Wednesday, March 30, 2016


VR = Virtual Reality

I play a video game called MLB The Show which is a baseball simulation and is what most say the tip of the sword in realism for video games.  It's not as flashy as first shooter games but it needs to be freakishly accurate on ball dynamics and so forth.  It's very realistic, for instance, if you are in Miller Park on a sunny day on June 19th at 2:20 in the afternoon, the shadows will fall exactly as they really would fall at that time. This is important because a shadow will mess with a batters vview of a ball leaving the pitchers hand. If you are there a day later the shadows will fall every so slightly differently.  Wind plays a role and how hard and at what angle a ball will bounce off the different types of surfaces of a wall when it is moving at a certain speed and so forth.

HOWEVER - VR, where you wear those goggles is gaining ground faster then anybody thought and I believe VR will be so wide spread it will be unbelievable and not just for playing games. It's going to be the newest thing that spurs the American economy in ways we can not even think of yet.  From touring a new home without actually going there to almost anything you can and can not think of.   How about touring a new fire station before it's built.  Or walking down James Street after the reconstruction to see what it will REALLY look like.  Hospitals are already using VR to practice tricky operations. . . . . . . This will be big.


OK - I took a few days off from blogging.  Monday I had a colonoscopy which have come a long way in 10 years since my last one.  I drank half my liquid Sunday night and the other half Monday morning. The purging part is not a problem. Just stay within 5 seconds of a bathroom - REALLY - all you will have is 5 seconds, there will be no 6th second.  Then for the actual procedure they had me lay down all nice and warm and comfy, put an IV which I didn't feel and wheeled me across the hall.  They told me to roll over on my side and literally the next thing I know I wake up back where I was.  10 minutes later I'm walking out.  DONE.  Felt drowsy for the day but that is all.

I ate a little and then DJ and I went out to eat because I was STARVING - where did we go?

 La Tolteca - Columbus

So so good!! 


I'm disappointed with our City's records keeping ability.  It seems a number of years ago there was a plan for a bike path around Columbus and I asked for a copy of this as it seems everybody knows about it.

Well, it was lost or I was never taken seriously. How could something that would improve the life style of Columbus citizens be thrown away.  Very disappointed.
Then there is Charles Street.  The city is tearing up and resurfacing Charles Street and on one side there is no sidewalk.  Sidewalks are important. But the problem is that there are 20 trees of which 5 are over 100 years old and were planted at the same time as the houses were built and in good condition.   Should the city cut down 20 trees for a sidewalk in an historic neighborhood just to fulfill and ordinance?


The big news that can finally come out is the first steps for a new fire station is under way as council agreed to purchase the soon to be empty Countryside Ford complex (they are moving to a much larger location) which is the perfect spot for a fire station.  We looked at 8 locations and this was the best.  Got a pretty good deal I must say.

The old fire station is freakishly dangerous and small.  Firefighters are literally putting on their equipment 2 feet from moving fire trucks in an emergency.


I listened to a spring training game a few nights ago between the Brewers and the Reds.  It was suppose to be close to the starting line-ups for both teams.  I could not tell who was at bat for what team LOL. WHO ARE THESE GUYS!  

The Brewers made 19 roster moves with their new GM and I'm actually excited about this year.  It will be like a 162 game spring training season.  I read that there will probably have 162 different lineups and you will see things you have never seen before. Leaving a pitcher in too long to see how he does putting in the bullpen in at a weird time as an experiment and so forth.

The Brewers have one of the best farm systems in baseball now and I think they are playing the Majors LOL.  Victory's are meaningless for 2 years as they look to be competitive in 2018.  Never have we seen a total rebuild of a team in Milwaukee.  We have seem partial rebuilds but never anything like this. Should be interesting.


Couple shots from Washington. The first is The Metro.

and the National Building Museum

Friday, March 25, 2016


I'm foggy this morning after we had competition night in Home Brew club and my table was assigned to judge Belgian Golden Strong Ale's.  That's a lot of STRONG ales for 5 judges.  A number of people did not make it up from Stoughton and one had to work.

And just so I can brag, my beer sucked!  I had a nice tasting Black IPA but going from my kegorator to a growler sucked all the carbonation out of it.  So this morning I ordered a special growler filler to try to fix that little problem.

Actually it didn't SUCK but for judging against another 10  Black IPAs . . . .  there were issues.


