Sunday, December 31, 2006

Liberal corruption

John Conyers (D-Mich) admits he broke the rules.

Nothing new here. Same old same old.

Liberals are opposed to corruption, but only if it does not involve liberals.

Goode vs. Ellison

I still prefer Goode over Ellison.

With her bare hands

She inflicted 50 stitches worth of damage with her bare hands.

While intoxicated.

Impressive.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

American Leftist Insanity

Gateway Pundit's Observations of the World

Saddam bites the big one

Saddam Hussein was hanged.

Sometimes bad things happen to bad people.

Chokers

Minnesota blew a 31 point lead in the 2006 Insight Bowl, setting a new college football record.

Addendum: They fired the coach.

Kwanzaa

"The only principle Kwanzaa promotes is liberals' unbounded capacity to respect any faith but Christianity."

- Ann Coulter

ACUF

American Conservative Union Foundation

Persian wannabes

"We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization."

-Hassan Abbassi, Top advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei

Heh. For those of us who have been paying attention, the Anglo-Saxons lost in 1066.

Maybe these Persian wannabes should check their history.

It might remind them of a few places like Marathon.

These modern Iranian leaders do not even amount to a polyp in the rectum of Cyrus or Xerxes.

Returned

It was a lot of fun being on vacation, but I am also very happy to be home again.

I missed a lot of important events in the few shorts days of my absence.

Maybe I can catch up.

An SUV hit a deer right in front of us on the trip home.

Timing is everything.

There is an alternate universe where we hit the deer, and I am glad I am not in that one.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Kraken

Giant squid on video.

Friends of Democrats

Al Qaeda explains life to Democrats.

Crushed

Little Miss Attila called me an "asshole" and said that I was an "embarassment to the right."

Ouch. I am crushed. Literally.

She obviously does not understand just how very important her opinion is to me.

Alexandra von Maltzan

Alexandra von Maltzan comments on many topics, including Muslims and global warming.

Lots of good links.

Madison saves Air America

This AP story describes how liberals in America's most communist city saved their precious bankrupt (in more ways than one) radio station.

Knowledge is Power

This is another one of the nominees for top female conservative blogger.

The Greek eggs looked very good.

Ten Conservative Principles

Ten principles worth pondering.

Hilarious

“My stiff delivery and my wooden, robotlike hand gestures were all an attempt on my part to be hilarious. In retrospect, I guess you had to be there.”

- John Kerry

John Kerry is unintentionally hilarious. We are laughing at him, not with him.

Ann Althouse

She is a conservative when compared to Madison residents.

Madison, Wisconsin is one of the most left-wing cities in the world.

Note her own admission of her voting record. What is that about?

2007 blog diva

Gay Patriot searches for the top female conservative blogger.

How did Little Miss Attila make this list?

Schismatics, Bigots, and Heretics

Pat Buchanan explores the controversy in the Episcopal Church.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Congratulations Sensenbrenner

Human Events has chosen Sensenbrenner Man of the Year for 2006.

"Had more Republicans in the White House and on Capitol Hill over the last few years shared Jim Sensenbrenner’s readiness to fight for principle, the GOP might still be running Congress."

Muslims Mark Solidarity With Jews

"Major American Muslim and Arab-American organizations have condemned the Iran conference. The Muslim speakers at yesterday's ceremony did not mention that event but called for recognition of the suffering Jews experienced in the Holocaust and condemned religious hatred. Asked afterward why they did not single out Iran, the Muslim leaders said the problem was broader than the recent conference."

Defending Obama

This tripe is being hyped by both Little Miss Attila and Flap's Dental Blog.

Is there something Machiavellian here that I am missing?

What Obama Isn't

Obama does not share a heritage with a majority of Black Americans.

Jamil Hussein

It seems to be another X-files case.

Arizona is fastest growing state

I like Arizona. I love the desert.

George Will beats up on bloggers

I always enjoy reading Will's columns.

Using Will's own math, let us say that 99.9% of 100 million blogs lack seriousness.

That means...

Let me get out my abacus.

.... there are 100,000 blogs that are serious.

Who has time to read 100,000 blogs?

Ouch

Little Miss Attila accused me of being in Debbie Schussel's amen corner.

Ouch.

Virgin birth

This story describes virgin birth by a komodo dragon.

But they are not going to name any of the babies "Jesus."

Another link here.

America's Newspaper

wildlife sightings

Yesterday, while gathering pine cones, I saw two whitetail deer. Closer than 100 yards.

One of the neighbors told me she saw a wolf in the neighborhood a few weeks ago. (A wolf was killed by a car in nearby Waukesha in 2003.)

Another neighbor said he saw a cougar in the neighborhood a few weeks ago. These sightings are always dismissed by the DNR. The DNR claims that most cougar sightings are golden retrievers (this assertion is so preposterous that I do not even know where to begin).

Combined with the black bear in Wauwatosa (captured alive by the DNR) and the bigfoot at Holy Hill (reported by a DNR employee), we are getting to be some kind of wildlife preserve around here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Almandine gets tough

Students called Almandine a fascist.

I'd say they hit that one pretty close.

Heh.

Sorry, his name is not actually Alamandine, but close enough.

Muslim quotes

"Our strategy must clearly oppose the sinister tendencies to associate terrorism with Islam...."

- Pakastani President Musharraf

There is a tendency to associate terrorism with Islam, particularly in cases where the terrorists claimed that they were indeed Muslims.

Rep. Goode (R-Virginia)

The liberals are obviously having a lot of fun with this, but I would rather have Goode as my representative than Ellison.

I would rather have Goode than Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin).

I would rather have Goode than Jerry Kleczka (this bum actually was my rep. once).

I can list a lot of liberal democrats that are poorer choices than Goode.

Liberalism

I saw an interesting t-shirt today:

"Liberalism: Logic's Retarded Cousin"

Osama Obama

Little Miss Attila and her ally Juliette beat up on Debbie Schussel for Schussel's expose of Osama Obama.

Note that Little Miss Attila is linked by several prominent conservative blogs.

On the Nature of Camels

"... and the sweat of an excrement-eating camel."

- Ayatollah Khomeini, listing what is impure

OK, I am going to defer to the expertise of the Ayatollah on this one, but one wonders exactly how he determined this.

Muslim quotes

"The only true faith in God's sight is Islam." - Koran

That does not leave much room for the rest of us, does it?

Marxism

"Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy".

- Groucho Marx

Cowardice

"If you choose an individual, you have to justify how that person affected millions of people," Richard Stengel, Time's newly vintaged managing editor, told the Associated Press. "But if you choose millions of people, you don't have to justify it to anyone."

I agree with Jonah Goldberg, this is cowardice.

Pakistan bans truth

No surprise here.

Blonde Sagacity

Heh. Sean Penn and Matt Damon. Living proof that being a successful actor does not make you wise.

And Santa is a Disney character? Pathetic.

Many thanks to the Sage Blonde for calling my attention to these absurdities.

Conservative Blogger

Conservative Blogger has a ton of good links.

Gay conservatives

Home of the not-so-vast gay right-wing conspiracy?

Liberals

"Liberals are like people with stale breath talking into your face at a party. You try backing away from them or offering them gum, but then they just start whimpering."

- Ann Coulter

Brain dead

"I wonder if he's in touch with the critics out there, like Matt Damon, the actor, who was on this program Monday?"

- Chris Matthews

Yeah, if I was president, I would always consult with movie stars on any important policy issue.

Exposing bias

Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias

Hussein the Muslim

"And while Obama may not identify as a Muslim, that's not how the Arab and Muslim Streets see it. In Arab culture and under Islamic law, if your father is a Muslim, so are you. And once a Muslim, always a Muslim. You cannot go back. In Islamic eyes, Obama is certainly a Muslim. He may think he's a Christian, but they do not."

Global warming

"2006: probably the coldest year in the last five years"


Yes, but what the author does not understand is that (according to liberals) colder years are actually caused by global warming.

This is proved by the fact that 2006 is warmer than the years during the last ice age, when parts of Wisconsin were buried under an ice sheet up to a mile thick.

And, as liberals correctly point out, it has not been this warm (even 2006 warm) since the time between the last two ice ages.

But liberals usually fail to mention that the warm times of the past, like between the last two ice ages, had no significant human activity to contribute to global warming.

I wonder why they fail to mention that part?

They probably just forgot.

Addendum: Just like I forgot to mention that this was post #500 in this blog.

Vanish like the Persians

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has predicted that Britian, Israel and the United States would eventually disappear from the world like the Egyptian pharaonic kings."

He actually meant like the Persians, right?

Truth is more interesting than fiction

"... the real-world is just more interesting than anything that even the most gifted novelist can come up with."

- Dean Barnett

Boycott Target

"If it were up to me, I would never shop at Target.

In fact, if it were up to me, I'd probably just close down the chain."

- Joseph Farah

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gorilla Fart

Does it taste as disgusting as it sounds?

The little things in life

"I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

- Drew Barrymore

My own comment = I am glad that she can get such pleasure from the little things in life.

Consequences

"I think our motto should be, post-9/11, 'Raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences."

- Ann Coulter

Welcome to America

"This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film and its great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he's never been there and probably will never come. ...Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."

- George Allen

My own comment = Just for the record, I would still vote for George Allen.

Colby's War

One soldier's view of the war in Iraq.

Crusher

Actor and author Wil Wheaton

I remember him as Wes Crusher from ST:TNG

blog!

blog!: how the newest media revolution is changing politics, business, and culture (2005)

by David Kline and Dan Burstein

The book combines a brief history of blogging, interviews with notable bloggers (like Wil Wheaton and Colby Buzzell), and previously published articles (from places like Foreign Policy, Fortune, Business Week).

Very interesting and well worth reading.

