Wednesday, December 30, 2015

a freaking nightmare

This is like a freaking nightmare - I drive to work today and turn into my favorite doughnut shop and it is closed (I guess not enough State workers).  So I figure someone will have SOMETHING at work, I mean good Lord, it's a State office building right?

So I get there and my free parking space that is loaned to me by a guy that can't use it for a while has a BMW parked in it - DAMN YOU - I get to work and my best friend co-worker that I have worked with for 25 years is packing as it's her last day - DAMN - and THEN . . . .the only snake I can find are GREEN BEAN CRISPS!

NO - another long time employee I see her last day was yesterday!  A whole lot of knowledge is vacating State service.

Where are those Green Bean Crisps! Maybe I'll run up to Starbucks and get a $4 tiny doughnut.


LOL - Remember that "alluenza" teenager who killed 4 people drunk driving but got off because he was too rich to no better?  Then him and his mom went on the lamb hiding from authorities?

They were caught in Mexico after ordering Domino's Pizza with their phone.  Here is the thing - they should be arrested just for ordering Domino's Pizza!


Sleep experts are amazing that school districts are making students start school so early and it's ruining their education.  School districts are making school children sleep depraved. Children under the age of 10 should NEVER start school before 8:30.  School Districts are messing with children's biological clocks, their circadian rhythms which is linked to mental and physical problems including cognitive impairment, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure and diabetes.

At least according to the American Academy of Pediatrics - but what do THEY know.


So the Eagles have to pay Chip Kelly 13.4 million dollars to go away - how can I get that sweet gig.


Nuff said!  HAPPY NEW YEAR - I'm going to be 'scoping new year party's across the world on Periscope.  Look for it on a website as it's hard to find in the App stores. 



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A new obsession!

At the moment I'm saying Columbus received 6.1 inches of snow-ish. Sort of hard to tell when my yard has no level spots and there are drifts everywhere.   I'll have to venture out and take several readings. I got the driveway done last night but we got another inch.


OK - We were watching the Colbert show and the inventor of Periscope was on, the Best App of the Year according to Apple. 

DJ and I are hooked.   Colbert created an account and loged on.  There was a woman waiting for a bus with 6 people viewing and he asked he if she ever watched The Late Show.  she said no and he said "Maybe you should tonight".

It's like live You Tube where people can stream ANYTHING live and can talk and answer questions to people watching.  Totally addictive. 

My very first contact was some family eating dinner in Rockford. yeah - wow - fascinating.  Then I was looking around and some guy with 2 viewers in Green Bay was basically doing nothing - yup - this is AWESOME!    I looked in Denver and a person who grows cannabis was touring her operation and this actually was pretty interesting.  

On to Thailand and a couple is taking a Monks Tour through a temple.  DJ gets into the action and is in London and SOMEHOW she is watching two drunk people in a bar. Moving on back to Denver is a party where they are live streaming the football game last night to 86 viewers from all over the world. . . . and it was 5 seconds BEFORE what I had on MY TV.   

I went to Australia and a dude was cooking on the barbie talking about the native wildlife and what it was like in Australia (very hot).  Went over to Hawaii and I was on a beach talking to some people there.   Up to Alaska and a daughter , father and mom were having a chat.  Did you know they each get paid $3000 a year just to live in Alaska?  And there are really very very few woman up there.

I think next time I brew beer I'll stream it and maybe I'll stream our home brew club.   

The app is hard to find in the App store - go online  it's Periscope, NOT  Periscope Pro or any other Periscope.  Just "Periscope".  I was even watching some people outside in Mongolia but I could not understand a thing.    

This is the same app some woman was drinking and driving and someone recognized her location and she got busted  LOL    


DJ has been REALLY sick for one week now EXCEPT Christmas, what a trooper.  Christmas really took it out of her and she has been down for the count every since, but MAYBE a little better today.

We are in for a cold stretch for a while now!  Winter has come. 

Goldman Sachs is saying oil could tumble to $20 a barrel. The world ha so much oil it does not know what to do with it. They say Iran MAY be able to produce oil at $1 a barrel (that is $1.00).  Saudi Arabia at about $15 a barrel.

Gotta go do more shoveling.  Carry on.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter is here.

Here is what I think is going to happen - this will be MOSTLY a sleet/freezing rain event with snow mixed in just to make it pretty.  There are 3 things going on.  An arctic blast from the north, above the cold air is a warm conveyor belt of very humid, warm air and above that a powerful jet stream.

How all of these play together is what is making this a tough forecast.  There is a ton of moisture all mixing together in different layers and then add in some really fierce wind!   I think sleet will be the biggest player with a few inches accumulating but all beginning with snow as the arctic hits first and then the overlapping warm air hits.