Weather - the storm brought us 1 inch of slush and 1 inch of snow and almost an inch of precipitation. We should be getting some good sidewalk melt today with the sun and middle 40s  (I think it will be lower 40s actually with the snow sucking up radiation).

We should be in the low 60s Tuesday and Wednesday


No blog Monday as it's colonoscopy day. Every 10 years and I guess I'm do :-(


Peter O’Toole’s Nephew & French Producer Tell American WWII Heroes’ Story With ‘USS Indianapolis’

With the movie coming out soon there will also be a REAL good documentary coming out in conjunction about the USS Indy.  I saw the first cuts of this and was blown away.  Mel Jacob (father in law) is interviewed which was like pulling teeth as they had been working on interviewing him for 10 years.

All of these survivors get tears in their eyes when interviewed.


Tonight's NCAAB game Wisconsin vs. N.D. is a close as you can get according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings system (he's very good) which he says has a difference of  0.015 points between the two teams. To me that says Wisconsin is a lock.  "Las Vegas" has Wisconsin as a 1.5 point underdog.

Speaking of odds - should be a good Saturday for Bernie as he should win Alaska, Washington and Hawaii.  Coming up he is favored to win Wisconsin (which could be his last victory) along with Walker backed Cruz.  To be honest I would rather have Trump as President the Cruz.

People wonder who all of these Trump people are. They are the union workers and skilled labor who are socially conservative and thought the Republicans would be good economically.  Now they find out that Republicans (at least THIS bunch) are totally inept and have screwed over the unions and they are FREAKING angry. They don't want to become Democrats and our " liberal" social views but now see the right have their head up their butts when it comes to $$.  So they are stuck in the middle. ++++++

But here is an odd thing.  The odds of the next Vice President are up and Julian Castro right now, has the best odds of being the next VP.   First we have a "Muslim" President and now the liberal tree hugging lefty socialists want a Cuban Vice President?  WHAT WILL THEY DO NEXT!!

In other Presidential odds the favorites are

Republicans no longer Senate majority  -180

If you are looking for a long shot, Joe Biden wins Presidential election +8500 (you bet $100 and win $8,500)  OR - Joe Biden does NOT win the Presidential election -37500 (you bet $37,500 and win $100) seems like a sure thing to me. If someone wants to give me $37,500 we can split the $100.


Here is something troubling. Cities around the world are replacing their street lights with LED lights (like Columbus) and while they are, in theory, saving money and, in reality, saving energy they are creating MUCH MORE light pollution.  LEDs are much brighter with much less energy but it's having an effect on nocturnal animals and trees who need darkness.  By 2020 70% of Americas street lighting will be LED.   ya just can't win can ya.


I can't wait for my weather station on top of the house to unfreeze.

Nuff said!  Cheers!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Baylee, Caydance, Lori, Renee and Rick and Ben

It's about 8 in the morning which means only about 12 more hours of this mix/snow/rain combo that Winter Storm Selene is bringing us.  yummmy  We have had 0.68 inches of slush and 1 inch of frozen stuff.


The BIG news is Baylee Achterberg came into the world and Columbus grows one more.  I will order a new sign with a new population number immediately.  Baylee is 6lb 6oz and 19.5 inches (for comparison Sophie our small cat is 32 inches long from tail to toe.

Sydney, Baylee, Josh, Caydence

The most touching moment for me was with Caydance who summoned her inner strength and with a little coaxing held Baylee.  This was a pretty big deal for her as Bayle was a little intimidating.

When Baylee left her lap she was beaming from ear to ear and raised her hands in victory exclaiming "I DID IT, I DID IT!"

Mom is doing well and will be home this weekend.

Something I have been working on are new waste water grates in the curbs.  Children are getting their bikes caught in the grates and one had pretty significant injuries because the grate is right in a driveway and her front wheel caught in one when she was flying down the hill. I want the ones in driveways changed or at least turned around the other way. Pretty dangerous.

As we all have seen I've been pushing The Oilerie Sun Prairie. If you cook and want REAL olive oil and other spices this is the place.  The store runner (term stolen from the entertainment industry with their new "show runner" title) is Lori Hackman from Columbus and she will be featured in the Beyond the Tank episode March 29, ABC 9:00.  Beyond the Tank is a spin off from Shark Tank of which The Oilerie was featured.

I needed some olive oil that would not burn with the high heat of a wok and I purchased some avocado oil which was perfect AND tasted good.

