Tag Archives: wisconsin

the view from my desk on a fine wisconsin spring day.

the view from my desk on a fine wisconsin spring day.

normally, i have a serene vista over several miles of the 8,500 acre kickapoo valley reserve. today, not so much, with a snowstorm blowing through on april 19th!

after all was said and done we didn’t get as much snow as i’ve seen in the past around this time of year, but it sure looked mighty impressive ( although this might still be the The Last Snowman of 2011 since odin is now visiting grandparents in da UP ).

oh, yeah. and, yes, i do know and appreciate that i have a mighty nice view from my desk at organic valley hq 🙂

turn around don’t drown? or scenes after 4″ of rain in 2 hours.

i decided to bail on work after getting 4" of rain in 2 hours just a wee bit concerned that i’d get stranded with no clear route home. i didn’t know it at the time, but the roads were officially "closed" adn nobody had time to put up signs.

they say you really shouldn’t drive over water running over a roadway because it’s always moving faster than you think. it’s hard to tell from this photo but the water was moving at a pretty good clip.

i decided to wait and see if the jetta on the other side made it over.

it did, so i went for it, which – really – is The Wrong Decision.

there was an impressive amount of debris across the road a little further down the way from a stream that turned into a torrent and jumped its banks. even more impressive how quickly crews were cleaning it up. thankful i didn’t try to drive through the deluge any sooner and found myself at that spot when the debris came crashing through.

and doubly happy that i didn’t find myself on this hill when the torrent of water coming down the hillside decided to follow the path of least resistance. phew!

so long, felix. we hardly knew ye.

so long, felix.  we hardly knew ye.

while we think viroqua, our new hometown, has a lot to offer there’s no doubt that living in one of poorest counties in wisconsin comes with unique challenges particularly if you are a small business owner. soon after we moved no less than four local businesses folded, including two pharmacies that had been in business for over a hundred years – the casualties of a new and very controversial walgreens store.

adding insult to injury felix’s, a local clothier that had recently celebrated a 100 years of service to the local community, announced that it would be closing its doors. and it’s not like this is a new phenomenon. our insurance saleman was forced to sell his shoe store that had been owned by his family for decades because they couldn’t compete with the local walmart. according to him, five other shoe stores also went out of business ( it’s astonishing that such a small town could support 6 shoe stores in the first place ).

while there’s a vocal contigent of residents that believe that doing business locally is key to making local economy sustainable, it seems that most residents are voting with their wallets at the big box stores.

the iconoclastic jim kunstler recently wrote ( hat tip to treehugger ):

"Driving a Prius might induce raptures of eco-moral superiority, but changing the zoning laws would produce a better outcome — and that’s just too hard."

i’d like to think he’s being pessimist, but at the rate the independents are disappearing around here, i guess maybe he’s just a realist.