action.They did not even cover the main storyline, the very reason there are three other books. And the ending of the book is one of the greatest endings I have ever read, yet the movie didn't even explain what happened.

Divergent looks a little Hunger Gamish but so far it's a good read although I have heard the 3rd book of the series totally blows.  I have not read Hunger Games - movie was great though (have not seen #2 yet).

BUT - this looks like a fun romp    


 If you are a Columbus resident RUN YOUR WATER.  While under snow the frost level is 2 feet where there is no snow (streets, parking lots, driveways) the frost level goes down 5 feet and broken pipes in the coming  -15 nights are a real worry!   Keep that water running a little and called Water & Light to get a discount for doing it.   623-5912   (920??) 

Remember - if a water main breaks in your yard - YOU pay the bill!!!    

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Good friend of mine on Badger Care is getting all his teeth pulled today.  Something people who do not know poor people don't know is that if you have no money you never go to a dentist!  Dentists are for the rich. 

He'll have cheap dentures sooner or later.

On facebook someone commented about having their teeth cleaned and how it's not enjoyable.  I've had 5 root canals and dozens of cavities (lime stone teeth) and I will guarantee that if you get an electric tooth brush you will have the best cleaning ever your next time in the chair. 

Those things are amazing - I used to HATE getting teeth cleaned even though I brushed daily. But as soon as I switched to an Oral-B it was like night and day. It was literally amazing the difference.  Don't go for Sonic Cares which suck but just an Oral-B.  You will be amazed your next cleaning.


And I suppose I must talk weather.

We have had 35 days where we went below zero this year. 14th highest total to this date.  The record is 51, 1884-85.  The least is 2 1997-98 (a year after the worst spring ever and 96-97 is mirroring this year almost perfectly).   Expect a great winter next year :-)



Monday, February 24, 2014

Here we go again - Bill 611 LOL - Two Cows - Dried Octopus Bile Sac

At least we were reminded what thunderstorms were like as we go back into the deep deep freeze again. Thursday and Saturday we will struggle to GET ABOVE ZERO!!

The average high is 35 and we will be 30 degrees below average. Sort of like hitting 115 in the summer I suppose.  What I would give to have 115 today.

For any weather geeks out there this is an interesting 5 minute video on what is happenng with our jet streams 

With last weeks "warm weather" we are down to the 15th coldest winter and the coldest in 35 years.

We have also had 74 consecutive days of snow cover which is not even close to a record which is 116 and the winter of 2007-08 we had 110 consecutive days of snow cover.

Well then. Don't expect any weather wonderfulness for the next couple weeks.  We won't get above 20 for a long while. As for snow, there is a huge mass of moister about a 1000 miles west of California that will reform after it moves across the Rockies and at the moment will go south of Wisconsin around NEXT Tuesday but if it moves north this could be a big one. 


Then there is the Bill 611 going across the floor in Madison. Seems the Walker Republicans (who, as you remember, are in power) are pushing to abolish overtime pay for private industry in lieu of comp time AND the employer has the final say on when you take that comp time.

I laugh at all the anti-union people as they start getting rights taken away!  They can't complain! 


I saw on TV that something really good to eat is a Dried Octopus Bile Sac.  I've never considered this to be a delicacy and frankly had never thought of it.  A friend said he saw frozen Cow Bile at an Asian store so I think feel I MUST make a Cow Bile Porter.   I'll just call it CBP until some asks what CBP stands for.  Then I'll get a bucket as it will be on their bucket list  . . . not the normal bucket list though.


Two Cows

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by
your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.

The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.

The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.

The public then buys your bull.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyses why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows. You borrow lots of euros to build barns, milking sheds, hay stores, feed sheds,
dairies, cold stores, abattoir, cheese unit and packing sheds.
You still only have two cows.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called a Cowkimona and market it worldwide.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the shit out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive...


Friday, February 21, 2014

The fear of failure is to achieve failure!

Seems breezy today. But look what is coming - this is a surface temp map for next Friday.  as yo ucan guess red and yellow is not a good thing.

 At least we have a good chance for more snow as the 10 day maps have a large piece of humidity directly over Wisconsin.  Of course it's a long ways off but THIS storm was accurately predicted 10 days ago.   Ya gotta love European models - so much better then American models.


This whole problem of Primaries has me a little ticked off.  It is so obvious to me for the need to primaries ESPECIALLY in small communities.  I like our Mayor but I believe he dropped the ball on this one and I just don't understand.  It's certainly not a money thing.  I'm on a fact finding mission now!  Looking for my first windmill!

OK - I gotta brew some beer today - it'll be a Milk Stout.  I was not going to brew more Milk Stout because I have to worry about lactose intolerant people.   Last month I brewed an East Indian Porter (a very very hoppy Porter) and when I bottled two weeks ago - OMG it was awesome.  At bottling it has that very subtle two coal trains hitting head-on quality and then finishes strong! 

But then for a competition I was suppose to brew a Milk Stout - so I got everything ready and BAM - it was changed to an Oatmeal Stout. So I brewed an Oatmeal Stout and NOW I have to make the Milk Stout.  

I think a Weizenbock is next (a more powerful Dunkel Weizen)

There is an article that tells Japanese travelers what to expect when visiting America which is always interesting.  DJ and I are planning a trip so we tend to obsess what to expect in Europe but we were wondering about the other side of the coin.  Here is what is told to Japanese travelers.

