Thursday, May 29, 2014

Trucks and Apple Beats

I just heard on TV that Apple is buying BEATS head phones and they called them "high end".  WHAT? Just because something has a big price tag does not mean they are high end. This is like calling Bose high end.  Any true audiophile will laugh. Beats headphones have channels that match nicely (meaning the high and lows and middles all blend nicely) but the quality is mediocre.  There are MUCH better/cheaper headphones on the market.  During my poker days I obsessed over headphones.

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I spent two hours downtown yesterday with a friend who is an urban landscaper/street designer from Portland OR.  Not in any official capacity but because she had just moved to the area and had never been to Columbus.  Now she wishes she would have moved here.

Comments like "What a WONDERFUL downtown", "how beautiful",  "WHY is this downtown not vibrant" "the rents in these open store fronts are so inexpensive compared to the rest of to country!"

But what got me was the truck traffic. Not the amount but the speed and careless semi's passing on the right, and going WAY too fast.  You can go downtown and see a truck or two but spend 2 hours walking the area and you will be amazed.  And where was the Columbus Police Department?  Give me one week of speed traps and giving out tickets to trucks and I will guarantee the word will get out in trucker land! !  It's was embarrassing.

I really don't know what to do about this situation but if you want a vibrant town we need to SLOW DOWN THE TRUCKS!!   At least make them stop using the parking stalls as a passing lane.

Back to my new friend.  Lots of lots of ideas. She has worked on small towns and is currently designing a bike lane system in Sun Prairie.  She asked about our bike lanes . . . LOL . . . need I say more.  Here is a town that get's a lot of bikers from Waterloo but we don't even have bike stands downtown.

One area NOT in the downtown that she loved was Dickason Blvd which she compared to a 5 mile Blvd in Portland and how we need to better utilize this beautiful boulevard.

She also had some ideas on how to make trucks turn sharper at the four corners.  She loved the wide sidewalks and agreed with me , do NOT change the style or height of our light fixtures, they are the perfect size for our town (geez - I was right on something).
 
Trees downtown was something we talked about and I was initially talked out of trees but only because of anecdotal evidence that the downtown business owners were anti-tree (I'll find out). She will  send me before and after photos of a town like Columbus that put in trees, they slowed down traffic and made people MUCH more comfortable and safe.

Also she said there are a LOT of grants for getting all this stuff done and asked if Columbus had a good grant writer (I have no idea) because there is a TON of money out there to help!  Helping small towns  become more user friendly is a big push for the fed.

I asked why she moved from Portland.  She said . . "It was done".  I believe she will be a good resource in the coming years because this is her obsession/profession.

Corrie (her name) said she wish's she would have known about Columbus before she moved to the area. She is in Helenville (just east of Jefferson).  
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On a side note - since I am all about "branding" and have ideas that WERE going to be for the CDA before it was canceled YET AGAIN . . . . . . I see the 4th of July Celebration has "Rediscover Columbus".   sigh  I feel this is a negative. Yea the divination is "to discover (something) again"   But to me rediscover means we were bad enough so we had to reinvent ourselves to be better. Well, WERE we that bad?  and DID we get better?

And did people discover us the FIRST time?  Probably the most important question

Here is my idea and I'm going to push this until someone pushes something else.  WAIT

I'll keep this for tomorrow when I tell you my thoughts on the whole branding thing and how people don't understand what it really means!    

Keep'm waiting  :-)

Rod



 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

FUBR

I'm a little ticked off this morning so I'm not going to say much because I'll just get more ticked off.

The whole Columbus Aquatic Center situation is FUBR and ridiculous especially after contacting 5 other Aquatic Centers around Wisconsin. 

The Task Force for the 16/60 reconstruction, which I believe is pretty freaking important,  had 2 people absent and one more left early leaving me and one other person to make decisions.

The CDA was canceled last night for lack of a quorum (I assume) when for the 1st time in 6 months we actually had something to talk about!

WTF!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Firefox? Chrome? Sofie? WHAT? yet another new blog?

The first bit of news is that I have been in contact with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities about where to draw lines and have started yet another blog.  This has ONLY to do with Columbus and Columbus Government.  This way I can separate my personal rants and opinions (which I hope you will notice there has been less of) with this blog.

Alderman Melotte  came up because I kept getting asked about details since the newspaper seemed to be lacking information on subjects.  More and more people are watching the council meetings and asking questions, why this and why that.  So . . . . 

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The other BIG news in our family is a new member.   

Meet Sofie



A 2 month old Tuxedo cat.  We picked her up from the Columbia County Humane Society and she is awesome.  After going through 11 years of Milo (frustrating, infuriating and loving) and then Sierra (unloving and aloof) Sofie is a loving cuddlier.  Hopefully she will never see the outside (that seems mean).  And wait - we're going to pick up Iggy on Friday a 2 month old play friend. 

The house will seem whole again.
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Thursday my Belgian Saison came in third place and our team swept the competition.

 
I purchased a 6-pack of Saison because I had no idea what one tasted like and was unimpressed.  But when I tried this 2 days before the competition I LOVED it.!   Elwood tried it and HE loved it.  it's a weird beer to make.

Normally you try to keep the fermentation temp between 65-70.  The closer to 70 and you get cloves esters and lower you get banana esters. Well, this one you start at 65 and then raise the temp to 85 which normally will kill the yeast . . . . but not this one.

Next up.  A Munich Dunkle (a lager) and a Dunkleweison
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That's all I got.  DJ is on vacation so I get to get up late (7:00).

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After the new Firefox has really jammed up my computer and it does not play well with Google I have switch to Chrome as my browser of choice.   I liked the OLD Firefox but . . . . the new version has major issues search.

Have a great day!

Rod    

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Talking people off the ledge

I spent a good part of yesterday either talking people out of moving from Columbus to arguing with "NO" voter.

Out of 5 "conversations" and after all the misinformation they had in their heads it all boiled down to distrust in the School Board.

Most knew FOR SURE that we would have a referendum next year for a school.

But what concerned me most were the number of people with families that were distraught at the direction Columbus was heading.  

Let's just step back for a second, take a breath, relax and calm, breath, calm.   And let's go back in time.

When I moved here Columbus was in a very very dark period.  Many people have forgotten that time.  Citizens were actually embarrassed to say they lived in Columbus as we were in the news all the time.  Firefighters were being taunted as they fought fires, the newspaper was constantly inundated with insulting political posts.  The City Councils were scream fests and the Auditorium was in real danger of being razed.

Then in 2008 Universal Studios came and I started this blog.   Here is how black that time was and I'm not bragging, just showing HOW black that time was.

The CDA gave this blog the 2008 Business of the Year Award.

