Wrote this in FaceHell.  It was going to be short, but once I started going, ….well, you know.  I kind of liked it.  Space 1999 fanfic will be forthcoming..

Trump is a buffoon. Seriously, he is claiming Clinton is unqualified? The woman is a respected Lawyer, has lived in the withering spotlight of the White House, been a Senator and a Secretary of State and is admired worldwide. When Obama was the candidate, the knock was he wasn’t experienced enough. Where is there a candidate that has more experience and qualifications than Clinton?

Certainly not Trump. Trump used a 1 million dollar loan from his Dad to BOOTSTRAP his way into leading more failed businesses than any of us will ever run. His short-lived Trump University is currently the subject of a fraud lawsuit but the students that he ripped off for millions of dollars. The only thing he has ever been successful at is being on TV, although if you have a flexible definition of ‘successful’, then his constant ability to discard wives when they get older for new models, then OK.

It has been said that given his inheritance, if he had done NOTHING, and lived on the interest, he would have MORE money now. So he is a net negative money manager. To relate to the people who actually do work, if you make 10 bucks an hour, and at the end of the year, you needed to tap you savings for 5 grand, you would never be lauded as an economic genius.

And, news for Republican friends: Trump’s not the ideologue you want. His beliefs involve one thing: how impressive he is, with big hands and big penis, and wife who is willing to do a soft-porn photo shoot on the grand piano that he can certainly not play. His hair is not ridiculous. And the fact that he has never recognized that calls into question his sanity.

I do, however have some concerns. In recent years, the Presidential debates have not been show to make any difference, with some notable exceptions (Please proceed, Governor). And the Trumpeters have been notably resistant to any kind of logic or reason based arguments.

And I have no doubt that in real debates, where the questions are not about who is the biggest penis on stage (admittedly, Drumpf wins this one) but even if they involve actual real world issues, it has been demonstrated that the American public has Short Attention Span Theater for anything smacking of actual content.

Hillary has been attacked but these jackals for 25 years. She has weathered it all with grace and tact, but has still sunk in, shown by the negatives she has. The onslaught of Drudge attacks has convinced a signifiant number of Americans that she is lying about SOMETHING, although they never have any actual lies in hand, or transgressions; but they still scream PRISON PRISON and after 30 years of that, it seeps into the populace. The ratfuckers know how this works.

However, on the other stump, Hillary has been on the receiving end of this shit for decades. She was once derided for not baking enough cookies! (to her detriment, she responded with a cookie recipe. The best response would have been “I am the goddam first lady, not only do I not have time to bake cookies, but the lack of respect is appalling)

Could go on, but let’s talk about the cigar in the pie. Hillary’s husband had some kind of sex with an intern, and maybe other women besides. And is this supposed to be treated as a fucking anomaly in DC? Power and money attract sex. FFS, all of the people who made their bones on impeaching Clinton: Delay, Gingrich… have had their own fucking sex problems. GODDAM IT Dennis Hastert was molesting teenage boys. FUCKING MOLESTING TeeNAGE BOYS. And STILL Delay tries to defend that horrid monster.

So I understand how it works. I have been in a long-term relationship, and I know how this goes. You have troubles/ you find a way to work through them. You compromise. You find some way to allow you to move forward.

The thing the Republicans would like you to believe is that when shit happens, then you work through the problems and try to save your marriage. Unless, of course you are a Democrat in which case you need to divorce the philanderer if he is a Democrat an we can reap some kind of advantage from it.

That title was kind of a gimme, am I right?

But Sinead O’Connor’s cover of that song revealed what a stellar songwriter Prince Rogers Nelson was.

