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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.

a little 600 mile Sunday drive

Whitetail Crossing, River Falls

One week ago I drove our son's 1995 GMC Sonoma 30 mpg rustbucket 600 miles to and from UW River Falls to deliver furniture to our youngest, a sophomore. School starts this week, but he's been busy the last month with football practice, meetings and workouts. He's been so busy in fact that it wasn't easy finding a good time to visit. Even Sundays and holidays he's in meetings, etc.

I didn't want to wait until the weekend everyone else moves in and he didn't want to wait too long for the furniture. The only day with a small window of opportunity to see him was last Sunday and I was busy: I'd promised to accompany a wheelchair-bound woman to mass.

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15 years ago this week

6) when I'm feeling sad, 7) I simply remember, let us pray

The alarm rang around 1:00 early Sunday morning August 31st, 1997. There was a news report broadcasting from the TV set in our son's bedroom when I went to shut it off on my way to work. Listening to the BBC on the radio on my way to the Journal Sentinel's Dolphin Drive Distribution Center I learned what they'd been discussing on television: Princess Diana had been in a very serious car accident.

By '97 I'd already been delivering weekend papers in Waukesha for eight or nine years. I always felt a certain amout of pride knowing the headlines of the Saturday and Sunday papers before everyone else. I experienced a different emotion Aug. 31st as I waited an extra hour or two along with the other carriers for a very late truck from Milwaukee. Though there wasn't a lot of talking I felt most carriers knew the situation. She would've died just a couple hours earlier and reports weren't yet confirmed...

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unday

St. Vincent

Friday marked the end of the van era around here.

I've owned four full-sized vans over the last 25 years or so: GMC and Ford cargo vans and two Chevy conversion vans. All were purchased for use in hauling weekend Journal Sentinels, but came in handy when other large things needed moving. It's been six years since last I hauled a newspaper.

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art and alzheimer's

art, Frame Park, Riverwalk, YouTube, Farmer's Market

I thought about doing yesterday's Walk to End Alzheimer's when I heard it was free, donations accepted. If nothing else it would probably raise my awareness of the disease plus be a great two mile walk under clear skies. Because there was no WPR booth at Waukesha's Art Fest this year for me to volunteer at I registered for the walk just a few minutes after it's start. Since I had the bike with me I was able to catch up to the crowd of walkers at the Rotary Building.

What started out as a rather cool morning soon became one of the nicest days for a walk around the river. I'd guess most people walking knew or had known someone with Alzheimer's. I've had elderly friends with it, but fortunately no close relatives.

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What you didn't see

This is what you didn't see in Friday's news:

Waukesha - Flight for Life was called to a crash scene in Waukesha after a car and bicycle have collided near the Waukesha County Courthouse.

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when cutting hair takes second at the barber shop

SportClips

When has all the other amenities become the main attraction at the barber shop and a nice haircut a mere afterthought?

It's been a couple years since I've had a professional cut. My sister and mom-in-laws have done a wonderful job of helping me look my best, but compared to the cut I just got at SportClips on Grandview Blvd. ... I may be getting old, but I don't remember barber shops like this before.

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Salvation Army's 2012 Annual Civic Dinner

Salvation Army

I've probably been to Milwaukee Marriott West a hundred times, used to drop off early Sunday papers there, but tonight was the first time there for a dinner. I was the invited guest of friend and fellow blogger George Wang, owner of Waukesha Tattoo @ Galleria Edge and a Salvation Army Advisory Board member.

I pictured a larger room and crowd for this annual dinner to give thanks to the volunteers, but there were a hundred or so attendees. The food was great and so was The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Men's Ensemble, an incredibly good band for a bunch of guys just trying to turn their lives around.

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a BID Adieu

As any follower of downtown politics knows, allegations of a hostile work environment, including bullying, flew after Meghan Sprager resigned from directing the Downtown BID. Several BID members have resigned in the last several days before last night Common Council meeting where Alderpersons Cummings and Payne had moved to disband the entire thirteen member board.

All but two of the rest of them resigned before last night's meeting in the 3-minute public comment period. It wasn't easy to watch. Jim Taylor was quite emotional and could hardly speak. Time ran out on thoughfully-slow-speaking Kerry Mackay before he could resign and quickly did it after his three minutes were up.

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Rummage Yes, Apples No

Retzer, St. William

The huge St. William Annual Fall Rummage Sale starts today at 8:00 and runs till 6:00 tonight and tomorrow, 9/21. Everything is half price Friday and the last day, Saturday, from 8:00 to 1:00 you can fill a bag for $4.00. I know there's a lot of bargains to be had - I personally dropped off a truck load. St. William is at 440 N Moreland between Summit Ave. and Michigan Street, Waukesha.

Also coming up is Retzer Nature Center's Annual Apple Harvest Festival this Saturday. This will be the first time in many years I won't be volunteering. Not sure I'd be needed anyway. There will be no apple sales tent or cider for sale - this year's crop was all but ruined due to the weather. There will be caramel apples and pie for purchase however. But don't let the expected cool and slightly rainy weather and lack of apples stop you from attending. There's always tons of stuff going on, especially for families, food, craft and art booths, hikes... and Retzer itself is always a cool place to be anytime.

have you saved a life today?

Salvation Army, ODW Logistics, Hope Center, St. William

While I didn't technically "save a life" exactly one week ago when I avoided running over a bicyclist on a cell phone who ran a red light, I didn't help end one either. I help save a life when I give blood. Safe driving is just . . . safe driving, and a little luck.

Ever feel like some weeks just don't go well? Bills are due, stuck in traffic and late for work, discord in the family, car breaks down... This wasn't one of those weeks.

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Laurels to Walker

7) I simply remember, 7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things

Sad to see Laurel Walker's last column today. We first met a few years back when I suggested she do a story on the area near my boyhood home. Pebble Creek, a cold water trout stream, ran through it. Now, Meadowbrook Road runs through it. Though the area has changed considerably and is no longer farmed, much of the creek and floodplain is protected from development and still in a natural state. 

I have drawn inspiration from Laurel's writing and it's as much thanks to her as to anyone I got started writing here. I'd mentioned to her around the time I started blogging that the future of paid columnists didn't look too secure when bloggers like me were willing to write stories for free. It was just after another round of staff downsizing when we "talked" by email. Now she's taking early retirement rather than risk the layoff. What will be left when all the good columnists are gone is what I'd like to know.

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walk a mile in my shoes

Friends of the Poor, helping, St. Vincent, St. William

I have my shoes picked out for this Saturday's St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk. Sandals, actually.

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this is what GENEROSITY looks like

Friends of the Poor, St. Vincent, St. William

So busy at work Friday and the next couple weeks. Always busy at end of month, but this time we were short one key person who's also on vacation first half of October.

My shift shared about a dozen pizzas Friday, brought in to help celebrate another goal attained. Free pizza helped ease the burden of a very busy day, but I still felt I had to come in Saturday to catch up.

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