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

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Got a telephone call from my "marketeer" yesterday. It appears that the mastering of the "He ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" DVD is completed and we will be sitting down for a first viewing together - probably tomorrow - to see if anything needs to be altered before sending the master out for the pressings.

I would think that they will be available for public consumption by the second week in July if not a bit earlier than that.


My cousin Ray Kondrasuk, a "good" Catholic boy like myself, sent me the following URL which is (of all things) a rubber cement commercial from France. It is highly irreverent and I love it!



Saturday, August 15 is going to be a busy day for me. I am working in Greenwood, Wisconsin with a 4PM show, then packing quickly and heading for Menomonie to perform after dinner at my own high school's 50th class reunion. The old saw is true: If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.


It looks like I might finally get my small mouth bass fishing/camping trip in this summer as my pal Tom Johnson is talking about joining me early in July for a fanoe trip down either the Chippewa or the Jump Rivers.

I am leaning towards the Jump even though it means having to get in and out of the canoe numerous times to drag it over the shallows. It is a great rocky bottomed river, teeming with smallies and musky. Not only that, It h as one of the most beautiful natural camp sites one could ever hope to set up at about half way between the put in point and the take out point.

It is on private land, but fortunately, I know the owner who has given me permission to camp there anytime I would like. If we do go, I will take lots of pictures and document the trip on this site.


The Pastor's Ass

The Pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.

The Pastor was so pleased with the donkey
that he entered it in the race again and it won again.

The local paper read:


The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the Pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day the local paper headline read:

This was too much for the Bishop so he ordered the Pastor to get
rid of the donkey.

The Pastor decided to give it to a Nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted
the following headline the next day:


The Bishop fainted.

He informed the Nun that she would have to
get rid of the donkey so she sold it to a farmer for $10.
The next day the paper read:


This was too much for the Bishop so he ordered the Nun to buy back the
donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.

The next day the headlines read:


The Bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is . . . being
concerned about public opinion
bring you much grief and misery . . even shorten your

So be yourself and enjoy life.

Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and
you'll be a lot happier
live longer!


Through the comments section of my blog I received a very nice note of condolence from MPLSPCKR upon publishing the details of my mother-in-law's passing. Thank you for that. I would also like MPLSPCKR to know that my son Jonathan will be in Minneapolis with the band Les Sans Culotte: Sunday, July 12th at the Barbette Bastille Day Party, which is basically a street party held just outside the French restaurant Barbette: which is located at 1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis. I am not certain what time the band is playing, but they played this gig several years ago and were on early in the afternoon. You can find out by calling the restaurant at:
(612) 827-5710.

If you decide to show up for the festivities, I would love to meet you - because I wouldn't recognize you, you would have to seek me out! So study my mug shot! If nothing else, go up to the stage and ask for Jonathan Heagle - he will know where I am in the crowd.

Maybe see you there?


Friday, June 26, 2009

Today's blog is all about the long history of attempts to secure decent television signal at 4896 Hobbs Road, Fall Creek, Wisconsin.

When we first moved here, we found that we were too far out of town to get cable. The next option was to put up a small dish. the installer came out and shot azimuths every which way. the verdict? You can't receive a clear signal here because we can't get a clear shot at the horizon because of the virgin pine.

Cutting down these magnificent trees was out of the question.

Now, this was still back in the day when the huge C-Band dishes were very popular and got you all the television you would ever need. So, TV-aholic that I am, I was not to be thwarted. Why not get a C-Band dish and if we can't get a clear shot from the ground, well, let's take it UP above tree top level so that we CAN!
So I approached my oldest brother Bob who at the time was still running the family farm south of Menomonie. I asked him if I could have the old wind mill that was no longer in use, as it stands 40 feet tall.

We made the arrangements and I met with a crane operator one fine morning, hooked a lifting chain to the top of the wind mill, then unbolted the whole she-bang and had the crane lower it to the ground.

The next step was to dismantle the entire wind mill, section by section and load each section into the old 49 Ford panel truck I had at the time and transfer each section to the site of its new home.

I shall never forget my father , who always had a lot of faith in me (NOT), standing there in his bibs, observing me ratcheting away on the first section -- he watched for a while and then he said: "You'll get it apart -- but you'll never get it back together again."

