Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm back and way way behind

Thanks everyone for their kinds words.

Lets get a public information notice out right away.

Power of Attorney STOPs immediately  upon the death of the person you are taking care of.


So if you are taking care of a loved one.  Make sure you have a joint checking account or that money is locked away and you can not get at it until you can find 3 or 4 more convoluted hoops to jump through.  (Like a will in a lock box which is needed to get to the checking account) And remember - many of the things that you will need to pay for do not accept cards.

You would think that when you do the whole PoA thing a lawyer would tell you it stops upon the death.  BUT NOOOOOOO!!


USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage will be released on  Nov 11 Veterans day.


EV and her brother
It seems all the poems my mom wrote were only the tip of the iceberg as we have found all sorts of other writing which are AMAZING.  Stories about how her mom and dad met and about growing up in the very north woods.  I see a book coming and can't wait to share what life was like.

As we were cleaning out bookshelves we kept coming upon more and more hand written material.  I think we have enough for an autobiography  LOL  Some amazing stories about a band of gypsies and getting lost in the deep woods and getting married after a 24 hour courtship.  Great stuff.

Another thing - PODS are awesome and pretty inexpensive.

Dad trick riding a car  LOL

In other news - I don't have a lot of time writing as losing a week really hurt getting ready for an art fair this weekend in Deforest. 

I'm getting an image printed on metal and if it turns out well maybe I'll put that into the mix, we shall see. 

All of a sudden I have so many things to do INCLUDING getting back up to speed with whatever has happened in Columbus before we go on a vacation to Winter Park in Colorado and then a trip to Indianapolis for the USS Indianapolis reunion.

Meanwhile - this is what a 100+ year old water main looks like.  Seems sanitary to me! 



We were at Jungs and saw a row of different heuchera (pronounced hookera) so I decided to make a nice shady  heuchera garden under our cotoneaster.  This is 2 of the 14 that is blooming in their first full year. 

We also now have 80 square feet of Sweet Woodruff and 60 square feet of Lamium.  All from 2 plants that we have been propagating for 3 years.  GREAT weed killer. 

OK - I gotta get to work on art fair stuff that I put off over the winter because I knew it would only take 2 weeks to get everything in order - what could possibly go wrong. 

That is my grandfather 2nd from the left.  

Mom and dad in 1951

Thursday, May 19, 2016


there is a world where
clocks have no hands or faces
months are unknown
and seasons
crowd in where they can

time moves around you
in a circle
always facing you
just out of reach

int's never any later
always suddenly

it's too late

  - EV Melotte


I found out my mom passed away Tuesday night in her sleep, very calmly.  She was in a happy good place so if you gotta go it was a good time. 

My dad passed away after battling cancer for 8 months and near the end he was praying to die as he struggled for one more breath for months, but the Doctors kept him alive as his lungs filled up.  Lung cancer sucks. 

I have seen both ways to pass away and this was so much better.  Yet I wish I had just one more conversation.  

She had me when she was 27 and dirt poor getting evicted right and left from apartments. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING.   

The sad thing is that memories are always from the near past. There are no videos of my parents when they were in their middle 20s like there can be today.  I wish.  

The poem above was from a book I compiled in 2003 of a lifetime of her poetry. I guess I got my writing bug from her although I was cursed with dyslexia so the spelling/wrong word part had to be overcome (well 90% of the time, I literally spell "the" teh more then half the time). The written English language has never come easily (like my golf game). 

The Book

It's rank in the top 12 million books on Amazon. And I see you can buy a used one from shipped from Japan for only $40  (WHAT???)  

ANYWAY - the next few days are all in the air at the moment.  


Awesome weather coming - this will be the last day in the 60s (69) for as far out as they can predict.  HOWEVER - next week will have a good chance of rain every day starting Monday.  

BTW -  April broke a record with temperature globally AND once again it broke a record on how BIG the record was broken.  If we are not worried we REALLY should be! this is the 7th month in a row for breaking records and this smashed the old record.  The prediction is that 2016 will be the hottest year BY FAR globally.

In fact every single month since 2000 has been above the average temperature in the 1961 to 1990 timeline and check this out. 


In other news - the dip in oil prices is killing tips for exotic dancers in North Dakota (a State that really needs exotic dancers) as tips are down 60%. 

