Friday, June 27, 2014

We're Number Two, We're Number Two. BJCP Has Been Blown Up

I think they want to close down my blog  :-)   I got yelled at yesterday for expressing my thoughts about the Columbus Aquatic Center.

I'm not sure people understand that this is just my opinion and not an actual news gathering informational network.  Just me spouting off what is on my mind at 7:00 in the morning. I don't think I said anything totally inaccurate.  I did change some wording a little.

I'm actually more comfortable in a government that has different opinions on matters.

Whatever.  Watch out for the thought police on personal blogs.


I actually watched THE WORLD CUP yesterday and that 1-0 nothing blow out game was so exciting.   But it even gets more exciting now.   USA plays Belgium and "we" are an underdog but not as bad as "we" have been in the past.  Nate Silver has "us" winning 41.8% of the time against Belgium.

The rules change in this next round.  NO TIES!!  if the score is tied at the end of 90+ minutes, 30 MORE minutes of 0-0 game play is added on in extra time. How exciting is THAT!   No sudden death. Then if the score is still tied there is a shoot-out.

IF "we" can beat Belgium then the shit hits the fan and "we" will probably play Argentina and "we" have a 20.2% chance of beating these Cup favorites.  OH - I am all over this band wagon and I don't want to be looked down upon my the snoccers (Snob - Soccer fans).  Maybe I'll bet a world cup USA tattoo.


Overall "we" have a 13% chance if winning the next two matches.


OK OK - when I mention the Brewers to someone the typical comeback is "Oh, it's not the All Star Break Yet".    I even hear that on sports talk radio and some idiot "The Badger Insider" said it just the other day.  "OH, it's not the All Start Break, just wait!"

DUDE - The Brewers have played 82 games now and are one game from having the best record in the Majors.  After 80 games you really do know how your team is.  80 games does not mean they will be a .600 team at the end of the year but it does tell you that if you have played 80 games and your winning pct is .600, you got a pretty good team, you are not a BAD team.

Games above/below .500 Brewers/Cards


Home Brew Club last night.  Some of the Sun Prairie Worthogs attended the annual HUGE home brew convention in Grand Rapids (home of 32 breweries).  One thing in the beer world that is changing drastically is the BJCP Styles.

For instance - you will no longer see Octoberfest beer.  It is no longer a style.  It's Wiesn.  In fact if you go to Germany there is no Octoberfest celebration.   There are now seven styles of IPA.  Porter, no longer English Northern and  English Southern Porter, no more Robust Porter.  Robust Porter is now American Porter.  Brown Ale is no more. There is a complete revision of European styles, particularly English, Scottish, and German styles.

The world is changing my friends.

 Brewers just don't want to stay inside the box (except for Kirby and Wisconsin Brewing  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,  he seriously hates home brewers and their free thinking).

The good news is that we have found a woman (or a woman found us actually) that will have perhaps 100+ pounds of various hops to harvest that we can have as a club.  YUMMY!!  You figure one ounce of hops is about $4 in a store.

Also there is insurance we can get for home brew clubs and events which we have been looking for for about a year now.

The Club purchased a water sampling kit from LaMotte and I will test Columbus water and forward the results to Water & Light for their files.  I wonder what pump we get our water from.   Some brewers in Madison keep track of what pumps they get their water  from (or actually the percentage of water from each pump) as it changes seasonally and each pump has it's own water characteristics. That seems a little anal.

I have my water report from a few years ago.  It'll be interesting to see the changes.

I actually don't use Columbus water for the most part as it's softened. Mostly reverse osmosis water from Copps but I do put in one or two filtered gallons so I need to see what sort of brewing minerals are in it such as Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Bicarbonate, CaCO3 and so on.



A friend Matt, who lives two doors away is in the World Series of Poker this week.

I was so so close to advancing to the World Series about 10 years ago. All I needed was to have a person at a table not have a better full house then I did on one of the very last hands.  Sadly, he did.

The World Series of Poker is not quite as glamorous unless you are at the final few tables it seems  :-)


I better get out and start roping off my spot on the parade route.  It's happening already.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

TURN comes back

The views expressed by this author on this blog are the author's alone and do not represent the views of the city. The author is speaking for himself and not on behalf of the municipality. 

Late last year the Mayor and City Administrator decided to take things into their own hands and removed the Columbus Aquatic Center from under Parks and Rec. Loren was hired as the Pool Manager and would be under the direction of the City Administrator. Because all other Columbus government departments have a public citizen advisory board the Council recommended the Mayor form a Columbus Aquatic Advisory board made up of interested Columbus residents instead of the private CAAC board which the Mayor and City Administrator wanted (June 3rd COWagenda). The Mayor agreed.

BUT - as of yet there has been no movement in this advisory board.  Now it seems the City Council is being blamed for cutting the number of life guards by 20% and the number of concession staff by 50%. WHICH - if you look at the numbers from last year is not a BAD thing but let's give credit and blame to the proper places.  Council has zero say in what happens at the pool.

The reason I voted to have Loren hired and have control taken away from Parks and Rec (without our input) was because a citizen advisory board would be established.  If the public had concerns they could attend the open public meeting.  Now there is no open public meeting.  

For instance - Personally I do not believe that it is a good idea that a time clock has been disposed of and a piece of paper is now used to "punch in and punch out". All you have to do is write in on a piece of paper when you show up and leave.  

If everyone is OK with this, I'm fine.   Just sayin'

I have watched perhaps 10 minutes of the World Cup and last night I had constant dreams of the World Cup - WTF!!!   All I know was that in my dream US LOST 5-1.   Which is ridiculous because there has never been 6 goals in a soccer game in the history of the sport.  1-0 seems to be a blow-out.


TURN has been given a 2nd year.  The Revolutionary War drama about the first spies is an excellent show even though at times I have to put on Close Captions.  Nest season it will be aired just before Hell on Wheels which is a drama about building the Trans Continental Railroad.

I have not seen it yet but Big Brother 16 - the best strategy game show started last night and continues tonight. I had golf last night and home brew club tonight but will have a recap once I see it.

The great thing about this show is watching alliances grow and crumble.  Seriously, if you like strategy games this is a fantastic show.  It's not like what most people think with just people yelling and so forth. It's like the game Diplomacy but every week someone new has power and alliances need to bend and switch and it truly is fascinating.  

Sad news for Survivor fans.  Caleb was killed in a train accident a few days ago.  He was a good guy and I believe the 3rd Survivor contestant to no loner be with us.    I also found put that Survivor is filming right now for the upcoming season and 1 day before the contestants were to depart two were injured in separate accidents and there was some shifting on the producers part.


Just found out ShopKos are closing non-performing stores!  The one in Madison on Aberg just got the ax.

see ya!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blast from the past

I heard a song on the radio which brought back memories!  It was from Queens second album which had something to so with Black Queen White Queen but don't Google "images" of "Black Queen White Queen" from work (just a warning).

The album, or in my case the 8-track was from 1974 and was the featured 8-track on an adventure me and 5 other dudes had.  We went to a truck-in/road trip to Indianapolis in my tricked out hippy van (shag carpeting, wide Keystone wheels and the whole bit).

