Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jones Dairy Farm Reacts To My Short Sausage Complaint

I was contacted by not only Jones Dairy Farm but Costco, both concerned about my findings.  Jones's will reimburse the entire amount for my 3.5 pounds of short sausages, Costco just thanked me.

When I was a kid in high school I used to play and get in lots of trouble with Rick Jones, I never really knew where he was on the Jones family tree but being a Jones in Fort Atkinson I figured he was somewhere attached. 

I tied for low net in golf last night with a scrambling net 35.  I hit the ball great unless I hit it very poorly. When I DID hit the ball very poorly my next recovery shot was surprisingly good.  My team is still in 1st place and the peloton has not caught us yet.  


I have some great shots of my garden that I need to get out of my camera.


WORST BAD BEAT IN POKER HISTORY (maybe) happened in the World Series of Poker. Connor Drinan drew pocket aces and had a 2% chance of losing the hand pre-flop, the problem was Cary Katz ALSO drew pocket Aces.  There was a 96% chance the two would split the pot.

But it all started to go south on the flop 

Still, there is only a 5% chance of two more hearts flopping. 

hmmmmm - now it's a 20% chance of one more heart flopping 

So long one million dollars 


My favorite class in college was Economics so when something pops up on my radar I feel the need to obsess over it to find the real facts. 

In the last city council you might have heard a lawyer explaining how Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) has changed in the last few years and how they are good for towns. This is 100% bull shit.  They have not changed at all and are horrible for towns in the long run.  

TIFs are GREAT for politicians and city leaders but in the long run they give you short term cash and pride at the expense of long term debt and are horrible for the citizens of the towns. I won't get into it at the moment but I've been to a seminar or two and have researched TIFs and they cost towns money in the long run and their Return on Investment (ROI) is negative.  OH - they are great for politicians because they make it LOOK like they are creating jobs and business BUT, at the cost of it's citizens down the road (we are talking 30 years down the road). 

TIFs are like giant decades long ponzi schemes where you pay the piper 30 years down the road and the politicians are long gone by then.  If you want to build a business, don't screw over the citizens by giving un-needed tax breaks to the wealthy. Do it like it's been done for thousands of years that has worked great.  I've said too much already. 

Just an opening salvo. Sorry.    



The Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers play the first NFL game of the year Thursday Sept 4th and for Packer fans that being the 1st game is good news.  Seattle is REALLY good.  Best to get that game out of the way early before the Seahawks get rolling. 

The Seahawks are looking at a dynasty.  Of course every Superbowl winner is looking at a dynasty but the Seahawks might actually do it. Why?  Teams that win SBs normally ARE positioned to win more, in fact 55.9% of the time if you win one you will win one more in the next 10 years. 

However - looking at last years schedule, of all the SB winners they had the 6th toughest schedule (1996 Packers had the 4th hardest of all SB winners).  But what is setting Seattle apart is their youth which was the 2nd youngest in the league last year which ranks 3rd youngest in all SBs.

11 of the 12 youngest SB winners went on to win one more SB in the next decade while 4 of the oldest 12 won one more. 

just sayin.

The Hall of Fame changed it's rules for getting into it (is that a complete sentence?).  Instead of 15 years you to try now you only get 10 years.  In theory it is designed to exclude the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens type PED players. 

I won't go into this but I personally think that PED players SHOULD have some area in the Hall of Fame. The Hall is a museum of baseball history.  They should be included, maybe in a separate room or something with large * but just ignoring them is trying to delete history.

But what I found amazing is this, Gil Hodges, Roger Maris and Tommy John are NOT in the Hall of Fame.  WHAT????    Mickey Lolich, Dave Parker are not either?  What up!!  


OH - baby sitting yesterday - I survived but just barely.  Let's just say that the kids were VERY active. ----------------------------------

Ale and Arts this Sunday (one of the very worst days of the year for me to have an art fair) next to City Hall.  I have special 8x10ish and slightly larger canvas prints of Columbus. Get them while they're hot. Next to City Hall. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jones Dairy Farm / Costco shorting sausages!

in one of the many twists of fate DJ grew up next to Oscar Meyer and I grew up next to Jones Dairy Farm in Fort Atkinson.  Her dad was rescued by a PBY in WWII and my dad flew a PBY in WWII.  DJs brother is 7 years older then she is and my brother is 7 years older then I am. Both dads parents played the accordion. 

ANYWAY - there are dozens more weird things (DJ parents age difference, my parents age difference and the age difference between DJ and I are the same). 

ANYWAY - We purchased Jones Golden Brown All Natural Fully Cook Sausages from Costco because they are pretty tasty and a good deal.  DJ was making a thing for her work and needed to cook up about 40 of those little devils and purchased two 10 packs from HyVee as we were short.  

This morning I got up and was cooking 40 sausages which I wish I could do EVERY morning but I found something odd.  

On the packages they said they were the same size but side by side the Costco ones were much smaller.  I got out my brewing scale and found that the 10 packs were as advertised  0.7 oz for each sausage.  HOWEVER - the 80-84 pack from Costco each sausage was actually 0.64 oz.  Making the claim that there were 56 oz of sausages actually 51.2 oz.  

I'm disappointed in Jones Dairy Farm.   Someone is shorting someone and I will be asking both companies for an explanation.

Now I must prepare myself psychologically for an hour of baby sitting.  Pray for me. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Pizza Place in Columbus - Hydro Street

In case you are wondering - Columbus has received 1.25 inches of rain this month and THAT is why you have not mowed your lawn lately.


WELL - I'm glad I looked up Columbus Connects on Facebook as I was misinformed about a meeting tonight (or I was just not paying attention which is always a possibility)

5:00 - 7:00 pm: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is hosting a public information meeting at the Columbus Community Center, 161 N. Dickason Blvd. The meeting is to present information on the improvements planned for State Highway 16 and the intersection with State Highway 60 in 2016. This is not related to the State Highway 16/60 (James Street) project slated for 2017. If you have any questions or concerns related to development of this project, you are encouraged to attend. If you cannot attend, you are asked to contact either Gary Sassman with DAAR Engineering at (608) 229-1446/email:, or David Pilon at WisDOT, at (608) 245-2622/email: 


Hydro Street as scraped the majority of their menu and is now serving Falbo Bros Pizza out of Sun Prairie (home of 16 pizza joints).  I was driving through SP yesterday and saw Falbo Bros and stopped in and had a couple slices and  . . pretty darn good.  

