HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

RECLAIMING THE TOXIC WASTE DUMP KNOWN AS MY BODY

This has been somewhat of an unusual yet interesting week for me health wise. My chiropractor, Jerry Retzlaff, one of the best in the business, had long suggested that I use the sauna in my house as a means of getting rid of toxins and feeling better overall.

So last week I began taking saunas in earnest - twenty minute sessions at nearly 200 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. I don't know if you have ever used a sauna, but when you first sit down in the oppressive heat of a dry sauna, there comes a point in the process just before the sweat begins to break fully that is very, very uncomfortable.

But as the beads of perspiration begin to pop out all over your torso, there comes with it a great feeling of release and I came away from each session with a feeling of well being and relaxation. Even my arthritis and fibromyalgia responded well to the treatment.

But two days ago, I hit the proverbial wall. I ended up feeling a malaise very similar to having the flu. I have gone through other forms of detoxification in the past so I am familiar with that feeling. What it means is that the body is responding too well to the stimulus and releasing too much toxin at once.

I also may not be staying hydrated enough to replace the lost water - and dehydration carries its own form of malaise. Dr. Retzlaff suggested that rather than use something like Gatorade which has too much sodium, to buy bottled water and a large container of fruit juice such as apple juice and make my own "gatorade" which will be low in sodium and rich in potassium.

I am also going to acupuncture sessions with Dr.Paul Schlosser, a very unique physician who originally was trained in pediatrics. He was forced out of it when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Consequently, he went back to school and became a certified acupuncturist. I admire him greatly as he has taken his disease in stride and has a great attitude.

I have had two sessions with him. The first session went much better than the second. The second session he inserted one of the needles at a really sensitive point in my leg and I experienced a searing pain the likes of which I have not experienced before. However, I have more appointments and am not going to give up that easily on any kind of treatment that will help me regain full use of my legs.

I had scheduled my chiropractic appointment the same day and told Dr Schlosser of it and he advised me to not do acupuncture and chiropractic on the same day, so I moved the appointment to this morning.

I also had my weekly blood draw this morning for a coumadin level check. I was assigned to a new person this morning and that made me nervous as drawing blood requires a practiced touch and I was leary of being assigned to a "rookie".

That phobia (if it is one) goes back to a time when I had a nurse who attempted to draw blood and poked around SEVEN times and still didn't hit the mother lode. She finally called in another nurse who obviously had experience. I was ready to punch the inept one right in the mouth.

When you have been in and out of the hospital as much as I have, you get a sense immediately whether the blood taker is confident or not - they give off an aura of uncertainty that is quite alarming.

I found that when I had to have blood drawn as much as once a day or more, my veins would do the night crawler bit - and make themselves scarce whenever the needle came near.

I could never do heroin.

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What the hell is going on in Arizona??? Madness.

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And I got this in an e mail from my friend Linda Gruen:

Tea Bag Members, sign this purity pledge before socialism
creeps into your life!! My goodness how government has taken over our
lives!!!
To all Tea Party members, I urge you to take the following pledge
before it's too late. Please pass it on to fellow members.

I do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free
society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall
abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and
services including but not limited to the following:

•Social Security
•Medicare/Medicaid
•State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
•Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
•US Postal Service
•Roads and Highways
•Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
•The US Railway System
•Public Subways and Metro Systems
•Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
•Rest Areas on Highways
•Sidewalks
•All Government-Funded Local/State Projects
•Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower,
dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
•Public and State Universities and Colleges
•Public Primary and Secondary Schools
•Sesame Street
•Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
•Public Museums
•Libraries
•Public Parks and Beaches
•State and National Parks
•Public Zoos
•Unemployment Insurance
•Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
•Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From
Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
•Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From
Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of
them)
•Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and
Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
•Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's
ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
•Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With,
Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government
Subsidies
•Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That
Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will
forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in
Washington, D.C.
I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of
the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited
to:
•Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of
American History
•The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
•The government-operated Statue of Liberty
•The Grand Canyon
•The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
•The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington
National Cemetery
•All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or
in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their
government salary and government-provided healthcare.

>>> I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore
socialist military of the United States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as
GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics,
Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of
others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for
our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon,
FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice
and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist
Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own
private health insurance until I die.


SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF __________ IN THE YEAR ___.
_____________ _________________________
Signed Printed Name/Town and State

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

AUGUSTA PROVES TOO WILD, WE RETREAT TO EAU CLAIRE MUSIC SCENE





Tonight's got the makings of a typically good Wisconsin Saturday night: Supper at "The Hungry Hunter" down in Augusta with our friend Judy Willink. We like to get together with Judy at least once a week to catch up on our lives.

I think Judy's bowing out on the after dinner activity. Kim and I will be heading up to Eau Claire and The Red Parrot Music Club (formerly Jimmy Woo's) to catch a set or two of the BFORS - I think that's how it's spelled - anxious to hear Mikey Richson sing and play that wicked guitar of his, and to groove to Tommy Wieseler on keys -

I think I will take the camera along and get a shot of Mr. Richson for this page.

