Sep 25

Back in the day we used to publish a new edition of the keepgoing on the first day of each season. Now with life speeding up and the rate of change slowing down, I tend to mark these special days not with words but with experiences. This past equinox was one of those days, when I traveled up the farm and spent this glorious autumn day with my father and my son. Keepgoing.

Mar 5

I found these photos in an old Cuban cigar box in my grandparent’s house after they both passed away about 15 years ago. There were about 30 photos in the cigar box and my guess is that they are all from the same roll of film. These particular photos were not dated but other photos in the box had notes on the back saying that they were from 1948, my great uncle Ed’s first year on the farm. I also believe that these pictures were taken by my great uncle Ed since not many people would be paying him a visit during the winter months.

These are photos taken by a solitary man in the middle of a Wisconsin winter. They are the pictures of his closest companions, the dairy cows and the two mules that helped him work the farm (one smiling for the camera here). My great uncle Ed will always been an enigma to my friends and family. All we know of him are the stories that have been told to us by others and some notes that he left in the margins of books. We know that he was strong man, an opinionated man, and here we get a chance to look through his eyes.       - Geary Yonker

Oct 30

All photographs were taken at sunrise on October 23rd, 2011 by Geary Yonker.

Oct 5

The Plover River is a gorgeous little river in central Wisconsin that begins in Langlade County south of Antigo where you can also find the headwaters of the Eau Claire, Embarrass and Red Rivers. The Plover River then runs south through Marathon County parallel to the Ice Age Trail that runs two miles to the west. The river then keeps on running south through Reid, Bevent and Sharon townships until it reaches Stevens Point. The river skirts the east end of Stevens Point then joins the Wisconsin River in the town of Plover. To celebrate the first weekend of Autumn, on September 24, 2011 we decided to the paddle a nine mile stretch of the Plover from the small town of Bevent to the bridge at Shantytown Road. Yes there is a Shantytown but we did not get a chance to visit.

I had been looking for an outfitter to set us up with some boats on the Little Wolf or Eau Claire but then I discovered the Plover in the great book Paddling Southern Wisconsin by Mike Svob. If you paddle in Wisconsin, get the book plus it’s companion that covers the state north of Route 29. I had been paddling in that area for the last 15 years and only discovered this trip on the Plover while reading the book. The river is more popular with people coming out of Stevens Point. Eighteen miles west of Tigerton in the small town of Bevent the river is less traveled and more remote.

This is a flat water paddle with a few riffles here and there. Clear, clean water mostly clear of downfall. It looks like the DNR comes through once a year and opens a channel.  We faced a few challenges that tested our patience as a functioning two-man canoe team but we never had to get out and walk. If there was a little less water than what we had that day then I could see how you could get hung up on some gravel beds. I had never piloted a canoe with my friend Steve before. I didn’t know what to expect but we actually made a good team that day. I steered and Steve paddled. He paddled like a man possessed. And drank. All the beer. In retrospect it was an over sight making him caretaker of the beer for the entire four-man excursion. But in a way it worked.

The best thing that you can ever say about a trip that you pick blindly out of book was that it was what you was expected. The Plover is a beautiful little river with little signs of civilization for the nine miles between Bevent and Shantytown Road. We paddled at a pretty good clip. We put in at 1pm and finished up at 5:30 or so.Took our moments just to float by deep dark Cedar forests, taking it all in. Then sometimes we kicked-it-in-the-ass and moved. We took a break at at the four mile mark at a spot that looked like it had been someones back country campsite. Someone had a camped there in the last few years. A multi-trunked Red Maple tree reached out from that spots out over the river. It’s leaves somewhere between orange and hot pink.

To learn more about the river visit The Plover River Alliance at http://basineducation.uwex.edu/centralwis/plover.htm

Keepgoing.

May 21

For the last ten years we have been planting trees up at our farm in Wisconsin with the long term goal of reforesting land that was a dairy farm for close to a century. We began in 2001 with 100 Silver Maple seedlings and one six foot tall Niobe Willow. Not one of the maples seedlings was able to fight the grasses and sandy soil to survive that first year but I am proud to report that the willow we planted is now about twenty feet tall. Planting trees up at the farm was and still is an excercise in hope. By my own estimates we have planted 210 trees up there in the last ten years and only 28 have survived. The point of the planting is in the act of the doing it every year regardless of the previous results. It is in the act of putting the trees into the wet spring ground with the hope that one day another generation will appreciate their shade.  That generation will not know of your work. They will probably think that it all happened naturally but that is not important. What is important, is that regardless of outcome that you kept trying. And that sometimes a seeding makes it through the realities of that harsh environment, survives and grows. Keepgoing

Apr 2

Ten years ago today my brother called me on the phone to tell me that our mother had been killed in a car accident.  My mother may have been physically taken from us ten years ago, but she lives on in the kindness and compassion that survives in her children and grandchildren (shown here). My mom was the most giving person I have ever known. She lived for you.

My mother raised my brother, my sister and me. My dad was always working, trying to provide for his family, doing the best he could, but my mom made me the person who I am today. My dad taught me how to work hard but my mom taught me how to understand and share the feelings of another. She taught me the joy of giving. She taught me that life is beautiful. I try as best I can everyday to make her proud of me . Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t, but if I can pass along that same kindness, love and understanding to my children then she will live on forever. - Geary Yonker



Mar 27
Feb 11

At this very pivotal time in the world’s history send a message of support to the people of Egypt on Facebook or Twitter. This is a revolution that is good for Egypt. Good for the region. Good for the United States. And good for the world. Let the people of Egypt know that we may not always make the right choices as a nation but that we the people of the United States believe in every person’s right to determine their own destiny. That’s kinda what we’re all about. Or at least what we aspire to be. keepgoing.

(Tahrir Square 1st February 2011. Photo by Counterfire.)

Dec 1

Check out our past 40 issues in the convenient column to the right. Keepgoing.

Nov 16

(AP Image)

Its been two weeks since the 2010 mid-term elections, an election cycle that will go down as our nation’s most expensive midterm election. The total amount raised and spent by both parties nationwide on this past election over the last two years was recently estimated at $4 billion dollars.

We here at the Fucking Golden Project Investigative Team were attempting to estimate the amount of money spent by both parties in the state of Illinois on the midterm election. Then we asked the question: what if in lieu of an election we had an open auction for all the elected positions in the state of Illinois? Then we could take the money we raised in the auction and put it towards Illinois’ 13 billion dollar budget deficit. Would the amount be significant enough to essentially privatize the state of Illinois for the next four years? Could this radical action bring us closer to being in the black?

Also factoring into this equation was the past voting record of the state of Illinois. Could we really do any worse than we have been doing? Former Governor George Ryan is in a prison in Terra Haute, Indiana serving a 7-year sentence on federal corruption charges. His successor Rod Blagojevich was impeached and is accused of auctioning off one of our US Senate seats to the highest bidder. Why couldn’t we just cut out the middleman and let the state of Illinois profit from it’s own systemic corruption? We have all of these elected positions and they are in the words of Blago “ Fucking Golden”.

What would a US Senate seat go for in an open auction? In Connecticut, former wrestling magnate Linda McMahon spent $21 million dollars of her own money in a losing bid for an open US Senate seat. In comparison, the total amount raised and spent by both parties in the contest for Illinois’ open seat also ended up being around $21 million. Give our very shoddy standards here at the Fucking Golden Project we are going to then assume then the price of a US Senate seat in an open auction would double or appreciate by 100%. We’re going to call this factor our Fucking Golden Multiplier.

As we mentioned before, the entire amount spent in the election nationwide by both parties was $4 billion dollars. If we factor in the Fucking Golden Multiplier that total goes up to $8 billion dollars, that would be the amount spent nationwide and not only in the state of Illinois. It’s pretty obvious that suspending the democratic process to have an open auction for every elected position in the state of Illinois would not put us in the black. It wouldn’t even come close to filling in our 13 billion-budget gap. Campaign fundraising numbers may seem astronomical at times but they are on a completely different scale than state budgets.

We are nothing if not thorough here at the Fucking Golden Project so to tie it all up with a bow we will ask the question again of “could we really do any worse than we have been doing in the state of Illinois?” Our open auction would still favor the massive fundraising machines that are the Democratic and Republican parties. Both parties could use their respective media echo chambers as 24-hour telethons in the race to raise the largest bid on the State of Illinois. Sarah Palin could act as Jerry Lewis in a ball gown. Standing in front of a big number growing on a wall. Just because a candidate has made their way through the ranks of the two major parties does not guarantee they are a competent manager or a competent person for that matter. Scott Lee Cohen legitimately won the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. The aforementioned Linda McMahon won the Republican primary for Connecticut’s US Senate seat. Sharon Angle in Nevada. Joe Miller in Alaska. Christine O’Donnel in Delaware. Could we do any worse than have been doing in the state of Illinois? Yes we could do worse. Much worse.

We may be extremely tolerant of corruption here in Illinois but we do make the right choice sometimes. Mark Kirk was the better candidate than Alexi Giannoulias. We made the right choice in electing Pat Quinn as governor. We elected this guy with a funny name to be our Senator back in 2004. We get it right sometimes.

The Fucking Golden Project asked the question, how far could we privatize things? Privatization will be a solution put forward a lot in the coming years. Selling off a state’s assets is going to be one of the only ways to make significant gains on multi-billion dollar budget shortfalls. The City of Chicago sold management of its parking meters to a private company for 1 billion dollars. The State of Illinois just sold off operation of the state’s lottery to a private company for 4.8 billion. I guess we still have some other assets that are fucking golden before we get to our democratic process.

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