During the evening news on the teley, there was a story about a local currency in the southern Berkshires of Massachusettes. It was quite interesting and Peg commented that Phillips had a program similar to that. So, I did a Scroogle search and found a website dedicated to this local currency. Many European communities, living in the land of the Euro, use local currencies to benefit their local economies.

Anyway, back to Berkshares.... After perusing the Berkshare website, I decided to do a search for Chamber Bucks, a local exchange medium used in Phillips. I found this site in Mauston, Wi. I was beginning to realize that the Phillips gig was a little less sophisticated than Berkshares, for sure, and maybe even the Mauston business....

I couldn't fing an image of a Mauston Chamber Buck, so I thought this little logo image from their website would be better than nothing....... it's pretty cool, what with the rotating words and all.

So maybe I should reserve my opinion on how they rank. Here is a photo of some actual Phillips Chamber Bucks! Not as slick looking as the Berkshares, but what the hey.... The Berkshares can be purchased for 90% of their face value which traslates to a 10% discount when you spend them. Of course the local chain stores in the Berkshires don't accept them, so much the better for the local economy. In Phillps, they aren't sold at any discount, but used as gifts, prizes, etc, and help keep some business local.

Here is a good
article about a German alternative. This photos shows a quite classy looking currency, as are the Berkshares. Do you suppose counterfeit bills are being made of any of these???

And so much for the blizzard of the century!!! Not exactly what I would call a Wisconsin snowstorm.... but I guess it's been a slow snow year for the weather dudes and they had to make the most of it?

I wonder if this will be any more accurate? This is from John Dee's Snow Central. Mind you, I really am not complaining, it's time for the snow to go, IMHO.

_____________Hey, shovel that snow, would ya???_____________


Winter update.

We went downhill skiing last night! Peggy's boy scout troop made their annual trip to Christie Mountain and Bryn and I tagged along, as usual. We got started skiing about 5:30 PM and I was having such good time that I took my first break at 9:10. Warmed up for about 10 mimutes and then went back out until 9:40. We did cruise through this "terrain park" a few times. My legs hurt today....

We haven't seen any of the "big snowstorm" that was supposed to blow in last night. The wind DID blow over our christmas tree on the deck! It was clamped to the deck, now the stand is history! Yram, you sound like you're ready for some more snow!! You need to check out John Dee's website. It's pretty cool, if you like snow. Along the left side of the main page are various links, one to his N.C.N. (Northwoods Cam Network). On that page are all the webcams linked to his site, one is in Prentice, by the motel at the Travel Center interchange! There is one across the bay from Yram's at Ephraim, in Door County.

Another great site (speaking of weather) is at Weather Underground. This one is near you, Yram.
Anyway, this is a photo of a winter sunset as viewed from the front entrance to Ottertail Lodge.

As you can see, not much snow out in front of the house, some gravel showing through. The roads were pretty much bare earlier this week. Now comes the period of thinking it's going to get warm, 20° starts seeming like Siberia, it never gets as warm as the forcast, etc. Spring is probably still a long way off.......

This is one of my favorite photos, looking North from the homestead a few winters ago.

If you like guitar playing, you need to listen to this CD... a guy called Johnny A., the album is 'get inside'. Bryn gave me this music for Christmas and it's definitely premium!! You need to check it out.......

_____________Hey, shovel that snow, would ya???_____________


I think something's melting???

It's almost hot!!! It got to about 44° today in Phillips. Snow melting and rain later in the afternoon. Of course, Peg and I started talking about the rain cleaning salt and sand off the road thus enabling earlier motorcycle riding.....

Thanks to Tim, we have these really good pix of some Yamaha Star bikes. A feast for the eyes, enjoy!

Now this is what I'm talkin about..... just right.

And here, of course, is that lovely 1100 V-Star of Peg's. It's pretty much stock and it looks great....

Now Spock, here, isn't a V-star, just a Vulcan. But I think it looks just as good. So now I've gotten my interest up, it's still February, I suppose it will get cold and drag on for a few more months.....

Later, Carlo


It's gettin' warmer.....!