A few examples from their blogroll:

alternet.org
andrewsullivan.com
dailykos.com
hughhewitt.com
instapundit.com
kausfiles.com
littlegreenfootballs.com

blogspotting.net
blogmaverick.com
scripting.com
weblogsky.com

boingboing.net
bookslut.com
slashdot.org
therestisnoise.com
thisfish.com

Yet another kind of biters

"Where were their bites?" asked Hanrahan as he poured. Most of the men carried home-made fifty-caliber catridges emptied of powder and filled with cyanide. "Bites," they called them. A man would no more be without one than without his extra keg of water. When Indians attacked and there was no escape or defense, a hunter could always bite the bullet.

Drink liberally

When I say "Drink liberally" I mean something totally different than what these people mean.

A different kind of biter

"Does she bite your balls like this when you go home?" -- Chris Matthews to John Edwards, after his wife makes a comment that Matthews apparently doesn't like.

What do they do with all the Bibles?

"A spokesman said last night that the Saudi authorities would automatically confiscate a Bible from anybody trying to bring one into the country and it would not be returned."

Close Encounter

I had a close encounter with a whitetail doe today. I was gathering pine cones when I saw a deer about 100 yards in front of me. She was looking right at me and obviously knew that I was there.

I froze in place and she walked towards me.

I remained motionless and she walked to within a few feet of me. It was almost like she could not decide what I was.

She stayed close for a few minutes, then wandered off.

Not exactly an X-files case, but sort of weird.

The Bad

(from the January 2007 issue of Games for Windows, the magazine formerly known as Computer Gaming World)

The Bad

Viruses for Everyone!

According to security vendor Symantec, ever-increasing amounts of exploit code - meaning viruses, spyware, adware, and denial-of-service attacks - are expected to plague Apple's Mac OS X as it continues to gain in popularity. Much like celebrities and their paparazzi, this negative attention is the steep price that such vital software pays for fortune and glory.

Renegade Evolution

The Fine Art of Free Speech and Dissent

I read a lot of blogs, and this blog might be the one that is the most different from the masses.

It makes one wonder about many things

"Is there such a thing as a man made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to him?"

-- Joy Behar, on The View, wonders if Republicans gave Senator Tim Johnson a stroke.

Savage

To paraphrase ex-liberal Michael Savage, "I am to the right of Savage, and to the left of God."

Left of God

To the right of Rush, to the left of God

Liberal = a person so open-minded that their brains have fallen out

Unfortunately, this blog seems to have died.

Jobs

Americans line up for jobs previously filled by illegals.

Unfair & Unbalanced

REPORTER: Are you disturbed about the new airline regulations that all Muslims must now be handcuffed to their seats on all airline flights?

MUSLIM: Why are you asking me about something so insignificant as airline regulations when there are terrorists out there in need of killing? Why don't you trade that camera in for a rifle and shoot some terrorists yourself and stop being so useless?

- Frank J. 12-18-2006 at http://www.imao.us/

Delusional

"We must prepare to rule the world."

- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

My own comment = The guy cannot even rule his own country. How is he going to rule the world?

Interesting coffee mug

I saw an interesting mug at the local coffee shop this morning.

The mug said:

"Satisfy your thirst now, Infidel. It's very hot and dry where you are going."

Kerry

The travels of John "Syrian" Kerry.

I saw an interesting t-shirt today

The t-shirt said:

"Someone I love blew up a bunch of Infidels and all I received was this wretched, blood-soaked T-Shirt."

Moderate Muslims

Ankle Biters

Lots of interesting stuff.

Lies

"I don't know which lie to believe."

- X-files quote

Biters

"If you fudge or lie on a blog, you are biting the karmic weenie."

- Anonymous

My own comment = There are a lot of biters out there.

Another dead blog

I suspect that the author of this dead blog was silenced by The Worldwide Bigfoot Conspiracy.

No fun

"Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

- Ayatollah Khomeini, 1979

Duncan Hunter

He might be the guy.

Just Say "No" to Rudy

"Despite all of his charisma and the wonderful leadership he showed after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is not a Reagan Republican. To the contrary, Giuliani is another Christie Todd Whitman, another Arlen Specter, another Olympia Snowe. He's a throwback to the "bad old days" before Reagan, when the GOP was run by moderate Country Club Republicans who considered conservatives to be extremists. Trying to revive that failed strategy again is likely to lead to a Democratic President in 2008 and numerous setbacks for the Republican Party."

- John Hawkins

Mississippi

"Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?"

- Charles Rangel

My own comment = Is Mississippi worse than Minnesota? Really? By what standards?

Disliked

"There is no Republican up on Capitol Hill more disliked by his own GOP brethren than John McCain."

- John Hawkins

Speaking in Hell

"When this war is over, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell."

-- Admiral Bill Halsey on December 7, 1941

Opinions Worth Reading

"This isn't some Third World craphole, it's the United States, the world's oldest surviving democracy. We don't do coups in this country."

- John Hawkins

Failed Liberal Daydreams

"By slapping a new introduction on her tired package of failed liberal daydreams, Hillary is putting lipstick on the pig of the fact she’s devoid of any fresh ideas to take on the campaign trail. And for this reason, her ugly, bloated plans should be swiftly slaughtered again."

- Amanda B. Carpenter

More enemies

"Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew have done more than write a book on America's new enemies. The two authors have done a public service."

2007 Java Predictions

Java's slow decline?

Heirloom whale vomit

Lindsay Lowlife

She gets ready for her new movie.

Addendum: Special thanks to Renegade Evolution on this one. If not for her blog, I would have totally missed this story.

Enemies

This is a good blog if you want to keep track of what the enemies of America are doing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

March to Mecca

"I'm embarrassed to say at social gatherings I even blamed the United States for everything. But I realized it's the radical Muslims - not the US - who want gays dead, and for that I am truly sorry."

- Sharon Stone

Not A Sane World

"In a sane world, officials would tell the imams that if they’re upset about being taken off the plane, they should redouble their anti-terror efforts in the Muslim community in the U.S.—which are sorely deficient."

- Robert Spencer

My own comment = Yes, but it is not a sane world.

Deck the Infidels

A timely Christmas warning from Robert Spencer.

Avoid Minnesota

Bonnie Bleskachek
Keith Ellison (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,233983,00.html)
Al Franken

What is it with Minnesota? Is it something in the water?

Remind me to avoid Minnesota.

Air America & Al Franken

Air America bites the big one.

Al Franken is going to run for U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

My own comment = The Franken news is old news. We have been hearing this for at least two years. What is so scary is that some of the people in Minnesota have such low self-esteem that they would want Franken.

Anjem Choudary

"Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."

- Anjem Choudary

My own comment = Yet another moderate Muslim.

Yesterday's deer

Yesterday morning, there was a group of five (5) whitetail does just off College Ave. across from the Wehr Nature Center.

Doves

There was a flock of twenty (20) doves in the backyard this afternoon.

The Patron Saint of Rejects

The Immigrant Song

An immigrant speaks his mind.

Bogosity

Mel Gibson is bogus?

All the George Bushes

DC Gossip

Do you have to live inside the beltline to recognize the humor?

Obamamania

"If Mr. Obama chooses to sit 2008 out, he won't be the first person to play the media like a fiddle, being coy about his intentions in order to boost his profile."

- John Fund

Newt

"This country has every right to defend itself, and you saw the same thing recently on this U.S. Airlines provocation, where you had six people go way out of their way to cause trouble, and then claim they were infringed upon. And I think, frankly, the President should invite that U.S. Airlines crew to the White House and thank them, because we ought to set a standard that if you're provocative about killing people, we're not going to show you any mercy."

- Newt Gingrich

300 word story

Lucifer pleads his case.

New Years Wish

This version varies from most other versions because it includes the "desecration" of the wisher instead of the "discretion" of the wisher.

License

This link provides a license for happy holidays.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Greetings

For my Liberal friends:

Please accept with no obligation,
implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious,
socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral
celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most
enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or
secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular
persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice
religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and
medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally
accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the
calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society
have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily
greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western
Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed,
color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of
the wishes.

By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the
aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to
clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no
alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher
to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and
is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion
of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual
application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the
issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and
warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new
wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

For My Conservative Friends:

“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

Saturday, December 16, 2006

County Parks of Wisconsin

County Parks of Wisconsin (2000 revised edition) by Jeannette & Chet Bell

600 Parks You Can Visit

Featuring 25 Favorites

No maps, but brief descriptions and a few black & white photos

The 25 favorites are:

Ledge View Nature Center, Calumet County
Husher Park, Crawford County
Stewart Park, Dane County
Cave Point Park, Door County
Harstad Park, Eau Claire County
Petrifying Springs Park, Kenosha County
Goose Island Park, La Crosse County
Otter Lake Recreation Area, Lincoln County
Cherney Maribel Caves Park, Manitowoc County
Dells of the Eau Claire Park, Marathon County
Goodman Park, Marinette County
John Muir Memorial Park, Marquette County
Grant Park, Milwaukee County
Whitnall Park, Milwaukee County
Plamann Park, Outagamie County
Covered Bridge Park, Ozaukee County
Nugget Lake Park, Pierce County
Lake Emily Park, Portage County
Timm's Hill Park, Price County
Pier Park, Richland County
Magnolia Bluff Park, Rock County
Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park, Sheboygan County
Keller Park, Waupaca County
Mount Morris Hills Park, Waushara County
Powers Bluff Park, Wood County

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another dead blog

Here is another dead blog, this one is about ants. Very interesting.

Then what happened?

The author lost interest?

Or the ants silenced the author to protect their secrets?

Dead blog

This was an interesting blog about crime.

Why did it stop?

The author lost interest?

Or associates of Giancana silenced the author in a messy street-side hit?

Dark and Stormy

Maybe when I am in Michigan, I can try this made with Vernor's.

Vernor's and dark rum?

Sounds good to me.

Add another name to the list

Frank Keating for President?

She speaks her mind?

“It’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian at the same time.”

- Sen. Clinton, 1997 (she was not a senator back then)

Auto Tours

Wisconsin Auto Tours: 23 Road Adventures with Attraction Listings (1993)

Edited by Don Davenport

Detailed maps and descriptions with nice color photos.

