Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Christmas celebration

We had a good visit in Platteville. We all stayed at Dan & Charity's except the Majerus's, who commuted. The drive down though was through rough weather. Sunday we rode around the Baxter property on their four-wheelers. Before returning home, we stopped in to see Austin & Margaret. This is a short and rambling post, because our computer is on the fritz, graphics card I think. Hope the picture looks OK.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sports reports

Tough Packers loss, good nachos. I made nachos for us, VonOepens and Craig Sackett to eat whilst we watched the Packers game. I tried making pico de gallo to go with the nachos. It turned out okay.

Kayla took 2nd in floor and bars tonight, and 3rd in beam and all-around.

Then we stopped to see Dad throw a few strikes on our way to get McNuggets.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


A young man from Sydney, Australia moved his family to Green Bay for the Packers season. I found a link to his blog in the Journal Sentinel.

Cold in Crescent

Friday night, Jamie and I went to the VonOepens and cooked patty-melts, Phil made homemade deep-fried french fries, and we shared a bottle of Woodland Trail Winery's Syrah. Kelly arrived after dinner with her Mom, we visited a bit, and then Phil showed me their new Wii videogame.
For the uninitiated, the Wii incorporates the player's physical body-motions (tennis swing, baseball pitch,...) into the action on the screen. The graphics quality is a little behind the times, but the feeling of physically acting within the virtual world on the screen is exciting.
We had a few beers, while we shot ducks and aliens, and threw curveballs and pulled doubles down the left-field line.
Shelly and Michaela showed up after the Hodag game, and we watched Escanaba in 'Da Moonlight.

Yesterday the kids and I went out to Mom & Dad's. I let my brain work on the best way to help Dad get his photos to display on his new 42" TV. I came up with:
  • I got them a half-Gig USB thumb drive
  • I showed him how to crop his pictures to 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Then we ran a few test runs. We were able to play mp3 songs over the TV, as a slideshow of full screen pictures rolled. Though not in sync with the music. He should be able to load a half dozen songs, and a few hundred pictures at a time; erase and reload for different occasions. And I showed him how to save and prepare a folder of pictures over time. He seems excited to share his work.

Also Mom and the kids made homemade bread, and we ate spaghetti and chocolate chip cookies. We played ping-pong, and the kids did wood-burning. (And Jamie did a little finger-burning.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And... it's still January

Saturday, we went to watch the Packers at the VonOepens, good time, good game.

Afterwards, we all went to the Claridge. Dickson's well failed, so they spent the weekend there, and invited us to visit. We patronized the bar, spent some time by the pool, ordered some pizza and watched the Patriot's game.

Sunday we made brunch and played pool and Catch-Phrase with Telly and ATL. And yesterday we all went swimming at the Y and got a treat at DQ.

Kayla had her first junior high gymnastics meet tonight, she took 5th on the beam, and tied for 5th on the floor exercise. Jamie had wrestling practice tonight. Shelly got a tattoo of her children's names on her ankle. And I carried firewood and made gumbo and cake.

Hoo-boy, keep on truckin'.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Man of the people

Today I spoke with Senator Feingold.

I've admired him for awhile now. A man who stands on the world's largest stage, and speaks (and votes) his principles.

Every year he visits every county in Wisconsin for a listening session. His website lists his schedule a few weeks beforehand. At the beginning of the summer, last year, I started watching to see when he'd be up here. I think he came up while we were Out West. Then he was coming up to Eagle River in the fall, but earlier in the day than my route goes through. But last week I noticed he'd be here on the 7th, so I took the day off to visit a part of politics I haven't been to before.

I got to the meeting room at the court house only five minutes before they started and had to stand in the threshold. There were others in the hall. 50-60 of us altogether. Young staffers handed us notecards to write down the topic about which we wanted to talk to the senator.

So when he asked, "Bernard Ronyak?" (he pronounced it correctly), I said, "Allow myself to introduce myself." No, just kidding.

I appreciate his defense of the People's right to know what their government is doing. I thanked him for"sticking his political neck out for us." And, doing my best to speak coherently in front of a crowd, I made him aware that I wanted him to keep a vigilant watch. (No I wasn't that eloquent.) As he did with many of the citizens before me, he quickly made me feel at ease, and a part of a conversation. He asked his regional coordinator to send me his recent work on this subject.

It was fulfilling to be a part of our representative democratic republic.

Be it resolved

I've never been one for resolutions. I'm either gonna do it, or I ain't. Calendar don't matter.

But I am trying to change some habits that have become a bit ingrained. I think I'm a fairly patient person; but when small changes in my routine irritate me as much as I've let them, I have to stop and look at myself. So with each revolution of the Earth, every time I drive my lasso-shaped loop through the Northwoods, I'm trying to look down the path I usually wouldn't walk. And if it looks passable, I'll take it.

It's all good.