I also purchased some Apricot Ginger Teriyaki Glaze which is AMAZING.  And you really need to try their 25 year old balsamic vinegar which is not expensive and I could add it to everything (garlic toast was perfect).
The Oilerie before the opening

and of course The Badger Motor Car Company was written up in yet another newspaper, The Washington Post (?) if I recall correctly.  A few weeks ago Renee Keller Weichert and her brother Rick stopped in.  Who is that?  They father built The Blue Flame which when you put the peddle to the metal can go 630 miles per hour which would give our Chief fits.

Climate Change.

The scientific community has always said if we raise the temp on our planet 2 degrees we are in big trouble.  

I had commented that we have been crushing global temps.  Check out this chart.  


Did I hear that The Wisconsin Badgers have won more games in the NCAA tournament in the last 7 (or was it 6?) years then ANY other school?  That is pretty impressive.

The ACC will make a cool $30 million which goes to the conference with the most teams that go deep into the tournament - of course the players will get nothing for this.

In the NFL a couple of big changes in rules.  Kick-off touch backs will now go to the 25 yard line. Changing the actual kick in a kick off from the 30 to the 35 yard line increased the amount of touch backs from 11% top 50% .

The other rule change was you are kicked out of the game with your second personal foul.


OH - drinking 8 glasses of water per day is a myth that comes from a 1945 study.  In a day you need to consume 8 glasses of liquid which MOSTLY comes from prepared food.  Not actual "glasses". Everything has water in it.  Olive Oil has water,  Apricot Ginger Teriyaki Glaze has water, hamburger has water.    


It happened again - some woman was Periscoping herself driving drunk.  Drinking, driving and live filming yourself doing the first two is not the smartest thing in the world.  She got pulled over.


OH - while at the APPA rally in Washington DC one woman applied to tour the Pentagon (I had never even considered doing that).  After paying the $1 fee there is a background check and when they began the tour Security told everyone to shut off and bury their phone where you will never touch it.

Security said in a VERY stern voice "If  I hear or see a phone I will literally take your phone and you will NEVER see it again".    OK!  so no camera then also?

This is the Library of Congress where they have a number of books you can check out (or leave there I guess). The only place where I had to go through security on the way OUT.

And this is where the Mayor took me for lunch which was FANTASTIC.  This is the original Chili Bowl.

Have a great day and be careful.



Monday, March 21, 2016


So many worlds colliding  . . . . . along with two comets barely missing earth Monday and Tuesday . . . I hope.

Art is in the eye of the beholder right?  This was found on eBay and is titled 

"Bear Eat's Dog, While Donkey Watches"  

Somebody did a lot of work on that image. . . . . .  . . WHY?


The big news was Friday I drove into my driveway and saw about 6 Ceder Waxwings eating the ripe berries on our Red Chokeberry. Always a favorite for Robins in the spring but I had never seen so many Ceder Waxwings all at once and was tickled.

About an hour later I looked into the backyard and were were 12 in our birch tree and 3 more on our Chokeberries in the back yard.  How amazing.

Saturday morning I woke up and with sleepy eyes looked outside - HOLY CRAP!  Our birch tree was literally covered.  We estimated there were 40 on the back yard birch tree and 30 more in the front yard.

Doing some reading about these beauties it seems that their population is on the rise but they have issues with windows and cars. 

If someone with a better understandimg of the English language can interpret this that would be great 

For several reasons, the Cedar Waxwing is a relatively poor host for the Brown-headed Cowbird, with a maximum of 16.7 % parasitism reported among studies.

ummmmm What?

I have a lot of photos of the Bombycilla cedrorum . . . along with Washington DC AND The Oilerie Sun Prairie.  I have files circling the airport.  And now I have a couple assignments for Harley photos for a bar.

ANYWAY - most Waxwings seem to be gone now. All I see are three.


NCAAB - WOW - Go Wisconsin - way to bust THAT bracket.  Actually I'm doing well.  I see Michigan State, according to the stat people had the 3rd biggest upset in NCAA Tourney history, HOWEVER - they are the best team to ever lose in the 1st round.

The biggest upset was Missouri vs. Norfolk State in 2012 and it was not that Missouri was that good, it's that Norfolk State was that bad.  Some had Michigan State as the 2nd best team in the country . . . .I guess not.


