Breaking News?

Breaking News?  Really?  The Ashland Daily Press is unclear on the subject.  Certainly not breaking news or fake news.  News that’s 5-6 hours old.

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Proof Reader Needed.

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Unemployment at 10.8%

Yes, you read correctly, that the unemployment rate in Bayfield County, Wisconsin is at 10.8% for February 2016.  While the number brings the issue into perspective, the lack of jobs in the area is not lost on the local politicians nor on local residents.

I had the pleasure of attending a local, League of Women Voters, candidate forum earlier this week.  It is said that all politics is local, and this meeting certainly held true to the statement. 25853279230_bd8c83c711_o I arrived a bit closer to the starting time of the event and was pleasantly surprised to see more than two dozen vehicles parked outside the local church where the event was being held.

The forum featured the two candidates for city council and the two candidates running for Mayor.  Questions were solicited from the gathered locals.  Questions were written down and then asked by the moderator.

While the focus of city council and the Mayor are a bit different, many of the questions were germane to both sets of candidates.  Question topics included:

  • The need for more silent sports.  (I needed to look this up.)
  • The local Architectural Review Board
  • The need for housing for both millennials and Seniors.26059767131_d2d78b0560_o
  • Seeking grants for local projects.
  • Getting the organization Core involved in projects.
  • The local area not wanting to become another Door County.
  • The city being an “Eco-Municipality.”
  • Marine Sanctuary on our nearby Apostle Islands.26033620602_8573dee628_o
  • Jobs, Housing,  and the local schools.
  • The City Marina.
  • Local Policing.
  • Attracting business to the city. (See a related posting.)
  • The City’s Historical District.  (I was unaware of such a designation locally.)
  • Reverting to an unincorporated town/city and having the county provided services.

Overall it was an enlightening and informative two hours.  It also has moved me into searching out more of the subject ideas that were brought up during the event.

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Mid October in small-town America.

IMG_1889Mid October in small-town America, in this case, small town Wisconsin, is a time of change. Yes, the seasons are in full blown change over mode. We get mother nature’s wonderful color pallet of leaves, along with the cooler days and nights. Apple harvest has been going on for a while now and we’ve begun to taste the results of the local growers.

Along with the change of seasons comes another biannual change, the closing of many businesses for the season. We live in a resort town, population, according to the sign as you drive into town, 497. Things are busy and crowded during the summer season, and now that the 2015 Apple Fest is behind us, things have quieted down so as to not even hear the crickets.

I was having a conversation yesterday with a friend and the subject came up of buying local. Now, we as a local business do what we can to promote this concept. We do buy and feature local products and products from the state and surrounding area when we can. My friend stated rather emphatically that we should only buy locally for any and all of our needs. His theory or take on the matter was that if we don’t, pretty soon the local stores on which we rely will go out of business or simply close.

I know from our own experience that there is a noticeable price difference for goods and services in a resort, tourist destination town, and the metropolitan areas. Prices here at our local grocery store are about 10-12% higher than the town that is 14 miles away, and likely 25% higher on some items we purchase in the next largest town about 35 miles from us. The nearest metropolitan area is a full 90 miles, and a nearly two-hour drive or more depending on the weather.

From a business standpoint what is the right and proper thing to do. Do I continue to honor buying local at the higher prices, and, therefore, pass on the costs to my customers/clients? And then there is the issue of selection or lack of selection in the local area. I can find a wider selection of items in the larger towns and metropolitan areas, and that doesn’t even take into account availability of items purchased via the internet and shipped at little or no cost to me. Do small town businesses engage in a barter system? How about one price for the tourists and another for the locals?

Another small town living issue is the lack of availability of certain goods and services. Our town has no pharmacy/drug store. Our town has no local plumber or HVAC business. Our town has no CPA or accountant business. Our town has no small engine repair business. Our town has no national chain restaurants, and this is a good thing. Our town does have two commercial fishing businesses that do, in season allow us to have fresh fish, from the lake that is just outside our back door.

We’re learning that living in small town America, is a challenge not unlike living anywhere else. Here there are just some more issues and challenges to take on in our daily lives.

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Sure Happy It’s Thursday.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sure Happy It’s Thursday.
Where has the year gone? Yes it’s September and that means fall is in the air. Ok, not so much fall here as humid and foggy.
This morning’s breaking news is coming from the NFL about the reversal of the DeflateGate, and now Tom Brady gets to play at the start of the season. Thank goodness this has been resolved and the entire minutia matter can disappear.
The other news matter that continues to drone on is Hilary and the continuing saga of her email. I can only think that all news outlets are milking this for all its worth to have daily content. The bottom line of this issue is that Hillary Clinton is in direct violation of 18 USC 793, the Espionage Act. That being said, where is the Grand Jury and or the Department of Justice, to begin prosecution? How long will the American public continue to let this travesty go on?
Baseball season is nearly over and seeing as we’re in the northlands this seems much more like football and hockey country. It will be interesting to see what sort of hockey games we’ll get on the cable here.
Being in the central time zone also gets a different perspective on any sporting events. I’m sure we’ll get all of the Packer games and likely the Vikings as well as both cities are within four hours of us.
This day three of this and I’m working to push through some writers block. There are plenty of other thoughts and ideas roaming around in my head and they are not in any sort of alignment to be able to be put to keyboard and out in the blog. I guess I can continue with the stream of random thoughts and observations and then there are the commentary on current events and such. We shall see.
I’m looking into Google Analytics and how that can assist the blog and get things moving. This is a completely new area for me so bear with me as I try new things out. I’m posting sometimes to both the wordpress site and the mobile Winksite, and we’ll see what sort of overall response comes out of that.
Something interesting in the technology area: Canon printers have a known issue with not printing black ink after a period of time. There are years of posts in a google search regarding this issue and from what I can see, Canon hasn’t bothered to fix the issue. Rather they’ve and some others have posted a fix which involves replacing the print head for your particular machine. Now, were I so inclined and had the free time to embark on just such a task, sure no problem. Given the current state of the economy of printers from any of the big box electronic stores or on line, I’m better off finding a new printer. Also, I’m not sure just how old this printer in the office is, and I’m sure that I can find a fully functional feature rich one that will suite me and the office just fine.

