Monday, February 29, 2016

Comcast from Hell

First the weather - looks like 2-4 inches tonight starting about midnight.  Perhaps a tad more. This  will be a light snow that will blow around with the strong winds that will be associated with it. .


We went down to ILL late last week to move my mom into a pre assisted living apartment.  Basically a small apartment complex NEXT to an assisted living.  WONDERFUL place and she totally LOVES it.

The actual move was basically OK, of course there were some bumps along the way but it was smooth . . . until it came to hooking up her TV.  They called Comcast  a few days earlier to make the switch and everything was fine.  They had the option of having a service man come out OR just use a special automated access code and do it yourself, a no brainer.  They opted for the automated option and were told it was super easy.

Got everything hooked up and the access code did not work.  We felt like that REPRESENTATIVE commercial.

FINALLY after 10 minutes we got to talk to someone in India. She got the box to blink on and off but could not get it to talk to the TV. After 15 minutes we were put on hold.

5 minutes later another woman comes on and asked how can she help us.  WELL, we answered all the questions again but this time we needed the serial number of the receiver.  Brother reads it off and it's the wrong number. NOT the number labeled "Serial Number" but the another one.

15 minutes later she was stumped and we were put on hold for TECH Services.

Tech Services comes on and says "How can I help you" and once again we answer ALL the questions and serial numbers that are not the serial numbers and now there is a problem with the address which they can not find anywhere.

This guy has a problem accessing the box and is apologizing and my brother has now read off all 6 numbers on the box and none of them are working.  He explains the first woman 45 minutes ago was accessing the box and doing things but the tech guy, after spending 10 minutes with address problems can't find the box and he has to call another person.   HOLD

New person comes on is now on the phone and numbers are being read and she says they do not have that box in inventory "where do you get the box" they ask and he says FROM THE COMCAST STORE.

Well this is going on for another 15 minutes and brother explains that a service man should come out to fix this BS.  WELL - they can not send a service man out because this seems to not be a legal box and he has to take it back to the store, get a NEW box and create a NEW account.  WE HAVE AN ACCOUNT FOR THREE YEARS.  Well, there is nothing we can do until you get a new box.

About that time brother is getting a little irritated since they refuse to send someone out AND have now told him he has an illegal box which they got from the Comcast store AND his phone battery is about to go dead since it's been an hour and a half.

CLICK - FU Comcast.

OH - and not ONCE did anyone ask about an access code.


Everybody is watching Trump but as we saw this is the beginning of the end for Bernie and Clinton will win the nomination.  Bernie massively under performed in S.C.  The worst case was Clinton getting 65% of the vote but it seems it ended up 73% with Clinton outperforming Obama with the black vote.

Sander's needs BIG BIG BIG Super Tuesday day.

I won't even comment on the GOP (which it seems I do comment)  and I truly feel sorry for REAL Republicans who are not evil at all. I don't agree with them but REAL Republicans (as opposed to Tea Party and Trumpaholics) just have different ideas. Trump COULD win nomination

The only way a non-Trumpiteer can win is by staying in the race and HOPING there is a brokered convention. If Trump wins (which he really could) do you think that more then 50% of Americans will vote for him?  No.  And seriously, if Trump wins the nomination this shows that the Republican Party has been weakened and is on the brink of failure.  

This happens on average about once every 40 years!  The last one was with Democrats in 1972 when 33% of Democrats voted AGAINST they person nominated.

Again - fascinating.

BTW - if you think Wisconsin is in bad shape ILL is a nightmare.  $10 BILLION in the hole. They had two fantastic Republican Governors and two very very bad Democratic Governors (both now serving prison time (literally)).

So their new Republican governor is elected and his first action was to cut taxes from 5% to 3.5% and order that all unions be disbanded.

The REST of the government is run by Democrats and they say NO!  We will not even consider working on the 2016 (this years) budget unless you take that off the table.  The Governor said I will not even consider working on the 2016 budget until all unions are disbanded.    

And there we are.  No one is getting paid for anything. UWI is laying off 900 employees. The state has not paid utility bills for 4 months. The lottery hands out IOUs and State employees are not getting paid and State police are borrowing money for gas. And there has not been ONE meeting for THIS years budget yet.

Politics is the Art of Compromise. They seem to have forgotten this.


The winner of the Oscars?  Mad Max: Fury Road won 6 Oscars, more then any other film.

In Colorado a new law states that all unvaccinated children need to be reported Colorado Department of Health and Environment because they are a danger to society and public health

have a great snow storm




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Winter of Vodka / Trump = Doctor Will

My presentation to the Light Catchers Photo Club in Beaver Dam was a resounding success.  I seem to be able to connect with adults far better then 6 graders . . . at least that is what the exit polls are telling me.

Not that I fail with 6 graders who really love when I turn the sky from blue to purple but funny stories go better with adults.

I even mentioned Balderdash a few times in my presentation as one of the friends that I listen to with my photographs.   Every photographer has a circle of friend he bounces things off of.  Elwood is my contrarian and I go by the opposite of what he says.  DJ is my person that when I get a reaction I listen and Balderdash is the one that looks that images I have no feeling for and tells me to push certain ones out to the public and then they sell. 


