Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monster of a Story

B'gosh, it's dead in the water. Oshkosh 'on the water' is about as dead as WOSH on a March day. To paraphrase that guy from Lake Wobegon: "March exists so that people who don't drink know what a hangover is like." The 20th of April sometimes feels like it's still March.

I was force fed WOSH for about five minutes one morning. It was like all you can eat for $1.99, but a dollars' worth was all I could stand! Then came some public service type ad from the National Chamber of Commerce spreading vitriol about union bosses taking money. The union bosses are about the only reason the common person has ever had any money. There ain't many left and the C. of C. wants to do away with all of 'em. I'm glad though about being force-fed WOSH. It reminded me why I never have that station on.

I've got news for the Chamber of Commerce. Oshkosh is dead in the water. Look around you. Foreclosures are up, people can't afford to bring their old houses up to code, and the students from the Milwaukee vicinity refer to the downtown area as a (whispered) slum.

'On the water' brings about as many tourists to town...Well. Let me put it this way: The Women's Sumo Wrestling Championships might be a better draw.

It's never been about what's 'on the water', it's about what lies below. 747's full of tourists from Scotland renting watercraft and sonar looking for the elusive monster of Lake Winnebago, teaching the locals down at Oblios the finer points of single malt Scotch, spending incredible sums of money in the local restaurants. This has got legs, at least the story does, and don't expect it to go away anytime soon.

Expect to see artists renditions of this lake creature(s) sometime soon at the Gallery Walk and I wouldn't doubt that sculptures will follow at major intersections, and contests in the schools. Don't forget the naming contest. My hands down favorite is:

Winney the Lake Winnebago Monster.

Would someone kindly tell the Chamber of Commerce to lighten up, quit spending money on ads that demean our citizens, and realize that we have the ($$$) largest inland lake ($$$) in the country to draw upon. If ya can't use the lake ya might as well sell it to the Saudis.

Can't you see Geraldo in a wet suit preparing to get to the bottom of this monster thing?

I have spoken about this to a couple of our local politicians but I won't divulge a thing until Wednesday after the elections.

In the meantime please remind young children not to get too close to the water lest the monster might get 'em.

Fishy Fact: The DNR claims that living organisms in Lake Winnebago exceed 200lbs. You can take that one to the bank.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fr. Carr's Place 2B

Father Carr's Homeless Shelter: number of people using the facilities in the past month.

Note that these numbers are not exact. They are not pinned down to the exact date. This is to allow users of the shelter to remain anonymous. If they were found to have 'leaked' information to someone outside the property they would probably be on the street within the hour. I use the Watergate style of collecting information, i.e. three separate sources as a rule and two sources if they have been 100% reliable in the past.

Men's Shelter...
Population: 14. Shelter capacity: 75.

Women and Children's Shelter...
Population: 7. Shelter capacity: 75.

Note that the women's shelter also houses a dozen nuns. They are from another country and are attending school in Oshkosh. I have it on good authority that the relations between the nuns and the women staying in the shelter is very stressed of late.

Father Carr has not been well. He was in the hospital weeks ago. One leg was amputated below the knee.

What follows today should be taken with a grain of salt.

I use track-back software on this blog. I don't hide it. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the number in the box. Stat-Counter tells me a lot about the readers of my blog. Much of it is rather mundane. Then again it brings more questions than answers.

About two weeks ago someone Googled this: ["father carr's place" oshkosh].

I 'drilled down' to get more detailed info...
Host Name:
IP number: 149.101.?.???

This computer is located in Potomac, Maryland. It was someone from the United States Department of Justice. They spent exactly 20 minutes and 40 seconds reading previous columns I had written about Father Carr.

What does this tell me? Someone from the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating Father Carr? Someone with ties to the Oshkosh area who works for the Dept. of Justice put Father Carr's name in the search engine while eating lunch and doodling at the computer? The latter one sounds more likely to me. Let's hope it isn't the first. (I do not wish to get that employee in trouble. I have the exact IP-number but entered 'question marks' for the last four digits.)

Like I said. Take it with a grain of salt.

What happens now? Tomorrow someone from the U.S. Dept. of Justice will Google [ u.s. dept. of justice ]. They will find this blog-post at the top of the list.

They will 'click' on it and read it.

Tomorrow night my trackback software will tell me they did.

So what and who gives a rat's behind?


