Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Random Photo Day - cleaning out the camera

I've been TRYING to stay away from State politics because I know many people still love Gov Walker.  

But this is sort of funny! In Phoenix Governor Walker was giving a speech about how he opposes legalizing marijuana.  He talked about Dane County  "I mean, it's left of Pravda" he said. The political views of Dane County mirror a Communist Russian Newspaper. 

Then is says "Even there, the Democrat sheriff  said to me last year when the issue came up, 'Whatever you do, please do not sign the legalization of marijuana.'"

Here is the kicker.  When asked about this comment, Sheriff Mahoney said he has never had a one on one conversation with Walker and any conversation he has had was "cordial small talk".

A little more truth bending, as usual. 

Mark Salter was John McCain's top political adviser and on his Facebook page he said  "I want to like him but Scott Walker is kind of a dumb ass,". 

Nate Silvers website who has been right-on with all of the Wisconsin polling and Walkers constant elections says Walkers biggest problem is himself.  He seems to change his mind and flip flop in whatever state he is giving a speech and if he does not stop blundering, his early lead will vanish once the National Press and other Republicans start to hone their blades. 

I hate politics and most politicians on both sides of the aisle because its not about the people, it's about the votes - but I do find elections fascinating. It's marketing at the very highest level.   


OK - just clearing out some photos

In no particular order - a few things I have been working on.

A woman sent a photo saying  "can you do anything with this?" Well, actually No, not a LOT at least but I'll give it a go. 

This is me and  Daryl Moon before the benefit for the Auditorium. The guy was truly hilarious. I went in saying there is no way a stranger will make me laugh, what can he possibly say. 

So I made four sets of post cards for art fairs to give away and ordered 25 each just to see how they turned out.  The below is one of them.
But when I got a big box in the mail I was confused on what it could be until I opened it.

Seriously?  You needed a BIG BOX to send 4 little envelopes?  That is the best thing they could think of?  sigh.


I'm a total geek when it comes to baseball.  I started playing Strat-o-Matic baseball in the late sixties and ran and was in leagues for 30 years. I won't go into the obsession around the world with this game/simulation but professional baseball players wait anxiously every year for the cards to come out. 

ANYWAY - in 2006 a team created a computer simulation that mimics everything about the major leagues and includes running an organizations Minor League system. 

VERY geeky but very realistic, the software actually takes too much computing power to fit on a PS3 now. 

Here is screen shot of Citizens Bank Park on my PS3 2014 version.  The umpires strike zone is actually in the game as each MLB umpire is also rated for accuracy on how wide their strike zone is.

OK - since I have digressed into geekdom - Iggy and Sophie. 


Why does Sophie always look like I interrupted her when she was plotting something. 

OH - are you are looking for a cat toy that cats actually enjoy and play with besides twisties and empty boxes?  They really love this one and it's only $20 at Mounds.  It has colored balls in it (and a golf ball at the moment).

I covered up the holes on the side to make it harder but they love the challenge and take turns.  Thumbs up on this one.

And in my lost files one shot of the Auditorium.

Now I must run off and pick up the Deluxe version of WILD for DJ and at the same time pick up MLB The Show 2015 for myself.  What an exciting day.

Have a great day! 


Monday, March 30, 2015

Nothing much Monday.

Wednesday/Thursday Morning
WEATHER - typical spring which is a good thing. I like typical.  We have 4 days of a gradual warm up until Wednesday night when we could get a few thunderstorms.

Highs middle 60s Wednesday and Thursday, Cooling down and then middle 50s for next weekend but windy.


Finally!!  Warner Brothers is starting to move forward with my father in laws story!   (although that ship is from Pearl Harbor isn't it?  It's not how the USS Indy sunk.  The bow was blown off and water was shoved into moving ship which is why it sunk so quickly.


Motoclassico opened this weekend and I gotta share from photos Jose' 

If you are wondering where this is??

And the inside

Pretty sweet!! 


Sign the petition!

Move the Big Ten Football Championship out of Indianapolis
On March 26, 2015, Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence signed into law a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community under the guise of "religious freedom.
Don't use religion as an excuse to discriminate.


NBA is basically over (for me).

2013/14 = 97.26 units2014/15 = 93.96 units

On to baseball!


have a super great Monday!  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pot o' Gold

My SitBit on my wrist which tracks my inactivity and warns me when I get to active was going off last night watching the Badger game. I felt like I was doing some sort of aerobic exercise just sitting there my heart was pounding so hard.


In other games - if Kentucky would not have scored ONE POINT in the 2nd half last night - they still would have won.  They were so bored they were dunking over their own players.  The score was 18-2 after like 4 minutes! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  No one will beat Kentucky this year. The #1 player in the NBA draft next year scored 1 point and Kentucky won by 40.

The low this morning got down to 16.6 in Columbus  brrrrrrrrr!  It will get colder tonight going to 14ish but then the warm up begins and Saturday will be a feel warm 40 with pure sun and very light wind.  Should feel GREAT.  Sunday blows!  Serious yuck.  46 ice pellets cloudy, windy.

Next week will be a wapatoolie of weather - Spring will show us everything it has from beautiful warm sun to snow showers and rain and cooling down for the next weekend.    If it is sunny you know rain is coming, if it's raining you know the sun is coming. 


Had two images printed where I will get my $$ back as their printer had issues with the color blue which for these photos is important.  These two were from a vacation we had on St. John USVI - and yes -that is a REAL rainbow. I doubt the sail boat saw a rainbow.  

And this is a shot of Trump Bay, ranked as one of the best beaches in the world (it was from what we could tell). 

There was a card table where a woman was selling rum drinks.  We each ordered one and LITERALLY, the drink was basically one shot of 7-Up and the rest flavored rum. 

As we were laying there like walruses soaking up sun a family starts to lay blankets and stuff near us and they are talking.  I nudge DJ and say "listen". . . . . . DJ says  "Oh know, is that what we sound like?"  I say hi to the people and ask,  "Where are you guys from?"  and they say  MilWAUkee WiscONsin!!   sigh! 

They actually have a snorkel trail you can follow - it was pretty sweet. 


Motoclasico opens downtown Columbus Saturday. Motoclasico "houses a collection of classic motorcycles as well as timeless apparel and accessories for motorcycle enthusiast."  They will also have a good size internet presence.

