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Executive Pay Starts In Waukesha

Economy, Hot Topics, Motorcycle, Politics-National

I suspect that even the most conservative of us get a bit envious and bewildered when we read about big pay and bonuses for executives when business is dropping for a company.

Locally, Harley Davidson, a Waukesha county business, had it's 2008 income drop 30%, it's stock price fall 62% yet president and CEO James Ziemer received a 12% boost in salary and a 26% jump in total compensation. We're talking over $1,000,000 more money for running a local company that is going downhill with the rest of the economy. How can this be?

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good advice

I've received a lot of advice within the last year or so. Among the best, right up there with "don't quit your day job," was a little piece of wisdom from Dr. Jean McDonald. The good doctor from Cream City Kitty Clinic told me "one for each cat, plus one." Quite simply she meant if you have one cat, you should have two cat boxes. Two cats, three boxes, etc. Good advice for us because, lately, no matter what we did; switch litters, clean out daily, get the cat checked, one of our cats would have an "accident" outside the box several times a week. I'd inevitably discover the puddle in the morning when I was running late for work. The smell and the mess made me rethink even wanting to have cats at all.

Doctor McDonald told me that cats are very sensitive to smell and even a "multicat" litter isn't the best - the stronger scent turns off the cat. We didn't get two more boxes for our two cats, but we did add one more box and the problem immediately stopped. One simple word of advice has saved us so many headaches!

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The Stimuli Plan needs some tweaking...

County News, Observations

First - Regardless of political beliefs and persuasions - I really want our Government to succeed in turning this economy around. This is one of those moments in history where solidarity is critical, and it should take precedence over Party loyalties. But my patience has been tried...and it hurts, and it goes to the core of the various elements of the Stimulus Plan.

Federal money is given to some industries and sectors...but not others. Some of this money is given without strings attached while other government investments empower them to create retro-taxes (on bonuses which should never have occurred in the first place) as well as firing CEO's. A Trillion Dollars has been invested/gambled in just a few months on the future success of these government plans, and more initiatives are seemingly announced weekly. (Hopefully there are adequate accountability and monitoring resources allocated to ensure the money is used as intended...)    

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Just south of the corner of Sunset and West Avenue sits a McDonalds restaurant that, let’s face it, dates itself in design and function.

However, at Wednesday night’s Waukesha Plan Commission Meeting, final plans were approved for a new McDonalds at this location.

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looking for Easter

8) my favorite things, let us pray, Retzer, St. William

If you're looking for Easter around the neighborhood, chances are you're not going to find decorated Easter trees or lights around the eaves. We've been lucky, so far, in avoiding the overcommercialization of a more important church holiday than Christmas. This is one celebration still looked forward to and anticipated, not dreaded.

At St. William's last evening two men, Joe and Dan, were baptized in the beautiful new baptismal pool. The warm water wasn't deep enough for full immersion, but they at least got wet.     .

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blooming bra bushes

Walking the blog this morning while the coffee brewed. Very quiet on Easter Sunday at 7:00. No Easter decorations to speak of, though one neighbor was clearly celebrating a birthday this weekend.


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New Harley Davidson CEO


No sooner do I point out some pay issues with Harley Davidson's CEO, he gets embarrassed over it and resigns. Power of the blog. Yeah!

No, I'm not that delusional. I do want to comment on the new CEO, Keith Wandell, who hails from Johnson Controls. You see, Johnson Controls is both a customer of mine as we are of them. They are a local company that makes furnace and boiler controls and has branched out into the automotive field and also bought a large heating and cooling manufacturer in York Pennsylvania which is coincidentally where the bulk of the Harley Davidsons are made.

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An Ode to The Dumpster


Every morning I wake,

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almost heaven

8) my favorite things, counting cranes, full of hot air, helping, Retzer

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.

Like most people, I look forward to being asleep at 5:00 a.m., but of course it's the first thing to go when better things call.

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Using long-neglected gift cards...

Community Happenings, County News, Observations

My wife and I are have been going through our "Gift Card Envelopes" more frequently these days. Let me explain why....

Between Holidays, Birthdays, raffles, and a host of other events we have accumulated a large cache of gift cards. It seems that our friends and family have run out of ideas for a middle-aged couple. Typical lines (excuses) are related to "I didn't know what to get you - you have almost everything!" These cards/certificates include overnight stays in Bed & Breakfasts; Spa Certificates; restaurant cards ranging from in value from $10 to $100; retailer gift cards; and others. Some are new and many older.

