Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year 2019

Similar to the last few years, we will be ringing in the new year at home with just a couple friends, Terry and Becky, as long as the roads don't get too slippery.  My wife is going to cook a late dinner of beef tenderloin with those fancy little potatoes.  We'll play some games, have some special drinks and pop the champagne at midnight.  If we do manage to make it all the way to midnight that will be pretty much it, and I'll have to get a nap in just to help me make it that late.

Back on Christmas weekend we were going to drive to Mom and Dan's in Dubuque but Kate came down with the bug I had the week before.  Now we'll have to see about getting the presents to the nieces and nephews soon.  I may have to ship them to my sister and her kids, but it's a good excuse to finally drive down and see my brother's family and the house they built.  On Christmas Day Kate was feeling a bit better, well enough to not cancel her family coming over for some great food, presents and holiday cheer, so we did get one family gathering in for the holiday.

Happy New Year to you all.  The ones I read, the ones I love, all my friends and all of you who take the time to read me.  Whether you comment or not, I can see you're there.  Thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018*

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I've never been a card person so consider this your holiday greeting.  I hope you're all enjoying whatever you're doing.  Cheers!

*Edit, 9 a.m.
I scheduled the above last night to post early this morning.  When I finally arose today and opened the curtains this is the sight I saw - a layer of snow on the ground!  So it seems I lied earlier - we have a White Christmas after all!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Solstice Fire Pit

Just because I could, I relaxed with a fire for a bit this afternoon.  It was a few degrees below freezing - so maybe not the brightest* thing to do coming off the flu - but it was nice.  Happy Winter Solstice, everyone.

*Pun intended.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December This-And-Thats

December is slipping away, the holidays are almost upon us and I've hardly posted a thing lately.  There's not been much to post about, really.  Well, I'm sure I can come up with a few things so time to start typing again and see what fills the page.
  • Somehow we seem to have had December weather in November and vice-versa.  There was only a trace of snow on the ground in spots yesterday and that's probably erased by the rain today, and with the expected temperatures we will not be having a white Christmas this year.  Lake Mendota officially froze over five days ago, on the 15th.  About normal, but that date can vary greatly year to year.  Lake levels are looking better, but still not down to where they should be.  I haven't heard anything on that debate lately but, like any other year, the further from the event the less people think about it.
  • I've been sick all this week, probably a flu bug but I didn't go to the doctor.  Sunday evening I remember being especially tired, then Monday and Tuesday were absolutely miserable for me but I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again.  Today I worked a full shift for the first time this week and I am exhausted.  At least my boss is letting me slide on the required overtime this week and we have no overtime for the next two short holiday weeks.
  • I have all my holiday shopping done and finished wrapping this afternoon.  This was a tough year to buy something for my wife.  I thought about jewelry again but she doesn't really wear any regularly.  She did mention wanting to get her ears re-pierced but she won't let me do it so I came up with a few other gifts that will have to do.  She has a birthday coming up in a month so I guess I'll have to make up for it then.
  • Sadly, the pictures on my garden blog from August 13, 2012, to May 14, 2017, have been deleted.  It was a shame and I am not happy about it, but I had almost 1400 pictures on Flickr and starting soon they will only allow 1000 for free accounts.  Most importantly, I didn't want to lose anything from this site, so I sacrificed those pictures rather than pay a monthly fee forever to keep them.  You can read more of what I wrote about that here and here.  As for the future of that garden blog?  I just don't know yet.  
  • I've been scanning the local venues' websites for upcoming shows that I'd like to see, and still there's only one on my radar.  On February 10, Marty Friedman plays at the High Noon Saloon.  He used to be a guitarist in the band Megadeth and then spent the last 15 years in Japan.  Other than that, there's a few things that slightly interest me and you never know when a new show will be announced.  In fact, it was just announced that Neil Young is coming soon to Madison on a very short solo tour.  Unfortunately it's on a weeknight and the tickets seem to be outrageously priced and may already be sold out. (Luckily, I've seen him before - but that was over 20 years ago!)
That's all I can think of that I want to share for now.  I'm sure I'll post a holiday greeting soon and I don't think we have any plans for New Year's Eve yet, so there will be more to come before 2019.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Latest LIVE Listening Pleasure 31 - Steel Panther

For some time now I've been lamenting the lack of shows coming to Madison that interest me.  I see tour announcements often, and I rarely see Madison on the list of dates (yet Grand Rapids, Michigan, a smaller city, seems to get a lot of shows).  Maybe that will change with another good Madison venue, The Sylvee, that just opened this fall.  Months ago I was scanning the upcoming shows and saw this show coming up.  Surprisingly, my wife agreed to go with me so as tickets were relatively cheap we went out to see Steel Panther and check out The Sylvee on Friday night.

Steel Panther, if you haven't heard of them before, is a band that spoofs 80's hair metal.  They perform classic metal songs and their own music, all the while performing satire of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Definitely not safe for work, nothing seems to be off limits and being in on the joke is much of the fun.  It does surprise me, however, that so many women like the band in this #meetoo time we live in, considering how they objectify and make fun of them in their songs and banter.  But it's all in good fun and in the name of heavy metal.

I posted this holiday song when it was new a few years ago, here it is live - The Stocking Song:

It was cold that night - in the mid teens (ºF) - but a new parking ramp just opened up right next door to the venue so that was very convenient.  As usual, I bought a shirt first, probably the only one for sale that I could actually wear to work as the others had innuendo that someone would take exception to, I'm sure.  We walked around the crowd a bit but took a spot in the balcony.  The balcony has a couple rows of seats around the front but the rest is all general admission.  When a band comes that I really want to see I think I'd spring for the seats.  The first band, Wilson, was forgettable.  Steel Panther ran through their set like a well oiled machine, despite having a fill-in bassist for this stretch of dates.  We left before they came out for the encore, so we missed a song or two but I'm okay with that.  We beat the crowd and were home and warm minutes later.

Steel Panther performing a cover of a Motley Crue song, Shout At The Devil, with some fun at the beginning:

My third video, Poontang Boomerang, can be seen on my channel here.

