Saturday, March 5, 2011

First batch of maple syrup

I tapped the tree last Saturday and then it got cold. With the days in mid 30s, I was getting very little flow. I got to not paying attention and the dam burst yesterday. From just a trickle with an inch and a half depth in my 2.5 bucket, when I checked last night, it was over flowing. I filled my 8 quart kettle and left it simmer over night. No sense getting it too humid in here. I woke to a very pleasant smelling house this morning. Adding the remainder of the bucket of sap water, I turned up the heat and boiled it down. First batch got me about 3/4 of a pint of syrup. At $8.50 a pint, we might break even this year. I may finally go buy a candy thermometer. It is the surest way of knowing when the syrup is done. The color came out golden, not the dark variety you find in stores. Supposedly the lighter the color, the better it is. I don't know about that, it does have a look like honey, but definitely a maple taste and sure is good on buckwheat pancakes.

Spoiled Dog? Never

Just to prove kk wrong, here are a few pictures of our Sable...she most certainly is not spoiled, or is she?

We just had a small party for her birthday. These photos show you that we did nothing out of the ordinary for that special day...a cake, some food, presents for her...(and she opened the presents all by herself, I'll have you know.)

The second picture was the morning after...she was slightly hung over, I think....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Facts About Your Farts and Old Farts

I'm passing this on as I did not want to be the only old fart receiving it, so if you know any other than me, send it to 'em...

Actually, it's not a bad thing to be called, as you will see. Old Farts are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Old Farts remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.

Old Farts remember the history of World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal , Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam .

If you bump into an Old Fart on the sidewalk he will apologize. If you pass an Old Fart on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Farts trust strangers and are courtly to women.

Old Farts hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.

Old Farts get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don't like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.

Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it's about their children or grandchildren.

It's the Old Farts who know our great country is protected, not by politicians, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

This country needs Old Farts with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values.

We need them now more than ever.

Thank God for Old Farts!

Pass this on to all the Old Farts you know.

I was taught to respect my elders. It's just getting harder to find them.

Just the Facts, Maam?

Just  released information from Dr. Shaw, RUSD. Consider the source. Take it for what it is worth. I found it extremely interesting.

I heard Mayor Barrett, from Milwaukee, on the news last night, speaking to the school board. He stated he was very concerned with the cuts proposed to education.  He claimed that MPS might not be able to even operate under those reductions. 

I know public education is terrible. I know, first hand, the failure rate and the final turn out of student product is very dismal. What does it look like if the reality comes that public education is no longer able to function? What if they raise their hands and simply say it can't be so? What if there are 40 kids in a class? What if they can't find enough teachers to agree to the wage and the new conditions?

Part of the new plan includes dismantling the UW system. Madison, the best of what we have to offer, would be the first. They claim costs to students would markedly increase. Could only the elite afford to attend?

Just some questions to ponder. No fear mongering here.... You know, water always finds it level. The problem is... much damage can be found in the flooding. Here is the letter. It was a pdf file, sorry for the formatting and for the length.

March 4, 2011
Contact: Stacy Tapp
262.631.7057 / 262.939.2240 (cell)
Racine Unified to See Some of the Highest Budget Cuts in the State
Racine Unified School District administrators are working to determine just how the governor’s budget bill will impact Racine Unified schools. The District anticipates that the more than $800 million in state education cuts proposed by Gov. Walker will impact Racine Unified schools more significantly than most other districts in the state.

