Visit the Experimental Work Farm

At this address and via the menu at the header above.

Bloodroot in the Blaska woodland corner
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News media scolds police chief for calling it a ‘Riot’

How does one confuse Taser with Glock?

According to KARE TV-11, Daunte Wright had an outstanding warrant for gross misdemeanor carrying a pistol without a permit and misdemeanor fleeing police.

The shooting may have been accidental, even if stupid. In the videotape, the officer is heard yelling “taser, taser, taser” before she exclaims “Holy S**t, I just shot him.” There remain serious questions about the stop and execution of the arrest. Didn’t stop Progressive hero Rashida Tlaib from declaring Monday night04-12-21 that the death of Daunte Wright “wasn’t an accident” and was “inherently [and] intentionally racist.”

That was no riot!

Even with rioting and looting in full view in the last couple nights, the networks continued to refer to protests or at most “protests turn violent.” It appears that Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon never got the memo.

The essential Jonathan Turley continues: the police chief was scolded for calling the widespread rioting a “riot” by reporters.

He was asked by a reporter “What was your decision to issue a dispersal order while they were peacefully protesting in front of the police station?”

Gannon responded by saying, “Just so that everybody’s clear, I was front and center at the protest, at the riot.”

That led to one person to object “Don’t do that” and another exclaiming “There was no riot.”  … Gannon was not inclined to yield to the word police:

“It was. The officers that were putting themselves in harm’s way were being pelted with frozen cans of pop, they were being pelted with concrete blocks. And yes, we had our helmets on and we had other protection and gear but an officer was injured, hit in the head with a brick … so we had to make decisions. We had to disperse the crowd because we cannot allow our officers to be harmed.”

Hooray for Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz

Gov. Tim Walz:  “For those who choose to go out and … to exploit these tragedies for destruction or personal gain, you can rest assured that the largest police presence in Minnesota history and coordination will be prepared. You will be arrested. You will be charged. …It’s not debatable, you’re not making the case. You’re hurting the case. You’re undermining the grief, and you hear it from families time and time again.”

Posted in Crime, George Floyd riots, Race | 11 Comments

Our lawn just got interesting

We’re looking over a lawn with clover 

If you see an old guy stumbling around the grounds of Stately Blaska Manor, head down, just walk on by (as Dionne Warwick advises). It is only the head groundskeeper inspecting the greenswards surrounding the manse. Last summer he rented a seeder and sowed white clover into the bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Just in swaths here and there. It will spread. After a long and lonely winter (happy to report), the clover is doing great. (So is the old guy.)

Not just any clover — micro-clover. The stuff (trifolium repens) is maybe a third the size of tradition dutch white clover. It grows much lower to the ground; plays nice with grass and the existing patches of regular dutch white clover. Same shade of green. 

Back in the day, every bag of lawn seed contained white clover and for good reason: biodiversity. Then along came herbicides. Blaska grew up with herbicides. Sprayed plenty of atrazine on corn ground, growing up. Filling the large tank with a high-pressure hose, the clueless farm boy would peer into the seemingly bottomless tank to be met with a geyser of milk-white liquid. Tank’s full, we would spit!

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So we’re not opposed to herbicides. But one day last summer the lawn across the street was thick with the dainty pink & white blossoms of white clover and it looked so lovely, as if painted by the random hand of the big Bob Ross in the sky. More Capability Brown than Palace of Versailles.

Clover fixes its own nitrogen. Its deep roots aerate our clay-packed soils. (We do aerate with a machine every fall.) For the same reason, the stuff resists drought. Virtually disease-free. Takes foot traffic. Likes more sun but tolerates some shade. Bees love it. Figure it will crowd out Mr. Creeping Charlie, which tends to smother grass. And little Miss dandelion.

Siberian squill

We were enchanted with banks of blue squill in our neighborhood so last fall we buried the tiny bulbs into the front, north-facing and shady lawn — only the white variety. Several websites — including Minnesota University Extension — say Don’t Grow It! It’s Invasive! Well, so is grass! It is what they call “naturalizing.” Duh!

Siberian squill takes shade because they bloom before the trees leaf out. They are March and April visitors and will come through the snow. Hardy up to the Arctic Circle! Their spiky leaves are also the same green as grass. Counting on the squill and clover to fill in the bare spots on the front lawn.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Nature abhors a monoculture.


Eartheasy is good on micro-clover.  So is Outside Pride. The Spruce has the scoop on squill. 


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Recrimination is not a winning message

Can we get back to the future sometime soon?

A certain former President ripped into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell before a Republican National Committee donor event Saturday evening 04-10-21, deriding him as a “dumb son of a bitch.”

Mitch McConnell may be many things. A ‘dumb son of a bitch’ he is not. This is the Senate majority leader who saved #45 from being convicted after impeachment. Twice. This is the Republican leader who shepherded through the torturous confirmation process three supreme court justices and scores of lower federal court judges, reshaping the judiciary for years to come. This is the dumb son of a bitch who secured tax cuts and paved the way for energy independence. Mitch McConnell was also … re-elected.

What is frightening is that people paid good money to hear a former President imitate Mt. Soufriere, belching smoke and fire but very little light. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said Sunday on CNN that divisive comments like those heard at Mar-a-lago weren’t helpful. (More here.) Just another RINO?

Politico reports: “Much of Trump’s Saturday night speech was aimed at re-litigating the election results.” That, my Republican friends, is not a winning message.