We were in a convoy of about 400 vans to and from Indianoplis where we had our own Woodstock and I basically, for some reason, I can't really remember 95% of what happened.  I do remember a beer drinking contest THROUGH STRAWS which even then I thought was interesting yet disgusting.  I did not like the yellow fizzy corn beer so I was a non-drinker . . . . of beer.

Now I'm contacting friends on Facebook to see who I was with.

Just because it did not rain in Columbus yesterday does not mean you should water your garden.  In the last 7 days we have had 4.30 inches.  I'm not sure the gardens are drying out yet. 

This is Iggy, also known as The Suckle Submarine.  The 3-month old little dude still has mommy issues.  It's a good thing Sofie is around, she does not seem to mind.  COVER YOUR NIPPLES!!

Friday a group of 12 of us golfed the Legends of Bergamont which is a stupid name but a pretty course.  with handicap I golfed a net 68 so I was pretty happy.

Check out that quaint little home on the left side of the photo.  So cute.

 I took this shot because the white water tower was so striking.  If only Columbus had a white water tower  :-) 

And the final photo is of a room that a developer wanted me to take.
 When DJ and I toured the Parade of Homes in Waunakee we saw some amazing "Show" houses.  25,000 square feet of beauty with 5 feet on either side of the house.  They were stacked right next to each other like sardines. 

One house actually made DJ angry.  BEAUTIFUL outside but the layout inside was a tribute to ridiculousness.  Nooks and cranny's everywhere that were cool but in real life would never ever be used.      

It seems to me a lot of Parade of Home house's are not meant to really be lived in but only looked at.  The house I had my work in was the first "normal" $550K house that people could MAYBE actually live in as opposed to showing it off. 


The economy - a few bellwethers have been surfacing lately.  One big one is Caterpillar.  95% of all Caterpillar equipment dealers are beating their forecasts in sales.  This is big news for the American economy as it shows growth. Yet another one is public construction spending as a percentage of GDP.  During the recession local governments got absolutely hammered and infrastructure was put on hold.  This is coming back in a big way.  And one more bellwether is RV sales are booming!  

Nuff said!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Times Running Out! The Broadway Theater

In Nate Silvers new book he takes on weather forecasting and to get right to the point "local" weather forecasters are horrible. They tell you what you want to hear so you will listen and tune in again.

All local channels except CH 27 take their forecasts right from the Natl Weather Service.  They they try to make the forecast "better".  The NWS is very very good.  The Weather Channel who also takes their forecast from NWS does slightly better mostly because they let NWS do all the heavy lifting.

Local?  Horrible. They will purposely fudge their forecasts to improve ratings. They really don't care because no one believes them anyway when they are wrong. Typically local forecasts have a "wet bias" and will err on the wet side.

Looking for the best forecast that is not concerned with ratings? - Madison


I went to the Parade of Homes in Waunakee where I had 4 images on a wall of a $550K house and was surprised when some people recognized me from the Agora Art Fair.  Then as I was waiting for crowds to pass before I took this shot I got to see people ooooing and ahhhhing about my Fractal oaks image LOL.

But the cool part was a house across the street wanted me to take photos of their house and more houses in the future!  

Here is a cool story about Chris Cook of Revival Homes.

When he built his very first house and showed it off to his parents they were shocked at one of the features.

They went and got a photo of his great grandfather who built homes.

The door!  Chris's door was exactly the same as his great grandfather.

Chris, who had never seen the photo before had me take a photo.

Now that I have had a little time to digest what was and what was not important (in my eyes) at the latest city council one of the things that is exciting is what is happening with the Columbus Auditorium.

However - before excitement happens there is a small problem which belongs to the CAC (Columbus Auditorium Committee) that has to be cleared up.

In order for the CTAi (Columbus Theater Association inc)  to be recognized as a 501(c)3 the "city" needs to terminate the CAC's lease.  Then the CTA could lease from the city directly.  Until this is done the CTA is stalled and REALLY, now is not a time to stall.

I cannot see any reason for the CAC to not relinquish control as I am sure that since they were all about making the auditorium a vibrant entity for the city, so this has to be a no brainer, I HOPE.  I applaud the CAC for putting up a good fight against the "old" city and keeping this dream alive. Without them the auditorium could have become a pile of rubble so we have MUCH to thank for their efforts!

And I tell ya - there are "rumors" of some pretty exciting things happening - SO exciting that you will NOT read about it HERE first!


In other news, boring old Columbus will be just like 99.9% ( or maybe 100%) of all the other city's in Wisconsin and have primaries if there are more then 2 candidates running for office.  For the life of me I can not think of any valid reason in the world to NOT have a primary.  
There is no longer a Facebook page for the Columbus Police Department, so if you are looking for it, it no longer exists.  Nuff Said.
Good news for baseball players - the original idea of having 4 foot home run fences that I balked at is now a minimum of 6 feet.
If you want to reserve a park shelter in Columbus you must reserve it with MONEY!   Call the rec department.  It's a fair way and helps upkeep and we are still cheaper then most towns.
The land that the School Board wanted to buy because it was cheap will probably be sold soon to a local developer who will probably sell it back to the city at a MUCH greater price in the future.

Well . . I would do the same thing I can't fault him for making a profit. The failed referendum will cost the citizens of Columbus much more now in the future (I assume).  And people don't think their votes counts??  30 votes short will raise school board taxes (I assume).


Glad I don't watch the World Cup.  WHEW!

But I did watch a lot of Brewers this weekend and WOW!

Game one  Brewers win 13-10

Game two - probably not only the greatest play of the year for the Brewers but worst play of the decare for the Rockies.  A bases clearing 3-run wild pitch!  AWESOME

Game three - Brewers up 5-3 in the 9th inning.  First Rockies batter rocks the ball that misses an HR by one inch, then as the ball bounds back to center field the batter runs 90 feet to 1st, runs 90 feet to 2nd, runs 90 feet to 3rd and then runs 70 feet towards home before he trips, falls on his face and Brewers tag him out.

Next batter hits  what WOULD have been a game tieing HR.



I feel sad - I now leave to go to the dentist who I have been going to for over 35 years.  He is retiring at the need of the month.  So weird.

When I get home it's brew day as I brew a Bavarian DunkelWeiss a light brown wheat beer that has a mild chocolate malt flavor that will have some smoky and spicy character. . . . I hope.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rain Rain Go Away

Looks like Columbus with it's 1.67 inches of rain yesterday morning is taking near top spot in rain reports.   Beaver Dam is reporting 2.27 and Madison is between 0.77 and 1.15.  Whitewater had 2.62, Sun Prairie had 1.51 but also had 80 mph straight line winds and a LOT of trees down. I drove through yesterday and near Jungs every yard had tree damage.

So far in the last week Columbus has received 2.62 inches of rain. 

I was asked where all this rain is coming from and it's do to a stalled front just south of Wisconsin. With the lack of a powerful jet stream which is north of Wisconsin the storms just meander east taking their time.  