Speaking of funny stories - Donald Trump won Nevada last night which surprises no one but how he won it is debatable.

He claimed in his victory speech that he proved he can win with large turnouts . . . .well . . .except it was not a large turnout at all.

He claimed he can carry the Hispanic vote . . . .well . . . not actually true and since there were literally about 126 Hispanics that voted the margin of error is fairly large.  He did not mention he has his own way of defining "Hispanic".

It's almost like he just makes things up!

His problem that he did not mention was that the people that only decided who to vote for in the last few weeks . . .did not vote for HIM.  High Floor / Low Ceiling.

The party elites have decided Rubio is their man and not the one chosen by God, Ted Cruz, who failed to carry the born again crowd again.

HOWEVER - there STILL is no real effort to attack Trump. The major conservative money is still on the sidelines  . . waiting.  Waiting for Cruz and Kasich and (seriously?) Carson to drop out. Very little advertising money has been spent attacking Trump. I'm not sure Carson knows he is still running.

Here is a problem through, a warning if I may.

Big Brother, the best, smartest pure strategy show on TV that is ranked as one of the highest IQ viewerships had a contestant called Doctor Will.  He was a doctor who was very very Trump-like.  He attacked everyone, was politically non-correct, insulted and threatened every contestant and told them that if they did not kick him out  he was going to win the game and he repeated that almost every week. Nobody liked him.

He not only won the game but came in 4th place in an All-Star series.  The contestants always waited "we will get him NEXT week".  Trump is playing Doctor Wills game.  Let's not wait too long.

I still believe Rubio will be the candidate that moves on. 


Not my mom.
We are taking a quickie road trip to Springfield to move my mom into a pre-assisted living place.  She is excited as it is a REALLY nice place and very inexpensive for what you get ($950 a month).

I'm glad allow pets!

 Illinois State House

The Winter of Vodka.

DJ and I have been on a vodka kick but we're not alcoholics (which is what alcoholics say).  No really - you get 25 shots in a 750ml bottle which is 2 drinks a week for 3 weeks for the 2 of us.

We have now tried 6 different vodkas and have a favorite.

Gray Goose - like Bose, good but overrated and overpriced - made from Wheat
Belvedere - as good as Gray Goose, maybe better, slightly cheaper - made from Rye
Ketel One - very nice and inexpensive - made from Wheat
Luksusowa - potato vodka, my favorite for a while - VERY inexpensive gets really good ratings
Pravda - I really can't remember it . . maybe it was awesome
Deaths Door - made in Madison and by far the best - a small touch of citrus which is great!  Grain from Washington Island in Door County

Next up Tito's Homemade Vodka from Texas.  I asked a salesmen for a suggestion and without hesitation pointed to Tito's.   Corn based.

I make Dirty Martini's and DJ mixes with whatever juice we have at the time.  We always try a stand alone 1/2 shot when we start a new bottle for flavor.


Traffic deaths in America were up 11.3% last year because of cheap gas.  Americans are driving MUCH more.  All that money we are saving from cheap gas is being used to buy more gas, not more things.


Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhoen ordered a $40,000 toilet for her little bum to sit on.  She has never actually sat on a toilet and took photos of them on a recent trip around Cambodia.  Only 40% of Cambodians have toilets.  I think she paid too much.


John Kasich signed a bill yesterday preventing $1 million from going to things like HIV testing, health screenings and prevention of violence against woman.  It's always good to save money on things not really needed.


Johnson and Johnson has to pay $72 million to a family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer from using it's baby powder.  She used it for 35 years and they failed to warn people about the risk of ovarian cancer.


High Fructose Corn Sugar has a new name so people looking at labels will be fooled.  General Mills reformulated it just a tiny bit so they can now say "NO High Fructose Corn Sugar".  Yet it's just fools gold, it's there, just hidden.


Some dude from Columbus was arrested for the seventh OWI and now faces prison time . . . . why seven.  Should be three!  We can bust people for a joint of cannabis and send them to jail but allow dangerous drunk drivers seven times before we get tough?

Speaking of cannabis - Today Australia legalized the use to Medical Marijuana (Marijuana is actually a slang name and meant to be derogatory)  

Wouldn't it be great to give our Police Departments a crap load of money to nail drunken drivers that make our roads dangerous and heroin offenders and then give a crap load of money to schools to educate kids about the above two. Colorado did. Washington did.


Nuff said for today.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday musings

I've been spending time preparing for a "program" I'm giving in Beaver Dam to the Sun Catcher Camera Club tonight.  As I've been preparing I'm looking at some old files and came across a few images I had not seen for a while.

Chris Wagoner - Stellenovas
 I sold two large oldy but goody images last week.  Funny when a relic sells.

Colorado announced that it expects to raise 98 million dollars in new cannabis tax funding this year which is enough to fund their free school lunch program for the next 70 years.  Just sayin'.  But instead they will give about 30 million to the police departments to fight heroin and 30+ million to schools to fund education.  Because of their tax laws they have to give 30 million back to their residents. They are just making too much money. Sucks to be them.


This comes from Politfact and shows all politicians lie - just some more then others. 