There is a thing called “Dinner Plates.” And what goes on them is a mighty disappointment.

American food is flat to the taste, indifferent in the subtle difference of taste. There is no such thing there as a little “secret ingredient.” Sugar, salt, pepper, oils, and routine spices are used for family meals. There is no such thing as purely U.S. cuisine, except the hamburger, which isn’t made at home so much. There is almost nothing special to eat based on the different seasons of the year. Basically, they like sweet, high fat, high calories things.

Beware Rough Areas Where the Clothes Demand Attention 

In Japan, hip hop clothes are considered stylish. But in the United States, it is wise to avoid them, as you might be mistaken for a member of a street gang.

But You’ll be Pleasantly Surprised by American Traffic Patterns.

 Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America. You must wait whenever you cross an intersection for the traffic light. People don’t get pushy to go first. Except for some people, everyone keeps exactly to the speed limit. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.

Nobody is impressed by how much you can drink. In fact, shame on you.

In the U.S., they do not have a sense of superiority if they are able to drink a large amount. Rather, if you drink a lot, there is a sense that you cannot manage yourself. 

Non-smokers are more important than smokers in the US. Smokers capture the concept that they are not able to control themselves, and are the owners of weak character.

They Have Free Time All Week Long!

In America, whether you are a student, working person, or housewife, you carefully make room for leisure time, weekdays and weekends. Most people are ensured free time, always.

In Japan we believe that there is no free time during the weekday. Only the weekend. 

You won’t be getting your groceries anytime soon, so checkout lines are a great place to make friends.

Cashiers are slow. Abysmally slow compared to Japan. I get frustrated when I’m in a hurry. Americans wait leisurely even if you’re in the special checkout for buying just a little something. I thought Americans were going to be quite impatient, but in reality they are extremely laid back.

And this last one is a pet peeve of mine and I believe it is why people fail to achieve their goals.

 But darn it all, they’re so weirdly optimistic you just can’t stay irritated at them.

In Japan, there is great fear of failure and mistakes in front of other people. It is better to do nothing and avoid being criticized than to taste the humiliation of failure. As a result, there are things we wanted to do, but did not, and often regret.

In America, you can make mistakes, fail, and it doesn’t matter. It is a fundamental feeling that to sometimes be incorrect is natural. In addition, rather than thinking about mistakes and failures, American’s have curiosity and say, "Let’s try anyway!"

The fear of failure is to achieve failure! (I'm sure someone has said that before but it just came to me so . I'll take credit until I hear otherwise.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mat Gamel, Clowns and Primaries

The big news is Mat Gamel, the Brewer 1st basemen of the future. Seems he is/was an Atlanta Brave and he wreaked his knee yesterday working out and is out for the season.  The Braves released him.  Maybe we can get him back for next year.  After all, according to Baseball Prospectus last year the Brewers had statistically the worst 1st base IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL (well since 1900).


Yes, there is a clown shortage and I could not be happier.  Many people with coulrophobia (fear of clowns) will back me up on this.  It's all I'm going to say on the subject. OK OK - Conan O'Brien blames it on one horrific car accident. 


Primaries in Wisconsin are not automatic as many people think.  It's up to the community on whether to have a primary or not.

A primary cost's Columbus about $6000.

The argument is that it's a waste of money for such a small turnout (we had about 350ish yesterday) and why kill ideas, just have any number of candidates run in the spring election.

My view is that it's not about the primary but what might happen if we did not have one.

If we had an election with perhaps 4 candidates what might happen if one candidate belongs to a large club or organization.  Three of the candidates work at getting individual votes, knocking on doors while the fourth sits back doing nothing because his club or organization has an agenda and will tell their members, who really don't care, to go out and vote for him.

It's like having a one party democracy.   Whoever has the biggest club wins.  It takes the citizens of Columbus out of the picture and puts all the power into clubs, organizations and groups.

The argument about why have one for a small turnout . . . . well, does that mean we should only have one when there will be a big turnout?   Perhaps this is not a government problem but a citizen apathy  problem.  This creates even more apathy.  The primary yesterday but candidates in the news and makes people talk months before the real election. 

And while $6000 is not chicken feed there is much more waste in city government then this.  Maybe the budget should have a $6000 line, IN CASE, of a primary.  If there is not one it can go back into the general fund.

Having a primary is anti-corruption and keeps power groups out of the equation and gives power back to the citizens of Columbus.  It's a price all communities pay for having a government that elects it's city officials.

Would love to hear others thoughts!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Milkweed and Election day

I had a poor garden year last year.  I'm not sure if it was me or the weather or what but it was not as wonderful as normal.  I know I did more landscaping then gardening so perhaps that was it??

 I bring this up because a friend posted something on Facebook about Monarchs and their decline.

I had a blog a year or two ago about their incredible, magical journey north from Mexico and how the ones we see in Wisconsin are actually the 7th generation from when they left Mexico and we are the final wave.  That is why they tend to look a little beat up.

Seems where they all migrate to is an area in Mexico which used to be about 45 acres but last year was 1.65 acres.

Monarchs need our help and they NEED Milkweed for their babies.  Milkweed is the only plant that can provide Monarch larvae with a chemical that makes the adults toxic to predator.