Good chance of big rain after midnight tonight with good chance of Thunderstorms all day tomorrow.  Good Saturday and then 90% chance of T-storms Sunday and Monday.


Speaking of  Parliamentary Procedure which was invented by a church dude in Milwaukee (seriously) I was in no way saying Mayor Kelly was in the wrong when he quoted from the Big Book of Words saying we were fine with the voting. I think he saved the day . . again.  I'm not exactly sure if Parliamentary Procedure is a Law?  a Practice? or what the legal ramifications are for not following Roberts Rules of Order (the official name).  I sometimes think the whole process is silly and time consuming but I suppose we need SOMETHING in place.      


Something that will need to be talked about is the flawed and controversial demerit point system in Columbus.      


Reason #3 on why children of the 70's should be dead. 


 This poor kid is about to get rammed in the nuts by a goat, and the nearby adult isn’t the least bit concerned.  In fact, he finds this all incredibly amusing!  As hard as this is to believe, but when kids got hurt back then, adults didn’t come running with first-aid kits.  More than likely you’d be left alone with your pain, with no alternative but to get over it.
In the 70s, parents watched their offspring fall from trees and fall off bikes with a smile.

OH - So I have been enamored with Iggy Pop and wondering how I missed this dudes music like 40 years ago.

I was listening to Pandora and there was a song by The Stooges, Iggys first band and I was reading the bio . . LOL . . OH MY!!

During the recording of the Stooges' second album, members of the band were introduced to heroin, which quickly took a heavy toll on the group. As the Stooges prepared to release their sophomore album, every member sank deeper into substance abuse (except for Ron Asheton, who became increasingly frustrated with his bandmates as instruments and gear were pawned to pay for drugs), and their excess eventually surfaced in their concerts, not only through Iggy's antics, but also in the fact that the band could barely keep a simple, two-chord riff afloat.

LOL   Sounds like a movie!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gotta Love Parliamentary Procedure

Why children of the 70's should be dead - reason #2


Remember when playgrounds were fun? Sure, there was a pretty good chance you’d be scalded by a hot metal slide, or walk away with tetanus, but that’s what memories are made of. The ground wasn’t coated with soft recycled rubber or sand as most are today – they were asphalt. Remember being hurled from a spinning merry-go-round, then skidding across the gravel at full speed? Good times. 
 I remember my school playground had a metal ladder “wall” that I swear went up three stories – it didn’t connect to a slide or anything. It was literally a ladder to the sky. I remember fully believing the oxygen was thinner at the top. One false move and I’d have been a flesh colored stain on the asphalt.
According to the New York Times we are making playgrounds so safe that they actually stunt our kids’ development. So, while blood was spilt and concussions were dealt on the playgrounds of the 1970s, we were at least in a developmentally rich environment – and we had the bruises and scabs to prove it.

Most fantastic two at bats ever last night in the Brewer game.

Things are getting chippy in Arizona.  After the Brewers hit a few batters NOT on purpose the last few nights, Old School manager for Arizona decided it was time to show how tough TheD'backs were.

SO - in yet another close game in the 7th inning after Scooter Gennett had his 5th straight multi hit game and now with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out, Braun comes to bat.  Statistically the BEST way to stop ONE run from scoring is loading the bases (although you risk MORE then one run).

SO - with the crowd booing Braun, Kirk Gibson gives the order to, instead of intentionally walking Braun, just hit the guy.

First pitch goes behind Ryan, Umpire goes out and has a face to face chat with reliever Marshall who said "it got away".

Second pitch goes straight at Braun and hits him in the back.  The crowd goes wild and cheers, the umpire tossed out Marshall who upon arriving at his dugout gets' high 5's all around and fist pumps from the Manager.

Up steps Lucroy, the hottest batter in the NL with one HR already and he takes the first pitch 420 feet to center for a grand slam.  BOOM!   Brewers win.  Arizona gets Tough Guy award, Brewers get the Victory.

When Braun was asked if  Marshall hit him on purpose he responded "You will have to ask him. I wish him all the best and hope he finds peace and happiness in his life".  


I was asked about how the Brewers are doing, and are they just playing .500 ball.  Well from when???

Here is a chart showing the Brewers and the Cards and how the race is going.  This shows games below/above .500.


Very interesting and entertaining City Council last night and like normal it'll take me a day or so to process all that went down and I still don't know if one vote failed or passed because of a weird parliamentary procedure problem which I have emailed the question to a Professor who is the expert.  .

For anyone interested.

We had a quorum.  There are 6 members on Council and 2 were absent, Thom on vacation and Bomcamp who has missed 2 of the last 3.  So we were down to 4.

There were applications for Fermented Beverage Licenses and Aaron, a bar owner felt he needed to abstain.  SO - we voted YES YES YES ABSTAIN.   Now the question is that you need a majority, of 6? of the votes?  An Abstain is a non-vote so there are only 3 members voting which is NOT a quorum.

SO - the email I got from    

In part, it depends on what the voting rule is for this particular measure ... the default rule is a majority (or supermajority) of the votes cast - however, some measures by local rule or statute may require something more than that - as in a majority (or supermajority) of the members present or - even more stringent - majority (or supermajority) of the total membership... but, even more to the point - assuming this is a major action such as an ordinance or resolution or contractual agreement of some sort, it seems the rule coming from the Oconto County ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the 1870's would apply... that is "a quorum must vote" - in other words, the member who was in conflict is not counted as among a quorum of qualified voters on this issue.. so the measure - if my analysis is right - would not pass under the conditions I have assumed ... check with Claire Silverman to see if she agrees... LEL

p.s. whether the abstention is a vote or a nonvote isn't really the issue under these circumstances but if the person who abstained was not in conflict but just abstained, what happens?? .. a parliamentarian would say that it is a nonvote - but courts have held that an abstention has been legitimately counted both as an affirmative vote and as a negative vote... again, the parliamentarian's position is, in the absence of an outside rule, that the abstention is a nonvote but can have the effect of a "no" vote if the requirement is that a measure requires a majority of the members present or of the total membership... some localities have passed their own rules governing abstentions


One thing about last night will have a financial impact on Columbus residents in the future is the impending sale of the land the school board wanted to buy cheap.  I'm just theorizing from events but it looks like the owner of that land who just wanted to unload it "cheap" for a nice profit will sell it "cheap" to a person who will probably up the price ( as I would) in the future because Columbus will NEED that land.


hmmm - I've never take a tornado break when writing a blog before.  We have a river running down the MIDDLE of the 16 fairway (as opposed to the side).


OH the Library - I did not know that they have e-books.  You can borrow books for your tablet and even stream movies  . . . some how.

When people say library's are a thing of the past the  are normally people who don't go to the library. The Columbus library had a circulation of 16,000 books in May which is about average.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

JARTS, LOGOS, Playing House, Thunderstorms

The first in eight reasons if you grew up in the 70's you should be dead.