A DUDE WITH A BLOG WON BUSINESS OF THE YEAR IN 2008.

The reason?  Because while roving the streets talking to people that lived here there was a real bubbling of love for this town that was being crowded out by negativism and I wanted to tell THEIR story.  More and more people would come up to me saying they LOVED this town and if we could just stop the bickering and the "he said she said" we could really move Columbus forward.

I felt there was a silent majority of people that were NOT content to just survive. 


So now we have people depressed and threatening to move out of Columbus.

Six years ago even the fact that we had a referendum would have been a miracle.  When talking about the future of Columbus on some of my boards and committees I'm now on I'm told that people are really optimistic about our direction. Things that would not even be considered 6 years ago NOW can be talked about.

Things take a long time to change but if I thought that Columbus was not going in the right direction and looking at the future, I would never have run for City Council.  I'm not a guy that will jump onto a sinking ship trying to save it.   I'm more of a guy that see's positive change is actually happening and I want to jump on that ship so I can take credit for it.  I'm like a canary!

So just relax and have faith.  The referendum was a stumble on the sidewalk but at least we are walking on that sidewalk.  Six years ago Columbus was content on just rocking on the porch letting the world fly by!     
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In other Columbus news.

As I mention before the School board now has all sorts of money to spend since they are not buying land. One thing (not related to the referendum I suppose) are new bleachers at the football field.  These will be really nice handicap accessible bleachers twice as high as the ones we have now.  First row will be 4 feet off the ground and twice as many rows as the bleachers we have now. A little shorter but much higher.  There have been accidents in the past few years and there is a need.   This is no cost to the city and will be an almost exact replica of Pardeeville's bleachers.
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I'm on the task force for the 1st phase of the 16/60 reconstruction and we have been working mostly with the downtown district because this is what the DOT needs to have solidified since it's an historic area.   The reconstruction will be in six sections.  All overhead cable and wires will be gone, a lot of trees will be chopped down because they are too close to the road but the city will get $$ for each tree and new trees will be planted.

MY goal is to make Columbus more geared to humans.  The DOTs goal is to make Columbus traffic friendly because, well . . . they are the DOT.  But "we" have power.  If the DOT had their way they would just take out ALL the sidewalks downtown.  We are actually adding sidewalks in this corridor and making sure we do not lose what we have.  Already there was a plan to take 2 feet of sidewalk away from the downtown area.   NO WAY WILL WE ALLOW THAT! 



I tell ya - it's going to look GREAT. The one problem is trucks turning at the four corners and there will be some conversations with DOT about this.  There is already an OSOW (Oversize Over Weight) thing where OSOW trucks are not allowed into Columbus, well, why not ALL turning trucks. There are other routs they can take.  My idea was to make that turn so hellish they would not want to turn in Columbus.  We would have to catch them in the act of messing with corners.  Probably not the best idea LOL

There was a comment that people do not know where their money is going in Columbus so I think I will attempt to expose the budget in a dummied down version in the future.

There are some major changes coming to the Aquatic Center that is a little point of contention at the moment as some do not feel we need an oversite committee while others (such as me) believe that if the Aquatic Center is being split off from Parks and Rec there needs to be an oversite committee just like every other department in town.  Stay tuned.

Another interesting tidbit.  I was a little surpassed that we allowed strip joints and adult book stores in Industrial zones but here is the deal.  If you do not have an area in town designated for these types of establishments THEN, if someone wanted to go to court, they could go ANYWHERE!

So we MUST have a Conditional Use for these establishments where we can so "NO, you can't go there".  It's weird.  We can not auto-block BUT we can deny.

OH - Does anyone want to go on a tour of our Wastewater Treatment Facility?  Seriously.  I have been told by a number of people that it's a pretty awesome place.  Very high tech and one person said "you will really be surprised".

Columbus has a very very up to date Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Don't make me go alone!  Bring a camera!  It's not just a bunch of poop!  FIELD TRIP!!!

Contact me at  rmelotte@columbuswi.us    Maybe a weekend???

Rod

    



      

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NO? Seriously? and The Bucks

Well now!  It seems SOME people are not very good with financials or just anti-education.

I'm stunned that the referendum failed and I STILL have not heard of a valid reason why anyone would vote NO.  I've heard reasons but they are all riddled with false facts and head scratching believes.  It makes no sense to me at all.  We can do this for FREE, or wait and buy at twice the cost down the road! 

The City of Columbus voted YES  595 to 530 but the other towns in the School district, mainly Elba voted a resounding NO  373- 278. However - I'm confused about Columbus also.  I was actually open minded, I WANTED to hear a valid reason to vote NO. But never heard one.


2012 Presidential Election
Columbus  56% Obama
Elba 57% Romney


Cost of living index
Columbus: 95.9  (US average is 100)
Elba 180.5

One thing that is interesting and I'm not sure of a connection but Columbus voted for Obama 56% and YES 53%.  Elba voted for Romney 57% and NO 58%. 

So here is the thing- I'm sure there are a lot of not only disappointed people in Columbus but pissed off people. Why would you not want to save money.  What is the downside?

I also blame the local media with the constant "They LOST the last referendum" talk.  Every single time this referendum was mentioned a negative thought was inserted next to this one!

 And I'm not sure the School Board ran the best campaign!

If you want to win you need to play the game TO win!  I feel the campaign brought out all the NO people and made the YES people too comfortable and I know a number that didn't vote because it was such a sure thing which, was the campaigns fault.

If you want to win you need to think political and understand WHO is going to vote and why! Sometimes a small turnout is what you want, not a big one. Every time you went around a corner you saw VOTE YES which you would think was the correct thing but in reality all it did was remind people that the School Board wanted ANOTHER referendum (they LOST the last one you know) and they needed to vote NO, on whatever it was. 


HOWEVER - I can almost guarantee you that with both of the referendums that lost in the past few years, they would have lost by much more 5 or 6 years ago. When I moved to Columbus 8 years ago and started writing this blog and meeting people I was surprised at how many people felt that the demographics in Columbus was changing, that the town was slowly becoming a younger town.

But things do not change overnight.  We are not quite at that tipping stage yet but I honestly believe  . . it's close.

And when you get down to it, it was just land, just a good deal for everybody. Things will change for the good even more in a few years.  


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The Bucks.  Since I'm the only person in Wisconsin that thinks about the Milwaukee Bucks I'll make this short.

They did not win the 1st overall pick and that is a GOOD thing.  In this years draft there IS no #1 pick.  There are three players that stand out and really, it's a crap shoot who is better.   Everybody I listen too agree that any one of these three players COULD be a great player and anyone could suck  (as most picks do).