This of course, pissed me off. I went and got a huge black marker and carefully marked each piece as I dismantled it.

Within a week, I had reassembled the downed structure. I was having trouble getting the last sections to come together so I called my truly mechanically gifted pal, Gary Spaeth, who took a look at the situation and immediately knew what was wrong.
We had to loosen each section up and make it "sloppy" enough to be able to get all the bolts in place.

Next I called up the local telephone guys and they were good enough to come out and auger out four holes for the base angle irons. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to cement the angle irons exactly where they needed to be. I again gained the employ of a crane and we did a reverse procedure, swinging the huge structure into place and then bolting it onto the waiting angle irons. FIT LIKE A GLOVE!

There was one anxious moment when the crane operator jockeyed the big dish into position with yours truly clinging to the "crow's nest" , forty feet above ground. We couldn't get the damn thing to drop onto the pole so the operator tried "wiggling" it a bit -- it came free at some velocity, swung into the trees beyond my perch, whirling like a top, came right back at me -- I ducked and it went wheeling right past my head in the other direction.

It was then that the crane operator decided we had best put a guide rope on it. My dear mother was in charge of keeping me from being killed and we got it to drop on the first try.

Over the years I enjoyed way more TV than I could ever watch but eventually, the little dish manufacturers started putting their lobbyists to work and they managed to all but eliminate the C-Banders. for a while I went to Direct TV but in addition to bad service they kept jacking up the prices - so when I found that General Instruments was manufacturing an HDTV decoder to use in conjunction with my C-Band dish, I dropped Direct TV like a bad habit.

I am proud to say that I am still a C BANDER!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I had a wonderful father's Day this year thanks to the thoughtfulness of both my sons. Jon was the first to call as I was driving up to Minneapolis to be with my failing mother-in-law. In addition to wishing me a happy father's day and telling me that he was proud to be my son, he had some really exciting news.

It seems that recently he played a gig with the drummer from the Broadway hit "Billy Elliott" who was so impressed with Jon's playing that he invited him to come to the show on tuesday night as his guest and meet the guitar player from an excellent vantage point -- right next to him in the orchestra pit throughout the show!

It turns out that Jon may be considered as a substitute for the guitarist when he becomes involved in writing scores for films, which is his main gig. Jon told me this morning by telephone that it was a real thrill to be that involved in an actual Broadway musical and that although he has hopes, he is looking at the situation realistically as there are several others that are on the call list ahead of him.

The next step is for the guitarist to come out and hear Jon play in person at his next gig. Pretty exciting stuff!
It wasn't long after Jon's sunday morning call that I got my call from son David who is recently back from a week's stay in Jamaica where he had spent time with Kingston musicians working on collaborations of electronic music. While he was there, he bought a pair of plain white tennis shoes and turned them into the pictured work of art and presented them to one of his new found friends.

I had seen the shoes on David's web site and asked if he intended to make any more and what the cost would be as I had become interested in having him create a pair for me depicting songs from my first two CD's. He told me that he would love to create a pair for me and that the next time he came to visit we would go out and purchase the "canvas" o which he would work his magic.

You can give a listen to David's latest creations at his web site where he uses his professional name "David Last" at:



A Russian woman married a Canadian gentleman and they lived happily ever after in Toronto .
The poor lady was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband.
The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs.
She didn't know how to put forward her request, and in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs.
Her butcher got the message, and gave her the chicken legs.

Next day she needed to get chicken breasts, again she didn't know how to say it, and so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breasts.
The butcher understood again, and gave her some chicken breasts.

On the 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages.
Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store...

(Please scroll down..)

What were you thinking?
Hellooooooo, her husband speaks English!

Now get back to your emails.

I don't know about you sometimes!


Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded
by civilization that complains about the noise from the base
and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before
they were.

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat
on the back.

Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB
wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s
that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that
individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it
must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we
thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely
9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low
pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at
approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the
Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were
they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird
special? Any response would be appreciated.

