Saturday, October 30, 2010

Put candy in this bag, OR ELSE!

took to the streets
today from 2 to 4 pm
and we invisibly saw them from our
downtown window
far above the scampering fray
trick or treating the storefronts
with gluttonous

Our Snickers mini-bars
safe and untouched
except by us
in a bowl on the counter

Another dream come true.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The light shines over Wis's shoulder........
Two more doctored photographs from the scissors and imagination of artist Willis Guthrie, performed in retirement at the Avalon, when he was only 82. See previous posting:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

..... they have vivid imaginations

Once upon a Christmas time
many years ago
there was not much money for gifts
for our two young children
So I went to the basement
and looked through the scrap on hand
There were four porcelain doorknobs
and some wood scraps
An empty aerosol spray can
a copper bell
a broken flashlight
and a 35 mm film canister
Thus was born the train engine
that rests in our spare room
for our kids now out in the real working world
They played with it very often, and it is part of why.....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Look what the raccoon dragged in

Dateline: On Feb. 28, 2000
I turned 64. That would make me 74 now. I wrote the above ode. Famed artist Wis Guthre, now 92 and living at the Avalon Square, took it upon himself to take the ode, and, in his paper-cutting augmentative way, added a birthday greeting on the heel. Click to enlarge.
The poem, in Wis's hands, formed the pasted-in frontispiece of a cut-out book of animal photos Wis gave to me for my birthday. His custom and metier is altering reality. And it is mine. Taking known things and making composites that stand for something else. Wis is the giant in that.
The poem onto which he tacked his heelish name was about the dual totem poles at my former residence. Pieces of them are still 'alive' here.
We ran across this book in sorting through books to go the second-hand bookstore. This one is a keeper. More than ever, it is a collector's item.
More pictures from the book will follow.

Totems, mere vestiges of their former selves......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Imagine that:

This morning
while Dee put on her shoes
in the first glow of day
I looked out the window
and saw the lovely Bay of Wisconia
where just last evening
the rolling Fox River was.
A ridge of mountains rose above the Wisconia
so newly formed
it doesn't have a name yet.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brussel table decoration at Dave's Cafe

Many people
are not aware of how brussel sprouts actually grow.
That was the case this morning when we met Mark Doremus for breafast at Dave's across the street from our penthouse home.
We'd been to the Waukesha Farmers Market before meeting Mark, where we bought a stalk of sprouts and laid it on the tabletop as a festive touch.
Mark showed the waitress, above. Other diners came to see.

It was a crisp morning, with our newly hung outside thermometer reading 40 degrees. Presently it is up to 62. Interior temp with no radiator augmentation was and is holding at an even 70. A good sign, perhaps, of our coming low heat bills?

The market merchants were drinking hot coffee and wrapped warm to hold back the shivers. Soon they will close up the Saturday morning market, but not for a precious few more weeks, and we will continue to take advantage of our ability to just stroll across the street to their site along the Fox River, where seagulls skim and happy gleaners gather.

See unobtrusive mini-thermometer affixed to bldg exterior. Marked in red. Dave's is at the brown awning, lower right.

Held to 1882 masonry with one little strip of Gorilla Tape (R)

Friday, October 15, 2010

More light

Main Hall, Lawrence University

News Release: Appleton WI 10-15-10

Waukesha woman, Erin Kate Dix, has been named new University Archivist and Assistant Professor at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI.

Dix is a graduate of Lawrence and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison this year, where she received a master of arts degree with a specialization in archives and records administration. She was appointed to Phi Beta Kappa when she graduated from Lawrence, magna cum laude, in 2008.

Dix is a graduate of Waukesha South High School, and attended Hadfield Elementary and Horning Middle School.


and then

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still down there

Raccoon spotted recently entering a Waukesha sewer grate
reports SRN correspondent

While gathered here at the Sewer Raccoon Headquarters yesterday, animalist Hawk Mahoney reported that he saw not long ago a raccoon at Newhall Ave (RR crossing bridge) and West Ave, scrambling into a sewer grating.

He was under unstressed oath to tell the truth, for he sat beneath the eagle feather attached to the gong at our dining room table. In the proximity of said feather, only the truth may be told. This feather, for readers concerned about the legality of our having it, came to our possession many years ago as a gift that daughter Laurie in Alaska mailed to us here in Wisconsin.

Laurie worked at that time at a raptor rehab veterinary hospital. The magestic bird had been gunshot by an Alaskan hunting fool, and lost the feather in the healing process while under the clinic's care.

The bird survived and returned to the wild.

Truth be told

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This may be the solution:

Op-Ed Columnist
Third Party Rising
Published: October 2, 2010

A friend in the U.S. military sent me an e-mail last week with a quote from the historian Lewis Mumford’s book, “The Condition of Man,” about the development of civilization. Mumford was describing Rome’s decline: “Everyone aimed at security: no one accepted responsibility. What was plainly lacking, long before the barbarian invasions had done their work, long before economic dislocations became serious, was an inner go. Rome’s life was now an imitation of life: a mere holding on. Security was the watchword — as if life knew any other stability than through constant change, or any form of security except through a constant willingness to take risks.”

It was one of those history passages that echo so loudly in the present that it sends a shiver down my spine — way, way too close for comfort.
I’ve just spent a week in Silicon Valley, talking with technologists from Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn, Intel, Cisco and SRI and can definitively report that this region has not lost its “inner go.” But in talks here and elsewhere I continue to be astounded by the level of disgust with Washington, D.C., and our two-party system — so much so that I am ready to hazard a prediction: Barring a transformation of the Democratic and Republican Parties, there is going to be a serious third party candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her — one definitely big enough to impact the election’s outcome.
There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline.
President Obama has not been a do-nothing failure. He has some real accomplishments. He passed a health care expansion, a financial regulation expansion, stabilized the economy, started a national education reform initiative and has conducted a smart and tough war on Al Qaeda.
But there is another angle on the last two years: a president who won a sweeping political mandate, propelled by an energized youth movement and with control of both the House and the Senate — about as much power as any president could ever hope to muster in peacetime — was only able to pass an expansion of health care that is a suboptimal amalgam of tortured compromises that no one is certain will work or that we can afford (and doesn’t deal with the cost or quality problems), a limited stimulus that has not relieved unemployment or fixed our infrastructure, and a financial regulation bill that still needs to be interpreted by regulators because no one could agree on crucial provisions. Plus, Obama had to abandon an energy-climate bill altogether, and if the G.O.P. takes back the House, we may not have an energy bill until 2013.
Obama probably did the best he could do, and that’s the point. The best our current two parties can produce today — in the wake of the worst existential crisis in our economy and environment in a century — is suboptimal, even when one party had a huge majority. Suboptimal is O.K. for ordinary times, but these are not ordinary times. We need to stop waiting for Superman and start building a superconsensus to do the superhard stuff we must do now. Pretty good is not even close to good enough today.
“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country,” said the Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond. Indeed, our two-party system is ossified; it lacks integrity and creativity and any sense of courage or high-aspiration in confronting our problems. We simply will not be able to do the things we need to do as a country to move forward “with all the vested interests that have accrued around these two parties,” added Diamond. “They cannot think about the overall public good and the longer term anymore because both parties are trapped in short-term, zero-sum calculations,” where each one’s gains are seen as the other’s losses.
We have to rip open this two-party duopoly and have it challenged by a serious third party that will talk about education reform, without worrying about offending unions; financial reform, without worrying about losing donations from Wall Street; corporate tax reductions to stimulate jobs, without worrying about offending the far left; energy and climate reform, without worrying about offending the far right and coal-state Democrats; and proper health care reform, without worrying about offending insurers and drug companies.
“If competition is good for our economy,” asks Diamond, “why isn’t it good for our politics?”
We need a third party on the stage of the next presidential debate to look Americans in the eye and say: “These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am going to tell you what you need to hear if we want to be the world’s leaders, not the new Romans.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Amazing British kid can speak English in 24 accents. Give a listen:


We especially like the New York and Appalachian renditions.......Indian also, but all good. Excuse the profanity.