So take the pressure off and pick the 2nd guy.  Makes no difference.
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That's all - brain dead from Council last night - we cut 1:45 hours off the last meeting  and still went 3:45.    The average meeting is now at 3:31 Which has to me longer then the "old" councils meetings.  Hopefully this will slowly shrink as we HAVE had a lot on our plate and worked a good bunch down last night.

I believe there will be new sidewalks coming to Columbus in 2015 citywide over the next . . . millennium.

And looks like new bleachers are coming to Firemans Park. Sort of like the ones at Warner Park or Pardeeville.  MUCH higher and handicap accessible.   

I'll have more as I digest stuff.

Rod

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

VOTE YES

If you are thinking about the Green Bay Packers and how they will do this coming year, "Las Vegas" has them 5th behind the usual suspects, Denver, Seattle, New England, San Francisco and then Green Bay.

Philadelphia is 9th
Detroit 12th
Chicago 13th
Minnesota 30th
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Brewers - sigh, Wang?  Really?  Was Rick Roenicke sending a message to the front office saying if we are in a pennant race we need REAL pitchers??   The kid is a Rookie Ball pitcher, he really IS out of his league.  The deal is he needs to be on a major league roster ALL YEAR or we lose him back to the Pirates.
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VOTE YES - I have heard an argument about if we vote NO our taxes will go down and YES our taxes will stay the same.  WRONG.  The school board is going to spend a big bucket of money on  . . stuff.  If you vote YES some of that STUFF will be land for future use OR, future profit if it gets sold back to whoever.  If you vote NO, more OTHER stuff is purchased, so the same big bucket of money is spent no matter what.
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HEY - there is a plan for moving the entrance way to Kwik Trip/Pic-n-Save back for an easier entrance.  Make perfect sense right? That driveway is a cluster-f*ck at times trying to get out.

HOWEVER - the plan would mean the city would need to purchase that land. Opinions?  That is all I know right now.  So the question is - how bad is that driveway. Bad enough to cost us money?  I can not fathom any more business in that area using that driveway - I think it has reached it's peak.
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GOOD NEWS - Every day I go to the Short Term Climate Outlook to see what the next 10 day average will be.  For literally the past 6 months, the 10 day Temperature Anomaly has been blue except for 2 days!  Well, this morning we are solidly in the light pink. 0-4 ABOVE normal!!
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This will be the cover of the latest issue of LocalEban which can be found later this week at the Public Library. 

  
The cool part is the back cover will have the same storm from exactly the opposite side of the lake looking at where I am now, with a beautiful rainbow.  I'll have that shot tomorrow.

In other news - My photography will be featured in one of the houses in the Madison Parade of Homes!  I'll have more information on that as things get finalized. 

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WHO WANTS TO CRY HAPPY TEARS!!!

These Beagles were rescued from a testing lab and they see sunshine and feel grass on their toes for the 1st time



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 The Great Day of Darkness

231 years ago yesterday the Connecticut Legislature, in session, debated whether to adjourn because of the possibility that the world was ending. 

General George Washington wrote that the darkness started about 10AM and by noon it was as if it was midnight.   When the sun did appear it was red with, red, yellow and brown clouds.

John Greenleaf Whittier wrote

"Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,/ A horror of great darkness, like the night/ … The low-hung sky/ Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim/ Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs/ The crater's sides from the red hell below./ Birds ceased to sing, and all the barn-yard fowls/ Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars/ Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings/ Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;/Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp/ To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter ..."

 It was a combination of three factors but back in 1780 they knew little about such things.

Massive forest fires in Ontario and widespread fires in Missouri and Arkansas.  Then add heavy cloud cover and rain. 

That's all I have - City Council tonight!   

Monday, May 19, 2014

IGGY POP!!!! "Door to Hell" "Retail establishment, adult? Really?

Industrial Use classifications

It seems more people are paying attention to city Government. 

Several people have asked me "just what can go into an Industrial Zone anyway" since they saw the list of things that developers wanted to change. SO . . .

C=  Conditional Use (they must ask and have public comments).
P- Go for it, no need to ask

These are all Conditional Use

Watchman/service quarters - C (well, I'm pro superheroes in Columbus and believe Mullins Shortstop is their headquarters so if they want to have a NEW place . . . .).



HA - I started to list all of the uses but there are MANY!

Go to this link!

MuniCode

HOWEVER - of note! 

Entertainment establishment, adult = P  (strip club)
Retail establishment, adult = P (adult toy and bookstore)
 
Restaurant (spelled wrong in Municode)Tavern = blank (I see no problem in this instance)

Personally I struggle with "adult" stores.  I realize that America is pretty backwards when it comes to sex compared to Europe but it's one of those "not in my backyard" feelings. 
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Once I saw one Baltimore Oriole I put some oranges out hoping MAYBE one more would show up!  Well, it did, and when I lowered my camera after taking a bunch of shots on this guy I looked over and my other orange had THREE in line on my feeder. 



I see two at my orange as I type along with an Orchard Oriole waiting in a tree .  Finch's also like the orange.

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Got a PS4 or Xbox? They are the most inefficient game boxes and costing you $25 a year in electricity when they are on stand-by.  They also use 45% more energy to stream a movie then Apple TV, Google and Amazon Prime.

If all the PS3s were replaced by PS4s there would be 10 billion more kilowatt-hours used annually. 

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This is so cool.  The next time you go to Turkmenistan check out the "Door to Hell".  I guess in the 70's the Russians were digging for gas and created a sink hole which caught on fire (of course it would).




You can not see the flames in the day but at dusk . . . . . . . . I'm not sure how close I would get to the edge. It's been on fire for 40 years now!

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Then there is the Winter Salt problem - seems the Wisconsin Legislature granted emergency funds to the DOT to buy emergency salt. Those funds trickled down to the Counties and then dried up when it came to towns like Columbus.  I guess we are not as important to State Government. City's only cause problems. 

HOWEVER - Being Wisconsin why not put salty cheese on the highways . . . .and that's what they did! Liquid provolone (cheese brine)!  Polk County saved $40,000 in salt by using old cheese brine.
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New Bike Signs - thanks to Patrick the City Admin I found out that the new signs popping up mark the official bike tour loops now established by Columbia County Tourism.  The City contributed room tax funds to help with the costs of loop 8 in the trail system.

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All right - I gotta say something about music!

Where was my head at in the early 80's, REALLY!  How did Iggy Pop go under my radar. What the hell was I listing too. George Michael?, Olivia Newton-John? (I THINK NOT)

A music station I listen to on DIRECT TV lately is "8-track" where they play deep cuts from the 80s. A song came on by The Stooges.  I loved it so I looked them up and Iggy Pop & the Stooges came up.  I listened to a few songs and OMG!!  I love this guy!!  That is Iggy Pop??? 

