Archive for August, 2010

At a gain for words

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Watching television, it becomes difficult to avoid the overuse and euphemistic display of words.  I confess to enjoying golf (no time out, no coach, no defense, no cheating, no primal end-zone dance) because I can mute the blather of the announcers.  In my own defense, I have neither played nor lifted a club since Gerald R. Ford was president, so please excuse my davenport sloth.

Here is what I find dreadful; a ten second video (any player, take your pick) of, The Konica Minolta Biz Hub Swing Vision Camera.  Isn’t that what we once, simply, called ‘slow motion’

A commercial of a handsome bare-chested  stud is about to apply, Gillette Clinical Odor Shield.  Would that be deodorant

The overhead blimp becomes, The Met Life Airship, Snoopy III, piloted by Captain Bligh and the CBS crew.  I guess he starts the fan.  And really, aren’t the shots above all golf courses, football stadiums, and enclosed sporting venues about the same ?  Here’s a thought; use file footage and retire the captain and the beagle.

The weatherpeople (each station now has four) have a new buzzword, Rip Currents, a harsh, gripping, attention-getting phrase that suggests danger and possible death by drowning.  We used to call it undertow but that doesn’t have the pizzazz when you are reporting from the Severe Weather Monster Storm Dual Doppler Extreme Weather Team.  I suspect the meteorologists all get on the NOAA website and read the same weather report.

The news department is no better.  Brian or Katie report that 12,000 troops are being sent into harm’s way in Afghanistan.  Harm’s way, my @ss.  Why not dispense with daintiness and call it what it is…danger.

And variations of the following are frequent; an estranged mother of three disappeared six weeks ago last seen in the company of her ex-husband (recently released from prison for domestic abuse, chronic alcoholism, and violating restraining orders) while being dragged by her hair from a local saloon.  Area wide law enforcement agencies have yet to unearth her remains. The ex-husband is being considered, (drum roll), a person of interest. A person of interest….egad, when did we begin to tiptoe around the simple description, suspect

Imagine for a moment that the esteemed editor of an RV lifestyle magazine, a raconteur, a journalist, intellectual, and consummate family man……..and you might think of him as an interesting person.  However, a simple interchange of words, should he instead become a person of interest.  Now you might view him in an orange jump-suit, shackled at the waist and ankles, carefully descending the stairs of an aircraft with the U.S. Marshall Service as guides.  Scary thought.

Enough for now. Writing this column can become harmswaygeous.

Cape Cod vs. Cape Odd

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Bayfield, WI * is the drop point for the ferry to romantic Madeline Island, queen of the Apostle Islands in Chequamegon Bay, south shore of Lake Superior.Bayfield has that Cape Cod feel; gifts, galleries, groceries, and gulls.  Minus the arrogant east coast snobbery, i.e., noses lifted to the smug level, arrogant accents, and the compulsory upscale casual dress to emulate the impression of New England “old money”.

I did, however, see one Izod polo shirt being worn by a mid-30s woman with a very attractive figure, although I was only staring at the little crocodile, not the statuesque bosom on which it was conveniently mounted.

Honest.

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Everything but sand dunes and salty airdscn5208.JPG

Popular hotel; typical architecture 

Tiring of the tourist trade, we head south to Cable, WI,

dscn5229.JPGCan Direct TV,WI, or Dish Network, WI, be far away ?

so Lynn can enjoy a quilt show as I watch the midway point of a 50.5 mile bicycle race in progress.  These boys were serious; shrink wrapped in Del Monte fruit cocktail colors, pointy helmets, aerodynamic drafting.  Happened so quickly one could feel the breeze.  And smell the maraschino cherries.

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The Peleton passes, Le Tour de Cable

Hayward, WI, is home to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, a two acre landscaped testimony to beer drinking, tieing flies, and telling lies.  The featured artwork, a seventy foot muskie that invites you to climb through its intestines to intimately examine fish dentistry, is too much to resist.

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Enjoying fish saliva, up close and personal

Like many attractions, photo-ops abound, as Lynn lands a 300 lb. water-extended polystyrene bluegill.

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We’re going to conclude this day having dinner at the original location of Famous Dave’s @ Round Lake, WI. for ribs.  With nearly 150 locations nationwide, we haven’t been so honored since we dined at the original KFC in Corbin, KY, in 1998.

* from the Ashland, WI Daily Press, 30Jul2010,

the Bayfield County Sheriff report:

  • 8:08 AM, report of fire under vehicle
  • 8:11 AM, report of vehicle in ditch
  • 8:19 AM, report of large trees down on side of road
  • 9:01 AM, report of three y/o female at her dad’s house involved in a 3-wheeler accident and not taken to the hospital until picked up by her mother more than 12 hours later
  • 9:07 AM, report of a cat bite
  • 9:36 AM, vacuum cleaner found on side of the road
  • 9:53 AM, report of signs saying ” NO ATV’s ” at gravel pit being shot by shotguns

How would you liked working the first shift that morning ?

Absolutely certain that it was a crocodile on that magnificent, perfectly shaped breast, I’m now having a second thought….maybe, just maybe, it was a polo pony.

I’m going back to check.

A smile south of Washburn, WI; just call me ‘Bill’

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

It happens infrequently while you travel slowly, the intersection between luck and serendipity, that yields the endearing moment you least expect.  On remote highway WI-13,

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meet Bill

Once a gravedigger, he stopped shaving and began woodcarving when Nixon waved goodbye from that stairway on the helicopter.   Not content to dance to our drummer, his path of least resistance leads to a modest workshop/studio/shed and bed, breathing sawdust and sculpting life.

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Path to the inner sanctum

No stranger to camping, he fashioned his own classB motorhome on the rusted chassis of a Chevy truck.  “Don’t use it much once I passed 75…I’m too old and that’s too fast”

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Where’s the circus ?

We tried to buy a beautiful fish, shaped and polished from burled walnut, but it was NFS, one of his favorites he could not part with.  “Most of what I have in the studio (it was crammed with wooden art, every piece he had done himself) is only for display.

“However, if we express interest in a raven topped totem pole seen below in its infancy, he might be able to talk.

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A stranger to personal hygiene, he is in remarkably good health and spirit, and recommended we stop down the road to look at his favorite truck, a 1927 Ford.

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We don’t want your arms, we don’t want your legs, just give us your tows

Bill doesn’t have a cell phone, a TV, or a computer, only a Motorola portable radio that ‘needs new batteries’ and he’s never heard of a social networking site.  I asked him if he remembered Elian Gonzalez and Janet Reno and the tug-o-war with Cuba in 2000.

“Vaguely”.

How about the oil spill ?

“Oh, yes, but I didn’t know where it was in Mexico or when it started.  Is it fixed?”

There aren’t enough Bills in the world.