July 14, 2017

At the Mendota Café...

P1140075

... you can talk all night.

(And remember The Althouse Amazon Portal if you've got some shopping to do.)

38 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

I like shorts. I am in favor of people wearing shorts when it is hot.

And yet, I realized yesterday that I do not want my waiter or waitress to be wearing shorts.

Michael K said...

Sailing in Summer is a great pleasure.

It's the only thing I miss about California.

MadisonMan said...

Freeman, were you at Hooters? :)

The Maitre D at the restaurant we were at yesterday had very tight long pants on. Stretchy fabric. Just as bad as shorts.

FullMoon said...



AA said:
How would that work? He'd have to break open the locked doors, and that would be noticed when the back reopened. I call bullshit.

Dust Bunny concurs:

FullMoon Mansplains:

"In 1981, William Smarto, along with assistance from his brother Vincent, robbed numerous safety deposit boxes at the First National Bank and Trust Company of Barrington (Illinois). The history of this and similar crimes are in Record Group 21, U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, U.S. v. William Smarto, case number 84-CR-567.

Since it was considered a “perfect crime” at the time, as the headline in the Chicago Tribune declared, the television series deemed it worthy to recreate since the series typically featured cases with complex or elaborate ways of committing a felony. A Canadian series called Masterminds, which ran on Court TV (now truTV), featured the true crime story which aired in the early part of the decade.

Although the Barrington Bank was the featured heist on the TV show, the Smarto brothers actually were arrested for two similar burglaries in Chicago suburbs. Counts I and II were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank of Deerfield; Counts III, IV, and V were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank and Trust of Barrington; and Counts VI and VII were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank of Lake Forest.

It is helpful to have seen the reenactment to understand that the Smartos’ numerous visits to the safety deposit vaults allowed them to learn how the bank employees worked. In addition, each visit gave them the opportunity to bring in equipment they would need to pull off their scheme. Not only did they hide implements in their deposit boxes, but they began carrying in larger items claiming they were artwork. In reality they were wood pieces that were used as shelves in the drop ceilings where more gear could be hidden along with food since much of the activity was over the course of a weekend. The Barrington Bank lost more than a million dollars worth of cash and jewelry in that April 1981 heist."
7/14/17, 2:50 PM

Freeman Hunt said...

"Freeman, were you at Hooters?"

Ha ha ha! Can't say that I was.

I was at a hipster coffee and food establishment. Hipster as in the workers, not the customers.

FullMoon said...

Fμckbird and Jim: James Joyce’s letters to Nora Barnacle

surfed said...

I've walked that dock on one of my two lane road trips across America. Maybe one day I'll trailer my beloved and antique English Rose (the only English Seahawk 17 in North America) up for a sail on lake Mendota and then to the Apostle islands. And any visit to Wisconsin is an excuse to visit Tom Blakes gravesite in Ashland and pay my respects. He helped me save my life.

Etienne said...

John Travolta has donated his 707 aircraft to an Australian preservation society. You can imagine that just giving them the plane is a nice gesture, but the plane is no longer certified. It's an expensive plane, and you have to keep everything up to date. Especially the engines.

So they are getting funding for a one-time flight to Australia, which will cost less, but still be on the order of a million bucks.

Since a 707 doesn't have the legs for a direct flight, it will be a nightmare to get it through the various countries on the way. Travolta lives in Florida, and of course the best flight is with the wind, and that means "east is least" as they say in navigation.

I'm thinking Labrador, Ireland, Cyprus, UAE, Malaysia, Australia.

If he can get Trump involved, maybe they can land at military airports and get free fuel, oil, and service.

Personally, I'd take the wings and engines off, and ship it around the Horn of Africa.

chickelit said...

Gathered and focused sunlight scattered off 3 elements. A little carbon adds structure.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Kid Rock for Senate.

He sang long ago he wouldn't disappear, that he would be around next year.

He is the Jiffy Mac.

chickelit said...

