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living history

7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things, Carroll, politics, say uncle, UWW

I had no plans for Thursday when I first took it as a vacation day three months ago. I knew the kids were off school and that was enough. Later I learned there were a few things going on at the colleges that day.

We are very fortunate to have great schools close by. They often present their student art, music, lectures, plays and cultural events free, or nearly so, to the public. So on the day when Waukesha's kids were sleeping late, happy to have the break from school, I was planning my day of education.

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Bringing Happy Tails to You!


HAWS' Mobile Adoption Center has had a busy 2009 so far!

Lucky & Lisa greet the Pet Expo crowd.It all started on January 31st with our booth at the Great Lakes Pet Expo at State Fair Park.  This event is usually a great time, but this year it was even better, with a HUGE turnout of animal people.  The Pet Expo is so important because it gives individuals and families the chance to learn more about the various species and breeds - all in one place.  In turn, they are then able to make an educated decision on what is the best pet for their home and lifestyle.  And THAT ultimately means less animals in shelters like ours, looking to be "re-homed."

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full moon at Full Moon


It appears some saggers don't grow up as they grow old, but at least they know where to go to get a belt.

the Police Blotter of today's Freeman: Sunday 12:41 a.m. - An elderly man was reportedly walking near Book Street and East St. Paul Avenue, pushing his walker on his way to the Full Moon and with his pants down around his knees and showing a bare bottom. Police reportedly helped him with his pants and sent him on his way.

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Swearing Off Of Talk Radio

Obama, Politics-National, Talk Radio

I'm very cheerful early in the mornings on weekends.  It drives my wife nuts because she is not a morning person. However on the weekdays, I'm usually dragging and a touch grumpy. I narrowed the reason for the mood changes down to talk radio.  You see, I've been addicted to talk radio for years. Lately there hasn't been much good to talk about. My morning drive brings me up to date with news and commentary on what's going on out there. It explains why my retirement money is about zip and my retirement plans are now don't plan on retiring. But then again, maybe the Stimulus Bill will have a provision for retirees to get bigger social security checks to offset the lack of confidence in the government that has caused everybody's investments to tank out.

I suppose I could switch channels and listen to music. That would be equivalent to switching from my cable news channels to MTV or The Comedy Channel and get my news from John Stewart.

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The Poison Of Percentages


Many years ago I realized the power of percentages. In an early job that I had, people started at different pay levels based on the particular needs at the time rather than some structured pay scale such as unions might command.  Pay raises were usually, actually always, hush hush and we were told not to tell anyone what we got.  We did, however.  When one thinks that they are getting paid unfairly, they will usually exchange what their pay is and what their raise was. It was then that we found that usually a fixed percent was given as a raise. This would mean that anyone making more than another, would get a bigger raise.  At the time the going pay was in the $3 to $4 an hour range and over time the spread between people doing the same work widened. Things such as this are one of the things that make workers begin thinking union.

There was a saying that covered this situation.  It is, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer".  By it's very mathematics, percentages will cause an ever-widening gap between people's finances. To be fair, when there are investments concerned, people can also lose more when they have more.

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Rail Advocates Are Missing The Future Of Transportation

Hot Topics, Politics-National

Eugene Kane wrote a good article about high speed rail in Sunday's paper. I disagree and believe I have a good argument why rail is not best for our future transportation needs and is really a hold on to the days of the buggy whip.

I want to preface this by pointing out that I used to ride the railroad a fair amount in my youth. When the railroad station was at the end of Wisconsin Avenue and the train for Merrillan Wisconsin departed along the lake shore, we could take a city bus from 22nd and Burleigh to the station, but once in Merrillan, we relied on Uncle Richard or Frank to pick us up in their 1952 Chevy or Plymouth (remember Plymouth?) and taxi us to our destination on the farm near Greenwood. No bus out there. Indeed Greyhound buses, the mass transit of rural America, cut out routes in northern Wisconsin several years ago because there was no President Obama to give them a dose of stimulus money to pay for the diesel and come close to making a break even point and certainly not a profit!

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Get "Lucky" at the Shelter - for the 3rd time!


Get "Lucky" at HAWS!We're at it again at HAWS:  this Saturday, March 14th, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. is our 3rd annual adopt-a-thon in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Join us at the shelter on 701 Northview Road in Waukesha and Get "Lucky" at the Shelter...or Spot or Fluffy or Fido!

We have a great time with this event - and welcome our friends, families and partners to join us!