I'll have some Milkweed this year and am going to ask Curt Hanson if I can sprinkle some seeds on his land and will become Johnny Milkweed this year.   If we can get more schools, public buildings, libraries, golf courses and so forth to have Milkweed it will help save the Monarchs.

VOTE - it's Primary day in Columbus.  Get out and vote for School Board and District 1 & 3 Aldermen.

Go here to find out about the candidates   

Oddly Davidson has changed his tune since he disagreed with the rest of the council that roads were NOT a priority in HIS district,  all of a sudden they ARE a priority. .  All of a sudden he is an expert at what he disagreed with previously.  

Then there is Isaac Crawmer " an active member of our local community for more than a year now

More then a year?  sigh.

The word "road" is mentioned 16 times by the candidates. I'm my stump speech I think I say it once. As I've been on this bandwagon for over a year and I'm not jumping on it for the 1st time.


And then there are the 47 people running for School Board 

Too many to talk about but I can actually vote for them.  I think first candidates to 25 win?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Olympics, Monument Men

A lot of people don't know the REAL story behind George Washington crossing the Delaware.

Big snow today - be careful, the wind will make clearing roads a real problem.  Some good melting tomorrow! 


Monuments Men - Spoiler but who cares, this movie blows!

So I'm a WWII buff and read reviews that said this was a bad bad movie, but I thought the reviews were looking at history and NOT the entertainment value.  I was so so wrong.  I really wanted to like this movie, REALLY!!

Where do I begin.  The actors.  George Cloony was SO Cloonyish. The entire movie all I saw was George Cloony not Frank Stokes.  John Goodman, can he actually act?  Is it really necessary to have John Goodman trying on different size funny helmets?  Why was Bill Murry in the movie anyway??

The only two Monuments Men that had any redeeming value (Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville or Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham to some) were both KILLED.

This movie is one clich' after the next.  Was it suppose to be a low budget movie?  When they land on Omaha beach a few weeks after the invasion . . . . IT'S EMPTY!!!   Hot showers in Bastion with a record of your family singing over the loudspeaker? Come on!

It was disjointed with many inside jokes that nobody ever got.  Speeches with knowing looks and unneeded gags.  Matt Damon stands on a landmine and they pile bricks on it. When it's time to step off . . . .THEY ALL GATHER AROUND HIM!  "If you die we all die"!

The theater was packed!   I read the audience was 52 percent female and 75 percent over the age of 35.   Movies with older demographics tend to hold longer but people leaving the theater were muttering "that was a waste of time".

It was not funny, not serious, and certainly not historical (there were 120 Monuments Men, not 6).  I tried to get over the blatant historical misses but this was a good ol boy movie with zero direction and just a bunch of disjointed vignettes.  

HOWEVER - what this movie does do is make good conversation afterward. Some movies are great and after you leave the theater you talk about how great it was, some movies are OK and there is nothing to say (Lone Ranger) and some are so bad you spend the next 3 hours cutting it down.  DJ said Clooney was actually making her angry LOL
Then there is Winters Tale staring another Downton Abby actor (Jessica Brown Findlay - Lady Sybil) which was a complete bomb and disappointment coming in 7th place in it's opening weekend and Flixter has even lower ratings.

Jessica Brown Findlay will be staring in a BBC mini series called Jamaica Inn and staring in three movies in the next two years, one with Amy Adams).

Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) and her movie with Liam Neeson looks good for a thriller in Non-Stop.


Anybody watching the Olympics?

Did you catch the Cheese Heads at the Skeleton competition? 

That is my high school classmate cheering on a relative.  

And here she is wearing his Bronze Olympic Medal.  I was as surprised as anybody.  Seems Matt Antoine is her daughter's brother -in-law (that makes my head spin figuring that one out).  I never put Nancy Sepia Antoine and  Matt Antoine together.

Be careful driving today - by noon we should be getting one inch per hour in snow.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Real Need For Speed

and if I was there would be no blog.

I had to drive to Madison today and since I have some friends in the Philippians who have never seen snow I thought I would put my GoPro Hero3+ Silver on the dash and record the trip in the snow storm.  Just for fun.  Boring drive but I seriously said to my self, "you never know". 

So I set the camera up and am driving along and the snow goes into flurry mode and all is well.  Then as I get about halfway between Columbus and Sun Prairie the snow starts harder and BAM it's practically white out.  Then stops again and I drive along.

Cars are passing me and even though I have an all wheel drive Subaru I'm not stupid and am still going about 60 with no problems.

BAM, another snow squall and I slow to 50ish and then it's a white out and I sort of get more alert.

All of a sudden out of nowhere I see a black shape in my lane and tap the break a little, BUT WAIT, whatever it is I'm going way to fast and apply the break hard but nothing really happens.  SHIT, it's a truck with cars behind it and going to plow right into the back, I gotta go evasive (I think I might have actually thought that because everything all of a sudden went into slow motion, in a very fast way).

I try to get into the left lane still going too fast with no traction, I'm not slowing OR moving left as fast Ias I want too.  Then as the car straddles the center line, CRAP, that lane is blocked also and I'm not slowing as I was hoping so I ease (now going 40??) onto the snow covered gravel trying to get some traction.  At least I now have steering control but a car in the left lane is now trying to get out of the mess by going off road IN FRONT OF ME!!   

I go "all in" to the ditch passing the group and am clear ahead and I glance right as I get pass the STOPPED semi truck.