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Mind if we start winning?

Nancy, Chuck, Kamala, and Uncle Joe are doing their best to elect Republicans. The border is overwhelmed, our hard-fought energy independence vanished at the pumps, trillions of dollars thrown at everything but infrastructure, cozying up to Iran and China, threatening gun rights, sowing racial division. To which, add packing the Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell is not the problem, people.

Meanwhile, the former President resembles Napoleon on St. Helena island, adrift in the South Atlantic. He also dissed former Vice President Mike Pence. Loyalty is a two-way street, Mr. ex-President. 

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Big tents house winners, small tents shelter whiners.

Who are YOU trying to purge?

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Mind if we play through?

The politics of sports

On what other blogge can you find golf coverage from the worst golfer on the WI Department of Revenue golf league (retired)?

We’ve given up the game; it never liked us anyway. Several of our clubs are resting at the bottom of various ponds scattered throughout the greater Madison area. Those little holes are just not big enough!

But we still watch the game on the telly, mainly to catch ever-more infrequent glimpses of Phil. (Strike breast.) In any event, Augusta National has to be the most beautiful 18 holes in America. Love to see the azaleas in bloom and hear the birds chirping. (Now we learn that bird sounds are played on hidden speakers — and that the course imports its pine needles!) Still, surprised David Attenborough isn’t doing green side commentary alongside Dottie Pepper. (Great name!)

Blaska Golf

It’s all in the wrists

They can move the all-star baseball game out of Georgia for alleged voter suppression but just try to move the Masters out of Georgia! (Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is a member at Augusta. Hypocrite!) Now THERE is an infrastructure project for Uncle Joe! Think of the truckloads of sand and sod headed toward a blue state on Eisenhower’s interstate highway system! (Not just ordinary sand but snow-white granulated quartz, we learn.) We’re surprised Madison Mayor Satya didn’t make a bid. Yahara Hills could use the business.

So, with all the ginned-up hoo-ha (what other blogge gives you verbiage like that?) over violence against Asians (more evidence of America’s institutional racism, doncha know?), Hideki Matsuyama was just what racially preoccupied CBS and the sports world ordered. Helps that the new champion has a very sweet, unpretentious nature. (He’d never do well at Mar-a-lago!)

Except that Mr. Matsuyama (from Matsuyama, Japan) DID golf with Donald Trump and Japanese P.M. Shinzo Abe in 2017 on the same Japanese course that will host the Olympic golf competition this summer! We knew Japan was crazy for baseball; did not know those crowded islands hold 2,000 golf courses and has its own professional tour! Is it a matter of time before Japan hosts a fifth major? Or takes up pickle ball?

So the story line is this: a Japanese man — the first to win any of the four major golf tournaments — now wears a green jacket in once racist Georgia — alongside guys named Bubba. Wikipedia tells us:

For decades, the club barred membership to African Americans. “As long as I’m alive,” said co-founder Clifford Roberts … “all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”

Mr. Roberts is dead and so is the old South. On Thursday Augusta National honored an elderly Lee Elder, the first black man to play the Masters — in 1975, 41 years after the founding of the Masters’. Of course, Tiger Woods ate Augusta National for breakfast until his high-speed crash in L.A. a few weeks ago.

Those who see conspiracies in every Republican defeat, pandemic, or moon shot may suspect Xander Schauffele of taking one for the cause. (Let’s pause for a moment and relish that name. “Shaw-fully” stands on its own as an outstanding name. Do the Schauffele shuffle! But kudos to his parents for Xander!)

In any event, Mr. X was poised to spoil the narrative by making birdie after birdie until he did the media gods a favor by dunking his ball in the water (possibly also imported) at Hole #16 and carding a triple bogey. (Blaska’s handicap that would render that a par.) 

Sighing the most relief, however, has to be the Masters’ on-premises tailor. He had to be setting his Necchi sewing machine on overdrive to hem in a jacket when it looked like a fellow named Will Zalatoris might make a 19th hole playoff. The first-time major competitor wears a size 28 waist! He could fit inside one of the jacket’s sleeves. Give that man a bratwurst!

In Butler Cabin Jim Nance’s lengthy questions seemed to get Lost in Translation (like that Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen movie). Or the Japanese language condenses 30 seconds of English into 3.

Blaska’s Scorecard readsIf Phil couldn’t win we’re happy for Japan.

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Got pronouns?

Mine are “Mr., Sir, Your Lordship,” and “Hey You.”

Now buzz off!

More proof that the City of Madison government is more Woke than an over-caffeinated insomniac at the dynamite factory.

The Police Civilian Oversight Board is what we conservatives mean when we say “Too much gummint.” A solution in search of a problem that becomes its own problem. Its stated mission is to restore confidence in Madison police among certain communities.

Nothing says restoring confidence in Madison’s maligned gendarmerie than getting your pronouns just right! Doing so consumed nearly 30 minutes of the Police Civilian Oversight Board at its 03-18-21 meeting (conducted on-line).


Chair(man) Keetra Burnette: “We had a member who … expressed a desire to use specific pronouns when they [ ! ]are addressed. … It’s something we have to get used to, accustomed to. … a reminder to hold each anther accountable when we are not using that inclusive language when and if needed.

“Would anyone like to offer any preferred pronouns?” Continue reading

Posted in identity politics, Madison city government | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments