Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gallery Walk December 2, 2006

It's that time again! The holiday edition of the popular Art Walk. This Saturday 6-9pm. If you have never been there (shame-shame), come to the downtown area by the sundial and wander in any place with the lights on. Most galleries have maps. Take that map and proceed to visit some of the thirty locations.

Galleries farther north on North Main are opening at 5pm and provide a good starting point. Work your way south on North Main and leave some time to go over the bridge and visit the south side galleries.

Remember that artwork and sculpture might make a perfect present. Jacinda's Spa and Salon, 440 N. Main will be open. Ask for a tour. They have Gift Certificates!

The New Moon Cafe has Jason Moon entertaining during the Gallery Walk. Bring the kids. Have a warm beverage and check out the latest artwork on the walls. Jason Moon has a great voice and message.

The Oshkosh Bead Market has a new selection of Christmas beads and for those who don't have the time they have put together a selection of Pre-made Boxed Jewelry.

Around the corner from the Bead Market is Sweet Usoapia. A nice selection of aromatic Gift Bath Sets will tempt you.

The Salvation Army hopes to have bell-ringers present Saturday evening. If you would like to ring bells for an hour call Jim at 232-7660.

Look for your's truly at the keys Saturday morning at the New Moon and if you say 'Hi' be prepared to drop something in the Salvation Army Kettle right in front of the piano.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bell Ringers Urgently Needed

Get out the long undies, mittens and scarves, and your Santa hat!

The Salvation Army needs volunteers to ring bells. If you or a group of friends can give a few hours to charity it would be greatly appreciated. Do it once, do it once a week. Do it as your schedule allows.

PLEASE CALL JIM: (920) 232-7660

Remember that all money collected in Oshkosh stays in Oshkosh. The Salvation Army makes very wise use of their funds.

Bell Ringers are needed downtown for the Gallery Walk Saturday December 2. Call today!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Deer Hunting, Killing Cats, and Blowing up Frogs

If ya can't laugh at yourself, poke fun of other people! That's what a guy used to tell me and that's what I'm going to do today.

Deer Hunting...

Age 79, suffering from dementia, search party finds hunter lost since Saturday. What's an old fart like that doing with a loaded gun? Would you like to meet him in the woods? Might he be a WWII vet who could possibly suffer from a flashback? Maybe we could pair this fellow with Vice Chancellor Dick 'Lon' Cheney for an afternoon in the woods after a light lunch and a few martoonies. Can you imagine trying to follow them around with a video camera?

Kittens 'Just Psycho'...

There's no byline on this item in the Oshkosh Northwestern. The article could run as-is in The Onion. Congrats' to the reporter. It takes special talent to write for The Onion and you may have a future there. I'm not sure exactly what 'good writing' is, but I know it when I see it.

Saw a couple of letters about these kittens in the Northwestern last week, good letters I might add. They brought out good points: recognizing the link between violence against animals and violence against humans, which brings me to the next story...

Blowing up Frogs...

It works like this. You put the firecracker in the mouth or any other orifice you happen to find, light it, and toss that frog as high as you can in the air. This is what George Dubya Bush did as a child in Texas. He didn't do it once. He and his friends did it many times. I've linked one for your viewing enjoyment. The other 25,000 mentions of this activity can be found here.

As a child of 11 or 12, maybe younger, I took a Scouts NRA safety course, wandered down the street with my new BB-gun and about three blocks from home started shooting at songbirds sitting on the telephone wire. One of the neighbors down that way called my parents. My dad, very calmly and in a pleasant way, taught me about the morality of killing anything. I never shot another bird and learned to respect and enjoy all animals.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reverend Billy and Shopocalypse

Wash your hands and say yer' prayers, cause germs and Jesus are everywhere. -Kinky Friedman

Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping is my present church home. The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir is shouting Amen!

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the target (Did I say Target?). That's the day when you can join Rev. Billy, the choir, and yours truly, and many more in not shopping. Don't spend money on Friday. Revolt! Don't take the bait. Stay home, visit a friend, take your lunch to work. Don't spend a dime!

