Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sidewalks, dad, TGC2

I tell ya. The most ugliest part of that drive is the high plains of Colorado.  Nebraska is fine, green lush, flat but Colorado without the mountains is the armpit of America and I'm not talking about a woman's armpit but a big, hairy, cavernous sweaty armpit.

***************************

I put the photo on the right up on Facebook on Fathers day (or close to it) and people are saying I look like my dad. 

WELL - since I think he is in his 20s there I'm taking it as a compliment that I still look like I'm in my 20s which is probably why I get carded at HyVee.

So I found a photo of me when I was 26.  




Nope - I don't see any resemblance at all.  

What I really wonder is why is my hair so short there.  WTF. Did I turn Republican?




This is me just a few years earlier in my more natural state and this is AFTER I had a haircut before a wedding.


**********************

There has been some comments about how that first block of James Street looks and how horrible the sidewalks look and I agree.  However, when we were building our house in Columbus it looks pretty hideous also. Unfinished things look bad. 


I took a walk yesterday with a person that knows a thing or two about these projects and he explained to me a few things. 

First of all this is the WORST this street will look.  Once the white curing powder washes away the black lines will disappear the actual sidewalk will look much better.  Once trees, poles and lights are installed it will go back to looking normal.  The slopes seem to be what is bothering people but no one remembers that the entire sidewalks were not flat. They all slanted towards the road.  

Now there is a flat section and then the slop part that will contain poles, lights and trees that nobody will walk on.  Another issue were the 100+ year old buildings.  Every store front has an issue with small steps or slopes and so forth.  

Remember, there use to be an oyster bar at the corner across from Sharrows which is now a basement. If the DOT takes out any small step it has to be replaced with a legal step which then would not match the building.  

That part of James Street is a nightmare for reconstruction.  You can not raise the road because there is an intersection and a highway and there are rules.   

Another thing was it looked like there were no cut outs for trees. There are. I looked and yup. they are there.

So I feel that once everything is finished it will look fine.  Yea - there are things I WISH we could have done but everything costs money.  Personally I wish we could have borrowed a crap load of money and do it right but . . . . perhaps in this I am not the most fiscally responsible person. 

I feel downtown should be like a piece of art and raising taxes to create art would be OK with me. But I'm only one person. 

****************

FUN FACT.  Did you know that all of our hotels in Columbus were booked full last week because of the US Open.  Well, the one we have was full.  BUT WAIT - there could be more hotels in the future - stay tuned. 

There is also some very big news on the horizon but I will let the REAL news cover that as I do not want to steal anyone's thunder (the newspaper and the newsmaker).  While most of the world was sleeping city council has been up to 11:00 at night the last few meetings tweaking and fixing and suggesting issues and words and things are getting pretty solid.  Again - stay tuned. 

I tell ya - there is a lot of interest in Columbus.

OH - the Cercis Brewery (140 N Dickason) was granted their liqueur license with a planned opening in October.  Cercis?  COME ON - how the heck do you pronounce that. Like Bistro Racian how do you pronounce that! (and remember it once told).  Took me a year to learn La Tolteca and before that Napoli's which I heard pronounced 3 different ways.  And don't get me started on calling a street 2 different names. Park Street "turns" into Ludington?  COME ON!  Did we have too many names so we were forced to give one street two names?   

*****

Speaking of bars - in Dawson City Yukon there is a bar that sold a shot with a human toe in it.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Those crazy Yukonions.  Well, there was a penalty for swallowing that toe and some guy took the shot, swallowed the toe and slapped down $500.

The penalty is now $2,500 but my real question is. . . . . where are the toes coming from. Should somebody look into this?

++++++

An era is coming to an end.  Along with actual golf I play the best virtual golf game on the planet and WAS on the tour.  But now that 3 year era is over as TheGolfClub1 is being replaced with TheGolfClub 2 next Tuesday.  

Seriously one of the best golf simulations out there. Not the arcade game like Rory or Tiger Woods on EA Sports.  Actual real ball dynamics and this version is suppose to be even better. Sadly everything like rankings have to start all over.   Now there will be different sets of clubs you can choose from depending on how good you are and all sorts of tweaks 

The GolfClub2          

I honestly think TGC1 has helped parts of my golf game.  Not unlike my 10,000 hours of virtual road racing in my life has help my driving skills (no moving violations in my life . . . and I'm a passive aggressive driver).

*********************

OH - I got my lawnmower back from Prairie Power Center.  6 weeks.   The front drive wheel was locked so I took it in.  After 2 weeks I called and they said the part was on back order with ZERO idea when they would get the part.