It's looking more and more like Rubio will finally take root. And for the other side - I still don't see Bernie making any real headway.  He spent a crap load of money in Nevada and barely made a dent in the black vote.  Clinton is only a few percentage points behind Obama 7 years ago. Bernie did make gains into the Latino vote though so it's still game on. At least for 2 more weeks. 

But even if Bernie does not win he has helped the DMC by moving it farther left.  Not unlike the Republicans who are moving farther right which is opposite the norm.  Campaigns typically move towards the middle as times goes on.  

Next votes predictions:
Nevada Republic Caucus Feb 23rd Trump 39.5%, Cruz 20,5% Rubio 29.0
S.C. Democratic Primary Feb 27th Clinton 57.5 Bernie 32.0%

Then there is Jeb! 

He spend $130,000,000 and did not win one State.  OUCH 

On my to do list is a trip out to Washington DC for Water & Light for the APPA Legislative Rally/Conference.  I'll have a combined 1 day to shoot Washington before I have to meet with Ron Johnson or Tammy Baldwin.  Guess which one I would rather see.  OH - don't worry,  I'll try to not damage Columbus's reputation . . . too much. I'll shake Tammy's hand if I have a chance, maybe not Ron's though. 

Did I hear there is a brew pub across the street from the Hyatt. 


"The Mermaid" has made $420,000,000 in only 11 days . . . . in China. . . .never heard of it.


The 2016 World Series Champions the Chicago Cubs (arguably the best team in baseball) owner donated $3 million to Donald Trump's Super Pac. If you remember he donated a crap load of money to the Walker campaign the last time around.  My gut feeling is that he leans right.


Big day for the US Economy. Will have to wait for numbers to come in.  Mostly about housing. Columbus had a GREAT year in housing last year!  

Bill Gates in an interview said an energy miracle is coming soon and it will change the world. Reminds me of the Segway prediction and how it would change the world.  One talking point is about storage of clean energy from wind and sun.  How "soon" we will be able to store clean energy for longer then 24 hours which has been the hold up for clean energy.  Batteries have not really improved much for 100 years. 

But better storage is not what he is talking about.  Gates said in the next 15 years there will be an energy miracle which no one will see coming. 

Well . . . that is a pretty easy prognostication that no one will remember. 

City News - via the City Admin. 

New City Website will be up in a few weeks.  

The sale of Water Utilities to private interests (Koch Bros) has been stall and scrapped. 

Ottery Truck Wash:  Construction ongoing, looking at a May opening of the business in TIF #4.  A second development project is expected to be forwarded very soon.
Countryside Ford Move/Expansion:  Business has purchased the old pallet plant on Transit Drive between Hwys 151 & 60.  Expect to be demolishing the current building and constructing the new one throughout 2016
La Tolteca: Sun Prairie-based Mexican Restaurant is applying for a liquor license and intends to open a Columbus location in the old Napoli Restaurant, 128 E. James Street
Chef’s Corner: The catering/restaurant establishment has an approved liquor license and we expect it to open up soon.
O’Reilly Auto Parts:  Is expecting to construct a store at the property on 220 Dix Street.  A site plan review is required.
At Home Again: the Senior Living establishment is proposing to expand and construct a 2nd building on their site, at the end of Stuart Street.  This proposal was given a favorable recommendation by the Plan Commission last night and they will need City Council approval on a parking plan, which will come forward March 1.
Assisted Living:  Karl Green has also forward a re-zoning application for Plan Commission review to develop land just south of the Highland Ridge development off of Park Avenue.  The Plan Commission will need to approved their Certified Survey Map and a request to rezone the property in order to move forward.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pitchers and Catchers - WHOO HOO!!!

I'll save the GOP bashing to the end . . . and really it's only Trump and Cruz, not REAL Republicans.


Yesterday Pitchers and Catchers reported to Spring Training which means spring is not far away.  For us we have some warm weather coming.  Wisconsin and Minnesota have seen the biggest winter climate change of all 50 States in the last decade.  Wisconsin is #2 for Winter.  We are the 38th warmest in Summer for Climate Change.

Today and tomorrow should be fun.  Very windy and at WORST in the low 30s for the next 10 days (37,49,44,43 the next 4 days) That last push of arctic air sort of cleared out the north of it's super cold air.

I have put the weather machine on 1 minute uploads if you are interested in the wind. It'll come from the south so it's a clear field.  Winds from the east I get a little turbulence from our neighbors house but the wind coming over the new Hanson Hill directly south did not seem to mess things up that much.

Here is the link


The Brewers - Human forecasters have the Brewers winning in the upper 60 games but Stat people all have around 71.  PECOTA who is very good at this thing have the Brewers at 77 wins but really - the difference between 77 and 71 = who cares.

The Brewers have one of if not the best farm systems in the majors now.  One set of sabermetrics people have the Brewers as the BEST farm system with the highest potential.

As Nate Silver talked about last year, its how small market teams operate.  Get the best farm system, build for a few years, get competitive, trade young players to fill holes and make a run for the World Series, fade and start all over again.

