Saturday, April 21, 2018

Alta Hess was 13 years old when Pete Hanley sang "Let Bygones Be Bygones"

Ladysmith woman, 78, charged with threatening husband with knife over infidelity 'over 40 years ago'.  (, 4/18/2018)
Clearly, alcohol was involed.  Hess’ husband told law enforcement that Hess had accused him of infidelity that took place “over 40 years ago,” and he had left their residence in Ladysmith to stay at a Bloomer motel.= 
Later, Hess entered the motel and threatened her husband with a knife, the complaint said. Hess’ husband also said Hess “threatens to kill him on a regular basis.”

Listen to a 1957 Peggy Lee single that did not chart

The lyrics include..."he rocks and rolls and mocks the whole shebang."

According to Merriam Webster, the first known use of 'shebang' occurred in 1869,

Other coinages from the same year:
  1. gravitas
  2. humoresque
  3. jumpy
  4. poseur
  5. soupy

Related posts:
Slimeball,  (4/13/2018)
Skort.  (4/7/2018)

tru-ing the far west side

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

A new brand for Hilton makes its debut in Wisconsin on Madison's Far West Side.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/13/2018)
The $5.8 million Tru project is located next to the Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites. All three properties are operated by North Central Group, a Middleton-based development and hotel operations company that last year opened the 165-room AC Hotel by Marriott in Downtown Madison. NCG was founded in 1981 by David Lenz and has grown to 30 properties in Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. 
“Anybody coming to Madison, but especially (the Far West Side), these three hotels are going to complement each other,” Bracken said. “We have something to offer every type of guest.”

Video shot in January 2018

Bon Ton bankruptcy UPDATE: Yes, folks, the end is nigh for West Towne Mall anchor Boston Store

On a long-awaited spring-like day in April, shoppers thronged West Towne Mall.  During my brief visit, I watched dozens of people stream in and out the Boston Store, which, ironically, exuded a festive atmosphere.

The closing of the Boston Store is not a nail in the coffin, but rather an opportunity to further diversify the mall's offerings, as was just done when Sears ceded more than half of its square footage to Dave and Buster's and Total Wine.  These two new tenants, by the way, have created a parking crunch at the south end of the mall, something I haven't seen in quite a few Christmases.

Photos by Retiring Guy

Going-out-of-business sales at area Boston Stores and other Bon-Ton stores start Friday.  (Wisconisn State Journal, 4/20/2018)
The end of the retailer will leave more than 1 million square feet of retail space empty in Wisconsin, 280,000 of that in Madison. 
Boston Store employs 217 people at its two Madison locations and 74 in Janesville, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The Boston Store's twin sentinels at West Towne are still for lease.

4/14/2018 update, "Apparently, the end is nigh", starts here.

Reported in Bid by liquidators will start the bidding in Bon-Ton Stores bankruptcy auction.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/13/2018)
A decision in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware this week dealt a setback to efforts by Bon-Ton executives to sell the company to a buyer [DW Partners, see slide below] that would keep it going and try to turn around its finances. Bon-Ton hasn't been profitable since 2010. 
A judge on Wednesday said Bon-Ton would not be allowed to reimburse $500,000 in due diligence costs by the potential "going concern" buyers — a condition Bon-Ton’s lawyers portrayed as a requirement to get a bid from that investor group.

4/11/2018 Survey Says UPDATE, starts here.

Bon-Ton secures letter of intent from investor group; auction delayed again.  (Milwaukee Business Journal, 4/10/2018 update)

4/10/2016 update, "Get your alpha on:  Bon Ton finds a buyer", starrts here.
Dear DW, In plain English, please.

Report: Buyer found for Boston Stores parent Bon-Ton.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/1/2018)


Related reading:
Alpha and Beta: How Do They Relate to Investment Risk?  (Arbor Investment Planner)

A booming economy: Dane County sales tax revenues have increased 44% since 2009

The sales tax provides 11.6% of the total operating revenues for the 2018 Dane County budget.
Add caption

Source:  Dane County Budget in Brief 2018 (highlight added)

Implementing of county sales tax

America goes gaga for Kerrygold butter

Kerrygold butter is shelved here.   
Photo by Retiring Guy

Kerrygold Butter’s Rise From Humble Countryside to American Favorite. (Eater, 4/17/2018)As of 2018,
Kerrygold is the second-best-selling branded butter in the U.S. The gold-wrappered import sold nearly 23,000 tons of butter in the U.S. last year, and $1 billion dollars worth in more than 80 markets worldwide. In the less than 20 years since its U.S. launch, it has outsold every brand except Land O’Lakes, which, since it was founded in 1921, enjoyed almost an 80-year head start.