Look, I am a white suburban kid; my music inputs ranged from hard rock to basic rock to classic rock.  However, once my brain had been opened up by the punk and the new wave, and then my circle of friends was expanded by going to college, I was open to new sounds and ideas…

And the idea of this Prince guy was probably sent into my brain by some stupid rock music article.  But when I had a few extra Ameros, visiting the local Over-sized Supermarket in a poor cow-town college town, they had 2 (TWO!) copies of “1999” and I bought one.  I really wonder who bought the other (although I know the store may have sent it back).  It was a white boy, barf ‘n’ boogie environment, and new wave funk really did not fit in….but in one house, it did. It fit in between REM and the Thompson Twins and Elvis Costello and the B-52s and Boomtown Rats and Wall of Voodoo and U2 and so many others….my musical mind had been blown wide open….

I have been able to see two different shows at First Avenue.  One was an epochal show from Soul Asylum with one of my personal favorites the Figgs opening, and I got ROARING drunk; the other was a tribute to Big Star’s Third album, which featured many Milwaukee musicians and where I got paleo as drunk as I was the previous time,  Both times, I simply reveled in being in a legendary dive….

I moved to Milwaukee. The music scene was blowing up.  Femmes,  R&B Cadets, Jim Liban, EIEIO, Snopek ….and I was going to college.  But I had some connection to a dick that was booking for the college, and he needed to provide some big dudes to hump cases.  We did.  Art of Noise, Bruce Cockburn, Iggy Pop….

But none of that matters.  I spent much time in and around music, local and touring.  Even though I sold my Les Paul to stay in college, I stayed involved, and still go see bands often (the Big Gig is upcoming!) Music has  been a huge part of my life, stretching all the way back to when I bought my first record player.

Prince was great from the first time I ever heard him, playing that copy of “1999” for bemused room-mates.

Prince has created genius-level music.

Prince demolished the ideas of gender.  He performed while wearing feminine clothes, and had lesbians in his band.

Prince demolished the idea of genre.  I defy good friend Zelmo to tell me what pigeonhole Prince belongs in.

Prince did “Starfish and Coffee” on the muppet show.

Prince told a corporate music shitheads to fuck off, by changing his name.  Then he continued to flip them off by performing under a different name….

Prince once offered a song to the Violent Femmes, which they declined as too sexual…

Prince was kind to Paul Westerberg.  Prince intimidated Bob Mould to the point he never worked up the nerve to talk to him.

Prince did  whatever the fuck he wanted, when he wanted to.  He was the most talented person I have seen in my lifetime, and the had, as far as I can tell, the most integrity.

Prince continued to support the local music scene, at every level. in a notable reference, Field Report says he came out to see them play….

I have a FaceHell friend who posted wondering why we spend so much time and effort when famous people die.  But it’s not like a Kardashian, or Reagan;  Prince accomplished much, and hardly ever compromised, and opened up spaces for people to be weird in their own way, to define themselves in their own way.  It isn’t unrelated that at those times, I pierced my ears (3 times), and cut my hair short, and grew it long, and colored it blond and red and wore stupid clothes with red Converse high-tops.  The answer to your question, Peter, is not that we idolize these people (although we might!) but that the things they did moved us and were important to us and they seemed like friends, because like friends, their work supported us and kept us going when times were hard.  Losing them is hard, because now we have to face life without their help, and use our own meager talents to keep up their legacy and their work, and we fear we are not worthy.  And we will miss, painfully miss, all the work they could have done in the future.

I will miss that I never took advantage of the opportunity to see him play.  Friends, go see a band you like right now, because there is no guarantee that you will ever see them again; it’s why I survived a heart attack a year ago so I could see the Mekons play in Mineral Point; there are no damn guarantees.

I DO yammer on, don’t I?  So here is my finale.  I  like Prince and have loved him, and he is much respectable as a musician and artist in every way.  It is perfectly fitting that landmarks around the world were illuminated Purple.

We didn’t deserve him in the first place, and we are so much the poorer for losing him.

Also, and I have linked this elsewhere, but do you want more proof of his genius?



