Friday, October 28, 2016

Christmas Sleigh - EV Melotte and The Wort Hogs

Last night was Style Night for the Sun Prairie Home brew club.  German beer was the style and it was really informative.  It's not often you can try 10 different styles of German beer along with talking in depth about each one and munching on the different barley used.

Wort hog meeting 

I was one of the  three original Wort Hogs for the club and it's grown to a point where we need to look for a bigger venue.  We're different then the Madison Home Brew club who really don't talk about brewing any more.  We have a different topic each month such as water chemistry, hops utilization and so forth.  For next month we purchased 4 kits ($150 each) that will demonstrate 12 different problems with beer so we can figure out what went wrong through flavor profiling and so forth.  I can't wait!

Every 3rd month is just a social meeting.  What is nice is seeing members brewing award winning beer.  We have had three beers brewed by Mobcraft (as seen on Shark Tank) and two more brews have been available at One Barrel in Madison.  Our founding member is still working a million dollar brewery in Sun Prairie.  The problem is that there are not enough contractors to go around and estimates for construction is 40% greater then anticipated.  OUCH  This will be a brewery with a brew pub as opposed to just a brew pub.

another Wort Hog Mobcraft brew

Everyone is invited to come to the meetings which are typically the 4th Thursday of the month at The Nitty Gritty in Sun Prairie (but the 3rd Thursday in November).

OH - in case you are wondering "WORT" is what beer is before yeast is introduced to create alcohol.

If interested in the club contact me.  We will be at the Colonial Ale fest next week and almost all the big beer fests in Wisconsin.  We built a traveling 8 tap system.

In other news we have a number of Enerpac employees as Wort Hogs and it's always interesting to hear their side of things and what is going on there.  Lots of interesting tidbits from the ground troops.  Seems to be a problem getting employees with American Packaging eating up the few people Columbus has left to offer. Columbus need more people for industry.  It's a catch 22.  We need people for industry and industry to bring people.

Most employees seem to eat their lunches at the Hospital for lack of any other place near by.  Too bad Mr. Hanson can't get going on his vision out there.  He is missing the boat.  


Here is something interesting about the election.

Of all the people voting for Clinton.  57% are voting FOR Clinton and 40% are voting AGAINST Trump.  Of all the people voting for Trump  40% are voting FOR Trump and 55% are voting against Clinton.

The Clinton percentage has had a constant rise while the Trump percentage has been steady.  The Trump number (40%) is the lowest FOR percentage . . . .ever (since 1980) while the Clinton percentage (57) is pretty much on par will all winners.  Obama was 80% FOR in 2012.  Trumps 40% is lower then even Bob Dole and much lower then the Bush's.


In other news

Man Dressed as a Tree Arrested for Blocking Traffic


Bistro Racian (Italian Restaurant · Caterer · Pizza Place)  is scheduled to open November 1st in the old Mama Mia's.


Postcards - available at The Workshop - larger quantities contact me

Christmas Sleigh - EV Melotte

For most of my life I’ve carried in my mind an enchanted impression that felt like a memory.  Although I’ve always known it couldn’t be a real one.  It had to be something I’d read about in a children’s book.

Sometimes I get so involved in a book, that I feel I’ve experienced it myself.  I’ve crossed the plains in a covered wagon, survived a storm at sea in a sailing vessel, escaped from a dark, stinking prison during The French Revolution.  After reading Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, I was Chinese for three weeks.

So it was obvious that as a small child I’d read about the sleigh ride through the woods.

It was a wooden, box-like sleigh, pulled by two big horses with bells—deep toned bells—on their harness.  It was a dark night, with enough snow-light to distinguish things but not enough to see them clearly.  There was hay in the bottom of the sleigh, and around my feet and legs.  I was small.  I could just see over the wooden side.  The clop of the horses’ hooves was muffled by the snow, the bells chimed continuously, the runners made a swishing sound under me.  The air was bitey-cold even through the wooly scarf that covered my face up to the eyes, and it smelled of snow and haymow.  We traveled a narrow white road between woods so deeply black that they must have gone back for miles.

Oh, it was beautiful.  It was enchanted.  I’ve always wished I knew what book it came from.  I’d like to read it again.

In the Christmas season of 1998, I got a letter from my older brother, Wayne.  He left home shortly after I did, and has lived in Ohio for fifty years.

When a man walks away from everything he knows and remembers and avoids thinking about any of it, he tends to forget.  Wayne has blocked out almost all of his childhood.  Recently I asked him a question about the interior of our Goodrich house, and he couldn’t even remember where his bedroom was.

In his letter he said that he had just been to a Christmas program at his church, and at the end everybody, performers and audience, stood and sang “Silent Night.”  He said he was suddenly flooded with such an intense recall of a moment of his childhood that his knees almost buckled.

He was in the yard at Washington School, on a still cold night, standing beside the horses that had pulled the sleigh that had brought us to the Christmas program.  The horses wore bells that sounded with every move of hoof or head.  They were covered with blankets.  Their breath rose in frosty clouds.  The windows of the school were brightly lighted and there was a murmur of voices from inside.  Wayne was worried for the horses.  He was afraid they’d be cold, waiting outside while we were all warm inside.

Wayne wondered if I had been old enough to remember the year we all rode to the Christmas program in Emil Lemke’s sleigh.

It happened.  That enchanted fragment of memory is real.


Columbus had 2.52 inches of rain in that last storm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


My world came crashing down 45 minutes before our first budget meeting yesterday.  All of a sudden I did not have administrated rights to by desktop computer and could not log in.  I did have another user I could log in as so I had access to my hard drive but none of my applications.  My head was spinning. I world was crumbling.

