Volume One Contributors

writers, photographers, artists

Mike Paulus


Content By This Contributor:

From Jaxson to Ellie: The Valley's Most Popular Baby Names of 2014

Mike Paulus

It’s always to fun to see what people are naming their kids these days, so we can learn about cool new monikers – or scoff at the latest in trendy vowel swapping. So what local names ruled in 2014? Check it out: Mayo Clinic Health System reports ...

Prediction Infliction

an uneducated guess at what we’ll be talking about in 2015

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Janae Breunig

Well, here you are. Reading this at a time when most people love to look back over the past year, quietly reflecting on what has come to pass. The highs. The lows. The halfway-between-high-and-lows. It’s a time for introspection. A time to plum ...

Who sang the Menards jingle?

Mike Paulus

After running a blog post on the history of the Menards Jingle, City Pages was contacted by the lady who actually sang the jingle was another singer back in the early '80s.

Wisconsin grocery stores howling for growlers

Mike Paulus

The recent explosion in Wisconsin's craft brewing scene has brought about a number of changes in how we consume beer, introducing Wisconsinites to a number of trends that are quickly becoming the new norm. One such change to the frothy landscape ...

Local Chef (and kids) to appear on Food Network

Mike Paulus

Eau Claire chef and single mom Laurel Robertson has run her own catering business – Dinner's On – for ten years, and she's been the Executive Chef and General Manager at Fired Up Pizza Company for three years, but on Sunday she'll be grabbing ...

Fantastic fantasy-style map of Wisconsin

Mike Paulus

Posted a few days ago by imgur user mbingcrosby, this map shows Wisconsin as it might be imagined by J. R. R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin, or a similar titan of fantasy fiction (with multiple "R" initials).

Local holiday cover tunes (2014 edition)

Mike Paulus

As you read this, Volume One is proud to be hosting 2014's collection of classic Christmas tunes covered by a bunch of local and formerly local musicians. The new songs (as well as music from years past) is available for your listening pleasure ...

Me and Santa Claus

rough patches in my relationship with the jolly ol’ elf

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Beth Czech

Well, Christmastime is here. It’s time for joy. It’s time for cheer. It’s time for sugar plum fairies to flit about your dreams, sprinkling your sleepy time thoughts with glitter and cinnamon. And of course, it’s time for Santa Claus. And speaking of Santa Claus, that cheery ol’ fat man always reminds me of a wayside bathroom nestled alongside Highway 53 between Eau Claire and Rice Lake – in the summertime.

The Wisconsin-Made Festivus Pole

Mike Paulus

We're well into the holiday season, and you know what that means. Festivus is fast approaching. It seems to come sooner every year, right? Before you know it, boom, it’s the 23rd and another Festivus is upon us. You’re probably knee deep in ...

Saturday: Here We Go A-Parading

Mike Paulus

Eau Claire’s Clearwater Winter Parade is shaping up for Saturday, Dec. 20, running 5–6pm. This year’s parade will start near the County Courthouse on Grand Avenue, then proceed down First Avenue and past Owen Park. Following the parade ...

Hating Homemade Christmas

the classic struggle of crafting your own Christmas gifts

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Janae Breunig

The English language contains very few phrases capable of tearing a family completely apart in mere seconds. But there are a handful. And chief amongst them is the following series of five words: “Should we do Homemade Christmas?”

The holidays heat up in the Chippewa Valley

Mike Paulus

If you’re of the holly-jolly persuasion, it’s a good time to be living in the Chippewa Valley – this weekend especially. Over in Chippewa Falls, Irvine Park’s massive Christmas Village light display (featuring over 60,000 lights, my little elves) ...

This Is What We Know About the Cold

exploring this thing that's so central to our wintertime life

Mike Paulus

Old Man Winter came to us early this year. Fast and quiet beneath a starlit sky, he slipped down the streets of our city, dragging his skinny ice-capped fingers across our windowsills, his diamond-hard eyes scanning for cracks ...

Breaking Trees

sometimes the best part of the forest is the dead part

Mike Paulus

November is a great month for pushing over dead trees, perhaps the best. I spent years wandering the wooded acres of northern Wisconsin, tracing my dad’s footsteps along deer trails and over hillsides covered in shiny brown oak leaves ...

Carve It Out

spotlighting local pride via the humble jack-o-lantern

Mike Paulus, photos by Jesse Johnson

There is power in pumpkins. A few weeks back, a Volume One reader was looking for something local to carve into this year’s jack-o-lantern, and they had a hard time coming up with any kind of iconic imagery ...

