Friday, January 30, 2015

Big news coming from Mullins

Mayor Kelly is keeping us all in the dark about some exciting news coming to Mullins this summer but this reporter has secretly found out that the entire Columbus Football team have all been hired by an unknown entity.

Furthermore, Caldwell lumber has been selling an odd amount of lumber lately and I believe I have found the reason. 

Columbus Cardinals Football Team hard at work

BOOM - NAILED IT!  Viking River Cruise up and down the Crawfish River.

Take your family on this historic cruise with Mullins fine cuisine.  Imagine a summer night at sunset as you drift past the ball diamonds of Meister Park, gaze in wonder at the Columbus Chemical Industry and throw leftover french fries to packs of dogs at the Columbus Countryside Vet Clinics dog park. Then have the whole family jump into the water and join the football team when you enter the Columbus Wetland and Hunting Grounds and splashing with glee and singing songs turn the boat around.  And that is only the less expensive Northern Tour.

For the full experience of The Historic Mullins River Tour you can help portage over the damn Dam and gently glide south passing the Columbus Waste Water facility where "it all happens" and as you sip your 3rd rootbeer float (the 4th one is always free) gaze at the breathtaking wonder of the Sennview Farms.      

And finally 4 hours later you end at the Danville Mill where you will be herded off the boat and loaded into cattle cars especially cleaned for the return ride.  An adventure that will be talked about for a long long time. 


 Andrew Jackson was a 13 year old in the Revolutionary War and captured by the British for helping the wrong cause.  He and his brother were starved and when one officer told him to clean his shoes Jackson told the Officer where he could stuff his shoes. The British Officer took out his sword and took a swing at Jackson slicing his hand and clipping his scull.

OH - The Oneida Tribe was the first in the Indian Nation to help colonists in the American Revolution and walked over 70 miles with sacks of food to feed the solders in Valley Forge. The Indians decided the Colonists were their best hope for a peaceful nation where Indians and Colonists could coexist in peace.  Looking back, seems they picked the wrong team.

For us old guys that remember Nam.  The Tet Offensive began on this day in 1968.  America was totally blindsided on that one.  It ended as a huge win for America military but a huge psychological victory for the communists.


What is up with gas prices - I can't pay $1.99 a gallon - that is ridiculous!


The Columbus Police department gave out 153 warning tickets in the month ending January 12th, not sure what for but is this a kinder Police Department?

Have a great weekend - snow coming Sunday 1 to 3 inches . . .or a blizzard! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Columbus news - Storm of the Century. . NOT & Sybil Ludington

Well the big news I guess is that Superintendent of schools Bryan Davis is one of the two finalists out of 141 for becoming superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant Missouri.  Yea - THAT Ferguson.  That's about all I know at the moment. They will share their visions of a new Ferguson-Florissant in a public meeting  . . .soon.


In other Columbus news we made the Television news  and local paper with Columbus approves transgender policy

Basically the school board was proactive and if I may quote Megan Sheridan
"The policy covers students transitioning from male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM). Students that identify as MTF are not allowed to participate in girls’ sports unless they have had a minimum of a year of hormone suppression therapy. Students that identify as FTM cannot participate in girls’ sports once they start testosterone therapy."
Hmmmmmm - didn't have that when I was in grade school. But we didn't have computers either so.  


Sybil Ludington - ever heard of her?  You really should know the name of a 16 year old who is yet another unsung hero of the American Revolution. I actually had chills when I heard her story.  She rode twice as far as Paul Revere and rode completely alone while Paul had companions.

She rode on horse back for more then 9 hours, alone from 9 at night to day break on a rugged and dangerous road in pitch dark at times defending herself from highway men. She was able to muster 400 militia to defend Danbury, Connecticut, where revolutionaries stored most of their weapons and gunpowder for the upcoming war.

The story is a rider had raced to the Ludington farm warning him of the coming attack.  Ludington needed to rouse up the surrounding farms and the rider could not continue do to exhaustion so Sybil said "I'll do it" even though she had just turned 16 days before (although 16 was not a child in those days).

Pretty exciting stuff.


Weather - for one thing it WAS a bad blizzard with many places getting MORE snow then predicted but closing New York is getting so bad press.  Here is what happened.

As you know there are many models that predict the big storms, 21 I believe. The best model is called the Euro (European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) and it has been kicking anything the American models can do.  It has been the super star in the last 15 years and it was predicting heavy snow in New York.  Even up to Monday morning it was saying 18 inches of snow for NYC and it was not wavering and by it being so consistent forecasters could not ignore it even though other models such as SREF which is the American model said - no, everything is going north.

So who do you believe, the model that predicted with uncanny accuracy the blizzard of 1996, which paralyzed the  Eastern Seaboard for the better part of a week and SREF missed it? Which predicted Hurricane Sandy? (SREF, swing and a miss) and a plethora of other storms.  The Euro had a great track record.

BUT NOOOOO!!   not this time. While SREF is saying  no no there is not enough moisture in the air - ain't going to happen, the super star is saying "I got this".  Even when the Canadian’s global model agrees, even when the United Kingdom’s model fall in line with America and even when the North American Mesocale changes it tune, we believe in SREF.

We all fell in line with the super star.   Lessons were learned.  

On a different note the next generation of weather satellites (GOES-R) will go in orbit next year which will really improve weather forecasting.  One new instrument that we do not have at the moment will be a Geostationary Lightning Tracker.  Also anticipated will be a MUCH more improved tornado warning lead time and reduce false alarms.

For more on GOES-R


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Badger Motor Car Company

Watched a very good movie last weekend called "A Good Lie"  The movie centers on four young Sudanese refugees (known as Lost Boys of Sudan) which are helped by Reese Witherspoon a brash American woman after they win a lottery for relocation to the United States.

Not a movie that was made for awards but more for enlightenment about the Second Sudanese Civil War where 2.5 million men, woman and children were killed in Sudan from 1986 to 2005.

Of these 20,000 children from the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups walked over one thousand miles barefoot to seek refuge in a refugee camp.  3,600 of these children were able to make it to America and this is their story.

The stars of the movie were actual refugees and I would say half of the film was their journey. It really puts our troubles in America into perspective. Its sad, moving, haunting and funny at times and a true story.

The trailer focus's on the last half of the movie but the first half was what got me!


