Monday, Jun. 8th, 2009

Cranes and Cranes and

 The cranes towering over half moon lake have been an almost nightly delight of mine on the drive home from work. Despite the industrial machinations that spawned them, they have a striking symmetry and effect.  I produced the effect in this shot with a long exposure and mid-exposure zoom.

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Sunday, Jun. 7th, 2009
Saturday, Jun. 6th, 2009

Look, sun

The grand opening of the new fountain of Washington Square Park, in NYC. There were chlidren playing in the water, musicians, rainbows, and all around good times. (Original vertical edit here)

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Friday, Jun. 5th, 2009

Sunday: Taste of Eau Claire '09

Aiming to celebrate the culinary arts and fabulous restaurants in our area, the Taste of Eau Claire food fest has become a staple in the Chippewa Valley's summer festival season. For the third year, Eau Claire's Phoenix Park will be transformed into an amazing festival grounds for the whole family. This will be the best opportunity of the year to taste new dishes or revisit old favorites as local restaurants, caterers, and specialty food vendors show off their finest items. Plus there’s kids’ activities and live music all day. Make sure you checkout Volume One’s special “Eating Eau Claire” photo booth.

Taste of Eau Claire runs from 11am to 6pm. Bands include Howard Luedtke & Blue Max, Meridene, The EverGreen Grass Band, and the always funky Duncan Ninja. More details.

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Thursday, Jun. 4th, 2009

Concerts start tonight!

Ok gang, it's on. This season's Sounds Like Summer Concert Series kicks off tonight!  Local blues/rock bands Little Willie and the Eau Claire Blues All Stars will get us off on the right foot while everyone basks in the forecasted 75-degree-and-sunny evening. Be sure to stop by the official concert series headquarters to get a look at music from dozens of bands playing the series, AND check out the brand new official concert series shirt (available online soon)! Goes from 6:30-8:30pm. You can see the full schedule here.

Thanks to this season's sponsors: RCU, Hillside Dental, Action City/Chaos Waterpark. And to June's sponsor the Phoenix Park Apartments.

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Governor Doyle Talks Trains with Vice President Biden

Citing goals such as traffic reduction, cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions, and independence from foreign oil, Governor Jim Doyle met with Vice President Joe Biden this week to push the whole high-speed rail project (which is part of this). The meeting was with eight other governors with similar agendas.

Specifically, Doyle’s push is for the use of national stimulus funds on the first phase of the high-speed project. It would join Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago in a network of high tech hover monorails passenger trains traveling at speeds exceeding the speed of thought up to 110 mph.

According to the AP, Vice Pres. Biden told the governors before him to “think boldly” when making their train plans. Presumably, with language like that, Biden’s a big dork-faced trekkie.

No word on when (or if) that passenger rail will be making up into these here parts.

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Show Us Your V1: Kant Kyrgyzstan

Volume One bud Corey James Hilber is currently residing in Kyrgyzstan, where he’s been hanging out with an issue of V1. He says …

“Both of [these pictures] were in Kant, Kyrgyzstan. They were actually in smaller towns around Kant, but Kant will actually find its way onto maps. The Yurt one [above] is of me and my language teacher Temirlan Batyrkanov. His first name is that of a famous warrior and his last name means hero-king in Kyrgyz. He is badass, or at least his name is. In that pic, I am not wearing the kalpak hat properly. I did not fold the bottom part up. Don’t tell anyone. The Lenin pic [right, click for a biggie] needs no explanation.”

Thanks, Corey!

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Turtle In Stomach
June 5, 1901

Turtle In Stomach
Eau Claire Man Complained of Pains With Good Cause
Milwaukee Journal | June 5, 1901

Eau Claire- A snapping turtle three inches long from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose, was vomited by a man who came to Dr. J. H. Noble complaining of pains. He supposed the patient swallowed the turtle when it was very small.

Chad’s Take- I am not surprised

This is simply a case of bad luck. Not only did this guy have a turtle playing around in his stomach, it also happened to be a snapping turtle. As strange and bizarre as this story seems to the modern reader, the Eau Claire man was not alone in his suffering. I also found a story from 1902 that told of a 96 year-old woman in La Crosse who vomited up a small live lizard. In order to fully appreciate how so many creatures were living in the people’s stomachs we have to consider the time period in which these stories occurred.

Keep in mind that in 1901 people were not dinking treated bottled water. In fact their water was not even purified by the city. The water they were drinking was water straight out of their own well, and that meant that sometimes tiny living creatures would get into their system. Also remember that in the past people used the lakes and rivers for more of their daily needs and recreation. Clothes would often be washed in the river, and kids would spend much more time swimming and frolicking in the natural waters since chlorinated pools were not an option. Of course while swimming and playing they would also ingest quite a bit of water into their stomachs, and that water could easily contain all sorts of strange living creatures. Actually looking back at just how long people have been using Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire, I am amazed that I did not find hundreds of stories of mysterious animals, fish, and other freaky unknown species living inside Chippewa Valley residents.

Keep an eye out.

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CF City Council Shoots Down Farmers Market Proposal

We just caught this little teaser story over on the Chippewa Herald’s website. Basically, the proposal to close down a chunk of Bridge Street in Chippewa Falls on Thursday afternoons/evenings – so their farmers market can be in the street during weekly concerts – got shot down by the City Council last night. From the story

  • Several people spoke against the plan, voicing concerns about traffic and whether people would want to come to downtown if a part of Bridge Street was closed.
  • Voting to deny a street permit for the proposal were council members Susan Zukowski, Brian Flynn and Mike Dahlby. Voting in favor of the plan was C.W. King, and council member Don Baker abstained because he operates a downtown business.

The teaser doesn’t say if anyone showed up to speak in favor of the plan. This really sucks for downtown Chippewa Falls. Not sure if the original proposal was perfect, but the idea is terrific and it works great in other cities. Closing a stretch of street for something like a farmers market (especially during a concert) creates and "event" atmosphere that draws people in and gives a town something to be proud of. Opposition to this is baffling at best and damaging at worst.

UPDATE: The full article is now available right here. Interesting bit:

  • The proposal failed on a 3-1-1 vote, with council members Susan Zukowski and Mike Dahlby joining Flynn in shooting down the Bridge Street plan. C.W. King voted for it, while Don Baker abstained because he operates a business downtown.
  • Two council members, Dennis Doughty and Jason Anderson, did not attend the meeting.

So, there could have been a tie if everyone had showed up. Some great comments from the Chippewa Falls citizenry over on the Herald – I hope the CF City Council is reading them. Let them know what you think.

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