Are you a linkedIn user?  They were hacked and 117 million password are up for sale.  I don't know why you need to buy a password when you can just make up your own.  Morons! 

OK - nuff said!   

Monday, May 16, 2016

Did you hear what Trump said today?

Did you hear what Trump said today?

OH - sorry - that is the common greeting many American are saying these days.  Instead of saying "Hi how are ya", they just say "Hi, Did you hear what Trump said today".

Then the two people can laugh and get on with the real conversation OR they can actually talk about what Trump actually DID say today.  It's a win win.


So I have been driving around in a brand new 2016 Nissan Murano with 800 miles on it . . . . . what?  You thought I had 2016 Subaro Outback Limited?   OH that was before I got a phone call during the Water and Light Commission saying "DO NOT DRIVE YOUR A CAR THE STEERING WHEEL MIGHT FALL OFF".

I told them I really don't need a steering wheel with Eyesight engaged but they convinced me to bring it in anyway.   So now I have a sweet '16  Nissan Murano (which I have always liked) for a while until they fix my car.  

At least Subaro is proactive - there have been no accidents and I do have a nice car to drive for free.


I was at Wisconsin Brewing Friday and made contact with people that work at Street Wood which is a offshoot of Urban Wood and got an idea.  With all the trees coming down next year with James Street. Why not re-use the wood. They REALLY need trees and would it not be GREAT to have those trees not die in vain?

Urban will take the wood and make barns and Street Trees make amazing art of the wood.  Some GREAT cutting boards and tables and so forth.  Why not give each resident a cutting board out of the tree they lost.

Something I'm going to work on.


Elwood and I were working on the water tower wall. What many don't see is our master plan,


I really need to write down all my thoughts - I had so many wonderful things to blog about . . . .but are now gone.

Weather will improve a lot this week with middle 70s by the weekend.  Columbus has been getting the short end of the stick with rain.  We have had less then most places.  Maybe a little rain later today.


An art fair friend of mine in Madison shot this photo.  I suppose it's OK if you like this sort of thing.

Cassius Callender  really nice guy and not bad with a camera.


Speaking of "illegal immigrants".  50% of Wisconsin milk industry are run by  non-documented immigrants.  If we deport them all Wisconsin's economy will get crushed.  Let's look at this a different way.

The American economy is sort of a ponzi scheme.  As long as we continue to grow all is well.  Lets say Columbus is a rich vibrant city of 5000 and then we lose 1000 residents.  Do you think business would suffer? Of course it wood.

Now take America where the non-documented immigrants work, spend money, have families that spend money buying homes and groceries and stuff.    The rights plan is to deport all of them back to Mexico where they will be homeless.  But they forget that if you deport 10 million people that is a LOT of buying power leaving. Plus there are no people to fill the jobs that leave.

Wisconsin can't even fill the jobs at Da Dells.  Deporting is not the way.


Getting it done at 71.

Poor Joe on Survivor.  a 71 year old FBI agent.  He was one of the final 5 in this season Survivor and won his first challenge.  After 31 days of literally eating 1/4 cup of rice a day he won a challenge that gave him a huge meal and so other things.

He knew he needed protein so be ate nothing but meat . . . a LOT of meat. Well . . . . that did not sit well with his innards and 24 hours later he was the FOURTH player evacuated from this season Survivor.    

Good bye Joe - it's down to 4 now on what of the hardest Survivor.

See ya later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How to make the best spaghetti ever - and downtown parking

My buddy Elwood does not understand Facebook and believes it is a place for people to post stupid photos of themselves and make dumb comments like "I'm sitting on my couch".   When in reality it is that but so much more. So many awesome tips on how to make your life better - - - such as making sweet corn in 3 minutes with absolutely no silk (did you know that every carnal ( or kernel as you Americans say)  has a silk attached to it?) .

BUT - spaghetti has evolved for me recently.  I mean - how many people have actually read instructions on how to make spaghetti.  They do it like their mom did and just went with it.  Well, my mom was wrong and now spaghetti is SO much better.

I tried a new trick that took a lot of time off the process and saved a lot of water (the next major wars will be over water).

First take your favorite gourmet spaghetti sauce (I use Prego but am open to suggestions in a jar) and add about 1/2 teaspoon of Hershey's Cocoa, this smooth's out the acid in the tomato sauce.  I also add a bay-leaf which does nothing but makes you feel you are actually cooking (has anyone ever done a side by side testing of with and without a bay-leaf?) and if you want you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar because sugar is good for you.  And I suppose if you want to be anal you should not use a metal spoon.