At the Madison west side Woodman's, Land O' Lakes and Weyeuwega, a Wisconsin brand, rule.

 Kerrygold close-up

According to Merriam Webster, the first known use of 'gaga' occurrred in 1917.

Other coinages from the same year:
  1. ack-ack
  2. blotto
  3. hard-nosed
  4. psych
  5. razz
  6. razzmatazz

Good guys with guns (The green-striped shirt edition)

Reported in Would-be vigilante shoots at van he thought was involved in an Amber Alert, it was the wrong vehicle.  (Des Moines Register, 4/20/2018)

The company he keeps: Donald Trump and Roger Stone

Photo source:  Wikipedia

Related articles:
Barbara Bush:  'I don't know how women can vote for' Donald Trump.  (Washington Times, 252016)
Barbara Bush funeral: Donald Trump not attending 'out of respect'.  (BBC News, 4/20/2018)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Adventures in spelling: As seen on West Washington Avenue in Madison WI

Photo by Retiring Guy

Related reading:
100 Most Often Mispelled Misspelled Words in English.  (Your Dictionary)

  • 'Outer' is not on the list.

Willy Street Coop's online lifesaver for mystery bulk food items

With two overripe bananas in the fridge, I decided to bake a loaf of banana-blueberry bread.    After mixing the bananas, sugar, shortening, and eggs, I discovered the flour canister was empty.  Searching the cupboards, I found a plastic bag with a twisty tie on which was printed the number '2645'.

Looks like flour, I thought.  But I should probably make sure.

Taking a stab in the dark, I googled wiully street bulk product number.

Voila!  (As you seen in this screenshot).  Mystery solved.  

The recipe calls for white flour, but how could I go wrong with 'all-purpose whole wheat'?

At the scene of the crime: Taco seasonings tussle

Photo by Retiring Guy

Fight in Woodman's broken up by grocery shoppers, police say.  (, 4/18/2018)
An 18-year-old Madison woman was shopping for taco seasoning when she was sprayed in the face by a woman with a can of pepper spray. "The one unleashing the stream was someone with whom the victim has a history of conflict," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

In the news: Ku Klux Klan resurgence in 1920s

Report probes history of KKK at UW-Madison; $1M history exhibit planned.  (Wisconsin State Journal,  4/19/2018)

Source:  Ku Klux Klan Facts and Summary (, emphasis added)

U.S. population in 1920:  106,021,537.  
Meaning that, as far as a percentage of the total US population is concerned, an equivalent membership today would be 12,300,000.

UW students check off 2 grievances on their intolerance list:  Roman Catholics and foreigners.
From the above-cited State Journal article.  However, there is evidence some members of the first group participated in what the report describes as an “extra-legal ... campaign against liquor sellers in (Madison’s) Greenbush neighborhood” in 1921, when Prohibition was in effect. The members, circumventing local police, staked out the neighborhood and summoned federal liquor control officers there, resulting in the arrest of eight Italian-American liquor merchants.

Related reading:
The Ku Klux Klans Surprising History.  (The New York Times Book Review, 12/4/2017)
The KKK and UD in the 1920s.  (University of Dayton, 9/8/2017)
A College and Klan Tradition (Wesleyan College, Georgia).  (Inside High Ed, 6/23/2017
Ku Klux U: How the Klan almost bought a university. (Hoosier State Chronicles. 1/6/2016)
The Ku Klux Klan in Calvin Coolidge's America.  (Calvin Coolidge Presidential  Foundation, 7/14/2014)
78 years ago:   Notre Dame battles the KKK.  (The Irish Echo, 2/16/2011)
Kampus Klan:The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Ku Klux Klan, in the Early 1920s.  (Nebraska U, Spring 2008)
Ku Klux Klan at the University of Illinois FAQ.  (2004)
The Ku Klux Klan at Harvard.  (The Crimson, 2/18/1999)

Get me rewrite Matt Bevin UPDATE: "We are Kentucky, and I am a major-league asshole"

Reported in Kentucky governor apologizes for saying teachers' strike left children vulnerable to harm, sexual assault and drugs.  (CNN, 4/16/2018)

Why would he say such stuff in the first place?  Odds are it's what he truly believes.  He's a thoroughly despicable man.  