Lots of trivia, here are just a few examples:

Kenosha means "pike" (Potawatomi)
Racine is the birthplace of the malted milkshake (1883)
Wausau means "far away"
Marinette was once called the "White Pine Capital of the World"
Waupaca means "pale or clear water"
Montello's red granite was used for Grant's Tomb
Coon Valley was named for the large number of raccoons found there
Richland Center was the birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright
Fond du Lac means "foot of the lake"
Muscoda calls itself the "World Morel Mushroom Capital"
Waukesha means "fox" (Potawatomi)
Timm's Hill is the highest elevation in Wisconsin (1,951.5 feet)

Cabela's

I went out to the new Cabela's yesterday (it opened in September). It was about a half hour drive.

Awesome store. Almost like a museum with the mounted heads, dioramas, and aquariums.

Seeing the little sturgeon swimming around in an enormous aquarium was a definite highpoint.

They had a very nice footwear department: Cabela's, Merrel, Croc, and New Balance.

There was a deli/grill featuring elk, bison, wild boar, etc.

There was a gun library with dozens and dozens of interesting weapons.

It was well worth the trip out there, and I want to go back.

Heartless

"If you are not a liberal by the time you are 20, then you do not have a heart. If you are not a conservative by the time you are 40, then you do not have a brain."

- Winston Churchill

I see two main possibilities here. First, he was just plain wrong about the first half of that.

Heh.

The second possibility is that I am a stone cold heartless SOB.

7 leg deer

A deer was killed by a truck in Wisconsin.

7 legs and a hermaphrodite.

And the guy ate it.

Olive Garden

This is just one of many reasons why I do not eat at Olive Garden restaurants.

Hauling rocks

I collected a few nice rocks today, some granites and some limestones.

I am always amazed (bordering on stupification) by how rocks that look like cobbles at the bottom of the cliff feel like boulders by the time I get them to the top of the cliff.

And the two nicest pieces of limestone I saw were too heavy for me to carry.

Walking Trails

Walking Trails of Eastern and Central Wisconsin (1997)

by Bob Crawford

Very informative book with detailed maps and descriptions. Worth buying.

Brown County

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay
The Cofrin Arboretum, Green Bay
Ken Euers Nature Area, Green Bay

Calumet County

Brillion Wildlife Area, Brillion
High Cliff State Park, Sherwood
Ledge View Nature Center, Chilton

Fond du Lac, County

Hobbs Woods Nature Area, south of Fond du Lac
South Woods Nature Study Area, Ripon

Green Lake County

Historical Neighborhood Walking Tours, Berlin

Outagamie County

Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton
Houdini Historic Walking Tour, Appleton
Mosquito Hill Nature Center, New London
Plamann Park, north of Appleton
1,000 Islands Environmental Center, Kaukauna

Winnebago County

Lasley Point Achaeological Site, Winneconne
Memorial Park, Neenah
Waukau Creek Nature Preserve, Waukau

Door-Kewaunee Counties

Ahnapee State Trail, Sturgeon Bay - Algoma

Door County

Ellison Bluff County Park, west of Ellison Bay
Newport State Park, east of Elllison Bay
Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek
Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay
The Ridges Sanctuary, Baileys Harbor
Whitefish Dunes State Park, south of Jacksonport

Manitowoc County

Cherney Maribel Caves County Park, Maribel
Point Beach Energy Center Nature Trail
Point Beach State Forest, north of Two Rivers
Henry R. Schuette Park, Manitowoc
Woodland Dunes Nature Center, between Manitowoc and Two Rivers

Sheboygan County

Northern Unit, Kettle Moraine State Forest
Kohler-Andrae State Park, south of Sheboygan
Maywood Park, Sheboygan
Evergreen Park, Sheboygan
Jaycee Park, Sheboygan
Old Plank Road Trail, Sheboygan to Greenbush
Jaycee Riverwalk, Sheboygan Falls
Sheboygan Riverfront Boardwalk and Lakefront Multi-Purpose Trail

Milwaukee County

Schlitz Audubon Center, near Fox Point
Havenwoods State Forest, Milwaukee
Historic Building Tours, Milwaukee
Lake Park, northeast Milwaukee

Ozaukee County

Washington Avenue Historic District, Cedarburg
Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg

Washington County

Glacier Hills County Park, southeast of Hartford
West Bend segment, Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Waukesha County

Bark River Ice Age Trail, Hartland
Bugline Recreation Trail, Menomonee Falls - Merton
Fox River Sanctuary Trail, Waukesha
Lake Country Recreation Trail, Delafield
Retzer Nature Center, Waukesha

Dodge County

Horicon Marsh, near Horicon, Mayville, and Waupun
Wild Goose State Trail, between Juneau and Fond du Lac

Portage County

Green Circle, Stevens Point
Jordan Park, northeast of Stevens Point
Schmeeckle Reserve, Stevens Point

Waupaca County

Hartman Creek State Park, west of Waupaca

Waupaca - Portage Counties

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wauapca - Portage Counties segment

Wood County

Consolidated Papers Forest Tour II, Biron
Downtown Marshfield Historical Tour
Powers Bluff Park, Arpin
Wisconsin River Walk, Wisconsin Rapids
Sandhill Wildlife Area, Babcock
South Wood County Park - Lake Wazeecha, Wisconsin Rapids
YMCA Camp Alexander, Wisconsin Rapids

Adams County

Petenwell County Park, Monroe Center
Quincy Bluff and Wetlands Preserve, southeast of Adams
Van Kuran Trail, Town of Strongs Prairie

Juneau County

Bass Hollow Recreation Area, southern Juneau County
Buckhorn State Park, southeast of Necedah
Elroy-Sparta State Park Trail, Elroy
"400" State Trail, Elroy
Omaha Trail, Elroy

Marquette County

John Muir Memorial Park, south of Montello

Waushara County

Bannerman Trail, Redgranite
Kusel Lake County Park, Saxeville

The next president

Sen. Clinton will be the next president?

A lot can happen between now and then.

Another guy named Tom

DeLay's blog is going to facilitate discussion in the marketplace of ideas?

We can only hope that is going to be true.

Barackwater

This story describes Obama's potential real estate scandal.

Heh.

Just when I thought he was a clean guy, too.

It reminds me of the old X-files advice, "Trust no one."

You cannot even trust a guy that should have been named Al.

What is the world coming to?

Recapture

"There is no better way to recapture the spirit of an era than to follow old trails, gathering from the earth itself the feelings and challenges of those who trod them long ago."

- Sigurd F. Olson, in Open Horizons

Senator Pothole

"...she's Sen. Pothole...."

- NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd, referring to Sen. Clinton

Thursday, December 14, 2006

They Should Have Named Him "Al"

I have no idea what Maureen Dowd is talking about, his ears do not look that big to me.

I mean, he probably has excellent hearing, but since when is that a negative?

There are a lot of people that would love to have excellent hearing, and just for the record, I am one of them.

They Should Have Named Him "Al"

Why do they need to draft him?

He is already running!

Two types

"You got your two main types of muslims. You got your sunny muslims. And you got your shitty muslims."

- Anonymous

My own comment = Now this guy is obviously an ignoramus. Everyone knows that they are Sunni and Shiite.

Democratic majority at risk

If Sen. Johnson cannot fulfill his duties, and a Republican was named to replace him....

Wellstone plane crash

Did they ever find the guys that tampered with Wellstone's plane?

It has been several years since the crash.

They must have covered their tracks very well.

Glenn Reynolds

All the opinions that are fit to print.

Walking in Wisconsin

"I walked the evenings away, year on year, except when mosquitoes plagued me too much or the cold became too intense."

- August Derleth

Heh. Derleth was talking about Wisconsin. That means the cold ruled out winter, and the mosquitoes ruled out the rest of the year.

So when exactly did he walk?

2008 Democrats

Clinton
Obama
Gore
Edwards

What!?

No John "Filibuster" Kerry?

No John "Christmas in Cambodia" Kerry?

No John "Our troops are stupid" Kerry?

No John "I saved money from the last campaign" Kerry?

It is the end of the world as we know it.

On Planting Trees

"It is a wise man who plants a tree under the shade of which he knows he will never sit."

- Greek proverb

My own comment = I planted a lot of trees. It did not make me feel particularly wise, but it sure made me feel tired.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apocalypto

According to Mel Gibson, his new movie, "Apocalypto," is a metaphor for the death of American civilization. "The precursors to a civilization that's going under are the same, time and time again," Gibson explained at a film festival in Texas. "What's human sacrifice if not sending guys off to Iraq for no reason?"

my own comment = a brutal review of the movie that just might persuade me not to see it

They Should Have Named Him "Al"

Interesting article on the potential candidacy of Barack "Al" Obama.

I particularly liked the comment about how he is a leader who has never led.

Heh.

Blog

Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World (2005)

by Hugh Hewitt

Interesting book that combines the history of blogs with lots of good advice about blogs.

Documents how blogs were instrumental in the crash & burn of people like John Kerry, Dan Rather, and Trent Lott.

Has some additional history of text, Gutenberg, Luther, and other topics.

Very interesting how a book published so recently is out of date regarding personalities:

Peter Jennings is dead
Katie Couric is no longer at Today
The Dixie Chicks are no longer a top draw at the box office

Furnishes some interesting statistics. For example, out of 4 million blogs, only fifty thousand are updated every day. That seems like a low percent to me.

The author recommends many blogs:

Instapundit.com
RealClearPolitics.com
Command-Post.com
NationalReview.com/thecorner.corner.asp
NationalReview.com/kerry/kerryspot.asp
PoliPundit.com

PowerLineBlog.com
BelmontClub.blogspot.com
RogerLSimon.com
LittleGreenFootballs.com
Lileks.com
CaptainsQuartersBlog.com

FratersLibertas.com
CadetHappy.com
ScrappleFace.com
InfiniteMonkeysBlog.com

This book recharged my blogging battery. Well worth reading.

The First Revolver?

