Sunday, Oct. 5th, 2008

Weekly Shakedown

Just in case you were locked in the truck of a car all week (we won’t ask) here’s some stuff you might have missed:

So enjoy all that stuff.

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Friday, Oct. 3rd, 2008

Saturday: Homecoming All Up In Your Face

There’s a few UWEC homecoming events on Saturday. Just a few ... thousand. Here's a taste:

… and of course, general sporadic mayhem. If you’re not into Homecoming, here’s some good stuff that doesn’t involve either UWEC or Water Street:

Have a good one!

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Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 2008

Hey, "Average Joe Six Pack..."

Thursday night’s vice presidential battle between Palin and Biden was one of the most highly anticipated VP debates in history, posting massive ratings on several networks. Both had good things to say, but I want to talk about the remarkable character that is Sarah Palin.

At this point Palin has taken what was originally her honest, real “folksy” personality, and (no doubt with the help of some strategic coaching) has manufactured an over-the-top, caricaturized, down-home “brand.” Every sound byte is sprinkled with a series of catch phrases, clichés, and cheesy lines she seems to think "hockey moms" across the country will respond to. So I want to know, do they work?

Whether you support her or not, you’ve got to admit she’s either A) pretty charismatic, or B) pretty hysterical. Regardless, here were a few of my favorite of her phrases of the night, all delivered in that now classic Palin accent:

  • “Dog gone it”
  • “You betcha”
  • “Average Joe-Six-Pack”
  • “A coupla mavericks”
  • “I gotta give a shout out”
  • “Say it ain’t so Joe!”
  • “At the end of the day, it’s gonna be ok”

With that lexicon and a series of no less than three winks at the camera, I’m guessing you either love her or hate her.

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Seven Hundred Something

So the big 700 billion bailout passed the Senate yesterday. Not sure how that’s all gonna shake out. But according to from a few days ago, in a story about Ron Kind visiting Eau Claire on Tuesday, the original plan called for a “$700,000 billion” bailout:

  • Congressman Ron Kind, who voted in favor of the $700,000 billion bailout Monday, was in Eau Claire Tuesday to talk to local business leaders. But not everyone agrees that a economic bailout is needed.

$700,000 billion?! Sweet Jesus, pass that one! Not sure where we’d get that kind of money from, but who cares? As soon as a 700 billion gajillion bailout went into effect, we could all buy bottles of Champaign champagne – to bathe in. With a 700 quadruple trillion fantast-i-million dollar bailout, we could all quit our jobs, walk around in our underwear all damn day and built build airplanes that fly to the moon!

Why is this important legislation not getting proposed?

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Wednesday, Oct. 1st, 2008

Volume One in Morocco, on a Camel

Long time Volume One contributor Hannah has a day job that takes her all over the damn world. She sent us this sandy pic last year and said, "Hey, everyone – just got back from Morocco and here's the camel that took me into the Sahara – where we spent the night in a Berber tent ... er ... not the camel and I – the camel had separate sleeping quarters."

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Local Baby’s Birth Actually Like the Movies

If you’ve been anywhere near a woman in labor, you know that it’s not like the movies where ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BABY IS COMING OUT and everyone needs to hurtle themselves into a car and rocket down the highway at 80mph, and HOLY CRAP, you need to give birth in the backseat (at 80mph) while an unlikely person steps up to help deliver the perfectly healthy baby (at 80mph). More often than not, it’s like two days of annoyingly achy waiting that slowly builds to a very non-highway-related climax of lots of pain that might last a whole ‘nother day if you’re not lucky. Unless you are 20-year-old Ellie Godown. From

  • As their van barreled toward Eau Claire, little Mary Ann didn't wait for her mom to get to the hospital. She was born right here on I-94 at 80 miles an hour.
  • "It was shocking and kind of scary," Ellie says.
  • Racing down the interstate, the 20 year old remembers the pain, but now safely at the hospital, she says it all seems pretty surreal. That includes the fact that it was her 14-year-old friend who helped deliver her little girl.
  • "It's a miracle," says Abi Middleton, Ellie’s friend. "I was sitting there and all of a sudden it was like the baby was coming out and then the baby came out. We were driving really fast and then she was just in the bed. It just happened really fast."