The response:

Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets' On
June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-
ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke
Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.
Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously
stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on
May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and
friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to
mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the
letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of
the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun
salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and
parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's
flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all
those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the
sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship fly by is a
display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give
their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional
aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what
the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to
pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks,
'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? The 56th
Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your
thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank
them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew
the most honorable formation of their lives.

Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for
you.....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.



When decent people get screwed over, this is the result!

A little background: Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is a very expensive store; i.e., they sell your typical $8.00 T-shirt for

Let's let them have it! THIS IS A TRUE STORY!

My daughter and I had just finished a salad at a Neiman-Marcus Cafe In Dallas, and we decided to have a small dessert. Because
both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the 'Neiman-Marcus cookie.' It was So excellent that I asked if they would give
me the recipe, and the waitress said with a small frown, 'I'm afraid not, but you can buy The Recipe.' Well, I asked how much, &
she responded, 'Only two fifty - it's a Great deal!' I agreed to that, and told her to just add it to my tab.

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement, and the Neiman-Marcus Charge was $285.00! I looked again, and I remembered I
had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf.
As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, 'Cookie Recipe-$250.00.' That was Outrageous! I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress said it was 'two-fifty', which clearly does not mean 'two hundred and fifty dollars' by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase.

Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money because, according to them, 'What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the Recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money at this point.' I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes which govern fraud in the State of Texas. I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's office for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, 'Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back.'
I just said, 'Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun. I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250 cookie recipe From Neiman-Marcus for free. She replied, 'I wish you wouldn't do this.' I said, 'Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you ripped me off!' and slammed down the phone.

So here it is!

Feel free pass it on to everyone you'd like.
I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER make another penny off of this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)
2 cups butter
24 oz. Chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie Sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Makes 112 cookies.


Feel free to send the recipe to those who don't eat sweets but who may know others that would like the recipe. Let's make sure we get this lady's $250.00 worth. Enjoy the cookies, they really are good.

John Melby
Emeritus Professor of Music
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



5 Walter Street
Salem, MA 01970


A husband and wife were sitting watching a TV program about psychology and mixed emotions when he turned to his wife and said, "Honey, that's a bunch of crap; I bet you can't tell me anything that will make me happy and sad at the same time."

She said, "You have the biggest penis of all your friends."


A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, 'Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.' The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, What would you like to talk about?'
'Oh, I don't know,' said the stranger. 'How about nuclear power?' and he smiles.
'OK, ' she said. 'That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?'
The stranger, visibly surprised by t he little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, 'Hmmm, I have no idea.'
To which the little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?'


A little boy was in a relative's wedding.

As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps,

stop, and turn to the crowd.

While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.

So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle.

As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard

by the time he reached the pulpit.

When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,

"I was being the Ring Bear."

One Sunday in a Midwest City ,

a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.

The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew

but were losing the battle.

Finally, the father picked the little fellow up

and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.

Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,

the little one called loudly to the congregation,

"Pray for me! Pray for me!"

One particular four-year old prayed,

"And forgive us our trash baskets

as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A little boy was overheard praying:

"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.

I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service,

"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,

looking at the old pages as he turned them.

Then something fell out of the Bible.

He picked it up and looked at it closely.

It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.

"Mama, look what I found," the boy called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,

"It's Adam 's suit".

The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,

and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,

jerking the mike cord as he went.

Then he moved to one side,

getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again.

After several circles and jerks,

a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,

"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church.

Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.

Finally, his big sister had had enough.

"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."

"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.

Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,

"See those two men standing by the door?

They're hushers."

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked ,

"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"

I mentally polished my halo, while I asked,

"No, how are we alike?"

"You're both old," he replied.

A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,

was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.

Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,

"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.

They were ready to discuss the last one.

The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.

Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,

"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

JOY WILSON, DECEMBER 26, 1932 - JUNE 22, 2009

Joy Delores Dodge Wilson, born December 26, 1932, Duluth MN died Monday, June 22, 2009, Excelsior, MN

Joy Wilson passed away at home on Monday, June 22, 2009, at 1:25 AM in the care of her two daughters, Kristi and Kim. Joy was proceed in death by her parents Ernie and June (Sorenson) Dodge, her husband, Robert D. Wilson and her sister Marcie Anneke of Winter Springs, Florida.

Joy and Bob met as teenagers in Duluth, Minnesota and were married on September 6, 1952 in Duluth. They eventually moved to the Twin Cities area in 1964.

Joy led a full life. She thoroughly enjoyed raising her daughters, spending time with friends, loved reading and movies, and was a constant fan of music…she and her husband were quite impressive on the dance floor. Joy had an excellent singing voice and was an active member of the Sweet Adeline’s for years.

Joy and Bob built a winter home in northern California and acquired a summer home in Cumberland, Wisconsin, eventually settling on Lake Minnewashta in Excelsior. They were fond of traveling by motor home and touring the country sharing a common interest in nature…visiting national parks and hiking in nature reserves.

Joy's friends were life long friends. She loved children and became very active in the lives of Michael and Andy, her nephew’s children.

Joy is survived by her daughters Kim (Larry Heagle), and Kristi as well as many loving family members and friends. Kim and Kristi especially want to thank family and friends for their support during the last years of Mom’s life as well as Park Nicollet’s Dr. Schenk and Mary Ann of the Neurology Department, Dr. Kubiak and Pam of Oncology and the good people of Park Nicollet Home Care Hospice.

In respect of Joy's wishes, there will be no formal funeral services. Donations are welcome in Joy’s name to Alzheimer’s research foundation (of choice); Park Nicollet Oncology and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF).


Joy was the very best mother-in-law a man could ask for -- certainly not the stereotypical mother-in-law. I especially remember her hearty laugh and broad smile. Like my own mother, Alice, Joy had a deep sense of fairness and justice about her, always an accepting person of any race, color , or creed.

Who can forget the wonderful Italian dinner she traditionally prepared for Christmas eve: Italian sausage and pork chops simmered for hours in her own red sauce recipe until the meat was fall apart tender and served over long strands of spaghetti.

She loved to tease me about my Irish background, but it was always good natured ribbing. She loved the outdoors and was an avid hiker. She also loved to spend a lazy sunday afternoon aboard the pontoon boat out on the lake.

Early in her life she was a smoker, but shortly after I began dating her daughter, she gave up smoking entirely - which took a lot of courage and self control. Unfortunately the damage apparently had been done as she was diagnosed with lung cancer this past year and it took her quickly.

She had made the trip down to the Tainter Theatre in Menomonie to see Fr John and I perform only a month ago and although she was in a somewhat weakened state at that time, she as still ambulatory and was maintaining her sense of humor.

I was shocked, then, to find her unable to walk when I visited her about two weeks ago.

We have lost a classy lady and she shall be missed.


Saturday, June 20, 2009



Watched "Real Time" with Bill Maher last night and he made a good point. We don't have a two party system. We have the right of center Democrats who are at every turn busy voting against the man we elected, and then there are the nutjobs that used to be the Republican party. They aren't even a party anymore.

The elected Democrats (with the exception of very few, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, and Wisconsin's own Russ Feingold) are PUSSIES. Oh, we can't close Guantanamo - and bring that riffraff into our prisons. For Chrissakes! Get real!

Now the Dems have turned on President Obama's helth care plan - and who's leading the charge?? President Obama's one time choice for Health secretary, Tom Daschle!

Why is Tom Daschle undermining President Obama's health care plan on national television?
"Reform" without a public option isn't reform at all.

Tell Tom Daschle to stop undermining President Obama's plan to provide a public health care option (like Medicare) to all Americans.

Many lauded Tom Daschle as an excellent choice to be President Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services — largely because of his extensive background in health care policy.

But when Daschle's $100,000 in unpaid taxes came to light and the nomination went south, Daschle went back to his gig as one of the founders and board members of the Bipartisan Policy Center — a DC think-tank that Daschle founded with Bob Dole and two other former senators. And guess what? The BPC has extensive funding ties to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

So maybe we shouldn't be suprised that Daschle and Dole went on TV this week to say that Congress should feel free to nix a public health care option (like Medicare) if that's what it takes to pass "reform."

