Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bill Esbeck, the Town of Dunn is on Line 1

They'd like a copy of that report you mentioned.

Town of Dunn keeps up the pressure for high-speed Internet access. (12/23/2011)

And as for some of Esbeck's other whines, here's some information recently shared with members of WLA's Library Development & Legislation Committee.

  • 95% of BadgerNet’s 2,420 sites either get a 90% subsidy from TEACH or are state agency sites which are required by DOA to use BadgerNet. If these two conditions did not exist, the state would have a network that hardly anyone would use because it is too expensive. (And remember, the $17 million TEACH subsidy goes right back to the telcos.) 
  •  A 1.5Mbps circuit on BadgerNet costs $460/month.   Most households have 2-4 times this capacity at well under $100/month. -- 
  • The FCC’s benchmark of “broadband” is 4Mbps.    90% of Wisconsin public libraries have less than this and thus they really don’t have broadband. 

Stand in the Corner, Mike!

Looks like a good fit.

Ron Paul: Are These Two Headlines Related?

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Queen's Hamlet @ Versailles

In the 1780s, Marie Antoinette ordered the construction of a series of 11 buildings around a large pond. Five of them were for the use of the Queen and her guests. This area of Versailles reminds me of a movie set.

I doubt if the Queen's Hamlet is mentioned in MGM's 1938 "lavish, overstuffed... preposterous epic", Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power.

Although the hamlet is accessible for walking around, the buildings are not open during the "low season".

This is the same area where we saw the mess o' carp.

The City of Lights is Also the City of Souvenir Shops

Nearly a dozen are located along the short stretch of street between Notre Dame and the Seine (going north).

Eiffel Tower Outshines the Moon

Needle:Haystack::Parking lot:Paris

Spotted along the Seine.

And if there's a parking ramp anywhere in central Paris, we haven't seen it.

This Street Dead-ends at the Eiffel Tower

We planned to take the Metro to the Eiffel Tower as we had free tickets for a Seine River boat ride, thanks to our Paris Pass. For some odd reason, though, the Invalides stop was the end of the line. So we walked the rest of the way on a sunny but slightly cool day, i.e. the temperature in the mid-40s. Not nearly as warm as we hear it's been in Wisconsin. Facebook report: Nicci and Jody take the first bike ride of the season. On January 5th? Eddie and I are jealous.

Cafes Richard

Most of the cafes we visited served espresso in cups and saucers embossed with the "Cafes Richard" name.

Guess where we went shopping on our last day in Paris?

Photos of the Catacombs Until My Camera Battery Pack Died

But at least I had my iPhone along, though in most cases, it was too dark to take any pictures with it. Besides, when you've seen one pile of skulls and bones......

We got in line, extremely modest by major Paris attractions standards, on a partly cloudy Thursday midafternoon. Within 15 minutes, bruised gray clouds
darkened the sky and strong gusts of wind pushed at us sideways. It rained, but not hard enough to send anyone scurrying for cover.

As for that battery pack, guess it's time for another remedial session.

An "Impressionistic" Portrait of JoAnna and the Boys Walking Along Rue Des Archives

OK, I wasn't quick enough on the draw here.

Art Studio Window at Night

Caught my eye as we returned home after a visit to Versailles. Located at the south end of Rue Parquay.

The 60s Live on in Paris

We walk past this store on the Rue du Temple on an almost daily basis but have yet to venture inside.

Grand Trianon @ Versailles

This marble Italianate palace, much smaller in scale than the main palace, served as the recreational residence for Louis XIV and his family.

It's close to a 30-minute walk from the main palace to the Grand Trianon -- much longer in the summer, I imagine, when the gardens are in full bloom.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sainte Chapelle

This 763-year-old church features 16 astounding stained-glass windows illustrating 1,134 Biblical scenes. It was originally the private chapel of Louis IX (1214-1270), who had his own access from what was then the royal palace.

Much shorter lines today at this site, which, unlike Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, requires that all visitors pass though a security checkpoint complete with metal detector.

Visiting these centuries-old churches gives me renewed appreciation for architecture and building construction.

Ten More Photos from Inside Versailles

The most curious aspect of Versailles is its admissions policy.

At this time of year, the palaces and estates are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are sold until 4:50, and no admissions are allowed after 5:00. Why would anyone want to visit Versailles for just 30 minutes? It would take that long just to jog through the wings of main palace that are open to the public. And from what I hear, moving at anything beyond a museum pace is not an option during the so-called high season.