SO I DID TAKE THE CAMERA, as you can see. The evening started out with some giggles. "The Hungry Hunter" cafe in Augusta only stays open until 6PM on saturdays, so we picked Judy up at 5:45 and when we got to the cafe, this is what we found. The entire cafe was empty, the television set at the far end of the restaurant was set on "stun" blasting volume. Then we noticed the black tee shirted gentleman seated at the far end of the booths, fast asleep.
Turns out that after we sit and giggle about the situation for a while, the owner comes out from the back of the restaurant kitchen area to inform us that she will get us menus and wake up the cook.
She wakens sleeping beauty, who is in possession of the TV remote control, he turns down the Tv and slowly makes his way back to the kitchen.

During food prep time we can hear him unintelligibly grousing about something with the owner/waitress. it was a great start to our evening!

After dropping Judy off, we made our way bAck home as the music didn't start until 9 PM.

We arrived at the Red Parrot shortly after the BeFors had launched their first set, As you can see from their banner, they specialize in "oldies" of the mid-sixties on, and Kim and I stayed for two sets before my legs and feet sent me home.

Mike Richson , I could tell, is having the time of his life playing their selected tunes. We heard everything from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan to Jimmy Hendricks.

What's nice about this band is that they are careful to choose songs that weren't played to death on radio but still have a familiarity that makes you say: "Oh, yeh! that was a great tune!"

The addition of Tom Wieseler on keyboards adds a lot of depth to their sound also.

If you live in the Eau Claire area, you should really get out to hear the guys!

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HAMMY AND STELLA MAKE OUR LIVES SO MUCH RICHER

I know that I have written before about our two wonderful companions, Hammy and Stella, but here I go again, just because I am so enthralled with them both!

Hammy is our break-and-enter expert. This morning when I went into the bath room I discovered the cupboard door beneath the bath room sink open and a bottle of Kim's shampoo lying on the floor. Hammy again.

The other day he suddenly focused on all the wiring attached to a multi-plug in along side the dresser beneath the bed room television set. He spent most the night trying to get those cables out where he could investigate them further and in the mean time driving me nuts with the sounds of scratching and thumping while I was trying to sleep.

His special project is attempting to remove the panel on the side of the bath tub that houses all the works for the whirl pool jets. We hve finally gotten the panel securely fastened but this does not dissuade him from attempting to remove the panel as he snaps the corners over and over again in hopes of dislodging the entire cover.

Stella has more and more become my little girl friend. When I come home she will follow me about until I take time to lie down with her on the bed and scratch her belly and under her chin.

If I ignore her, she gives me little love bites on the elbow. Lately she has taken to giving me what I call "kitty-kisses" as she actually will start gently licking the hand that I am using to pet her.

And Stella becomes very concerned when I disappear into the sauna for periods of time. she will sit outside and meow and scratch at the door intermittently all the while I am in there.


Both Hammy and Stella remind me of a small baby in the high chair. We have all seen babies push a spoon, or even worse, a glass of juice, off their serving tray just to watch it hit the floor.

This is an ongoing activity with our two newest family members. I have learned not to leave my watch, rings, cell phone, pens, wallet, on anything small enough for them to move with their paws, on my bed room dresser because inevitably in the middle of the night, we will hear the sound of objects hitting the floor - and that's not necessarily good for a watch or cell phone.

As they've grown, they both have become spooked by the sound of arriving automobiles, the propane delivery truck, the garbage man, any foreign sound out that bed room window.

Stella goes into her "squirrel" position, sitting back on her haunches, her front paws extended, staring through the blinds to see what's out there before suddenly making a mad dash for the safety of the basement. The same with Hammy.

But once people are inside the house, they immediately gather around the newcomer to sniff them out. Neither of our cats are shy - they are in fact quite gregarious and like being around people.

When Diane, our cleaning lady comes on wednesdays, Hammy looks forward to the occasion as he gets a chance to raid Diane's bag containing her morning muffin.

He also loves to hitch a free ride on the Swiffer as Diane dusts the wood floors.

Yes, Kim and I are hooked! We love these two more each day and find it difficult to be away from them over night. I wish we had started training them to take long rides in the car with us so that we could take them with us on coms of our over night excursions.

And there truly is something to be said about the wellness people receive just by having loving pets. I know our live are much richer because of our two little friends.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

SPRING IN TREMPEAULEAU COUNTY

Went down and entertained at the Spring gathering of the Trempeauleau County Cooperative. This year it was heldat the Whithall Golf Club and it was a beautiful evening to drive down Highway 53. All the hrdwoods are starting to bud and leaf out in those outstanding light green pastels.

If you are from around these parts you know how really truely awesome the view of the valley is at the high point south of Osseo. It's almost as though you are flying low in a plane as the road travels the crest of the highest of the hills. to really take it in, one should pull off at the overlook right at the crest. Incredible!

It was a fun evening. the cooks had laid out quite an impressive serve yourself dinner with some great Swedish meat balls and fried chicken. And the Coop staff was very helpful with getting the sound system lugged in and out. I am still having a really difficult time of it with my lower legs - to the point of great concern, actually.

tomorrow I am going to have my first session of acupunture and then Kim and I are going out to Gold's Gym to check out the facility and find out if I can be assigned a specific trainer that can help me get my legs back into shape.

That Joanie Mitchell song "Don't Know What you Got Til It's Gone" has been playing in my head as I limp into the grocery store.

I have begun to take advantage of the sauna we have in the basement of the house. It takes a little getting used to, but now I actually look forward to three or four sessions in a day. I find that it loosens up my musculature in the legs and my chiropractor encourages the sauna as a means of shedding toxins.

