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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


1) sound of music, 2) raindrops on roses, 8) my favorite things, Freeman

Never do I recall a larger Freeman Friday Night Live crowd, and never have I seen more boomers on Broadway, than two days ago for El Rey and the NightBeats at the Rockin' on Broadway stage. The closed street allowed for more seating, dancing and socializing. Thank goodness that the couple drops of rain earlier didn't send the band indoors, because I have no idea where they would have gone.

The eight member El Rey band is clearly the largest group to play Friday Night Live and, being well known and popular, probably encouraged many to come who don't usually visit downtown on a Friday. I'm poor at estimating crowd size, but I'm going to throw out 1000? Broadway was clogged curb to curb and the sidewalks were very slow going.

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Frame, Fox and Fun

National Night Out, Frame Park, Badgerland Skiers,

Warm and humid didn't keep hundreds of families away from Frame Park for National Night Out. I swear, it keeps getting bigger and better every year. Volunteers served up an acre of sweet corn and hundreds of free hot dogs. Four sweaty, local mascots joined the throngs for music, displays and giveaways. Thanks Target and all the other sponsors! Fingerprinting, police, firefighters, sheriff, bike helmets, fire safety house, police dog; they were all there.

Three trouble makers aldermen were there, but there was no walk around the river as in the Lombardi era. Badgerland Waterskiers were practicing for their 7:00 Wednesday show, a very welcome addition to Night Out. Have to say they are good, very good, and I wish I'd just get down there more often to watch them.

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Frame, Fox and Fun part II

Badgerland Skiers, Frame Park, YouTube

I'd seriously considered going back down to the Fox River the next day to watch Badgerland Water Skiers perform the show in costume which I'd watched them practice for Tuesday night. It'd been a while since I'd seen the show and, judging by the practice, they'd gotten a lot bigger and better.

I mentioned to a friend how much I enjoyed the practice and, not only was she also planning on attending Wednesday's show, her son was in it! "We can go together!" Her son, Scott Susek, is an accomplished ski jumper.

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when the blog takes me for a walk

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, art, Clinton Street Gallery, YouTube

Funny thing about letting the blog do the leading; he doesn't always look both ways or use the crosswalk. Don't even talk to me about the shortest distance . . . apparently you've got to cover a lot of territory to pick up a story's scent trail.

I'm proud to be one of Gregg Wandsneider's 3100+ friends. After sampling a cup of organic chocolate milk at the Farmer's Market, walked up the plaza to Coffee n' Beans to see what he was up to. I knew I'd find Gregg there because it was he along with Alcy who organized the 16 musicians performing at the day's 2nd Annual Coffee, Music and Goodness outside on the plaza. Had a real nice visit with Gregg. He was telling me about his hours of volunteering with Salvation Army and the 2009 Waukesha County Volunteer of the Year award he received. He'll be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity starting this week.

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when the blog takes me for a walk, part II

So many good stories: Connie Schroeder with Splendor, her custom jewelry project, donates 20% of all sales to her church group's mission trip to Central America. With her help they're able to supply all the material for and help build 15 houses. It also was her birthday and she shared a huge cake with us. 

Nancy Potter, who's intricate hand painted shishkebeads and laboriously beaded necklaces and bracelets were some of the least expensive yet eye-catching handmade jewelry I've seen. She also does elaborate tie-dyed designs and can be found every Saturday at the Farmer's Market.

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Frame, Fox and Fun, part III

Badgerland Skiers, Frame Park, YouTube

I used to think I'd never want to be a Badgerland Water Skier; soaking wet in cold air and water. Hours spent in preparation and practice. The Fox River isn't exactly Lake Michigan. Oops, bad analogy. But on second thought . . . when considering that most of the 90+ member Badgerland team is young, strong and good-looking, I guess I really wouldn't mind being one that much.  

Waukesha is fortunate to have a free, top-quality, weekly show on the Fox, and I was fortunate to have a behind the scenes view of it last night as they prepared for tonight's 7:00 p.m. show. It's easy to take the show for granted, the flow of the program is so smooth, but getting all the microphones and sound working properly is just one overlooked task. I have to give Paul Dross a lot of credit for his skill as Show Director. To keep with the theme, make it fun, and make the show work, he does a great job. 

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Hare and Hound

full of hot air

The Hartford Balloon Rally was this weekend. The pilots had two good flights and a glow Saturday. The evening flight was notable because it's the first time I'd crewed for a "hare" balloon.

Competitive balloon flights usually center around one or more targets at which streamers attached to bean bags are thrown. Early Saturday, pilots had to hit two targets, launching at least two miles distant from the home field. There was a lot of driving around, backtracking, checking maps, trying to find a decent launch field. A lot of science and weather knowledge goes into the competition, but with so much of the Hartford countryside planted, just finding a place to inflate is a challenge.

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four months and 39 blogs ago . . .

Workforce, Waukesha Food Pantry

Friday the 13th was a lucky day for me. I found work and it's here in Waukesha. It's a decent job with a good company. Now here's the other half of the story. 

I spent nearly half my life at my previous job.

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tempted to quit?

Yet one more reason to not smoke. 

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Takin' the Blog for a Surgery

Sir Fido hasn't been feeling himself lately. Let out little yelps for no reason. Wasn't touching his favorite food: bananas. I noticed he had an abscessed tooth and made an appointment at Pewaukee Veterinary Service.Dr. Tom, an old high school classmate of mine, saw him today and confirmed my diagnosis. 

There really aren't too many choices. You can't just leave him suffer with it. The tooth has to come out. 

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Thanks for the warning

There's a complicated bit of intersection just over the river where E. Moreland, Eales and Whiterock meet. Fracaro's, Citgo and Valvoline occupy three of it's several corners. My very first time driving through it I unknowingly blocked Whiterock by stopping on the striped diagonal lines while waiting for the light to change. I was 15 and on a learner's permit. A guy yelled, "Who taught you to drive? Your mother?" Well, as a matter of fact, my mom did teach me to drive. She was in the passenger seat teaching me at the very moment.

Thirty-five years later Fracaro's is still on the corner, and I'm still passing through the intersection - twice a day on those days when I work. Yesterday afternoon I was stopped by a Waukesha policeman after turning right on East St. Paul from Moreland. I really had no idea why. I was rushing (without speeding) to pick up Sir Fido at the vet before 5:30. I wanted to talk to the doctor before he left for the day. There were complications to his surgery; they had to pull 5 teeth instead of just the one. Also, there's a tumor in his mouth with the possibility of it being cancerous. I had a lot on my mind before, but now I was wondering if he'd have to spend the night at the vet because I failed in getting there on time.

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1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, festival, helping, St. Patrick, YouTube

There was plenty of good craic going on last Sunday in the Cultural Tent at Irish Fest. It was the 30th anniversary of Irish Fest so I thought I'd help out for once. I volunteered four hours at the Shamrock Club's table signing up new members and selling Shamrock Club 50th Anniversary pins.

I knew the Shamrock Club started Irish Fest, but not being a member myself, learned much more about the club; had to if I wanted to sell memberships. The person joining me at the table, Addie, was really the best resource for all things Irish.

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