Thursday, January 31, 2008


I wish I knew to whom I should give credit for this story. Dad29 credits Chesterton for the analysis that reminded me of it.

The teacher said that all Literature is built on five themes; money, sex, religion, family and mystery. She offered a prize to the student who could most concisely use all five in a single story.

The winning entry read in full; "Oh, My God," cried the Banker's Daughter. "I'm pregnant! I wonder whose it is."


For John Lindsay, Ed Koch, Rudy! 9ui11iani and, with a little luck, Michael Bloomberg I offer this analysis of the political prospects of New York City mayors.

Would Ya?

If I still did it at all I surely would do it at 12 and a half.

Would you?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who Contributed Most?

Who gave the most to the Party that left them behind?

My guess is that John Edwards and Rudy 9ui11iani will be the Beautiful Losers for their respective parties. They will be the dropouts who contribute most to the platform of their paty's eventual nominee.

Edwards will leave behind an economic legacy for the Dems and Rudy! will force the GOP into an all-terror-all-the-time mode.

What do you think? Freaky Dennis? Mopey Ol'Fred? Who is the beautiful loser of 2008?

Um, Guys?

McCain isn't going to have to move to the right to woo Conservatives much longer. When we tried to tell you last November that your star was retrograde we kinda meant it.

The Republican Party won't be back to pick you up for a while. You might want to start paddling your lifeboat to the Center now.

No Other Place

I've said it before.

And the car was a hoot.

Phoenix was wonderful. The resort was pleasant.

We got out before the goofiness started.

Still and all, Dorothy was right.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Limited Edition, Huh?

That must mean, "Not Available after February 6."

The GOP must be aiming to be President of E-Bay.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Do What?!

As she scanned my boarding pass, the lady at the podium wished that I would, "Have a safe flight."

I had a couple of questions.

1) Have you been having trouble with that? Cause I can always wait for a better day.

2) Isn't that whole, "safe flight" thing your job? Why should this burden be on me now?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Request To The Children Of The Electronic Age

Simplify your freakin' life, kids.

The two twenty-somethings in front of me at the TSA line yesterday had, between them, 9 tubs and four bags to carry on. Nine tubs! Coats and laptops and sweaters and vests and DVD players and I-Pods and who-knows-what-all.

Simplify, kids!

One teener was whining to his Dad in the jetway because he couldn't bring his XBox along. He then treated the trapped multitude to a litany of all of the games he'd be missing while he escaped from January Detroit for Phoenix. Yutz!

I blame their upbringing. I really do.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Your Car Might Be The Star

Do you own a car of a vintage between 1930 and 1935? It might be a part of "Public Enemy" with Johnny Depp. From today's WSJ.
Also Thursday, State Journal A&E editor Tom Alesia got a call from
Universal 's "picture car captain" Howard Bachrach, who will be in Madison on
Sunday. He wants help getting the word out that he 's seeking up to 100 vintage
cars, trucks and buses from between 1930 and 1935 for possible inclusion in the
"My process is I show them to the director and if he approves the car
then I would contact them back," says Bachrach. "Basically, they show up with a
car, they fill out a sheet, I take a couple of pictures and they're on their
way. "
If you have such a vehicle, bring it to him Sunday between 9 a.m. and
4 p.m. outside Overture Center and the Central Library on West Mifflin
If we want Depp to come here, it will help to get your cars there on

Don't say we didn't tell you.

Speaking Of Flashes In Pans

Freaky Dennis finally saw the writing on any number of walls and has made plans to shack with Ored and Duncs at the Heartbreak Hotel.
His campaign issued a statement saying he would announce plans on Friday for
"transitioning out of the Democratic presidential primary race."

"Transitioning," here is used in the sense of "Falling flat on one's tuchus."

The Alternate Definition

The Thompson Campaign is shamelessly selling off its remainders as "Collectors Item." If they mean by that, "useless tchotchkes that will lay in a drawer until you die when your children will throw them away," then I guess they've pegged it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quote Of The Week

From John Witherspoon:

"I don't see how you people can drink wine. To me it just tastes like
Easter egg water."

The Lasting Impact Of Spit On A Griddle

It's OK to grieve but at some point you need to let it go.

Read Any Good Books Lately?

The NYT suggests (with equal-opportunity snark) that, if asked, the candidates for President should tell reporters that they've read these classics from Science Fiction. For example:

Former governor of Arkansas

Should tell reporters he’s read “By His Bootstraps,” by Robert A.
Heinlein: A hard-working man learns he will one day ascend to a position of
great power if he can just trick history into repeating itself.

Senator from New York

Should tell reporters she’s read “Dune,” by Frank Herbert: Left adrift
to wander in a desert wasteland, the scion of a deposed dynasty retakes the
family’s lost throne in thrilling and violent fashion.

