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Brooklynites in Brooklyn: Badger State Road Trip Report

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The photos you see above were taken two Sundays ago in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, one of the 11 Brooklyns scattered across America. The town made for a fun photo op during my recent vacation in Wisconsin, where the New Girl and I spent last week.

As you can see, Wisconsin lists a town’s population as you hit the city limits, a small but informative gesture that’s very useful if you happen to be road-tripping. It’s one of the many things I love about Wisconsin, which is my favorite state. I visit there a lot — roughly two years out of every three, give or take — but this was the New Girl’s first trip there, and it was fun to see America’s Dairyland through her never-been-here-before eyes.

We spent our week (Saturday to Saturday) meandering in a big, 700ish-mile clockwise loop around the state’s south-central region, beginning and ending in Milwaukee. The route I’ve traced on the map shown below is approximate — we went on tiny local roads whenever possible — but it should give you a rough idea of the ground we covered (click to enlarge):

It was a great, great trip. We had perfect weather, the autumn foliage was spectacular, and we met lots of interesting folks along the way. Here are some of the highlights, listed chronologically:

Sunday: Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron
Tom Every (who, by coincidence, was born in Brooklyn, Wisconsin) was a demolition engineer who got tired of destroying things and decided to start making things instead. In the 1980s he renamed himself Dr. Evermor and began building the Forevertron, a massive sci-fi-ish gadget (or at least that’s what it would be if it actually worked) that’s currently the world’s largest scrap metal sculpture. It sits in the middle of a sprawling sculpture park filled with Evermor’s other work, which is crafted from scrap metal, musical instruments, rusty tools, old knives, gas pump handles, and just about anything else you can think of, much of it salvaged from his old demolition jobs. It’s all pretty mind-blowing, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that visiting here was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

There are two aspects of the sculpture park that hit you really hard. The first is the sheer volume of the sculptures. Evermor (who wasn’t there on the day we visited, unfortunately, although we did get to meet his wife and daughter) is clearly one of those obsessive-compulsive artists for whom creative production isn’t a choice — it’s an imperative. I’ve always been fascinated by that kind of thing.

The other overriding theme at the park is the sense of wit, play, and whimsy in Evermor’s work. The vast majority of his sculptures are of birds, fish, dogs, insects, and other animals, and most of them have super-expressive faces that are irresistibly smile-inducing. And some of Evermor’s choices of how to depict feathers (or eyes, or beaks, or whatever) are really clever — I found myself chuckling again and again.

I took about 100 photos and haven’t had time yet to edit any of them or weed out the bad ones, but here you go. Look closely and you’ll even see a few sculptures of baseball players (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

Monday: FAST Corp.
A day after checking out the crazy sculptures at the Forevertron, we visited the crazy sculptures at FAST Corp. “FAST” stands for fiberglass animals, shapes, and trademarks. If you’ve ever seen a giant steer on the roof of a steakhouse, a giant soft serve cone in front of an ice cream stand, or a Bob’s Big Boy statue, there’s a good chance that FAST made it. They also make a lot of slides for water parks. The molds from which all of these creations are cast — about 600 of them — sit out in the open in FAST’s side yard, and the company allows visitors to roam around and take photos.

I’m going to be writing an article about FAST for a design website, so we got a tour of the facility from the company’s general manager. I don’t want to give away all the photos before my article runs, but here’s a taste (all photos by Heather McCabe; if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

Monday Night: Leo and Leona’s
One of the many great things about Wisconsin is that you can be in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but rolling farmland, and suddenly there’ll be a roadhouse tavern. We stopped at lots and lots of these, but one stood out: Leo and Leona’s, a great joint in the flyspeck town of Newburg Corners (population unlisted because the town is unincorporated, but we were told it’s “less than 10”). We pulled in there at about 6:30pm on a Monday evening and quickly realized we’d stumbled upon the Best Bar Ever. Great neon, friendly people, and that indefinable but palpable aura the you can always feel when you’ve discovered a primo watering hole. After a few hours of drinking and kibitzing, someone asked where we were planning to spend the night. We said we didn’t know yet (we were pretty much making things up as we went along), so the bartender said, “There’s a spare apartment upstairs. You seem like good people, so you can crash there for $25 if you want.” How cool is that?! So that’s what we did. At the end of the night, the other customers went home, the bartender closed up shop, and we went upstairs. In the morning, we left a nice note and went on our way.