Jose has renovated the inside of the old bank.

I have not been inside the place yet and he is still working on details but here is a first look.

They are working with the Festival Urban Ninjas to have five Motorcycle Nights in Columbus. The first Monday of the month.


Also opening this weekend is Columbus Self Storage with a ribbon cutting and cake

395 Transit Road, just a block south of the new Shopko and Sentry.

Add Firemens Tap being purchased for a catering service and future restaurant,  Napoli's reopening, a large Badger Motor Car Company who refurbishes antique cars (and many other cool things) opening this summer next to Julie's Java House, The Governors mansion working on destination weddings, a new Sentry and Ace Hardware opening yesterday . . . there is a lot going on.  OH - and the biggest news of the summer is Mullins has a NEW BIG CHAIR!!!! (insert standing ovation sounds).

I did not read the article but the title was

Ted Cruz is just like Reagan in 1980, except people liked Reagan.

Oil prices dipped yesterday. Seems they have been climbing lately with Yeman worries about the Saudi Arabia-led air strikes but that fear seems to be ebbing.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wisconsin is becoming Russia

Weather - we had 0.29 inches of rain and slush the other, although the waste water treatment plant said 0.27. I think we were in agreement.  We have a lot of sunshine heading our way but the air we breath is coming from Canada so it's a little cool.  Light winds so it will not be as bad s you thing.  this time of year sun means so much.

Saturday will  nuttin' but sun with little or no wind.  Sunday will be in the upper 40s with wind and spattering of rain.  NOT GREAT at all.  probably get into the 60s middle of next week with clouds and some rain.  Looks like we will enter a cloudy rainy patch of weather the first part of April as more moist weather from the Pacific starts to hit Wisconsin as opposed to dry Canada.


DJ and I watched a fascinating show on Netflix last night when she got home from work a EIGHT O'CLOCK.   "30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men" which was about the Miracle on Ice from a Russian point of view and it really made you feel bad for the Russian hockey team. The hockey team was not the evil empire.

More on that in a bit.

DJ was sick with flu-like symptoms Monday and Tuesday and went to work yesterday.  She left for work at 7:00AM and arrived how at 8:00 PM.  Mandatory overtime and since she missed two days she was forced to work 10+ hours yesterday and will miss part of the basketball game tonight with mandatory work, OR forced to work on Saturday and maybe miss the Badger game.  She missed one of her favorite holidays last fall Halloween because of mandatory overtime work.

Who can she complain too, management? Yea - right. Walker got rid of unions so State Government can treat their employees anyway they feel like.  Remember - unions are evil right? Thank you Governor Walker for making my wife's life miserable. Might as well live in Russia.  It's not about the people, it's about the money.

BTW - in 2010 Wisconsin was 23ish in job growth in the nation. Starting in 2011, one year after Walker became Governor Wisconsin job growth has lagged behind the rest of the nation and we are now 40th.  Well done.

Back to hockey.

In 1946 Russia decided it needed a hockey team so they got some military dude and said make us a world class hockey team BUT . . . you are not allowed to see how the game is played.  No films - only a page of rules.

So Russia designed and made strategy their one way which was way way different then how Canada played.  Russia used a team concept. While Canada, the powerhouse had the guy with the puck being the driving force, Russia said the 4 guys WITHOUT the puck were what counted. Passing was the key.  While Canada had players bashing people getting the guy with the puck to the goal Russia used passing.

Anyway - the whole show was really good.  Things like how the Russians were housed in a prison in Lake Placid with thin cold sheets and barbed wire. How everybody hated them. They said we were just hockey players, the best in the world but treated so rudely like lower class.

One comment from the older players being interviewed was about the lasting impression of that one game. One said "If a child kisses Sophia Loren he will remember it forever while Sophia will not remember it at all.  Same with us. That one game is not THAT big of a deal but everything around it was".  Or something like that

There were other reason to remember but what happened in the years after were much bigger for the Russian team.  Going for a coach that reinvented the game and love his team and players and getting fired before the Olympics to a strict hard ass coach in the Olympics.

Watch that show if you have Netflix.


Bud warehouse
      The original size of this photo is 16 feet wide.  A little large for a blog.

Oddly I hated beer until I was about 40.  A serious gag reflex for beer.  That yellow fizzy corn swill with very little flavor and very little alcohol is horrible (a baby could drink it - I do not approve of baby's drinking beer).   I have a good friend that is a manager of Budweiser in Sun Prairie and I had to leave off a beer for a competition yesterday and got a tour.

Look at all that beer.  Budweiser is HUGE in Sun Prairie - seriously. There are 20 of those rows of beer. Over 1/2 million cases.

That is three semi trucks on the left there - to give you an idea of the size of the place. You could eat off that floor it was so clean . . . if you really wanted too.

When the zombie apocalypse comes this is where I will try to get too!  Make a note. Head to Bud.



I'm a pretty heavy rock dude when it comes to car music, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch and so forth (along with 3 classical stations and Mark Knopfler and Blues but . . I digress)  but one of my Pandora Stations threw in a song by Poe. I had never head of this singer but liked the song and looked her up.

Two albums, one in 1995 and one in 2000.  That's it??  I actually purchased her latest CD (the 2000 one) and love it.



Public Service message because I'm an aldermen for ALL of Columbus.  I thought that guy on the right was slicing deli meat but it was for the hardware store.  My bad.


Watch out by the intersection by the Hospital Monday - work begins!

Here is a tip I heard on TV.

You know when you brush your teeth you get those little lumps of toothpaste in the sink? Don't wipe them away. Let them dry and use them as after dinner mints!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What Columbus Needs

Gotta share this.  The Milwaukee Bucks were in an important game last night against Miami and were fighting against Miami for the 6th playoff spot. Bucks were down by 14 with 6 minutes to go but had battled back. Very important game when in the last 3.5 seconds, down by 2 this happened. Bucks are in white.


I was at the CDA sponsored event yesterday "Charting a New Course for Economic Development in Columbus" which was well attended by business leaders but no one attended from the outer ring of businesses in Columbus (strip mall area). 

But what was very nice was that there was anyone there at all!  When I moved to Columbus these types of events were draw 5 people and we had 22+ yesterday.