Hydro has like a Papa Murphy's fusion going on.  Falbo cooks the crust halfway and adds fresh toppings then sends the pizza's to Hydro for further baking on demand.  Last week Hydro went through over 100 of the 12 inch thin crust pizza loaded with toppings. Stop by and check out the new pizza place in Columbus.

Watched The Grand Budapest Hotel last night - hmmmmm - very odd movie, I'm not sure what to think about it.  Fixter people LOVED it at an 87% range - very artsy and the trailer is a little deceiving.  Lots of stars getting less the 30 seconds screen time. Still  I suppose quirky would be a word I could use.  Funny in a chuckling kind of way.  It did seem like a long 1:39 minute movie. 


I see MG&E and WE want to increase their monthly overcharge rate for every customer and then lower the electricity rate per Kilowatt which would remove the incentive to have solar energy. 

Just sayin' 

It seems not many people in Columbus want solar power from what I hear. WHAT??  you say?  

Go to this link to read about solar coming to Columbus - MAYBE - if enough people are interested. They need to know!

Columbus Water & Light    

One thing I was thinking about last night is this - it says

 "The estimated share price will be about $500. The electricity produced by one share will provide the owner with a utility credit equivalent to a 4% to 6% annual interest payment."

  What I wonder is will inflation help?  Will 4 to 6% be worth more in 15 years?  of will it always be 4 to 6% of that $500.


Brewers - STILL 63% chance for the playoffs, Cards 60.4% and Pirates 49.5%, Cubs 0.0%.

Monday, July 28, 2014

USS Indy / Graph TV

BRRRR it's cold out.  Bring on summer.

There is a ultra cool website you have to check out called Graph TV. This site takes all the ratings from  each episode of a TV show from the IMDB database and graphs them.  It's interesting to see shows rise and fall.

Seems the shows I LOVE that get canceled are always up the upswing.


Father in law is home from Indianapolis and it seems he had a great time - especially since he was treated like Royalty.

When they arrived in the airport in Chicago they had given out thousands of flags to everybody and the same in Indianapolis.  On the plane the captain announced there was a very special traveler and then they were escorted by police car to the Hyatt.

"All rather embarrassing" he said.

BUT - in Indy when ever Mel and guest had free time and they went to any restaurant and tried to pay - Nope - this is on us!

The first concept video/trailer was introduced for the Band of Brothers style series that he was interviewed for.

I'm getting ready for an Art Fair blast, 3 fairs in 14 days will stress my logistics.  Arts & Ale this Sunday Aug 3rd, Paoli the the next Saturday Aug 9th and my superbowl The Agora Art Fair in Fitchburg Aug 16th.

Something new that came up is I'll have my works in gallery at The Workshop in Columbus in October. I'll have more on that as I get more information. I do know that there will be an opening on a Friday night where they will allow me to "mix" with the public.


It's all I got

Friday, July 25, 2014

Arby's - thinking outside the box.

It's heavy bomber weekend in Madison . . . . this weekend - just spreading the news..

I had the Sun Prairie Worthog homebrew club meeting night last night in Sun Prairie and a B25 flew over and the sound was magnificent.

It was nice that we found out that the two home brew stores in Madison are telling customers that if you want to DRINK beer join the Madison Home Brew Club, if you want to learn how to make better beer join the Worthogs.

Our next meeting is all about water and how it is SO important in making beer and probably the most overlooked part of beer if you want to make a good tasting brew.  August 28th at The Nitty Gritty 7:00 all are welcome to attend.  

I bottled my Bavarian Dunkelweizen yesterday and decanted my small batch Munich Dunkle which is still lagering.  I think I'll have to make my Double Chocolate Stout next so it will be ready for late October.


Yesterday I took my father-in-law to the airport so he could attend the 69th reunion of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.  One thing that is important this year is that a "Band of Brothers" style series is being created my a movie company and they want to interview Mel on camera for the movie. Being one of the last two Marines survivors they are running out of time.

A great read is " In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors"  
It's a pretty exciting story and Mel was with the small group away from the larger group. There is a photo in the book with Mel (top right)


Here is a shot of Jenny and Josh's Caydance and Sydney goofing around.  Sydney was so funny at the Lake Mills Art Fair - seems they went into a very good water colorist canopy and Sydney says "Oh, I don't like theses at all!".   She says so many odd things it's funny.  A few weeks ago she was playing in one of our bedrooms and came out and everybody was in another room.  "Where is my family?" she proclaims!

She is really good at taking care of Caydance even though she is the young one (with no fear of anything). Caydance is doing great and starts Kindergarten in the fall.


Frankie on Big Brother received bad news as his grandfather passed away.  It's very very rare that house guests get any contact with the outside world for the 3 months that are quarantined.  The one other time was 911 when there were only 3 left and one of the contestants had a relative in one of the towers. Otherwise they get zero news of the outside world.  

Live feeds showed the entire house crying for Frankie.  That is the difference with Big Brother, you can tune in 24 hours a day and see what is going on. Nothing is hidden.

Arby's thinking outside the box.  

Before I go to home brew club I normally make a stop at Arby's to put something into my stomach and every time I go I ask the same question. Since they seem to have 100% turnover from month to month I always hope I will get a different answer to a simple question.

I say "I would like a normal size Ham and Cheese Melt".  Well, they ONLY have the $1 mini ham and cheese and for the last 10 months it seems it's totally impossible to make a bigger one. Can't do it - OH - I can buy TWO though.

I don't want TWO.

Well last night it all changed.  I asked the question knowing I would get the blank stare as I always get but this guy said "Oh, you want to order a Mini with extra meat then".  I was stunned.  BUT WAIT. He gets on his headset and calls to the sandwich maker and here is what the problems started.  

The order TAKER, obviously understood the Common Core philosophy and new how to work through a difficult problem such as this, the sandwich maker on the other hand who was not a Common Core student could not think outside the box.

