Friday, April 22, 2011

God, Easter & Girls just wanna have fun.

yupperz... it's Good Friday.... then Holy Saturday.... then EASTER!
Now.... iffen I have to tell the truth... I am not a very religious person..... in fact, not at all.  Most times I would call myself and Atheist.... other times, an Agnostic (which sounds almost like a like hot drink...with brandy or something)... and when those moments approach me, that make me think that there might be a God...I am of the firm belief that he/she would mostly hang out in oak trees or summer breezes, not churches.
Anywayz..... the Easter Season means a lot to a lot of people.... some actually very nice ones, who do believe.  And good for them.  With out going on and on and on, cause what's the point, I want to relate a small comment a Presbyterian Minister once made to me.  Brad's kids and my kids both played together on their respective soccer teams and it turned out he also had an interest in good homemade beer. Now this was before I knew he was a minister, and what we would do is occasionally sneak out to the parking lot at half time during games (a forbidden thing, by club rules)  and share a beer.  During one of these occasions we got around to talking about 'what-do-you do' and he told me he was a minister. Now, I expected a bunch of Bible talk and such, and to head that off, I politely told him I really didn't believe in religion.  Well, he just handed me a bottle, looked me in the eye, and said, "I don't blame you a bit." We got along great for a couple of years before he and his wife moved to Tennessee.  I liked his attitude.  Sometimes I see folks who fervently believe in God, and they act sincere and honest and I think to myself, " I don't blame them a bit."

Anywayz. I didn't want to make a post about religion.... the idea was to just say HAPPY EASTER.        What I think, though, is that, if there is a God.... his would be the breath of laughter.  I'm adding a small video my daughter made of her trip last spring to Europe. It was a small study abroad program, only 11 students, and they were all over the place, Rome, Florence, London, Paris, Berlin.  She made it on her little 'point&shoot" camera.... but I like it a lot. Peace.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Perhaps I would not stop at the bar so much if it was a dull place full of dull people and dull beer.  Just to give an example..... Oblio's how has New Belguim's  Trippel ale....

"Our Trippel Belgian Style Ale (pronounced triple) opens with a bold blast of hops that slowly gives way to the fruity esters implied by our Belgian yeast strain. The Three Graces hand-painted on the label are Zeus’s daughters Aglaia (splendor), Euphrosyne (mirth) and Thalia (good cheer). In the Belgian tradition of brewing singles, doubles and triples, Trippel is the strongest with the longest fermentation. Remarkably smooth and complex, our bottle-conditioned Trippel is spiced with a trace of coriander."

HO.... yum.... and it goes really well while discussing CHICKENS , urban chickens with Ted.  It really is that kind of bar..... very very important things are discussed!

Well, then Joe and Hugh walk in.  Joe has just finished renovating the  1800 square feet above his wife's beauty salon across the street.  All there kids are gone and they decided that they didn't need that big house.  Well, I knew he was a handy guy, but whoa, he gave us a tour and the place is amazing!!! I wish I would have had a camera. It truly looks like something from Architectural Digest. It was just open loft space when he started... plus.... he has a handy dandy little bar just freshly stocked with Heineken.  It is stunning what Union Workers can construct!  He is thinking of adding a chicken loft out back.

Politics in Wisconsin continue to be.... ah, politics.  The Democrats in the state have successfully gathered enough signatures to force recqll elections of four Republican state Senators...very close to a fifth.  And speaking of Fifths... State Republicans have tried to do the same kind of recall of Democratic Senators.... but, for lack of interest... have had to use out-of-state workers to gavther them... and as reported in the HUFFINGTON POST... havee resorted to buyin shots of booze in exchange for signatures.  Scroll through the post... there is an audio.  That is just chicken shit!!!

.... and on another political not... here in Beautiful Downtown Wisconsin... we had a recount on a city council election.  Two candidates, after the recount.... were tied.  Dead Even. Sooooooo,,,, they did the sensible thing..... they drew cards... high card won.

They were both at the bar last night.... having a beer together.  Winner, Winner..... Chicken Dinner!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Yessirre, Bob... it snowed again last night.  Bunches.  Those big white flake thingees.  Wetter 'n all get out.  Thunder, too.
Well.... in times like that I brace myself and do the only sensible thing..... I walk the two blocks to Oblio's and have a beer!