UFO Wisconsin’s interactive UFO map of Wisconsin

Mike Paulus

With Halloween fast approaching many of us turn our attention to stories of things that are, shall we say, more than natural. And while many of you relish in tales of ghouls and monsters, let's not forget that other box of paranormal treats ...

Check out the ol' downtown bus station

Mike Paulus

Hey, remember when the ol' Greyhound bus station used to snuggle up to The State Theatre (where they showed movies – not plays – and had a bowling alley in the basement)? And remember when the Moose Lodge was just plopped ...

So Long, Sheriff Bob: Local legend Bob Dawson passes away

Mike Paulus

As you may have heard, local legend Bob Dawson passed away on Monday (Oct. 20). He was 90 years old. Countless Chippewa Vallians knew him as "Sheriff Bob," the star of WEAU's iconic Sheriff Bob kids' show from 1954 to 1978. The idea of a local, Chipp

Ghost Stories

why I’m not afraid of a good frightful tale

Mike Paulus

Ghost stories are not common in my family. Sure, a number of different family members have lived in an old farmhouse where things have ... happened. Weird things. Shaking beds. Screen doors flinging themselves open ...

Attention, Lovers! Check Out Wisconsin's More Romantic Towns

Mike Paulus

Autumn in Wisconsin just screams for a romantic getaway. And lucky for you, the folks at Discover Wisconsin have assembled a list of our state's "most romantic towns." I'm not sure what yard stick they use for this ...

The Best of Me

this year’s Best of the Mike Paulus Poll was a doozy!

Mike Paulus

The votes are in, the polls are closed, and the tallies have been ... tallied. So it’s with great pleasure and excitement that I present to you the results of my 2014 Best of the Mike Paulus Poll wherein I polled only myself. Strenuously.

Wisconsin Fall Color Report reports Wisconsin's fall colors

Mike Paulus

You better hurry up and make your leaf-looking plans, local leaf-looking fans! Eau Claire County is currently at 30% Autumn-ness, with an estimated Go Look at the Awesome Trees Cuz It Only Gets Browner from Here Time ...

What Happened to Our Neighbor-stores?

a dwindling handful of properties deep within our neighborhoods still allow commercial use

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Beth Czech

So I was out for jovial walk with the family one evening, and while we merrily strolled through the neighborhood, I was struck (as I often am) by an all-encompassing urge. I wanted a tasty coffee-based beverage. Unfortunately, we were upon ...

Eau Claire ranked 59th most livable city in the United States

Mike Paulus

In their second annual ranking of small to mid-sized cities in the United States, website Livability.com has ranked little ol' Eau Claire as the 59th most "livable city" in the United States. Their "Top 100 Best Places to Live" list was published ...

Here's Looking at Eau Claire

Mike Paulus

Prolific local photographer and Eau Claire native Travis Dewitz has spent countless hours preserving the city of Eau Claire on (digital) film. Within his many personal photo series, you’ll find an extensive collection of images documenting ...

South Barstow Street Demolition: Before & After

Mike Paulus, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Now that the buildings which occupied the block of South Barstow Street closest to the Eau Claire River have been completely demolished, we thought you might be interested in seeing the change it's made to the look of downtown Eau Claire.

Eau Claire Police seek help in finding Sculpture Tour vandals

Mike Paulus

The surveillance footage obtained by the ECPD clearly shows a group of what appears to be oversized toddlers posing with and taking pictures of the $6,300 public art installation (handcrafted to bring joy and beauty to our city's streets), before ...

Get On Board

sometimes life is a downhill battle

Mike Paulus

The hill on 14th Street always made me nervous – which is odd. It’s not very tall. And also, it’s not very steep. It’s just a gradual slope through a residential Eau Claire neighborhood. And at the time in question, its blacktop surface ...

The United States ... ranked by beer

Mike Paulus

This one website ranked the States of the Union according to their regional beer offerings (and beery culture), and while there's no reason to take it seriously, they ranked Wisconsin at ...

Fun By the Truckload

amazing childhood memories about uncomfortable transportation

Mike Paulus

At one time, my entire family could fit into the cab of my dad’s mid-’80s Ford F-150 pickup truck. My dad, my mom, my sister, and myself – all of us nestled in, side by side on the truck’s vinyl-clad bench seat.

UPDATE: Another Sculpture Tour Eau Claire theft

Mike Paulus

Unfortunately, another sculpture has been stolen from Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. The $11,000 sculpture taken in May of 2013 (from its pedestal in front of Stella Blues on Madison Street) is yet to be recovered. A $1500 reward is offered for ...

