Monday, Aug. 17th, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls!

If you’ve had an unrequited hankering for female singer-songwriter shows, these past few months have been heaven on earth (are you thinking of Belinda Carlisle right now?). April 25’s Women Rise Up at Raw Deal, May 22’s Songstress Showcase at the Acoustic, and last Thursday’s Anna Lily Fair at Mabel Tainter were each all-female events.

If you haven’t had a chance to support your sisters (or satisfy the need to admire a particular crush) during this odd surge, there’s yet another one on the way. The Anna Lily Fair returns to the State Theater just before summer’s out, on August 22. Eau Claire’s very own QuinnElizabeth and Chippewa Falls’ Feathe will play this last one, with Sarah Jade, Kaptivating Kate, and Anna Johnson, so fans take note! 

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Cabaret Captured, Part Deux

Randy House has released the second song video from the 30th annual Decadent Cabaret, this time featuring Laarks doing U2's With or Without You. (Check out the first one, with Daredevil Christopher Wright channeling The Beatles.)

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Mystery In Priest’s Home
August 21, 1902

Mystery In Priest’s Home
Pistol Shot Alarms Housekeeper, But Source Not Found
Eau Claire Weekly Telegram | August 21, 1902

Eau Claire- While Father Pappon was in his studio and his housekeeper in the kitchen the sound of a pistol shot was heard in the kitchen and the room was filled with smoke. The housekeeper was terribly frightened but an investigation failed to reveal any trace of a bullet and the mystery is still unexplained.

Chad’s Take- A real mystery

At first glance I thought this was just another article chronicling a mundane event in the Chippewa Valley. However, after giving it a second glance I realized that the article was filled with several unanswered questions. First of all, what the hell (pun intended) was a priest doing hiring a housekeeper? I wonder if his congregation knew when they dropped their hard earned money into the collection plates that it was going to fund the priest’s personal housekeeper. Perhaps I underestimated the benefits that come along with wearing the clerical collar.

Both the priest and the housekeeper heard the sound of a pistol being shot in the kitchen, yet when the housekeeper investigated the noise all she found was an empty room full of smoke. If someone had fired a gun, wouldn’t they have been discovered? If a gun was not discharged, then where did the smoke originate from? Maybe the gun was fired from a nearby location and the smoke simply drifted into the open kitchen window, yet both the witnesses heard the gun shot coming from the kitchen. It also seems unlikely that the priest would have been packing a gun, but perhaps I am once again underestimating the awesome benefits that come with the priesthood.

Keep an eye out!

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Sunday, Aug. 16th, 2009

Weekly Shakedown: What you might have missed

The Internet is becoming a huge phenomenon in our culture. I'm guessing that soon, it will be a big part of our lives, as it is so convenient when we are trying to communicate with large numbers of people. For instance, see how we can summarize all these website articles from the last week consolidated into a single posting!

I'm still astounded at this incredible technology.

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Saturday, Aug. 15th, 2009

This Weekend: Man and Dog and Nature

You've all seen this on television at some point. I know you have, because I don't watch any TV, but I've still seen it. It's the outdoor games, of course. This weekend at the Eau Claire Rod & Gun club, we'll have our very own Chippewa Valley Outdoor Games, each competition testing skills of varying on-the-job practicality. The competitions include: The Lumberjack Competition, 5-Stand Shooting, Archery, Big Splash Dogs, Retrieving Series, Flyball (what is it?), Agility Dogs, and Speed Balls. Yep, you read that right.

As you can see, many events involve dogs. These require no pre-registration, so if you've only just discovered the Outdoor Games, you can certainly still compete! Find more information about the festival in our calendar entry.

Also on Saturday: Family Fun Day in Menomonie, LBGT Pride Picnic, Midwest Music Fest, balladeer Brian Bethke, Cheap Antics Sketch Comedy, Saved (LBGT movie), Dorf Kapelle (traditional European village music), and metal acts Kaptivating Kate + Entropy + Novus Inceptum.

And on Sunday: Jason O'Dea and His Barefoot Symphony, Taste of Harmony music festival, Big Backyard Menomonie music fest, Howard "Guitar" Luedtke and drummer Jim Schuh, and Christian rocker Phil Wickham.

Art Show: Art & the Blues, Roger Adams, August Artists: Suzanne Schroeder and Peg Breitzman, Drawings by Geta Otto, Roger Adams, Landscape Photography by Tim Burns and Scott Wuerch, Let's Go to the Circus!, Story Lines: Narrative and Sequential Images, and Watercolors Plus by Tere Hering.

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Friday, Aug. 14th, 2009

Four Second Firestorm

Four Second Firestorm makes even pacman look decaf. The idea couldn't be simpler: you have four seconds to play a hilariously ridiculous, often far-too-difficult-to-understand-how-to-play 'microgame.' You either win or lose, and then you play another. Over and over again.

