That’s a Wrap!

  First the election and now the Oscars.

Will the Russians never stop trying to hack our most sacred institutions?

There’s nothing lower than announcing the wrong “Best Picture” winners unless it was Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes or some of the necklines on the gowns.

It only took J.K. about three minutes to unleash the first of dozens of jokes aimed at the Trump Administration (not that hard to do, really).

At least Donald failed to take the bait and respond. Maybe someone hid his phone.

These one per centers got together for yet another gala celebrating glitz and glamor and well, themselves for the 89th time.

Actually the actors overall took the high road with the exception of a few. One in particular Ezra Edelman, director of the best documentary feature for the film, ‘O.J.: Made in America’,  proceeded to afford “The Juice” sanctuary with other “victims of criminal injustice” while offering only lip service to the real victims; Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Maybe Mr. Edelman will help get O.J. paroled later on this year so he can continue his pursuit of the “real killer.”

On the red carpet a formal dress faux pas resulted when both Michael Strahan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson showed up sporting tuxedos that one commentator explained as  “embracing the fall velvet”…..

All ended well as the two shook hands and jokingly resolved to consult one another before choosing their outfits for next year.

Kimmel did hedge his bets by offering both a candy and donut drop over the crowd. He also arranged for a bus load of tourists to make an impromptu stop at the Dolby Theater to exchange pleasantries with the Oscar crowd.

Matt Damon was pleased.

After sitting through 18 hours of watching all nine movies nominated, and eating something like a bushel of popcorn while washing it all down with carbonated syrup and then sitting through another three and a half hours of the red carpet parade and presentations-it wasn’t all that bad.

Now, for a look at the ‘Best 20 films of 2016’ according to Matt Wilson, who really does know what he’s talking about, follow the link below.



It’s Oscar Time! (Ugh, Gag)


When it comes to watching movies, I do it for an excuse to eat popcorn ’til I can’t. Especially at the theater lathered with the yellow stuff they call butter flavoring, salt and a liter of watered down cola drink to wash it all down.

Price, somewhere short of a car payment.

The experience is entirely sensory. Soon as I walk out I forget all about it.

Thankfully, there is one in the clan who actually pays attention to and appreciates movies.

Here is Matt’s take ‘At the Pictures’.

Win, Place, or Show?


I was the first in my family to play the accordion, at age 4.

The first to jump out of an airplane-with a parachute. The first to be crown bearer at the junior Prom with Sally Colligan (both age 6).

I was much cuter then.

Was the first in my family to be audited by the IRS.

I had a First Communion, a first kiss, a first fish and the first sibling in my family to reach the age of reason, driving, voting and old.

The jury’s still out on the “reason” part.

These were just a few of the “firsts” in my life.

I was the first born  son and grandson of the clan in 1950. The news clipping stated, “The Bauers (my Mother’s family)have an Heir.” It went on to site the various statistics of my birth; height, weight, male and so on. Along with the names of my parents, grandparents, aunts and an uncle. It was two column inches and might have been on the first page.

Just so happens that Grandpa was a linotype operator at the local newspaper so there was a little journalistic bias involved in reporting the arrival of his first Grandchild.

Speaking of nepotism, I played on a Little League baseball team. My Uncle Hank was the coach and my dad was an umpire from time to time.

I was the first to pitch a no hitter. In one inning I walked every batter.

Despite that connection, I was the first I think, to be suspended from the team for swearing. Imaging that, a twelve year-old swearing. My cousin was the one who ratted me out. A@@!$%&.

Along those same lines, I was the first of the third generation to work at the Milwaukee Journal. Not as the usual apprentice but a part-time copy desk clerk while attending Bryant & Stratton Business College. Both my uncle and Grandfather worked there and got me the gig.

In 1969 Milwaukee was still in the throes of the civil rights movement and experiencing the aftermath of the riots of ’67. Many black protesters had been arrested for damage done to Macy’s and Gimbel’s department stores in conjunction with The Welfare Mother’s March in September.

While walking through the Milwaukee County Jail with a reporter, I was spat on and cursed by grandmothers behind bars. That was a first.

Until then the only black person I ever saw was probably Hank Aaron.

I was also the first of the third generation, to be fired from the Milwaukee Journal. Because I was from the small town of Wild Rose I took a lot of ribbing, most of it good nature d but one 18 year old punk just wouldn’t let go of it, so I punched him out. Another first.

I was not the first in my family to graduate from college. That honor goes to my ten years-younger sister, June.

I did attend many more schools than she did. Five or so, I think. No degree to show for it but I sure had a lot more fun.

I was the first in my family to get drafted into the Army but there were a lot of us back in the day. Doesn’t really count.

While in Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky we were all mustered into a small classroom and while sitting at attention a sharp dressed Special Forces Ranger in his spit shined jump boots and green beret on his head came strolling down the aisle proudly asking, “who’s got what it takes to jump out of airplanes?”

Now the first rule in the military was “never volunteer for anything.”

Oops, too late.

Jump school took place in the 90 degree heat of Fort Benning, Georgia with the blow sand drop zones peppered with scrub brush surrounded by tall Georgia Pines.

And running, always running. Like Forrest Gump running.

“Up the hill, down the hill, around the hill, through the hill…..Airborne!”