I hadn't seen Steel Panther before even though they've played Madison several times over the last decade or so, and if I had been to a good show recently I may not have gone this time, but I'm glad we got to check out The Sylvee and the band was pretty entertaining.  If I sound a little underwhelmed, well, I guess I am.  I'll keep my eye on the upcoming shows and maybe something will come up that will get me a bit more excited.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley
LLP 25 - Darkc3ll
LLP 26 - Dementia
LLP 27 - Rammstein
LLP 28 - Marilyn Manson LIVE
LLP 29 - The Harp Twins LIVE
LLP 30 - Diamante
LLP 31 - Steel Panther LIVE

Sunday, November 25, 2018

2018 Flood IX - A Different View

On Thanksgiving Day we went south to Stoughton to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate with her family.  They happen to live near the Yahara River, south of the four lakes connected by the river, so we walked over and took a look during our time there.  Now, I've posted about Lake Mendota from our times out on the boat.  Also Lake Monona from bike rides and trips to Olbrich Park.  And mostly Starkweather Creek as it passes through my neighborhood toward Lake Monona.  The next two lakes down the chain are Waubesa and Kegonsa, then the Yahara flows for some time before emptying into the Rock River.  Stoughton is in the bottom right of the map, we live above Lake Monona and east of  Lake Mendota.

Lake Waubesa, Yahara Outlet
On the drive down we only got glimpses of the lower two lakes as we drove by so getting pictures wasn't easy, but I did get one looking out onto Lake Waubesa where the Yahara exits the lake and while not over the banks it did look very full.  That's what we found in Stoughton as well, the river looked very full - and fast, it seemed to be running much faster than we've seen before.  Looking at the lake levels map, it was as expected as they continue to release water down the chain trying to get the levels lower.  Lake Mendota is looking the best so far, but the rest have several feet of water to go down yet.  When you think about it, it really does take a lot of time to let all that water flow.

By spring I don't think we'll have any issues, but that could change at Mother Nature's whim.  I also noticed in the news that just recently all the slow-no wake rules on all 4 of the lakes have now been lifted.  Of course, not many are out boating anymore at this time of year anyway.  Mostly the ice fisherman are waiting for the ice to form by now, which brings another thought:  What will the ice conditions be if the water keeps lowering under it?

More pics after the break.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Home on the NEW Range

We finally replaced the range in the kitchen.  It had been a long time coming.  The old electric stove and oven was, well, old - very old.  My wife is quite the cook and knew exactly what she wanted to replace it, a gas range with a double oven.  This range has essentially been picked out for almost a year, but appliances go on sale in November so we waited and saved hundreds of dollars.

It was scheduled to be delivered early afternoon on Wednesday, so I got an early start to the weekend to wait for it to arrive.  The delivery men were in and out in short order and we had our new range!  Of course, there were a couple issues.  There always seems to be, for us.  Nothing terribly major.

Months ago we had our plumber extend the gas line to once again come up behind the range.  It had been removed long ago to install the outlet for the electric range.  But, he installed it with a fitting that is not normally used for gas ranges.  The installers luckily had adapters to use but that made the connection too big to get the range against the wall as close as it should be.  Now, we've used the same plumber since we got the house and while they have done some good work for us they've also done some questionable work for us, so after this we are ready to move on and try another local plumber.  This week I will find one and schedule them to get the gas connection sorted and possibly moved so we can push the range in farther.  (While they're here I may also have them look at some minor leaks by the utility sink downstairs.)

Also, both the new refrigerator and the new range (both LG) have the same type of electrical plug where the cord goes straight down, parallel to the wall instead of perpendicular.  I'm sure it's meant to stay out of the way when pushing the appliance in, but that means you can't use two of the same type of plug in one regular outlet.  There is space, so I will have to find an adapter to extend the top one out a bit, is all.  So, another upgrade to the kitchen, which Kate finished repainting yesterday.  Next on the kitchen list is flooring, counter tops, and a vent above the range.  All in due time, except for a hanging pot rack I need to build now - ASAP!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Needing New Picture Host?

Back when I started this site (and the garden blog) I uploaded pictures to Blogger to post without a care in the world.  Eventually I got the message that I had used up all my storage when I didn't even know I had a limit.  I needed a new place to put my pictures so I could post them on my sites.  I wrote about that on August 13, 2012.  Now, I seem to remember getting that message from Picasa.  I don't know if that's right or what the connection with Blogger is, but all those old pictures are still on the site (though many linked photos may not be) and come up as from Blogger.  Well, unable to post pictures I got a free account with Flickr and have used that to host all the pictures I post ever since.

Well, it wasn't long ago I got an email that Flickr had been sold to another company, and then on November 13 I received an email from Flickr about important updates to my account.  Basically, no more free ride for me.  They will allow free accounts with up to 1000 photos, or I may upgrade to Flickr Pro for an as-yet-undisclosed annual fee (but I can get 30% off the first year).  My problem is that I have almost 1400 pictures on Flickr, so after January 8, 2019, I will no longer be able to upload pictures and after February 5, 2019, I will have my photos that are over 1000 deleted, starting with the oldest, unless I pay.  What this means is that after that date my pictures on posts on both my sites from August 2012 to 376 pictures later will disappear from my sites.  My guess is that would go through 2015 and include some cherished memories, but I definitely do not want to pay - any cost, every year, forever.  If it becomes relevant again, I can always re-upload to my next picture host and update the post, but it is a terrible shame because I do look back to years past on my sites.

So what do I do now?  Well, I noticed that on my phone I have the old Picasa logo.  Picasa is now Google Photos.  It does not have all those original photos that I uploaded way back when, but when I take a picture with my phone it is now backed up there.  And there's even pictures saved there from my old (first) smartphone.  There does appear to be a limit, so I still have to figure out how it's going to work over the long haul, but I think it will work for me.  And I can still use the camera and upload the ones I wish to, but I will probably start using my phone almost exclusively for taking pictures.  And after getting the pictures off my phone and saved onto the computer I should "clean up" all the excess pictures I take out of Google Photos to extend my limit.

I have two more posts in mind for very soon that I will want pictures, so I will be trying this out probably later this weekend.  This should not affect normal blog viewing at all, unless it is an older affected post being viewed, other than the picture will open differently when clicked.  If anyone else has a better idea I'm very willing to listen!

