Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hell's Nursery

Maura of course has an extensive library of books geared for the young reader. Among these is a book which she received this Christmas that is a collection of classic nursery rhymes. Harmless as they are, there are a few that contain some shockingly violent themes. So hop up on papa's lap and I'll share a few of the more entertaining ones with you, and by doing so, this post could maybe be used in the future as some kind of manual for why Maura's life took such a drastic downturn.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts,
All on a summer's day.
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts,
And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts,
And beat the Knave full sore.
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts,
And vowed he's steal no more.

Why don't we beat people anymore?

Rock-a-bye Baby

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top.
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
Down will come baby, cradle and all.

Now that we understand what will happen can we maybe not put a baby in a tree?

Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Just a tragic story. I can't say it enough. If you're not careful on hills you will fall and fracture your skull.

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

A big fat guy fell to his death and there wasn't anything anyone could do about it.

There Was an Old Woman

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread,
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

There are so many things wrong with this. You live in a shoe, fine. But what's the story with all the kids? I understand you can't afford to feed them all, but that doesn't mean they deserve to be whipped...with a whip.

Goosey Goosey Gander

Goosey Goosey Gander, whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man who would not say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.

This was the last one in the book, so I guess we can all agree that the best was saved for last. What's going on here? Who is this guy who talks to geese? All I know is you better say your prayers or your ass is getting thrown down the stairs.

I will now take a crack at combining all of these into the most horrific nursery rhyme ever written.

Jack and Jill climbed up a cliff
To hang a baby cradle.
A guy came along and grabbed them by the legs,
And threw them off the edge.
All the horses in the area
Couldn't save their lives.
Everyone was beaten and whipped,
And sent to bed with no supper.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Great Christmas Blizzard of '09

I guess we're in for it. Feed the dog team and pack the sled, because it sounds like that's the only way we're gonna make it to Grandmother's house this Christmas. Yukon Cornelius is already lickin' away at his pickaxe, just amped up to start swinging it wildly.


As for you, g'head...start the fire.

Unable to carry out our travel plans on this Christmas Eve, we decided to continue to try to persuade Maura to play in the snow. We didn't get too crazy, but as you can see we've got the beginnings of a pretty sweet igloo/fort/castle goin' on.

I also noticed that one of the tires on the man-van was a bit low, so I promptly drove it over to the friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart to get it sorted out. After killing a little time it occurred to me how prone to suggestion I can be. I walk in, tell the gal my tire's low, at which time she asks if I want the oil changed. Sure. I go to the waiting area, see some coffee...don't mind if I do. There's a tv with a dvd player repeating the menu sequence for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Might as well start it up. I call Jodi, who reminds me that there is a Subway at the front of the store, and guess what I instantly want for lunch.

December 26th

That all happened on Christmas Eve, and now I'm back to write more and report on all the snow we didn't get. I don't want to get too critical of the people giving the forecast, because picking on the weatherman is pretty much a slam dunk every time. I will say though that his 8-11 inches was off by about 8-11 inches.

At least we can say with certainty that he didn't mislead anyone into traveling in unsafe conditions. We had a safe Christmas with family, shared stories and gifts, and played Wii until our arms were sore. Hopefully you were able to do the same, managing to not shoot your eye out.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas List

Among other things, Christmas is a time for list making. Last year I was compelled to do a countdown of my favorite tree ornaments, so this year I will lay out my wish list sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

12 lanes to bowl on

11 live grenades

10 oompa loompas

9 HAL 9000s

8 trucks of liquor

7 speeder bikes

6 skydiving simulators

5 golden Deloreans

4 trebuchets

3 Segways

2 Flowbee systems

...And a partridge farm and hatchery.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chippewa in da Moonlight

The Wisconsin gun deer season has drawn to a close, and it has reportedly been a safe one. Just how safe I'm not sure, but my guess is that the safety is partly due to the fact that no one saw any deer, and consequently had no reason to discharge a firearm. This was the case for myself and so many other hunters this year. Buck pools drying up in all the taverns, jackalope sales going through the roof...it's a shame. I had intended for this post to feature a picture of a beautiful deer, lifeless head held in my hands, tongue flopped out sideways, goofy grin on my giant potato-like face. I wanted it bad, but dere were no turdy pointers.