Predictably... it wasn't very crowded, but there was nothing good on ?FOX? last night, so what the heck.
Todd, one of the owners was polishing the bar.  We go wayyyyyy  back to University days.... and we like to bring up a few old stories.... great stuff.
Used to be an old  run down bar on the south shore of Lake Butte Des Morts,  out on Reighmore Road, amongst some dumpy low-down decrepit fishing shacks and  dumpy run-down decrepit cottages that had the some of the cheapest beer around.  It was about an eight mile drive out there, but could be well worth the trip. Really cheap beer. See, if you bought Old Frank, the owner, more than a few shots of cheap,rot-gut,whiskey, he would go take a nap and let us run the bar. "youse guys take over," he would say. "leave some beer for tomorrow." We would leave the money, but it was kind of fun to be twenty and have your own bar in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.  We would call his son before we left and tell him Frank was napping.
Gees, good stuff, some of those stories.

Well, soon enough Karl from the newspaper walks in. He's one of the Editors and, seeing as the News office is only a couple of blocks from Oblio's he is prone to stop for a couple on his way home.  Plus he will tell you tomorrows news a night a head of time, so it saves you the cost of the paper, see.

Seems Governutz Walker wants to act like Governutz Synder of MI

Following the lead of Michigan GOP Governor Rick Snyder, Walker is said to be preparing a plan that would allow him to force local governments to submit to a financial stress test with an eye towards permitting the governor to take over municipalities that fail to meet with Walker’s approval.

Oh, it was such a funny story.... Todd, Karl and I, we laughed and laughed. Boy, those Republican Governors, what a funny bunch!  I really like the jokes they tell.... like, " Whatta you do with a $3 billion Dollar deficit?" "Blame it on teachers!"

Boy, that one breaks me up everytime!!

Karl said that the signatures are complete for three State Republican Senators, Dan Kapanke, Luther Olsen, and our Home Boy, Randy Hopper.  Randy is the funny guy who left his wife for a woman thirty years younger.... and lived out of district.  Seems Randy wanted to get in touch with his "people" so he held a town hall thingee.... but... it didn't quite run like you think it would

Wisconsin state Senator Randy Hopper won’t answer any questions from constituents at local events:
Several people in a crowd of about 200 displayed anger and dismay Monday night when state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, said a listening session would not involve answers from him.(…) “I’m not going to be commenting and we’re not going to take questions,” Hopper said. “I’m here to listen to you today.”
While he isn’t answering any questions, Hopper graciously sent a letter to his constituents letting them know they can submit their comments to him through more channels than just these in-person events. For example, they can also submit their comments through a phone sex chat line

Yupperz.... seems like they sent out a  mailing that had the wrong #800 number on it... and if you called the message was.... "Hey there, sexy guy..." course, if you really want to talke with Randy he is at 888-736-8720..... it was published in the paper.... so ANYONE who wants to ask a question that he would not answer at the town hall listening session can call and ask it on a answering machine that he will not listen too!
Boy.... those guys are funny!!!

OK... time to go get some coffee.  Hey, Easter is almost upon us... that's when Jesus wakes from the Dead, comes outside, sees his shadow and we get six more weeks of winter.

Don't forget to kiss your Egg Sunday!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

OK... The part where I get all weepy &shit


Sometimes yesterdays just kinda jump out you like a bear on a hiking trail and bite you in the ass.  Figuratively, of course., but that's what it feels like.  What's that line, from the Beatles song.... "Somebody spoke and I went into a dream."  I went into the basement and fell into a box.

....... of books.
See, this is how it was.
Twenty six years ago I collaborated on my first reproduction.... we called him Max. I named him after my favorite brand of coffee.  Or maybe it was after the guy who owned the Woodstock farm, Max Yasgur.  Or may it was just that it was what his mother wanted to name him.  It ain't no never mind, one way or another.

 I like to think, sometimes, when thinking does not overcome me, and my mind is sufficiently clear of intelligent thoughts, that I named him, simple and plain, after my favorite literary character.

Sounds good, anywayz.  Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.  It was the first book I bought for him.  Day two. He and his Mom (after she named him) were still in the hospital and I went out and got a copy.

In 1986, when he was born, I was a A-V technician at a Library System. (a position that is extremely obsolete now)  One of my best friends at the facility was the children's  librarian, a marvelous woman, who would show me the newest and neatest children's books.  Plus..... I would get a pretty cool discount when I bought through the library.... and, at no charge, I could get those neat-o plastic covers put on to keep them in good shape.

