Monthly Archives: February 2007

“He Was Just Showing Me a Whistle”

Eds Note:  Dino decided to just start a conversation this week.  Or maybe 31 of them.  Thirty-one flavors of discussion?  I think he has been hanging out on Myspace too much.

Aaron Sorkin is smarter than I am.

Dino CorvinoBy Dino Corvino

So as I ponder this new wave of constructive criticism, and some great opinions, I have decided that I am not all that interested in any of it.  For me it sort of comes down to this, I like Bill.  He is a nut case, but he is nut case who is finding his way through this whole thing.  I think rather than telling him what he is not doing, why do we not tell him what he is doing right, and gently ask him to do more.  Or we can try other options, like quitting.

In a continuation of my previous threads, here we go.

My questions for the week:

  • 1.Who brought the idea of the Weston Dog Park to the table?  How come we Wausau people do not have a good Dog Park?  Dog Parks rule.
  • 2.Do you remember the Wausau Timbers?  Is there an organ at Athletic Park?  Who is the organ player?  What kind of grass is the field?
  • 3.How many people live in Wausau?  Weston?  Rothschild? Schofield?
  • 4.How many video stores are there in this city?
  • 5.Have we ever had someone drown in the city pools?  Does the city remember when the lifeguards from R-S Pool invaded?  I had nothing to do with that.
  • 6.What is the oldest person in the big cemetery on Grand Avenue?  Who owns cemeteries?  Are they a good investment?
  • 7.How many people go to the Chess Club?
  • 8.How does Wausau Area Events pay for itself?  I think it is sort of part of the city, but have never seen it on the agenda.  I know there is something to do with room taxes, but in all honesty I have no idea what that even means.  But I thought Leah would know, and since she is here, why not get the actual correct answer.
  • 9.How big of a company is Eastbay or whatever it is called now?
  • 10.Who makes the best Egg Foo Yung(sp?) in this city?
  • 11.Why in god’s name are snowmobile trails not open to mt bikers in the summer?  Or horses?  We need more horses.
  • 12.If you had to go someplace to slow dance with the girl you love, where do you go?
  • 13.Does St Clairs have the best ties?  I bought a suit there once.  They are really nice.
  • 14.How come the guys from Downtown Grocery are not millionaires already?  What in god’s name is stopping the whole town from shopping there?
  • 15.If one wanted to buy a viola, where would one go?
  • 16.What are the things on ballerina’s feet?  Those shoes with the pointy toes?
  • 17.Does Datawave still exist?
  • 18.In the Wausau public schools what sort of sexual education do young people get?  HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A LIGHTNING ROD.
  • 19.Are you Democrats and Republicans meeting regularly and getting ready for the election season?  Who is the Republican boss?
  • 20.What happened to the guys who started Wee Bee CD’s?
  • 21.In Heiniken better than Guiness?  What is a good introductory beer for non drinkers?
  • 22.Do you think Tom Jeter and Lucy will make it?
  • 23.Who are Wausau’s version of the Kennedy’s?
  • 24.If we added another festival to the island of Big Bull, what should it be?
  • 25.Do you believe in God?
  • 26.Am I convincing you about the whole Burt thing?  He is trouble, and I think he does not have America’s best interest at heart.
  • 27.Is Ed Gale a ninja, or am I just totally off base?
  • 28.Was Don Mattingly a better hitter than Tony Gwynn?
  • 29.Is Wayne Steffenhagen a good football coach?
  • 30.What about that Burt thing?
  • 31.Do cows ever run?

Let the Games Begin!

John H. FischerBy Dr. Rent

There are so many topics I could choose to write about this week, based on comments made both on this blog and the Daily Herald’s. But this is not my blog and although I have enough topics to do daily posts for the next month, I want to stay with my one-per-week “official” contribution. And I am sure that Bill doesn’t need me monopolizing this either. This was the post that I was originally going to do, I learned long ago, stick with first instinct.

One of the things I get to experience as a landlord with commercial properties is that often I am the first to know about new businesses coming into town. And now and then, we get to participate in the process. I am personally excited to have played a role in not only a new business opening soon, but a new kind of business.

Vertigo Gaming will be opening soon on a building we have on 1st Avenue here in Wausau. When the owners (the Forbes) first approached us, we had reservations. We are somewhat selective on whom we will rent to, and we will not be the landlords for bars or video arcades (based on bad experiences). It was not until after meeting with them for a few hours that I discovered this is not an arcade.

Back in my army days, I was an active player of D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). Although I have picked up the game again recently after a 15-year absence, a great deal has changed with multi-player roll-playing games. So much of it is computerized.

