Wednesday, Nov. 19th, 2008

Weird Contested Ballots:
You Be The Judge

They still have one heck of a tight race for a US Senate seat over in Minnesota. It’s starting to look like the democratic challenger and former Saturday Night Live star Al Franken has fallen behind incumbent republican Norm Coleman in the recount for this hotly contested and expensive race. But what’s really interesting about this recount are the “challenged” ballots ­– the easily debatable ballots that people messed up in some way or another and are now confusing election officials. Extra dots, crossed out lines, drawn in arrows, a write in of “lizard people” – basically anything that someone could do to screw up a ballot … someone did.  I found this link to a Minnesota Public Radio blog very interesting, it gives you the opportunity to look at the actual contested ballots, see how people screwed up, and then judge for yourself. You vote then see how others voted. Democracy is tedious business.

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Yep, Sonic Is Open

For lunch today a bunch of us office folk decided to visit the new Sonic fast food restaurant (2831 Hendrickson Dr.), on top of what used to be Embers and used to be the Fireside before that. Like toppings piled high, we piled into the Volume One eight-seater van for a premium eating adventure. As we approached Sonic, which opened at 6am today, we found they were serving an order of cars tall enough to pack the drive-thru and the rows of parked service stalls. The line to get in began in the Ron's Castle Foods parking lot, marked by traffic cones and people directing traffic. We, of course, waited without complaints. We ordered from a stall and our SuperSONIC cheeseburgers, Chili Cheese Tots, and soft drinks came to us from cheery roller skating employees. Other attendees fetched sauces or gathered trash. We pondered how the roller skaters worked in the winter, the virtues of your lap as a tabletop, and what exactly is Ocean Water. Then after making merry and telling embellished stories of our youth, we wiped our ketchup-kissed lips and headed back to the Volume One command center. Thought you'd like to know.

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Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 2008

Is This Thing Working?

Hey! We’re wondering if our commenting system is living up to the impeccable standards you guys demand in the world of … um … commenting. For a while, we were having the requisite trouble with spam and then added the “prove are you human” code protection. Is this code thing working for you guys? Has it ever not worked? Is it hard to read? Please, let us know if you’ve had trouble …

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Monday, Nov. 17th, 2008

The Big Week, November 17

In this episode: killer cookies, crazy crime report, Governer Doyle gets an important call, a big Friday rock show, and we give away one month of free coffee from The Coffee Grounds.

Note: Now on every episode of the Big Week, we'll be announcing a winner for one of our V1 Insider $50 Giveaways. So enter them and try to win. If you hear your name announced in the Big Week, you have 7 days to email and claim your prize.

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Friday, Nov. 14th, 2008

Friday Night: The Hopefuls

Get your butt on campus tonight for a big, big show by The Hopefuls. The Hopefuls' mission statement is succinct: "Fun music for happy times." The group's sunny, feel-good rock can be heard on its full-length debut CD "The Fuses Refuse to Burn," and has been featured on the Fox-TV teen drama "The O.C." and on VH1's "Best Week Ever." Acoustic music from local band, Chester Bay will open the show, which is at Council Fire Room, Davies Center, tonight at 7pm.

Saturday: Sleep Serapis Sleep, Hmong New Year, Recycled Art for Kids, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Tuesdays with Morrie, Lunacy, Normal, Rush River Ramblers.

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Thursday, Nov. 13th, 2008

Got Two Years

Got Two Years
– Eau Claire Weekly Telegram | November 9, 1891

John Doyle, the tramp, who cut and carved John McDonald, a companion he had met at Hudson, pleaded guilty before Judge Larson yesterday of assault, with intent to do great bodily harm, and was given two years in Waupun. Doyle and McDonald got into a row at Altoona on Oct. 19, over a slice of bread- a “hand-out,” and Doyle took his friend by the neck, drew a razor and carved him in great fashion, cutting his nose, neck, face and gutting one eye out. He was arrested in this city for vagrancy the night before the cutting and discharged.

Chad's Take: Piece of bread costs two years.

As I tune into to NPR for my daily dose of bad economic news, I wonder just how bad things might actually get. Yet I am filled with hope when I read stories like this one. One of my favorite parts of digging through all the old newspapers is that it gives you a better perspective on events that are taking right now and while jobs are evaporating, unemployment is very high, and the banks are in trouble, at least no one is gutting their friends over a piece of bread. (Well not yet anyway).  

I was really curious about where this altercation took place. I was hoping that the saloon would have been listed in the article so I could see if the building is still standing today. I was able to track down an article on the fight that appeared in the October 22 edition of the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern that stated that the two men fought in a vacant lot in Altoona. Unfortunately no address was given and the exact spot where this took place still remains a mystery.

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Wednesday, Nov. 12th, 2008

The Killing Season

In a few short weeks, rifle season will fire up much of Wisconsin. I’m not an avid enough hunter to speak with any real authority about the activity, but when I hunt, I try really hard to be respectful. I’ve met hunters who are far more serious than I am, people who see hunting as some sort of spiritually invigorating practice that connects them to “the world.” That’s not me. I’ve also met really disrespectful guys who treat animals like playthings, and that’s not me either.

I cringe when I hear the phrase “Da Turty Pointer.” I don’t like most of the stereotypes associated with hunters, and maybe that’s because I don’t fit in with any of them. This is not for lack of trying. I like being a hunter. If for no other reason, it’s fun to tell a table full of English and Philosophy majors that you go out in the woods and kill large animals.

But growing up in a Midwestern college town the size of Eau Claire, you get a lot of mixed signals about hunting – everything from anti-meat animal rights activism to billboards of bikini clad women wearing blaze orange hunting caps, hefting guns, standing next to stuffed deer heads.

Nowadays, I often find myself shifting from an urge to keep my hunting a secret to an urge to boast about it – depending on my company. Do any of you people hunt? How do you feel about it?

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Sticky Resistance!

Looks like (awesome) Volume One is a bourgeois capitalist rag! stickers are starting to appear. We’ve only heard of two of these things so far: one slapped atop the urinal at the Joynt (thanks to local drinker Kyle Flater for the photo above), and one in a bathroom stall at the House of Rock (which we were excited to actually find ourselves last Friday night). Because of the punky handmade care with which the statement was created – and then photocopied and sticker-fied – we think there’s probably more.

And what’s that mean? Scavenger hunt! If you find any of these things in the wild, we’d love to see them. Snap a picture if you see one and email us your photo.

And hey! What else would a bourgeois capitalist rag do but co-opt the idea, steal the work of the original artist, and slap it on a t-shirt? Anyone interested? You know us, the merchant class just trying to make a buck. We're ordering a batch for the staff here...

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