This might be a picture of the first revolver, an 1836 Paterson designed by Colt.

Maybe.

Fat Tire

I drank some more Fat Tire Amber Ale when I was in Arizona.

Fat Tire is crafted by New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, CO.

Good beer. I like it. Has some depth and breadth of flavors.

Fat Tire lacks the "punch in the face intensity" of Tyranena's Bitter Woman IPA (but hay, let's be fair about this, few beers can match that standard).

Additional note: On a previous trip to Arizona, Andrew accused me of stealing Katie's Fat Tire, but I really did buy my own.

2008 Republican Candidates

This article discusses 20 possible presidential candidates.

I obviously need to do some homework because I know very little about some of them.

I was surprised to see McCain's 83% ACU rating. I would have guessed it was much lower than that.

I know all about Thompson from his Wisconsin governor days. He is DOA as a serious presidential candidate in my opinion.

They Should Have Named Him "Al"

(from the Evans-Novak Political Report for 12/13/2006)

"In a remarkably short span of time, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has pushed aside former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as the principal challenger of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). A long hard road is ahead for Obama, but he is clearly more than a media phenomenon."

The Old Way

The Old Way: A Story of the First People (2006) by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

This book is about a tribe of hunter/gatherers in the Kalahari. The people are the Ju/wasi (also known as Bushmen or San). They lived in the Nyae Nyae area (about 100 miles west of the Okavango Swamp).

The book is written in two parts.

The first part describes how the Ju/wasi lived The Old Way, as had their ancestors for many thousands of years. These are a people who literally were living in balance with nature, and, if they had been left alone, could have done so in perpetuity.

The Old Way should not be romanticized. It was an incredibly difficult life where people routinely suffered thirst and starvation. Hunters suffered terrible injuries from encounters with dangerous animals. People lost limbs from poisonous snakebites. In the hardest times, women were forced to practice infanticide.

The Ju/wasi gathered nuts, dug tubers, etc. for most of their rations. They hunted several species of antelopes for the food they desired most. They used poisoned arrows to bring down the antelopes, although there were a few exceptional hunters who could literally run down an antelope and kill it with their bare hands.

This first part of the book is one of the best non-fiction works I have ever read. I would be willing to buy this part of the book. It is worth reading over and over.

The second part of the book is a thoroughly depressing account of how rich white liberals ruined the lives of the Ju/wasi.

Here is one example: The area where the Ju/wasi lived was turned into a game preserve where the Ju/wasi were no longer allowed to hunt. Then rich white liberals illegally poached the game with rifles.

It confirms my own view that Europeans were (and still are) a plague upon the Earth.

I realize that the second part of the book is necessary to tell the story of the people. But I would never read the second part again.

Losing

"Is it the report of the "Iraq Surrender Group" that suddenly caused everyone to say we're losing?"

- Ann Coulter

400th

This is my 400th post.

I wish I had something profound to say to commemorate the occasion.

OK, how about this?

I had to look up the word "crepuscular" today. I am sure that I once knew what it meant, but I just could not remember.

Crepuscular - Active in the twilight, as certain insects.

Chalone Vineyard 2002 Syrah

According to one reviewer, "Chalone's Syrah has intense blackberry and cherry fruit aromas with ripe, soft tannins and a lengthy finish."

My own comment = Intense flavor, but not as spicy as a good Pinot Noir. I would definitely buy this wine again.

Paul Ryan

(from the Evans-Novak Political Report for 12/13/2006)

After reformers were defeated for all top House Republican leadership posts, a reformer -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) -- did defeat an appropriator -- Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) -- to become top Republican on the House Budget Committee. Ryan is a conservative and supply-sider.

My own comment = I am proud to claim Paul Ryan as my own congressman.

Muckraker

"Blogging technology makes anyone with specialized knowledge an effective muckraker."

- blogger PrestoPundit (quoted by Hugh Hewitt, 2005)

The goat herder

Once upon a time, there was a boy. We will call him "Al" as a nickname, although that was not his real name. It would have been a very good name, but his parents did not think of it.

Al was raised by an African Muslim, a poor goat herder. Al's father received a lot of money (from al Qaeda as part of the greatest terror plot in history) to move to Hawaii and raise his son in a private Muslim school.

Al was soon taken out of Muslim schools and began his resume building, all with secret financial support. Al's father married a white atheist and they selected Chicago as the best district to enter politics.

As the plot began to make progress, there was a risk that the plot could be disclosed by the father, so Al's father was murdered in Africa. The crime was disguised as a "car accident".

Al became friends with black Christians in Chicago partly for political connections, and
partly for added cover and electability. Al was elected as a Democrat to a prominent Illinois political position.

The plan is for Al to become Vice President under one of the Clantons (like Sen. Hillary Clinton, for example). Then the president will be assassinated, and Al will ascend to the presidency. In the national grief period, a nuclear bomb will explode in an American city. In the delirium that follows, Al will announce that in order to advance world peace, he is converting to Islam. Subsequently he will appoint Muslims into key cabinet positions. This 40 year plot will be a tremendous victory for the Islamo-fascists.

[Truth: I did not write this myself, I only did some very minor editing. I do not wish to identify the original author due to considerations for his safety.]

[Also note that if the Earps had been more efficient, there is one element of this plot that would have to be modified.]

Danger

"Fighting is dangerous - someone might get killed."

- Anonymous

Weird

It finally happened.

There are millions of blogs out there, but the "next blog" button randomly brought me back to my own blog.

What are the chances?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Next

Next (2006) by Michael Crichton

Another very fine novel by Michael Crichton. This one deals with genetic engineering, gene therapy, rogue scientists, ruthless corporations, bounty hunters, and much more.

The novel included a ton of science, a lot of which was beyond me, but that never interfered with my enjoyment of the novel because the emphasis was always on the very interesting cast of characters, not all of them human.

Just as in real life, many of the most brilliant characters were tragically flawed.

After the novel, the author lists 5 conclusions from his research:

1) Stop patenting genes
2) Establish clear guidelines for the use of human tissues
3) Pass laws to ensure that data about gene testing is made public
4) Avoid bans on research
5) Rescind the Bayh-Dole Act

The book ends with an extensive annotated bibliography.

This is one of the most interesting novels I have ever read, worth reading more than once.

Prairie ethnobotany

Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide (1987)

by Kelly Kindscher

Drawings by Carol Kuhn

Many of the entries are illustrated with exquisite line drawings. The illustrations really add a lot to the quality of the book.

Includes Indian names and uses.

Provides tips on cultivation.

Contains glossary, bibliography, index.

Well worth reading, over and over. Worth buying.

Wild Onion (Allium canadense)
Prostrate Pigweed (Amaranthus graecizans)
Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Leadplant (Amorpha canescens)
Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata)
Blue Funnel Lily (Andrstphium caeruleum)
Groundnut (Apios americana)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Groundplum Milkvetch (Astragalus crassicarpus)
Saltbush (Atriplex subspicata)
Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata)
Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri)
Wavy-leafed Thistle (Cirsium undulatum)
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata)
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
Pincushion Cactus (Coryphantha vivipara)
Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)
White Prairie Clover (Dalea candida)
White Dog's Tooth Violet (Erythronium mesochoreum)
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
American Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Bush Morning Glory (Ipomoea leptophylla)
Marsh Elder (Iva annua)
Gayfeather (Liatris punctata)
Prairie Parsley (Lomatium foeniculaceum)
Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa)
Prickly Pear (Opuntia macrorhiza)
Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea)
Ground Cherry (Physalis heterophylla)
Devil's Claw (Proboscidea louisianica)
Wild Plum (Prunus americana)
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Prairie Turnip (Psoralea esculenta)
Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra)
Buffalo Currant (Ribes odoratum)
Wild Rose (Rosa arkansana)
Dewberry (Rubus flagellaris)
Buffalo Berry (Shepherdia argentea)
Prince's Plume (Stanleya pinnata)
Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)
Prairie Violet (Viola pedatifida)
Small Soapweed (Yucca glauca)

Grasses

Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)
Fescue (Festuca sp.)
Junegrass (Koeleria pyramidata)
Muhly (Muhlenbergia sp.)
Indian Ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides)
Panic Grass (Panicum sp.)
Maygrass (Phalaris caroliniana)
Sand Dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus)
Eastern Gama Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides)
Wild Rice (Zizania aquatica)

Other edible prairie plants

Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus)
Lavender Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Pussy Toes (Antennaria sp.)
Sage (Artemisia sp.)
Canadian Milkvetch (Astragalus canadensis)
Sego Lily (Calochortus gunnisonii)
Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis reticulata)
Curly Top Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)
Hoary Peavine (Lathyrus polumorphus)
Round Head Lespedeza (Lespedeza capitata)
Blue Flax (Linum perenne)
Mentzelia (Mentzelia albicaulis)
American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea)
Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Broomrape (Orobanche ludoviciana)
Knotweed (Polygonum sp.)
Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.)
Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum sp.)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Cup Plant (Silphiu perfoliatum)
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
Greenthread (Thelesperma magapotamicum)

Turds

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

My own thoughts = Heh. I am someone who spent a lot of time cleaning dog kennels in a previous life. And I can say with total certainty that I always tried to pick up the turds by the clean ends.

More Firefly

More discussion of the proposed Firefly online game.

Caramels

Cream caramels recipe

Addendum: This temperature is about ten (10) degrees too hot. Unless you want your caramels to have the texture of toffee.

Headstone Haiku

Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a forty four
Then no Les no more

Pancake

Everyone else has this picture in their blog, so why should I be any different?

Guys named Tom

Tom Morrow

Tom Foolery

Tom Ato

I never met Mr. Ato, but I knew his brother, Joe Ato. And that was long ago.

W

W addresses the liberal media.

An AdSense reject

This guy's blog was rejected by AdSense.

Heh.

Is his blog any worse than mine? He is just stating his opinions.

Firefly MMORPG

This is a Wired News story about a proposed online game based on Firefly, the short-lived cult-favorite sci-fi TV series.

