Monday, August 3, 2015


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WELL - I hope it works.  I guess if you are in the EU you see a new warning about cookies. If it doesn't work please send bail money as I might be extradited to somewhere in Europe for "processing".


A good friend of mine contracted me last week. We became friends in the Public Enemies era of Columbus and her village was in desperate need for a photographer and I was the very last choice for help.

I agreed and DJ and I spent time in Clyman, population 422.  Did you know the post office in Clyman has been operating since 1849?   Clyman is a young town with a medium age of 36 (Columbus is 38).

ANYWAY - for the first time in 50 years the 118 year old Firefighters Tournament was being held in Clyman and they wanted me to sort of document the event. There was a week long softball tournament of which I see Columbus did not have a team and there was a big celebration Sunday ending with a firefighter barrel water tournament thingy (for lack of a better word).

Of course when I agreed to take photos I completely forgot about Ale and Arts in Columbus. ARG!!
Clyman Fire Department
They had a fantastic Fish Fry Friday night and an amazing Chicken Dinner Sunday. I'm still trudging through the 299 photos I took. This was a pretty big deal for a pretty small town.

The photo on the right is of a foreign exchange kid from Tokyo.  Talk about a culture shock being 12 years old coming from Tokyo (populating 13 million) and ending up in Reeseville Wisconsin (population 708).

I was told he has a good command of the English language but is very quiet. In Japan children are seen not heard.  And in the States strangers talk to strangers which is unheard of in Japan.  There was a thing on travel tips for Japanese tourists on what to expect of Americans.  One was that we tend to talk to cashiers in grocery stores and will strike up conversations with a common stranger for no reason at all.

These guys won a goldfish.  WHAT LUCK!

One of the tournaments was the firefighter water squirting barrel thing which on a 90 degree day felt pretty darn good at times.

Here is the Clyman Firefighters who I hear were ROBBED from victory.

That was pretty fun to watch.

I think there were about 10 fire departments in the tournament.   Kids loved getting wet.

The Clyman parade was really excellent. Every fire department marched through town, very professional.

I'm kind of laughing at that photo bomb on the bottom.


SO - seems people were wondering where I was at Arts and Ales. Frankly, A&A is a poor fit for me on a number of levels and I'll give it to you straight.  For one thing I'm not sure how many people attending A&A want to spend $385 on a piece of at work which is my average price.

It's problematic getting my canopy up and down and I really really loath art fairs that have other things going on besides art.  It's not conducive to sales and taking a canopy down (normally 1.5 hours) becomes more like 3 hours when people are still around and I have to drive a trailer in and out of partiers.

When I was in Spring Green for their art fair they actually had a starting time and a ending time and announced it. It was GREAT. Vendors loved it.  There is nothing worse then trying to pack up and people are still looking and talking and milling about getting in the way.  You have put in a 12 hour day with no breaks and are normally hot, cranky, tired and hungry even if you have had a GREAT day.

A&A is a fantastic event for crafts, not so much for large cumbersome art and large trailers.  Have it in Firemans Park would be a different story but A&A is meant to get people downtown (that place with the buildings if you are unfamiliar with that term) of which Hydro Street and the Ninja's do a fantastic job.  Those two groups have done more for the downtown then people realize.

From what I saw yesterday Arts and Ales is sort of out growing their spot and need to add another street.


On this day in 1492 Columbus set sail with three ships to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.  Of course Columbus never ever set foot on what we call America! EVER! Never really got close actually.

Giovanni Caboto was actually closer. The US was fighting England and not Spain and no one wanted to give credit top Giovanni Caboto who started England's colonization of most of North America. So we gave credit to Columbus.  Our little town COULD be called Caboto.

Columbus "discovered" the Bahamas and that was the closest he ever got.


I don't have many things on my bucket list.

A REAL Roller Coaster is one.
A Nightwish concert is another and attending Burning Man in Black Rock Desert in Nevada is another

The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.  This years theme is "Carnival of Mirrors".   I think it's the closest thing to Mad Max in the States.


Have a great Monday!  Beautiful week coming out!!  I have an Art Fair in Paoli Saturday and Fitchburg the next Saturday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EAA Photos

Nice little rain storm this morning - 0.37 inches.  Peak rate was 1.75 inches per hour.

Brady Brady Brady - the cover up is always so much worse then the crime.  

And about that lion killing.  If killing a beloved lion was bad enough for a person that has already been convicted of killing other animals illegally.  NOW - the next lion to head the pack, Jericho, will probably kill Cecil's six cubs so he can insert his bloodline into the pack. It's how they roll. 

Isn't killing for fun, even if it's big game sort of like being a serial killer? 


OH - the next time you sing Happy Birthday . . . . you better pay up.  It cost's $1,500 to pay for those copyright's.  The owners of that 1935 copyright have been making $2 million a year.  



This is America's new F35B fighter that is suppose to replace the Harrier and my 2nd favorite fighter the F18 Hornet (my favorite is the A10 Worthog) .  This was the first time it was publicly shown.  It can hover!!  It only costs 150 million, less then the Bradly Center! 
F-35B Joint Strike Fighter
This got a good chuckle out of the crowd. I was REALLY hoping the pilot was not going to demonstrate the afterburners as he was maneuvering around. 

When we arrived there was an accident that closed down the runways for a few hours.  On average there is one take off every 5 minutes (busiest airport in the world for one week) so you can expect a pretty large backlog of planes wanting to take off.  

When the runways opened all three runways were being used for take offs, sometimes 2 planes at a time on each runway.  There were about 50 planes in line on each until they cleared the center runway for this. 
Yea - I bet the FedEx pilot had just a tiny bit more stress landing. 

Don't EVER take this airline - no matter how cheap the seats are.  What a mistake. 

OH - this is the new Ford.  It costs $250,000 but I would not pay over $200,000 for it because I could not find where the bumper hitch was. 

Note to self - don't point nothin' at this dude!  He and some well armed buddies were guarding the the F35 . . . . in case someone wanted to steal it I guess.  I decided NOT to start a conversation with him about gun control. 

That's all for today - I have to go to Waunakee and pick up a bunch of art that was in a Parade of homes house.  They sold it and my art is no longer needed! 


I sent in my DNA sample to to see who I really am.  There seems to be some inconsistencies in my family that we are investigating.   


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Many pent up words about the last week.

Well - back to work.   Of course all my photo files are not HERE but I can make due. I have most of my images still in my camera.

Last Wednesday I went to EAA with a new friend I met in Spring Green.  EAA is the Grand Canyon of Aeronautics. No matter how big someone tells you it is and how many planes you THINK are there, when you get there and drive mile after mile past parked aircraft that literally go over the horizon you will be, as my now English brother says  . . godsmacked (more on my now English brother later).

When you walk into a field with 3000 privately owned war birds, OMG!!  It's Woodstock with wings and as you take a tram and see 40,000 aircraft with tents below the wings and hundreds of presentations about oil viscosity and diabetes for a pilot you are awestruck.

The interesting thing was that everyone attending was very very friendly and most are not from Wisconsin. One person from Manhattan said coming to EAA was a lifelong dream.  Another commented that there was not one speck of paper on the ground anywhere.  Amazingly clean airport and surrounding 20 square miles.  In a line we were talking about safety and one person said she had left her camera on a bench and came back a half hour later and it was still there (I would not try that to test it).

NOT being an aircraft fanatic there was only so much I could take in.

The below image is from an Airbus A350 which dwarfed the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress that was next to it.     

Barely seen under the S in Airbus is a plane that will reach 96,000 feet. You can see the amazingly long wings under the engine.  They will use the polar vortex over Argentina to push it to that height next year for some scientific  . . stuff.

I'll have more photos as they come out of my camera.


Then a few hours after getting home from EAA we drove to Indianapolis.  If I had to pick a large town to move to it would be Indy.  I love that town. They have so many bike paths (unlike Columbus (people keep telling me Columbus needs more (if any) bike paths) and art and beauty.

Anyway we were there for the USS Indianapolis reunion and while there we met a family from Fall River.   Carrol Gove's widow(??) lives in Fall River.  Carrol is the guy in the center of the image (above Survivors (he didn't).

  There are 33 survivors left (one died at home while we were there).

Last night Jenny was on the National Geographic Site and found this - a good read!! 

Warship's Last Survivors Recall Sinking in Shark-Infested Waters

The photo of Mel on that site was taken just after I took this photo.  Mel was a Marine guarding the components of the A-Bomb on the USS Indy on their secret mission.  The USS Indy was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet and after it was torpedoed and sunk 12 minutes later the 880 that made it off the ship were ignored for 5 days in the water and 500 were eaten by sharks.  BUT - the Navy covered their many many "mistake".    

In fact even though it was sunk a month before the war ended no one in the States knew about it UNTIL they released the story on VJ day.  Family's were told of their loss the same day the war ended.

There are two movies coming out - USS Indianapolis Men Of Courage, filming now which uses Hunter Scott as the catalyst.

Hunter was in middle school when he was watching JAWS and the part about the USS Indy was mentioned. He asked his dad if that was true and his dad said he was not sure.
Hunter and me

He started to look into it and made a history project out of it but the more he investigated the more weirdness he found.  Why was the Captain court-martial, why did no one look for them.

As he got older he started interviewing the 317 survivors and things were not adding up. He started to feel there was a massive cover up and tried to go in front of congress.

Because of him the Captain (who committed suicide a few years after his court-martial because of all the hatred towards him) was exonerated 50 years later.  Hunter is now a submarine hunter for the Navy.

If you wrote a script it would be unbelievable but being a true story . . . . . .The Captain who all the sailors loved was a scape goat.

Another movie being produced by Robert Downy Jr is about Captain McVay's ordeal and court-martial.  

Next year HBO wants to show a series called Indianapolis: The Legacy but HBO only shows series based on books.

SO - since there is a screen play there is a NYTimes best selling author writing a book so HBO can show the series.  We watched 1.5 hours of the show and it was GREAT!! all told from survivors (like Band of Brothers style) and it was riveting. 

DJ and Sara Vladic
We have had many conversations with the producer (seen with DJ) trying to get Mel to talk about his experience.

Getting stories out of these guys was like pulling teeth. Many would not speak of the ordeal for 30 years.  DJ is still finding out details (rescuing survivors was hard because their skin would pull off their bodies when grabbed).

In attendance were members of the Basset a rescue ship and the PBY that by a freak at of God noticed them 5000 feet below (no one knew the Indy was sunken yet EVEN THOUGH they got off an SOS which was ignored by the Navy).

I also got to talk to Doug Statton who wrote the best book out there In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors   

That book was in the process of being made into a movie but 911 happened and it was shelved!  Excellent book that tells the events like an adventure story. Highly recommended.

Hey - that's me on a website I just found
There is a huge undertaking by National Geographic and the Woods Hole Group (found Titanic and the Bismark) to find the Indy and that will be a big deal late next year.  That part of the ocean has never been mapped.

Anyway - you are probably getting bored.  So much to talk about.   I'll stop.