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Senior Housing Search.

Wheat Ridge Town Center Apartments

Yes, it’s come to that age when we’re seeking senior housing. Both of us being 60+ and given our age related aches and pains along with other issues, this only makes sense.

We’ve found a great resource called A Place For Mom. Having made contact with this resource we have begun the process of getting on a waiting list and dealing with all of the other bureaucratic issues surrounding such a move.

Which once again brings me to the photo in this post. You might remember that I posted back in December of 2012, about the facility and their pet policy. To add some additional information, we’ve actively been looking into this facility due to it’s proximity to our current apartment. I’ve made several email contacts to the facility for information, all of which have gone unanswered. In calling the facility we were told to make use of the facility web site. When I related that I’ve made requests via the web site that have gone unanswered, I was again told to use the web site. Both of us on separate occasions have visited the facility to get further information. We’ve been ignored at the locked front entrance in spite of making eye contact with those in the leasing office.

In a conversation with an individual who resides in another Senior Housing facility here in Wheat Ridge, I was told of problems with the Town Center Apartments related to him by other Seniors residing there.

So in our continued search for new digs, the Wheat Ridge Town Center Apartments has been crossed off our list of potential residences.

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The Best Laid Schemes of Mice and Men.

The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry, and this week has been no exception, around here.

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely and talented lady of the house, spent time in the Exempla Lutheran Exempla Lutheran HospitalHospital and their emergency room. This was due to a very low pulse rate and some chest pains. After spending a night in the hospital for monitoring and lots of tests, it was determined that there had not been a heart attack. They were unable to find any other medical or physical issues causing the problems either. Next stop a Cardiologist referral.

The Cardiologist was seen and ordered a cardiac catheterization procedure to be performed tomorrow, January 18. Well so much for planning. Ongoing chest pains yesterday initiated yet another visit to the Exempla Lutheran Hospital and their emergency room. This time once again, a relatively clean bill of health, and the procedure has been moved up to sometime this afternoon.

I have a bit of history with the hospital as this is where my dad spent time for his back surgery as well as time in the hospital intensive care unit due to some complications. So there are not particularly good memories of this place. Not to say they’ve not treated me or my family members with the utmost professionalism and medical care.

So today is a day of hurry up and wait as the hospital gets their schedule together and a time can be set for the cardiac catheterization procedure. We’re suppose to have a 30 minute heads up on when the procedure will be performed. Fortunately the hospital is only a mile away so getting there is easy.

I’m all to well aware of the distance from our apartment to the hospital as I walked to and from our apartment to the hospital and back twice. Now, yes walking four miles yesterday is good for me, and it certainly did help my sleep last night. Today my legs are sore and knees are complaining. Time for some Glucosamine HCI to help the knees.

Now it’s simply hurry up and wait for the phone call.

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Web Traffic, Views and The Bottom Line.

If you’re reading this, you’ve then been, web traffic,

Working via paulswansen

Working via paulswansen

a visitor to one third of the web sites for which I write and provide content. At the start, let me say thanks for visiting and encourage you to return.

Having gotten all the politeness out of the way, I have a confession or at least an acknowledgement of this entire web site content mess. I have no real clue as to how to actively and consistently drive more web traffic to the sites. Two of the three sites have very good ad rotation that should you click on them, puts a few cents or so in my coffers and eventually I get paid.

After articles are posted on the sites I do what I can to distribute the article links to all the usual suspect social media sites. This is helpful and does drive some traffic back to the sites. I’m aware that two of the sites for which I write have internal distribution, and so far for the nearly six months of writing, has generated less than $100 combined. Now, to be fair, both of the sites have invited me to write for them and have given me a platform for my voice and for that I’m grateful. I also know that I agreed to a payment plan that isn’t guaranteed, and is reliant on the number of visitors and their ability to click on ads.

Therefor I find it incumbent upon me to be the force behind bringing, engaging and enrolling visitors to the sites.

I’m attempting to learn what I can regarding how to provide compelling content, and providing porn and paparazzi shock photo’s, isn’t an option. I do have a good analytics tool that does give me a great breakdown of visitors views and from where they came. This also gives me a sense of topics that readers are interested in. My presumption is also that two of the sites and their ad rotation is predicated to the content provided.

I might need to take a look at content options driven by trending topics as found on Google Plus or on Twitter. Overall the sites continue to be a work in progress and will continue to evolve as we move through the upcoming holidays and into 2013.

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GARDEN TOWER: Composting + 50 Plants = Real Food Anywhere.

For those of us who live in apartments or have limited space for gardening.

See on Scoop.itPauls Content Curation

The revolutionary composting vertical food garden that transforms your kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer for fast, abundant growth…
See on www.kickstarter.com

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Gas in 80033

image

Price drop of. 01/gal today

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