In my opinion, this would be a very small niche game, and therefore is not likely to ever happen.

But look at the long-term success of EVE. Small game (as most games are when compared with World of Warcraft) but a dedicated fan base.

Medicine Magic Murder

Hocus Corpus (1999) by James Tucker

A magician named Merlin solves some hospital murders.

The author sees health care executives the same way Frank Zappa saw record company executives.

Contrived. Shamelessly manipulative.

Barely worth reading.

Losers

"The blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats, liberals and our biased media who tried their hardest to see the U.S. lose."

- Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer (in a letter to the editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

We Got Gored

"I am not planning to run for president again. I haven't completely ruled it out."

- Al Gore

"He won the election in 2000 - he just lost the count."

- Don Fowler (former Democratic National Committee Chairman)

Do Not Drink and Type

(from www.pcmech.com)

The infamous Don't Drink and Drive mantra has most definitely contributed to saving the lives of many drivers. Driving under the influence not only endangers your own life, but that lives of others on the road as well.

Drinking around your computer, whether it be alcohol or simply water, is quite dangerous as well. While not exactly life threatening, accidentally spilling a drink onto your keyboard or into your computer case could have devastating results. To avoid any possible risk of damaging your computer or peripherals, it is best to not drink around your computer.

Just another liberal

As Ms. Carpenter points out, Barack "Al" Obama is just another liberal.

While this might hurt him in a general election, being liberal certainly does not hurt him in the Democatic primaries.

Monday, December 11, 2006

bourbon

Sunday night, at the cigar bar at the Kierland, I tried the Jack Daniels Single Barrel.

$12 for a shot, which was a tumbler containing at least two shot glasses worth of bourbon.

Intense flavor, but very smooth.

$37.99 for 750ml in Hales Corners.

Sipping whiskey is not cheap.

Time share

On Sunday (before the football game), we got our obligatory sales pitch to buy into a time share at the Westin Kierland resort in Scottsdale.

$15k for one week per year, plus fees of about $500 per year.

It was very tempting because it offered so much flexibility. But somehow we resisted. I have some regrets.

Cardinals

On Sunday, we attended the Cardinals game at University of Phoenix stadium.

There were a lot of Seahawks fans at the game.

The Cardinals won. It was an exciting game that came right down to the end.

I really liked the seats. They were low down in the corner of the end zone. It gave me a lot different view of the game than I get on TV.

Chart House

On Saturday, we had dinner at the Chart House in Scottsdale.

Excellent food and great service from Travis.

I asked the salad chef if it was authentic to put the anchovies on the Caesar salad, and he said, "Yes!" This lends weight to the idea that the Cesar salad was indeed invented by Caesar Ritz of the Ritz Hotel chain.

I had the spicy yellowfin ahi. Outstanding.

Camelback

On Saturday, we hiked from Echo Canyon Parkway to the summit of Camelback Mountain (elevation = 2,704 feet).

The trail is about 1.2 miles (one way) and the elevation gain is 1,264 feet.

According to the Phoenix government website, "This is a very strenuous trail recommended only for experienced hikers."

It was mostly massive granite with a few mafic inclusions. There was a small felsite dike at the summit. Many granites contain numerous pegmatite and quartz veins, but in this case, either they had been eroded off the top or they were never present in the first place.

The Lost Echo Canyon Gold Mine was either a hoax or it is extremely well hidden. The lost mine was originally reported by William "One Eared Bill" Sunomono, a member of the infamous Sunomono clan that terrorized the Old Wild West. Honesty was never one of old One Ear's strong points.

Hacienda

On Friday, we had a very fine dinner at La Hacienda at the Princess Hotel in Scottsdale.

The appetizers were stuffed peppers and fish tacos, and both were outstanding.

I had a flavorful seafood stew. It was excellent.

The only downside was that I managed to lose my favorite comb. That comb had been with me for over 15 years, a real heartbreaker to lose it.

MNF

Sen. Barack "Al" Obama did the intro, obviously playing on his prospective presidential bid. Very entertaining, in some ways better than the game itself.

The Bears crushed the Rams 42-27.

In spite of what Paul Taglibue would have us believe, this is not parity. This is mediocrity.

The game was in St. Louis, but the Rams are so mediodre that it was a Bears home game.

On special teams, the Rams exude a stench so vile that it makes your teeth feel loose in their sockets. Not only were they unable to cover kicks, they also failed an extra point kick attempt.

The Rams are poorly coached and chronic underachievers.

But the Rams defense made Rex Grossman look great.

Nissifer

"It was a stench so file...."

"How vile was it?"

"It was a stench so vile that it made your teeth feel loose in their sockets."

(with apologies to Jack Vance)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Taco Bell

More breaking news.

Taco Bell is working on a new breakfast menu.

In the fictional future portrayed in the movie "The Demolition Man" all restaurants are Taco Bell.

They have taken the next step toward achieving that goal.

Spam

This just in.

The amoun of spam has recently doubled, and more than 9 out of every 10 e-mails are spam.

Heh. Really?

Personally, I like spam. Grilled. Slice of Vidalia. On a fresh baked roll. Not bad at all.

Back in the desert again

Glad to be back in the desert again.

Attended the Luminary show at the Desert Botanical Garden tonight.

Cash bar.

Live music at several locations including a harp player, a barbershop quartet, and several other acts.

Tons of fun.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

History repeats itself

"The "bipartisan" Iraq panel has recommended that Iran and Syria can help stabilize Iraq. You know, the way Germany and Russia helped stabilize Poland in '39."

- Ann Coulter

Midori Snyder

Author Midori Snyder lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she teaches English at a Jesuit high school.

Midori Snyder wrote the Folkroots column in the February 2007 issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine.

The column was sub-titled, "Hail to the cook, who has the power to transform through the magic of food."

It is an intensely personal column, with anecdotes about her father, and samples of poetry that Ms. Snyder and her daughter wrote for each other.

According to Ms. Snyder, "The very best cooks are wizards and tricksters. They must be, for they are capable of powerful acts of transformation."

It is a fascinating piece that draws on diverse sources such as Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, the myths and legends of Circe and Baba-Yaga, a German tale "The Most Indispensable Thing," and an Italian tale "The Daughter of the Sun."

Ms. Snyder also interprets more modern stories, such as the movies Chocolat (one of my favorites) and Like Water for Chocolate.

Ms. Snyder furnishes some interesting quotes:

"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness."

- Elsa Schiaperelli

"What does cookery mean? It means the knowledge of Medusa and of Circe, and of Calypso, and Sheba."

- John Ruskin

This is a column well worth reading, more than once.

Minneapolis

News reports indicate that the Minneapolis fire chief may soon be fired.

This would probably not be national news if Bonnie Bleskachek was not the first openly lesbian fire chief in a major U.S. city.

Is she a pervert as her detractors claim?

Or is her personal situation just a convenient excuse for her political opponents?

According to the Washington Post, the Minneapolis fire department is "rife with personal dramas and romantic entanglements."

Is that a selling point for Minneapolis?

clever t-shirts

Computer Gear (Fun Gifts for Computer Enthusiasts) has many clever t-shirts for sale.

Just a small sample:

If at first you don't succeed
call it version 1.0

There are 10 types of people in this world
Those who understand binary and those who don't

Engineer's Motto
If it isn't broken
take it apart and fix it

Math illiteracy affects
7 out of every 5 people

Give someone a fish and you
feed them for a day
Teach someone to use the
internet and you won't
see them for weeks

Error
Keyboard not detected
Press F1 to continue

The generation of random numbers is
too important to leave to chance

Support a secure internet
If you're running Windows
You're part of the problem

The box said
Requires Windows 98 or better
So I installed Linux

Annoys

A column by community columnist Anne L. Noyes reminds me that I once had a list of cool names like Ann Noyes.

I will have to make some effort to find the list and blog it.

The list contained names like Yurasis Dragon. I saw an artist named Dragon at a recent art show. I should have asked Mr. Dragon if his mother ever considered naming him Yurasis. She probably never thought of it.

Hales Corners Library Blog

Not much happening on the Hales Corners Library Blog.

It has been about 3 weeks since the last post regarding the showing of Al Gore's movie "An Implausible Truth."

I am sure that all the staff are very busy, and it is hard to make time for blogging. It is a zero-sum game, if they take time to blog, then that time cannot be used to shelve books.

Or maybe some of them have lost interest.

Eugene

Thanks to Eugene Kane for the clarification on the difference between "Afro-American" and "African-American."

I always appreciate hearing from Eugene, all the more because I know how busy he is.

Hateful slur

In a column titled "Hateful slur has no place in society" Leonard Pitts (columnist for The Miami Herald) condemns the use of the n-word.

While I agree with Mr. Pitts, I am pessimistic about the chances of any real lasting changes.

Too many people, white and black, are addicted to the use of the word.

Spore

"Spore: So easy, even a rocket scientist can play it!"

- January 2007 issue of PC Gamer

Spore has been selected as one of the Top 10 Games of 2007. In Spore, the player starts as a single-celled organism and crawls up the foodchain, eventually building an interstellar civilization.

ACLU

Why do convicted criminals (the ones who vote illegally) always vote straight Democratic?

Is it a natural alliance?

The American Criminals and Liberals Union?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ginkgo

Yesterday, I planted three (3) ginkgo seeds (indoors).

Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest deciduous tree species on earth. It has distinctive bi-lobed and fanlike leaves, which turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall. It is hardy zones 3-9. It can be planted in almost any kind of soil. In 10-12 years, it will stand 20 feet tall. In 100 years, it should stand 100 feet tall. The Ginkgo has a long life span, typically 1000-1500 years.

Instructions:

If you are going to start your seeds indoors, it is important to first expose seeds to warm temperatures followed by cold temperatures to improve their germination rate. This is known as stratification.

Mix and knead the germination medium with water until you can form it into a ball. Squeeze out all excess water.

Place the seeds into the germination bag with the moistened germination medium. Zip up the bag, write the contents and date on the outside of the bag, and store it at room temperature (68-86 degrees F) for one month. Do not place the bag in direct sunlight.

