Peck's personal Web site
The USA in the year of Climate Change
More lakeside fun in the Northwoods
Wausau and Madison
You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
A party in prospect
- Have another.
- Oh, just a drop.
Canoeing at the southern end of the lake
A quiet afternoon hanging about at the little islands
The welcome-back committee
Kristin on the classic hydro-bike (the new ones are fancier, but not necessarily any more serviceable)
The study and master bedroom. Packing up soon -- we're well into September now.
We're in Wausau for Birds in Art, driving past the house where Kristin spent the formative years.
In fact, we've got invitations for the Birds in Art exhibition and dinner (Cousin Rob's on the board). 73 artists from all round the world are here for the grand opening and festivities.
Kristin's sure that this must be the right place.
Whether or not you're partial to birds in your art, the permanent and special exhibitions have got tons of stuff to grab your interest and sometimes amaze you. About birds, mainly.
Half a million Bird/Art artists and guests in the Jefferson Street Inn's facilities, and thanks to Rob we're at Table Two, with a French and a French Canadian artist.
To capitalize on the Museum's annual Birds in Art, the city of Wausau lays on an arts and crafts extravaganza all over town.
We're not really in the market for any arts and crafts at the moment . . .
. . . but those are some beautiful boats.
Wausau's an interesting town in some ways. The website extols its commitment to 'seasoning the mind through great schools', but it treats its teachers like absolute rubbish. But how American is that, after all.
The choir is going through a programme of "patriotic favorites" for our delectation, and this one is "America the Beautiful" -- a capella -- in honor of our fallen heroes of 9/11.
It's a nice enough place, but we need to get out of here!
This is Madison, in southern Wisconsin -- home to what was in the 1960s a really impressive university. It may be still, for all I know, but the State Capitol building is still impressive by anyone's standards.
The traffic pauses to let a protestor wheel his deadly Drone across the street. (Maybe this is the good old Madison after all.)(Maybe he's still here from the old days.)
The State Capitol -- a majestic edifice, built 1906-1917 (for $7 million dollars)
There are said to be 43 varieties of stone here and all kinds of classical and faux-classical motifs, but for me it's all about the symmetries.
Symmetries, and of course rotundas, too.
Symmetries AND rotunda.
Not long ago, in February-June 2011, as many as 100,000 good citizens were camped out here -- Wisconsin, once a famously progressive state, has a law prohibiting closing the Capitol off from the people, and the police refused the Governor's order to arrest them -- protesting Scott Walker's "Wisconsin budget repair bill", which was intended to exalt predatory corporate interests by eviscerating the public services, like schools, police and fire departments, etc.
It's a privilege to be here where those honest and brave citizens, recalling the anti-Vietnam heroes and the greats of Wisconsin's own illustrious past, held out for many months against the Koch Brothers and their Walker puppydog.
And from which the Democrat lawmakers went into hiding in Illinois rather than legitimate the corporate takeover of their government.
In the end, Walker narrowly escaped his recall. We'll see if he can escape his federal indictment.
"Forward. Wisconsin Womens' Memorial of the Columbian Exposition 1893". 'Nuff said.
State Street, leading directly from the Capitol to the university campus. It's nostalgia for Kristin, and I've always been an enormous fan of big public US universities.
"My Karma ran over your Dogma." "Love is our soul purpose." "Don't postpone Joy."
"Believe Peace." "Obama '12."
City buses in college towns
The university's student union and Lake Mendota
The Capitol and State Street
"State Street Brats" (bratwursts, a Wisconsin staple)
A bunch of the green-clad lads pedalling their cart down the road
The Capitol again, once a proud landmark of the old Wisconsin of Fighting Bob La Follette, and then. . .
. . . back out to the Edenfred estate to stay again with David as he demonstrates his culinary skills once more.
The next day, we're off to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The road's all blocked off for a Super "Iron Man" Triathlon, but we've slipped through the barriers, hoping not to be mistaken for contestants.
Friend David's curated the exhibition here, "the 44 Presidents" of the USA, and we want to view it, and reflect upon it, before leaving town.
A teensy amphitheatre
Artists from all over were invited to contribute works on US presidents, and here's the second worst of those presidents here.
None of the artists chose the redoubtable (and handsome) Franklin Pierce, so curator David took that fellow upon himself, and it was by far the most imaginative work of the lot. That tableau opens out in four layers, but the other layers didn't survive the camera flash.
We're out for a walk before heading west: "Indian Lake" (what?)
We've got a few hours before we must present ourselves for our Shakespearean seats.
Wilderness path nicely mowed for us
We're here to pick up our tickets at the American Players Theatre again.
Rushing up the hill to the Up-The-Hill theatre
For Richard III - a play I've never seen acted but read a few dozen times, and taught to dozing college students a few times, and never liked at all.
But now, having seen this performance (in World War One costume, yet!), I like the play very much.
Intermission -- the line for the men's room. Don't ask about the line for the ladies' room.
A children's playground in America. Well protected from terrorist threats.
Leaving the USA. "We Support Our Troops". (And I support the Swiss troops, too, and we never have to worry about "bringing them home".)
Summer in Wisconsin, 2012
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 11 October 2012.