I'm working on an article for a magazine on The Badger Motor Car Company  of Columbus - a rather daunting task but Fred Stare the driest writer I have ever read is helping me.

 NOT that I'm complaining. It's just that I have to caffeine up on this project. 

So much history in Columbus that very few know about. 

Council is considering bonds and how much Columbus can afford to borrow and what the ramifications are looking ahead.

My personal opinion is IF bonds are needed, if we want to use the city credit card it is not something to take lightly. We all saw the problems with our last budget and borrowing money just to fix things we can't afford is only fixing a symptom, not fixing a problem.  We need to fix the problem. 

You don't use a credit card because you are short of money. You use it because you HAVE to use it.  Just because we CAN borrow a certain amount does not mean we SHOULD borrow.  HOWEVER - roads need to be fixed and while I'm a little more conservative on what roads need to be fixed I agree they need to be looked at.  

I guess the reason I'm not fully on the road bandwagon is every time someone complains about roads I ask  "Which road exactly are you talking about that needs to be fixed" and the answer, almost 100% of the time is the "151/73 exit and James Street" sigh . . not our road and it's getting fixed.  So then I say what other roads and the answer is normally some vague "there are other streets . .  all of them".  

I agree - there are streets that are in pretty poor shape and I agree with the others that they have been neglected and a good amount money needs to go into high profile streets. My personal recommendation was $1.6 million at 1% interest. So of course that raises some eyebrows, almost free money should we borrow while it's cheap?  We will get more solid facts and figures later this week.    
But my objective is that I want to make sure that down the road we have enough borrowing power for a new fire station and library.  Fire Station for public safety and that is a no brainer, our fire station is ridiculously small and libraries are portals to knowledge and allow people of any income the ability to access high-quality information.  Our library has some pretty fantastic street cred in literary circles and is embarrassingly small for a town our size.  

Hey - The Columbus Library was sighted as one of the top 10 in the Nation and we just got a pretty sizable grant because of it.

We need money for roads and we need to make sure we are good for down the road.  There are lots and lots of things other departments want. Get in line!  We have a fire squad truck that is almost 25 years old, we have dump trucks that are 20+ years old.  The Columbus debt level is . . . good enough, which to ME is too much. Less debt means more money down the road.

That is my debt spiel.


I believe I said Napoli's is back open.  Also the Firemans Tap has not closed YET but will shortly and I'll have news on that in coming days . . no jinxing.  Lots of stuff going on under the lime light with developers from Madison asking questions.  I'm very optimistic about Columbus. Lot's of good vibes are happening.       


Monday, January 26, 2015

Say good bye to Boston

Wait - I bet it will be in teh news a LOT in the coming days as a bombogenisis will pummel the east coast.  It's the perfect storm.  Remember that dusting we had Saturday night? That is the trigger for the snow event.  That little storm will move over the Atlantic and lift up moisture and blow it into the jet stream over the east coast.  This is a historic storm that will happen on the coast with hurricane winds sucking in moisture.

Right now Boston could be getting 24+ inches. NYC 12-18 inches.  Hurricane hunters have been out over the water (they do not fly over land) trying to get more info.  This will be awesome fun to watch . . . from a distance. 


3 months in the making but I have an image 8 foot image that will be going up in a hospital in Madison. 

Also a new image is up in Hydro Street.  This what our water tower would look like inside if we ever fixed it up. taken in Fort Atkinson next to my old high school this was built about the same time as our tower and is the same model . . I believe.    

HA - online my weather station says it Feels Like 15.100000000000001 °F

Really?  I thought it felt more like Feels Like 15.100000000000002 °F  but what do I know.

Napoli's has reopened with a soft opening last Friday.  I talked to Goni the new manager and their menu will be ABOUT the same.  Pizza delivery will be in the future  (insurance papers) and there is no liqueur licence yet but they are open for business.

gotta run.

Have a great Monday - drive safe 

Friday, January 23, 2015

What a night

As you may know I have a thing for pissing people off and have had my share of run in's with authority from time to time.

Last night I had my monthly meeting with my home brew club (Sun Prairie Worthogs - mentioned in The Isthmus) and afterword we always  go to Eddies in with their 200 beers and this is after sampling 10 or 12 home brews.

Since we are award winning home brewers it seems we know a lot about beer and are privy to some pretty exotic hard to find brews.  Last night we were nearing the end of the night when we were offered a beer that has not yet been marketed, still in testing phase.  A Big Eddy Bourbon Barrel Aged Rye Wine aged on sichuan peppercorns, Tin-Tsin Hot Peppers and Chinese  Hot Mustard Seed . . . . . 11.9% alcohol.

It was amazing and pretty much put us over the top.

ANYWAY - I had the common sense that I had to drive back to Columbus but I also knew that perhaps I was a little over the limit.  So I did something I have never done before. I took a taxi home.

Sure enough as I enter Columbus there is a sobriety check roadblock or something but since it was a taxi they waved it through and I counted my lucky stars and I arrived home safely.  What luck as I had never driven a taxi before.

I have no idea where I got it but it's in my garage at the moment and I'm not sure what to do with it. I suppose I should drive it back and look for my car.  If anyone wants to borrow it give me a call.



Have you ever seen or heard Aaron Rodgers girlfriend?  She was on Conon the other night and is bright, funny, articulate and beautiful (go figure).

You have probably seen her in movies and TV - she is in the new Johnny Depp film "Mortdecai" and was Angie in New Girl, Nicks stripper girlfriend and stars in The Newsroom with Jeff Daniels.


Napoli's in Columbus is open again under new ownership.  I hope their pizza is just as good.  However I also hope they get the ordering part down better.  I had 4 pizza orders in a row wrong.  NOT that I ever complained because even the random pizza I received was so good I did not want to complain.  In fact it was always fun to try new things.  

The last pizza I had delivered was exactly what I ordered . . . . and then they closed.


Speaking of my weather station.  During stormy weather it will up date the internet every 2.5 seconds and calm periods maybe every 10 minutes.  I can adjust it which is pretty nice/

There are two different address's you can go to. The first one has a very good 10 day forecast area with all sorts of weather stats. If you customize the 10 day forecast click on cloud cover.  It's sort of interesting

Columbus Weather

The second one has graphs that show what has happened in the past

Columbus Weather History

On both you can customize them all over the place.  Although when Charter is down nothing happens!  Like last night. I had alarms going off and all sorts of stuff.

