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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Had to wonder if I was doing the right thing, going to Irish Fest last Sunday morning just to see Different Drums late in the day. It was to be their last performance, I'd been following them for years, but weather was chilly with a cold wind off the lake. I saved myself $17.00 at the gate by bringing in groceries for Hunger Task Force around 10:00, and at least another $10.00 by throwing the bike in the car, parking on a distant street and riding in. But Different Drums of Ireland didn't perform for another eight hours and I was in shorts.
Today would have been Les Paul's 99th. In celebration, Waukesha's Friday Night Live opened the season with GuitarTown III and live music downtown on nine stages. Weather was great and the crowd really enjoyed wandering the streets. I saw at least two businesses with lines out the doors.
I don't know what to be more excited about: Super Bowl today, Olympics later this week or, as of two days ago, the second New Year's celebration in a month.
I was able to spend indoor time this weekend tweaking my plunge video. It's now nearly 50% bigger and 100% better. This new version will be replacing the one I posted New Year's Day on YouTube. Feel free to share.
The new metal-flake green Harley remained housed in the garage as I rode my other Harley in Harley-Davidson's 110th Anniversary Parade Saturday. The weather was perfect and I had a blast! I imagine it would've been even better from the saddle of a Heritage Softail Classic, or most any other Harley for that matter. (The Harley in the garage isn't ours, and my other Harley is a Schwinn!)
I was one of many hundreds enjoying a little 'Grass on the grass last night as the reunion of once popular bluegrass band 'Grass, Food and Lodging entertained us for three hours in front of beautiful and historic Main Hall of Carroll University. Storms were a comin' when I left home, but they thankfully missed Waukesha and left us with cool breezes and cloudy skies. Only two drops of rain fell.
The Walldogs have cleaned their brushes. The Gibson bus has traversed Main one last time and just kept going. Fifteen new ten-foot guitar creations are temporarily put back into storage.
If rain is snowman blood, then many of the thousand or so snowmen, women and monsters added to Waukesha lawns in the last few days are in desperate danger of bleeding out. Last I checked it was 37 and raining.
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.
Summerfest's 45th year is in the history books. Was waiting until today to go when everyone could get in free between noon and three. The weather was great today, finally cooled off and was quite bearable. Never did make it though. Didn't see anyone playing I had to see. There's always another year.
With the day off I finally have a little blog time. With being so busy with work, averaging 10 hour days last week and 8 on Saturday... and with the heat I've been too worn out to write.
Everything seemed so new and different. I don't recall ever visiting the Lakefront Festival of Arts before. I was blown away by the creativity.
How long has it been? Three weeks since last it's rained? Been so dry lately the Fox is very low with sandbars showing in places.
GuitarTown unveiling is this week. I'm still encountering lots of Waukesha citizens who know nothing, or next to nothing, about it even though it's been in the news for months. There's probably not too much that can be done about that now, if they don't follow Waukesha news... Maybe they'll see the sculptures around Downtown in the coming months, but it does reinforce my belief that at least one of the ten foot guitars should be placed closer to one of the main roads bypassing downtown, North Street or St. Paul, to draw interest and for more visibility.
I tagged along for the ride as Waukesha artist Tom Noll said goodbye to the baby he has fed and nurtured these last several months. "The Founder" has kept him awake many late nights, but it was time to turn him loose and trust you've raised him right.
Not much going on to celebrate the Cinco-Sesqui, it's the 150th anniversary of the Mexican Army conquering French in the Battle of Puebla 5/5/1862, but lots going on here anyway.
Ten days to winter's end. Today's weather was a perfect 10. This post is about 10 ten things, and it's been 10 days since my last post.
There's been no shortage of controversy to stir up emotion lately... recalls, street closure, mayoral antics... Interesting Sound Off in Thursday's Freeman. Makes me want to sound off myself.
I added many of my Janboree photos in a short video. I felt the weekend went great thanks to the many sponsors, volunteers, organizers, ice carvers. . . not to mention the cold and snow. Thankfully we had enough snow for sledding and snowshoeing and cold for skating, because everyone was really getting out and enjoying it.
It's hard to not appreciate the mild winter we've been having while out biking or walking the blog. I'm rarely ever ready for snow, so thinking positive and hoping this will stick around a while. It's so much easier to drive in it and shovel it when there isn't any.
Wind wasn't the only thing stiff downtown Saturday as close to 200 zombies ambled and moaned along a 1.62 mile route to benefit HAWS and Waukesha County Food Pantry. It was the second annual Waukesha Zombie Walk and the first time I'd seen it. It was fun for everyone, thanks in large part to dry and not too cold weather. I may have to join them next year.