This all came from WordPress issues a few days ago when I did not have administrated rights to some files I downloaded . . .even though I was logged in as administrator.  I was messing around and it SEEMS I entered a new password.

I don't know about you but I have 4 or 5 main passwords with different variations on the theme.  I tried every combination and none were working.  I googled the problem and as a last resort called Geek World who are REALLY good at just wiping your computer and starting over (seriously, what a useless group they are for problems, don't even bother calling them).

During a break in the budget meetings last night I did see there were a bunch of ways to get into my computer (not as hard as it seems I guess) but as I was driving home I remembered the slightly more unique password and my life got SO MUCH brighter.


And just so you know.  The Columbus voting machines are not hooked up to the internet so the Russians won't change your vote.  In fact when you vote this year we will have a new machine, The DS200 along with a new handicap accessible vote scanner/tabulator AND . . . . I VOTED stickers.

Make sure you ask for a sticker or I will catch some flak for wasting precious budget money on those stickers!   I hope they got forever stickers and not I VOTED 2016 stickers  :-) And thanks to Alderman Traxler for carrying the sticker torch after I got smacked down violently for asking for them.

OH - 300 people have voted already in Columbus.

In the race Clinton  has had her most steady lead since July with a 86.1% chance of winning after 20,000 electoral simulations and the Democrats have widened their Senate lead chances to a 73% chance of taking the Senate.

In the lawsuit race The Donald is winning 20 to 17.  He has 20 lawsuits against people and is being sued 17 times.  In his lifetime The Donald has had 4,095 lawsuits against him.


Fanduel / Poker

Elwood has finally realized that there is no RIGHT answer when playing Fanduel. He is a perfectionist which is a character flaw.  It's why he gave up golf and so many other things.  If he can not be perfect, why bother. If he does not win it must mean he is a loser.  Well, I felt if I could get him interested in fanduel his rainman style brain might have insights us mare mortals might not see.

The last three weeks have been wonderful and he even said that now he understands there is no RIGHT answer.  He is obsessing over it.  VICTORY!!!

He was a great online poker player (much better then I) because it was all math.  But he was always a bad beat away from losing his temper when he would do everything right and lose.  SO - he stopped playing the game.  Between the two of us we would play 10,000 hands of poker a week.  The two of us played 40 hours a week, 4 tables at once and 60 hands per hour per table . . . until the government put a stop to that and froze our assets overseas where we could not get to it . . .  WHICH was the exact time we were going to use those assets to build a house in Columbus**.

Little did I know we were moving into poker central in Columbus as a friend a few doors down plays in the World Series of Poker in  Las Vegas.  I would be HORRIBLE at brick and mortar poker - too many tells.  

ANYWAY - I only got on that tangent because the last vestige of poker went away as Bovada got out of the Poker business. Basically the last BIG online poker site for Americans.

** We were 2 weeks away from having to decide if we could move to Columbus or stay in Madison.  Our house on Anniversary Lane had been for sale for 8 months and the house in Columbus was almost built. We could not afford 2 houses.

Then a couple liked out Madison house but also liked another house. They could not decide so they literally had a coin flip.  We won.

Life as so many random events you can never see coming.


The Workshop now has a bunch of my postcards if you are looking and one would make a great Christmas card.  Only $1 each.

I can even put a happy Merry Christmas on them - Takes about 10 days if you want to order a bunch.  Just putting it out there.


A few nights ago I was driving to Pic-N-Save and there was heavy smoke.  But as I was investigating it was only farmers working the fields.  Would have been some GREAT photos but NOOOOOO  I did not have my camera and tripod.  It was something like this but way way cooler with still air.



As a child, no pets were allowed.  As an adult, my family has always had at least one pet on the premises, sometimes we’ve had several.  They’ve almost all been favorites while we had them.

Let me instead tell you of one that was not a favorite.

It was about 1960, and we were over populated with pets.  We had three cats, a dog, a canary, a turtle, and an aquarium of fish.  At that time a carnival came to Jones Park (Fort Atkinson), and a friend of my older son won a tiny yellow duckling in a brown paper bag.  Knowing he’d never be allowed to keep it, he handed the bag over to my younger, five-year-old son, saying “Here.  This is for you.”

Rod was enchanted.  He named it “Cracker” and brought it home with his face incandescent with joy.  Hey what would you have done?  We kept it.

Cracker rapidly outgrew his box in the kitchen, his cage on the porch, his pen in the backyard and the tolerance of his adoptive family.  He chased dogs, cats, visitors and the mailman out of the yard.  He harassed our children.  He pursued innocent and unsuspecting passers-by down the block and bit at the backs of their legs.  He was impossible, but what does one do with a full-grown Peking drake?  There were plenty of times we would have said “we could kill him” but we could never have done it.  Once he had been a cute little pet—

My husband knew a farmer named Dudzek, who said he would take him, and no, he wouldn’t serve him up for Sunday dinner.  We handed him over gladly and our only concern was that we’d probably get him back within a week.

We misjudged Cracker.  The farm was his natural element.  He took over a whole flock of sheep by pulling a few beakfulls if wool out of the ram, and when he wasn’t happily leading the flock--and keeping them properly together--he was an active and effective watch duck.  He often spent a lazy day riding around the back of a sheep, he learned to climb ladders, he helped herd the cows.

Eventually he went to the Jefferson County Fair and came home with a blue ribbon.

All of which we heard about in detail from his delighted new family, and which we found it easy to take pleasure and pride in, now that he lived several miles away.  After all, we had raised him.