Maybe because he looks scary?  Sort of like a human White Walker from Game of Thrones!   I've listened to an interview and wow, super intelligent.  The years have not been good to him though  LOL.

I now have two "albums",   "Instinct" and "blah-blah-blah".  And the guy is still rocking at the HUGE festivals.

IGGY - WHY DID IT TAKE 30+ YEARS TO FIND YOU.
  



The guy is 2 years older then I am and I'd love to lose a few pounds but . . . . . .

Full Concert from 2006 - man the guy has energy!!   


Have a great day.

Rod 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Golf Lesson Learned - can you count?? really? a test!

If everybody gets a trophy, then trophy's are meaningless! 

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Since all of our pets have crossed the rainbow bridge in the last couple years we're looking into a new dog. 

Any of you have any experience with Wheat Bred dogs?


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And then there is golf.  Two weeks ago was the first night of league at Door Creek and I was atrocious, hideously awful, worst ever.  WTF!!  Yea it was the first week and all but it was like I had never hit the ball before.  First hole I was laying 4 and still 200 yards away from the green!

The whole night was like that and while I did improve over the 9 holes I was only up to BAD.

I spent all week thinking about this (well, a couple days at least) and then Tuesday morning it hit me.

It was my first time wearing my new bifocals instead of contacts.  So last Tuesday I wore my contacts and all was back to normal (at least for a 24 handicap golfer).  I talked to a few other golfers and they said the same thing about bifocals and golf being a bad choice.   

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Last night I was a featured artist (as seen on channel 15 in Madison) at the Sun Prairie Art and Wine Walk.  What an outstanding event and Columbus REALLY needs to do this.

I was at newly renovated The Glass Nickle and it was a great time.

 
Here is how it works.  14 downtown businesses are involved.  Each place has an artist and a red and white wine to sample.  Tickets are sold for $35?? and people walk from business to business checking off their list and sampling wine.  I think there were 250 people last night.  It went from 5:00-8:00 and it's a riot of laughter and fun.

When we were done and packing up  Sun Prairie, even on a cold night was buzzing with people (many tipsy) roaming the streets.  Great for business owners for meeting and greeting and really gave the town a good vibe.  Sampling 28 wines, looking at art and exploring downtown businesses.   Banks were involved and all sorts of stores were open.

Well done Sun Prairie.

The old Glass Nickle was sort of like China One in Columbus. Kitchen and a few tables if you REALLY want to eat there but . . . . you know!   They total redid the place and it looks great, good craft beer and GREAT Pizza.  I asked how many people work on a Thursday night, they have 5 drivers, 5 cooks and about 5 people up front.  Quite an operation for a guy that started as a pizza delivery driver.

Did I mention that I have order pizza from Nepoli's for delivery and 5 times in a row they have gotten the order wrong?  I made a joke on Facebook once when I ordered and yup. WRONG.  Here is the odd thing, I never send it back because the random ingredients are always really good anyway, plus, who is to say the reorder would be correct!

But of you want REALLY god Pizza, best in the Midwest according to reviews  you have to go to Salvatore's Tomato Pies  - LOL I see their menu was updated 4/28/2024 WOW!  They are from the future!

My next event is the Dragon Art Fair June 7th in DeForest.
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Do not download the newest FireFox - it does not play well with Google and I wish I had my old Firefox back.
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Brewers are tricky.  Carlos Gomez tweaks his back and probably needs to rest a day or so so they decide to not contest (is that the right word?) his 3 day suspension and is now serving it AND resting his back!         

Great game yesterday. Well, the 9th inning was great

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Want to be more productive??  It's easy but no one ever does it.  People measure how productive they are by how many things they get done in a day, but normally quantity is not that productive, quality is. 

So what you need to do is do the most important thing in the day FIRST!!  That way every day the biggest thing gets done and THAT is how you become productive.  

Normally people do all sorts of the 4th, 5th and 6th things first and by that time the MOST important thing comes about it could be skipped all together. Plus the longer the day goes on the greater probability that something will come up that all of a sudden, the most important thing is put off until tomorrow.  

All of our lives people tell us things to do.  At work your boss says this and that needs to be done but is it the MOST important thing? Probably not.  We are taught to take action as a reaction of what others are telling us, normally those things are not the most important.

Just sayin - get'r done first
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I was listening to John Smoltz the pitcher yesterday, I really like that guy and he said something that is so true.  He was talking about negative thoughts just as if you are golfing and you say DON'T HIT IT IN THE WATER!  Or like when my golfing partner and I made a year long bet on who would NOT hit our tee of into the lake (what a horrible idea that was).

He said it's bad because when you DO hit the ball in the water it's almost like positive feedback to a negative thing when the ball does go in the water.   hmmmm  interesting

_________________

I think I broke a tiny bone in my hand.  There is one little area that REALLY hurts if you touch it. 99% of the hand is great but that tiny spot - WOW!  Plus it's still a little swollen.
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OH - For Columbus residents!  My fascination with what is flying over Columbus.  Basically if you see any commercial aircraft flying over Columbus towards the north west, it's undoubtedly going to Minneapolis.  But on weekends if you see a BIG aircraft with 4 engines it's going to Anchorage.

I've seen it three times now.  I look up and go, wow, that one is bigger then most of the jets and I look it up, Anchorage. Once from Chicago, once from JFK and I think once from Boston.   

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OK - try this on a friend (or try it on yourself)

write down these numbers on a paper, one number per line.  Then cover up all numbers and have someone add each line OUT LOUD as you uncover the next line,  and see what the answer is.

1000
40
1000
30
1000
20
1000
10








Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GO GO Brew Crew

So here is a headline I never thought I would see on CNN.

Clay Aiken wins by 390 votes; rival dead.

And then there is Karl Rove who said this about Hillery Clinton "...she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?"  Of course now that I have mentioned Karl Rove AND Hillery Clinton this is labeled a "leftist" blog by certain developers and their supporters. 

Did someone mention Justin Bieber in the news this morning?  DJ says Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus should get married.  Their kids would be awesome.

Look who is on the cover of Sports Illustrated next week.


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I'll be at The Glass Nickle in Sun Prairie tomorrow night with some of my artwork for the Wine Walk, but you can stop in and get a beer and pizza anyway and I will allow you to look :-)
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Otherwise - I have nothing - hopefully golf will go better as I SUCKED last week, it's almost like I had not picked up a club for 6 months or something.  My knee is still swollen and my hand still hurts a little but . the game must go on.

