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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.

Forest Exploration Center - A Seedling Emerges

County Grounds, Forest Exploration Center, Leave No Child Indoors, STEM Education

I'd like to think of this project like the propagation of a tree.  

Sometimes a seed or a nut falls to the ground.  Or is passed from the digestive tract of a bird.  Maybe a squirrel buries and forgets it.  The seed germinates and sends a shoot upwards towards the light filtering through the forest canopy.  If it is lucky, that sprout will survive predation by a hungry rodent.  As it reaches further for the sun it might survive a browsing whitetail deer.  Recent decades might find it engaged in a battle-to-the-death with competition from invasive species crowding it out for sunlight, water and nutrients.  With more luck, and within a few years, that seedling will grow to a sapling.  Against enormous odds and over many years it might just survive to become a dominant tree in the forest - and be threatened now by an invasive insect from Asia.  Should it survive all of this it will release its progeny to repeat the process all over again.

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Making a List and Checking it Twice

Governor Walker, Politics, Public Information, Recall Petition, Retaliation

By now most of you are aware that lists of those who have signed the petition to recall Governor Scott Walker can be easily accessed on the web. As clunky as they are you can at least sort by ZIP code. Being the naturally curious guy that I am I downloaded several ZIP codes into an excel file for ease of sorting and scrutiny. And I saved them - so I can check them twice. The 53213 file has 4188 lines of data representing neighbors of mine that have signed the petition. A good number of them I am personally acquainted with.

If you were to peruse the list you won't find my name. That's because I have any number of personal reasons not to sign a recall petition. I also know of individuals residing in ZIP code 53213 who in-fact signed a petition yet do not appear on the list. Such is the result of sloppy data entry. The list is flawed.

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Friday Morning Music

Echo and the Bunneymen, Friday Morning Music, Seven Seas

Crank-up the volume on your office workstation, light yourself a cigarette and bring on the weekend.

Echo and the Bunnymen.... 

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Divided We Stand

Bad Legislation, Misguided Priorities, Parenting, Politics, Public Policy, Senator Grothman

I had a chat with my state senator recently and among other things she asked me to share my opinion about the mining bill.  I offered that mining has been part of the economy and culture of the iron range for as long as it’s been settled.  If a mining bill could be passed that adequately addressed environmental and tribal concerns I had no problem with it.  We could use the jobs.

In the intervening month the mining bill appears to have died.  A victim of legislative intransigence.  Will there be a demonstration of executive leadership to resuscitate the bill?  That’s anybody’s guess.

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Friday Morning St. Paddy's Day

Saint Patrick, Shamrocks, Guinness, The Chieftains, Van Morrison

Did you know that in recent years Ireland has been stricken with a shortage of shamrocks?

That's right.  Experts blame a number of exceedingly harsh and consecutive winters along with a decline in the traditional hay meadows for a scarcity of Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that botanists consider the official shamrock.

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Spring Has Sprung

Cavity Nesting Songbirds, Conservation, Critters, Girlfriend, Nest Boxes

It is the Spring Equinox today. 

I’ve been hanging at the farm for a spell.  And reveling in the return of the migratory song birds, the spring peeper chorus and thoughts of gardening.  When I take the dogs out at night there is the peenting of the woodcock as they perform their sky dance mating ritual in the night heavens.

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Friday Morning Little Sister

Elvis, Friday Morning Music, Little Sister, Big Sideburns

A few of you have inquired about about my other dog - Sister.  AKA the Chick Magnet or Blonde Ambition.  Almost three months ago she underwent a serious surgery to correct a deformity in her right forearm.

She has been sporting an external fixator ever since.  Four steel rings and sixteen pins to keep the bones in alignment as they knit.  the Million Dollar Dog has been a real champ through all of this.  I know if I had to wear a medical appliance that looked like a medieval torture device I would be grumpy.  Not her.  She's her good-natured self. 

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Guess the Critter

Guess The Critter

Only a month ago I took these photos of bird tracks in the snow.

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A Gallon Of Gas In Every Pot

Governor Walker, Misguided Priorities, Mitt Romney, The Big Fat Middle, Voodoo Economics

Don't you just love the smell of elections in the spring air?

Oddly-enough Governor Walker and I have something in common.

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Friday Morning Music

Brown Eyed Girl, Friday Morning Music, Girlfriend, Jill, Sister, Van Morrison

All of the women in my life have brown eyes.


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