Friday, March 27, 2015

Pot o' Gold

My SitBit on my wrist which tracks my inactivity and warns me when I get to active was going off last night watching the Badger game. I felt like I was doing some sort of aerobic exercise just sitting there my heart was pounding so hard.

WHEW!

In other games - if Kentucky would not have scored ONE POINT in the 2nd half last night - they still would have won.  They were so bored they were dunking over their own players.  The score was 18-2 after like 4 minutes! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  No one will beat Kentucky this year. The #1 player in the NBA draft next year scored 1 point and Kentucky won by 40.
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The low this morning got down to 16.6 in Columbus  brrrrrrrrr!  It will get colder tonight going to 14ish but then the warm up begins and Saturday will be a feel warm 40 with pure sun and very light wind.  Should feel GREAT.  Sunday blows!  Serious yuck.  46 ice pellets cloudy, windy.

Next week will be a wapatoolie of weather - Spring will show us everything it has from beautiful warm sun to snow showers and rain and cooling down for the next weekend.    If it is sunny you know rain is coming, if it's raining you know the sun is coming. 

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Had two images printed where I will get my $$ back as their printer had issues with the color blue which for these photos is important.  These two were from a vacation we had on St. John USVI - and yes -that is a REAL rainbow. I doubt the sail boat saw a rainbow.  


And this is a shot of Trump Bay, ranked as one of the best beaches in the world (it was from what we could tell). 

There was a card table where a woman was selling rum drinks.  We each ordered one and LITERALLY, the drink was basically one shot of 7-Up and the rest flavored rum. 

As we were laying there like walruses soaking up sun a family starts to lay blankets and stuff near us and they are talking.  I nudge DJ and say "listen". . . . . . DJ says  "Oh know, is that what we sound like?"  I say hi to the people and ask,  "Where are you guys from?"  and they say  MilWAUkee WiscONsin!!   sigh! 

They actually have a snorkel trail you can follow - it was pretty sweet. 

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Motoclasico opens downtown Columbus Saturday. Motoclasico "houses a collection of classic motorcycles as well as timeless apparel and accessories for motorcycle enthusiast."  They will also have a good size internet presence.

Jose has renovated the inside of the old bank.


I have not been inside the place yet and he is still working on details but here is a first look.


They are working with the Festival Urban Ninjas to have five Motorcycle Nights in Columbus. The first Monday of the month.


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Also opening this weekend is Columbus Self Storage with a ribbon cutting and cake


395 Transit Road, just a block south of the new Shopko and Sentry.

Add Firemens Tap being purchased for a catering service and future restaurant,  Napoli's reopening, a large Badger Motor Car Company who refurbishes antique cars (and many other cool things) opening this summer next to Julie's Java House, The Governors mansion working on destination weddings, a new Sentry and Ace Hardware opening yesterday . . . there is a lot going on.  OH - and the biggest news of the summer is Mullins has a NEW BIG CHAIR!!!! (insert standing ovation sounds).
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I did not read the article but the title was

Ted Cruz is just like Reagan in 1980, except people liked Reagan.

Oil prices dipped yesterday. Seems they have been climbing lately with Yeman worries about the Saudi Arabia-led air strikes but that fear seems to be ebbing.

Have a great weekend.
RM
      

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wisconsin is becoming Russia

Weather - we had 0.29 inches of rain and slush the other, although the waste water treatment plant said 0.27. I think we were in agreement.  We have a lot of sunshine heading our way but the air we breath is coming from Canada so it's a little cool.  Light winds so it will not be as bad s you thing.  this time of year sun means so much.

Saturday will  nuttin' but sun with little or no wind.  Sunday will be in the upper 40s with wind and spattering of rain.  NOT GREAT at all.  probably get into the 60s middle of next week with clouds and some rain.  Looks like we will enter a cloudy rainy patch of weather the first part of April as more moist weather from the Pacific starts to hit Wisconsin as opposed to dry Canada.

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DJ and I watched a fascinating show on Netflix last night when she got home from work a EIGHT O'CLOCK.   "30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men" which was about the Miracle on Ice from a Russian point of view and it really made you feel bad for the Russian hockey team. The hockey team was not the evil empire.

More on that in a bit.