Should be interesting - get the salt out.  VERY windy!!   I have my weather station updated every minute.  We shall see when my wind anemometer freezes up today!  Is there an over under with timing of the stoppage?  Over Under 4PM.   I say . . . . . .UNDER when freezing rain freezes my instruments.



I watched a show on Netflix called "Somm" and what you need to go through to become a Master Sommelier.  I worked at a few higher end wine shops in my life and thought I knew my way around wine (at one point in my life) but OMG!!   These guys do a blind tasting and can nail down where a wine was created and the year.  That is the easy part.  They need to learn EVERYTHING about wine. Such as be able talk about each of the 3000 different varietals in Italy and why one is different then the next.

On average only 5 a year pass the testing.  Very interesting show and very humbling.


Here is something interesting with the economy.  Big box stores saw a dip in sales with the internet taking over.  But something that has happened is that big box stores had to hire tens of thousands of warehouse workers and those workers are higher paid then the people that work inside the boxes.

So instead of hiring low paid retail they had to hire higher paid warehouse employees. Good for the overall economy.  I think buying stock in delivery companies might be a smart thing.


I watched "Elizabeth" this weekend staring Cate Blanchett - fascinating and I had to go look up Elizabeth I.  WOW - what an awesome Queen. The daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

What a totally cool woman.

I also watched a new SciFi Network show called The Expanse which is a space opera from the books of James S. A. Corey and am blown away.  Excellent show and knowing the SciFi Network they will probably cancel it it's so good!  But I'm along for the ride as long as it's on.  You can get it on demand.


Raise your hand if you broke your wrist on a hoverboard.  I didn't but it seems ERs are packed with injuries!  WHO KNEW!!!


Remember Trump?  He has been touting that wages are too high and we need to lower the minimum wage.  Well - it seems he has changed his mind over the weekend and now says wages are too low after Bernie Sanders broadsided him saying his followers, mostly uneducated and lower paid people would like more money and it would be better for him to change his mind.   He did.

Bernie said  ""Look, many of Trump's supporters are a working class people and they're angry. And they're angry because they're working longer hours for lower wages. They're angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries,"" 

Bernie talks and Trump listens.  I think Bernie is trying to steal some of Trumps people.


Be careful out there!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

TWENTY FIVE degrees above normal

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Not going to say I told you so but I DID say thunderstorms on Christmas, yea yea it's 2 days BEFORE Christmas but I think I was close enough.  :-)

We should have some T-storms this afternoon as a very strong LOW tracks across Wisconsin this afternoon trailing a strong "cold" front.  There is a SMALL chance for a tornado (like 2-5% chance) so just be aware.

We should break a record high today dating all the way back to 1979 when we reached 46.  We will be TWENTY FIVE degrees above normal today!  But windy.

Did you know there are 16,000 objects circling the earth?  Yikes!


Big day in Iraq today as Iraq forces  try to take back Ramadi a key ISIS city.  At the same time   British and American forces have arrived in Afghanistan to go against the Taliban.


Does anyone want a Chipotle franchise?  There has been another outbreak of Chipotle Illness. You never want to have an illness named after your fast food chain do you.


When is garbage pick up on James Street.  I'm getting sick of tripping over garbage bags thrown out the door and laying there for a week in front of the abandoned eye-sore of the oldest building in Columbus.   Just sayin.  Don't make me contact the Columbus militia, oh! we have one and they are freaking scary, we do not have to worry about Sun Prairie attacking us.



it's probably "get away day" so no one is reading this - HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!


I needed a NON-hoodie sweatshirt and happened to be in Boston Store Monday.  They had sweatshirts on sale for 40% off.  I found a nice one for $55 and figured with 40% off I could get if for $33 which was doable.

HOWEVER - at the check out the woman asked if I was given a $20 coupon and I said no, so she takes another $20 off from the $33 so I got a great sweat shirt for $13.   SWEET!!  I felt like I was at Kohls.


I think Miss Columbia (must be from Portage) is the real long term winner as she has taken this all pretty well and people are noticing.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Venus Flytrap

WELL, it seems "No Child Left Behind" actually worked . . . sort of. . . in a way.  In case you need a refresher, "No Child Left Behind" was George W Bush's big plan to hold schools accountable and punish bad schools for not teaching enough.   This started 14 years ago next month.

Bush wanted to raise educational standards across the board because he believed (and he believed it correctly) that the entire story was not being told.  What was happening was while many schools were educating brilliant students, they were mostly white.  The Black, Hispanic and Special Education students were getting left behind.     

However - in a nutshell the laws and penalties did not work at all.  But what DID work was that schools started to do analytic's like sports teams and what they found was WOW - Black, Hispanic and Special Education students really are being left behind AND it forced schools to make this information public.

