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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 howlinblog@yahoo.com.

Groundhog Day all over again

Retzer

As in the Bill Murray movie of the same name, this Groundhog Weekend was the same as last year's; Mom had a birthday and celebrated it at the Original Pancake House on Bluemound, went to Retzer's annual Wild Winter Night Activities, and wrote about both in the blog as I'm doing now. 

I love my mom - Happy Birthday Mom! 

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a series of unfortunate events

 short version: Needing to unload a truck using a forklift with indoor tires I get stuck on the ice . . . more than once.

long version: We still get Cuban scrappers looking for metal at my company even though we've had our own roll-off recycling container for months now. I think they usually leave with something too. One guy we've known for years. We know recycling is probably his only income, as it more than likely is for the others we see around there too.

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Muskego Polar Plunge

It'll be interesting to see how many cool fools jump through a hole cut in the ice of a Muskego Pond today for the Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics. Right now it's about 75 degrees warmer inside than out and close to 30 degrees colder than Jan. 1st when I took my first plunge. And it's very windy.

One team I'm familiar with has raised $1700.00 in pledges! They will probably feel sharp stabbing cold momentarily, but the thought of helping with such a great cause will surely keep them warm inside. That and the hot tub, the heated changing tent, the food...

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plenty of space at UWW

UWW

I definitely enjoyed the Dale Guldan talk at UWW Thursday. He was an award-winning photographer from the Journal Sentinel I used to enjoy. He died in 2005 at 51 years old. He was an UWW alumni and was awarded the university's first Outstanding Alum award. We heard from his very good friend, fellow Journal Sentinel photographer Gary Porter. We also heard his widow talk and we saw many of his great photos. A photo exhibit is on display through March 2nd in the Fine Arts Center Gallery. Take a peek if you get the chance.

Another interesting and free talk at UWW is coming up this Tuesday the 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. A NASA architect will be talking about life in outer space.

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Doyle and Nelson at Temple

politics

.Gov. Jim Doyle in Waukesha 

Mayor Nelson and Gov. Doyle spoke at the Labor Temple tonight. They were stumping for Senator Barack Obama and spoke with enthusiasm to a full house. The governor explained why we should vote Tuesday the 19th and why he feels Obama is the best choice.

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I heart the cathedral

let us pray

.Chapel of Eucharistic Reservation 

The last time I visited the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist the pews were still there and the altar was in front. I recently visited once again, on St. Blaise Day, with a hundred high school juniors. Besides mass and having our throats blessed we were able to have a little tour and learn more about the cathedral.

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it was chaos I tell you

Chaos. It was chaos I tell you. Pick 'N Save on Silvernail is in the middle of a GRAND RE-OPENING SALE! which was not what I was expecting when doing the shopping this morning. Already narrow aisles were bottlenecked by cases of product being shelved while heavy two-way cart traffic manuevered around people trying to read labels. The sale seemed to attract many people who don't normally shop there. Where normally it's common to bump into someone we know, today there was a lot of bumping into people we didn't know, literally. I don't know if everyone was avoiding eye contact to prevent an aisle-clogging conversation or just too busy searching for the next item on their list. I'm not exagerating when I say most everything in the store has a new location, and after several weeks I still have as much trouble as anyone finding things.

Maybe it's a sign of the times, or maybe the manager knew how congested it would be, but today there was only one free sample. A Grand Reopening! and no more free samples than on a normal Saturday. It's a wonder I still shop there. 

Hearts for Hollyn

Often we hear of events or charities requesting we bring a couple cans with us when we come. Thursday I learned there would be an event Saturday that wanted us to bring all of our cans. Hearts for Hollyn is a recycling drive for a second grade Rose Glen student diagnosed with cancer. As one donor offered to match $1.00 for every pound of cans, my contribution went much further than if I cashed them in myself then donated the money.

Out of all the years I've been either saving aluminum or donating to a cause, this was the least painful donation and the best feeling I've ever had from recycling.

the 3-legged race to the polls

politics

It's a 3-legged race to the polls and there's two entrants: It's the team of Clinton, Obama and McCain versus Team Democrat, Republican and Undecided.

This is an exciting time for politics in Wisconsin because our vote in this primary really could make a difference - at least for Clinton or Obama.

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Tim's Valentine's Day

6) when I'm feeling sad, Tim

How was your Valentine's Day? Mine was nothing special. Worked during the day and had a meeting at night.

Tim had hip surgery on Valentine's Day. His mom wrote about the experience.

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be careful out there

2) raindrops on roses

It's pouring rain out right now. Not good. Lots of ice and flooding. There is a salt shortage. Temperatures will drop making bad even worse.

The snowman I built January 5th has weathered a lot of temperature changes and appears much slimmer. He's probably solid ice under the surface. Mrs. Lee wanted me to remove the umbrella I gave him today because "we're not entertaining the neighbors" and I'm "not two." She had no idea how dangerous it was carrying a knife on the icy sidewalk to cut the umbrella off.

flying monkeys, Winkies and Toto too

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things

I thought The Wizard of Oz was required viewing for every American. Thought we all had to see it at least three times by the 8th grade. The person you'd think would have been one to have seen it most, the director and producer of Waukesha North's current production, Nathan Berish, hadn't seen it at all until he began work on this musical.

The older I get the more I enjoy the Wizard of Oz. We own it on video and I see something new every time I watch it. I enjoyed seeing all the press North's Wizard of Oz production received, especially the part about the flying. I was anxious to see their version of it and thrilled that we could see it last night, though I was worried we wouldn't get tickets. We didn't order them in advance, it was reserved seating, but we did get in OK and sat in the east wing. 

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lunar eclipse

Even though it was a little chilly last night, the skies were clear for viewing of the full eclipse of the moon. Even with the light pollution from the city we had a great view. Viewing got even better when power was interrupted for a couple hours for homes and businesses east of here.  

swearing to uphold the Constitution on President's Day

helping, politics

Monday I was sworn in as a poll worker. Tuesday I spent 16 hours at Hawthorne School initialling and handing out ballots and helping make sure things ran smoothly at the polling station for Aldermanic District 4. Four of the seven workers, myself included, were first time workers. I think we handled the crowd pretty well.

I was very nervous about working such an important, unfamiliar job from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Could I remain alert enough after 16 hours? Could I handle the crowds, the rules, pressure, sitting on a folding metal chair, being away from TV, regular meals and a nap for 16 hours just to work the most historic election of my life? Knowing I'd need plenty of rest for such a long day, I got to bed early then tossed and turned much of the night from worry. But as you can see I survived.

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Waukesha's hard water

Took the blog for a long walk today. Lots of sun, no wind and not too cold. Got a first paw view of the hard water situation in the city. It's so hard, in fact, that many neighbors have resorted to using softener pellets. Seems odd to apply to sidewalks something that was designed to make water slipperier. Seems to work though. Better than nothing I suppose. 

Some clown lost his balloons

If you happen to see a colorfully dressed individual wandering around looking sad you might mention they can find their balloons 25 feet up a pole on Summit Ave.  pole balloons

the spacey planetarium

1) sound of music

Finding pork gravy was one of the hardest things I did yesterday. Let me come back to this.

I talked the boys into accompanying me on a trippy trip to the Rock Hall of Fame at the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium. I've wanted to take my sons to this sound and light show at the IMAX Theater since hearing about it several months ago. I attended a similar-sounding show at the Horwitz Planetarium last April and wanted to see how different it would be on the larger screen.

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the rest of the story

6) when I'm feeling sad, politics

Little Caesars. One of my last posts mentioned a sad individual without balloons and, even though I haven't gone hot air ballooning in months, wasn't referring to me. At least I didn't think so. No, I'm not the clown who lost his balloons. But I am sad that Little Caesars on Summit is closed. Sunday the pizza shop made one last attempt to attract customers by attaching bunches of yellow and orange balloons to a sign in the parking lot and by Monday they were permanently closed. Now I'm not a connoisseur of fine pizza, but did love the fact that we could run in for a quick, hot, inexpensive meal that everyone would eat. 

Auto Show. My last post mentioned the Auto Show last weekend was the reason for parking problems downtown Milw. Saturday. Well, now that I've got my facts straight, the Auto Show is this weekend.

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