In fact, that's where i am headed right now.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

MONSTER STURGEON FROM MISSOURI RIVER - 1,000 POUNDS, ELEVEN FEET, ONE INCH

Recently I received this incredible photograph from Dale Drevlow. In the accompanying message, he wrote:

FYI: This sturgeon is still alive, just worn out from the fight.
As the sports fishermen they are, they turned him loose after the photo.

This Sturgeon was caught in the Missouri River, North of Bismarck , North Dakota two weeks ago.
It weighed in at over 1,000 lbs and measured out at 11'1".

It was 56" around the girth and took over 6 and a half hours, and 4 dozen beers, for the 4 guys taking turns at the reeling it in.

Any Sturgeon OVER about five feet has to be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water.

They are brood / breeding stock and probably older than most of us.

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Sorta makes one want to stay out of the Missouri River, eh?

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What Makes 100%?


What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?


Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.


How about achieving 103%?


What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But ,

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And,

B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, its the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.


Can I get an "AMEN"?

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PRAYERS FOR PERLA'S HEALTH - PLEASE JOIN ME!

Yesterday I contacted Perla Batalla through Face Book only to find that she has been quite sick with walking pneumonia for several weeks now. I am quite concerned about her as she is not only the greatest female vocalist on my iPod, but one of the nicest human beings on the face of this earth.

So please, if you are reading this, first go to her web site and read about her and then promise me that you will say a little prayer every day for her health as I am.

Perla, sweet Perla. Please get well soon.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

TOO MUCH SUGAR LEAVES ONE BRAIN BLIND

I can't think of a way to go with the blog today. I think I just now figured out why I can't even think of a subject for the day - sitting on my kitchen counter over at the house is a third of a store-frosted, double layer, marble birthday cake, a tin with one half batch of Krispie Bars,and this jar of oatmeal raisin cookies that I swore i would never make again after last week!

My God, I have destroyed my remaining brain cells with sugar! Having three different deserts available is not only disgusting, but I would like to testify right now to the fact that such overindulgence is downright unhealthy. This must never happen again.

I am getting the overall feeling that I am slowly being drawn into the Face Book Web as I now am a bit disappointed that when I check my e mail and there is no announcements from Face Book, I feel a bit down.

I had my first traumatic FB "gotcha" moment yesterday. One of my - what is it 97? no 87 - friends - contested the fact that I took down the photo of me au natural save for the baseball cap and the bathtub which I was using as my profile picture.

I had put up one I liked a lot more - a close up - it's called ego - and my "friend" says she liked the bathtub picture better, and then Kevin kicks in that he likes the bathtub picture better, too - which scares both him and me - so bending to so much intense pressure, I take the time to change my profile photo back to Bath Tub Boy (Bath Tub Boy is Michelle Johnsted's contribution).

I no sooner get Bath Tub Boy up on Profile than I get Jeanne's next retort: "Awwww - we were just playing with you. You didn't have to take it down.

PUNKED ON FACE BOOK!!!

I have to admit that I just checked and she wrote "sorry" - but you can't tell really what that means when you can't hear inflection.

Excuse me while I go over to FB and make up.

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I am back from FB. Also left a message for Perla Batalla on line to see if she will ever be playing within 4 hours of here. Also, I answered Ms Haworth's "sorry" with:

Awww - I was just playing with you. So now we are even - and I can put the other picture up again - the one where I have a realllllly high forehead.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Breakfast at Chippewa Family Restaurant Full of Surprises

This past week I had contact with my Irish pal, Jay Moore, King DJ of the Chippewa Valley, by e mail, telling me that he had a "token of his esteem" for my birthday, April 15. I told him I would catch up with him at the weekly coffee klatch at the Chippewa Family Restaurant on saturday, which is of course, today.

When I arrive, Jay has saved a seat of honor at the start of the table right next to him and Sherry. After opening pleasantries, Jay hands me a birthday card and a very large birthday present. He tells me to unwrap it right now - I do and am stunned to find it is a rendering of one of the Tuskegee Airmen shooting down the second of three ME 109's that day.
I am totally floored! What a wonderful and gracious gift. Jay has been out to my office and has seen my collection of WWII aircraft and tracked vehicles and knew I would really appreciate this great drawing.

The first time Jay walked into my office and saw all the militaria he looked around and said: "By God, yer a warlike little fella, ain't ya?"

Presentation being finished, we all dug into our breakfasts. After breakfast I excused myself for a trip to the men's room. I am just hitching up my pants when I hear a large group singing the Happy Birthday Song, and I'm thinking: Oh! It's somebody else's birthday this weekend too! I open the door to the stall and standing by the sink is the waiter with about four of the guys from the group all gathered in the john, holding a birthday cake with way too much illumination -- and I open the door just as they are singing "dear Larry" and I feel my face flush.

So I am explaining that I know all about the Tuskegee Airmen and that I have a "Red Tail" in my collection. (see photo).

That was how bomber crews knew who was flying cover for them. The red tails meant only one thing: the Tuskegee Airmen are flying cover for you today. They were so good that bomber crews began asking for them by name.