--EV Melotte


One last thing about Elwood - Even I forget what it means to be REALLY poor.  A few weeks ago I gave him a cast off small skillet that was getting dinged up and losing it's Teflon.

Sunday he said - "that skillet has changed my eating it's so AWESOME". I guess all he had was a big skillet which is not good for his newest food find . . .eggs. "I can eat 3 or 4 perfect cooked eggs, they are so much better".   Eggs are so cheap, I can have 4 and it only costs me a dollar!!".

19 hours a week at $9 an hour you really have to look for ways to save.   Even I forget that being poor means it's better to walk 5 miles to work every day instead of spending money on a bus.


Good amount of cold rain coming the next few days!


Upstairs about City Hall.

Friday, October 21, 2016

How Mom Met Dad - EV Melotte

Well, at least we know that the Packers can beat a high school team. I shouldn't say that as there really are 10 teams worse the the Bears . . .but then again they are not using their back up back up QB.

Actually I believe at least short term Lacy going down helped the Packers start to think outside the box a little.  All I know is that the 2nd half of the game last night was one of the most entertaining halves I've seen is a while.


I've been obsessing on learning WordPress and Themes and and dealing with Hosts and cPanals and nobody can speak English when I have problems. It's been a nightmare. One of those learning experiences where you don't know what you don't know and cannot visualize what is supposed to be happening and the customer support is in India and named Fernando who SEEMS to work 24 hours a day and only answers half the question.  

This morning I try to log into my admin and I can't because there is no record of my email address so I can't reset the password.   sigh!    Come on - I was on the site all day yesterday!!!   I contact them this morning and tell them there is no record of my email address and they say "OK we will reset your password".   sigh



It all started on a Saturday evening in October 1945, at a dance.  I was there with a young man named Bill.  I was seventeen.  At about 9:00 o’clock, Bill said “Evie I’d like you to meet my cousin, Dev Melotte.”  I turned and saw my husband.  I’m not speaking of a decision made, or love at first sight, or anything romantic.  It was a prosaic recognition.   I recognized him as “my husband” exactly as I would have recognized him if we had been married for ever and he had just come back into the room.  I knew with absolute certainty that he would be my husband, and I was only surprised to find I was going to marry a man shorter than I was.

I said “Hi,” and he said “May I have this dance?” and from then on he monopolized me the whole evening.  He claimed every dance that I would allow and cut in on every other partner.  While we danced he did his best to convince me that Bill was a good friend, but no sort of man for a young girl like me to be alone with, so I should dump Bill and let Dev escort me safely home.  When we sat out a dance  Bill was on one side of me, Dev was on the other, and it was Dev’s arm across the back of my chair.  He talked steadily, demanding all of my attention with jokes, Air Force anecdotes, compliments, nonsense, and questions.  He bought me soft drinks and snacks.  He made a date with me for lunch the following day.  Sometime during the evening he slipped his car keys to a friend and asked him to drive his car back to Fort.  That, of course, left him stranded so he had to bum a ride home with Bill and me and on the way he talked Bill into taking me home first.  When Bill walked me to my door, Dev came along.

The next day he picked me up for lunch at 11:30.  At 2:00 he asked me to marry him.  I said, “Don’t be silly, we haven’t known each other for twenty-four hours yet!”  He said “Okay, I’ll wait.”

We spent all afternoon riding around the countryside, talking and laughing.  We sat on the grass in parks, talking and laughing.  We drank chocolate malts in a little ice cream parlor, talking and laughing.  I found I was hardly stuttering at all.  I was too busy trying to keep up with the rapid-fire changes of subject, and answering questions, and laughing and when I did stutter, it didn’t seem to bother him at all.  He seemed to feel it was a rather charming idiosyncrasy, like a French accent, or a Southern drawl.

We went to the Edgewater for a late supper.  As he was nursing a last cup of coffee and I was finishing my second dessert, he looked at his watch.  He said “It’s 9:00 o’clock.  We’ve known each other for twenty-four hours.  Will you marry me?”  I looked across the table at him for a moment.  I knew I was going to marry him.  Why not acknowledge it now?  I said, “yes.”

We agreed that we wouldn’t marry until he was discharged from the Air Force and I had graduated from High School, and we were both settled in jobs and had found a place to live.  We would have a very private church ceremony with our two best friends as attendants and only the three available parents as guests.

For two more days we were together from school let-out time until midnight.  Then he went back to his base in Biloxi, Mississippi and we wrote to each other daily.

Meanwhile, the situation at my home grew steadily more turbulent.  My brother and two half-brothers had discarded all civilized controls and were the talk of the town.  They were engaged in criminal activities and the police were sure of it but had no proof yet.  My mother was so mentally disturbed as to be almost non-functional.  To protect her son, she covered for all of them, and expected me to do the same.  The police had come to my classroom to pull me out for questioning; school had been unbearable for me after that, and I’d finally dropped out.

I told Dev in my letters that it was bad, but I didn’t tell him how bad.

Dev was discharged in February of 1946.  He dropped off his luggage at his home and came directly to mine.  He spent perhaps fifteen minutes taking in the situation and then piled me into the car and drove to the Jefferson County Courthouse to see how one went about marrying a minor.

Dev’s parents objected to our plans so strongly that they refused to attend the ceremony.  My grandfather forbade the marriage and when I refused he disowned me.  My mother didn’t care one way or the other, but felt that a wedding, particularly a church wedding, was inappropriate at that time, considering all the family problems.  She certainly wouldn’t have anything to do with it, and suggested that we should go out-of-state and be married by a Justice of the Peace.