Ready for an anti Trump blitz in Wisconsin?  Seems the 100 Day Republican Dump Trump campaign will begin in Wisconsin with HUGE money flowing into the Badger State.  We will be the first State to feel this media blitz as the Republicans decided that it's not who gets the most votes that wins (as you would think a democracy would dictate), it's who they WANT to win wins.  And they want . . . . . .Cruz?  The politician they REALLY REALLY HATE?   Yea - it's all good for the Republicans. Everything is working like clockwork.  

I have been watching a CNN show called "Run for the White House" that has been looking at all the campaigns.  WOW - Kennedy/ Nixon.  I guess I was too young to understand.  Kennedy was not really that interested in truth was he.  What a dirty campaign BOTH candidates had.  The only reason Nixon lost was because Kennedy out tricked him and lied better.

Kennedy was not big fan of Civil Rights at all.  He really did not think it was anything that needed fixing. Nixon was HUGE on Civil rights.  Heck the Ku Klux Clan was campaigning for Kennedy! And that was fine by him.

It makes 2016 look tame.   If you get a chance check out "Run for the White House" on CNN.


I had my first meal at La Tolteca III(?) in Columbus.  Translated I believe it reads "The Tolteca".  It was fantastic.  A rival to Pasqual's? in Madison.  I had a Fajita and DJ had a Quesadilla and both were fantastic. Sadly we chowed down on the free chips and homemade salsa so we had to stuff the REAL food into our stomachs as it tasted so good.

Very fun atmosphere and the inside of the place looked GREAT.  Food is GREAT and inexpensive.  $8ish for the Quesadilla and I think my chicken/beef Fajita was $11ish.


In other worlds - The art fair world was all up in arms this weekend when a large number of Easy Up canopies in several large art fairs had wind issues and plowed into other more stable canopies.  Many many photos like this on the web. Easy Up owners were like Muslims in at Trump Rally.


But for ME the big thing was USA vs. Europe and the new bigger better Cray Super Duper Computer that went online last week with new the GFS software (I'm sure it was written in COBOL and SAS - inside computer programmer joke).  

It was GFS vs. Euro for the first time trying to predict the nor'easter hitting the east coast and the GFS was far better.  USA USA USA.

WITH THAT SAID - we have some nasty weather coming at us Wednesday and Thursday. It's one of those "if it moves 50 miles either direction results may vary" events.  RIGHT NOW we are looking at 1-6 inches of snow.  Nailing THAT one down!   All anybody knows is that there is an inch of quantitative water in the clouds and how it falls is the big IF.

The NAM model says more snow and the GFS is saying rain mixing into snow. Stay tuned.

The Easter egg hunt Saturday will be upper 30s and party sunny.


And finally - while in Washington DC there was talk about repealing Obamacare and I finally saw The Master Plan.

National Sculpture Gallery 

have a great day!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday stuff and other things

The Oilerie Sun Prairie opens Saturday at 10:00 and is owned by Columbus residents - I'll have photos soon. Amy Jo Campbell, co-founder of The Oilerie will be on hand.  If you want to try some really good olive oil check them out in that Costco area.  In the Rocky's, Orange Leaf row across from the beef jerky place.

I have been buying Oilerie olive oil in Fish Creek for years and this will be MUCH closer. Good stuff.


I've sent my tape and application in to Survivor a few times but am glad I did not make the cut this time. Check out this 1:47 minute cut from last weeks show - pretty scary stuff going on.  The average contestant eats 1/2 cup of rice a day and anything else they can scrounge for.  Nothing you can do about heat though when competition times come around..

This scene was just after Jeff Probts yells for ALL production team drop what you are doing and help.

Many people still think a lot of this is fake but there have been 2 Navy Seals who have been on the show and both said it's a lot harder then they thought.  Surviving is one thing but then having to deal with human emotions and game play adds a layer of unknown.

The one guy you see is a little Asian dude.  He actually was a child during 'Nam and lived off the land in Cambodia for a few months hiding in the jungles.  He is totally awesome.


People have been talking about the number of primary voters and how Republicans are crushing the Democrat's.  The number of primary voters has zero correlation on who will vote in the general election.  In fact the party with the larger raw turnout in the primaries has lost the election 4 of the last 5 times.


I'm not sure how many new photos I looked at in the last few days.  I don't know how wedding photographers so it.  After a while I need to step away from one set of images.

One last photo of the Metro


I started my way back to home base hungry, tired and thirsty.  There are no places to eat drink or sleep as everything was still closed for the season and I had $1 in cash on me as I had not seen an ATM for days.