Soooo, funny story:  I was re-reading and editing the above when it occurred to me I hadn't even tried to upload directly since that day in 2012 when I got the message about reaching the limit.  I  just tried now, and it works!  I won't need an outside image host after all!  Limits must have changed in the last 6 years?  How can I tell?  Well, Google is Blogger is Chrome is Youtube is Google Photos is Android is everything else I am, it seems.  I'll still have the loss of posted photos for that 2012-15 period, and that pains me greatly, but hopefully I'll never have to deal with this again.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Like most years, it's best known to me as a 4 day weekend with one day spent with relatives.  This year we're staying close to home and visiting my wife's side of the family.  Other than that I don't know if we'll be leaving the house much as this Black Friday weekend will make it a madhouse on the roads and at the shops.  Feast of the cash registers, as some might say.  I do need to start shopping for gifts, but that will probably be entirely online.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Snow and 2018 Flood VIII

20181109_162926Late Thursday/early Friday we got a small layer of snow that has somewhat stuck around due to our temperatures have stayed below freezing.  Not much, but if anyone was still in denial then here's their slap in the face - winter will not be stopped.  I've yet to get out the full winter gear, and until it gets even colder more consistently I don't see the need.  Looking ahead in the forecast, we have temperatures above and below freezing and even some more snow toward the end of this week.  Well, you can't control the weather so we'll have to roll with it just like every other year.

In this picture of the back yard you can also see, on the top left, workers installing a new telephone pole.  While it might be tougher in cold weather my guess is they do it now purposely, after the loss of foliage that would surely be in their way going through back yards.  You can also see in this picture that I finally got the leaves cleaned up last weekend, knowing the snow was coming.  I also cleaned the gutters, started the snow thrower and got out the salt and snow shovels.  That means I have all my outside work done in preparation for winter - finally.

Friday afternoon I walked to our favorite local bar and grill Brothers Three (currently under new ownership after 33 years) and had the opportunity to take a couple more pictures of the creek.  I did notice it had gone down further yet, but still not down to where it should be.  A quick check of the lake levels shows that - while much better than a couple months ago - they are still a couple feet higher than they should be and I know they are still working on lowering the levels and still talking about how best to manage lake levels in the future.

20181109_132849Looking up this stretch of Starkweather Creek you can start to see the top of some of the big rocks on the sides.  On each side there is at least two rows of big rocks that had been underwater for several months now.  It is nice to see it go down, but this should still be considered significantly high.

Just because I like side by side comparisons, after the break is the view of the Milwaukee Street bridge from pictures I'd taken Friday and previously.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy Halloween 2018

Halloween can be more fun on the weekend, but I've liked this holiday more than most every other holiday for a while now no matter what day its on.  (Not that that's saying a whole lot.)  Like last year, I put the mummy up in the front windows and donned my ape mask for answering the door - and I scared the crap out of the first kid of the night!  I was a bit more careful from then on. 

This year I added a little projector that shines a shaky spider web complete with spider.  I had it out back trained on the garage door for only the sharp-eyed halloweener as they pass.  If you look real close you can see it in the picture.  Not quite what I expected, but it was cheap.  I did not take pictures of any kids in their costumes because, like most, I'd be afraid of being called creepy in this day and age.

20181031_191223My guess would be more than 50 trick-or-treaters came to our door last night.  Hard to say as they all came in groups of at least 3 and up to 8 or so kids, with most groups in the middle and always accompanied by many adults laughing it up on the sidewalk.  We saw many good and good-effort costumes, mostly the usual or else siDney or other characters I have no idea.  I learned you don't call the SpongeBob with no shoulders a banana, methinks he'd heard that enough on his treat venture!  We didn't run out of candy but one more group may have done it.  We waited until about 8 o'clock but no more came.  That means there's candy in the house - dammit.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Burning Bush, Apples, Cats and Fire

20181027_112848It has been cold, damp and dreary lately but we did manage to get the yard and garden cleaned up for winter yesterday.  A few notes and a full pictorial is over at the garden blog.  Stop over and have a look, it's probably the last big post for the year over there.  As we were finishing up it started to sprinkle, so I think we lucked out.  Otherwise, I don't have anything grand to say today, just wanted to post a few recent pictures and note a few things.

20181027_203421The burning bush is at its red-leaf peak before they join the growing number of leaves blowing about the ground.  The walnut trees next door are finished and I have those leaves mulched into the lawn, the rest will be gathered soon to be mulched for the flowerbeds.  Since we had the tree removed we get more leaves in front even though that yard is maybe one third the size - it has all the big trees that line the street out front.  Once the leaves are done then all that should be left to do outside before the snow comes is the gutters.

Kate brought home a lot of apples recently after a trip to an orchard.  Yesterday the house smelled lovely all day as she made apple butter.  Even though it was a double batch there are still lots of apples left.  I think we'll be having apple pie soon with lots left for the freezer.


I haven't really posted much on the cats in quite some time, but no news is good news as they are happy and healthy.  Some time ago there was another neighborhood cat that used to come around and see our cats inside the back door and through the windows.  Basil now 'patrols' the perimeter at times, going from window to window, looking for that cat.  I don't think he's upset or anything, but he is very curious.  Hamish doesn't seem to mind, knowing his brother is on the case.

I spent some time by the fire on Friday evening.  The cool weather and break in the dampness made it a pleasure once again to sit by the fire and figure out all the world's problems - or stare blankly into the flames and relax.  Same difference.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

First Snow of the Season, 2018

I was watching the Badger game today when it started snowing on TV.  Realizing the game is here, I turned my head and saw the snow out the window.  Today has been very windy, with snow and wind, then sun and calm, then hail and wind and then more wind and sun.  Enough snow to cause blizzard conditions for a time at the game, and while the whole football field was completely white with snow for much of the second quarter we had no accumulations here at the house.  The sticks blown from the trees are certainly accumulating, though.  In the twenty second video below, the car alarm in the background seemed strangely appropriate at the time.

I know I've not really written much of anything for some time, but that's just how it goes.  I've been doing overtime at work that has me tired often at home and, well, not a lot has been happening worth writing about.  Winter is definitely on its way, so there are chores to be done to get prepared.  Perhaps I can get a few things done this weekend and I should get some pictures over at the garden blog.  Otherwise, I hope all are well.  Cats are still cute, the lakes are still flooded, and I'm still tired.  Normal posting shall resume eventually.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

LLP Bonus - Ledger

I don't remember how I came across this but I think it was in my Youtube recommendations or I saw it in a list, something like that.  Ledger is a side project by Jen Ledger, drummer for the band Skillet, which I heard of before but now found out is a christian hard rock band.  I watched a recent show of theirs last night and yes, they are definitely christian as Jesus was mentioned during 3 or 4 talks in between songs.  Still, I've been playing the Ledger EP lots the last couple weeks, mainly the song Iconic.  Not enough for a full post, but I do like it enough to be a bonus Latest Listening Pleasure.  I like her voice, and basically that's what made me keep playing the EP.  The songs are more pop than I usually listen to, but it's fun.  Odd fact:  She relocated at 16 from Coventry, England to major in drums at a religious school here in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Ledger - Iconic

Monday, October 1, 2018

September This-And-Thats

Here we are, as the dog days of summer turn into the cool days of fall.  The days are getting shorter, the temperatures - especially at night - are much cooler, yet the mosquitoes are still buzzing about.  Well, before I have to change the title I best start typing, eh?

