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.
How would you spend an unexpected vacation? I had off Friday, but ended up doing a double shift anyway . . . bell ringing next to Salvation Army Kettles!
This is the final week of summer and it feels like it. It was very cool, and extremely foggy in spots, early Saturday morning and a chilly rain all day today. I'll take that any day over last year's hot, dry summer though.
Just realized we're in the middle of the 60th Annual Salvation Army Week as proclaimed by President Eisenhower in 1954. I'd like to thank you for your donation last Saturday to the National Letter Carrier "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive which greatly helps Salvation Army's and Waukesha's food pantries, among others.
Earth Day 2013 is starting out pretty nice. It's in the low 40s here this morning.
Little hard to tell when Christmas ended. There were probably many who thought is was over the night of the 25th. Not only is there a song about the 12 days of Christmas, but there are 12 days of Christmas!
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.
HOPE Thanksgiving Dinner has been served, it was last Thursday night, but still there's still some leftovers to digest.
Retzer Nature Center's annual Apple Harvest Festival was last Saturday. I've previously always mentioned it ahead of time to let readers know about it but didn't this year. That's how busy I've been. Fourteen hours of overtime last week with a chance to work Saturday too, but I was previously committed.
Titles are often the hardest part. It doesn't help when the one I want to use is taken. I was going to call this one blogstipation to reflect the two weeks I haven't written but someone had already thought of it first. I've been busy with work and play and regret not blogging more frequently, mainly because now there's almost too much to write about.
I'm not the only one who thinks the annual St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk should be renamed The Roy Thater Memorial Walk for the Poor. Not only was Roy known to put on many miles walking the neighborhoods, to church and Christina's, but there's nothing Roy wouldn't have done for the poor, or for any neighbor for that matter. Roy was a huge inspiration with his dedication to the poor through volunteering at the St. Vincent store and his many years of service to the needy through the St. William conference of St. Vincent.
I got up early Saturday to drive to Madison for theSusan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I was to set up the RE/MAX cold air inflatable, a little advertising for a national sponsor of the race. As long as I drove all that way and had to be there I might as well volunteer my time... and get the free volunteer t-shirt.
|"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?
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.
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.
Had to get out of the house. Took a walk even though the weather was cold and some sidewalks dangerous with ice. Knew something big was going on at St. William so that would be my destination. Maybe take some pictures.
Waukesha's newest winter overflow shelter held it's open house yesterday. It wasn't what I expected. I expected a little tour, maybe some refreshments and an opportunity to talk to someone with the shelter. What I found was a gym set up with cots and lots of neighbors complaining about property values and lack of notice. Not everyone was against a shelter in the neighborhood, but enough barbs were exchanged, enough tension flared.
Took another turn with Salvation Army bell ringing yesterday after my niece called and practically begged to do it with me. Of course I was more than happy to have her and her brother help, again at Pick 'N Save Silvernail. Even though there was snow the traffic was heavier than the day after Thanksgiving. It also helped that we picked a time when more people would be shopping.
I had plenty of practice time on the bells, four hours, but won't come close to the wonderful sounds of bells ringing in the season a week from today at Carroll University's Christmas at Carroll.
Hope everyone had at least as good a Thanksgiving as us. Enjoyed the succulent Butterball we received free from Pick 'N Save by redeeming our Turkey Perks. Family were here to share it with us. It was a good day.
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 had an interesting day Thursday. The fundraising dinner I'm on the committee for had been toward the top of my priority list for the last several weeks after months of meetings. I once again prepared the live auction display ahead of time and felt ready to go. I worked nine hour days this week so I could take the afternoon off Thursday to set up my table.
The twelvth annual HOPE Thanksgiving Dinner and Auction is a week and a half away; the week before Thanksgiving on Thursday the 18th. The dinner will again be held at Country Springs Hotel and is sure to be a fun time.
A camera crew from 12 News showed up at Waukesha's District One poll station at the Elk's Lodge on Springdale at some point in the morning. If you happened to watch, (First District is in the slideshow on their site starting with first photo - I'm pictured in slide 12) it was nothing compared to just a few hours later.
I thought the morning's rain and cooler temps may keep away more than just the wasps. After years of good weather for Retzer's Apple Harvest Festival I wondered if this would be the one time few would show up. Fortunately word has gotten around in the last 24 years of the festival and they came. They came before it officially opened. They came while it was still raining and, long after the parking field was muddy, they came. They brought cloth bags and picked up free recycling bins to carry their fresh apples home in.
My friend Rod was quoted in today's Freeman speaking yesterday at his polling station. It's funny because I said the same thing. I worked the polls 16 hours yesterday. Huge turnout. Nearly 40 percent. The great weather helped, but 40 percent? I had the feeling more people are paying attention and interested in politics.
I saw many familiar faces while manning the WPR booth at Waukesha Art Fest yesterday. I greeted them at the booth or spotted them from a distance. The clouds parted, the sun came out, had as much fun as last year.
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.
It was one of those days where I wouldn't have had time to work even if I wanted to. Fortunately everything went well and nothing was forgotten.
Being unemployed has kept me pretty busy. I helped with two hot air flights yesterday, Friday. The morning flight was the couple's 22nd wedding anniversary. Great timing for a great time. So happy to have shared the occasion with them.