I like what the Brewers have done.  I like Council who is a sabermetrics manager and the new GM loves sabermetrics.  I think it's going to be a fun losing year looking at the future.  The pitching staff is rebuild + and are the strength of the team.  The rest of the team was basically gutted and the lineup looks like this

C - Lucroy
1B - Chris Carter
2B - Scooter Gennett
SS - Johnathan Villner
3B - Aaron Hill
LF - Domingo Santana
CF - Kirk Nieuwenhuis
RF - Braun

Everyone is waiting for Orlando Arcia to be called up as a SS and Brett Phillips in the outfield sooner or later.


On average the residents of Flint Michigan paid $864 a year for their water/poison in 2015.  The good news is that the Republicans dropped their "lets sell all of our water utilities" bill.  WHEW!!


I can't wait any longer - Ted Cruz.  IS this guy for real?

In South Carolina yesterday he said if elected to NOT to provide gluten-free military meals to the military which he equated with a culture of political correctness or social experiments.

Really?  That is what you are pledging?

and Chuck Todd said something I have been saying but in a much better way.  Trump has a very low ceiling and a High floor.

Yea - he has all the supporters he is going to get.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Are Trees Vegitables ?

A few things to correct;

I need to apologize to Mullins Drive In as I did not consider that THEIR hamburger was among the best in Columbus.  It is actually fairly decent. BUT - since they are only open during the summer I can not tell people to go to Mullins for a burger (which I would). At least until they decide to open in the winter.


Also - balderdash brought up the fact that a comment I made about how Republicans increase government size more then Democrats had no bite to it without any substance.  True - I saw some charts and read a few things and then when I went to find those charts all I could find were a few hundred pages of words and I really did not want to trudge through and basically bored myself and moved on.

From a purely statistical point of view in the last 50 years Republicans increased government with it comes to entitlement.

Lyndon Johnson(D) gave us Medicare, Medicaid and so forth but it was relatively small. Richard Nixon and Ford passed executive orders that VASTLY expanding Medicare, Medicaid.  Carter, Regan and GHW Bush slowed down how much the US spent on entitlements and under Clinton with welfare reform it actually contracted.

BUT under GW Bush Republicans pushed through new drug benefits under Medicare with HUGE unfunded liability far far greater then then Social Security.

In the last 50 years Republicans grew government entitlements 8% faster then Democrats.

Obama is the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson to call for a larger entitlement through Obama Care.

Just sayin'

BTW - WAY TO GO COLUMBUS - the expected turnout of 200 voters crested 600 which is outstanding!  I'm so proud. High Five

Since I'm on a political blub - I took this photo 5 years ago today after sneaking to the other side of the conflict lines on Capitol grounds. 


If you missed City Council last night on TV you did not miss much.  First of all there was a small problem with getting on air and then once we were on air you were being fascinated by a talk on the city phosphorous problem.  I woke up this morning with a question. . . . . If we have a phosphorous problem (everybody now has a phosphorous problem with new EPA rules) which is being caused by farmers surrounding Columbus . . . . . why are the people of Columbus being forced to pay a LOT of money to fix this.

If this is a watershed problem for the Crawfish River and Columbus has to spend 1 to 3 million dollars to fix this . . . . I hope it's not just US that have to fork out the money. 
The Regular Council session took 11 minutes which beats the old record of 18 minutes.  The COW (Council of the Whole) contained FOUR closed session meetings so there was nothing to see.  Fire Station (moving along, thumbs up), Hydro Street (totally messed up FUBR), TIF #4 (excellent), Senior Center Director.

La Tolteca - a very very good (from people responding on Facebook)  Mexican restaurant will open March 2 where Nepoli's used to be and the Chef's Corner (Fireman's tap) is slated to open . . soon.  The places is looking good isn't it.


Who likes parmesan cheese. Well the FDA is putting the hammer down when it found that Castle Cheese Inc 100% Parmesan Cheese contained 0% parmesan cheese.  Now we find out Kraft Parmesan Cheese contains 3.8% wood or cellulose which is made to make paper - also known as WOOD.  This is not a surprise as I knew that all precut shredded cheese contained wood (to keep the cheese from forming back into a block).

So my question is - since I'm not a big vegetable lover can I count trees as a vegetable?  If I can I will buy Wal-Mart Parmesan Cheese which contains 7.8% wood.

Did you hear Paul McCartney tried to go to an after Grammy Party and was denied entrance.   I guess Tyga is not a fan? Paul was heard saying "How VIP do we gotta get? We need another hit."   Tyga actually said he had no clue of this and Sir Paul was welcomed.  I guess the bouncers had no clue who he was.

Personally I have no clue who Tyga is but if he showed up at a party I was having I would let him in. It's how I roll.


Going to see Deadpool tonight. Deadpool has broken all time records in his opening.  For the uninformed Deadpool is the highest rated "R" movie to ever hit February.  His language will make you wilt and as DJ says he is "sassy" in a very humorous yet violent way.
He is pretty much the hottest comic character out there now.


I want to be a Pastafarian.  People around the nation are joining the church of Pastafarian and the DOT has instructed DMV offices to recognize colanders as religious head wear.

Seriously - this is true.

You can now have a colander on your head for your drivers license photo IF, you are a registered Pastafarian.