We were so busy having a good time that we didn’t take nearly enough photos of Leo and Leona’s (I particularly regret not having photographed the beautiful jukebox or any of the wonderful people we met), and the ones we did take were hampered by low light and the inherent challenges of photographing neon signage, but here are some shots (most of these by Heather McCabe; if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

Leo and Leona’s also had a bunch of old beer cases stacked up in the rafters, many of them for brands that don’t even exist anymore (click photo to enlarge):


Tuesday: The Wisconsin State Pavilion and Chatty Belle
After the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Wisconsin State Pavilion was going to be demolished, but a local businessman arranged to have it moved back to Neillsville, Wisconsin, where it remains today as a combination visitors’ center/radio station. It’s a magnificent piece of Googie design (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

The Pavilion shares a parking lot with Chatty Belle, the world’s largest talking cow. (Yes, there was something of an animal sculpture theme to this trip.) She used to give facts on the dairy industry, but now she mainly talks about herself and about the pavilion, which is sort of disappointing (video not shot by us):

I’m pretty sure Chatty Belle was made by FAST Corp., although I need to confirm that. In any case, she makes for fun photos (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

Thursday: Kettle Moraine State Forest
One of my favorite junctures during the trip was the 90 minutes or so that we spent tramping around on a trail in Kettle Moraine State Forest, which provided a much-needed dose of nature after several days spent primarily in car seats and on barstools. What these photos don’t capture is the sound of a woodpecker that we heard throughout much of our time in the woods (if you can’t see the slideshow, click here):

Friday and Saturday: Holler House
Many of my favorite Milwaukee bars no longer exist. The National Liquor Bar closed down years ago; Art’s Concertina Bar was sold and got a makeover. But Holler House endures, thanks to the perseverance of proprietress Marcy Skoronski, who’s now 88 years old but still tends bar every day (and cooks a bunch of food for everyone on Sundays). She’s a real piece of work, and I mean that in the best way, so it was great to see her looking spry and plucky as usual when we stopped in last Friday night (click photo to enlarge):


The second-best thing about Holler House (after Marcy, natch) is in the basement, which is home to America’s oldest pair of league-sanctioned bowling lanes. No automatic pinspotters here — they have live pinboys. This means you can’t just walk in and bowl. You have to call ahead, so Marcy can be sure to have a kid on hand to set pins. When we stopped in on Friday night, we made arrangements to bowl the following afternoon.

I’ve bowled at some pretty cool pin-bashing parlors (including the wonderful Rohman’s in Shohola, Pennsylvania, where the customers have to set their own pins), but nothing compares to Holler House. This was my third or fourth time bowling there, and it’s always a privilege and a pleasure. As you can see below, it also tends to bring out the best in me:

(In case you’re wondering: That was the second take. I got a 9-count on the first take, but the New Girl wasn’t happy with the how the introductory sequence looked, so we re-shot and I happened to toss a strike — the first of three in a row, as it turned out. Not bad considering I wasn’t using my own ball or shoes, all of which I’d left back home in NYC.)

Saturday: General Mitchell International Airport
This was the day we flew home, but it was still a highlight, because Milwaukee’s airport lives up to (and perhaps even raises) Wisconsin’s overall coolness quotient by virtue of two awesome quirks. First, the concourse is equipped with Ping Pong tables, which is completely absurd and utterly charming. There’s no charge, and nobody seems to hog the table — travelers and families play for a bit and then move on, leaving the paddles and ball on the table for others to use. The whole thing is sort of surreal, and it’s a welcome change of pace from the usual mix of harried stress and sterile corporatism found at most airports (click to enlarge):

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The other great thing about the Milwaukee airport is what happens after you pass through security. You know how most airports provide a little area where you can put your shoes back on and put everything back in your pockets? Here’s what they call that area in Milwaukee (click to enlarge):


Every Day: Taverns
Wisconsin taverns are the best of the best. In addition to the ones referenced above, we stopped at soooo many more — I’d say at least four or five a day, and sometimes more. We weren’t getting sloshed or driving drunk, mind you — in most cases we each only had a short beer (i.e., a six- or eight-ounce draft), or shared a bottle. But we almost always ended up having interesting conversations with the bartender and/or the other customers, and we loved that feeling of walking into a new, unfamiliar bar, which for me is like unwrapping a present. We really should have photographed more of these places, but here’s a smattering (if you can’t see the slideshow, click here):

There were some additional things that I documented on Facebook as we went along. I’ll let those Facebook posts speak for themselves:


There was more, but that’s enough for today. One final thought, though: When I mentioned before the trip that I’d be heading to Wisconsin, several of you got in touch and said, “Let’s meet up!” or “I’d love to meet you and buy you a beer!” I’m sorry, but I turned down all of those gracious offers — not because I didn’t want to meet all of you, but because I wanted this to be a true vacation from Uni Watch in every respect. Thanks for understanding, and for all your enthusiasm. It means a lot, honest.

•  •  •  •  •

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off three very nice baseball stadium prints. Details here.

• • • • •

So here’s a question: Don’t worry, I’m not interested in discussing Ebola policy, quarantine policy, or anything like that (at least not here), but I do have a question that I’m hoping some of our more scientifically oriented readers can answer.

And here it is: We keep hearing that it takes 21 days for someone to go from Ebola exposure to Ebola symptoms. Isn’t it rather improbably convenient that the incubation period happens to be exactly three weeks (instead of, say, 17 days, 19 days, or some other random period)? I can understand when things run 24 hours, since that’s part of our planet’s daily cycle, or even 28 days, since that aligns with the lunar cycle. But our seven-day week is a construct — it has no relation to any natural rhythms, at least that I’m aware of. So it seems like a mighty big coincidence that a virus’s incubation period would just happen to be exactly three weeks.