Congressman from Ohio

Might also consider reading “The Running Man,” by Richard Bachman: A
desperate participant in a brutal TV contest appears to be the only person who
doesn’t realize there’s no way he can win it.

Former senator from Tennessee

Should tell reporters he’s read “Oryx and Crake,” by
: After rousing from a lengthy slumber, a mysterious hermit emerges
from his cave to pass on his religious and moral teachings to his circle of
subhuman followers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shakespearean Candidacy

A candidate will often say that he was in the race to make sure that his ideas were heard. It's a safe way to admit that there was no chance in Hell of winning but that his ego demanded that he try. Occasionally those candidates will help steer their party for better or worse.

Then, on the other hand, you get the vanity candidates. They are the fringes of any race, attracting vocal dedicated loyalists and making the rest of the country go, "Huh?" These candidates stumble along for weeks and months and have all of the impact on their parties that David and David had on music in the nineties.

Ored Dalton Thompson, he of the bastard child, the jilted high-school sweetheart, the man Nixon thought was so dumb that he'd be a help on the committee, and now of the vanity campaign has withdrawn. He'll be back in Hollywood by the end of the week, working out his next movie deal and forgotten when Charlie needs to natter against the liberals out west.

I leave you with Macbeth. "...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Second Thought

Given the lackluster performance of their Great Lethargic Hope there is a group with a new plan for the GOP Presidential nomination. They have found a candidate with better acting credentials than Fred Thompson, all the Charisma of Mike Huckabee and fewer negatives than Willard Romney.

Now the game is afoot to draft Jerry Orbach. At least he's in better health than John McCain.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ah, Well

A sad ending to an overachieving season.

Be grateful that it was so entertaining and let the soft light of memory shine until we hear once again those four magical words, "Pitchers and catchers report."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A New Distraction

Thanks to Jib I've been browsing the Library of Congress images collection on Flickr. These mostly non-copyrighted images are a fascinating slice of America.

I get goosebumps thinking about the chances that this woman worked on one of the planes that my father flew in and maintained.

Palmer, Alfred T., photographer.

Woman machinist,

Douglas Aircraft Company,

Long Beach, Calif.1942 Oct.

Well, Now. That's Odd

From FauxNews:
Georgia football legend Herschel Walker is expected to reveal in an upcoming
book that he has multiple personalities.

We know TO doesn't have multiple personalities. If he did he wouldn't have to use the one that's a dick all the time.

I Thought That This Was Made Clear In 1971

A reminder

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Dirty Hippie Heard From

"There's just no doubt in my mind — under any set of rules —
waterboarding is torture[.]"

"One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value
system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture," [...] "And
I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is — and
will always be — torture. That's a simple statement."

Which dirty hippie traitor said that? Tom Ridge, secretary of the Homeland Security Department between 2003 and 2005.

Also from the FauxNews story:
Ridge's comments come a week after a report that Director of National
Intelligence Mike McConnell said he would consider waterboarding torture if it
were used against him.

A Lot Closer To Arkansas Than I'd Care To Admit

The last line of this Gazette story is the best but there are flashes of something otherwordly throughout.

Update: Garage Fire Put Out
Edgerton and Milton firefighters have been released from the scene of a
garage and shed fire at 5729 W. Highway 59, Fulton Township.

The garage sustained heavy damage on one side and will probably be considered a total loss, said Adam Walton with the Edgerton Fire Department.

The fire started in a milk shed that was being used as a chicken coop, Walton said. The shed burned completely down.

Two vehicles were in the garage at the time, and one sustained smoke damage. The fire also melted siding on the side of the home, Walton said.

No chickens were harmed, he said.

Your House, Too?

It's been a rough couple of weeks around here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Passing Of An Odd Genius

He was proof that intelligence is not wisdom, that fame is not happiness, that a man often is not excellent at more than one thing. Bobby Fischer is dead at 64.

He was an unlikely hero in a time of softer focus.

Checking For Context

Mike Huckabee says that he, once upon a time, fried up a mess o'squirrel in a popcorn popper.

Some folks said, "Man. I ain't had a good squirrel in years."

The next generation said, "Ewww! Squirrel?"

Their kids said, "Mommy, what's a popcorn popper?"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

South Carolina Fun Facts

Richard Russell sends along Jerome's thoughts in honor of the upcoming primary election:

State Motto: “We started the CivilWar in 1861, so don’t get us pissed off again.”

The South Carolina primary is only for Republicans. It is now illegal to be a Democrat in South Carolina.

The South Carolina primaries are noted for dirty fighting. Expect John McCain to leave a flaming bag of dog poop on Mitt Romney’s front porch, ring the doorbell, and then run away.

South Carolina used to be called East Carolina , until hurricane Margaret in 1973.

Religion in South Carolina

Protestant - 47%

Catholic – 4%

Jewish – 1%

NASCAR – 48%

62% of registered Republican voters in South Carolina said they were for the return of slavery, execution by hanging, debtor prisons, and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Frank's Wild Years

Christmastime 1983, a Tom Waits classic, a Letterman interview from 25 years ago and all that hair. Damn! The 80s were bad for hair.


Relax A Little

Hey! Look! It's a Tub-o-Puppies!

Stop fighting for a minute.

Awwww. Id'n't 'at cute?

Okay. Carry on.

No More Late Nights

Sleepy Ol' Carol Owens is giving up her day job. Oshkosh is gonna get a new Rep. Babblemur wonders if one of them Ron Paulites will jump into the race or a Geen or even a Democrat.

Time will tell. Time will tell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For Those Who Would Shortchange the UW System

Knowledge is expensive, but no one can afford ignorance.

Nevada Fun Facts

Courtesy of Jerome Van Epps by way of Richard Russell:

State’s motto is “ Nevada – shaped like figure (d.) on page 87 of your High School geometry textbook.”

Ancient Nevada natives were the first humans to discover the wheel. They used it for playing roulette.

The Nevada constitution is written on the back of a cocktail napkin.

People in Wisconsin look up to Nevada and say to themselves, “Well, we may drink a lot, but at least not as much as people in Nevada .”

Area 52 in Nevada is famous for being where the government stockpiles space aliens. Less well know is Area 53 where John Edwards stockpiles toothpaste.

Nevada #1 export is hung-over broke gamblers.

Many candidates have near by bases of voter support near Nevada

Romney – Utah .

McCain – Arizona .

Thompson – Hollywood .

Kucinich – Area 52.

58% of registered voters in Nevada when asked who they would vote for said – “Hey, don’t interrupt, I think this slot machine is finally going to pay out the big one. Oh, Baby!”

South Carolina Tomorrow

Jeff's Back!!!!

And Slammer is threatening, too.

Gonna party like it's 2006 all over again.

His Policy Is, "Flat Items Only"

Rudy wouldn't sign the Packers hat.


There's plenty to criticize him for besides being a Giants fan. Plenty.

Who Was Trying In Michigan?

Willard was trying and he came in first for whatever reason. He gets the fauxmentum to keep playing the game.

The War Hero was trying and got 30% of the validation. Not a bad showing for a candidate who was given up for broke just 6 weeks ago.

The Preacherman was trying and couldn't find his base in Michigan. That wasn't surprising and he'll move on down South with no hard feelings.

Dopey outpolled Sleepy, Grumpy and Bashful in the battle of the single digits. I'm not sure that Duncan Hunter will come back for much more apathy.

The GOP moves forward with three candiates and three also-rans. The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends.

The Most Misunderstood Ordinance

A bad ordinance died an ugly death for lack of a Second. People argued against it even though they were for its intent. A motion to prolong the agony went down in flames.

Once the facts were added that, at best, any referendum under the ordinance would be advisory there wasn't much hope for it at any limit.

People had a chance for their voices to be heard and decided to stay home for American Idol instead. May it rest in peace.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Maila Nurmi

You may not know her name but you knew her character. Now she's passed away at 85.

The irony hangs from frozen trees like Spanish Moss at a New Orleans funeral. Millions of teenagers in thousands of basements say, "What?"

Evansville Common Council Agenda For Tonight

Please note that the Public Hearing has been moved to the front so there won't be a long wait.

Common Council
Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI

Revised Agenda
1. Call to order

2. Roll call

3. Approval of Agenda

4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of December 11, 2007, regular meeting and to approve them as printed.

5. Citizen appearances
A. North Prairie Productions

B. SOLE Committee


D. Public Hearing: Ordinance 2007-18, Regarding Common Council Planning and Approval of Public Improvements Projects.
(1). Initial discussion by Council.
(2). Public hearing.
(3). Final discussion by Council.
(4). Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-18, Regarding Common Council Planning and Approval of Public Improvements Projects. [Sponsors: Juergens and Braunschweig].

6. Reports of Committees
A. Plan Commission Report

B. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Report
(1). Motion to approve W&L bills and authorize their payment.

(2). Motion to approve the City bills and authorize their payment.

(3). Motion to approve non-represented employee contracts and wages.

C. Public Safety Committee Report
(1). Motion to approve EMS hardship case in the amount of $733.86.

(2). Motion to approve Resolution 2008-01, Addendum C to Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Agreement.

D. Public Works Committee Report
(1). Motion to approve Resolution 2008-02, Authorizing Submittal of a State Grant Application and a Subsequent Appropriation of City Funds for a Municipal Flood Control Grant.

E. Water & Light Committee Report

F. Economic Development Committee Report

G. Redevelopment Authority Report

H. Parks and Recreation Board Report

I. Historic Preservation Commission Report

J. Fire District Report

K. Police Commission Report

7. Unfinished Business
A. Second reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2007-21, Relative to Dimensional Standards in Residential District One (R-1), Residential District Two (R-2), Residential District Three (R-3), Large Lot Urban Residential Districts (LL-R12 and LL-R15), and Rural Residential District (RR). [Sponsors: Roberts and Wyse].

B. Second reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2007-22, Relative to Speed Limits. [Sponsors: Sornson and Juergens].

C. Second reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2007-23, Rezoning Territory from Agricultural District One (A-1) and Lowland Conservancy District (C-1) to Light Industrial District (I-1) in Response to Development Application 2007-36. [Nevell property. Citizen initiated ordinance, no sponsors required].

8. Communications and Recommendations from the Mayor

9. Communications from the City Administrator
A. Motion to meet in closed session per Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) and 19.85(1)(g) to discuss agenda items 9-B, 9-C, and 9-D and to subsequently reconvene in open session.

B. Discussion on Finance Director position – hiring update. Council will meet in closed session per Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c).

C. Discussion on non-represented employee performance evaluations, contracts, and wages. Council will meet in closed session per Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c).

D. Discussion on oral and written advice concerning legal strategy. Council will meet in closed session per Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(g).

10. New Business
A. Motion(s) regarding non-represented employee contracts and wages.

B. Motion regarding former police officer Jason Grooms.

C. Motion to approve appointment of Election Inspectors for 2008-2009.

D. Motion to approve Intergovernmental Emergency Ambulance Service Contract for 2008.

11. Introduction of New Ordinances
A. First reading of Ordinance 2008-01, Relative to Compensation for Mayor and Alderpersons. [Sponsors: Cothard and Roberts].

B. First reading of Ordinance 2008-02, Amending Chapter 122 of Municipal Code Allowing the Operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. [Sponsors: Juergens and Sornson].

12. Motion to adjourn

Sandra J. Decker, Mayor

Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible.
Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hilary Wannabees

It looks as if it's okay to get emotional now. Hilary is already leading the country.

KUWAIT CITY — President Bush, who welled with tears yesterday at
Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and laughed with nuns at the hillside
where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, promised to return to the Jewish
state in May to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Mr. Bush culminated his
three-day trip to Israel, where he pushed Israelis and Palestinians to reach a
peace agreement by year's end, with "awe-inspiring" visits to holy Christian
sites in the northern city of Galilee and a somber visit to the Yad Vashem at
which he said the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz.
Avner Shalev, chairman
of the Yad Vashem's memorial and museum, said tears came to Mr. Bush's eyes twice,...

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens came to the podium last night wearing a
suede jacket and large sunglasses. Wonder if the jacket was waterproof.
Terribly Overemotional, breaking his two-week near-silence, broke down after
last night's stunning 21-17 loss to the Giants when asked about quarterback Tony
Romo's poorly-timed Mexican vacation and whether the bye-week bye-bye with
girlfriend Jessica Simpson was a factor in the upset.

The lips quivered. The voice cracked. The tears could be seen peeking
from behind the sunglasses, the droplets glistening
in the cameras' bright
"It's unfair," Owens added. "It's my teammate, my quarterback. If
you do that, man, it's unfair. We lost as a team. We lost as a team.

Let the Rushstorm begin.

Not His Vision Of Hell

Brett Davis sends along his newsletter. It would appear that Wisconsin is doing better than WMC and the Lakeside chatterers would have us believe. It would also appear that spending money to keep the UW and Tech Schools strong brings in more than it costs. You know? Like an investment in the future. From the letter:

Wisconsin Economy Continues to Grow Amidst National Concerns
As we embark upon a new year, 2008 promises to be exciting with events ranging from the presidential elections to a possible Super Bowl run by Favre and the Packers. In addition, I expect the State Assembly to accomplish a great deal in 2008 to improve our quality of life in Wisconsin.

One of the most important issues facing our families is the state of the economy. Due to the housing market slump and rising oil prices, the national economy has been in a weakened state. However, there is good news on the horizon according to a December report on the state's economy by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR).

Below is an excerpt from the report, which provides a positive outlook for 2008:
The Wisconsin economy is still expanding despite the housing market slowdown, credit crunch and high oil prices. Wisconsin personal income rose 5.3% in 2006 and is expected to maintain steady growth. Personal income is forecast to grow 5.2% in 2007 and 4.0% in 2008 as the national downturn in the housing sector continues to put pressure on the credit market and high oil prices persist. The Wisconsin economy will recover a healthy growth path expanding 4.7% in 2009 and 5.1% in 2010. Wisconsin Employment grew 0.7% in 2006, and is expected to close 2007 with annual growth of 0.5%. However, Wisconsin will add 25,200 jobs in 2008 resulting in an annual growth rate of 0.9% and is expected to grow above 1% the following two years, posting growth rates of 1.1% in 2009 and 1.3% in 2010. Wisconsin total employment grew 0.7% in 2006 and is expected to grow 0.5% in 2007.

In an effort to strengthen our economy the 2007-2009 state budget not only increased funding to the University of Wisconsin System, but also included $3 million in new funding for worker training grants. The worker training grants, which are administered by Wisconsin Technical College System, are designed to help employers with training and continuing education for their workforce. The budget also created a Dairy Manufacturing Facility Investment Tax Credit, which is designed to strengthen our state's vital dairy industry.

I look forward to working with both sides of aisle over the next year to ensure we are doing everything possible to create jobs and grow our economy.


There was a challenge from the pulpit (from the lectern, actually, but doesn't "pulpit" have a bully ring to it?) on Sunday. Sunday February 3 is the day of the Souper Bowl of Caring. Churches around the country will be taking special collections of non-perishables and money to give to a charity of their own designation.

The lay speaker challenged the congregation to get an early start by donating one dollar for every Packer point in the Giants game to that designated charity. For Evansville UMC that charity is the Ecumenical Care Closet Food Pantry.

There are a bunch of Packer fans out there who read my ramblings. I know that there are a couple of (harumph) Cowboys fans who would love nothing better than to see Favre run up the score. I'll challenge you all. I'll send a buck a point to the Care Closet. Will you match it? Will you match it if you pick your own charity?

You've got 17 meals between the time I'm writing this and game time. Think about it.

Take-Away From Saturday

Terry Whipple was the Keynote Speaker at the Business Summit on Saturday and did a fine job of energizing the crowd. Now it's up to those of us who were there to take his thoughts and make them our actions.

One point that caused a lot of buzz during the following break:
We no longer live in an economy where the large eat the small. Now it
is the fast who eat the slow.

Is your company ready to be faster than the competition?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Richard Russell sent it to me but it came off the Internets.

2008 Edition

HILLARY CLINTON: I have vast experience with chickens and, if elected, I will ensure that every chicken has the ability to cross any road it desires.

BARACK OBAMA: It was time for change.

JOHN EDWARDS: To escape exploitation.

BILL RICHARDSON: It had lots of different kinds of experience on its own side of the road and was ready for a new and bigger challenge.

DENNIS KUCINICH: I'm not sure. Let me pull out my Constitution and see what it says about chickens.

MIKE GRAVEL: It was the war. It makes everybody do crazy things.

RON PAUL: Higher prices for eggs on the other side; it's the invisible hand of the free market at work.

MITT ROMNEY: The chicken has always been on that side of the road.

MIKE HUCKABEE: What!? The chicken crossed the road? There's no way that could happen in nature. Must be a miracle! Praise Jayzuss!

JOHN McCAIN: If you've never been in captivity yourself, you can't possibly imagine what you'd do to get away.

TOM TANCREDO: It was a Mexican chicken, and it was looking for your job. And your daughter.




GEORGE W. BUSH: It was a road-crossing chicken. In other words, it was the kind of chicken that liked to cross roads. *heh heh heh*

DICK CHENEY: *blam* *blam* *blam* Oops, sorry.

The Adulation Grows

Copy-boy made good Pat McIlheran just keeps on attracting attention for his writing. Capper points to one member of the Paddy Mac Fan Club. I offer up another. What does Bill Berry have to say about the little pundit who almost could? (emphasis added)
Throughout much of the last century, the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel
newspapers produced some of the finest writers on conservation, the environment
and outdoors anywhere in the world. The list is long and reads like a roll call
from a journalism hall of fame. It includes Russell Lynch (the nation's first
full-time conservation writer at a newspaper), Mel Ellis, Madison's Bill Stokes,
Don Johnson, Whitney Gould, Gordon MacQuarrie and Jay Reed. Sometimes they were the first people to tell Wisconsin residents, the nation and the world about
matters of great importance. They wrote about these topics and helped make
positive change possible for their efforts.

But these days we also get flip bar talk on important issues. Maybe
it's viewed as entertainment. It's sure not reasonable commentary. Columnist
Patrick McIlheren offered up a heaping scoop of horse crap the other day in a
column that provided definitions of key terms heading into the election
I'll give the guy marks for being occasionally funny, kind of like the
loudmouth at the end of the bar
can be, but only for a little while before
becoming unbearable. Journal Communications is already well-represented in the
right-wing radio blab niche, and now the company has some in print. The nice
thing about print is it doesn't float off into thin air. It's there for

...some of that might even be funny if the guy wasn't so off base and
writing for the state's largest newspaper.
The wild swing he takes at sustainability is both stupid and wrong. Wisconsin people of all political stripes in communities all over the state are looking for ways to adopt sustainable practices. That's because many of these practices save money in addition to being good for the environment, ...