In two and half weeks we had gotten the license, found jobs, located a one-room apartment and been married in the Methodist Church in Elkhorn.

I wore a suit-dress of light blue crepe.  It had a slim skirt and a peplumed jacked closed with about thirty tiny self-covered buttons and self-fabric loops.  It was a size 4 and I had to stuff an entire pair of stockings into the cups of my size 30 AA “training” bra to give me enough  shape to make the dress hang right.  I had a corsage of a white rose and baby’s breath.  The marriage was witnessed by our attendants.  There were no guests.

I was very calm until the minister said, “Evelyn, will you take this man…” when something in my brain exploded into blind panic.  (“Oh my God what am I doing, this is for life, I’m too young---.)”  I may have made some tiny move backward, or maybe Dev just sensed the panic.  We always did walk in and out of each other’s minds as if they were adjoining rooms.  Instantly, Dev’s hand clamped around my wrist, hard, and that steadied me.  The panic left as suddenly as it had come.  The minister was saying, “…as long as you both shall live?”  I looked at Dev, and I said “I will.”

I don’t remember anything else until we were standing outside man, and wife.

Many years later I found that the best man had told the maid of honor, “I give that marriage six months.”  She had replied, “you’re an optimist.  I give it no more than six weeks.”

It lasted until death did us part, thirty-nine years later.  It wasn’t always an easy marriage, but it was never, never dull.  Often I wished it were a little duller.  Sometimes I thought how pleasant it would be to be divorced and live out my remaining years in quiet, restful dullness.  But never, not for a moment, did I ever regret marrying him.


Reading the above for me was interesting.  My first date with DJ I knew instantly that she was the woman I would marry. Without a doubt, 100% sure of it.  I waited 1 year until I asked.

DJ and I were married in Las Vegas at The Little Chapel of the West.  I remember everything of that day. Record high temp, Eddie the Limo driver and his broken down limo (with no air conditioning).

We were staying at The Rio and I remember sitting there with my new wife in one of their bars thinking how surreal it was.  I even remember the bowl of mixed nuts on the table. What a waste of brain cells. I'm sure there are more important things I have forgotten yet I remember nuts?

Marrying DJ was the best gamble of my life and I have never ever regretted this bet (there are a few gambles I HAVE regretted* LOL)

* There is one horrific bad beat where DJ said I turned white and almost fainted.  Once a long time ago there was a Bear game.  I told DJ that all the Bears had to do was kneel down on the 20 yard line and win by 9 and a very very bad nightmare day would not be SO bad.

Instead of kneeling they ran the ball up the middle, fumbled and the other team picked the ball up, ran for 80 yards for a meaningless touchdown as time expired.  The Bears still won by 2 but me and my fellow team of wagerers were left gasping for air.  This was when I and The Goddess had a 1-900 service in Football America selling picks from my Bridgejumper system.  THAT was a weird time for sure. It involved a shark asking me if I wanted to move to Haiti and help him open a casino.

Haiti?  ummmmm   no.

But I digress.

Have a great weekend


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My First Job - EV Melotte

Talked to Elwood for the first time yesterday since The Ride home.  Told him Madison had about an inch of rain and Columbus about 1/3 of an inch.  He was as unbelieving as I was.


Seems Columbus will have another brew pub.  Council (I got home at 10:45 last night) gave it's last "normal" Malt Beverage license to Dubs Brew which will go into Todd Frey's old building on 140 N. Dickason.


Bistro Racian is getting closer to opening in the old Mama Mia's place

Latest simulations for The Election have Clinton with a 88.6% chance of winning and The Senate a 73.8% chance of turning Democrat. Feingold has a 94% chance of winning in Wisconsin.  Of course now the Republicans say they will block ANYBODY Clinton chooses for Supreme Court.   sigh!


Netflix now has 86 million subscribers.  I started watching Narcos a chronicled look at the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar." on Netflix.  Sort of an eye opener on the 70s cocaine situation.


Alabama has a not completed Nuclear Power plant up for sale if anyone is interested. Maybe some evil scientist might consider it for experiments?  Only $36 million.        


My First Job - EV Melotte

I was always one of the first on the bus and almost always sat in the window seat, right side, second row back.  I could see the driver’s profile.  Morning and night, that whole summer, I never saw him change his deadpan expression.  I don’t think he liked his job much.

At Borgs I was given a hairnet to wear at all times, and warned that I was never to try to guess what top-secret item I was making, and never ever to talk about what I did.  Then I was seated at an assembly line, given a needle nose tweezers and shown how to place several minute and delicate wheels and cogs into what was obviously a tiny clockworks.  “Ah,” I thought.  “Timers for bombs.  Probably incendiary.”  I never talked about my job except to say I was on an assembly line.  “Oh,” people said, “Timers for incendiary bombs.”  So much for secrecy.

We all hated hairnets, but I put mine on as I entered the building, and didn’t take it off until I left it.  I was very obedient in those days.  Many of the younger women only put them on when the forewoman ordered them to, and pulled them off as soon as she walked away.  One day a young woman whose long beautiful hair I had much admired got her hair caught in the spinning shaft of her machine.  It was way across the big room from me, but we all heard the screams and saw the commotion over there.  I heard later that she’s lost a couple inches of her scalp.  I expect it was exaggerated, but I never saw her again.

It was on that assembly line that I first discovered that I was far-sighted.  By the end of each day we all had headaches, but everybody else was leaning nose down toward the belt to focus their eyes, while I was leaning way back at arm’s length trying to focus mine.

