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Inteltrends’ Wisconsin blog

February 1, 2010

UPDATED:  06 Aug 2010
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Local temperatures as of 4:35 a.m.:  Florence 57° (14c), Niagara 56° (13c),
Eagle River 58° (14c), Land o’ Lakes 58° (14c), Rhinelander 60° (16c)
Forecast high today in the Northwoods 72° (22c).
Mostly sunny.

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Some local, state and regional news…

Northwoods: Johnson won’t profit from murders
WLUC-TV6, 04 Aug
[Excerpt:] – IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) – A man who gunned down three teens in a 2008 shooting rampage on the Wisconsin-Michigan border will not be able to profit if he ever decides to sell his story.

Upper Michigan: Crystal Falls gets set for Fungus Fest
Iron Co. Reporter, 04 Aug
[Excerpt:] – CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. – In just over a week, the mighty mushroom mania makes its return to Crystal Falls in the fascinating form of the 19th annual Humungus Fungus Fest. Fungus Fest runs from Aug. 12 to 15 in Crystal Falls, with fungusy festivities for all ages, ranging from concerts and museum tours, to motocross racing and a strongman contest. Not to mention that mushroom cookoff.

Upper Michigan: Benishek, Allen both declare victory in First Congressional District’s Republican Primary
WLUC-TV6, 04 Aug
[Excerpt:] – IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. – After a long night of ups and downs both Dan Benishek and Jason Allen are declaring victory in the First Congressional District’s Republican Primary. The Associated Press is reporting Benishek won the race by 102 votes but the Michigan Secretary of State is saying Benishek won by one vote, 27,091 to 27,090

Northwoods: Relay For Life kicks off Friday morning
Vilas Co. News-Review, 03 Aug
[Excerpt:] – EAGLE RIVER, Wis. – The 11th annual Northwoods Relay For Life will be held this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, at the Northland Pines High School track.

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From global media…

Julia Roberts converts to Hinduism
Times of India, 06 Aug
[Excerpt:] – Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts has converted to Hinduism in the hope of having a peaceful life in her next incarnation. The 42-year-old actress, who was born to a Baptist and Catholic couple, is now a practising Hindu after visiting India while shooting her upcoming movie ‘Eat Pray Love’.

Amazon and Apple investigated over e-book price fixing
Telegraph, 03 Aug
[Excerpt:] – Amazon and Apple are being investigated for allegedly seeking to fix the price of e-books by signing contracts with six of the world’s biggest publishers banning them from selling the digital books to rivals for lower prices.

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Blogmaster’s comments from Wisconsin’s Northwoods

05 Aug – Anti-semitism or Humor?… I understand Facebook shut down the user-account of the person who posted this picture. Apparently they received complaints from Jews. Is it just me, or does anyone else find this funny? I think we need to distinguish between hate-material and parody. With all the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) cartoons being published to the offense of Muslims, and Christian’s lampooned for glitzy extravagant churches and pedophile priests, you’d think the Jews would be a little more tolerant.
Sorry, but I don’t see anything aside from good-natured humor in this.

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04 Aug – Where have all the good email providers gone?… It wasn’t too long ago that checking your email was an easy task — providers’ websites were easy to load, uncluttered, and served their purpose well.

Alas, such is not the case today. In fact, finding an email provider suitable for older computers (or even newer ones with dial-up connections) is a daunting task. The “new and (so-called) improved” web-based email sites are now graphic-intensive ordeals offering news, celebrity gossip, animated advertising and video clips. Heck, even using a new computer with a high-speed wireless connection can stretch the limits of one’s patience as the time it takes to load all these useless webpage features becomes longer and longer.

OK, I admit that I have “a bunch” of different web-based email accounts. Um, 10 or so.

Why do I need so many?

I don’t, actually. Half of them I can no longer access because they’ve been “improved” to the point that my older computer can’t load the login page without crashing due to the high-megabyte images and video clips — or the time required to load the page is so unreasonable that I simply stop using the account and open a new one elsewhere — just about anywhere that is more “user friendly”.

I’m not saying that email providers should provide service for free (although it’s nice that the majority still do) — advertising is to be expected to cover their costs and generate revenue. I have no problem with this. It’s when email providers lose sight of what they are (a mail service) and try to become your “all inclusive one-stop news and gossip homepage” that they become, in my book, well, useless. When I want to check my email that’s what I want to do. I don’t care about Jennifer Lopez’s latest music video or photos of a cat with nine toes.

Let’s get back to basics. Email. Pure and simple.

Where have all the good email providers gone? Mostly to foreign countries where slower internet connections are the norm. Me? I go wherever the services are best suited to my email requirements. Inteltrends may be a Wisconsin site, but if you need to contact me then your letter will be heading to Azerbaijan or the Czech Republic.

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01 Aug – Northwoods overrun with chipmunks… Many people have a favorable opinion of chipmunks: “they’re cute, they’re curious, they’re fun to watch” — but some areas of the Northwoods are literally overrun with them. If you ask folks who live in chipmunk “problem areas” (myself included) these rodents are anything but cute and adorable.

I got a chuckle out of Ced Vig’s column in yesterday’s Rhinelander Daily News wherein is written but two sentences regarding chipmunks: “When you see a chipmunk with a short tail, chances are it’s a male that has been in a fight. Chipmunks live alone.” Well, they may live alone where Ced is, but not up in my neck of the ‘woods!

Chipmunks are a BIG PROBLEM here. They are literally everywhere — under your car’s hood if you park outside, in your garage if you leave the door up, under your deck, on your doorstep — and even in the walls of your home. A woman my wife knows had them in her walls — where they chewed through electrical wiring and caused $400 in damage. I’ve had chipmunks in my walls too.

Last year I visited a local exterminator who recommended “T-Rex” snap-traps. Originally designed to kill rats, he said these are purchased almost exclusively by chipmunk hunters — he sold out his entire stock twice last summer. Put a dab of peanut butter in the trap’s center, lock the “jaws” in place, and set it on a hard surface where ‘munks are seen — and WHAMMO. I bought three ‘Rex’s and put them on the ground near my backyard deck where chipmunks had a tunnel entrance that led to an exterior wall (which they’d chewed through) and gained entrance into the walls of my home — you could hear them scampering around inside. In the first three weeks I killed 33 chipmunks. So much for Ced Vig’s remarks that they “live alone”. I then sealed the known “entry points” and pretty much eliminated the interior wall problem.

Last summer, a girl at the gym — who also lives in chipmunk hell — shot 55 while sitting on her deck at home with a pellet gun. She thought she took care of the problem. Yeah, right. She has shot 58 so far this summer — and that was only through mid-July.

My advice to Northwoods’ homeowners who don’t currently have a ‘munk problem is this… One chipmunk is cute, but if you see more than that you’d better consider a pre-emptive strike before they get out of hand.

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