Monday, Oct. 6th, 2008

V1 Kickball Team Plummets Like Raging Asteroid

Last night’s playoff game was a sloppy end to the kickball season. First, because of all the rain, and second, um, you know what, let’s just say the rain was at fault there, too. Volume One’s season was a rollercoaster ride. At least, the first part of a coaster, when you slowly go up the hill and then, really fast, plummet downward. We started off 3-0, which is more wins than either of V1’s two previous seasons, but finished the final five games at 1-4. Ouch. As our editor and shortstop Nick Meyer noted, we were this year’s “reverse Cinderella story” (Disney Studios are still working on the title for their next underdog sports movie starring Dennis Quaid). Regardless of the finish, the season was a blast. With the team’s sporting chance at the top-three playoff bid throughout the season, players never refrained from arguing with the umpire, heckling the opposing team, and then nervously checking the rankings the next day. We still stand firm that there were only two teams better than us (out of seven). But who knows? We have an entire off-season to spend in training (perhaps in Mexico’s winter leagues), so there’s no telling how long we’ll stay undefeated next year, before folding like a cheap napkin at the end.

Comments 1's Official Launch Party

Last Friday evening saw the V1 crew pull together the official "Amazing Machines" Launch Party for the amazing machine that is the new (the website you're on right now!). Roughly 250 invited guests stopped by the Volume One World Headquarters to enjoy free food (catered by Haymarket Grill, Stones Throw, Galloway Grill, and Dessert First), free drinks (thanks in part to General Beer Northwest and Stuart Sandler), and have fun with a variety of examples of other "amazing machines." These gadgets included the Lazy Drinker, a computerized machine that custom pours roughly 200 different drinks right before your eyes, and an Oxygen Bar, a machine that gets you "high" on a variety of flavored oxygens. Not only that, but partygoers could have their photo taken with an actual "sophisticated robot machine" (otherwise called a dude in a cardboard robot costume) while watching retro robot movies projected on one wall of the office. Yes, good times were certainly had.

BIG THANKS go to the various people and business that helped us pull it together through their services and expertise, some of which were named above. Additional thanks go to: Erik Christensen (invite illustration), Rob Mattison (old robot movies), Andrew Pernsteiner (oxygen bar), James Bartelt (the robot), Shannon Paulus (robot face), and Jesse Johnson (the robo-photographer).

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The Big Week, October 6

In this episode: corpses, the financial crisis, smoking citations, and the Chippewa Valley Book Festival. It's the big week. Get big.

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Sunday, Oct. 5th, 2008

Weekly Shakedown

Just in case you were locked in the truck of a car all week (we won’t ask) here’s some stuff you might have missed:

So enjoy all that stuff.

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Friday, Oct. 3rd, 2008

Saturday: Homecoming All Up In Your Face

There’s a few UWEC homecoming events on Saturday. Just a few ... thousand. Here's a taste:

… and of course, general sporadic mayhem. If you’re not into Homecoming, here’s some good stuff that doesn’t involve either UWEC or Water Street:

Have a good one!

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Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 2008

Hey, "Average Joe Six Pack..."

Thursday night’s vice presidential battle between Palin and Biden was one of the most highly anticipated VP debates in history, posting massive ratings on several networks. Both had good things to say, but I want to talk about the remarkable character that is Sarah Palin.

At this point Palin has taken what was originally her honest, real “folksy” personality, and (no doubt with the help of some strategic coaching) has manufactured an over-the-top, caricaturized, down-home “brand.” Every sound byte is sprinkled with a series of catch phrases, clichés, and cheesy lines she seems to think "hockey moms" across the country will respond to. So I want to know, do they work?

Whether you support her or not, you’ve got to admit she’s either A) pretty charismatic, or B) pretty hysterical. Regardless, here were a few of my favorite of her phrases of the night, all delivered in that now classic Palin accent:

  • “Dog gone it”
  • “You betcha”
  • “Average Joe-Six-Pack”
  • “A coupla mavericks”
  • “I gotta give a shout out”
  • “Say it ain’t so Joe!”
  • “At the end of the day, it’s gonna be ok”

With that lexicon and a series of no less than three winks at the camera, I’m guessing you either love her or hate her.

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Seven Hundred Something

So the big 700 billion bailout passed the Senate yesterday. Not sure how that’s all gonna shake out. But according to from a few days ago, in a story about Ron Kind visiting Eau Claire on Tuesday, the original plan called for a “$700,000 billion” bailout:

  • Congressman Ron Kind, who voted in favor of the $700,000 billion bailout Monday, was in Eau Claire Tuesday to talk to local business leaders. But not everyone agrees that a economic bailout is needed.

$700,000 billion?! Sweet Jesus, pass that one! Not sure where we’d get that kind of money from, but who cares? As soon as a 700 billion gajillion bailout went into effect, we could all buy bottles of Champaign champagne – to bathe in. With a 700 quadruple trillion fantast-i-million dollar bailout, we could all quit our jobs, walk around in our underwear all damn day and built build airplanes that fly to the moon!

Why is this important legislation not getting proposed?

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Wednesday, Oct. 1st, 2008

Volume One in Morocco, on a Camel

Long time Volume One contributor Hannah has a day job that takes her all over the damn world. She sent us this sandy pic last year and said, "Hey, everyone – just got back from Morocco and here's the camel that took me into the Sahara – where we spent the night in a Berber tent ... er ... not the camel and I – the camel had separate sleeping quarters."

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Local Baby’s Birth Actually Like the Movies

If you’ve been anywhere near a woman in labor, you know that it’s not like the movies where ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BABY IS COMING OUT and everyone needs to hurtle themselves into a car and rocket down the highway at 80mph, and HOLY CRAP, you need to give birth in the backseat (at 80mph) while an unlikely person steps up to help deliver the perfectly healthy baby (at 80mph). More often than not, it’s like two days of annoyingly achy waiting that slowly builds to a very non-highway-related climax of lots of pain that might last a whole ‘nother day if you’re not lucky. Unless you are 20-year-old Ellie Godown. From

  • As their van barreled toward Eau Claire, little Mary Ann didn't wait for her mom to get to the hospital. She was born right here on I-94 at 80 miles an hour.
  • "It was shocking and kind of scary," Ellie says.
  • Racing down the interstate, the 20 year old remembers the pain, but now safely at the hospital, she says it all seems pretty surreal. That includes the fact that it was her 14-year-old friend who helped deliver her little girl.
  • "It's a miracle," says Abi Middleton, Ellie’s friend. "I was sitting there and all of a sudden it was like the baby was coming out and then the baby came out. We were driving really fast and then she was just in the bed. It just happened really fast."

Abi says she was totally freaking out, man, though witnesses in the car says she looked calm. I guess sometimes life is just like the movies. Or better.

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