I earned sixty cents an hour that summer.  I seem to remember that my take-home pay was just about twenty-two dollars.  Each week I had gave my mother five dollars of that for room and board, gave the coal yard ten dollars of it to pay off the family’s much overdue coal bill, put five dollars away for school clothes and supplies, and had about two dollars left for wild spending.
I don’t remember enough about that job to know how I felt about it, but I know I felt a lot of satisfaction at earning my own money, even if I didn’t keep much of it.

wo dollars.  Each week I have my mother five dollars of that for room and board, gave the coal yard ten dollars of it to pay off the family’s much overdue coal bill, put five dollars away for school clothes and supplies, and had about two dollars left for wild spending.

I don’t remember enough about that job to know how I felt about it, but I know I felt a lot of satisfaction at earning my own money, even if I didn’t keep much of it.



The last 11 touring elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus kicked off their retirement in Florida on Friday with a buffet brunch of carrots, apples, celery, loaves of bread and lots of hay. (May 6)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Worst drive ever.

I've had my drivers license for about 46 years. I would call myself a very good conservative yet aggressive driver (meaning I typically don't take chances).  I've never had a moving violation (that I can remember)  and have never been involved in an accident although I have had a few non-moving violations.

I attribute this to literally thousands and thousands of hours of driving/racing/Need for Speed/NASCAR style computer game. They have taught me to always be looking 2 steps ahead of your surroundings when driving.

Yet Saturday night will go down as one of my top three worst driving experiences in my life.

Every 2 weeks I bring Elwood up to Columbus to feed him and hang out.  We have been friends literally all my life.  During the flood in Columbus that created Grinders Island he was stuck at my house.  During the blizzard a few years ago I could not get him home and he was stuck at my house.

Saturday night we watched the Badger game and as we were packing the car with his landscaping stuff, shovels and boots and so forth there was lightning.  I looked on the radar and commented it was going to be an exciting ride to Madison.  Little did I know how exciting it would be.

As we turned onto 151 it started to rain with bright flashes of lightning.  By the time we were nearing "V" it was raining hard and I had slowed down to 60 and lightning was getting brighter.

By the time were were nearing the truck driving school I was in a line of 4 cars going 45 and having trouble seeing the road.  There a car ahead of me was helping but I was getting some serious road rage because every 5 seconds he was putting on the breaks and blinding me.  Get your freaking foot off the freaking break.

Then he slowed to the 30s and I passed him going 40mph and before I knew it I was alone and blind. I was now going about 35 and thinking about pulling over but I seriously could not see the side of the road.  Plus if I did pull over someone would just read end me thinking I was on the road.

I've always said I could drive 151 blind and here was my test.  I honestly could not see ANYTHING.

Then a scene that is burned into my brain and I will never forget.  A HUGE bolt of lightning hits in front of us, maybe a mile away, and for a brief second I see the road and we both laughed nervously.

So there were going 35 and every 5 seconds I could see a faint faint line on the right side of the road. The storm seemed to be right over 151 and we could not drive out of it.  As we neared Sun Prairie I was worried I might accidentally veer off to an exit.  I was still the only car visible as we slowly moved along.

Surly once we got past SP it would let up. I never saw one exit.  As we were going past Woodmans (I assumed) some more cars were coming onto the road but I was the fast mover at 45 now and had no idea what lane I was in.  I have never ever seen rain like this while driving.  It was literally a white out with rain.

Coming down that final hill towards Madison Elwood and I both said at the same time . . ."Where is Madison"  it was completely dark.  We both felt once we got past the interstate we could relax, go slow under the street lights . . . .but no.

Going past East Town a car on my right hit water and spun sideways.  Elwood blurted out "F*ck did you see that?"  I didn't mention that even in a Subaru none of my wheels were touching pavement at that moment.  I stayed in what I felt was the middle lane.  Going past Rockies a car on the left hit water and basically stopped.  I honestly could not see the sides of East Washington. It was worse then the highway.

Elwood lives on that motel/apartments next to Zimbrick VW so I either turn left at the Full House intersection (151&51) or turn at the next left.  I could not see ANY exit. Those two turn lanes were invisible and I was worried about hitting that middle section. All I could see were the GO lights. I could not see the side of the road to turn and had to go down to the next stoplight and I eased left hoping I would not hit the curb. It was CRAZY.  Worst driving conditioned I have seen EVER in "summer".

I got him home. What normally tales exactly 60 minutes there and back took 1:45 hours.  Going back was still a little iffy with drunk, wet and sad Badger fans.

I would have pulled over and stopped at numinous times if I would have known where the road was.

Oddly when I got home and started looking for rain reports I was underwhelmed. Only about an inch but we must have been in a 2 inch per hour rain fall the entire way.


The power outage Saturday night

 "ATC’s substation at the Academy experienced a ‘line trip and reclose’ due to the thunderstorms." 

It rebooted my weather station which was sad.

Columbus gained 24 people last year 0.4% but up 1.3% since 2014.

The DOT is in preliminary talks about replacing Hwy89 from The Kurth to Avalon in 2021. Looking at what would have to be done underground and so forth.  Don't hold your breath but at least it's penciled in for 2021 (very light pencil I bet).  


I was taking DJ to the emergency room a few years ago with a broken ankle when I stopped to take this photo of a beautiful stonewall in the rain.

Here she is when we got back.

That night I caught a very bad cold and the next day we decided to head home from vacation 4 days early.  On the way home a truck kicked up a rock and busted our windshield.

I got a lot of great photos for the one day were in Door County that year.

I actually call this one "Broken Ankle Birch" and I swear this was the photo that produced my "I'm puttin' you down COLD".

Rain is awesome for photographing fall colors.