My first stop was the Korean War Memorial

And I passed the Washington Monument again from the other side.

My goal was the National Mall which was all torn up with construction.  The National Mall is Huuuge.

OK - I'm going non-linear here.  This is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building small side door.

This mammoth building was  built in 1871 and is next door to The White House. Mark Twain called it the ugliest building in America and Harry Truman called it "the greatest monstrosity in America.

It's awesome and in today's money it would cost over 300 million dollars to build.  556 rooms on 10 acres of land.

This is on the street side and my 10mm lens could only get one entrance in without going across the street.  I had my camera between some fencing to get this shot.

This is the National Building Museum (the one with the big columns).

Yea - I'm going rogue now with photos.

I stopped at Harry's for a pretty good burger.  It was a few blocks from the Hyatt and the inside was very neat.

See that dude walking towards me on the left.  I'm about to be yelled at.  I was walking by the National Portrait Gallery at 6:50 and they close at 7:00.  It was perfect lighting but without a tripod my camera was worthless  . . . . . unless I MADE a tripod out of some gates and furniture. 

WELL - it seems security did not appreciate this and I knew this guy had an angry gate to his walk.  I was clicking away like there was no tomorrow.  I made it out alive and without cuffs.

I think that is all the new shots I have so I'll rest.


If you have never watched The Grinder on Tuesday nights it's hilarious. Rob Lowe plays an over the top TV Lawyer who's show is canceled and he moves back home and joins his brothers law firm because he thinks he is a real lawyer.

Every episode there are a number of LOL moments.  Last night he had a line "I can't help it I was born a man, it's my cross to bear . . . . alone.   Woman get all the good TV roles".


Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885 – 1951) When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

According to Politifact - last week Donald Trump told one lie every 5 minutes in his speeches.

Have a great and cool weekend. We are on a yoyo for temps the next 10 days - nothing drastic either way middle 50s to middle 40s with a bunch of rain late nest week.

See ya

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trip part 3? or 2? I'm losing track

Columbus received 1.52 inches of rain ending 7:00AM Wednesday morning. Portage got a little over 2 inches and Madison in the 1.5 range. 


I think we might have three choices for President as it's sounding like the Republicans are going to screw Trump and change some rules.  Cruz's speech last night was not about gaining votes, it was all about gaining money and his appeal to the Koch Bros. Since Rubios delegates that he won are literally for sale I think he wants to buy those delegates.  If Trump does get screwed he will go rogue.


This is what the Washington subway system will look like today at rush hour (except without the Mayor waiting for a train) -  I am SO happy the Mayor and I did not go this week to DC - what a freaking nightmare that would have been.

Anybody remember the old TV show called the Time Tunnel?That is me on the left as the train speed up to 60.


So - my adventure continues.

Monday morning after a fitful sleep I get out of bed groggy and prepare myself for a day of wandering around DC but I'm hungry.   I have a $15 off coupon for breakfast at the Hyatt but just knowing it's $15 OFF scares me so I go for comfort food which is a McDonalds Big Breakfast (DON'T JUDGE ME) which is about the only thing I can eat at McD's.  

While there I put my camera next to me and some dudes say "nice camera" which could mean  "nice camera which will soon be mine" or "nice camera I take pictures also".

I leave with my camera so all is well.

First stop is THE WHITE HOUSE

This is about as close as I can get without jumping over two fences which after playing out all the scenarios in my brain I decide this was the best route . . stay behind both fences.  I know, I know, my normal MO is to shoot first and apologize later but . . . . . . I did not want to take photos from inside a jail.

I walked around to the front of the building and was ever farther away.  I'm in Madison so I don't have access to ALL my photos but there was a little marble block that was something about "From this point you can measure all the highways in America for distance" (or something like that - I'll have to look for that shot).

When you turned around I had a clear view of the Washington Monument in the distance so I started walking that direction.

The one thing I was learning is that just like the Grand Canyon, people can tell you how big things are but until you actually see them you do not understand. 

The Washington Monument is HUUUUGE!  I knew it was but but WOW.

 I circle around it a few times but there really is no good way to take close photo with the lens I had on.  I took one shot that was comical.

Then looking past Washington's erection I could see the Lincoln Memorial so I started walking towards it but first I came to the WWII Memorial.