Alexis used to have seizure multiple times a day and Doctors could do nothing. She failed every pharmaceutical prescribed until they went to Colorado and consulted Doctors.

She started to take Medical Cannabis and is actually 334 days totally seizure-free.  The Republicans do not feel there is any room for Cannabis in today's society, no matter now many lives it can save.    

I have been following Alexis Bortell who has been battling epilepsy all her life and it truly is heart warming to see her progress.   It's working.    


OOPS - this has been taken off the table - the Water Czar can relax.

Columbus peeps - PLEASE call or email Senator Fitzgerald and tell him you Oppose AB 554 to Privatize Municipal Water Utilities. We do NOT want the Koch Brothers buying our Water Utility.  There is only one town in Wisconsin with a privately owned water utility and they pay almost double for water (can't remember who it is).
(608) 266-5660


 Nuff said for one day

Monday, February 15, 2016

The City Without a Restaurant

My brother is stopping by for a quick visit and said we could go out to eat for lunch. It's a holiday you know (is it?).  Holidays have a new meaning when you are pretty much retired.  Where can we go for a meal.  Yea we have the old standbys but really nothing unique when you think about it unless you are thinking bar food.

Nothing wrong with bar food but I have yet to see a decent hamburger in Columbus and I think I have tried them all.  The best closest burger is at The Bell  on "D" (awesome food there).

The GOOD thing is that we have some places opening up in the near future.  A new Pizza place next to Motoclassico and a Smokehouse in the old Firemans Tap.  So there is hope in the future.

OH - for all of you that watch City Council. Not much happening, we have FOUR closed sessions going on and a phosphorus presentation.

Hydro Street happenings
Fire Station space
new TIF #4 activity
Senior Center Director, which hopefully will be less controversial then the Supreme Court nomination.

I was never a fan Scalia but let us remember that he was a conservative that met ZERO opposition from both parties even though the left new he was right leaning.

So when the Right wants to take back the country because the left is messing with the constitution . . . . it is the Right that now wants to ignore the constitution.  They are saying a Presidents term only last three years, not four.

One thing the GOP is doing is a huge gamble. The person Obama wants to nominate is actually not so bad for the GOP and they know it.  But since they are against ANYTHING Obama does they would rather wait and HOPE the GOP wins the Presidency.  Of course if Clinton or Sanders (worse for them) wins AND the left takes over the Senate then we will have a far left leaning Justice instead of a moderate which leans slightly left but does not want big change.

The GOP does like to gamble with Americans by saying they don't care WHO is nominated, if it comes out of Obama's mouth, ignore.

And then there is Walker.

When he crushed all the unions his promise was they all workers rights are fine because they are protected by the Civil Service.  Well, at least until he gets rid of Civil Service I GUESS.

OH - want HIGHER water bills?  The Republicans are passing a bill so that outside companies (Koch Brothers) can buy your water companies and make them for profit private companies. We have one such privately owned water works in Wisconsin and their water bill is about twice what ours is.

But it creates jobs and makes government smaller, who cares if we pay more for water right?

OH - BTW - in the last 40 years Republicans actually increase government size faster then Democrat's, a little known REAL fact that seems to be ignored.


The Lottery.  Out of curiosity I purchased 9 different lottery tickets to see the odds and what is actually the best way to toss money into the garbage.

In a casino the BEST games have about a 98% payout.

The Wisconsin Lottery are all in the 50% range

Well, the BEST is the Pick 3 and Pick 4 as the winnings are all pretty much the same and you won't change your life but you have a chance to win $2,500 with a 1:10,000 chance.

The BEST if you want to have a chance of life adventure is Badger 5 when the jack pot hits about $50,000. Stay away at least until then. SuperCash is not BAD because you can still win $250 with a 1:1000 chance and $350,000 in a 1:1,631,000 chance.

STAY AWAY FROM 5 Card Cash - sort of a Poker one.  It should be illegal.

The other ones, POWERBALL, Mega Bucks, Mega Millions, you will never win the BIG one and if you win the smaller one . . . OBOY!  If you think a 1:913,000 chance to win $500 is good, go for it. Badger 5 it's 1:8,000 to win $500.

OH - I have won $0 on five cards so far.  COME ON POWERBALL!

Marko Rubio continues to gain support with Party Elite and Clinton continues to add endorsements. At this point 7 years ago Obama had just passed Clinton 51-50.  Right now Clinton holds a 467-2 lead over Sanders and she is pulling away.

Rubio leads a stagnant Bush 65-51, Trump and Ben Carson are tied for last with 0.

Party decides!  We shall see!



Friday, February 12, 2016

Finance Committee / Growing snow event Sunday

I have moved away from mentioning the City Council and stuff because I tend to inject my personal opinions at times which don't always agree with other peoples opinions and it creates  . . . . stress (not for me but . . .)

HOWEVER - "we" formed a new committee that looks more deeply into the city's finance and how and why things are done.  

For instance - if you have watched City Council you have seen the yearly audit report presentation by Baker Tilly that is blah blah blah,  but instead of just taking what they said for granted the committee wanted to really get deep into the "why" certain words are always on certain pages. 

