Yearly Archives: 2011

McKenna and Droogs Torment Private Citizen

Madison, WI – Every so often I’m blown away by an outstanding work of journalism. I love a well developed and thought provoking piece that enriches my understanding of the world I inhabit. I stumbled upon such journalism earlier this week, a work by Brian Sikma, an ambitious writer who pins down provocative issues with probing questions and unflinching fortitude. On Dec. 4, The Green Bay Press Gazette posted a story on its Facebook page about Wisconsin’s Department of Justice plan to slash funding for its Sexual Assault Victim Services program by 42.5 percent. The program, established in 1995, provides… Continue Reading

Goals: Past & Present

UW-Madison Arboretum in southwest Madison, WI. Going into 2011 I expected to at least double last year’s number of posts. At that point I was eying an extended summer road trip followed by an autumn overseas. Neither happened. Now, as 2012 approaches, I end 2011 with considerably fewer posts than in 2010. So much for goals. I was never good at them anyhow. Did everyone have good Thanksgiving? Mine was good, aside from the carbon monoxide thing, and then the turkey catching fire thing. In the end, they added up to a whole lot of nothing and we ate heartily.… Continue Reading

Recall Fever Sweeps Wisconsin

Wisconsin residents are working overtime to derail their governor. Madison, WI – Recall fever has struck Wisconsin, where a monumental effort is underway to oust Gov. Scott Walker less than a year after the radical conservative took office. After months of planning, the campaign began in earnest early last week when thousands of volunteers hit the streets to gather the 540,000 signatures necessary to force a recall election. Remarkably, in less than a week, more than 105,000 people have signed the petitions. That’s more than one-fifth of the total signatures needed, with more than 50 days to go before the… Continue Reading

The Dark Beauty of the Badlands

Badlands, SD – Cruising along the meandering scenic bypass through Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota it’s difficult to ignore the supernatural inklings they evoke. Teddy Roosevelt, awed by the dark beauty of this region, aptly described the Badlands as “hell without the fire.” Indeed, this vast, jagged landscape is composed of eroded buttes and spires spread across nearly 244,000 acres that formed as a giant sea receded some 69 million years ago. Prehistoric animals likes mammoths, rhinos and saber-toothed cats once flourished here, making it one of the most fossil-rich areas in the nation, with some fossils dating… Continue Reading

The Town That Couldn’t

Lost Springs, WY – If you’re looking for a drive to get away from it all, I-25 north from Denver to US-HWY 20 east in Wyoming is about as remote as it gets. Two-hundred-and-fifty miles of beautiful nothing. You won’t see utility lines strung along as there are no towns along the way. It’s beautiful country, with large, rocky hills covered with prairie short grass. Wyoming is the nation’s least populous state and Lost Springs is its least populous town. Lost Springs sits on US-HWY 20 east. It’s a town that never really was. It’s population peaked during the mining… Continue Reading

Dude, Quit Pissin’ on My Van

The guy in the white plaid shirt in the background was one of four people I caught pissing on my van. Commerce City, CO – On our first day on the lot at Dick’s Sporting Good’s Park, a tall dready I’d met prior to the lot opening pulls me aside to ask if I want to do a bunch of coke. “Not really,” I reply. He seems a little surprised, a little disappointed. “Mind if I duck inside your van for a minute?” he asks, like he really needs a bump. “Ah,” I say, “I’d rather you didn’t.” No luck… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Using a Uniquely Human Trait: Foresight

Commerce City, CO – When hashing out the logistics of big projects I can always count on one thing: forgetting something important. Halfway to Denver I realized I’d forgotten several important things. First was a jar full of silver change that I save to pay meters, tolls and other small expenses. Next it occurred to me that I’d forgotten the folding table, which necessitated us having to purchase one in Colorado. I also left behind our drink cups and shot glasses as well as our extra cooler. In all, my forgetfulness set us back $100. D’oh! These were small things… Continue Reading

Red Rocks: One of Colorado’s Greatest Treasures

Morrison, CO – Colorado is full of natural wonders, undying beauty and vast open wilderness. Though the eastern range is a little flat and barren, you need not travel too far west of Denver to discover why the area has dazzled humans since the time Clovis technology made its way south from the Bering land bridge. Just fifteen minutes from downtown Denver you’ll find Red Rocks Park, famous for its world-class outdoor amphitheater and its gigantic red sandstone outcroppings. Many of the rocks are sedimentary and formed the bed of giant river more than 245 million years ago. Then, beginning… Continue Reading

Down and Out in Denver

Denver, CO – One of my favorite state crossings is from Nebraska into Colorado. The landscape changes almost instantly from endless acres of corn-covered farmland to a craggy-soiled moonscape dotted with tufts of sage and desert brush. Barbed-wire fences meander into the horizon, disappearing into a wide open sky. I love Denver, t00. As far as cities go it is clean, easy to navigate and the people are notably polite and helpful. I was called ‘hon’ more times here than in Hon Town, Baltimore and the bums say ‘thank you’ whether you give them change or not. No one in… Continue Reading

Nebraska Gothic

Gothenburg, NE – There isn’t much to Nebraska, at least along the I-80 corridor, which stretches clear across the state. Its sheer length and monotony is in and of itself a head game. Mile upon mile of flat, endless farmland that before long causes the eyes to go out of whack, as if you’ve stared too long at a fixed point. No amount of blinking or shifting around can bring the world back into focus. It’s nearly as bad as driving at night. Pulling over to stretch and gather your bearings is the only remedy. After fighting my eyes over… Continue Reading
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