HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Guitar Road Trip down To LaCrosse

Would you buy a used guitar from this man? Before you answer no, you should know that this is Clay Riness, the guy who was mentioned in an earlier blog about my wife's sensitive nose. Clay is the Scottish madman who started chewing on the dog bone biscuits at an after hours party down in Stone City, Iowa.

Now he finally has a real job. He is the consultant in the acoustic guitar department at Dave's Guitar in LaCrosse. I went down there early this morning for two reasons: trade a guitar and buy Clay lunch.

The trip down was uneventful except I was having trouble staying awake at times behind the wheel. I hate that! Even my Norske Nook coffee fortification didn't seem to help.

I enjoyed watching Clay work with customers. He really knows his stuff and is very helpful and thorough with each customer. As soon as I played the Epiphone Elitist Texan (What great title for a guitar model: " Elitist Texan". That beast is extinct if it ever exsisted at all) I knew it was a good guitar and that I would use it more than the one I traded.

For once I got a pretty good deal, I think. I didn't have to pay anything for the Texan -- and they owed me money from my trade so I had the crew put a good quality Baggs I-Beam acoustic pick up in it while Clay and I lunched.

Clay was unable to leave his post, so I fetched from Culver's. He tells me he is bicycling a lot and eating the "right" things. He had a salad. Don't ask what I had.

I drove back, picked up my now assembled book shelves, and spent the rest of the day finishing the cleaning of the rat's nest. Oh, okay -- I played some guitar too!


Mr. Cox Not Coming. False Alarm

Just received word from my good friend Doug Cox that he won't be traveling at all very soon. He screwed up his low back and is "walking like Tim Comway's old man character."

I am suffering depression. I love my buddy, Doug. The idea that he is suffering phyical anguish is repugnant to me. It is causing me to suffer through associaiton. I have asked Doug for his pain medication.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Clean today, gone tomorrow

I spent all day, and I mean ALL DAY cleaning my way back to a somewhat normal living condition here at the office and I decided I was so damn proud of myself that I needed to show the world. Take a good look because it is just a matter of days and it will once again take on the characteristics of the inner city.
As you can see, this is a

manly dwelling as Kim wanted nothing to do with the decoration of this facility. It really has afforded me an opportunity to start collections of things that I really enjoy studying. Today I went out and bought a two shelf book case because, believe it or not, my collection of hard and soft covers need to be secured and displayed.
During the school year when Kim has to be up early my daily routine is to use the bath room over here, decide what will be for supper, get the grocery shoppng done and while I am cooking slowly throughout the day I am catching up on my computer tasks and hopefully retiring to the "music room" and working a bit on songs throughout the day.

I have found that having a place like this to go makes a lot of difference in the creative processes and I have written most of my tunes here.

That is not to say that the muse can't jump you any time, anywhere, as The wood Tick Song begn with my sitting bolt upright in our bed at the house at 3 AM with the line: "ticks are like men at a singles dance .. give 'em half a chance, they'll get in your pants" in my head and making a beeline for the kitchen and paper and a pencil.

The office has served as refuge for some of my make friends who were going through some pretty rough times and just needed a place to crash.

My two sons enjoy staying here at the office when they come to visit and guitarist Trevor LaBonte became a permanent house guest for about four months before dropping out of school and auditioning for and getting my son Jonathan's soon to be vacant position with the Barnum Circus.

Trevor went on to become lead guitar player for Texas songwriter Gary P. Nunn and had the dubious distinction of playing at one of George W's many inaugural balls this past election (and I use the term election loosely).

Just looking at these pictures brings back fond memories of "Boys Nite Inn" pizza parties with a whole office full of local musicians, pigging out.

Once I even tried putting anchovies on a pie but it didn't even slow them down!

These last two pictures are of an office room that I hadn't been able to establish beach head on until this very day. Looks pretty inviting now. Any bets as to how long I can keep it that way? Kim always tells me that if I would just put thngs away as I use them, this wouldn't happen! Why can't I learn that???
Okay. that's it. I am exhausted. And tomorrow is another day. I still have the back hall to tackle in the morning!

Get Away Girls Get Away

Behold the get-Away-Girls as they prepare for yet another summer adventure. the Get-Aways are left to right: the lovely Ms. Kim Wilson, the former secretary from Roosevelt School, Diane Campbell, the happily retired Sally Gordon and the daring and bold Cathy Hoffman.

These gals, who met because of their jobs in the wonderful field of education, formed the Get-Away-Girls a long time ago. I say a long time ago because I wasn't paying attention to the last memo.

Every year they plan a summer excursion, some exotic, others not as exotic. Last summer it was New York City. this summer its The Amana Colonies down in Iowa. (See what I mean?)

It's funny, I was just prowling through the dictionary looking up the spelling to "irascable" and I stumbled on that capitol letter to the word "Iowa" and got a chuckle out of the definition: It originally is from a Dakota Indian word "Ayuba", which literally translated is "sleepy ones", a scornful appellation and one wonders if that is why Iowa is so laid back. All this time it's been the Iowa Ditch Weed!

Having worked the glorious state as a performer from Dubuque to Sioux City, Decorah to Iowa City, I held my tongue when not asked what I would do if I was going to Iowa for vacation.

(I know the Getaways are eventually ending up in the Amana Colonies.)

I would have suggested an overnight in Iowa City, that Isle of culture in a sea of corn, and a stop in Stone City to get a real taste and feel for the hilly section of Iowa, and a whiff of Grant Wood.

I know they are hugging the Mississippi as much as possible on their way down which is good thinking as there are some magnificent views of the grand lady all the way down. I am pretty sure that The Field of Dreams outside of Dyersville is not part of the tour.

If you build it, they will go shopping.

I would, of course, be much more interested in where and what they would be eating in Iowa. The famous Iowa pork fritter, a pork loin mashed flat and then rolled in egg and bread crumbs and deep fried is required cuisine and Iowans present the definitive: golden crispy brown and uncontainable in even a steak bun.

I would also make certain to seek the hamburger joint that trumpets "In sight, must be right", Steak n' Shake". The Steak n' Shake restuarants are like stepping through a time warp and returning to the 1950's with their black and white checkered floors and broad windows.

I loved their sturdy coffee mugs so much that I purchased a dozen. That was back in the 1980's and I haven't lost one to disaster yet.

I hope that the Getaways have a lot of fun and no matter where they go, I hope they laugh a lot!

The "REV" is alive and well

Fr. John Heagle is past retirement age. So am I, but I don't see either one of us putting aside what we do.

This photo was taken while John was taking a much deserved short break from the teaching and traveling that he does, not only all over the United states but overseas as well. By investing wisely a long time ago, John now has a beach frontage property on the coast of Oregon. I have been there and I can attest to its breath taking beauty.

Although I have never been there for the occasions, John chronicles by e mail the migrations of the whales that travel up and down the coast with the seasons and he is able to see them from his front window.

I wanted to post this picture because it is so good to see him looking relaxed and fit. I posted it particularly for all the Father Heagle fans of Eau Claire. Whenever I go out in public, they ask me how he is doing. I can tell that he is sorely missed by his former parishoners at St. Pat's as well as by the many others from the area whose lives he touched.


Just taking a midfternoon break from attempting to clean this mess I call my office. I liken it to D-Day, Normandy. I have established a beach head. That means I have completely cleaned one room and I only have five to go. I may as well say four as I know there is no way I will get to the junk room in the back.

Had to take a break earlier to go out and find a small book case as my library is piling up hither, thither and yon. what I hate is no matter where you buy, you have to assemble the damn thing yourself. That would take about three hours cleaning time away from me so I finally convinced the store to assemble it for me, at a cost, and I will pick it up tomorrow.

While rummaging through my books, I came across my edition of Jane and Michael Stern's "Road Food". This particular rendition was published way back in 1992. I will have to go online and check with Amazon.com and see if there is a newer on the market as restaurants are notoriously short-lived.

It was both fun and nostalgic to leaf through its well worn pages as the book traveled with me back in the day when I was logging a lot more miles to distant gigs.

For instance, I see from notes in the margin that I made a stop at Minerva's, 301 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD and my notes tell me that lunch was not all that impressive save for the key lime pie with lemon custard which was "outrageous".'