I took some photos of the Pacific side for my father in law (a living survivor of the USS Indy)

 Don't forget - USS Indianapolis: Men Of Courage comes out this summer. I think Jon Arthur plays Mel Jacob also know as "Marine" unless he dies then it's not.  Hey - who knows!  

 More photos of the WWII Memorial in coming blogs

And past the WWII is Abe's Memorial . . .just down the lane.

I start walking and after 15 minutes I feel I have gone nowhere - my knees are starting to hurt, I'm thirsty and my dogs are aching but I dare not stop. 

This photo is looking back at the almost reflecting pool  - it seems all of Washington (or DC as locals call it) is under construction.

This is where my brain farts and I'm so enthralled with Abe's place I forget to change some settings on my camera.  This place is HUGE!

I take a good amount of photos and decide I will not go farther away from my starting point and sit down to relax and start to solidify, becoming one with the marble.  More on DC coming.


City Council

Personally I do not believe that a person with two OWIs should be a bartender. If he or she does not have the ability to know when they are too drunk to drive should we have then serving drinks in Columbus to customers knowing they will know when to cut them off?  I think not.  My personal opinion.

We waived fees for Fireman's park for the Circus - I loath the Circus and their animal cruelty and I do not believe them for a second when they say the elephants don't mind having their legs chained so when they pace back and forth all day they are happy.   Nuff Said.

Kim Lang will be the new Senior Director.

The Chef's Corner (old Firemans Tap) will open soon . . at least the bar part with the restaurant/smoke house after. 

There are some 2 Hour Parking problems which need to be taken care of (I laugh at the 2 Hour parking downtown as I see business owners parking all day everyday in front of their business).

And don't get me started on the REALLY bad sign situation downtown that really screws any new business while pandering to established business. It's totally unfair and anti bringing in new business.    
Duffy Grain is moving their Truck Repair to other side of the Travel Center. It will employee 12-15 truck repaid specialists to the turn of $40K each.  Columbus continues to grow.

That's it for today - gotta get some work done!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A blog break from Washington

Washington Monument

I'm pretty sure that when they talked George Washington into being President this years election process was exactly what he was thinking would happen.

 . . . . . .actually this is a calmer election process then Lincoln/Douglass.


Weather - a few rounds of thunderstorms today.  There is a good amount of wind shear above us so I'm not expecting any REAL bad things. Maybe some large hail and so forth.  Pretty much any storm that comes our way this time of year brings the word "sever" with it.

Tomorrow there will be high wind warnings. Some predictions being mumbled about NOT publicly are gusts reaching 60mph.  But that is just under the breath verbiage (is that the correct word?) so far no one wants to come out and say that yet.

I flamed a fellow weather geek on social media the other day for taking one model and telling everybody a huuuuge cold front was coming late this week.  He was saying 10 degrees below normal and snow.  Welllll . . . .you still need to add the human element into the equation.  

Any air mass needs to roll over a warm earth, not a snow covered landscape.  There is one actual cold weather coming - more "normal" temps are on the way.

OH OH - speaking of warm weather.  On a global scale February CRUSHED the old seasonally adjusted record for warmth.  In fact the record broke a record for the largest difference between records.  But wait - the record the record broke was the record record from LAST month.

The world not only CRUSHED the last warmest record which was last month but was the largest difference between records  (did I just say that twice?) and the long term forecast calls for MUCH WARMER for the next 3 months.


To answer the baseball Trivia question.  The last "Brewer" to catch a game left handed was the always popular Jiggs Donohue who caught in 1901 (and later died of syphilis).  Except I'm not so sure the Brewers were around in 1901.  There have only been 11 catchers to throw left handed to start a MLB game since 1900.

According to Bill James Historical Abstract 2003 - The biggest reason there are no left-handed catchers is natural selection. Catchers need good throwing arms.  IF you have a kid on your baseball team who is left-handed and has a strong arm, what are you going to do with him?  

Speaking of the Brewers . . . have they arrived in Spring Training yet?  This has to be the quietest I've ever seem for news from Arizona.  Opening day is 20 days away.


The Hydro Street FUBR is just about over. We sold the equipment for a couple cases of Bud and a Brewery to be named later.   HOWEVER - that brewery, if/when it comes to fruition will be BIG and actually professional.  When I heard that the group involved had chemists, I perked up.

I brew a lot of beer (award winning but I won't brag) and taking a 5 gallon batch and making into a 50 gallon batch is not just using 10 times more ingredients. That is not how yeast works.  Ale Asylum had HUGE problems when they moved from the old place to their bigger place.

