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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Friday Morning Music

Friday Morning Music, Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders, Kingpin

I don't know whether to characterize this as rockabilly, blues or both.  But it's a sure start to the weekend. 

Moreover this band can be found a week from today - Friday, May 10th - at the Stonefly Brewery, 7354 E. Center Street. 

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Organic Gardening

Ten bags of composted manure, six bales of organic peat moss and a half-day of rototilling later I think I am just about ready for spring planting.

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Stoner

Labrador Retrievers, Life In Tosa, Sister, Strange But True

The thing about Labs is they think nothing of putting something in their mouth and swallowing it.  Doesn't matter if it is something nutritious like a raw carrot or something dead and disgusting they find in the woods.  As evidence of this a couple of weeks ago Sister carried around  with her some deer's foreleg for a half of a day.  The good news is we don't have rodents or bunnies bothering us.  The bad news is the dogs are on worm medicine year-round and once and awhile we have to make a run to the vet.

On our trip to the gulf coast Sister had the run of Daughter's big fenced back yard.  Perfect.  A toddler and dog cannot wander-off. And everything was blooming.  One particular afternoon we were sitting on the patio savoring the sunshine and warm weather when the dog plopped herself down beneath this bush.

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Friday Morning Music

Friday Morning Music, Garage Band Music, Gloria, Them, Van Morrison

Spring has sprung.  And check out this video from which a talent was sprung.

Start your weekend with this blast from the past...

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Tempest in a Teapot

Internal Revenue Service, Not-For-Profit World, Tea Party

As a general rule I find it difficult to feel any sympathy for anybody at the Internal Revenue Service.  Even more so lately inasmuch as they've found themselves the center of attention.  Seems there's been a flap about targeting certain 'not-for-profit groups' that have 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their name.  The IRS using their IRS clout to single-out a non-profit organization for scrutiny.  A non-profit with the laudable mission of educating me about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  What nerve.

It's difficult enough nowadays to make your way in the not-for-profit world without the IRS snooping around as you struggle to feed the poor, give comfort to the homeless, seek a cure for a dread disease, shelter battered women and indoctrinate the great unwashed about our country's founding documents.

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Friday Morning Ear Worm

Friday Morning Ear Worm, Norman Greenbaum, Gareth Gates, Kumar Family, Spirit In The Sky

Start your weekend with this catchy tune from 1969.

Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky covered by Gareth Gates and the Kumars...

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How to Make Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

What's for breakfast tomorrow?

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The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables

If any of you have been out in the Wisconsin countryside in the past week or so you would have noticed farmers, growers, ranchers and anybody else in the business of agribusiness has been out burning the midnight oil to get their crops planted before the monsoons arrive.

Like they say - plant seed while the sun shines.  It's actually been rather pleasant - not too much dust and just a whiff of manure in the air.  Not so much as to make your eyes water but just enough smell of the dairy air to remind a soul of the benefits of living-in or visiting rural Wisconsin. 

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Friday Morning Music

Friday I'm In Love, The Cure, Friday Morning Music

It's the start of the holiday weekend people.

How appropriate to kick it-off with The Cure and Friday I'm in Love... 

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Return to Normandy - Chapter I - Landing

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

From the memoirs of the late Tosan - Howard Gaertner.

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Return to Normandy - Chapter II - Bocage

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

From the memoirs of the late Tosan - Howard Gaertner...

I had trained for a year with F Company, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division at Camp Butner, North Carolina.  My training was basically as an infantryman.  However, after basic I was assigned to our weapons platoon, .30 caliber air cooled machine guns and 60mm mortars.  Eventually I became a gunner for the 60mm mortar, setting-up, aiming and determining the needed charge for the target.

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Return to Normandy - Chapter III - Breakout

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

June 25, 1944 - The plan for the breakout from the mud and misery of the hedgerow country called for a massive aerial bombardment of a narrow sector west of the battered town of Saint-Lô.  With more than 3000 planes this would be largest, concentrated bombing attempt in history.  Ninth Division troops - including Howard's unit - had retreated from their forward positions to a bomb-safety line.  Shortly before 10 AM the bombardment commenced.  Middle-weight fighter bombers were followed by heavy bombers - carpet bombing an area 6000 yards wide along the Saint-Lô–Periers road.

  Photo - US Army

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Return to Normandy - Chapter IV - Advance

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

From the memoirs of the late Tosan - Howard Gaertner...

One afternoon we were assigned to support I Company which I believe was leading the attack.  After an hour or two and many unfinished slit trenches I Company had been decimated and was without officers or non-coms.  We stayed our ground.

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Return to Normandy - Chapter V - At Ease

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

Americans killed in Normandy were buried in temporary cemeteries until the permanent cemetery was completed in 1956.  Next of kin were given the choice of bringing their loved ones home or re-interring them at the new site.  Simple marble headstones - either Stars of David or Latin Crosses - record the names of the fallen. 

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Friday Morning Combat Footage

Memorial Day, Invasion, Normandy France

It's the start of the weekend people and time to bring to a close a week of Memorial Day remembrance.  Take a moment to remember those who have given all in their service in our armed forces. 

Rare US Army combat footage taken on July 25, 1944.  No sound to this.  Better to appreciate it in silence.  Hedge row country south of the Saint-Lô–Periers road. 

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