Living Healthy Clinic Loses Grant

The UWO Living Healthy Clinic, located at Doctor's Court (off Bowen St.) was to receive a $150,000 'earmark' from the Federal Government. An 'earmark' is an amendment tacked on to the end of a bill. Earmarks may or may not relate to the main bill, but may appease a lawmaker. In this case Sen. Herb Kohl (D) pushed for the money.

I attempted to follow through on the bill (Health and Human Services #109-HR5647) and found that the Republicans had stalled it for three months. That was September 2006. I do not understand the web site well enough to proceed further.

At any rate I needed to go to the clinic, (an off-shoot of the UWO Nursing Program), the other day. A new sign graced the door...shorter hours. Another new sign: No New Patients.

I asked if they had received the 'earmark' and was told that they "were not going to get it after all."

I was also told that a lot of questionable pork-barrel type 'earmarks' still went through.

Folks. This is a damn shame. A lot of low income folks depend on this clinic.

My primary source today was Leona Whitman who very capably runs the clinic. Got a few thousand lying around? Got an idea for a fundraiser? Call the clinic at (920) 424-1242.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Iraq War: A Town Hall Forum

on the
Monday March 26
7:00 P.M.
United Steelworkers Building
1244A Midway Road
Menasha, WI 54952
Citizen Action Wisconsin
Don Wadle

Wisconsin in the News

I sometimes wonder what impression people in the other 49 states have of Wisconsin. At times I have posted or been picked up on a national blog. It however did not happen this time. All Hat No Cattle, which is in my link list on this page, is my favorite place to send items. Lisa, who runs this popular national blog, did not publish my blurb (below), but did reply personally via email.

All Hat No Cattle has had in excess of 12 and 1/2 million views! Lisa is currently running her site from an island south of Florida and recently was threatened with a lawsuit by Scarborough of MSNBC.

No comment on this from me. Read on...

From: Lisa
To: Gary
Subject: Re: Deer Sex / Superior, Wisconsin
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 11:12:04 -0700 (PDT)


Maybe we can get Dick Cheney to go hunting with him!

Thanks for writing.

Gary wrote:
Dear Lisa,
Please don't judge Wisconsinites by the actions of that fellow in Superior who had sex with a deer. The rest of us are holding our own just fine, thank you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

First Congregational to Remember War Dead

The 10:00am service at the First Congregational Church (UCC) on Algoma, Sunday March 25, will be musical in nature. Please click on the links to learn more.

A Service to Remember All Those
Who Die in War
A moving new Requiem composed just four years ago by Bradley Ellingboe will be presented here in our 10:00 worship service by our Chancel Choir, accompanied by organ Violin, and cello, with soloist Laurel Sanders.
The work includes the texts of John Donne's poem "Death Be Not Proud", "Psalm 22", the "Lord's Prayer", and George Herbert's poem "Evensong".
I am not a member of First Congregational. I believe this may be a very ambitious and provocative service, a service that other churches and musical groups might like to tackle. Visitors are always welcome at First Congregational.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On the Edge of Town

Spent some time west of town on the lake. Serene, calm, late winter provides a bleak landscape from which emerges signs of a brighter season. Went to feed the birds at sunup, but waited while three young healthy bambi's wandered through and foraged a bit. The deer were pretty against the backdrop of remaining snow, gentle and ever watchful. The bluejays were first, scaring away all others. Then the robins, cardinals, and yellow finches and more including gray squirrels working the ground under the feeder. All disappeared and when I looked to the sky I saw a red-tailed hawk and then a second.

My return around sunset brought with it a couple more deer who by straining their necks managed to eat what was left on the feeder.

Box-elder bugs are active in the house. I pick them up on paper and deposit them in the garage. They are so pretty with the orange-red markings on their wings. They resemble roaches but are inane and not scary at all. As a child I used to play with them and watch them for hours.

Spring is coming...sometime. An old jazz tune travels through my mind: "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most".


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Maybe a little crazy...

What's with the flags at half-staff again. They have been that way so much of the last four years that I don't bother to investigate. Speaking of that, another item I won't investigate is telescoping flagpoles. Every time flags are to be put at half staff it would be much easier to leave the flag right where it is and raise the pole twice as high. Think about how a car or boombox aerial works. Presto! Pole moves, flag doesn't.