So when scientists talk about Ebola and 21 days, are they really rounding up from another number (19 days, say), because 21 days is easier for people to remember? And if so, are there lots of examples of this throughout the worlds of science and medicine?

Let’s please keep the discussion of this limited to the 21-day thing and not delve into other aspects of the Ebola/quarantine issue. Thanks.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: Comedian Hari Kondabolu wants to change the ’Skins logo so it features a sunburned white guy. ”¦ A Navajo high school in Arizona has emerged as an unlikely defender of the ’Skins name (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ RUWT — that’s “Are You Watching This?,” the email service that emails you when a sporting event on TV you might be missing just got exciting — has apparently stopped using the ’Skins game (from Rob Holecko). ”¦ Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, is running a campaign ad in which he promises to oppose any attempts to make the ’Skins change their name. Interestingly, the ad says that Senate majority leader “has a bill to force the Redskins to change their name.” But if you go look at the two articles that the ad cites for that claim, you’ll see that one of them doesn’t mention any legislation at all and is simply about public opinion and the fallout from the team’s loss of trademark protection, and the other one is about revoking the NFL’s tax-exempt status. In other words, nobody is “forcing” the ’Skins to do anything. But it’s good to know that Ed Gillespie will oppose any such efforts, should they ever occur (which they won’t). ”¦ “Through the Apache Skateboards Twitter feed, I learned about What TRIBE, described as an ‘art campaign aimed towards the eradication of the use of negative images of Native Americans as well as other diverse cultures,'” says Josh Sondelski. “Both have been posting about Native American rights and I’ve seen Washington-specific posts trickle in as of late.” … With the ’Skins playing in Minnesota this weekend, the Minneapolis-based advertising agency Red Circle and the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media have produced a new commercial about the team’s name (from Jon Solomonson):

Baseball News: I’ve been saying for a while now that Giants OF Hunter Pence is the only single-glover in the bigs. But it turns out there’s another one: Pence’s teammate Madison Bumgarner (good one from Alan Borock). … CNN used a seriously outdated Giants logo for a World Series report yesterday morning (from Dan O’Hara). … Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar loves the Indians’ block-C. … A storefront in Yonkers — that’s just north of the Bronx — uses the Twins’ logo (from Terence Kearns). ”¦ “Working at the Albany International Airport has its perks,” says Jamie Burditt. “One of them is seeing a lot of baseball history passing through on its way to Cooperstown, whether it’s actual Hall of Fame players, future HOFers, or, every October, World Series game-worn items on their way to be displayed. This year had some interesting items, including Yordano Ventura’s cap with his memorial to Oscar Taveras from Game 6. They also had Game 7 winner Jeremy Affeldt’s cleats, complete with dirt and grass from the game, Buster Posey’s Game 7 jersey, and Pablo Sandoval’s bat.”

NFL News: Each defensive player for the Browns has been given a spiked black dog collar, and the coaches reward the players by giving out bone-shaped charms for big plays. ”¦ During last night’s Saints/Panthers game, the NFL Network ran this graphic of Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart. Just one problem: That’s actually DeAngelo Williams, not Stewart (from Joey Breeland). ”¦ Speaking of the Panthers, QB Cam Newton wore Charlotte Hornets cleats prior to last night’s game.

College and High School Football News: Interesting spin on the color-out phenomenon, from Tim Lewis: “As a Michigan alumnus, I recently signed a petition calling for AD Dave Brandon to be fired. I just received an email encouraging the petitioners to wear white to this Saturday’s game as an anti-Brandon protest. I’m not going to the game but I still live in Ann Arbor, and you bet I’ll be wearing white!” … “I work with a former offensive lineman who played for Danny Ford at Clemson,” says Douglas Ford. “The company we work for had ‘wear orange for Halloween day’ on Thursday, so he brought in this awesome jersey from the 1985 season, which includes a patch for the Independence Bowl.” … “I was looking up the Radnor/Lower Merion football game, one of the oldest high school rivalries in the country (played every year since 1897), and found this collection of old program covers,” says Andrew Hoenig. “Stock illustrations, mostly. I was at four of these games (1976-79) in the Radnor marching band, and I can assure you that our uniforms did not look anything like the ’76 cover.” … Here’s a new blog about college football uniforms in New England. “Particularly good stuff on the unis worn toward the end of the UVM Catamounts program,” says Tris Wykes. … “U! S! A!” helmet for Northwestern State this weekend. … Pride Hubris uniforms on tap tomorrow for Maryland. ”¦ Sulligent High School in Alabama uses the Superman logo on their helmet (from Dustin Semore). ”¦ LoveloveLOVE this 1993 shot of a Penn State fan wearing a pumpkin helmet. Or is it a helmet pumpkin? (Either way, big thanks to Chris Flinn). ”¦ Florida State’s new road jersey with the new red numbers also has a new collar design. ”¦ Typo alert! That’s James Burgess (not Bugress) Jr. of Louisville, from last night (thanks Phil). ”¦ Here’s this week’s uni combo for Washington.