The first day of the vacation with no rain.  One of the holes at Alpine Golf Course


Friday, October 14, 2016

HALL-O-WEEN - EV Melotte

As I was preparing this to go onto blogger I realized that I don't think that one of my favorite Columbytes, Alice Schmidt reads this blog and I bet she would love my moms writing. I'll have to figure out how to get the transcripts to her.


     As I ruminated this past week, trying to remember something interesting about a “holiday” that had no relevance whatsoever to my childhood, a thought occurred to me that I did find interesting.

     I realized that if ever I were to write my full autobiography it would have to be in at least seven separate sections.  I’ve lived in at least seven separate lives, with different surroundings, different conditions, different cultures, different casts of characters, and in each one I played a different role.

     So please forgive me if you find it boring when I say, “In Goodrich it was this and in Holway it was that and in Iowa it was thus and in Whitewater it was that other—.”  I have to do it that way.  No generalization will work.  Those four lives couldn’t have been more different if I’d moved from a farm in Wisconsin to a native village in New Zealand to a castle in Germany to a slum in Hong Kong.

     I suppose I can say that one thing that carried through all four childhood lives was the utter non-importance of Hall-o-ween.  As a “holiday” it was at most acknowledged, --as in “Hey, it’s the 31st.  Isn’t that Hall-o-ween? Yeah, I thought so,” and then ignored.

     In Goodrich, we may have had cut-out construction paper jack-o-lanterns in the school windows. I’m not sure if that’s a memory or just an adult assumption, since most present schools seem to have jack-o-lanterns in the windows in October.

     In Holway, Hall-o-ween didn’t exist.  The Amish took their religion seriously.  Any honoring of witches, goblins, ghosts or vampires would have been unthinkable.

     I can’t remember any Hall-o-ween in Iowa either.  I can’t even visualize any jack-o-lanterns in the school windows.  But then, I can’t remember any Christmas tree or valentine there either, so maybe it’s my memory at fault.

     In Whitewater we are back to acknowledging and ignoring it.  We never had Trick-or-Treaters, but that custom may have been on hold during wartime.  On the other hand, it’s a certainty that no parents in town would have ever allowed their children to come to the Granzow house.  I didn’t miss the little ghosts and goblins because I’ve never heard of Trick-or-Treat until I married Dev.  Dev and his friends called it Cabbage Night because they used to pull cabbages from the local gardens and throw them on the front porches of households who didn’t provide treats.  Sometimes they didn’t even ask for treats, because they enjoyed pulling and throwing cabbages more than getting the candy.

     There were a couple of Hall-o-weens that my brother celebrated with serious vandalism—acts far beyond the term of “malicious mischief.”  I didn’t know about those until after the fact, and except for adding more dirt to the family reputation, they didn’t concern me.

     There was one remembered Hall-o-ween incident that no one in my family was involved in—at least as far as I know—but it was novel enough to make a good story.  I was a student at the College High School at the time (Whitewater) .  This was housed in the middle section of the Old College Building, the part with the tower.  It was known as Old Main and was burned down during the student riots.  The door to the Tower Room was always kept locked, because, we were told, the stairs were rotting and unsafe.

     On November 1st, in either my Junior or Senior year, we arrived at school to hear a cow bawling her head off from the Tower.

     All first hour classes were cancelled.  We were all—College, High School and Elementary School, ordered to attend a Special Assembly in the College Auditorium.  All the school administration officials were seated on the stage.  The College Dean took the podium and assured us that all the Administration agreed that putting a cow in the Tower was a spectacular Hall-o-ween prank and would be remembered forever, and that they had all agreed that no attempt would be made to discover the perpetrators, and should they accidentally find out who did it, they guaranteed—they made a solemn and binding promise—that nobody would be in any way punished, if the perpetrators would now get that cow safely down again.  And until they did, would some kind person please see to it that the cow was fed, watered and milked as soon as possible.

     Then we all went back to classes, and soon the cow stopped bawling, and just gave a half-hearted “moo” once in a while, and the next morning she was gone.

     I’ve always pictured that cow going back to the herd and telling all the other cows about being kidnapped and held prisoner in a tower, and all the other cows saying, “yeah, yeah, that’s a great story, --but where were you, really?”

       ---EV Melotte


Ken Bone update.  Mr. Bone now as over 200,000 Twitter followers!  Good Grief.

According to Quarzt, 70% of food manufacturing marketing budgets go towards supermarkets product placement fees.  Every time you enter into a food store you are entering a very scientific test environment where they know exactly where your eyes are going to go.  For instance, Woodmans, you know that loud floor in that produce area?  That floor causes people to buy 18% more produce.

People slow down and look around more.


Aaron Rodgers has the lowest completion percentage in the NFL for starting QBs.  However - he is still a good consistent buy on fanduel.


22,240 people are employed by Donald Trump, yet only 12 have contributed more the $200 to his campaign.  The parties know everything about everybody, there are no secrets.


Australia moved 2.7 inches this year. For the 5th time they are needing to reset their official coordinates.  Watch out if you follow your GPS - you could be way off.


There is other news in the world besides The Donald - like the shooting war between the US Navy and Yeman with cruise missiles and Tomahawks flying back and forth.  But that is just a side note. Back to real news like what The Donald said this time.


Nate Silvers site now has Clinton at a 84.4% chance of winning and a 60.3% chance of the left winning the Senate.  I also heard that both parties are now eyeing the House and secretly one side is increasingly nervous about losing 30+ seats.  Of course you would have to roll double six's but all of a sudden it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tom Dooley and Ken Bone

What a wonderful few days it's been since the last blog, hurricanes, Trump, football, gallery receptions, 4 day 20 hour baseball drafts, more Trump and then Kenneth Bone . . . .