Then the big part is the spaghetti.   Toss away that big pot and use a frying pan.

Put spaghetti into pan and cover the spaghetti with cold water.  NOTE - NEVER buy a glass top white stove.  Turn on high. This is where a lot of time is saved as you are not heating a mammoth amount of water AND you are not constantly squishing the spaghetti to get it into the boiling water.

And you probably should not let your metal spoon just sit in the sauce.

Bring to a boil.

I bet this saves at least 10 minutes doing this and the spaghetti is not all broken. Boil the spaghetti until it's ready.  Then take a small pot and place the colander on top of it and drain.  You want to capture about 1/4ish cup of the boiled water for later use.

NOW - the magic happens. In the pan that the spaghetti recently exited put maybe a teaspoon of butter (or more or less) into it to melt.

Put your drained spaghetti back into the pan, pour about a 1/4 cup of the boiled water on top of the spaghetti and then pour the spaghetti sauce on top and mix.

What this will do is make a super rich and creamy concoction.  You can of course add meat balls or I like to fry up a little hamburger and add some mushrooms  and onions and so forth but this was a quicky spur of the moment what do we have to eat thing.  You will be amazed at the difference.  I know I was.

Bon Appetite    


I belong to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation forum where other people that "run" smaller cities can talk about problems and how to fix them.  A few days ago one person from Ashland had a post.

There is a prevalent perception in our community (Ashland) that there is a lack of parking in our downtown, even though studies show that we do not have a shortage. Has anyone encountered similar issues? If so, how did you go about reconciling this with the public (educational campaign, better signage/advertisement of available parking, encouragement to walk more, etc)? Thanks in advance for your responses!

I had to laugh because we have that problem here in Columbus.  Everybody believes we have a lack of parking downtown.  Whenever there is something that will take away a few parking stalls there is an outcry about the lack of parking.  REALLY?

Do you know how many parking stalls there are one and a half blocks from Sharrows Downtown?

ABOUT two hundred and thirty five (235)  parking stalls. and we have a parking problem?  OH - people will walk a block and a half at a big box store and not complain but if they have to walk more then 100 feet downtown, it's a parking problem.

The response to the original comment was universal.  "There are 3600 spaces within 2 blocks of the city center in Wausau but people complain there is no place to park".

In Superior the problem is that business owners park in front of their own business AND THEN complain there is not enough parking for customers (we have that problem in Columbus).  Same thing happens in Duluth where they have a 2 hour parking limit and get tickets (we have a 2 hour limit but very few ever get tickets . . there is a van that has not moved for a week in a public parking lot - no tickets).

So the unanswered question is - how do we inform the public to get off their butts and walk a block OR - how do we better inform the public where parking is, educational campaign? better signage/advertisement of available parking? encouragement to walk more?  Perhaps it's something the CDA can look into.


I am all for Bernie if he pulls off a super Hail Mary but it's basically impossible. He really needs to win every state by about 40% now.  Last night he made up for losing Guam so a win meant nothing except he fell further behind.

Remember when I guaranteed Trump would not win?  Yea - FAIL!!!   Luckily the general election demographics is nothing like the Republican Primary demographics.  now he has to deal with a LOT more woman and a LOT more Latinos and both are not real pleased with him.  Do not believe any of the predictions for the General Election as they are meaningless at this point.


According to a CNN/ORC poll  57% of Americans DO NOT AGREE with legislation mandating which bathrooms transgender people may use. Do people know what "transgender" actually means?  It means you are no longer what you were and now have literally switched sides.


63% of Americans believe in UFOs


Di you know that Egyptians used honey to kill bacteria on wounds as a disinfectant?  Yea - I know know honey is awesome on mosquito bites but nothing can grow when covered with honey.


You know that photo of Trump eating out of a Taco bowl for Cinco De Mayo?  Where is his wedding ring ?????


Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Well - I have nothing to say.

I guess there was some confusion about the Cubs in my last post.  I was not talking about ACTUAL wins and losses but runs scores and runs given up.  Looking at those two numbers is a very good predictor on how good a team actually is.