Inspect the seeds every week to make sure the germination medium is moist and the seeds are not dark and soft. Add water to moisten the medium if necessary. Throw away any dark and softened seeds.

After the month, remoisten the medium (if required), then put the germination bag in the bottom vegetable crisper compartment of your refrigerator for 60-90 days.

Inspect seeds every week as before.

Return the seeds in their germination bag back to room temperature, keeping them out of direct sunlight.

The seeds may start to sprout at some point during refrigeration or they may sprout when stored at room temperature. It may take up to 3 months at room temperature before sprouting begins. Pot the seedlings using growing medium.

Water and mist your ginkgo frequently at first.

Make sure it has plenty of light (a sunny window will work) and air circulation.

After a few months in the pot, it may be planted outside in light shade, preferably in a greenhouse for the first year.

Plant in permanent location the following spring.

Amaryllis

I planted an Amaryllis bulb yesterday.

Growing instructions:

1) Plant bulb in pot with approximately the top third of the bulb showing above the soil surface.

2) Add water so the soil is moist, but not soggy. Do not overwater.

3) Keep the Amaryllis in a warm location (70-75 degrees F). but not in direct sunlight.

4) Water on a regular basis throughout the flowering period.

5) After flowering, remove the flower stem just above the bulb and continue to water. Plant outdoors in the spring and fertilize throughout the summer. After first frost, dig bulb and store bareroot in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks. Repot bulb and a new cycle will begin.

Plain Jane Toffee

Plain Jane Toffee

1 stick butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Heat butter and sugar in heavy saucepan over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly.

Boil 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Watch the heat very carefully, you want the mixture to boil, but not burn. (There are few things less palatable than burned toffee!)

Pour mixture into buttered 8 x 8 pan.

Cool until set (should only take a few minutes), then invert pan over cookie sheet and remove toffee from pan (you might have to loosen the sides with a spatula).

Break into pieces and enjoy rich, buttery toffee.

Note: This recipe is named after "Plain Jane" Sunomono, a member of the notorious clan that terrorized the Old Wild West. Plain Jane cheated at cards, robbed banks and stagecoaches, jumped mining claims, and rustled cattle, but she sure liked her toffee. So it is only fitting that this recipe is named for her.

Careful with that axe, Eugene

I sent the following letter to my good friend Eugene Kane today. He is very busy, so I do not expect a reply.

****************

Mr. Kane, I always enjoy reading your column, even though I rarely agree with it.

I was amazed bordering on stupification to find myself agreeing with your column today titled, "McGee deserves to finish his term."

The people of his district elected him and they deserve to have him as their alderperson. In fact, I would say that McGee and the people deserve each other. Literally.

If someone does not like the job he is doing, then they can run against him in the next regularly scheduled election.

A crass commercial operation

I am seriously considering the addition of advertisements to my blog.

Not that I would ever see any money from it, but I am very curious about what types of ads would be placed.

I have sort of an eclectic blog, which might make for equally eclectic ads.

Building a better button

Tired of the porn and spam blogs?

Finally, someone has built a better button for browsing blogs, which filters out most of the undesirable stuff.

There are not enough words in my vocabulary to properly express my appreciation.

Harlan is clueless

Packer President Bob Harlan said he was not overly concerned about the empty seats during the catastrophic home loss to the Jets.

"I think the weather kept some people away," he said.

Using that logic (or lack thereof), the stands should have been empty during The Ice Bowl.

During the loss to the Jets, it was the largest halftime deficit (trailing 31-0) in the long history of the Packers playing at Lambeau. The home fans were booing the Packers. Many fans got up and walked out in disgust.

Harlan needs to step aside and let someone qualified take over.

Traitor

(from an Associated Press story)

A Navy deserter who committed treason rationalized his desertion by saying the service did not meet his expectations, "I had a very idealized view, basically what amounted to a World War II Navy."

My own comments:

Too bad he could not have served in the WWII Navy when a lot of good, brave men died fighting off Nazi submarines and Japanese kamikaze pilots.

Or maybe that was not the WWII Navy he was talking about.

North Carolina Death Penalty

(from an Associated Press story)

An unarmed student accused of stealing PlayStation 3 game consoles was killed by a specially trained team of law enforcement officers in North Carolina.

The officers also killed the student's dog.

The Devil is Losing

"It's another defeat for the devil, who tries to dominate the world."

- Hugo Chavez

Coprolites

"The flowers of pincushion cactus also were a food source for prehistoric Indians who lived in southwest Texas from 800 B.C. to 500 A.D. Studies of the coprolites from the Amisted area revealed pincushion cactus pollen, which indicates that the flowers were being eaten (Bryant, 1974)."

- Kelly Kindscher (1987) Edible Wild Plants of the Prarie: An Ethnobotanical Guide

Monday, December 04, 2006

Islamophobia

(from Regnery Publishing)

Pulling no punches in his new book, The Truth About Muhammad, New York Times bestselling author and Islam expert Robert Spencer explains why we have every right - and just cause - to practice "Islamophobia."

What great coffee is all about

(from Coffee Review Newsletter December 4 2006)

Powerful and intense: 96 Point Torreo El Salvador

Regal acidity, complex flavors of chocolate, citrus and herbs

What great coffee is all about

$40 for 12 ounces (whole bean)

A thousand-pounder

According to an obituary published in yesterday's Milwaukee paper, Rosalie Bradford only weighed about 400 pounds at the time of her death.

At her largest, she weighed 1,050 pounds and was 8 feet wide.

I am amazed bordering on stupification that she made Gilbert Brown look like a shrimp.

She obviously set a standard for corpulence that few others can even approach.

Hunter bites the big one

There was a bizarre item in today's Milwaukee paper regarding the death of the deer hunter way back on Nov. 18.

According to a sheriff, the hunter died of a heart attack.

According to a pathologist, the hunter died because his lungs were completely filled with brown fluid.

The hunter's wife said she intially thought that her husband had been shot.

I guess it is another X-Files case.

When platitudes are not enough

Interesting letter in today's Milwaukee paper where James Wolak calls out Milwaukee Mayor Tom "The Rich White Guy" Barrett regarding the huge increase in violent crime in the city.

Wolak refers to the mayor's previous comment, "I would not call it a crisis because we're going to deal with it."

The author of the letter obviously does not buy into the notion that if you are a rich white liberal, then mouthing platitudes is good enough.

Gingerbread brunch

Yesterday, we attended the Bartolotta Gingerbread Brunch at the Boerner Botanical Gardens.

There was a stunning assortment of food, with quality to satisfy any gourmet and quantity to satisfy any gourmand.

Just a few of the outstanding dishes:

Made-to-order Ginger Waffles
Smoked Bacon
Proscuitto-wrapped Asparagus
Cavatappi Ginger Shrimp Salad
Prime Rib
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait with Gingersnap Crust
House Cured Salmon with Ginger Brandy
Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

the new McCarthyism continues

Packer fans were booing the home team in their crushing loss to the Jets yesterday.

The fans should remember that this team is built in the image of Bob Harlan, who has a sweet Catch-22 going in that he cannot do his job due to health reasons, but he is also immune to criticism for the same health reasons.

One of the reasons McCarthy was hired was his "toughness" (whatever that means).

Two measures of toughness might be a team's ability to tackle on defense and ability to run the ball on offense. The Packers are woeful in both regards.

At least now the local sports media can dispense with the talk of playoffs.

Shrubs

Gardening with Shrubs (2003) by Eric Sawford

Contains lots of gorgeous color photographs.

Omits zone hardiness information. The author is a Brit, so maybe he does not understand why this information is important in the U.S.

Shrubs for shade:

Laurel (Acuba japonica) [Crotonifolia, Gold Dust, Variegata, Crassifolia, Golden King]
Camellia
Fatsia japonica
Rose of Sharon (Hypericum calycinum)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) [Golden Queen, Golden van Tol, Silver Queen]
Privet (Ligustrum sp.)
Honeysuckl (Lonicera sp.)
Ornamental bramble (Rubus cockburnianus) [Goldenvale, Benenden]
Skimmia
Viburnum davidii
Vinca

Shrubs for clay soils:

Acuba
Barberry (Berberis sp.)
Japonica (Chaenomeles speciosa) [Crimson & Gold, Moerloosei, Pink Lady, Elly Mossel]
Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata) [Sundance, Aztec Pearl]
Dogwood (Cornus sp.)
Cotoneaster
Forsythia
Spanish gorse (Genista hispanica)
Hypericum
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) [Varoegatus, Aureus]
Potentilla
Firethorn (Pyracantha sp.)
Ornamental currant (Ribes sp.)
Rosa
Spirea
Viburnum
Weigela

Some other shrubs of interest:

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
Butterfly bush (Beddleja davidii)
Box (Buxus sempervirens)
Creeping dogwood (Cornus canadensis)
Winter hazel (Corylopsis sp.)
Smoke bush (Cotinus coggyria)
Witch hazel (Hamamelis sp.)
Shrubby mallow (Hibiscus syriacus)
Ornamental cherry (Prunus tenella) [Fire Hill]
Yucca

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Deer (again)

The same two deer were in the backyard again today.

Also a flock of 14 doves.

But few gray squirrels.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lantz on "The Shot"

"Gun Smoke Over Adobe Walls: The Shot That Shook The Southern Plains" by Gary Lantz

Published in the June 2003 issue of America's 1st Freedom (Official Journal of the National Rifle Association)

This is an odd article with lots of background information (particularly about Cynthia and Quanah Parker) and not much detail on the event of June 27, 1874 itself.

The author failed to address many of the controversial points of the shot. Maybe Lantz worried that uncertainty about what actually happened might detract from the author's far-ranging social conclusions.

