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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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ringing in the season


Been thinking about just standing at busy locations smiling and wishing all a Merry Christmas. It would be a great way to meet lots of friendly people I think. And as long as I'm there, I might as well also thank people for their generosity. I love saying hi to nice people. As long as I'm greeting people and thanking them for their generosity I may as well also ring a bell. Besides, I heard Salvation Army could use a little more help this season where the need for their services is greater than ever.

Has anyone done bell ringing before? Advice or suggestions?

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it's hard not to applaud

Carroll, 1) sound of music

Enjoyed Saturday's Christmas at Carroll concert, as I knew I would. Many changes from last year. New faces and pieces, a different program. I again sat in front. Closer to the action. 

One of the most distinguishing features of this concert is that it performs straight through. No intermission. No applause. All Carroll's choirs, wind, brass, handbell and ensembles play one after the other... for the next hour and forty-five minutes. There is a smooth transition, one to the other, and there is a theme: Alleluia!  

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in honor of an old man

St. Vincent, St. William, helping, 6) when I'm feeling sad

 I'm about to lose an old friend. 

If he wasn't out walking the neighborhood or to Christina's or church, Roy's the kind of guy you'd usually find helping out his neighbor, helping at church or volunteering countless hours at the St. Vincent Thrift Store repairing donated items, getting them ready for sale. Very handy with tools, he enjoyed woodworking very much in years past. I've called him for advice with repairs on more than one occasion.

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Happy Santa Claus Day!

What's in your stocking? Probably one of two things: your foot or nothing. Not surprising considering St. Nick's Day isn't even marked on any of our three calendars. You have to be reminded when passing pharmacies, "Don't forget St. Nick's", or "Stop here for your St. Nick stocking stuffers".

Maybe someone, or a group of people, years ago thought Santa Claus didn't get enough recognition for his practice of sharing the wealth with poorer people. Somehow, and Coca-Cola ads didn't hurt, Santa's celebration moved over to join Jesus on December 25th. It probably began innocently enough and was likely a good combination. The birth in a stable of someone who would go on to cure the sick and encourage simple living and acts of charity, combined with someone who was born wealthy but also loved children and did his best to take care of the poor.

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Rudolph is behind bars!

Believe it or not Reindeer Games were being played at Pewaukee's Clark House Museum yesterday. With food, music, Santa, silent auction, museum tours, tree lighting... and of course Rudolph, a good time was had by all.

hint: you won't find it at the mall

let us pray, St. Vincent, St. William, helping, Carroll, 8) my favorite things, 1) sound of music, 7) I simply remember

Been searching for the true meaning of Christmas.

I didn't even want to do Christmas this year because of the expense / economy, but as a family man I found out the hard way that that's not even an option. So we borrowed and went to Walmart. That's going to make some temporarily happy, but what about me? I don't think I'll ever find Christmas at Walmart.

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taking turns with Sally

Dad, helping

If you were one of the many I didn't buy for this year, I hope you appreciate the gift I didn't get you.

I wanted to see the other side of Christmas this year, the one that didn't involve a year-long loan for a few moments of joy. I took two weeks off work to be with the family, but how can you wrap that and put it under the tree? I guess it's what you do with the time that matters. When Christmas is over will they remember the toys or the things we did together?

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I got rhythm... I got ten dollar hugs.


During my second stint volunteering for Salvation Army, positioned outside Martha Merrell's and Cuddles, I discovered learning to play bells is easier than imagined. Just takes practice.

It was interesting to see Downtown Waukesha wake up Christmas Eve morning. My shift started at 9:00 a.m., but because most stores didn't open till 10:00, I started an hour later. Compared to the night before, the weather was great. Mild temps and little wind. The way I dressed, it could've been a lot colder.

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loss of a friend

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

Remembered Lou at the nature center today. Retzer was a great place to remember a great man who had just passed away a week ago, during the winter solstice.  


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a dip in the big sip

I'll be splashing in the cool 38 degree waters of Waukesha's future drinking supply tomorrow. It will seem quite balmy compared to the expected air temps of half that. I'm fortunate to be going with good friends Ken, Kay, Jack and Ben. We're leaving early to get good parking, so we'll have several hours of people watching, playing in snow and celebrating the new year.

I wrote about my first adventure with this in 2008 and hope to have more pictures this time, (have to work harder to keep camera warm, I've learned).

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