OH - Ryan Braun.  I believe all of this steroid stuff that he was taking was not to gain muscle like Barry Bonds but more for healing his seemingly fragile body.  The dude is always pulling something isn't he? Before the shit hit the fan I heard he was taking stuff to heal faster, then all of a sudden all that talk went away.

I think I need what he was taking.

And finally - I was accepted into th4e Agora Art Fair.  One of the better fairs in Wisconsin. Many are now saying better then Art fair on the Square. Not as many people but the talent is fantastic.

Agora Art Fair August 16th  



Later gator      

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stuff to fill up a blank page.

A CEO asks all of their interviewees this question  

A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost? - answer at the bottom. 
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Donald Sterling - the gift that keeps on giving.  Really?  You said those racist remarks because, as you say, you were trying to get into V. Stiviano's pants?  

I did not know this was what woman liked.  I think I missed something in my youth.  Find a cute girl at a bar that you want to take home and whisper a few racist remarks into her ear and you are home free!  NOW it's all making sense. 

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Packer Draft.

Of course no one will know how the 2014 draft turned out until 5 years from now but from the MOST sites that are giving grades it seems the Packers did well.  Although I wonder if this is on a curve?  I didn't see any F's for grades.  I think grading a draft needs to be on a curve because if EVERYONE got an "A"  . . . who cares.  

But just when I'm feeling pretty good with all the "B's" and "B-" and"B+" here comes Bob McGinn from JSOnline, the Packer beat reporter who says the Packers SUCKED!

The Packers' first two choices ran slow 40-yard dashes compared to other top players at safety and wide receiver, and only the last pick possesses exceptional speed.

Four of the first five choices were juniors, including three who had just three years on campus.
The Packers drafted the smallest of the top-10 centers, a short outside linebacker, another short defensive tackle and a slight wide receiver.

Three of the nine have had major operations and a fourth has had at least three concussions, according to several teams.

Two players will be 25 years old before the end of the season.
Well, we still have Favre right? or did we get a new guy? 
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Don't look now but I believe our economy is about to roar.  A leading indicator, the NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism jumped this past month to a 95, the highest since 2007.  Small businesses are like canary's in a mine.

With that said there will be a Bankers Resource Day July 23rd
 
The purpose of this day is to educate area lenders and people of influence (the movers and shakers) on what programs are out there to help our community grow.  Many times an opportunity is passed up because the information wasn’t available to either the lender, applicant or developer to help an entrepreneur get into a business or help an existing business expand.  This will be a daylong event and the bank will provide lunch (I hope it's not a "healthy option" lunch). The following speakers are lined up (in no particular order):
SBA – Michael Fazio
WBD – Diane Pasley or Larry Schwenn
USDA – Justin Kirkling
WEDC – Mary Gage
Forward Community Investments – Carrie Vanderford-Sanders
EDP – Cindy Jaggli
CCEDC – Nancy Elsing
CWCAC – Chuck Moran
WWBIC - Ann Nguyen

Contact Edie Illinski  920-344-1908 for more information
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I read an article about 10 times you should keep your mouth shut- a few of them I knew but there were some I did not.

1. When the other side in a negotiation starts debating against itself.
2. When you've asked a question.
3. When the other side misunderstands - you don't always have an obligation to correct someone else's mistakes.
4. When you don't have any idea what you're talking about. This happens to me ALL the time
5. When you need someone else to get the credit.
6. When you are bragging, as opposed to sharing -  been there, done that
7. When your comment is more about you than the other person.
8. When you want someone else to grow.
9. When you are clearly boring people
10. When you begin a speech.

This is the one that caught my attention  - you should start out with a long, uncomfortable pause. Doing this puts the audience ill at ease for a moment and gets them rooting for you. They worry that you've lost your notes or that you're about to keel over from a panic attack. That way, when you start talking, you'll have at least a few of them on your side, happy that at least you haven't made them witness an embarrassing meltdown.

I shall do that next time I give a speech. 

A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?

A Nickle!  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cinderella Zoning

0.62 inches of rain in the last 24 hours and more coming.
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I attended a New Municipalities Officer Workshop all day Friday and besides most of the snacks being "healthy options" it was pretty interesting.

For one thing I did not know Parliamentary Procedure (Roberts Rules of Order) was invented by some dude named Robert in a church group in Milwaukee.  WHO KNEW!!  The guy wrote it, printed it and the thing just took off.

Powers of Governing Bodies
Conflicts of Interest
Budgeting and Finance
Procedures for a Meeting
Public Works

The final section of the day, Public Works was fascinating. The guy speaking asked a room of about 50 new officials "how many of you ran and Public Works was one of your bullet points".  About 20 people raised their hand and he was stunned.  Typically he said maybe 3 people raise their hands.

So with even more paperwork and folders being taken home it was time to get MORE organized and what luck!  Columbus was having what is turning into a week long garage sale event.  OH, the ad's say Friday and Saturday for the citywide garage sale but doors open on Wednesday.

As the Mayor says "I promised to bring 250 jobs to Columbus and all of those retailers in garages are being counted as a new job!"   He really did say that (with a grin on his face), I'm not making shit up here!

SO - my goal was to find an inexpensive filing cabinet and after driving a round and striking out we found a big garage/yard sale.  We got out and were looking around at all the things that were WAY overpriced.  A used spatula for $2?  come on. 

BUT - I found the one thing that was not 5 times too expensive.  A metal filing cabinet for $2.50.  So I took it to the front to hold it.   Meanwhile DJ found a little funnel for 75 cents and placed it on top of my filing cabinet while I stood in line.

It comes time to pay and they take the cabinet price and I say "also the funnel"  wait . . . . where is the funnel, it was just here?????  We look all around and some lady has the funnel.  I say "there it is we were about to pay for this" and I reach to take it back, she says "NO, I got it from over their, it's MINE".  I said "was it over there? we were about to purchase it" pointing and she says "It's mine I have it".

I considered wrestling her for it but being on the City Council I felt that perhaps I better not unless I can get a quorum.  We went to True Value and purchased NEW one for $1.50.                

---------- MY RANT OF THE DAY --------------------

My opinion only

I'll be honest with you - with newspaper articles and emails and so forth telling me how the Planning Commission OK'd everything going on in Eisenga-land and why are we just not taking their advice, I'll tell you why.

From my point of view this problem is because the Planning Commission dropped the ball by allowing ShopKo to build a non-compliant building and then the "old" Council just rubber stamped the problem without really understanding the implications down the road.  It is not all of OUR fault!

According to The Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials,

 The Planning Commission is "extensively involved in zoning matters".    