At the end, he turns and as much as says “that’s all I have to say about THAT” and not having a mic to drop, drops his guitar into the audience.  As I have said many times, looking sadly down at the sausages at the end of my hands….”why can’t  you guys do that?”  He taught himself…

Prince taught me a way to love funk, hip-hop and R&B,  made me love  musicians that are so talented they can cross every genre, and to love people who are genuinely and honestly weird….

You have been a man who changed my life….Imma miss you Prince.  But the rest of us, we’re not through yet….

That’s the best I can do.  Sorry, man….

EDIT.   With the other shit that 2016 is raining down, I just loved the:



Upland Stories

Posted: April 16, 2016 in Fridge Note, Shovels, Wa fuckin Ha

Not much to say, although much happens..


But my office window sills have many motorcycles, and many zombies.  But I may need to make room for these fuckers:



Bunch of Wisconsin musicians did a 16 track anti-Turdwaffle album.  Please to be enjoying my favorite track even if it is my favorite just because of the title, “Scott Walker you’re a piece of shit”:

It is great and timely and angry, as good punk/folk music should be.  Download it here:

Listen to the entire 16-track “Unintimidated: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker” comp

listen to talented Wisconsinites who despise Turdwaffle like I do, and sing about it.  And if you pay for it, the money goes to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which has been cut off by Turdwaffle’s shit show.  So even if you don’t like the music, blow some money….

Meanwhile, be comfortable knowing that the two major cities in Wisconsin, Madison and Milwaukee, being run by Democrats, are outperforming the rest of the state and artificially allowing Spithead Walker to claim better economic numbers than are real.  fuck him with a big Fuckzall.  No lube, you asshole.


serious as all hell, I went to the install place today and  signed up for replacement of my blown-out car speakers and then upgraded to a new stereo that has USB and bluetooth.  Because fuck this, but when I want to hear loud shit in my car, I need to hear LOUD SHIT IN MY CAR….

Upland Stories

Posted: April 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hey you guys, guess where I was today?

IMG_2641 IMG_2643


We were again invited to the School of Architecture for a one-day Charrette.  The subject area this time was Near West Side, which covers the area from the Interstate on the south to Vliet street north, from the Interstate on the east to the Miller Brewery/ Harley plants on the west.  It covers a lot of ground, and the residents are ethnically and economically pretty much the most diverse in the city.  But it does suffer from a lack of ‘sense of place’ and some ill-thought out demolition and a lot of gaps in the urban fabric.

The City and the School team up for these to bring together architects, planners, neighborhood groups, politicians and residents, bankers and developers, brokers and property owners to collaborate on ‘big idea’ design concepts for areas that have been selected as crucial development nodes.  They is the sixth charrette, and we have been invited to five of them.  The Commissioner of Development said that of all the previous ones, at least a dozen projects have moved into active development phase.  They use the results of this process as data to provide potential developers and investors solid evidence of the potential development opportunities, and show the support or residents and other stakeholders.  It has proven to be an effective and crucial first (or maybe third) step in the process, giving a running start.

WARNING:  ARCHITECT-SPLAINING AHEAD.   Our experience with our site was curious; it was presented to us as a combination new construction/renovation site with a number of adaptive reuse buildings.  The adaptive reuse buildings are the multiple, odd-shaped collection in the middle of the aerial above. They look kind of decrepit, run down, and unoccupied.  However, when we toured the buildings we discovered that they are pretty much fully occupied by viable maker-space businesses.  A multi-generational auto repair shop, a guy that makes fairings for motorcycles, a cobbler (!), a guy that sells custom bicycles, a guy that fabricates transmissions for collector cars (Shelby Mustangs!  He is charging many Ameros…). A log-furniture fabricator.

So we changed our attitude;  there was no reason to change the use of these buildings for the time being; they are very nearly at full occupancy with viable, interesting productive businesses.

We saw two opportunities for new businesses; the little angled corner building in front of the Automotive shop, and the small commercial building across the street.  What we DID decide to  change was the plan for these spaces; the smaller building could be a nice boutique if there was a bit of parking. and the building across the street has limited space, but is prominently located, so we feel that it would be a great destination restaurant.  There are several examples in Milwaukee already, but the cost to convert the building will be significant.