It's got to be tough for Pat. He knows he'll never be Charlie. He suspects he'll never be Belling. But, can you imagine being told that, "You're no Whitney Gould?"

Aim higher Paddy Mac. A man's reach should exceed his grasp.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness

John Prine will be in Whitewater in February and Nanci Griffith at the Barrymore in April.

Life is good.

Friday, January 11, 2008


In honor of Dennis York and Jack Ryan.

She didn’t say she wanted us to start seeing other people. She
said she wanted us to start watching other people.

Student Art

This came in over the transom and I thought I'd share. Rick Cole's students will be presenting the results of their work here at the Synchrotron Radiation Center. Rick is a former SRC staff member and is now a teacher at Evansville HS.

Synchrotron Radiation Center University of Wisconsin-Madison

Student Poster Session at the SRC

Students from Evansville High School will present posters on work done at the SRC. The
absorption experiments were performed using the Mark V Grasshopper beamline (043) through a remote access interface called SPECTRA.
All SRC Users and Staff are encouraged to attend. Students appreciate the interaction and
feedback they receive when presenting at the SRC.

Friday, January 11th
1:00 – 2:15 PM
SRC Conference Room
Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Apostrolypse With Fred

Somebody needs a proofreader.
The voter's what?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Windex Moment

It starts off as a typically minimalist post by Frau Bucher about Bill Clinton in New Hampshire but in the comment thread there was a spit-take moment.
cathy44exchil said...
Did your husband think
about the job that opened at the Department of Justice to replace the former
Milwaukee police officer that quit? He would be perfect for the job.

I just don't see Paul Bucher giving up his cushy trial lawyering gig to go to work for AG Goodhair. Not in this world.

NH Thoughts

Not a good night for Romney or Edwards. Both needed a better showing here. Mike Gravel might want to start thinking about heading back to that lakeshore.

Senator Clinton won. Why in the world would anybody be surprised by that? This one was in her wheelhouse. She had to knock it out of the park. But, what did it do to her burn rate? Will the big bucks come flowing back now?

Kucinich outdrew Thompson by 30%. One thousand more people believe that Kooky Denny would be a better President than growly old Fred. Maybe Thompson should hire a writer or two...Oh, nevermind.

McCain's victory means exactly what? Joe Lieberman gets another losing shot at VP? Life is good.

Bill Richardson is in a rough spot. He's got to hang around long enough to figure out who will be the nominee so he knows which wagon to hitch to his star. It's a tough gig.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Chuck Norris Phenomenon

It turns out that he endorses an underpowered pickup truck, too.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Let Me Get This Straight

Affirmative Action is bad for America...unless it gets Bill Kristol a Quota Hire at the Times.

Not a good first day for Dan Quayle's ex-CoS.
So I'm going to leave it to others to argue with the column's content, such
as it is, and merely point out that the first effort of this "captivating
writer" is absolutely larded with teeth-grindingly awful cliches from top to

To Clarify

"Fog" did not cause the collisions on I-39/90 yesterday afternoon.
...was hauling soy milk to New York in the fast-moving, bumper-to-bumper
traffic when brake lights appeared through the fog. He managed to grind to a
halt but was rear-ended. "Every time you thought, 'We're finally safe,' someone
else would zoom through,"
No one had an "accident." A series of bad decisions led to multiple collisons.
State Patrol Lt. Lauri Steeber said the vehicles — some driving too fast and
following too closely — began to slam on their brakes. "Then a semi came through
and struck the stopped vehicles," Steeber said. "It had a domino effect.
Accidents are unavoidable. They are very rare.

Semitrailer driver Bekir Osmicevic, of Minnesota, whose truck hit
several cars, surveyed the scene with his arm in a sling. He said he was driving
east in the right lane when a stopped vehicle appeared in the fog. He swerved
into the left lane, his truck dragging a car into the ditch and just missing
hitting a woman exiting her vehicle, which had been in a crash, Osmicevic

"It happened so quick," he said. "I was scared." The fog was
not "new information" that could have surprised any of these

It had been present for nearly twenty four hours. The time to begin driving cautiously was long past. Stopped vehicles do not "appear in the fog." You may feel that way because you are driving too fast to see them in time.