Hockey News: G.I. Joevember move upcoming for the Bruins, who’ll be wearing camouflage warm-up jerseys and using camo tape on their sticks on Nov. 10. ”¦ Full-body skeleton costumes on tap for the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies.

NBA News: The Cavs opened the season by wearing their new blue alternates. That marked the 27th different jersey design of LeBron James’s career. Here are the other 26 (from Michael Johnson). … In a related item, the Cavs gave out “chalk toss” bags last night. ”¦ Also, someone on the Cleveland bench was apparently pouring Gatorade into a Powerade bottle for LeBron.

Soccer News: A college soccer team in England has been told to stop wearing its PornHub-sponsored jerseys. … The Colorado Rapids are suing their jersey sponsor, Ciao Telecom, over missed payments. … Here’s what Russian design experts think of the new logo for the 2018 World Cup, which will be taking place in Russia. … Here’s an amazing nesting doll set with Lazio’s late-’90s starting lineup (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The MLS’s new Orlando City fanchise will unveil its inaugural uniform set next week (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Here’s a good visual guide to men’s dress shoes (thanks, Brinke). … Will we soon start seeing uniforms made in Ethiopia? Could be, because that’s where the center of gravity in the garment industry’s sweatshop operations is shifting (from Tommy Turner). … New uniforms for the El Dorado, Arkansas, fire department. … A skating rink in Newfoundland, Canada, is instituting a mandatory helmet policy for anyone on the ice — customers, staff, everyone. … Fun article about the design of superhero wordmarks. ”¦ World Bowling, bowling’s international body, has come up a new, awful-sounding way to score a game, primarily to suck up to the IOC (from Jon Solomonson. ”¦ With the Melbourne Cup horse race just around the corner, here’s an infographic showing all the winning jockeys’ silks from 1862 to 2013 (from Graham Clayton).

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: One of the best things about NYC this time of year is the annual Food Film Festival, a multi-night program of movies about food (short documentaries, mostly, although there are usually some short animations and other less serious stuff), accompanied by the foods shown in the movies. The installment that I attended last night featured nine short films, ranging in length from one minute to 33 minutes. During each one, a small army of volunteers marched down the aisles and distributed little samples of the food or drink being shown on the screen, which sounds chaotic but works surprisingly smoothly. We got to try rye whiskey, red wine, pizza, hot dogs, buckwheat pasta with pesto, churros, macaroni with Sriracha, goat cheese, black bean soup, and more. Then there was an afterparty with more foods related to the films. It’s a great, great time and extremely well organized. It isn’t cheap (the tickets are usually $85, although I bought mine at the “early bird” price of $70), but it’s totally worth it. Puts a whole new spin on the concept of “dinner and a movie.”

• • • • •

On a personal note: My 90-year-old mom is having hip-replacement surgery on Monday and will be in the hospital until Thursday. It should be fairly routine, as such things go, but still — she’s 90 years old and all. My brother and I haven’t yet worked out the logistics of who’ll be visiting her on which days, but it’s possible that the site will end up with a day or two of lighter-than-usual content next week. Thanks in advance for your patience.

The good news is that she wouldn’t be going ahead with this procedure (and the doctor wouldn’t have recommended it) unless she felt optimistic about getting plenty of years’ worth of use out of the rebuilt hip. So that’s a really positive thing — I’m proud of her.

Comments (123)

    Ya beat me to it. But, it’s nice to know there’s someone else who reads both sites.

    I remember reading somewhere that the disease can emerge pretty much any time after like 3 days, but typically not longer than 21. It’s basically a safe number – if you haven’t shown symptoms by then, you’re probably fine.

    Medical student here… TheJeff is right in that its a range. What they’re referring to is the incubation period, and its based off of previous confirmed cases. The lowest number will be the the 10th percentile and the higher (in this case 21) will be the 90th.

    Ebola’s incubation period is 1-21 days, so while interesting in regards to our calendar, its merely saying that 90% of the cases have shown symptoms within 21 days after infection.

    And yes, there are plenty of other examples anywhere from days, to months, to years.

    Thats a pretty basic explanation, feel free to ask if you want to know more!

    The Jeff and JohnJ are both right. It’s actually pretty simple, but JohnJ’s descriptive about the percentiles is even more correct (Worked in the infectious disease department at the NYC Department of Health – while Frieden was still the Commish).

    And, Paul, if your mother is getting her procedure done at my hospital (Hospital for Special Surgery), she’ll be in great hands (although, I’m sure she’ll be in good hands even if she’s going somewhere else!).

    To pump the new regime’s “Play like a Brown” theme, the defensive coaches have provided each of their players with a spiked black dog collar, and each exceptional-effort play garners a dog bone charm to attach to the collar.

    Hey Cleveland, do that for the entire team, but make them helmet stickers. A helmet covered in bone stickers is better than a blank one.

    i assume there is a NFL rule stating they can’t do that.. but as a Buckeye fan, i’d be okay with it

    The Louisville Cardinals had shockingly bad uniforms for last night’s game. My wife said they looked like sci-fi movie link. I don’t get why the helmets link looked link.

    Eww… yeah I can’t tell what the helmet is supposed to have on it. I think this dark gray trend thing is worse than the black was. It looks like they put the helmets in a room with a few cans of metallic red paint and a comedian with an oversized hammer.

    I was listening to the Louisville radio broadcast of the game and they couldn’t read the UofL uniform numbers and misidentified players often, usually this is done by a spotter in the booth that relates the info to the broadcast team so not necessarily the confusion of trying to call the game and read numbers.

    Want to end this nonsense? Have the refs tell the players, “You can wear these, but the spotters can’t read your numbers so there will be no individual stats recorded today…just team stats.” They’ll be asking for practical uniforms with nice big easy-to-read numbers in no time.

    Brilliant! Someone needs to turn this idea into one of those White House petitions or something to get some attention for it.

    Hey Paul, Glad to see you guys enjoyed your trip to my back yard. Next time you are here, especially in fall when the leaves turn colors- be sure to visit Holy Hill about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee in the town of Erin. Even if large 100 year old churches are not your thing, there is a scenic tower you can climb (178 steps) and you can see all the way to downtown Milwaukee along with the beautiful countryside this time of year. Lots of great bars in the area too!

    Cool write-up, Paul. I’ve been looking forward to it all week. I used to blog a bit about trips that I would go on, but it’s been years since I did that (the blogging, not the traveling). Any trip where you get off the interstate and just wander down the back roads is a good one, in my opinion. I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but you make a good case to put it on my to-do list.

    Paul, is the population number on city limit signs something unusual to see? I would have thought every town in the country did that. I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life, and never traveled outside Wisconsin and Minnesota, and I have always seen these signs everywhere. I guess I wouldn’t know if other places do that or not. It seems to me that if you made sure to point it out, then it must be rather unusual.

    It’s a state-by-state thing. I’ve never tabulated how many states do it, but I’ve road-tripped through all of the lower 48 and I’d say probably a little less than half list the town populations. (My own state, New York, does not do it, much to my annoyance.)

    Wyoming lists population and elevation (or at least it did the last time I was there, which was about a dozen years ago) — a nice touch!

    Another nice Wisconsin touch: They give you a heads up when you’re approaching a historical marker — “Historical Marker 1000 feet ahead” or whatever — so you can prepare to pull over if you like. Nebraska also does this. By contrast, New York just plops down markers and gives you no advance warning, so you don’t see them until you’re driving past them, and then it’s too late to stop. Frustrating.

    Wyoming still includes (and for decades has included) elevation on its town markers. And EVERY town has its own sign, even freakin’ Natrona, WY (Population 5), which consists of a single house & family. With the house doubling as a bar, natch.

    In 1963 (a year before I was born), my parents were looking at some census numbers that had been published in the newspaper or something like that, and they noticed that there was a town called Lucky Shot, Alaska, with a population listed as 1.

    They were intrigued, so they wrote a letter and addressed it to “Resident, Lucky Shot, Alaska.” Sure enough, they heard back from the guy and had a brief pen-pal relationship with him. They showed me the letters from him when I was a kid.

    Years later, in 1998, my then-galpal and I were road-tripping thru western Nebraska and came upon a town with one resident. Can’t recall the town name now (have to look it up). It had once had a few dozen people, but most of the homes and all of the shops were now abandoned and decaying. But this one woman, named Lois, still lived there — we saw her working in her yard, so we stopped and chatted with her. She had been born there and lived there her whole life, so she saw no reason to move. Her son, who worked for the county, had arranged to have a “No Parking” sign installed in front of her house, which was funny.

    Her yard was immaculate and well-kept, which I found interesting. She wasn’t keeping up appearances for anyone but herself. I liked that.

    While it’s probably not the village Paul is thinking of (several incorporated Nebraska villages have single-digit populations, and this one had a whopping six residents in the 1990 census) link currently has one resident.

    As one would expect, the only business in town is a cafe/tavern.

    There are town signs in Australia as well. Here is one of my favourites, south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory:


    I would also like to pass on my best wishes for Paul’s Mom as well.

    Paul’s comments regarding the 21-day incubation period reminds me of how often I see a poll from an organization or news source that lists 67% of participants responding a certain way. Since that’s a round-up of 66.666, or, exactly 2/3, I often assume that overly convenient result was a lazy estimation or an scientifically inaccurate poll.

    …or it could mean that they polled 100 people, and 67 of the participants responded in a certain way…

    Yikes. He says it’s just “light makeup.” To me that’s kind of an odd semantics game. I think it’s in poor taste.


    Well, at least people are getting outraged just as badly over a black guy as white as they were for a white guy as black.

    Regardless, it’s obviously not racist and it shouldn’t be an issue. Seriously, without any negative intent, it’s just makeup.