I will almost guarantee I was the last car to make it.  I get my phone and call 911 at 10:51am and tell them there is about to be a horrific accident as at least 6 cars were STOPPED  and blocking both lanes on the road and its white out conditions.

I give them the wrong mile marker (I was a few off, not sure why, I think I was freaking).

I get to Brew and Grow and I an so disappointed.  My GoPro was on the wrong freaking setting.  I am so so disappointed. This would have been a viral video  . . almost! My best driving EVER!

So I set the GoPro up again with a 2 second time lapse and drive back to Columbus.  Pass the mile marker I THOUGHT was the right one and somehow am disappointed but then feel guilty right away and drive on.

Then I see something coming up.

We slow down and I count about 18 cars, most in the ditch and most are completely totaled. A number of cars look like they are inside out, no shell at all.

That was not the truck  I passed while I was in the medium. The 911 guy asked if I could describe the truck but I could not, I told him I was having my own issues and did not get a good look but I'm sure there was some blue or something.

I called Jenny as I saw the Columbus Fire Department and she said they were calling for more extraction equipment. She was stuck in traffic going southbound.

Here is the odd thing.

I consider myself a very very good driver as I have played literally tens of thousands of hours (maybe a thousand) in racing video games in my youth.  And this last weekend Elwood and I were playing Need for Speed (first racing game in 20 years?) and honestly, I had gone through that very same scenario 20 or 30 times this past weekend . . . except in those my car is pretty indestructible.    

I also learned 2 second time lapse is too long for driving (and I know what the time lapse setting is now).

I need a beer!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Art, Weather and sleep and the plague

I was contacted by the Cohort Sleep Study people yesterday about my sleep over at UW-Hospital for their 20 year study.

Seems this is the longest sleep study in the world and a lot of things have been found out because of this study which have been published all around the world!!  COOL!!!

One thing is woman with children will lose 600 hours of sleep per child.  13 percent of men and 6 percent of women have sleep apnea. Before the study 1% was the assumed number.  People with sleep apnea are twice as likely to develop depression. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night are more likely to be overweight and have altered levels of appetite-regulating hormones.


Not only do I get paid for being a sleeping guinea pig they want to have me for a cardio study (again, trying to see why I'm still alive) which is an all day thing for big $$! I think a cardio study might be a little more physically taxing then a sleep study though.

OH there will be blogs!  LOL 

Speaking of children - Caydance is finally out of the hospital and it was REALLY close.  DJ is slowly getting over pneumonia, Josh and Jenny are recovering from the Norovirus.  It was a rough week.

DJ caught a cold January 17th and it never got better until a trip to the Doc.  Pneumonia.  AT THE SAME TIME Caydance gets violently ill and after 1.5 days of sickness a trip to the Doc and she is IMMEDIATELY put in the hospital.  Docs say we almost lost her.  Strep throat which poisoned the blood.  AT THE SAME TIME Jenny is coming down with the Norovirus  so she can not take care of Caydance in the Hospital, But then Josh is a day behind with Noro and DJ certainly can't take care of Sydney.   What a clusterf*ck!

Sydney and I were the only unaffected ones.

Last night was the first night in a week everybody was all home at once with their families.

As Jenny says (and others throughout history). People take health for granted until they don't have it.        

Weather - we have actually been lucky in Wisconsin.  Yea the temps have sucked (9th coldest so far) but because we have been so cold and dry the snow is always like an inch.  We have been to far away from heat for REAL snow.

Not like down south where it is going to be seriously catastrophic.  ONE INCH OF ICE???  that will not do anybody any good.

This is the 48 hour surface map- it might change as the day goes - not sure, but it shows the east coast getting hammered Friday.

 The good news is that Polar Vortex is going away and we will become NORMAL which means there are four systems coming our way with snow in the next 10 days.  Warmer weather means snow!!   Biggest one looks to be around NEXT Friday (not the NEXT Friday which is THIS Friday but the Friday AFTER the NEXT Friday).  I also see LOWS above freezing later next week.


I've getting my disc's for disc golf out!!  Ready for spring! 

I've been contacted by a few people saying I need to go to the ice caves in the Apostle Islands.  Yea - I should but all I would get are amazingly beautiful photos!  So while it would be a fun trip (and a tax write off) I doubt I could sell any.  Beauty normally does not sell.  Weird ain't it.  There are just too many beautiful photographs in the world and that is what many photographers do not understand.

BUT - what the heck do I know.  I'm always surprised when something sells and am confused when something does not sell.   

For instance - no way would I have predicted the below image would get any attention at all.  Yet it does.  It's not amazingly beautiful or anything.

But then one of my favorites that I worked a long time on - gets attention but never sells. Go figure.  Flowers don't sell (for me).  OH people GUSH over it but it does not sell.  The above one?  No one says anything, it's like they don't even look at it and then BAM  "I'll buy it".  So odd! 

I'm talking art because I put in my application for the 1st show this year. The Deforest Dragon Art Fair June 6th??   a wonderful art fair.

I'm still considering Art Fair on the Square in Madison (which is one of the biggest in the country). My problem is I have a entirely new canopy set up but no photos of it because the weather last October was horrid.  If I'm going to spend $600+ to apply for an art fair I need a glamor shot of my canopy.  Praying for good March weather.  I have no level ground in my yard so it's a hassle.

I will be in Ale and Arts in Columbus this year!  Look forward to it. 

Nuff said!!



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirly! Flappy Bird!

