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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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Spruce'n Up the Yard

Carroll, 8) my favorite things, Frame Park, politics

Thought I'd do a little biking before groceries Saturday. I'd just read about a short ride through Waukesha with the president of Carroll U, his wife, Mayor Scrima and others for a Ride with the President. They were pedalling through the historic McCall Street area, a side of town I don't get to nearly enough, to raise awareness and encourage use of alternative transportation. I didn't leave early enough.

I fought Saturday's strong wind most of the way to Carroll and was told they "just left" a little while ago. Fortunately I picked up a map of the route, I used it for short cuts to see if I could catch up to them. Thought I may have finally found the group at Frame Park, but the large group gathering near the Rotary Building was just the Pewaukee River Run finish line. (If it was windy for bicyclists it was even worse for canoes and kayaks.) The annual River Run, a major fund raiser of the Pewaukee Kiwanis, benefitting Pewaukee, is in it's 38th year. 

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Time to Celebrate


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When will the new St. Vincent store on Sunset finally open?

St. Vincent

The new St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

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"Spit in your shoe."

Clinton Street Gallery, Frame Park, helping, Moxie, politics, Retzer, St. Vincent, St. William, Waukesha Food Pantry, Waukesha Tattoo

It was Mom's answer to "What can I do" when I was a young lad. I often asked the question when no brothers were around to play with. I thought she was a little strange. It shut me up. Didn't realize until years later she was just messing with me by rhyming.

If you enjoy shopping for good bargains on gently used clothes and other items there's plenty of opportunity: Besides the opening of the new St. Vincent thrift store Saturday, the St. William Spring Rummage Sale will be concluding with a $4.00 fill a bag sale.

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Just when you thought it was safe to travel Waukesha streets

A neighbor, who also happens to work where I do, mentioned a couple weeks ago she had two close calls in two days on the same street, Arcadian. Monday she was involved in an accident. Can you guess where? Car pulled out of Aldi's without seeing the huge boat of a car my neighbor was driving.

I got home late last night after work and groceries. It was 9:00 by the time I walked in the door to find no one home but a lonely Bailey. Maybe they were out shopping? 

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Where to begin?

art, helping, St. Vincent, Waukesha Food Pantry

So much to blog about don't know where to start. Such a busy Saturday I had to write it down to keep track. Waukesha Farmers' Market opened at 8:00 and the bank at 8:30. Grand opening of the new St. Vincent store on Sunset at 9:00 and the Waukesha County Food Pantry where I was helping opens at 9:30. Worked till 11:30 at the Pantry and a birthday party for my young niece and nephew was at noon. Art Crawl started at 4:00 but I had time for a nap before heading down around 7:00.

Even though fresh produce wasn't in abundance, vendors were out in force for the market's opening. Plenty of canned goods, meat, plants, handmade jewelry, artwork, bakery and things. When the growing season gets going we'll see about 20 additional vendors beyond who was there last year. New stall space has been added to the back side of the former transit center closer to the river. It'll be a challenge to attract shoppers back there in it's first year, but good chance people will find welcoming shelter beneath the roof the first hot or wet morning we get.  The Farmers' Market is open every Saturday 8:00 to noon now through October.

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free concert tonight


The Windy Hill Handbells and UW-Waukesha Concert Choir will be performing tonight, Monday, at 7:30 in the Lunt Fontanne Theatre. It's the last concert before classes end for the summer. Should be good.

sour grapes?

We've known about this 30 year old wild grape vine for a while. It just looks different before it leafs out. At 200 or so feet end to end have to wonder if it's some kind of record.

you don't have to walk to crawl

Waukesha Tattoo, Clinton Street Gallery, art

The Mother of All Art Crawls seemed a huge success. I took advantage of free structure parking because all the street parking was taken. I stopped in by a couple of my favorite galleries to see the new art and meet new artists. I even left my mark at Clinton Street Gallery on Main: a blank white wall was free for all to use in any way they saw fit. Markers were provided.     

The first thing that caught my eye downtown were the new flag banners marking each stop on the crawl. Mainly white, and probably 10 feet or so tall, they can be seen from over a block away. The person who made them told us just one had tipped over in the breeze. The flags definitely catch the eye and make it more convenient for crawlers. They're especially useful in attracting attention to the galleries and studios off the beaten path.

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station 2 in the news

Groundbreaking for relocating Fire station 2 was yesterday. I missed it even though I was right next door. I work at ODW Logistics on Pearl Street, the business bordering the station on the east. We'll be the safest place in Waukesha!

Also in the news is a mysterious death Sunday. A woman drove a man who had no pulse to Fire Station 2 and left him there. She must have been in a hurry to leave, saying she had to take care of kids, that it sounds like she didn't even give her name before hightailing it out of there. 

going postal

Salvation Army, Waukesha Food Pantry, helping

"Going postal" is a pejorative term. What does it really mean?