The public school system was forced to notice that there actually was a problem with the school system.  "No Child Left Behind" didn't FIX the problems but at least it showed there IS a problem.


OK - looking for a romantic evening with a glass of wine and a crackling fire and soft music?  Next time you are looking for some music turn on DIRECT TV Music and go to "The Groove".  You will be surprised.  

HOWEVER - don't look at the artists names.  DJ and I turned on "The Groove" and it was so relaxing even when we envisioned Venus Flytrap behind the music.   However - we looked at the first artist and it was  "J-Walk".   OK - that was actually hilarious and sort of hurt the romantic mood for about 5 minutes.  Then the 2nd song by "bluprint".  SERIOUSLY?  BLUPRINT?   Are you kidding me?  We almost pee'd our pants.

So don't look at the artist names but enjoy The Groove.


19% of republicans WITH a degree love Trump.  37% WITHOUT a degree love Trump.  Just sayin'.

Then there is Ethan Couch.  The kid that killed 4 people drunk driving but got off because he was literally too rich.  The defense was he was so rich no one ever told him it was bad to drink and drive and kill people.  So he got off with probation.

WELL - him and his mom are missing and on the run now.  Missed their probation meeting.  Maybe  Martin Shkreli could use that defense for not only screwing people with AIDS but also running a ponzi scheme - he's just too rich to know any better.


Has anyone seen Mad Max?  I have not but it's ranked number 4 as the best movie of 2015.  If you take 25 BEST OF lists they are the 4th most mentioned movie.


I'm pissed off at our BP gas station in Columbus who closes down their pumps at 6:00PM for pumping and paying inside.  I needed cash so I wanted to pump gas and get $20.  But you have to pre pay after 6:00PM and if you pre pay you can get cash!  SIGH!!   I ain't paying $2 at their ATM for $20.


America beat expectations with the newest GDP numbers. The report confirms that are economy continues to grow at a very nice steady pace.  THANKS A LOT OBAMA!

Speaking of Obama - a lot of people are railing on him for saying we are slowly beating ISIS.

Here is a map that shows how much territory they have lost this year

  ISIS is over stretched and the area they gain is not worth as much as what they have lost which was the core.


PolitiFact which watches over politicians on BOTH sides has awarded Donald Trump the coveted Lie of the Year award

PolitiFact wrote. "That’s because Donald Trump doesn’t let facts slow him down. Bending the truth or being unhampered by accuracy is a strategy he has followed for years."


OK - nuff said 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Warmest Christmas in our lifetimes

I'm not necessarily talking about Columbus but world wide.  In fact this year, world wide will be the warmest year ever (at least as far back as scientists can see . . .which is a very very long time) and it will break the previous record by a LOT - off the charts "lot".

Some are saying "will this be the year we look back on and say this was the year humans started to understand we needed to change?".   NAA!  

ALTHOUGH - thing are cooling a little for next week.  A little slippage up north and Christmas will be only 10 degrees above normal.  Not 15 brrrrrrrrr


I have matted 8x12 and 5x15 prints at The Work Shop on James Street if you are looking for that last Christmas present.     This is not one of those but a shot of Nancy O's horses!


Our award winning library asked for $5000 and should receive it from the City. The reason is a little convoluted but it's a pretty big project.

They needed $5000 to hire a dude so they can get an apply for an extra $25,000 which the library and city would match to fund a feasibility study for a much larger project.  That project would be creating a combined library/senior center/youth center downtown and possibly a downtown TIF district. 

As many know our library is way way too small and needs expansion in the worst way.  They could expand into the parking lot but then there is no parking.  

I am 100% for this project as I believe a library is as important to the future of Columbus as a fire station or police station.  A library is knowledge.  There is a direct correlation between how good a library is and the average wage of a citizen in the city and with a larger wage there is a direct correlation to the economy of a city.  

The Columbus City Council has taken the first steps toward exploring where a new larger public library could be built and what it would look like.
At a meeting Tuesday night, the council agreed to spend $5,000 to hire a consultant to help make preliminary plans for a new library and to apply for a Community Development Block Grant-Planning Grant.
Library director Cindy Fesemyer said in meeting with members of the community, it became clear that they don’t just want a larger library. They want a library that will be part of community center where people of all ages can come together.
The current plan is for the city to partner with a private developer to build a space, hopefully in the downtown, that would include the library as one of the anchor tenants, as well as a community center, Fesemyer said.
The consultant, Economic Development Partners of Verona, will do pre-planning to explore the feasibility of such a public-private development and also apply for the CDBG-Planning Grant.
The CDBG-Planning Grant is for up to $25,000 and requires a one-to-one match.
“So between the city and the library board, we would need to match that $25K — if we got the maximum of $25K — and then we would have $50,000 together to explore whether that downtown revitalization, and possibly a new TIF district, becomes a feasible project or not for this city,” Fesemyer said.
Locating the project downtown is important because there are grants and low-interest loans available for downtown revitalization, especially when that revitalization involves a community aspect like a community center and a library, Fesemyer said.
“This is about a lot more potentially than just giving the library more space,” she said. “We just happen to be the ones who brought it to the table because as we had these conversations with the community over the course of six months, they made very clear that they want more ways and more places to be together.”
Of course there is that matching funds thing but personally I would not want the city to contribute all $25,000 matching.  I would say the City comes up with $12,500 and the library does the other $12,500 since we have already invested $5000. So the total would be City = $17,500 Library $12,500