Esa-tai was one of the leaders of the attack. Lantz failed to provide a translation for the name. Some accounts give it as "Coyote Dung" and others as "Rear End of a Wolf." Maybe the author was trying to be politically correct by avoiding what might seem unflattering (but historically correct) names. Or maybe not, since Lantz seems otherwise prejudiced against the medicine man, dismissing him as arrogant and a sleight of hand trickster. [How could Lantz possibly know that Esa-tai was arrogant? Either Lantz has additional information that he chose not to share with us, or he is woefully ignorant of the belief systems of the people about whom he is writing.] The author speculated that Quanah Parker had little faith in Esa-tai's magic without providing any evidence that this was in fact the case. Lantz mentions the skunk incident out of context and dismisses it as a lame excuse for the failure of Esa-tai's medicine. Other accounts more fully explain the incident and place it in its proper context.

The author failed to mention that the initial attack was repelled at close range with handguns. This was a very important aspect of the battle. "The Shot" was the punctuation of a very bad day for the attackers, rather than the one big event that changed the course of western civilization as protrayed by Lantz.

Billy Dixon used a borrowed rifle to make the shot. The author failed to identify the owner of the rifle. Some accounts say that Bat Masterson was the owner. Lantz failed to mention that Bat Masterson was even present at the battle. This is an odd omission considering that Bat was the most famous person at the battle [face facts, more people have heard of Bat Masterson than either Quanah Parker or Billy Dixon].

This author's version stated that the unidentified gun owner offered the unloaded rifle to Billy, who then loaded the rifle and fired the shot. Most accounts state that Billy asked for the loan of a loaded rifle so that he could fire immediately without taking the time to load a rifle. There is a certain logic to the latter scenario that is absent from Lantz's account.

The author failed to identify the caliber of the rifle. By all accounts, the rifle was a Sharps.

Lantz failed to mention the controversy surrounding the range of the shot. Most versions give the range as 1,538 yards (as does Lantz). Since the range was measured well after the event, there is some legitimate uncertainty. An analysis of the ballistics of a shot fired at this extreme range make the success of such a shot seem very unlikely. And all existing sources indicate that the shot was a success. Even if the shot were fired at a shorter range (say one thousand yards, for example) it would still be one of the greatest shots of all time.

The author failed to identify the target of the shot. Some versions say it was Esa-tai himself. [My favorite version is that a warrior, unhappy about the way the attack was going, threatened Esa-tai with a quirt. Before he could strike Esa-tai, he was knocked off his horse by Dixon's shot. In this version, it would seem that Esa-tai's medicine was not so weak after all.]

In most ways, this is a very disappointing article. The author seemed more interested in engaging in speculation to further his own political agenda than in trying to explain the facts of the case.

"The Shot" is one of my favorite events in American history, and it was poorly served by this author. Of all the accounts of the event that I have read so far, this is the weakest, by a huge margin.

The editors of the NRA magazine deserve a hefty portion of blame for the sad state of the article. They obviously agreed with this less than stellar rendition of one of American history's most interesting events, or they would not have published it as is.

Harrington Beach

Harrington Beach State Park (Ozaukee County)

The Lake Shore Stone Company Quarry was abandoned in 1925.

Lake Church Formation, fossiliferous Middle Devonian dolomite

Lime Kiln Park

Lime Kiln Park (Ozaukee County)

2 miles west of Exit 92 (I-43)

Along Milwaukee River in Grafton

Silurian dolomite with some richly fossiliferous coral reef masses

Deer

There were two whitetail deer in the backyard this afternoon, just before dark.

Sensenbrenner was right

The headlines in yesterday's Milwaukee paper were, "Violent crimes leap in city."

This is the same paper that criticized Rep. Sensenbrenner a few weeks ago when he warned that violent crime was on the rise in the city. The paper's editorial board complained that Sensenbrenner should get his facts straight.

No mention in this newest article that Sensenbrenner was right, and the editorial board was clueless as usual.

Note that the murder rate is down, not because fewer people are getting shot, but because fewer victims die due to heroic measures taken by emergency medical teams.

Big crime in Hales Corners

Big crime has finally come to Hales Corners.

A woman urinated in a mop bucket in a storage closet at the Mobil gas station in Hales Corners.

She was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Job description

"Must have the ability to work independently and multi-task while maintaining attention to detail."

Heh. A lot of us wish we could do that.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Estabrook Park

Estabrook Park (Milwaukee County)

East of the Hampton exit (I-43) along the Milwaukee River

This is the old Milwaukee Cement Company quarry

Fossiliferous dolomite and shale

Mineralized zones (featuring Millerite) are underwater

Mormon Stone Quarry

Voree is an old Mormon ghost town on the west side of Burlington (on the Racine-Walworth county line).

There is an active quarry on the site of the old Mormon Stone Quarry, and not much else for collecting.

The Voree story is an odd and little-known chapter in Wisconsin history.

I stumbled upon it when looking for abandoned quarries.

Quarry Lake Park

Quarry Lake Park in Racine (Racine County)

This is a former limestone quarry (the Horlick quarry).

Silurian reef with some very nice crinoid fossils.

Menomonee Park

Menomonee Park is just north of Lannon in Waukesha County.

It lies along the Bugline Recreation Trail that goes from Menomonee Falls to Merton.

There are five abandoned Lannon Stone (Silurian dolomite) quarries in the vicinity of the park.

And there are three working quarries in Lannon.

More ethnobotany

Native Harvests: Botanicals and Recipes of the American Indian (1977) by Barrie Kavasch

Another interesting ethnobotany book, this one is illustrated with beautiful line drawings.

The Three Sisters: corn, squash, and beans.

Chinese Lanterns (Physalis pubescens) unless the berries are ripe they have an unpleasant flavor

Blue Cohosh (Caullophyltim thalictroides) roasted seeds make an excellent coffee substitute

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) scarlet berries are very bland and long lasting

Coltsfoot (Tussilaga farfara) a plant much prized to such a degree that it became the object of intertribal warfare among West Coast tribes

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) excellent internally and externally [Yes, but watch out for the spicules and alkaloids]

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) used internally to treat worms; caution: tansy taken internally can be fatal

Special Note: Unfortunately, the library copy of this fine book has been marred by the written comments of some crude boor, a bigoted ignoramus. Maybe the comments were written before the book was donated to the library, and the person was too lazy to erase the remarks, but I doubt it. More likely that this self-appointed expert felt compelled to share their own special brand of genius with us by defacing the library copy.

Ethnobotany 101

Strength of the Earth: The Classic Guide to Ojibwe Uses of Native Plants (2005)

by Frances Densmore

Introduction by Brenda J. Child

Originally published in 1928.

Very interesting and detailed descriptions of how Chippewa (Ojibwe) were dependent on and made efficient use of maple syrup and wild rice.

Many other plants were used for food, medicine, shelter, tools, etc.

"The strength of the Chippewa in conquering the Sioux and establishing themselves in new territory indicates that they were well nourished, that suitable food was available, and that it was prepared in a proper manner."

I wonder if there were deciding factors in the Chippewa-Sioux conflict other than food?

"An old man came to a lodge one winter night tired and cold. He said, 'Never mind, I have some medicine which will soon warm me.' He then took a packet from his bag, put a little of the contents in water and drank it. A few moments later he said, 'I have taken the wrong medicine; I shall die.' And in a few hours he was dead."

Odd anecdote illustrating the danger of carrying poisons among healing medicines.

"The early Chippewa understood the administering of both nourishment and medicine by means of an enema. The syringe was composed of the bladder of the deer."

Heh.

"Dogbane was used as a protective charm against evil influence or bad medicine."

I need to plant some dogbane.

The author includes two legends: Winabojo and the Birch Tree, and Winabojo and the Cedar Tree. Entertaining, but also illustrate how important these two trees were to the Chippewa.

Fascinating book, worth reading more than once.

Pistillate

The teacher asked me to use the word "pistillate" in a sentence.

I said, "I had to go real bad at seven, but the line was so long that I could not pistillate."

I got sent to the principal's office, but it was worth it.

Cashew toffee

1 cup cashews

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Butter 9 x 9 pan. Spread cashews over bottom of pan.

Heat sugar and butter over medium heat in heavy saucepan. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly.

Boil 7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Have I mentioned how you have to stir this thing all the time?

Pour boiling hot mixture over nuts in pan, spread evenly.

Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over hot mixture.

Place cookie sheet over pan to hold in heat to melt chips.

Spread melted chips over mixture.

Cool until warm (as opposed to boiling hot).

Invert pan onto cookie sheet, break into pieces.

Sort of like heath bars. Sort of.

Pathetic Peter

Pathetic story today about Peter Jackson portraying himself as the victim in his dispute with the producers of the upcoming movie version of The Hobbit.

Even more pathetic are the fanboys saying they will boycott any Hobbit movie not directed by Jackson.

This has the worst elements of a cult of personality. Reminds me of Hitler in some ways. I can see the fanboys goosestepping around and giving each other the "Heil, Jackson!"

Jackson had his shot. Time to give someone else a chance.

Bad people

"Sorry, haters. God is not finished with me yet."

- Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), in bitterness after being passed over for the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee

Heh. The real beauty of this statement is that it contains more truth than the impeached federal judge intended.

More proof that sometimes, not always, and not often enough, but sometimes bad things happen to bad people.

designated liars

"The spokesman for the imams -- or as I believe it's phrased in their culture, 'designated liar'"

- Ann Coulter

Heh. Classic Ann Coulter.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

When history was interesting

"The history of Arizona properly begins with the first visits of white men to the region, some four hundred years ago."

- Rufus Kay Wyllys (1950) Arizona: The History of a Frontier State

Heh. Most of the really interesting history happened before that.

Stepping stones

Today, I reset the stepping stones (Andrew's stones) around the herb garden below the kitchen window.

It was a rainy and muddy day to do it, but it had to be done before the ground freezes, and according to the forecast, that is about two days away.

Stone fleet

Hollow Pits Sunken Ships: The Story of Wisconsin's Forgotten Stone Fleet (1979) by Alan Rowe

Fascinating book on the limestone quarry business on the Door Peninsula.

The author is a scuba diver who explored wrecks along Door County.

