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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.

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short and sweet

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, UWW

I had to attend UWW's String Ensemble and University Chorus Spring Concert Friday. The price was right, (free) it was easy to get to, and it's the last concert of this school year. Though the audience could have been larger for this great performance, those in attendence were appreciative and enthusiastic.

Spring was the theme among the twenty or so pieces, split between the violin trio and chorus, some going back 500 years. While many folks have difficulty just singing in English, this finely-tuned choir sang equally well in French, German and Italian, as well as English. With ten sopranos and only three altos the higher voices really carried the songs. Everyone seemed to enjoy being part of such an amazing and pure performance and there were plenty of smiles on display.

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one Saturday in spring

2) raindrops on roses, Tim

Many outdoor activities were planned even though the weather didn't cooperate. It was cold and wet Saturday for the many benefit walks scheduled; the HAWS Pet Walk-a-Thon, RiverWalk for Breast Cancer and the one I was on, Parkwalk for Cancer in Mukwonago. It was also opening day of fishing, Art Crawl...

Yeah it was cold and wet yesterday, but probably not as cold and wet as it was for the two young women caught skinny-dipping in Pewaukee Lake Thursday morning after bars closed. And I'm presuming no one in Waukesha took part in World Naked Gardening Day Saturday? At least I didn't see any freezing gardeners in my neighborhood. 

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one hot bike

Someone made off with the kid's bike last week at North. It was a green stunt bike we picked up last year at the police auction for a few dollars. It was locked with a pretty good sized Master lock. They didn't cut the cable, but smashed the combination lock.

Since we purchased the bike at a police auction there's a fair chance that it was stolen once before. I wonder if we'll have another chance to buy it at this year's auction?

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more info for Les

Les is more

A decent article it today's Journal Sentinel goes a long way to clear up many questions. How did Discovery World's "Les Paul's House of Sound" come to be in such short order? Who was behind it and what was the motivation? What are they trying to take away from Waukesha Historical Society's efforts, if anything?

I feel a lot better knowing a former Waukesha alderman and friend of Les' was the prime motivator. Richard Cook is the same alderman who persuaded fellow aldermen to rename the 164 bypass Les Paul Parkway back in the 1990s. His former bandmates and people they know worked hard to bring an exhibit on Les to the "perfect" setting of Discovery World. The news was so unexpected because few knew of the plans and because of the short notice.

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how to forgive?

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

Two weeks ago today a terrible accident shook Oconomowoc. The aftershocks are still felt in the Milwaukee Metro area and now, with talk of changing the laws, in all of Wisconsin. How do you forgive a former doctor for recklessly ending the most innocent of lives?

Everything about this tragic crash was wrong. Everything from the speed of the SUV, driven just two days after suspension of driving privileges, to the kind of drugs he was on his way to pick up. How do you forgive someone who was so doped up on drugs that he couldn't even see a car in front of him, yet thought he could still pick up some Viagra?  

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birds, bees, flowering trees

5) when the bee stings, 7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things, full of hot air, Retzer

Yesterday was almost perfect; the weather sunny and calm, many things are in bloom, not too hot or cold and no bugs. This is a great time to welcome the birds that were away for so long. There's cute baby bunnies hopping around the yard lately, and there's just a couple huge bees busily polinating around the house.

Once again I was able to avoid yard work so Sir Fido had time to take me for a walk. Of the three rummage sales we encountered, two were closing for the day, and we fortunately didn't come home with any more junk. He loves the walks as much as I do; while he's eagerly checking out every scent like a curious child, I'm enjoying the people I meet and nature I encounter. 

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a happy birth day

8) my favorite things

Ever notice how much the phone sounds like the alarm clock when it rings at 5 a.m.? Me either. But the phone did ring this morning and I was very happy. It meant my newest niece was born into the world today. A little early but healthy. 

congratulations to Mom and Dad, my brother and sister-in-laws. I can't wait to see her.

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save a horse, ride a bike

This week was Bike to Work Week in Wisconsin and I tried to take advantage of it as much as I could. Now that winter's over I'm no longer walking the last mile and a half to work after disembarking the county bus on Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. The bike allows me more free time before work begins and I used it this week to explore the lakeshore and riverfront, besides interesting neighborhoods. It's a good way to start the day and a fun way to get to know your city.

As in other years, Milwaukee had something planned for every day of Bike to Work Week. Tuesday, before stopping at Sigma Environmental on Canal Street for a little coffee and conversation, I visited the Hank Aaron State Trail's display of really nice student art. Both painted on the walk and attached to the fence, the art with Civil Rights leanings gives the viewer something to think about as the trail winds it's way west next to the Menomonee River.

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nice niece

Saw my other niece today and almost didn't recognize her. Selena just got her hair cut for the first time in her six years, and I'm so proud of her. Six years old and she donated a foot of hair to Locks of Love. It was her choice - Mom and Dad didn't make her do it. She knows a young girl with leukemia and she thought it was the right thing to do.

What a great kid!

ah..ah..ah..choo choo

The world''s largest coal-fired steam locomotive was in town (Milw.) today after filming of "Public Enemies" in Chicago. Saw it at Amtrak on my way to work. It weighs nearly a million pounds.

.dwarfed by the black beast

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Les for less

1) sound of music, Les is more

Just over a year ago we were given the opportunity to see Les Paul, hear him play, and have a nice dinner...all for a mere $300.00. It was a fund-raiser that sold out but was a little steep for me and everyone else I talked to.

A short while ago we learned that Les will be in town for the June 21st opening of the Les Paul interactive exhibit at Discovery World, "Les Paul House of Sound". Today I'm happy to report he will be playing here again, at age 93, and tickets will be much more affordable - starting at $50.00, but won't include dinner. There is, however, the opportunity to view the Discovery World exhibit included in higher level ticket prices.

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drinking and driving

We've all heard it before. Excuses made for serious crimes or accidents. Like having alcohol or drugs in the system somehow explains their actions and lessens the responsibility for them. How about the people causing crashes who blame inattentive driving on adjusting the radio, dropping a cigarette, yakking on the phone or your distraction here

One memorable distraction of my own was 16 years ago when I left work early because I felt nauseous. I ended up throwing up while driving I-94 at 65 mph. Like many distractions, this one came without warning or enough time to pull over. Unlike the latest distraction of the trucker who slammed into the school bus, I was able to stay in my lane and never lost sight of what was in front of me.

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tongue twister


I wonder if the writers at the Journal Sentinel tried to make one of today's headlines sound funny: SHEEP SHEARERS IN SHORT SUPPLY. Strength-sapping, specialized, seasonal skill seeks students by the seashore. Well, OK, I did add "by the seashore" and changed one other word, but try swiftly saying it seven times.

I can save you $500 in gas


The first interested person to contact me in the comment section of this post can have this bike for free. It's a dark blue 12- speed Firenze in almost-new condition with no mechanical problems. I've only owned it three days.

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