So thank you Jay and Sherry for a very nice birthday gift. It was nice to share some time with good folks this morning.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

KIM AND LARRY'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE TO TITLETOWN


Yesterday we were up and at em quite early as I had asked Kim for a trip to Green Bay as my birthday gift for this year. Our first stop was the Chippewa Family Restaurant on Kennedy Road. Like all the other "family" entitled restaurants, this one is run by the same family of supposed Serbs who opened similar restaurants in Altoona and Eau Claire.

After a hearty breakfast of corned beef hash and poached eggs, we continued to the Midway Motor Lodge which is just a block down from Lambeau Field. Lambeau field is a magnificent structure that bespeaks amazing tradition just looking at it.

We checked in to the hotel and decided it was too late to get to the Packer Hall of Fame, one of our destinations on this trip.
the primary reason was to drop off my replica of Fuzzy Thurston's Packer helmet of 1961, to have Fuzzy autograph it at a later date and then have his son Mark return ship it through Fed Ex to complete my Packer collection.

So about 6:30 PM we got back in Kim's Prius and despite the GPS found Fuzzy's #63 Bar and Grill on Mason. You know how you picture a place you have never been to in your mind, and then when you get to the place, it isn't anywhere near as glamorous as what you had pictured?

Such was the case in this instance. No offense to Mr. Thurston, but it is pretty much a typical Wisconsin tavern - dark and a bit dingy, but made somewhat unique with hundreds of pictures of Fuzzy and fellow Packers of the 1960's everywhere.

We spoke with the bar tender about leaving the helmet for an autograph at a later date and she told us that Fuzzy's son, Mark, who manages the club, is in at 10 in the morning and as long as we supply a pre-paid shipping box through Fed Ex, it should be a "done deal".

After looking over the typically bar food menu, we decided to go elsewhere for my birthday dinner and after battling road construction we found our way back to the hotel and down the street to Brett Favre's Steak House for a prime rib dinner which in addition to being too expensive, was not the best prime rib we have ever had.

We did come away with a very large and decadently rich piece of chocolate cake.

Friday morning we got up in time for the continental breakfast t the hotel, then proceeded t the nearest Fed Ex to get the paper work done for shipping the helmet back to me.

Then we drove over to the br and found the bagged garbage sitting outside the main door with a big sign tped to the door that said: "Closed until April 29th".


I immediately went into panic mode but Kim settled me down. I rapped loudly on the doors with my cane and shortly Mark appeared, explained that they currently have a licensing problem, then accepted the package with the shipping slip.

With my legs still causing me all kinds of pain, we decided to skip going to the Packer Hall of Fame as I was just in too much pain to enjoy it and we drove home to our love starved kitties.

So, it wasn't that much of an "excellent adventure" after all, but at least I got to spend it with Kim.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ELIZABETH WARREN GETS MY VOTE AS OUTSTANDING SUPREME COURT NOMINEE


“This is America’s middle class,” Elizabeth Warren recently said on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” “We’ve hacked at it and pulled at it and chipped at it for 30 years now, and now there’s no more to do. We fix this problem going forward, or the game really is over.”

“When you say it like that and you look at me like that, I know your husband is backstage, I still want to make out with you,” Mr. Stewart responded.

If you watched Warren's appearance on John Stewart's The Daily Show, you understand why Stewart responded in the way he did. Warren would make an excellent Supreme Court judge in my estimation.

Ask Elizabeth Warren, scourge of Wall Street bankers, how they treat consumers, and she will shake her head with indignation. She will talk about morality, about fairness, about what she calls their “let them eat cake” attitude toward taxpayers. If she is riled enough, she might even spit out the Warren version of an expletive.

“Dang gummit, somebody has got to stand up on behalf of middle-class families!” she exclaimed in a recent interview in her office here.

Among all the dramatis personae of post-financial crisis Washington, there is no one remotely like Ms. Warren, 60, who has divided the town between those who admire her and those who roll their eyes at her.

She is an Oklahoma native, a janitor’s daughter, a bankruptcy expert at Harvard Law School and a former Sunday School teacher who cites John Wesley — the co-founder of Methodism and a public health crusader — as an inspiration. She brims with cheer, yet she is such a fearsome interrogator that Bruce Mann, her husband, describes her as a grandmother who can make grown men cry. Back at Harvard, Ms. Warren’s teaching style is “Socratic with a machine gun,” as one former student put it. In Washington, she grills bankers and Treasury officials just as relentlessly.

Ms. Warren has two roles here: officially, as head of Congressional oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and unofficially, as chief conceiver of and booster for a new consumer financial protection agency. Fusing those projects and her academic work, she has become the most prominent consumer advocate in years.

In a blitz of television appearances, she offers a story of how 30 years of deregulation has rewarded the financial industry but led to abusive practices and collapses that have hurt ordinary Americans — the same taxpayers who are paying for bank bailouts.

Ms. Warren’s climactic hour begins now: three years after she hatched the idea for the agency, the White House has backed it, the House of Representatives has approved it and it is a top Democratic priority in the Senate.

Many fans, including Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, hope Ms. Warren will run it. But even if the agency is approved, it might be far weaker than what she envisioned, thanks to fierce opposition from the financial industry.

Critics argue that such an agency, which would regulate mortgages, credit cards and nearly all other loans to consumers, would tighten credit in an already tight market, stifle innovation and hurt small businesses.

They have another objection as well: to Ms. Warren herself. As one administration official acknowledged, the prospect of her running the new agency may be an impediment to its creation because of her crusading style, her seemingly visceral loathing of financial services companies and her expansive way of interpreting assignments.