Make sure the car is gassed up on Wednesday. Purchase what you need beforehand and spend no money anywhere on Black Friday. If you can: Make it Friday and Saturday.

Wouldn't it be nice if the mega-retailers had a bad weekend following Thanksgiving. Prices would drop more in the following weeks.

I have practiced this type of consumerism for years. I even hand-draw Christmas greetings one at a time.

All across the country revolts will happen in Mall-Wart and other selected locations. It might involve pushing an empty cart around a store for a couple of hours, or possibly filling one to overflowing, leaving it in an aisle or telling the checkout person you left your wallet in the car. This is sometimes given the name Commerce Jamming.

You can learn more about Black Friday at the Adbusters site.

More than you'll ever need to know about Rev. Billy can be found at The Revealer, a daily review of religion and the press.

Will something happen in Oshkosh? I don't know yet. Send me a note and I'll let you know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Donna Lohry's remarks to the Winnebago County Board

The Northwestern has declined to speak to this thus far so it is being posted here...

Text of Winnebago County Board Supervisor Donna Lohry¹s remarks to the
Winnebago County Board November 14, 2006, with regard to Resolution
112112006, Support Repeal of Recent Amendments to Section 59.10(2) and (3),
Wisconsin Statutes (County Board Redistricting).

Mr. Chairman, I¹d like to say a few words to the viewing audience. This is
a contentious issue, but given this law was conceived and birthed in
Winnebago County, I feel it is Winnebago County¹s duty to address the
frailties in it, as it now affects the entire state.

Our friends and neighbors can be commended for their diligent work in
gathering signatures calling for referendum. As a life-long advocate, I can
appreciate their dedication. However, this is an assault on County
Government, our most basic and personal form of democracy. It is County
Government to which we turrn when ills fall upon us.

Now to address this particular law and its shortcomings:

It uses a predetermined arbitrary number that seems to be neatly selected at
one half in order to meet the balance of constitutional law requirements of
one person-one vote. It is difficult to redistrict mid-census because whole
wards in existence at census time cannot be separated when trying to

This is another unfunded mandate which ignores the cost of manpower.
Approximately one month¹s salary for a cartographer plus County Clerk¹s
staff. Referendums can run as high as $4,000.

The Statute allowing the referendum for a cut in the county boards
completely neglects the fact that redistricting will once again occur in
2010 and more redistricting under the new law can occur as early as two
years after that in 2012.

The likely effect of this statute could result in a continuous folding of
rural town districts into districts populated by city residents, thus
minimizing town input in County Government, despite the fact that County
Government provides many services to town residents which are traditionally
provided to city residents by their City Government such as zoning, public
health, police protection, land and water services.

But most importantly there is no recourse to correct any error if a Board is
reduced and then found to be dysfunctional. There is no safety net until
the 2010 census.

For these reasons I ask passage of this resolution so the entire State can
evaluate and decide if this law is worthy to stay on the books. Small sized
government boards or councils do not appear to work any better than larger
ones that have more voices. Thank you.

The resolution to ask the State to repeal the law is at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Father Carr's Place 2B Homeless Shelter

I have been asked lately why I haven't written about Fr. Carr's. My number one source of information recently died. I am getting some bits and pieces but not enough to warrant writing a column.

I can say that there were about ten people in the men's shelter 10 to 15 days ago. That is much better than two or three 2-years ago. Note that Fr. Carr has 75 rooms for men and another 75 for women and children. I have no information on the women's shelter. Also note that in the last year reported, Fr. Carr had collected $1.1 million!

There is a wonderful article in the Appleton Post Crescent, Nov.16, 2006, about the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley. You can read it here. It is a seventy-five bed facility at the max, and 65 people are currently housed there. It is full for all practical purposes and has a waiting list. The Appleton shelter was running a $200,000 shortfall in June and has been trying to catch up ever since. The J.J. Keller people have generously given a $50,000 challenge grant.

The Salvation Army shelter in Appleton is not in operation at this time. No reason given.

There you have it folks. The Appleton shelter is busting at the seams and apparently spending money on clients. The shelter in Oshkosh has twice as many rooms and is virtually dark at night.