    Why is it so hard for people to understand that you don’t need to change your skin color to dress up as someone of a different race?


    (though can we also not pretend that whiteface is equally as fucked up as blackface?)

    And of course, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    If your costume requires changing skin tone (especially to one that isn’t even realistic), you probably should think twice.

    If your costume requires changing skin tone (especially to one that isn’t even realistic), you probably should think twice.

    Why can’t I dress up as a Smurf if I want to?

    But really… why is it so freakin bad to darken (or lighten) your skin for a costume of a specific person? Is it really that difficult to see the difference in intent and context between “blackface” of 100 years ago and “trying to look more like this person” today? Is the idea that “this bad thing happened a long time ago so no one should ever do anything even remotely similar, even if it’s for entirely different reasons” really a good thing?

    I’m *shudder* 100% with The Jeff on this one.

    It comes down to intent and accuracy. I’m totally ok with putting on the proper color makeup for the sake of a costume on Halloween.

    Paul, you picked the right weather window to visit Wisconsin. In the north, we awoke to Halloween snow.

    I’m typing this sitting next to my mom who just turned 89. Both of us send our love to you and your mom.

    A Navajo high school in Arizona has emerged as an unlikely defender of the ’Skins name (from Tommy Turner).

    I’m fascinated by stories like this; does this then make the school a case such as Notre Dame? As outliers in the narrative of cultural sensitivity, are media whores going to descend, locust-like, on the campus in search of cheap publicity? Are they just pawns in a bigger game? Or do they have a God-given right not to be defined by their critics?

    “… … Here’s what Russian design experts think of the new logo for the 2018 World Cup, which will be taking place in Russia. …”

    And what a schlocky thing it is! The disgruntled Russian designers are right on the money. And speaking of money (and corruption and godawful taste), it’s somewhat comforting to know that Sepp Blatter hasn’t lost a step.

    In 2011, Milwaukee hosted the U.S. Table Tennis Open Championship, so the city decided to put a bunch of KillerSpin tables around the city (Art Museum, Harley Davidson Museum, Lakefront Brewery…and more) General Mitchell Airport liked it so much, they just kept them.

    World Bowling, bowling’s international body, has come up a new, awful-sounding way to score a game, primarily to suck up to the IOC

    Don’t do it! If curling hasn’t changed its game to suck up to the IOC, neither should bowling.

    Not enough people understand how to keep score? Well, if ABC still showed the PBA on Saturdays, and if bowling alleys saved money by getting rid of their automatic scoring systems and replacing them with gof-like score cards, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem.


    Interesting…I tried to reply with just the first line, but got an error warning saying, “your comment is too short. Please try to say something useful.” When did that start?

    Same thing happened to me when I was going to insert a brief reply “me three” to the first comment above.

    At home the facebook entries didn’t populate when I looked, but I see you did see the Gobbler.

    Blogger-extraordinaire James Lileks has a great entry on the history of the Gobbler link.

    ” “your comment is too short. Please try to say something useful.” When did that start?”


    I think it only does that for you.

    Isn’t being able to properly/manually score a bowling game one of those things that makes a guy a “Man”?

    Hmm. I don’t like the sucking-up-to-the-IOC aspect of it. Any self-respecting sports federation should be more concerned about sticking it to the IOC, not sucking up. Still, I kind of like the concept of the frame-by-frame scoring. But I’d have to play a few games both ways, and I’d have to see a lot of games either played or simulated among top-level players to verify that it actually works as a scoring system. Something that works at my level of play – I’ve been known to break 100 in 10 frames! – may not work for actually skilled players.

    As a staunch anti-‘Skins person, I’m perfectly cool with the high school in Arizona using the nickname.

    It’s their identity and if they choose to take ownership of the term–whether you think it’s a slur or not–is how it should be. It’s the same way I would never use the n-word but think it’s perfectly healthy for black people to use as a term of affection. The reason I think the Washington team should change its nickname is also why the Arizona high school should proudly keep its.

    And folks are right when they say “There are more important issues to worry about.” But it’s not like the #HTTR crowd on Twitter gave any thought to unemployment and substance abuse on reservations before the nickname became a topic of national conversation. It’s not an either-or – our brains are capable of processing multiple issues. If anything, the controversy has shone more light on the everyday stuff.

    Agreed. Importantly, the community has emphasized they speak for nobody but themselves. They don’t want to be used as a bellwether for nationwide trends.

    As a side note, I know nothing about Amanda Blackhorse. Everyone’s knives seem to be out for her, so that makes me instantly like her. But that could change if she claims to speak on my behalf.

    Yesterday’s ticker item about the Cavs’ old court from the Coliseum ending up in a Virginia school also made it to the Fox Sports web site.

    By the way, there was a part two to the original Cleveland Scene article…

    Paul — as always great trip report! Wisconsin is indeed a fun state to visit. Really enjoyed the pictures of your adventures off the beaten path. Those are my favorite kind of trips, too.

    Like you, I also enjoy the old school taverns and supper clubs there and elsewhere. Looks like you guys had great weather. Thanks so much for sharing.

