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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 53.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

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Farewell to Ultimate Frisbee

My Fellow Teammates: It is with deep regret that I tender my resignation from the Dancing Bears. I'm especially bummed because the summer Ultimate season was turning out to be the most awesome ever. I was telling Gavin over ice-cold Loon Island IPAs last night that the team is really starting to gel. That makes it even harder for me to take a spot on the sidelines. >More
 Fetching Fred's coffee

The first summer job I worked that didn't involve sitting in a lifeguard chair was a summer of confusion, starting with the first morning I pulled up to Market Street Bumper Company, which was on Clay Street. I'd never reported to a boss who wasn't 23 years old. Fred, the manager of Market Street Bumper, was like a lot of blue-collar Louisville men in their 50s. >More
 The recertified lifeguard

Bad things start small. Even something as innocuous as not paying attention for a minute can spell doom. Maybe it's the humidity here in the MATC pool, but I just spaced out during our lifesaving instructor's first - and then second - description of the Passive Submerged Victim Rescue Deep Water. >More
 On the road?

Winter struck again and again this year. Like Freddy Krueger. Surviving the horror show makes signs of spring that much sweeter to see. I noticed something on University Avenue that was even more remarkable than the receding snowline. A hitchhiker. At first I thought he was just another student caught in the no-space between construction fences and potholes. I looked again. He was thumbing a ride! Old school! >More
 Last call at Wonder's Pub

Forget the Kohl Center. There's no place louder than the UW Natatorium during the boys' state high school swimming meet. We pack ourselves into the upper bleachers two Saturdays ago and hear it for ourselves. The roar is a sonic sundae. The piercing screams of teenagers blend with the course bellows of granddads. The noise bounces from the floor tiles to the ceiling beams and back down. >More
 Inside the comedian

It's easy to say yes to something that's two months away. Not that agreeing to appear in the Gomers' "Midnight Special" show at the High Noon threatened hardship. But the days leading up to the show melted away like snowmen in the hot August sun. >More
 Precious cargo

A winter storm warning is no longer a novelty by the Sunday before Christmas. Earlier in the month we looked to the sky and willed the snow to fall, like the dour denizens of Lake Wobegon. Not anymore. "Snow mas," I mutter as I take an ax to my glacier-encased Toyota. >More
 Letter love

Like a lot of UW-Madison alums, I get a warm squeeze from the song "Varsity." It didn't mean a dang thing the year I earned my varsity letter in swimming three decades ago. In fact, I never even wore the jacket during the years I competed for UW. >More
 Five strings, one frazzled family

The banjo is America's only indigenous musical instrument. As such, you'd think it'd get more respect. Instead, the five-string and those who play it are targets of derision, the butt of corny jokes. Did you hear the one about the definition of perfect pitch? When the banjo lands in the dumpster without hitting any of the four sides. >More
 Lake Eerie

There was a high cliff across the bay from the cabin. It rose three stories straight up from the water. The face of the cliff was carved with shelves and shallow caves, like Inca dwellings. An old oak towered at the top and draped one long branch far out over the lake. >More
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