Can your mind comprehend a more deadly toy than a weighted spear that kids hurl through the air like a missile? No one ever obeyed the actual manufacturer’s rules, we just flung these damn things everywhere.  We threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved.

After roughly 6,700 emergency-room visits and the deaths of three children between 1978 and 1988, they finally outlawed Jarts on December 19, 1988. I suppose it needed to be banned, but a part of me is sad that kids today won’t have the battle scars and Jart survival stories we had. Goodbye Jart – you were an impaling arrow of death, but I loved you anyway.


Logo's and branding for companies are is a science but sometimes that science FAILS!

A Japanese Kudawara Pharmacy

Catholic Church's Archdiocesan Youth Commission - COME ON!!

Vermont Maple Syrup


I just heard on TV that we need to stop eating fruit because it is rotting your teeth away unless you use this special toothpaste.


I was up late with the Brewer game and the storms last night.  Columbus received 0.92 inches, Madison 1.50 inches and Portage 2.33 inches!  We were sort of in between the systems.   I suspect Columbus should get 3-5 more inches of rain in the next 6 days.

If you are wondering about the upcoming days and WHEN the rain is due here are the times with the best chances for thunderstorms

hmmmmmmm - it will be easier to post when there WON'T be a good chance of thunderstorms.

These are the times when there is not at least a 50% chance of thunderstorms

Tuesday NOW until 3PM
Thursday 6AM to 8PM
Friday 2PM on


I was flipping around TV a few weeks ago and was on the USA Channel.  I rarely see anything on USA but a blond caught my attention.  Was she the TJ MAX blond? I had seen her before somewhere.  But then something happened in the show and I chuckled and watched the last 10 minutes. Sort of funny.

Saturday morning DJ and I were drinking coffee an and the show was on and I said "I saw part of this show a few weeks ago".  We ended up watching two episodes and DJ says '"Why have I never heard of this show, it's REALLY good".

Playing House - we now have VOD's the show (Video on Demand) and really had a hard time not binging.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Shawshank Water & Light

 I'm sure Eric our Water & Light Czar would be rolling over in his grave . . . if he was dead which he isn't, those rumors have been squashed, my bad, (I'll probably get an email now telling me to stop giving out misleading information and correcting me) when I called The Columbus W&L Well #1 as looking a like like Shawshank. 

Well . (no pun intended) . . . when we had our W&L meeting at the above plant I was thinking that I'm either in Shawshank or a WWII submarine or a sort of dirty brewery.   It was awesome.

Basement of Cbus W&L Plant #1
  I'll intersperse some photos I took of the place while I ramble on a little here.

MY VIEW of things! 

One of the reasons I wanted to be on City Council was because my view on things was slightly different then the then the previous decade+ councils.  When I talk to people what I was hear and what I felt the direction the city was going or trying to go, were different. 

I believe this is a fundamental difference in philosophies.

For instance.  For years and years I have listened to people complain about roads. But this is something ALL city's go through. What I found different was WHY are people complaining.

It was not because their cars were getting out of alinement or they needed to go pee more often on bumpy roads.  The reason I heard can be put into one sentence that was told to me "I am embarrassed when my parents come to town".

Now many people would hear that and take it for what it is but this "feeling" carries over to many things in Columbus.   We aren't really hurting for business.  No one really complains that they can not find things to buy, HOWEVER, they complain that the downtown looks "old and tired". 

 And that is the fundamental difference. My goal is to make Columbus a place people can be proud of and that will bring business. Not the other way around. 

For instance, like Don Quixote chasing water towers I'm on a white tower kick and already this morning a friend emailed me and said "seriously?".

We have a gray/silver water tower. No one notices it, it's there, it holds water, it is what it is. It says Columbus on it but unless you get close you can't read it and by that time you can read it you have lost interest.   

To me - this is a very large opportunity to show the world that Columbus has something to offer.  Make it white, put Discover Columbus on it with the nice new logo and POW, people from 151 can see it and put Columbus in their minds.

Will it make people move to Columbus? No, but when citizens see it they will go "wow, that looks REALLY nice"  and make people happy and show that we do care about aesthetics.  Of course there is that price tag which to me is just on the edge of that financial box.

Like buying a home and you know how much you want to spend and the price is JUST OUTSIDE of that comfort zone.   THAT, is where I feel cities fail.  They are so worried about not spending too much on big ticket items that they tend to forget, while it hurts NOW, in a year no one will be talking about it and you will have it.

City's seem to fritter away so much money on little things that help a very very small amount of people but then when they have a chance to really make a difference . . . . .they pull'r in and say TOO MUCH.  We can survive without it.  Well, for me, surviving and doing things the way we have always done in is going backwards.

Bottom line and MY opinion only, here is what we can do.

1.. Don't paint the water tower because nobody notices it anyway. 

2. Paint the water tower silver/gray and put the new logo on it and no one will really notice and if they do they will say, why did we spend all that money on this.  It was fine. 

3. Paint it white with the new colorful logo and people will say "wow, did we get a NEW? water tower? it looks GREAT".  Or they will say it looks GREAT why did we spend all that money.  

For me personally - I drive into a city and see a gray water tower and I feel I'm driving into a city that has no character. Gray water tower, gray people, this town cares little about aesthetics. Bright white water tower . . (don't say it)  . . .people with a bright outlook on life.  But that price tag . . . . . sigh!!  If we don't go for white I'll be disappointed but will understand.  Just my personal point of view.

This little baby takes iron out of the water. (correct me if I'm wrong)
    I had to look - I see on Fine Art America a Fall Out Shelter 20x30 canvas print is going for $335.

Really? A fall out shelter sign?  I'll have to look into this! Is this a piece of art people want in their living room? . . . .maybe bathroom  :-)    hmmmmm now I'm thinking!  LOL


OH - I have 4 pieces of  art up in a Parade of Homes home. sigh.  I guess there was a controversy.

While I was there I took a few photos of the place. 

 I sent them to the coordinator but she seemed unimpressed , whatever.

Lots of thunderstorms this week - almost every day until next Sunday has a good chance for storms.  

 Have a great week - talk at ya next time!  


Friend of mine emailed me this - instead of putting Columbus on the tower we could honor our great Governor!

Sadly I think half the people that read this could say - "YES yes we could, that is a great idea".

I love you guys!  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Give me a gig of solar power.

I don't know why people are afraid of me - just because if they make a mistake I write about it . . . . . It's not like they are wearing Google Glass . . . or Face Computers!!  LOL

So as I mentioned before I've been working hard supplying a Parade of Home home with my images.  I drove to Waunakee yesterday to deliver 3 more with price tags and so forth and it's kind of a hassle because if you have entire block of homes going up and every home has a dozen workers all with their own truck and you can't use driveways so it's a pretty crowded place.

ANYWAY - I get there and . . . . wait  . . .what?  The entire home is furnished now and all the walls have framed generic beige blobs of color that are not mine.  And mine are stacked in a three season porch.
I stand there with a giant ? above my head and call my contact.  She answers and I say something like "So I didn't like make the cut or something?" and she says "what?" And I explain and she says "WHAT?"   And she is amazed and shocked will get down to it but then has another job for me (how handy?) .

