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Takin' the Blog for a Walk

Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.

Email Brien at

first of five

politics, St. Mary

One election down, four more to go. Tuesday's primary at Waukesha's newest polling location - St. Mary's - went well, if a little slow. I attended four training sessions this year and never felt more ready for an election. We had more than enough competent poll workers. Didn't even come close to running out of ballots. The St. Mary's Community Room is a large, comfortable, well-lit affair with kitchen and restrooms close by, plenty of parking and handicap accessible. 

The issues were minor. We had problems with our new optical scan ballot counter. Some issues with inadequate signage on the street directing voters to the Community Room. A double wide line of parents temporarily blocking the entrance to the parking lot while waiting to pick up their kids after school. Our ward book sometimes not agreeing with the yellow cards mailed to households this year.

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8) my favorite things, counting cranes, politics, let us pray

Happy Easter and Chag Pesach Sameach! Am wishing you a holiday as nice as this great spring weather. 

I'll be heading off to Easter Mass in a few, but in the mean time I'd like to resurrect several recent blog topics.

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catch and release kite fishing

This post has nothing to do with fishing with a kite. Just thought it was a "catchy" title.

Last two Sunday's were breezy, kite-flying weather, and I took advantage. Using my open-face spinning rod instead of a ball of kite string, I launched my Korean kite in the back yard not far from neighboring trees. It was challenging at times to keep it out of branches. And, like fishing, when it did snag a tree the kite had to be carefully coaxed so as not to lose it.  

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musical masterpieces

GuitarTown, art, 8) my favorite things, Waukesha Tattoo

As the photos emerge of GuitarTown playable guitars and sculptures I am in awe. I can't believe the quality, variety and creativity Waukesha is getting. My original fear was "what if we get some clunkers we'll have to look at for the next couple years, and all this effort wasted?" I clearly underestimated the talent of local artists and organizers for putting the best of them together. 

There's no way they are doing it for the money. Look at the detail in Tom Noll's creation and tell me how many hundreds of hours he's putting into it?

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dripping blood, YouTube

Pouring my heart out to a dual-red donation at BloodCenter's Waukesha Donor Center early this morning got me thinking about National Donate Life Month and assorted other hemo-related topics. 

Besides the warm freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies to look forward to, BloodCenter has recently introduced an incentive program: Giving for Life. Something as simple as liking BloodCenter on facebook, following on Twitter, providing an email address... , or as complicated as hosting a blood drive, participating in a focus group, or volunteering, earns points toward shirts and other assorted gear. Heck, just writing about my blood donation today earns me 50 points, and the dual red itself: 300 points.

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glad I didn't have to play the blog card

It was a weird day. Did the usual Saturday shopping at my favorite grocery store. They know me, probably too well, there. At the checkout Vicky saw me and said, "here comes trouble". Little did she know how much.

Since we've recently become empty-nesters we're no longer fans of purchasing large amounts of the same or similar items for a discount. Sometimes bordering on the ridiculous, who needs 20 boxes of cereal or cookies at one time?

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the best GuitarTown video you'll see today

GuitarTown, Tom Noll, art, 8) my favorite things, 1) sound of music

The Les Paul of Waukesha artists, Tom Noll, has condensed 200 painstaking hours of work into two minutes of sheer enjoyment. It's mysteriously coreographed to appear his pace picks up when the tempo speeds up. Perfect accompaniment for a perfect accomplishment.

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in the sky with diamonds

HAWS, go fly a kite

Sunday in the Park                                                             Third Sunday in the row weather was dry, breezy and somewhat mild. Another words, kite-flying weather. Bailey and I spent an hour or two Earth Day with the kite atop the hill at the University where the view was great, the wind endless and obstacles few and far between. On a clear day you can see Holy Hill in Hubertus from UWW and Sunday we could see at least that far. The constantly changing clouds, wind gusts and direction kept me entertained while Bailey just kept out of trouble loving the sunshine and fresh air. 

Diamond Jubilee                                                               Sunday also was a good day to see friends Louis and Amy Crisostomo celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal during mass. A hundred of their friends and family filled the front pews, but where were Louis and Amy? The front-most pew was empty. Ten minutes in, everyone standing for the holy water blessing, in walk the couple. They were a little late for their own celebration, but I was as happy to witness it as I was for their golden. Before and during mass their grandson Michael, now a Juilliard student, entertained us with his amazing pipe organ music. Congratulations to Louis and Amy!

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In case you missed it


GuitarTown was in the news yesterday. Channel Four's 10 p.m. newscast had a nice little segment on Waukesha. Take a look.

not a knife, a way of life

8) my favorite things, Victorinox

I've kept a masterpiece concealed in my pocket nearly every day for the last 13 years. SwissChamp has been called Victorinox's flagship model and the daddy of Swiss Army knives, but I call it by far the handiest, most reliable and well-made tool kit I'll ever own. 

I obviously can't do everything with the knife, but SwissChamp gives me an awful lot of options. I don't use every feature, but better to have it and not need it . . .  I would be happy with just 8 functions: scissors, tweezers, both long and short knife blades, pen, magnifying glass, flat blade and phillips screwdrivers. I use the magnifying glass so often in my work that I will never again buy a knife without one.

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Who's the Fox at Walgreens?


 Learned the Fox6 Weather Team were appearing at Walgreens on Grandview this morning. Vince Condella, Brittney Sager, Rob Haswell and Justin Zollitsch were all here promoting weather safety by helping to program Midland weather radios Walgreens was offering at a discounted price. We have an older weather radio and thought it would be worth $30.00 to get the latest technology. Besides, a portion of the proceeds would be helping to support the American Red Cross.

Even though about 140 radios were sold and programmed in the three hours the team was here the line moved quickly enough. I overheard Brittney ask of the clerk if there were any Bandaids, as her finger had a small cut. I jokingly mentioned to her that, no, you won't find any Bandaids at Walgreens, and promptly pulled one out of my wallet to give her.

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skip to the loo

My heart's still pumping, and not only because I was just pruning with a bucksaw in preparation for this week's city-wide branch pick up. Upon entering the bathroom to get cleaned up from the yardwork I found what looked like a rat in the toilet. Heart skipped in the loo.

I'd been outside for several hours giving my wife plenty of time to plan and carry out this cruel joke, but she assured me she didn't put it there. At one time we had a toy rat, doesn't everyone?, but neither of us had seen it in quite some time, and how would it get in there on it's own anyway.

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