Monday, Oct. 26th, 2009
Sunday, Oct. 25th, 2009
Friday, Oct. 23rd, 2009

This Weekend:
Haunts of Eau Claire Bus Tour

Tonight and next weekend, join the UWEC Players on a creepy 1.5 hour bus ride through the City of Eau Claire. The bus tour will depart from the UWEC campus and take you through the hills of Eau Claire to some truly remarkable paranormal hotspots. Hear about the ghosts, the valley’s gruesome murders, the most bizarre stories, and all the shady and seedy characters that make up the unique and twisted history of Eau Claire.

Tours will be led by a crew of knowledgeable, unsettling, awfully dead, and terribly funny guides that will do their best to catch you off guard. Its’a gamble who will be leading your tour … be prepared to see some notable American horror figures – Lizzie Borden?  Pogo the Clown?

Tours will depart from UWEC's Kjer Theatre on October 23, 24, 30, and 31 at 8pm and 10pm. Cost: $12 student, $16 public. Contact to reserve tickets. For specifics, check out the Player’s website.

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Thursday, Oct. 22nd, 2009

Record Stores Revealed

Here's a tiny taste of a story we're working on ...

  • Perhaps it follows similar resurgences of retro T-shirts and Puma sneakers, or the fact that you can get them for spare change at thrift sales. Whatever the reason, the so-called “dead format” of vinyl records have made a comeback in a big way, and everyone is responding – from major labels and artists to baby boomers looking to make a buck from their dusty collections.
  • On the local level, Eau Claire has seen two used record stores start up recently, both of which immediately reported great responses to their openings.
  • “It has been unbelievable,” Billy Siegel said a mere week after opening Revival Records.
  • Previous to this, local audiophiles had to scour thrift stores, garage sales, the internet, and rare stores like Eclectica on Grand to get their hands on some precious vinyl.
  • But now they can finger through about 6,000 LPs at Revival Records (most of the owner’s collection), and another 400 or so at LongPlayReplay (also the owner’s collection). Both of them also buy used records…

We’ll have the whole scoop(s) on both vinyl stores on the October 29 issue of Volume One. Sit tight …

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Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 2009

WI Senate says, “No texting whilst driving!”

Seeing someone talk on a cell phone while driving almost swerving their car into you is annoying enough, but seeing someone typing on their tiny cell phone keypad as they shimmy all over the highway is enough to drive us crazygonuts. And soon, it might be illegal in Wisconsin. From JSOnline:

  • A bill to ban texting while driving passed the Senate with overwhelming support from both parties and is headed to the Assembly.
  • An Assembly committee could hear a bill on texting as early as next week. Assembly leaders have not said whether they will take up the bill.
  • Lawmakers pushing the bill said texting while driving was especially dangerous because people were looking more at their cell phone than at the road.

The article says “several studies” show texting to be as distracting as being drunk – for drivers of all ages – and that’s a pretty easy statement to believe. How many people do/did you know in college who claimed to be an “awesome drunk driver?” And how many people do know make jokes about looking up at the road from their phone and realizing “Holy crap, I just drove 2 miles without looking up!” Both those groups of people (of which we're sure none of you belong) should be confined to bicycle travel. No offense, bikers.

Opponents to Wisconsin's no-text bill say it’s not needed because there’s already laws against inattentive driving.

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Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 2009

Local Archeological Mysteries!

Pop quiz. Some thoughtless people have been sneaking onto an island where pre-historic remains have been found and doing their own digging. Illegally so. And the archeologists studying the site are pissed! Is this the beginning to A) an episode of CSI, B) a low budget horror movie, C) an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, D) a story from WQOW about Barron County, or E) all of the above?

Made your guess? OK, the correct answer is “if you really answered that, you’re a big geeky dork and you should go back to playing with your Hobbit action figures." But as far as option D goes …

  • Someone has been digging near the site where pre-historic remains were found on Prairie Lake. A team of archeologists were called in to excavate the site and determine the origin of the remains. Since their work wrapped up a few weeks ago someone has been on the island doing their own excavation. That has a number of people concerned.
  • … A few weeks ago deputies discovered a pair of holes. One of those was just feet from where the remains were found. Sheriff Fitzgerald says he doesn't know if the person doing the digging is searching for more remains …

So what’s going on? Deputies think people are probably looking for Native American artifacts, but the archeological experts at Volume One firmly believe that a secret society is keeping the ancient tomb of their demon overlord hidden from the public so he can rise again on Halloween night and turn us all into zombie slaves. Yep, pretty sure.

The archeologists are currently studying the remains to see who (or what!) they are. And FYI, that picture up above is not from the dig site.

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Monday, Oct. 19th, 2009

Three, Two, One … Bike Polo!

Three, Two, One – Bike Polo! As soon as those words are spoken, they roll forward. One rider propels a street hockey ball down the lot with a mallet fabricated out of a ski pole and polyethylene pipe. Once they reach the center of the lot, the other team pedals at them, hoping to knock the ball off its trajectory and race it to the other goal. This is bike polo and it is happening in Menomonie.

I decided to give it a try recently and three riders were circling the lot when I arrived. I met Will Christenson, Presidente and Mallet Maker General for the group, who informed me of the short list of rules as we waited for two more people to show up and complete the two teams of three required for a match. Teams were chosen blindly by one person holding the mallets behind his back and throwing them in opposite directions. I was a little unconvinced that I would be able to keep up as a newbie on an old 10-speed with no modifications, but the other players were very welcoming and patient with my occasional clumsiness and frequent questions.

If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it. The group has been meeting Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the empty parking lot at 9th Avenue and 10th Street near Wilson Park, depending on availability.

NOTE: Check out a full story on local Bike Polo from Betty Rae in the Oct. 29 issue of Volume One!

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Sunday, Oct. 18th, 2009

Weekly Shakedown:
What You Mighta Missed

Here’s an amazing collection of super super super fun local stuff you might have missed last week.

  • • The Exploding Peacocks art reception (photos)
    • The annual tiny train invasion (photos)
    • Many good words put in for new vinyl shop (comments)
    • The Tour d’Eau Claire bike race (photos)
    • The first Back Stage Concert Series Concert (photos)
    • And check out our Twitter feed, yo (tweets)

Have a nice Sunday, y’all.

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Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2009

This Weekend: Fear Factory

Running through Halloween, the Ski Sprites are manufacturing fear down at their annual (and aptly named) Fear Factory out at the Eau Claire County Expo Center on Fairview Drive. It’s the area’s largest haunted house-style attraction, so if you love walking down dark hallways and having people pop out of nowhere at you, then this is the place. 7 bucks a scare. Details.

Also on Saturday: Kids Carnival @Mabel Tainter, UWEC Homecoming Parade, New Moon Mehndi, Anna Johnson, Jimmy Buffet Party, Geoffrey Keezer, 80's Dance & Costume Party (and another one), Guante Big Cats!, Capaciti & A-Scratch, Homecoming Show: Irie Sol, Desolatevoid, and Eau Claire Blues All Stars.

Interesting Movies: Capitalism: A Love Story, Carmike Independant Film Series, Lars and the Real Girl.

Art Shows: Some of our Own, Caradori Pottery 23rd Annual Fall Show, Encore! The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses, Isabelle Mondelaers Photography, Exploding Peacocks, The Four-Color World: Comics, Models & More, and Madison Artists from the Leff Collection 1950-1990.

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