Many kids (and even adults) playing now are playing on home computers. Maybe it is the same computer mom and dad use so it doesn’t have the processor in it for hard core gaming. Maybe they have a decent gaming computer, but they are sharing bandwidth with other users in the house. The goal of Vertigo is to give these gamers a safe place where they can get online, and do their gaming on some state-of-the-art equipment at bandwidths not available to the average home user.

(For those of us old-school types, they have in their business plan an area for pen & paper gamers and even old video game systems such as Atari and Colecovision.)

Their new location is actually an old shoe factory. This building that I called “the jolly green giant” because it was three stories tall, no windows, and green steel siding has been reborn in the past few years. It has been the home of Bethesda Thrift Shop for decades and home to the Tea Palace for nearly a year. Now it will be home to a truly new kind of business… bringing a great new life to what used to be an eyesore.

The path here was not easy for the Forbes, including 4 separate hurdles thrown at them by the City. But having attended the meetings of the Plan Commission, the Health and Safety Committee and the Council, the City agrees this unique business should have a chance to prove itself and has been given unanimous approvals at all levels. The last hurdle before they can open their doors is City approval of the “Entertainment Facility” license. This is a new license in Wausau and is administered similar to a liquor license. Vertigo was the first new business to require this. So they are leading the way in more ways than one.

Vertigo Gaming Center — WELCOME TO WAUSAU. Just one more thing that we (as a community) have to offer.

Dr. Rent.

Celebrate with the LYWAM!

By Christine Martens 

The Woodson Art Museum has always had an amazing way not just showing art, but for inviting the community to experience art. The words art museum tend to invoke visions of inaccessible paintings hanging in spartan rooms. The Woodson has toppled that image for all who have visited. It is an amazing place that never fails to impress.

Five years ago they created yet another way to bring art to children- The Art Park. Of course occasionally you may see an adult playing there, too, (OK, there are a lot of us down there having as much fun as the kids.) This weekend they are inviting everyone to celebrate with them:

Let’s Celebrate . . . with Kites!
Saturday, February 24, 2007
1 – 2 pm & 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Art Park is 5 years old . . . and still young at heART!

At these two sessions, families get ready for the kite-flying season by making a sled kite with instruction from Dale and Pam Bowden. The Bowdens hail from Wisconsin Rapids and are members of the Wisconsin Kiters, the American Kitefliers Association, and KOWS, a synchronized kite-flying team. Fee: $5 per kite. Call 715-845-7010 or email to register for this program.

Let’s Celebrate . . . with Cake!
Sunday, February 25, 2007
1 – 3 pm
Art Park is 5 years old . . . and still young at heART!

A birthday cake, of course! Join us for cake and Culver’s Custard, art projects, a puppet show, a few rounds of the Happy Birthday song, and general merriment at this free community event.

Friday Dudley: February 23, 2007

A bit late, but not bad.

Click for Larger Image

Is Spring Around the Corner? Or Is It Just a Cobweb?

Eds Note: This just occured to me.

Bill CoadyBy Bill Coady

After a couple of weeks here in the Wisconsin deep freeze you start to go a little stir crazy, and the mind turns to anything that might be a harbinger of spring. It has been so bad lately, this need for spring, that my fancy has turned to mopping. Yes, even spring cleaning has some appeal to me if it will break the below zero parade currently passing by.

Having my mind turn to spring cleaning is certainly a sign of complete desperation or perhaps even the apocolypse. Anyone who has known me for more than a couple of weeks knows I am a complete slob. Saying that I am a “pig trough slob” is a no-brainer on the order of saying Dubya is “A little slow on the uptake.” Or saying that his “Dick shoots prematurely.” Even a knuckle dragging Neanderthal emerging from a cave freed from the ice by global warming after 30,000 years would recognize these simple truths.

I don’t know even where to begin to describe my lack of housekeeping prowess. Perhaps one example might suffice. Most people might occasionally get a dust bunny or two. I have dust dragons. Winged fire breathing creatures, with thick scales, razor sharp claws and teeth. Dragons that mainline Dragon Chow directly from Chernobyl. Dust dragons whose seething sulfurous emissions (much to my chagrin) actually improve the smell of the room. These are the kind of dust dragons I have. Creatures that it would take the amazing powers of Harry Potter to dislodge from under the bed or davenport.

Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to use that kind of language on a family blog here in Wausau. See, where I come from, “davenport” is not a city in Iowa. It is a “sofa” or a “couch.” In fact, having been born in New Jersey, I didn’t even recognize that Iowa was a state until recently. All the geography we needed to know was contained in the Philadelphia Phillies schedule. If they didn’t play there, it was obviously foreign soil. As far as I know, the Phillies never played in Iowa, so it must not be part of the United States. Occasionally, the Phillies roster would feature someone who had been born in Iowa, but we always figured that it was an island in the Caribbean, like the Dominican Republic or Jamaica. And if the player’s birthplace was listed as “Davenport, Iowa” we assumed this was sad commentary on the lack of hospital space on the impoverished island. But I digress. Ummm, where was I?

Oh yes, spring cleaning. I really, really need some of that around here. To be frightfully honest, my house looks like the Munster’s – and they have been dead for some 40 years. At this point I am pretty sure that the cobwebs are actually keeping the molding around the ceiling in place. Did I just say “molding?” Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, some people have sensitive stomachs. I hate to think of the image this conjures up in my kitchen.

I have thought seriously that since I am so resource limited when it comes to actually swinging a mop or broom, that I should engage someone who might have a special talent in this area. Unfortunately I am also resource limited — financially speaking, that is — that it would have to be a direct trade of services. But then I ponder, what could possibly be a fair trade for taking on the dust dragons? Perhaps getting a few pomegranates at a Baghdad market? Listening to Bill O’Reilly for five minutes? Disarming a live nuclear device blindfolded? Hunting with Dick?

None of the same seem to hold the same dangers or excruciating pain that I am sure would entail from opening my closet unarmed. I don’t even want to think about what is there in the back, way back, in that dark corner. Whatever it is, I think it is drooling.

I guess I better get back to mopping the kitchen floor. At least it is out in the open where I can keep an eye on it. Unlike the dust dragons. And whatever it is that is drooling.

Got Flu?

Bill CoadyBy Bill Coady

Throughout my life, I have been a very lucky man.  My lovely wife works in the health care field and she has always been able to use some of that inside information to determine which doctor would be best for our family.  Over the years we have had a number of wonderful doctors.

And now, we actually have the best doctor ever.  It is not my purpose to to advertise for him, and frankly I am keep the name to myself for reasons that will soon become apparent.  Suffice it to say, that not only is he an excellent physician, but is also the most personable guy I have ever met with a stethoscope around his neck.  He is probably the only doctor I have worked with that it seems like it would be nice to have a cup of coffee with.  I trust him completely.

But unfortunately, I can’t see him when I am sick!  It seems that whenever I need to make an appointment with him, the next available on is just about always in two weeks time.  Which is fine for monitoring a chronic condition, but worthless when I am acutely ill in some way.

The clinic where he works always makes sure that I can see someone today or tomorrow, but it is almost never him.  On the one hand, it is nice I can be seen, but the message this sends is one that most doctors and patients should object to.

It says that your doctor is a commodity.  Anyone with “MD” after his or her name is as good as any other.  Which on one level is certainly true.  But on the level of reality it is just plain wrong.  I really do think my doctor is best and I value the fact that he knows me and my family pretty well.  Especially when I am sick.

This kind of thing happens both at the clinic level and the more global level.  New insurance plan, new doctors.  Interchangeable parts it would seem.  We all know in our gut that is wrong and that we want our doctor to take care of us.  I know I do.

Happy Birthday Marathon County Public Library!

Eds Note: Here is something we can all agree on, 100 years of public library service is a good thing. And remember the big Wausaublog reunion scheduled for the bicentennial of the library. See you there.

Phyllis ChristensenBy Phyllis Christensen

One hundred years ago, in April 1907, Wausau Free Public Library opened to the public. The opening was the result of a project that began in 1904, when philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to grant $25000 if the city of Wausau would set aside land for the building. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Alexander donated land to the city for a library building and park. On April 3, 1907, the library opened with a collection of almost 5000 items.
100 Year Logo

In 1937, Marathon County Library was established as a W.P.A to serve county residents who did not have access to a local library. The two libraries grew and offered expanded services. In 1974, the libraries merged with other local libraries and formed Marathon County Public Library.
The 100th birthday celebration began in January and will continue throughout the year. A display on second floor at Wausau Headquarters changes each month to depict a different decade of history. The final display will depict our vision of the library of the future.
Each branch library, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon, Mosinee, Rothschild, Stratford, and Spencer, will have a local celebration. On April 15, there will be a special birthday celebration at the Wausau library. Everyone is invited to share in the celebration which will feature activities for kids, music by Andy Z and the Spankin’ Monkees, a barbershop quartet. And, of course, birthday cake for everyone!
For more about the history of MCPL, read the Wikipedia article written by the library’s reference librarians. More information about the 100th Birthday Celebration is available on the library’s web page.