Slow Down. The life you save may be your own.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Starting A New Year On A Clean Page

From Sen. Erpenbach's email newsletter:
Health Care: Healthy Wisconsin will be reintroduced with
improvements in the next few weeks. Meanwhile we still wait for any plan from
opponents of Healthy Wisconsin to help Wisconsinites with access to affordable
health care. I continue to be ready to sit down at the table and negotiate on
this issue.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Just For The Old Goats

You youngsters can take a break. This is for the older guys out there.

My brother got me the F-Troop Season One box set for Christmas and I've had a little time here while I'm fighting off the hoof-and-mouth (or whatever this is) to watch parts of it.

Do you guys remember Wrangler Jane? Do you remember the ga-gas you had for her? Do you remember Melody Patterson fondly through the mists of your memories?

She was 15 when that first season started. Yikes!
She had a bit part as a dancer in Bye, Bye Birdie the year before.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Belling's Advice

If you did everything "they" told you to do, if you scrimped and saved and put your money into your house and now expect that house to help finance your retirement, Mark Bellowing has some advice.

"Go run up an alley and holler, "Fish!""
While the Wall Street sharks who bought up billions of dollars worth of
subprime loans may be screaming that we are in a crisis, there are a lot of
aspects to the housing slump that are positive.
The huge run-up in housing
earlier this decade indeed fueled consumer spending but it also drove home
prices beyond the reach of a lot of Americans. The current price drop will give
the folks who missed the boom another chance to jump in.
Just take your medicine and shut up.

Caption Contest

I'll start.

"Um, okay. The autograph is neat and all that but the pizza is still gonna be 13 bucks."

A Reality Biscuit

Okay, so I won't quit my day job and start calling myself a pundit just yet. There are plenty of fools punditting all over the place, anyway.

I picked the top three Dems in Iowa but in reverse order and I badly misjudged the top-to-bottom spread. I misoverestimated Senator Clinton's organization. I also missed Biden and Dodd dropping out before NH. In my defense, who thought Biden and Dodd were still viable in the race.

I called Huckabee/Romney but figured on 5% rather than 9. That's within my personal MOE. Paul wins a Campus precinct in Ames. The juggernaut rolls on. Giuliani pulls a sturdy 4% even after telling Iowans that they'll all die if they don't vote for him. And Mike Gravel demands a retraction from Olbermann and says he's in for the long haul. In Mike Gravelspeak that means "next Wednesday."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Predictions

As Fred has pointed out the Iowa Caucuses aren't as much about desire as they are about turnout. Taking that into consideration, here are my prognostications for tonight's folderol.

Clinton, Edwards, Obama. In that order but close enough to throw a blanket over.

Kucinich has told his supporters to go with Obama on a second ballot if they can't cover the 15% minimum. If Bill Richardson is smart enough to push his support to Clinton on the second ballot it puts her squarely in front.

UPDATE 1120: It looks
as if Richardson may try to blunt Edwards' finish by throwing support behind Obama on the second ballot.

Edwards has organization left over from 2004 that should be able to beat newcomer Obama at GOTV.

Nobody drops out until after next week. Weather is looking good for New Hampshire. Turnout should be good. Everybody stays. Everybody plays.

Huckabee makes good use of the church-lady turnout machine to beat Romney by 5%. These two are double digits beyond the field.

The next four shake out in pairs. McCain and Paul beat Giuliani and Thompson by about as much as Huckabee beats McCain.

If Thompson scores fewer than 8% he packs it up and throws his meager support to McCain. Paul makes another fund-push and trounces Giuliani in New Hampshire. Rudy packs it in next Wednesday morning and tries to burnish the image of his consultancies enough to support his lifestyle. The word "hubris" makes a comeback.

Spring Elections

Well, it got a little clearer.

The only Alder seat to be contested is a race between Incumbent Tony Wyse and former Alder Karen Aikman.

Mason Braunschweig and John Sornson will run unoppposed in their districts as will former Mayor Janis Ringhand who is running for the 2nd District seat being vacated by Fred Juergens.

In the County races there are 8 contested races this spring including the 1st District and the 23rd District of Board Chair Richard Ott. In the 1st, which includes all of Evansville and part of Union Township Janis Ringhand and Art Phillips have both filed papers to run for the seat being vacated by Steve Eager.

From The Gazette, the School Board races:
Four candidates will seek three open seats. Incumbent Mike Larson will not
seek reelection. Incumbents Michael Pierick, 126 Grove St., Evansville, and
Dennis Hatfield, 14202 Golf Air Drive, Evansville, will run again. Newcomers
Joyce Parizo, 492 Badger Drive, Evansville, and Cathi Swanson, 4322 N. Cornfield
Drive, Evansville, also will run.
Laisssez les bon temps roullez! Let the good times roll!


Wisconsin lost a good man and a true Statesman last night.

RIP Lee Dreyfuss

Unified Field Problem Solved

For centuries scientists have looked for the single mechanism which binds all matter. Quantum Mechanics has attempted to meld gravity with electromagnetism to somehow show that there is one force holding the Universe together.

I have had a revelation and await confirmation. After that the prizes and accolades will roll in unbidden.

The Universe is held together by....(drum roll, please)....all of the sweet-and-sour sauce rinsed down the drains of the world. Just think of it. the stickiest substance known to woman being flushed willy-nilly down drains from Xian-Shan to Apalachicola. Every Chinese restaurant gives at least 2x the sauce needed to cover the half-score of pork nuggets in the carton. It's a self-replicating substance which binds everything it touches to everything else.

We one had to send a perfectly good high chair to the landfill after giving sweet-and-sour chicken to a toddler. Her crayons and bib were welded to the tray with no hope of salvation. We were luck to be able to pull her free (baby drool is 30 times more slippery than the sauce is sticky.)

Sometimes It's All About the Punctuation

Truth-telling from The Adulterer's site:

By Charlie Sykes

Unfortunately it's not another pitch for his books

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Art Phillips was out and about with nominating papers for County Supervisor on Saturday. Does this mean we'll have a contested seat?

We'll know by tomorrow. Today is the filing deadline for local School and City races as well as for County offices.

I'll Be Doodled

Look who's back. And promising to write all year.

Glad to have you around Walton.

Story Of The Year 2007


#1 We remain at war. Iraq made little political headway despite the surge. 2007 was the deadliest year for Americans in Iraq. The Dems could not find enough spine to control the debate and the purse strings. We will be paying for this debacle for decades to come and our young men and women will suffer its after-effects for the rest of their lives.

#2 The sub-prime collapse. Laissez faire market controls and predatory lending practices coupled with changes in bankruptcy laws that make it easier to walk away from a mortgage than to file on one's credit cards are still eating away at the Ownership Culture to which the President gave lip-service just a lustrum ago. This one will build as the credit crunch makes it harder to get into the home market and falling home prices make it harder to get out of it. Local governments and School Boards who have been balancing levy limits against rising valuations will be going to the referendum-well more often in the near term.

#3 Health care. This one isn't going away. As the boomers clog hospitals and hospices the cry to pay for services more creatively will become louder and harder to ignore. Health care costs already threaten to bankrupt other businesses who provide these benefits to their workers. If we can't solve this one soon we may need to reopen the Debtor's Prisons and workhouses. (Umm. Some of you struggle to tell so I'll label that as hyperbole.)


#1 The budget goes on forever and the party never ends (with apologies to RE Keen.) The failure to work together to build a budget along with the appearance of dozens of local projects after the fact show that Wisconsin needs to take a long hard look at how budgets are made. I've often said that when both sides walk away from the table with a grouchy-on then the compromise was probably fair. I'm not sure that anyone believes that of this budget. (Personal to my Senator: The grandstanding may have played in Middleton. Out here in the boondocks we know offal when we drive past it.)

#2 The rise in youth violence around the state. From Crandon to Weston to Milwaukee we've seen a troubling rise in violent youth. I have no panacea but we should start looking for causes before we start mandating cures.

#3 Sports teams outperforming expectations. The Brewers had us believing well into September. The Packers have a first round bye. The Badgers were ranked #1 for a few glorious days last Spring. It's been a good year to be a sports fan in Badgerland. In very Lutheran ways those same teams have reminded us that it is good to have a little humility as well.


#1 Downtown reopens and it is good. We still have one more year of construction to go on Madison Street but the Downtown is looking good.

#2 The biodiesel plant halt. Short -term we are fairly well insulated from loss except for some infrastructure costs already sunk. Long-term we need that tax basis to kick in. Every pearl needs a kernel. The Eastside Industrial Park needs that development to flourish.

#3 Lake Leota: Take 3. For the third time in 150 years the City is struggling with saving the lake. What will the total cost be? What would the park be without the lake? How much longer can we wait without pricing ourselves out of a fix? We seem to be mired in the "Questions" phase of the project.

Boots Of Spanish Leather

Nanci Griffith is coming to the Barrymore in April. Guess what one of my wife's Christmas presents was.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Reminder

Newton's First Law Of Motion:

If no net force acts on a particle, then it is possible to select a set of reference frames, called inertial reference frames, observed from which the particle moves without any change in velocity.

This law is often simplified into the sentence "An object will
stay at rest or continue at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force".

This means that in the absence of friction (your tires on pavement, for example) once you get your 4wd moving, the Good Lord and the Laws of Physics don't give you a glimmer of hope of stopping unless you can impart an external unbalanced force (hitting a dry patch, deeper snow, or a bridge abutment.)

Slow down.

For all you deniers out there; this one isn't just a Theory. It's the Law.