HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Of Farmers, Grunting, and Leap Year

Last night's gig with Roger Lundeen was a good time. You couldn't ask for a nicer boss than Roger. And I definitely needed to get out and perform. I am feeling somewhat better today, but I still rested a lot after getting up early to help Kimmy with her car - -dropping it off at the dealership at 7:10 A.M. and then delivering her to school.

The Prius was having a problem with the gas tank cover. It would not pop open when she pulled the lever under the seat. This could get to be a bigger problem when she started getting low on fuel. Turns out it was the little spring that holds the door closed -- it got bent out of shape. All better now!

Roger runs a liquid manure delivery service for farmers and last night was what he refers to as his annual "Shit Party" where he buys dinner and provides an open bar for all the farmers who he spread manure for the past year. Anytime you provide free food and an open bar, the farmers are gonna be there - for sure!

I got a great e mail from Matt Capell overnight. He is so funny!! He has a bit of a devilish streak as witnessed by this story he sent me:

There is a headline on Yahoo this morning about a young tennis player that was banned from a country club for "loud grunting":

Which reminds me of when I was 7 my sister was born....There was much ado about her birth and she was adopted by everyone at the churches we attended...My dad usually had two he serviced on alternate weeks...rural churches.....and we attended Antioch Baptist in Little Rock just down the street from our house and the Baptist Seminary where my Dad was Dean of Instruction.

When it came time to "potty train" my sister Mary Ann, they would sit her on a toilet and say..."Grunt Mary Ann" and she would screw up her face and commence to grunt and shit...UH UH UH UH UHUHUHUHUHUHUHUH...plop in the toilet....So in my devlish way, I would wait until some old lady or some guy at one of the churches had her in their arms and people were gathered around cooing and purring over her and I would get real close and say to her so only she could hear....Grunt Mary Ann...and like Pavlov's dogs she would do the grunt and shit act....which would cause great commotion....OH MY GOD SHE'S GOING TO THE BATHROOM.....TOO LATE SHE'S DONE IT...FOR AWHILE I DID THIS A LOT...AND ONLY I ENJOYED IT...It was especially fun when it was an old lady who was persnickity. They had her on some sort of formula that stank to high heaven.

I just told my sister that I did this not too long ago and she being the devil she is, loved it....

My own experience with the term "grunt" was in grade school at St Joe's in Menomonie. One of my classmates, Frances (last name omitted to protect the embarrassed) repeatedly asked the nun in charge if she could leave the class room for the the bath room and the nun, being a nun, kept refusing her.

All of a sudden, the kid sitting behind her (Bob Young). laughed and announced "Francie grunted!" From then on, kids got to go to the bath room when they asked.

Matt also reminded me that today, February 29, is Leap Year and that I should talk about the traditions of Leap Year. He forwarded me some background:

SADIE HAWKINS DAY vs LEAP DAY
Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15 - Leap Day is February 29

Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in
Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip November 15, 1937.

Some people want February 29 to be Sadie Hawkins Day. February 29
is already Leap Day, and Sadie Hawkins Day is already November 15.
There is no need to change anything, or to merge them together.

Please read the information below from the Lil'Abner website.

Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip November 15, 1937.
Sadie Hawkins was "the homeliest gal in the hills" who grew tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin'.
Her father, Hekzebiah Hawkins, a prominent resident of Dogpatch, was even more worried about Sadie living
at home for the rest of his life, so he decreed the first annual Sadie Hawkins Day, a foot race in which the
unmarried gals pursued the town's bachelors, with matrimony the consequence.

By the late 1930's the event had swept the nation and had a life of its own. Life magazine reported over 200
colleges holding Sadie Hawkins Day events in 1939, only two years after its inception. It became a woman
empowering rite at high schools and college campuses, long before the modern feminist movement gained
prominence.

The basis of Sadie Hawkins Day is that women and girls take the initiative in inviting the man or boy of their
choice out on a date, typically to a dance attended by other bachelors and their aggressive dates. When
Al Capp created the event, it was not his intention to have the event occur annually on a specific date because
it inhibited his freewheeling plotting.

However, due to its enormous popularity and the numerous fan letters Capp received,
the event became an annual event in the strip during the month of November, lasting
four decades.

Please understand the differences between Leap Day and Sadie Hawkins Day:

Leap Year Day

Sadie Hawkins Day

The date for Leap Year Day is February 29.
Leap Year Day has been around since 45 B.C.
Forty-Five B.C.!
February 29 has always had the name Leap
Year Day. From day one of it's existence.
Leap Year Day was added to the calendar to
keep the calendar in line with the seasons.
It represents balance and harmony between
the seasons and our method of time-keeping.
The date for Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15.
Sadie Hawkins Day has only been around since
1937 A.D.
November 15 was just a day on the calendar until
someone decided it should be Sadie Hawkins Day.
Sadie Hawkins Day was added to the calendar
because students at college thought it would be fun.
That is all fine and good. It still does not perform
the balancing act that February 29 celebrates.
So there you have it. Four significant differences between Leap Year Day and Sadie Hawkins Day.

They each have their reasons for being, and they have their own day on the calendar.

The only similarity between the two is that the woman is allowed to do the asking. Well,
that's not a good enough reason for them to merge onto one date. They are separate.

I am so disappointed -- here it is, late afternoon, and not one female has asked me to marry her!

_______________________________________________________________

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Humane Society Calls -- Cold Feet Hit, Queer The Deal

I woke up this morning with my old friend fibromyalgia riding me hard. It is such an amazing malady! The only way I can explain it is that it has all the symptoms of the body flu where everything hurts and it is difficult just to move about.

But move about I had to, as today is cleaning woman day at 4896 Hobbs. I did stay in bed as late as I dared - 10 AM and then I dressed and trundled over here.

All morning I have been vascillating in my mind about this cat adoption thing. The Humane Society finally called around 11 to tell me that I had been approved, and well, I couldn't pull the trigger on closing the deal!

The two things that keep me from adopting an office cat are the fact that I know Kim does not want it happening, (even though she won't be directly involved, but feels she would be anyway) and secondly, the cat would be spending nights alone here and during the day, even though I would be here, this is primarily my work space and I couldn't devote the time that should be devoted to a pet because of that.

So, I think I am making the right decision. Obviously I am of two hearts on this. So I am pretty bummed today.

I have to be on the road at 4 to a gig in Haugen tonight. I don't feel much like being a funny man, but probably it will do me good to get out and do it.

___________________________________________________________

For now, it is into a steamy hot bath to soak this achy body -- take a nap and then head out to the job.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Helmet Projects -- Getting Better At It

The "winter helmet project" is getting to be more fun each time I work on a new one. This latest example is a "Schutt" helmet that I got through eBay for a measly $10, sent another $4.00 on the blue paint and applied the "New York Giant" decals I already had in my possession.

Notice that I am still to put the jaw pads in place. I have those back ordered at $5.00 a pair. So even though there is a bit of money outlay to do these, I am not spending nearly the money I would if I bought them through a sporting goods store plus I have the enjoyment of a hobby to keep this old man busy in his twilight years.
Actually, turth be told, it's just a way of getting around the fact that I should be cleaning the office again.

Actually I got a good start on it yesterday and am about to scrub the kitchen floor -- which is going to be a back breaker today as I have let the crud build up way too long.

Then I can reward myself with a long bubble bath soak in the old office tub with some good music on the box and asome reading -- currently about the great NY Giant/Washington Redskin linebacker Sam Huff who really established the position of "middle linebacker" as a star role back in the day when a young Tom Landry was defensive coach for the Giants and is credited with developing the 4-3 defense.

Guess I will have to find some white vinyl numbers for my Giants helmet to signify it as a Sam Huff model. His number was "90".

This afternoon I am going back over to the Humane Society to check out the neutered male population of cats. I spent some time there last week and I may have it narrowed down to a couple different gray kitties.

I have even gone so far as to fill out an application. Now I am afraid they will reject me as an unfit daddy.

It's been fun fantasizing what I would name an old gray male cat. General Robert E. Lee comes to mind -- gray -- get it? and I have always been partial to the Disney character name "Bluto".

Well, I can put it off no longer! time to scrub the floor!

_______________________________________________________________

As my friend Blinky would say: "I'm noivous! I'm really noivous!" that's because I turned in my application to give a poor stay cat a good home today.

I had been spending time with a couple of different grey cats and one tiger tabby named George over the past two weeks but today I went in and fell in love. He's a big old boy -- an orange tabby they have named Dustin, which is a little too Yuppie for my taste, but assuming I pass the test and am allowed to pick him up tomorrow, I have some time to ponder names.