I don't know quite what to say folks. If you or your church is planning on doing something for the homeless in Oshkosh you can contribute to the Christine Ann Center. Two more suggestions. The Captains at the Oshkosh Salvation Army have found ways to put people up. Father Steve from the Episcopal Church also has helped folks in a pinch. Consider those places for donations.

The St. Vincent de Paul Store on Bowen also works with the Red Cross on housing.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Al Jazeera to debut 24hr News Channel in English

Al Jazeera just celebrated its 10th anniversary. On November 15 the English speaking television news channel will debut worldwide. It was a bit of a mystery to most of us until the English version website became common. I have that site linked to your left.

I have always looked to Al Jazeera English as just one more place to find news on the web. That all changes this week. The new English television version will have four main broadcast centers. One will be in Washington D.C.

Don't look for Al Jazeera quite yet on local cable. I frankly don't know how many are going to call Time Warner locally and exclaim: "We want our Al Jazeera!" The cable system certainly has room for it... right alongside CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest.

France is debuting a 24hr news channel ( in French), and the Danes are right behind them. India, with three times the population of the United States, has 32 TV-news channels.

You can click here to view Al Jazeera's official news release, and here to learn another perspective.

The Al Jazeera English website, linked at left, will change in the coming weeks and months as they work hand in hand with the new news channel. Streaming video is one of those. I like the cartoons on the lower left of the website. They run up to a minute and each tells a story.

Do I fear Al Jazeera. No.

I fear FAUX News and Drivel and would trust Al Jazeera over Fox any day. 'Fox News' -is a contradiction in terms.


Train Death early Sunday morning

Jack Peterson was the fellow who was hit by the train. This developed from a conversation at the American Family Table Restaurant about 6am Sunday morning.

I knew Jack. He was one of those folks who wandered the streets of downtown. He was a quiet person who kept to himself most of the time, had mental issues, lived on token disability payments, and most recently lived at a rooming house on Broad Street. On occasion Jack would drink. Put that together with the time, bar closing time on a Saturday night, and Jack may have been coming from someone's house or a tavern. I bounced around the 'suicide word.' No one thinks that. The prevailing thought is that he tried to beat the train.

Jack was a nice person and went out of his way to help people at times. He would become confused and paranoid if he drank.

I understand that he was dragged a block or more along Washington to Waugoo Streets.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Politics, Warren Kraft, John Gard, Russ Feingold, Tommy Thompson, and Alfred E. Neuman

Warren Kraft still doesn't get it. The word arrogance has been used elsewhere. It's worse than that. He's figuratively 'flipping the bird' at the Wisconsin Attorney General's office. The only assumption can be that meetings are open and not the other way around. I wrote about this in late February and I stand by it. You can read it here.

John Gard did something no politician should do. Politicians make mistakes. Garrison Keillor used one before the election. It goes something like this: Never, never, never tell the voters that you are going to turn over a new page in politics next year. Back to John Gard now. It wasn't anything Gard said. It was something he did. Someone shot a picture of him in the back of a limo holding a can of beer. The darling of the Christian Right Wing drinking beer? No! It wasn't the beer. It was much worse than that. It was the brand of beer. It was that cheap rice beer made in Saint Louis. Missouri you say? Yes!

You can't run for political office in Wisconsin, talk about bringing jobs and industry to the state, and have your photo taken with an out-of-state beer in your hand! That pretty well wraps it up for Mr. Gard. Go here to see the photo.

Russ Feingold has announced that he will not run for president in 2008. It's all over the news. I think the more important news is about Tommy Thompson. Tommy's going to take a crack at the 2008 presidential race. He was in Iowa last Saturday for the Badger Hawkeye game. He was shaking hands with as many Iowans as he could. You can read about it here in the Capital Times.

Neither Russ Feingold nor Tommy Thompson will become president. Get used to it. Russ is a Jew. Tommy an Irish Catholic.