These guys have it together and when they said that they would need to brew a number of LARGE batches before anything went into market I knew they had a clue. Brewing is not an exact science. OH - they won't use plastic.

Without getting into specifics this will be a pretty big operation and NOT downtown but will be in Columbus. We're talking about 5 or 6 brewers and a 4 to 7 barrel system in a brew pub/restaurant which is big.


I post photos on Facebook. One thing I watch for is reactions and it always surprise me when something sort of takes off that I was not ready for.  One shot I took in Chinatown is getting shared a lot.  When I saw the scene I loved it but there was construction all around and well . . . . it was not AMAZING but somehow tweaked my brain so I want across the street and took a couple of snapshots.

I think this is another memory stirrer that is not GORGEOUS but tweaks something in peoples frontal lobes.  I would send them the photo but . . . . . I can't read the name of the place. If I get out to DC again I'll take a 8x10 to them.


If anyone knows the name of this building let me know!  It's the National ????????

  OH - I have just started on DC photos - it's rather daunting actually.  I've only covered the first 4 hours of a 4 day trip!  LOL

talk at ya again -

Monday, March 14, 2016

DC Part 2 (long and full of photos)

knowitall commented "The real reason AL pitchers hit batters more often is that they don't have to go to the plate".  That is the common misconception.  Pitchers are rarely hit when at the plate because no pitcher wants to hit another pitcher (automatic out) on base,  It all comes down to the economics.

Looking at all seasons from 1969 to the present

1. Pitchers are more likely to hit good batters and a pitcher is the least likely to be hit in the NL.
2. Good pitchers are less likely to hit batters then bad pitchers.
3. Teams who are losing are more likely to plunk the other team. The larger the deficit the more likely to hit someone, as the chance of winning falls the price of plunking also falls so it's more likely to see a HBP.

Having a DH increases the likelihood of a HBP by 15% because there are more and better batters in the AL.

It's weird. I know the exact time I caught my cold,  4:15 Thursday.  I actually looked to see what time it was. I was in a meeting. On the mend now.


As for the trip.

My first experience with the Metro (subway) was a brain fry. It was busy and I was facing a bank of large ATM-ish things and I needed to pay for a Metro card.  Of course the first thing you do is start punching buttons hoping a miracle will happen. When it does not happen you realize there are lots of words telling you what to do so you sort of skim it hoping it will be totally obvious which of course it isn't.      

By the time you come to the realization that you will need to STOP, calm down and READ, a person is there to help and punches an obvious button 2 times and there you are.   You go through the turnstiles (where cold germs are bred)

and you are now in the tunnels of THE METRO

I tell ya - they are FAST   0-60 in 10 seconds and you better hang on!  Some serious speed on those things and they are WONDERFUL. DC is a very very polite city.

We get off at the right place but take the wrong exit and are 2 blocks away but that is fine. I get my first views of Washington DC.

After saying farewell to Kelly who is meeting relatives I make a plan to look at places in my area which is called Penn Quarter which is the East End of Downtown and contains the Verizon Center.

It's Sunday afternoon and my first stop is The Building Museum which I had never heard of.  Sort of a huuuuge dull looking building (from the ground) until I go inside.

Some of the largest columns in the world. Many huge events are held here. I'm still working on photos of this goliath structure.

Many many column.


The National Building Museum is housed in the former Pension Bureau building, a brick structure completed in 1887 and designed by Montgomery C. Meigs, the U.S. Army quartermaster general. It is notable for several architectural features, including the spectacular interior columns and a frieze, sculpted by Caspar Buberl, stretching around the exterior of the building and depicting Civil War soldiers in scenes somewhat reminiscent of those on Trajan's Column as well as the Horsemen Frieze of the Parthenon. The vast interior, measuring 316 × 116 feet (96 × 35 m), has been used to hold inauguration balls; a Presidential Seal is set into the floor near the south entrance.

My next stop was the National Portrait Gallery - sadly most places I did not really explore because there was a time problem. I wanted to see as much of DC as I could and maybe NEXT time I go back I could have a better idea on what needed more exploration.

BTW - I only took one lens, a 10 -20mm wide so most of my shots look a little leany.