Rusty comes to mind, but I s'pose that's about as imaginative as "Spot". In the back of my mind, I have always carried "Rochester" as a possibility as he will be the resident butler for this Mr. Benny -- but he will be an orange Rochester, not black. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

I still like Bluto but I don't think this particular cat has a Bluto type personality -- he's pretty laid back. (That could have something to do with the fact that he was recently castrated).

He has a little black spot right in the middle of his nose. I suppose I could call him Booger.

He has a wonderful, very quiet purr, so quiet, in fact, that I had to get my ear down close to him, and then he did something that really sold me -- he gave me a little lick (a kitty kiss). something I hadn't experienced since my last orange Tabby, the lovely Miss Rose. Whatever I decide to name this kitty-boy, he has a lot of expectations to love up to as Rose (even though Hannah and Harley were both wonderful cats) was the most loving pet I have ever had.

This cat is really a pretty big cat. He is four years old and was dropped off by a family when they moved out of town. He has been sitting in the "big house" since last November. Really kinda sad.

Hope it works out, I will give him a good little house to take care of, brush him at least twice a week, feed him well (including treats), supply him with a scratching post, as he still has his claws, and I want him to keep them. He will need them when the little grey beasties with the long tails come to call upon my bacon grease.

I wish I could be here the first night a mouse comes bopping in through their usual gateway to find Rochester/Bluto/Rusty/Russ/Booger as the greeting committee.

And I'm thinking that in winter he's gonna cherish curling up on the love seat right in front of that stove.

Having just re-read my carrying on, I am leaning towards calling him Booger. Here's a really cool thing: Because I am a "Senior", I don't have to pay any fees to adopt! Free a cat! He's free!

______________________________________________________________

Monday, February 25, 2008

Harv Harvison of "I Have The Gift" Can Get It For You

Over the past several years I have established a great relationship with a man, who although I have never met him, I feel like we are friends! His name is Harv Harvison and he has an eBay site out of the Philipines where he has access to having really high class authentic "throw back" jerseys from the 1960's made up for customers.

Now -- these jerseys are not cheap-- but they are worth every penny! I have a Frank Ryan (Browns) jersey, a Billy Kilmer jersey. a Don Chandler (Green Bay kicker) jersey, and most recently, the one pictured here, by special order, a Ray Nitschke. (I purposely put the biography of Mr. Nitschke in the picture to show you how accurate these jerseys are to the real thing.

I had to take the Nitschke jersey into my seamstress because the sleeves were too long. When I came to pick it up, she told me that there had been a customer in who saw the jersey and was really admiring it. So much so, she said, that she felt she had to keep an eye on him so that he wouldn't try to steal it!

I don't know what's up this morning, but I was trying to locate his page that showed jersey choices and couldn't find it. If you would like his e mail address, however, go to my web site, find my e mail address and request it through there.

I have two jerseys made by Mitchell and Ness, supposedly the supreme collector jersey (they sell for nearly $300) and in my opinion they are not nearly the quality of the "Roster" jerseys that Mr. Harvison has.
_______________________________________________________________

NOTE: Just heard back from Harv and he is updating his web site with a lot more choices in jerseys! (gulp). To get to the web site, go to: www.nfl-nba-mlb-nhl.com. Browse around! As I said, they put out the best quality jersey I have encountered! I was wearing my "Nitschke" out for breakfast at a restaurant in town this morning while I waited for an oil change and even the waitress --who isn't really a football fan -- was very impressed with the quality of my jersey!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Helmet Projects Wiling Away Cold winter Days

It all strted this past autumn with the Packers great season n progress. That coupled with the fact that I was sucking up knowlege of NFL players like a sponge through biographies of Jim Brown and Ray Nitschke. Then there was this old Riddell helmet that had been kicking around my store room since the mid 1960's - got me interested in beginning a collection of NFL helmets.

My first inclination was to go to the internet and see if I could find the "RK" series of helmets that were produced in the 1960's. I did find them, but in most cases, the companies were no longer carrying them as Riddell had stopped producing them. Not only that, the ones I could find came only in one size and I wanted size authenticity as well.

Another big draw back was that the going price was $170 per helmet!!
So I went, logically to eBay and sure enough, there was a plethora of helmets to be had if one is willing to do the work of refurbishing.

I worked on the original helmet for a while, then chickened out and took it to my auto body man and asked if he had a young painter on staff who would take on the project in his off time. We reached an agreement and that one will be returned to me as a Green Bay packer "Bart Starr" helmet.

In the meantime, the first helmets I got through eBay were the ones you see pictured. The Riddell was pretty beat up but I sanded it a lot, and put multiply coats of white paint on it, repainted the linebacker style face mask, (which was originally blue) found the Badger logos on line, and finally assembled it yesterday.

It is okay for a first try but there is much need for improvement. The other helmet is a Schutt and I got it for an incredibly low price and decided to make it into an Arizona Cardinals helmet in honor of Pat Tillman.

I am finding it difficult to find any of the really old style "RK" Riddells from the '60's. I was able to locate one in Canada (which I have not received yet), but intend to make in to a Cleveland Browns Jim Brown helmet when it does get here.

Finding the logos for the sides of the helmets are the most difficult task. I finally tracked down a New York Giants logo as well as a Kansas City Chiefs.

Looks like I will have plenty to do next winter!

_____________________________________________________________

This coming Wednesday, February 27, I will be wending my way north to Haugen, Wisconsin, to work for Mr. Roger Lundeen, who owns and operates a liquid manure delivery company for farmers.

We have had a long and enjoyable work relationship over the past seven years or so. The first time Roger called me, we had some difficulty negotiating my performance fee. After hassling for a while I told him I would come up and do the gathering at a reduced price just so I could put "worked Roger Lundeen's Shit Party" on my resume.

Roger is a very funny man in his own right -- I wouldn't tell him that, of course, but I doesn't really need me --he gets plenty of laughs when he presents the "Cow Pie Awards" each year.

The Cow Pie Awards are dried cow manure flop which he then sprays gold with gold spray paint and presents to the five farmers for whom he spread the highest poundage of liquid manure.

I told him a couple of years ago that I was hurt that I never get a Cow Pie Award -- after all, I put out more bullshit than all his clients combined.

You'd think I would get one, right? BUT NO!!!

I may have to give my pal Jimmy Sims a call to see if he would like to ride along and observe the festivities. He thinks I make this shit up!

____________________________________________________________

World's Biggest Woman Is A Great Dane!



She's seven foot four inches tall -- she's a 320 pound Danish is what she is! That's a lotta sweets with your coffee in the morning. She is the world's largest woman. To quote the old joke -- somebody get me a step ladder and a bucket!

What's rather disturbing is that I am five foot six and I find her extremely attractive. She makes me want to sing show tunes like "Climb Every Mountain"!

She makes me want to quote old war movies: "Cover me -- I'm going in!"

__________________________________________________________________

Today's quiz:

Name a former NFL quarterback who became a US Senator and whose name is the same as that of a prominent brand name of ice cream in the Midwest.

Speaking of football -- here's some more to ponder:

How do you keep bears out of your back yard?
Why don't the Minnesota Viking players leap into the stands like the Green Bay Packers do?
What do you call 40 millionaires sitting around watching the Super Bowl?
What's the difference between a 49'er fan and a puppy?
How many Green Bay Packer fans does it take to change a light bulb?

__________________________________________________________________

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wood Ticks, Softball Tics, Alcoholic Tics


After trying several times to export this image in a size large enough to read the "vanity" license plate easily, I have given up! I did want to share it, however, as if you look carefully, or drag out the old magnifying glass, you will see that the plate says WUDTIC.

You will also notice that it is a Wisconsin specialty plate with a wolf's head at the left.

The photo was taken by my pal, Jay Moore, (hopefully not while he was driving!) on a recent trip back to the stomping grounds of his childhood. So somebody beat me to that one, eh? That's okay. I am perfectly happy to be keeping "laughs" off the market until I die -- hopefully, laughing.

___________________________________________________________

I got to thinking the other day as I passed a grade school play ground, of my own grade school days at St Joseph's School in Menomonie. The only part of the playground that had a tall chain link fence back stop bordered the driveway of an old woman's house.

When it got warm enough to start playing softball, that's when the fearsome adventures began.

it never failed. As soon as the first batter got up to the plate, the old witch would suddenly appear out of nowhere, rocking in her rocking chair behind the picture window that looked out on us.

It was only a matter of time and someone would chip a foul ball over the fence and it would bound across her driveway, bump up against her house and the chase was on.

She must have been in her 80's, but that old lady could move!

