Monthly Archives: September 2013

Taste Of Madison Canopies

I was at the farmer’s market before the Taste of Madison last weekend. All of the restaurants and such were set up and waiting for the start. I noticed something unusual about it. Can you see it?

Taste of Madison Canopies

Taste of Madison Canopies

No? What about here?


Taste of Madison Canopies 2

Nearly all of the canopies are either red, white, or blue. I only see one (in the lower picture) that has any other color in it. Is this normal? Do canopy makers not sell any other colors or do people only buy red, white or blue? I thought I would share.

Pheasant Branch Nature Preserve

Pheasant Branch Nature Preserve Middleton WI

Pheasant Branch Nature Preserve Middleton WI

I have been trying to explore Middleton a little more. I recently ventured into Pheasant Branch Nature Preserve. It is a pretty cool place. There is a trail corridor and a main part with more paths and such. I like it because it is quiet and a break from biking on the noisy streets. The shade is cool on warm days and that is appreciated by me. One of the cool features is the creek crossings. There is a bridge but there is also this:

Creek Crossing Pheasant Branch

Creek Crossing in Pheasant Branch Nature Preserve

It allows bikers to go through the water and runners or walkers can use the stones on the side to easily cross it. My guess is that it allows trucks to keep off of the bridges. But I am not sure if that is the main reason.

I think that these crossings are very cool. It gets you up close to nature and I love running water. Many times I see kids down there and maybe there are a few future conservationists among them. When I was younger there was a park with a creek and all the kids would be playing in it. Those are memories that will last.

The main part of the nature preserve has a hill with a pretty good view.

Pheasant Branch

Pheasant Branch

There were a few paths closed to bicycles so I will have to get back there to do some more exploring. As an aside one of the info kiosks showed that Middleton used to be known as Peatsville. Pheasant Branch was actually a town as well. It didn’t end up thriving because a railroad decided to lay track elsewhere. Interesting history!

Smiles of a Summer Night, Encounters at the End of the World, & Battleship Potemkin

I had a long weekend over the holiday so I decided went to the library to stock up on things to keep me busy. I read one book and watched three movies.

The Millionaire Next Door

I read this book as it is highly recommended in personal finance circles. It is a bit old but still had a lot to offer. The section about car buying really had me chuckling as it involves newspaper ads and facsimile machines. The main message I took away from it was that living below your means can really add up. It was also interesting to note the differences between first generation affluent and subsequent generations. It is food for thought for the affluent with children. I also liked the breakdown between prodigious accumulators of wealth and under accumulators of wealth. I would recommend this book.

Smiles of a Summer Night

From Smiles of a Summer Night Source:

1955 by Ingmar Bergman. This is the second movie I have seen by this director (The first was The Seventh Seal). I enjoyed this film a lot. It was playful. The acting was good and I enjoyed the story. I also like films set in places and times that I am unfamiliar with. In this case it was turn of the century Sweden. The Swedish word for lawyer is “advokat” which is very similar to the Polish word “adwokat” which also means lawyer.

I liked this movie and I am 2 for 2 with this director. I will have to search out more of his work.

 Encounters at the End of the World

2007 by Werner Herzog. This is a documentary about Antarctica and is primarily concerned with the people that live there. It was interesting to see the people who spend time down there. One of the characters said it best when he mentioned that people who don’t fit anywhere else fall down to the bottom of the world. One of the inhabitants that piqued my interest was the man who always has a bag packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. He even has a rubber raft and paddle in there. It mentioned that he escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and was making the most of freedom.

The scenery of Antarctica was beautiful. I am partial to snow and cold over heat. The place looks so peaceful and quiet. It would be an interesting place to visit but not necessarily live.

Battleship Potemkin

1925 by Sergei Eisenstein. A silent propaganda film. And a good one to boot. It really sets the stage of the common man against the privileged. Includes the famous shot on the Odessa Steps. It was fairly short but still packed a good punch. It would have been a tough life to be a sailor at that time. And the food wouldn’t have been the greatest either.

Radio – My Kind of Entertainment

100_3514Reflecting on your journey can help you as you move forward

My journey of life improvement has lead me to cut down on my television consumption. I always read that watching less or no tv was better for you, but until you try it you just don’t understand how much better it is. I still keep a 20″ tv for the Packer’s games and the occasional Rick Steves’ Europe episode.

For entertainment I find myself listening to the radio more. The main advantage of listening to the radio is that it does not lock in your sight and sound the way television does. I can wash dishes, cook, write or just plain stare out of the window while listening to the radio. With a tv I keep my butt in the chair and my eyes on the screen. My apartment is small enough that I can listen to it all over with ease.

One of the favorite things about the radio is that there are some stations that are commercial free or commercial “lite”. These are the stations I like to listen to; I have grown an aversion to advertisements. Some of my favorite stations in the Madison area are:

  • Wisconsin Public Radio – I especially like Old Time Radio Drama. They had some interesting advertising back in the day!
  • WSUM – the student station of UW Madison aka the Snake on the Lake
  • WTMJ – for the Brewer games & Bob Uecker
  • 88.7 Classical Music – part of Wisconsin Public Radio I think
  • WORT – community radio at it’s finest

Thanks to the internet I can listen to stations from all around the world or those just outside of my geographic reach:

Those are my favorites but I am always looking for more. When I was out in South Dakota I heard an advertisement for a radio show called the “Floydian Slip”. You just don’t get that on normal radio stations!

Do you have a go to radio station? Do you ever listen to radio from other countries or in a different language?