Nuff said - I need to get some hang over pills!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I think almost all the Packers can take a little blame on The Letdown . . except Mason Crosby.  I was blaming Burnett for dropping to the ground on that interception but Peppers was telling him to take a fall.  I think Peppers is still playing for the Bears as a mole!

The one guy that should be fired is the Special Teams coach. WTF.  Was he the only guy in America that did not know Seattle gets tricky on Field Goals?  Josh was yelling WATCH OUT FOR A TRICK!! WATCH OUT FOR A TRICK!! The players (who should also be blamed) said there was no urgency on watching out for a trick, it was not mentioned.

Rodgers did not play a great game and one of his interceptions was do to him THINKING he had a free play.  No flag was thrown!  BASICALLY the old saying about playing 60 minutes was proven.


Council (OH - I know some people cringe at this point LOL).  One thing that was brought forward was that Governor Walker wants to take our room tax away and give to the Department of Tourism instead of letting cities use it. Pretty much defunding all of our events in Columbus. We won't know until his budget comes out but that is on the table. The State is in such financial chaos it's crazy.  I have no idea how he got elected.

People wonder why the 151/73 bridge near the hospital is in such condition. Ask the DOT who is hundreds of millions in debt. HOPEFULLY it will be fixed this summer. My wife is working mandatory 45 hour weeks now because DOC can't afford to hire people.  Yet - we need a smaller government? He wants to put 10,000 more people on unemployment by getting rid of government?

I guess a government job is not a REAL job.  I think if you get a paycheck  . . it's a job.

Sorry - if you work in government you can see just how bad things are.


Maybe this will put a smile on your face.  A friend from Australia sent this to me to see if I could fix it up a little.  If you have any photos that you want tweaked to give it a little extra pizzazz or a complete makeover. Send it to me. !!


In other news - The Auditorium - I've had some questions on what is happening with the auditorium and the answer is they have been waiting for the understaffed State to get their act together and get their 501C3 designation going.  Takes a few months to rubber stamp something. However they have been doing things behind the scenes.

They will have a comedian perform at the Cardinal Ale house as a fund raiser on March 21st.  Remember they wanted to have a world renown cellist perform IN the Auditorium a few months ago but the lawyers got involved and there were insurance/safety problems.

They have a list of 1200 "fund" foundations that are starting to be contacted along with a Kickstarter campaign (hey, if a guy can raise $55,000 to make his first potato salad we can get SOMETHING!!)

They are moving forward even though The State is tying their hands. 

Looking for information on the 16/60 reconstruction project?  James Street Reconstruction  It's rather dry, obviously not written by a blogger.

Winter Sleigh Rally - February 14

A report last night saying Columbus had guests from all over the country for the Columbus Horse and Carriage event.  It's one of the largest events of it's kind in America and a very very important event in their world.

The Governor Lewis Mansion is moving forward with blinding speed and will become a major event venue starting this summer.  The Garwick's have been inundated with calls on events, mostly weddings.  If you have never been inside this house it is stunning and a museum of Columbus history.  Picture  "Gone With the Wind"  style weddings. This could be a boost to downtown.  Perhaps have a some sort of wedding shop open on James Street?

Ordinance's had to be tweaked and changed to allow this as there were parking restrictions.  There has been one wedding last summer and buses were used and this is how the idea came to fruition.

Now they are looking into all sorts of classy events and of course using all local goods and getting people downtown.  It's exciting.     

There is trouble on the streets in Columbus - to many times cars are passing on the right going outbound next the The Kurth.  A crossing guard was hit a few years ago and local residents are seeing problems all the time so as a first measure "we" are putting those red flags on each side of the road for children to carry so they can be seen.

The Columbus Library is taking out a book shelf to install more computer terminals.  Our library is embarrassingly small for a town our size AND it is getting national recognition for our "Libraries Transforming Communities" project having photos in National Publications.    


Yesterday was chaos on a personal level.  I was BANNED FOR LIFE from a sports forum for talking about having my own forum.  Actually a guy contacted me and we were talking about my stats and he mentioned that maybe I should not be posting my NBA picks on a public forum and I asked him what his background was because he sounded smart.  "I'm a quantitative analyst for a Wall Street firm". WELL - he sounded smarter then me "a dude on the internet with an idea that is working".

So I was kicking around the idea and people on the public forum liked it and BAM!!! BANNED FOR LIFE.

WELL - the shit hit the fan and I was getting literally hundreds of emails and tweets saying "let in into your forum".  I was afraid to look at my emails.  It was like the walking dead pounding on my door!  I guess when you have 130,000 page views since November 1st there is more then 100 people watching .   

Here is the funny thing. I have people from all over the world, Estonia, Finland, Australia and one guy contacted me and said - HEY - you are from Columbus Wisconsin.  I have been following you for 2 months - I'm from Portage!!!    Small world.

That's my story for today.                      

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pulling Green and Gold out of my cats BUTT

So just to add insult to injury on yesterdays worst collapse in NFL history that I'm not even going to talk about.

Sofie our cat was caught eating a pom pom that the kids used when a TD is scored.  She thinks it's spaghetti or something.

ANYWAY I see this morning that she has something non her but and upon further investigation it's an inch of green and gold pom pom.  I grab it and pull another 8 inches of Green, Gold and brown OUT OF HER BUTT!! 

Somehow that fit my mood, seems appropriate.  No photos were taken. 

Only thing I go is my weather station, or the first part is up on the net 

With the snow off the roof my goal is to get the rest up today which will capture wind data.

OH - notice the new thingy on the right with weather. 

Well, I'm not quite finished reading Killing Patton which is a really good book but my cyber library loan is up and BAM - it's gone.  Now I'm back in like with 116 other people waiting to check it out again.  Or 143 in line for the hard copy.  Or I could buy it for $30   hmmmmmmm

I tell ya - I really dislike Papa Bear (Bill O'Reilly) but he's a darn good writer.  Very conflicting. 

it's all I want to say

See ya

Friday, January 16, 2015

André Rieu, Anthony Hopkins, Dean Kamen

DEAN KAMEN IS ALIVE!!!!  Who knew.  I seriously thought he was dead and was sad.