How much ham?  5 ounces?  no - double the 1.5 oz so it would be 3 oz.  Oh - but but but what about the extra buns?  NO - put it on a normal bun, ONE bun.  cheese? does he want cheese?  YES, the normal cheese.  Double meat, one bun and cheese, like a mini but with more meat.  How much meat?  DOUBLE THE MEAT, ADD CHEESE, ONE BUN.

Well then came the problem of how much do we charge this trouble maker since we have totally gone off the grid on this bizarre sandwich that no one has ever thought about before.

I kept looking around to see if anybody else was watching this but there were only a couple of truck drivers that looked like they had been on the road way too long.   OH - and then they wanted my name for the order. Really?

OK - there is ONE guy in the place now and I say "Rod".  Ron?  "Rod" , Rob?  ROD! - DOES IT FREAKING MATTER?  And please please don't ask if I want my receipt, printed? emailed? text? facebook? tweet? Instagram?

In the end I had a fantastic sandwich that made me very happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Columbus Streetscape Part Un

OK OK - perhaps yesterdays blog was a cop out - but it IS a good show.

CSS Taskforce

MAN! - you would think recreating an entire downtown streetscape inside a budget with strict rules but no one will tell you what the rules actually are and there is a drop dead deadline that if things are not perfect the whole 16/60 reconstruction can be moved back 2 years - NO PRESSURE!!!

Before I forget - stoplights for the BP/ShopKo/Strip mall area is scheduled to take place in 2016 and will cost Columbus zero.  In fact we should GET CSS funds to help  . . . do something.

As for the above streetscape here is the deal.

DOT is funding a MAJOR project from 16/60 all the way through town and by killing downtown business (what there is) they will give us 3% of the total cost (which seems to have worked out to 1.5ish% in reality) to make improvements.  In fact $166,000 worth.

Now you would THINK that $166,000 is a nice chunk of money and would go far right? Well, it sort of does actually IF we get help from metal working businesses in the Columbus area WHICH we have 3 so far penciled in lightly. (Purchasing benches ($2000 each) and trash cans ($1000 each) and bike racks can cost a LOT of money).

ANYWAY - you have read here about my trials and tribulations with trying to understand the unknowable on how things get decided.

As it turns out we have been ultimately dealing with The National Park Service.  WHO KNEW!!  I typically don't think of the The National Park Service being that involved with streetscapes.

Here is the deal.  The F&M bank as we all know is an historic building but it is also an Historic Landmark which is like a top of the line historic building because of it's "Outstanding example of design or construction".

 Seriously - so many photos are taken of that building it's crazy.

So - the problem we were dealing with was colored corners.  In the master plan we will have a striking crosswalks in a dark dark gray outlined with white lines starting from Charles Street at the top of the hill running south all the way through town to Manning.

This will tell motorists on the new super smooth CONCRETE road that they are about to enter a special area.

Once they hit the historical, conical tree lined (3 trees per side) city with new lights they will know to slow down.  Then each corner of the four corners will be colored (a dark lush brown - I can't think of the actual name) with two at-grade planting beds per corner (it's fine, DPW is on board).  

But the main attraction is Dickason Blvd though.

There will be four, 4 foot bumpouts with two bumpouts colored colored and two with normal cement next to the City Hall AND F&M bank, AS PER The National Park Service demand.  Don't get me started as that is ridiculous.  At the very least it's a funny story when people ask why 2 of the 4 corners are colored and two white.

It seems both the City Hall and F&M bank are Historic Landmarks which is pretty darn cool.

BTW - Wikiepedia has Farmers and Merchants Union Bank located at the northwest corner of James Street and Broadway.  BOOM - now you know where the Broadway Theater group got it's name!!  Dickason used to be called Broadway.

Hey Broadway Fans! Keep an eye out when visiting local businesses for these flyers, and make sure to grab a tab! 

So that is the plan and I'm excited. 2017 is the date the band aid gets ripped and the downtown will fester for a summer but only to grow stronger.   I hope I have not been run out of town by then.  Downtown businesses should REALLY be saving $$ as I suspect business will be at least 50% off for a summer.

OH - this reconstruction is going to cost us for sure but Columbus has gained in net worth this past year and we have been preparing for this.  Of course there are unknowns and this is ONLY the historic downtown area that had to pass Smokey the Bear and the rest of the crew with The National Parks.

Did I mention that overhead lines will be buried?  And yes - trees will be lost (and replaced).

OH - I almost forgot - There will be n Art/Sculpture planting island taking up the 1st 2 parking spots in Dickason BLVD . . WITH electricity (thank you Alderman Thom - good call with the electric).

Has anybody noticed what the world stock markets are NOT doing?  We got planes being shot down, economic sanctions with Iraq and Syria and Israel and Gaza and Ukraine and Russia and threats to the global supply to oil and the Scottish government seceding from the UK and world markets have not even blinked.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Big Brother is watching

Hope everybody is keeping cool for this long long heat wave that we have to endure for another EIGHT hours (we should start dropping in temp by 7PM and hit 62 degrees by tomorrow morning 7ish). Summers over.


I bet nobody is watching this fantastic strategy show but BB did some great casting this year with this group of caricatures with actual brains and personalities are very entertaining.  STILL, the best game on TV.  ANYBODY that likes strategy games should watch this - highly entertaining and insightful.

Now that the fluff has been voted out and some of the opening volleys have calmed down AND, more importantly, most house guests REAL personalities are coming out here is who we have left.


Amber - Part of the original alliance called the Bomb Squad which consisted of a whopping 8 members and was doomed from the beginning.  She became part of the all male alliance because a FORMER house guest went whacko and decided to have her in the group - he is gone now.

Has no actual personality BUT - is a grown-up and is not there to have a showmance. She is like a real person.


Caleb - WOW - this dude has a HUGE personality and HUGE muscles. He is another member of The Bomb Squad but does not realize, YET, that him and Amber are the ONLY members in that defunct alliance.  His problem is that he has totally gone head over heals over Amber and Amber wants nothing to do with him at ALL.  However, Caleb assumes that if he likes someone she will automatically like him back. His game play has left the building.  The odd thing is that he really has a big heart AND a huge ego.