“ ‘Loose cannon’ would be an appropriate term to apply in her case,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a Warren supporter.

The defining event of Elizabeth Warren’s life may have taken place before she was born, when a business partner ran off with the money her father had scraped together to start a car dealership. She arrived a few years later, in 1949, another mouth for a strapped family to feed. But she used that mouth to talk her way into a debate scholarship at George Washington University at age 16.

She became a speech therapist, then a lawyer — she hung a shingle and did wills and real estate closings — then a part-time law instructor, and finally a leading scholar of bankruptcy. Her research helped change the stereotype of bankrupt people as feckless deadbeats: many, she showed, are middle-class workers upended by divorce or illness.

While Ms. Warren was building her career, her father became a maintenance man and her three older brothers back in Oklahoma worked in construction, car repair and the oil fields. Among them, they have endured all manner of financial crisis, including foreclosure, according to Ms. Warren’s husband.

“I learned early on what debt means, how vulnerable it makes people, what the security of owning a home means,” Ms. Warren said, her eyes welling. Even today, said Ms. Warren’s daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, her mother is so frugal that she eats shriveled grapes out of the fruit bowl.

Six years ago, Ms. Warren was one of the few guests at a Harvard Law School faculty reception for Barack Obama, an alumnus then running for a United States Senate seat in Illinois. He greeted her with two words: “predatory lending,” signaling he knew her work. He began to talk about dicey mortgages and abusive credit products and their shattering effect on families, Ms. Warren recalled. Finally, she cut him off.

“You had me at ‘predatory lending,’ ” she said. A few years later, Mr. Obama was promoting her idea for a consumer agency on the presidential campaign trail.

Meanwhile, in October 2008, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, called out of the blue and asked Ms. Warren to head Congressional oversight of the bank bailout. It was a vague job, sketched out in a hurry, but she interpreted her mandate aggressively. Instead of issuing standard monthly reports, she turned them into independent research projects, bulletins and videos asking pointed questions about Treasury’s treatment of the banks.

At the same time, banking lobbyists and other business-financed groups threw their weight against the consumer agency proposal — and they complained about Ms. Warren as well. (Wayne Abernathy, a lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, declined to comment for this article but recently asked if the TARP oversight panel had become “the new Warren commission.”)

“She comes at the world from the perspective that she knows what’s good for people,” said Douglas Baird, from University of Chicago Law School, who said he shared Ms. Warren’s concerns but not always her views. “She starts with a skepticism of markets and a skepticism of the ability of consumers to make sensible choices.”

The TARP project also complicated Ms. Warren’s ties to the Obama administration. The president lights up when her consumer protection ideas are discussed, according to Diana Farrell, deputy director of the National Economic Council. Likewise, David Axelrod, a White House senior adviser, effused about Ms. Warren in an interview by phone, using the word “passionate” over and over.

Her relationship with Treasury is chillier. In private, she has worked closely with some officials there on regulatory reform. But in her oversight role, she pounds the agency, leading some to accuse her of showboating or breeding cynicism about a program functioning better than many expected.

“I’m a thorn in this administration’s side as much as in the last administration’s side,” she said.

She will not comment on whether she might head the agency, for the same reason administration officials will not. “What we’re trying to do is build an institution that’s over and above any individual,” Ms. Farrell said.

Ms. Warren does say that if she and the administration lose on the agency’s passage, she’d like them to lose big — to force lawmakers, as she puts it, to leave “lots of blood and teeth” on the floor.

If that happens, Ms. Warren will still have her own platform, starting with her nearly constant stream of television appearances. Hosts and cameramen love her: she has the friendly face of a teacher, the pedigree of a top law professor, the moral force of a preacher and the plain-spoken twang of an Oklahoman.



If no agency or government post materializes, Ms. Warren says she will happily return to Harvard. Others expect her to do more, including Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who has come to know her through their shared interest in consumer advocacy.

“Plan B is to become Ralph Nader,” he said.

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a pledge to my friends:

1. When you are sad -- I will help you plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.
2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got laid.
4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much
worse it could be until you quit whining.
6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.
7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are well
again. I don't want whatever you have.
8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.
9. This is my oath.... I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask;
"because you are my friend".

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Monday, April 12, 2010

WAKE ME WHEN THE REVOLUTION STARTS - I GET THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES


After going through telephone hell with a couple of credit card companies I got everything closed out and told them I was cutting up the cards.

so I pick up the office mail for today and there's a credit card statement from Discover Card and Master Card. Very puzzling. so I open them up and they both read: purchases - .00 credit - .00.

I hate credit card companies - all of them -- even the one whose name is on my card. But sending me non existent bills? Guess I know why rates keep going up - waste of time and money! That's the kind of money they're making off us. They can afford to just leave you in the computer - and waste all that paper and postage.

Now my viewpoint is: "Man, I wish I could figure out some way to make them pay return postage. I would make out a check for .00 and stick them with the freight both ways.

I just may do that with one of them - to see if I get any reaction.

Through the wonder that is Pandora radio, I have re-discovered and am enjoying even more the great, tight tunes of The Amazing Rhythm Aces. But last time all my interest meant is that I would turn the car radio up when they launched "Third Rate Romance".