The group talked about what was good about Columbus and what the challenges were and where did we want to be in 20 years.  Very informative.  This is actually the 2nd of these kind of public meeting I have attended in the last 4 months as the library had something like this and it was nice to see that they mirrored each other.

What we did was just list everything and then at the end sort of voted on the most important things.

The below are some of the things the group of people in attendance wanted Columbus to focus on.

The Crawfish river is the most under utilized strengths to a town I have ever seen.  I have lived in three towns in my life and every one had a river that was used and not ignored like we do in Columbus.  I've seen plans for fixing up the area but the previous governments were blind to this strength.

Luckily there is a plan in the works for canoe and kayak rentals in the future so we need to start to focus on this area and not wear blinders to entertainment.

I've always been a big proponent for youth and finding things for them to do and I have an idea that I need to talk to SOMEONE involved in schools and school government.  The youth of Columbus is also the future of Columbus and we need to get them involved.

Shovel ready properties is also move in ready properties.  Dane County has SO MUCH paperwork for building a business that Columbia County does not. We need to get developers to put in the infrastructure so an idea for a building will take less then a year.  This also goes with downtown businesses and we need to help building owners market their empty store fronts.  A sign in the window is not enough. 

The Urban Ninjas did a fantastic job this past winter with their art walk and the response from all of the building owners downtown was amazing.  This group really got all owners involved which was unheard of in the past. I was glad to hear yesterday that other businesses believe they are good for Columbus (but I digress).        

Location Perception was big.  For instance. People in Madison believe Columbus us SO FAR AWAY when it's actually a faster drive to Columbus they from the east side of Madison to the west side.

A friend of mine drove to Columbus and he commented - WOW - it's not as far as I thought! Somehow we need to get it into peoples brains that we are not 100 miles away.

When I lived on the east side of Madison it took me 40 minutes to get to the west side.  The ONE thing that drives me nuts is the lack of advertising in the Isthmus for Columbus events. The Isthmus readers are the ones that would make the trip. The people that read that newspaper are the cool ones looking for unique things to do outside of Madison. An ad would cost a lot but the Room Tax Funds are sitting there doing nothing but collecting dust.

Dinner and a Show - people are begging for things to do in Columbus - look at Recreational Destination - There was a lot of talk about the lack of bike trails in Columbus.  We're not talking about smooth roads but trails from park to park and so forth.  And one of the big things talked about was the lack of quality entertainment.

State-Wide Attraction was about events (Arts & Ale for instance) and branding. Trying to get people to come to Columbus and THEN treating them well.  It does no good to have a event and then do it poorly - that is anti-marketing.  Put on an event, spend money to make it as good as you can - THAT is marketing a town, not just a piece of paper with the word Columbus on it.

Transportation Options is another word for taxi?  How do seniors do shopping if they can't drive?

All these ideas were discussed with WEDC and they will now take it and work out a plan or at least a plan on how to make a plan.  This is a good group and I read and participate in the Connect Communities forum which is a great place to kick around ideas and problems with other officials in communities.

Columbus is not that different then most small towns.  Actually a little better off as many other towns have a much worse downtown situation.  We only have a 25-30% vacancy rate.  But the biggest problem is that Columbus people do not know what Columbus offers. They do not shop here, only live here.


The Badgers - did you know that the Badgers and Kentucky have the tallest teams in the sweet 16 BY FAR!!   If you take the average size of all players that play more the 10 minutes a game there is only one team, in the NBA, that has a taller team.  Minnesota.  And Wisconsin is just 1/10 of an inch shorter then Kentucky.

Kentucky has a 41% of winning the National Title
Arizona 14%
Duke 12%
Wisconsin 8%  according to Nate Silver.


Did you know that on average once every 4 days the US Power Grid is digitally attacked?


Ireland's largest bookmaker came out with the latest numbers for 2016 presidential race.

Hillary (not my favorite choice)  6/5
Jeb Bush  4/1
Walker 10/1

Marco Rubio 10/1
Liz Warren 18/1  
Ted Cruz 33/1

One last thing - First Grade readiness.

We all know that we live in times that are MUCH MUCH safer then when we were kids. When I was a kid there were razor blades in Trick or treat bags and all sort of violence. Statistically we are in a very very safe time in the world.

One of the things in 1979 to find out if your child was ready for 1st grade were can he or she count 10 pennies and color inside the lines and . . . . . . "Can he travel alone in the neighborhood (eight blocks) to store, school, playground, or to a friend's home?"

How many parents let their kids walk 8 blocks by themselves. In some towns they arrest parents for letting their kids be free range.  I used to walk 8 blocks to school barefoot in winter to kindergarten.

have a great day   

Monday, March 23, 2015


Had a weird thing happen last night.   Dead asleep when all of a sudden the overhead lights in the bedroom turn on! WTF???    I had to get up and physically click off the switch.  There is no other way to turn on or off the lights!!   Yea - you tell ME!

Ghosts in the Auditorium

Weather - looking forward to thunderstorms tomorrow night and still looking for some heavy rain in the 1/2 range. It's going to be an active spring week with all sorts of weather weirdness. After the system flies by Wednesday the temps will drop with a sunny high of 36 on Friday warming to 56 on Sunday and near 60 a week from now.  Stay tuned for anything.

Mel Jacob top right
As many know my father in law is a living Survivor of the USS Indy and has been interviewed a few times for two upcoming movies. He lives in Sun Prairie.

Two movie companies are working on projects. One company is working on a "Band of Brothers" style series about the events that lead up to the massive Navy cover-up which ended with the court marshal subsequent suicide of the crews much loved Captain McVay.

Captain McVay was the only Captain of a warship ever to be court marshaled and the Navy made him the scapegoat for their bone head blunders.

We found out this weekend that Warner Brothers and Robert Downey Jr has hired Nicholas Cage to play Captain McVay in their version of the event.  This one will center on Hunter Scott. A 12 year old who was watching Jaws and was fascinated by Robert Shaw's account of what happened.
Hunter Scott (center)

He decided to make a school project and in the coming years read over 800 documents and interviewed 150 survivors about the sinking. The more he researched the more he was finding a giant cover up.

The movie will tell the story of
"the young boy researching the tragedy as part of a History Day competition and learning how the warship was sunk by torpedoes with the crew stranded for five days and eaten by sharks."