So when my second collaborative reproduction, Miriam, (she was named for the wife of the guy who owned the Woodstock farm, Miriam Yasgur) mentioned that she was doing illustrations for an art classes that encompassed "Children's Literature" I told her I had the box and would dig it out.

And I did. William Joyce, Steven Kellog, Chris Van Allsburg, David Wiesner.... plus all the Suess stuff.

Marvelous stuff.  I spent last night reading them.... some for the umpteenth hundreth time.

And I got these flashbacks... of the kids sucking their thumbs and listening as I read,,,, then.... so long ago.... and the shadows of the streetlights as they crept into Max's room..... and of how the moon would shine through the pine's in the backyard and into Miriam's.

I miss those moments.  Things I hadn't thought of for a while.  How fresh a child's hair smells  at bedtime after a bath..... how sometimes they will interrupt with endless questions .... how sometimes I would read aloud well after they had fallen asleep... & I wouldn't notice.  And sometimes.... when I did, how I would keep reading anyway.  How that reading instilled a peace in me and a faith that no matter how old they would grow to be, they would always be young. Hence, I could never be old. Ever.  Youth is the stuff of dreams, just remember to never stop dreaming.
............Stories....of course, if you are good at reading stories.... sooner or later you adapt a bit and get half-way decent at MAKING UP stories.  And I did a fair amount of that.  Gees, MY version of the three little pigs was complete with firetrucks, parachutes... and the wolf was named Jose, in case it is of interest.  And, in case it is of interest, I DID save Christmas, when it looked dire and that it might NOT happen.... and that dire circumstance was imminent for years... but that is all another story. I should write them down.

Now-a-days.... my favorite stories are of them...the kids.  And I will relate one.....

Just after Max's sixth birthday I took him to Washington State to visit my brother.  We threw a futon in the back of his truck, loaded up with camping gear and went touring the Olympic Mountains, the San Juan Islands and on into the Norther Cascades. It really was a delightful trip, stops at small cafes... nights sleeping in the open air, walking on Glaciers.  Max loved it and proved to be an amiable and compatible traveling buddy.
On the top of Mt Baker, though, catastrophe struck.  He popped out his first 'baby-tooth and it was hopelessly lost in the stones and pebbles and pine needles.  He was distraught.... that sucker belonged under a pillow and he was to get a quarter for it!
"Don't worry, Bubba.  When we get home we will just put a 'note' under your pillow explaining what happened and it wasn't your fault and it'll be OK.  Tooth Fairies are good about this stuff. They understand."
"You sure?"
"Absolutely.  I will help you write the note."
"Yupperz!"  And that is what we did.  I think the Fairy even offered a whole dollar compensation on that occasion,  About a week later, a small package came in the mail, addressed to Max; inside was a large plastic molar attached to a key chain and a note explaining how Uncle John went looking for his tooth and found it.
"DAD.... Uncle John found my tooth.... and he WAS RIGHT!!! Things really do grow BIG in the mountains!!!"  He is still a true believer and I still have that key chain.

So... Miriam gets the box of books... when I am done.  I think they will take care of her... as they did then...... but for now.... they are taking care of me.  If you love enough.... things do grow big in the mountains... of the heart.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Four years? 573 Posts? Elvis and Stories


I guess... maybe... it was about four years ago I started blogging.  Maybe it was before that.  I forget.  See... at the beginning I was pointed to this blog called "Fuck France".... yupperz it was just a vile Troll site at the time of rampant French bashing ... which was really stupid..... but anywayz, I am reading the comments and there was this voice on the pages... telling those idiots what idiots they were.... and the voice had this element of articulation that just couldn't be ignored.  And she had a blog.... random bits of Art, music and politics.... and there were other artists there, France, Finland, USA..... well, see, it ain't no nevermind.... but the ext thing you know... I ended up at a place called Jonestown.... oh, and were the people there, smart, and witty and interesting and I started leaving snarky comments.... and the ended up at a place in Clevelandistan Lenny's Melodiux or something and whoa, some of the same people from Jonestown were there.... go FIGURE DAT!

So the guy in Clevelandistan tells me to get my own blog.... so he can leave snarky type comments.... and he even named my blog before I even had one..... so that is how that all happend.... 573 posts ago....of which I am proud to say.... about 20 are good..  So.... it was about four years ago.... or maybe four and a half.  Who knows. &shit&whiskers, I really doan care, cause I have found so much ... and even learned a little.

oh.... and about Elvis...... I always liked him.  the Costello one.....

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