Yesterday friend Tom Wieseler, after a lovely noon breakfast at Da Norske Nook, pulled out a video of the Rhythm Aces and i was very, very impressed with all the guys in the band. And I agree with Wieseler when he says that having two keyboard players in one band makes for a unique sound - well - maybe not -- but it sure as hell is fun!

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The photograph of my ride is up today just because I like my blogs to have a picture.

Long as I am at it I wanna give my Scion xB her props: I love ya' baby!

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A joke contributed by my Arkansas/Texas big buddy, Matthew "Matteo" Capellini:

GOD LOVES DRUNK PEOPLE TOO!
A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door.

The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3:00 in the morning!"

He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife.

"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks.

"No, I did not, it is 3:00 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there!"

"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? .

I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!" God loves drunk people too.

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain.

He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"

"Yes," comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.

"Where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing set," replied the drunk.


I love it.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

I AM THE COOKIE MAN COO COO KA JU

Kim left for the Cities for an overnight with her sister and a financial meeting early tomorrow afternoon, so I am currently holding down the fort.

So I made plans with Tom Wieseler and after drving to his crib, we hopped in the big old Ford Pick Up and boogied on down the road to Norske Nook for a late breakfast.
On the way back I got to telling Tom about the cookie baking binge I have been on for the last two weeks.

I ended up coming back home and baking yet another batch of the oatmeal raisin cookies that are so good they make you weep. I dropped off a tin for Tom to take to work this week. If he takes to them like I did, not many will make it that far!

Luckily I have eaten so many that I just may be tiring of them.

Time to start making Krispie bars again?

If you study the cookie you can make out the bits of walnut, the cranberries, the golden and dark grapes and the peanuts.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Be Sure Not To Fill Out a Census form, Moron





Just when I thought this country couldn't get any crazier, the "Don't Register with the Census" nut jobs are coming out of the woodwork.

Recently, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs described Erick Erickson's comments about the census as "remarkably crazy."

Erickson said last week that he would "pull out [his] wife's shotgun" if a census worker came to try to jail him for not filling out his census form.

Tuesday, Gibbs described that statement as "remarkable crazy remarks of somebody that would threaten somebody simply trying to ensure that they're adequately represented in this country."

"These days, it never ceases to amaze you," he continued. "And usually it's only trumped by what somebody will knowingly say tomorrow about where -- I think it was Lincoln who said better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

And I say, leave these morons alone. They are ignorant, paranoid people who have had the shit scared out of them with eight years of George Bush and now all they really understand is fear. This is how ignorant these patriot Americans are - they don't even realize that by not registering they are going to cost their state money and lose more votes through re-districting.

So, census workers, call first - get a feeling for your client's outlook - and then if you go, anyway -- go armed, anyway.

It is the dawning of the age of Delirious.

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Just back from checking in on Face Book. It at least got my day off with a good loud very vocal laugh. Here's the message I got from one of my many "friends":

<span style="font-weight:bold;">Larry don't drop that giant electic razor that was at the club near shopo that you did shows at (sorry i cannot remeber the name)"



You translate that for me. You won't be able to if you haven't shopped at shopo and remebered to buy shampoo.

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Want to let Clay Riness know that I am thinking positive thoughts all day and tomorrow for the three house concerts he is performing this weekend. Clay: I hope you don't miss a beat, that the audiences are a treat, and the remuneration great!

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Oh! I can't print my daily tasteless photo of the day - spoiled Kodak Moments - Those photos are on the lappus topius (I took Latin). Perhaps later in the day I can throw one up here.

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In the meantime, I am trying to familiarize myself with the newer version MacMan installed - workng in iPhoto right now and i don't know what the hell I am doing - and of course I refuse to read help.

Gonna try and throw up a short study in hats. Let's see if it works --

Yup.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

COOKIES TO THE LEFT OF ME, COOKIES TO THE RIGHT - STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU

This just in from my long time friend, John Buchholz:

Conjoined twins walk into a pub in Toronto and park themselves on a bar stool. The one on the left says to the bartender, 'Don't mind us, we're joined at the hip. I'm John, he's Jim. Two Molson Canadian beers please.'

The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers. 'Been on holiday yet, lads?''

Off to England next month,' says John. 'We go to England every year, hire a car. and drive for miles, don't we, Jim?' Jim agrees.

'Ah, England !' says the bartender. 'Wonderful Country ... the history, the beer, the culture....'

'Nah, we don't like that British crap,' says John. 'Hamburgers & Molson's beer, that's us, eh, Jim? And we can't stand the English; they're so arrogant and rude,
not civil and polite like us Canadians.'

'So why keep going to England ?' asks the bartender.

'It's the only chance Jim gets to drive...
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Kim will attest to the fact that I tend to "binge bake". Some months ago, it was Krispie Bars (not really baking, but oh my!)

Last month, at a family gathering in Mike's Smokehouse, my younger brother Anson presented his brothers with a zip lock bag of oatmeal cookies based on a recipe I had developed years before. They never saw the light of our kitchen. I had forgotten how great they taste!

I decided I needed to bake a batch but then could not find the recipe! so I e mailed Anson and threatened him with bodily harm if he didn't send me MY recipe. A couple days later, I got it. Let the baking begin!

I have since baked two double batches (48 cookies per batch) one quadruple batch (do the math) and yesterday my poor wife came home to find me in the kitchen conjuring up yet another batch. This one contains: Move Over Butter, brown sugar, Demerara sugar from Florida, quick oats, bread flour, brown raisins, golden raisins, crushed walnuts, dry roast peanuts, and craisins.

The Demarara sugar adds a sparkly crunch to the cookie and a hint of molasses flavor. God in heaven! These cookies are as addictive as dope. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I was going to publish my recipe but have decided, selfishly, to keep it to myself.

I need to keep some of these in the car in case I get stopped by the police. Is a cookie a bribe?

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Study today's photo (compliments of Mr. Capell). Obviously that young kid with the cell phone has reached puberty. There'll be hand lotion and kleenex later -

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FIRST SIGNS OF SPRING IN WISCONSIN

People look like they are driving drunk when actually all they are doing is trying to avoid pot holes.

Teen agers are wearing short shorts on sunny days even with a wind chill factor of 20 degrees.

The orange cones begin to spring up on Highway 94.

Harley motorcycles.

My nose begins to run.

Women once again have breasts.

Conscientious begin raking the yard.

Favre is at it again.

My tongue no longer will stick to a flag pole.

The first day of not wearing long underwear.

The sound of a robin coughing.

(and my truly-no-joke favorite)

Mr. Cardinal no longer sings winter song, but goes into lilting spring song - a song of hope!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

FEAR OF FACE BOOK DUE TO IGNORANCE?


Kim helped me find my glasses. I left them in the shower/bath. I know, weird, right? I like to read and soak at least once a day. In fact, when I get done with this, I am heading into the bath and use up all the hot water and the last of the bubble bath.

Don't judge me.

Real manly men enjoy a bubble bath once in a while too!

What's with the Face Book craze? What I gather from younger comedians is that people let Face Book take over their entire lives! I have been dabbling with it - but I sort of have a love hate relationship with it. I feel like I am standing at the edge of Hell's maw.

What's really weird is that it has virtually replaced e mail as a means of communicating with "friends". More and more, e mail becomes an announcement platform for Face Book..

So instead, if you really get into Face Book you are revealing to 1,220 of your closest "friends" some pretty personal stuff. And pretty soon your "friends" are using your wall as theirs, and publishing their extremely clever schtick - and recommending what bands you should be listening to and how you should be a friend with Todd Bentley - I know - who the hell is Tom Bentley!

Just try going thru the pictures feature without getting lost in a whole folio of people, not one of which you recognize.

There I said it -- now I'm going over to Face Book

THE ABOVE PHOTO IS PURELY GRATUITOUS IGNORE IT

ANYBODY SEEN EITHER PAIR OF MY GLASSES?

Well I finally have done it. I have misplaced both pair of my bifocals - so I am looking through Walgreen's readers this morning and grousing to myself about how irresponsible I am getting with important matters in my life. You know the only way I will find either pair is to go to the optometrist and have two more pair made.

I went down to Madison tuesday afternoon to discuss my appearance with Mr. Johnson at his MATC class. On wednesday, we presented three conflict scenarios for the class to dissect and write about. I took my camera along and then forgot it in the car so there are no pictures to show for my efforts.

Do you see a pattern developing here?

I am up way too early considering the long day I put in yesterday. Now I have to make another decision - do I stay here at the house and freeze to death, or do I gather up the lap top and book it over to the bungalow and get a good fire going in the wood stove?

Spent some time re-working the lyrics to "Queen of Alaska" yesterday early, early morning at the Johnson's. Before I am through there will be hand written copies all the way to the dump. Been so long since I wrote that I had forgotten the whole polishing routine that accompanies the writing process.

I have to shut down for a bit and seek warmth. Damn this house is cold!!!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

STUBBED MY TOES ON THE KITCHEN CHAIR OF LIFE



I just had to publish this photograph of sacred ground in Title Town. It was obviously taken at a great height! If you have never been in Lambeau for an f-16 fly over, you haven't experienced the ultimate deeply moving moment. I mean, they come in really low, it feels like they are just above the rim. The engines can be heard in the distance as the final strains of the National Anthem is just finishing. With the final note, those jets come screaming over the stadium, rattling the beer in your hand. It is one of the few times that the word awesome
isn't being used superficially.

The Packers won this game 17-7 against the Dallas Cowpies on November 15, 2009. My dislike of the America's team poseurs is second to only that of the ViQueens.

Speaking of football. My internet friend from Ohio, Kirk Roebuck sent me this yesterday:

In my exhaustive and never ending quest for information on NFL socks, I found this.
Of course, the holy grail of NFL socks are the 60s Packers the 5 stripe yellow-white-yellow-white with the white and yellow separated by thin green (as on the jerseys).

Next would be the Redskins when Lombardi adopted the look for them.

Then I read that the Chief’s owner, Lamar Hunt liked the Packers look and wanted to adopt it for his teams uniforms. Never made it to the sleeves, but for a short time the Chiefs had a similar pattern on their socks, and very rare, hard to find in photos.

Guess what---I found such a pic, and in it the Chiefs are playing the Packers. I think the current NFL commissioner should mandate socks with stripes on all teams!



Being very much a traditionalist in many ways, I totally agree with Krk on the NFL socks. When the Green Bay Packers graduated from their former blue and gold and went to the dark green and yellow, it became their standard and has changed very little over the years.

When Ron Wolf was in Green Bay he toyed with the idea of changing the helmet color from yellow to shiny old gold (ala 49'ers) and going with shiny gold pants. Fortunately there was such a loud Cheesehead response that he dropped the idea.

Uniforms that stayed true to the roots like the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, the 49'ers - I am sure there are others, look the classiest. Teams that really re-designed and I think for the worse: like the Vikings, Lions, Broncos, and many others - adding black was all the thing recently I find unappealing. I was happy to see that the 49'ers went back to their old look this past season.

And Kirk, as I said, is right about the socks! Look at the photo and note how it really ties everything together.

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Still trying to recover from the tissue damage around my left ankle bone.

Then yesterday I got out of my car (idling) over on the house driveway as Kim needed me to help with something and all of a sudden Kim yells: "Your car is leaving!" I turn around and it is rolling towards the high creek embankment -- and do I jump in it to hit the brake - Not me -- I run on my bad ankle to the front bumper left side and try to stop it with my body weight - luckily the front tire came to rest on the wooden sidewalk but I stumbled on that same side walk and sprained my two small toes on the same foot that already throbs.

Then this morning here at the office, I stubbed those two toes on a chair leg and I cursed as loudly as I could for three minutes but it still hurt. And still does right now. I hurt therefore I am. I think that was the motto of my patron saint, Lawrence.

Lawrence is said to have been martyred on a gridiron (martyred on a gridiron -no wonder I like football) as a part of Valerian's persecution. During his torture Lawrence cried out "This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite." ["Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca."] [5] This is the legend often quoted explaining why Lawrence is the Patron Saint of Comedians, butchers and roasters.

How very appropriate. I think of myself as a professional comedian (among other things) and I have been known to "butcher a tune" now and then, and I have participated in more than one roast - not the kind referred to, methinks.

There are other ways that I consider myself a traditionalist. Take guitars. for instance. I think acoustic guitars should be made of real solid wood! Not veneers, or plastic, or fiberglass. or even graphite. And they should have real inlay or none at all. I don't even like it when I play an acoustic through a pickup and amplifier. Give me a good parabolic mic anytime. there is nothing like the sweet, deep tone of a good acoustic guitar!

And I long for the return of hats. Not caps - which people refer to incorrectly as hats, but real hats, with a brim. fedoras, if you will. I even love well shaped felt cowboy hats. The 1930's and 1940's were a great time for men's fashion. every guy wore a hat. And I love double breasted jackets. I got married in one second time around. I wonder if I still can get it on without ripping out the back.

Got to get to work now. If I can stand, that is. Ouch, eech, oooouch!

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

WTF? TAX TIME AGAIN? WASN'T IT JUST YESTERDAY?



April Fifteenth looms large on the calendar. April Fifteenth is an important day. Yes, it is my birthday, but that's not why. It is the day of doom. And I am no where near ready for it!

Usually by now, Kim and I have filled our tax forms. for some reason I have had all kinds of trouble organizing my taxes this year. I went in thinking I was ready to give all necessary and pertinent information and came home with the following "to do" list from my preparer:

1. Locate my 1099 S statement. (declaration of all money obtained through social security)
2. Locate my 1099 R statement for Royal Credit Union (money taken out of IRA)
3. Calculate total miles driven since January 1, 2009
4. Calculate all business miles driven since January 1, 2009
5. Call All State agent, obtain cost of office property insurance
6. Calculate all finance charge for 2009, including all credit card finance charges
7. Calculate all miles riven while going to the doctor

This looks like a lot, but actually, it will be taken care of tomorrow, the first business day of the week when I can reach all necessary agencies.

I just hate this time of year. And that's just not right - it's the time of my birth for God sake! Happy Birthday says Uncle Sam, hand extended, palm up.

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I have been spending way too much time on Face Book! It is an insidious disease. And like anything else with the computer, it requires learning all kinds of new stuff. I hate it but am still drawn to it - hypnotized like a mouse in front of a cobra. So you'd better look me up on Face Book, damn it! I just spent from 5AM to 8 AM updating the thing.

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Yesterday I did little or nothing. I was attacked by my fibromyalgia really big time and I hurt everywhere. This magnified the throbbing of the healing left ankle and I had to just get off my feet. consequently I slept most of the day. Last night Kim and I wqtched "Good Hair" - the documentary by comedians Chris Rock and Jeff Stilson.

After viewing it, my opinion is that a person should stay true to the hair that they were born with. The documentary was certainly an eye-opener concerning what black women go through to straighten their hair. The application of chemicals that can blind you? No thanks! Besides, I think that natural Black hair is really beautiful.

I guess I didn't realize how important a woman's hair is to her self esteem. That's how stupid I am.

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One of the sure signs of Spring has arrived here at the bungalow. The attack of the little black spiders. I have to keep an eye out for them because they bite! And their bite is not noticed for some time and then I start to itch and itch I do!

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I have begun to memorize "The Ballad of T.J. Rubley" but this may take a long long time. It is a damn long narrative poem! Can you say Illiad and Odessey? I sent a copy to Fuzzy Thurston - surprisingly, I have not heard back.

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NOTE; PHOTO OF EASTER BUNNY COMPLIMENTS OF MY FRIEND GARY SPAETH. HAPPY EASTER.