What is really necessary is creating an upgraded image to the intersection;  the road to the right leads down to the Miller Brewery, and the street going up and down is a major arterial.  The existing buildings need much exterior work, and a bit of owner buy-in.  But mainly, the project became a major public right-of-way streetscaping project.  I was excited, because I haven’t done a decent streetscaping project since the Third Ward!

So we proposed several things:

  • Traffic calming, limiting lanes and creating eliminating dedicated turn lanes.
  • Accentuate pedestrian links through accented crosswalk paving, pedestrian scale lighting,  shortened crosswalks and corner bump-outs…
  • Improvements at the existing buildings, with screening along the parking, improved signage, new fenestration, exterior improvements.  Relocation of Automotive parking to the alley side, which has the effect of increasing the number of available spaces, and including parking sharing.
  • New bike lanes (there are 29,000 people working in the area; 40,000 people living here.  Milwaukee has become one of the most bike-friendly  cities in the country, and it needs to be expanded out of the downtown and east Side areas.
  • The odd shaped island in the middle will become a hard-scaled urban plaza with public art and district ID elements, like a fountain, an obelisk, urban-style landscaping.
  • The space directly below that will become an active park, with built in amenities, perhaps an art-style bus stop and activity-encouraging installations.  Chessboard paving?
  • there is currently a standard billboard above the odd shaped building at the corner.  We would upgrade that with a modern digital screen billboard, that is re-shaped to face east directly toward State Street, and angled down toward 35th Street.  This can be programmed with commercial advertising (which is rent for the building owner) and PSAs for the Near West Side organization; in addition, video/graphic art can be programmed in-this intersection is controlled, so you have captive eyeballs in the street.  Which leads to the next element…
  • Computer coordination with lighting, LED and color changing elements in the public streetscaping portions of the project, creating an immersive environment for pedestrians, bikers, and vehicular traffic at the same time.  I don’t wan’t to say Disney, but…Disney.
  • Also, we accented an urban artifact, in that the existing building had the remains of a dust collector system, a remnant of the 4 generation cabinet business A.J. Pietsch that was there (there is still a medallion at the top of one of the buildings)  We want to highlight that by painting it brightly (with lights?  see above) and we also want to create a formal gateway arch leading down to Miller Valley (see the link above the Third Ward arches, guess who designed them just guess); in an industrial aesthetic, and yes, with lights (look, no matter where you are, it is dark roughly half of the time).

Our work was really, really well received.  The director or the NWSP, Keith, came by with much input and much approval.  In particular, our decisions to support and accentuate the existing businesses was applauded.

Hey!  The Mayor was there!  He stopped by our workspace, and I got the opportunity to tell him what we were doing, and convey our enthusiasm for this project and this process.  Remember, I tell myself, to not give MANLY handshake, as his flipper is sub-optimal.  He loves these things, and this is a neighborhood he lives in and went to high school.  Also, he just won re-election with 70% of the vote.  He’s a Good Guy, I’m saying.

During the course of the charrette, I spent much time talking to people from the neighborhood, Dean of the School, developers, other architects, residents, people who like what we were doing, curious onlookers, reporters from news services…upshot is that where in previous charrettes, I had taken the lead in design and presentation, in this case I let my colleagues, Cassandra and Gloribed, lead the charge in design and presentation.  They were reluctant, but I insisted….

Funny thing.  In previous, better times, I tried to hire Cassandra three different times, and she turned me down every time.  Gloribed is from Puerto Rico, and when Young Zombie would come into the office, i told her she had to talk to him in Spanish.  Even prior to that, I had an office that usually was at least 50-50, if not more on the less male side.  At one point, when I was talking to Wife Sublime about the difficulties faced by women in male-dominated fields apropos of STEM (to which, as a woman in a STEM field, she usually admits to being a bit oblivious) that in my field, I somehow tend toward hiring women, she replied “I. KNOW.”