Never mind that reform without a public option hardly qualifies as "reform" at all. Never mind that progressives in Congress have rightly vowed to kill any bill that doesn't include a public option. Never mind that President Obama is pushing hard for a public option — and never mind that millions of Americans desperately need a quality, affordable alternative to private insurance.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Did anybody catch Brett Fave's appearance on Joe buck's new show on HBO this week? I have such mixed emotions about the man. Since my last blog about him, I received an e mail from a Green Bay Packer fan in Ohio -- well -- he is not much of a fan right now because of Green Bay's Teddy Thompson -- I am not a Ted fan myself.

But Kirk made some good points in his e mail. Hee it is:

Regarding your Favre post-------my opinion is that any player can retire or un-retire if he wishes, especially if a team wants him. There is no loyalty is sports, never was. We always hear from old timers about the players in the past playing for the love of the game and being loyal to their team---that was because they had no options! The owners ruled with an iron fist, and it was always “my way or the highway”. (Ask Jim Ringo!) Now players have some flexibility and when a player can get back at an owner (or GM) I am all for it.

Forrest Gregg retired and un-retired about 6 times, each time coming back to play for GB. Don Huston retired and un-retired several times, each time coming back. The last time, his final year he waited to come back till the 1st game, skipping all of training camp. I believe no less a legend than Vince Lombardi retired, found out he missed coaching, asked for his “release” from GB (the executive committee was classy back then and gave it to him) and went to Washington, where he began to turn that team around before his death at a relatively young age. I wonder what the GB fans would have thought of him had he lived and turned the Redskins in to champions? Maybe we’ll get to see Favre turn the Vikes in to champions. We don’t know if it will happen, but it sure would be a fun story.

The problem I have with GB is the way they said they were moving forward, but were sufficiently fearful of Favre that they tried to keep him from playing. And they certainly didn’t want to face him as a Viking. If they were truly moving forward, they should have said “here’s your release, thanks for the memories, the records and the winning, good luck, see you on opening day”. I admire his competitiveness, and the fact that he wants to come back and stick it to em. Kind of the “American way”.


This is obviously a smart and savvy sports fan. I guess I can see his point and accept it. But it isn't going to make it any easier to see Brett in a purple jersey if that happens this fall.

I don't think anybody who hasn't gone to the Windbag in Minneapolis for a game can really appreciate how boorish and classless many Viking fans are. I won't ever go up there again and spend my money to be insulted.

When I walked out of the tunnel into the seating area, some drunk stood up and yelled at me: "Get the fuck outa here and don't ever fuckin' come back!"

Hey - nice to see you too pal.

When I got back to my vehicle I found that some lovely Viking fans had chewed up granola bars and spit them all over my car.



Jut back from a gig with the State Foresters in Neillsville. I told my game warden story and after the show a guy came up and told me that he is a personal friend of TJ's. then he shook my hand and told me that I was "right on the money" with the story.

He then told me that since TJ has retired he is a changed man. He said he once asked him what he would do if they told him to come back to work and supposedly TJ said: "I would pour myself a glass of wine, get into the hot tub, and slit h is wrists."

Well, we can hope.



Friday, June 12, 2009


Last night I watched the documentary "Standard Operating Procedure" which chronicled the horrendous mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Grab prisons in 2003-2004. To my way of thinking this is a documentary that should be required viewing for every citizen of the United States of America, especially that blowhard mouth piece of the Republican party "Fat Bastard".
Much has been made of the recent allegations of water boarding as torture, but water boarding is just the nasty tip of a much uglier ice berg.

The documentary shows graphic photo evidence that there were at least two Iraqis that were murdered- beaten to death at the prison by agents of the United States government. We are shown photos of one of the bodies being put on ice and then zipped up in a body bag and stored in a cell until it can be slipped out under the cover of darkness when it begins to smell.

Why President Obama is trying to suppress all the truths is beyond my comprehension. As usual, the politicians of this country mouth one thing (transparency and accountability) and then lie and attempt to cover up the ugly truth.

I have a "Bush is a war criminal" sticker on my vehicle that I have had to replace as it was ripped off by some great patriot -- I have been roundly criticized as being unamerican for displaying it. But the allegation of that sticker speaks the real truth: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfelt are all thugs with no regard for international law.