Racine Unified will see cuts of at least $698 – or a seven percent reduction – per pupil, which is significantly higher than the 5.5 percent the governor is suggesting. This is a result of additional program cuts above and beyond the 5.5 percent reduction required by Gov. Walker’s budget.
“Racine Unified has the second highest student poverty rate in the state, and yet we will face higher budget cuts than most, if not all other Districts in the state,” said RUSD Superintendent Dr. Jim Shaw. “We have kids who need more but are getting much less.”
RUSD’s original budget estimates projected a shortfall of $5.9 million. After the announcement of more than $800 million in cuts to education, the shortfall grew to $21.7 million due to the cuts in state aid and revenue limits. Unified began preparation for the $21.7 million shortfall and is negotiating with employee unions to get to those cuts. If RUSD implements the governor’s suggested 12.6 percent employee health contribution and 5.8 percent retirement contribution, the District could save $15 million. However, the District has now learned that the cuts will be an additional $3.3 million with the deficit growing to $25 million. This means that beyond the reductions in employee benefits that Gov. Walker has suggested, Racine Unified could face a $10 million deficit.
Administration is working to find ways to eliminate this deficit with minimal impact on the classroom. However, a $10 million deficit may require the District to reduce the workforce by more than 130 employees, raise class sizes at all levels or reduce or eliminate programs that support student learning.
“Racine Unified faces some of the most challenging economic and educational issues of any district in the state. Over the past several years, we have worked to improve our financial stability while focusing on doing what is necessary to improve student achievement,” said Chief Financial Officer Dave Hazen. “The cuts in the state budget bill will be devastating to Racine Unified and make it extremely hard to keep the cuts away from the classroom.”
“This proposed budget will hurt Racine public schools more than most other school districts in the state,” said Shaw. “With cuts this deep, it’s going to be extremely difficult to keep them away from the classroom. It’s going to impact student learning.”
                     District Base Per Pupil    Percent Reduction        Per Pupil Cut                   Percent Poverty
Union Grove J1  $10,930                        5.33%                            $583                                              28.3%
Elmbrook            $11,764,                        5.58%                            $657                                               9.8%
Muskego           $10,462                          5.44%                            $569                                               9.2%
Union Grove      $11,590                         5.48%                            $635                                                7.4%
Burlington          $10,401                         5.63%                            $586                                              28.5%
Madison             $11,153                         5.50%                            $613                                              46.6%
S Milwaukee      $10,046                         5.62%                            $565                                             37.3% 

Oak Creek            $9,806                          5.58%                            $547                                             18.9% 
Franklin               $11,575                         5.58%                            $646                                             11.4% 
Green Bay            $9,712                          5.68%                            $552                                             54.3%
Janesville             $9,453                          5.97%                            $564                                                43% 
Kenosha              $10,143                        6.01%                           $610                                              46.3% 
Milwaukee          $10,1046.                     34%                               $641                                                79% 
Beloit                    $9,804                         6.90%                            $676                                              68.8% 
Racine           $9,854                 7.08%                    $698                            56.7%

"New fashion & accessory line available just for Racine residents"

Local blogger ytykbydkaa has created a RaScene clothing and accesory line.

You can read the story at Racine Uncovered:

You can check out the items here:

The RaScene site:

Thoughts for Food this Saturday

"Racine's Premier Musical Event!

"Back again, for the 19th consecutive year, Racine's biggest multi-venue and multi-act event is coming to you with a blend of old and new, quiet to loud, traditional and new-age music dedicated to raising food and money for the Racine County Food Bank.

"Thoughts for Food gives established as well as up-and-coming musicians a showcase for their talent in front of large, appreciative crowds. Concert goers are given a choice of several venues and types of music to enjoy. Typically, schedules are available the night of the event for attendees to take with them and plan their evening. With one admission gaining access to each of the venues, it isn't uncommon for music fans to go to several if not all of the venues to catch their favorites or a new ensemble that they haven't heard yet.

"On top of it all, their admission, along with (2) non-perishable food items provide needed food to their friends and neighbors throughout Racine County. With bands and volunteers donating their time, Thoughts for Food provides some of the best charity bang for your buck!"

The most typical face

Something that popped up on my computer as I logged in.. what do you think?

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Four for Fridays after a crazy week! This weeks' questions are about your childhood...

1) Where were you born?

2) How would you describe yourself as a child?

3) What were your childhood hobbies and/or interests?

4) Tell of your favorite childhood memory...

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday

It's time to relax. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bad Company - "Ready For Love"

I want you today.

Scott Walker ---- A Dictator?

Senate calls for Dems to be taken into custody, gives 4 p.m. deadline

A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:

A government controlled by one person, or a small group of people. In this form of government the power rests entirely on the person or group of people, and can be obtained by force or by inheritance. The dictator(s) may also take away much of its peoples' freedom.

Reference Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Dictator(s)

The Wisconsin Professional Police Association, a union representing 11,000 law enforcement officials from across the state, released a statement from its director Jim Palmer slamming the action:

"The thought of using law enforcement officers to exercise force in order to achieve a political objective is insanely wrong and Wisconsin sorely needs reasonable solutions and not potentially dangerous political theatrics,'' Palmer said.

The article was written by SCOTT BAUER of the Associated Press, you can read the complete article in the Journal Times at Breaking News: Senate calls...)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The Second Coming"

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- W. B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet who many consider to be amongst the best from that poetic land.

See Why I Don't Text Much?

Have you heard about this website? Some of the messed up texts are hilarious! I guess this is one drawback of the i-Phone? Or maybe not? :D

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my March lions! How are you? March is the month of mud. As the snow melts, the dirty puddles appear everywhere. Be sure to wear your muck lucks.