What  Kenneth Bone?  Yea, the new internet sensation, Ken Bone.  The dude with
the mustache and red sweater at the 2nd "debate" seems to have hit on something and in many polls he won the debate.  I won't go into it because I frankly don't understand it but Mr. Bone says the last 12 hours has been surreal as he has become the newest 15 minute internet sensation.  

As of this morning his red sweater has sold out on Amazon. Before the debate he had 12 Twitter followers, this morning 78,000 and growing.

OH, Ken Bone Halloween costumes are a hot hot item.  


Friday that weirdo Trump news popped up about The Donalds kind words about woman (seriously, this was tame compared to what will be coming out in the next few weeks - he called one contestant on The Apprentice the "c" word, they cut that out.) and what I found fascinating was the silence on social media.  Typically a hot bed of political spewing.  

Vin Scully would be proud.  He always said let the crowd do your talking for you. Well, Friday the crowd was silenced in a dumbfounded gobsmacked way.  In fact I don't think social media has really recovered yet for political spewing.  Let the words talk for themselves.

Note - this was written yesterday - seem social media is back in full swing this morning.  

At the moment, without the weekend factored in yet Nat Silver's site (who predicted all 50 States 4 years ago) has Clinton with a 83.6% chance of winning.  It must be hard to get above 85%.  Latest polls are in the Clinton +10% range but those are National Polls which are meaningless.  It all comes down to individual States and the Electoral Collage which is a good thing.

The Electoral Collage makes it so politicians have to campaign to ALL people.  A candidate not only needs a majority but he (or she) needs a super majority. They can't just focus on the big cities. It also empowers minorities and the poor as it gives them a stronger voice. People who are anti Electoral Collage don't understand it.   


Hurricane Matthew jogged east at the perfect time Friday morning saving Florida and all the people who refused to leave their homes can now say "I told you so". My neighbors made it to Orlando.  In fact I know of two Columbus families at Disney World this week.  


Saturday I had the "gallery" opening at The Workshop and I met a new resident of Columbus who found out about the Workshop from this blog.  Actually she was looking for information on The Kurth and started surfing my other blogs and found info about road closings and so forth.  I told her Columbus Connects on Facebook has good Columbus information and The Official City Website is updated every so often so check up on that site (although I didn't see anything about Dix Street or Avalon being closed which would have been nice).

This 3x5 foot canvas will have a home in Rome WI before the week is out.  Biggest COWS yet.  Don't those cats look 3Dish?

My baseball draft - OMG - it took so long but really for each manager it was 10 minutes a pick (30 picks (30 more to go at some point). Four days, 20 hours.  Finally getting over at midnight Saturday and 1:00 on the east coast (where 2 managers live) .

There is an excellent article called  What I learned from Strat-o-matic and what it is.  


DJ and I took a drive to the Horicon Marsh Monday to walk the floating boardwalk. Sadly the Horicon Marsh seems to be under repair as there is scant water.  According to signs they are draining the marsh to allow for more/better/natural weeds to grow which in turn will bring more vibrant wildlife.  

HOWEVER - We stopped at Tom Dooleys Orchard and purchased some amazing apple pastries!  

Here is the thing with Tom Dooley.  I used to play an according in Melotte's Melody Mixup's - parades and so forth when I was a wee lad. 

That's my dad directing.  The story goes that a Music Man came to Fort Atkinson and sold a ton of accordions to families in Fort.  Then  just like the movie The Music Man left town leaving everybody high and dry with accordians they had no idea how to play.  My dad, who it seemed did not play accordion, learned and to make money started teaching kids how to play.  It SEEMED he was a great teacher.  

Well, I had no choice but to learn to play accordion, something I rarely admit to in public because  . well,  IT'S AN ACCORDION).

So there I was, a chick magnet at the age of 4 (the magnetism seems to wear off very fast) and I would play at the equivalent of Oddtoberfests in Fort Atkinson and my song was "Tom Dooley" which is a really downer song if you ask me with lyrics like "When the sun rises tomorrow, Tom Dooley must hang"  and other fun dance lyrics like "Met her on the mountain, stabbed her with my knife".

And people wonder why I'm twisted?  LOOK AT ME - if that is not a cry for help what is!

And to be honest I'm not even sure that is me in that photo but they all say it is. I also thought I was 1/4 American Indian all my life until the Mormons (Ancestry dot com) told me I wasn't with a DNA check.



Lastly - another image from the Winter Park area that I found in my files.   

OH - Anytime Fitness now has Battle Ropes.  I have been on them since day one to get Battle Ropes for arms and shoulders and finally they got them.  awesome awesome workout!  I could barley lift a beer last night.

Not Me - and not my photo

Thursday, October 6, 2016

"If you are scared to hurt them, don't come in my barn"

For my friends heading to Orlando tomorrow. Latest forecast for Orlando. Some rain (5 to 7 inches) with sustained winds at 77 and gust to 100.  Peak should be (oddly) 4:45 which was when their plane should be landing . . . if it can.  Saturday will be the better day of the weekend and Sunday will be gorgeous.

My artist friends have said the Winter Park Art fair (just north of Orlando) has been canceled. Easy Up canopies have problems in winds nearing 75 it seems.

Speaking of art.  I will have about 21 large images up at The Workshop fir the next few months and a "Meet the Artist" "reception is being held Saturday 1 - 3 at THE WORKSHOP (insert echo).  I'll also have smaller 8x12 matted prints and smaller canvas prints.