Well, my stuff is still there and I do not have a clue what is happening now but I sat around all day yesterday waiting for a phone call to explain what I should do . . . I was a little perturbed.  I guess I'll see when I go to visit the Parade.


At the moment before the 1st Council meeting in August a Sun Prairie rep for fiber optics will be giving the council a presentation to see if we wish to be a 1 gig city like Sun Prairie will soon be. We would piggy back onto their system.  We have the cable running to Cbus already.  This isn't just for internet but will be TV and everything.  Just a beginning talk as Sun Praire is moving forward.

I'll keep all informed as I learn more.


A really cool thing we learned from the WPPI Power Dinner was that WPPI (who we buy our energy from) is looking for a beta community for a solar farm and Columbus would be PERFECT.  A quick explanation. Basically a acre of solar panels that would feed into our water and light sub station. Then customers would buy a share.

For instance - we had our house assessed for getting a solar water heater which would include solar panels and so forth which we would need to take care of and probably cost $10,000 and would pay for itself over 10-15 years.  With this (an example only) we would buy in for $10,000, THEY would operate and maintain the solar panels and we would buy power at a reduced rate from W&L. . . or something like that.

It's still in the "let's talk about this" stage but if Columbus wants to be a Energy Sustainability Community (of whatever it's called) this is a must in my book.  Since WPPI wants this to be highly visible they are looking to advertise so it's a double win for both the community and WPPI.


In lieu of any other information getting out here is a quick report of the 16/60 project coming in 2017.

The 16/60 Task force met again and I'm pretty sure trees are in the downtown's future and we are moving along - perhaps not as fast as I wish because we tend to get side tracked on things that are meaningless at the moment which is a little frustrating.  RIGHT NOW - the big push is on the historic district for an important document for the DOT.

Here is what we have so far.

This weekend we are all submitting our color ideas for the colored concert (not painted) for crosswalks and the bump outs near the F&M bank.  We can't have bump outs at the 4 corners.

Jenny Achterburg came up with an idea and  I still want to talk to Caldwell Lumber about reusing the wood from the trees that will have to be felled (did I used that work correctly?). I've talked to some metal fabricating people in Columbus and they are a GO for making our own benches like Mount Horeb.
 Mount Horeb has these benches, about 3 or 4 on each block.  MUCH cheaper then the metal ones we would have to purchase and MUCH more inviting to sit on. 

Here is a view of Mount Horeb - OH LOOK - a white water tower (I'll have more on the current plans for repainting our water tower . . . silver  :-(  but white will cost an extra $250,000,  I'm pro white).   Think what the Mount Horeb tower would look like in a silver.

And before you ask, there are many trees that will fit that love salt.

I;m now typing 1 handed because of a kitty so i will bid adieu.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Got no Time

It's not that I have nothing to say - I just don't have time to say it.

For instance - yesterday I was in Waunakee preparing 14 images for a Parade of Homes, Kilkenny Farms, house for Schwingle Homes, then a Task Foce Meeting for the 16/60 reconstruction which is REALLY exciting (downtown trees) and right after that I attended a WPPI Energy Regional Power Dinner at the Gold Mast Inn on Okauchee Lake where I ate a Filet Mignon the size of my head and found out there is a good possibility Columbus will be getting a highly visible Solar Farm (still in the talking/questions stage), then back home at 9:00PM to work on price tags and so forth until 11:00 and NOW - up at 7:00AM with more image work to deliver by 9:00.


I barely have time to get excited about the World Cup (is that the soccer one or the cricket one?)

And now I don't have time to tell you cool things like American Packaging uses more electricity in a day then ALL the residents of Columbus combined . . . .and they are expanding!

 SO - what am I do here?  You're right!


Nonsense, repeated day after day, does not cease to be nonsense.

Later Gator!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another almost satisfied customer - The Square - FAIL!

Everything was going so smoothly until I charged their card $4167.25 by accident!  sigh

I swipe the customers credit card through my Square and THEN enter the price which is $395 and the tax is added . . . . . And nothing happens. My finger touches a zero searching for an ENTER button, something is not right,   BAM.   Accepted. 

Wait . . .what?  $4167.25?  Are you kidding me?

I stare at the number . . . . Umm . . . . My brain has either slowed to a crawl OR is running at break neck speed towards a wall.  I'm not sure which, or both.

Sweat starts to oooz out of the pours of my skin as I stare at the number . . . . SHIT!   But wait . . . . they have not signed it yet.  I know signing does absolutely nothing in real life but. . . maybe????  

I back out of the signing screen and see a cancel so I press it.  But is THAT transaction backed out?  Did it go through?   The customer is on their computer and sure enough, the transaction did go through - FREAKISHLY FAST - wait - and it got backed out already!  OMG 

Lesson learned with The Square - do NOT swipe the card and THEN enter an amount.  I guess I had never done that before! 

ANYWAY - today I deliver a bunch of images to a Parade of Homes house in Waunakee which is a new adventure. 


Anybody seeing Japanese Beetles? Did the harsh winter kill them?  In all my digging I did not see one grub this year! 


Cute kitty picture of the day  - we noticed they were sleeping on a shirt so we went to ShopKo and got a bed and put it next to a window where they play/sleep.    They seem to like it.

And seriously - why would anybody buy a toy for a kitten.  EVERYTHING is a toy.  Their newest fascination is a pencil on the floor - WHAT FUN!!   


The Edge of Tomorrow - one of the worst titles ever for what MOST people say SHOULD be the hit of the summer.  Critics AND people that have seen the movie are all saying  AWESOME FLICK.   According to Flixster 90% of the critics love it and an unheard of 92% of movie goers say its GREAT!  

Yet - it was crushed by The Fault in Our Stars (Shailene Woodley - Divergent). The problem?  Science Fiction and poor marketing.  I know I was not that excited about it.   I do want to see this one though!

"This is the first real original, fun, big action movie of the summer. Tom Cruise stars as an Army Major who works in marketing trying to recruit people to fight against Aliens called Mimics that have invaded Earth.

He is then thrust against his will into combat and has a freak accident that allows him to relive the same day, in which he dies each day. He teams with a soldier(Emily Blunt) , who had suffered from the same thing, to try to find a way to defeat the aliens.

This movie is big, action packed, and a lot of fun. It doesn't take itself too serious and has some real good laughs. The effects are fantastic, although the 3D was subpar. But I saw it in a smaller auditorium, and it seemed dimmer than normal. So I will blame the theater for the poor 3D. Having said that, this is kind of like this years "Pacific Rim". One of the better sci-fi/alien invasion movies I've seen in quite a while. Don't let this one slip under your radar, it's definitely worth a watch!"

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dragons, employment and an Anniversary

And interesting chart popped up about jobs in America. After the jobs report came out saying "we" had finally gotten past the high point in the job market since the recession and then people started complaining about how long it took . . . .well . . . . Obama, a Democratic President decided to actually make our government smaller which slowed employment down a LOT (as opposed to other Presidents who SAY they will make government smaller but don't).