Dead woman walking. She will be gone this week and this is the worst photo of her ever taken. 

Christine the tattooed one. Alliances just keep falling into her lap and she just goes along. Right now she is on the 5 member Detonators (basically The Bomb Square without Celab and Amber). Good game player and is good friends with Nicole and Hayden's on the non-named "friends" alliance.   


 Derrick - the normal one - an undercover cop and probably the most normal person there. Running the Detonators (Christine, Cody, Frankie, Zach).  A great game player and knows what is going on for the most part. 

If there is such a thing as a caricature of a normal person - its him.
Donny Donny Donny - America as fallen in love with Donny - a student of the game and pretty smart.  He's a janitor and dare I say a country bumpkin, Forest Gump kind of guy.  His parents do not want the show (Gunsmoke and Bonanza are more important).  House guests think he is maybe para military? a Harvard professor? a super genius scientists? but no - he is Donny the janitor. 

"I'm probably smarter than they think I am, but I'm probably not as smart as I think I am."


Cody - his problem is that him and Amber have a friendship going and Caleb HATES it and is freakishly jealous.  And it's just a friendship.  Nice guy totally.
Frankie is the flamboyant Broadway dancer (Mama Mia) who's sister is currently one of the biggest pop stars in America (yet I personally had never heard of her) Ariana Grande.  He's a little wild at times but has a good personality when not playing it up to the camera.  His strategy in the game is to play ALL sides until week 8 and then pick up. 
Zach came into the game saying - "I don't have a lot of friend because I'm my own best friend - I don't like most humans at all".  He is playing a Dr. Will game (Dr. Will was one of the greatest game players of all time and invented how to play this game i season 2).  He is aggressive and friendly at the same time and he cuddles with Frankie "I like girls, I'm not bi at all but there is something about cuddling with Frankie . . . .BUT I LIKE GIRLS".  
Jocasta - I can not stand this woman - a preacher that wears a dumb bow tie all the time, she must have a hundred of them and everything she does she thanks God for it. She had the flu for 3 days and was throwing up constantly and was thanking God for allowing her to throw up. REALLY???    Donny saved her from eviction and she wept way too much.
Very nice, very sweet, very smart country girl having a showmance with really nice Hayden.

Hayden is an awesome surfer dude. Honest, likable, and funny. 

Here is the problem at the moment - The detonators are running the house and while others know that there is some big alliance running things . . . . they are not forming a counter alliance.  At some point they need to focus.  I think there are so many other shoot off alliances that that is what is getting in the way.  Will it be too late when they realize it's us vs. them.  They are all in a "as long as it's not me going home this week"?  mode. 

Watch the show Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sunday nights CBS.  If you more then one show and start to see actual personalities you might be surprised.  


I'm worn out - that's enough. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fury and Misery - NO NO NO NOT ME!!

The Lake Mills Art Fair was a success.  My 27th art fair and my 6th best. This year I've had my 6th and 11th best art fair. The big winner this year was this image

 But the one image that was most fascinating was a photo of a butterfly that a professor was just going nuts over.  He explained it was only 2 or 3 hours old and had had a run in with a bird already and explained about his defense and how it probably had not eaten and yada yada.  Now I gotta find it's file.

The other shot that people really love was of Jester

I won my 4th ribbon which I refuse to wear proudly.  They are just gaudy! I want a medal.


 Putin - "Let's calm down and stop pointing fingers" (at ME).  Yea - well, we don't get the see the Kremlin panic too often but it is certainly panicking NOW!  Russia has a problem it cannot solve by finding a scapegoat that will disappear with lead to the head.

There is so much evidence that Russian backed rebels with a BUK anti-anti missle downed the airliner and in fact there no seems to have been a battery of the BUKs and these things are not something a normal human can operate.  These are big boy toys that only a professional team of solders can operate, not a lone rebel with a twitch trigger finger. The Russians have been caught red handed and my feeling is is the beginning of the end of the conflict over there.

The reason is all of a sudden the entire world is up in arms and pointing fingers and they are 100% correct. This has gone from your normal acts of terrorism to an actual war and is going to severely hurt Russia and even though Russian propaganda is going strong it seems the Russian people knowwhat is going on (you truly gotta love social media).


I'm not sure where I originally saw this but there is an app or a piece of software that really helps your eyes and it was tested on baseball players.  It helps seeing detail such as the spin of a 95mph fast ball where you have 400 milliseconds to figured out the spin of the ball and the results were sort of amazing.

In an article published in Current Biology the software improved vision my 31% and in some of the players their vision went from 20/20 to 20/7.5.

The key is that it's not actually your eyes but your brain.  Your eyes see a LOT of stuff but your brain only processes a small amount. It exercises your visual cortex.  It seems neuroscientists  are pretty excited and if THEY are excited I gotta try it.

It's called UltimEyes and many reviews of the APP are poor but the desktop version are all thumbs up.  So I'll download it later today and start the process, maybe I can find my golf ball better as I seem to be losing them in wide open spaces (net 35 last week, still going strong).  I'm glad I can't hit a golf ball 300 yards - I'd never find it.

I'll keep you updated

There is an index that does pretty well in forecasting bear markets - it's called the Misery Index which is found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate.

We're fine!


Wasn't there a comic book called Sgt Fury?

Brad Pitt has a movie coming out that looks pretty good if you are a WWII kind of guy.  The last WWII movie totally sucked - OK the last FEW, Monuments Men was horrible and Stalingrad, while I didn't see it had hideous reviews but this one looks pretty good.


Keep cool the next few days!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Columbus Water and Light need your help!!

Columbus Water and Light need your help!! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eggs / Comcast

Did you know that in Europe they do not store eggs in the refrigerator?  If you go grocery shopping they are on the same shelves as the canned goods.  In fact they never ever refrigerate their eggs. 

How can they do this?  

Different philosophy.

In Europe they do not want any water touching their eggs.  Out of a chicken an egg shell is impervious to salmonella and all the other bacteria.  Washing wash's off the cuticle which is a coating on the outside of the egg and once that is gone a drop of water creates a highway into the egg.  