While working the comedy club in Sioux Falls (I think it's called Stephanie's) I made several trips to tiny Tea, South Dakota, to the Tea Steak House. I had the small T-bone which was very large, along with crispy, crusty hashbrowns for a mere $11.13 total.

Years ago, on my "Eat Like Elvis Tour" with friend Gary Spaeth and my younger brother Anson, we stopped at the Belle Meade Buffet, Belle Meade Plaza, Nashville, TN. Let me tell you, this was not your Old Country Buffet! The waiters dress in formal clothes, bow ties and white gloves, and the array of foods leaves you flabbergasted: "a vista of vittles to make food lovers weep". Beautiful things to eat and all expertly prepared. Where else will you get jalepeno cornbread and superb squash casserole?

Of course, in Memphis, we hit Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous at 52 Second Street, featuring dry rubbed, charcoal broiled pork ribs served in a great atmosphere. It was my first go round with dry rubs and it was a delectable revelation.

I think one of my favorite stops was The Loveless Cafe, attached to the Loveless Motel on the highway heading west out of Nashville. I fondly recall our breakfast of eggs and country ham, slow cured and salty, fried on a griddle until its rim of fat turns translucent amber and the coral red meat gets speckled sandy brown.

And the biscuits! Oh, the biscuits! the never ending biscuits!

Of course, Wisconsin has its share of culinary treasures. There's Jack Pandl's Whitefish Bay Inn. Wisconsin fish fry with German overtones. You really should have at least one German pancake for the table.

Then there's Jessica's Drive-In Custard Stand on Layton Avenue in Milwaukee, where in addition to heavenly custard, you can get a hamburger of memorable quality.

Who can pass up The original Norske Nook in Osseo, Wisconsin, where I ALWAYS order the roast pork sandwich with mashed potatoes and pork gravy. I inhale it! Most of the time I get just a half order so I can move on to the famous pies.

While gigging in Sheboygan, I purposely hunt down Schulz's restaurant for bratwurst. Did you know that on the fourth of July the people of Sheboygan devour approximately eleven tons of brats?

If you go so Schulz's have your mindset prepared for your brat being served in patty form on a hamburger bun. You miss the nice "pop" of biting into a sausage shaped brat but on the other hand because the patties are so thin they can absorb a miximum amount of charcoal fire flavor.

If you go there, you really should try the butterflied pork chop, a well seasoned, flattened slab of pork, cooked nicely until its charred on the outside, but still plenty moist.

I don't know about you, but I have to stop writing as my saliva glands are looking for overtime pay. I gotta EAT!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Junk dealers, comedians, bullshitters

I am hired to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to do an after dinner show for a gathering of an association of Wisconsin folk that provide used automobile parts from vast yards of dead automobile hulks. Perhaps you've seen them along county roads, huge fields of tall grass and even taller fences, surrounding what's left of cars that have met ignominious deaths and who are now defended by vicious dobermans trained to leave you in need of parts should you stray into their territory.

Sometime during the predictable meal of fried chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, canned gravy and overcooked green beans, my employer leans in close to my ear and says quietly: "Whatever you do, don't call them junk dealers."
"Okay. What are they?"
"They are automobile recyclers."
I digest that with a staight face, no easy task.

Just as the lemon bars and coffee are being served, I see him, suit clad, making his way through the side entrance and up to the head table.

It's his turn to lean in, this time to the ear of my employer and I overhear him saying something about how he is a politician of some sort, and is there anyone due to speak after the dinner as he needs to speak to his constituents.

My employer points out that there is "just a comedian" so the suit announces that the comedian can wait. He will keep it short.

The employeer agrees even though I have emphasized in the contract that I will forego the cost of a room for the night if I am allowed to go on right after dinner. The message I have already overheard is passed on to me and I am somewhat peeved.

Mr. Politico launches into his "short" 40 minute presentation and keeps nervously referring to the fact that there is a comedian on the bill so he'd better be careful (ha, ha). By the fourth time he mentions me yet again, I know what my opening remarks will be.

He finishes, and because he is a very busy man, he exits the room quickly via the same door he entered. I find this disappointing in lieu of what I have to say, but, oh well.

I am introduced and I speak into the mic:

"I understand that I am not supposed to call you junk dealers. You are automobile recyclers. Gee, I guess that makes me a laughter therapist. No, actually, you are junk dealers, I am a comedian, but that guy that just left? He's a professional bullshitter."

I can only hope the suit could hear the roar of laughter as he made his way down the hall.

Dr. Richard Sauerheber Understands

I received a very intelligent and well put comment about my blog of July 28th entitled: "State department Official: "You are klling your future .."

Dr. Richard Sauerheber said:

I wrote to our Congressman, a Bush supporter when it comes to anything having to do with Iraq, because I can't sit idly by and watch what is happening to our country. We built up Hussein with weapons to counter Iran in the 80's, now here we go again only more so. The wahhabism training schools where Bin Laden was brainwashed are in Saudi Arabia--can't Bush understand this? Also it's Saudis that pour over the Iraq border with their Sunni comrades to attack our own servicemen in Anbar. Finally, Saudi Arabia is anti semitic, so the answer is don't give them sophisticated weaponry, not Bush's answer, to give them both arms support. George Washington wrote extensively against arming foreign countries, but Bush cares less about our American heritage. He's a traitor without even knowing it. I'm writing to as many congressmen as will listen to denounce and censure this moron who can't seem to keep oil interests out of his brain long enough to improve, rather than destroy, American foreign policy.
Dr. Richard Sauerheber

Thank you, Dr. Sauerheber, for lifting my spirits! Maybe if we all start writing often enough to the dolts in power, we can get them to understand that there are American people who really care about more than American Idol and their iPhones.

Thanks for writing and I encourage more dialogue!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Advanced Warning: Dougie Coming To Town

Be warned! Douglas Scott Cox is coming to town in a week or so. I feel sorry for the people who work as wait staff in restuarants. Doug makes them earn every penny of their tip.

Doug and I go back a long way together as we were at UWEC about the same time and got involved with "The Patio Playhouse", summer theatre at the Kjer, which was quite successful for many years until Wil Denson hung it up and it just sort of died.

We starred in The Odd Couple and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, to name a couple. Doug is by far the funniest physical comedian I have ever worked with. One of his idols was Jack Benny and I think Doug must have studied his every move.

However, Douglas used to drive me nuts because he never really got his lines learned by opening night. Oh, he wasn't the kind to just "go up" when he lost his line -- like a deer in the headlights -- not Doug! Rather, after just a slight hesitation, he would just make up a line and throw it to me, and with it an expression on his face that said: "Go ahead! Make something of that!"

He runs a very successful stereo component store in San Francisco. He even sold a system to Nicholas Cage at one point. My younger brother Anson and I took a trip down the coast on the Starlight Express and stayed with Doug for several days.

It is always nice to be able to stay with someone who lives in the town you have traveled to, as they know where the best restaurants are, as well as the most fun activities.

Doug has put in his order for some "Larry pizza" while he is here. That will save the wait staff somewhere from a lot of grief!


Are You Ready for Some Football??

Starting to get restless. NFL football is only 40 some days away. What a sad existence I lead, eh? I am willing to give up a perfectly beautfiul October day cooped up in front of the flat screen, watching millionaires do their thing.

Oh! I do love it so! There are already stories of drama and intrigue. Michael "Dogmeat" Vick is in the paper every day and won't be on the field. See how it goes? Last season he's flipping off the stadium crowd, now he's out of work.

They just get so damn arrogant and like to think they are above the law.

Meanwhile Randy Moss has New England fans applauding and cheering him every time he catches a pass in practice. Faithful had best keep that up during the regular season and New England better keep winning games or Mr. Moss may be bumping traffic cops in downtown Boston.

I am worried about the Packer secondary -- and even though he was a butthead show off, why did we trade away Sharper?

I am excited about our linebackers. Hawk showed a lot of promise last year, Nick Barnett is a strong tackler, and Brady Poppinga (I love that name -- that's a line-backer name) also was hitting pretty good last season.

I am really looking forward to this fall's two trips to America's Football Mecca. Every year, the amount of tail gating seems to mushroom further and further out into the Green Bay neighborhoods. Once you finally get a place to park, half the fun of going to a Packer game is the walk from the car to Lambeau.