His constant nagging to politicians finally started to draw attention and his testimony in front of Congress resulted in passage of a Congressional resolution, signed by President Bill Clinton in October 2000, exonerating McVay.  

He is now in the Navy as a Submarine hunter.

If you are looking for a fantastic book on the sinking of the Flag Ship of the Pacific Fleet and cover up this is the best I have read so far.  There are a couple of photos of Mel in the book

In Harm's Way: The Sinking Of The USS Indianapolis

And if you have an extra hour this is a really really good accounting of the incident by one of the last two Marines (Mel is the other Marine).  There are not many survivors left, we lost a couple more in the last few months. Maybe 20 left?

They will have their 70th reunion in Indianapolis in early Aug.



I want to thank the Columbus Theater Association for their night of comedy and all proceeds going towards the renovation of the Auditorium.  Hilarious.  Before Saturday Night I had only seen two comedians live. Steve Martin in a sold out Coliseum (when was the last comedian that could draw 10,000 people for one show) and Lewis Black twice. So I had no idea who these two people were who's job was to make me laugh.

HOME RUN.  Seriously.  How is Daryl Moon not famous. I bet there were 40 people in attendance and a great time was had by all. What a hard job making people laugh but it was 2 hours of laughing. How do they do that!!

So what is happening with the Auditorium?  The problem was that they do not want to collect money, hire an architect, use up the funds, wait 6 more months for more money look for another engineer/architect start all over and so forth. They want to do this in one motion, not with many small ones.

So while it seems nothing is happening it's just a different philosophy.  They don't want to stop and start and stop and start as money filters in.  They have attended conferences in Chicago on how to so this correctly and know what they are doing.


You will see things happening at the Columbus Deer park with some renovations and more trees getting planted.  What do they eat??? Who takes care of them ?


Don't forget - tomorrow


I was at One Barrel Brewing in Madison Friday. They are brewing a recipe by the winner of the Sun Prairie Worthogs year long competition set to be released May 6th.  I will have to take May 6th off from golf league that day I guess.

Nice brewery (one of 5?? now in Madison?) on the corner of Atwood and Willy Street.

Have a great Monday


There is a hard rumor that the Columbus 151 Speedway is closing The Columbus 151 Speedway "has been bought for the purpose of training police offers and rescue in high speed chases and maneuvering".

Madison College is presumed to have purchased it (MATC so some of us) 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cranky Old Man week is almost over

Now that I have calmed down - I'm all good!  
HA - after 3 games in the NCAA tournament 0.7% of people with who filled out brackets are still perfect.


Quickie today as I have to fly to Madison and help brew beer at  One Barrel Brewing. My home Brew clubs winner Hannah won homebrewer of the year and "we" will brew a Belgium Pale Ale (not my favorite style at all) this morning.  Not sure what the date will be when it goes on sale.  I say "we" because One Barrel knows the process of their equipment.

There is another brewery in the works in Sun Prairie that I'm a little involved with - a 4 barrel system that is being worked on by our home brew club.  Pretty big affair in the works.  


Weather - looking like a good size rain coming in Tuesday. More then 1/2 at the moment. 


I deleted a few blog posts, didn't read the comments but I'm sure they were votes of confidence. LOL I agree with 95% of what goes on in City Government and for the most part am very happy with how our city is being run and the direction we are moving.  Confidence is high.  Moving on.  I said my piece.  The past is the past. I must live with the results. 

It's not like I have never railed on City Government before right? I've been complaining for 7 years. I think the BEST advice is to just ignore me, don't egg me on! 


OH - I saw a scene the other night in Columbus that has stuck in my brain as a Norman Rockwell moment.  I was driving through town, it was dark and two uniformed police officers were walking down the sidewalk.  For some reason that was so awesome cool looking moment. I almost stopped. Police are getting such a bad rap across the country because of a few bad apples and this was such a photo moment my brain clicked a photo. 


Go Badgers, Go East High Purgholders (sp??)  Go Fort Atkinson (oops - didn't make it). 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rodney was almost voted off the Island

NO NO NO - I was talking Survivor last night. Rodney was the guy on the Blue Collar tribe that insisted that woman need to have higher standards then men.  Sadly the outspoken female firecracker on that tribe who I liked that loudly disagreed with him was booted off. The make gorillas pounded their chests.

The interesting thing was that in episode two (because CBS is all screwed up the next few weeks with March Madness) the White Collar tribe member that teaches a college course on Survivor (yes, there are actually courses on Survivor in a number of Universities because it really is a fascinating social experiment) was booted off.  Basically he new way way too much about the game.


So I have been poking the bear a bunch lately (you might have noticed) trying to find the REAL reason for the Room Tax controversy and I finally was told why. I don't know why this was not mentioned in council because it sort of makes sense and would have REALLY cleared things up for not only myself but for the citizens of Columbus.  I actually agree with my fellow council members . a little.

However - my contention is that we have had no Room Tax Committee for over a year.  There is absolutely zero long term plan on Room Tax Funds.  Nothing. Not even a hint of a plan. We don't even HAVE a committee. The City Council was forced to become the committee.

In my view if Mr. Eisenga wanted to form a volunteer group to have a festival that makes 3000 people happy with proceeds going to charity and gets Columbus mentioned on Channel 3 as a place to visit (like Ale and Arts) but at the same time brings people into his store and helps his business. I would help fund it. It's good for Columbus.

Same with Jodee O's or the Cage or Sharrows Downtown or if Doc formed a committee and wanted a festival next to the Capri that created a buzz and helped a charity but at the same time drew people into his restaurant?  I would vote to help fund it.  Same with the Dollar Store or Duffy Grain or Julie's Java.  I would vote to help ANY business who created a group of non-paid volunteers to create a Columbus buzz even if at the same time it helped their business. I am pro helping business anywhere in Columbus. What else are those funds being used for???

If ALL of them wanted a festival?  THEN - I would start to limit and get more strict on handing out funds. I am 100% on my fellow council members side of restricting access to funds only for "marketing" if,  there was an actual plan that involved marketing Columbus and those funds were needed?  THEN I would start to restrict access to this money.

There are no plans and there are no plans to make a plan, there is only talk that we should have a plan.  The money is just sitting there collecting dust doing no one any good at all.