Also by taking an egg out of the cold refig air condenses on the egg  . . .forming water drops!  

Another thing different is that in Europe chickens are vaccinated against salmonella.

Here in the US eggs are covered in poop and they wash the eggs which are now cleaned and refrigerated.  In Europe, they are brushed off  and put on shelves. 

Salmonella poisoning in Europe, in 1997 was 14,771 cases,  in 2009 . .  582.  

Yesterday while I was typing my rant blog about all that is wrong with the world and how I disagree with people in Columbus that are afraid of change, which disagreeing is not a bad thing , do you want a government full of YES men (people?)  I think the only person I have not disagreed with yet is Michael Clark on the Council.  Everybody else is fair game  LOL      

ANYWAY - I got a call from Jenny.  "HELP, Sydney and I are stuck in the BP car wash we can't get out and their receipt does not have their phone number".  I replied with a  "What?"
Sydney and Caydence 

And she explained that the door would not open and they could not get out.  

After I cleaned up the coffee that came out of my nose I called BP and she and Sydney were able to get out WITH a free car wash coupon.   

On a side note people ask how the kids are doing.  Caydence will enter kindergarten this fall and Sydney who is 3 REALLY looks out for Caydence.  I mean it's so awesome to have a little sister that is so protective of Caydence.  


Comcast - not sure if you have heard this customer service call between a Comcast Customer and a Cust rep.  The Customer wants to cancel!   This is an EIGHT minute phone call. Listen to this for a few minutes to get the idea.

Here is the reason Comcast does this.

If you call Comcast to cancel you are forwarded to a special department and the Customer Rep in THAT department DOES NOT GET PAID if they can not get 75% of the cancellation people to NOT cancel.

WHOA!!!!   And I thought Sirius Satellite, radio that I tried to cancel, was bad (They just hung up on me 5 times) "What what you are fading Mr. Melotte  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"  FIVE times and I was on a land line.

Personally Charter and DIRECT TV reps have been great the last few times I called.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday morning headache thoughts after council

Another l o n g City Council last night and I had a Library Board meeting before Council so I was pretty brain dead after 5 1/2 hours of meetings.

LOL - just got a call from my daughter in law - she is stuck in the BP car wash - the door would open.  Too funny.

My Wednesday morning rant

There is a pretty major bike ride starting and ending in Columbus Sunday Sept 14th - The 8th Annual Bike the Barns will have 600 avid cyclists (as I was at one time) riding 60 miles from farm to farm. For more information go to the CSA Coalition Website.

Last night the five active council members that show up (one one shows half of the time) had a long night of discussions.  

We repealed the demerit point system and voted to give a direct lease to the CTA (Columbus Theater Assc.) so they can now move forward with their non profit status.  Sadly, but not surprisingly, there can be no large scale fund raisers in the Auditorium because of safety concerns.  The past city government ignored the roof for so long it is unsafe for a large group.   I have a lot of confidence in the CTA and I feel the City of Columbus should help them as much as we can.  This is our last best hope for this building and if CTA cannot do it I will be dead and gone before anything gets done - NO PRESSURE!  

There is a proposal for an Assisted Living  Project on the north side of Hwy73 across from the hospital but the sticking point is the developers would like to make this area a TIF district.  The short answer of what a TIF is is that it's a method to use future gains in taxes to subsidize current improvements.  There are good TIF's and bad TIFs and while I like this project and the fact that it will be on Curt Hanson's land (he will not allow a crappy looking building on his land and understands aesthetics) I have concerns over a TIF district . . . . NOT against it, I just don't know enough yet.  The GOOD thing is that the developers are dealing with facts and have a plan, unlike the ShopKo TIF which is vague and no real plans for years and years.

New Columbus lights ??
There was a presentation of the CSS Task Force which I had issues on (even though I'm ON the task force).

I REALLY dislike the new streetlights as I feel we are losing our character and historic charm of the downtown.  The reasoning behind the new lights (which are almost exactly what Sun Prairie and Madison and Horicon and most towns have) is that they are taller and we will have less poles WHICH in turn will allow us to have urban trees while the Milwaukee Harp Style lights are shorter and we will need more of them but I still believe we can have trees.

I'm surprised HLPC is OK with this rather major change to the character of the downtown to make us look like Anytown USA.  Our consultant has never shown a street level view of what the town would look like so we really have no clue.

Then there are the trees which got some push back.  Seems some store owners do not want trees because they will hide signage.  My question is  . . . FROM WHO?  THERE IS NOBODY DOWNTOWN.

They complain because Columbus looks old and tired and have no pedestrians - BUT - they also don't want to change.  And hiding signage?  Really?  Have you ever walked anywhere in any downtown and could not find a store because of too many trees?  Do they want more trees and more pedestrians or less trees and less pedestrians.  Again - who says we will have more people downtown if it looks better. Afraid of change!

THEN there is the corner of Dickason  where the CSS Taskforce
created 4 foot bumpouts with colored corners. In fact colored corners in all eight of the downtown corners.  However - we can't have color next to the F&M Bank because it is a Landmark which is fine - I can ALMOST understand that although I'm pretty sure Lewis Sullivan would have LOVED colored corners!

And then without our knowledge and against the will of the CSS Taskforce's wishes - ALL colored corners were taken out of the plan.  SURPRISE!

NOW - their are concerns and disapproval of the bumpouts because trucks from Vita Plus will have problems IF THEY ARE NOT CAREFUL getting around the corner.  I guess it's all about trucks downtown and not pedestrians.  Again - let's not change anything because it MIGHT fail. The Columbus downtown is doing fine - why change.  My hope is somebody will talk to Vita-Plus.  I mean they will need an alternate route for 4 months anyway when that street is closed.

Room Tax is a continued ongoing discussion from the Mayor about the use of the funds and how he does not want the room tax to help origination's fund events in Columbus (Xplosion, Horse and Carriage or any other groups that wish for money).  At least that is my understanding and I disagree.

I LIKE having these groups come to Columbus, use our restaurants, gas stations, fast food and hotels. Every time someone says the word Columbus in a positive way - isn't that advertising and marketing?