Nate Silver has his ELO ratings which are sort of like Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA ratings and according to ELO the 1939 NY Yankees were the best team ever to play followed by the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

BUT - what was the best Milwaukee Brewer team ever?  Yup - the 1982 Brewers which was the 246th best team ever.

The worst team ever?  The 1904 Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) followed by the 2003 Detroit Tigers.

If you are driving around check out the Water Tower wall. The sedium are looking good for less then one year old!!  We're going to put a streak of color in the wall at some point.


I've been getting some emails asking about assessments - there has been no meeting scheduled yet to go over what will happen so no news is no news.


McKinny Texas where I have relatives approved a $68 MILLION High School football stadium that will seat 12,000. Seems a little over the top to me!


Some cool bike things next week


It will go un noticed by many but the transportation industry is about to get chaotic with the new Panama Canal about to open in June which will allow MUCH larger ships to pass through.  This will change a LOT of things in America with different ports getting much more cargo.  

Now ships that can haul 18,000 containers will be able to pass through the canal.


Drones - I hate them, loud and obnoxious and pretty much annoying. Last year there were 6 million drones sold.  Industry experts say by 2020 there will be 22 million sold.  FREAKING GREAT!  I know if I ever see one above me I'll do what I can to knock it down, as a sport!


Well - I just wanted to post SOMETHING so people did not think I had died or anything!

Carry on

Friday, May 6, 2016

USS Indianapolis - Trailer

We are so freaking lucky to live in America and I am so tired of people complaining about how we need to "fix" things.

On Viceland (DIRECT TV 271) there is a show called State of Undress that investigates fashion and culture around the world.  The female reporter was in Venezuela.  OMG - that is a messed up country.

One out or five citizens of Venezuela has had some sort of plastic surgery yet their economy is so messed up lines start forming at 4AM and you wait 5 hours to MAYBE get a few common goods in the murder capitol of the world.  A typical store will have 10 different items to sell.

The reporter had to be in a caravan of five bullet proof cars there are so many kidnappings. SADLY she reported that she was having her period and it took 3 days and black market to get one package of tampons for $45.  YET - you need beauty products? not a problem.  I think they said 20% of a woman's income will be spent on beauty products.

That network of investigated reporting has some outstanding shows and all the reporters are very good at what they do and relate their findings to the viewers in a way that makes you want to be their friend.


HERE IT IS.  One of the three big USS Indy presentations is out.

USS Indianapolis: The Legacy where my father in law is interviewed is out but not for wide release yet I guess.

The HBO series is still in the works but last night the trailer for USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage was released.

INTENSE - The night before Mel was sleeping on that crate that contained parts to the A-Bomb. The night of the sinking he was topside because below deck it was 130 degrees,  when the first torpedo hit he was blown into the water.  Since they started filming the movie six survivors have passed away and only 25 are left.



It's been a tough few weeks being a Council members.  It seems everybody wants roads and infrastructure but no one wants to pay for them and believe they are paying the entire cost.  Actually residents pay about 10% and we are actually giving them a deal as MOST cities you also pay for 1/3 of the street.  Then we hear all sorts of false claims at how expensive Columbus is. Such as it is more expensive to live here then Sun Prairie. WHAT?

You really can not compare a city of 5,000 to a city of 30,000+?  Our mill rate is a dime more then SP and lets see how we compare when they build ANOTHER mammoth $20 million dollar high school as the one they have is overflowing - LIKE OUR SCHOOLS.

If you want to make Columbus better and grow our tax base to lower the levy? - BUILD A DAMN SCHOOL!  It's embarrassing.

Anyway - Water and Light had some numbers to compare because it's been six years since we had a small rate increase.

Comparing "like" systems (soft water, iron filtering) based on 500 cubic feet of water in a household we pay:

Columbus $58.00
Hartford $59.06
Hustisford $100.54
Waupon $68.16
Fond du lac $61.78
Menasha $57.00
Two Rivers $51.85

We could be 7% cheaper if we did not soften the water which is a topic for conversation with a new well being needed in the near future as Well #,1 built after WWII has getting a little old.  Do we want to continue to have "soft" water?  I believe we have the least amount of softening right now because soft water is not the best to drink.  OR - get rid of soft water and everybody has to buy softeners.

We're talking a number of years away - don't panic.  We still need to find a place for a new well.   Our water is from way way up north and a thousand years old as our wells are 700 feet down.  We have OLD but very good (and very rich in iron) water.

here are some random shots of Well #2 & 3.