As for Private sector jobs - pretty much in the middle. 


I'm a little ticked off at Mr. Eisenga and his Grocery Store plans.  If you remember the very first problem the "new" Council had to deal with was the rush rush "we HAVE to get shovels in the ground NOW" decision making as we tried to correct a problem he created. 

Well, shovels are not in the ground and they are already 3 weeks behind schedule without one shovel of dirt being moved.  This week they are suppose to be putting in Concrete frostwalls and footings, yet . . . . I see nothing.

Yea - there are problems I suppose getting all the right papers in but that should have been put into the estimate, ESPECIALLY if the occupancy date of 11/5/14 is REQUIRED!    


18 years ago people in Wisconsin were suffering one the the worst springs in memory.  In 1996 we had just gone through 2 weeks of highs in the low to middle 60s and lows in the upper 30s and people were pissed, complaining and whiny! 

DJ and I got up at 3:00am and drove to the Milwaukee airport, it was foggy and cool and everything was delayed.   We finally boarded the plane and 3 hours later landed in Las Vegas where the morning temperature was hovering around 100 degrees on what would become the hottest June 9th on record with clear skies and it felt WONDERFUL!    

Sort of like when you are a little cool and you hop into you car and it's all warm.  

About 5 hours later we were being driven back to The Rio in a limo with faulty air conditioning by Louie the Limo Driver and we were now Mr and Mrs Melotte.  We were married at The Little Chapel of the West (which was moved a week later when they imploded The Hacienda) in a wonderful spiritual wedding.  

It was the best gamble of my life and I have never ever regretted it.  

Ten years later we were remarried near a vortex in a beautiful area near a babbling stream with Cathedral Rock in the background outside of Sedona AZ and a day later that area burned down.

We have been told to stay away from most places for our 20th Anniversary.

A side note - two days earlier we were in Las Vegas where they had an entire years worth of rain in one day flooding the streets and backing up the sewers. 

Dragon Art Fair - had a good day.  In fact surprisingly it was the 10th best out of the 27 fairs I have done.  The odd thing was I sold a few images of  Fritz Kline who was playing Abe Lincoln.  Sort of a surprise.  Also an image of the USS Cobia for a guy that is in a club that plays an old computer game called Silent Hunter.  It's always so weird what people will buy.  

We got packed up JUST before the storms hit.  We were 10 minutes from "all packed" when the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped - WHEW!  

BTW - DeForest has a WONDERFUL Fire Station/Police Station/EMS building all in one!  WOW!

The big ticket items were the Fractal Oaks (working title 3 Kows because those 3 splotches in the green are actually cows.)

And of course State Street where I have to deliver a special order 20x60 to Madison today.


I finished The Forever War - what a fascinating book and my D-Day weather book is interesting.  I did not know it was forbidden to say anything in the newspapers about current weather in the U.S. during WWII.

In fact there was a forest fire in Maine and a newspaper reported in was extinguished by a "smart" electrical storm and the editor was almost fired for going against strict wartime security.

It's a great book for weather geeks.

OH - speaking of weather - another image that sold, FINALLY, was of a wheat field on a 100 degree day.  I remember because I was in long pants, long sleeve shirt and a tie when I stopped the car and took this just outside of Cottage Grove.


Final thoughts

Game of Thrones - OMG - I can't un-see that scene. Grossest thing I have ever seen seriously. TOO MUCH TOO MUCH! If you watch GoT you know what I'm talking about!

TURN - I hope AMC gives it a 2nd season - what a great show.  AMC is turning into a wonderful network with a good number of excellent shows!

Orphan Black - watch it. The BBC has this weird quirky thing going on. Maybe it's just the British are weird and quirky.

All my normal shows are over and I can catch up on Boardwalk Empire and so forth before the best strategy game show ever - Big Brother comes on.  If you have ever played Diplomacy or other strategy games you will love this show. If you have never watched it it's not what you think it is.  

Nuff said - have a great day

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kwik Trip - UnFail!

I  got an email from The Enforcer of the Mission Statement from Kwik Trip yesterday assuring me that "we will make things right".

What? - Does Kwik Trip have The Machine that knows all and hears all?  Just like "Person of Interest" did my number come up and I must now be dealt with?   If I go to the offending vertically integrated Kwik Trip convenience store will I find an entirely new set of employees?  I'm a little worried now.

Anyway - they asked for my address and I assume I will get a hot dog in the mail sometime in the next few days!


By the time you read this Friday nearly 5000 men have already lost their lives on the Normandy beaches.  Ask yourself . . . Have I earned their sacrifice?  Have I earned the freedom that they were dying for?

On my bucket list is a trip to Normandy, I hope I have earned it but I'm really not sure.

One question that will never be answered is what if the landings would have failed.  Many Americans were not pro invading Europe and instead wanted revenge on Japan. If the invasion failed America would have had a hard time island hopping in the Pacific. Would Dewey actually defeat Roosevelt?   And going further Ike would not have been elected President, would MacArthur be elected?

MacArthur LOVED the idea of nukes, remember he wanted to create a radioactive dead zone in Korea by contaminating the Yulu River. There is a pretty good book called "If the Allies Had Fallen".

Just thoughts.

My father in law was rescued in the sinking of the USS Indy by a PBY which was the exact plane my dad flew.  I think a lot about both heroes on days like this.

My monkey kittens are creating havoc around me.  Iggy is sitting on the beeping part of my weather station and Sofie is watching baby birds in a nest when they are not wrestling.  

I was looking at buying some canned cat food and there are SO many warnings about certain kinds NOT to buy.

Science Diet - If it does not say what animal  the "meat" came from - STAY AWAY! It is totally gross what their "meat" comes from.  It could have been from a previous pet.

IAMS - well, they did kill thousands of cats in 2007  from cat food poising

Eukanuba - this is TOXIC food and very carcinogenic. It's been proven to cause cancer.

Friskies and so forth - well, if you had a child would you feed him a diet of 100% Trix and CoCo Puffs?  this is what that crap is.  And people wonder why they have fat cats?

Spend a few more bucks and get grain free food.  If there is corn on the label, it's garbage.

I watched the first episode of Orphan Black an BBC show.  I rea it's the best show on TV nobody watches and I now believe it.

Starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical women who are revealed to be clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her clones, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing Childs' suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its effect on issues of personal identity
It's really a good show - check it out when you can!

All right - time to do some serious trailer packing!   Have a great weekend - sorry for the boring blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kwik Trip . . .FAIL? Impossible, Can't happen

So here I am all pumped up about how awesome Kwik Trip is and spreading the word when I come across a classic FAIL.

I'm driving to Door Creek for golf league and since I did not have any lunch I figured I stop at Kwik Trip in Cottage Grove and get an 83 cent roller dog.  The really do have pretty good hot dogs.  I go in and . . . . . what????   no hot dogs at all?.  And wait - brats are $1 . . . no brats?  hmmmmm  I wander around like a zombie for a few minutes and return to my car empty handed.  