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Economy, Hot Topics, Politics-National

Something very unusual happened April 15th.  People gathered to protest something who normally never find the time to protest anything. Much has been said about the TEA parties across the country. Among many, both pro and con, are a few that stick in my mind. One is, "Obama won the election. Get over it!" Hmm, seems like people have said that to some all the years that George Bush was in office. Whether these statements are regarding the legitimacy of the past or current presidency, the subject of the TEA parties is about spending and the taxes to pay for that spending.

This leads me to another slogan. "Taxation without representation is Tyranny!" To that some say, "Those in power have been legally elected so like it or not, you are being represented." 

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up the crick without a boat

2) raindrops on roses, 8) my favorite things, Retzer

The literature for Waukesha County Park System's 39th Earth Week initial event was pretty specific: Participants must provide their own canoe. Problem was, I still didn't have a seaworthy craft. The last time I was in one was the day I totalled it last year.

When I tried to rent a canoe I was told the season didn't start until May. I signed up for the trip anyway and hoped for the best. One of the Retzer naturalists thought I might share her two person kayak, but I had to let her know. With the calls made and messages left surely she knew I needed her help, but with no direct contact to confirm it I drove 18 miles to Monches not knowing if she got the message. She didn't. Brought only a one-person kayak.

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can't fight City Hall?


If you've received your 2009 Notice of Assessment and plan on fighting it... good luck. How many people have the time and resources to get an appraisal, do a market analysis, get repair estimates, compare recent sales of similar properties?

I suppose if it was easy to get the assessment lowered, everyone would do it. The first hoop I had to jump through to learn more about our assessment; the webpage listed on the reassessment, does not exist. It just reinforces what I've been thinking. Property value goes up in a recession? Doesn't happen.

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a softie for StoryCorps

I was in tears after my little drive to work today. Seventy miles a day on the freeway is a stress I wish I didn't have to endure, but that isn't why I was in tears. I was listening to a segment of StoryCorps on public radio that had all the right elements to be a tearjerker. A father was telling his son about the barber who saved his life by catching him from a five story fall when he was three. Listening to it again after work brought more tears to my eyes. It passes the two hankie test.

A Toddler, An Open Window And An Amazing Catch

DMV 1.2.3.

In December I wrote about my nice visit to the DMV on West Ave. Quick and friendly. Went back again this week. Same deal. Apparently I'm not the only one. Ted Perry of Fox6 News spoke about his pleasant visit in Thursday's, (4/23) Ted's Take.


Best of Ted's Take - WITI

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stealing our thunder

Should've heeded the thunder... Takin' the Blog for a Walk became Takin' the Blog for a Run today. All we wanted was to do a little worm hunting, but even the worms weren't venturing out. Made it a block and a half before realizing we weren't going to make it all the way to Summit View to fish for worms.  

Fish weren't the only ones getting wet this weekend. Drove all the way to Mukwonago in pouring rain for Nick's first track meet. Cancelled. I feel bad for him. Not because of the meet, but because he broke his favored PSP. He dropped a discus on it after he brought three home to wash them. Probably didn't realize how slippery they were once the layers of dirt are removed.

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Free Head & Neck Cancer Screening - Tuesday, April 28'th at Froedtert

Community, Community Happenings, Observations

 April 27'th through May 3'rd 2009 is National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

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half price rummage

St. William

I'd like to point out the St. William Spring Rummage Sale this week. As usual, the items fill the gym and spill out into the entryway. It's a good place to find things you didn't know you needed at prices you wouldn't think you'd see.

For best selection stop Thursday 4/30 between 8:00 and 6:00. Stop Friday and Saturday for best price: Friday, 8:00 to 6:00, everything is half price. Saturday is $4.00 a bag day, 8:00 to 3:00.

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tornado season

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the only tornado I ever saw in person. Centered around Genesee and Delafield, I could see it from my Town of Pewaukee home while out in the garden.

The tornado killed one and injured nine. The woman killed, Loretta Stubbe, was the mother of my nephew's Godfather. She lived in a trailer home on Hwy. 18 at Brandybrook Road with her husband. Their home was destroyed. I saw the tornado from my home on Hwy. 18 . . . six miles away.

Dog Park Update

Dog Parks

Enjoying the Minooka Country Park Dog Exercise Area is as easy as buying either a daily pass or a yearly car sticker and bringing your dog out for a great time. To say that it is a success would be an understatement. Most afternoons on the weekend and many nice evenings the parking lot is filled beyond capacity.

The dog park is now eighteen months old and many of the worries of some people have been proven unfounded. Canine disagreements are seldom and often due to dog owners not recognizing body language and how other dogs will respond to seemingly innocent acts of submission. Yes, a submissive dog can be the instigator of trouble!

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