Instead of just accepting the message the committee wanted to know what it actually meant.  Baker Tilly were thrilled.  Most city councils don't ask questions and are not as inquisitive on city finances. 

One of the most important things council does is finances and I believe Columbus is in good shape. Our Bond rating is pretty darn good and while we can't just go to the bank and pay for roads, financially I feel Columbus is in the best shape financially as we have been in a long long time which is pretty darn good with the many many restrictions put on small towns by the current government running the state.

Confidence is high for Columbus financially.  People complain a lot about not enough business but financially we're doing well.

You may have heard rumors about American Packaging and a 25 million dollar expansion project and they are looking for a town.  Columbus is on the list, this has been a known "thing" for a while now and it has not come out of the blue.

One problem is that Columbus is near full employment. It might be hard to come up with 250 employees. But the city and American Packaging really do talk to each other. And if Columbus is not picked we lose nothing. They are not moving.  


There is a new website called The Columbus Cardinal that offers online news about Columbus.  has a small article about me!


The Bowling Alley - sadly the people that were going to open a Convention Center backed out and now we have a big open building with no lanes.  Not a big surprise on that one. The sad thing was the owner of the building sold all the lanes so now we just have a big empty building with an extra liqueur license.  


There was a debate last night in which me and most political science people thought Clinton clearly won.   I apologize to my Bernie supporters.  I tried but I feel America is moving in the correct direction and if we have the Bernie revolution we might wake the sleeping Elephant.

My personal feeling is change is slow and steady - not giant leaps. Things are going well in America so why, PERHAPS, kill the golden goose.  I don't agree with some things Obama has done but that is how real life is.  You don't change things by stomping your feet and insisting on a revolution.  But you can make politicians aware that the populace is unhappy and they better pay attention.

I still do not believe Bernie can win but he is very good at showing "we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore".

OH - this is hilarious - I apologize to all my republican friends (I do have some)  although more then a few are switching or just not voting this time around. 


OK - Sydney just schooled me on the names of all the dorf planets and named the moons of Saturn . . . .and she is freaking 4!


I was sitting on the couch watching the news and they mentioned some county.  I calmly say to DJ, "Where the hell is that county"  and she says it's up north next to Sawyer.  I laugh and say "OH, I bet you know where all the counties are".  "No but I can name them".  "All 72"?.

And then she names ALL the counties in alphabetical order.  WHAT?  WHO ARE YOU!!!!

I guess when you work for Lawyers, DOJ and DOC for 35 years for the State you get useful knowledge hammered into you.    I named three counties but missed the alphabetical order part.


WEATHER - Let's start with the good news. A week from now we should hit 40 degrees.  In fact Monday we will be in the middle 30s.    

Sadly - We have to get through Saturday. Noon time temp Saturday will be about 4 degrees BUT SUNNY (which is a very good thing).  The snow that I mentioned on Facebook Monday is actually ramping up with a fairly good amount.  The latest is 3-5 inches.

I mentioned on Facebook Monday that a storm that was next to Japan was going to impact our weather Sunday and so far it is right one schedule.  A large mass of warm humid air is pushing into Wisconsin to remove the cold air mass and this is going to cause a good size snow event.

Don't be surprised when we start to hear some weather warnings soon.

Have a variable weekend. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bernie vs. Trump??

Let's start with something funny.

A girl scout set up a table next to a cannabis dispensary in Denver and sold 117 boxes of cookies in 2 hours!


Pretty soon if you go to the Nitty Gritty you will be able to sing Happy Birthday without the possibility of being sued because that song is not a public domain song.  That's right, it is illegal to  sing that song in public.  I'm not really sure how all that works and I'm not a lawyer and don't even play one on TV.  


There was some sort of voting yesterday that was fascinating. Bernie crushed Hillary in New  Hampshire, a 90% white state.  Not surprising he won but it was surprising how big he won.  It does get harder for him from here on as he trails Clinton 74% to 17% among black voters who want to continue Obama's policies.

What is interesting is how will the BlackLivesMatter voters go.  If the young voters vote Bernie how with the young BlackLivesMatter voters vote who like Clinton who will continue Obama's policies while Bernie wants to shake things up.

Bernie won because he carried the registered independents by a large margin but Clinton carried the registered Democrats.  In Nevada you can ONLY vote if you are a registered Democrat.

Basically if you like what Obama has done you voted for Clinton. SO FAR - Bernie has done everything right but it gets much much harder now but what I find interesting is his strategy.

His goal is to keep Clinton from gaining any momentum.  Its like he is playing a defense strategy.  Keep her off balance, attack her strong points instead of going after non-white voters. He is taking HER voters away.   

Then there is the other side.  sigh!  Good lord.  Until the gaggle of GOP candidates start to coalesce we will have to deal with Trump.  Bush actually had a pretty good night and Rubio had a very bad night but Bush spent a LOT of money in N.H. 

I wonder if Rubio had a John Dean moment with his repeating the same line over and over in the recent debate.

Chris Christie is toast and should give up. 


I hope everyone saw the Channel 27 feature on the Gov Lewis Mansion this morning.  

And just of the top of my head - I dislike 4K TV's.  Way way too sharp and unrealistic.  AMAZING video but everything looks fake when watching a REAL show. 