On the electric side, based on 600kWh for a resident of Columbus we pay

Columbus $77.09
Brodhead $77.04
Cedarberg $76.07
Sun Prairie $68.22* rate increase this year coming for them
Lake Mills $82,17
Madison $98.53
Lodi $77.61


Then there are the Chicago Cubs who have been predicted to win 100 games this year. Seems the 100 could be on the low side as no team in history, after 24 games, has been as dominate as the Cubs have been this year.  If you look at run differential they are farther ahead of the 2nd best team as the 2nd best team is ahead of the 20th best team, and this is after losing a potential 30 HR player to a season ending injury.

The Cubs not only have the highest scoring team in the Majors but they have given up the fewest runs also.


The NY City Council voted to have a 5 cent fee for all plastic bags in grocery stores.


It's been 159 years since the last BIG ONE on the southern section of the  San Andreas fault (also called Obama's fault by the Republicans) and it's getting people who worry about such things a little worried/  As one Green Packer Coach once said "It Is Time".


Sheldon Silver, former New York Assembly speaker, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in a corruption case. Six of the last seven New York state legislative majority leaders have been convicted on criminal charges. maybe someone should look into this . .wait - I guess they have.


32 people have been kidnapped by pirates this year compared to 15 all of last year.  You won't catch me on a boar on the Crawfish river.


New York City sent 1,000,000 condoms to Puerto Rico to fight the Zika virus. WHAT ARE THOSE MOSQUITOES BITING!!!   This reminds me. In WWII America sent 1 million condoms to the Russian army they used them for guns. But they stamped all of them with EXTRA SMALL.

Those crazy Americans.


Have a great weekend. Good weather. Except for today (81) and Monday (61) we should be in the mid to upper 60s for the next 10 days with widely scattered rain between the sun on most days.    

Monday, May 2, 2016

Viceland - Omega High and Woodruff

A moment

DJ and Baylee taking a break.

Welcome back Omega High! 

Wherever you are in America today, the weather you have today is what you will have for the next week, except a little warmer if you are in nice weather or a little wetter if you are in poor weather.  

Except for Wednesday. A little cold front will zoom through and then it gets really nice for the weekend.


Elwood and I worked a little on the water tower wall Saturday filling in more dirt and planting a few more sediums.

Then we continued working on the area under my deck when it started to rain which was all weeds 5 years ago until we found the perfect ground cover that loves shade and blocks out weeds.  

That is Lamium in front.  Three years ago we planted two fist size plants and it loves the front side that gets a little sunlight.  The back is  Woodruff which loves deep dark shade

The plants on the rocks are creeping Thyme and they have these awesome purple flowers - in the early summer. 

Then Saturday we poked holes in both groups and replanted.  That is the awesome thing about this is that once established everything is free.  The Water Tower wall is all sedium taking from our rocks beside the house.

Below - Can't even see where we cut all these in half last year to put in the water tower wall - don't look at the long grass - lawn mower is STILL getting serviced (two weeks now) - DAMN YOU ROBERTS - why don't you do small engine work anymore. 

Now the big project on the horizon is fixing the butterfly garden. The Clay Garden full of coreopsis is doing fine but a few daylilies are doing poorly like last year - I think I need to find a replacement. 


OMG - we have discovered the most awesome channel on DIRECT TV - Viceland. (271ish?) Operating under the creative direction of  Spike Jonze it has some really creative and unique shows. Lifestyle-oriented documentaries and reality series aimed towards millenials.

Seriously fascinating - last night flipping around was a series called Weediquette which explored the Cannabis culture in the middle of the Congo and the Pygmy tribes where the ONLY way to survive is to grow cannabis or literally starve.

What was interesting was they had to travel into the middle of the Congo between 48 warring groups and convince this tribe they were doing a show on cannabis (a common weed) and not looking for gold.  It got REALLY REALLY tense for a bit.

Other shows that are interesting

Flophouse—a series where Lance Bangs follows the lives of up-and-coming comedians at underground stand-up events,other shows Fuck, That's Delicious, and Huang's World—featuring Eddie Huang "exploring identity using food as an equalizer"

And more shows we saw advertised States of Undress about the fashion industry.  DJ and I decided we had to make a point to make sure we looked what was on that channel.

Watch this trailer to get an idea of what Viceland is all about



OK - nuff said for this morning.