Instead, I will emphasize the positive by speaking to the four basics of firearm safety. There are many variations, but these are the ones I know. "There are many like it, but this one is mine."

"Guns don't kill kids, I kill kids."


Treat every firearm as though it were loaded.

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you intend to fire.

Now wasn't that just as fun as shooting a big, fat, juicy live deer?

Uh oh. Looks like someone forgot pretty much everything we just talked about.

There may be a couple more opportunities for me to spill blood, so stay tuned as I will try to deliver the goods during late bow season.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween + Packers = Fun

Life has been packed with richness and full flavor lately, and rather than document it at every turn, I've just been letting it wash over me. Since I haven't exactly been bloggin' like Kenny Loggins, this entry is going to read a bit like a Facebook page.

Kenny Loggins: "Why don't you just create a Facebook account then?"

Don't worry about it.

Here are a couple Halloween leftovers that I'm gonna force to the top here...

This is a motion-activated heart that has somehow found it's way out of someone's body and is now being chewed by rats...available at Walgreens.

After trick or treating, we met with some friends at the Eau Claire Children's Museum to see what that was all about. I was surprised to see how cool it was, in large part due to the giant digestive system playground.

There goes Maura down the esophogus. Every so often the crawling would trigger some kind of slurpy, squilchy digestive sound to further supplement the experience.

It was really a rather groovy atmosphere once inside.

Then it's off to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers get manhandled by the Vikings. Obviously there was a lot of hype leading up to this game, as everyone wondered how Brent's homecoming would go. I'd have to say it was a little anticlimactic, with the cacophony of booing lasting only 15 seconds or so. I figured the place would erupt into such disturbance that the game would have to be delayed, but as it turns out, people are pretty much over it. I had also heard a lot about how the Packers defense would be giving Brett a lesson from the school of hard knocks. I would have been happy with any knocks. Maybe just start with a little bit of pressure and then work your way up to a sack or an interception.

I did notice a strange reaction from the lady sitting next to me when certain things would happen on the field though. She would kind of generally cheer for the Packers after successful plays, but it seemed like she was hesitating to cheer for any one particular player, especially A-Rod. Sure enough, she still had lingering feelings for Brett, because every time he contributed to a Viking effort to bury the Pack she would applaud. Any fan that would put an individual (especially from another team) ahead of the Packers is a fan that I don't want to know.

What a buncha bums.

Meet Helmethead. He was sitting a few rows down carrying on and soaking through his unlit cigar, so I figured I'd seize the opportunity to get a picture with a Lambeau legend. Unfortunately his painted skull didn't bring us any luck this time, but this is no Halloween costume my friends. He'll be ready to rock next week with a fresh coat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A smattering

It's been another long stretch between posts, and I'll be the first to say that it is downright unacceptable. You deserve much better than this, and I am committed to bringing you a more reliable product here at the Lair. Listen baby, it's not you it's me. We've just grown apart. If you love something, set it free, then if it comes back to you it was meant to be.

Obviously I'm going to need a little time to reconnect with my inner smart-alec, but in the meantime just put on your Snuggie, fix yourself a glass of wine, and microwave some tater tots. You just do whatever it is you've got to do to prepare for the latest installment of The Oak Lair.

A lot has happened over the last month, but I really only intend to talk about the movie premier that shocked the nation...and Lost Nation. The highly anticipated remake of Children of the Corn introduced my hometown to the world on September 26th, and left me feeling that it wasn't as much a horror movie as it was just a horror of a movie. That's exactly what I expected though, and I can't wait to watch it again.

Fast forward to this weekend, and this is where the smattering of autumnal activities happens. Saturday the almost god-like Iowa Hawkeyes tore into Madison, sat the Badgers down, took attendance and proceeded to hand out a hard lesson about Hawkeye football. "You will learn by the numbers!" they instructed.

Today was lovely as well, as we...

attended a birthday party,

checked out Farm and Fleet's Toyland,

carved pumpkins,

roasted punkinseeds,

and assembled Mount Skullcracker in the basement.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reflections on Basket Lake

Chompy and me

With only sky above and water below, the only reminder that you are a civilized being is a softly puttering motor that eases you across a gently rolling lake. Serenity now. The waves tenderly lap at the side of the boat as you scan the shore trying to identify anything that may have looked different a billion years ago. Pass the sunscreen.