Presidents are older white males who can trace their roots to England. They don't call England the mother country for nothing. There are few presidents who don't fit this mold. Two had the last name Roosevelt. They were of Dutch ancestry. Another one was an Irish Catholic named Kennedy. He was murdered. Reagan was Irish but that was different. He was non-Catholic, in fact he rarely ever went to church.

A woman for president. Who's kidding who? A person of color?

Nothing will change until enough of us force that change.

I would like nothing more than to see retired General Powell and Barack Obama lead the major tickets in '08.

I don't want to end this on a bad note. Please go here to see the best use ever for that t-shirt that says: I'm With Stupid.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

HOLIDAY PARADE Saturday November 11, 2006

Be downtown on Main or on Oregon St. for the annual Christmas Parade at 10am Saturday. About ninety units are expected to entertain us. The weather forecast as I write this calls for sunshine, 33 degrees, and a 10-12mph breeze. There should be snow on the ground left from Friday afternoon. Perfect weather for a Wisconsin winter parade!

The New Moon Cafe at 401 N. Main St. by the Sundial and Cranky Pat's Pizza on the 100 block of North Main will be open to accomodate everyone looking for a hot beverage and a place to warm up. The Baer brothers who own both of these establishments will also feature entertainment before and after the parade.

The entertainers are donating their services to help kick-start the Salvation Army Kettle and bell ringing season. Salvation Army Kettles will be present at both the New Moon and Cranky Pat's.

Note that all monies collected in the Kettle Campaign are used locally in Oshkosh. Every penny!

Yours truly will be on the piano at the New Moon for this event so you can donate to the Salvation Army and personally complain about postings you see in this blog.

Congrats goes to the Baer brothers who are committed to local charities and the community at large.

A big thank you to everyone associated with the parade.

To the rest of you...


Laptops & Lattes / Oshkosh Public Library

Many of you are aware that I do all of my blogging at the Oshkosh Public Library or UWO Polk Library. I am not among the ranks of those who can afford home internet service. The Oshkosh Public Library has recently instituted a new service for those of us who are constantly half-a-cup-short.

Patrons can now bring in a cup of coffee or a 'pop', as many of us say, to keep the caffeine level up. They suggest containers which are capped with the small openings on top. Snacks are also now allowed. Pizza deliveries and meals are not.

Here is the link to their site.

Acetaminophen Recall

Eleven million bottles of generic Tylenol have been recalled. Note that brand name Tylenol is not affected. You can read the article from CNN here.

A list of stores and wholesalers can be found here. Some names I immediately recognize: Walmart, Woodmans, Super Valu (i.e. Festival Foods), Roundy's (i.e. Copps and Pick & Save), Piggly Wiggly, Kwik Trip, and Dollar General.

If you have the bottle handy you can check this site against the numbers on the bottle.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Go Gordon Go

It's good to see that Gordon Hintz won. His Democrat affiliation will give him flexibility and freedom of thought that no Republican would have.

My advice to Gordon:

Do your best to comfort the afflicted.
Afflict the comfortable.

Along with that make sure you keep in contact with John Nichols. John is co-editor of the Capital Times and writes for The Nation Magazine. John has an Oshkosh connection. His sister runs the Red Cross here in Oshkosh. John is always interested in what's happening in the valley.

Be damn careful of the lobbyists. Do not let them overtake your agenda. Your agenda should remain the needs and wants of the folks in and around Oshkosh.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Not Quite the Same Old Story

There's nobody worth voting for.

They're all crooks.

It's a choice between worse and worser.

The Democrat and the Republican are just like each other.

I'd vote if I thought my vote would make a difference.

We are all influenced by media. That will be the focus today.

Newspapers and TV are dealing with a very outmoded set of presumptions when they report on politics. This leads to disinteresting blandness from the reader's vantage point.

The presumption, ongoing for at least a century, is that politics is left / right, Democrat / Republican, with a 3rd party thrown in for amusement once in a while. It may have been that way for a while but certainly is no more.

The Republican Party is not a party of people. It is a party of faceless corporations.

The Democrats are a party that is 70 to 80% controlled by faceless corporations.

It's similar to asking someone who owns the Kansas City Chiefs, who owns the Chicago Bears, or the Atlanta Braves. Name the principal owner of Target Stores.