The air is hazy with the sweet smelling smoke of barbeques. The Packer colors (spinach and mustard) are everywhere and fans are always in a great mood, usually fortified with ice cold beer, brats, hamburgers, and some even more exotic fare.

One year, I carted over on ice, a huge crown roast of pork. Funny thing is, we ended up at The Stadium View, got lost in the Bloody Marys and beer and didn't get around to roasting that beauty until we reached Tom Johnson's mom's house in Superior on Monday.

Was it good? Tom even made up a word to describe the experience, much in the style of Stephen Colbert: PORKGASM.

I'm not going to apologize for that last posting. However, dear reader, you can tell when I am up on my soap box and you can decide to purposely skip reading those. (even though it wouldn't hurt to read them.)

Just to let you know I am now ready to go out and face another day, I wanted to post this photo of the Coleus that is sitting in a huge pot at the corner of our deck. Holy mackerel! Looks like it's on steroids!


State Dept. Official: "You are killing your future and we only want to help."

U.S. Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia

Published: July 28, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 27 — The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.

Saudis’ Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials (July 27, 2007)

The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia, which includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels, has made Israel and some of its supporters in Congress nervous. Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed that the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years.

But administration officials remained concerned that the size of the package and the advanced weaponry it contains, as well as broader concerns about Saudi Arabia’s role in Iraq, could prompt Saudi critics in Congress to oppose the package when Congress is formally notified about the deal this fall.

In talks about the package, the administration has not sought specific assurances from Saudi Arabia that it would be more supportive of the American effort in Iraq as a condition of receiving the arms package, the officials said.

The officials said the plan to bolster the militaries of Persian Gulf countries is part of an American strategy to contain the growing power of Iran in the region and to demonstrate that, no matter what happens in Iraq, Washington remains committed to its longtime Arab allies. Officials from the State Department and the Pentagon agreed to outline the terms of the deal after some details emerged from closed briefings this week on Capitol Hill.

The officials said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who are to make a joint visit to Saudi Arabia next week, still intended to use the trip to press the Saudis to do more to help Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government.

“The role of the Sunni Arab neighbors is to send a positive, affirmative message to moderates in Iraq in government that the neighbors are with you,” a senior State Department official told reporters in a conference call on Friday. More specifically, the official said, the United States wants the gulf states to make clear to Sunnis engaged in violence in Iraq that such actions are “killing your future.”

In addition to promising an increase in American military aid to Israel, the Pentagon is seeking to ease Israel’s concerns over the proposed weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by asking the Saudis to accept restrictions on the range, size and location of the satellite-guided bombs, including a commitment not to store the weapons at air bases close to Israeli territory, the officials said.

The package and the possible steps to allay Israel’s concerns were described to Congress this week, in an effort by the administration to test the reaction on Capitol Hill before entering into final negotiations on the package with Saudi officials. The Saudis had requested that Congress be told about the planned sale, the officials said, in an effort to avoid the kind of bruising fight on Capitol Hill that occurred in the 1980s over proposed arms sales to the kingdom.

In his visit with King Abdullah and other Saudi officials next week, Mr. Gates plans to describe “what the administration is willing to go forward with” in the arms package and “what we would recommend to the Hill and others,” according to a senior Pentagon official, who conducted a background briefing on the upcoming trip with reporters on Friday.

The official added that Mr. Gates would also reassure the Saudis that “regardless of what happens in the near term in Iraq that our commitment in the region remains firm, remains steadfast and that, in fact, we are looking to enhance and develop it.”

The $20 billion price tag on the package is more than double what officials originally estimated when details became public this spring. Even the higher figure is a rough estimate that could fluctuate depending on the final package, which would be carried out over a number of years, officials said.

Worried about the impression that the United States was starting an arms race in the region, State and Defense Department officials stressed that the arms deal was being proposed largely in response to improvements in Iran’s military capabilities and to counter the threat posed by its nuclear program, which the Bush administration contends is aimed at building nuclear weapons.


I have to stop reading the news every day. Every day another headline that screams: "American Stupidity"!

Rhetorical question: If you were the President of the United States, would you offer Saudi Arabia 20 million dollars worth of some of your most advanced weaponry?

Me neither. How many of the 9/11 bombers were from Saudi Arabia?

The only President of the United States that would even propose this is our George W.

Puzzling? Not really. the Bush family has been Saudi Arabia's bitch for more than one generation.

Gotta Stay away from the news.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Congressman Kind's Reply to my E mail

Dear Lawrence:

Thank you for contacting me about misconduct by the Bush Administration. I appreciate hearing from you on this important subject.

Like you, I am very concerned about transgressions by Administration officials. As you know, President Bush recently commu ted the sentence of Vice President Cheney's former chief-of-staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby was convicted for lying to investigators about the outing of a C.I.A. agent for political purposes. As a former prosecutor, I am very disappointed by the President's decision. I believe that this sends a message to the American people that public officials can violate the law as long as they remain loyal to the president.

Further, I also am concerned by the President's refusal to make administration offic ials available to testify before Congress about the firing of U.S. attorneys. Congress is a coequal branch of government and has a du ty to provide oversight of the A dministration. While the President does have a right to executive privilege in certain si tuations, this privilege does not expand over the entire executive branch. It is my hope that this impasse will be resolved through the judicial process and that any misconduct on the part of the A dministration will be dealt with in a fair and responsible manner.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. If you have any further comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to be in touch. I also encourage you to visit my website, where you can find updated information and signup for my e-newsle tter.

Congressman Ron Kind


So Mr. Kind is "very concerned". I suggest he get more than very concerned. How about madder than hell? Otherwise, come elections '08, I think Mr. Kind should become very concerned about whether he gets re-elected or not.

Bath Tub Boy

I divide the world into two categories: those of us that like to take baths and those of us that like to take showers. I've always been a bath tub guy.

We had one of those big ol' cast iron tubs with the eagle claws on balls for feet when I was a boy -- the kind of tub that Wisconsin people have been known to tip on end and partially bury in the rock garden with a statue of the Blessed Mother within. Wisconsin: home of the bath tub grotto.

My childhood tub had the big rubber drain plug with the chain attached. It also had an overflow valve high up on the tub, and if you ran the not water at a very slow rate, you could constantly replenish your hot water, steaming yourself like a lobster.

When we recently remodeled the entire bath room at the Wilson/Heagle compound, we decided to install the modern version of the above mentioned tub, complete with six whirlpool type jets to soothe the aches and especially the pain of the reconstructed right knee.

I have found the tub the ideal spot to kick back and catch up on my reading with only the occasional accidental soaking of the book mark, or in the case of periodicals, the drenching of those maddening re-subscription cards that lurk unattached somewhere within the pages.

I found out two things of import: turning the whirlpool jets on while the cats are in the bath room unleashes bedlam and dropping a hard cover book onto the bath room floor beyond the tub without warning the spouse scares the hell out of her.

One day I was filling the tub and going about other tasks at the same time. I came back in to the bath room in time to see Hannah the cat jump in and out of the tub in a nano second. It was one of those YouTube moments.

And So The Lies Continue

Was Tillman Murdered?
The Associated Press

Thursday 26 July 2007

AP gets new documents.
San Francisco - Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."
Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.
The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.

The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something.

At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.

The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.

Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.

"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.

Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.

Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.


Well, I went ahead and did it. Jumped in with both feet and a credit card. With the overwhelming feeling that this is going to be Brett Favre's final season in the NFL, I picked up tickets for Kim and I to see him at Lambeau one more time.

Tickets are not cheap, friends. We will be fifty rows up, somewhere between the end line of the end zone and the twenty yard line on the Packer side of the field

At $225.00 a ticket I think I should be able to go down to the locker room and deliver the before game pep talk to the team!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Paw Prints - a great place to do business

This is Sue, owner and proprietor of Paw Prints, Custom Screen Printing and Embroidery, Bloomer, Wisconsin.

Not only is she a very talented artesan, but she has a great deal of creativity and imagination, added bonuses for those of us that want to make a very special T shirt for a very special someone, or a run of 500 T's in different sizes for public consumption.

We stopped up at her shop, hidden away behind a large brick building that I am told used to be the Bloomer Brewery, near the Transport Bar (which by the way, appears to be for sale.)

That both a brewery and a tavern have closed down in Bloomer, Wisconsin, astounds me. I know of what I speak for I worked in a downtown Bloomer tavern that had live music on weekends. I remember the at-the-time Superintendent of Schools of Blooomer coming up to the band stand after our opening tune and telling us to: "turn that shit down!"

I've always had a special place in my heart for Bloomer since then.

But I digress.

Sue gives me a new attitude about driving into town. She is bright, engaging, has a great sense of humor and she thinks I'm funny, giving credence to her sense of humor.

Sue runs a laid back business. You feel at home as soon as you walk in the door and like me, she loves to tell stories. I tell you what. She's good at that too. Having lived in the area as long as she has, you'd better believe she's got some stories to tell. I might have to just sit down with a note pad and co-write a book about Sue -could call it "I Did It" or "I Inhaled" --

So if you want something screen printed or embroidered, take it to Paw Prints, 1526 Martin Road, Bloomin'-Bloomer. (715) 568-1911 or e mail: pawscren@bloomer.net.

Take Mom Out to the Ballgame

User Reviews for Miller Park

not bad for having a roof

03/20/2007 Posted by frenchay81

I have been to about 8 or 9 games at miller park, so I feel i have a pretty good opinion on its quality, even though I am a Cubs fan. I have had seats all over inside this place, and unlike its Chicago neighbor, there are no sight obstructions as far as I could tell. Ticket prices are very affordable, and it suprisingly has a good atmosphere for a "new age" facility with a struggling ball team. The Brewers- Cubs rivalries are shaping into some very enjoyable games year by year. Im not too big on the "Bernies dugout" thing where he slides down after a home run has taken place, but I guess it gets the kids going. Overall, if youre looking for an enjoyable game, w/ comfortable seating, and an enthusiastic yet sparse fan base, I highly recommend the home of the Brew Crew.

Pros: comfortable, clean, cheap

Cons: could use- better atmosphere, better team

Found this "review" of Miller Park by one of our jaded friends from Chicago. You remember Chicago? The city with a team called the Cubs that hasn't won a World Series since -- well, I'll be darned if I can remember!

I just thought you might enjoy the condescending tone. What the hell is "new age" about Miller Park? Whole grain hot dog buns? Franks of pure beef and hashish? Guys hawking incense? "
"Frankensense and myrr here! Get yer really hot incense here!"

Native American flute instead of organ playing the cavalry charge?

And he's not too big on Bernie Brewer. I am surprised he overlooked the really hokey sausage races. Remember the time an opponent tripped the sausage during the race? I love the sausage races. They are fixed just like our federal elections.

Glad to say that I am heading down to that New Age ball park for a Brewers/Phillies game. Maybe I can get a full body massage and a cup of herbal tea before the opening pitch.


I recall fondly the last few years of ma Alice's life when I could spring her from the nursing home for an evening of baseball at Carson Park with the Cavaliers.

She was, by then, forced to watch games from a wheel chair and sadly the beginnings of dementia had started creeping in, fogging her mind, but she never let it bother her, nor did it bother me in the least.

I remember one evening arriving just before game time and Alice asked me: "Is this Milwaukee Country Stadium?"
"No, mom, this is Carson Park."
"Well, which team is the Brewers?"
"The Brewers aren't playing, mom. This is an Eau Claire team called the Cavaliers. They are in the red and blue Uniforms.

After explaining that situation several times, the top of the first inning began. By now I was somewhat concerned that she wouldn't be able to follow the game.

The St. Paul Merchants proceeded to score four runs and there still was nobody out. As the fourth score crossed home plate, mom turned to me and said, very matter-of-factly: "We're not doing very well, are we."

All right, I thought to myself. She's just fine.


One summer I was asked to perform at Larry Barr's Country Jam just outside of Eau Claire. I performed at a stage adjacent to the main stage and when there was dead time on that stage with equipment changeovers, I did short half hour shows throughout the day.

Upon completion of my second show I am approached by a woman that I have never met. She does not introduce herself but immediately tells me that "we have had a lot of complaints about your language". So I ask her who "we" is and she tells me she works for WAXX radio.

I say: "So how many complaints about my language have WE had?"
"Well, I really don't know."
"Put an approximate number on it," I say, "was it about 15 people?"
"Well, no, it wasn't 15 people."
"So how many? Would you say about seven people?"
"Well, no not seven."
"So, not 15, not 7, how about four? Have you had four complaints?"
"Well -- (pause) I don't like your language."
"OOOOHHHH! you don't like my language. Tell you what. I don't really care if you like my language or not because I wasn't hired by WAXX Radio. I was hired by Larry Barr. So get away from me!"

Out of the Closet

Okay. I am officially declaring today my day of "outing" -- I'm an out of the closet senior citizen. For years I have been in a state of denial, telling myself I am not a senior, refusing to ask for a discount on my Culver's burger.

No longer will I drive my automobile normally. I will drive way under the speed limit, never signal, make sweeping, wide turns at especially slow speed, all the while staring at the people who are trying to get out into traffic.

I will begin telling stories of how "I was really something in my time" and I will expect young women to open the door for me in public.

I will now begin to complain loudly to restaurant staff when my order is not done exactly as I asked for it and I won't hesitate to send it back. This is because I read somewhere recently that the elderly who show a mean streak have been "scientifically" proven to be more intelligent.

Fact is, anybody who is intelligent and over 65 has a right to be pissed off about life because we've seen and heard way too much of this world.

You know that you are "ready to go" when you encounter a mother and child in a grocery store and the mother is telling the child that if the child follows through with the activity she is currently involved in, they are going to have "issues".

Or if somebody at Starbucks wants to know what their "options" are.


Lately I have been listening to Perla Batalla's version of "Bird On a Wire". Under headphones, where you can hear her every nuance, listening to Perla sing that song is going to a sacred place of peace.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reminiscences from "the book"

The Wood Tick Song has paid off handsomely. I owe my marketeer Elizabeth Fischer an insurmountable debt because in her bulldog tenacity she unknowingly introduced me to Jay Moore, the irascible Carolina Smooth Talking Man, living proof that Leprehcauns do reproduce, by jamming my CD, Rude Crude, and Poor , down the throats of the staff of Moose Country 106.7 FM.

How small is my world? Jay's been kicking ass on air eons before I found him. Always the last to know. I suppose eventually I would have gotten the news some time or other but the jolt came in a phone call from Steve “Shooter” Harvey, self-appointed road manager of Big Butt and the Brewmasters.

“Heagle! Shooter Harvey! You're on the radio!”
“Yah. Right.”
“I ain't shittin' you. Jay Moore's playing The Wood Tick Song!”
Then in a tone of voice that tells me just how stupid Steve realizes I am :
“You don't know who Jay Moore is?”

I know who that rat bastard is now. Proud to say that I am the bait that lured Jay into having his Irish ass roasted to overdone one October 25th. He thought that I was a loving, caring, fellow Celtic-blooded, good guy, who was only interested in helping him raise a little Christmas is for Kids money. Think again, Shanty Boy! He took it like a musky hitting a duckling at murky first light, his tail cleared water and didn't come down until the Bloomer Mafia placed it on their stolen hospital commode throne that memorable night.

What is totally revealing is that I was bait at my own surprise 50th birthday party. Kim told me we were surprising Dr. Tim Wolter, long time friend and curator of my body for 30 years. His birthday is in early May, mine is in the middle of April. Kim tells me this is the perfect surprise because it is way too early for Tim to even suspect.

Roll it over Homer. Stop hogging the blanket, Gomer, and
congratulations on your new self esteem, Mr. Moore!


Further Excerpts From My Would Be book (now tentatively entitled: "If I Did It")

I open for the Atlanta Rhythm Section one July day, for The Snow Festival in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Snow Festival in July? Badgers will find something all summer long to get people to come to town, drink beer and eat brats. The way I understand it is that every Spring, the Two Rivers locals dig a hole and bury the last of the snow before the warm weather hits in June, then dig it up in July and party. It's a Cheese Head Thing.

I do my 45 minute set. While I am gathering together my gear, Atlanta Rhythm Section's road manager approaches me.
“You know, you don't have a great singing voice, you aren't much of a guitar player, and you aren't all that funny. But there is something about you.”
Three negatives equals a positive?

On a very cold January day, while I am preparing supper, the telephone rings and when I answer a voice I have heard in person before introduces himself.
“This is Alex Hassilev of the Limeliters”
“Yes it is. I recognize your voice.”
“Oh, you know who I am?”
“Do I know who you are? You guys were my heroes when I was in college! I saw you perform at the College Field House!”
“Well, Larry, we are on a reunion tour with Glenn Yarborough and tonight we are at The Minneapolis Auditorium. We are staying at the Holiday Inn, Minneapolis, and we saw your promo on the elevator billboard. We are always looking for new songs. Would you consider sending us a tape?”
“I'll do you one better! I will come up and sing them to you in person after the show tonight!”
“You would be willing to drive up here tonight?”
“In a heart beat!”
“Well, Larry, why don't you drive up early. We will have a ticket for you for the show and leave word with security that you are expected back stage after the show.”
I assure Alex I will be there. I have to pour hot water on my car's doors to get the lock and door unfrozen, but I make it to the show, which is close to sold out.

I rap on the backstage entrance. A young woman opens it.
“Hi. My name is Larry Heagle. Alex Hassilev told me to tell you he wants to talk to me.”
I fear this is the moment the guard is going to say, “I'm sorry, no one is allowed back stage.”
“Yes, Larry, Alex is expecting you.”
She does a double take.
“Hey! I have seen you before. You're funny.”
Frosting on the cake of the moment.

She tells me to wait, I sit near a tall woman, wrapped in an impressive wolf skin jacket. She is waiting, also, smoking a cigarette. Little do I know that one day she will, through dogged persistence, get me booked to open for Conway Twitty at the Carlton Celebrity Room in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Alex comes out carrying two Pete Seeger model Vega 5-string banjos. I ask if I can help and we visit, packing banjos. Plans are made to meet at his room at the hotel.

When I get to Alex's suite, it is Wolf Skin Lady, Dr. Lou Gottleib, the upright bass player, who is the charming front man on stage.

I am introduced to the woman. She is Tommy Smothers ex-wife.

The 70 or so year old Gottleib astounds me by rolling a joint. I don't remember too much about the evening except when I sing The Vasectomy Song, they are delighted with it.
“The Kingston Trio would kill to have that song”, says Lou to Alex. I write out the lyrics and teach them the melody. They assure me that they are going to add it to their show. I assure them that it is copyrighted.

Several years later, after an all night drive from Iowa City's Sanctuary, I arrive home about 5:30AM and turn on television to find a Toronto, Canada, based video tape on PBS. It is a folk reunion concert and Lou Gottleib is introducing a song with doctor jokes. I realize there is a good chance this is leading to my song, so I slap a tape in the video recorder.
“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
“Well, don't do that anymore.”
“Have you had this before?”
“Yes, doctor, I have had this before.”
“Well, you've got it again.”
Tonight The Limeliters are no longer a trio. They have drums and a lead player, who kicks it off with dobro. It IS my song! I am getting it on tape. What are the odds?
What a hoot!
They finish the song. They begin taking bows. It's their closer!

Kim didn't get any more sleep on this morning.


I am gainfully employed by Leinenkugel's to provide entertainment at Farm Technology Days near Shawano. As soon as I reach the sprawling country dance hall, I realize my position. I will be transitory diversion for three hours, in a holding area near the bar, while incoming drinkers await seating turn over in the dining room.
I am grateful I didn't listen to Jay Leno, because the guitar will cover me.

I immerse myself in the sound of the Martin D18-V coming back to me through my monitors. I have fun just for me, playing to any eyes I can connect with throughout this late afternoon.

While I pack up, the check arrives.
“Thank you. Gee, I don't feel like I did a very good job for your today. Pretty hard to entertain a group that is just passing through.”
“You done good. You weren't too loud and your bullshit was just right.”
Let me get that kudo up on my web site!


Bob Johnson has a contact for me in Grinnell, Iowa. It will be my first long road trip as a teacher who jumped the wall and made a run for it.
Bob has convinced the owner of the Longhorn Bar and Grill to give me a chance to work his place. Grinnell is a long ways from my house.
I don't know about you, but whenever I go somewhere new I have it pictured in my imagination. My pictures are always a lot prettier than reality.

Just seeing where the owner wants me to set up makes me want to bolt for the van and drive straight home. There are two main entrances about ten feet apart, one to the restaurant side, the other to the cocktail lounge. There is a trellis atop a waist high wall between the two areas. Just in front of this division is a five foot walkway between. This is where I am to set up. Behind me is the shiny aluminum coat and hat rack.

I do a week of playing to diners out of my left eye, drinkers out of my right eye, and seekers of hats and coats are a continuous part of the performance.

My hotel should have long ago been condemned and reduced to ash. The room is Spartan. There is a communal shower down the hall. My amenity is a sink. The hot water faucet knob is a small, rusty, vice grips.
When I next see my friend Bob and ask what he was thinking when he put me in Grinnell he tells me it is a rite of passage, his idea of initiation.
“If you can make it there, Larry, you can make it anywhere.”
Start spreading manure,
I'm leavin' today
I want to be a part of it
Grinnell, Grinnell!
I have not returned to Grinnell. Someday, like a survivor of Auschwitz, I will go back to relive the horror.

If it is still there, I will have dinner at The Long Horn. Good steaks, great Iowa chops.


The Two Amigos

No doubt about it, it's a true binding love, this relationship between Ms. Kim and that short, fat, cantankerous, stubborn, vengeful, jeyl/hyded personality that has climbed on to Kim, letting her know that she has been in bed way too late this morning, and "I want some breakfast and some qality time".

They are, indeed, the two amigos and I can attest that when Kim is gone, that fat furball we call Hannah, is a lonesome creature who takes to sitting on the steps that lead to the loft, eye level with the door to the house, doing her Kim-vigil. The only events that can draw her from her position are the sounds of cat food being poured in the bowl or the bathroom trip to the basement and the catboxes.

Kim's job is to feed her and her "Homer" brother Harley -- my job is to clean up what exits. Hannah (and I am convinced she does this on purpose) has taken to leaving her scat on the floor just outside the cat box in some sort of cat rebellious statement as if to say: "Okay, you've got me imprisoned in this damn house, all I get is the same crap to eat every day, and most of the time you make me beg for it, so I am returning that crap and I am leaving it out here so you get the message."

The two amigos are something to see! Hannah follows Kim to the dining room table to sprawl out on the pages of the newspaper she is trying to read and then finally compromises by lying just off the paper but within touching distance of her amigo.

Ever since Hannah was a kitten she loved to get as close to an electric bulb as possible, so when Kim is applying makeup at the mirror in the bathroom that has the dressing room type smaller light bulbs encircling it, Hannah is right there, spread out under the lights in front of Kim.

The Two Amigos!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Love the Small Town Ways

Postal zoning is weird. I llive less than two miles from the Oakwood Mall, or as my deceased best friend Gerald used to call it: "Larry Land" (I guess because he felt I am Mr Consumer.)
Yet I have a Fall Creek address and my home post office is down in the really cool little town of Fall Creek, just off the main drag.

I have, through numerous trips to pick up over sized packages, gotten to know the staff a bit. My main mail delivery guy is Steve and I really like him! He is very down to earth and he will go out of his way to make certain I have my latest mail.

Shirley (pictured helping a gal who is picking up papers to apply for a job as a rural carrier) is a delight to spend time with. I like the small town "real America" feel of the Fall Creek Post Office.

Once, during my collecting Harmony guitar phase, I got a call from Shirly explaining that I had a rather bulky package that I should come and pick up. I ended up openng the box, showing the entire crew my latest treasure and then being invited to come back behind the counter for a short impromptu concert while they sorted mail.

What a hoot! Not something I would find myself involved in even at the Eau Claire Post Office. Being a farm boy at heart, and hooking up with a small town for my mail has been delightful. Shirley always has a smile and she knows how to dish it out as well as well as take it in the good natured teasing department.


Move To Impeach the Arrogant

It's Time for Impeachment

Dear Lawrence,

Call your Rep. today
to support impeachment for Vice President Cheney.


We've reached the impeachment moment for Vice President Dick Cheney. Representative John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says that if just 3 more Representatives come out in support of impeaching the Vice President that he'll begin the impeachment proceedings.