This year's festivities include:

  • Adoption specials - call ahead for information on same-day adoption requirements (262-542-8851)
  • Pot 'o Gold adoption giveaways
  • Microchip I.D.s for your pet for $15
  • Raffle prizes - any pet wearing green will automatically be entered
  • Kids' prizes 
  • Pocket pet, rabbit, cat and dog education
  • Teach your dog a new trick with help from our staff dog behaviorist, Ginny Marchel
  • Have a pet-icure done - or ear and teeth cleaning, for $15 by Portable Pet Groomers 
  • Play canine games with Central Bark Doggy Day Care of Sussex and Lake Country
  • Buy goodies for your best pet friend from Petlicious Dog Bakery and Pet Spa
  • Learn how your pet's nutrition can affect his behavior from Claudeen McAuliffe of Kindness K-9
  • Learn about wildlife from Wildlife in Need
  • Meet a fast friend with Greyhound Pets of America

Food and snacks for humans will be available for purchase, also.

Bring your vaccinated and friendly dog along - on a leash, of course!  All other pets are welcome, also, but please bring them in carriers for their safety and comfort.

We'll see you at HAWS of Waukesha County this Saturday!

By the way - we're celebrating the groundbreaking of our facility expansion on Monday, April 6th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to join us for this historic day!  Please RSVP to 262-542-8851 or

Does Anybody Know What They Are Doing?

Hot Topics, Obama, Politics-National

Today I'm told that some of the bailed out banks actually have been turning a profit.  One has loaned some of that money to Dubai and one has loaned some to a Chinese company.  Billions of dollars, that is.   I thought that we, the USA, were in debt to those countries.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, chairman of the oversight committee says that he voted against the TARP bill, had no idea that these loans were being made and is now investigating them. Yeah Dennis, close the door after the horses fled the barn.

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things I would've blogged about

1) sound of music, Carroll, politics, Tim

 I don't like going this long between posts. Must be a victim of the economy - cutbacks are everywhere. More time spent working, less spent writing. Laying off half the employees doesn't necessarily mean the workload decreases by half.

I've been active, but just too blogged down to write about it. Here's a few things that I didn't write about in the last couple weeks:

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Enjoying the Weather and Forgetting the Woes


Procrastination is my name, Carpe Diem is my game. Oh, that responsibilities never got in the way of enjoying life. Sometime I have to get around to doing our taxes. The way Washington is irresponsibly throwing our money around, it sure doesn't make me feel that paying my taxes is accomplishing any patriotic deed. Unfortunately the IRS doesn't care one way or the other, never mind that you can't get two of their agents to agree on the answer to a question. Oh how I wish Steve Forbes or Mike Huckabee would have advanced further in the primaries than they did.

Well, today, Saturday, was too nice to do taxes or even read my news feeds. Other than reading the newspapers, I picked up Joshua and the dogs so that Mike and his brother in law, Jennifer's brother, could spend some time together and attend some doings at Oconomowoc High School where Jennifer was Vice-Principal. Pat had to work a few hours at her paying job. (being a housewife doesn't pay well).

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The I'ds of March

I'd let our basement situation get out of hand.

I'd heard about an Electronic Scrap Recycling Event at State Fair Park couple weeks ago.

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Ask For Help

Economy, Various Topics

One of the tenets of salesmanship is to know when to stop the pitch and when to ask for the order. Yesterday I saw an variation of that at a local business which I think other businesses might want to consider.

Every business wants to give the impression that it is stable and will be around for the long run. Never does one want to let it be known that things are rough, even though most attempts at cutting costs are soon apparent to customers. Sometimes, it isn't so apparent. Everyone knows that the US automakers are having a tough time of it. Ford at least seems to be holding it's own without looking for help from the government. Other businesses are doing well, making a profit at least, yet the government gives them bailout money. 

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In the Spirit of the Season


Well, we're a little late for Valentine's Day, but we're right on schedule for St. Pat's...

Meet Cupid and McCurdy, two of the many adoptables at HAWS.

Cupid will find her way to your heart!Cupid has a HEART-warming story (gotta be in "love" mode for this one!).  She was at MADACC (the Milwaukee stray facility) and was not claimed.  This young, female pit bull mix was severely underweight, but had such love to give that she was immediately a favorite of their staff.  When we came for our usual visit to bring back adoptables to our shelter, she HAD to come with us.  Now she's put on weight and is a very happy, beautiful girl looking for her forever, true love.  You, perhaps?

Here's her stats:  Cupid likes other dogs, most cats, and is getting to know what kids are all about.  She is still a bit shy and looks to her human for reassurance.  She is not quite a year old and has been spayed.