Spring forward, Fall back. This will drop into obscurity. It's nowhere near Spring. How about: March ahead, Fall back? (A tip of the hat to Miles McGuire with March Forth i.e. March 4.) Here's an old Irish saying: March 17th, sleep 18th.

Daylight Savings Time is going to save energy? I think not. It will encourage more energy use before daylight and tease people who 'want to go buy something before it's dark out'. Yes. Burn more gas after work and buy more cheap plastic crap from Mall-Wart. My guess would be that if everyone stayed at home after work for the next three weeks and didn't spend any money, Daylight Savings Time would start later in the spring.

Heard on the streets...
  • Newcomer: You look familiar. Did you ever spend time in a mental institution?
  • Resident: ??? (shakes head while walking away)


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dick Cheney, Back to Work?

It doesn't surprise me that Cheney has a blood clot. What does is that the wire services said he returned to the office for the rest of the afternoon after learning this. I find this virtually impossible, highly improbable.

The medical name is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots usually form in the upper calf behind the knee. They slow down or cut blood circulation to the lower leg. A person feels only minor discomfort. The ankle may swell. A trip to a clinic or emergency room usually results in going through an ultrasound type test to pinpoint the clot.

Since pain is minimal the presence of a clot is more likely to raise the blood pressure of the medical personnel than the patient. The medical people know that at any moment the clot may decide to move northward in the body. If the clot chooses to move to the lung or heart area you may have a good chance of survival if you are in the hospital. If the clot chooses to move to your brain (aneurysm) you will become roadkill in under eight minutes.

I have been through DVT three times and know the procedure well. If the ultrasound is positive you do not pass GO, you do not collect $200, and you can forget even leaving the hospital to go to your car, or going home to pack a bag. The next step after the ultrasound is to lay down on a gurney or hospital bed with your feet elevated higher than your heart or lungs. This tremendously lowers the likelihood that the clot will move. You will remain on your back for about four days and not be allowed to even bring your legs down to walk to a restroom! Clots are not operated on. Blood thinners are administered orally and by I.V. until the clot begins to disintegrate on its own.

That Cheney claimed to go back to his undisclosed location to finish the workday is preponderous! This is proof to me that reporters didn't even do basic investigation. They could've asked an M.D., a nurse, a relative, an uncle, their own parents, or me! Do your own investigation. Contact a relative or friend who has gone through this and you can confirm what you are reading here. Cheney went back to work: BOGUS! The Northwestern took the wire service item and printed it verbatim in their new 'all the news fitted to print' format.

I looked for outrage about this on the web and found nothing. It could be that no one even cares or bothers to challenge the MSM. It is one more time that reporters take the bait and publish without doing the simplest of fact-checking.

So now Dick Lon Cheney will be on Warfarin (brand name: Coumadin). Warfarin is rat poison. It was invented in Wisconsin. WARF stands for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

In the 1930's farmers had cows bleed to death from eating spoiled clover silage. The UW Ag. Dept. in Madison figured this out, then put it to use. Warfarin was developed to kill rats and mice on farms. When the rats didn't die their blood became extremely thin. This info made it to the UW Medical School in Madison next. Soon they began using Warfarin in small dosages on humans. Warfarin is the most used blood thinner in the world and many buildings on the Madison campus have been paid for with residuals.

I would not be surprised if Cheney is kept on Warfarin the rest of his life. I am. I've been on it most of the time since 1994.

Warfarin has few side effects. One is use of alcohol. Alcohol thins blood and when combined with the blood thinner Warfarin you get a very quick and enhanced buzz. Someone who is on Warfarin should not drink their lunch and then go hunting quail with a friend. Warfarin, alcohol, and guns do not mix well. Ask Dick Cheney. You may have seen web chatter on this. I have personal knowledge of what happens when alcohol and Warfarin are used together. It's a fact.

A couple of Cheney's buddies from Halliburton are execs in the private company that has been running Walter Reed Hospital for two years. Yes! Walter Reed Army Hospital was outsourced to a private-for-profit corporation. Rats, mice, and mold greet our returning injured Vets. These two former Halliburton big-wigs are receiving $123 million in wages for basically gutting Walter Reed. They cut the number of employees there from 300 to 100 to SAVE THE TAXPAYERS SOME MONEY!