I get to work today and find out that in the past week 4 people have resigned and moved to jobs with actual benefits.  I guess low pay AND no benefits is not he best way to keep good employees.  Seems the State is having problems getting qualified computer people.
Heating bills - lots of talk about heating bills.  Since I keep track of every utility bill here are MY numbers.

We used 45% more therms then the average of the last 7 years but our heating bill only went up 20%.  Is it the price of gas??  I know for our house sun means everything as we are very passive solar.

It's not the most we have ever paid, 2009 was more with MUCH (many?) less therms.

Oddly October is our cheapest month for utility bills $148 for Water, Electric and Gas.  January is the most at $282.  


Shirley Temple Black passed away - I didn't even know she was still alive.  I'm not sure I have ever seen her in a movie!   She quit making movies in her teens but judging from her looks on the right it was not because she grew up ugly!

She ran for Congress and lost and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana in 1974 and to Czechoslovakia in 1989. She was also the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States, and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball.

She passed away at the age of 85 yesterday surrounded by family and caregivers.

In 1935 the Temples were invited to cook out with President Roosevelt and the first lady.  While  Eleanor was bending over the grill Shirley shot her in the butt with a sling shot.   She would have been taken down by the not so Secret Service today.


I think the only people that read this blog are now city officials looking for their name to come up  LOL  


Flappy Bird.  Never played it and now it's too late.  DAMN IT!!  There were over 450,000 reviews on the app/game and most were of the "lost my wife" "addicted help me please" reviews. Released last year it has been downloaded over 50 MILLION time.  The developer who spent OVER 8 hours writing the code was making $50,000 a day in downloads.  

BUT - it was pulled for secret reason but I bet I know why.  It was too much like Mario Bros and a few other games.  I have to think that since the creator did absolutely nothing to promote the app he was not expecting anything to come of it.   

My gut feeling is some companies said HEY - we are going to be nice and ask you to take this off the market or we will sue your ass and you will spend then next 10 years in court. 


But if you really want Flappy Bird there are hundreds of phones now on Ebay with Flappy installed, most are going for $500 to $750 but there are some in the $275 range (Apple iPhone 5s16GB with Flappy).

I've only become addicted to one computer game in my life - Civilization. A guns and butter thinking game (I'm not a thumb jockey, more of a guns and butter thinking game kind of guy).  It was one game where you would start a turn at 5:00pm and the next thing you know (literally) the sun was coming up!  There was always one more thing to do.

I had friends miss work and one friend played 18 hours straight. 


There are four power ball machines in which two are randomly selected for each night.  There are 8 sets of the actual balls 4 white and 4 red.  59 white balls and 35 red powerballs also randomly selected . . BUT . . I wonder how random the random selection is???  

IF ELECTED, and, IF I WIN POWERBALL - I will not ask for payment for working on the City Council and will put all of that cash back into the city!  Seriously - it's the least I can do! 

Oh - the chances of winning Powerball is 1 in 175,223,510 so there is always a chance.   The chance of getting hit by a meteor is 1 in 20,000,000,000,000  so if someone says - I bet you get hit by a meteor before you win powerball . . . .take the bet!   


  Have a great day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

NEWS: The Broadway! Weather, Smoke Detectors, Subway,

Ummmmmm - best not to forget you are wearing nothing underneath , even when you win the Gold.

She quickly realized her "wardrobe malfunction" and zippered up!

But the big news is of  course . . . Subway.

Subway will start phasing out a chemical used to make yoga mats and synthetic leather from their bread.  Even though in Europe if it is used you will get 15 years in prison and a $450,000 fine.  But . . really, how else can you make you bread white.

I guess Europeans have issues with azodicarbonamide . . . they are so so picky!  It probably effects woman more then men.

Did you know that?  When the FDA tests a new drug they test it on mice first . . . but ONLY male mice.  Then if it passes the mouse test they try it on humans, male AND female.  But then they take all the results and combine them into one score thinking that men and woman are created equal.

WELL - it seems men and woman are not created equal and in MANY drugs they have found that they are overdosing woman by as much as 50%.  All of a sudden Doctors are getting warnings about certain drugs and the FDA says NOW, all NEW drugs will be tested differently.   YEA  YA THINK??


Weather - this is exciting

This is the Jet Streak 10 days out.  Notice that it is ABOVE Wisconsin for the 1st time in a month.

This is big news!!  It's a break in the pattern.  Looking at the next 10 days by next week we will be in the middle to upper 30s  WOW!!   All we have to do is get past tonight (one of the coldest nights of the year) and by Wednesday we will start to warm up!   By next Sunday we will be in an extended stretch of middle upper 30s.  ABOVE average (which is 30).

I think we made it!!

For the last 5 days I have been battling a smoke detector. One started chirping 5 nights ago about 2:00 in the morning.  I got up and figured out which one.  The one 14 feet up.  sigh.  But then it stopped.

So I went to bed and forgot about it.  The next night CHIRP  CHIRP.  Damn it.  Then it stopped.

The next day I got the BIG ladder out and  replaced the battery and was done with it.

Next night,  CHIRP CHIRP.  COME ON!!!  They are all hardwired anyway.  WTF!!

Next day went up.  Tried to take out the batterycompletely but the door does not close with no battery.  So I cleaned the contacts and really stuck it in hard.