These days, I would reply, so sue me.  What do you want, me to be a misogynist like Donald Trump?”

It amounted to a great day, I had what amounts to a day off – although I did the aerial sketch above, and had much fun doing it.  But sweet living fuck, my drawing skills have atrophied.- Heard from me to the Dean of SARUP:  Look, Bob, I can still draw! which led to a discussion that they have had to incorporate required classes in hand drawing in the curriculum.  But if you follow the link above, SARUP has become a worldwide known schools of architecture, and our graduates have done work and won awards around the globe.  And locally, many of those people have stayed here, and the design environment is rich with talent.  And maybe more zombies than most would expect.  But that was reflected in these charrettes, and the responses they have generated, not to mention the work inspired and economic impact that has resulted.  As an outgrowth of the Wisconsin Idea (trying to be destroyed by TurdFucking Waffle)(Also Bob Lafollete has impressive Morrisey hair) it has married the university to real-world solutions to the city we live in, and the results have been nearly immediate and visible.  It is a community in several different ways, and it is invigorating to be a part of it…

I will echo what one of my colleagues said during his presentation, and say that I have been privileged and honored to be one of the ‘old-timers’ at these things. I run a small firm, but we have big ideas and we like to bust the sides of the box wide open.  This week, I will be finishing up a (weirdly sizable and kind of cool) garage addition for a client, and starting on a small apartment roof conversion from flat to pitched.  At the same time, we are converting a building, when it was built in 1858 was the largest hardware store in the west, to apartments.  I like solving problems, and when I can do it artfully, THAT’S when I am fulfilling the dream of what I wanted to do when I started this long twisted painful path.

I do feel the need to add.  The Commissioner of City Development spent much time talking to me about our ideas, and during the final presentations, I just straight-up went full suckup and sat next to him in the front row.  When the presentations lagged, we talked about our work for the day, and after the whole thing was over, he pigeonholed me to talk about whether I was willing to work with him on the next steps with the building owners.  Was I!  It was the first time I had ever had positive follow up THE SAME DAMN DAY and it was on a tremendously fun project.  And although it involves nearly all public funding (it’s own set of hurdles)(although in Koch Wisconsin, the Democrat-run cities of Madison and Milwaukee are significantly out-performing the rest of the state economically) Rocky said, “this is a project that can be done very quickly” 


This is the story of my time machine invention.
It’s not perfect, cuz I’m not that bright.
We walk our days with the best of intentions,
But when I screw things up, I wanna go back and make ‘em right.
Yeah, I’m a believer in mind over matter.
And I’ve made my mind up to travel in time.
Restart the days, and I’ll do it so much better.
I waste so much time a worryin’ I forgot to live my life.

I’m not going anywhere ‘til I’m back to where it was we were before.
I don’t need anything except always needing just a little more.
I run in circles so I can kick me in the pants.
There’s a reason God is doG backwards: we must chase the tail.

The truth is my invention refuses to go backwards.
A tiny glitch I’m sure to figure out.
But I can ride on the moment slowly time travelling forwards
So the next destination is always right now. (All aboard!)

I’ve finally solved the puzzle of my time machine invention.
You see, in the future, this present is the past, so
If you give this moment your fullest attention
We’ll just keep going forwards with no need for going back.

Warning, FWIW.  And like anyone would notice, as I often go away for a week or more. I am trying to do better.

But we are going away for a week or so, to another location.  San Antonio, if you must know. Home of the former Bloggerhood who ran Republic Of Dogs, and hosted an AG before he foisted her off on me, and we both ran away screaming….

Anyway, I reached out to him on FaceHell, but he is off the Hell for the duration of the election (must have a shitload of rightwing contacts) so I haven’t heard back.  Or maybe he was just so traumatized by the Zombie that he hates me now, whatever….