And today, July 23rd, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, and others will lead a march to Chairman Conyers' office and not leave until he agrees to begin impeachment proceedings. So take two minutes today and phone your Rep. at 202-224-3121 and ask them to immediately call Conyers' office to express their support for impeachment. Who knows, your Congress Member might be one of the three needed, not just to keep impeachment activists out of jail, but to keep this nation from devolving into dictatorship.

When: Today, July 23rd.
What: Call your Rep. and tell them to express their support for impeachment of Vice President Cheney to House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers.
How: Call the Capitol Hill switchboard and 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office.

After you've made the call be sure to let us know by clicking here. Almost 50,000 TrueMajority members have signed the petition in support of moving forward with impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney. Together we can keep the pressure on Congress to do what needs to be done.

Your friend,

Ben Kroetz
TrueMajority Field Director


This is the e mail that I quicky responded to yesterday by making the telephone call. If you are as tired of the arrogance and deceit of our present administration, it is very important that you do what you can by responding to every chance you are given to speak out!

Friends tell me there is nothing that the average citizen can do. I say BULLFEATHERS! I left a message on Speaker Pelosi's machine yesterday. They need to know how feed up you are if anything is to be changed and we are to regain control of our own destiny as a Democracy.

I again want to refer to "The Good War" by Studs Terkel. In his Pulitzer Ptize winnning oral history of World War II, he interviews retired Admiral Gene Larocque, who became the Director of the the Center for Defense Information.

Larocque said: " We keep an eye on Pentagon spending. We're a group of retired military officers, trying to hold down the growing influence of the military and industry so that citizens can have a bigger say."

Larocque says our military runs our foreign policy. The Sate Department simply goes around and tidies up the messes the miitary makes. The State Department has become the lackey of the Pentagon.

Befoe WWII this never happened. You had a War Department, you had a Navy department. Only if there was a war did they step up front. The ultimate control was civilian.

Since WWII we began to use miitary force to get what we wanted in the world. That's what the military is all about. Not long ago the Pentagon proudly announced that the U.S. had used military force 215 times to achieve it international goals since WWII. The Pentagon likes that: military force to carry out national will.

Larocque goes on to say: "I was in Vietnam. I saw the senseless waste of human beings. I saw this bunch of marines come off this air conditioned ship. Nothing was too good for our soldiers and marines. We send them ashore as gung ho nineteen year old husky, good-looking kids and bring 'em back in black rubber body bags. There are a few pieces left over, some entrails and limbs that don't fit n the bags. You take a fire hose and you hose down the deck and push that stuff over the side."

-- "Russia wants to be accepted as a world power and perhaps spread their hegemony around the world. I think we have to compete with communism wherever it appears. our mistake is trying to stem it with guns. It alienates the very people we are trying to win over. The Russians really have influence only in the buffer areas around their country. They've been a flop in other contries.

Yet the Russians influence just about everyting we do.

WWII has warped our view of how we look at things today. We see things in terms of that war, which in a sense was a good war. But the twisted memory of it encourages the men of my generation to be willing, almost eager, to use military force anywhere in the world."

-- "For about 20 years after the war, I couldn't look at any film on WWII. It brought back memories that I didn't want to keep around. I hated to see how they glorified war. In all those films, people get blown up with their clothes and fall gracefully to the ground. You don't see anybody being blown apart. You don't see arms and legs and mutilated bodies. You see only an antiseptic, clean, neat way to die gloriously. I hate it when they say, "He gave his life for his country." Nobody gives their life for anything.. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them.

I went to church in Champaign, Illinois about three weeks ago. there's a plaque in front of the altar: In honor of the men who died, were wounded, and served in World war II. the left-hand side says: "For God. the right-hand says: For Country".
We've made war a religious act. somewhere in the Bible it says, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God those that are God's. What happened to that?"

We are in deep trouble because we have allowed the military/industrial complex to take over this country and Cheney and his Halliburton are making huge amounts of money off the suffering of our misled youth who return from the battlefields of Iraq missing arms and legs and then are not even given decent treatment by a president who dodged his duty as a pilot in Vietnam and by a vice president who when asked why he didn't serve had the audacity to say that he was too busy doing more important things.

Chicken hawks? How about chicken-shit??

The time has come for all of us to really put pressure on this do nothing congress to get it in gear and save the union and return this country to the people.

If you sit idly by, you are no better than the average German of the late 30's, who turned a blind eye to what was happening. Now more than ever, it is most important tht each of us becomes involved.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Brief Vacation

Had an opportunity to visit good friends Jim and Donna Backus, calling in a long standing invitation to come stay at their cabin on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior near Cornucopia.

Of course this would be the weekend that my fibromyalgia kicked in big time, making what otherwise would have been a really enjoyable weekend a bit of a challenge. I only hope that all those who had to be around me were not too put out.

We sailed a bit on the lake; my first experience on the big lake. We observed a sailboat that had sunk being retrieved by a large boat with a lot of booms and pulleys. I wondered to myself how much that operation was going to cost the unfortunate owner.

Saturday night Jim and Donna had secured really great seats to Big Top Chatauqua and a performance by The Smothers Brothers. I have long been a fan of Dick and Tom, ever since their television show of the turbulent sixties when they were cancelled because they were harsh critics of the Vietnam war.

I am pleased to tell you that 40 years later, they are just as critical of our government and they are even funnier, if that is possible.

Tom is the master of "the take" and he had yours truly laughing to tears throughout the evening, something I certainly needed. They finished to a well deserved standing ovation.

If you, too, are a Smothers Brothers fan, be of good cheer that the boys look great, and they haven't lost a step! If anything, they are, with 50 years of stage experience, even better than before!

It is, however, good to be back home. I am discovering more and more that as I grow older I am more and more of a homebody.

Keeping this short and sweet today. I need to go soak these arthritic knees in a hot tub of water!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mike Schlenker, #12 Packer Fan

There's an authentic musicians' music store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. By that, I mean this isn't the kind of store where senior citizens drop in to look at those "play themselves" electric organs. Nor will you find the pre-pubescent youth rock n roller playing the intro to "Smoke On The Water" until

even the staff runs screaming out into oncoming traffic.

No, Speed of Sound, as I said, is a musicians' music store, where the Chippewa Valley's best stop in to buy what they need in supplies or more often than not, come in, grab the ever present barber's chair, and just hang for a couple of hours.

The reason this has become the "Floyd's Barbershop" of music is because of Floyd himself. Not that Mike "Schlenk" Schlenker has any of the Mayberry barber's personality traits. What he does have is an intrinsic knowlege of his trade, a great if odd sense of humor and an almost mad love for the Green Bay Packers.

Mike is the man that got me started in search of a T.J. Rubley jersey. Schlenker loves to tell the story of how it was the year that the Pack was playing the Vikings in the Dome, were ahead by two points late in the fourth quarter when both Favre and backup QB Ty Detmer got injured within minutes of each other and Holmgren was forced to go to his only remaining quarterback, Rubley, who had played some european league football and who had spent the season before with the Rams..

On third down and 3-4 yards to go at the Minnesota 38, Holmgren instructed Rubley just to sneak it closer to the middle of the field for a field goal attempt.

Rubley got under center, noticed a Viking DB sneaking up to the line of scrimmage, then AUDIBLED to a quick pass, got rushed, threw across his body and was intercepted.

With the time remaining, the Vikings then marched down within field goal range and kicked the field goal to win by one point.

At Speed of Sound the name Rubley became the standard for Packer mistakes so that all others were compared to his gaff.

"What a Rubley play that was!"
"Well, it was bad, but it was no Rubley."

You get the idea.

I finally located a source that will make you a customized NFL jersey at a really good price and I want to pass that information on to you if you are into that kind of thing.

His name is Dan Daniels, he runs his service through eBay, and you can contact him at : generaldonmega@hotmail.com. In fact, mention the fact that Larry Heagle recommnded his jerseys. They are very well made, authentic Reebok with numerals and name all sewn, and the NFL equipment label at the throat.

Dan is very conscientous about his orders. For example, he sent my order back because the jerseys did not have sewn cuffs.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And Mail From Senator Kohl

July 18, 2007

Mr. Lawrence Heagle
4896 Hobbs Road
Fall Creek, Wisconsin 54742-9349

Dear Mr. Heagle:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your
views on the current administration. I appreciate hearing from you
and would like to take this opportunity to respond to you.