Here are some things I bet you did not want to know about the 2016 baseball season.

This past season ranked as the 12th most Hit By Pitch per plate appearance in MLB history.

There were more Wild Pitches per game that ever.

Starting Pitchers outings lasted shorter then ever and the shear number of relief pitchers was a record high. HOWEVER, it didn't work as this year the late inning comeback made a comeback.

And lastly - say so long to bunting.   Bunting is not extinct but it's on the endangered list of valid baseball strategy's as the amount of bunts fell off a cliff.  For the past 58 years there was a bunt every 83.9 plate appearances and it's been pretty steady. This year, once every 134 plate appearances.

OH - my Expansion team draft. I now have 8 of the 30 players drafted. Long process.  There is a serious lack of 1Bs and 3Bs.  I talked about the knowledge Strat-o-matic people have about players.  Here is an example.  They know exactly how good or bad each pitcher can bunt (speaking of bunts). Talk about semi useless information rattling around in your head.


"If you are scared to hurt them, don't come in my barn"

I will no longer be quiet about the Carson and Barnes Circus that comes to Columbus every year. Their cruelty to their animals is shocking after the USDA inspected their operation last year and found MANY nightmarish things.  Remember Nina their chained elephant?  DEAD. The circus called her there "beloved family member" and the USDA found her chained to a barn and 500 pounds lighter. Their hippo also died recently, she was "found dead" on the inspection.

Their llama had "excessively overgrown hooves" and an undercover video showed their remaining elephants being hit with bullhooks and shocked with stun guns when they did not do their tricks correctly.

Does the city of Columbus condone mistreatment of animals so we can get more money?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Subliminal Lobotomy

Ever since the Presidential debate last week I've been a little silent. I believe the reason is that I witnessed was some sort of subliminal lobotomy experiment that the American Government forced on us.  I know when the "debate" was over DJ and I just sat there with our mouths open and popcorn all over ourselves as we continued to miss our mouths.

Then last night there were to two white guys yelling at each other with their indoor voices.  I did not have the opportunity to watch them and would have preferred to have a stick in my eye but luckily I had City Council.

On the election front, Clinton continues to widen her lead and now is at a 75.0% chance of winning the election according to Nate Silvers team.  Up from 54.8% on Sept 26 and 49% on July 30th.

The blue guys now have a 63.6% chance of winning the Senate and Feingold has a 94.6% chance of beating Johnson and Walker still claims he has never been convicted so therefore he is innocent.


In local news Avalon will have a slurry seal put over the road maybe TODAY?  Depends on the weather as he will have a passing front produce a quickie shower this afternoon before the main event tomorrow and the massive cool down.

Then there is that blasted stop sign near the travel center.  Seems the stop LIGHTS are on order and will be here in 2 to 4 weeks.  ummmmmm . . . did someone forget to press that last "ARE YOU SURE" button when ordering the lights?  I saw cars backed up PAST Walgreens a few days ago.

FUBR.  It will look GREAT when it's finished

NEW PIZZA - A new pizza place is about to open in the old MaMa Mia's. Bistro Racian. Rumor says the owner used to work at Cafe La Bellitalia in Madison.  Good luck. We always need more pizza.

You know the Chris Columbus statue outside of Columbus?  Many months ago we signed a contract with the DOT which stated there would be no need to move Chris during construction.  Now the DOT has come back saying "You better move that as we made a mistake - disregard that contract we signed."  Well, we can't get to it because there is private property all around it and it weights a ton (actually many tons).  "we" are looking into new places for it.

Garbage - Council heard from four waste removal companies last night as the current contract with the new guys comes to an end. All four have good and bad things which amount to about 50 double sided pages of garbage contract reading.

So along with reading 50 double sided pages of garbage I have been a obsessing on 60 double sided pages of the GABL Constitution for a baseball league that I was awarded an expansion team. I have been preparing for our expansion draft which started last night) and lasted until midnight and will continue tonight.

This is where non-sports baseball junkies can tune out.

This is a batters card for Strat-o-matic baseball game.  The game was developed in 1965 and in the Hall of Fame.  I've been playing it since 1968 but this is the first league I have been in for a few decades.  A friend of mine has been in the DELCAL league for 38 years.  Baseball junkies take the game pretty seriously.  I mean REALLY seriously (to the tune of thousands of dollars).

Just to give you a clue, a player has 3 dice, 1 red and 2 white.  The red die tells you what column to look at and if it's the pitchers card or batter.  The white dice are totaled and cross referenced to see teh result of the play.  Over the long run a players statistics will come very close to his actual real life statistics with some standard fluctuation.  Plus what ballpark a player is playing in comes into play. A home run hitter in Milwaukee, one of the top home run parks will flounder in Oakland (my ball park for the next 3 years) and all sorts of nuances on those cards. It seems simple but there are many layers.

The league that I was awarded a team tries to match real life with contracts and financials including a farm system of players not yet in the majors.  So when drafting I can't just pick the best players (of the 300 cast offs we were give to choose from) as I have to look at their salary and contracts and options and so forth.  A manager has to plan many years down the road.

ANYWAY - I was able to make 2 picks last night and my number one pick was Billy Hamilton.  This morning I'm doing some reading and he has the slowest exit speed of a batted ball in the majors. AMAZINGLY slow.  But he is so fast he can get to 1st base before the ball reaches the fielder.  Not unlike a young Carlos Gomez . . but faster.  Got him for 3 years and an option year. According to Baseball Prospectus he is one of the fastest players EVER in the MLB.

My other pick was Robbie Ray a starting pitcher from Arizona.

Nuff said - I AM alive and doing well.