Anyways, anyone have any knowledge of San Antonio?  Good places/restaurants, entertaining or scary people, places to buy drugs?  Remembrances?  Places Ozzy Osbourne has peed?  Let me know.

So, we will be riding this Time Machine Invention just a little farther forward.  We will be back, I am pretty sure….


Two recent posts by other people who work harder at this blogging thing than I do.

Scott Lemieux does a long form breakdown of why voting for your perfect windmill-tilting candidate, or not voting at all, is a fool’s game.  I know, I know, it’s LGM and they tolerate people like Denverite and me.  I used to like them before they fucking SOLD OUT, man…

John Cole, a famously right wing asshole who changed his mind and became a decent kind of guy, talking about the real, pragmatic and eyes-open reasons he has become willing to support Hillary in the primary.  Spoiler:  It involved RESEARCH!!!

Unlike Cole, I have not made up my mind yet.  I still agree with the Professional Left, that in the general, I will be voting for the same person that Bernie Sanders votes for.  However, notwithstanding this, I am still tending to vote primary for Sanders if he sticks it out till Wisconsin. (NO SLEEP TIL FOND DU LAC!!!) because I think he has helped pull the entire party to the left, my comfort zone, and the more support he gets now will make him even more effective in the Senate and in the Democratic Party.  Both completely worthwhile achievements….

But he has a couple of great points.  One is that Bernie is a bit old, and seems to be aging on the campaign trail, while Hillary seems to be getting energized.  The second, even more salient, is that Clinton has not only survived all of the insane vitriol the rightstaffel has thrown at her, but she has learned from the previous run, discarded the wastes of space like Mark Penn, and surrounded herself with knife-fighters and dirty brawlers.  Which will be necessary whether the opponent is Trump or Cruz.  And finally, is that by all evidence, she is held in massive respect by everyone she has worked with in the Congress, in the Administration, and overseas.  And that is going to be a crucial thing considering the level of obstruction that will be thrown into the next Democratic President’s path.

Fucking shit.  After my entire voting life, I am happy to see the Democrats seem to FINALLY, FUCKING FINALLY, getting the hang of the kind of crotch-kicking, eye-gouging, hair pulling fights that are politics.

I have said it before; I like Bernie lots, and like I said before I am likely vote for him in the primary; but I also love him where he is, making common cause with Elizabeth Warren and (hopefully) Russ Feingold.

I disagreed with Obama during his campaigns.  I disagreed with every single candidate I have ever voted for (except maybe Jimmy Carter, but that was because I was probably poorly informed).  I will disagree with Hillary, and I will disagree with Bernie.  But here’s the thing; look at how Obama has traversed leftward during his tenure, and he has dragged the Democratic Party with him.  He has done it because of pressure from below, Occupy and BLM and people like us.  He has also done it because he no longer has any fucks to give.


In contrast to a former friend who always wanted to say ‘voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil’ and is now going all in for Sanders, ignoring the times he has voted for evil in particular with regards to guns (and we have had a couple of gun killings/massacres in the midwest, s have all of you.  Because daily gun killings are the way we work in America) I will quote another friend by saying, not voting, or voting for a vanity candidate, means you are voting for the MORE evil candidate and how does THAT make sense?.

I have always been politically activated.  I antagonized some of my fellow members in architecture studio by posting political cartoons in my workspace. I watched the 1984 returns with a friend, getting HEROICALLY drunk and scrawling increasingly incoherent responses in a notebook.  Here at home, we watched the 2008 returns together (and remember Young Zombie was attending a minority-majority Milwaukee Public School) and when Obama did his acceptance speech, I wept, yes I did.

I love that the left side of this race has been respectful and substantive.  While the right side has been consumed with insults and dick measuring.

Of course, the American populace is inherently at least 40% knee-jerk insane bigots and authoritarians, so anyone nominated in the ReaganDome process will have a spitting chance of winning, emphasis on the spitting.

So, to sum up: