Friday, December 31, 2010

Rose Bowl: Video - Making the Rose Parade floats

Rose Bowl: Party on the Pier

Faleolo Toia of Los Angeles sell Wisconsin themed leis at Party on the Pier, which celebrated the Wisconsin Badgers playing in the Rose Bowl, at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday afternoon, Dec. 30, 2010.

A passerby's message, "Go Bucky," was written in the sand at the Santa Monica beach before the start of Party on the Pier.

While posing for a personal picture before the Party, Bucky pretends to get arrested by Santa Monica police officer Dave Rynski, who is formerly of Minoqua, Wis.

From left, Andrea and Rebekah LeMahieu, and their mother Kathy of Port Washington cheer with an estimated 15,000-20,000 other Badger fans.

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people attended Party on the Pier, which celebrated the Wisconsin Badgers playing in the Rose Bowl, at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday afternoon, Dec. 30, 2010.

A seagull rests on the carousel building at Santa Monica Pier during Party on the Pier.

Alumnus Lew Harned of Madison, center, and his daughters Deb Ondell, left, of LaCrosse, and Cathy Amundson, second left, of Whitewater, wave in the parting notes of "Varsity" played at the conclusion of Party on the Pier.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rose Bowl: Video - Who really won Lawry's Beef Bowl

Rose Bowl: Band goes to Disneyland

The UW Marching Band marches down Main Street towards the train station during a performance at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 29, 2010.

UW cheerleader Megan Howard, center, and other cheerleaders perform with the UW Marching Band in front of the train station at Disneyland.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rose Bowl: Lawry's Beef Bowl

Made it to sunny California to cover the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. The team has already gone to Disneyland and had their first practice. Lawry's Beef Bowl is the first Rose Bowl event I got to cover.

Lawry's The Prime Rib is a gourmet carvery chain that started in Beverly Hills in 1938. Since 1956, that original location has hosted the two Rose Bowl teams for a prime rib dinner the week before the game. Over time it morphed into an eating contest. (The record of 16 pounds – yes, in one sitting – was set in 1979 by Michigan's Ed Muransky.) It's no longer billed as a competition and players are reminded they have a game to play at the end of the week. Nevertheless, the event has never been able to shake it's past. Today it's customarily believed that the team with the larger combined total will be the winner of the football game.

Valet parking manager Pepe Cornejo kicks out the red carpet in preparation for the arrival of the Wisconsin Badgers to the Lawry's Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills, Calif., Tuesday evening, Dec. 28, 2010. Lawry's The Prime Rib hosted the pre-Rose Bowl Game dinner honoring the Wisconsin Badgers football team.

General manager Todd Johnson welcomes Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to his restaurant.

Greeted by chefs, waitstaff and kitchen workers, the Wisconsin Badgers make a grand entrance at Lawry's.

Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien enters the dining room in chef's garb ready to make the ceremonial first cut of prime rib at the Lawry's Beef Bowl.

Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, supervised by general manager Todd Johnson carves the ceremonial first cut of prime rib.

A table of Wisconsin football players dig in to their prime rib dinners.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Modernizing the courts

Effective Jan. 1, a new state law will transform Wisconsin's municipal courts, the goal being to standardize and modernize them. Nearby Fitchburg's municipal court is already televising their proceedings. Municipal court can be an extremely entertaining place. If I had cable, I'd watch this every night.

The Hon. Hamdy Ezalarab, center, and Clerk of Court James Gray, left, listen to a man explain his traffic offense in Fitchburg Municipal Court in Fitchburg, Wis., Thursday evening, Dec. 16, 2010.

Surrounded by television lights and cameras, police officer Virginia L. Cherf-Mueller, serving as court bailiff, hands over court documents to a woman leaving court.

Televisions in the courtroom show exactly what is being broadcast.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Movies for those with autism

Worked on a story (link) with reporter Doug Erickson about a local movie theater that does special showings for families with autistic children. Most people never think of how overstimulating a movie can be for someone with autism.

Bailey Heibel, 13, of Waunakee roams and explores the lobby at Marcus Point Cinema while his father Tom and brother Zach, 14, center, chat, and his mother Julie, far left, picks up concessions in Madison, Wis., Saturday morning, Dec. 18, 2010. Both of the Heibels' sons have autistic spectrum disorders. The theater occasionally offers special showings of movies for children with autistic spectrum disorders or other sensory challenges (such as hypersensitivity to light or sound).

Dana Pellebon of Fitchburg watches the beginning of the movie "Yogi Bear" with her son, Cobain, 6, at Marcus Point Cinema.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Dustin Wallace shows Lifka Bennett's fifth grade class at Mineral Point School District Elementary School how his new prosthetic hand works during a discussion and question and answer period, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. Wallace, originally from Mineral Point and now of McFarland, lost his hand in a boating accident. The class wrote to the Wisconsin State Journal asking for a $200 donation towards the prosthetic.

Wallace and Bennett's fifth grade class.

Fiberglass and the military

Took a pretty cool tour at a fiberglass manufacturing plant earlier this month. Fiberdome makes the hoods for military MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) ATVs built by Oshkosh Corp.'s Defense Division. It's a 48-pound part for a several ton beast of a machine.