Looks like the sub-zero spell has left... at least for now. I've been trying to get out to the woods and do some clearing on the south end of the field. This is what it looks like with all the small trees and brush gone. I'm trying to make an extended approach area for those days when the lift is not so good and it takes a little longer to get some air under one's wings...

Isn't this one of the best weird drawings ever? Another example of someone's brain not working correctly. How else could someone do this?

I hope this type of thing is done for the year... all too many days started like this--or lower. Several days in a row of -30°, high of -5°. I think it was at least three weeks of not even getting close to 20 above. Today it was a little bit melty and tomorrow is supposed to be better.

Here's another of those odd little impossible sketches. This site has lots of cool stuff to look at....

Last weekend Peg and I headed to Wi. Rapids for the Point Basse Historical Site's annual winter feast. We decided to dress for the occasion, and here you can see Marcel Bezier surveying the area. We used to go to Point Basse's Pioneer Days in June and have a lot of good friends in the Nekoosa area (where Point Basse is). They always have lots of good stuff like like venison stew and other wild game dishes. Peg won a door prize, a huge easter basket with all kind of goodies and stuffed animals.

I took a little fly this evening. First time in 5 weeks! It's been too cold. So I left work and went directly to the airport. Since I put the battery tender on the plane a month ago, it turned over great and fired right up. I flew the Phillips area lakes for a while, then headed south and flew over the Ottertail area. Never get tired of that. Got back to Phillips just at sunset, which was bright oranges and reds. Really pretty. Did a few practice landings and then put the plane away. As I left the airport I realized that I was famished. I stopped at a local gas station and got one of those little 6" diameter pizzas and little mild carton. I ate it really fast and then when I drank the milk, it felt cold and wonderful going down. Little things like that are easy to overlook, but if you pay attention, life can be pretty cool without a lot of work.......

I gotta go, Carlo

_____________Hey, shovel that snow, would ya???_____________


Family Christmas 2007

Now remember to double click those photos for larger view.... then click your back button to return to blog. Enjoy...

Rose and Bryn arrive! This is the beginning of our family Yuletide gathering. Since Rose, Bryn, Chris and Ashlee couldn't all get up north on Christmas, we decided to have the celebration on the weekend after New Years. Well Peg and I were sick on that weekend and other things got in the way on other weekends, and we finally got it together for the 27th of January.....

Peg and I planned things out, made some little sticky notes of who was doing what tasks, which we stuck to the cupboard doors...... maybe we were a little too anxious about the meal, but what the heck.

Peg started early and got all the potatoes and sweet spuds peeled and into pans of water. Big job out of the way! The day before I had made a pumpkin chifon pie (I only do that cause I like it) and Peg had made an apple pie and a pan of apple crisp.

I pan fried a huge batch of venison loin with mushrooms an onions. We also had a roaster of chicken in the oven, rolls to heat, and Peg made her famous green beans with mushroom soup and french fried onions.

Remember those sweet spuds? Rosie got the job of boiling them and getting them onto a pan in preparation for the next step.

Meanwhile the southern crew arrived, the house slowly filling up, getting noisier and smelling more like Christmas dinner.....

Bryn had the job of getting the sweet spuds covered with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows.Exactly what she is doing here remains a mystery. I seem to remember some of the same antics from others at a past Thanksgiving day get-together....

Well, with dinner and dishes a thing of the past, it looked like Hailee was getting restless and kept eyeing the tree and presents.. so only one option remained--LET'S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD!!

Oh, yeah, books are cool.

Donna got a nice necklace.

Books are nice, but these giant blocks are the cat's ..... uh, meow. Yeah, that's it.

What's better than ribbon as a necklace? Another cheap gift that we fail to use...

Hold on! These blocks really kick it!

I think the grown-ups liked the blocks as much as Hailee, but from a distance.

Hmmmm.... I got this "gift" from me dear mither 'n law. I don't know what the import of it was, or if I should be offended!
Anyway, I'm going to leave you on your own for a few more pics.....

Kids and their toys.

"It's for you, granny...."

As usual, one of the most interesting items was a corrugated box. Never fails..

Next morning Rosie gave Hailee a lesson on computer operation....

So that's how it went, good food, relaxation and a good time was had by all. I do believe we'll do it again next year!!

_____________Hey, shovel that snow, would ya???_____________