In the "Standard Operating Procedure" documentary, Rumsfelt visits Abu Gra, takes as cursory tour of one of Saddam's torture chambers and then says he is not interested in seeing anything further.

Soldiers who testify in the documentary tell of cleaning up cells and unchaining prisoners just long enough for the Red Cross to conduct inspections to create the illusion that the rules of the Geneva Convention are being adhered to and as soon as Red Cross inspections are concluded, it's back to business as usual.

And who takes the rap? The bottom of the pecking order, of course. The only American soldiers given jail time are those with a rank of sergeant or less. The one good general, General Janice Kapinski, who tries to bring the evils into the light, is summarily dismissed - relieved of her command.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the "template" for most aspects of American society. We need look no farther than the handling of former Superintendent Bill Klaus whose arrogance is rewarded with monies that were to be a part of the stimulus package for Eau Claire Schools - instead of going to teachers who deserve it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This morning, as I watched an HBO Sports special on the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers (my favorite team when I was a kid) while discussing the illustrious career of Jackie Robinson, the narrator talked about Robinson's relationship with owners Branch Rickey and Walter O'Malley. Rickey eventually was bought out by O'Malley and when Robinson reached the ripe old age of thirty eight, O'Maley traded him to - of all teams - cross town rivals The New York Giants.

But Jackie Robinson, always a class act, refused to report to the New York Giants but instead retired and took a job with the coffee company Chock Full O' Nuts.

I couldn't help think of the present situation with Brent - er - Brett Favre - who is, after announcing retirement so as not to "hurt" the New York Jets, once again doing his LOOK AT ME routine which has brought on "Favre Watch" on the NFL channel.

I will always look back upon and respect Favre's great career with Green Bay but his antics of the past two years show him to be a classless hillbilly who only looks out for number one.

It is still not to late for him to save his legacy in Wisconsin - but if he chooses to come back as a Minnesota Viking, I will be wishing him all the worst.

Come on, Brett, show a little class and be a man of your word. Two false retirements? Pathetic.


What Kids Know About the Ocean......

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean you are an Island . If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. ( Wayne , age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily
Richardson . She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head.
(Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men, a woman and some pots and comes back with crabs. ( Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write (Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers at night. (Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my wily small. (Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast.. She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass. (Julie, age 7)

14) - The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)

Little Carol came into the kitchen where her mother was making
dinner. Her birthday was coming up and she thought this was a good time
to tell her mother what she wanted. "Mom, I want a bike for my
birthday." Now, Little Carol was a bit of a troublemaker. She
had gotten into trouble at school and at home. Carol's mother asked her if she
thought she deserved to get a bike for her birthday. Little Carol, of
course, thought she did. Carol's mother , being a Christian woman, wanted her to reflect on her behavior over the last year, and write a letter to God and tell
him why she deserved a bike for her birthday. Little Carol stomped up the steps to her room and sat down to write God a letter.
Dear God:
I have been a very good girl this year and I would like a bike
for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend,

Carol knew this wasn't true. She had not been a very good girl
this year, so she tore up the letter and started over.

Dear God:
This is your friend Carol. I have been a pretty good girl this year, and I would like a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you,

Carol knew this wasn't true either. She tore up the letter and started again.


Dear God:
I know I haven't been a good girl this year. I am very sorry.
I will be a good girl if you just send me a red bike for my birthday..
Thank you,

Carol knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to
get her a bike. By now, she was very upset. She went downstairs and told
her mother she wanted to go to church. Carol's mother thought her plan
had worked because Carol looked very sad.
"Just be home in time for dinner," her mother said.
Carol walked down the street to the church and up to the

She looked around to see if anyone was there. She picked up a statue of
the Virgin Mary, slipped it under her jacket and ran out of the church,
down the street, into her house, and up to her room. She shut the door
and sat down and wrote her letter to God.