Out of the first 300 or so jumpers on their first jump from a C-130 Hercules aircraft I was the first and only one to be medivacked off the drop zone.

You see, there was one preferred way to execute a successful parachute landing fall or in the Army vernacular, a PLF.

It involved landing on either right or left sides of the body in a gentle roll beginning with touchdown on the toes of the feet, lateral surface of the leg, thigh, torso and shoulder with arms extended. After landing you would then spin around to put yourself in a position facing the chute, then jump up and run around it to expel any air remaining inside.

Another technique to be used when drifting forward, was to twist your body to either the right or left when touching down so as to get into the proper PLF form as described above.

The last landing form and the one that was to be avoided at all costs was precisely the position in which I found myself.

After exiting the aircraft at 1200 feet my chute deployed properly (which was nice) and I was enjoying the bright sunshine and quiet air through which I was gliding back to earth.

At some point I realized that the wind was causing me to drift backwards. Now, you have to remember that there was no  control of the T-10 parachute. Not at all like the equipment of today. You simply went with the direction of the wind.

In my mind I could hear the drill sergeant proclaiming, “When drifting backwards gentlemen, your points of contact will be your toes, butt and head, in that order if you fail to conform to the proper PLF attitude as you touch down.”

Oops, too late.

The next thing I remember was the drop zone officer screaming at me for running circles around my chute (while unconscious) as he was trying to collapse it, so I wouldn’t be dragged off through the brush, and pop red smoke at the same time. He continued the tirade while I was being helped by Medics, into the Huey with the red cross on the sides.

Not to worry though, as I was flying back over the drop zone I looked out through the open doorway of the chopper and saw the DZ Captain loading my gear into his jeep while at the same time the other 299 were humping their stuff a mile or so to the waiting buses.

Came in first. Again.





“To Find Someone Who Cares, Press 1.”

Consumer Complaints.


In the days of the pay telephone-that’s the one where you had to put money in to make a call-one might have said, “here’s a dime, call someone who cares.”

The fact is, the cell phone company doesn’t like you. Nor does the internet provider or the cable guy.

General Motors, Samsung. The big box retailers. None of them really care about you.

In fact, they will take advantage of you, your desires, fears and economic condition.

And when something goes wrong, you just get stuck in an endless phone loop.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) which monitors consumer complaints, lists “Telecommunications” to include; cell phones and service, internet service providers and satellite/cable television, as Number 3 on their list of Top Ten Complaints in 2016.

The usual nemesis, “Motor Vehicle Sales (Used and New)” has moved down from the 4 spot (or up on the scale of respectability) to Number 8.

The Number 1 complaint in Wisconsin? Telemarketers, of course.

Except for those dirty rotten scoundrels (telemarketers) who it seems don’t care about anyone or anything, corporations big and little do care about numbers.

You are a number. A sale. A statistic. A component of their profit algorithm.

Upset their apple cart and they really start to listen.

The key to getting what you paid for, what you deserve in the way of service, what satisfaction you expect in exchange for your hard-earned money and time is to go right to the top, if that’s what it takes.

Sales people, “associates” those on the bottom rung of retail sales and service really don’t have much pull when it comes to making sure you get what you paid for.

They give lip service. They’ll smile and claim to be sorry but really they are the first line of defense for the company.

You need to go up the ladder.

 10 Ways to get the company to notice you.

  • Keep all documents. Receipts, warranties, owner’s manuals, sales flyers and the box. Keep a file, a really big envelope or shoe box and keep everything inside and handy. Understand that “they” will have records of all phone calls and correspondence too.
  • Realize that this will not come easy. Perseverance is key. They expect you to quit. Then they win.
  • Document everything. Develop a time line. When the purchase was made, when it broke and what you did to attempt a resolution. Write everything down. Date and time, with whom you spoke, their position and what was said. If it is not written down-it didn’t happen. Keep all original documents. Provide only copies for the company representatives.
  • Remain calm but assertive throughout the process. It might feel good to vent frustration but rarely does it help to solve the problem. It could help to fuel the other side’s determination. Your goal is to win.
  • Do not take “No” for an answer. Use phrases such as: ” I understand that you can’t help me but realize that it’s not acceptable. Do you have a supervisor I can talk to?”
  • Have each person you contact spell their full name for you and state their title. This lets them know you have their personal information and implies that you will use it as you go up the corporate ladder.
  • Use it as you go up the corporate ladder.
  • Emails and phone calls are OK at the store and regional levels but when you get on the corporate step, a written (typed) letter is preferred. Someone needs to physically open that envelope and read it. It becomes more difficult to delete or dump into the spam folder.
  • Most, if not all companies these days have a website that lists owners, officers and their contact information. If not, you can refer to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for corporate officers and addresses.
  • As you tell and re-tell your story, take note of one person who listens and seems to care more than the others. He/she will become your ally. Refer back to them for help if you get stuck along the way.

Corporations may not like you but they do respect your buying power, your friends’ buying power and the image they project to the public.

Use this as leverage, stay in control and be persistent. You will get results.

If that doesn’t work, take the damn thing to the store parking lot and smash it with a big hammer during rush hour.

At least it’ll feel good while you wait to be arrested.