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sometimes change is bad.

Royal Caribbean has some splain'in to do.  When they came out and said their cruise ship encountered unexpectedly heavy weather . . . and then The Weather Channel BLOWS that theory apart with a detailed 5 day forecast from the past that said EXPECT 30 foot waves and hurricane-like winds. . . . someone is losing a job on this one.

Speaking of weather - SAD SAD news.

Talk about a surprise.  NOAA is a little "WHAT?" on what is happening with our weather.  El Nino is losing and all of a sudden America is setting up a pattern that mirrors last February.  Just like last February a large area of heat is appearing on the west coast which is pushing arctic air down to us and resulting in a series of big time storms on the east coast.

As NOAA says "this was not suppose to happen with El Nino" and they are all scratching their heads.

The good news is that the forecast for Saturday inched up to a high of 6 up from 4 yesterday and 3 last night.  BUT SUNNY (which makes a BIG difference) and a little breezy.  Warming up after the weekend.

As the stock market tanks don't blame MG&E. I have an  interest in that company and it is acting like a tech stock lately.  HOLY MACRO! Up 4% yesterday  And up 23% since November 3rd.


There is some sort of voting going on today!

Bernie has to have a big win in N.H. by at least 12% (he still has not even tried to get the non-white vote) or he is in big big trouble. At the moment he is up 14.5% in the 35 polls that are tracked.

Trump should win by 15% with Rubio and a fast rising Kasich 2nd and 3rd.  Then Cruz and Bush.

But very very white N.H. voters are late deciders so it's really an unknown.

Next up

Feb 20th
Nevada caucuses where Clinton leads by 22%
South Carolina Primary Trump over Rubio by 12%

Feb 23
Nevada caucuses Trump over Cruz 11%

Feb 27th
South Carolina where Clinton leads Bernie by 30%

This is really a fascinating election cycle.


Did you know the AT&T spokeswoman Milana Vayntrub is a Uzbekistan refugee?


Looks like Gov. Rick Snyder has a fight on his hands and is going to have a recall after his FUBR handling on the water problems in Flint.

Trying to save money  and look what happens. Oddly a city's water system is NOT meant to bring drinking water to your home. It's meant to put out fires. Drinking water is just a by product. A lot of people don't know that.

The water is fine in Flint - but due to its chemistry it is leaching lead out of the connecting joints. These were all covered up fine with calcium and so forth BUT with the change in chemistry it is exposing lead . . . .and the cover up.  

Changing water chemistry can have some very bad things happen and sometimes you should just leave it alone.   Like asbestos - the best thing is to just not touch it.  Removing it is worse then leaving  it alone. (My brothers business deals with asbestos).


See ya later!



Monday, February 8, 2016

brrrrrrrr coming

I've had a little writers block of late  . . .  .well . . . not really but I like totally myself that . . maybe a bought of laziness? Maybe my life has been boring?  Maybe I'm ready for spring?  Well, THAT ain't happening soon.  Look at this - you can find Wisconsin on the west side of that arctic blast.  This is for Saturday when the HIGH might not reach FIVE!!

I've been tracking the 10 day forecast

Day 10 high 24
Day 9 high 13
Day 8 high 14
Day 7 High 8
Day 6 High 4

CRAP!!  After Saturday we will warm up again into the 30s but we have two strong fronts hitting us this week.  A One Two punch - I really don't think that 4 degree forecast will hold up but even doubling that sucks.


The big thing in City Council is all about sidewalks which I am a big proponent for but as always there are problems. This is what Lisa Cestkowski writes in the Columbus Journal.

Council weighs pros, cons to adding sidewalks on Charles Street

Trees or sidewalks? That was the question before the Columbus City Council Committee of the Whole Tuesday night as aldermen discussed this summer’s residential street reconstruction project.
Specifically, the council was trying to decide what to do with the five blocks on the south side of Charles Street where no sidewalk exists currently. If one is put in as part of the reconstruction project, and placed at the standard location of a foot off the property line, up to 20 mature trees would have to be removed, city engineer Jason Lietha said.
The city has an ordinance in place today requiring all new developments to include sidewalks on both sides of the street, but in some older neighborhoods, like on Charles Street, there are gaps in coverage.
“This is why your ordinance says to put them in on both sides, because once you don’t, you have all these obstacles to deal with at a later date,” Lietha said.
Lietha also presented the council with several alternatives to the standard foot-off-the-property-line sidewalk installation. For instance, sidewalks could be placed adjacent to the curb which would save some of the trees, but that would create snow storage issues and make it more difficult to construct the sidewalk at the driveway openings. Another option would be to have meandering sidewalks and varying width terraces.
“I think we could save a lot of cost if we had the flexibility to put the sidewalk in using what’s there for natural grades and working around the trees,” Lietha said.
Even with the meandering sidewalk option, some of the trees would have to come down. Lietha estimated that maybe half to two-thirds of the trees could be saved.
Several aldermen spoke in favor of meandering sidewalks and giving the engineers flexibility in the design.
Alderman Rod Melotte characterized choosing between trees and sidewalks as a “a dagger in the heart decision” and said he wouldn’t mind going without a sidewalk on the south side of those five blocks, considering the issues there and the fact that a sidewalk exists on the other side of the street.
Council President Michael Thom said he didn’t like the idea of taking down healthy trees, either, but he felt it was important for the city to have a consistent sidewalk policy.
“If we say that’s impossible, we’re not going to do it, any time you go to an old neighborhood, where there are a couple blocks missing and you’re trying to connect one end of town to the other, that’s going to happen every time,” Thom said. “There are going to be utility poles there, there are going to be plenty of reasons that you don’t do it.”
Aldermen Rick Royem and Regan Rule, who represent the 1st District where Charles Street is located, volunteered to knock on doors and talk to homeowners in the area about the options.
That is all I'll say on that subject at the moment.