Saturday, June 6, 2009


Here is my latest creation and addition to my NFL football helmet collection: A Joe Montana relica of his Schutt helmet. Schutt helmets have a distinctive look, with the foam padding very evident around the wearer's forehead.
After much searching of the web, I found the exact same face mask that Joe wore on his helmet back in the 1980's - the thicker molded metal, dipped in plastic coating mask, that was typical of that era. The newer face masks are much thinner and in the case of the 49'er helmets, are cardinal in color as the 49er's moved away from the straight red and added black to the stripes on the helmet. Ypu will note that the side decals are the same as the ones on the pictured Montana helmet, correct for the 1980's era in which he played.


Thursday, June 4, 2009


The other day my wife and I were in line at Mike's Smokehouse. On the wall to our right are pictures of celebrities who have partaken of the great ribs, one of which is (then candidate) Barack Obama. The man in front of me, about my age, looks at the photograph and says to his wife: "I can't stand to look at that guy. He makes me sick."

What I really wanted to do was lean forward over his shoulder and say: "Now you know how I have been feeling for the past eight years!", but I decided I wanted to keep my place in line and not get involved in, right wing fisticuffs.

Truth is, my gut feeling is that President Obama will not finish his first term. That he will be assassinated by the CIA just as the last president to really engage those who do not agree with us, President Kennedy was killed for attempting to bring peace to the world.

I am certain that President Obama did not score any points with the guy in line ahead of me with his recent address in Egypt, an address at which someone from the crowd yelled "We love you!". President Obama speaks too much truth for this country to handle. He admitted our guilt in the 1953 Iran Coup:

"In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government," he said, alluding to the coup.

Quoting from the Quran for emphasis, President Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims" Thursday and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe and advance the timeless search for peace in the Middle East.

"This cycle of suspicion and discord must end," Obama said in a widely anticipated speech in one of the world's largest Muslim countries, an address designed to reframe relations after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The White House said Obama's speech contained no new policy proposals on the Middle East. He said American ties with Israel are unbreakable, yet issued a firm, evenhanded call to the Jewish state and Palestinians alike to live up to their international obligations.

In a gesture to the Islamic world, Obama conceded at the beginning of his remarks that tension "has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations."

"And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear," said the president, who recalled hearing prayer calls of "azaan" at dawn and dusk while living in Indonesia as a boy.

At the same time, he said the same principle must apply in reverse. "Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire."

I can well imagine how this kind of rhetoric is being received by the military-industrial complex that runs this country. Peace??
We can't be having peace! We have weapons to build, targets to try them out on!

I try every day to be positive and hopeful for this presidency, but it is difficult when I know that what he believes in will get him "liquidated" by the real powers of this country.

It doesn't help that he gets impatient with his handlers and exposes himself to dangers by not taking their direction very well.

I hope that those of us who love peace and want to see a better world will get down on our knees and pray for President Obama's well being.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009


June is already here and I still haven't purchased a fishing license. I vowed this was to be the summer that I get a lot more small mouth bass fishing done -- I had planned on getting my good pal Tom Johnson up here for a two day float trip by canoe down the mighty Jump River.

I have a great camping site about half way between the "put in" bridge" and the "take out" bridge and it would do my soul so much good to get out on the water and just soak in the smells, sights, and sounds of the river. If you have never camped out overnight on a river somewhere then you have missed out! Food tastes so damn good when you have been breathing in the fresh air all day, paddling down river, and have built a decent cooking fire, pitched the two man tent under the cedars in the soft needle bed.

Unfortunately, Tom has taken off for Virginia and New York City for a couple of weeks, so I will have to put it off for now.

Looking forward to June 9 as I will be joining friends Wil Denson and Doug Cox for an evening of Cavalier baseball at good old Carson Park. Ah! Cold Leinenkugels beer and a couple of hot dogs to accompany the crack of the bat.

Just received an e mail from an old army buddy of mine, Jerry Holubets, on the removal of wood ticks. It is worth sharing.

(A school nurse has written the info below -- good enough to s hare.)

I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way
to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it's
sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle
of a head full of dark hair, etc.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick w ith the

soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the repulsive insect for a

few seconds (15-20), after which the tick will come out on its
own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that is

frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for

mom. Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be

damaging in any way. I even had my doctor's wife call me for advice

because she had one stuck to her back and couldn't reach it with

tweezers. She used this method and almost immediately called me back to

say, 'It worked!'