(Side note; I apologize for posting this 12 hours late. One could say that I wanted Laura to post first so I would be on top of the stack again [Laura, I kid because I love], but the truth is I got caught up in the "You didn't save early, save often" predicament. I had typed the whole thing out, opened up a new browser window to get the links that everybody so loves, and when I got back, I had a "session timed out" message. Now, we bloggers get five hours before our session logs out, and it took me about a half hour to type my entry, so I had no reason to think I should have saved first. Oh, well, live and learn. But the reality is that I already spent almost an hour at work pretending not to be blogging and I couldn't have taken more time to repost. OK, now to start over...)
With a melancholy heart that I report for the last time about the 2009 Wisconsin State Fair. In 353 days I get to start anew. But until then, here are some last tidbits to leave you with. Some of this is in regards to Sunday, other notes are things that I had meant to post earlier in the week and either forgot to or couldn't find a way to work them in...
- On Sunday, we were able to park 16 cars, for a total of 111 for the run of the Fair. When My-Sugar-Na and I went outside around 2:00 PM, there were just a handful of cars parked on lawns in the neighborhood and the neighbors were all at $5. It didn't take long to drop the price to $3, and we filled up our yard in about two hours. Some people didn't stay very long, as while we were gathering up the energy to walk to the fair, we saw a few cars leave and got a chance to park a few more.
- For the year, our revenue was down 33%. We didn't park any cars at $10 for the year (we did almost all day on both Saturdays last year) and one Sunday we parked one car, and as described above, the second Sunday was all sold for $3. My thoughts are that people were willing to walk further and pay less. Last year, $10 was a good value on a Saturday afternoon. This year, the value was walking a few extra blocks to spend only $5. The free market, what a concept!
- Last Tuesday while at the Fair, My-Sugar-Na and I were walking off the apple strudel / root beer float / onion rings dinner and happened past a charity auction. Up for bid was a magic summer sausage, which went for $1100. I understand it was for charity, purchased by a company that knew it had $X to offer charity for the intent of a corporate write-off. But I couldn't help but think that I could have gone to Sentry for that sausage and paid four dollars ninety-nine.
- I can't believe how exhausted I was last night, and even after a good night's sleep this morning. I realize I carry an extra layer of insulation, but both my wife and I absolutely wilt in the humidity. The weather in 2008 wasn't as humid as it was all week. 86 degrees with a 70 dew point is better than 96 / 70, but not nearly as nice as 75 / 50... and 75 / 50 is my definition of a nice day.
- Speaking of the weather, I was watching My Friends on Fox 6 on Sunday night at 9:00 PM. The reporter was interviewing Patrice Harris, the mouthpiece for the Fair. She rated the weather for the 11 days as "an 8". In the next sentence, she said that attendance was down a tick, but she was ecstatic with the final numbers on account of the weather. On a scale of 1-10, 8 is pretty darned good, I'd think her thought should be that the attendance should have been higher based on the good weather. Of course, in these days of hard hitting news coverage, the editor of the piece never showed any more of the interview. I am sure that the reporter followed up that inconsistency from Ms. Harris but it never made it to air.
- It was a hoot watching the TV station vans drive around the neighborhood on Sunday, looking for a parking spot to set up the critical-for-ratings live spot in front of the house on 88th & Orchard almost 24 hours after Hizzoner was attacked. Even funnier was that when you consider how hard they worked to find a parking spot, My Friends' shot was so dark you could barely see the house in the background.
- Because a good story apparently is hard to find, My-Sugar-Na said she may have been on TV this morning while walking Vier Pogo Squad 51 around 6:00 AM. Apparently 36 hours after the attack wasn't enough elapsed time to justify reporting from the studio.
- Back to the humidity (that hopefully will break soon), My-Sugar-Na is seriously discussing a move to Anchorage. Hopefully, Mark the Editor can put in a good word to AnchorageNOW.com. To humor her, I did some checking on Anchorage. Located on a river and in the valley of some mountainous terrain, the average temp in winter is about 20 degrees (above zero), and they really have a summer (it is 65 degrees as I enter this post). They get less snow than Buffalo. They also have a large manufacturing economy, and there is no state tax. As a matter of fact, each taxpayer received $3269 dividend from the government. (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Mother is on record as saying she'll move up with us, and Knobbleknees said she'd still come to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.
- While walking through the Fair yesterday, it occurred to me that the grounds could use a lot more seating areas, especially near the portable stands. Granted, many of the permanent buildings have adequate seating - provided you eat at that restaurant. How often do even two people want the same thing for dinner? At one point, we went into the Wisconsin Products building to find a spot to sit in the A/C (Side note; wouldn't you think the cows, horses and rabbits would appreciate air conditioning, too?). As we were eating our grilled cheese sandwich, we sat on a bench with an older couple that stated that they wished there was more seating too.
- For all that I've said that I ate at the Fair while grazin' crazily on Tuesday (and what I haven't talked about from Sunday), there are a number of things that I wish I could have tried. Of course, one was the chocolate covered bacon, as well as the PB&J on a stick, deep fried Snickers bar, cheese curds, Charlie's Italian sausage and the elusive macaroni and cheese on a stick (which I may have had at Rupena's with my Hungarian Griller, but they were out for the year).
- It's a good thing I love the "Fresh Squeezed" lemonade (which I understand consists of 1/2 lemon, 2 cups of sugar and melting ice) because Herb's milk palace was almost out of milk. Only Strawberry and Chocolate remained. I drink milk but once a year, but without my Cherry Vanilla milk, I will now have to worry about my bones and teeth disintegrating to powder before next August.
- I am really sad the Fair is over... the sights, the sounds, the smells, etc. It is fun to work outside parking cars and talking to the neighbors, the police on patrols, and the families walking past. I enjoy going to the Fair, even though nothing really changes and there is rarely ever anything new to see. To drive down the block after work this afternoon and see almost no cars parked on the street or on yards was a bit shocking.
- On the other hand, you know how nice it was to turn onto Orchard off of 92nd and not have to play Dodge 'Em? I don't have to broast in the sun for hours to park cars. No more staying up until midnight when the last car pulls out of my garage so I can close it. I can get on I-94 on 84th St. again. In that respect, I am glad the Fair is over. 11 days is enough.
If you enjoyed my 13 blogs in 11 days, please be sure to contact Mark Maley at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know. While you are writing to him, Mom, let him know I deserve a raise.