3:00 in the morning   CHIRP CHIRP  about for 8 CHIRPS, stop.  sigh

Yesterday I was standing under the detector about noon.  CHIRP  CHIRP.    Wait . . . . . it's not that one is it.  IT'S THE ONE IN MY ROOM FIVE FEET AWAY!!!!   arg!!

Slept like a log last night!

The Broadway Theater.

This comes from The Portage Daily Register and is written by

SECOND ACT: 80 years later, a forgotten theater in Columbus is finding new life above City Hall

The brass on the bottom of the ticket window still has some shine, although no one has slid money across it in some time.

Walking down a handful of stairs, the realization comes that the balcony is the best view in the house. The stage is front and center, wide enough for a large cast, but intimate enough to hear every word.
Under each seat is even a place to put your hat.

As light cascades over hundreds of wooden seats below, there is something missing from this place.
On the outside, everyone knows this as City Hall in downtown Columbus. It has been home to everything in this town – from a fire station to a library.

But few who pass by this yellow brick building with a clock tower may realize what has been upstairs since the structure was built in 1892.

The old auditorium, with more than 400 seats, is exactly the way it was in the 1930s when the community built a new school and no longer needed the space. They locked the doors and kept everything exactly where it was – from old wooden ladders heading to the catwalks to a ticket holder for each seat.

There are no voices or laughter echoing off the walls. No cars can be heard passing by outside. There is only quiet in a place once filled with laughter and applause.

“We had seen pictures of the space, but even pictures don’t speak to how big and grand it is,” said J.T. Cestkowski, who no longer sees decades of dust, but endless possibilities.

Cestkowski, along with Gail Bostian, her daughter Anna, and Abram Glasbrenner, have come together to create a non-profit group to revitalize this old theater that once held everything from high school plays to elections.

The Broadway Theater group they created is setting out to raise money to restore this once bustling theater – with hopes to bring plays, music, movies and more to town.

“Our downtown has seen a bit of a revival,” Cestkowski said. “In the last few years we’ve had some very successful businesses like Cardinal Embroidery and Hydro Street Brewery move in, proving that this downtown still has life in it. And we thought a theater would be a great next step.”

Norsky, Legs and Les Miller
The walls in the dressing room are covered with names scribbled there so long ago — teens who once called the Roaring 20s their time, etching their mark alongside the year and name of a play.

“You can see some of the most famous graffiti here,” said Glasbrenner, the public relations person in the group.

He was pointing to “Norsky, Legs and Les Miller” — three names on the back of the stage wall that they thought might be people, but an old yearbook revealed they were the names of plays back then.
Everywhere you look in this theater, nothing has changed. It’s as if time did not pass when the doors were locked. Wooden plank flooring is still in good shape, and the tray ceilings still show stencil work. All the chairs are as they were when the last production hit the stage.

But the place has seen some cleaning by this group, and no longer looks like “80 years of dust and generations of spiders,” Gail Bostian said.

But getting to this point has been a long process of more than a year.

Coming across an Internet posting (also known as THIS blog) about the space, Cestkowski decided to show his girlfriend, Anna, who in turn showed her mother Bostian.

“A couple of days later I was sitting at the library (across the street) and I was looking, and I said, ‘There could be something up there’,” Bostian said.

After getting a tour of the place, everyone was thinking the same thing.

“I said, ‘You guys realize what this place could be,’” she said. “We struck a deal.”

With Bostian’s business background, and Cestkowski’s theater background, each person in the group has taken on different tasks, from researching every aspect of the building to approaching city groups.
“The first thing we did, I talked to some people who were involved in a local theater group, and the director had been involved in restoration efforts,” Cestkowski said.

They reached out to the Columbus Auditorium Corporation and acquired a sublease.

All politics
The city of Columbus needed a new school, and a new auditorium would be the next logical step. That was the message the school board in the 1930s wanted Columbus residents to believe.

“So the school board spread a rumor the space (above City Hall) should be condemned,” said Cestkowski, who has been studying the history of the theater. “Before that time there was nothing wrong with it. The place was never officially condemned, but people heard this rumor and went with it. And over time (the theater) was less and less used. By the mid-to-late ‘30s (the space) fell out of use.”

The Broadway Theater group is not the first one to try restoring this space, which holds about 450 seats. Back in the 1970s there was a major effort for renovation, ironically enough, by the niece of the school board president who helped get the new school built.

“One, if not the most, impressive efforts to date,” Cestkowski said.

The group was able to get thousands of labor hours donated, and its work is still visible, from sanded wood stairs to stencil work.

But the effort fell apart. About a decade ago, there was another effort by the Columbus Auditorium Corp. that also fell short. There was even talk of trying to get the movie company that filmed the 2009 Johnny Depp film “Public Enemies” to refurbish part of the space for shooting.

Elevator access also was added to the second floor of the building in recent years.

Columbus business owners are following the current restoration project with hopes it will bring more people downtown.

Bostian said the idea they took was not only restoring the space, but figuring out what could be done in the future so the facility could support itself.

“We spent two months doing that and the ideas were just screaming out,” she said.

Cestkowski said they also needed to figure out what had been done in the past, and what hadn’t.
The daunting project is something they have gone to great lengths to research — from getting bids on the cost of refurbishing the space, to determining how they will go about raising money. They even know what the seats will look like, and the design for an upper bar area.

