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ABOUT ME:  To begin, hello and thank you for making this connection or re-connection.  I am a first-time father at forty-something, practicing Emergency Physician (aka E.R. Doc), Medical Director & Chief of Emergency Medicine, ultrasonographer, master teacher and master student, photographer, novice filmmaker, one book writer, hyper-localism entrepreneur: real estate developer, historic rehab of award winning Viroqua Public Market, co-creator of farm-to-fork Optimo Restaurant (now transitioned to new chef/owners as Rooted Spoon), and dot-dot-dot over-user.... passionate about engaging in the moment by moment evolution of our impermanence. Key outlook on life:   healing is not a destination, but daily practice

I grew up where I now live, after a 20 year right of passage... middle Driftless Earth, Viroqua.  Current sanctuary to many a used-to-be wandering soul.  Here, finally, I seek and I provide, I heal and I breathe.    

______

F E A T U R E D   F I L M S

 

Music Video Short: Work & Wisdom

By the band Soul Music

 

 

Music Video: Elephant Love (version 1)

Original works by the band Soul Music

 

 

F E A T U R E D   P H O T O G R A P H Y

An assortment of my photography our beloved Driftless Area and beyond.... 

Entries in Viroqua (6)

Wednesday
May072014

FoxCaveCam ep.2

 

This family resides in a mossy cliffside cave, 80 feet above a box canyon and the South Fork of the Bad Axe Creek - on my cabin property outside of Viroqua, Driftless.  They've granted permission to film their comings and goings.  I shall post captures often and we can observe the kits' development.  Can you guess how many children she has?
*WARNING - video series may depict semi-violent sibling grappling, dismembered prey, and scary fox kit eating predators.

This family resides in a mossy cliffside cave, 80 feet above a box canyon and the South Fork of the Bad Axe Creek - on my cabin property outside of Viroqua, Driftless.  They've granted permission to film their comings and goings.  I shall post captures often and we can observe the kits' development.  Can you guess how many children she has?
*WARNING - video series may depict semi-violent sibling grappling, dismembered prey, and scary fox kit eating predators.

 

 

Saturday
Dec282013

No House at All

I cannot attest to the authenticity of any of the suppositions and claims made  herein however I will share my understanding of the background behind this photograph. 
This is an assumed haunted house, moments east of Viroqua, Vernon County Wisconsin USA. I can't tell you the exact address as the street sign off the gravel road off the gravel road off the gravel road off of a gravel road was either not there or very unclear.
Having explored countless of these in my lifetime, when I encountered this one - which I had never somehow seen before - I could not resist peeking around inside.
Coincidentally, I was listening to a radio program about exploring abandoned places. I liked the phrase they used, take nothing and leave only footprints.  It gave me comfort, implying I would likely leave intact.
The abode was only a few feet from the road, so I presumed it would be ramshackled and pillaged - converted into yet another mundane, boring place, by numerous prior like-minded explorers. Nothing very interesting here I'm sure.
However, I was shocked, almost nauseous, when I enter.  As I think of it now, I'm struck by a chill equal to the one afflicting me as I walked in.
 Other than the dilapidated state of the structure itself, it was as if people were still there. Or more accurately, it was as if they were there one second, and then gone the next.  A couple strides past the threshold I quickly turn assuming someone was running up behind me.  Of course, there's no one.
The attire of a middle aged couple are still hanging in the wardrobe and thrown across a still made bed.  A lumpy fold in the sheets, a sleeping body, simulated.
A cute little workshop, with nails nuts and bolts, neatly organized into dusty masonry jars.
And then the kitchen, where the photograph was taken.  Flatware left exactly where it was last placed. A weird greasy stain leaves an outline around each piece. A bowl still seemingly filled with supper set at the head of the table. The National Geographic from 1983, turned over waiting patiently to be picked up and completed.
And the clock on the wall.  The damn clock. Stopped intriguingly at 7:20. What was it.  Batteries finally died.  Or, don't know. It disturbes me to look at it.
There's a steak knife. Stainded with mystery meat.  A saucer with amber residue on the floor.  Was there a poor pet here too now vanished with its master?
Compelled by slaughtered expectations, I command a seat at the table. Not out of disrespect but remembrance.  Maybe it will gift me some form of understanding what occurred here at 7:20, 1983.

With a startle, I launch upward.  An intense sudden grumble, completely out of place in this forsaken emptiness.  Seems to emanate from the vintage ice box.  I relax again realizing it's but a passing angry snowplow.  There and gone with absolutely no regard for my questions.   Invisibility juxtaposed to the necessity of modern life.
Nothing is taken and only footprints are left.  Drove farther down the road to my destination and then back towards the curious house set on revisiting.
I don't know if I just got a little lost or took a wrong turn, but when I pass by what I thought was the house's location... there was no house at all. 

 

Sunday
Nov172013

Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse. 

Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse. 

I don't watch much TV, but I have been addicted, as many of you are, to the Walking Dead series on Netflix. 

In the show, humans are infected with an unknown pathogen that destroys higher brain function, leaving us biting, nearly indestructible soulless creatures that wander the Earth in hordes, guided only by our brain stems. 

When defending yourself against a pack of these (who seek to dine and you alive) the only means to terminate them is to take out their brainstem. Of course, as you try to take them out, they try to take you out as you do. 

Even as limbs, mandibles and other appendages are cleaved and cracked, lopped and falling away, they still keep at you with their grizzly dentition and grasping festering nails hoping for a shot to tear into your subclavian vessels or eyeballs as you hopelessly observe your certain demise or at least incredible maiming in horror. 

When I'm in the forest, standing alone, armed only with a lopper, machete and chainsaw, I often gasp at the volume of invasive honeysuckle that surrounds me, envelops me, smothers me. 

They seem to approach like an army of mindless zombies, hell-bent on my tortuous death. It's me or them to the end. The odds are with the zombies that they will endure, consuming my flesh and soul, assimilating me into their death cult. 
They feel no pain, they require little care, they easily dominate and amass the precious Earth energy, sapping life from the natural world around them. 

The challenging things about honeysuckle eradication, horrifyingly, even after you take some out there are many more, infected seedlings, waiting to grow up and replace the deceased. Is it possible to really ever eradicate them? What am I doing in this dark forest alone? Are these contusions and near death events wasted in my futile battle against the endless undead. My pathetic delusion that there is hope of eventual headway. 

Moreover, the more you disturb them, snap, pull, push, and saw into them, the more their brains tells them to grow. Unless you kill it, these efforts actually makes the organism stronger. 

I have to remember, you have to assault the brain. 

My strategy is simple, attack each one individually. Commando up to it and rapidly fracture it's extremities. Rip it's mouth leaves from it before it can chew into me. Penetrate deeply into the skull, and crack out the brain (its relatively delicate root ball) like a soft-boiled egg, again the only means to kill it for good.

Of course it's not that easy. Countless times, after launching my combative efforts, they never go down easily. They try to enucleate my eyeball with their pointy limbs, choke my air in strangleholds, puncture my heart and lungs, as they go down in our desperate death matches.

Sometimes even after their seeming death, as I push them into grotesque piles, accidentally falling upon them, they attempt one last maneuver to have me join them, as I plummet into their infinite sharp edges.

Finally, with some degree of temporary relief, I watch boastfully as their fetid corpses burn. 

But alas, the foolish reprieve is brief, for as I turn to prideful stroll back to camp, I walk straight into another rotten, chewing tangle of them. 

My invasive zombie apocalypse.

Now, where are my loppers!?

Monday
May282012

Magical Partial bright

half Moonlit night 

 not so distant coulee

Peer into forest Might

that animal eyes I see?

No, 

 don't think so


 CHORUS

 shadowing moon on

Magical Partial bright   

gravel drive  bends

To Stretch of tall grass

moment of midnight 

Beginning and ends

 

Woody mist 

From Your campfire douse 

Lingers about

its Stellar radience 

like old time moviehouse


The oak trees aloft

'top of the ridge 

whisper loudly 

it's blowing almost harshly

 While deep 

in this groove

 it's nearly all calm

  and nothing's asleep


CHORUS


Then fireflys,

My God, the fireflies!

There's you and moon and me

 displaying cryptic lightcodes

Comprised of shadows 

 

  And eyes !


Sunday
Jan012012

Optimo is now Rooted Spoon!

Optimo is now Rooted Spoon!

 "Rooted Spoon Culinary is happy to invite you to share in our passion for good food and great community at our new Kitchen Table event space. Look here for upcoming events such as community brunches and special dinners as well as workshops, music, art openings and film showings. Rooted Spoon Culinary offers a distinct style of catering featuring seasonal menus that highlight locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients. We proudly support our local economy and showcase the renowned, high quality food of the Driftless Region by purchasing directly from area farmers, butchers and food artisans. Our menus are custom designed to fit both the season and our client’s taste with food that is hand-crafted from scratch. We offer both off-site catering and on-site events at our event space ‘Kitchen Table’, located in beautiful downtown Viroqua, Wisconsin in the historic Main Street Station. Our philosophy is that the best food is fresh, in season, and locally produced. Let us bring our dedication to quality and love of good food to your private dinner, wedding, party, or any other special occasion"