Politics is the ultra-rich versus the really disgusting ultra, ultra rich; leaving the poor and the rapidly disappearing middle class to watch from the sidelines to see which group of workers in this country will take the next hit...losing their health insurance, having their pay halved, or losing their jobs.

Many voters, come election day, hold their noses and complain about no choices. They're right. There is no choice between corporation X and corporation Y. They're both going to take the money and run.

The media person, the Northwestern reporter for instance, if told to interview candidates for an office, would immediately interview the Democrat and Republican assuming there would be a difference when in reality the reporter is interviewing the pawns of Corporation XY.

$250,000 is being spent on a job which Ms Leschke or Mr Hintz will have for a few years. The person that wins will have to immediately start raising money to fend off issue ads and recalls from the corporation that lost.

The reporter needs a new set of presumptions. Throw the old ones out the window, challenge the status quo, and change the rules. Reporters should ask readers for questions, then dog the candidates repeatedly for answers.

Glossy answers will come forth from the corporate candidates, who should be given that title, and down to earth answers might come from non-corporate candidates.

The newspaper would be much more entertaining if the reporter used wealth and poverty to describe candidates opinions. Right now they try to distinguish wealth from wealth which leaves a bunch of apathetic non-voters on the sidelines complaining about 'nobody to vote for.'

Sunday, November 05, 2006

News by the Numbers

A check of news sources and blogs tonight shows them making comparisons of dead people and their relationship to George Dubya Bush and his partner in crime Saddam Hussein.

I'm not going to make those comparisons. You are. I'm going to provide the numbers. You the reader can make any inference or interpretation you like.

140-plus: The number of dead Saddam is convicted of killing in his 9-month trial which will result in his death by hanging.

155: The number of people executed in the state of Texas during the reign of Governor George Dubya Bush.

655,000: The estimated number of Iraqis killed, most of them violently, since George Dubya Bush decided to illegally invade Iraq.

3,000: The number killed in New York City by some renegade without a country who was hiding in Afghanistan. I think his name was Osama.

My sole comment...

Hussein will hang. George and Osama are hiding under your bed.

Write In RON HARDY for County Clerk


Join me in writing in Ron Hardy for County Clerk of Winnebago County.

Note that Sue Ertmer is running unopposed for County Clerk. Note that Sue Ertmer wholeheartedly endorsed spending Hundreds-of-thousands of Dollars for the flawed Diebold voting machines which didn't work properly in the September Primary Election.

Sue Ertmer was informed by many people that Diebold machines had problems and could be hacked in a minute by a high-schooler. She was asked to take a wait-and-see attitude but instead went full-steam ahead in spending taxpayer dollars.

Many in the community opposed this, not just Ron Hardy. Since Sue Ertmer is running unopposed chances are high that Ron Hardy won't affect the election.

Writing in Ron Hardy's name for County Clerk is a great way to send the message out about the flawed Diebold voting machines and the rushed bad decision to spend all that money on them.

On Tuesday
Write In

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wedgies for Julie Pung Leschke

I have never met Julie Pung Leschke. I'm sure she is an engaging, polite, and bright person. I feel sorry for her. It's hard to look in the mirror and see an elephant.

You can vote Republican, but you can't be one.

Does the elephant always remember?

Keep in mind that conservatives kept women from owning property for centuries.

Keep in mind that black males were given the right to vote a half century before women. Liberals helped women gain that right circa 1920. It's the conservatives in our society that are responsible for the longstanding practice of keeping women's wages below mens thus keeping most women from owning property.

It's conservatives who maintained that condoms could only be sold by a pharmacist, (under the counter), who could demand proof of marriage. That ended in the late 1960's when truck stops along the I-system sued to allow condom machines in their restrooms. One Republican state rep. even asked: Where are we going to get the boys we need to join the Army?

Fast forward to 2006 and the conservatives want to limit stem cell research. In generations to come the stem cell thing will look as stupid as the condom idiocy in the latter 1960's. Do you want to be a part of that Julie Pung Leschke?