  • While I'm thinking of it, here's some things that happened this last week that have not happened in some time:  Wearing a light jacket.  Turning on the furnace.  And getting our first frost of the season.  Some people like fall, I say at least it's not winter yet - but you know it's coming...
  • With that reality I spent time today moving the power washer and other garage things inside to over-winter in the basement.  Cleaned up about half the pots on the stump and reorganized the garage a bit for a place exclusively for garden items and pots.  I also spent more time bent over weeding than I should have.  This year's side of the compost bin is fuller but there's lots more to come.
  • I had another critter digging a hole by the side of the house recently.  Neighbor Dave had a critter bomb left over so we set that off, but to no avail.  I refilled the hole a couple times, put rocks on top, even pounded a thick branch down the hole yet the critter persisted.  Next, I bought a small live trap, caught the chipmunk almost immediately, and let him go down by the creek.  Thankfully, no more holes since.
  • I wrote everything above this sentence yesterday, ran out of thoughts and took a walk down to the creek, came back and wrote another flood post.  Looking back at my third sentence, I must now get this finished today!
  • We got a bit of rain last night, but thankfully not enough rain recently to exacerbate our high water issues.  Hopefully with time the water will drain and smarter lake levels will be maintained in the long term, but next year I suspect short memories will leave us susceptible to this happening again.  But I hope not.  Also, we weren't the only area in southern Wisconsin to have flooding issues, and I know South Carolina is certainly still having flood issues.  Weather 'events' seem to be happening at a much faster rate than years past.  Global warming or not, the climate is changing.  I wonder what this winter will bring?
  • The Badgers had a bye yesterday, the Packers play soon (so another break from writing), and the Brewers and Cubs games are this afternoon.  The Brewers and Cubs are tied and today is the last game of the season.  If they both win there will be a tiebreaker game tomorrow, and the loser plays in the wildcard game the next day while the winner gets first seed and home field advantage for the playoffs.  It's going to be an interesting day, then I'll finish this.  I promise.

"...(T)hen I'll finish this.  I promise."  Famous last words.  I wrote the first half of this on Saturday, the second half on Sunday, and now it's Monday.  No sense continuing with the bullet points, I didn't have much to write about anyway.  And screw it, the title will remain unchanged.

20180920_170653So, since I last sat down to write we got more rain overnight and all day today.  There's water in the basement again so I got the rugs up after work today, but just a bit too late.  I haven't looked at the numbers yet and I'm not sure I want to.  We could sure use a dry spell - until winter.

Also, the Packers won yesterday, but even though they shut out the other team (for the first time in like 8 years) the mood seemed somber as they could have played much better.  Also, the Brewers and Cubs both won yesterday and played a tiebreaker game today which the Brewers won so they win the division outright and with the best record in the National League will have home-field advantage as long as they're in it, up to the World Series.  Go Brewers!

Lastly, I include pictures of a lone mushroom/toadstool I saw in the back yard a couple weeks ago that I thought would make a good picture.  I hope you think so too, because I got about 487 mosquito bites taking the pictures!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The 2018 Flood VII - Some Progress

Today, September 29, 2018

In the middle of trying to put a different post together I walked down by the creek out of curiosity to see the level, and I am pleased to see that it has gone down some, but is still a couple feet higher than it should be.  You can see some space beneath the bridge, probably not enough for kayaks or canoes to make it down the creek, but it is certainly improvement.  Either way, all the ducks are swimming in the water - and still don't seem to mind.
A month ago - August 25, 2018

There's a nifty animation of the lake levels of the last seven days under those blue words.    You can see it's still nowhere near what it should be.

A closer up picture after the break, and a butterfly sign that I don't remember seeing before, oddly.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The 2018 Flood VI - Enough, Already!*

18F yahara-lakes-locks-and-dams
I believe this picture came from here:
The lakes had been high all summer so far, see my pic from earlier this year here, then on August 20 western Dane County received the worst of a rainstorm and got 10-15 inches.  Surrounding areas, including us, also got many inches of rain but the double digits got the headlines.  Much of that water flowed to the Wisconsin River and much of it flowed to the Yahara chain of lakes, starting with Lake Mendota.

The Tenney Lock and Dam have been tested, but have held admirably.  Lake Mendota drains through that lock and dam (1), into the Yahara River crossing the isthmus to Lake Monona.  If the dam fails, this influx of water is what will flood many low parts of the isthmus and Lake Monona.

Lake Monona has gotten higher than it's ever been. It drains through another branch of the Yahara, one that has had to be weeded in the past because they slow the flow, directly into Lake Waubesa, which then has another lock and dam (2) before draining into Lake Kegonsa which also has a lock and dam (3) that then drains via a lengthy part of the Yahara River and a couple more dams (4,5) until ultimately flowing into the Rock River.  That's the basics, and this is a map to help you visualize it easier if you're not from here.

You can see how it will take time to let all that water flow.  If we were to get any substantial amount of rainfall in a short amount of time, any similar deluge as before, anytime before winter we will be having perhaps much bigger problems.  I should note that it has not rained since the last rain spell I posted of last week, and no real chance is forecast until later next week.  I've been paying attention to the forecast a bit more these days.

There are reasons to keep the lakes high and reasons to lower them to natural levels, and proponents for each have been heard in this renewed debate, despite the problem at hand continuing and expected to continue until at least winter.  I think they should be lowered below the level they've been kept despite the issues for boaters and pier owners.  In time, all would adapt.  Then the next time something like this happens there will be the capacity to hold and handle the flow of water without flooding.  Seems so obvious, why doesn't it just happen? [Insert political crap here.]

Random green fire pit picture.
I got out for a bike ride today, just down to the lake and back, less than an hour overall but my joints are feeling it now (and the reason I didn't go yesterday).  I got some good pictures to share, the first few are from a bike ride the other day and the rest are from this morning - except for one picture I stole a screenshot of from goggle maps.  It shows the rocks that should normally be visible on the sides of this stretch of Starkweather Creek.  Since they lakes have been kept overly full the last couple years a cursory search didn't find a similar picture in my albums of the last couple years.  But I have posted pictures of this and these other places in the past so you can seek them out for before and after shots if you wish.

