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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

when a blogger dies

6) when I'm feeling sad, 7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things, let us pray, say uncle

A fellow blogger passed away a week ago today. He was born and died in June... with eighty years in between. He led a very interesting and full life, spoke many languages and had friends around the world. 

He began blogging three years ago this month and, while I've read them in the past, the posts have new meaning for me now. He was a somewhat eccentric character, and his writing certainly helps to demystify his complexity.

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wealthy neighborhood

Takin the blog for a walk in the neighborhood of Wealthy Street we often see sidewalk art. Last Sunday was a rather elaborate affair; A heart with angel wings, the word "Hope" written in the middle, and sunflower seeds set in a little pile in the middle of it. There was a little angel statue and a pinwheel next to it.

Was the artwork done by a child who lost a young brother or sister? Was it some kind of memorial to a soldier? I wondered if the angel had a connection to the bird seed.  What was the thought? That the birds would be taking the blessings of the angel or the young artist up to heaven? We were curious, but not enough to knock at 5:30 a.m.

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this place is a disaster

2) raindrops on roses

Inspector FEMA stopped by early Saturday morning to stumble through our cluttered basement. I debated asking for the visit because there was very little damage from the Flood of 2008. Even though sewer backups are covered under our homeowner's, we didn't even apply. But it's extremely rare (thankfully) that FEMA is in town, we have a $500.00 deductible, and the sewer backed up not once, not twice, but five times within one week last month.

Didn't really want to ask for help because there were far more families and businesses worse off than us. But this flooding shouldn't have happened and I wanted someone other than the city to know. We've had sewer backups in our neighborhood for years, for whatever reasons, and was told by the director of public works two years ago that the replacement of pipe in our street would solve the problem. They did smoke testing to find illegal hookups and added more storm drains. The city seemed to do everything it could, short of increasing capacity or redesigning our connection to the main line, and for a while it worked. June's rain was the first big test since the new pipe was laid. 

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

7) I simply remember, Dad

I hope there will always be somewhere to go where they know your name, and I'm not talking about an automated voice reading it off your frequent shopper card. There are few places left where you can pick up your cup where you left it the day before and share conversation and coffee with the butcher behind the meat counter every day at the small mom and pop grocery like my dad used to do in Mercer. Doesn't really matter how big the place is.

Even though Pick 'N Save takes way too much of our money we still like shopping there. Prices are comparatively low, people know us there and we run into people we know there. It's like the small town post office, where conversation is free-flowing and eventually, it seems, you'll bump into everyone. 

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feeling a little deflated

2) raindrops on roses, full of hot air

Now that the County Fair is here I'm looking forward to some hot air balloon competition at the annual Skyfest rally. Maybe crew with someone new. Maybe run into friends from out of town. Or so I thought.

Pay no attention to the cover page of today's edition of WaukeshaNOW paper. It was wrong. "THURSDAY  The sky will be adorned with color during the SKY FEST HOT AIR BALLOON COMPETITION at the Waukesha County Expo Center." I wish! Fourteen years of ballooning at the fair was put on hold this year as no corporate sponsors were located.

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feeling a little elated

Even with a little rain and without Skyfest at the county fair it's still a good weekend. Anytime there's more fun things to do than time to do them it's a good thing.

Friday was a wonderful night to be out for Freeman Friday Night Live downtown. The foot traffic was as good as the music. It's always nice to see Downtown alive. Chad James was sounding especially fine outside Steaming Cup as was the 12 year old guitar player keeping artist Chuck Weber company outside Almont Gallery as he painted.

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pedalling to the beat of a different drummer

1) sound of music, helping

I blogged about a similar topic in November, but this week's event promised to benefit the earth and fellow man. I was able to catch the last half hour of a pedal-powered concert in Wales on calm Tuesday night. Because the event was affiliated with the MS150 bike tour, it raised both awareness of wasteful energy practices and funds to help battle multiple sclerosis.

I was already in the Wales area for a dinner meeting in the beautiful Hills of Delafield, so Hazie and ScorpGirl can relax. I did not drive all the way out there wasting gas. I probably would have, though, had I known how cool the warm evening on Main Street in Wales would be.

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Chasing Gilbert

full of hot air

Was glad to hear I might be crewing this weekend. Weather's been less than ideal lately. Summer's half over and I've only helped a few times. First possibility was Saturday morning, but was too windy. Saturday night was better, but still iffy.

While waiting for the breeze to calm, I asked the other crew members if they knew which balloon landed and stopped traffic on Hwy. 16 in Hartland Wednesday night. I read an In Brief article in the Freeman regarding it and had cut it out. Talking with someone who went out Wednesday, and talking with other crew on the field, came to find out it was one of the three balloons waiting, like me, for the wind to die down. They told of the police coming, a nurse offering help. While it's fairly common to take down the envelope on or near quiet residential streets it's an FAA violation to land on Hwy. 16. The pilot in question actually landed a distance from 16 on a frontage road... and no one was hurt.  

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fish are not to scale

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, festival, Les is more, let us pray

Spent several hours at Pewaukee Lake yesterday. With the no wake law still in force it's unusually quiet, and if my canoe didn't still have gaping holes in it... So we fish from shore. Very peaceful watching the regatta of around 50 sailboats. Later in the day was Taste of Lake Country and fireworks, but that's another story.

Making every cent of my weekend dollars count I went to Milwaukee today to do several things. I parked under the Hoan Bridge by the river, saving $10.00. I attended a very nice Lutheran service in the Marcus Amphitheater and was allowed into German Fest free, saving $13.00.

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