Don't get me wrong I'm NOT throwing the Planning Commission under the bus, it's the City Councils job to make sure the Planning Commission has done their job which, it seems they did not do back whenever ShopKo was designed so many years ago.  I really do appreciate all of what the Planning Commission does and I certainly could not do any better with my knowledge . . but their job is to catch things like this isn't it? 

Do I blame them?  Hell no (well, not entirely), there are checks and balances to make sure buildings are built within the ordinances and not allowed to build outside of the code. Obviously those checks and balances failed. 

I'm not accusing, just informing since the only media that gets printed is from the developers point of view which is why I'm ranting.  One thing I heard way more then twice was "Rod, keep us informed on what is REALLY going on in City Hall" so here I am.   

Sorry sorry - this has been bugging me for a number of days. It's like the current City Council is being blamed for a problem two other groups in the past created.

NOW - being Mr. Optimistic I say that is the past and let's try to look forward and build a great TIF district so in about 15 or 20 years (this is when we can start to collect the "developed" property taxes, until then all we get are wasteland property taxes), Columbus will prosper.

So what was actually happening Tuesday?  The first part was the Council discussing the District Use Classification Table.

Every area in Columbus is zoned for special purposes and inside each zone are certain things you can and cannot build or have. This makes it so you can not have a factory next to a school and so forth.

There are three types of classes.  NEVER, Permitted and  Conditional.

NEVER is self explanatory
Permitted means the developer can  build to his hearts content without interferance.
Conditional means a developer must go in front of Council and there is public input.

In this case Mr. Eisenga created their own District Use Classification Table and wanted the Council to approve it.

Here were the new Uses

Library - C
Bank and other Institutions - P
Outdoor Merchandise Sales - C
Outdoor Seasonal Merchandise Sales - C
Outdoor Merchandise sidewalk, parking lot sales and special events - P
Payday Loan - C
Title Loan Agency - C
Medical Services facility - P
Funeral Home - P
Laundry Mat - P
Dry Cleaning drop/pickup - P
Restaurant-tavern - P
Clubs, Lodges and Fraternal Organizations - P
Health Club - P

One thing I immediately noticed was Payday Loans went from NEVER to Conditional, an upgrade.  Meaning at some point a Council in the future would have to go through the stress of saying NO or say YES because they believe Payday Loans will increase property value.  Well, we were under stress already so why not take care of this problem now!

In the end we agreed to the following

Bank and other Institutions - P
Outdoor Merchandise Sales - C
Outdoor Seasonal Merchandise Sales - C
Outdoor Merchandise sidewalk, parking lot sales and special events - P
Laundry Mat - P
Health Clubs - P

The rest being put off to another time (not tabled which is a different thing - you cannot "table" something with a future date, tables are where things go to die.)  There are things on the list I have no problem with but Payday Loans and Title Companies next door are not one of those.

So then came the second part of the problem - the Zero-Lot-Line problem that the old Planning Commission let slip through their fingers and into our laps.

If Council allows the zero lot line in this area it changes ALL industrial zones here and in the future to have zero lot line.  This is why industrial zones were made - to NOT have zero lot lines.  Why even have zones if you are not going to follow the rules.

Now because the non-compliant ShopKo is already built we cannot say NO right?  We're in a sticky wicket.  Say NO and Council is demonized and our houses are burned down as being anti business even though we are helping future business and future Councils.   Say YES and we now allow strip malls everywhere in industrial zones now and in the future.  OH, we can always say NO in the future right?  Yea - because saying NO to a large group of Say Yes people is so easy!

In the end I think we made money for both the City Lawyers and Eisengas Lawyer as "we" decided to make our YES, a sunset clause.  The Developer has until December 31 2014 to come up with plans for his area, then at the tick of midnight, just like Cinderella,  the Industrial Zone goes back to it's original state. All Industrial zones in the future cannot have a zero-lot-line.

The Sentry (about the size of Pic-N-Save) and Ace (about the size of True Value) can be built and the citizens of Columbus can rejoice (or not, it seems). Their will be a ground breaking at 4:30 near ShopKo and yes, there will be a refreshment tent (whatever that is).


Here is the 1:45 segment.


Columbus Council May 6th 2014 Part ONE from Columbus Wisconsin on Vimeo.

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In OTHER NEWS - The Columbus water tower is getting a new paint job. The old silver paint will be blasted off and a new pretty paint job will be put on.  Something about Discover Columbus with something like what is on the right.  I have not seen it yet but it will soon become available, look for it in the next W&L bill.

Are those sails above water??

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This Orchard Oriole is very confused.
 

Here is a love it or hate it image.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Columbus Council meeting - 1:45 of a 5 hour meeting


Columbus Council meeting - 1:45 of a 5 hour meeting Tuesday night. This part concerns the Grocery Store/Ace Hardware and Anytime Fitness. The problem is not the store but changes that would have ramifications throughout the city in the future decades.

Their argument was Council can always just say NO. But saying NO to a packed council chambers is a very very hard thing to do. If you are a parent you know how hard it is to say NO to a child begging for something that in the long run will be bad. 

When I was running for Council one woman said she hoped I would win because listening to the current council for the past few years was like watching death.  BORING!!    

This is how Councils SHOULD be - questions and answers and questions and answers and finally thinking outside the box to come up with a solution . . . hopefully

But first a closed session - this is what we do BEFORE the meetings.





Columbus Council May 6th 2014 Part ONE from Columbus Wisconsin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sound of Silence Can Be Deafening

Well - my hand or what is left of it went through a hand shaking test last night after city council. I have full feeling in the fingers that I have left so I think I am past the critical stage and there will be no need for a citizen induced fasciotomy on my right hand.

Car door might have won the battle but car door did not win the war.
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On facebook there is a lot of chatter around Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Birding group that the Rose Breasted Grosbeak has finally arrived in Wisconsin and from where I sit now I see two of them being buffeted around my feeder. 

Lots of Baltimore Oriole's being sighted also but I rarely see one.
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Holy crap it's windy - I gotta golf today - should be fun for my 1st round of the year.

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OH - City Council???

I'm not even going to attempt to explain all that went down and the uneasiness of total silence. I mean seriously, total silence.  When an aldermen says "I move to blah blah blah and there is silence, the room holds their breath,  The Mayor says "Is there a second"  And even the crickets are holding their breath, I thought my head was going to explode.

The Grocery Store/Hardware Store/Health club are all moving forward and I THINK we figured out a work around for the zoning problems or at least we have until December 31 2014 to work out the kinks.  If the kinks do NOT get worked out I will be very, VERY angry.  The Mayor brought of a solution which I think the attorneys suggested we not do but . . . . sometimes you have to think outside the box to get things done.  It was either that or - - - NO!

The whole problem was not with Eisenga-land and what they intend to do with the area (well, not BIG problems at least) but what happens to all other industrial zones now and in the future.  I feel all too often officials try to solve NOW problems and defer future problems to someone else.

And here is THAT problem.  The lawyer on Eisenga's side kept saying that there is no problem because it's all Conditional Use and all future City Councils have to do is say NO.

To me that is not a solution. Saying NO is a very very hard thing to do, especially with a packed city hall filled with people begging please please please give us our shiny toy.   If you are a parent have you ever given in to your kid who is begging for something even though you know in the long run it might be bad?     

YES is very easy, NO is very hard.

Have we created a different problem for future councils? Probably in 20 years I can see council rolling their eyes asking WHY WHY but at least they won't have to say NO!  

In a nutshell we are going to invent a new zoning area, an I-3 for future zones industrial zones and my head spins because I do not know enough to understand this fully . . YET! 

All I know is that once this super tense meeting was over there were hand shakes coming from both sides of the fence.  At the moment there will be no Pay Day Loans which was my big bugaboo because I have seen 1st hand what a Pay Day Loan does to an area . . twice, and it ain't pretty. If ou need to bring down property values fast, get a Pay Day Loan.

Counsel went from 6:00 to 11:00, a 5 hour session and I believe this council will, on average have longer sessions that past councils.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!  OMG

Look what just showed up at my feeder. That is crazy.   I have to get an orange out there!

   -----------------------------------------

Remember back in Public Enemies Days when the group strangers all got together at The Kurth to celebrate Columbus and all it's wonderfulness and talk about the movie?

Something appeared on Facebook a few days ago and I was emailed and asked "isn't this a photo you took?"

Why yes it is - It's on the

ICanHasCheeseburgers

The Kurth and kitty are now making their way around the world.  The back story is . . . . . 


Machete Betty (the only person ever to get near Johnny Depp while holding a machete) had a couple kittens and brought one to the Kurth. Kitty fell asleep and well . . . . . I took a photo.  Someone,
somewhere grabbed my photo and somehow it ended up on the

ICanHasCheeseburger site and they added their wrinkle

BTW - for more photos of Public Enemies go to my

Public Enemies Photos site which I see now has had 32,000 viewers (far below this site with 625,000 and the worlds fascination with Columbus).

Just looking this morning - in the last 12 months besides Canada and the United Kingdom there have been 445 people from Germany reading this blog, 204 from Australia. 26 from the Ukraine (you can hire our council to run your country)!!  California, Illinois and New Jersey are biggest viewers in the States.   All 50 States and 151 Countries in the last 12 months (only one person from Lao People's Democratic Republic).

But I digress. Sorry - I had not looked at those numbers for a while, just talking out loud (sleep deprivation induced).

OK - I need to coffee up!

Cheers
Rod






      


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Jaime Lannister'd my hand

First thing I to this morning is slam my hand in a car door! Good start to the day.  It was a glancing blow but now my hand has a slight Easter egg shape to it.

I was told by fellow workers after they got done saying OMG!! to get something from the office freezer to put on my hand so I grabbed some old chocolates and a 3 year old ham sandwich.  It feels better . . .but I think I now need shots for e.coli.

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Remember that Great Blue Heron rookery I was talking about?
It seems the reason there is that split in 151is because there is an Indian burial ground under that area.  I pulled over and changed all 4 tires and gave myself an oil change and took a few photos yesterday.    Already it's starting to disappear and I bet by this time next week when the leaves are out they will be invisible.   I counted about 30 nests!

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This morning there were two male Red Breasted Grosbeaks at our feeder along two Mallard Ducks and the usual suspects of Grackles, Red Wing Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Cat Birds and so forth.

But DJ and I were noticing a Robin was flying under our deck more then once.  So I did some snooping around and found a nest.  So I got my cell phone because it was small enough to put it over the nest.  There is only about 3 inches between the top of the nest and the bottom of the deck floor.


-----------------------------------

I've been asked a number of times for photos of The Union Terrace and I always say I really don't have anything unique.  Well, once again I was asked so I was looking in my terabit files on multiple hard drives for SOMETHING and I do have one shot.

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It's tough typing with mostly my left hand.  I forgot passwords (I have 7 different ones at work) because only my fingers can remember them automatically but now . . . .

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Gomez leads the Brewers in Walks   -  Now THAT is funny!  They really do need to learn how to bunt. 
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I tried something yesterday and using Dragon Dictation dictated a text message to DJ.   Worked really well actually, I think only one word was off a little.  SO, for giggles I put my iPad up to the TV and recorded some of the Brewer game to see what would happen.  Here are the results. 
Play sexgaymes he Asdrubal three times it is filled up into the gym
 All righty then.

 Well, upon further review I now realize FOX Sports is sending subliminal messages to its viewers.

I Googled a couple words not thinking I would see anything - HOWEVER . . .

sexgaymes - "A mix of jock, athletic hunks in gay hardcore video collection and solo guy photos from sexgaymes.com."

W W WHAT???  

 Asdrubal - Asdrubal Cabrera  plays for Cleveland.  Who knew Asdrubal was a name.

Be careful what you dictate and send

------------

Have a great day

Grinder

Monday, May 5, 2014

Eisenga: Council inaction could delay Commerce Center project - An eggxample

I always try to buy the best eggs (within reason) I can find but never REALLY understood what was hype and what actually meant something on labels.   I feel better now that when I buy Phils Eggs from HyVee which are Certified Humane and Cage Free I understand what it means.



I think I have only had chicken eggs in my life.   Emu?  Remember when Emu's were the next BIG thing.

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I am LOVING the 60 Minutes piece last night about growing old.  Drinking alcohol, gaining weight and having sex will make you live longer - YEA BABY!!

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This whole racist problem with the LA Clippers is going to get more interesting  From what I have heard the owner is going to fight to keep his team or at least keep it in the family Trust.  But then listening to sports talk shows Charles Barkley says it's not going to be a problem at all.   

He guaranteed that if any person associated with Donald Sterling or any person in his family controls the team, no black player will play for the Clippers, guaranteed. And he doubts any white player will play.  Period.  

When asked if this was creating stress among players and so forth he said, "not at all". No one will play for that team. It's not even a talking point, not going to happen. It's already a done deal. 


----------------------------------------

Had a unique event at my bird feeder yesterday - a hairy woodpecker AND a red-headed woodpecker at the same time on the suet.  No camera was available.  

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City Council Tuesday at 6:30.    Here is the agenda for the next meeting.  Of note are items #2, #3 and #4 which concern changing city wide zoning to allow, in a nut shell more strip malls and the possibility of Pay Day Loan companies plus a grocery/hardware store. I'm pro grocery/hardware store, not so much strip malls and pay day loans companies.  Sadly they seem to be linked together and our problem is to unlink them in a timely manner.  That area will become a strip mall, that stone was cast a few years ago and it's not going to change and we just have to deal with it.  
 