Kamen is known for creating the Segway which people laugh at but having been on one on a golf course they are amazing.  But Kamen has done so much more inventing it's crazy.

The Slingshot water purification system which requires no filters and can operate using cow dung as fuel and is making clean water in 3rd world countries.  It can go 5 years without maintenance and creates 270 gallons a day of clean drinkable water.  ON POOP!!

He invented the AutoSyringe which is now standard equipment on portable dialysis machines, and insulin pumps.

The DEKA Arm System,  a prosthetic arm replacement that gives our returning solders much more fine motor control than the traditional prosthetic limbs. And lets not forget the iBOT, an all-terrain electric wheelchair, which uses the same gyroscopic balancing technologies that the Segway uses.  A wheelchair that can climb steps and raise it's user to eye level. And you can not tip it over.

ANYWAY - He ain't dead.  Seems the Segway company was purchased by a guy and a while later HE drove his Segway off a cliff.  Not Kamen.


NOTE - a new speed limit on an outer section of Park Avenue (25). I was against setting a new limit because I felt it was change for the sake of change with no real bonus.  BUT - it's hard to quantify that without actual data. Slower is always better I suppose.

HOWEVER - do you know how the Federal Highway Administration makes a speed limit?

Traffic engineers conduct a study and measure how fast the average driver cruises on the road. People know how safe they need to drive. We are not stupid.  THEN a speed limit is set at the 85th percentile. From then on, 85% of drivers will drive under the speed limit and 15% will be breaking the law.

Speed limits are determined by what MOST people feel is safe and that has many factors WHICH I feel are being ignored by the DOT when it comes to the 16/60 reconstruction.  The DOT wants to move traffic, they don't want to slow down traffic, they want to move it. Having alternate side parking every other block in Columbus on the 16/60 reconstruction is a BRILLIANT outside the box idea and would slow down traffic.  DOT does not want that!  They want a wide fast road.

We need to get tough with the DOT on what WE want.  They want to move traffic, we need to make our citizens safe.

Speaking of the reconstruction.  Trees downtown.  As far as I know right now they are still in the mix and there is another reason we will need trees!  Sound.  With cement as the carpet we will drive on, cement is louder the blacktop and trees will help minimize the sound level.

Not real fond of the new lighting choices but things are still forming. Not that the new lights are "bad". Just more like any town USA that wants default antique lights. I think every town in teh area will have the same lights.  I say spend a little more money for something that makes Columbus special.  Look at the new Johnson Street in Madison - Magnificent.  Lighting is like art. Do you want Walmart art in a beautiful downtown?

We're picking lights for the next 50 years.   OK - I don't know what I got on that tangent.      


André Rieu - what can I say about this musician. I have seen ALL of his DVD's multiple times as my father in law loves him but I had not seen this.  Seems Sir Anthony Hopkins had a former life.  A musician and he wrote a waltz which André performed.


Weather in Seattle is going to be nasty for the big game.  Rain most of the game and windy.  I think this helps the Packers.  Bad weather always helps the inferior team and I would rather have Rodgers in bad weather then Wilson.  If the Packers can concentrate MORE on the run  . . . .

Packers have the best offense in the league, 2nd passing and 5th rushing,  Seattle 5th, 10th passing 4th rushing. But Seattle has the best defense, 3rd passing 2nd rushing and Packers 16th, 11th passing, 24th against the rush.

According to Football Outsiders which are creepy good at predicting has Sea vs. NE a 44% chance for the Super Bowl.   GB vs. NE as a 25% chance.  GB has a 36% chance of winning Sunday.  Packers are a huge 8.5 point underdog.


In other news - Google has stopped selling Google Glasses.


In 1919 on this date Prohibition started with the 18 Amendment prohibiting the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes" and the catalyst for the beginning of organized crime.

In 1991 the first Persian Gulf war begins.  I had the flu. Weird how some parts of your life you remember.

Sick Leave - 39% of Americans do not receive sick leave and are forced to work when sick. Most restaurants and food industry workers do not have sick leave and work on YOUR food, sick.

WOW - did you see the blow back in Madison when the Madison Police Department had a listening session talking about body cams. NOT something people in Madison want at all it seems.  Not passing judgement, I was a little surprised.


Nuff for this Friday!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Feeling better

Check this out.  

That is one mammoth storm from just off the east coast of the U.S. all the way to Europe.  

This is a screen shot of a weather app I have that shows the world almost in real time. They say that planes were landing an hour early NYC to London. One pilot said it was like surfing in a 747. 

The app is called Living Earth, its a weather app but sort of redundant on most things. But this is sweet.


Did I ramble a lot yesterday? I'm fighting flu like symptoms.  Not enough to be "sick",  just uncomfortable.  DJ is down for the count with something. While I'm fighting the good fight I think she just through in the towel.

Looking at yesterdays post - Of course there are more reason for being on city council. After whining for 6 years about city government it was time to get off my butt and trying to fix the downtown has always been big on my list of things to do (thus being in CDA before I was on council).   I have done a LOT of reading on how to fix downtown problems and the main thing I have learned is  . . it's not easy and it does not happen overnight AND, it's typically up to the people that own the buildings on whether they want to thrive or just survive.

We have a lot of survivors and not enough thrivers. But it is SLOWLY changing.  I'm optimistic.  

Note - feel better this morning and DJ slept for 18 straight hours and feels better.

Two things I forgot to mention yesterday - one was a very very touching gentleman who wanted to thank the senior center for being there. His wife passed away and the center gave him a place to go.  I am a huge proponent of the senior center and feel it is a very very important part of the community.

Also the No Right Turn sign on 16/60 onto Dix.  Seems to be working and people are exiting P&S//KwikTrip much faster.  Way to go!   


I did my first real print of this. Looks great and will be in shows this year. Looks much better in person. 


There is a restaurant in China that is letting the 50 most attractive people eat for free.  Customers are scanned and the images are sent to a team of plastic surgeons who rate the images while people eat. The 50 best get free food.

What could POSSIBLY go wrong.


Is this the end of OPEC?  Yea - I'm obsessed over oil. I remember when you could not BUY gas. Gas stations were closed - sorry - no gas.