    You’ve inspired me — think I’ll grab lunch at my favorite old school tavern here in Seattle: Loretta’s Northwesterner in South Park.


    It reminds me of the pictures portrayed of the Pacific NW in Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums. Cheers!

    I had a total hip replacement three years ago and I can assure you it’s a routine surgery and your Mom will feel great once she recovers.

    Well, I get nervous anytime anyone over 70 gets any surgery, so my thoughts go to Paul, his mom and the rest of their family.

    My senior English classes and I often talk about the 7-day week when we read Genesis. The question becomes, is it a construct that fits the story, or is the story built to fit a natural human rhythm of six days on/one day off? Chicken/egg? In other words, is the seven day creation story one of those myths designed to explain something already in existence: humans operating on seven day schedules?

    Blame the moon. The idea of a month was originally based on the phases of the moon, which has a 28 day orbit. Previous calendar systems used thirteen 28-day months. It makes sense in that system to use four 7-day weeks. Once we realized that the solar year didn’t actually match up perfectly with the lunar cycle, we changed things up a bit. So now we have 7-day weeks even though months vary.

    It’s still a pretty random choice, since you could just as easily have seven four-day weeks. Or two 14-day weeks. Or no weeks at all — just one 28-day period.

    I always wondered how googie is pronounced. Is the second G hard, or soft like “squeegee?”

    I both editions of Alan Hess’ book of the same name and have never known how to say it.

    I’m 99.9% sure its with a hard g. This NPR story agrees with me.


    (my favourite days at Uni-Watch are when non-uniform interests of mine come up)

    Glad to hear your time here was sufficiently awesome, even stopping at The Gobbler. Google some of the old ads for the place for a treat. And no sweat on the beer. :)

    I will say this: You should maybe come out for the State Fair sometime (start of August in West Allis). You’ll get to see the alpacas and meet with many folks who are still involved with the farm industry in Wisconsin as just about every animal you can imagine is raised in the state is on display. And while the townie taverns aren’t exactly on display, there’s a lot of cool art they have, and West Allis has a few of those townie kind of bars just down the street, or in some cases across the street, from the Fair Park.

    Or, better yet … get outta Brooklyn and just move here already. The cost of living’s about half of what it is out there, and it’s not like you can’t be a remote blogger now.

    I’ve attended several county fairs in Wisconsin, but never the state fair. I would definitely like to do that.

    There was a stretch in the late ’90s and early aughts when I seriously considered moving to Wisconsin. It’s true that my work style allows me to live anywhere. But my friends and what’s left of my family are here in NYC, plus there are other factors I don’t have time to discuss here, but the upshot is that I think I’ll be staying put.

    About visiting Wisconsin…

    Best left to the pros… Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Ted Striker. I guess we can include Paul too.


    Sounds like another magical trip to Dairy Land.

    Just think of all the great things you did on your trip, but you didn’t even scratch the surface of our great state.

    Wisconsin has so much to offer, and that’s why I don’t think I will ever live anywhere else as long as I live. We welcome you back anytime!

    Regarding Ed Gillespie’s stupid, pathetic lie that Sen. Reid (apparently the Most Evil Person In Historyâ„¢ for this week) supposedly “has a bill to force the Redskins to change their name,” bear in mind that most people won’t even bother to ask if that’s even possible, let alone whether it’s true.

    No “bill” could “force the Redskins to change their name.” Congress can’t pass a law targeted at one individual or one entity; that’s called a “bill of attainder” and is plainly unconstitutional. (Of course they could try, but as soon as it was signed into law the target would get an injunction so fast their drunken money-stuffed heads would spin.) Besides, what would such a “bill” actually say? How would it be enforced? Which federal agency would be responsible for its implementation? It’s nonsense.

    This reminds me of when some other congressgoober proposed a “bill” to “ban” gay players from the NFL. Congress can’t do that either.

    The problem is that Mr. Gillespie knows all this. At a very minimum, he knows that more people will believe his stupid, pathetic lie and vote for him as a result, than will recognize his stupid, pathetic lie for what it is and vote for his opponent.

    Kind of off-topic, but I hate election season. I live in a deep, deep, deep, deep blue part of Maryland, but come election time, DC-area airwaves are filled with attack ads for Virginia elections. Most of the stuff is easily debunked with a simple Google search, but it’s not so simple for a lot of voters.

    On c’mon. There’s NO WAY the VA ads can hold a candle to this ad from the MD governor’s race painting the opponent as being OK with child-killing:


    I have been hearing Ebola incubation should be 42 days or 50-plus days, all kinds of numbers being thrown out. A certain conspiracy theorist has been having on-air seizures over this.

    Francesa can be critiqued in many ways, but this isn’t one of them. He doesn’t speak about public policy issues very often, but he’s pretty level-headed when he does.

    If any fellow reader is thinking about Christmas present for me already (oh, you shouldn’t!), link wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

    Note that that storefront in Yonkers is using the old Twins script. Prior to 2010, the “s” in Twins had square serifs; now they’re wedgy serifs like on the “T” in the TC cap logo.


