Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

I can't see what will happen next year - I don't have 2020 vision (yuk-yuk)!

We're having a quiet night tonight, me on the youtube and her watching drunk anchors on CNN, which I must admit can be pretty entertaining (Anderson Cooper doing Jager shots!).  I hope to see midnight, but I've already caught myself snoozing so maybe not.

Goodbye 2019.  Hello 2020.  I still have a little hope left.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

I was looking back at what I've posted about Christmas in the past.  A lot of drivel, like this is, but I did once write out what Christmas was for me when I was young.  It was 2011, and you can read it here, or not.  Either way, I hope everyone has a great holiday.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Winter Solstice Fire Pit

I was lucky enough to have another one last night.  Second annual?  We'll see...

Wish you were here.  Happy Holidays, everyone.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Starkweather PFAS

A few days ago I posted about the new signs down by Starkweather Creek, which raised a few questions about PFAS.  A day or two later I was catching up on my newspaper reading and came across a December 11 article I missed that had some recognizable pictures of the sign and creek near our house.

Don't squint, you can read the (rather lengthy) Cap Times article here.

Basically, a mile or two north of here is the airport with Truax Field, home to the Wisconsin Air National Guard.  Adjacent are also two former firefighting training sites and a former sewage treatment plant.  The Department of Natural Resources has been after the Guard and the county to clean up the sites due to the high presence of PFAS, which are mainly from the firefighting foam that has been used in training for decades.  You can take from the article what you want, but it is the latest thing to get people excited and just one of many contaminants that has infiltrated our soil and groundwater.  Don't get me wrong, I agree that these man-made 'forever chemicals' cannot be good for us and I'm glad we have people such as the Friends of Starkweather Creek pushing for cleanup and reform, but I do not think they should try to get the public to panic.  And this is not just a local problem, this is everywhere.

This sign is one of about 30 that have been placed on Starkweather Creek at the beginning of the month.  It seems designed to scare people out of the water at the same time the city is encouraging its use, having added the steps and canoe/kayak slide just recently.

We've filtered our drinking and cooking water for a long time now.  We, as a species, have been poisoning our planet - knowingly or unknowingly - for a lot longer.  Yes, clean it up.  No, perhaps don't eat the fish.  But certainly don't panic or let this change how you live and enjoy your surroundings.  That's what I think.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Funeral Road Trip

We attended the wake and funeral for my mom's husband earlier this week.  I have a lot of friends and relatives that read this via email so I don't really want to discuss this a whole lot as I don't feel comfortable, other than to say he will be missed.  We have many great memories of him and are better for him being in our lives.  My heart goes out to my mom, whose life has just changed greatly.  We're here, mom, for anything you need.  RIP Dan.

The road trip to Dubuque is rather dull, especially now when all is brown.  There is the highway, hills and fields, over and over until you come upon the Mississippi River.  My wife, knowing I'd like the opportunity to take pictures, took lots of pictures for me as we came upon the mighty river.  Unfortunately both trips were overcast and dreary, as you will see.  I previously posted pictures of the Mississippi  a couple years ago under these blue words, and below are a few more of the scenic river as we crossed to and from Dubuque, Iowa, a few days ago.

And on the way back we get a view of the Platteville M, a large M on the side of a hill outside the city.  The M is for the old Mining School at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.  It is climbable to the top along a separate staircase, and is just whitewashed rocks.  In my youth and when I lived in the area it was a place to go park and drink with friends as it's just across the county line so no police usually came around.

More Mississippi pictures after the break!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Canoe Slide, Fall Fire, More

Here I go again, letting weeks pass with nary a word typed.  Yes, we've been a bit busy, and there are things happening that I'm not sure how to write about yet or even if I'm ready to write about yet.  But I do have some things to say today and the rest may wait for a while.

I was out for a walk the other day and I saw some new signs down by the Starkweather Creek canoe slide.  A warning about possible PFAS in the water - in 3 languages - and a small sign with instructions on how to use the canoe slide.  I still haven't seen the slide used, and I'm sure I won't until spring rolls around.  You can see the creek is iced over already.  We've not had a lot of snow since late October and early November, but we have had the cold temperatures with highs ranging from a bit above to a bit below the freezing mark, more below recently.  I'll put closeups of the signs after the break.

The last two Friday evenings it has been dry with temperatures right around freezing - good fire pit weather!  I had to start the fires about 4 in the afternoon as the sun goes down before half past these days.  And I noticed that rather than sitting I tend to stand around the fire when it's cold.  Closer to the rising heat, I guess.  Each fire may be the last for quite some time so I've been taking advantage.  One snowstorm and it will be months before it happens again.

We have a funeral to attend very soon.  My mom's husband passed away this week from cancer.  Quicker than expected, but probably for the best.  We're well, thank you, and my mom is holding up very good, but things will be very different for her.  Oh well, maybe more on this later.