Why Is Columbus an island of cheap gas ??  No really, why is it.  Gas is 1.43 to 1.47 in Columbus and 1.59 in most places NOT Columbus. We have been 15 cents cheaper then everybody for a month now!  

OK - I'm brain dead.

Have a day

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jimmy the Stick: The Movie: Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2016

This was year 20 for Jimmy the Stick and what a year it was.  You see in the last 20 years scientists have developed a way to make "moving pictures" and with this "moving picture" technology I felt the 20th Anniversary of Jimmy the Stick would be a great time to showcase this technology.

But let me digress a bit.  Jimmy the Stick was the brain child a friend of mine and I as we were discussing work solutions and how a groundhog had just as much of a chance of discovering his shadow as a stick.   I proceeded to find an official government stick next to One West Wilson and then on the given day looked to see what The Stick had seen his shadow..

Over the years Jimmy was stick-napped and a ransom was ask for, buried for a few weeks in a snow drift, took a trip to Las Vegas and forgotten about, almost held by fighter pilots, chewed on by various cats (now dead - a warning to future cats) and this year

Jimmy the Stick: The Movie: Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2016. 

Before you pop your popcorn and view I should say that I had reached out to the Mayor of our fine community as I believe this might be news worthy but my emails fell on deaf eyes.  Mayor Crombie did not want to be another Mayor of Sun Prairie.  If you recall that Mayor was bit by the Ground hog and lost his next election.  I believe the Mayor was intimidated by Jimmy.

Bottom line - Jimmy the Stick did NOT see his shadow so we will have an early spring - according to a stick  

So without adieu - sit down to watch 2.5 hours in the life of Jimmy the Stick condensed into 10 seconds.


OK OK - That is probably 10 seconds I bet you wish you had back as the blizzard took place AFTER I ran out of "film".  But you have never seen Jimmy more animated have you?

And by the way.

There is no "moving" picture I discover. Just a lot of still pictures all globed together to look like that move.  Yet another Steve Jobs lie.

Moving Picture Technology got this shot

Speaking of the storm (the snow this morning is STILL part of this Colorado LOW) - everyone is all anal about how everybody got it totally wrong.

Here is how totally wrong the forecast was 6 days before the storm hits and what really happened.

There were people in social media saying there were forecasts of 32 inches - well . . . . . a groundhog could forecast 32 inches and would you believe him?

And since everybody in American gets their MAIN scientific forecast from NOAA except Channel 27 (owned by The Weather Channel) Davis at NOAA said "every forecasts highlighted how such a subtle shift by a massive storm can spell huge changes in a forecast. This is something we highlighted every day leading up to the event. Every day."  But people did not really hear that part.

This is an awesome map that showed the 8 days before we got the snow.  Actually the first hint was really 2 days earlier and from pure geekyness isn't it amazing?   Being able to predict ANYTHING that is basically coming out of Russia is truly amazing.

That's all for today - a lot on my mind BUT . . . . got to get to work.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gil Fulbright for President

Fascinating storm coming - 5-8 inches with a crap load of wind. Tuesday afternoon should have dubious amounts of snow, very very heavy at times until some warm air wraps around the snow causing sleet and then a dry slot develops Tuesday night which will slow down the snow.  A wrap around should give an additional few inches as the LOW moves away Wednesday.

Snow starts a little before sunrise and peaks in the afternoon.

There won't be any arctic air moving in behind this Colorado LOW.  That happens next week.


Anybody watch Downton Abby-Game of Thrones addition last night?  OMG!!  I guess that is what actually happens when you ulcer explodes.  They had so problems filming as some "blood" ruined an antique dress and ALMOST hit some historical carpeting.


NHL ALL-Star game.  LOL

John Scott, the enforcer was voted into the All-Star game and immediately dropped from his team and no other team wants him because he's an asshole.  Then he was reluctantly allowed to play in the All-Star Game and then won the All-Star Game MVP and 1 million dollars.  Now he can go home and get a job at McDonalds.


Since 2009 1/3 of Chicago police have misconduct lawsuits (124 officers) accounting for 34 million dollars.  WOW!


Bank of America Merrill Lynch says there is a major wealth transfer happening.  3 trillion dollars a year are NOT going to oil producers but into consumers hands around the world.

The Columbus Journal has stepped up their game of late -



A new study of people with migraines who tried cannabis as a medication found that the number of migraines decreased from 15 to 4.6 a month while 85% said they had less total migraines per month.


VOTE FOR Honest Gil