BUT WAIT!!!!   The dude said one of their business models is to cater to soccer moms who want a quick AND HEALTHY treat for their kids.  And knowing that I can get a banana for like a dime I shut the car off to get a healthy banana.  

WHAT????  NO BANANAS????   . . OR APPLES???   I stood there, literally for 1 minute staring blankly at the empty shelves in shock. 

I purchased a Salted Nut Roll instead and had my best round of the year!     

mmmmmmm  a nougat center that is surrounded in a layer of caramel and then covered with salted Virginia peanuts using reduced lactose whey.  Nut Rolls were created in 1933 during the depression originally named Choo Choo Bars.


Tomorrow is D-Day and as I'm a weather geek I've started reading a new book called "The Forecast for D-day: And the Weatherman behind Ike's Greatest Gamble", by John Ross.

Did you know the first person to coin "weather forecast" was Capt Robert FitzRoy (captain of the HMS Beagle) in 1861.   He was so bad he slit his throat in 1865.  It was not until 1933 (the same year Choo Choo Bars first appeared) that the U.S. got serious about weather forecasting.  

And since I'm talking about D-Day . . . did you know that Scotty from Star Trek was in the first wave to hit Juno Beach and suffered 6 gun shot wounds. One in his chest but his cigarette case stopped the bullet but one bullet tore off his right hand middle finger. You never saw his right hand on Star Trek.

He shot two snipers and led his men through an anti-tank mine field.


Words can be a powerful tool but sometimes you can use a word that you think is fine but the listener takes it the wrong way. I believe I am the poster child for using the wrong words.

There are six words that people say all the time and that people should not use.


When you say you should or shouldn't do something you are making a value judgement but is it the right choice??

Have to

There are very few things where you really have to do something except breathing I suppose.  If you feel you have to do something it's your choice because if you don't do it something bad MIGHT happen.

Can/Can't - one of my pet peeves

This one drives me crazy.   You can do something but will you?  Replace "can" with "will" in a sentence and look how it's much more powerful.  "can" is a negative word.  can't is a copout. When you say "can't you are admitting failure and is like saying "won't"


There is almost nothing that is truly impossible.  At one point they said landing on the moon was impossible.  Never say "impossible".   When you say something is possible then you can start to find a way to make it so.   "impossible" is admitting defeat and proving to yourself you are a loser.

And that is my story!    


OH OH for all of you guys out there. Did you know it takes almost 500 shaves to dull a razor?  The cutting of beards do not dull a sharp blade.  It's the water. When you shave shake out the razor and dry it on a towel and place it UP.  It will prolong your blades a very very long time.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I hope the city's horse wins!

City Council 6.4.14 - where I try to separate my personal views with facts!


"Is it really in the city's best interest to put $1000 on a horse?"  Those words came out of my mouth - I couldn't believe it.

Well . . . . . I guess it is.   LOL

Let me explain myself - I'm certainly not anti gambling as I have taken road trips around America and island vacations and so forth from poker winnings so me even saying this felt odd.

But when there was a thing asking for the town to sponsor a horse in the Lift Up Columbus Challenge horse race thing knowing that all money might go towards an elevator in the pavilion (the winner has the "opportunity" to donate the winnings). I just do not like this at all from a municipality stand point.

Six horses with the winning team winning $3500 that have the OPPORTUNITY to donate the winnings? just seems dubious. The $1000 will go towards the elevator no matter what . . . . I think. maybe, I don't know.

I still do not like this idea. I'm all for helping fund an elevator but I would much rather just give $1000. Not race for it. I know I know - not really any big difference.  But then why do I feel this way.   BUT - I hope our horse wins. I wonder if we can "fix" the race for our team to win.  Do we even have a chance to pick our horse?

I'm sitting here with two cats rutting around my room creating havoc.  Iggy keeps trying to nurse on Sofie who does not seem to mind but in the middle of the night the sound is . . . . . disconcerting.  The are two nutballs for sure.


Had city council last night which was not SUPER exciting (finally) and yesterday afternoon I attended the CDA Business award luncheon where I had a very healthy carb laden diet with pasta and another pasta and some sort of weird white chicken chunks.  Wiseguys Auto and Sharrows Downtown won awards for being the last two businesses in Columbus and I had my photo taken with The Mayor for the newspaper (always an honor your honor).      

The highlight (as if white chicken chunks could be outdone) was listing to a dude from Kwik Trip. WOW - what a great place.  I want a job there.  Did you know they get two milk deliveries a day? You can not find fresher milk.

40% of all profits go back to the employees in profit sharing.  5% annually is automatically donated into a 401K and every year each employee gets 1% more ownership of the store they work in which they can cash out when and if they leave (24% turnover each year and 1% at their distribution center). Each year, even if you worked there for 1 month as the lowest paid dude, you get at least a $1000 bonus check.


This is get'r done week which is always the week before an art fair. I decided to minimize ger'r done week this year by having three art fairs in a 14 days in August.  Ale and Arts in Columbus August 3rd, Paoli 6 days later and Fitchburg 7 days after that.

This Saturday I'll be at the  Dragon Art Fair - in Deforest if you are looking for something to do. COME ON DOWN!! it's going to be a beautiful day and is a pretty good art fair (not crafty)!

You can make bets to see if I'm still moving.  I was jumping in and out of a 5 foot high trailer with wild abandon yesterday when I lifted a folding table and felt a searing pain in my back.  NOOOOO!!   NOT THIS WEEK!    I dropped everything and went into "caring for my back" mode.

That last thing I need is a back pain as setting up my canopy is no easy task.  It takes a little work to set up a top of the line canopy which is able to withstand 40mph winds.  It ain't no easy-up for sure.

So I spent a good part of the afternoon, night and sleeping time with ice on my back.  I'm being a little more careful today and all seems well at the moment.  

Ice is the miracle cure for back pain.


Been hearing a lot of reports on Facebook, mostly just south of Columbus about mosquitoes - just sayin' could be one of those summers!!

OK - gotta run!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We CAN prohibit trucks from traveling through Columbus!

Not feeling it today!

HOWEVER - the Columbus Historic Landmarks and Preservation Commission created a WONDERFUL book about Columbus featuring the paintings of Susan Stair and SHOULD be sold in stores (if there was a Visitor Center in Columbus it would be a perfect place). Produced by Alice Schmidt and Suzanne Walcott this is a great piece of work and can be found in PDF form in the link below.

One thing that tweaked my attention was the Badger Car Company which operated from 1909 to 1913.

In 1923 the New York Dry Milk Company built a plant and became part of the Boredom Milk Company. During WWII German prisoners worked in the plant.

When I was looking for images I found some . . . FROM THIS BLOG!  LOL I did some googling and Grinders Island came up from February 2009.

  I will embrace alzheimer's  as everything will be new.

Looking back I see I was investigating how Poynette got it's name and just like Rio is was because of poor penmanship.

Should have been Pauquette.  And Rio should have been Ohio.

Columbus was suppose to be Club Om Us. 

