Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, 2009

Virtual reindeer tipping!

Well, Christmas Eve is tomorrow and you may be having some trouble focusing on work/wrapping presents/watching your soap operas. So to help keep you in the holiday spirit while you’re wasting time, we point you towards a fun little "Reindeer Tipping" flash game. Basically, you’re a little Ebenezer Scrooge running around, tipping over Santa’s cute animals as they sleep. If you do really bad, Santa runs out in his undies to beat you silly. You might as well hunker down, wait for today's impending SNOWMEGEDON, and play a few rounds.

Tell us your high score and watch out for the penguins with bazookas! PLAY NOW.

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Tuesday, Dec. 22nd, 2009

New Wis. identity 7th worst?

The blog Brand New, which claims it offers you “opinions on corporate and brand identity work,” has posted their picks for the best and worst identities of 2009. And guess who’s sitting at number 7 in the WORST roster? Yep, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s $50,000 identity makeover – focusing on the logo so much of Wisconsin loves to hate. They say:

  • Poor choices in color and typography and even poorer decisions in configuration and scale make this one of the strangest logos of the year. Live like you mean it, but design like you mean it too.

Also on the list: Yale University Press, Kraft, MSN, Bing, and the City of Philadelphia. Good (bad?) company. Brand New talked about our new identity back in March, giving it a negative, though less harsh-ish review. Among other things, they point out that “Some people are offended that it was a male doing the cartwheel, ostensibly emasculating the entire Wisconsin's female population.” I never thought about that. But then again, I’m just a dude from Wisconsin.

P.S. We heard about this news over at As Seen in, a blog both handsome and charming.

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Monday, Dec. 21st, 2009

Show Review: QuinnElizabeth + Mike Perry @Backstage Concert Series

It was fun hearing Mike Perry. It always is. Singer/songwriter of the honest Wisconsin life. But, I will be quite honest with you, I was there to see QuinnElizabeth for the first time. Over the past months I have seen their name show up on more and more show bills. But, never anything on a night that would work out for me. Tonight I made it. And, I am so very glad I did.

It was a novel idea for a venue. Get everyone on stage at the state theater, and make us feel like we were stage hands, watching final dress rehearsal. I know that's how I felt anyway. I had played that role before, in a company of players staging an Irish Feaste. Then, it was a fine Irish band. Now though, I attend so much live music in bars, coffee shops and restaurants where the musicians are stuck off in the dark echoey corners. To be someplace where the lighting is perfect, the sound is perfect, well, it throws me for a bit. Believe me though, I recovered quickly and happily. 

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WQOW + V1 = Funny Hats

Volume One Senior Writer Eric Rasmussen recently teamed up with WQOW (TV18)’s Steve Betchkal for a hilarious romp through Oakwood Mall and a shop in Downtown Eau Claire in search of the perfect gift for Eric's wife. To watch, click here, and then select “The Perfect Gift” from the plethora of fine video options on the right. (Also check out their “Moving Music” report on the Margaret and the Malls Christmas music bus tour.)

You know when handsome anchor man Jerry Gallagher says “We’re gonna have a little fun tonight” … it’s on.

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Sunday, Dec. 20th, 2009
Saturday, Dec. 19th, 2009

This Weekend: Best Christmas Pageant (Ever)

This weekend, you’ve got three chances to see what almost everyone calls “the best Christmas Pageant ever.” With such universal praise, how can you go wrong? The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre’s production of the holiday classic follows the escapades of them rascaly Herdman kids as they learn the true meaning of the holidays. You’ve got three chances to have your heart warmed – the show will be staged at the State Theatre on Saturday at 1:30pm and on Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm.

Also on Saturday: Breakfast with Santa, some LIVE Reindeer, Holiday Art Fair kickoff, Historic Mansion Christmas Tours, Girls of the Hit Parade, Feathe + Wide Plans of a Palindrome, The Excellent Adventure, Down Lo + South Farwell, and just your average UFO Armada + Marijuana Death Squad + Romeo Vegas show.

And on Sunday: Christmas at the Leinie Lodge, Phoenix Gardens Winter Solstice Celebration, and The Memories Holiday Show.

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Friday, Dec. 18th, 2009
Thursday, Dec. 17th, 2009

Kenosha has the funniest Police Department ever

Wow, hats off to the Kenosha, Wisconsin Police Department for their hilarious “Twelve Days of Christmas” parody with lines like On the sixth day of Christmas, the chief gave to me ... six guns for cleaning. They even show a cop with his face smeared with jelly donut jelly. Great bunch of guys. Their website invites people who need a laugh "during this hectic time of year" to watch the video.


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Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 2009

Eau Claire Curling featured in the NY Times

With the 2010 Winter Olympics just around the corner, suddenly Eau Claire’s own curling ice is glistening in the spotlight. This week the New York Times ran an article featuring a recent curling event in Eau Claire, and we here at Volume One just announced a partnership with the Eau Claire Curling Club to launch a new starter league at the EC Expo Center.

The article, as seen on, focuses on Debbie McCormick – the skip, or captain, of the 2010 US Olympic Curling team (who was also a 1998 Olympic teammate of Eau Claire’s Mike Peplinski). McCormick curled for fun in Eau Claire a few weeks ago during a fundraiser for the 2010 team.

From the NY Times article…

  • McCormick clearly reveled in the camaraderie. She needled a neophyte curler who clumsily fell trying to sweep in front of a fast-moving curling stone, cheered on a 4-year-old girl pushing a stone with two hands, and high-fived two curlers from the Lone Star Curling Club who flew in from Austin, Tex.

  • “It’s fun for me,” said McCormick, 35, who will be competing in her third Olympics. “The tournaments we play in are so competitive, and there’s so much pressure to compete well. This is an opportunity for me to have fun with the community and have fun with the game.”

After I was recently exposed to the indoor game by a fellow V1 contributor, Volume One decided we wanted to help give local curling a kick in the pants this winter. After reaching out to the Eau Claire Curling Club, we’ve now partnered with them to help get a Monday-night “starter league” of sorts going in Eau Claire, beginning in January. It all starts with a series of free, open curling lessons and free Fat Tire beer on Monday, January 4. You can get the details here.

The above photo (credit: New York Times) depicts local Dan Brown as he warms up to curl against Olympians at the Eau Claire Curling Club.

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What’s your favorite holiday-ish movie?

Soon many of us will be hunkering down in front Ye Olde DVD Player for some hard core holiday movie watching. The staff of Volume One is actually planning a huge sleep over so we can pop some popping corn, bake piles of Christmas cookies, brew up vats of egg nog, and watch us some sweet Yuletide films.*

But we’re a little sick of the ol’ holiday standards like It’s a Wonderful Whatever, Miracle on that One Street, A Charlie Brown Something or Other, Rudolph the Stop-Motioned Reindeer, and The One With “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!”

So what else is there? Any hidden gems? What do you guys like to watch this time of year? Family favorites? Indie darlings? Anything? Leave a comment, man!

*Not true. We don’t even know how to make egg nog. Wouldn't even know where to start.

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