I don't know about the other council members but I certainly did not want to be the Room Tax Committee, it was sort of forced on us when the the old committee was disbanded.  Like we have nothing better to do?  THAT is the real problem here. Being forced to be a committee we never wanted to be on in the 1st place.

This is the last I will speak of this topic as I finally found what I was looking for and I agreed with them on one level.  

I have restricted comments because I'm tired of the constant chest pounding and arguing. This is a personal blog and not a public forum, it's editorial. The thought police have already stopped by!


March Madness -   We all have our brackets fill out right?  The chances of winning all 63 games is 1 in 9.2 quintillion. An assistant professor of sport management at the University of Michigan had a study showing that flipping a coin will actually have you beat most other players in a pool who used their brains.  As he says
“A grandmother who's never seen a game has a similar chance of doing as well as her grandson who spends eight hours a day watching and researching basketball.” 
But here is a weird thing.

$1.9 BILLION in lost productivity to business will occur in the next few weeks. Yet this is one of the best times in the year to be heavily invested in the stock market.  In the last 10 years 97% of the S&P 500 companies have seen positive returns over the next two weeks. There could be other reasons but the correlation is rather astounding.

Something else interesting. NBA scouts already have their fantasy drafts ready for picking players for their teams but how does March Madness relate to college players.  We all know that a few games does not show an entire college career.  1.5% of the people you see in the next few weeks will actually ever play a game in the pros.

BUT - of those that will play, having a good tournament will put more money in their pockets.  A tournament will not make of break you but it will give you a higher draft pick which is more money.
Nate Silver's picks for the final four are Kentucky 72% chance, Arizona 46% chance, Villanova 45%, Duke 32%.  I see no Wisconsin. Vegas has Wisconsin as #3.


WEATHER - blah - partly cloudy for like forever.  A system hitting us late Tuesday and Wednesday giving us some much needed rain, maybe 1/3 inch? Otherwise nothing much happening in this oddly quiet period in spring.  We need rain to suck out the frost in the ground and help motorcycles get back on the road.  All of my cycle friends are complaining about too much salt is still on the roads for their bikes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Omaha in the Spring. mmmmmmm

There is nothing more beautiful then a drive through Nebraska in the springtime. BUT  if that is where the Badgers are going to play Friday night, so be it.

Badgers are 19.5 point favorites!

I just heard there is a bet you can make,  20 to 1 that Kentucky will never trailed at any point in the NCAA tournament.

To win National Championship

Kentucky 6/5 (bet $5 to have $11 returned to you)
Arizona 15/2
Wisconsin 17/2  (bet $2 to have $19 returned to you)
Coastal Carolina 1000/1

While I'm on the subject - politics
Clinton 13 to 10
Jeb 4/1
Walker 10/1 

Exciting things happening in Columbus this summer.

My gut feeling this could work into something even bigger with antique cars frin The Badger Motor Car Company joining the fray and maybe we can get some carriages from the Columbus Carriage Works.  Bringing people downtown baby!   

And don't forget this coming weekend. 

City of Columbus Office of Economic Development and the Community Development Authority (CDA) are hosting a special program on Tuesday, March 24th from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Columbus Community Center.

Come on down for the interactive discussion.


We had a CSS Taskforce meeting Friday to go over plans for the James Street Reconstruction. Sadly better estimates came in and there were some changes on what we could afford.  We are not into smaller details yet like bike racks and so forth but bigger ticket items.

We're still in the beginning stages but the colored corner stamped sidewalks were taken out of the plans for various reason (actually about 40,000 reasons) but we're still going to have colored crosswalks up and down the corridor and new street lamps.  Less lamps and taller.  To be honest I'm not super happy with the new lamps but if we add trees there is a problem with lighting and just a lot of clutter and the same height so you have to give a little to gain a little.

While the lamps we have are a main feature downtown they will not be in the new a major feature now with more focus on the buildings while softening the hard exteriors with urban trees. There was just to much stuff happening at the same level.  Still planning on a major structure on Dickason BLVD across from the stature, where the 15 minute parking is at the moment.  Don't worry, we're adding a few parking spaces to cover those losses.  We are also adding electrical with a thank you to Aldermen Thom for that great idea. Events with electric were a problem on the blvd.

OH - back to street lights!  Christmas lights were mentioned.  Each new energy efficient light pole (but it's not like we are saving money-oddly) will have electric outlets which means we can upgrade our Christmas lights.  I think we need a Christmas light committee.  If you drove through Waunakee who went through what Columbus will go through in 2017 their Christmas lights were AWESOME!

It's something I had not considered. If done right Columbus will be a stand out community during the holiday season.


I commented on Tropical Cyclone Pam hitting Vanuatu.  Survivor 9 was held there and I believe that is one of the ones I applied for.  Well 95% of the buildings were destroyed on those 65 islands.


Gotta see the skin doctor today. When you had a malignant melanoma you get to see a dude once a year forever.

I had a mole removed about 25 years ago on my shoulder and halfway through the minor procedure the nurse said  "Doctor? Can you look at this?"

TWO days later I had an ice cream scoop of skin taken out and I could literally see my muscle fibers. Well, about the size of a silver dollar. MOHS chemo surgery.  I actually got to meet Dr. MOHS although he was pretty old.

I've met two Moh's in my life.  Bruce Mohs of the Mohs Seaplane Corporation.  I was on a 70 mile bike ride and for some reason we stopped at this farm house (for water??). We started talking to this old guy and  before you know it he was taking us back to his barn to look at something (what could possibly go wrong).

He opens the door to the barn and we see some of the most unusual cars I have ever seen.

Ostentatienne Opera Sedan

The tires were nitrogen filled.

Then we find out HE MADE THEM!!

Bruce passed away a few weeks ago.

Oil got slammed this weekend and is now at $43 a barrel and going down. It is now at a 6 year low.


I made a promise I would post this photo of Sam.  This was taken on his last day of business in Columbus.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Welcome my friend

I would like to welcome my good friend "60 degrees".  I have not seen you since November 4th.
Got some possible rain for NEXT weekend. Friday and Saturday.  The high temps will start to cool off to the low 50s and upper 40s later next week but nothing to get worried about. 

Saturday will be the "cool" day of the next 4 hitting only 59 and maybe 60 and then zooming back up to the middle 60s Sunday and upper 60s Monday.  Could be a messy next Saturday with mixed precip early Saturday morning NEXT week and a high Saturday of 44ish. 