Pictures and comments after the break!

*Originally titled with IV instead of VI - sorry!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Another Birthday Vacation

DSC00277I had yet another birthday recently, they seem to come faster and faster.  My wife made snacks and we had some people over last Saturday evening to celebrate.  Thanks to all who came over!  I took the week off for my birthday again this year but, once again, I had no big projects planned but a reasonable list of chores I wanted to get done.  And sleep, sleep is very good.  As I type the chore list is mostly complete but we'll just have to see how the rest goes.

Otherwise, I've been out on the bike a couple times and got some more pictures of the swollen creek.  I've not made it all the way to a lake yet, but I do plan on biking to probably Olbrich Park later today or tomorrow.  I know I have pictures of the shoreline from winter to compare to, well, we'll just see what I find.  Lake Monona has been up to 3 feet over it's predetermined maximum, as reflected in the creek.  I'll put another Flood post together in a day or two.

In other happenings, the Packers and Badgers have started playing so there goes much of my time on weekends for the next few months.  My mom broke her foot - sorry ma, I'm not traveling during my vacation but I'm sure Dan is taking very good care of you.  I hope you get well soon.  And I'm still enjoying the fire pit almost every chance I get.  Even just sitting by the fire for an hour or two in the evening is so simple yet lowers the stress of every day life - but you'd better have mosquito repellent!

Just a dragonfly I spotted recently.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The 2018 Flood V - Rain Accumulation

The rain has continued this past week, as we watched nervously.  Water levels had been going down a bit until yesterday when we got more rain all day.  Nothing as drastic as what got us in this mess but yesterday was a very wet day, indeed, and on ground that is already water logged.  The good news is that the next several days look dry so hopefully we can get those water levels down a bit more.  I'd like to go down and get a picture of the creek right now but I just mowed the lawn so I already have enough mosquito bites to last me for a while...

Rainfall Capture

Not a lot happening to speak of, otherwise.  We do plan on having people over for a fire pit on Saturday night and I have time off coming up.  Maybe I'll find something else to write about then!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The 2018 Flood IV - Political Waters

It's been two weeks since the heavy rains of August 20 washed in to flood streets, homes and businesses, and there is no end in sight.  Lake levels were already about a foot higher than their predetermined maximum, now releasing the water down through the lakes and the flooding it will cause is making this a political issue once again.  Meanwhile, we have streets that have been underwater this whole time.  Let's just hope we keep avoiding any heavy rainfalls for a while.  Oh, it also rained another inch last night.

I found a very good website for information on the lakes, dams and water levels for our Yahara chain of lakes, link here.  And I also found the short video below, posted two days ago, of the Tenney Park area.  I'm sure it looks very similar still, especially after last night.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend.  I've been taking it pretty easy so far, but I may get out for a bike ride today.  Last night we had a fire before the rains came and cooked pizza and fruit pudgie pies in the coals. They were good but I burnt the first one and they did make quite a mess!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The 2018 Flood III - Ducks Don't Mind

This picture from a couple hours ago is looking back upstream from the bridge in the picture from the last post.  Water levels are the same, but the ducks don't seem to mind.  Normally you would see big rocks on the sides of this part of Starkweather Creek, still very underwater.  Thankfully, recent rains have not not been enough to very much worsen the issue.


The city posted a map of properties to notify because of the danger of flooding.  On our street there's surprisingly just one, a few houses down and across the street on the end, by the creek.  For the water to make it up the hill to our house there would have to be some catastrophic happenings, thankfully for us - and not very likely.  I thought of stopping by the lake on my way home today so I could show the difference compared to earlier photos, but didn't due to traffic.  I'll see if I get a chance this upcoming holiday weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The 2018 Flood II

I went down by the creek today to see how it looked, not quite as full as yesterday and there is a slight flow to it again today.  Yesterday it was fuller and stagnant, which tells me it was at lake level.  Still, it's going to take a while for the waters to go down, and we have a chance for rain and thunderstorms the next few days yet.  You can see here how the creek may be too full for canoes and kayaks to make it under the bridges very easily.

Across the city, many home and business owners are trying to dry out and assess the damage.  As far as I know there is still flooded areas and roads on the isthmus and all across western Dane County.  I have not heard anything about the Tenney Lock and Dam, so that's probably a good thing.  Reports can be found online pretty easily, starting with here and here.

We've had no water in the basement since the big rainstorm earlier in the week.  When we get water in the basement it just runs toward the drain, but there are a few areas where it pools so we squeegee it towards the drain and turn on the dehumidifier.  It is now dry again and I don't think we'll get any more unless it rains again soon.

Terry sent us some pics of the marina where she keeps her boat that I'll put after the break.  I don't think she'll mind me posting them - thanks Terry!  The water's edge is normally on the other side of the open structure you'll see, and now is right up to the buildings.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The 2018 Flood

We've had rain recently.  The other night we had 10-13 inches in the western part of Dane County.  Madison is in the middle of the county and it was literally down the center, and we are just east of that line.  We had several inches of rain here too, by the way, even had to bring up the rugs in the basement, but no major issues.  In other parts of the city that amount of water had an immediate - and in many places an ongoing - effect, and in the days after the water is running it's course, down the chain of lakes, starting with Mendota.

I don't want to write a lot, I'm tired.  But I haven't posted much and this is very significant to us.  Below you will see pictures stolen from the neighborhood farcebook group page along with pictures I took during a bike ride last year.  The Yahara/East Washington bridge below, a few of the Tenney Lock after the break, and a last tired thought at the end.

My picture, last September.