Original 4/15/2018 post, "The GOP brand as promoted by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin", starts here.

Quoted in Bevin: Children were sexually assaulted and tried drugs because teachers were protesting.  (Louisville Courier Journal, 4/14/2018)

Related reading:
Kentucky lawmakers condemn Bevin over comments linking child abuse to teacher protests.  (Louisville Courier Journal, 4/14/2018)

UPDATE: Possible rematch in the Wisconsin 50th Assembly District

Sources:  Wisconsin Elections Commission  (2008), Ballotpedia, 2010-2016) 

Shrader announces 50th assembly seat bid.  (Reedsburgh Times-Press, 4/9/2018)
Brooks turns 76 on July 1.  Art Shrader announced his candidacy as a democrat [sic] for the 50th Assembly April 9 at the Reedsburg Public Library. Shrader ran against Incumbent Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) in the 2016 election. Brooks 58 percent of the vote compared to 42 for Shrader. 
Brooks, who is currently serving a fifth term in office, has not announced plans to run for reelection.

According to Erica, Shraders is running a : an adherent of democracy and/or b : one who practices social equality. 

6/5/2016 update, "Feeling vulnerable, Rep. Ed Brooks distances himself from Scott Walker on transportation funding", starts here.

As quoted in 6/3/2016 press release, "Fix Our Roads!":

Brooks is being challenged by Art Schrader.

Original 4/30/2015 post, "Is Ed Brooks worried that he's toast in 2016?", starts here.

Concerned that quadrennial Democrats voting in the 2016 Presidential election could tip the balance in his opponent's favor?
Brooks: Shield colleges, extension from UW cuts.   (Baraboo News-Republic, 4/29/2015)
Brooks, R-Reedsburg, introduced the motion to exempt UW-Extension from possible system-wide cuts. Rep. Romaine Quinn, R-Rice Lake, introduced a similar motion to protect the system’s two-year colleges.

The two lawmakers announced the moves jointly in a collaboration that reflects the rural character of both men’s districts.

 A Libertarian Party candidate garnered 2.8% of the vote in 2012.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reminds me of the time when Yankees owner George Steinbrenner called Dave Winfield Mr. May

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

Baseball's Greatest Scandals, #10: Steinbrenner vs. Winfield.  (AZ Snake Pit, 4/18/2011)
The relationship between George Steinbrenner and Dave Winfield was soured almost from the beginning. Steinbrenner made Winfield the best-paid player in the game when he signed the outfielder to a ten-year term as a free-agent in 1980, when the 29-year old was already a four-time All-Star. But the Yankees owner never forgave the player or his agent for sliding a 'cost of living' increase into the terms of the contract, raising its cost from about $15 million to $23 million.

The nudge

Eric Thames is currently batting .231 -- 12 hits in 31 at-bats.  Nothing to write home about.   Seven of his hits are home runs.  He has struck out 15 times.

Warren Mall losing the last of its original (1979) tenants

Bon Ton to be shut down.  (Warren Times Observer, 4/18/2018)

December 2016 photos by Retiring Guy

The loss of Bon-Ton will be another blow to the Warren Mall.  (A changing retail landscape has rained blows on the Warren Mall for more than a decade.) 

After the 2014 closure of KMart, Bon-Ton was the only remaining anchor store. Both ends, the former KMart at the south end [abandoned space shown below] and the former Big Lots at the north [originally occupied by Penneys], were vacant.

Cocca Development of Boardman, Ohio, purchased the mall in April 2016 and announced plans to demolish the concourse, leaving an open-air center. Since then, the company has renovated the parking lot at a cost of more than $500,000, and added Dunham’s Sports to occupy the northern anchor location.

Related posts:
Bon Ton bankruptcy UPDATE: Apparently, the end is nigh.  (4/14/2018)
UPDATE. The Bon Ton Stores Inc. announcement creates confusion among headline writers.  (4/7/2018)

WIGOP fuels the blue wave UPDATE: Scott Walker can't contain his excitement about Mike Pence's appearance at his fundraiser next week

4/7/2018 update, "WIGOP fuels the blue wave:   Former governor who had an eroding approval level to host fundriaser for one of America's most unpopular and increasingly desperate governors", starts here.