He feels the room tax should all go towards marketing by a private group that does not have to have Councils OK to spend as they wish.

My plan would have the new unknown marketing person the city is hiring be in charge of the 75% room tax for marketing and 25% go towards groups looking for handouts to help come to Columbus.

And there is the DIX Street area and reconstruction. The City Admin is talking to KwikTrip in Columbus about that little part of empty land and MAYBE move that entrance to Pic-n-Save and KwikTrip a little for better traffic flow if we can work together towards a common goal.

And that is my rant. There are always multiple sides to all of the above.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Drinking Scientifically with Science Beer Glasses

A few city things.  Sounds like we might be leaning towards repainting the water tower white.  There was an idea to paint the bottom of the ball blue like Fall River but in an email I sent our Water Czar, which because of our hideous email system said NOT AUTHORIZED and then deleted the entire message and nothing went through.  I'll retype my idea here.  I LOATH Outlook.
Milwaukee Harp Lights

ANYWAY - Do we want to be like Fall River?  My latest windmill that I am chasing is trying to keep Columbus unique.  The 16/60 street light debate has started to turn bad (in my eyes).  Do we want new Milwaukee Harp Lights which would match Hwy73 downtown?  Or do we want taller lights exactly like Sun Prairie and Madison.  Those are cheaper because we need less, BUT, won't we start to look like Anytown USA.

ANYWAY - the water tower.  First it was Silver which it has been since the 1970s.  Now we are leaning to white which costs a little more but, I feel it is important to have a great looking water tower, especially in a small community.

The water tower is the first impression many wayfarers will have with Columbus. So I feel white at the very least is important.  But then there was an idea to have a blue bottom like Fall River which would cover the dirt and junk that builds up under the big ball.  Do we want to just copy Fall River??  IF (big if) we go this route - why not green.  Green is energy conservation which is what CW&L is all about right?

But why stop there!!!!  Beaver Dam is all blue.  We can't copy Beaver Dam, why not all dark Green (insert evil laugh).  I don't have a clue on the cost of a color as opposed to white is but let's not rule anything out before we know facts.

I was not elected because people felt I would just follow along and not change anything. People in Columbus are hungry for change, they want things to talk about and be proud of.  I tossed my "don't change anything"  rubber stamp that was attached to my chair away.

and yes, I am aware of budgets :-)


Someone posted on Facebook on our Sun Prairie Worthog page about some glassware that made IPA taste better.   Knowing that glassware is important but only having anecdotal knowledge I immediately felt this was something I must have.  At least to prove them wrong.

But I read the explanation and hmmmmmmm it seemed plausible, but what about reality!  So I ordered two glasses and my buddy Elwood and I felt it was necessary to really put the new glassware through the test saturday.

I'll explain the theory and then the results.

We all know bubbles form at nucleation sites in glass. Tiny imperfections.  These glasses have small humps or ribs which increase the surface area which in turn will give you more nucleation sites.  Fair enough, more on those ribs later.

The reason you want to bubbles and a good head on your beer is because 75% of taste is through your nose. More bubbles, more "taste".   In the photos below you can see the small ribs (more like humps).

Then the curved bowl directs and focuses the aroma to your nose.  Another thing to note is the actual curve of the glass which places the beer right in the middle of your tongue, unlike a typical pint glass which sloshes too much beer into your mouth too fast creating an antidrowing response on your tongue which the tongue tries to slow down the fluid by pressing against the teeth and covering taste buds.

Also of note, the glass is it is made out of almost pure quartz so it's very thin but very sturdy (not tested . . .yet).  They claim this glass will make beer keep it's cool temperature longer. The claim is 2.5 degrees colder after 5 minutes compared to think pint glasses.

BUT - all those are just theory - what about out experience.

The first thing you will note is that while I think I'm pretty good at pouring beer correctly I seemed to have issues with these new science glasses.  There is actually a trick we learned.  Tip the glass more horizontal and pour into the rounded top part.  It took a lot of practice but someone had to do it.

Most of the beer all seemed to give a much bigger head then in pint glasses.

Did it seem colder?  yea it did but it could have been subliminal.

HOWEVER -  here was the deal maker.  The entire beer and every beer we had tried from the 75 Minute Dogfish Head to Founders Centennial, to Averys IPA and Ale Asylums Ballistic and even my award winning Saison and a few others that I frankly can't remember (that was about the time the Mayors dad who was driving by stopped and started talking to us and we just smiled and nodded our heads) there was ALWAYS a perfect head.

The below photo is of a beer after 15 minutes after initial pour and some sips of beer. Notice the beautiful head.

What happens is that every time you take a drink the beer flows out of the bottom area and then back into that bottom area which agitates the beer just enough of reform the head.

The glass is shaped perfectly so your mouth and nose are all focused and you can see the beer flowing towards you.  It's really a fantastic glass.  I was floored.  I really didn't think I could fall in love with a glass!  Recliner, YES, TV, YES,  glass???  who knew!

Elwood and I both had "wow" moments saying these glasses really work.

5 thumbs up out of 5 I say.

I purchased two glasses for about $20 - free shipping.

Spiegelau Craft Beer Ipa Glass

Speigelau also make special stout glasses but I have not found those anywhere that has free shipping and don't want to pay $15 for one glass.


Went to Art Fair On The Square and I am totally going to apply next year.  Yea - it's $600 but it's time to step up with the Big Boys.  Spring Green also.

If any of you are near Lake Mills next Saturday they have a great show there and I'm in booth 33 on Madison street.

You know what does not sell for me?  Flowers!  Sunflowers yes but any other flower?  nope!  So weird.

ANYWAY - Saturday July 19th.

Then I'm bringing the show to Columbus for Ale and Arts August 3rd.

Friday, July 11, 2014

More Columbus Wi Solar Farm Information

More information is coming forward about the proposed Columbus Solar Farm (or whatever it's fancy name is) and I am personally excited about this prospect.  

We recently had our house evaluated for a solar water heater and I believe this option is better then having a solar panel on the house.  

BUT - the city needs to know if they will have customers and you can help - but first let me explain everything.

WPPI - Who Columbus and 40+ other communities buy power from wants to have two communities be their flagship for this new venture but there are some serious requirements. 