Sue Baker's letter to the Freeman after Les' memorial dedication reminded me that there is a really great website for the Les Paul Foundation on which she serves. My first thought was "hey, the Les Paul Google Doodle is still available," and I started playing with that. In preparation for this post I took another look at the site and "hey, the entire dedication is on video!" If you have any interest at all you should take a peek.
What a pleasure it is to visit Milwaukee's lakefront on a beautiful August morning for the largest outdoor mass in America followed by a day enjoying America's largest Irish music and culture festival.
I had 112 decibels of pride for my son's graduation. Sorry if you temporarily lost your hearing.
Extremely busy yesterday. Worked overtime but managed to get home for the speech. Glad I did. I got a lot out of it and agreed with most of it. It was well thought out and delivered. It was good to see our Republican and Democratic Representatives sitting together for once, and good use in the speech of the occasion. The speech was motivational. It layed down what had to be done if we wanted to be competitive in the new world marketplace, and what we had to do to keep our heads above water.
Nine hot air balloons got together for a Sunday afternoon of winter flight before the Packer playoff game. Enjoyed a little tailgate chili and met up with friends I hadn't seen in months. It was a very good day.
I thought it was a little crazy to see a lawn mower yesterday when the temperatures were in the 50s. That doesn't compare to the crazy thing I did today when water temps were in the thirties, air temps in 20s and a 30 mile an hour wind with a one degree wind chill.
5 kids hurt when school bus goes airborne. The article in today's Journal Sentinel sounded like it came straight from a video game: "... hit the ice... swerved off the road ... continued into a ditch ... hit a driveway, went airborne for about 80 feet and skidded to a stop.
The ribbon was cut for Waukesha's newest mural Saturday. The second mural added to downtown this year was completed just in time for winter and debuted during snow flurries. Artist Adam Nilson of Nilson Studio painted the illusionary mural and wielded the scissors to cut the ribbon. Mayor Scrima was there to say a few words as were George and Rachel Wang, Barry Jaeger and Rich Cseri of Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge.
In case you missed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Congratulations to North's Julie Mullen for being awarded the Bob Hope scholarship award and North's Marching Band for the matching $5000.00 amount. I know that money will go a long way.
The weather was great for Waukesha's 48th annual Christmas Parade. As a matter of fact everything was great. It was well worth missing a Packer / Viking game. It was only yesterday I signed up to wear a costume in the parade. Good thing too, may have chickened out if I had too much time to think it over.
I visited our potential future dog yesterday. I thought we'd wait until our financial stability improved, but it's been too quiet around here. The family really wants a dog for Christmas.
We've had a week to console ourselves over the loss of our pet. Thanks to all that emailed and comforted us. He was but a poor dog, but he was one of God's creatures and a member of our family.
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 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.
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'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.
If you were bored, then I really feel sorry for you. Seems the only things not going on this last weekend were an Art Crawl and the County Fair. Even the weather was interesting.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping a friend set up her first ever gallery exhibit. Ryan Peters' Clinton Street Gallery on Waukesha's Main Street is in a prime spot.
I joined the Friends of Vernon Marsh and the DNR for a nice canoe trip down the Fox River through the marsh today. From 10:00 in the morning till 1:00 this afternoon we enjoyed overcast yet cool, dry and calm weather for this first river outing of the Friends group. The DNR provided seaworthy matching canoes and a way for us to get back to our vehicles. Saw or heard a few of the more common birds, and some not so common ones. Saw snowy egrets, yellow-headed blackbirds and a cormorant, among others.
Down by the riverside the Memorial Day services were as good as ever. A good crowd turned out after a raincloud had passed through earlier in the morning.
It's not that I don't love each one of you, it's just that I wouldn't come right out and say it like this. By using quotation marks in the title I'm able to avoid any emotional connection.
Once again the entertainment was spectacular at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center's Milwaukee Irish Parade Afterparty. For one thin dollar I was treated to some of the best Irish entertainment this side of the Mississippi. Have yet to see the parade though, billed as the largest parade of any kind in the state and the first Irish parade to be held outside the original 13 colonies. The parade was started in 1843, before even Milwaukee was a city and Wisconsin a state.
The name of one of the many great bands at JanBoree Jam said it all. I loved i Had Fun, but Colour, On My Way and Lifeline Called Comet all earned my applause. High Five Heroes earned more than a high five... I ordered one of their soon to be released CDs. Nine bands for eight bucks? What a deal! I really can't say enough about the talent and energy we experienced at North H.S. Saturday night.
I love hot dogs, both eating and watching. The Journal Sentinel pointed out a couple good examples within the last few days.
Managed to catch a portion of the CNN Heros of the Year rebroadcast last night. It's an excellent way to highlight and honor ordinary people doing extraordinary things for others and for good. Carrie Underwood sang an amazing version of her song Change. It's like the song was written for the occasion. She did such a great job that I'd like to share it with you.