Whoever was catching would have to run all the way to the end of the fence, turn the corner, then race down her driveway to retrieve the errant ball, the shrill squealing of the grade school girls only making the task that much more frightening!

Out of the house and down the steps the old lady would bound, broom in hand. If you got there at the same time she arrived, she took the broom to you until you backed off and she scooped up the prize.

Many times she got there first, picked up the ball, and without even so much as a glance back, she would return to her post at the window.

I don't know whatever became of her. but to this day I picture a mantel with softballs all in a line -- trophies of balls bounced out of play and into her domain.

The other fact that has always astounded me is that we never broke that window. I think if we had, there would have been some cheering!

____________________________________________________________

Matthew Capell and I had a great discussion on the wondrous attributes of the vodka gimlet the other day. I had forgotten about gimlets. Used to drink them all the time.

So I went out and bought some "Stoli", some Rose's lime juice, and on a whim, three fresh limes. Now -- the Rose's Lime Juice I knew about from my bar tending days at the now gone Hotel Eau Claire. It was a great old hotel. Why do we have no respect for our architecture?

Standard condiment for the vodka gimlets of yore was always two filberts.

Yesterday, Matt sent me the following:

It has come to the attention of my ever watching eye that this website gets hit quite often looking for information on the veritable Vodka Gimlet. I posted about my love for said drink in some post somewhere, and Google has picked it up and sent many a budding Gimlet connoisseur my way.

So I have, in my wisdom, decided it wise to share with you the perfect Vodka Gimlet recipe - from ingredients to the way to pre-treat the glass. Those in the know already know that a Vodka Gimlet is one of the easiest recipes to make. It requires very little skill and is big on taste. But there are things that can be done to make it even perfect-er, and here is Dave's way of making the perfect Vodka Gimlet.

The reason I'm such a Gimlet fan is because while I like certain drinks and flavorful martinis, I'm not a huge fan of hard alcohol. I quite more often find myself dancing with a glass of wine or beer - I've enjoyed enough beer in my life to get a small nation toasted.

So drinking hard alcohol not being on my personal top 10 list of exciting and fun ways to spend my time (my brother will one day disown me for not appreciating a good scotch) I'm relatively picky about what mixed drinks or martinis I actually do ingest.

But sometimes a drink comes along that wakes up the taste buds to a new experience. Such was the deal when Sean's wife first introduced my (breathtaking) girlfriend and I to a Vodka Gimlet one evening while we were visiting them. I was immediately hooked - as was the girlfriend.

It's an easy drink to make. The basics are 1.5 oz of vodka to 1 oz of lime juice, mix, and serve. But a good Gimlet is so much more. Here's the way to make yourself a perfect Gimlet (like the one I'm enjoying right now).

Step 1 - Select a Vodka

Now, if you want me to go ahead and make life easy on you, here we go - use Grey Goose. For me, the perfect Gimlet is far from site when any vodka other than Grey Goose is employed. Certainly I can enjoy a Gimlet with Level or Van Gogh or Stoli or even Absolut if… you know… Absolut-ly necessary… (rim shot). But not being a vodka connoisseur myself, I can tell you that I don't like a vodka with a bite - and Grey Goose is about as smooth as they come.

I'll leave the final decision to you. After all, the vodka is half of the ingredients, so you'd better enjoy it. But trust me - if the vodka you're using was less than $20 for 750 ml - you're probably being cheated out of good taste.

One final - IMPORTANT - note. Do not put the vodka in the refrigerator. In order for this recipe to work, the vodka must be at room temperature.

Step 2 - Select a Lime Juice

No - any lime juice will NOT do. There is only one lime juice you may use and if you don't use it, you're out of the family. Roses West India Sweetened Lime Juice is the shiznit, and you really shouldn't use anything else. It's sweetened to give it a - hmm… sweet taste - but is concentrated enough to still enjoy the lime impact.

Step 3 - Grab a lime.

That's it. Get a lime.

Makin Time

Now it's time to actually make the drink. Again, lets review. You should have the following three ingredients:

Grey Goose Vodka (or other appropriately high end spirit of the potato variety)
Roses West India Sweetened Lime Juice
Lime
Good. Now, the steps in which you actually do this are important. Here they are:

Grab your shaker and fill it 2/3 of the way high with cubed ice. Crushed is not great for this drink. Put the shaker aside.
Grab a measuring cup. Put 1.5 oz of vodka in for every 1 oz of Roses lime juice you use. A hint for more flavor is to really bring the ratio closer to 1:1, but we're going to use the real lime to add a nice cap to the drink, so the 1.5:1 ratio is acceptable. Make sure the vodka is room temperature. The lime juice may be cold for preservation reasons.
Pour both the vodka and Roses lime juice directly into the measuring cup. Put the cup aside.
Cut your lime into quarters. One quarter will be used for each drink. If you're short on limes, you can cut it in to eighths, but I do recommend quarters. By cutting up the limes in this step, you're giving the ice time to cool the shaker.
Grab the shaker and empty any water that has gathered at the bottom from the ice melting. Now place the vodka/lime juice mix into the shaker. Cap the shaker and shake it good - for at least 15-20 seconds. This will allow the room temperature vodka to quickly pick up the cold of the ice, while melting the ice a little to help pick up some water. You want some water. Place the shaker aside and allow it to sit for a few seconds while you do the next step.
Take the lime quarter, and push it on to the rim of the glass. Move the lime all the way around the rim of the glass while squeezing slightly, so the entire rim of the glass gets some fresh lime juice on it.
Give the vodka/lime juice mix one last shake to mix it up, and pour into the glass/glasses. The glass should become ice cold to the touch after no more than 30 seconds.
Finally, take the lime quarter off of the rim of the glass, and squeeze the rest of the juice out into the Gimlet and drop the lime wedge in to the drink. Don't stir.
Enjoy!
Making a Good Drink is Never Quick

There you have it - the perfect Vodka Gimlet. It should not be a two second exercise to make a good Gimlet. Rather, take your time. Let the vodka soak up the cold of the ice. Make sure you get the lime all the way around the rim of the glass.

Why is this so good??

When your lips first touch the glass, you're immediately introduced to the tart of the fresh lime juice, almost unexpectedly. When the Gimlet touches your lips, the cold that you're feeling in the hand holding the drink wakes up your senses. A sip of the drink attacks your mouth with sweet and tart at the same time (this is MY kind of sweet-tart!) and is cold and refreshing. Yet when you swallow, the Gimlet leaves a familiar, welcoming warm in your chest.

That's good drinking my friends. Good indeed.

_________________________________________________________



So when I bought the limes, I was doing the "hip" thing and didn't even know it!

Maybe this is less than sophisticated, but there are two drinks that I like to drop a jalepeno stuffed green olive into as a finishing touch: the brandy manhattan, and the vodka gimlet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter, Winter, Winter


Another really cold morning this morning, but I was up fairly early, trudging over here to catch the last of the coals from the stove's overnight fire. I find it much easier to set aside some smaller kindling the day before and then be able to just walk in, stir up the coals and throw the kindling in -- in a matter of minutes I have a good fire going again.

Should be interesting to see if I am going to have enough firewood to make it through the rest of this god awful winter. I am amazed how fast and how much wood i have already used!

I got my first Clearwire broadband bill in the mail this week: $15.81 and worth every penny! It is one of the smarter things I have done this year.I am also glad that rather than rent the modem, i bought it outright at just a little over a hundred dollars.

I had to go down to the Fall Creek Post Office yesterday to pick up my Ray Nitschke jersey -- and may I say, it is really a beauty! really well made and authentic to the 60's!
Who should be in the post office when I got there, but my friend Tiit Raid who was busily mailing out invitations to his art exhibition opening in Minneapolis on March 1. It was really, really good to see him. He has a lot more color in his face than last time I saw him and his spirits are very good!

Couldn't resist showing you this picture of the men in the ranks! Gives a whole new meaning to the old army expression: "grab ass", doesn't it?

Kim forwarded this one to me:

HAIR DRYER?

A distinguished young woman on a flight from Switzerland asked the Priest beside her, "Father, may I ask a favor?" "Of course. What may I do for you?"

"Well, I bought an expensive woman's electronic hair dryer for my mother's birthday that is unopened and well over the Customs limits, and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?"
"I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not
lie."

"With your honest face, Father, no one will question you."

When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.

The official asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?"

"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to
declare."

The official thought this answer strange, so asked,"And what do
you have to declare from your waist to the floor?"

"I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used
on a woman, but which is, to date, unused."............