Limestone was big business in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The rock was used for rip-rap along Great Lakes harbors, building stone, crushed road ballast, lime, and cement.

Many of the barges used to haul rock were converted vessels that had previously sailed the lakes in other forms (e.g., schooners).

A very interesting chapter in Wisconsin history.

Helldorado

Helldorado: Bringing the Law to the Mesquite (1992 edition) by William M. Breakenridge

Edited and with an introduction by Richard Maxwell Brown

The original book was published in 1928.

This book is a very interesting first-person account of the Old Wild West.

Unfortunately, the author waited until he was old, decrepit (and probably senile) before he wrote it.

The editor has made a herculean effort to provide (in copious footnotes) corrections to all the errors.

Just one example: The author distinctly remembers two guys being lynched, but court records clearly indicate they were tried and sent to prison.

Breakenridge was one of the perpetrators of the Sand Creek Massacre, so he immediately loses credibility with me right there. [For those of you who do not recall, there were some people (probably mostly Cheyenne and Arapahoe) misbehaving, so instead of punishing the miscreants (which would have required some real guts), Breakenridge and his buddies found a group of friendlies, killed defenseless women and children, and then lied about it.]

Breakenridge was in Tombstone for the Earp-Clanton war, and he describes the conflict in strictly political terms: the Clantons were Democrats, and the Earps were Republicans. Breakenridge was a Democrat, and a crony of the notoriously corrupt Sheriff Behan, so again, not a lot of credibility there.

Breakenridge buddied around with lowlifes like John Ringo and Curly Bill Brocius (both of the latter came to bad ends).

Somehow Breakenridge survived to old age, proving once again that bad things do not always happen to bad people.

Worth reading, but only if you do not take the author too seriously.

birds

The birds are starting to visit more frequently the feeder on the kitchen window.

Black-capped chickadee
Red-breasted nuthatch
House finch

Monday, November 27, 2006

Accumulation report

Collected some very nice rocks today, mostly granites.

But not nearly enough for my landscaping goals.

And hauling them up that cliff is no joy.

Attrition update

Someone dug out one of the prickly pears and cast it over onto the Sanders yard.

I replanted it and scattered Milorganite around it.

It is a war, and I am not winning.

sightings

Yesterday's wildlife & deadlife sightings:

Two deer crossed Grange Ave. (going south) between 76th and 84th.

Dead oppossum along Edgerton Ave. between Forest Home and 108th.

Bill & Ernie

Bill & Ernie went to an authentic Door County fish boil.

When they were done eating, Bill looked down at the enormous pile of fish bones on his plate, shook his head in disbelief, and said, "That was the boniest fish I ever had."

Ernie looked down at the equally huge pile of bones on his plate and replied, "Mine wasn't bony at all, I took all the bones out!"

Cynical

"Despite what we read in the popular press, the only known symptom of 'empty nest syndrome' is increased smiling."

- Daniel Gilbert, Harvard psychologist

My own comment = What a crock. Another out-of-touch ivory-tower ultra-liberal.

Trees

The Tree Book: A Practical Guide to Selecting and Maintaining the Best Trees for Your Yard and Garden (2004) by Jeff Meyer

Author's Favorite Trees:

Live Oak
Bur Oak
Blue Spruce
Sugar Maple
Sycamore
Black Gum
Flowering Crab Apple
False Cypress
Southern Magnolia

Ten Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Trees:

Bur Oak
Red Maple
Sargent Crab Apple
Fraser Fir
River Birch
Japanese Maple
Bald Cypress
Lombardy Poplar
Norway Spruce
Kousa Dogwood

Conjunction of shade-tolerant and drought-tolerant lists:

European beech
Ohio buckeye
Northern catalpa

A very comprehensive book with some curious omissions:

Butternut
Kentucky Coffee Tree
Medlar

Illness

"We're going to be sick about this one forever."

- Tom Coughlin, after the Giants blew a 21-0 4th quarter lead and lost

1) Coughlin and Eli Manning deserve each other
2) Sometimes bad things happen to bad people

Rush was right

Mike Vick apologized for giving the finger (with both hands) to his own fans after yesterday's loss. Vick's initial gesture was in response to his own fans booing him mercilessly.

Heh.

Those fans must not have read all the gushing stories by sports media hacks about how Vick is the greatest quarterback ever to have played the game.

Jazz clarinetist

Jazz clarinetist Joe Aaron (87) is prominently featured in a story on the front page of today's Milwaukee paper.

The story must have come as quite a shock to the public school music teacher who once declared that the clarinet is not a jazz instrument.

A Sobering Thought

A man and his wife are dining at a table in a plush restaurant, and the husband keeps staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sits alone at a nearby table.

The wife asks, "Do you know her?"

"Yes," sighs the husband, "She's my ex-girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up seven years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since."

"My God!" says the wife, "Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fighting, or lack thereof

"If they take the fighting out of hockey, they will ruin it as a sport, just like they did boxing."

- Norman Chad (2006)

Pep talk

On champion featherweight boxer Willie Pep:

"Pep is the only outstanding white fighter in a sport which has been taken over to a great extent by Negroes."

- R.G. Lynch (1946)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wisconsin death penalty

"The death penalty is not meant to deter crime. It is a punishment for a committed crime."

- Kevin D. Batcher (Milwaukee)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

US Airways is my favorite, too

"Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether."

-Ann Coulter (11-22-06)

Crabb's head

I saw an interesting bumper sticker today:

"Honk if you have seen Crabb's head!"

I think they might be referring to the head of Henry A. Crabb, killed in 1857 at the town of Caborca (in Mexico).

Crabb made the mistake of believing the commander of the Mexican militia when the latter reassured him that if Crabb and his men surrendered, they would be afforded military POW rights.

Crabb and his men surrendered, and were promptly executed.

Crabb's severed head was preserved in a jar of mescal.

The Mexicans reportedly later drank the mescal, but the fate of the severed head remains uncertain.

There was an unconfirmed report that "Big Nose Bill" Sunomono (a member of the infamous Sunomono clan that terrorized the Old Wild West) perished with Crabb at Caborca.

Sources:

Arizona: The History of a Frontier State (1950) by Rufus Kay Wyllys

The Info-Fascists at Texas Christian University who clearly do not understand free speech rights regarding selective quotations [you coprophages can sue me any time]

Unpublished personal communications from several people who prefer to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons)

three more guys

Name three (3) guys who got shot in the back of the head in a theater.

1) Abe Lincoln
2) the guy sitting in front of Pee Wee Herman
3) the guy sitting in front of Craig Stys (see #2 above)

three guys

Name three (3) guys that never died.

1) Enoch
2) Utnapishtim
3) Tiny Tim

attrition

Yesterday, someone dug up the easternmost of the two hemlocks. I replanted it, but its chances for survival have been decreased.

Today, someone dug up the backyard tulip tree. Again, replanted, but decreased chances.

The red oak was completely shredded, a total loss.

Getting closer to building wire cages.

The combined liquid fence / dried blood is not sufficient.

if you need a house

Found a dead mouse in the basement yesterday. Not sure what he died from. Stress, I guess.

Addendum: I placed his cadaverous remains out next to the rock ford where they promptly vanished. I can think of several possibilities:

1) a Lazarus-like recovery (I particular like this one)
2) major necromancy was involved (but I knew him before he got promoted, he was only captain necromancy back then)
3) nothing goes to waste in a natural yard, and he got scavenged (I hear dead mouse is not too bad with the right sauce)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On the relative depth of meaning

"Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life."

-Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

Reality

"Everything you can imagine is real."

- Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things (2006) by John Connolly

Very odd novel.

I agree with the reviewers who called it dark and disturbing. It is all of that and more.

Borrows heavily from stories like Little Red Riding Hood and Rumplestiltskin, yet is a fresh perspective.

Also approaches the Rosie Lyons / Octavia Butler school of literature, but in this case, the protagonist refuses to completely surrender to victimhood.

Features Childe Roland en route to The Dark Tower. The story hints that Roland might have chosen an alternative lifestyle.

The Crooked Man is a villain that a reader could learn to hate.

The author has an unhealthy fascination with loss and betrayal, and some very negative feelings about wolves.

Worth reading, but probably not more than once.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Amberg granites

Amberg and Athelstane Granites

Amberg is located in Northeastern Wisconsin about 60 miles north of Greenbay in Marinette County. The Amberg-Athelstane Granite is part of the Wisconsin Magmatic Terrane. The Wisconsin Magmatic Terrane is an area formed by a tectonic plate collision at about 1850 Ma. marked by the Niagara Fault Zone. The Amberg Granite is one of the most extensive in Wisconsin. It is well known for its great variety of color and texture. The two most common types are a fine-grained gray granite and a course-grained red granite known as "Amberg red". These granites were a valuable commodity in the late 1800's early 1900's, causing quarries to pop up in the area.

There were several main companies in the Amberg area during that time. The Amberg Granite Company was the first in the area and later, the Pike River Granite Company, which formed in large part due to poor working conditions at the Amberg Granite Company. The Amberg Granite Company was owned by William Amberg of Chicago and consisted of quarry operations in Amberg - the Argyle, Martindale,the Athelstane and Aberdeen. The Argyle and the Martindale quarries produced the fine-grained gray granite and the Aberdeen quarry produced the "Amberg red". The Athelstane produced a gray granite, but course grained, similar in texture to the Amberg red. Much of their granite was used in Chicago for curbing blocks and street paving. It was also used for buildings such as, the Capital building in Minnesota, and buildings in Chicago and Cincinnati. The Pike River company produced primarily the fine-grained gray granite and much of it was sold as monumental stone because of its strength and attractiveness. However in 1929, 500-600 cars of this stone was sold to the Universal Granite Company of Milwaukee to be used as breakwater stone. Although, once a thriving, profitable businesses, there are no longer any active quarries operating in the Amberg area. More about the history of these quarries and the surrounding area can be found at the Amberg Museum complex, this is located in the town of Amberg on Marinette County V, right off of Highway 141.