Surfed mused: Maybe one day I'll trailer my beloved and antique English Rose (the only English Seahawk 17 in North America) up for a sail on lake Mendota and then to the Apostle islands.

If you go, take old US 41 which stretched from Miami, FLA to Copper Harbor, Mich.* My dad took us kids on a rod trip from Wisc. to Florida on that route in 1968, even though the Interstate system had replaced that epic highway. I never asked him why we took that route before he passed, but I think he was reliving/sharing his early 1950's road tripping.
_______________

*The Apostles are but a short sail from there.

Darrell said...

MAGA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCAD-yNB74k&feature=youtu.be

Laslo Spatula said...

"Lake Monsters in...Wisconsin"

"It’s a 10-page booklet published in 1942 by the Wisconsin Folklore Society, written by Charles E. Brown. It’s titled Sea serpents;: Wisconsin occurrences of these weird water monsters in the Four Lakes, Rock, Red Cedar, Koshkonong, Geneva, Elkhart, Michigan, and other lakes

The book details Lake Monster sightings from the late 1800s to the 1920s. One of the funniest stories is about "Bozho," the mischievous serpent that lurked in Madison’s Lake Mendota. The animal reportedly tipped canoes, chased sailboats and on one occasion tickled a sunbathing young lady.

"Turning over quickly she saw the head and neck of a huge snake, or dragon, extended above the surface," Brown writes. "It had a friendly, humorous look in its big eyes. With its long tongue this animal had been caressing the soles of her feet."

Lake Mendota serpent sightings fairly common in 1940s

Anthropologist Charles Brown collected Wisconsin folklore for half a century. In 1942 he published reports he had gathered of monsters in our lakes.

Several came from Madison, where in 1917, "a fisherman angling for perch off the end of Picnic Point received the fright of his life when he suddenly saw a large snake-like head, with large jaws and blazing eyes, emerge from the deep water not more than a hundred feet away."

That same summer two sun-bathing students "were lying on their stomachs with their feet toward the lake. They had been in this position but a short time when the girl felt something tickling the sole of one of her feet...

"Turning over quickly she saw the head and neck of a huge snake, or dragon, extended above the surface... She quickly aroused her companion and the two bathers were soon running as fast as they could go to the shelter of the nearby frat house."

"After that, sightings of the Mendota sea serpent became fairly common. Students nicknamed it Bozho after the Ojibwe folk hero Winnebozho. "Bozho was, on the whole, a rather good-natured animal," Brown reported, "playing such pranks as overturning a few canoes with his body or tail, giving chase to sailboats and other lake craft, uprooting a few lake piers and frightening bathers by appearing near beaches. People made more use of the lake when he finally disappeared."

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Beyond the familiar shallows where students splash along Lake Mendota’s shore on summer days, in the deepest, most distant depths, there is activity of an entirely different nature at play.

Ever since Madison’s founding, there have been reports of inexplicable or mysterious behavior in the waters surrounding the isthmus. These incidents all carry the hushed whispers of a fabled cryptid: sea monsters.

Local serpent sightings go back over a century, with the earliest stories dating to the mid-19th century. Lisa Van Buskirk, Madison Ghost Walks guide, described one of these early encounters.

She told us the story of a man named J.W. Park, who encountered the beast in the 1860s while rowing on Lake Monona. Approaching what he believed to be a floating log, Park prodded the object with his oar. Immediately the object disappeared into the depths as the water around Park’s dinghy began to bubble. Steadying his raft, Park reported seeing a large, undulating serpent swimming off into the distance.

Over the years, reports seem to come to a consensus on the general appearance of this elusive beast. Witnesses generally describe the serpent as 10 to 20 feet long with black scales, and a head resembling a dogfish with beady red eyes.

Van Buskirk adds there was a surge of serpent sightings in the 1890s, as evidenced by the following article from an 1897 issue of the Wisconsin State Journal: “The Monona sea serpent has made its appearance about two months earlier than usual this season, according to several people people in the vicinity of east Madison, who aver that they saw the monster that evening.”

“The Monona sea serpent has made its appearance about two months earlier than usual this season, according to several people people in the vicinity of east Madison, who aver that they saw the monster that evening.” -Wisconsin State Journal, 1897
The article went on to describe an attempt by a man named Eugene Heath to kill the serpent, which allegedly swallowed a dog swimming in Monona."

I am Laslo.

Darrell said...

She quickly aroused her companion

I wish!

brylun said...

"Elizabeth Warren sounds alarm on Kid Rock’s potential Senate run: ‘We all thought Trump was joking,’ too"

Chuck, you're a Michigan guy, what do you think?

Ann Althouse said...

@FullMoon That doesn't even explain how they opened THEIR OWN safe deposit box, unless the bank had a system very different from mine. It takes 2 keys to open the box, and my key alone wouldn't open the box. The bank employee uses his key and my key to open my box. If these keys had one of the bank keys too, they'd still have the problem of lacking the other customers' keys, since 2 keys are needed for each box. Breaking the box doors would be difficult, but if it happened, it would be apparent to whoever opened the vault in the morning.

brylun said...

I'm thinking, Kid Rock wins...

Ann Althouse said...

"In 1981, William Smarto, along with assistance from his brother Vincent, robbed numerous safety deposit boxes..."

Misuse of the word "robbed."

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the transcript for that episode of Masterminds.

http://mreplay.com/transcript/masterminds-(perfect_score)/5712/TRUTVP/Friday_May_21_2010/304524/

The word "key" doesn't even appear in it.

This answers my question:

>> Narrator: Locked in the vault, smarto waits an hour to make sure everyone has left the bank.
00:05:58 >> He climbed out of his corner spot, took all his tools down from above the false ceiling, turned his flashlights on, started pounding out all of the cylinder locks.
00:06:08 >> Narrator: To do this, smarto uses a specially modified stove bolt.
00:06:14 >> The stove bolts were custom-cut to the diameter of the lock.
00:06:19 >> Narrator: The exact resizing of the bolt is critical.
00:06:22 It must line up perfectly with the cylinder lock, so smarto can punch it through without causing surface damage to the door.
00:06:31 >> The trick was to do it in such a manner that he could reconstruct the front of the lock and put it back in there, so as to not give away the fact that the crime had been perpetrated.

Ann Althouse said...

Stove bolts were enough to disguise that the locks had been pounded out?

Humperdink said...

Etienne said: ".... You can imagine that just giving them the plane is a nice gesture, but the plane is no longer certified. It's an expensive plane, and you have to keep everything up to date....."

Several years ago Governor Fast Eddie Rendell went on a spending spree for votes. Our city fathers decided to accept a grant from the state to build a small parking garage. Parking was a bit tight in our fair city of 10,000, but hey, free money.

Parking garage is built, parking rates established, no one parks there - rates too high. You can park a few blocks away at no cost. Rates are reduced, a few take advantage of the new lower rates. Maintenance costs start rolling in, which now exceed revenue by a wide margin.

At a city council meeting, one member quips: "Can we give it back?".

Snark said...

Kid Rock rock was born and raised middle class and chose a road in life that wound him around all sorts of people in circumstances quite different from that. That experience seems to have given him insight and a certain complexity of character that could only benefit a person wanting to serve via a senate seat. He's not an unintelligent person, and he would outperform expectations in a campaign I'm sure. For me, his politics suck in the same way I think most conservative's politics suck, and he's a hardass in the way that I think most conservatives are hardasses, but in terms of does this person make sense as a senator? I think he does absolutely, and anybody who thinks they'd be able to treat him as a joke for very long is going to be mistaken.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Fullmoon

Then this bank is staffed by the dumbest people on earth and their security is laughably lax. Patrons should never use this bank again. Remove all their items from the 'notso' safe deposit box vault and transfer their funds which are probably just as much as risk from idiot bankers and zero security.

The people who lost items should sue the bank for derelection of duty. They just FORGOT that someone entered the vault and didn't come out? Are the tellers and other bank staff in a coma? Or were they in collusion? Maybe they are Russians!!! That't it! Russian tellers.

Geez. Our little rural bank had better controls and safety procedures.

FullMoon said...

AA and DBQ.
Oh, my mistake. You ladies are correct, could never have happened.
If YOU cannot imagine it, it is impossible. Must be an urban myth.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-03-04/news/8501120674_1_safe-deposit-vault-federal-bank

Ann Althouse said...

Also, if the people were in there all night and eating and doing hard physical work (knocking out locks), wouldn't the place smell very different?

They made something with plywood in there, we're told. That would be smellable.

I have little sense of smell, but I think even I would smell that.

The story smells.

FullMoon said...

Ann Althouse said...

Stove bolts were enough to disguise that the locks had been pounded out?

7/15/17, 6:27 AM


Stove bolt was a tool to knock out the lock with minimal damage so lock could be replaced. As stated in script you provided.

Any more questions, ask google. The names are in the story. I am a simple member of the audience, neither a participant or criminal mastermind.

FullMoon said...

Ann Althouse said...

Also, if the people were in there all night and eating and doing hard physical work (knocking out locks), wouldn't the place smell very different?

They made something with plywood in there, we're told. That would be smellable.

I have little sense of smell, but I think even I would smell that.

The story smells.

7/15/17, 9:52 AM


Yep, you are right. Impossible.

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh, my mistake. You ladies are correct, could never have happened.
If YOU cannot imagine it, it is impossible. Must be an urban myth."

Something is wrong in the story as it is told. It could be that the story was told improperly, or it could be that there are additional elements that were not figured out.

Are you denying that there are problems with the story as it is told? If you are, you should easily be able to answer the questions we're raised.

You claimed to be "mansplaining" before, but you are, in fact, doing the opposite of mansplaining, which is overexplaining, providing elaboration that reveals that you think you're talking to a dummy. But you are underexplaining and trying to dismiss something that needs more explanation. There is that aspect of trying to make us look dumb for pointing at the problems in your explanation, but I don't think that's working. Why aren't you interested in figuring out the answers?

FullMoon said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh, my mistake. You ladies are correct, could never have happened.
If YOU cannot imagine it, it is impossible. Must be an urban myth."

Something is wrong in the story as it is told. It could be that the story was told improperly, or it could be that there are additional elements that were not figured out.

Are you denying that there are problems with the story as it is told? If you are, you should easily be able to answer the questions we're raised.

You claimed to be "mansplaining" before, but you are, in fact, doing the opposite of mansplaining, which is overexplaining, providing elaboration that reveals that you think you're talking to a dummy. But you are underexplaining and trying to dismiss something that needs more explanation. There is that aspect of trying to make us look dumb for pointing at the problems in your explanation, but I don't think that's working. Why aren't you interested in figuring out the answers?

7/15/17, 9:57 AM


Hold on a dang second.

Yesterday, in a comment about the guy "stuck in an ATM I mentioned an interesting case about bank burgalars. You said it was bullshit simply because you could not imagine it happening. I copied and pasted text from a story about it, with names of the criminals, locations of the crimes, and the case number,
Without reading my reply, Dust Bunny chimes in with many details about how it is impossible.
At the next cafe, I take the opportunity to paste the story again, with a humorous jibe at you two artists, whom I would expect to be more imaginative than the general population.

Now, if there are some details that still seem beyond imagination to you, contact the criminals, as it is not my job to convince you. My job was to prove that the man was hidden in dead corner of the safety deposit box room, and burgled the boxes, which you called bullshit. Two men were convicted of the crime, and returned much of the loot, proving the crime was committed.

brylun said...

I can't wait to see the great debates between Al Franken and Kid Rock...

brylun said...

Like Calhoun vs. Clay?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dust Bunny chimes in with many details about how it is impossible.

Fullmoon needs to be more precise when citing other posters. I didn't say impossible. I said unlikely given the way that banks operate (in my real life experience as a former bank employee) that such a crime could happen in the exact way described.

Since, it seems that this actually did happen, then my conclusions are 1. that the bank was staffed with idiots. 2. The bank didn't have any rational or proper safety controls. Or 3. that there was collusion between the bank employees and the criminals. One of, some of, or all of those conditions are possibilities.

You can discuss (or should be able to discuss) without coming off as a condescending ass. Try it.

FullMoon said...

DBQ says
You can discuss (or should be able to discuss) without coming off as a condescending ass. Try it.


Sure, I will if you will.
Did you even read the story>
It happened more than once. Two men convicted, no bank employees.

Now, you call me an ass while you originally claimed it was bullshit without even reading the story, or googling for additional info.
Based entirely on your personal experience working in a bank.
Even going so far as to claim collusion between criminals and bank employees. Maybe your banking experience leads you to believe bank employees are criminals, not for me to say.

At least you now accept that it did happen, and are merely questioning detail/

Bad Lieutenant said...

There is that aspect of trying to make us look dumb for pointing at the problems in your explanation, but I don't think that's working. Why aren't you interested in figuring out the answers?
7/15/17, 9:57 AM

First off, it's not that important in detail. I think that's what rhhardin means about men abstracting and women adding detail.



It was possible in some way for it to be so, certainly. Look, they overnighted, they had to relieve themselves, you don't think they thought about food smells and cleaning up sawdust?

There are tools now with, believe it or not, built-in vacuums, suction to manage the shavings problem. As for food smells,do you think they were stewing goat in there? They ate cold meat sandwiches at best, or else energy bars. "But they didn't leave any wrappers! Not even a crumb!"

Highly plausible,the more so if you believe the staff to be dishonest/incompetent, therefore it's of less interest which of the possible ways it actually was. Perhaps they had a skilsaw. Perhaps they had a Craftsman. Perhaps it was a Dremel tool. Obviously they didn't have to run an arc welder,the cracks were nontrivial only in that they had to work clean.

At what level of detail do you require the technology here explained, or can you accept the assurance of people who, unlike you, work with their hands, that it may have been so?

If the matter were substantial perhaps a detailed fact basis would be worth researching but as you would say, I don't get paid for that. I've had about all of the story I want.

I agree w/DBQ though, in the sense of "too crazy this could work." Where was this bank,in Guatemala?

FullMoon said...

From original copy and paste comment that garnered so many criticisms of innocent me:

"Not all crimes are worthy of great publicity. Petty thievery is commonplace, and certainly does not warrant a lot of attention. However, some cases are considered “perfect” crimes. One happened near Chicago and is documented not only in the National Archives, but also on television. In 1981, William Smarto, along with assistance from his brother Vincent, robbed numerous safety deposit boxes at the First National Bank and Trust Company of Barrington (Illinois). The history of this and similar crimes are in Record Group 21, U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, U.S. v. William Smarto, case number 84-CR-567.

Since it was considered a “perfect crime” at the time, as the headline in the Chicago Tribune declared, the television series deemed it worthy to recreate since the series typically featured cases with complex or elaborate ways of committing a felony. A Canadian series called Masterminds, which ran on Court TV (now truTV), featured the true crime story which aired in the early part of the decade.

Although the Barrington Bank was the featured heist on the TV show, the Smarto brothers actually were arrested for two similar burglaries in Chicago suburbs. Counts I and II were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank of Deerfield; Counts III, IV, and V were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank and Trust of Barrington; and Counts VI and VII were for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary of the First National Bank of Lake Forest."

https://narations.blogs.archives.gov/2011/08/17/nara-coast-to-coast-too-smart-o-for-their-own-good/

Unknown said...

You need a sailboat, AA!

Bad Lieutenant said...

And, thieves have been employing sophisticated methods since Egyptian times. Watch the 1981 thriller Thief with James Caan as the career safe cracker, with Robert Prosky and Jim Belushi and Catherine Moriarty I believe it was. Directed by Michael Mann. Soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Rhhardin has seen that one, I'll wager.