HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

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

Monday, January 12, 2009

EXTENDED WEEKEND IN MADISON AREA THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE

The road trip started out with family at a surprise retirement party for my first cousin, Bonnie Allbaugh, nurse extraordinaire -- Some 100 people , mostly fellow work associates, showed up to express their love and appreciation for this little fire ball. I, of course, uploaded the photos for this blog in reverse order. Bonnie is the petite gal with the big smile in the second picture. The other photo is from Saturday night's gig with the United Coop employees Appreciation Banquet at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
It was really an uplifting experience for me as I have not had close touch with Bonnie over the years -- to hear the accolades heaped upon her from staff and friends made me really appreciate her and wish that we had been closer over the years. maybe now that she is retired, we can spend more time catching up! Hats off to Bonnie's husband, Stu, who helped organize the shindig and who actually SURPRISED Bonnie!

After a good night's rest at the AmericInn nearby, I joined the Allbaugh's for breakfast at the house before wending my way up to Windsor to spend my off day with the Johnson Brothers.

I arrived at Chula Vista at 4PM to set up and when I found the banquet room I was somewhat surprised to find that there were dinner settings for nearly four hundred people. Dori Lichty, pictured, was chief organizer out of the coop headquarters in Beaver Dam. She was very warm and cordially invited me to dine with the group. I declined as I don't like to eat just before a performance.

Truth be told, I was a bit nervous as it had been expressed that a "clean show" was in order and after having performed for some 32 years, I have no idea what that means as it changes from one group to the next.
But as the how progressed and it became evident that it was going to be one of those nights where I could do no wrong, I relaxed into it and even threw in a new one liner i had written several weeks ago and was looking for the right time to try it.

After the bit about my being depressed I told the crowd that now that we had a new president-elect, maybe things would get better -- I mean with ears like that, Obama's got to be a good listener! It killed! Boffo, Man!!!

So I left the Dells riding high on adrenaline and arrived home to a spousless house about 11:45 PM only to find two very chilly kittens and the temperature at 50 degrees. the furnace fan was running, but blowing cold air.

I immediately put a call in to Smith Service and our great service man, Nick, was there within an hour. After some preliminary checking, he wandered outside and checked the LP tank and returned with the news that it was "bone dry". Chippewa Valley Energy, our carrier, with whom we are on "keep fill" hadn't -- well -- THEY HAD'NT!!!!

Nick apologized for having to write out a service call (overtime for being after hours) and was kind enough to leave me with four electric space heaters.

After an appropriate amount of loud cursing to vent before I called Chippewa Valley Energy, I got their emergency driver on the phone and managed to get to bed about 4:30AM with some heat.

Kim returned Sunday and today we went out and got thing squared away. Fortunately there is a happy ending. Chippewa Valley is picking up the Erv Smith bill by taking it off the bill for LP and they were, in fact, most apologetic.

The secretary said we should check our tank every three weeks or so -- that would help stop this from happening again. that rubbed me the wrong way, but i bit my tongue until we were in the car.

This brings to mind the old rule: If you are going to have anything break down, like a door lock that won't unlock, or a fuel tank that goes bone dry, it will most certainly happen on a weekend night or a holiday!

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Nice to hear from MSPLPCKR in the comment section - and no, that is not a Jim Zorn jersey but rather the jersey of Wisconsin native Dave Krieg who played his high school ball for Schofield High School near Wausau.

On a separate blog, I got a comment from one "Cordelia" who says: "I thought you were supposed to be funny -- at least that's what my brother told me".

Golly, gee, Cordelia, sounds like you have issues with your brother -- counseling?

And, dear, humor is such a subjective thing -- I know that's a pretty big word -- Look it up in the dictionary, babe. How's this for funny?

S-H-H-H-H! THAT'S THE SOUND OF NOBODY CARING WHAT YOU THINK.

IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, RAISE YOUR HAND -- AND PLACE IT OVER YOUR MOUTH.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR PROBLEM IS, BUT I BET IT'S HARD TO PRONOUNCE!

CAN I GET YOU SOMETHING? LIKE A NEW PERSONALITY?

Oh, now, see, Cordelia, you've gone and made me use upper case.

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