It's been a while, at least it seems that way. I'm still without a computer and write whenever I can borrow one, as long as it's not in the middle of the night. I bought a used one cheap to have as a spare and had to put it into service two weeks later when the mother board or whatever went on the one we've had nothing but trouble with. For a while I was very happy with the used machine. It was at the start of my job search and had all the office programs and a nice printer with it. But it lasted only two weeks and can't be fixed. It was homemade and had no Microsoft license but did have 6 hard drives! It was probably the mother board too, but it just wasn't worth the expense to find out without the license. North American Computer once again took very good care of me even though I'm still computerless.
I don't know why someone would choose opening day of the Brewer game over his job, but a guy from work did just that. He'd purchased the ticket but didn't adhere to the conditions to get the day off. He had a choice to keep his job. He chose the game. What I didn't know is he had to sell his ticket because he needed the money. Ironic.
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.
On the tenth day of Christmas, tomorrow the fourth, somewhere ten lords will be leaping, I'll be going back to work, and Most Rev. Jerome Listecki will be installed as the eleventh Archbishop of Milwaukee. It will be the first time I've worked in two weeks, and the first time in 166 years we've had a Polish archbishop in Milwaukee. Another words, we've never had a Polish archbishop.
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.
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.
Thursday's HOPE Thanksgiving Dinner and Auction at Country Springs went very well. Was well attended. Raised a lot of money for Hope Center, the new name for Cooperating Congregations, and it's various programs, especially the meal program.
I'm fine, but my computer got hijacked. A hand-me-down from wife, she got it back when hers went down... again. It's the second time this year we sent it in under warranty for the hard drive. Hopefully I'll be back blogging soon.
It's often hard to keep the appliances functioning around here with the amount of use some of them get. We have two clothes driers because the one that was too new to toss can still be used for parts. It seems every drier we've owned has eventually squeeked and shrieked. I try to fix it temporarily with lithium grease on the roller axles. It works for a while, but I'd begun checking store bulletin boards and thrift stores for a replacement.
And I thought last weekend was sweet. Just one summer weekend to go and it keeps getting better and better.
It's been three years since the beginning of WaukeshaNOW and this blog. There's still plenty going on to share. The enjoyment I get from writing hasn't receeded, and as long the computer is working, and I still have the time, I'd like to continue.
There's three things I look forward to at 5:00 in the morning, but it's rare I'm given the choice of all three at once.
About three weeks ago I found the perfect pair of boots at Farm & Fleet, but they were out of my size.
My confirmation group and I helped out with a Special Olympics Bowling Tournament at AMF Lanes on Northview Rd. in Waukesha Saturday. I'd never helped with this annual event before but people in our group had. They said what a great time it is and how much fun we'd have. But I really didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was.
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." Meister Eckhart.
The weather was Prima. Thousands of happy people came to Retzer Nature Center to celebrate the apple harvest with a Royal Gala... or a Honey Crisp, Cortland or Molly's Delicious.
I spent 16 hours in a library a week ago and didn't pick up a single book... For you.
I'll be selling apple pie slices from 9:00 to noon next Saturday the 20th at Retzer Nature Center's 22nd Annual Apple Harvest Festival, and you're invited to buy some. Keep me busy.
I blogged about a similar topic in November, but this week's event promised to benefit the earth and fellow man. I was able to catch the last half hour of a pedal-powered concert in Wales on calm Tuesday night. Because the event was affiliated with the MS150 bike tour, it raised both awareness of wasteful energy practices and funds to help battle multiple sclerosis.
I have to compare yesterday's crane count to fishing. Sometimes you don't see any, but the day is never wasted. Plus, a bad day of crane counting is still better than a good day at work.
I share this machine with two teenagers and a cat, so that could explain why I haven't been doing a lot of writing lately. Fortunately, Pepi just stays put where it's warm atop the monitor, or I'd still be waiting. Now that I have the time though, thought I'd talk about what I did last weekend.
Monday I was sworn in as a poll worker. Tuesday I spent 16 hours at Hawthorne School initialling and handing out ballots and helping make sure things ran smoothly at the polling station for Aldermanic District 4. Four of the seven workers, myself included, were first time workers. I think we handled the crowd pretty well.
Dug the cross country skis out to get a better look at the hoarfrost, or whatever it is, that covered every needle and twig today. Had such a good time at Retzer yesterday that I decided to do it again. I covered the same territory and trails as yesterday but had even more fun on skis.
One of my favorite stores is one that everyone in Waukesha should be aware of. Plowshare Gifts, at the corner of Grand Ave. and Main in Downtown Waukesha, is a fair trade gift shop. Everything in the store is made by craftsmen in developing countries. People normally paid pennies for their labor are guaranteed a living wage and access to health care and education through the fair trade program.
It was much easier to criticize the job others did in cleaning up after last week's heavy ice and snow storm than it was to clean it up. I usually keep my mouth shut and if you could see my walk and driveway you'd know why. Most everyone with snowblowers out last weekend were struggling with clogs. Many shovellers, including me, were seen bent by the weight of the normally fluffy snow.
Oddly enough, the shrill beep of the smoke alarm this morning coincided with the start of fire prevention week. All the fire-related events this weekend made me think about the two out of three alarms we have without batteries. I put a used 9 volt in one of them after it tested OK, but it must not have been strong enough and set the alarm off.
There's always something happening at St. William's, my home parish at 440 N. Moreland. Last weekend was the rummage sale. Today we hosted the St. Matthias meal for the needy and tomorrow is blessing of animals in observance of the Feast Day of St. Francis. This Sat. at 6:00 p.m. is wine and cheese and Sunday is a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to noon -- both in the Parish Hall, and both a fundraiser for Cooperating Congregations of Waukesha County's new kitchen.