Archive for February, 2011

The Best State. The Best Signs.

February 27, 2011

Here are just a few of the many rally signs from Madison yesterday:


The Continuing Saga

February 27, 2011

I had house guests this weekend visiting La Crosse while they attended a conference (my folks) so I couldn’t hop in my car and drive straight to Madison on Friday after work.  But I couldn’t stand to stay away.  So instead I joined a throng of local school teachers and rode three hours there and three hours back on a yellow school bus to be a part of the continuing protest saga.  I got back to the park and ride at 8:30, chilled and exhausted having spent my day well.

And it was SO WORTH IT.  There was an amazing turn out – much more than last weekend although there aren’t any official estimates yet.  And as you can see Bradley Whitford (a Madison native) came to the rally  to represent the Screen Actors Guild and gave an amazing speech.   I might have been listening to Josh Lyman (except that he’s not from the Midwest).   It was freezing and gently snowing the whole day but spirits were high.  Here’s what it looked like:

The crowd was densely packed and snow began to accumulate as the rally speeches continued.  But you wouldn’t expect a little adverse weather to deter Wisconsinites from coming out to support a cause they care about.

The Firefighters were again out in force.  Their bagpipes seemed to be playing continuously and they marched around and around the square before during and after the rally.  This is what solidarity looks like.

Ians pizza is everywhere.  They had set up a distribution center at the corner where State Street meets the square and were handing out slices as fast as people could take them.  The line stretched down the block.

Ian’s has had to stop accepting donation when the reach $25,000 each day because they can’t produce more than that much pizza to hand out in one day.  After that point they tell callers to call back and donate pizza money the next day.  They’ve had donation calls from all 50 states and more than 25 countries.  They are already making T-shirts which read “This is what democracy tastes like.”

And here’s the packed WEAC bus I came in on.  I think you can tell its full of WI school teachers even without knowing.

Just like being there … but with music.

February 20, 2011

See what it was like to be here … but with a really nice soundtrack.  These two videos by Matt Winewski are great and guaranteed to make you feel good.

Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We Are Wisconsin!

February 20, 2011

Day 7 of the protests.  Despite the (truly) wretched weather, crowds gathered inside the capitol building to continue the protests.  Check out for updates on events and actions.

Some inspiring things:

Even though they aren’t affected by the collective bargaining attack that Scott Walker has proposed, the Firefighters have been out in force to support the unions that are under attack.  a Group from the Local 311 marched in a long line around the rotunda and then took up a prime spot on the East Balcony (see below).  Solidarity!

In other downtown news – people who can’t be here for the rally are chipping in.  They’ve been calling in orders to local business Ian’s Pizza and asking for stacks of boxes to be delivered to the capitol protests.  You can see another pile circulating in the crowd in this picture below.  The state street restaurant has actually stopped normal sales and is working solely on getting pizza ordered from afar out to the protesters!  After we went to the rally today we stopped off at Ian’s Francis Street branch to get some pizza of our own and support a great local company.

And finally local doctors have been doing their part.  From yesterday’s La Crosse Tribune:

Doctors from numerous hospitals set up a station near the Capitol to provide notes to explain public employees’ absences from work. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, said he had given out hundreds of notes. Many of the people he spoke with seemed to be suffering from stress, he said.

“What employers have a right to know is if the patient was assessed by a duly licensed physician about time off of work,” Sanner said. “Employers don’t have a right to know the nature of that conversation or the nature of that illness. So it’s as valid as every other work note that I’ve written for the last 30 years.”

This is what democracy looks like.

February 19, 2011

Here are photos from the anti Budget Repair Bill rallies Saturday at 10:30 and 4.  The crowds were incredible.  I have no way of guessing but the Madison Police Department announced that 60,000 people were outside the capitol with another 8,000 inside.

Best news updates:

New York Times: Walker Profile

New York Times: Saturday Update on the Protests

New York Times: Better Pictures than Mine

La Crosse Tribune: 70,000 people and Saturday Update


On Wisconsin!

February 18, 2011

Have you heard the news.  There is an uproar in the capitol of Wisconsin today (continuing since Tuesday) as growing numbers are showing up to remind Governor Walker that saying he has a mandate to do what ever he wants doesn’t mean he actually does.

Wisconsin Rebuplicans have manufactured a budget crisis in order to push their union busting agenda.  The much touted budget shortfall of $137 million was created by his choice to give $117 million in tax cuts to businesses.  In fact before his whirlwind first month in office the state was poised to have a budget surplus.  Now he’s trying to frame this as preventing grabby state employees from  padding their pensions at the expense of the private sector but he never even sat down with anyone to propose a compromise before ramming this bill through the legislative process.

With Republican majorities in both the Assembly and Senate this bill will probably pass eventually.  But for the moment the brilliant stalling tactics of Senate Democrats have given people a chance to make their displeasure felt in downtown Madison through the weekend.  I’ll be driving that way as soon as I get off work today to take part in tomorrow’s rally.

If you’re interested check out the coverage here:

New York Times – Op Ed Piece on Governor Walker

New York Times – The anti-bill Protesting

New York Times – Missing Senate Dems

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Protests Continue, Rally’s Planned for Saturday

Wisconsin State Journal – State Troopers sent to Senator’s home

La Crosse Tribune – County Supervisor Opposes Walker’s Bill

By the way, seeing the Capitol building so full is extremely weird for me.  I worked there as a tour guide after graduating from college, leading groups of squirmy 4th graders and foreign tourists around the building and pointing out the stone work and paintings.  I never saw anything like this during my time there.