    Every winter as a lifelong WI resident (37 years minus 5 in IA for college) I wonder why I stay and put up with the cold and the snow. I love the fall and all the glorious colors it brings despite knowing what follows. This morning when I woke up to walk the dog, I was greeted with snow flurries. Sure, it was too warm for it to stick but it was enough to make me sad to think that fall was over and winter had officially arrived. Reading about your trip here reminded me of some of the things that I love so much about our great state. It brought a tear to my eye and I swelled with pride. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed your time here. Thank you for the great write up and best of wishes to your mother.

    Oh, that pavilion! (and the Gobbler, too. I remember reading years ago that it was being redone to be reused – I’m disappointed that it hasn’t been completed yet)

    My dad lives in Wisconsin, and he and my stepmom will basically take trips like what Paul did: travel the country roads, visit flea markets and antique shops and stay at bed & breakfasts. He couldn’t be any happier. Wisconsin is a gem.

    I tried to put in this comment earlier, but I guess the Internet ate it.

    Best wishes with your mom, Paul. I’m sure we will all keep her in our thoughts.

    Also, there seems to be a missing “f” in the Soccer section.

    The St. John’s womens volleyball coach Joanne Persico dressed up as Robin, Batman’s sidekick, for last night’s game vs. Seton Hall. It’s more like a mask, a t-shirt and a cape. At least she tried. You can see it on watchespn.

    Love the travel report, Paul — and, more importantly, I hope your mom has a successful procedure & a smooth recovery!

    Back when the New Orleans Saints held training camp at the campus of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the players would frequent Leo and Leona’s every chance they got in order to avoid places where they would have to deal with fans. There are countless stories in the area of some of the wacky details of these visits. Often times, other teams from the Cheese League such as the Bears or Chiefs would join them there if they were in town for a scrimmage. There even exists a picture of Archie and his young son Peyton cozying up to bar there, back when it was much more cluttered with some of the most interesting stuff you could ever ask for such as sports memorabilia, newspapers stories, beer signs etc. Before Leo died in the mid 90’s, the Saints flew him and Leona down to the Superdome for a game and they were honored on the video board and received customized jerseys as well, and when Leona died, they remembered to honor her memory despite having left La Crosse almost ten years earlier. Is it by chance you stumbled onto this great La Crosse area landmark, Paul, or were you tipped off that you should visit there?

    Is it by chance you stumbled onto this great La Crosse area landmark, Paul, or were you tipped off that you should visit there?

    Total chance. Just driving on a small road. As soon as we saw it, we knew — “Yup, that’s a keeper.” Pulled over and walked in.

    And yeah, they had lots of Saints stuff on display. Signed photo of Dick Butkus, too. So we heard all about that.

    I’m still blown away by the way they invited us to crash in the apartment upstairs. I’ve been road-tripping for many years and had lots of very friendly encounters, but not like that. So nice of them!

    crazy that Lebron has so many more jerseys with the Heat even though he didn’t play there as long

    Heat have by far been the most active NBA team in terms of uniform experimentation in recent years. It’s been a very conscious choice on their part — they’ve wanted to have a bunch of different looks.

    And the Cavs aren’t shy about alternates either – they’ve had two separate uniform sets plus three alternates (navy during his first stint, gold and navy in his second), plus a bunch of throwbacks.

    More LeBron jerseys in more colors to sell to LeBron fans who might like to match the LeBron shoes…everybody makes money! Betcha if LeBron ever went to the Lakers, they’d break out a green and gold alternate. They’d call it “High School Pride” because of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, everybody would hate it because the Lakers would look like the Celtics, but it would $ELL.
    (I hope I’m being a joker and not a soothsayer.)

    if Paul thinkins $300 is excessive for a “t shirt” i can imagine how mind blown he is over a $1,300 one that is made of lambskin and python



    Paul, ad me to the list of those wishing your mom a successful surgery and speedy recovery. As the sort of guy who prays, I will be doing so for your mom, you, and your family, if that’s all right with you.

    I love the photos from your Wisconsin trip. It makes me nostalgic for my many visits there, including my most recent trip just last year.I hope those many tavern stops included one in or near Stevens Point for a Point Beer. To me, that feels about as quintessentially Wisconsin as one can get.

    Awesome! Point Bock Beer was the first beer I ever tasted. A tiny sip of my dad’s when I was about seven years old. That was enough to tide me over on the whole beer thing until roughly fourteen years later. But I loved the logo with the ram’s head. An early example of my budding awareness of logos and design aesthetics.

    Spurs and Suns in a great black vs. orange Halloween matchup. Although Suns play-by-play man Steve Albert just said that was coincidental, since Phoenix always wears the orange on Fridays.

    Don’t forget…free NBA preview from now until Tuesday!

    Sounds like a nice trip. I lived there for a year and still go up for work occasionally. Good people. Damn cold winters. Too bad you didn’t get to Door County, which is terrific this time of year.

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