Friday, July 1, 2022

Friday, 7/1

One down, a zillion to go.

Seeing as how it's now July, you're probably not surprised that I have all kinds of things going on for the Marquette Regional History Center the next few weeks. The first occurred yesterday, as I led a fundraising tour through one of the more unique houses in Marquette, a log cabin on the lake in which not a nail was used in construction...a house that was even at one time used as a restaurant.

Don't believe me?



Now Wednesday I have a legit Jim Koski ™ walking tour about how railroads shaped downtown Marquette. “Tracks Through Time” actually got its start two years ago when I proposed doing a tour called “I've Been Working On The Railroad” (and good luck getting that song out of your head now). It was held over until this year because of a Covid-induced backlog of programs, and because the History Center's main exhibit this year is about railroads.

So it's the perfect time to finally roll it out.

I'll discuss it more Wednesday, but just let me leave you with a teaser picture, a picture whose mysteries will be resolved if you have the chance to join us Wednesday night--



See? Now you want to go, right?

8-)

Have a great holiday weekend. Try not to blow any fingers off!

(jim@wmqt.com)

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thursday, 6/30

How can it be the end of June already?

Seriously...how can 2022 be half over? It seems like it just started, yet here we are at the halfway point between January 1st and December 31st and what do we have to show for it? More gray hair? A bigger headache? Jaws hitting the floor wondering just what the heck happened to the first 180-some days of the year?

Yikes!

This may just be me--heck it probably IS just me--but since the silliness started on our planet a little over two years ago it seems like our perception of time has somehow gone really askew. I don't know if it's just because so much wackiness has been compressed into so little of a time span, or if because our altered lives have led to Loraine's concept of "Blursday", but something has seriously changed since the Before Times.

Either that, or I'm just losing my mind. And don't think that concept hasn't crossed your mind once or twice while you've been reading these.

Sadly, I don't hold out much hope for this to change during the latter half of 2022. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if things never go back to the way we used to perceive them. Maybe that's a good thing; maybe every once in awhile we need to be shaken up just a little, to be knocked out of our complacency and made to look at the world from a slightly different point of view. Change, after all, is not a bad thing. Neither is an altered perception of how you view the world. However, when they both occur at the same time...

Well, you get 2020. And 2021. And the first half, so far, of 2022.

So with that in mind I hope the first half of YOUR year has been, if nothing else, not too chaotic. And I fervently wish that the second half provides no new surprises, no new distractions, and no new life-altering situations, either in your personal life or in the world at large.

I won't be surprised if it DOES happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't happen to you.

(jim@wmqt.com)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wednesday, 6/29

If you think that you have any privacy these days, that any part of your personal life can't be bought or sold...

Then I have a tale for you.

I don't shop at Meijer at Marquette a lot; there's really no reason for that, other than the fact that I could find myself addicted to the cornbread in their bakery and it's probably better for my health and my waistline that I'm not a regular shopper there. It's a fine store and the people who work there are top-notch.

I'm just not a regular-regular customer.

But every so often Loraine and I head out there to pick up household items or to grab things that may not be available at other stores. Last time around, in fact, I picked up, among other things, protein bars, dental floss, and green tea with blueberry and acai. I would normally pay cash for that mix, but I wanted to see if they still do something I started noticing a couple of years ago.

And I got my answer when I came home and checked the mail last night.

Among the things I found in the mail was a little package of coupons from Meijer, addressed to me. What did those coupons offer for sale? Well, how about protein bars, dental floss, and green tea with blueberry and acai, among other thing. Now, I'm not a Meijer mPerks member. When I bought the protein bars, dental floss, and green tea with blueberry and acai, I did not tell them who I was. The store has no way of knowing I would like to buy protein bars, dental floss, and green tea with blueberry and acai, among other things, unless they noticed someone with my credit card number bought them, and then paid and/or traded with my credit card company o find out who owned said credit card number.

This isn't the first time that's happened. And it happens at stores other that Meijer, as well.

