Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Off Tuesday

After a tiring week of Dead Terrorist News, I took a break and went to see Jackson Browne last night. It was one of those "intimate" solo shows, just Jackson and me and several thousand others. It was just like being in his living room with him and a chair and a keyboard and 2 dozen guitars. It was a good show though and it was nice to get away from the news.

During the intermission, Mrs d and I skipped out of the Overture Center and it's long line for over priced beer and ran across the street to the Silver Dollar. Now the Dollar is a cool place. Thirty some years ago when I first went in, it was a shot and a beer joint populated most of the time with local retirees and drunks. Almost all men, but with the occasional women inevitably smoking and with a voice like gravel.
Today the Dollar is a lot hipper but still the kind of place where you can go and sip a beer and not be bothered by a huge, loud crowd.

As expected for a Tuesday night, there was almost no one in the place. A couple laughing at one end of the bar and a single woman at the other end watching the hockey game. Half way through our first beer, Jay Moran and Garbage front man Duke Erickson came in and started playing pool.
It's that kind of place.

A second beer was called for and while enjoying same, I looked at the board above the bar listing beers available. Miller, Miller Lite, Bud, Bud Light, Coors. The usual. There were also some local brews like Spotted Cow and Hopalicious. All normal.

And then I saw it: Old Milwaukee N/A    Old Milwaukee N/A?  Old Milwaukee N/A!! Christ on a crutch, Old Milwaukee NON ALCOHOLIC?! Why? I mean, geez, I've drunk Old Milwaukee beer. It's been around longer than I have, but it's the kind of beer you buy when you're scrounging around in your pockets for loose change. It's the kind of beer that's always sold in 12 packs or cases because it's cheaper than a 6 pack of real beer. It's the kind of beer you buy when you're short of cash but you really want to get drunk. It's an alcohol delivery system, not a beverage. And there it was, a non-alcohol version of a beer you wouldn't drink if you were sober.

You know, there are times when I wonder if my days as a barfly are over. The great drinking bars are almost a thing of the past and when I run into things like this, it only reinforces the knowledge that they never will return. It's sad really. I pondered this for a moment and then finished my (alcoholic) beer. There was a second set of Jackson Browne to go to.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


With less than two weeks before the Republicans take the reins of governance here in WI, one might think that they would be working day and night to hit the ground running to solve the major problems facing the state. I mean gov-elect Walker has said that his first days in office would be dedicated to generating jobs. (We'll forget for the moment that before he has become governor he has already squelched all the jobs tied to the now doomed high speed rail) The economic news is not good. Right there, on page three of Tuesday's Wi State Journal is the the headline:  Poverty Rates Up Around The State. South central Wisconsin counties show a 7.5% to 12.3% increase 2005 to 2009. The need for jobs is critical.

This having been said, one merely has to glance below the fold of the same page to get a true idea of  the priorities of incoming Republicans: Nass: Let's Repeal Law On Race-Based Mascot Names. Yup, Rep. Steve Nass's first priority is to allow WI schools to rename their sports teams The Indians or The Warriors or perhaps even The Redskins. On a week when ground breaking legislation is signed opening up the military to gays and lesbians, Nass wants to take Wisconsin back forty years in race relations. Never mind that families are sliding deeper and deeper into poverty with some kids pulled out of school because their homes are being foreclosed and others going to school hungry, we damn sure need to make it possible for their school mascot to be able to run around with a feather headdress doing fake war whoops.

Oh well, I guess there will be jobs out there making Indian headdresses.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Big Harmony Congrats

The Harmony Bar celebrated it's 20th Anniversary on Sunday. Expecting a crowd somewhat larger than the bar could hold, it was held at the Barrymore Theater. Keith told me he was expecting 600 to 700 hundred people. Thats a pretty damn big crowd for a neighborhood bar. When the Mrs and I arrived, the lobby  was already full of ready to party friends. This shot gives you an idea of the turnout.

Music was played, beer was drunk, stories were told, and a great time was had by all.
Keith told me tonight that 1600 people showed up and payed the $5+ admision to the party. All told, $9000 was collected for the Goodman Center. What a fantastic job for a great cause.
How good must it feel to have 1600  friends that will come out for your birthday?
Super Congrats to Keith and Allison and all my wonderful friends at the Harmony Bar!

A Flyover Spring

Spring is sprung
The grass is ris'
I wonder where
The flowers is

Well certainly Spring in Flyovercountry is well represented in these pictures I took last Thursday. It was a beautiful day, 63 degrees, sun shining, a perfect end to a long winter.

Then, of course, there was this morning.

There is a reason that old people move south. The weather here is nucking futs.

Oh well, it is supposed to be 53 on Monday.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I just got a call at work. It was someone conducting a survey for the NRA. (Note here. I am not a member and the only gun I currently own is the 22  my dad gave me when  was 12, but I am not "anti gun".)
The call said "We're doing a one question survey".   The question?

"Are you against the United Nations move to ban guns in the United States"

Wha!?!? I didn't even know that the UN was coming to get my Springfield Arms single shot bolt action rifle.

I related the story to some friends on line and Brooklyn Girl was kind enough to give me this link to Apparently, the wingnut-o-sphere is using a treaty to control international arms trading to stir up the deadenders. They are using no less than John Bolton, a man so crazy that his mustache has a court order against him limiting contact, to flog their insanity.

So, your question has to be "What did you answer?".

Well, I responded that I didn't know if he was with the NRA or just a poor schlub who was trying to make a living (I'm always nice to these people on the assumption they're just minimum wage temps) but my survey answer was:   "You are nuts"

Dead air.

I continued "Please write down that my response to the survey is "You are nuts". Would you like me to spell that?"
"Yes, please."
"Y-O-U  A-R-E  N-U-T-S"
With that, I wished him a nice day and hung up.

The crazy season for elections comes earlier and earlier but I think that the balls-to-the-walls Obama haters are going to make this an off year election like no other. And remember, the SCOTUS has opened the floodgates for the moneyed whack jobs to pour unlimited amounts for or against candidates.
Strap in, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Musings

March is such a tease. I mean it's the start of spring and all, but you never know what you get. Now the average temperature for today is 36 and we actually beat it by a few degrees but I checked and the record high for March first is 62, the record low is -29. That's a spread of 91 degees! Even the last day of March, where the norm is 50, has a record high of 82 and a low of 5. Still a 77 degree spread. There's a heck of a lot of places that never have a 77 degree spread through the whole year. At least January and February are going to be cold and you know it. There's an honesty there.

As the spring month roles in there's still a lot of snow on the ground.

It'll probably be gone by this time next week (there's rain predicted for next weekend) but it sure feels like winter.

There are a few spring-like things going on though. One of my favorite harbingers of spring is the spinach in my cold frame staring to grow with the higher sun.
I should be eating fresh spinach by the first day of spring.

A couple of other plants have brightened my gloomy, end of winter spirits. One is a Bird of Paradise plant. I have three and one is a regular late winter bloomer. It has bloomed in January in the past, but I think it was too cloudy this year. It was waiting for a little more sun.

While I was watering I spotted this little barrel cactus with a beautiful crown of flowers.

I guess everything is hoping for an early spring so we all can get outdoors more. I know I sure am.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Republican Caucus

I was able to obtain this recording of the Republican Caucus meeting for this week. Apparently they're discussing the President's call for bipartisanship.

Boehner appears to be losing some of his tan.