Oh, by the way: In an unrelated story...if the Bush Cheney REPUBLICAN bunch get their way and eliminate the death tax ONE FAMILY ALONE WILL RECEIVE A $32 BILLION TAX SAVING! That family is the one that owns Mall-Wart, the Waltons.

There you have it folks. Reporters who pass on Cheney lies as fact. Passive MSM. Former and present Halliburton employees who are hurtful to people in the armed services, the same Halliburton that Cheney ran for years. A Republican party which says 'support the troops' and has cut V.A. funds since 2000 in the name of 'saving the taxpayers some money'. Those taxpayers are some of the richest folks (Waltons) on the planet. Do you see your taxes being cut?

I find it hard to believe but there are still right-wing religious wacko redneck pickup truck loser wanna-be-Republicans who don't get it. Nothing is left-right. It's corporate / non-corporate.

The big question remains: Who will become President if Cheney dies?


(By the way...Why am I humming 'Werewolves of London'? Nevermind. It just dawned on me.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Gallery Walk Recap

But first...

First Tuesdays at First Congregational. Tuesday at noon. 'Flute Salad' is the musical offering. The mini-concert is followed by a soup and sandwich lunch with yummy desserts. The entire event is free and open to the public. If you are inclined, a goodwill offering is taken. Chef Sue Heft will direct some thirty helpers. They will not be named here but they are the stars in that they make it possible to enjoy the concert, eat, and be back to work at 1pm! THANK YOU HELPERS!

Last Saturday took me to Guten Tag as my first stop. I had been meaning to go there for three months. It is a large gallery on the 2nd floor at 316 Court St. Start at the New Moon, go east on Washington St. past the library and turn right. Gracious Tracy Heckel runs the gallery which features several artists. The high ceiling gives it an airy feeling, a 'good inside' feeling which brings out the best in the artworks. I was awed by the building itself. It is well over 100yrs old. The wooden floors are beautiful. A stage graces one end. Tracy told me it used to be a Labor Hall. I could visualize wedding dances from years ago. I was curious, went to the Oshkosh Public Library tonight and one of the crack Reference Librarians was able to direct me in finding details. It is a brick building, brick being common after the great fires of the latter 1800's. It was built circa 1890-93 and the first tenant I found was the 'Sons of Hermann' Lodge. The Son's of Hermann group began 1850 in Oshkosh and dissolved 1913. It was re-dedicated the Oshkosh Moose Lodge January 9, 1914. Much later it became the Building Trades and Labor Hall. The librarian told me of her first visit to the Labor Hall circa 1967 when Hubert H. Humphrey(D), Senator from Minnesota (and later VP) spoke there. 'Fact sheets', derogatory ones printed on pink paper were being passed around to insinuate that he was a 'pinko'. Such was life in Oshkosh at that time. At any rate the building and gallery is beautiful and tasteful, a delight to the eye, and I will be back. You do the same.

Jambalaya on Main again had some members of the soon to be famous Oshkosh Drum Circle and at one point featured a belly dancer. The Drum Circle is damn good. They should routinely be asked to open and take part in community events. Anybody listening?

I ended the night at Jacinda's Spa & Salon, 440 N. Main. They offer all manner of Salon services and have taken to the Gallery Walk like a duck takes to water. Stop there during the next 'Walk' and get introduced. You may want to make your next hair appointment there. They had live entertainment par excellence! A thirty year old fellow named Todd Bergquist. Todd is a relative of one of the beauticians. He is somewhere between James Taylor, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, and Boxcar Willie. Then again it's as if he is all of them at the same time. He has top notch sound re-enforcement and knows how to correctly use it: Bose. Martin is the name on his ax, a top notch acoustic-electric model. Intonation was perfect, a great voice, a sense of humor, a good ear for sound, and common sense in adjusting the volume to perfectly fit the room. Fine job Todd! Note: Every single person there was clapping their hands, singing along, yodeling, etc. with the exception of one young lady who sat in a barber chair, perfectly still, with a gloomy demeanor. What's up with her? She stuck out like a sore thumb.

Art is subjective. I don't often comment on artists and particular works of art. It's a very individual and 'point in time' feeling. I enjoy it. I am very comfortable writing about live music since I have a lifetime intense background in it.

Watch for upcoming columns on the Leach, Waterfest and more. I am not happy with PMI. Waterfest is good, but there is a lot of room for improvement. It will be offensive to some. I hope someone listens to this seasoned veteran.