OH in the May 29th blog I was in no way BLAMING the Police Department for letting trucks speed through town. This a BLOG, not an official news gathering organization. sigh!

However - people alway ask about getting rid of trucks in Columbus!  Well . . . . . . . .

349.17 Authority of cities, villages and towns to regulate heavy traffic.

349.17(1)(1) Any city, village or town may by ordinance or resolution designate any street or highway under its jurisdiction as a heavy traffic route and designate the type and character of vehicles which may be operated thereon. A city, village or town may restrict or prohibit heavy traffic from using other streets or highways under its jurisdiction except that it may not place such restrictions on streets or highways over which are routed state trunk highways and may not prohibit heavy traffic from using a street or highway for the purpose of obtaining orders for supplies or moving or delivering supplies or commodities to or from any place of business or residence which has an entrance on such street or highway. Whenever a city, village or town designates any street or highway under its jurisdiction as a heavy traffic route, it shall cause appropriate signs to be erected giving notice thereof.

HOWEVER - 16/60 AND 73 are NOT designated as State Trunk Highways when they enter Columbus!!   So we CAN prohibit trucks from entering Columbus 
hmmmmm - this seems to be a windmill I must chase!    I will get back to you. 

Of course this might have an impact on the 16/60 reconstruction!   hmmmm Build a brand new streetscape OR delete trucks.    I say - build streetscape AND THEN delete trucks :-)   I think we have an opportunity here thanks to Chief Meister!  Thank You.

Monday, June 2, 2014

OMG - Waunakee - Trees, Sofie and Iggy

Squirrel . . . Squirrel .. . .we had our very first sighting of a squirrel in our back yard last week.  Twice actually.  I believe he is the forward recon unit for the squirrel kingdom.  He was checking out if the branches of our birch tree (which is REALLY growing) and if he could reach the feeder yet.  No he can't, maybe next year.

After surveying our yard he went to the next yard. He probably went back to his dray, or scurry (a group of squirrels) and said perhaps NEXT year.

While Dane and Rock County Humane Societies were giving away pets for free and tossing in some salt and pepper for seasoning we went to the Columbia County Humane Society and purchased two amazing kittens and now we have a clowder or kindle of kittens.

We were worried as we picked up Sofie (on left - 2 months 2 weeks old) 5 days before Iggy (on right, 2 months 1 week old).  Sofie was an amazingly awesome kitten.  Seriously.  After spending 11 long, tough, sleepless years with Milo (God rest his soul) we had been blessed with the perfect kitten and NO - all kittens are not perfect.

So then we went to get Iggy.  How would they get along, would we ruin a good thing?

Sofie was annoyed with Iggy who is a laid back dude who just wanted to chill a little because his balls sort of hurt, or whatever was there and are not there now hurt.  And Sofie would just sort of play hiss A LOT.

They wrestled but with perky ears and long story short now we have to stop Iggy from trying to breast feed on Sofie who does not mind!  We knew all was well when we work up and Iggy was sleeping on top of Sofie who didn't seem to mind that much.  

Sofie is a controlling lover that loves to play with any tail available and Iggy is a laid back dude that likes toys and hanging out.         


OMG - Waunakee

Waunakee is going through what Columbus will go through in 3 years and they REALLY got it going! They have their own website dedicated to the reconstruction and streetscape with updates and GREAT ideas.

We need to suck their brains!  They have online outlines and progress reports and a big street dance when it's completed, promotions, the Chamber has WaunaDollars, their own Construction Facebook page, timelines and so forth!  THAT is how it's done!

We can go to school with these guys! 

There was a post on Columbus Connects asking about trees and this image

The question was - do Columbus residents want trees downtown??? 

Out of I believe 80 responses (an I'm making an uneducated guess here) 75 wanted trees, 4 were concerned with the cost and one person hated Obama.

That is Mount Horeb and I took a lot of streetscape images. They used REAL bricks for crosswalks, had bump outs, wooden benches every 4 or 5 stores (hmmmm, where could we get wood from).  

Oddly there was a little resistance at the 16/60 task force when I brought up trees.  Here is a list of why we NEED trees

Mature shade trees provide annual benefits that range between $40-80 per tree, while management costs are $15-30 per tree.

Benefits increase with tree size because larger trees support more leaf surface area than smaller trees.

In general, larger trees are more expensive to maintain than smaller trees, but increased benefits more than offset the difference

Benefit-cost ratios range from 1.5 to 1.9 for all street and park trees, indicating that $1.50 to $1.90 is returned in benefits for every $1 spent on managing an urban forestry program.

Pruning is usually the single greatest cost, followed by expenditures for tree planting, removal, administration, and hardscape repair.

Irrigation costs vary regionally, but average nearly $1 per tree annually in regions where trees receive hand-watering during periods of establishment and aridity.

In a hot, arid climate, increasing street tree shade by 20% increases the pavement condition index 11%. Once large-stature shade trees have matured, their shade can extend the resurfacing cycle from 6 to 13 years, reducing preventive maintenance costs by 50%. 

 Air pollutant uptake benefits are greatest in regions where pollution concentrations are highest and tree canopy cover is most extensive. In such areas, net annual uptake for a large tree may be 3-5 lbs ($25-35 implied value based on California emissions trading prices). One can see this by rubbing their hands over the foliage and noting the soot on their hands. If the tree wasn't there the soot would be in people's lungs, on their cars, clothes, homes, and other surfaces.

Trees reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide annually by 100-200 lbs per tree depending on species, age, and location. This benefit is valued at $1-2 per tree.  

And not on that list is noise pollution.  Think of all the trucks that speed (literally) through Columbus and their sound bouncing off all that brick.  Trees will deaden the sound.

We NEED trees.  OH - a friend of mine says bioswales are a big deal now and since Columbus is a "green" community this is something to seriously look into downtown. Many towns are using a bump out that is actually a bioswale and maybe there are some grants we can use for this.



Every successful company in the world has a brand.  Something that tells people what you stand for. The CDA talked about branding for a few minutes about 8 months ago and Steve Sobiak had an aisle out taking down what Columbus stood for.  The problem was that the list was long with no real answer of WHAT we are!!

But I was at the Water and Light Board the other day and they were talking about the water tower that will be painted next summer and being an artsy kind of guy I asked what was going to be on it!

They showed me and my head spun!  POW!  THERE IT IS!!  Our brand (at least in my mind).

"Discover Columbus".

Now we have said that a few times but never SERIOUSLY!   But wait - there's more.

"Discover Columbus" is just the beginning.  We have no real logo so on a logo include the things that show what we are and then underneath "Discover Columbus"

"Celebrating Small Town America"

"Celebrating Small Town America"  sells a feeling, not a product and that is how you attract people.

That is what we are, that is why people move here!  We CELEBRATE our smallness.  We are NOT Sun Prairie, the big headed child that people dislike all of a sudden.  We are a small town with small town values where everybody knows everybody (that is good OR bad ).

Most of the people I know in Columbus moved here because we were a small community.

Just thinking out loud.  I have more but I had to work today and don't have my notes!  :-)