The big weather news is happening east of Australia where Survivor 9 was filmed on the island of Vanuatu. Tropical Cyclone Pam, a cat 5 with sustained winds of 168 is bashing that tiny island 


Had a really interesting Water and Light presentation/sales pitch about the Columbus water wells. Well #1 was constructed in 1928 and is 87 years old.  Well #2 was 1944 and is 71 years old.  We were told that wells last about, and age at about the same rate as humans which make our wells  . . . OLD.   

So the question is do we need a check up?  One argument was that everything is fine why spend money on something that is working perfectly.  This to me is like saying that because I'm 80 years old and jog and feel fine, why should I have a yearly check up. I'M FINE.  The other argument is that perhaps we should get a check up and plan for our death so when it happens we are prepared.  Maybe start the process for planning new wells since it's a 2-3 year process. 

Columbus has a lot of water at our disposal which if you think about it is better then you think because some industry need a lot of water. They will ask communities about the water situation. But with aging infrastructure  . . . . . . .

The one thing we DO have a problem with is phosphorus.  The State Government has decided that while it's fertilization of farmland that causes this problem they have decided that it's the communities that need to deal with it.  We will pay for this problem even though we are not causing it. The current State government in charge really likes to screw small towns.    

One more thing was that many people do not know that Columbus Water &  Light has many conservation programs available including a cash rebate for shade trees. Only 2 people took advantage of this last year.  I said we should really advertise this more and the response was "Did you see this in our last insert in the bill?" . . . . ummmmmm  no!  Who looks at that stuff when paying a 3 inch stack of bills  OK - smacked me down there. LOL

Here is a weird mind bending fact. Trees do not grow in the ground. They ACTUALLY grow in the air. Trees receive their carbon dioxide through the air and because of photosynthesis releases that carbon to create the substance of the tree in air. They receive water and nutrients from the soil but the actual tree is growing in the air, not the ground.       

Sophie has a new place to sit watching me type.  I had to strategically place my weather station console so she would not step on the OFF button AGAIN on my computer (which she did twice, rebooting both times).


Oil is in contango!!!  

My reaction also - WTF is contango! I looked it up. 

In a contango situation, hedgers (commodity producers and commodity users) or arbitrageurs/speculators (non-commercial investors), are "willing to pay more [now] for a commodity at some point in the future than the actual expected price of the commodity [at that future point].
WELL - OK then - whatever!   I'm sure you are now asking yourself what is the opposite of a contango. Obviously it's a backwardation.  Of course!  Daaa!

But wait, there is more!!  There is one report saying we could go into a SUPER CONTANGO (seriously, not a clue how that works or even why).

The Energy Information Administration reported last week that the U.S. pumped 4.5 million barrels of oil more then we consumed or gave away and we now have more oil them we have ever had in the last 80 years!  Oil plunged another 2% overnight and is at $46 a barrel.

These are crazy times in oil. Remember when gas stations were closed because of no gas? Or only open on even days and there were were hour long lines?


Did you see the latest video from the shooting in Madison? I know this area very well as I lived about a block away.  It's from a surveillance camera from the gas station across the street and shows a guy filling his tank.

All of a sudden there is gunfire and he ducks behind his gas tank and lights a cigarette.  WHAT?  Is that really the best he could do?   Two fails.  1. Hide behind his gas tank when bullets are assumed flying and 2. Light a cigarette while hiding behind his gas tank.

Come on man!    


Something Columbus Waste Water probably already knows.  Sanitary wipes are NOT meant for flushing.  NYCity spent $18 million in the last 5 years with this problem.  Don't flush those things.
58% of American bartenders are woman but on TV only 15% are portrayed as woman.
OH - while the world is rich in oil, the world is running out of bourbon. In 2002 there were 13 million cases of bourbon sold,  in 2014, 19 million cases. The problem is that bourbon needs to age a large number of years.   One report said that one retailer was selling a bottle 3 years ago for $25 and now it is $150.  While craft beer is cutting into the big breweries sales bourbon is cutting into craft beer sales.  Notice how many bourbon barrel craft beers are available now.


Wisconsin is -13.5 point favorites, or -1250 money line. Money line means you are just betting to win or lose.  This means you have to bet $1,250 to win $100 (get $1,350 in return . . hopefully).   I have no opinion on this game at all except they should win. It would be catastrophic if they lost.


Bird watch - Starlings are back.  oh joy!    Remember when I said every so often I have a pigeon explosion when the local hawk has a meal?  I seemed to have a bunny explosion under the feeder.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Badger Motor Car Company part Deux

WEATHER - The WORST weather I can see is 10 days away when we get down to 42 degrees for a high - brrrrrrrrrr.  There is a cold front going through Friday night but it's starved for moisture so the weekend will ONLY upper 50s and 60.  brrrrrrrrrr.   Wisconsin is between two jet streams. One is zooming north and the other is zooming south. The southern one is sucking all sorts of moisture north but it only gets to Illinois.  The only rain I see is next Thursday when we might get a passing shower.  

Photo Courtesy Darvin Frey 
There will be a new business entity opening up in the future. The new home for the Badger Motor Car Company.

The building and all of the surrounding buildings were purchased and a dream begins.

The place will be used to display anything "cool, old ,car, motorcycle, train or plane related" which will all be for sale along with an artisan soda bar, art, music and perhaps anything related to canoeing and kayaking for the Crawfish river. (I'm trying to talk him into tours of the Udey Dam and maybe we can construct a glass lookout like they have in the Grand Canyon).  In time maybe the Columbus Visitor Center and perhaps a gift shop.

The market for fixing antique motor cars is exploding and Columbus is the perfect place for this business which will also have Motoclassico opening soon who's specialty is antique motorcycles. This is a perfect match and will being people to Columbus for multiple reasons. Anyone interested in antique cycles will also be interested in antique cars and their wives (or husbands) can visit the antique stores in town at the same time. And perhaps have an antique themed wedding at the Governors Mansion.

I'm really excited about how things are evolving for Columbus in this direction.  The little town with so much history is taking that bull by the horns and running with it.

Of course there is a loser in this development.  The Workshop was in the 2nd floor and will need to relocate which is sad as this was a nice business/school/art place and I hope they will find a new and better place.  Lord knows there are enough centralized stores downtown if the owners would have realistic rents!


Took Iggy and Sophie it to get nails trimmed as I could not get near Sophie. WELL - seems Iggy is 1 pound overweight and I can not stand fat cats.  He was up to 13.7 pounds (and still not 1 year old) and the Doc said maybe 1 pound overweight.  Can't have that so I'm taking their food away during the day.   No more free munching.


The US had great unemployment numbers dropping to it's lowest level since July 2008.

BUT - In Wisconsin every single county saw a rise in unemployment and one company, Hoffman Construction, because of the "Right to Work" is moving to Minnesota.  Many companies care for their workers and say unions are good because  "working together on problems, joint safety committees, agreeing on other items like seniority, vacation, health care can only make a company stronger".

To be honest I would have no problem with Right to Work . .  IF the people that decided NOT to join a union were not guaranteed to get the same benefits as the union people. Does not seem real fair does it?


US weekly jobless claims fell to 289,000 last week and continues a downward trend.  


Canada is urging it's citizens to STOP SPOCKING THE DOLLAR

It's awesome and totally legal but . . . . . .

Nuff said

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chapter One nearing an end - hitching a ride

WEATHER - looking ahead still nothing to  talk about except the coming WARM weather. Columbus is looking at 65 on Friday as the peak of this stretch with the high finally slipping before 50 NEXT Wednesday. Cooling down the end of next week to only a few degrees above average (which is 40). The first HINT of rain is Friday the 20th.

So the first chapter of my book, Fear and Loathing of an Aldermen in a Small Town is nearing an end and it's been a learning experience to say the least.

Last week was yet another experience. When you are told that the current interest rates for bonding is 1% BUT it might tick up a little . . . well . . . . . . a little??  Seriously? 1.8% is a "tick?"  

I'm looking to refinance my house and have been watching interest rates and when I see something "tick" it goes from 3.65% to 3.78%.  THAT is a tick in my book. We were told bond yields were about 1%. maybe they said 1.5%?? and all I heard was 1% but then in reality it was 1.9% which even if it ticked UP from 1.5% . . . that is .4%  which is more then one tick in my book.  Still a good rate for sure, just a little surprise. I should have actually done some research and looked to see what the REAL rates were instead of some vague answer.  Lesson Learned  . . again. 


Gonna say it one more time  "Last Man on Earth" is hilarious.  DJ was in tears laughing in the last episode and that rarely happens to anybody.  Of the three episodes the 1st has been the worst of the bunch and I don't know how long they can keep it up but January Jones joins the caste of Kristen Schaal, who is a riot and I believe she will be a breakout star, and Will Forte from SNL.


 "There's no wrong way to use a Margarita pool."


Good news for the Columbus deer park - it's getting upgraded with more pine trees and a new shelter and so forth. YEA!!!

10 things you wish you would have done in your 30s according to Smart Living 

1. Get rid of the "shoulds"  I should get married, I should own a home, I should have kids, I should have a steady career. STOP!!  Enjoy your life with what you are doing and just let it flow!! 

2. Not spending enough time with your parents!  YUP.  Been there! My dad died of lung cancer from smoking and I wish I had spent more time with him. Seriously!

3. Putting work or other obligations first.  Well, that has never been a problem for me!  But if you put work first you will regret the time you are missing with sharing with your family.  Family first!    

4. GET AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE.  There is absolutely zero time if you short life to ever be around negative people.  People that when you get done talking to them you feel angry or stressed.  Same with negative thoughts and issues you really have no control over.  A waste of energy.  Your life can be snapped out in a second and do you want to spend the time you have angry?

5. Thinking 30's are old.  Like I'm to old for this!! No you are not! Trust me. 

6. Not taking better care of your body! Actually I was pretty good - gotta get back to that.  I signed up as a member of Anytime Fitness! I suppose my time of atrophy is about to end.  I will have double up my atrophy-ness.  I'm going to buy a Sitbit tracker to make sure I don't use too many calories before they open. 

7. Not taking a chance.  The biggest problem my Badger Care buddy has is he is afraid to take a chance.  If you don't take a chance you will never succeed! 

8. Not saving enough.  I did pretty well. Not a problem but many people forget that they WILL get to be retirement age at some point and you really want to have money when you are not having to go to work every day. 

9. Not traveling enough.  I wish I would have traveled more but I did hitch hike to California a few times.  Never made it as I always stopped in the mountains.  It's also when I first started writing.  If you want adventures, hitchhike a few thousand miles. In fact #7 (Not taking a chance) comes into play because I had never ever hitch hiked in my life until the first time I put my thumb out on I94 that first day (a state trooper picked me up and gave me a lift to the next exit). Some awesome stories on that trip. 

10. Caring too much what others think. Obviously I don't have this problem as I seem to piss off the entire population but not all at the same time.  I think the jist of this one is that you need to be yourself. If people don't like you well . . . it sucks to be you but at least you are living YOUR life.  


#7 - taking a chance - hitch hiking

I decided I needed an adventure and thought hitch hiking to California was a smart idea since I had never hitched in my life - what could possibly go wrong.  I got let off in Janesvill next to the interstate and for 12 hours did not get picked up. Was I doing it wrong?  I camped out where I was let off and the next day walked up to I90 and started walking to California! 

A State Trooper picked me up and I explained my problem and he drove me to the next exit.  A family coming from church picked me up and took me a ways and then a few hours later two dudes going to California picked me up and their plan was go to CA, sell drugs and live the high life.  But they had no money OR drugs.  BUT, they did have these HUGE incense sticks that they would light and inhale.  Yea - what could possibly go wrong.

Well, they were driving to I80 and stopped and I decided that perhaps we should part ways.  I gave them $10 for gas so they would not end up hitching with me.  

I was then picked up by an AWL Air Force guy that was literally racing across the country and we were picked up for speeding and he was taken to jail but he gave me a crap load of K-Rations.  And that was only 3 days into the 3 week adventure which includes woman, friends, bears, creepy guys where my hand was on my big ass knife (yea - I was packing a awesome blade), hippies, sleeping on cactus and hiding in a trunk at a Yogi Bear Campground.  And that is day 4.  (not really).

Have a great Wednesday.            