I understand your frustration regarding President Bush and
his administration. Our democracy is not perfect, and it does not
always produce the results we want with the speed and
effectiveness we would desire. But our government does
successfully balance the many interests and concerns of our
diverse nation in a manner that is representative and fair. The
process works because there are public servants - both elected and
unelected - dedicated to the ideas of democracy, the good of their
home states, and the good of the nation. In my years in the Senate,
I have worked hard to be that sort of public servant.

As a means of checks and balances, the Constitution
permits Congress to remove Executive Branch officials from office
if they are found to have committed "treason, bribery, or other high
crimes and misdemeanors." This critical power allows the
Legislative Branch to protect the nation from the abuse of
executive power.

Although no action has yet been taken in the House of
Representatives to impeach President Bush, Rep. Dennis Kucinich
(D-OH) introduced H.Res. 333, three articles of impeachment
relating to Vice President Cheney, on April 24, 2007. The
resolution seeks to remove the Vice President from office on the
grounds that he intentionally deceived Congress and the American
public during the events that led to the March 2003 invasion of

The U.S. House possesses the sole power of impeachment.
H.Res. 333 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Should the Committee determine that there are grounds for
impeachment, the resolution will be considered by the full House.
A simple majority is required to impeach. In order for an official
to be involuntarily removed from office, impeachment by the
House must be followed by conviction in the Senate; this required
a two-thirds majority. I will be certain to keep your thoughts in
mind should this matter come before the Senate.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this very serious
matter. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.


Herb Kohl
U.S. Senator

Please do not reply to this message; to make further comments or to find additional information, please
visit my web site at http://kohl.senate.gov/.

E Mail From a Bonafide Star

From: Perla Batalla
Date: July 18, 2007 2:02:40 PM CDT
To: Lawrence Heagle
Subject: Re: Wish I Could Be there!

You are such a sweetheart!!!
Thanks for making me cry so early in the day.
You are a prince!

Lawrence Heagle wrote:

Thanks for the notice on your upcoming performance at the band shell. What a great venue! I hope you have a great concert! I know you will.

I have begun blogging on my website and I am getting into it. check this one:



Reader: When you get a chance, go to: www.perla.com and visit Perla on the web. She has a great site and you can order her CD's from there as well through CDBaby.

Art Project gone Awry

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, activities can go awry. Take the Kindergarten cactus plant project pictured for instance. Perhaps the teacher should have chosen a different glazed receptacle. Ya think?

Kindergarten teaching Kim, my wife, has had some interesting art projects turned in by her classes. I wish we had saved and photographed the one I am about to describe as you may think I am making this up, but I swear it is true!

It is sometime around Easter and Kim is greeted by one of her beaming kindergartners, who presents her with a seasonal art project that he thought up and executed all by himself.

He has glued together two popsicle sticks in the shape of a cross. Glued to this cross is a hand rendered, cut out figure of the Easter Bunny, his little bunny paws nailed to the cross, a big bunny grin on his bunny face, and a free-hanging basket of Easter eggs at his bunny belly.

That always reminds me of the joke about the guy who believed that Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. three days later He rose from the dead -- saw his shadow and there was six more weeks of Winter.

Bush Lies Continue

Several months ago I began actively seeking a Pat Tillman football jersey to add to my collection of NFL jerseys. The Tillman jersey has a special significance to me and I wear it proudly.

To my way of thinking, Pat Tillman is a true American patriot who gave up the money and prestige of playing in the National Football League to join the special forces and eventually end up in Afghanistan where he was shot in the head by "friendly fire" from fellow American troops.

This is not the story that our immoral leadership tried to foist off upon us after the tragedy. It wasn't heroic enough that Tillman gave his life. Bush and his speech writers made up an outrageous story about Tillman's being killed by Taliban forces in a heroic stand to save his comrades.

Even with the news that this story was false, the administration continues to stonewall efforts to get all the facts.

According to a Waxman and Davis letter, a withheld email from a White House speech writer who was preparing a speech President Bush ultimately delivered to the annual White House correspondence dinner on May 1, 2004, was a request for additional information about Tillman after news of his death had been reported.

This request seems to have been answered by what the investigators describe as a "high-level military memo warning that the president should be informed that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire." The memo written by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Task Force for Afghanistan, explained Tillman was killed by US forces, and was an attempt to "preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death become public."

Despite the warnings from the general, Bush's 2004 correspondence dinner speech included the fabricated story of Tillman's heroic death. Speaking on behalf of his family in front of the Oversight Committee nearly three years after the speech, Pat Tillman's brother, Kevin, said, "We believe this narrative was intended ... to deceive the American Public."

I wore the jersey into Menard's shortly after receiving it and immediately drew the attention of one of the floor personnel who wanted to kow why I was wearing it. I told him I was wearing it so that people would ask me that very question and I could then tell them how much and how often Bush lies to us. It came as somewhat of a surprise to me when the man agreed with me.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pride of the Chippewa Valley

Gordy Bischoff, master luthier, and my neighbor down the road on Deerfield, is just recently returned from The Montreal Guitar Builders Show. I had a chance to visit with Gordy this past weekend, and he had a lot of great stories to relate.

There were 74 other builders from around the world represented. Gordy finished three completely hand built orchestra model guitars especially for the trip. I, with trembling hands, got a chance to play the one pictured here. It is an incredibly well built, well balanced guitar!

He just keeps getting better and better at turning out amazing guitars.

One of the highlights in Montreal was the attention that the 9 string baritone guitar he built for Willy Porter received. Paul Richards, one of the players with the California Guitar Trio played it and has since posted the picture on the right on his web site.

You can check Paul's diary out at: http://www.cgtrio.com/diary/diary-PaulRichards.shtml

I can't tell you how proud I am of Gordy's abilities. We inhabitants of the Chippewa valley should all be proud to know that we have such a great craftsman in our midst!

Way to go, Gordy!!


Another CD A Possibility

Don't look now, but there's a good chance that there will be anothr CD out by Christmas of this year. At least that's what I'm aiming toward.

I really did not have any plans to put out another CD for several reasons.

The motorcycle accident of two summers ago really knocked the creative stuffings out of me. I was starting to panic about it until about a month ago when I read about Roy Orbison's plight at one point in his life. He was in the processing of reconciling with his wife, Claudette, when she was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.

Four months later, he lost both his children to a house fire. He said that he was unable to write for over two years after these events.

Now, I am certainly not equating that much heartache and mental pain to my own travail, but it did give me an insight as to why I have been so creatively barren for so long. Even six months ago, I was in a panic mode, thinking I would never put pen to paper again.

But recently, things are starting to get in gear in my head. I have written the Jesus In My Tortillas tune, and just a couple of days ago, I sat down and within an hour I had another novelty song written and ready to hone. The question now is, are either of these good enough to record?

In addition, I had written some songs before the accident including "The Dubbya Doo Wop", a tongue in check love song for our fearless leader, and a very introspective "I've Always Lived It From My Heart".

I also penned "The World's Worst Country Song" while I was still working with the band and I do want to record "That Carolina Sweet Talkin' Man" (my salute to that crazy Irishman, Jay Moore) with bluegrass musicans.

The impetus to record is really Mike Vlahakis' willingness to let me pay for studio time as I am able, coupled with his enthusiasm for the project.

He had been going back over my first album, recorded on vinyl, "Time and Space" and wants to re-record several of the songs from that album, giving them new life. These would include "Get Off My Highway", Summer Sale, and possibly "Between St. Peter and St. Paul".

So I am targeting September as the starting to record date. I don't really want to start before Kim has to go back to the class room as we are enjoying our summer together.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Never Work With an Ego Bigger Than Your Head

Back in the day I did a lot of traveling for a really good booking agency out of Sioux City, Iowa, Comedy Productions, run efficiently by Mr. Ken Muller.

At a juncture in the late 1990's I was on an abbreviated weekend stand at Stephanie's in Moorhead, Minnesota. The last time I had worked Moorhead was years ago when I did a week stand at the Holiday Inn over Thanksgiving weekend. That weekend stands out in my mind because it was my first experience with a full blown plains blizzard.

I remember getting up Thanksgiving afternoon, figuring I would make the short trip across the parking lot of the Inn to a fairly good truck stop type restaurant that promised turkey and all the gtrimmings at a really reasonable price, only to look out the window at a complete white out! I mean I couldn't even see my car parked outside my window!