Roaring with laughter, the official said, "Go ahead, Father
________________________________________________________

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

God Bless Pat Tillman -- a True American Hero


I added something new to my "Packer Shrine" today -- a mock up of an Arizona Cardinals helmet and a Pat Tillman jersey. As far as I am concerned Pat represents the very best of our young men. Here's a guy who gave up millions of dollars and all the glamor of playing in the National Football League for a GI uniform.

He trained to be one our best fighting men -- an Army Ranger and went to duty in a war that even I believed in -- the war in Afghanistan where that son of a bitch Osama bin Laden had been spotted numerous times.

The way Pat died was such a tragedy. He went down under fire from his fellow soldiers in a SNAFU of gigantic proportions. As if this wasn't terrible enough, our so called leadership turned it over to their spin-meisters and told Pat's family and the entire nation lies about what actually happened.

That is why I went out and purchased a likeness of Pat's jersey and made a mock up of his helmet. We need to be reminded daily what a bunch of bastards we have elected to office and hopefully will never let that kind of shit happen again!

We also need to remind ourselves that there are really good, patriotic Americans like Pat Tillman who have paid the ultimate price for their country, unlike that spoiled brat George Bush who never completed his training as a pilot but had the nerve to put on the trappings aboard an air craft carrier and announce that the "Mission's Accomplished".

May this pompous little poseur someday burn in hell!

_____________________________________________________________

Spring Will Come Whether It Wants To Or Not (Damn It)



Tuesday -- day after "Flag Day" -- back-to-work normal day. Sump pump not working at the house. Anytime we draw a glass of water for rinsing teeth in the bath room sink, it reeks of rotten eggs. Nowhere else in the house -- just that faucet.

There will be a call in to the plumber today.

Spent the weekend mulling over whether I want to have a cat who resides at the office -- then I got this poster in my e mail! How would you like to be a mouse that encountered this dude upon breaking and entering???

I haven't checked this morning's temperature readings but having just walked over here from the house, take it from me, IT IS GOD AWFUL!!!

The good thing about getting up when Kim does at 5 AM, is that when I get over here, I still have a sound base of glowing coals to start today's wood stove ablaze with as witnessed in the other photo.

I have it so warm in here right now, that it is nearly impossible to sit on the couch in front of the fire and I can feel the heat radiating on my back as I work at the computer.

It also makes it luxurious to run a steamy hot bath with bubble bath, stretch out and read.

I have been reading books about World War II (currently a book called "The Foot Soldier") and just recently completed a bio about the NFL's ultimate full back, Jim Brown, and am now starting a bio on the great John Unitas.

HEY! HERE'S A NEWS FLASH! THE CARDINALS HAVE BEGUN SINGING THEIR SPRING SONG AS OF NOW! I was sitting here typing away when I thought I heard it, but thought my imagination was playing tricks on me and that I just WANTED and LONGED to hear that Spring song, when it happened again.

some cardinal is out there in his sheep skin jacket. mukluks and muffler and singing his little heart out! It' the second sign of Spring! The first being, of course, potholes that can swallow semi trucks.

This is the time of year you can get picked up for drunk driving because you were all over the road -- trying to avoid pot holes and hundreds of dollars in front end alignment.

Time to go start my bubble bath! Man! I am suddenly in a hell of a good mood! And all because of a bird's Spring song. Thank you, Mr. cardinal!

Remind me to fill my bird feeder!

later!


_________________________________________________________________

Monday, February 18, 2008

ALL I Want Is A Room Somewhere


I was unable to make an entry in my blog for this past saturday from my hotel in Waukesha as their rooms do not carry high speed internet. Can you believe in this day and age, in a hotel that is large enough to cater to conventions and busines people in gneral and they give no access to internet and e mail???

I guess, truthfully, I was lucky to get a room at all as the woman who was in charge of securing my room somehow managed to let it slip her mind.

It is one of my all time pet peeves as a road warrior to attempt to check into a motel whee everything was supposed to have been taken care of in advance by the company I am working for, only to find that the desk has never heard of me.

So I asked them to look under reservations for "Wisconsin Waste Water Association" -- no dice -- I wasn't there, either. so I traipsed all the way down to the meeting rooms and interrupted the woman during her lunch to explain the situation.

She in turn went back with me to the desk. Around we go again, with the same answers. There is no reservation for Larry Heagle. My hostess then gets the number for the Best Western across the highway and goes back to lunch. advising me to "sit tight" in case there is a cancellation at this hotel.

Sure enough, five minutes later, they announce that they have a cancellation and therefore a room for me. Now it's the long walk back down to the banquet room and finally I get checked in to room 148.

For some reason, I have trouble sleeping on the road. Friday night I got very little sleep so this saturday afternoon ordeal wasn't sitting very well with mr. disposition. I did manage to get an hour or so before having to set up speakers, etc.

The show went well, but the buzz around the hotel was about an impendng ice storm which was to be descending on this particular part of the state "any minute now".

So I packed my gear and fortified with a double vodka gimlet (thanks, Matt) and a bottle of Heineken (thanks, Dutch people), I jumped on Highway 94 and headed for home.

As soon as the adrenalin from the show wore off -- just south of Madison-- it became a furious battle to stay awake and not hit the ditch after falling asleep at the wheel. all I could think of was how ironic it would be that while trying to outrun a storm, I was killed because I fell asleep at the wheel.

Four stops and nineteen cups of coffee later, I finally crept down the driveway of home about 2 AM.

I don't think the ice storm ever materialized.

Here is is, Flag Day -- Kim has the day off, and we are almost trapped by more incoming snow. This winter has been a pisser. eh? We did manage to make up for our lost saturday morning brunch (because of last saturday's travel day) at Perkins and it was most relaxing.

Then we went over to what has to be Ms Kim's favorite store: "The Dollar Store" and fought off all kinds of urges to buy shit we didn't need because it was only a DOLLAR!

Pictured with today's blog is the notice left in my mailbox by my mail man Steve last saturday while I was on my way to DeForest for my saturday night gig. If you look very closely, in the upper right hand corner you will see that the package I need to sign for is my special order Ray Nitschke jersey, which I had made for me in the Phillipines by "I Have The Gift", a web site run by Mr. Harv Harvison, a man, that although I have never met him, I feel like i know him as we have conversed so often by e mail.

Hell, sometime ago, I even sent him a copy of my CD with the Vasectomy Song on it. He has been trying to convince me to fly to the Phillipines and meet some of the thousands of young Filipino women who just love American men.

Ah --thanks, Harv -- but no thanks -- I don't think Mizz Kim would take too kindly to that. And what would a 66 yr old dude like me do with young Filipino women if I was single? Play cards?

Anyway -- Because today is a national holiday and post offices are closed, I won't be able to get my jersey until tomorrow morning. got the "can hardly waits".

I need to get down to the Fall Creek Post Office and give the employees some shit anyway -- been way too long since I have gotten on Shirley's case!

This football collection thing will probably end up getting out of hand -- I have my pals at Aerco Auto Body finishing off my "Bart Starr" (or it might be a Ray Nitschke) helmet currently, and in the planning stages are a Pat Tillman Cardinals helmet, a Wisconsin Badgers helmet, a Washington Redskins Billy Kilmer Helmet, and finally a Jim Brown Cleveland Browns helmet.

It has been really fun so far because I have been eBaying and watching my prices -- just got a Riddell in primo shape for $20.50!

___________________________________________________________

And this latest contribution from Matt:

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

Yesterday I was buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for Athena the
wonder dog, at Wal-Mart and was about to check out. A woman behind me
asked if I had a dog.

On impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was
starting the Purina Diet again. Although I probably shouldn't, because
I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds
before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of
most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that
it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply
eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the foods
nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. (I have to
mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled
with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog
food poisoned me. I told her no; I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish
Setter's ass and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was
laughing so hard.

WAL-MART won't let me shop there anymore!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Days On The Road And Happy About It

Back in my room after entertaining The Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association at the Comfort Inn and Suites, DeForest.

Dinner, was of course, prime rib, which drew the ire of some of the Catholic cattlemen since this is Lenten season and you are not to partake of red meat on fridays -- although I thought that particular rule had been dropped several years ago -- shows what I know.

I explained to the audience that I have a brother who is a priest and that I had spoken with him about this particular dilemma and he told me to tell them that I had permission, as a priest's brother to give them a "special dispensation" for the evening.

I then added that it didn't mean diddly and that they would all burn in hell, but buck up, at least it wouldn't be as cold as wisconsin is and they would have me with them. That got a mixed reaction.

Here's a travel tip if you drive east on Highway 94 from Minneapolis to Milwaukee.
There is a great spot to fuel up -- The Road Ranger just southeast of Tomah (wish I could remember the exact exit but if you watch the billboards once you get past Tomah, you will see the huge signs looming above the countryside.

Today gasoline was $3.19 a gallon in Eau Claire and I filled up at the Road Ranger at $2.97 a gallon. So it is well worth your while if you can time it out with your fuel tank.

Yesterday I went over to the Eau Claire Humane Society -- big mistake. Kim has really put her foot down about any further cats in the house, but I am thinking it would be pretty cool to have some companionship while I am working at the office.

At any rate, I went to the back room where there were a number of cats loose in the room, sat down and waited.

Before long a gray female approached, announced herself and hopped up on my lap. I was wearing my WWII B3 sheepskin jacket, unzipped, and she took an instant liking to the wool lining, began purring and working her way, head first, up into my sleeve.

Earlier I had sspent sometime with another entirely gray male cat that I found attractive. He had a really cute way of cocking his head at an angle while looking at me.

So I am contemplating two gray cats for the office -- wondering what I would name tham was fun while driving today.

I will put a lot more thought into this before making a decision. One thing is certain -- they would have a field day with the intruding mouse population over there.

Suppose I should start getting ready to hit the sack. Hopefully I will meet my buddy Stan Johnson for breakfast tomorrow, then venture into the edge of Madison, find myself as Best Buy and pick up a cable for high speed internet.

I left mine home, damn it! I was able to borrow one from the desk here, but I don't want to chance that again tomorrow night.

Will check in tomorrow.


_____________________________________________

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! Love The One you're With

Happy Valentine's Day to all of those who are lucky enough to have someone to love. All too often we take our partners for granted and then on Valentine's Day, we go all out.

I am not excluding myself from that group although I do try to show Kim how special she really is through little things like foot rubs at bed time and occasionally flowers and a card for no apparent reason.




In about 40 minutes or so, I need to get started on preparing our Valentine's dinner. I got the cheescake made yesterday and chilled it overnight in the refrigerator. It is a thing of beauty. I fooled with the recipe this time, doubling the ingredients so that the bottom layer is 32 ounces of Kraft cream cheese whipped together with six large eggs and a tablespoon of vanilla, then poured into a graham cracker crust lined large spring form pan and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.


It is then allowed to cool for an hour before I whip 32 ounces of sour cream with a cup of sugar and this time (instead of vanilla), a tablespoon of almond extract. This is spooned over the lower layer, then leveled out with a spatula and baked an additional 20 minutes at 475 degrees.

It weighs a ton!

______________________________________________

From e mails received:

From Kim --

A four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."
*********************************************

Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.
A little girl said, "I know all about adoption, I was adopted.."

"What does it mean to be adopted?", asked another child.

"It means", said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!"
*********************************************
On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League base ball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.

"We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile.

"Really," I said. "I have to say you don't look very discouraged."

"Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face...



"Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."
********************************************************

Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.
Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.
On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me..... "I've been chosen to clap and cheer."
*********************************************

God's Wife


An eye witness account from New York City , on a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the young boy and said, "My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window!"
"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,"was the boy's reply.
The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, you will be more comfortable now."
As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her. "Are you God's wife?"

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

From Matt Capell --

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an
assignment: Have your parents tell you a story with a moral at the end.
The next day the kids came back and 1 by 1 began to tell their stories.

"Johnny, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes ma'am. My daddy told a story about my Aunt Carol. She was a pilot
in Desert Storm and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy
territory and all she had was a small flask of whiskey, a pistol and a survival
knife. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then her
parachute landed right in the middle of twenty enemy troops.

She shot fifteen of them with the gun until she ran out of bullets,
killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she killed the last
Iraqi with her bare hands."

"Good Heavens" said the horrified teacher. "What kind of moral
did your daddy tell you from this horrible story?"

"Stay the hell away from Aunt Carol when she's drinking."



Happy Hour In Texas

A cowboy is driving down a back road in Texas .
A sign in front of a restaurant reads:

HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL
Lobster Tail and Beer


'Lord almighty' he says to himself,
my three favorite things!!'


Referring to the above "lobtster tail and beer" reminds me of two. There's a guy swimming just out from a sign that says:

PRIVATE BEACH
NO SWIMMING ALLOWED

When confronted by a police officer the man says: "Officer, you're reading the sign wrong! It says: Private beach? No! swimming allowed.

Mu aunt bea once had to go to the U of Minnesota for a grade transcript. She parked right under a sign that said: NO PARKING 24 HOURS.

She was surprised to find a ticket on here wind shield when she returned to her car. She took the ticket in to the campus police and wanted to know why they gave her a ticket -- she was, after all, only there for an hour!


____________________________________________________________

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hinky Pinky Answers/ Adolf Hitler's Response to Super Bowl XVII

Couple of days ago I ran some "hinky pinkys". Here are the correct answers:

1. tiny heinie
2. Nordic floor dick
3. fussy hussy
4. fatter hatter
5. Packer sacker
6. gassy lassie

________________________________________________________________________________

Today I should be catching up with bills and cleaning this damn rat hole I call an office. I spent a week or more last summer getting the place really spiffed up in anticipation of my brother John's visit and vowed Zi would kept the place "picked up" by putting things away each time I used them.

The road to hell -- so they say --

So instead I met my good friend Judy Willink for breakfast at 7:10AM at the Altoona restaurant, then took my much decorated Packer jacket over to Leatha to have three more patches sewn on -- one is as football shaped green patch with a helmet in the center that says "67" and around the outside it says "The Ice Bowl". The other two are just small oval green patches with gold numbers on them: the number "4" and the number "66" -- the bearers of those numbers have brought a lot of glory to Titletown!

After listening to the weather forecast for Valentine's Day (tomorrow) I thought it best to go out and get my grocery shopping done for our "cooking in" Valentine's evening.

The menu includes thick cut, bone in pork chops which I will stuff with crimini mushroom, seasoned breadcrumb, onion, stuffing, and serve with mashed potatoes and the delicious pork gravy from the baked chops, french cut green beans cooked in a bit of bacon grease and lots of garlic wine vinegar and finely chopped onion, and just a few sliced roma tomatoes, topped with crumbled bacon.

I am working on dessert right now -- a two layer cheesecake that is Kim's all time favorite. It is made with a cinnamon/graham cracker crust and this time I used a larger spring from pan and doubled the bottom layer (32 ounces of cream cheese whipped with a cup of sugar, a half dozen eggs, and a tablespoon of vanilla.

In fact, I need to get that layer out of the oven (it smells done) and let it rest for about half an hour before I make the top layer which will be another 32 ounces -- this time of sour cream and sugar only, and then baked at high temperature for 10 minutes and refrigerated over night.

Happy Valentine's Day. Goodbye heart!

It stuns me when I think of how much I am influenced by the power of suggestion. A couple of days ago I was "skyping" with my pal Matteo in Italy and he, bacheloring as he was at the time, expounded on the wonders of vodka gimlets made with Stlych -- Stolych -- fuck -- Stolie Russian vodka and good old Rose's lime juice, so while I was doing my grocery shopping I was inextricably drawn to the liquor department.

I could not, however, locate the filberts, so I guess I am drinking castrated vodka gimlets today. The liquor pours out of the bottle in a higher key.

You know what's really good in a brandy manhattan? Jalepeno stuffed green olives. Bet they would be good in a gimlet, too. I don't have any of those on hand either.

Reminds me of two jokes. A guy walks into a bar and orders a manhattan. The bar tender brings him a drink and right in the middle of it is a sprig of parsley. The guy says: "What's with the parsley?" The bar tender says: "You ordered a manhattan -- that's Central Park." (bada bing)

Los Angeles has a drink similar to a manhattan called "The Freeway" -- same ingredients, but it takes two hours to get there once you order it (bada boom)

My son David, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, and knows how much I love football, sent me this URL. You MUST watch it -- it almost made me piss myself!!!!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jvQNu7QnQtY

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Badgerland -- Home of Beer, Brats, and Babes

NOTE: FEBRUARY 13 - After showing Kim my "football game" invention, she thinks it is really great and has marketable possibilities and so I removed all information regarding that. Now all I have to do is get off my dead ass and see if there would be interest.

____________________________________________________

I've lived in Wisconsin all of my life, so I don't naturally perceive myself as having an "accent". So, when I go away for a week or so, I listen carefully when I come home. Think Midwestern twang, with a bit (or in some places, more than a bit) of German accent. It's not easy being us - in order to speak you simultaneously emit air through your nose (for the twang) and through the the back of your throat by way of your diaphragm (for the gutteral German thing). Here's an example of what you might hear when you order a brat - "Onion und kraut wit dat eh?" (You would like to have onion and saurkraut on your bratwurst sandwich, isn't that correct?). The "eh" comes, I suppose, as a result of Wisconsin being relatively close to Canada. It seems that the farther north you go, the more often you hear "eh" to signify a period or question mark at the end of a sentence. Notice that in the preceding example, there's no comma, and therefore no pause, between "dat" and "eh". "Dat eh" is nearly run together in everyday speech.

People from Wisconsin drive people from Illinois nuts by saying "bubbler". People from Illinois (ignorant as they are), strongly believe that the proper term for "bubbler" is "drinking fountain". That's their problem, not ours.

Below is a glossary of words and terms heard often in Wisconsin, with their common usages and meanings.

Term

Meaning

brandy A word used more in Wisconsin than anywhere in the world. Brandy is distilled wine. 90% of brandy consumed in the U.S. is consumed in Wisconsin. Brandy Old-Fashioned, Brandy Manhattan, and so on. Yes, if you ask for an Old-Fashioned or Manhattan in Wisconsin, you will get a Brandy Old-Fashioned or Brandy Manhattan.
brat (pronounced braht) bratwurst
bubbler appliance that spurts drinking water slightly skyward
cheesehead This was originally a pejorative term coined by flatlanders. We've willingly accepted the term and use it freely.
dat that
eh? Isn't that correct?
flatlander Illinoisan (or is it Illinoisite?) No actually it's ILLINOYANCE
gesundheit "Good health," said when somebody sneezes.
good-time music polka
gemuetlichkeit A German word used in Wisconsin. There is no literal English equivalent. It seems to mean "feel really good because you're drinking beer and are surrounded by people you know who are also drinking beer and listening to German-style music and now you're ready to march to the town five miles down the road and conquer them." Jefferson, Wisconsin has a festival each September called Gemuetlichkeit Days. It's a wonderful celebration of a community's ethnic heritage.
happy music polka
oldtime music polka
oldtime goodtime happy music polka
mattress polka Oldtime goodtime happy activity
soda
We drink soda, not pop (this does vary, however, by region of the state). Unflavored carbonated water is seltzer. A sweetened, flavored carbonated drink is called soda. (People argue about this one, depending on what part of the state they come from.) For an extensive discussion of this burning issue, see this scholarly treatise.

stop 'n go lights Traffic signals is a boring term eh? Since one light means stop, and the other means go, it makes perfect sense eh? (The yellow light means the same here as just about everywhere else - go faster)
und and
up nort' To a flatlander, north of the south Wisconsin state line. To a Wisconsinite, at least 100 miles north of home (at least we agree on something, in a relative sort of way)
we the Green Bay Packers
Why don't you come with? An example of typical Wisconsinite syntax The sentence ends with a preposition. You linguists know there's a German influence working here, eh?
wit' with
yah yes
yah yah I heard you the first time (said to nagging spouse)


Webmasters note: I didn't write the essay below, and don't know who did. But you can be sure that if I find out who wrote it, I'll credit him/her, because I don't want to take an ass-kicking!
HOW TO SAVE YOUR ASS IF YOU PLAN TO VISIT WISCONSIN THIS SUMMER
ISSUED BY THE WISCONSIN BUREAU OF TOURISM TO ALL VISITORS:

1) Don't order Filet Mignon or Pasta Primavera at Al's Lodge. It's a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know. If
you upset the ladies in the kitchen, they'll kick your ass.

2) Don't laugh at the names of our little towns (Sheboygan, Menomonee, Nekoosa, Prairie du Chien, etc.) or we will just have to kick your ass.

3) Don't order a bottle or a can of pop here. Here it's called "soda." Accept it. Doing otherwise can lead to an ass kicking.

4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you are. We are also better educated and generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to us as a
bunch of hicks or we'll kick your ass.

5) We have plenty of business sense. You have to to make a living here. Naturally, we do sometimes have small lapses in judgment from time to
time, but we are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for the Senate and let her win. If someone tried to do that, we would kick her ass.

6) Don't laugh at our giant fiberglass fish and cows. Anything that inspires tourists to buy 50,000 postcards can't be bad. And don't laugh at our love
and pride of cheese or we'll kick your ass.

7) We are fully aware of how cold it gets here in the winter, so shut up. Just spend your money and get the hell out of here or we'll kick your ass.

8) Don't order the vegetarian special at the local diner. Everyone will instantly know that you're a tourist. Eat your steak rare like God intended
and have some potatoes with that, for heaven's sake! Also, don't ask what a hot dish is or we'll kick your ass.

9) Don't try to fake a Wisconsin accent. We don't have an accent. That will incite a riot and you will get your ass kicked.

10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited big-city hell-holes like Detroit, New York
and Chicago, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, interstate 90, 94 and 43 are ready when you are. Move your ass on home
before it gets kicked.

11) Don't complain that Wisconsin has too many mosquitoes and farmland. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty we'll kick your ass all the way back to
Chicago.

12) Don't ridicule our manners. We only speak when spoken to. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet, little gray-haired grandmothers or they will kick some manners into your ass just like they did ours.

13) So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live on the farm or in the woods? That's because we have enough sense to not live in
filthy, smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or LA. Make fun of our fresh air and we'll kick your ass.

14) Oshkosh B'gosh is NOT a joke. Your ass will be kicked.

15) The Green Bay Packers are not a joke. God created the greatest football dynasty ever and placed it in Green Bay. Any jokes about the Packers or
Vince Lombardi will result in a severe and unrelenting ass kicking.

16) If you are from Atlanta, for your own safety, say you are from somewhere else, lest you get your ass kicked. (Take three sports franchises from
Milwaukee and we have a tendency to hold a grudge.)

17) If you are looking for a water fountain, you'll need to go to a park. Water comes out of bubblers here. Make a joke about it, and you guessed
it, another ass kicking.

18) Sausage Races are cool. Make fun of it, and one of the Sausages will come up from the field of Miller Park and lay down a 8 foot sausage ass
kicking on you.

19) The University of Wisconsin is the oldest, best school in the Big Ten. Any jokes about the quality of UW will result in Barry Alvarez, Ron Dayne,
Dick Bennett, Bo Ryan, Crazylegs Hirsch, Alan Ameche, Pat Richter, and any able bodied UW students assisting Bucky Badger in his class, Ass-Kicking 101.

20) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come out here and tell us that hunting is cruelty to animals and venison is not edible meat. This will get your ass shot (after it is kicked). Say this twice and you will go home in a pine box. Minus your ass.

Now enjoy your visit and then go home!






It's Pronounced "Oconomowoc", Don'tcha Know?

Two tourists were driving through Wisconsin. As they approached Oconomowoc, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town's name. They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch.

"As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the employee, 'Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are . . . very slowly?'

"The blond leaned over the counter and slowly said, 'Burrrr gerrrr Kiiiing.' "

Monday, February 11, 2008

Of Politics and Hinky Pinkys

Back when I was in college (a century ago), we had a word game called "Hinky Pinky" -- that's where you took two words of two syllables that rhymed and then jmade up a definition for the two words for everyone to guess what the "hinky pinky" was.

Example:

Mildred in a goofy mood:

Silly Milly

Here are some for you to work on:

1. an extremely small rear end

2. A Scandinavian house detective

3. A prostitute who doesn't allow herself to be picked up by "just anybody".

4. An overweight fedora manufacturer

5 A defensive lineman who continually knocks down Brett Favre

6. A young Scottish woman with gastric distress

Did you figure them out?

__________________________________________________

Some Political Humor:

Campaign Promises



While walking across a street one day a U.S. Senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises... The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with bubbling lava, waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash and molten lava falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland of hot lava and garbage and all my friends look absolutely miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday, we were campaigning..... today you voted."

Some Political Humor:

"Iran's president ... wanted to lay a wreath at Ground Zero, but his critics said, 'No, no. You are trying to exploit Ground Zero for political gain, and that is Rudy Giuliani's job.'" --Bill Maher

"Did you see Britney Spears at the Video Music Awards? I don't want to say that that performance was a disaster, but after the show, I saw Rudy Giuliani having his picture taken standing on her." --Bill Maher

"Oh, I kid Rudy with love, because he is on the attack against Hillary Clinton. Have you seen this? He accused her of spitting venom at General Petraeus, and he paid for a full-page ad in the New York Times. He must miss the days when he was the mayor of New York, and the New York Times would have to print his bulls**t for free." --Bill Maher

"According to a new AP poll, the most popular presidential candidate among registered Republicans is 'none of the above.' At the moment, Rudy Giuliani is running third, just behind 'Good Lord, not him.'" --Conan O'Brien

"Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race. I will miss Rudy Giuliani as a comedian. I will miss the arguments he had with Mitt Romney. It was like a Halloween costume debating a mannequin." --Bill Maher

"Giuliani dropped out of the presidential race, but don't worry about him. He's already busy looking for wife number four." --David Letterman

"On the Republican side, Rudolph Giuliani has dropped out. America's Mayor, John Q 9/11, it's over. For months, Giuliani was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and then people started voting. ... He finished in ninth place and 11th place." --Jon Stewart

"It looks like Rudy Giuliani is out of the race. Finally, a Republican with an exit strategy." --Jay Leno

"Support for Rudy Giuliani has fallen to 12%, and that's just among his children." --Jay Leno

"Florida is the big one for the Republicans. In fact, Florida is the first state where Rudy Giuliani is seriously campaigning. See, for Giuliani, primaries are kind of like marriages. The first two or three don't really count." --Jay Leno

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Latest Report From Tiit Raid (via Matt Capell) -- Life Is Good

A couple of days ago I gave my friend Tiit Raid a call as I hadn't heard how he is doing with his ongoing battle with leukemia. He sounded really strong and upbeat and we talked about the wonderful remodeling work he and Ann are accomplishing in their already lovely kitchen.

They live in a beautiful old house with lots of character and I have spent many warm and lovely evenings there with friends. hee are some excerpts from an e mail he sent to Matt Capell in Italy:

Matt and Dianne:

Thank you for the kind thoughts! We have always enjoyed your sendings and appreciate you keeping in touch with us.

Stepped outside this morning to get the Sunday paper...is seemed very cold since my jacket started 'krinkling'...later to find that it is -13 with a windchill of -37...the wind is still blowing as it has been all night...good day to stay indoors and keep warm.

With the constantly blowing wind the farm field across the railroad track from our place...which was flat yesterday...has drifts of snow across it that resemble large waves on water.

We have been well. Ann has been a great nurse to me...keeping me in line with taking my meds due to the chemo and flushing the Hickman port I have through which they administer the chemo and blood when I need it. I have one more chemo session in early March and then we hope that it will be the last. I'm still leukemia free and responding well to treatments...so the signs are good that I will beat this Leukemia Beast.

Though the early prognosis was not very positive...1 to 3 years to live and a 3.5% chance of surviving for a guy my age (67)... my 'feeling' from day one has been that it is not my time to leave this planet anytime soon...so far so good.

When I get my blood checked at Luther three times a week I've bumped into Andrea and Penny a couple of times...though he's had his battles and appears a bit fragile it seems like he is doing better. It is always nice to see them...and they also feel optimistic that Andrea is going to get through this 'bump-in-the-road'.

As you may have known...we were scheduled to visit Robert and Marge in China last year and then fly to Bali with them for Christmas and New Years. Well...that didn't exactly work out...but due to this trip coming up I put in a lot of time in the studio last winter, spring and summer...because I knew I needed to get the paintings finished for my next show before we flew off to China. Interesting how the timing of things work out sometimes...as I was finishing the paintings...I started feeling sour in my shoulders and back and a bit fatigued...I thought is was from all of the hours at the easle (like 8 to 9 hours a day)...but it turned out to be Mr. Acute Leukemia knocked on the door...and in two days I was down in Mayo being plugged in for my first chemo. If I hadn't done all of that work in the studio at the time I did it I probably would have had to cancel the show.

I've experienced timing like this before in other situations...and things always seem to work out...and this (in part) is why I feel that I will survive this luekemia thing...it just doesn't 'feel' right that I'd kick-the-bucket before age 70...I still have things I want to do yet.

So...the above leukemia business has been the all consuming thing in our lives...but onward...and we continue as if this is just something in passing...we are now in the midst of re-doing our back room...the last room in the 'living' area of the house to be finished after 33+ years of being in Fall Creek. 'The Boys' are installing four larger windows on the northwall...which opens up the view of the back yard toward the creek...the walls will be re-insulated and covered with bead-board and the maple floor will be finshed...plus new doors in three locations and eventually (when spring comes) we'll have new steps going out from the back room. This room is just off the kitchen and will become a breakfest area and some place to hang out and read and relax and listen to music and look out over our beautiful back yard.

When you get back to this area of the country you'll have to come visit us...bring the Heagle/Wilsons and maybe the Johnson's and we'll have a cook-out or whatever. Last summer we also redid the back outside area of the house...there is a three leveled patio back there and another by the creek...now we can better enjoy the great location we have...there is Fall Creek in our back yard and a dam which used to help run a mill in the 'olden days'...the mill is gone but the dam creates a 15 foot waterfalls...oh boy! Paradise comes to mind...life is good.

Warmest regards,

Tiit

_______________________________________________________________

I ha a chance to meet with my brother Fr. John Heagle for brunch this morning at Perkins in Menomonie where he is conducting a mission at St. Joseph's until this coming Wednesday. For the first time we seriously discussed the possibility of resurrecting the show we did together years ago, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". and we have vowed to start laying the ground work for doing a mini-tour with it in 2009, hopefully at the Mabel Tainter theatre, Menomonie, The Heyde Center, Chippewa Falls, and maybe even the Grand Theatre in Wausau, Wisconsin (or the Mead Inn in Wisconsin Rapids.)

If the publicity is handled aggressively, I think it would really be a highight!

________________________________________________________________

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cerebral Palsy Fund Raiser Turns Nasty -- Rather Be Waterboarding

A bit later today I hitch up the dogs, strap my guitar to the sled, and mush my way over to The View -- a bar overlooking beautiful Lake Wissota outside of Chippewa Falls. Am I playing in the bar? No -- I am second to the last act in a series of entertainers doing a fund raiser for cerebral palsy in a "heated tent" outside The View.

I am slated to to two sets between 6:PM and 7:30. Ah, another adventure!

_____________________________________________________________________

Arrived at the "heated" tent in time to begin my sets but the day had the word disaster pissed in the snow all over it. I hd just rally gotten started with my set (about 1/2 hour into it) when they blew a curcuit and the stage lights and my guitar amp went dead.

After much running about, the sound crew got things squared away and I went back to the task at hand. In the meantime, the wind, which was already making itself a reputation just outside the tent flaps, kicked it into high gear.

Then the generator that fired up the heaters went out and almost instantly the temperature in the tent plunged down near zero. all I know is that every time I sang into the mic, I blew a cloud of steam that fogged over my glasses entirely.

I continued to pound out my stuff, at one point losing the entire tuning to my guitar. Thankfully, 6PM arrived and it was time for the drawings.

After the drawings, I went back onstage and played for about 10 minutes when the powers that be came up and announced that the rest of the evening would have to be cancelled as they were getting nowhere in repairing the heaters.

The wind is still screaming outside my office door and it cuts like a knife on bare skin. Time to get to the house, draw a steamy bath and run the whirl pool to lala land.

______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

Former Attorney General Rumsfeldt's favorite bumper sticker: I"D RATHER BE WATERBOARDING"

Top Ten Reasons Mitt Romney Dropped Out Of The Presidential Race



Harsh midwest weather was murder on his split ends

Wants to devote more time to rap persona P. MItty

Polls show public doesn't want a president who looks like a casino greeter

Just couldn't compete with the Ron Paul juggernaut

Unveiling a new line of honey-roasted Romnuts

That bastard Zogby had it in for him

Apparently America is not ready for a white male president

No number 3 -- writer suffering from Mitt withdrawal

There was that little problem of nobody voting for him

Lost all of his money betting on the Patriots

_________________________________________________________________________________

Last night I finished reading Jim Brown's autobiography, "Out of Bounds". Jim is my all time hero as a full back, the very best football player I have had the pleasure to watch.

He was definitely "old school". He refused to step out of bounds, willingly took very hard hits to gain even a few more inches because he knew that was his job.

When I read it, I found myself shaking my head in the affirmative as the guys who tippy toe out of bounds to avoid being hit do not deserve my respect.

Case in point: Randy Moss -- I don't think I can ever remember a time when he was a Viking that he even ran routes through traffic across the middle. He was a down and out pass route runner who always stepped out of bounds to avoid being hit.

Mr. Brown and I share another opinion and that is that football has ceased to be a game and has become an "entertanment" with touch downs being "celebrated" with all kinds of idiotic displays.

There is only one after TD celebration I find acceptable -- the Lambeau Leap -- and only because it gives the fans a chance to be the show.

I remember some jive ass Black sports psychologist who gave an explanation of why Black football players celebrate when they score as having to do with understanding Black culture, the many years of slavery, the racism of this country, yada, yada, bullshit.

They do it for the same reason that is put forth in "White Men Can't Jump". It doesn't matter if you score, as long as you LOOK GOOD while you're doing it.

It doesn't belong in the game. It belittles it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Larry Discovers Skype -- And So Should You!


I just got off the phone after talking with my good friend Matthew Capell who lives outside Naples, Italy, for an hour and do you know how much it cost me? Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

That's because last week Matt e mailed me and told me to download "Skype" which is a telephone service that once the software is downloaded, allows you to visit with friends who also have downloaded Skype and have invested in a microphone --


Today I was busily trying to figure out how to be certain I had Skype up and running when suddenly I hear the sound of a telephone ringing through my computer and it's Matt! This is the moment that I realize that my IMac has a built in microphone.

A small pop up appears on my screen with frames for a still photograph of the caller, and an open screen below that -- at first I had no idea what that is for.

While we are visiting I check out the icons at the bottom of the pop up and one is an icon of a movie camera -- so I click on it.

Suddenly, from Matt I get: I CAN SEE YOU!! I CAN SEE YOU!! WHAT DID YOU DO?? That's another great feature of the IMac -- it has a built in camera.

I find out from Matt that he is seven hours ahead of me in time zones, so here I am at 2:20 PM talking to Matt who is enjoying a Belgian beer in the comfort of his own home at 9:20PM.

So ever since I got off the phone with Matt, I have been trying to figure out how I can implement SKYPE with "fans" who might want to visit, oh say, once a week at a particular time.

It's something to think about.

Meantime, if you are interested in joining the 11 million who have already signed on from all around the world, type skype into Google, click on "Skype Free Download" and you are on your way to free long distance worldwide -- and if you have - or add on - a video camera it's even more fun!

__________________________________________________________________


Quite some time ago, i began a restoration project on an early 1960's Riddell football helmet. It took me weeks to get as much finish as you see in the photo sanded off by hand!

In the meantime, I began hunting daily on the internet trying to find replacement parts that were missing for the helmet and finally rounded up: jaw pads, the rubber "donut" that sits at the exact center of the inside top of the webbing, a single bar face mask, historically accurate for the 1960's, a chin strap, and most difficult of all, the two G decals and the dark green and white stripes that will be applied after the helmet is painted what I call "John Deere" yellow.

Today I chickened out on going any further on the project in fear of screwing it up badly. So I took all the parts to my auto body work guy, Rod Koplitz at Aerco Auto Body, and begged and pleaded with him to have one of his young "turks" take on the "helmet project" as a little side gig when things are slow at the shop.

Fortunately, Rod took the job! Once I get it back, I will put up some "completed" photos.

This is the self same helmet that has a great story.

Back in 1976, Matt and I were living together at 1001 Main Street, both in the process of going through divorce. Kim (my wife now of 31 yrs) was in her first year of teaching at Roosevelt School, which is way cross town from 1001 Main Street.

At the time, Kim had this little yellow Yamaha scooter, which she let us use from time to time.

Now, I can't remember why Matt paid a visit to Kim at work that fateful day, but having no transportation other than the little yellow scooter, Matt, not wanting to break the law and not having a regular motorcycle helmet, donned the Green Bay Packer helmet and rode that damn little scooter all the way across town!

I don't believe I have ever seen anything more surreal! I pull up to a stop light down town Eau Claire -- and crossing through the intersection is this very large man -- so large in fact that all I can see are two small wheels --one in front of him and the other behind him -- and he is wearing a Green Bay Packer helmet!

I laughed until I cried!

What really amazes me is that he didn't get pulled over by the local police!

____________________________________________________________

I am reading Jim Brown's autobiography "Out of Bounds" and in the chapter I am currently reading he gets to talking about cocaine use among NFL players and movie stars.

It brought back memories of my times on the road. I have a user of cocaine. Scares the hell out of me! Just as much as heroin!

But working comedy clubs on the circuit, I was exposed to others using it and how crazy it makes them.

I worked a place called The Tulsa Comedy Company. I "middled" for a comedian out of Houston, Texas. Aftr the show I asked me If I wanted to go to an after hours party at the home of a well-to-do fan of his. I told him I would go, he suggested I ride with him.

When we pulled up the huge driveway and I saw the big mansion and the Porsche in the driveway I thought to myself: "This guy must be an oil man.

Wrong. All his wealth? He accrued it as a cocaine dealer. As soon as I meet him I recognize him as the young well-dressed dude who was front row center at the club, accompanied by an incredibly beautiful woman (who looked to me to be about 16 years old).

We hadn't been there 10 minutes when out comes the mirror, the razor blade, and a mound of cocaine that would kill a horse. The host chops a line for all eight of us, snorts, passes it to the headliner, he snorts, passes it to me, i say "no thanks" and pass it on.

Uncomfortable to be at the party, more uncomfortable to be in the receiving line, I get up and move to a chair near the guy's date. She is hitting the booze hard and asks me ow old I think she is -- I say 21 -- she says 16. SIXTEEN!!!

Now I have visions of prison and a huge room mate named Bubba who thinks I am really cute!

The Stoners continue to snort -- the underager continues to drink -- until without warning she throws up on herslef and that fancy chair.

I alert the host to the problem, expecting him to react with sympathy. Instead he calls her a bitch and pulls her out of her chair by the hair and drags her off to the shower.

The headliner continues to reduce the cocaine supply until finally, around 4AM it is gone.

Can we go now?????

My other scrape with coke? My then agent calls me from Wyoming -- it is 1982 -- the year America beats the Russians in hockey at the winter olympics.

I have a cancellation. Can I fly out to Jackson, Wyoming? He has a gig for me at a ski lodge. I can stay with him at his house in Jackson Hole. $1000 for the week. It's all good, right?

He picks me up at the airport. On the way into town he tells me that his room mate is a coke dealer, that they have been arguing all week, he wants the guy out, and oh, by the way, his room mate carries a gun. And he has a Rottweiler.

I have never gotten so little sleep in my entire life. I would get back late from the club, tippy toe to my room, lock the door and hope.

Late mornings, I would hear the room mate get up and finally leave the house (I never did see his face). Then I would shower, shave, dress, all in ten minutes, and make a run for down town Jackson and remain there all day until show time.

You have never really experienced terror until you have stood in front of a bath room mirror, wrapped in a bath towel, and listened to a Rottweiler low-growl outside the door.

______________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In Line With My Earlier Blog -- A Look at the Right Wing Authoritarian

I just received a most timely e mail from my friend Gary Spaeth in which he introduces me to an online published book "The Authoritarians" by Professor Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba. Here's what Altemeyer has to say about George Bush:

"The last string of studies I want to lay before you regarding authoritarian
submission concerns authoritarians’ willingness to hold officials accountable for their
misdeeds. Or rather, their lack of willingness--which catches your eye because high
RWAs generally favor punishing the bejabbers out of misdoers. But they proved less
likely than most people to punish a police officer who beat up a handcuffed
demonstrator, or a chief of detectives who assaulted an accused child molester being
held in jail, or--paralleling the trial of U.S. Army Lt. William Calley--an Air Force
officer convicted of murder after leading unauthorized raids on Vietnamese villages.
The “Milgram experiment,” which we shall discuss at the end of this book,
offers another example of authoritarian followers “going easy” on authorities. In his
famous study Stanley Milgram maneuvered subjects into a situation in which they
were ordered by an Experimenter to inflict painful, and possibly lethal, electric shocks
on another person (who in fact was not hurt at all). The subjects clearly did not want
to deliver the shocks, but the Experimenter told them they had to. The Experimenter
even said, if pressed, that he would accept responsibility for whatever happened. Yet
Tom Blass of the University of Maryland at Baltimore found that high RWA (Right Wing Authoritarian) students
tended to blame the Experimenter less for what happened to the victim than most
students did.15 Whom did they blame instead? I found, when I replicated the study,
they blamed the poor devil who was ordered to deliver the shocks, and the victim,
more than most others did.
If some day George W. Bush is indicted for authorizing torture, you can bet
your bottom dollar the high RWAs will howl to the heavens in protest. It won’t matter
how extensive the torture was, how cruel and sickening it was, how many years it
went on, how many prisoners died, how devious Bush was in trying to evade
America’s laws and traditional stand against torture, or how many treaties the U.S.
broke. Such an indictment would grind right up against the core of authoritarian
followers, and they won’t have it. Maybe they’ll even say, “The president was busy "

____________________________________________________

Please, when you get time, go to: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/%7Ealtemey/.

Fascinating and frightening!