We are in a period that people should remember all their lives. This is amazing.  The world of oil is going to be chaotic for a while with OPEC saying "we are not cutting production, you are".  Sooner or later the markets will stabilize but that ain't going to happen anytime soon.

There are so many moving parts it's crazy.  For one thing demand is low.  So many vehicles are fuel efficient including aircraft and so forth.  Any adjustments will have to come from the supply side with oil fields shutting down but that won't be a big issue for a while.

There are two new big sources of oil.  The Canadian tar sands and U.S. fracking.  Both cost a lot but with the Canadian tar sands you need a huge huge front end investment and then it's pretty cheap and will last a long time. With US fracking it's pretty cheap but each well only lasts a year and then you need to drill again.

So while new wells are being put on hold wells that are in the process of being built still have a year plus of production so supply will continue to out weigh demand for at least another year.

On the demand side less efficient vehicles are already hitting the market with SUV sales booming and airlines canceling orders for new efficient planes but that will only have a moderate influence on price.

It is said that over the next 3 or 4 years prices should stabilize in the $60-75 a barrel but at the moment - we should continue to see gas prices fall.

This is killing Russia who many now think they will have 17% inflation this year.  One thing is that terrorists arm themselves with revenues from oil. This has to be a problem for those guys.  

Sorry for going on and on.  This oil thing fascinates me. It's a huge stimulus to the American economy while at the same time is hurting the environment.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Councils 2nd listening session

Council had it's 2nd listening session last night and there were even more in attendance then the first time. I believe there were 14.  I was sort of blob-like suffering from flu-like symptoms without actually having the flu. Something I ate?  Tiny Flu?  

The first question was a strange one.  "If a person does not have the internet, does not have cable and does not get the newspaper, how are we suppose to find out what is going on in Columbus".

ummmmmm!  Well, that is an EXCELLENT question.  How does one answer that? I suggested a town crier.

I know the new city website is being talked about and is a long ways away still (sigh!) along with Facebook page and so forth but that is all internet related.  We could staple news to light poles?

One thing that was talked about was the lack of things to do for middle school and adults in Columbus. It all boiled down to a lack of facilities. It's almost like we need a new High School. There are no adult basketball or volleyball leagues because there are no available gyms.

Something that is being kicked around as a vision for the far future is building a combined Senior Center/Youth Center/Library next to the City Hall. We need a new library as ours is embarrassingly small for our size of town with no room to expand. We have no youth center so why not combined them into one multi-use facility!   

While my partners on counsel are concerned with roads and infrastructure (and rightly so) my agenda has always been trying to make Columbus a place where people enjoy themselves. Bike paths, disc golf, skate board park, events like Ale and Arts and the Horse and Carriage Festival, things to do!  It's important for people in Columbus to get out and meet other people and enjoy what we have.

Happy citizens bring business. Would you move you company to a town where people are bored and unhappy?    

I would LOVE to have a group of middle schoolers and high schoolers have their own committee and at some point come in front of counsel and tell us what THEY need to make Columbus a better place. Adults seem to ignore what kids need as we are so concerned with adult things.

OH - Speaking of disc golf. I'm going to meet with Mike at Glide Disc Golf in Madison about how best to organize some sort of Disc Golf League for Columbus.

Also talked about was the actual Council Chambers and the lack of microphones with lights. We all seem to talk over each other, it's chaos and not the first time this has been mentioned.

Not sure it's been mentioned but the so called "elevator fund" to make the pavilion ADA accessible is moving forward with blinding speed and money is being raised right and left. This project is coming to fruition rapidly.  Although more donations are always needed, we aren't there YET!

Roads were not a big concern for this group. Hopefully the public has come to understand that its a work in progress and not something for the back burner for "next year".  But economic development downtown was a concern. Not an easy fix as this is something that all small towns are having problems with.

As more strip malls and big box stores go up on the outskirts they take away downtown business. Towns like Columbus need to retool what their downtown's are used for.  I hear people say "We used to have a JC Penny downtown".  Yea - well, those days are gone. My vision is unique shops that bring in outside money.  That is why Motoclasico is a great fit for Columbus. They won't make a lot of money on Columbus residents but will bring in outside tourist dollars and at the same time help out Hydro Street and other eating establishments.

We have 1000 outside tourist a week go to the antique mall and I see many walking around town looking in closed store windows or just butt ugly windows. Every shop that is open helps.

I think I'll walk the downtown and take photos of ugly stores windows and publicly humiliate them  

The Police Department was talked about. Too many speeders AND too many speeding tickets given out!  hmmmmmmm  Plus the useless speed radar out by the hospital.  Not sure why it's out there when the main complaint is speeding down the hill James Street.  That is the easiest place to speed in Columbus. 
 I heard talking heads on TV  saying we are in for a great stretch of weather.  Well . . . . . . I'm not as optimistic as they are. Yea we are ramping up to upper 30s on Saturday with a few more clouds and a dapple of sunlight but "great"?  upper 20s is "nice"  not "great". Maybe some snow early middle of next week.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015


You can now get digital magazines from the Columbus Library  . . if you have a library card.  Some good ones. Just check them out like you would digital books.  It's awesome. 

It's so weird.  On Facebook I found a long lost friend from when I worked for the Madison Muskies.  I ran the scoreboard the first couple years and I can't remember what Mike did.  He was in the press box also though.    

But before the Packer game I posed this image on my Melotte Photo Imagery Facebook page. 

He contacted me and asked if I took this photo and I said yes.  He replied that he got this as a present a few years ago.  So weird. That has happened twice now. 

I've finalized my art fairs this year  . . . if I get accepted. The new Hilldale Fair June 13th, Spring Green 27-28, Art Fair on The Square  July 11-12 (if that falls through Lake Mills the following weekend)  Paoli August 8th and Agora in Fitchburg August 15th.

A new thing in Portage I'm applying for is really cool.  It's called "Art that Blooms" at the Portage Center for Arts. You submit a piece of art and then poets write poems about it PLUS floral artists create a floral arrangement around it.  Too cool!   Free to the public.    

Art Fair on the Square will be a reach - I don't think my canopy has that WOW factor.  Costs $545 to enter.  I  can only submit 3 images for the jury.  I think I'll go man cave as I don't see a lot of man cave art work at AFotF.  Gotta be different.

Or maybe

I gotta take that truck out of there.