I have some better shots of this at night just before my altercation with security but that is for another blog - I'm trying to be linear here time wise. (teaser).   I have so many photos even after 4 days home I have not looked at them all yet. Once I get ALL of them processed I can start cropping and zooming in.  For instance - that chair BUGS me! (I actually moved it after I took this shot).  I have some awesome shots of this place - just have not found them yet LOL

I saved Chinatown for last as I wanted dusk or night shots and since the Grand Hyatt was only a few blocks away I figured I'd wait.  DC seemed like a very safe town so I had zero problems walking around at night.

I had problems with Chinatown without a tripod.  All I could do was lean against light poles and in reality there was not many photo ops anyway.  A lot of Chinese restaurants but that was all I could really see.

 Oddly I was hungry and found a tiny little corner place with 5 stools called Beef and Bread that had outstanding sandwich's.  Had to be a place locals got their food.

I checked out a couple breweries.  One was across from the Hyatt but more of a yuppy sports bar that had brew NOT brewed on site.  The other was Gordon Biersch. I walked about a mile looking for it and it ended up 2 blocks from the hotel. I learned my way around DC on that excursion.

Headed back to the hotel and was so thrilled to be in DC I had one more beer where a woman from Tunisia started up a conversation with me and a fellow rally attendee from Ohio. That was the odd thing about DC.  So many people from other countries that you normally are not around. Tunisia, Tel Aviv, Nairobi and so forth.

Nuff said for today!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Washington DC Part Dos (short version).

Before I get into my trip to Washington DC a couple of things.

1. I seem to have caught a cold - noticed it at 4:15 yesterday afternoon.  I fought off my last cold 6 months ago so it's game on. Hand me the zinc. 

2. I'm reading "The Baseball Economist" the next step in the Bill James Revolution. Pretty interesting. Things I have learned. A. There is no such thing as an On Deck batter protecting the guy at bat. It's a fallacy.  B. Pitchers hitting batters happens more often in the AL because it's worth more.  And finally a Trivia question - C. Who was the last left handed catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. 

3. If you have not watched "The Expanse" on the SyFy channel, NPR is calling it the best outer space show ever on TV.  I have to agree. 

4. Survivor - HOLY CRAP - 3 people literally almost die. One is evacuated and the other 2 recover.  This is extreme survivor it seems. When Jeff  Probst yells for ALL production staff to drop whatever they are doing and call for the helicopter it's rather tense as three players go down within 30 seconds from heat exhaustion. One is non responsive.  He said it was the most frightened he has ever been.    

As I said I'm battling  a cold so more photos then words and stories this time. 

I absolutely love air travel and would take it ANY DAY over riding in a car - MUCH safer.  This is the view I had as we started to cross over Lake Michigan.  I'm guessing 20,000 feet up.

  And my cool story was going to be how much more snow Michigan had . . .but of course that is moot now isn't it. This is coming into Detroit. What do you think 15,000 feet up?   Our trip back we got to 38,000 feet.  Can't even see roads from that height.

Detroit has a beautiful airport and I was not sure if it was some sort of flashback the 70s kicking in or if this was real.  Nobody else seemed concerned so I went with it. 

I stopped to take a photo with my iPhone and then switched to my camera.  When I got home I took a quick look at the photos (461) and WTF??   My camera messed up.   My iPhone photos were lime green but something happened as these were purple.  OH wait. It changed colors between my camera switch  WHEW. 

We switched aircraft in Detroit and the guy next to me was very untalkative.  I said hi and he looked at me like I was some sort of weirdo and then looked back at his book.  Never said a peep the entire flight.

I pride myself in trying to not be a bumpkin from Wisconsin but this was the longest escalator I had ever seen.  Yea - I get excited over little things.  This is where I learned - left side for walking up or down, right side for riding.


  Reagan National airport is not as pretty as Detroit.  We were waiting on the Yellow line for the subway (not Subway) to take us to DC. 

I have to think this was built in the 70s. 

That's all for today - here are some teaser photos. 

The Metro (subway) of Washington - I LOVE the subway. I think Columbus needs to look into bonding for a subway which would be very handy for getting across town when school starts and lets out! 

The Metro Washington DC

The National Building Museum.

National Building Museum, Washington DC

The National Portrait Gallery . . . . just before I had an incident with Security.  That wetness is a 1/4 inch of running water.  I had to move a few gates to use as a tripod - shoot photo first and apologize later. 

Talk at you next time as I get more photos - it's rather daunting.  And my story has not even started yet.