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Archive for April, 2004

ST^3 (STorming STate STreet)

April 25th, 2004 No comments

Dave came up a couple weeks ago to make his annual visit. He brought a gift of a new cell phone to me, which my parents had given to him to courier up here. After deciding he would rather walk than pay for parking, we drove out to a free university lot then headed to dinner at the Angelic.

Then we came back to my apartment and waited a bit before we headed out, as Cam was coming with later but was busy with his *two* women. ‘Round 10:30 and after 2-3 beers apiece, we headed to State bar and had a drink while waiting for Cam.

On the way out, a wedding party had started to crowd the bar, and the group was wearing lais. Dave decided he wanted one and asked one of the females if he could get laid. 30 seconds and one dollar later Dave got laid, and his night was made.

Cam had called and said he was done providing an escort service back to the dorm to his two ladies, we headed to State Street Brats and waitied for him there. Dave and I were having a beer when Dave began talking to a couple girls who were sitting near us, by themselves. One was a communications major who was carrying around a book about Sesame Street character “Grover” becoming a firefighter, and the other resembled a moderately obese Christina Aguilera. Neither seemed to be that bright.

Cam finally showed up and was amused at the two of us speaking to these rather peculiar women. By the end of the night Dave had procured the phone number of the one we’ll call “Leeles.”

The next morning, around 11:30 his phone rang, and Leeles asked Dave if he tried drugs (after she admitted doing so last night) and when he said no, she told him that’s bad to do anyway. After a few more hypocritical remarks from her and trite conversation, it was time for Dave to head home.

The pic with this article is of Dave through the peephole on my door. He drunkenly decided he wanted to visit a few neighbors of mine, so I locked him out.

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Crazy legs

April 24th, 2004 No comments

I got up early, on a Saturday no less, to take some pics. Well, that’s if you consider 9am early. The Crazy Legs run was this morning, along with the Famers Market at the Capitol Square, and I decided those would be picture worthy events.

I headed up State St. to what I figured would be a good vantage point and before I knew it, a horde of runners were coming my way. For a good 25 minutes or so, State St. was full from end to end with people. It was elbow to elbow and heel to toe as far as you could see both up and down the street. It was quite the site, and one I don’t remember from last year as I was actually running in it.

I would have considered running in this year’s race, but after realizing that the money donated to it goes to the UW Athletic Department, I decided against it. There are plenty of other worthy causes out there, and it’s too bad this has to be the biggest event of its kind.

The finish line of the event last year was interesting, and I’m sure the same happened this year. After you cross the line and take off the electronic sensor attached to your shoe, you can go up into the stands at Camp Randall and get yourself a free brat and some beer. Only in Wisconsin…

I would have hated to be in traffic around that time because all of the side streets connected to State St. were blocked off for a long period of time. As if Madison traffic was bad enough, this certainly made it worse.

After most of the racers passed, I headed to the Farmers Market to check out what they were selling this early in the year. I found it hard to believe that much could have grown in the couple weeks worth of “warm” weather we’ve had recently.

I was pretty much right, as everything that was being sold seemed to be from last year, or stuff that didn’t need to grow outside in warm weather to be sold, like cheese and meat. There was a decent crowd there, but not nearly as many people as I’ve seen there in the past. I spose most of them were off running their race.

I got some coffee from Starbucks and realized that most of the hippies at the market would probably scowl at me for caving in to the pressure of the big evil franchise. If Steep and Brew’s bitter coffee wasn’t the only other stuff around that area, I might have thought about it.

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Task force hopes to get lucky with Reno

April 24th, 2004 No comments

Janet Reno was testifying before the Avery Task Force at the Capitol on Thursday. The task force was created to ensure that innocent people would not be falsely convicted of crimes, as Steven Avery had been.

Reno was slated to speak first, but everyone’s favorite politician, Mark Gundrum, decided to have her speak last so she could hear other testimony. While other people spoke, she sat there, apparently bored out of her mind, and I’m told someone saw her actually nod off. Way to go Mark!

I can’t say I actually know what she said, as I was snapping away without listening. It probably just echoed whatever everyone else was saying. I’m not sure why she, of all people, was picked to speak anyway. It seems like they just wanted a big name behind the task force to kind of rubber stamp it. But hey, what do you expect out of a committee chaired by Mark Gundrum.

As far as the pic goes, it looks like she’s giving instructions to a sex-ed class rather than a committee of politicians and lawyers.

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And the band played on…Wisconsin

April 24th, 2004 No comments

I got an email about a month ago letting me know the UW Band was having its Spring Concert, and figured I’d see if there was a way to see it for free. I decided I’d email the organizer and get in using my press affiliation. I was told my name would be on some list when I got there, making me believe I’d have no problem getting in.