That seems to me to be the only way that Meijer (or any other store) would know that it was me who purchased the protein bars, dental floss, and green tea with blueberry and acai, among other things. And I don't know what I find more discomforting—the fact that Meijer (or any other store) can buy that information, or the fact that my credit card company would sell it. I mean, I'm as aware as anyone that we have no privacy these days, that information about us is bought and sold multiple times an hour. But to see such a...demonstrative example of this when I opened the mail last night was, well, a wake up call. Proof positive that it happens whether we realize it or not.

And yet another rude welcome to life in the 21st century as we know and live it.

(jim@wmqt.com)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tuesday, 6/28

Look. Nary a mention of pr*stitutes today. Well, okay...after THAT nary of a mention of them today.

8-)

One recurring topic I WILL bring up today, though, has Loraine and I trying, after several years of being blocked in every single way, to head back to Europe again. Yup; we are shooting for a late September/early October jaunt over to Leipzig to get our feet wet again and to see RB Leipzig (hopefully) wallop Bochum FC.

Wish us luck.

As you may recall, we had two scheduled trips unscheduled by Covid back in 2020, and then sat through 2021 and (part of) 2022 waiting for various travel restrictions to be lifted. Well, those restrictions now have been lifted, and we've decided to jump back on the horse with a (fairly) simple trip that involves only one location, no rental car, and with the expectation that something unplanned probably WILL happen.

These days, I guess, you take what you can get.

This trip is actually almost identical to one of the canceled 2020 jaunts, even using the voucher we received from Deutsche Bahn to cover the cost of the train from Berlin (where we fly in) to Leipzig and back. The only thing that's different is that we're spending an extra day there and RB Leipzig is playing Bochum (instead of, I think, Dusseldorf, or whoever they were supposed to play back in the Before Times). Otherwise, Loraine just took the itinerary she had laid out from 2020, changed the dates to 2022, and printed it out again.

We'll see if it works out this time.

Normally, when we decide to take a trip like this, I have six to eight months to get ready for it by working ahead and getting everything set. Now, that'll be squeezed into three months. I don't think it'll be a problem, but it'll be interesting. And this will be interesting, as well. We fly back into Marquette the evening of Wednesday, October 5th. Less than 36 hours later—Friday, October 7th at 9 am—I'm scheduled to shoot the season premiere of “High School Bowl”.

Hopefully, the jet lag won't be too bad.

So if I start babbling about Germany a lot in the next few months, please forgive me. And think of it this way—at least I won't be mentioning pr*stitutes as much as I have recently.

(jim@wmqt.com)

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday, 6/27

Okay...let's give it a go and see if it works.

As you may recall, Friday I tried to post a blog that Google's Blogger website said violated their “community standards”. The blog was a riff on a joking title I've been given by the Marquette Regional History Center; namely, that I'm “Marquette's Great Living Authority on 'The Oldest Profession'”. However, “The Oldest Profession” was not the actual word. The actual word, which was in the blog 12 times, apparently tripped some kind of robot alarm at Blogger and wouldn't allow me to post it until I put an asterisk in place of the “o” in the actual word.

But then it's apparently okay to have in a blog 12 times.

So here's the blog I intended to post Friday, just with asterisks in place of the letter “O” in one word. See for yourself if it violates “community standards”.

8-)

(jim@wmqt.com)

*****:

Maybe they could change the title just a little bit.

I was walking on South Beach yesterday morning when my phone rang. It was my friends at the Marquette Regional History Center, who had just been contacted by a lady in California looking for information on pr*stitutes and logging camps. The people at the History Center couldn't find information on this particular incident, so they called me because they believe, and I quote the person who called, “You're the greatest living authority on pr*stitutes in Marquette”.

Wow. THAT'S a title I never thought I'd be given!

And it's not really a title that's totally accurate. I mean, the title as stated --”Marquette's greatest living authority on pr*stitutes”--makes me sound, you know, a little skeezy. Like there's something in my background I really need to hide. As we all know, I'm nothing like that. I'm just a historical researcher who who has a bizarre fascination with the history of pr*stitution in Marquette. And not even really the history of pr*stitution in Marquette. I'm more fascinated by the puritanical...obsession that journalists of the era had with the working women of Marquette. The biggest laughs I've ever gotten during a program was when I was reading—verbatim—over the top newspaper accounts of pr*stitution and the people on both sides who kept the business going.

That's why I'm “Marquette's greatest living authority on pr*stitution in Marquette”. And that's why I've typed the word “pr*stitution” almost a dozen times in the last two paragraphs.

Sigh.

Maybe the title should be something along the lines of “Marquette's greatest living authority on the history of pr*stitution in the city”, or, more accurately, “Marquette's greatest living authority on the history of press reaction to pr*stitution in the city”. Because when you think about it, I really DO know quite a bit of the colorful history of the working women of Marquette in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. It's just been part of my research, and those sensationalistic newspaper articles with which I have a bizarre fascination do hold a lot of history within their florid prose. So I'm comfortable with a title like the ones I've described. But a title like “Marquette's greatest living authority on pr*stitutes”?

Well, I'm flattered.. And part of me believes it's hilarious that when people think of pr*stitutes in Marquette, they think of me. I always thought I was destined for one or two bizarre things in my life.

I just had no idea it would be something like this.

Have yourself a great weekend!

(jim@wmqt.com)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday, 6/24

 Okay...this is really stupid.

I just tried to post today's blog and found it it wouldn't post.  I wasn't quite sure why, until Blogger--the Google product we use to post these things--gave me a message telling me the post violated "community standards"--

I has no idea why the blog violated "community standards"; after all, I try quite hard to make sure that everyone cal read these.  And then when I was going through the blog, trying to figure out the reason behind the ban, I realized how it violated Blogger community standards.

Because I used the word "pr*stitue" in it 22 times.

It wasn't in any malicious or salacious way; it was basically one big long joke about how someone from the History Center called yesterday and referred to me as "Marquette's greatest living authority on pr*stitues", wondering if I knew a fact because someone from California was looking for information on a brothel near a lumber camp (and, if you're curious, no I didn't know.  So I guess I'm not worthy of that title, as it stands).

Anyway, the blog was one long riff on that joking title, but Blogger didn't' see it that way.  Because Blogger didn't see it that way it wouldn't post the entry as I originally wrote it.  So here's what I'm gonna do--

If it posts this one, the one with "pr*stitutes" all over it, over the weekend I'll change all the real words in the original to the ones with the asterisk, and see if we can make it go for Monday.

Wow...the things you can (and can't) get away with these days.  If anyone tells you we're living in strange times, they're not wrong.

8-)

Have a great weekend!

(jim@wmqt.com)


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Thursday, 6/23

Are you taking advantage of every single second of daylight these days?

Mandy and I were talking about the longest and shortest days of the year on the air yesterday, focusing (for some reason) on the first day of winter, when people can leave their home, go to work, go home, and not see a lick of sun because of the shortness of the day. Well, last night, for some bizarre reason, I was jolted awake in the middle of the night by the thought that the exact opposite of that is happening right now.

And then, of course, I couldn't get back to sleep.

But when you think of it, it's true. Say someone goes to bed at 10pm and wakes up at 6am. If they were to do that any time during the next few weeks in Marquette, they'd be going to bed just after the sun had set and the sky was still light. They'd then be waking several minutes after sunrise, when the sky was filled with light. They'd go to bed when it was light and wake up when it was light, not seeing a lick of darkness, just like some people don't see a lick of sun on the first day of winter.

Nah; I don't think it's a concept worth getting up for in the middle of the night, but what does my sub-conscious know, right?

Back in the days when I Roller-bladed (back before I cracked a rib after wiping out and Loraine told me I couldn't Roller-blade any more) I used to go out at 10pm on the first day of summer and blade around a bit, just because I could. I mean, there aren't a lot of places in the U.S. where you can do that. But because we're on the far western edge of a time zone and because we're quite far north, we get to do stuff like that. I always felt that I should do just because we could, just because no one else could.

Maybe THAT'S why I wake up in the middle of the night with weird ideas.

Anyway, now that we're living through the longest days of the year I hope I won't be awoken with any more weird ideas such as that one. I mean, I'm not counting on it, but one can always hope, right?

Anyway, hope you're making the most of the daylight this time of the year!

(jim@wmqt.com)