I called a week later and nope - no clue.  Well, I figured I would wait a week and just go get it unfixed.  Went on vacation and came home and oh year the mower.  I went there and asked for my mower back. They said the bill was $120.  WHAT?  It's fixed?  NO ONE CALLED ME?

Good God people get a freaking clue.   SO - I have two GREAT lawnmowers.  Know anyone that wants a self propelled front wheel lawnmower in nigh perfect condition?  $200.  It really is a good mower.   11 weeks at Prairie Power Center to get two wheels fixed.  It's about 11 years old.  Perfect engine and new wheels.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Red Rocks

Well, if you voted in the last 10 years all of your data is out there.  Seems the ultra Conservative Deep Root Analytics founded by Karl Rove and funded by the Koch Bros leaked 161 million names, address, voting records and all sorts of personal information to the masses.  OOPS!

BUT BUT - what about Clinton's emails!!!

*****************

So I might have mentioned once or thrice that we had head cold's as we left for Colorado.  Once we got up to the 9500 feet area our heads were about to explode AND our noses were running which I find impossible but there it was.

Yes - we drank a ton of water and know all about that and had no problems last year. But the head cold on top of all the altitude and it was a tough and messy first few days.   However - I had an idea.  I looked it up on some websites about cannabis and sinus situations and there were a lot of positive  posts so why not have a new experience and check out a cannabis shop in Denver.

First of all I have no idea how you would get around Denver without GPS, the city of tine small
streets.  We found the #1 place in Denver (according to Leafly.com) and entered the house turned business.  Their is a waiting room with a glass window like a bank teller or better yet a motel in the bad part of Cleveland after watching in Indian game on a baseball stadium vacation a few decades ago . . . . . .  yea yea when Chris and I asked on the room rate they said "all night?  . . .the place was pretty active all night it seemed, very popular.

ANYWAY - we give them our IDs and they seem to check out so we are allowed into the living room size place where there are 30 or 40 glass jars with different cannabis strains and 4 hippie woman who I would totally date 50 years ago there to wait on us.  There are two rooms actually. One for recreational and one for medical cannabis.

They give us a quick tour and we are asking questions and smelling massive jars full of buds.

Most cannabis has a THC of 15 to 25% and a CBD of 1%.  CBD is what is measured for pain relief and THC is that part that gets you high.   DJs brother's doctor told him their was no fix for his back pain (injury) so he will just have to deal with it the rest of his life.  We asked about cannabis for that and they had a strain with 6% THC and 6% CBD that is used for chronic back pain and migraines.  We will tell his about this as they are thinking of moving to Colorado (he is a head hunter for massive size corporations).

Interestingly Colorado has had a huge huge drop in opioid addictions cases and a huge huge drop in pain pill prescriptions.  As a coincidence big pharmaceuticals have spend 100 million on an anti cannabis campaign . . . .weird.        

The shop was very very strict on laws and the budtenders explained everything including it is against the law to take cannabis over state lines.  You buy it in CO you smoke it in CO.  For out of state people the total tax is about 26% and there is actually a senior discount.

Where is that money going?

The new Colorado budget is putting 15 million into "permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing assistance for individuals with behavioral health needs, and for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness". Another $7.1 million will go toward “ending the use of jails for holding people who are experiencing a mental health crisis” by increasing access to “more appropriate services outside the criminal justice system.”

The rest goes toward schools, roads, infrastructure and all towns will get some cash to do with whatever they want. 5.6 million is going towards law enforcement grants to fight gray and black market marijuana sales. 9.7 million is for putting school nurses in ALL schools (unlike Wisconsin which is embarrassing).  

So we purchased a small amount and they put the small buds in little pill-like jars (they were really cool) and a little black bag and we walked out onto the street feeling  . . weird.

We get to the car and giggle a little and there is a car wash right there.  The car is full of bugs so for $10 we get a hand wash which is amazing.  Can't get that in Wisconsin from what I have seen.

With that surreal adventure over we drive to the Red Rocks Amphitheater.



Amazing place and is now on our bucket list for a concert.  I did not know this was SUCH a big deal place.

The first official concert was in 1906 when a world class opera vocalist performed.  The Greatfull Dead performed here 51 times.  Capacity is 9300 and has near perfect acoustics with

Cathedral Rock on the left (looking at the Stage)



And Ship Rock(?) on the left - no photos, have to wait until next year.

Rock bands were banded for 5 years after a Jethro Tull concert in 1971.  1000 people did not have tickets so they were told to go to a certain area to listen to the concert behind the hill. Well, things got out of hand on both sides and tear gas was floating onto the stage and a riot broke out.

That is the only blemish so far.  You name any national or international band and they have played there.  Awesome venue.


We had lunch and then drove back to Winter Park a mile higher then Denver.  Tried our purchase and yup!  it really did help the sinus problem.  Not 100% but good enough.

****************************

Here is a photo of Gus. Now 6 weeks old and coming home on the 29th.

Nuff said for today.

Rod





 




Monday, June 19, 2017

Just a filler photo

I have to make a art delivery to Madison this morning so no blog.

However - here is a photo of DJ with Cathedral Rock behind her taken with my phone


Friday, June 16, 2017

Back and well.

Vacations are awesome but it's always good to be home. I see we had some tree damage from a storm . . . or some people from The Cage were hanging on a branch for practice.

I hear there are some complaints about the new sidewalks downtown looking terrible and they never cut out the spots where the trees were going to go.  I'll have to wander down there and take a look.

The Emerald Ash Bore is now on Columbus.  Friends in Fort Atkinson said it was there and ash trees are coming down.  If you have an Ash tree better prepare to say good-bye.  Remember the 70s with the Elms?

OH - My brothers son Chris has qualified for the OCR World Championships.  The OCR Worlds are an extreme obstacle race - not unlike that TV show like American Ninja but a LOT harder and a lot longer (15 kilometers) AND, it's in mud.


Anyone unfamiliar with Chris he is an adventurist and has a few stories to tell include being held at gun point in some el' Presidante' county when he stumbled upon a secret government prison in the jungles. 


https://youtu.be/B35VnGTix7A
******************

So we're home and I need to go pick up my lawn mower from Prairie Power Center as they have had it for 6 weeks and not fixed it yet so that will be fun. 

It's now on my bucket list to see a concert.  Amazing place 


I'll have more on this venue in the coming week but for now a few other shots from outside the place first  

This is Denver from Red Rocks. I'll be honest with you. I thought this venue was in Arizona LOL You know, Red Rocks and all that.  My Bad.



 I wish I was a geologist to know what was going on.



The one other shot I want to share this morning was from a hike around Monarch Lake near Grandby CO.


This is one of my favorite images - if you look you can see the fishing line going off the edge of the image.   We saw a moose on that trail.

OH - health.

WOW - DJ and I both had head colds as we traveled to Winter Park, elevation about 9500 feet.  We were crushed.

The mantra is DRINK DRINK DRINK before you get to altitude.   Denver is one thing but then it's UP UP UP and your sinus's will take a hit. YEA - especially if you have a head cold.  What a nightmare for our brains.

We did not have these problems last year so it had to be the colds.  Plus - we got a double whammy.

Both of us were suffering on the way home as all of a sudden the sinus decided it was time to drain with humidity and lack of elevation.

I just thought I would have a quick blog so ya'all know we are alive.  Next week I'll mention our stop at a cannabis shop and how that all works (who knew you would get a senior discount). You can't take anything out of the state but while you are there it's all good.  Had to try it right?  They are pretty anal with rules which is a good.  

And BTW - cannabis did help with sinus issues.

Rod

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gus

We're off in the Rockies enjoying the last stages of head colds at "elevation" - about 8900 feet but enough to feel it the first few days.

Near the Devils Thumb Ranch 

 Just driving around mostly the first few days as the head cold/elevation combo hit hard but we're all good now for the most part.  Cannot complain about the scenery.

Taking a road trip to Central City tomorrow. Mostly for the uniqueness but there seems to be a casino and it's the home of Poker Alice. An amazing poker player about the turn if the century. She used her looks, card counting and figuring the odds to win and would draw crowds. No poker on Sundays and she always wear the newest NY outfits.   She wore a .38 on her thigh and was not afraid to use it.

Colorado River Headwater Scenic Byway

Well - except for a new member of our family.

Meet Gus 

Mini Golden Poodle
Yea - Blake was a rescue and he had issues and needed rescuing but we went the other route this time so we're 1-1.   We put all the pups through tests to see how they responded and "Orange" as he was called zoomed to the top.  We will bring him home June 29th. 

That's about it.  It was a hot day here - 77 I think the high was but gets down to 45. (insert evil laugh). 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

PUPPY Alert

PUPPY ALERT



Since our draft pick is Saturday for puppy's and we might not be around we drove up north yesterday to finalize our puppy draft order. We went from 9th to 6th as 3 puppy's were picked.  Sadly our 1 and 3 draft choices. We found out our original order was sort of meaningless as our order changed dramatically when we could interact with the furry mounds of lovable joy.  "Orange" was not even on our radar but he became the #1 pick. and "Green" really worked it and moved up to #3. We shall see what happens.  (Their collars were colored).