It's a fascinating story by Barry Adams, particularly the part about how the original prototype came in almost five times heavier and the DoD said, "nuh-uh." Read the story here.

From left, Fiberdome employees Dale Delaney, Terry Luker, and Mike Kelsey make a fiberglass hood for Oshkosh Defense's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) all terrain vehicle (M-ATV) at the fiberglass product company's manufacturing facility in Lake Mills, Wis., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010.

The fully-assembled, unpainted hood.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

East Troy 59, McFarland 51

McFarland High School's Tyler Wedel (12) gets popped in the face by East Troy High School's Myles Olsen (10) in the third period of a game in McFarland, Wis., Friday evening, Dec. 17, 2010.

McFarland High School's Brett Kaether (14) and East Troy High School's Marcus Jones (34) go for a loose ball near mid court in the third period.

Badgers visit children's hospital

Three-year-old Ina Martinez of Waupun giggles while being held by Wisconsin football player Chris Borland (44), flanked by Aaron Henry, 7, left, and Bradie Ewing (34), right, during a visit with children patients at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis., Friday afternoon, Dec. 17, 2010. Martinez is receiving treatment for leukemia.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Construction season is over

University Avenue looking west from the 14th floor of the Pyare Square Building in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. The section of University officially reopened after a recent reconstruction project.

Signage at the east and west extremities of the University Avenue reconstruction project tout its funding sources.

Madison Memorial 65, Beloit Memorial 44

Madison Memorial High School head coach Steve Collins screams instructions as Beloit Memorial High School narrowed the Spartans' lead in the second period of a game in Madison, Wis., Thursday evening, Dec. 16, 2010.

Madison Memorial High School's Tre' Burnette (15) guards Beloit Memorial High School's Mike Weston (5) as he regains his footing and control of the ball in the first period.

Madison Memorial High School's Jester Weah (14), right, attempts to block a shot by Beloit Memorial High School's Ahmad Shamsid-Dean (33) in the first period.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Memorial Union to get a facelift

A $52 million one.

It will take that much to replace old mechanicals, consolidate air handling units, and make the center of campus life convenient for handicapped people. Yet, with all of the changes, officials promise the building will not lose its historic charm.

Original heating controls for the Wisconsin Union Theater (which opened in 1939) are still used in the Memorial Union on the UW-Madison campus, shown Thursday afternoon, Dec. 9, 2010.

This air handling unit above the Wisconsin Union Theater is one of about 30 in the Memorial Union. It is operating far beyond its expected life.

Students work in Der Rathskeller at the Memorial Union, Thursday afternoon, Dec. 9, 2010.

The Lake Mendota side of the Memorial Union on the UW-Madison campus, shown Thursday afternoon, Dec. 9, 2010.

Pedestrian beacons

Students cross East Johnson Street at North Fourth Street as a crossing beacon flashes near Madison East High School, Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 15, 2010.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First major snowfall of the season

Motorists turn south on Stoughton Road from East Washington Avenue as snow begins to fall in Madison, Wis., Saturday night, Dec. 11, 2010. A blizzard warning was in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday. Between 10 and 14 inches of snow are expected.

Sunday morning, I had a visitor.

A squirrel clings to a screen door at an apartment complex on the northeast side of Madison, Wis., Sunday morning, Dec. 12, 2010.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop comes to Madison

Tepura fish and tempura shrimp taco plate with Mix-Mex Fried Rice and Latin Fried Potatoes at Fuzzy's.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wisconsin 3, Bemidji State 2

Bemidji State players celebrate a goal by Aaron McLeod (14) on Wisconsin goalie Scott Gudmandson (1) in the first period of a game at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., Friday evening, Dec. 10, 2010.

The puck veers off course after Wisconsin goalie Scott Gudmandson (1) tripped up played Bemidji State's Matt Read (19) in the first period. Gudmandson was called for tripping.

Ice flies as Wisconsin's Tyler Barnes (7) and Bemidji State's Dan MacIntyre (4) rough each other up in the first period.

Wisconsin's Eric Springer (4) and Bemidji State's Ryan Cramer (15) go at it in the third period.

Rockdale Rocks?

The village of Rockdale (Population: 194) wants to adopt a slogan. It's a 175-year-old settlement, formerly a mill site. Read Barry Adams' "On Wisconsin" column here.

Tom Hotter, a planning commission member in the small village of Rockdale, Wis., points out buildings in the late 19th century photograph of Rockdale hanging in the Robert M. Smithback Rockdale Community Center, Wednesday morning, Dec. 8, 2010.

Heather Pupp, behind counter, who has had Heather's Rockdale Bar & Grill open since 1998 in the small village of Rockdale, Wis., serves lunch to customers Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Middleton 59, Verona 53

Middleton High School's Rachael Eklund (40) guards Verona Area High School's Sydney Fitch (10) as she puts up a shot in the paint in the first period of a game in Middleton, Wis., Thursday evening, Dec. 9, 2010.

Middleton High School's Mika Passini (14), left, and Verona Area High School's Ashley Bartow (24) scrap for a loose ball in the first period.