But that is my quick and dirty thinking without talking to anybody at all so basically I'm pulling numbers out of my butt (sort of what Trump does I guess)!


Anybody play Pandora Sat radio? every time you hear a song the people who have rights to that song get $0.0017 richer.    

My God I am so sick of Star Wars already!  Is EVERY commercial linked in someway to Star Wars?  MAKE IT STOP!!!

Oil prices are in a free fall and are now at $34 a barrel and gas will continue to be cheap for a very very long time.  80% of all oil demand is transportation and with solar and electric slowly taking over MAYBE the earth will survive.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Positive Momentum

As the year closes out I believe Columbus has some good positive momentum.  The budget process came to an end from my point of view we ended up  . . OK . . considering this council has to deal with a $793,000  "penalty" mostly caused by the last administration (3 years ago) and in which we have no control over . . at least for another 5 years.  That extra money would be REAL handy at budget time.

But looking forward this year we have 19 homes built and builders from outside of Columbus are clambering to build more.

The Bowling Ally was purchased by a Marshall company and will become Robbins Creek Event & Banquet Center.  We have not only a new pizza place opening the 1st part of next year on James Street but also The Chef's Corner opening next year in the old Firemen's Tap. This will be a 50-70 seat Smokehouse Grill with full bar.   Plus there is one more place in the works on James Street.

A new "Pay as you Go" TIF district will break ground soon with Ottery Brothers Trucking being the first tenant and will employee 8 people. They wash the inside of food grade trucks and this will open up that area for new companies.  This is going to be a good TIF district

Other things from council is a Tourism Commission is in the works.  I'm not real enthused about this but by some new amazingly convoluted State Statute it is needed and Columbus is being proactive.

I'm not AGAINST this but not excited either.  It's a lot of money ($36,000) in the hands if people with no real marketing experience and a yearly turnover so mistakes from the past could be repeated. HOWEVER, it's money that does not come from the citizens of Columbus so it's a "no lose" Commission and it's better then nothing at all so in THAT regard I'm all for it.

HOWEVER(2) - it's awesome that we have $$ to promote the city if done correctly. If we could get the right people who know marketing and ate trained in it (I took marketing in school but we didn't have computers then, we had to use birch bark a lot).

Columbus Self Storage is expanding to have environmentally controlled units.

What we NEED is another hotel and if we all click our heels together and say "Mr. Hanson, build that hotel".  Or, "Mr. Hanson, build it and they will come" maybe we can him going. I've talked to Curt a few times and like the guy, we got along pretty well.  Enerpac refuses to send people to our other hotel (at least that is what I Was told by a fellow brewer that works at Enerpac) so I hope Curt steps up to the plate to help Columbus. We are nice people.


Weather - looks like Christmas  will be lower 40s and partly sunny!   Thursday, Friday and Saturday are still looking cool, below average actually but then warming up 10-15 above average.  So far December is 14.4 degrees above average.  WOW!!  Our average high right now is 29 degrees.

I had been predicting a thunderstorm for Christmas for months and I was ALMOST right.  NOW, I think payback for this weather MIGHT be February. Remember last year?  


The Department of Defense came out with a study saying climate change is now a serious National Security concern with the Syrian conflict was caused by Climate change.  Seems the GOP did not get that memo as they refused to talk about the environment.

Nothing changed in the debate and if I remember correctly from a few days ago no candidate that has led at this point has ever won their parties  . . dude.   Cruz is in 2nd place and is universally hated by their party establishment (the real people that determine who wins).

The Democrats in their inept way will have their debate Saturday in front of maybe 25 Americans who will tune by accident and thus continue to bury Bernie who will get basically zero air play.

I think the lefts strategy is to let the GOP do their thing and continue to shoot themselves in the foot. 


19 States say it is legal to hit kids in schools who do not behave. Most are in the South. The closest one to Wisconsin is Indiana. Basically it's the RED states. (Not passing judgement, just looking at the map)


There have been 555 children killed by firearms since Sandy Hook.


Oil dropped to $36.18 a barrel early this morning.


242 years ago today was the Boston Tea Party.

204 years ago today the New Madrid fault opened up with a 8.6 magnitude earthquake.

71 years ago today the Germans launched they biggest and last offensive which is now called the Battle of the Bulge.  

OK - does anybody remember this castaway they found after 15 months at sea and was in remarkably good shape?  Seems he is being sued for eating his shipmate.


I finished the 13 episodes of Jessica Jones - what a freaking fantastic dark adventure. I cannot wait for season 2.

"After a tragic ending to her short-lived Super Hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a private detective in Hell's Kitchen. It's time the world knew her name..."

 This is the PG trailer

This is more of the psycho thriller trailer


Monday, December 14, 2015

Records, and now the temperature are falling!

So I was off a week or so on my prediction that we would have thunderstorms on Christmas.  Still could, Christmas week will be pretty rainy and at least 15 degrees above normal.

We broke 2 records, one yesterday and one today for temps and I would think one for the amount of rain (which is at 1.87 inches UP TO 7:00 this morning).  Next weekend will be a shocker as Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be COLD (average actually) and then back into the 40s.  Our average high is 31 now!

We should actually have basically a constant falling temp from now until Saturday morning 7:00.  Maybe a little bump UP on Wednesday noonish but its fall fall fall.

I was in Springfield ILL this last weekend and it was so strange.  We got up to 71, 300 miles south and every time I walked outside it was a shock! Drove back yesterday, started at 10:00 at 58 degrees and after 300 miles of rain, arrived in Columbus and it was 57,  brrrrrrrrr!


7% of teenagers have driven drunk but that is way down from 12 years ago when it was 16%.  Weird how education works.

57% of Americans are against Trumps proposal on banning Muslims while 100% of The Constitution is against it.


Still have some calendars and I can snail mail them for $19 (or deliver for $15 if you are near me).

I have resisted for 9 years on making calendars because I did not want to be in competition with the Columbus historical calandar but I just could not hold off any longer.

Here is the weird thing - I ordered 35 this year (way too many) and they came in 8 separate packages. Seriously?  Why?

Then there are the gas prices which are down to $34.77 per barrel.  Gas prices should continue to fall.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat Golden State to snap their 28 game wining streak!  But who besides me cares.


It's illegal to talk on your phone in Illinois while driving UNLESS you have a hands free device.

And for all of us that complain about Walker . . . Illinois has it MUCH worse then Wisconsin.  I mean they paid their lottery winners with IOUs.  You think Walker is bad?  The ILL government just STARTED talks on their 2016 budget last week.  At least we try to get along.


Here is something I'm hearing a lot of complaints about - parking downtown is being taken up by apartment dwellers.  There is one car that did not move for 3 days.


Looking for a place in Columbus for a craft beer? Check out The Badger Motor Car Company

Awesome place for a beer (craft or otherwise), mixed drinks or whatever and all of the ultra cool stuff to look including The Popcorn Cart.

 Located where The Workshop used to be and opens 3:00 on Wednesday through Sunday (I believe).  336 N Spring Street Columbus. It's getting a lot of attention from the Madison crowd for it's "coolness".


And looking for gifts for your kids?  Go down to Cardinal Comics - NOT just a place with comic books.


If you have not seen this, it's a scream.


Something big happened in Saudi Arabia this weekend.   Woman were allowed to not only vote but run for office and and at least 12 woman are not on their city councils.  Of course in order to vote woman had to get a ride since they are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. They also cannot leave the country without permission from a male. But hey - its a start

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Trump Reich

I've always geeked out on war. I have no idea why this is in my DNA (or if you can even find it in DNA) but it's there.  I don't think I'm a hawk but I'll be the first to admit that I was all for going into Iraq . . IF,  we would have done it correctly and not in a buffoon-like manner which would create a giant vacuum which would create ISIS.  But no one listened.  I was all for Colin Powel's plan, NOT the one used.

ANYWAY - I especially geek out to WII and have read many many books on the subject from individual battles to all the major players from Bradley, Ike, Rommel and yada yada - EXCEPT Hitler.

I've always wondered how the holocaust could happen and thousands and thousands of people could idolize a lunatic/madman like Hitler.  But when I hear Trump's verbal diarrhea about Muslims I can see this happening in this country.

He feeds fear into very ignorant people who believe in his BS.  The guy can not even answer a legitimate question on domestic and or foreign policy but can always say he is the greatest ever and people cheer widely. People idolize him exactly like the Germans idolized Hitler when Hitler fear fed them his anti-jew hate rhetoric.  

I hope and pray that we have Left AND Right leaning people in America who know that Trump is a real National Security threat. He is feeding ISIS. I blame the media partially for this frenzy with their 24/7 coverage of everything Trump.  At what point do Americans say, ENOUGH!

Luckily, the Trump Reich, I believe, is as big as it will get. GOP polls are totally meaningless at this point, remember Gingrich was leading in the polls at this point last time (or the time before that)).  


When I was in High School I wanted to be a cartographer (map maker) but knew that there was not really a big call for this.  When I was working full time for the State one of my last jobs was learning GIS which is basically map making on steroids.

I saw that there was actually a competition for making a road map of America and it tweaked my interest and now I MUST HAVE THE WINNER.

The Cartography and Geographic Information Society have a contest and in the past it has been won by National Geographic, the CIA and the U.S. Census Bureau but this year the winner was a dude that lives in Oregon!!

Imus Geographic  is outstanding and only $30. HOWEVER . . . it does not have Columbus on it.


Netflix accounts for 34.7% of all internet traffic in PrimeTime in North America!


This is the image for March in the 2016 MPI Calendar. The Ruins of the Ice Henge Ruins in Lake Mills.

I can snail mail this to anyone for $20 or you can get them at Sharrows Downtown or The Workshop (soon) across the street for $15. Packed with all sorts of holidays.  For instance, yesterday was National Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.  You don't want to miss that next year do you?


And here is a trivia fact.  That black blob to the left of the sun is a world renown photographer Kristen Westlake who had her images up in The Workshop that were MUCH more expensive then mine (in the $1,200 range).

OH - THIS YEAR - for the same price as last you you get an extra day!!!!  February 29th AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. 


El Nino has us in it's grasp.  The northern Jet stream is way north and the Sub Tropical is way south which is what happens.  Should be hitting 52ish tomorrow as a high. Remember - our average high right now is 32!  brrrrrrrrr  THIRTY TWO!!  We should be 10 to 15 degrees above normal for the next 10 days.  

Back to work.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Anti-bump outs? Seriously?

There will be a meeting today at the F&M bank about  "City-proposed Dickason Boulevard changes".  It seems some downtown business are concerned that trucks will not be able to turn down Dickason Blvd.   The Anti-bump out anti beautification coalition.

This intersection will be the main attraction for the future of Columbus, the one corner where it all comes together and Columbus can be proud of.

For 6 months trucks will need to find an alternate route so it's not like it will be a surprise.  The group want to get rid of the Art/sculpture/garden piece and have parking instead,  and get rid of the bump outs.  Basically - let's just keep it the same because the downtown is working so well, why change.

The art/sculpture/garden piece will have electricity so when the blvd is closed off we will not have to run electric lines across the street.

I find this totally and 100% absurd that this plan to beautify Columbus and make it more pedestrian friendly is getting a push back by people that want more trucks downtown. There are other routes!

Another assumed problem was that now cars will have to go into traffic if they are parked in a parking stall instead of making an illegal right turn by just making a new lane through the parking slots.

Plus even though we have told the downtown owners that ANY change could delay the James Street Reconstruction by 2+ years, it does not seem to matter to them. The CSS Taskforce looked at EVERYTHING - this is not just a group making willy nilly decisions and I'm a little insulted that our work is not being taken seriously like we are clueless.  The CSS Taskforce is not just ME, it is a group of Columbus people that really care about Columbus - these are just MY views.

Our City engineer and the DOT has provided detailed information on how trucks can still round the corner IF THEY WANT TOO!  Personally, I don't want them too.  The goal is to make Columbus a place for people to walk without trucks.

The city owns that entire block and what if in the future there is a Library/Senior Center/Youth Center on that block.  Do we really want big rigs battling with the elderly and children for the road?

I met a woman who was a city designer for Portland Oregon and I asked if she would walk around Columbus and give me her impression.  Her first impression was "WHY IS THIS DOWNTOWN NOW THRIVING".  

Well - for one thing it's not very friendly.  Know one really knows what is down here.  75% occupancy rate but  . . . . does anyone know?  Real signage is not allowed on storefronts.  The curse of a historic downtown. What makes the buildings look great also hurts business.  It's a catch 22. But I'm not going to trudge into THAT quagmire.

Plus the fact that we have a deadbeat building owner on the corner and many stores are just hobby storage fronts and never open.  I know one store front that has not had one open day for over 6 months now which I BELIEVE is against ordinance.  

My friend looked at Dickason BLVD and commented "what a wasted opportunity" both ways. There is absolutely no place where people can come downtown and talk to other people.  She said it's a very very unfriendly place to walk.  Very hard, very linear.

So that is the plan and it's not changing UNLESS the few business owners want to stall progress for a few years and have Council borrow 10 million to do James street ourselves instead of having the DOT do it for almost free-ish.

Just my one cup of coffee view on this this morning.  And may I add the the people involved have been very polite but very persistent.  There is nothing wrong with questioning but they have been told that this is basically out of our hands now.

I won't even comment on Trump anti-Muslin proposal. The media is enabling him along with his fellow Republican.  Have you seen the leader of the Republican Party say anything about Trumps latest blast?  No. How about Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Nothing.

The thing is only 20% of the households in America are even paying attention to the election.

Gotta stop - I just get angry and this racist buffoon.


The 2016 Calendars are in and at Sharrows Downtown at the moment.  This is February!  IF Sharrows does not have any have them give me a jingle and I'll get some down there.


El Nino - Causing huge huge problems that we will soon feel in our pocketbooks. It is devastating sugar crops world wide. Sugar proces are up 45% since August and soon demand will out duel supply as  droughts in India and Thailand and rain in Brazil ravaging the supply. Better stock up!!


Gotta get to work.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Columbus Ohio? Seriously?

Excellent point Smidjet.   But if you look at the 2nd line it's listed as an increase. Obviously you believe we should have cut the police budget more and NOT fix any roads but I think we did what we had to do to keep it from going higher.

At least you are not faryal naaz  who believes I am talking about Columbus Ohio and loves my amazing and wonderful site.  LOL

Until you see what really happens with the budget and the many many many hours we struggle over it you can't fully comprehend the complexities. There are many things Departments wanted and can't have.   Hey - I've been pushing for a radar speed sign on James Street for 4 years, can't get it.  I wanted $7000 to fix the bike path because it's part of the transportation network - didn't get it.  We can spend $2 million on roads but not $7000 for families to use a bike path.  But that was my fault - budgets are a learning process if you want to get what you want.


Informational only - here are the politicians who are partially funded by the NRA.

Sen Ron Johnson - co sponsored a bill to prohibit the DOJ from tracking purchases of multiple guns. One of 12 Republican Senators who signed a letter threatening filibuster for ANY new gun regulations following Sandy Hook.  NRA graded "A".

Paul Ryan - top recipient of NRA cash to the tune of $35,050 last year  NRA grade "A"

Rep Jim Sensenbrenner - $19,200  Grad "A" NRA

Rep Sean Duffy endorsed by the NRA $11,950

Rep Reid Ribble endorsed by NRA

And BTW - so far in 2015 there has been 351 Mass shootings (shootings involving 4+ deaths or injuries in the US with 447 deaths and 1,292 injuries,  up a little from last year.   Just sayin'.

HOWEVER - the murder rate has declined over the last decade and mass shootings are only a tiny tiny  fraction of the overall numbers. So in reality, America is a safer place then a decade ago and MUCH safer then a few decades ago.  Of course they does not count the literally thousands of child deaths and accidental shootings from gun owners who say they know what they are doing.

Perhaps we should look at closing loop holes on purchasing weapons of mass murder.  No one is talking about taking guns away except the people who believe everybody is talking about taking all guns away and are getting all riled up.

With that said - there were 185,345 background checks on Black Friday for people purchasing guns! Black Friday is the biggest day in America for buying guns.


My cats are OBSESSED when my printer.  If I ever print anything they come running and stare at it. When the paper appears they look at me like ARE YOU SEEING THIS?  OMG!!!!


My favorite Instagram couple are on the move again - this time in Singapore.


Calendars are on the way - I'll let you know when I get them and where you can purchase them.


today will be the last day with highs in the 30s  nothing but 40s and some good size 50s on the way by NEXT weekend.  We should be REALLY heating up by NEXT Thursday as we start hitting the 50s.  This weekend middle 40s and sunny.

Nuff said

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Budget is done!!

We passed the budget last night and the total Mill Rate decreased this year.  Here is how it broke down.

City of Columbus +$0.063
School District     -$0.149
Columbia County +$0.133
State or WI           -$0.001
MATC                  +$0.02

Total is a decrease of 0.125 and a total Mill Rate of $23.2632 which means for me personally, I am saving 3.2 cents EVERY DAY!  YEA BABY!!  

The City of Columbus has managed to shave 11 cents of their $8.62 since 2013-14. The School District has shaved a whopping 67 cents off. . . . of course the Middle School no longer uses electricity or heat in the winter but you know kids, they don't care about heat or cold and there was not enough outlets anyway. And those extra 3 kindergarten class's are in a tent on the playground because of the lack of room but . . .we're saving money!!

In other news the Library board asked for $5000 to do a study on the possibility of getting a pretty large grant which will explore the possibilities on expanding/moving the library into a combined Library/Community center.   The turn the Library into a museum or something useful to the community.

Our library is dreadfully small and is packed to the gills (or stocked up to the gunnels) when events are held.  The only place to expand would be to rip up the parking lot . . .but then there would be no parking lot.  yea yea there is a parking lot across the highway but my personal goal is to make the downtown more pedestrian friendly.  So - it's just dipping the toes into the water at the moment.