Here's a classic Republican 'cut taxes and save the government money strategy': Cut the $10 to $15 food stamp stipend to folks on S.S. Disability and give another tax cut to the rich. This just doesn't cut it Julie!

The Republicans have been in charge nationally since 1994. Have we lost jobs to other countries? Have real wages gone up? Has health care become more affordable?

This is where the 'WEDGIES' come in... (i.e. How to get people to vote against their best interests).


  • Abortion. Instead of fixing potholes, improving wages, fixing bridges, etc...Let's get people fired up over an issue best left to a woman and her Dr. Does anyone really believe that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant?
  • God. Foget God. Leave that for the churches. Just fix the potholes please.
  • Guns. Republicans named Brady and Bush passed the big bill I remember. Please fix the potholes. Don't mess with guns.
  • Gays. Wisconsin law already prevents gay marriage. What's the problem? Please fix the potholes.

Julie Pung Leschke. If you win you will be stuck with these wedgies. Deviate even slightly and you may suffer the fate of Kathleen Harris.

Being Republican means that any entity with 'Corp.' at the end of its name owns you.

Wisconsin has some of the highest personal taxes in the nation.

Wisconsin has some of the lowest corporate taxes in the nation.

If elected you will have to serve your corporate masters.

Now please excuse me while I go regurgitate.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 4th Gallery Walk, An Update

There are THIRTY ONE galleries listed on the map for this month's Art Walk! This may be some sort of a record! It's great news, kudos to all who are involved in this community event.

Everyone has their own approach to the Gallery Walk. Today's column will speak to one which I would never try, but admire from a distance. There is a small dedicated group which takes the Gallery Walk as an endurance test...with the clock running. The aim is to be present at each and every gallery in the allotted three hour time limit (6-9pm). It becomes more like a Gallery WALK-RUN! I find it amusing and I do envy them although they miss something in the process. Nuances are missed. One cannot assess the mellifluous meanderings of an artist with a short walk-through.

(Mellifluous: I had to work that one in. Jody from the Side Street used that word in a recent posting. I liked it. I hope she's copacetic.)


Spectators and runners alike will receive an extra hour Saturday. Pedestrian Arts at 664 N. Main is celebrating their 16th Anniversary with an open house that begins at 5pm. With that in mind start slowly on North Main and work your way south toward the bridge. Movin' Shoes, 511 N. Main always has some interesting items by UWO students. A highlight this month is a 'Huge Art Sale' -Edsel LaBillois, at the Art Space Collective, 7 Merritt Ave. Jacinda's Spa and Solon, 440 N. Main is having a Fashion Show (Kelly Gierach). Jambalaya Co-op, 433 N. Main, is consistently interesting, month after month.

The New Moon Cafe has live music. Jenna Larson is showing at Limelite Studios, 101 Algoma Blvd. You be the judge: Will Jenna's art or Jenna's baby get more attention? Upscale Resale on Market decided some months ago to be open for every gallery walk. Other stores are beginning to take note and see the potential for business. Upscale Resale always has good treats too!

Two new stops are Madqueens at 115 Washington Ave. and Guten Tag Studio and Gallery, 316 Court St. (Leslie Trewyn). Atomic Katz, 17 Waugoo St, is celebrating their 3rd anniversary.

Going down Market St. the Oshkosh Bead Market will be open. Sweet Usoapia is music to one's nose and the Sparr Gallery is a treat to the eyes. The lower level of the Sparr Gallery is not to be missed, especially this time of year.

Don't get tied down to the north side of the bridge. Special mention to the four galleries on the near south side. 6th Avenue Arts, 601 S. Main, Oswald Photography at 615 S. Main. Also the Gallery at 8th & Main at that same address, and the Blue Room Studio at 800 Oregon St. (Alex Becerra and Cal Jones).

If the Gallery Walk gets much larger it could become the Gallery Walk-Run. If anyone chooses to try this I will be happy to post the results, the trips-falls, best wine, best treats, etc.

Weather, as I write this, might include snow. I love walking in the first snow of the winter. If you choose to rest and relax after 9pm I would suggest Oblios on N. Main and Brooklyn on S. Main.