A Whole New Me

February 10, 2011

Come visit me at my new Design-related blog: Dwelling Places!

Making a Change

Lost Between the Letters has been my web-home for three and a half years now and I’ve posted about everything on my mind, from thesis research on sustainable construction systems to my latest sewing project or baking adventure to the sci fi movies I watched over the weekend. I don’t stick to any one subject matter – sometimes its all about sewing and other times I’ve posted about Harry Potter for two straight months (sorry, Laura).

I don’t really have an intended audience … in fact, I don’t really have much of an idea of who reads this other than a few far flung friends and family members.  But somehow I’ve managed to accumulate nearly 7500 page views (since switching to wordpress in July 2009).  And I know I really like having a forum to share my ideas with people – really just to write them down and get them out of my head.  So I’ve decided to try something a little more formal.

My New Address

So I’ll be putting more of my energy into composing regular posts on my new blog, Dwelling Places.  I’ll focus more on writing about my vocation – thoughts on green building and good design in general. I’ve been working on this for a few months now, gathering my resources and ideas and the new blog launched January 1st.  Feel free to stop by and check it out.

This isn’t goodbye – I’ll still be posting recipes, water colors, YA book reports and astronomical updates here at Lost.  In the meanwhile, wish me luck!

Happy Birthday, Jules Verne

February 8, 2011

I only noticed because Google is having one of their decorated logo days.  This one is really cool – check it out before midnight.  The little device on the right is for steering and the view through the steampunk-y portholes changes as you direct it with the joystick.  Happy Birthday, Jules.

The play’s the thing

February 6, 2011

(That’s me in the red jacket.  Isn’t the space beautiful?)

Well Bard-a-Thon La Crosse 2011 is now over.  I wish I could have participated more but as it was I made it to all the 8PM readings and a few more.  10 plays in 7 days.  Not bad.  And I enjoyed it tremendously.  One of the most fun things about reading Shakespeare (for me) is noting all the phrases that are part of our language now that have their roots in his works.  For example:

“band of brothers” comes from a speech by the king in Henry V, along with “Once more unto the breach, dear friends” and “Cry God for Harry, England and St. George.”

“Men have died and the worms have eaten them but not for love,” is one of Rosalinds lines to Orlando in As You Like It.

There are a whole bunch of familiar phrases in Macbeth:

I do all that may become a man, who does more is none.” I:vii Macbeth himself

“Be bloody, bold and resolute.” IV:i Apparition

“… screw your courage to the sticking place.” I:vii Lady Macbeth

“… stand not upon the order of your going.” III:iv Lady Macbeth

And of course,

“Double, double, toil and trouble,

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” IV:i  the three Witches

But the play that really stood apart for quotability was Hamlet. We read it on the last evening of Bard-a-thon and after a few scenes I started keeping a tally off all the familiar quotations.  At a guess I’d say it must be the most quoted play in the cannon.  Here’s what I easily recognized:

“… to the manner born” I.iv Hamlet

“… stale, flat and unprofitable…” I:ii Hamlet

“… smile and smile and be a villain.” I:ii Hamlet

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy.” I:v Hamlet

“Never a borrower nor a lender be.”  I:iii Polonius

“There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark.” I:iv Marcellus

“… brevity is the soul of wit…”  II:ii Polonius

“Tis true, tis pity, and pity tis true.” II:ii Polonius

“Words, words words.” II:ii Hamlet (again)

“… there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” II:ii Hamlet

“What a piece of work is man …” II:ii Hamlet

“Whats Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba that he should weep for her” II:ii Hamlet

“The plays the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” II:ii Hamlet

“To be or not to be … slings and arrows of outrageous fortune … take arms against a sea of troubles … what dreams may come … the undiscover’d country … ” III:i Hamlet

“Woe is me.” III:i Ophelia

“… miching mallecho …”  III:ii Hamlet (again)

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” III:ii Gertrude

“Let the galled jade wince …” III:ii Hamlet

“… hoist with his own petar.” III:iv Hamlet

“How all occasions do inform against me, …” IV:iv Hamlet

“Alas, poor Yorick.” V:i Hamlet

“Sweets to the sweet.” V:i Gertrude

“… the quick and the dead.” V:i Laertes

“… dog will have his day.” V:i Hamlet

I wasn’t actually looking forward to reading Hamlet that much – the only tragedy I really enjoy is Richard III (or is that actually a history?) – but it turned out to be quite delightful.  Its funny!  All the antics with Polonius’s body in act four are hysterical.  The king sends people to go find Hamlet and see what he’s done with the corpse but they left him alone too long and he comes on stage practially wiping his hands and exclaims, “Safely stowed.”  Then multiple people have to search the castle for it.

Actually Polonius is funny throughout – dead and alive.  His commentary on the rehearsal performance he watches with Hamlet; “too long!” and all his foolish advice and self praise are really laughable.  Polonius never gets sarcasm and that, coupled with his obsequious respectful behavior with Hamlet, lead him into all sorts of ridiculous logical dead ends.  It really seems clear to me that Hamlet’s “madness” at least at that point is completely put on for the dual purposes of mis-direction and mockery.  Its well worth another read if you haven’t seen it in a while!