Recent farcebook picture

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August This-And-Thats

Well, I've been trying to get to this for about a week now.  The longer I wait the longer the post will be, so time to start typing and see what spills out!
  • I have a fire almost every good weather evening that I don't have to work the next day.  How do you invite people?  I could text all my friends every weekend, but that seems too tedious and a bother.  It's nice to have good conversation around the fire but I have nothing against sitting out there by myself.  I guess we'll just have to plan things like we used to, so if you're reading this then save the date - September 8th.  But if it's good weather then I'm probably around the fire on weekends and all I know are welcome to stop by whenever they wish.
  • Speaking of fires, I'm very happy with the wood I bought.  It's easy to light and burns a pretty long time.  Even though it is split into manageable logs I wind up splitting some further into smaller pieces for getting the fire started and also for the end of the night when it's just too late to put on a full log.
  • I did take a lot of pictures at Atwoodfest.  Too many, I'm told.  Me running around to get good pictures seems to have put a slight damper on the day for the people I was with.  I know I've been getting into picture taking quite a bit for the last couple years, but I have to remember to let it happen and not try to be a reporter for the blog.
  • Since we lost the tree in back we have lots less bastard squirrels and lots more bastard rabbits.  The rabbits have taken to lounging in our back yard, seemingly mocking us and the cats.  I'd love to get a slingshot or something but my wife won't allow that.  And if I run off the rabbits what will replace them?  Still, have a little respect and run from me, you little bastards!  I did see a hawk on the back fence the other day, so hopefully that will put a little fear in them.
  • The squirrels haven't totally moved out, either.  I saw one coming out of the garage a few days ago.  Seems he found my sunflower seeds on my workbench and sat there feasting for a while.  Shells all over the place!  He didn't even seem to mind the dill pickle flavor.
  • My first morning in my new position I learned that my old boss just got fired that morning and his boss had been "reassigned."  Surprised me, but didn't shock me.   A month or two earlier the VP was let go.  That department is a mess, and of its own management's doing.  I was there, I watched it happen but they didn't listen to us.  I hope this is the start of making things better over there, but I'm glad as hell it's not my problem anymore.  That should be the end of my shop talk now for a long time.
  • We should be getting another quarter cow very soon now.  Later than the last couple years, but we haven't quite run out of meat yet, either, but almost.  I hope we have a little more advance warning this time.  Last year we got the call the day of, and I had a job interview to go to and my wife was limited in lifting just after surgery.  She managed getting it all put away last year, but I should be around this time.
  • It's August already and the last food cart night down at Atwood was this last week.  We didn't make it every week, but that's mostly because neither did they.  There was never 4 carts as advertised, and the ones that did show up after the first couple weeks all seemed to be of the Asian flavor - not my taste.  There's lots more food carts out there, so why weren't they here?  So, it was nice in theory, anyway.
That's enough for now, I think.  Football season is almost upon us so cheers for the Badgers and Packers.  The bikes have been unused recently mostly due to heat and humidity, but there's a little laziness in there, too.  All in all, having a nice summer though, and I hope you are, too!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Atwoodfest 2018!

20180728_163919We walked down to Atwoodfest this afternoon and again Terry joined us for the fun.  I watched most of Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame guitarist and Madison resident Paul Filipowicz's set before making a couple treks up and down the street.  This will be mostly a pictorial post as I'm a actually quite tired.  I was hoping to have a fire again tonight but I think I will end up in bed early - especially early for me on a Saturday night.  Tomorrow there are things to do in the morning, then a different friend and I will be headed down to Atwoodfest again for more revelry in the beautiful weather.  Lots of people, music, beer, food and vendors.  Should be a grand time again!

More pics after the break!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Latest Listening Pleasure 30 - Diamante

Diamante is a performer that just over a month ago I saw the album cover and song titles with a two word description - Alt Metal, but I was intrigued so I looked her up on Youtube and I've been playing her CD constantly ever since.  This is how I find out about a lot of new music, and I still haven't seen any reference to her on any of the music sites I visit daily.  Well, here's your notice, because I think you may be hearing more about her soon.  I hope so, anyway, because I really enjoy her voice and music.

Coming In Hot is her debut album, just out last month, June 15, but she has put out a few EPs of earlier material and then songs off the album leading up to the release.  She is a self proclaimed 80's metal fan despite her very young age so that may explain why I find the music appealing, but judge for yourself.  There is a series of short videos of her giving some background, the first of which is here.  She is the daughter of an Italian father and Mexican mother, born in Boston, Mass.  That's interesting right there.  Below is her video for the upbeat and fun title track, but she also has videos for the songs Haunted, Had Enough, and the ballad I'm Sorry as well as several lyric videos and even a collaboration with current tourmates Bad Wolves.  That's a lot of videos for an artist's debut album,  She is obviously well-backed by someone who believes in her, or she's already six figures in debt at age 21.

Diamante - Coming In Hot
(I like that she includes us older guys in the video.  They still like to rock, too!)

And the ballad, I'm Sorry, is a very good song, but one thing bothers me about it.  She sings 'I wanna say I'm sorry' several times, but never actually says it.  She just says that she wants to say it, that's it, and that's not an apology.  Okay, I'm sorry, my OCD must be acting up...

And if you know me and my OCD then you know I love the live stuff.  When I found her website I saw that she played here in Madison a few weeks before the album came out and before I knew anything about her.  Bummer.  I did find one video of her full half hour set from a few weeks ago, and I've enjoyed it a few times.  Remember the name, I think she may get bigger soon.  Now play the show!

Diamante 6/27/18 Huntsville AL

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley
LLP 25 - Darkc3ll
LLP 26 - Dementia
LLP 27 - Rammstein
LLP 28 - Marilyn Manson LIVE
LLP 29 - The Harp Twins LIVE
LLP 30 - Diamante

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Meet The New Job, Same As The Old Job

20180714_210611I've never really discussed my job here on purpose, but I have mentioned over the last year or more how unhappy I was and that I was searching for another position.  Well, I finally found that other position - and with my current employer instead of starting over someplace else.  Last Monday I accepted a job that I used to have several years ago but was forced to leave the department back then due to the company losing a contract.  Technically, it is a lower position, and even though I was prepared to take a pay cut I will continue at my current rate, which is very nice. 

I begin my new job a week from tomorrow, and I can hardly wait.  It feels like a weight is being lifted from me.  I'll be working with most of the same group that I did back then, and that may be the best part as they are lovely people.  Making it through this last week in my current position will be the tough part.  Hopefully, less stress and worry will improve all facets of my life and I'll just be an overall happier person.  That's the goal, anyway.

I would love to elaborate, but this is not a place for me to discuss work.  I want my life outside of work to be free of thinking about work, and that includes sharing too much about it here. 

The picture has nothing to do with this, it was just my view last night as I sat by the fire.  It's just so nice and calming, watching the flames and getting lost in thought...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

American Idiot in the UK

If you haven't heard, there is a campaign in the United Kingdom to make the song American Idiot, by the band Green Day, number one on the UK charts to coincide with President Trump's visit.


I'm laughing already but I'll love it if it actually hits number one!

Friday, July 6, 2018


20180706_154629As of today I have enough firewood to last us for quite some time.  I've said earlier that the wood I scavenged won't be near enough with this new fire pit, so I looked online to buy some firewood in bulk rather than piecemeal and save some time, money and worry.  I'll still scavenge the downed limbs I see on the curbs when convenient but having enough on hand is comforting.  First of all, I planned ahead and ordered a rack for the firewood that arrived last week, assembled it last weekend (it can be glimpsed empty over at the last garden blog entry), and have it placed along the fence line near the fire pit, both for convenience and it was only one of two places seriously considered for the rack.

I found several places in my search for firewood, most similarly priced, but settled on this one.  I contacted them and ordered a face cord, 4' x 8' x 16" of stacked and split wood, 1/3 of a full cord.  It cost 159 dollars for kiln-dried mixed hardwoods, and it was delivered today while I was at work.  It took my wife and I the better part of an hour, but we got it all stacked, stored, and swept up.  The rack is 4' x 8' but the bottom is off the ground quite a bit so it wouldn't hold all the wood.  You can see some placed to the left that will be used up first, and also about the same amount as that in the garage with the other fire wood.  I also bought a 17" splitting axe to make bigger pieces smaller.  Yes, for firewood I'm all in at about 280 bucks for the wood, rack and axe.  The fire pit is about 170 bucks all in with accessories.  Um, maybe I shouldn't think of the money.

20180706_184548But it was very worth it for me, with my wife's support, to not worry about how much I'm burning or having to pick up smaller, more expensive bundles of wood for the rest of the year.  From what I scavenged last year I have enough for probably 2 conservative fires, now it's a worry I don't have and won't for some time.  Plus, just the enjoyment and how much more often and easily we can relax around a back yard fire pit is priceless.

Come on over.  Sit by the fire.  Let's talk awhile.  It usually ends up pretty okay!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Another (Last?) Bucky

As I ran errands the other day I saw the Bucky at Olbrich Park right by the road so I pulled off and took a few pictures.  This one is called Hip Buckster.  I almost didn't stop as the novelty has worn off for me.  See, I'd been using this picture of the Bucky "Grow" as a background on my computer at work recently.  A co-worker noticed and we briefly talked about it before this wanna-be goody-two-shoes pig we work with started gushing about collecting the Buckys.  This pig has complained about me and others several times at work, sometimes getting me into trouble, but is always so nice to me when she needs help or has a question.  I am disgusted with (and by) her and want nothing to do with her anymore and she pretty much knows it.  Since that original conversation she seems to have to bring it up to the group any time her family gets another one.  She disgusts me enough that it has seemed to ruin this for me, so I don't think I'll be going out of my way for any more.  I now have the four that are in my area, that's good enough for me.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Over 2 Days Offline - I'm Back!

20180629_172809I'm back!  Boy, I hate to say it, but I depend on the internet more than ever.  Wednesday I was off work for a medical procedure (befitting my latest age milestone), and that afternoon I had internet one minute and not the next.  After calling the ISP, they could see we could send and receive but there was no internet there for us.  Tonight a couple technicians came out, and after replacing some cables, connections and splitters, and also doing the same on the pole outside (seen here), we have internet back.  They don't even know what fixed it, but it's working again and I'm happy.

When I was young I used to know the television schedule for all 3 channels and what I liked every night of the week.  These days I read and watch what I choose on the internet and mostly use the television for news in the mornings, sports events, and just for background noise.  Plus, we have the living room lights, Petcube and Alexa gadgets that we use - all dependent on the internet and wifi.  We've had our phones, but it isn't nearly the same and uses up data, so it's good to be back in the 21st century!

Another thing to note, my wood rack arrived today.  I bought an 8' by 4' rack to hold a face cord of split firewood.  I have to put it together and plan on placing it between the lilac area and the tree stump area along the fence line by neighbor Dave.  Once complete, I will order a face cord of mixed hardwoods from a place I found for 150 bucks, delivered.  I still plan on scavenging wood to burn, and have already done so, but buying some firewood will make that urgency much less and we can have a fire, big or small, whenever we like without worrying about running out of wood or overpaying for small bundles at convenience stores.  This will just make for more relaxed and better fire pits, and that is just as it should be.  But not tonight, after the hottest day of the year so far!

Monday, June 25, 2018

On The Lake

Sunday we got out on Terry's boat for the first time this season (thanks Terry!).  It was a beautiful day out, bright and sunny though some clouds moved in later.  Not soon enough for me as I got a little more sunburned than I expected.  I was hoping to get a little color so took it easy on the sunblock and by that evening had turned a nice lobster color, especially my arms.  The water is high on Madison's chain of lakes, but there was not a 'no wake' rule on Lake Mendota like the other lakes, I've heard.


I don't feel like writing a whole lot right now, but as always, I took lots of pictures, the best of which are after the break. Do come take a look, but mind your step!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

One Minute Of Peace II

Just because it was so nice.                                                         The first One Minute Of Peace here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Big Stinky Flower


Thursday morning it was on the news that Olbrich Botanical Gardens had another corpse flower that was ready to bloom.  Yesterday morning they reported that it was in peak bloom, so while at work I decided I would stop by on the way home to see it and, of course, get pictures to share here.  I hear of this every few years, and they do have 4 of the plants so that makes sense because they only bloom every 7-10 years, I've just never taken the time to go see it before.

As I mentioned earlier, Olbrich has one of the 4 Buckys that are nearby so, while I had momentarily forgotten that fact, I couldn't miss it outside of the Bolz Conservatory, where the big stinky flower was.  This Bucky is simply titled 'Grow,' which is apt for where it is.  That's 3 Buckys down and only 82 more to go!  Realistically, we'll just have to wait and see how many I 'collect' by summer's end.  The next one will most likely be across the street from here at Olbrich Park.  Speaking of which, we have not been to the biergarten yet this year, but have heard that it is really very popular this summer.

20180615_154613Taken from Olbrich's websiteAmorphophallus titanum (Titan Arum), also known as the Corpse Flower, will only bloom four to five times during its 40-year life. Titan Arum are best known for their unpleasant odor - comparable to rotting meat.  This particular Corpse Flower, affectionately called Mori (which is the Latin word for "death") is an offspring of the Big Bucky Corpse Flower at UW-Madison, and last bloomed at Olbrich in 2009. The flower will only last a few days before it closes.