After a day of reading and listening to talking sports heads it's a shame The Catch is getting all the attention.  No one is talking about how awesome one legged Rodgers was or how Dallas was out coached by Green Bay.  Going into halftime 10-14 is MUCH different then 7-17 and the second half GB started moving Cobb around and confused Dallas.

OH OH - True story - Packers driving for hopefully a touchdown. DJ and Jenny both start chanting RODGERS TO RODGERS, RODGERS TO RODGERS, RODGERS TO RODGERS, . . . and guess what happens on the very next play!!!  talk about an extra celebration.

It reminds me of when we were celebrating balderdahs's birthday at Miller park. There were 60 of us and a competition for picking the sausage races in order.  She picked ALL of them in the correct order.    


Scientists have finally figured out what wiped out the Mayan Civilization. A 100 year drought.


Did I mention oil is plunging today?  Maybe I should just automatically put that in every day.


We are ALMOST in the armpit of winter.  The average high has been 27 for 11 days and will go UP to 28 on January 26th.  However the average low is still going down. We go to the lowest of 4  on Thursday and won't go up to 5 until the 22nd.  But who cares about the average low, I'm sleeping.  So the 26th is when we start to climb again.

With that said we have gained 19 minutes of daylight since we hit our low and will gain another 37 minutes by end month.  In fact today we gain 2 minutes for the 1st time (rounding and all that).


On this day in 2008 the writers strike canceled the Golden Globes.  But the real loser were the American TV watchers.  Deadwood was canceled ending the best TV show ever.  The Mole was canceled ending one of the best reality shows ever, but giving Anderson Cooper a chance for greater things.

Wyatt Earp died in 1929, after the gunfight at the OK coral Wyatt  wandered around the west, ran a saloon in San Francisco and did the whole gold rush thing in Alaska and ran a saloon in Nome.  He returned to Los Angeles and became an unpaid technical consultant on Hollywood Westerns.

He didn't become famous until after he died.


Grabbed this from the 538 website.  Something I have been reading is that Walker is not  as well known as we Wisconsinites are led to believe.  I saw one chart where he is the least known of all Republicans.

Basically Walker appeals to the Tea Party group.

Outta here! I might go to my sad place when I start talking Wisconsin Politics.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Schoolchildren Blizzard of 1888

Guess what - Oil is plunging this morning.  Goldman Sachs has the 6 month price target at $39.  Anything below $40 and fracking no longer is a money maker and will start to shut down. The great American Oil bust continues and oil rigs in the gulf are already shutting down.

OH - there was a football game yesterday - what  game. Andrew Luck was amazing!   OH - Packers?  I tell ya - a lot of people in almost the entire nation are whining about THE CALL but you know - it all evens out. Packers were screwed in Seattle and got the call in Green Bay, Detroit was screw in Dallas and so on.  It all evens out.  Or . . .is it . . . . karma. 

I think it was a good call (of course). If Bryant would have reached a LITTLE more going for the goal line he would have looked like he as in control but to me he was ABOUT to reach but not quite.  But of course I think that!  


In 1888 the Schoolchildren Blizzard killed 235 mostly kids in the Northwest Plains. Reports say the temperature dropped 100 degrees in 24 hours. In North Dakota the day was unusually warm and when arctic air mass plunged from Canada bringing the temperature to -40F.  In Omaha Nebraska the temperature rose to 28 degrees before plunging to -40.   

Many children were killed running home from school at 2:00.  One report said one teacher tried to lead children to safety 90 yards away but with white out conditions they became lost.   


For anyone that cares there will be a city council listening session at the Senior center Tuesday night!  


Lot's of cool business things happening in Columbus.  The Firemans Tap has been sold with lots of things happening in that location. Sounds like a liqueur licence is being looked into for the former Napoli's, and the owners of the Governors Mansion are moving forward to make it into a bonafide Event/Wedding Destination which will being a lot of people to Columbus and of course Motoclasico will open in the spring featuring vintage motorcycle's and accessories.  James Dean weddings? 
Gonna get WARM!!  upper 30s by Saturday - zero snow.


NBA - 53-36  59.6% 


Watched "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" again - that is a real good movie!! Highly recommended for a feel good movie - beautiful scenery, good music, nice script.


I hope everyone got their calendars - WHO KNEW mailing would cost $3.00+ a pop!!  Lesson learned.  

A lot of people have asked me why I don't sell this normally. The reason is I don't want to compete with the city's Historical Calendar.  Plus I don't want to order 50 and have 30 left over.  

I can still order some if anyone wants one but it will take a couple weeks so you miss January.  I'll put another order in Friday.  The thick is getting a sale. Otherwise calendars are sort of expensive unless you order a few hundred.  Just let me know -   $16

OH - January photo.

OK,  I have nothing else.


Friday, January 9, 2015

a blog

I wasn't going to blog today but then the jobs report came in and WOW!  It was not the CURRENT jobs report that is amazing but it's the revision of the previous jobs reports which has been revised MUCH higher.   damn you obama!!

Unemployment plunged to 5.6% and previous jobs added an extra 30,000 to an already amazing total. The only downer is that hourly wage fell. The American economy is on fire. I wonder when Wisconsin will start to get better . . . .maybe in 4 years? 

As for Columbus.  We shall see if we actually get the 16/60 reconstruction perhaps next week.  With the Dept of Transportation hundreds of millions in the red some projects will be cut as Wisconsin is in a deep deep deep hole financially!  It's a classic guns and butter scenario, give property tax help to the citizens or give money to road projects.  

The citizens voted to abandon roads so they can get property taxes lower - BUT they still complain about roads.  Can't have both. We will see in Walkers  State of the State address. 

DJ works at the DOC and they now have a mandatory 45 hour work week because they are in dept so far they cannot hire more people. 

One thing I know is that I thought the Columbus budget process was complete debacle with numbers changing daily and at one point we were talked into spending $100,000 to help property tax this year so we could save $75,000 next year (or something like that).  I know I learned a lot and at least next year I will know what I don't know (if that makes sense) and will ask a lot more questions. 

In yet more news, Water and Light has been looking into Water Plant #1
and what to do with it.  10 years ago a study said the plant was in it's last years of life and here we are 10 years later.  Do we spend a LOT of money to fix it up?  Do we build a new plant?  We have a lot of good water in Columbus with great redundancy.  If one plant goes off line we are fine . . . . . unless there is a large fire.  IF both go off line we have about a day of water.  

BUT - we have redundancy so no fear.   My question is always - do we need to soften water?  This is why our water is expensive - it's pre softened.  Do people want this? 

If we built a new plant, should we soften the water? 


A few day ago I was turned onto what is called the best board game on the planet Twilight Struggle which is now on it's way to my house. I read many many reviews and they are all out of this worlf glowing. 

But the WORST game in history according to how has tens of thousands of ratings?    tic-tac-to  WORST GAME IN HISTORY! The hall of shame also includes War (the card game), tic-tac-toe, Snakes and Ladders, Candy Land, The Game of Life and Monopoly.

LUCKILY Columbus's very own game Crombolaya is not on that list. You can read more about Crombolaya in This State Journal Article. The world championship was played this year in Columbus.


nuff said

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Green Bay Packers - Best team ever in the NFL

I was asked by a magazine to do a small article on the Badger Motor Car Company. Columbus's own auto manufacture.  There are scant words out there that talk about this giant of a company that lasted from 1910 to 1911 in Columbus.  All I know is that they kept their cars on the 3rd floor of the largest canning company in the nation at one point, the Columbus Canning Company (purchased by Stokley).

$1600 in 1910 is about $38,000 in today's money.

If anyone knows where I can find more then 10 words of info show me the path to find it! 


On September 25th 2011 Aaron Rodgers threw 3 touchdown passes and beat the Bears. The significance of that, besides beating the Bears  is that on that date was that in the history of the Packers they had now scored a cumulative margin of victory of 2991 more points then their opponents surpassing the former all time team leader of . . . . The Bears.

And they have not looked back since.


I've been geeking out with my new weather station.  Can't get the wind interments up on the roof yet but got somethings going.  The temp and Barometer are working.  Red is outside temps. 

After Friday we should have a long slow warmup to the 30s by NEXT weekend.  There are no weather systems coming our way, no snow or surprises . . . well . . . you can't predict surprises I guess. 


Why is it my car smells like it's dumping gas when it gets REALLY cold! I thought I spilled gas on me yesterday but nope!   hmmmmmmm

If anyone is looking to read an around the world adventure there is a good one going on right now. 

Jor Axani was about to go on a world wide tour with his girl friend when they broke up.  Since he had tickets already it would have been a mammoth problem getting names switched for a new traveling partner. SO - he put out an ad,  anyone with the same exact name as his former girlfriend could go with him on a world tour - for free - no strings attached.  And he found someone.

Oddly the guy has my writing style down exactly (except he knows how to spell)

It's been full of adventure, missing trains being spotted all around the world (hey you are those two people).  It's actually pretty entertaining. Join Jor and Quinn on their adventure.  The are in Italy at the moment, lost of photos and stories!


Stay warm - it will all be over soon!  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I've been a game player all my life and there is a board game that is rocking the world called Twilight Struggle that has been rocking the board game world now for 9 years.  Even better then Settlers of Catan.  It's a two player card-driven strategy game with its theme taken from the Cold War simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States.

 No - I have not played it and I do not own stock in FireAxis the creator!  Just a very intriguing board game which I will have to buy.  Just curious if anyone else has had the opportunity to play it.


Great news from City Council - the Governors Mansion will become a go to place for all sorts of events IF the vote passes (gotta say IF as I was reamed and scolded for saying the Council was going to turn down the gift of body cams  - the final vote was 6-0 so I was close to being right).  So IF council passes a zoning ordinance the Governors Mansion we will have another viable business.

In other news - I'm only saying this because I hate it when people vote against the grain and no one knows why.  So I want explain why I voted NAY on the snowmobile restrictions.  Not trying to talk anybody into anything and my vote lost which is how things work.

The vote was about restricting ALL snowmobiles in Columbus from 10pm to 7am so then can not enter the city to spend money.  Anti-tourism in my view. And if you don't think a snowmobile is tourist I say they are the very definition of tourist - bringing outside money INTO Columbus is never a bad thing.

Each sledder spends about $50 when they stop - other more progressive communities actually WANT them in their city. I've talked to a number of communities who encourage sledders and have trails going through their city for gas, food, beer.  They have told me it's a small boost to the economy for a month. 

But the MAIN reason I voted NAY (besides not wanting to be a flip flopper on my original FIRST vote) is that I believe it was unfair to tell the club that you do not even have one chance to fix assumed problems.

Being annoyed with noise was the biggest complaint and while the pavilion in my district can be loud, bothering residences on weekends until 12:00, a snowmobile can not go past a house for 15 seconds after 10:00 in another district.  The excuse was the pavilion is special.  I say noise is noise, the pavilion does not have special noise. Shouldn't noise be the same for all districts?

OH - I might have voted FOR the restrictions next year with no problem.  But I'm a real liberal, not a Madison liberal who are only liberal as long as you agree with them and if you don't agree you are asked to leave.  I feel you should pay it forward and give a second chance's.

So that is why - my personal opinion.  I won't vote just to go along with the crowd, I have to vote how I feel about something even if it is not popular.  I hear I was bashed on Facebook pretty harshly by one aldermen for expressing my views which is sad as I respect all views, I might not agree with other views but I won't call out someone and belittle his views.  That is why we vote, you don't get angry, you vote. One side wins and one side loses - move on.

BUT - that's over - as I said I lost.  Move'n on.  I'm disappointed but certainly not angry. Life is way way too short to get angry

In other news we had a presentation on Fire Departments as Columbus really needs a larger Fire Department but first I feel we need to buy a new truck as the old truck (pictured right) should be replaced soon.

We also could used more personal equipment to insure our firefighters who are entering burning buildings are safe.

When entering a burning apartment late at night and you wake up to pounding on your door and when you get up you see this. . .

I might just slam that door shut real fast!! 

Nuff said.

OH - I have half of my weather station up and working. No wind yet as I can not get on my roof but the temp and humidity are working. It reaffirms my thinking - yup - it's cold out!

See ya!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What the talking heads are not saying

I'm not sure why but I have not heard any of the talking weather heads say this on TV yet.

The high tomorrow of whatever they say (-3) will be AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!! a then dropping from there.  Noon time temps will be in the -10 range with a good amount of winds.  I would expect schools to be closed tomorrow in the area.

With our 1 inch of snow last night we have yet to have a 2 inch snow fall this year.  December had the 5th least amount of snow in recorded history with 0.1 inches. The first 4 spots had 0.0 inches. 

I hope everyone likes being able to park on the streets.

City Council tonight - seems like a month since the last one.  A lot of "time" and "noise" issues  on the agenda tonight.  All separate and all interrelated. The question is, does Columbus want to be a forgiving progressive laid back community or a restrictive unforgiving community.  Just sayin'.  I believe a 10:00 restriction on noise during the week is good. Weekends, maybe later. 


Oil fell below $50 a barrel and Russia is having food shortages. Can't buy cheese and sausages it seems and inflation is at 10%.  There is a run on banks as people are taking out all their money to buy things before the price goes up. 


Did you see that NASA retook images of the "Pillers of Creation"?  Originally shot in 1995 with basically a 2.5 megapixel camera the new images are high def. 

The weird thing is NASA does not believe they are there anymore being 6000 light years away.  There was a super nova near bye.  Check back in this blog in 7015.  

Something they figured out is that since 1995 this cluster has stretched, oh, about 1 billion kilometers.
That pillar on the left is 37,842,113,600,000 kilometers tall. Talk about a lot of gas!

Speaking of gas I'm reading "Killing Patton" by Bill O'Reilly, yet another big bag of gas but a good writer.

Seems Hitler had what is known as meteorism - uncontrolled farting! Now see?  If they taught stuff like that in schools wouldn't you think kids would be more interested?

The book is basically about the plot to assassinate George Patton which many in the American Government wanted to do it seems.  I guess being outspoken with no inner voice has it's problems (I've been looking over my shoulder for 8 months).


mmmmmmmmmmmmm  So good!

Cupcake courtesy of Gigi's Cupcake store in Hilldale 

We need a cupcake shop in Columbus!


A lot of people complain about the downtown and how the stores are empty.  What many people are not taking into account is that what makes Columbus unique, it's historical buildings also makes it very hard to get tenets.

It's the people that own the buildings that are holding us back.  They need to spend the money to upgrade their buildings to make them more inhabitable. These are old buildings with weird wiring and other oddities that a new business, who is already strapped with cash can't do. The one person that HAS spent money to make his buildings presentable, has full tenants. Go figure.

It's something many communities are doing to get business and industry.  They create an area that is move in ready. Has infrastructure ready to go.  Not unlike one of the reason the controversial Enerpac deal went through.  One of the bonuses that no one talks about is that BAM - we have infrastructure all in place going towards Enerpac.  If a business wants to build, there is no 8 months of paperwork, debate on sewer, water electric and so forth, it's there already. Ready to move in.

Same thing with downtown buildings. Don't wait for a business and then spend 6 months getting paper work and so forth ready. Get it ready NOW so when a small business is looking - It's move in ready!  Daaa!

BUT - oh . . . that's is risky, what if no one moves in and it's all a waste.   Smart, progressive thinkers win in this case.

Have a day!!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Back from the gone.

WHEW - I'm glad that is over - too many days off in a row.

News Years Resolution - BAM - DONE when I ate this!

And this - BAM - FU DIET!!

OH - and there are more of those little devils.


I wrote this article for the paper if you missed it. They probably fixed any typos - I really don't want to read it again!  Been there, done that. I bore myself.

Columbus was once again the scene of Last weekend an international film company, NueveCine was in Columbus filming scenes for their new short film “Last Chance”.  Written by Joseph Cahill and directed by Oswaldo Martínez this is a story of a young man struggling to not only adjust to society but is trying to find the truth after spending a decade in prison for murder that he allegedly committed when he was 15.  He is determined to solve this mystery but unsure how he will react to the truth.

NueveCine (Film for the Masses) is based in Guadalajara, Mexico and has filmed in Mexico, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Israel, Palestine and now Columbus. Developing short films, documentaries, television commercial and videos for corporations, NueveCine has a small full time crew and hire other filmmakers to supplement the team depending on the size of the production.

Why Columbus? Robin Lin is the International Accounts Manager and grew up in Columbus. She has experience as a filmmaking, directing, producing, and acting and has links to Sandye Adams of Hydro Street Brewing.  Along with a scene outside Fall River most of the film was shot inside Hydro Street Brewing.  The goal is to submit this film into international film festivals later in 2015.  Currently “Taming Hand” their latest release is making the rounds in festivals in Mexico, Europe and the United States.

The lead role, is played by Dylan Kleinschmidt who played Grant in the Short Thriller “Red Light” and also stars Robin Lin, Zoe Cahill, Nate Bjork, and Olivia Claire.

I got credit for the photo at least.


This is Sydney enjoying her first set of cool earrings


Went to Monks near Costco - It's no Monks Wisconsin Dells for sure.  Pretty good burgers but the grill is not season yet but otherwise - just a typical cookie cutter sports bar that looks like every other sports bar.  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Entrance to the Sundance Auditorium 

Went to Sundance Theater for the 1st time and it has spoiled me for all other theaters - at least until the new one opens in the Sun Prairie Madison Metroplex.  

Awesome place but seriously - you could see movies for free if you really wanted too.  We went to see The Imitation Game about cracking the Enigma Code with the worlds very first programmable computer created by the father of computer science.  WHO KNEW!!

Very very very good exciting movie with a very very powerful ending.  5 stars.  I stars Sherlock.

and of course after the movie we passed a cupcake shop. We will get two . . . . but they look so GOOD, lets get 4.  What?  buy one more and get a free one???  YEA - LET'S GET SIX!!


NBA - 51-33  60.7%  yea baby!!


DRINKING GAME - take a shot every time you hear "ice bowl" this week!    


I have a few art fairs I have to tie my money up with for 6 months.  A new one at Hilldale in June and Spring Green.


OH - the big news is I have in my possession is the leading high tech citizen weather station.  I was HOPING I would get it Friday so I could get it on the roof.  BUT NOOOOO.  This will have a large internet signature whenever I can get on the roof again - it is SWEET with lots of add on instruments such as evapotranspiration, leaf wetness, soil moister, and solar radiation.

I might wait a week to get on the roof though!  LOL