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bats in the Belfry

The talking weather heads are talking about a big cool down next week and I'm not seeing it.  This GREAT weather will come to an end (we will be 20+ degrees above normal Friday) but it looks like next Monday will be the last of this air mass and we should cool down to only being 5-8 degrees above normal.  The heads are saying 30's which is below normal.  It's ON Charlie!

Zip, zero rain in any forecasts. Get your car washed


Yesterday I made a few decisions - the first was that I would walk every street of Columbus.  My mom did that in Fort Atkinson and she was 75 when she walked Fort which is much larger the Columbus.  Well . . . . .upon further review and being a realist (and some call me pragmatic as an insult which baffles me) I knew that will never happen. Who am I kidding.  Nice idea but ain't gonna happen. HOWEVER - I WILL walk every street in my district.  I've already done that twice but never to look at roads. 

I will walk the roads being considered for reconstruction though. 

The other decision is more silly.

I've been listening to the Brewers spring training games. More for background noise actually since I have never heard of any of the people playing in these meaningless games and you can not be more meaningless then the 1st week of spring training. 

But since I have the ability to listen to all 30 MLB stations why not listen to ALL 30 MLB stations.  

I grew up listening to Minnesota Twin broadcasts with Halsy Hall and some other guy before Milwaukee got a team. Then it was all Milwaukee. 
Note - odd things you waste brain storage on - I can still remember the opening song for the very first Brewer game on the radio.  We lost 12-0.  April 7th 1970. 
Back on topic. I have listened to 3  different broadcast teams briefly which is even more of a waste of time but to be perfectly honest . . . all three sounded exactly alike EXCEPT for the few innings with Bob Ueker (who was sounding rough) and some real idiot bozo on Pittsburgh.  But seriously, every announcer sounded exactly the same.  Are they bots?  

I have never listened to Vin Scully and some of the other great announcers so why not listen to one game from each team when the season starts. You can't tell how good or bad you have it unless you hear others.    

Sort of like when I decided to try EVERY hamburger in Columbus looking for the best one (that never happened either). When I was a kid I actually had a notebook on all the restaurant hamburgers I had ever eaten. 

So - those are my two slightly useless goals.

On a side baseball note - I have two good friends (Ken Funck and Doug Ross) that are writers for the Baseball Prospectus, the foremost publication for baseball knowledge, and I was looking through the hefty book yesterday.  They are not allowed to write about "their" team but the section on the Brewers was interesting.
Note - never get into a fantasy baseball league with two writers for a major baseball publication. 
Braun - WHO KNEW - We all know that Braun had an injured thumb and my personal believe is that the steroids he took were for healing and not for strength and so forth.   

ANYWAY - he was doing fine until the thumb issue and then he was seriously horrible.  Here is what happened - pitchers learned that if he could extend his swing the thumb was not a major issue.  But inside pitches created hellish pain when the ball made contact with the bat. Thus - for 3 months Braun received nothing but inside pitches.   

A few other tidbits - Carlos Gomez - best center fielder in the Majors - or close. He will be on every teams MVP lost for votes. 

Seems the Brewers, being a small market team, can only really compete every 2 or 3 years and they are doing a great job at it.  When they have a year when they can compete they make some major deal to get a free agent by trading off some of their prospects and for the most part the prospects are a bust anyway.   The jist of the article is that Milwaukee has done a great job at filling holes  that appear when they go "all in" every 2 or 3 years andthen they sign mid-tier free agents to fill holes until the next swing for the fence.

A small market team can not compete EVERY year.    

Football - The Packers sign Cutler to the Bears for $10 million thus solidifying their 1st place for next year.   



I was at a new establishment in Columbus talking new business and how to decorate and I saw a large rag fall on the floor.  hmmmm wonder where that fell from.  Then it moved! 

WOAH!  we went and looked and it was a BIG brown bat flopping around the floor. 

Many people will say kill it which I believe is not only almost criminal but pretty much like burning a cat or killing a dog in my book. You do not kill bats! 

But what do you do???  Can't throw it outside. I had never dealt with a bat in winter.  hmmmm So I contacted Hannah, a home brew friend who is also a bat researcher for the UW. 

We captured the bat and called the bat rescue team in Sun Prairie. They have 70 bats and drove right to Columbus ASAP. 
I gave HER water and she drank two cap-fulls. 

This is what I learned. 

Bats in houses in winter have a problem because of temperature fluctuation. 

In caves they will wake up every so often in winter and lick the frost off their fur which hydrates them and they go back to sleep. 

But in a house when the temp fluctuates they will wake up and they will be dehydrated and look for water which is what she was doing.  The rescuer said her eyes were all puffy which was good as the water I gave her was perfect. 

They took her and would hand feed meal worms until she learned to eat them naturally (they only eat flying insects).  Then in the spring when the DOR says it's OK they will bring her back to Columbus and let her go.  

This big brown bat had a wing span of about 6-7 inches! 

Speaking of bats - a little brown bat was found in Wisconsin recently that was banded in Minnesota in 1983.  32 years old!!!  it is estimated that this one bat, in it's lifetime, has consumed 13,977,600 mosquito sized insects! 
The record oldest bat ever found in the U.S. was 35 years old. The common age for a little brown bat is 6-10 years although it is not uncommon for them to live 25 years.

If you ever have a bat problem contact the BAT Conservation of Wisconsin 608.837.BATS (608.837.2287)


I was also involved with another pretty big business expansion/relocation/dream in Columbus which will have a few moving parts with one business having to find a new location but this fits perfectly with Motoclassico which opening soon downtown and will bring many tourists to downtown (many meaning "more then zero").  Beaver Dam was making a strong bid to grab this from Columbus but I think "we" wrestled it away. More on this when things solidify and papers are signed.

In fact we were talking last night about expanding after the initial expansion.  

Gotta keep the center of Columbus growing. The center is the key to success . . . . unless you love strip malls.     

Seriously - younger people should really try to remember these amazing time in earths history when it comes to oil.  Countries like Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran and Nigeria cannot slow down production because they NEED money and employment. They are hoping other countries will pull back production because their governments financial situations ares so so fragile.

Bad news for anybody or any government that rely's on oil revenue . . .great news for common American Joe on the street.     

NOTE - Dan Patrick just said - The Milwaukee Bucks will be the break out team next year in the NBA and win 50 games! 

Have a great Tuesday - it will get sunny sooner or later.