When I got there I was directed to go to another entrance, as I wasn’t on the list for that entrance. When I got to the other entrance, I wasn’t on their list either. Good thing I was on some list. The people manning the door were quite confused, and ended up finding someone from the band who let me in. However, I had no clue what the restrictions were on me shooting the event – as far as where I could and couldn’t go. Eventually someone told me I could wander wherever I wanted as long as I didn’t get in a paying customer’s view.

I had heard the show was amazing, and I’d have to agree after seeing it. The director, Mike Leckrone, made a grand entrance in a hot air balloon basket, suspended high above the crowd. Because most of the audience was either band member families or hard-core UW fans, the applause was nothing short of deafening.

The band had a few guest performers, including the drummer from the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson band, and an award-winning fiddle player from Texas. The fiddle played a true-to-the-original rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” accompanied by fireworks and stomping.

The best part of the show, for me at least, was the tribute to Billy Joel. Leckrone said he had seen a musical in New York “without words, and only dancing” to Billy Joel music. This was obviously the “Moving Out” musical I had seen in Chicago. They played a number of Billy Joel songs and most of them I was able to easily recognize, and mouth the words to, of course. While the versions of the songs were good, they made an error by including “The Longest Time” in the group of songs, as that song isn’t part of the musical itself. Nonetheless, that song is pretty close to being my favorite song ever and was good to hear again.

The performance was over three hours long, and included an intermission. The return from the intermission featured Leckrone driving different vehicles all over the campus area in an attempt to make it look like he was late for his return to the show. He arrived this time on the rope ladder attached to the hot air balloon basket mentioned earlier, with Bucky Badger hiding for his own grand entrance in the basket itself.

The last part of the show featured songs from “Porgy and Bess,” and didn’t really interest me. However, I enjoyed the last few songs, which are the UW classics including Varsity and On Wisconsin, of course.

I’d have to say the show was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. Not the best, as the two Billy Joel/Elton John concerts have that claim, but pretty close. It’s no surprise the band sold out the Friday and Saturday night shows.

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Plate full of letters

April 15th, 2004 No comments

I’m now accepting suggestions for a personalized license plate. I plan on getting my plates switched to University License Plates, to commemorate my long, stressful and sleepy experience at UW. Apparently you donate $20 a year to the school by registering your plate this way, and the money goes towards scholarships. Here’s a link to the info, as I know some of you are graduating and may want this also.

The personalization can be 6 characters long with one space, or 5 characters with 2 spaces. Suggestions should relate to UW, the business school, myself, and any other non-embarrassing you can think of. Computer related suggestions will be ignored as that’s not something I plan on advertising on my car.

If all else fails, I’ll save myself $15 a year and get non-personalized plates.

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Drivers wanted

April 11th, 2004 No comments

Last time I talked about my car I said I was expecting a nice black one within a week. Well, I did get one within a week, but it wasn’t black. The salesman called back and said they found a silver one in Chicago with all the features I wanted, so I told him to go ahead and order it.

I came home that Thursday to pick it up. When I got at the dealership, the salesman was busy (go figure). I was kind of annoyed as I did have an appointment with him to pick it up and here he had me waiting. They’re car salesmen, what do you expect.

After we finally got down to business, I was told to wait again as the prior weekend had been extremely busy and they hand’t processed all my paperwork. Way to go. So after sitting there, looking at the other cars in the showroom, twiddling my thumbs and plain out being annoyed, they finally got things going.

I was given a customer satisfaction survey that was obviously supposed to be mailed out after I bought the car. Apparently they thought they were being expedient by having me fill it out in person. I left a few things blank because it’s hard to say “yes” to “Did your salesman call you a few days after you picked up your car?” and the like.

I waited over 20 minutes after having that filled out for the finance guy to finish things up with me. They called me back into this little room to complete the sale and sign all the papers that make it legit. The guy talked so fast I actually had to ask him if he knew the guy from the Micro Machines commercial or looked at him as a role model. He just laughed and said that he knew I wanted to get through things quickly. Yeah, you’re spending nearly $25k and you want to rush through all the papers to sign and find out you were screwed in the process.

After being there for nearly 2 hours for a process that should have taken a half hour, I could finally start up my car and drive away. My initial reaction was that I didn’t find anything wrong with the car, and I’m usually good at finding something. It’s now been a few weeks and I still have yet to find something about it to regret.

It’s sad becuase the car is parked in my driveway in Franklin, way too far away from here to be any fun. I don’t get to use it in any regular fashion until June when I start my job and get back from Disney World – by the way, 36 more days until I leave for Florida.

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