This trip was not that traumatic weather-wise, but it did however, put me in touch with an opening act out of the Twin Cities, who was a trauma unto himself.

As my warm up, he was to do 20 -30 minutes and I was to follow with a 45-60 minute set. Friday night, he comes bopping in the bar just before show time, introduces himself, and promptly gets up and does 50 minutes!

His material is based on the fact that he once worked at a Walgreen's drug store. His delivery is a direct rip off of Jim Carrey, and truth be told, the boy has Carrey down, but I fail to see the value of being a Jim Carrey impersonator. Last I checked, Carrey is not dead.

Not only that, I have never really liked Jim Carrey's "Jerry Lewis" approach to comedy so I find the performance grating and the gaff of going way over his time extremely irritating.

By the time I get half way through my set, the audience is in need of a bath room break and their ass cheeks are falling off.

Saturday night I come down to the club to find Jim Carrey Wannabe at the bar and I say: "Are you going to headline again tonight, because if you are, I will open for you and I will do my 20 like I'm supposed to".

"Oh geez, I'm sorry," he says with little feeling, "I guess I got a little carried away last night. I will do my time tonight." And he gets up and does 50 minutes again.

I say nothing -- but monday morning, I give Ken a call at Comedy Productions.

"Is that prick doing that again?" he says. "You're not the first person who has complained about him not doing his time. I will fire his ass. he won't ever work my circuit again."

About a month later, Ken calls with a gig. I ask him how his little talk went with the Carrey Wannabe. Ken says: "Yeh, I fired his ass. But you'll love this, Heagle. Know what he said when I told him I got another complaint?

What's the matter? did I blow another one of your headliners off the stage?"


Wonder Woman's Nose

It's time you knew about Kim Wilson's nose. Well, not her nose so much as her overly sensitive sense of smell, her hyperactive olfactory if you will.

Take this past week for instance. As we are walking to the car from the Kress Inn, Green Bay, Wilson pipes up with: "It smells like elephants out here." I have lived with her long enough not to question her further on this sort of thing but instead just to shake my head in wonder.

In addition to asking me if I just farted (I once said: "No. Would you like me to?"), I get a runnng commentary on smells that I cannot for the life of me get my own nose to hone in on.

This brings me to my favorite Kim's nose story.

I am working down in Stone City, Iowa, at a great little folk club called "The Stone Cutter's Pub", sharing the stage with a really goofy guy from Coon Valley, Wisconsin.

We are invited to an after hours party at a little house just across the bridge on the Wapsipinicon River. The barley pops are going down easy and goofy and me, well, we are trying to out-goofy one another.

Fnally, the goofy guy spots the Purina Dog Chow bones and pops one in his mouth, crunches loudly and then washes it down with his beer. Not to be outdone, I follow suit. the contest continues for quite some time with the whole place in stitches.

For some reason I didn't sleep all that well that night. I got a rather late Sunday morning start for home with a mouth that tasted like the Hungarian army had marched through it with their boots off. I have to admit it kept me awake all the way home.

When I get home, Mother Nature calls and I make my way to our bath room at the end of the hall and I evacuate. I flush the toilet, wash my hands, and as I am coming out of the bathroom, Kim, who is way out near the kitchen yells: "It smells like dog poop in here."



Are Cracks Beginning To Show?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Republican senator says he warned top White House aide Karl Rove that President Bush quickly needs to craft a workable plan to withdraw U.S. troops fom Iraq in order to salvage his legacy.

White House spokesman Tony Snow insisted last week that Bush’s GOP allies in Congress are not breaking with Bush over the war. But Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, told CNN that he warned Rove last week that “The president is a young man and should think about his legacy.”

He should know history will not be kind unless he can come up with a plan that protects the troops and stabilizes the region,” Voinovich said he told Karl Rove, whom Bush dubbed “the architect” of his 2004 re-election.

Voinovich added that other Republicans are close to speaking out against the President’s current strategy.

“I won’t mention anyone’s name. But I have every reason to believe that the fur is going to start to fly, perhaps sooner than what they may have wanted.”

In private, Voinovich is more blunt, using a profanity to describe the White House’s handling of Iraq by charging the administration “f—ed up” the war.

Voinovich stressed he expressed his views to Rove as a positive “opportunity” for the president to come together with Democrats and Republicans on an exit strategy that will be good for the country.

A White House spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that Rove, who speaks with Voinovich frequently, had the phone conversation with the senator last week and they did discuss the President’s legacy. But the spokeswoman declined to provide further details, citing Rove’s desire to keep phone conversations with senators private.

“I got into this to get them to move, and they’re moving,” said Voinovich, who is pushing for the president to put together a workable plan for withdrawing U.S. troops that will be ready in time for a September progress report on the military surge from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

“I really think that they understand,” said Voinovich. “We’ll see by September what they put together. But the main thing is were running out of time — we should take advantage of this time.”

And while Voinovich is giving the White House some breathing space until September to receive the progress report from Gen. Petraeus, the senator is privately warning if there’s not a dramatic new strategy ready to be unveiled in the fall, he will endorse a Democratic plan mandating a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days.

In June, Voinovich urged Bush to take a new tack in Iraq — one he dubbed “Plan E,” for exit. Voinovich called for a decrease in U.S. military engagement, coupled with a “surge” in diplomatic engagement.

His break with the White House came one day after another senior Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, delivered a dramatic Senate floor speech declaring the president’s current strategy was not working.

Since then, Voinovich said he has spoken to both Rove and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and is expressing some satisfaction that in the short term, the White House has heard his concerns.

– CNN’s Ed Henry and Dana Bash

Looks like the Republican congressmen are getting tired of playing political suicide, doesn't it. Sad fact is, while they are toying with political suicide, all their foot dragging party loyalty has young American soldiers doing more than just toying with death in Iraq.

Here's my favorite question for a party line Republican: Why did we invade Iraq?

I already know Bushs' answer to that. "We fight them there so that we won't have to fight them here."

Lately if you ask a politician that question he will side step it by saying that it doesn't matter why we went into Iraq, what we need to be concerned about now, is how we withdraw satisfactorily.

Well, excuse me, but it does matter why we went into Iraq because the honest answer to that is what will determine Bushs' legacy, That is the key issue -- not how he acts and reacts from now until the end of his term.

There is no doubt, as Voinovich says privately "the administration f---ed up the war".

But the gnawing question to me still is WHY DID WE INVADE IRAQ? If you want to get a Republican columnist hot, tell him we went in after the oil. Oh, that pisses them off! Okay then, if that's not the reason, what is?

Tell him we invaded to establish more American bases in an attempt to influence not only Iraqi politics, but Iranian as well. That gets their undies in a bundle also. Okay, if that's not the reason, what is?

Will someone help convince me that my country, the country that I love, has not become the world gangsta -- the international thug.

I am reading Studs Terkel's The Good War and one of the stories really hit me. A foreign woman said that when all the bombing was going on during late WWII, she didn't know how she managed to survive, but she did. Then she said that America has been very lucky in that they have never been bombed. But, she said, if they continue to make war, they inevitably will be bombed. I believe that. It's called karma .

A Pilgrimage To Sacred Ground

Before the lovely Ms Kim and I left Titletown last Friday morning, we had to pay homage at the Holy Land of Lambeau Field. We did something that I ordinarily rebel against, organized tours, and joined a small group of fellow pilgrims for a comprehensive look at the edifice.

The whole concept is stunningly executed and Wisconsin folk should be rightfully proud of this sacred place. At one point we got a chance to visit the executive box suites, getting a look at the lifestyle of the rich and famous, then were led out to the general seating to observe the new turf which is almost completely installed.

It is a combination of real grass and synthetic fibers that are set about quarter inch shorter than the real grass so that mowers can be used.

Green Bay is the fourth NFL franchise to install this new type of turf so this fall and winter there should be no more mud slides between the hash marks and with a brand new underground heating system it is no longer going to be the "frozen tundra" but something tells me the expression will live on.

I have to admit that my pulse quickened as we gazed down on the playing surface. I am taking my pal Jay Moore to Mecca on November 18 for the Packer/Panther game as he is a big Carolina fan and has never been to Lambeau.

Every man, woman, and child in America should experience Lambeau at least once in their life time.

I have a feeling that this may be Brett's final season so I would really like to take Kim over for a game as well.