Council Agenda    

If you are one of the 10 people reading the news or getting emails you might know about this.  I would not have known but luckily Mr. Eisenga emailed me Saturday night informing me that this news article was out there. 

Eisenga: Council inaction could delay Commerce Center project  

I must correct him on one thing. When he says " “The city council's plan commission has approved this project and the requested permits and zoning changes twice. But the new city council appears to be balking on this, and I'm not quite sure why." 

Well, that is not actually the entire truth.

On March 18th staff received a letter from Ruekert-Mielke, Wisconsin’s oldest Municipal Engineering firm.  This letter was presented to Council with this wording "Prior to Conditional Use approval being issued, the following comments will need to be addressed or additional information needs to be provided per the following letter".  

They were not addressed as there were still 22 outstanding problems. 

MOST were just paper work but a few were BIG problems that we are working on.  When the developer built the very first commercial (not industrial) store, the ShopKo, it was built in the wrong place and not compliant with current zoning laws and it has opened up a HUGE can of worms with ramifications that could really hurt the future business climate of Columbus . . . unless, in a worst case scenario, you like strip malls with Pay Day Loans, funeral homes and fraternal organizations. 

We can not just change zoning for one zone without it effecting all future zones and Council is trying VERY hard to find a work around. 

But, of course the developer blames the city council with a media blitz. 

On a personal note - When I got Mr. Eisengas email late Saturday night I read the article and then was thinking to myself  "how does this make me feel" since I have never been in this situation before. 

Oddly - ENERGIZED!!   It's really a fascinating problem for both sides and the exact reason I wanted to be on the Council.

Stay tuned, go to or watch the Council.  City Council is like watching a baseball game.  Lots of boredom intermixed with some pretty exciting stuff.  

Rod 
  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Quagmire of problems


While I was tying this I have been keeping an eye on the fed jobs report.  The results?  America CRUSHED expectations! 

Unemployment fell to 6.3% - lowest in 5 years
payrolls added 288,0000 - 70,000 more then expected
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Brewers suck - I don't think they will win another game this month.  At least Gomez robbed yet another home run.  OH - I live and die by the Brewers :-) 
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Below is The Cloud Index which tracks Cloud technologies.


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I visit my dentist for the last time today. Ive been goign to him since the late 70's and he is retiring. THE NERVE!!  Now I need to find another dentist that is MUCH closer to Columbus. 

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I've been working on a magazine cover for an upcoming issue.   Here are the rejects so far.

The first one is of Madison which is of course a reject since this is a rural magazine.  You can get this mag at our library, it's a good read.  Lots of interesting articles about rural Wisconsin and the Columbus area. 


this was a wrap around cover.



This one was more fall like and I have better fall images.


I knew this one would not make the cut as maybe it was . . . gawdy and there were other problems but I was fun making it.


I can't show the one that is the leading candidate as it's a surprise.

LocalEben is a magazine published 6 times a year and is created in Beaver Dam. I urge all writers that have something to say to contact them.  A mag by the people for the people.

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Every other Friday (almost) is always a day of anticipation as "we" get our council packets late Friday afternoon. We then get to read 60-80 pages of problems over the weekend that need to be fixed or taken care of at the next council meeting.  As City Council members we can only react to what is on the agenda and don't control what gets put ON the agenda. We can suggest, but ultimately it's the Mayor and City Admin that control what actually is put on each agenda.  

And BTW - do NOT listen to rumors that are flying around.  I've heard some pretty outlandish, false and outright lies. Instead, go to or watch the city council meetings before making judgements.  I'm enjoying trying to wade through the many sided issues that seem to have no right or wrong answer.

When I was an IT guy my greatest joy on the job was fixing problems and trying to come up with viable solutions.  
 -------------------------
Have a great weekend and remember, if it gets bright outside, it's the sun!    

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rule 5, Aquatic Center changes, Brewer pitching SUCKS!

Injuries finally caught up to the Brewers and when Garcia the Brewers starting pitcher hurt his thumb batting in the 3rd inning the overworked bullpen (due to close games not ineffectiveness) took over with dire results.

The interesting thing about the bullpen is a young dude by the name of Wei-Chung Wang a 21 year old lefty from Taiwan.  He has made the jump from rookie ball to the Majors in a weird way. 

He was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2012 but then they discovered he would need Tommy John surgery so they voided his contract to create a new contract. This created a rules quirk (loop hole) that made Wang a Rule 5 candidate after only 1 year in the Majors.

The Rule 5 draft aims to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other teams would be willing to have them play in the majors.

It seems the Brewers were REALLY interested in the young guy and decided to take him in the special Rule 5 draft.  Here is the thing, he MUST be on the major league roster the entire year. The plan is to have him with the Brewers all year and NEXT year send him down to the minors where he can develop.  So they need to give him enough work so he does not go stale knowing he is not really ready to play in the Majors.  From what I have heard and read the guy has all the qualities and a great fastball, just not the experience.

It will be interesting to watch this this year as they try to get him work in games such as yesterdays blow out where he got 3 innings in.  For HIM, it's not the results that count, just the experience. 

------------------------------
Big changes are being put in front of the City Council in regards to the Aquatic Center.  I believe they are trying to separate the Aquatic Center from Parks and Recreation by putting Pool Manager Loren Glasbrenner in charge as a seasonal employee permanently with no need to interview other candidates.

One of the problems I see immediately is that the Aquatic Center will open up 2 or 3 weeks later then normal.

Stay tuned for more information on this and if you have questions please talk to or email your, or any, aldermen.

District 1
rroyem@columbuswi.us  - Rick Royan
aadams@columbuswi.us - Aaron Adams

District 2
rmelotte@columbuswi.us - Me
dbomkamp@columbuswi.us - Dave Bomcamp

District Michael
mclark@columbuswi.us - Michael Clark     
mthom@columbuswi.us - Michael Thom

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RAIN?  You think we have had a lot of rain?

Check out these rain totals in Southern southeastern Alabama and western Florida.

Town / Tuesday / Wednesday

Silverhill            1.80 20.00 
Foley                  1.83 18.93
Orange Beach     2.01 18.52 
Milton                1.48 18.91 
Pensacola           1.86 17.70 

That is a whole lotta rain.
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I'm hoping more people will pay attention to City Council happenings and what their government is doing.  The latest Council meeting can be seen here.  The more people getting involved with the city the better place the city will be. 

Columbus City Council 4/15/14