Thursday, July 30, 2009


I'm not sure what borage is good for, aside from being a sure-fire way to bring lots of bees to your garden. And a lucky thing, too, because that's what My Darling B planted them for, I think.

They look pretty good in backlight, too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The cow on Atwood Avenue has her thinking cap on.

What's she thinking about? It looks like she wants ideas for how to dress up for the next holiday season.

Plenty of suggestions seem to have been given to her. She's showing quite a few of them off for us to see.

What they'll settle on next seems to be anybody's guess, though.

I'm on tenterhooks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Spotted outside Schwen's auto parts shop on Monona Drive on Thursday afternoon, this old-school Volkswagen microbus.

It doesn't have the safari windows but it does have the split wind screen and sliding side windows. The cargo door's split, too, not sliding, and the air intakes are louvers in the lower half of the body instead of the big, open scoops VW would put in the upper rear wings later on.

The headlights are recessed and the big, silver VW on the front is smack dab in the middle of that iconic dart. I'd love to have one of these in my driveway, but I'm pretty sure I don't make enough money to buy one even in this condition ... which is pretty good, really. Patch up the rust and it'd be gorgeous.

Although some of the softer stuff has been lost, most of the really important things are there. It wouldn't take too much to make this over into a like-new Veedub that would turn heads, not that it doesn't already.

I was a little surprise to see the the bucket seats. I expected something this old-school to have a bench seat in the front.

See? Still in great condition! Well, except for that passenger seat, but the driver's seat looked fine. It was all I could do to keep from slipping into it, just to get the feel of the wheel again, for old time's sake.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's the thirtieth year of Art Fair On (and Off) The Square in Madison! Wouldn't this saxophone-playing hippo look great in your entryway?

Find the fish.

The guy who makes airplanes out of soda cans wasn't there this year, so the gal who makes fish out of tin is filling in.

If there was a better sculpture for the garden than Sam-I-Am with green eggs and ham, I didn't see it.

A curious thing about Art Fair On The Square is that it's attended by people who would love to buy something like this for the garden, but don't have anywhere near the kind of disposable income it would take to buy a piece like this. Mostly it's just people wandering around, taking photos and munching on two-dollar hot dogs.

"Girl With Her Head Chopped Off" would have made an excellent snack bowl to keep salsa chips in beside the sofa. Too bad the asking price was thirty kajillion dollars.

The sheer size of these artworks made them a show-stopper. If I owned a villa and had a couple hundred thousand dollars of disposable income, I might have taken a couple of these home to hang in the broom closet.

The vendor selling handcrafted bed steads placed this nasty-looking abortion right in the middle of his creation. I don't know if he had an odd sense of humor or it was an effort to keep people from photographing his work. So many of the artisans have a weird aversion to allowing photography of any of their pieces, as if we're going to steal their souls.

This guy did windows, combining lots of cut-glass ornamentation, ordinary cast-glass bowls and other fragments, and this metallic peacock.

Asking price: Forty-two million dollars

Frogs seemed to be everywhere at this year's Art Fair On The Square. There were realistic and fanciful frogs, frogs in sculpture, frogs in paintings, photographs of frogs. Must be something in the water.

The Cow on Atwood Avenue, dressed up in Independence Day Bunting for July.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BMW on Dayton Street

Why do the old BMWs look so much classier than the sleek, modern models? I'd rather drive this than anything BMW is putting on the road these days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Parade in Monona 2009

Every parade I've ever been to has featured the guys that paint a face on their great big beer bellies and jiggle while "Colonel Bogey's March" plays on the loudspeaker. And the crowds just love them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I used to drive one of these. although I never had the artistic bent that would have let me decorate it as lavishly as this and didn't have any friends at the time who would have done it for me.

Mine was a few years older than this model, but had the pop-top.

This one's been very nicely cared for. Besides the paint job, the body's in good shape and the interior appeared to be very well-preserved; not a lot of wear & tear evident.

I'd love to have one of these again, if only I had a place to garage it in the winter.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

An intriguing juxtaposition of movie titles.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I just barely had time to grab the camera and snap this photo while waiting for the light to change at the intersection of Monona and Broadway.

Don't know how safe it is for the dog, but he sure looked like he was having fun.
Purty Colors

A clear spring morning and tulips at the Dane County Farmer's Market

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A day at the Dane County Farmer's Market.

Monday, April 27, 2009

With it's beacon-yellow turret and its faded TAVERN sign, Mickey's is one of Willy Street's landmark buildings. It looks a bit like a dive on the outside but if you venture inside you can order some of the best locally-brewed beer and eat some of the most delicious food to be had in the neighborhood.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coming soon to the former premises of Bunky's Cafe, the Daily Cafe & Munchkery. Maybe the Dairy Cafe & Lunchkery. Or the Daisy Cafe & Quichkery.

It's been driving us crazy for a week now. They uncover a new letter every couple of days but we've been puzzling over this all week and can't figure it out.

The last word's got to be made up, that's all we can imagine.

I just realized: None of my guesses work because of that last letter. I'll just go sit in the corner and tear all my hair out until they uncover it.

The cow on Atwood Avenue is all dressed up for May Day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another lovely old building along Williamson Street that's managed to not only hang on over the years, but grow more handsome with age.

I don't know if the King Midas Flour sign is authentic, but it does add a nice touch.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Madison Candy Co.

The building on Williamson Street that is now home to Ground Zero Cafe and the El Dorado Grill was once a candy company, unless the sign's there just to give the building character.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mini Cooper, the Original

Seen in the parking lot behind St Vincent de Paul's over the weekend, dwarfed by a mid-size Ford Focus.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tree house at the intersection of Yahara Place and Dunning Street, along the shore of Lake Monona. It even comes with its own trampoline.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

By coincidence, the same day that I stopped to snap a photo of The Cow on Atwood Avenue, this fiberglass cow turned up in front of the Rubin's store on Monona Drive.

The Cow on Atwood Avenue has put on her Easter garb.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Here's something you don't see in your pocket change much these days. In fact, I would have gone so far as to say you'd stand no chance at all of finding one of these in circulation any more, until last week when My Darling B was culling coins to keep in the car for the parking meter. "Is a 1942 dime worth anything?" she asked, when she found this amongst the silver. Oh, just a little bit. I think somebody's been funding trips to the candy store with donations from big brother's coin collection.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cat On The Fence

Behind the parking lot at the Willy Street Co-Op.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Remington Standard has been loitering for three weeks at the St Vincent de Paul thrift store. The first person with fifteen bucks and a penchant for old typewriters takes it home.

I am particularly fond of old typewriters, but it cost twenty-five bucks when it still had the "T" key cap, a price that was just over my threshold for buying stuff in a thrift store. I would have snapped it up for fifteen, or even twenty, if it had all the key caps, but a missing "T" is a little hard to work around.

If it's still there next week, though, I may have to take it home anyway. Maybe by then they'll take a sawbuck to get it off their shelves.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Well, crap. The snow is back.

The Return of the Cold Evil White Stuff

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The cow on Atwood Ave is still dressed up for Saint Paddy's day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mother Fool's Coffee House
Willy Street, Madison WI

In times when few people knew how to read, business owners would hang a sign over their doors painted with a picture that depicted their trade, or a totem such as a horseshoe or barber pole, or both.

I don't know whether the good people at Mother Fool's hung this enameled coffee pot outside their door as a nod to that tradition, or because they left a pot on the hob and boiled it dry but were loathe to throw it in the trash. But I like it.

For as long as I've lived here -- only three years, not like I'm a life-long resident -- Mother Fool's has lent this exterior wall to people armed with cans of paint and an itch to express themselves. Regardless of whether you might characterize people who paint on the sides of buildings as graffiti artist or vandals, for the first year and a half I passed this building every morning on the way to work, I looked forward to seeing a smart social commentary rendered in an eye-catching style.

About six months ago, though, the style changed abruptly, and the graffiti wall at Mother Fool's has acquired all the visual charm of a bridge abutment in a railroad yard. I beg the management of Mother Fool's: Please find a new artist. Please. Pretty please.

Ironically, the opposite side of the building is chalked with graffiti from passers-by and is much more interesting.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Seen at St Vincent de Paul's thrift store this morning: a home entertainment system from a simpler time.

The body is plywood, the turntable is flocked with felt, the tone arm weighs close to a pound and it has just one speed.

I would have taken it home as a curiosity if they hadn't priced it at twenty-five dollars.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A sample of the decor at Mickey's bar at the top of Willy Street.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cool artsy-fartsy lamp in the dining room of Lazy Jane's cafe.