Wednesday, May 18, 2011

wisconsin idea seminar day 3

Mobile phone reception is spotty in the Northwoods, but I did hear from Dave and get some photo texts of the Rhinelander "Hodag".
Rhinelander Hodag

What is a Hodag, you ask? I did some research and found this here:

The fearsome Hodag, terror of the pine forests of northern Wisconsin, was first seen by a man named Eugene Shepard in 1893, in the woods outside of Rhinelander. Supposedly a resurrection of the restless spirit of dead lumber oxen, the Hodag reported by Shepard was a 200-pound, seven-foot-long, lizard-like beast covered with horns.

He tried to capture it, failed, and then blew it up with dynamite. His second attempt in 1896, with a backup crew of lumberjacks, was more successful. He cornered a Hodag in its den and knocked it out with a chloroform sponge on a pole.

Oddly enough, this was just before the opening of the Oneida County Fair -- in which the captured Hodag proved to be the most popular attraction, with Shepard offering glimpses of the creature for a dime a peek (from the far end of a dimly-lit tent). After the fair Shepard quit his job as timber cruiser, took up one as a real-estate broker, and spent the rest of his life promoting Rhinelander and the Hodag that had made it famous.

Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, people were drawn to Rhinelander because it had a monster.

The town continues to recognize its unusual appeal, sparing no opportunity to hype the fanged creature. Hodag banners flutter from street poles downtown. At least six statues and billboards of Hodags can be spotted along the main roads: one with cowboy boots and a guitar outside of a gas station on southbound Hwy 17; one on a pedestal in front of a real estate agency on Business US 8; and a 2-D Hodag across the street atop Judy's Hodag Bar.

The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce, still at the forefront of monster marketing, has unveiled its own copyrighted and trademarked Hodag statue on the front lawn of its building.

For a glimpse at less-evolved Hodags of yore, drive down the street to the Rhinelander Logging Museum. It sells a selection of Hodag souvenirs (including photo postcards of the Hodag capture of 1896) and keeps two prime Hodags on display: a life-size replica in a glass case from 1951, and a smaller, furry Hodag, up near the rafters, which shows both the promise and limitation of modern monster taxidermy.

I really want to go to Rhinelander now! Maybe next summer...Watch out for the Hodags, Dave!

In the meantime, I'm going to read up a little more on Hodag sightings!

funny kitty pictures

Probably only funny/cute to me and Dave, but here you go:

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nap time


wisconsin idea seminar day 2

I didn't hear from Dave last night except for a goodnight text, so I know they are really busy on this bus trip. Even though I have no report back, I do have the itinerary and know that the seminar-goers are staying here for the next couple days. I am so jealous!

The Holiday Acres Resort is "up north" in Rhinelander, aka the "Northwoods".

So according to the itinerary, it looks like yesterday Dave toured the Greenheck Fan Corporation, Willow Springs Garden, and Van der Geest Dairy. On tap for Dave today: the Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest, and the Rhinelander District Library. Hope he's staying warm up there!

***update! Dave sent pictures!***

Day 2 -
A 3000-cow dairy farm:

Day 3 -
Art in the woods


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

it's spring!


Lake Mendota spring

liquid water,

spring on Lake Mendota

and burgers on the Terrace!

Sunday burgers on the Terrace

Spring finally arrived on Mother's Day - we've been waiting patiently for long enough!

wisconsin idea seminar day 1

This week, Dave is traveling the state of Wisconsin with the Wisconsin Idea Seminar. The seminar is a five day bus tour across the state of Wisconsin for UW-Madison faculty to learn about the "educational, industrial, social, and political realities of Wisconsin." The website also says that the seminar "introduces and promotes the Wisconsin Idea, the commitment to use university expertise and resources to address the problems of the state."

So yesterday was day one and according to his report back, they spent time in Janesville visiting the Performance MicroTool factory (where the largest drill bit they produce is 1/8 of an inch in diameter - did I get that right, Dave?), then drove to Baraboo where they visited the Aldo Leopold Shack, and learned about environmentalism, the history of immigration, and the population in Wisconsin. Lastly, they drove north, had dinner at UW-Marathon County and then stayed the night in Wausau.

I'll keep ya posted on where he goes today!

***update! Here's a picture of the Aldo Leopold shack...oooh, aaaah...

Monday, May 16, 2011

baby room update

I made a couple of things for the baby's room!

I made this mobile,
nursery 005

but it was too big to hang over the crib.

So I made a little one and with a gift certificate from Carrie's mom, bought a mobile holder for it.

handmade little mobile

Isn't the mobile arm cute? It also plays music and spins!

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I hung the big mobile in the corner - when the air conditioning comes on it blows around like crazy!

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I also made the polka dot pillow, the crib skirt, and little elephant stuffed animal in the crib - he's made out of two old socks!

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There are also a few etsy finds - the alphabet and number prints above the crib, and this little train from Amber.

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Mom got us all set up with the crib, changing pad and cover and the crib sheet.

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Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this room together! Just need to hang the family photo collage on the wall and I'm done! (Well...done except for the bookshelf that still has some room on it - can probably squeeze a few more children's books in there!)

i'm back

Baby stuff, cook-outs, and work is what we've been up to these past couple of weeks. Getting back into blogging this week!