Unfortunately, my dears, I completely lost track of what day it is. As I pondered this week’s blog, I suddenly realized that it was due and I hadn’t even started it yet. Oh my.

It appears that even the powerful Madame Zoltar® has fallen prey to the ravages of time and memory. I’m so sorry. I’ll try extra hard to deliver a special blog for you next week.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget, ♪“All you need is love.”♫

Open Blog - Wednesday

That's one way to take the wrinkles out. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Signs for the Modern Woman

Another Political Blog? Sorry

In just a couple of days, almost 47,800 Wisconsin voters have voiced their intent to sign a recall petition against Scott Walker...  A database of names to expedite the collection of signatures is being compiled. I'm posting this for your information only. If you care to add your name, the link is listed below. If you don't, I apologize for foisting this upon your eyes. 

Adding your name to the database is not a vote to recall. It is simply a measure that will allow organizers of the recall the ability to contact those who show intent within the 60 day limit of the recall petition filing date..

From the Facebook page:
"United Wisconsin is for Wisconsin residents to sign a pledge to recall Scott Walker. Actual petitions begin 11/3/11 and we will have only 60 days to collect 540,206 signatures. The database will be essential for a successful recall"

Channel 4 will be streaming the governor's "step 2" of his plan this afternoon at 4pm. He is expected to speak about the 1 billion dollars he intends to further cut from education. This billion has nothing to do with union issues, pension contributions, nor insurance coverage, this is a per-pupil reduction of money going into your local school district. This is the part of his plan that will, most certainly, increase class sizes, reduce staffing, cut repair budgets and eliminate many programs that are currently in place. Some are saying those programs would include music, art, librarians, sports... This is just a guess of where those reductions would take place, as everyone is unsure of how the dollars would pan out to individual school districts.

Also included in the step 2 plan are cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Badgercare. No matter what your political inclinations are, you should listen to the proposal so that you are informed.

Thank you for putting up with another political blog. I know we ALL are so very weary of this, but this an historical time in Wisconsin history. We need to be informed.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's........ ALIVE!!!

Expensive hobby, "Round 2." The mini mill that looks like a toy but isn't is now moving under computer control. I need to do some adjustments, but it is sweet. After burning out on the router, this sat 7/8 finished. I just didn't want to fight so hard and needed to get beyond the "Shit, what's wrong now?" frustration of bringing many different skills together alone and learning from the internet, books, and those that went before me. I won't say, "I get it now," and get smacked upside the head for being too bold. I will say this one was easier (I didn't pick up the hammer once!)

Tonight after plugging in all the cables, powering up the drivers, and putting in a program, I didn't have to hit the emergency stop once. Using a pen and pad of paper, it wrote EMC2 Axis. The good news is with the mini-mill I can fix the motor/lead screw bearing mounts on that blasted router. Is it Spring yet? I feel like the grass is turning green.

I’m here to bitch again!

TV commercials, lately there has been 3 or 4 commercials where people are getting their face slapped!

I don’t know about you, but I never slapped my kids face and taught them not to slap their kid’s faces!

I find this disturbing for some reason; adults slapping their fiends face over a hamburger or a guy washing a window...give me a break.

Commercial writers...GROW UP!

Mount Pleasant police sergeant

The guy made a mistake, okay it was a big one, but do you really think the Journal Times could find a large picture of the man to post?

Is this really news worthy for the public to see? I personally would say no.....

Mount Pleasant police sergeant


Paddy, had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 18th birthday. On that special day, they'd each walked across the lake to the pub on the far side for their first legal drink.

So when Paddy's, 18th birthday came 'round, he and his pal Mick, took a boat out to the middle of the lake. Paddy, stepped out of the boat ...and nearly drowned! Mick just barely managed to pull him to safety.

Furious and confused, Paddy, went to see his grandmother.

'Grandma,' he asked, "it's my 18th birthday, so why can't I walk 'cross the lake ike my father, his father, and his father before him?"

Granny looked deeply into Paddy's, troubled brown eyes and said, "Because your father, your grandfather and your great grandfather were all born in December, when the lake is frozen, and you were born in August, ya dumb shit."

What Happened to that Darth Vader Kid From the Super Bowl Commercial?

Now we can find out...

Open Blog - Monday

The last Monday, and the last day, of February.  Good-bye! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jefferson Airplane - "Today"

From their first album, Surrealistic Pillow.


Right now it is Cloudy 23°F Feels Like: 16°

Today - PM Rain / Snow Showers

Tonight - Wintry Mix

Rain and Snow Showers then changing to Winter Mix tonight????

I guess I need coffee to understand that one.....