    All of the these (Checking to see if an elderly customer is ok., Collecting food for the needy., Paying postage due out of pocket to avoid a late charge on someone's bill.). The term "going postal" gained notoriety in the 1980s and 1990s, when some postal workers committed homicide inside the post office. The term has bad connotations, and postal workers are sick and tired of these connotations. The real meaning of "going postal" is going above and beyond what postal workers normally do. Why not thank them for the good deeds they do day in and day out?

I'd first thought I'd be helping the Waukesha Food Pantry when I signed up to volunteer for this year's National Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive via the Salvation Army website. I'm on the Salvation Army email list, and the site is a breeze to use for volunteering. I even mentioned to Judy at the Pantry that I'd already signed up. I soon realized, however, that I'd instead be helping the Salvation Army. It's all good though, because the food is distributed to the same less fortunate people, the Pantry and Salvation Army work well together, and I enjoy volunteering with both.

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Don't fear the IRS

The International Ride of Silence is Wednesday the 18th. It's the second time Waukesha has been involved in this bike ride in memory of those killed or injured while riding. Started in 2003, the event raises awareness of bicycles and riders the same time and day world wide. 

I was among the large group of riders last year. They again leave from the State Bank parking lot around 7:00 p.m. You know it's supposed to be silent, but last year it was eerily quiet - the only sound coming from shifting derailleurs and the click of clip-less pedals. If anyone saw the group coming toward them their question of where were we going was met with shrugs.

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National Bike Month

Ride of Silence

Overcast and threatening, but the rain held off the the annual bike ride to raise safety awareness and remember those killed while biking; the Ride of Silence. There was a goodly amount of riders, most wearing bright shirts to commemorate the ride and for the visibility. Once again, even though it was required for this ride, I was the only one without a helmet. Don't own one. Never have.

We're not racing. Escorted by police, the ride through Waukesha is another good reason to get out and on a bike. Riding through neighborhoods you normally wouldn't see, I took pleasure in the nice homes and yards along the way. Spring is blooming and there's much to see by bike. Baseball is in season and we rode past many games at Saratoga and Buchner.

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the job's not over until the paperwork is finished


The recount is over! Waukesha County finished it's recount Wednesday and sent all the volunteer tabulators home. All that's left is another day or two to reconcile the numbers.

I left work early yesterday because it was slow for once. Courthouse is on my way, so stopped to see the new cafeteria recount setup. Every time I get to the courthouse there's little going on in the recount. After work they're usually done counting for the day and just going over the paperwork. Even though the count is over, this being the last time I'd stop by, there was something going on.

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My son's black Harley 1200 Sportster won't be back. Fortunately our son will. He goes back to work today after a several month break.

He bought the bike the day I lost my job. He looked and researched a long time. Finally found the right one at a decent price. I'm glad he took my advice and bought the bigger, used bike for little more than the price of the new 883. Having once owned an 883 myself, I thought the 1200 would have a higher resale value. After all, the only real difference between new and used is the riding of a new bike off the lot. Also, I wasn't totally won over by my 883 and I hoped the 1200 would be different.

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How Do You Thank Someone?

I chuckled when I heard Mayor Scrima say Duane Stein put Waukesha on the map. I caught myself because no one else was laughing. What I first thought was a joke probably couldn't be truer. As the Waukesha West Academic Decathlon coach who brought students to Nationals ten years in a row, winning in 2002 as the first Division II school to do so, he proved to the country we take our students and education very seriously.

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Breaking Ground

diggin' dirt

Ground was broken Saturday for the first home to occupy the land where the YWCA once stood on West Ave. It's nice to see something good happening with the land; nice to see a family of seven finally getting a home to call their own. It's great that the house, a two-family, will be built mainly with donated supplies and volunteer labor through Habitat for Humanity. It's a great location for a family - just down the street from Bethesda Park and very close to Central Middle, the library and downtown.

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Northstar Spangled Banner


Stars were out Monday night. Thanks to WaukeshaPatch for bringing this to my attention.

Poor souls nobody visits on Memorial Day

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

Waukesha County Northview Cemetery is surprisingly well-maintained for an out of the way, inactive and little-visited final resting place. Bordered by the fairgrounds on the east and the County Highway Department on the west, it's the closest cemetery to my home. I likely was the only one to visit on Memorial Day.

A scenic path through the woods leads from the current huber facility on Northview Rd. to the cemetery. Mowed but not paved, the path is ideal for biking or walking.  

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Warming up to the Parade

full of hot air

You can't blame us for the warm temperatures along the parade route in Cambridge, WI; at least not all of it.

Was invited to drive the hot air van in Monday's parade, and loved it. It's a first for me driving in a parade, and it doesn't hurt that our entry ranks right up there with tossed candy for the kids in popularity.

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