I'm pretty sure there are no losers though.

****************************

When I was a wee lad of 6ish I remember my parents taking my brother and I to Florida on a vacation.  We had a pop-up camper being towed my a light blue VW Beetle. HOW! No really, how is that possible.   Pop up campers actually weight more then regular campers, in the 2700 pound range.  Rpods, for example way in the 2600 range.  A bug can't pull 2600 pounds.

And how could my brother and I stay in the back of a VW bug for thousands of miles.  I remember it breaking down and I remember my dad flashing his Masonic ring and somehow getting help and I remember my brother getting bitten by a whip tail scorpion and my mom wrapping herself in moss hanging from a tree and getting eaten alive with chiggers!

It was an awesome vacation.

Mom and dad took Elwood and I to the Rockies once and I was on a vacation to NY City with neighbors during Hurricane Camille in 1969 (and Woodstock). What I remember about that one was my fascination and lack of news about the Hurricane as I was a weather geek way back then.

Elwood and I took our Rambler Sport-a-bout to the Rockies and as we were hitting the mountains the break light turned on which was a concern but it was a break light malfunction.  I also remember Elwood hurling in the mountains and hearing hurl echoes and him trying to sleep in his tent without the poles.  FAIL

That was the same vacation where we back packed in Glacier and had marmots jumping on our tent. Frightened the crap out of us as we thought it was a bear.  On the way home we were not allowed into Canada. I guess we did not look like the kind of young people Canada wanted. We had a combined $15 to get from the Canada/US border back to Madison (gas was cheep).  We made it but were a little hungry.  I literally ran out of gas the next day driving to a gas station.  

Then there was the vacation from hell to Door County where we dropped off our cat  Milo to board and also to be checked for some cancer growth and day 1 DJ breaks her ankle. That same night I came down with a really REALLY bad cold and 2 days later we pulled up stakes and headed home five days early.

On the way home I was sicker then a dog and a truck kicked up a stone and broke our front window. It was so much fun.

Well, here we go again.

Rockies.

Stay tuned.
          

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jobs jobs jobs and no one to fill them.

So I'm in two different SOM baseball leagues - I was in the International League and then a team became available in it's sister league when a manager dropped out.  I took over the team and asked if the leagues used the same constitution (about 50 pages).  I was told maybe a small difference here or there.

I played 6 games in the new league to get a jump on things before a road trip to the Rockies. WELL - seems there is one big difference - In one league you play all AWAY games so you can experience different ball parks and their uniqueness and in the NEW league you play all HOME games.   DAMN IT!  I played all the away games.  sigh  Start June over and delete all of my time saving games.

************************

Could be some interesting developments in Council tonight. Stay tuned. MAYBE some good good news for Columbus. Lots of stuff going on behind the scenes.

************************

Last night we had the pleasure of   watching the Brewers (well, that was not so much the pleasure) from the AmFam luxury suit at Miller Park.


Pretty darn nice if you have to sit through a somewhat boring game.


And the parking was do die for and I won't even go into the free food.


Thanks Mary and Jason for the invite it was really fun (except those last 2 innings).

****************************

LOL - Kelly Anne Conway said Americans need to stop listing to what Trump says and instead listen to what his staff says instead.  ummm . . . . . . . .

After Trump took to twitter and insulted the mayor of London after the terrorist attack (seems like a good thing, the UK should have insulted Giuliani after 911 I suppose) he blamed the Democrats for not approving his ambassadors.

Well - the GOP needs ZERO Democrats to approve hos nominations and in FACT (something the GOP are very loose with) there have been 117 approvals and STILL 442 of very important positions have yet to even be looked at.  The bottleneck comes from Trumps brain.

****************************

Heading north tomorrow to look at puppies tomorrow. We have the 9th draft pick (out of 16) Saturday but will need to make a list of our top 9 tomorrow.  We have the beauty part all listed but tomorrow will do the social tests to finalize the list.  The last time we saw them they were just puddles of sleeping fur balls.

RIGHT NOW - this one is the top of the list

SADLY - this one seems to be channeling his inner Donald Trump - poor baby :-(


Of course they will change a LOT in the next 3 weeks.  Once we choose we can pick him up the last week of June when our lives become topsy turvy.  Luckily we have the electric fence in place but that is a love hate thing.

***************************

The economy - right now (It's D-DAY BTW) America has a record number of job openings - never in history has there been so many unfulfilled jobs   6.04 million positions are needed to be filled.  Jobs jobs jobs and no one to fill them.

*****************************

See ya

Monday, June 5, 2017

Trying to catch up

Geez - it has been REALLY hectic the last few weeks from many stressful hospital and DR visits which so far have all turned out NOT to be horrific downers to just being really busy and this week is no different.

Weather - a GREAT 6 days coming and turning very warm by  next Sunday/Monday.  But for 6 days highs in the mid 70s and clear for the most part.

**********

I guess a few of you missed me in DeForest Saturday at the art fair.  I'm taking a year off of fairs because  . . well . . .they are a freakish amount of work and the last couple years I we have had to deal with adverse weather and seriously - it's a drag.

So I'm looking for other venues  - anybody know a restaurant looking for images for walls?  Art Fairs are great advertising and a very good money maker but  . . . . a freaking pain in the arse.

*********************

Saw something on TV this morning. They were interviewing a group of millennials in their 20s. They are so pumped for the future.  Most said there was no better time then right now to be in their 20s with such a bright future.  Odd - politicians are telling us something different like they are trying to sell doom and gloom.
 
All we hear out of the GOP is jobs jobs jobs when most agree that America is almost at full employment. Yea - there are numbers out there that suggest an extra 10% have no jobs but that is a pretty constant 10% of people that just are not that "into" working and looking.

But the thing is "jobs" now is different then 30 years ago.

30 years ago manufacturing was big with high paying jobs for "uneducated" people. Now those jobs are gone replaced with service sector jobs that pay just above minimum wage. And if you do go to school now it's 1000% more expensive so it leaves the poor out of the mix as they cannot afford school so they only have low paying service sector jobs.

It's almost like they need to raise minimum wage doesn't it?  And oddly countries and states and towns that have raised the min wage have also seen a burst in in JOBS as more people have money to spend.  

Yea - your restaurant burger my cost a quarter more but it also gives a good paying job to someone that will spend money.

The good news is the Blue Tsunami keeps rolling. There have been 15 legislative special elections since the Trump win and 13 of those have swung far left compared to their last 2 elections.  The Democrats are over performing everywhere.

I'm really not that concerned about the latest brain fart by the con-man President and the environment.  All it did was make the woman groper looks like more of a buffoon (except to his shrinking base).  The environment train is rolling. It was 100% political and only for his base. Nothing more. OH - he did mention how china is building 17 coal factories so why should America do anything. WELL - they also decommissioned 107 coal plants which seemed to not be mentioned by the GOP.

Speaking of jobs - America continued the streak of 80 straight months of job creation, thank you Obama, but there are now some warning signs.

For the first time in about 8 years the last two months have been revised DOWN and the labor force lost 400,000 people in May as baby boomers retire and earnings have level off.

Retailers cut low paying jobs for the 4th month in a row but some are saying that one reason is retailers are finding it hard to find people to work in low paying jobs.  I know 2 companies in Columbus are finding it hard to find low paying job applicants or just keeping low paid employees.

Falling unemployment rate (for the wrong reason) slow job growth, and flat participation rate all show signs that the economy can't get much better and the fed will likely raise interest rates.

No way in hell can the American economy get even close to the 3% growth needed for the GOP "stimulus"  and really . . . there is absolutely no plan for a stimulus except for a bullet point sheet of paper wish-list.  More "magic" by the GOP.

OH OH - did you see a tour of 8th graders were touring the Capitol in Washington when Paul Ryan walked by.  PHOTO OPP . . . except half of the 8th graders refused to have their photo taken with him.  BRAVO!

Seems Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were the main targets for Russian anti-Clinton fake news.  It worked, that and the GOP suppressing the vote.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, explained to Forbes Magazine shortly after the election how “Kushner’s crew was able to tap into the Republican National Committee’s data machine, and it hired targeting partners like Cambridge Analytica to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most. Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.”

People think that how you vote is a secret?  Not at all my friends. It's all science and every person has a number associated with him or her in the GOP/DNC database. They have been watching you for decades and taking notes. Every phone call from a pollster every person that knocks on your door every Facebook post is data.  They know everything about you.

*************************

10 years in the making - sitting in the backyard, drinking beer and looking at the lush foliage






 
****************************

Watched all 3 Brewers games this weekend to prepared myself for the game tonight as we travel to the big city for the game.  Two of the 3 were great games to watch . . . . until the end.  sigh.

*************************

6 years after calling comparing Obama to Hitler ESPN is bringing back Hank Williams.

************************

See ya