Abi says she was totally freaking out, man, though witnesses in the car says she looked calm. I guess sometimes life is just like the movies. Or better.

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Tuesday, Sep. 30th, 2008

Water Street Weirdness

Monster Black Snake
Disturbing Peace of Residents on Water Street- Is Six Feet Long.
– Eau Claire Leader | October 4, 1906

Snakes are found in many other places besides Water Street, but large snakes and black snakes as large, black and intelligent as the particular individual which hangs out in the neighborhood of No. 6 fire hall, are uncommon reptiles.

Several residents who have caught sight of him say he must be at least six feet in length. His mouth is as wide as a crocodile’s, the body the size of a kangaroo. The big fellow is almost wise enough to talk and has conversed several times with West Side policemen who, of course, talk only in the language of the club.

Monday morning this descendent of Eden’s confusion was caught lounging on the sidewalk right in from of the Water Street fire hall and did not seem to be alarmed about it either, until one of the boys, Jim Weiss, we think his name is, ran at him with a piece of hose, but the reptile was too smart for him. He jumped through the rubber cylinder and escaped before Jim had time to turn around.

Several ladies of the west Side have also seen him on many occasions. One time the wary charmer was discovered climbing a telegraph pole to attach the beautiful bird house which the boys have built for the home of martens and other birds of paradise. Quite a number of the snakes have been killed this spring in various localities on the West Side, too, but the king of reptiles is still at large. If he is not captured within the next few days, the vigilant committee appointed to preserve order will play their last trump card. They will send for ex-alderman Martin Page, the hero of volumes of snake stories and other cheerful brevities Mr. Pages’ experiences in woodcraft has brought him in contact with many species of snakes, so the fate of the Water Street monster will be left to him. Martin is out of town present, but may arrive at any moment.

Chad's Take: Perhaps it still slithers ...

I absolutely love this story because it contains so many great pieces of Chippewa Valley history. I found it fascinating that the brave reporter took a good jab at the Eau Claire Police when he said that the West side Police “talk only in the language of the club.” It was common for newspapers of the time to poke fun at the perceived incompetence of the police force. Maybe this is why when faced with the task of removing this “intelligent” snake the town turned to an individual citizen named Martin Page. Unfortunately Mr. Page was out of town at the time, but the citizens did not panic as it was stated that Martin was due back in town shortly.

I have to admit that I really enjoy hearing about a giant snake terrorizing Water Street. I am grateful that the snake was long gone before my college days on the street. Yet now that I think about it maybe the people of Eau Claire were unable to dispose of this snake. The newspaper never ran a follow up story with the outcome of this situation. Perhaps the giant intelligent black snake still slithers its way down Water Street looking for another inebriated college kid to harass and scare. If this is the case, I can only say Godspeed snake, Godspeed.

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liveART lastFRIDAY

If you were one of the many people mingling with local artists on the stage of the State Theatre last Friday, you know that the bigwigs over at the Regional Arts Center may very well have stumbled upon the coolest event ever to combine two totally separate words, one of which is entirely in lowercase and the other is all caps. Seriously, the visual arts event was really cool. About 20 of the area's best artists painted, sculpted, melted, or beaded pieces together in a five-hour span that invited members of the public on stage to chat with the artists, silently bid on their pieces, and watch the creative magic flow. If you missed the event, shame on you, but take a peek at these photos taken by V1 photographer Jesse Johnson.

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Sunday, Sep. 28th, 2008

The Big Week, Sept. 29

Here's something new we'll be doing every Monday. Enjoy. With friends. And candlelight. And fine wine. Or Cheetos. And Gatorade.

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