For those of you who have played Warioware for the Nintendo Wii, you get the idea. Even if you're waiting in that tiny gap in which your boss brings over a stapler that works, that's time enough for at least six or seven of these things.


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Thursday, Aug. 13th, 2009

Concert Cancelled: 75% chance of rain, soggy gear

Though it's sunny now, local meteorologists are telling us that unfortunately right in the middle of tonight's concert everyone has at least a 75% chance of getting very wet.  That's no good for electronic equipment and thousands of dollars worth of big band intstruments, so we're regrettably having to cancel tonight's performance. The photo above shows what the storm looks like now, and it's forecasted to hit EC fully around 7:30. Sorry, there's no rain site for tonight's event. But there's good news in that The Chippewa Valley Big Band will be playing September 19 at 3:15pm at the Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest. So check them out there! And please join us next week!

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Trendy small town gun picnics are all the rage

Man, “open carry gun picnics” seem to be all the rage these days. Never heard of them? Basically, people looking to educate the public on Second Amendment rights organize a good ol’ fashioned cookout where everyone is encouraged to attend, and hey, if you own a gun, bring ’er along! There was one in Onalaska back in May. I’m assuming the more important goal of these events is to combat negative perceptions of gun owners. At any rate, it’s just kind of a whacky concept, and much to organizers’ delight, grabs a lot of attention.

Personally, I do not have a negative perception of most gun owners (I actually own a hunting rifle), yet I can’t help but giggle at the mental image of a small town picnic where everyone’s wearing hip holsters as they stand in line for a brat and some potato salad. If you’re interested, the next nearby open carry picnic is in Glenwood City. And the cops are cool with it. From Chuck Rupnow’s article in the L-T

  • Glenwood City Police Chief Robert Darwin said he's not overly concerned about hundreds of people coming to the St. Croix County Fairgrounds on Aug. 23 armed with loaded sidearms.
  • "I don't have a problem with what they want to do," he said. "They have the lawful right to do that.
  • "My concern is how the general public will respond," Darwin said Wednesday. "I hope they will respect it, since it is lawful. The people coming to this are not the kind of people we need to worry about."

The organizer is actually fronting $2,000 of his own money to feed about 400 people with barbecue beef sandwiches, beans, coleslaw, and more. And in case you’re curious, sidearms are not required to attend. And also, in case you’re more curious, firearms can be loaded but must be holstered. And no, alcohol is not permitted.

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Wednesday, Aug. 12th, 2009

Weird Eau Claire Laws

This ran as a “High Five” in the July 23 issue of the magazine, and since it never made it online, we thought we’d post it here, with a few extras. Every town has weird and/or outdated laws on the books – here’s what V1 intern Brianna Krantz dug up:

“Do not let your bull mount any cow, or your horse mount any mare within the city limits, unless in an enclosed place out of public view, far enough away from other private residences as to not be offensive.” (Gratuitous cow sex must have been a big problem at some point in local history.)

“Do not unnecessarily, inhumanely, or cruelly beat, injure, or otherwise abuse any dumb animal, within city limits.” (We couldn’t find a similar statute prohibiting the beating intelligent animals, so, apparently, that border collie is fair game.)

“No person shall spit, expectorate or deposit any sputum, spittle, saliva, phlegm, mucus, tobacco juice, or wads of tobacco upon the floors or stairways or any part of a public hall or building, upon the floor or any part of a railroad car or street car, or any other public conveyance, avenue, or highway in the city, or upon the sidewalks of any public street.” (Sputum?)

“No person shall throw or shoot any object, arrow, stone, snowball, or other missile or projectile by hand or by any other means at any person or at, in or into any building, street sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground, or other public place within the City, provided the Chief of Police may grant a permit for archery for not more than one year.” (Yep – snowball fighting’s illegal. But if you really want to shoot some arrows, there’s a permit.)

“Don’t rig your gun, pistol, or any other firearm to discharge or come in contact with string, wire, or other contrivance attached, whether to kill game or for any other purpose.” (Seriously, no more shotgun booby-traps, guys.)


• If you leave the keys in your unlocked car over night, the cops are supposed to remove the keys and take them to the police station. Probably just to annoy you.

• “Obstructing or diverting the natural flow of surface water or of water in a natural watercourse so as to hold such water or cause the same to flow or stand upon any street, alley or public ground is illegal.” So stop building that dam.

• “It is illegal to play games such as baseball, football, softball, or any other violent or rough games in any park not designated for such activities.” Softball is violent?

• It’s illegal for a practicing fortuneteller, plamister, astrologer, or clairvoyant, do not try to set up shop in Eau Claire. For some reason, the cops have a hard time arresting these people – they’re always one step ahead.


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