Mike Pence to raise money for Scott Walker on April 25.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/5/2018)

2/4/2018 update, "UPDATE.  According to Morning Consult, Scott Walker remains in top 10 of least popular governors", starts here.

America's Most and Least Popular Governors.  (Morning Consult, 2/1/2018)
Things look less rosy for Republican Govs. Bruce Rauner of Illinois and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who both ended 2017 underwater — Rauner by 24 points (55 percent disapprove) and Walker by 7 points (50 percent disapprove).

11/1/2017 update starts here.

America's Most and Least Popular Governors.  (Morning Consult, 10/31/2017)
With just a few months left in office, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) retains his spot at the bottom of the rankings, with 77 percent of Garden State voters disapproving of his job performance — a record low since Morning Consult began tracking public sentiment on governors in 2016.

Former Republican Bill Walker ran for Governor of Alaska as an Independent. 

7/18/2017 update, " According to Morning Consult, Scott Walker has 6th highest disapproval rating among U.S. governors", starts here.

America’s Most and Least Popular Governors — July 2017.  (Morning Consult, 7/18/2017)

Red and blue highlights added to chart.

6/28/2017 update, "Looks like Scott Walker got himself a fresh coat of Teflon", starts here.

New Marquette poll: Scott Walker job approval back to even.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 6/28/2017)
Or not.  Poll director Charles Franklin cautioned that the results could be slightly skewed by a polling sample that had more Republican respondents than the historic average. Republicans and Democrats were split evenly 45 percent, whereas historically the poll has found a 48-43 split favoring Democrats.

3/23/2017 update, "Wisconsin likes Scott Walker more than Donald Trump, but not by much", starts here.

Walker remains underwater with independents.

As Scott Walker eyes a possible third term, his job approval hovers at 45 percent.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 3/22/2017)

Walker’s approval level has been up and down in the Marquette poll over the past few years, bottoming out at 37 percent in September 2015 shortly after he ended his presidential campaign.

9/21/2016 update, " Obama approval rating in Wisconsin is up 12 percentage points in 2 years; Walker down 8.5", starts here.

In the latest Marquette poll, Clinton's current favorability rating is 12 percentage points higher than Trump.

Original 8/10/2016 post, "In Wisconsin, Obama's approval rating is 15 percentage points higher than Scott Walker", starts here.

The same as Clinton's favorability rating over Trump.

Related reading:
Marquette poll: Hillary Clinton opens 15-point post-convention lead in Wisconsin.  (, 8/10/2016)
Gov. Scott Walker's approval rating remains below 40 percent. The poll found 38 percent approve of his job performance while 59 percent disapprove. That's consistent with what it has been since he began running for president while overseeing a difficult state budget early last year.

UPDATE: In Wisconsin, President Obama continues to get higher approval ratings than Scott Walker.  (7/14/2016)
UPDATE: Apparently, Scott Walker, the majority of us feel your focus should be to say 'bye-bye'.  (7/13/2016)

Get me rewrite: The more news about Trump fucking models and porn stars, the tighter the embrace by white evangelical Protestants

White Evangelical Support for Donald Trump at All-Time High. (PRRI, 4/18/2018)
White evangelical support for Donald Trump has steadily increased over time. Notably, Trump’s favorability among white evangelicals never reached 50 percent during the 2016 primary season. By the early fall of 2016, however, his favorability among white evangelicals had jumped to 61 percent. By the inauguration it increased to 68 percent, and shortly after the inauguration in February 2017 it jumped again to 74 percent. Over the course of 2017, there were minor fluctuations, but Trump’s favorability among white evangelicals never dipped below 65 percent during this time.

This oldie but goodie has been dropped from the latest edition of the evangelical Protestant hymnal.  MAGA!

The hot button issue wit and wisdom of Dennis Prager

Gage Skidmore catches Prager in action at CPAC 2016.

Source of quotes:  BrainyQuote (hot-button issues highlighted)

UW-Madison student group to host Dennis Prager, controversial conservative commentator.  (Capital Times, 4/19/2018)
Though I certainly don't agree with much of what Prager believes, I defend his right to share his views in this forum.  I have no plans to attend.  Young Americans for Freedom will host conservative commentator Dennis Prager to speak on “Judeo-Christian Morality and Its Impact on Western Culture” at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at Sterling Hall.

Appears to be a small group.....

...that likes guns.