DJ was sick with flu-like symptoms Monday and Tuesday and went to work yesterday.  She left for work at 7:00AM and arrived how at 8:00 PM.  Mandatory overtime and since she missed two days she was forced to work 10+ hours yesterday and will miss part of the basketball game tonight with mandatory work, OR forced to work on Saturday and maybe miss the Badger game.  She missed one of her favorite holidays last fall Halloween because of mandatory overtime work.

Who can she complain too, management? Yea - right. Walker got rid of unions so State Government can treat their employees anyway they feel like.  Remember - unions are evil right? Thank you Governor Walker for making my wife's life miserable. Might as well live in Russia.  It's not about the people, it's about the money.

BTW - in 2010 Wisconsin was 23ish in job growth in the nation. Starting in 2011, one year after Walker became Governor Wisconsin job growth has lagged behind the rest of the nation and we are now 40th.  Well done.

Back to hockey.

In 1946 Russia decided it needed a hockey team so they got some military dude and said make us a world class hockey team BUT . . . you are not allowed to see how the game is played.  No films - only a page of rules.

So Russia designed and made strategy their one way which was way way different then how Canada played.  Russia used a team concept. While Canada, the powerhouse had the guy with the puck being the driving force, Russia said the 4 guys WITHOUT the puck were what counted. Passing was the key.  While Canada had players bashing people getting the guy with the puck to the goal Russia used passing.

Anyway - the whole show was really good.  Things like how the Russians were housed in a prison in Lake Placid with thin cold sheets and barbed wire. How everybody hated them. They said we were just hockey players, the best in the world but treated so rudely like lower class.

One comment from the older players being interviewed was about the lasting impression of that one game. One said "If a child kisses Sophia Loren he will remember it forever while Sophia will not remember it at all.  Same with us. That one game is not THAT big of a deal but everything around it was".  Or something like that

There were other reason to remember but what happened in the years after were much bigger for the Russian team.  Going for a coach that reinvented the game and love his team and players and getting fired before the Olympics to a strict hard ass coach in the Olympics.

Watch that show if you have Netflix.

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Bud warehouse
      The original size of this photo is 16 feet wide.  A little large for a blog.

Oddly I hated beer until I was about 40.  A serious gag reflex for beer.  That yellow fizzy corn swill with very little flavor and very little alcohol is horrible (a baby could drink it - I do not approve of baby's drinking beer).   I have a good friend that is a manager of Budweiser in Sun Prairie and I had to leave off a beer for a competition yesterday and got a tour.


Look at all that beer.  Budweiser is HUGE in Sun Prairie - seriously. There are 20 of those rows of beer. Over 1/2 million cases.


That is three semi trucks on the left there - to give you an idea of the size of the place. You could eat off that floor it was so clean . . . if you really wanted too.

When the zombie apocalypse comes this is where I will try to get too!  Make a note. Head to Bud.

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Poe.

I'm a pretty heavy rock dude when it comes to car music, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch and so forth (along with 3 classical stations and Mark Knopfler and Blues but . . I digress)  but one of my Pandora Stations threw in a song by Poe. I had never head of this singer but liked the song and looked her up.

Two albums, one in 1995 and one in 2000.  That's it??  I actually purchased her latest CD (the 2000 one) and love it.

https://youtu.be/o3lBF2h-Pl0



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Public Service message because I'm an aldermen for ALL of Columbus.  I thought that guy on the right was slicing deli meat but it was for the hardware store.  My bad.


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Watch out by the intersection by the Hospital Monday - work begins!

Here is a tip I heard on TV.

You know when you brush your teeth you get those little lumps of toothpaste in the sink? Don't wipe them away. Let them dry and use them as after dinner mints!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What Columbus Needs

Gotta share this.  The Milwaukee Bucks were in an important game last night against Miami and were fighting against Miami for the 6th playoff spot. Bucks were down by 14 with 6 minutes to go but had battled back. Very important game when in the last 3.5 seconds, down by 2 this happened. Bucks are in white.


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I was at the CDA sponsored event yesterday "Charting a New Course for Economic Development in Columbus" which was well attended by business leaders but no one attended from the outer ring of businesses in Columbus (strip mall area). 

But what was very nice was that there was anyone there at all!  When I moved to Columbus these types of events were draw 5 people and we had 22+ yesterday.

The group talked about what was good about Columbus and what the challenges were and where did we want to be in 20 years.  Very informative.  This is actually the 2nd of these kind of public meeting I have attended in the last 4 months as the library had something like this and it was nice to see that they mirrored each other.

What we did was just list everything and then at the end sort of voted on the most important things.

The below are some of the things the group of people in attendance wanted Columbus to focus on.

  
The Crawfish river is the most under utilized strengths to a town I have ever seen.  I have lived in three towns in my life and every one had a river that was used and not ignored like we do in Columbus.  I've seen plans for fixing up the area but the previous governments were blind to this strength.

Luckily there is a plan in the works for canoe and kayak rentals in the future so we need to start to focus on this area and not wear blinders to entertainment.

   
I've always been a big proponent for youth and finding things for them to do and I have an idea that I need to talk to SOMEONE involved in schools and school government.  The youth of Columbus is also the future of Columbus and we need to get them involved.

Shovel ready properties is also move in ready properties.  Dane County has SO MUCH paperwork for building a business that Columbia County does not. We need to get developers to put in the infrastructure so an idea for a building will take less then a year.  This also goes with downtown businesses and we need to help building owners market their empty store fronts.  A sign in the window is not enough. 

The Urban Ninjas did a fantastic job this past winter with their art walk and the response from all of the building owners downtown was amazing.  This group really got all owners involved which was unheard of in the past. I was glad to hear yesterday that other businesses believe they are good for Columbus (but I digress).        


Location Perception was big.  For instance. People in Madison believe Columbus us SO FAR AWAY when it's actually a faster drive to Columbus they from the east side of Madison to the west side.

A friend of mine drove to Columbus and he commented - WOW - it's not as far as I thought! Somehow we need to get it into peoples brains that we are not 100 miles away.

When I lived on the east side of Madison it took me 40 minutes to get to the west side.  The ONE thing that drives me nuts is the lack of advertising in the Isthmus for Columbus events. The Isthmus readers are the ones that would make the trip. The people that read that newspaper are the cool ones looking for unique things to do outside of Madison. An ad would cost a lot but the Room Tax Funds are sitting there doing nothing but collecting dust.

 
Dinner and a Show - people are begging for things to do in Columbus - look at Recreational Destination - There was a lot of talk about the lack of bike trails in Columbus.  We're not talking about smooth roads but trails from park to park and so forth.  And one of the big things talked about was the lack of quality entertainment.

State-Wide Attraction was about events (Arts & Ale for instance) and branding. Trying to get people to come to Columbus and THEN treating them well.  It does no good to have a event and then do it poorly - that is anti-marketing.  Put on an event, spend money to make it as good as you can - THAT is marketing a town, not just a piece of paper with the word Columbus on it.

Transportation Options is another word for taxi?  How do seniors do shopping if they can't drive?

All these ideas were discussed with WEDC and they will now take it and work out a plan or at least a plan on how to make a plan.  This is a good group and I read and participate in the Connect Communities forum which is a great place to kick around ideas and problems with other officials in communities.

Columbus is not that different then most small towns.  Actually a little better off as many other towns have a much worse downtown situation.  We only have a 25-30% vacancy rate.  But the biggest problem is that Columbus people do not know what Columbus offers. They do not shop here, only live here.

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The Badgers - did you know that the Badgers and Kentucky have the tallest teams in the sweet 16 BY FAR!!   If you take the average size of all players that play more the 10 minutes a game there is only one team, in the NBA, that has a taller team.  Minnesota.  And Wisconsin is just 1/10 of an inch shorter then Kentucky.

Kentucky has a 41% of winning the National Title
Arizona 14%
Duke 12%
Wisconsin 8%  according to Nate Silver.

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Did you know that on average once every 4 days the US Power Grid is digitally attacked?

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Ireland's largest bookmaker came out with the latest numbers for 2016 presidential race.

Hillary (not my favorite choice)  6/5
Jeb Bush  4/1
Walker 10/1

Marco Rubio 10/1
Liz Warren 18/1  
Ted Cruz 33/1

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One last thing - First Grade readiness.

We all know that we live in times that are MUCH MUCH safer then when we were kids. When I was a kid there were razor blades in Trick or treat bags and all sort of violence. Statistically we are in a very very safe time in the world.

One of the things in 1979 to find out if your child was ready for 1st grade were can he or she count 10 pennies and color inside the lines and . . . . . . "Can he travel alone in the neighborhood (eight blocks) to store, school, playground, or to a friend's home?"

How many parents let their kids walk 8 blocks by themselves. In some towns they arrest parents for letting their kids be free range.  I used to walk 8 blocks to school barefoot in winter to kindergarten.

have a great day