In case you drive by the travel center and see digging and building that SHOULD be Ottery Truck Wash if council OKs the use of the TIF area and yada yada.  Their business model is to wash in insides of food grade trucks and would be one of the few in southern Wisconsin (maybe the only one?)  They will employee 4 full time highly paid full benefits employees and 4 part time.      

This is a "Pay as you Go" TIF which means the city does not have any real risk.  The developer builds the infrastructure and the city pays them back over a certain number of years.  If nothing gets built "we" don't pay anything.  This is unlike the other TIFs where the city builds the infrastructure and HOPES the developer builds something.

Also discussed to the street lights on the Walgreens Intersection. The James Street reconstruction will have all black street lights going all the way through town. They will look SWEET.  HOWEVER - the lights over that intersection, if we want them black, will cost an extra $24,000.  OUCH  UMM . . . .NO.  Somethings are just a little too far outside the box. 

The Bowling Alley - remember that?  Yes - it was purchased and will no longer be a bowling alley. The facility will become an Events & Banquet Center with a good number of employees. The actual alleys will be sold to other bowling alleys.

So that is what is happening in Columbus.  Don't forget - the Holiday Train Friday night about 10:45?  We're thing to make this a bigger "thing" then it already is.


The last time we were in Indianapolis for the USS Indy reunion (2 more have passed away since then) we were treated to a special dinner at $hula's $teakhouse (they do not use $ in their name but maybe should).  Let's just say my baked potato was $14.  When I commented I did not have my reading glasses they brought out a display of reading glasses I could use and then they placed my napkin on my lap for me because I guess they feel guests are unable to do such labor.

ANYWAY - I had a dirty martini and oh my it was amazingly good (again, that also cost $14 also).  It was at that point when dirty martini's became more then just a drink to me,  I needed to make this on my own . . .better.

I have been experimenting with different vodka and found I really liked potato vodka from Poland but sadly my bottle of Luksusowa was about to dry up. I needed to find another bottle. I looked around and found that Shula's used Belvedere Vodka.

hmmmm - looking at different reviews on the net I see Grey Goose is very highly overrated at $35 a bottle.  WOW - $35? seems expensive.  But when you think about it that is 12 martini's.  If a craft beer can cost $6 and a martini can cost let's say $3.50 . . .is $35 really too much?  

I found a bottle of Belvedere and purchased it (after all if it's good enough for James Bonds . . . .).

It's delicious.  2 shots of  Belvedere and a shot of olive juice (now that is actually the hard part, finding good quantities of olive juice) over crushed ice.  YUMMO!!  So now I must investigate different vodkas.  The Luksusowa had really good reviews and I like the slight sweetness of potato  vodka.

Not a fan of vermouth though.


I was having a conversation on Facebook the other day and was surprised that a few of my Republican leaning friends were either switching sides or just not voting.  Pretty much do to our Governor and the current buffoons running for office.  Where did common sense go with these guys.
Just so many outright lies coming from their mouths is unbelievable.  If the Democrats had that group I would switch also.  It's like they are panicking and just blurting out any nonsense.  It's really sad.  


I have had 5 of the years biggest busts in fantasy football on MY team this year.  YET - I have the 3rd most points scored . . .YET . . I am 4 and 8 because I have BY FAR the most points scored against me in the league and I have no way to prevent that.  Of my 8 losses 5 of them were from the other teams having their best game of the year,  sigh!


Friend of mine just binged on Jessica Jones in 3 sittings.  He said he could not stop watching this superhero/psychological thriller.   


I can't see out a window here at work but it should get sunny today warmer tomorrow and then ramps up to 10 degrees above average and sunny for a while and 10 days out I'm seeing the possibilities o 50s.  Starting Friday we will not get below freezing for a good long time and I see nothign but sun sun and more sun.

See ya

Have a grea  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello El Nino!

Well we are now seeing our first taste of El Nino.  December, at least the first few weeks will be way above normal.  By the 3rd week we might get back to normal but bask on the warm above average glory, at least starting Thursday and lasting for more then a week. Beyond 10 days is fuzzy but it looks like all the cold is way way north.

Friday and Saturday we will be in the middle and upper 40s and sunny and low to middle 40s after that.  Average high is about 39 right now.

Fun facts - did you know that Hurricane Camille was sucking up one half million tons of water EVERY SECOND?

We are VERY VERY good at forecasting the path's of hurricanes but very very bad at intensity still.

This last year a lot of hurricanes had their tops blasted off by a huge swath of wind shear caused by El Nino.  Which is why, for the 10 year in a row, Florida did not get hit.  They are do.  

Nuff for now!