Milwaukee's amazing Riverwest 24 bike race

Mike Paulus

Check out this cool video about Riverwest 24 – a bike race that's so much more than a bike race. Held annually in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood, the race sends competitors through an urban course, challenging riders to complete as many laps ...

A Double-Edged Sword

finding that magical place where you can love what you love

Mike Paulus

I do not own a sword. And to be honest, if I possessed enough disposable income to buy and display a truly fantastic dragon-slayin’ blade, I probably wouldn’t. I’m just not a buy-a-sword-and-hang-it-on-the-wall-over-my-family-room-couch kinda guy.

Michael Perry's crop talk

Mike Paulus

Wisconsin Public Television's Wisconsin Life tapped the Chippewa Valley's Michael Perry to muse on crops (or the lack thereof). The segment aired on Monday, July 21.

$100,000 challenge grant announced for Confluence Project

Mike Paulus

Today, local advocacy group Community for the Confluence announced a $100,000 challenge grant, hoping to gather 6,000 donations in 60 days through regular donations and a special "text-2-give" mobile campaign. The money will go towards ...

Local bear chills out

Mike Paulus, photos by Sam Boos

Livin' large at Irvine Park Zoo, y'all. Totally bearable, amiright?

Twenty Minutes

Driving in Eau Claire is not that complicated. Usually.

Mike Paulus

People, listen to me. It takes, at most, 20 minutes to drive anywhere in the city or Eau Claire. It’s true. If you leave 20 minutes before you need to be somewhere – and follow our fair city’s fine traffic laws – you will always make ...

Dose of Nostalgia: Old Kerm's Photo

Mike Paulus

After seeing this awesome old photo of Kerm's posted by Robert Scott to the You Know You're From Eau Claire When … Facebook page, we tracked down Googled for the source – and found the image hosted by the Walker Grocery Group ...

I Got Here First

the quest for bragging rights is fraught with danger

Mike Paulus

I’m sorry to break it to you, guys, but I was here first. I was the very first person to read the words that you are now reading. Like this word right here. And these words down here. I know what’s going to happen before you do because ...

Fantastic 1920s Aerial Photo of the Confluence

Mike Paulus

Check out this great old aerial photo showing the Eau Claire river right before it runs into the Chippewa – from the 1920s. Steve Johnson posted the image (a cropped version of a photograph given to him) to ...

Spotted in Eau Claire: Mossy concrete ruins

Mike Paulus

Just found an awesome bunch of photos posted by Eau Clairian Holly Johnson to the You Know You are From Eau Claire When... Facebook group today. She says, "I was walking on trail behind Dairy Queen a bit past Carson Park and stumbled upon ..."

Chew On This

excitement over chain eateries: not the end of the world

Mike Paulus

Before he died, my grandpa liked taking my grandma out for dinner at the Dairy Queen right on the main drag in Siren. For a while, it was their favorite spot. I’m not sure what they ate there, but I believe the chicken strip basket was ordered ...

Let's Blow This Joint

dislocating your shoulder is about as fun as it sounds

Mike Paulus

A month and a half ago, I dislocated my shoulder. First, allow me to say that shortly after it was dislocated, a medical doctor relocated my shoulder to its proper location, and if all goes according to plan, this will be its final location ...

Forbes profiles JAMF Software

Mike Paulus

"We were really a bootstrap organization. For the first five years, we didn’t hire people and we didn’t get paid,” says JAMF Software founder and co-CEO Zach Halmstad.

Eau Claire Municipal Band on the move

Mike Paulus

"The Eau Claire Municipal Band, under the direction of Mr. Brad Stoughton, is pleased to announce they will be performing their free concerts on Wednesday evenings beginning this summer. The concerts, formerly on Thursday evenings, will be ..."

Rest in Peace, Eau Claire Winter Parade

Mike Paulus

For the past two years, the City of Eau Claire and Water Street businesses experimented with a holiday/winter parade, but as of a meeting on Thursday night (5-1), the parade has been rained upon. Meaning, it won't happen again in the foreseeable ...

The Playing Field

finding some roots in a wide open space

Mike Paulus

I grew up on Eau Claire’s west side, almost directly across the street from a huge empty lot. The lot was mostly covered by a field of tall grass, but it contained a few small pockets of woods and an old dead tree just laying on its side out ...

Tired of the Conversation

maybe our pothole ‘problem’ is an opportunity in disguise

Mike Paulus

Sorry, but I love potholes. And I’m so happy to live in a city with so many of them.