Irish eyes are smilin' for McCurdy!McCurdy is also a MADACC stray who is now up for adoption at HAWS (he definitely has the luck o' the Irish on his side - as I type this, a lovely lady is viewing him).  Under those springy curls is a poodle/bichon mix, about 2 years old.  He would like to go to a somewhat calmer household - he may like another dog, but he would like to meet that other dog first to make sure they'll be best buds.

If you're looking for a new best friend this spring, stop on over!

By the way - HAWS is open 7 days a week for viewing - starting at 1pm each day.  We have many, many adoptable pets waiting for you - including kittens, cats, dogs and rabbits.  Stop by soon!!

"Jay Walt - You are...Cancer-Free!"

County News, Family, Observations


I just found out what it is like to hold your breath for 3 months or so…and how good that first exhale feels…and the second…and the third…

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How Will YOU Use "Fast" Rail?

Hot Topics, Politics-Local, Public Transportation, Satire

Governor Doyle thinks that he's pulled enough strings to get federal money printed to pay for the whole fast rail system between Madison and Milwaukee. For the money, we get an already obsolete system that is half as fast as the international standard of 220 miles per hour. It won't go much faster than I94 traffic currently does when no police cruisers are in sight.

It is said that it will cut the time between the two cities by 20 minutes. However, that fails to take into account that there will be stops in Brookfield, Oconomowoc and Watertown. Unless those stops are like most drivers do at stop signs, rolling stops, I think they will take up all of that 20 minute savings and then some. It looks like it will go between the station on Saint Paul Avenue (Milwaukee) and a yet to be built terminal at Dane county airport. I imagine the idea is to take the bus to and from the stations to your destination. Hmm, can we get some money to make a spur to OUR bus station on OUR Saint Paul Avenue? Time to get a little payback for having that Obama sticker on your car Mayor Nelson!

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Waukesha kid in Reader's Digest

It's not easy to get into Reader's Digest, but Nick Skerven did. All he had to do for mention in the current edition of the magazine was rehab the boarded up Holler Park Pavilion into a decent handicapped-accessible facility... at age fourteen!

Nick is a good kid doing good things.

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Trouble In Town During The Wee Hours

Drunk Driving, Politics-Local

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Sorry Lord, I consider what I'm about to write about as part of maturing. Wisdom comes with age, though my kids usual think only wrinkles and a receding hairline and gumline come with age.

While I never had a bumper sticker on my car that said, "I closed Wolski's", I did close a teen bar or two in Ixonia back in my day and managed to drive home to Milwaukee with an occasional stop in Waukesha at friend's houses. Sometimes a buddy, Conrad, and I would stop in West Allis. Sometimes at the George Webb on Lincoln and Beloit. Never did we cause trouble anywhere, be it witnessed or not.

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Super Sonic

It’s no longer a big secret any more; Waukesha, Wisconsin is going to get it’s first-ever Sonic Drive-in.

And while discussion continues over whether or not there will be two Sonic Drive-ins in Waukesha, construction at the new location just off Moreland Boulevard is underway.

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Outrage towards our legal system over the Mark Benson case...

Community Happenings, County News, Observations

The traditional news outlets have to "report the facts". The editorials and opinions on subject matters are carried elsewhere in their contents. But what about the human side of some of these stories?

The Mark Benson case demands accountability and outrage. Accountability and outrage towards every person who was involved in seeing his bail recently reduced. That's right - case workers, psychologists, the judge, Benson's lawyer, whoever monitors people out on bail...and his family! Every single one of these people now should be brought to task for either facilitating his release by recommending a lower bail amount, or miserably failing in their responsibility to the Waukesha community by maintaining their silence while Benson amassed an arsenal of prescription drugs, guns, and ammunition. He had more firepower than the Columbine killers... enough prescriptions to readily lose control of his faculties, and a large supply of alcohol - all of which could have contributed to a "perfect storm" of mayhem and more pain for more innocent families.

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wagging the blog

1) sound of music, 7) I simply remember, Dad, let us pray, politics, St. William

Nothing too profound. Just a few thoughts from the last several days.

Father Leonard, parish priest at St. William, was guest speaker at Wednesday's Soup With Substance. The minestrone soup was great, but not as memorable as the stories and anecdotes from Father's youth and 44 years of active ministry. Several hundred people turned out for Father's last Soup With Substance, filling the gym. The talk took on added significance because we will be losing Father to retirement in June. He's done good things for the parish, helping it grow and flourish. We wish him well and will miss him. 

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