“There are moments when it definitely seems real. But when we started it was just talking,” said Cestkowski. “But when we got our lease for the space, we became an LLC, you feel, ‘Hey, this is going to happen.’ You wake up the next day and you are so inspired having made that progress. You feel you can do anything.”

Show me the money
Walking up the stairs to the stage, Cestkowski pointed out a fuse box on the left.

“This stage was the first in the state of Wisconsin to have electricity,” he said.

While the old seats are in good shape, they are made of wood and metal, and the rows are tight. If someone wanted to get up, the whole row would have to move.

“One of the big issues was should you refurbish the existing seats or replace them,” Cestkowski said. “Cost is about the same.”

They have chosen to go with chairs with padding, and a historic look, keeping the same style.

“We want to make it look like it was (original) or as close as it can be,” Cestkowski said.

But they want all the materials in the building to stay in the community, Glasbrenner said.

“We’re going to do everything we can to preserve all the old material. There are some materials you can reuse. But the radiators, we are going to make sure they stay in the community,” he said.

There will be 400 seats in their layout of the auditorium, allowing more legroom.

They also want to widen the stage 3 feet on each side to create more room for shows.

“We have the whole curtain style all picked out,” Cestkowski said.

Some things like the ticket window will remain untouched. But one area of debate has been the roof, which Cestkowski said was rated to hold snow in the winter, but not much else.

So they have plans to fix that issue, as well.

Their next step is announcing to the public their plans to renovate the theater, and what the space can become. They also will be working on getting grants and fundraising.

“We have a long list of high-profile donors who give a lot to the arts. Abandoned theaters like this are a huge problem across the country. There was a time, especially during the Great Depression, that these things weren’t being used,” Cestkowski said.

“There are a lot of efforts like ours to restore these. There are a lot of people looking to invest in them because if you look at the Stoughton Opera House, they are proven successes.”

Before they put out construction bids, the group was sizing up what they wanted. After finding out what bids were in 2004 from the CAC, they thought the project would cost about $2.5 million with their additional project needs.

The bids came back around $1.6 to $1.8 million with a six-month timeline once construction starts.
Bostian said they decided to be a nonprofit, private entity because it’s hard to get a city and taxpayers to fund a project like this.

“Unfortunately the efforts that came before us either stalled out because they ran out of steam or they were always public efforts,” Cestkowski said.

“If there is anybody on the fence if they should support us or not, get them in the space. You just have to walk in … that’s our biggest tool.”

Opening night
Looking at a map, the group drew a circle around Columbus, realizing they would only draw people to the theater within 40 minutes.

“And there is a population the size of Milwaukee,” Cestkowski said. “And it’s about drawing all those groups of people to support the theater.”

When the election was held and voters headed to City Hall in 2012, Hydro Street Brewing Company was booming, Cestkowski said. And the theater is looking to bring that foot traffic back.

“I think this city is hungry for the type of cultural hub that the auditorium could be” Glasbrenner said.
While some in the group are in college, they Skype each week with Bostian, who has lived in the community more than a decade.

“I don’t think we are doing any less work, I think we’re doing more at college,” Cestkowski said. “We dole out tasks for the week and we all take on a giant workload.

“It has been a very smooth and functioning group,” Bostian said.

And people have been taking notice of their project. “I was asked when we are going to open,” Bostian said.

While that may be a while off, some of their work now is getting people to know the theater on the second floor of City Hall even exists.

Through this long process, what’s not lost on this group is what this theater once meant to this town — the names that still exist, if only on walls. Names that date back to the 1890s.

And they all can envision the day when the doors open again, more than 80 years after the last ticket was handed out.

“I think it’s going to be a very surreal feeling,” Bostian said, “while bringing some of us to tears.”    
The Broadway Theater - Rod Melotte

And THAT is why I'm excited about downtown Columbus and think it is so important to have someone on City Council that understands that the Downtown of Columbus is the key to creating a vibrant Community.

If you want lower property taxes and raise property values you begin to fix what you have.  Not constantly create new!  Not that creating new is a bad thing but I would rather have 50 businesses hire 1 person then one business hire 50.

Alice Schmidt - Treasurer  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fruit will rot your teeth out!

Every morning I seen an ad for some tooth paste that is telling people you should stop eating fruit because fruit will rot your teeth out OR use their tooth paste which combats all the evil that fruit does to your teeth.  Damn why couldn't it be vegetables!

OR - I say why not stop drinking Mountain Dew which is literally one of the worst chemicals you can put into your body and actually DOES rot your teeth out (not that I don't love a Dew now and then).


Watching City Council last night was like watching people throw money away (well, sort of but that sounds cool).

First there was the tax break to the developers. Seems if you are a developer and people don't build you can make your land inside the city into a "crop" and pay MUCH less in taxes for making the land unusable and making it look like garbage land (you don't actually have to HARVEST the crop, just grow it).

Well one guy tossed some seeds out onto the land in town and the assessors thought it was just weeds and taxed him accordingly.  BUT - there were a few soy bean seeds so he gets a big refund.  The council voted 3 to 3 along party lines with the deciding vote by the Mayor siding with the Developer.

Party lines = appease developers because we are afraid they will go somewhere else vs. save the city money. 

This is a sweet loop hole developers get and I might plant corn in my backyard and my house will become a storage shed and I can pay less taxes.  
Then the whole Econ Adviser and Energy Dude problem which blows my mind.