The community must have space that is near a highway so people will see it, it must be by a sub station and it must having the backing of the community.  We have the first two but who knows about the 3rd. 

Basically WPPI would build a 400 panel solar farm and each customer would buy 1 or more shares. Each share is one panel and would cost a one time fee of $500.  For each share a customer would get a monthly credit of about 4-6% on his bill.  Doing the math this would take 20 years to pay for itself - but wait.  **  see note 

There is no maintenance or repairs from hail storms or cleaning snow off the panels like you would have with one on your roof.  No construction, nothing on your roof.   

And think about it.  If you buy 2 panels for a one time $1000 it will hurt that first year because a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks.  But after a year that pain is gone and after 5 years you don't even remember what that was BUT, you will get 10% off your bell every month for a lifetime.

The share would become part of your property and if you sell your home it becomes a GREAT selling point when you can tell the home buyer  that they will get a lifetime discount on energy. 

The arguments against this were "Why are we always the first".  Well, if Columbus truly wants to be a "Energy Sustainability Leader" this is a no-brainer.  Families look for communities that are thinking green, it shows we care.   If we don't do this let's just scrap the who green" thing we have going on as we really don't believe it.  We will become a "Do Nothing Because It's Easier" city like all other towns.  Yet another town burdened with the fear of failure which almost always means we will never succeed.

That's my tough talk  :-)

If this comes to fruition I want to purchase 2 shares.

Here is how you can help? 

Columbus Water & Light needs to know if there is enough interest in the community.  They will have 400 panels to sell but unknown if the community wants this.  If you are at all interested I urge you to contact Water & Light  (920) 623-5912  and express that interest.  It's the only way we can move forward.   We don't need to lock in 400 shares but we do need to know if there is interest.

I will urge the city departments to all buy in.

**NOTE - Actually I believe this is wrong and I'll look into it. Our Electrit bill for the last 12 months was $1,244 and 5% of that would be $62 - that means payback would be 8 years.  So I believe the 4-6% has to be a monetary number and not a percent. I can't see an industry that uses $100,000 a year getting a $5000 rebate.  I bet I am reading this wrong - the wording is "typically 4 to 6% annual investment earnings" meaning $500 (one share) *0.05 = $25

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Drone Fireworks - Golf and Collage! :-)

Some have asked why I blog.  The answer is that once spelling checkers started evolving I wanted to make sure I wrote something every day.  Growing up dyslectic, words were not something that came naturally, numbers yes, words no.  So it's still a work in progress.

Case in point - my buddy balderdash is always quick to point out blatant errors and while I HAVE been to a collage of colleges (UW-Stevens Point, UW- Whitewater, MATC) I suppose talking about going to a collage you have to wonder if I actually graduated.

Spelling checkers just don't seem to understand meaning, OH, they can correct words but perhaps not as accurate as a human.

As luck would have it balderdash and I golfed together last night and we were paired against each other and he made a point of reminding me of my spelling faux pas.

I kicked his ass (although I believe his two Bloody Mary's before the round might have helped).

I won low net in the league - whoo hoo!  Which got me thinking - I've been hot "net-wise" meaning I must have sucked before I got hot.  (Net is my score after my handicap is subtracted).

So I went back and tallied up my last 97 scores which I just happen to have on a spread sheet.

Kiss of Death golf chart
Seems I have been on a hot streak - of course the golf gods will see this and strike me down very soon.


I need advice - a very good friend of mine lost her dog in a farming accident last Sunday.  An adorable little dachshund.   I'm going to get something going from our home brew club as she owned a store in Sun Prairie that helped us out a lot.   BUT - what can we get for $50ish ???   


I swear Iggy loves music.  Sofie, not so much but whenever I have music Iggy is near by and very loving. I just wish Iggy would stop being a suckle submarine with Sofie.  He's like a diver on a high dive and just "jumps in" at night.  Sofie seems to like it but . . . . it's disconcerting in the middle of the night when they are beside you.  He will grow out of this right? 


Better mow lawns today - gonna be humid this weekend.  


if you have not seen this - Fireworks taken with a GoPro on a drone!  awesome


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ESPN, New Math, Water & Light Solar Farming, Brazil

ESPN Magazine has published it's new Body Issue with 6 covers which I present a few to you.


I am so out of touch with school.

When I was a kid there was the Sputnik crisis and all of a sudden there was a perceived intellectual threat of the Soviet Union.  Something had to be done to make us kids in the 60's smarter and New Math was invented.  A new way to learn  modular arithmetic, algebraic inequalities, matrices, symbolic logic, Boolean algebra, and abstract algebra.

I really have no clue what the difference was between OLD math and NEW math and frankly I don't have a clue what NEW math is anymore.

But it seems there is a NEW NEW Math called Common Core math.  Without going into it deeply because I don't understand it . . . or want too, Common Core reminds me of some problems I had when learning computer programming.  It's not the answer that is important, it's HOW you figured out the problem.

It seems Common Core is teaching kids HOW to think and figure things out, not memorizing tables and so forth.  Is it harder?  I have to think so - hell, I can't figure it out.  It's the journey, not the destination.

In college we had computer problems and then when the project was complete the instructor said, use this instead and 100 lines of complicated code went down to like 5 but we learned a process on figuring things out.

I THINK that's what Common Core does (correct me if I'm wrong) Pretty cool!

I'm pretty sure Thursday's Columbus Water & Light Committee at the City Hall is not on the top of your to do list but there will be some interesting discussion on a proposed WPPI Solar Farm.

WPPI (where we get our energy - they are like the Green Bay Packers of electric companies - owned by member communities not a fat cat huge conglomerate) wants to award two test communities with a large solar farm and Columbus fits the bill . . . .IF . . .we want it.

Well, OF COURSE we want it but we need the public to want it also because "we" need about 30 contracts to make this viable.

Columbus has not been selected yet (although we have the perfect location) which is why we need public input.  Is there interest?

There are LOTS of questions which no one knows the answer too yet but we need to get the ball rolling.