When I arrived there was hardly a place to park.  I was hoping to beat the after work crowd but there was people everywhere, mostly in the display and gift shop areas.  It was a two dollar donation to get into the conservatory and the lady informed me before I paid that the bloom had closed about a half hour beforehand.  No matter, I was there so I was going to go see it.  Thankfully there wasn't the lines like she said was there during the day and the day before that so I was able to pretty efficiently get in, see it, smell it, get some good pictures and be on my way in about 15 minutes or so.  I have been in the conservatory before but it has been probably since the early to mid 90's, shortly after the conservatory was opened if I remember right, I've been outside in the gardens a little more often.  This visit was a good reminder to get back sooner, and we really have no excuse with it being easily within biking distance.  And in wintertime the conservatory would be a great place to go when you're missing summer.

I managed to take quite a few pictures in that short amount of time so there's lots more to see after the break!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Another Bucky, Food Carts

No, I'm not going to post every time we ride bikes down to the food carts on Wednesdays.  Yes, I may post about each Bucky I 'collect.'  The good news for you is that there's only 4 of them within a short riding distance, then I'd have to branch out and go downtown and all across the city and county.

20160613_174358 bYesterday we rode our bikes down to Jackson Street Plaza again for dinner.  I took a video on the ride, but more on that later.  Friends Josh and Casey (and cute little Mabel!) came over for a fire pit briefly last weekend and we were going to meet them at the plaza last night but they had other important things come up, so maybe next time.  No worries, we'll most likely go down there every Wednesday the weather allows this summer.

20180613_174038We arrived shortly after it was supposed to start and there were only two of the scheduled four carts there, and while we waited a bit no others showed up.  Last week there were only three of four, so I was a bit disappointed again.  It was still pretty quiet when we arrived so I went a couple blocks further and got a few pictures of 'Bucky De Los Muertos' (Bucky Of The Dead) near Monty's Blue Plate Diner on Atwood Ave.  A cool design, and maybe a little easier on the eyes than the Bucky by the Goodman Center.  Here's the link to them all again, this time directly to the Bucky Interactive Map.  Sometime I'll have to make the ride all the way downtown to the capitol square.  I could easily get another 12 or 18 more Bucky's 'collected' on that bike ride, but then I may need to cab it home.  I say 'easily' but downtown on the isthmus may be the hilliest part of Madison.  I'm thinking we should get a bike rack for the car, then we can drive closer to ride, or else Kate can come pick me up when my legs run out of gas.

But for now we were at the plaza with Jakarta and Soho, two very Asian-American food carts and I've never been partial to Asian food.  We wound up crossing the street and having dinner at the Harmony Bar and Grill where I got a burger and fries.  Not a big deal as there are lots of restaurants in that area that we wouldn't mind eating at, including the aforementioned Monty's.

Earlier this spring I got a cell phone holder to put on my handlebars.  I usually put my cell phone in the basket but I'm always afraid I'll forget it there - and have in the past.  It holds it fairly firmly like you would need for navigation or something, but this time I straightened it up and took video of the ride from our house to Atwood, about six minutes is all the ride is per the video.  It's a vertical video - which I hate - and a crappy camera on my phone, so the video isn't the easiest to watch but it's the best I can do without getting a go-pro camera or something. 

I started down the sidewalk because a car was coming down the street.  After we crossed the first road we passed a neighbor, Lucky, but I'm not sure she recognized me when I said hi.  I purposely swerved the bike a few times to get things on the side of the path, like the splash pad at Goodman and the food carts when we arrived.  Have a look if you wish, but be warned - it is vertical, bumpy and the camera picture is wavy.  Delcatto, maybe it will inspire you to get your bike going!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June This-And-Thats

20180606_182155 bThere's a few things I want to touch upon today and a few pictures I want to post so, once again, it's time to start typing and see what comes out!
    20180603_125717 b
  • First off, I took the above picture last night down the bike path by Atwood Avenue at the Jackson Street Plaza.  Wednesdays are food cart night there this summer so we stopped down for dinner.  We chose Slide this evening, and will try the others as we go.  It didn't take much to fill us up, especially knowing we had to ride home.  Hidden in the back middle is the Chocolate Shoppe ice cream shop, what could should be a destination any day of the week this summer!
  • Speaking of riding bikes, I got out for a ride last weekend and got a picture of one of the 85 decorated Bucky Badgers that have been placed around Madison and Dane County.  You can see them all at this link.  This one, called Our Hearts Belong To Bucky, is at the Goodman Community Center.  Most of them are downtown and on the near west side, on the University of Wisconsin campus, but I hope to run into a few more around town by summer's end.
  • If you missed it, I commented two posts ago and updated my last post about my computer.  I tried to fix it and failed.  There's nothing left for me to do but to wait for Microsoft to ship a fix, and I do hope they will.  I'm still dumbfounded that I've seen nothing on the news about this buggy update.  My computer was 4 years old so while I considered taking it to a place to have fixed I ultimately decided I'd rather spend my money on a new computer.  I went to Walmart, of all places, because I'd heard that was actually a good place to get a computer - and I have a huge aversion to big box Best Buy.  I wound up getting a computer with specs very close to what I had for only $240.  Twice what it may have cost to have the old one fixed, but it will also last years longer, I'm hoping.  Getting a fix for the old one will just make it a back-up now.  Where's the public outrage?  Where's the communication from Microsoft?  I'm still very irked.
  • I got my second shot in back this morning since the first one about two months ago.  I have seen pretty steady improvement over the last several weeks, enough to consider postponement, but woke up feeling like a knife was sticking out of my left rump again yesterday.  Best to get it done and see if it gets me fully back to my normal state.  If this has little to no effect then my only realistic option is to live with it, as long as it stays manageable.  Presently, it's just not enough discomfort to justify cutting into my lower back for a third time.  It may take several days until I feel the full effect from this shot, however, so fingers crossed.
  • The fire pit is absolutely wonderful!  I really like having it and now find that I'm wanting a fire every weekend the weather allows.  I got out the chainsaw last weekend and cut the wood that I had stored from last fall and, well, I'm going to need a lot more wood.  With the old fire pit it might have been enough since it was a smaller size and a bigger deal having one.  Now, with the convenience and larger size, I may have to buy bundles of wood as we go this summer.  I've already put the hand saws in the car for scavenging but I've not see a lot of usable wood by the curbs yet this year.
That's good for now, but I hope to post another yard tour over at the garden blog yet today.  When I get that done there will be some blue words in that last sentence, click it!  There's also the Marquette Waterfront Festival happening this weekend so we may ride our bikes down there and enjoy some good food and music.

If you're here in town and not busy you're always welcome to inquire if we'll be having a fire on the weekends.  It's real easy to do now, and if you bring a bundle of wood you will be heartily welcomed!