NOW - in order to make it easier they are thinking of not having ONE person fill the role but splitting it into three positions. A half time and two quarter times but they are not sure where the quarter time person will come from OR maybe make a quarter time actually outside highly paid contractors/consultants for marketing (because marketing people are so inexpensive?)

Seems simple enough!  SO much easier then finding ONE guy to do all the jobs!

Water and Light would get the Energy dude which is not a problem since Council decided that since they have a good working relationship with Water and Light, at any time "we" wanted that position back Water and Light would give it back.   . . . .right?  sigh.

Now instead of ONE guy making $60K, Water and Light would have half a guy at $30K,  the City Admin gets a raise or $10K(???) and we hire contractors/consultants/marketing people for another $10K? OR, get some school kid to do it.  The current plan under consideration, I feel, will cost the city MUCH more then having a full time guy.  OR the current plan under consideration, will have MUCH poorer results.

The hole in the current plan under consideration is not Water and Light which seems like a fit, and it's not having the City Admin being the contact guy for Econ which he would be good at, it's the quarter-time marketing person.

KEEP IT SIMPLE!  STOP OVER THINKING.  They just keep making it harder and harder.  I see nothing wrong with looking outside the city for qualified people. KEY WORD - QUALITY.  
MadRep advertising. Well . . . . . if it was up to me I would go with a 1/2 page ad. Marketing is a HUGE thing for a city and my only complaint is that we only have $3000 for marketing?  Really?  That is it? Are we trying to keep Columbus a secret?  LOL

I wish I had a copy of the publication to see what this publication actually was! Is it color?  And why is this a quick decision, did they just think of it?

And I see the last three years the city has spent ONLY $2500 a year in marketing!  OMG!!  I think this is almost criminal. And people wonder why there are empty buildings downtown?   

We give away money right and left to developers and can't find a dime for marketing our city?

OH - I get so worked up!!  LOL   Step away step away

Captain Phillips! The movie!

WOW - if you have not seen this movie run out to the Red Box and rent it!  But beware - you might have stress attacks!  This being a true story makes it even more amazing.

Dj and I watched it Friday and you can always tell how much you love a movie on how much of the extras you watch on the DVD.   I think we watched all 45 minutes!  RIVETING!! 

Even the trailer is riveting

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jimmy the Stick - Year 19

Pretty much nailed THAT prediction on the head.

In case you are wondering the Superbowl props for the first score of the game being a Safety is 50-1 and has happened in two of the last three years.

Montee Ball has now lost three Rose Bowls and a Super Bowl in the last four years.

Seems some players on Seattle are a little mad that they called off the dogs and let Denver score a touchdown.

19 years ago Jimmy the Stick was invented when a friend of mine decided that a stick had as much awareness of his shadow as a stick.  So I went out to find the prefect stick and for 19 years the same stick has tried to be aware of its shadow.

From almost being held by service men from the Truax Air Base to adventures in the trunk of my car in Las Vegas, from being kidnapped and held at ransom to being buried in a blizzard and not being seen for a week. His adventure could fill a small pamphlet.   

This year something new - a time lapse video as the sun comes up.

This is a very short 28 second video. Every 2 seconds a shot was taken and at the end you can see Jimmy's shadow. 

YET another exciting video!  BUT IT'S JIMMY'S FIRST VIDEO (I'll have to learn how to add music).

Of course after I picked up the GoPro Hero3+, Crows, Blue Jays, Juncos, Sparrows show up for breakfast. 
Sadly it did become aware, or not, of its shadow meaning dry air is still over Wisconsin and 6 more weeks of winter is coming.  This year has been almost an exact copy of the winter of 1996 and if you remember that year, the spring was so bad people were getting angry, there was more crime and so forth.

DJ and I flew to Las Vegas to get married and landed on June 9th.  It was the first sunlight we had seen for over 30 days. Seriously. 30 days of clouds and cool weather. Let's hope things change.

This is a good friend of mine - Mike Marquart, he was in my high school rock band Wonderhorse and for a while the drummer in Flock of Seagulls.  Here he is with Mariel Hemmingway.  His wife was at the Grammy'sand stood near Oko Ono (sp?)

Therefore aren't I somehow with Mariel?

Another member of the band designed the Fort Atkinson bridge and numerous banks in the area.  The bass player recently passed away from cancer and his last known whereabouts was he was running some marathon in Turkey.  Lead singer died in Nam and not sure about the lead guitarist.

Then another friend from High School, a fellow photographer is here. . . .

and my life didn't actually start until I moved to Columbus. 


DAMN YOU FAT LARRY!!  You spilled the bird bath AGAIN! 

I need to make a better platform then the one that came with the heated birdbath.  I did not know fat Larry would fly in.

HELP ME run for City Council!

As you all know I’m running for City Council Dist 2 in Columbus and am hoping I can get your support. I’m currently on the Parks & Rec Board, the CDA and have attended 20 of the last 24 City Councils and have lived in my district for eight years (my opponent for like 6 months??) .

My vision is to continue to make Columbus a place where family’s want to move to, meaning better roads, better infrastructure and a better place to raise a family.

If we start taking care of what we have we can start to lower property taxes AND raise property values.

How can you help? A small donation of $25 or even $10 will go far for a few yard signs (cost $10 each) and flyers and so forth. You don’t have to be in my district to help. Contact me through face book or Donate through my blog upper right. 

Thank You