The basic plan is that instead of having a solar panel on your house you would rent one (or shares) from W&L and get a rebate on your bill. Instead of paying $10,000 to install one on your house you use the cities.  They would take care of all maintenance and so forth.  I'm not sure of the logistics of anything yet but if you are at all interested call the Columbus Water & Light ((920) 623-5912) or come to the meeting Thursday or just stay tuned.


Every time I'm at the keyboard my little friend Iggy watches. I believe he has more then doubled in size in the last 5 weeks.

Not real worried about the Brewers yet.


They are doing what teams do - going into a funk.  All teams do it.  Unless you win 100 games every team will go into a 10 game stretch where they can not do anything right.  If you will notice it's not like St. Louis is catch up, it's the Brewers coming back to earth.   Their first real slump of the year. 

Baseball Prospectus still has the Brewers making the playoffs 67.4% of the time. 36.9% Division Winner and 30.5% Wild Card. 


And then there is the World Cup and Brazil.  Not sure how many Americans know just how crushing this defeat was.  Brazil is all about soccer, they live, breath and die soccer. 

20 years ago a guy on Brazil accidentally scored a goal for the wrong team.  Days later he was murdered.  Many say that many of the current players will never play for Brazil again.

Analysts are saying this is not only the darkest day in the history of Brazil Soccer but actually the darkest day in Brazil history. 

Nate Silver says losing 7-1 would be like losing 73-0 to The Bears at home to go to the super bowl, but worse.  

Scoring 7 goals was a 1 in 4,500 chance and winning by 6 goals was a 1 in 4,000 chance. It was the most shocking game in World Cup History and one of the biggest blow-outs in professional sports history and it was all at home, on the worlds biggest stage where Brazil was SUPPOSE to win the World Cup. 


Gardens - Columbus has only had 0.45 inches of rain in the last 7 days - might want to water.  One inch a week is what many growing things need each week. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This and that

I hope everyone has noticed our clean streets in Columbus.  The new street sweeper want by my house the other day.  I wanted to run behind it like it was the DDT sprayer in the old days!  But I didn't.

If this thing can last 5 years "we" will save $5,000 a year (or something like that) over the old procedure.


From what I understand the CAC has agreed to step away from the auditorium and let the CTA have their go at it.  All they ask is that they be considered to step in again IF the CTA pulls back.  I have no problems with this (as if any one cared what I thought  LOL). 


Mr. Ed's Magical Midway has left the building and are headed to Jefferson my old county fair haunting grounds.

This image is of an unknown little girl from about 3 years ago in Jefferson.  I would LOVE to find out who she is.  It was a photo I did not think that much about at the time but when I got home and started looking at my shots . . . . . I wish I had gotten her name so I could get a photo to her family!
Sort of like this one I took at The Harmony Bar in Madison.  I told the father to get a hold of me and I would send him a copy.  I never heard back.

remember this shot from a few days ago?

The "Old" Garage Barbershop is now open for business and it looks pretty nice inside.

I was banned from the Facebook page Wisconsin Birding last night - sigh! Maybe Kelly, if he is completely bored can look into this  :-)

There was a post showing a woman feeding a baby hummingbird that fell out of a tree.  All of a sudden Mike McDowell the administrator (I find out) is telling her she is breaking the law and what she is doing is illegal and he is being a little assy about it.  She should immediately contact authorities and take the bird in.

Well, I thought he was being a little rough and asked if there were rehab cops driving around and all of a sudden I'm getting a PM'd saying I WAS NO HELP and I asked what IS the law she is breaking and all of a sudden we are into the  Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918?  Really?   I skimmed over a majority of the Act on Wiki and did not see the correlation and said I thought he was being a little anal about it and then things went south and BAM!   banned!   sigh!      

My banned forum list grows by one.

Wisconsin Birding - banned for questioning the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

Operation Sports - banned for saying that perhaps the developers should put more time into the actual game mechanics instead of wasting time making the dumb mascots. - Negative talk    

Two plus Two gambling Forum - banned for arguing that a 60% ATS long term win rate in the NFL was NOT unheard of and I could prove it.  After I was banned I won 63%

Audio Video Forum - banned for arguing that 3D TV was a fad and would never catch hold.

Each one of those the administrator just did not like being told he was wrong.  Luckily those are a teeny tiny fraction of the forums I have been to in my life. 

This is my buddy Elwood's garden.  Used to be just a bunch of garbage and wasteland.
And then there is American Apparel who apologized for celebrating the 4th of July by posting a photo of The Challenger Explosion and thinking it was fireworks and tagged the photo as 'smoke' and 'clouds.'  

I guess the person that worked for the company was born after the event. 


An email from the Chief!

The vehicle was a pickup truck with some anti-Obama words affixed to it.

First, I want to make it clear that this person/vehicle was not part of the parade and was not in the parade procession.

The vehicle was following the end, emergency vehicles that were bringing up the rear of the parade units. The roadway was open to normal, public vehicular traffic behind these emergency vehicles and this person/vehicle had a right to be operating on the roadway.

I was in a squad car following him because we had a problem with him trying to get into the parade near the staging area. I followed him to make sure he was not violating the law as he indicated to me that he would attempt to do.

He was not being escorted by the Columbus Police Department in any way, shape of form.

This person attempted to enter the parade earlier and was stopped by law enforcement because he was not part of the parade and any person, unit or vehicle that was not part of the parade was not allowed on any road that was close to the public for the parade. He was defiant with us and Roger Venden (4th of July Festival President) even responded to our location to confirm with us and tell this person he was not part of the parade. This person was not detained any further because there were no criminal/traffic violations and he left the area.

After the last parade units passed the first closed street/intersection by Middleton and Ludington St. this person followed on the now open, public roadway. He was not violating any law but I followed him to make sure he wasn’t going to do anything illegal or unsafe.

Again, he was not part of the parade, and the police department was not escorting him or giving him any special privileges.

It can be difficult to balance a person’s freedoms with violations of the law. However, our department did just that today. We enforced the law but at the same time recognized and respected a person’s constitutional right to free speech. How awesome is it that on this national holiday in which we celebrate our freedoms and independence that we have an opportunity to see our democracy in action?

Feel free to distribute this message, or read it to anyone who has any concerns or questions over this issue.