First thing's first

That pretty much sums up the week I just spent in Canada in pursuit of the elusive walleye. I was fortunate enough to be invited to by a couple family friends to fish with them on beautiful Basket Lake in Ontario. We arrived at camp last Saturday afternoon and immediately began pulling tender, unsuspecting walleye from the depths.

Scott with a happy walleye

Truth be told, it required a little more cunning this year than it has in the past. Evidently the summer temps were a little screwy this year, so as a result, the fish behavior was a little less predictable. Generally when fish are found at a certain depth in one area it can be assumed that they can be found at that same depth across the lake. Our experience was a little different, so we needed to use every available tool to gather as much fish data as possible. They play their game, we play ours.

Three Sisters N 49° 42.629 W091° 57.870

Gull Rock N 49° 41.628 W091° 58.017

The orienteering was a big part of the fun for me. It's satisfying to acquaint yourself with unfamiliar territory by considering things like gps coordinates, heading, time, wind direction, water depth, temperature, shoreline features, etc. It's probably the same satisfaction people got from naming constellations...the organization of something that seemed random. There were places like Gull Rock, Three Sisters (or Destiny's Child), Fran's Island, Ray's Bay that people had already named for reference. Catching the fish really just seemed to confirm that we knew how to use the information, because we'd just reel 'em up really fast, unhook 'em and whip 'em back into the water. It's like, "Yeah, I found you and tricked you. I just wanted you to know that."

Anti-bear garbage hoist and our cabin on the left

The closest thing we had to bad weather

The weather was fab all week. In fact, the last time they saw more than two nice days in a row was like back in June, so we were very fortunate to be able to do this comfortably. Ten hour-a-day fishing is much more fun when you're not sitting in a puddle, and that's really how I prefer to remember Canada. I don't want to remember the nine-hour drive through desolate, boarded up towns, or their goofy road signs, although we did see a sweet sign that said something like, "Use of seat belts is compulsory". Wacky Frenchies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Yesterday there was an opinion column in the sports section that (if you could get through the sarcasm) torched fans for being too forgiving when it comes to superstar football criminals. One of his points of contention was that a product like this should no longer be available.

I don't know, it's the dog's jersey. Has anyone asked him if he likes it?

So he basically goes on to say that as long as people are entertained and the business of football is still making money, everyone's willing to grant second chances. Personally, if I had to go to prison I'd probably ask everyone to keep their judgement to themselves, because as it turns out, a judge actually passed all the judgement needed.

I'm spread way too thin the way it is, so instead of getting wrapped around the axle with Vick, Favre, Plax or whoever, I'm going to try to just be the best fantasy coach I can be.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Woodstock; A Retrospective

Never in history has there ever been a larger group of people assembled for the sake of music, love and grubbiness than there was in Bethel, NY in August of 1969. Little did these gathering crowds realize, there was to be a great plentitude of all of the above.

Woodstock was one of those moments in history that continues to be heavily romanticized, as if the paragon of human existence was achieved through soggy sleeping bags and copious amounts of drug use. To be part of a herd of 400,000 people just roaming the hillside doing as you please sounds kind of awesome to me at first, but when I imagine being at the center of that mass of shiftless hippies and then realizing I forgot to turn my oven off or something...holy moly. The scenario I choose to fantasize about is one where I bring truckloads of those chemlight necklaces back in time and reveal them at dusk, right when everyone is totally rolling on acid. The Who would play second fiddle as everyone's gaze is fixed upon my mystical wares. From then on whenever someone would mention Woodstock the next thing said would be, "Oh you mean when that guy had those glowing necklaces?"

Even without the necklaces it would've been pretty awesome to take in some of those groovy tunes, even if some of the lyrics were unintelligible.

"Hey dad, I'm bored...and curious about what we're supposed to do for three days."

"We're gonna need another sludge pot heated up over here!"

"Hey, does anyone have any earplugs!?"

"...Because I'm a voodoo chile....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Good Clean Livin'

You know what makes a good container for empty beer bottles? An empty diaper box.

Also, it's worth mentioning that we forgot to put out our recycling last week, so I really only drink half this much, so don't judge me. By the way, did you see how much milk we drink? Strength to the bones, punishment to the liver...that's what I always say. Always.

See disparity.