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road trip to Illinois

One week ago I commented here that I'd love to take our rented Chevy HHR on a trip before turning it in. The Toyota was done Friday but we haven't picked it up yet. Son and I left with the HHR for Glendale Heights, IL, early Saturday for an open house at UTI, Universal Technical Institute, his probable school after graduation.

The 110 mile trip wasn't too bad. We didn't have an Illinois map and I didn't know where we were going, which made me nervous, but son had a borrowed GPS and hopefully knew how to use it. (We missed just one turn.)

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The Power of the Little White Flag.


		

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"Mid-Term review ..."

Family, Observations

(Note: On September 5th, 2008, I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Tongue Cancer - Stage 4. Following is the 8'th blog on my journey)

Week 4 brought me the very welcome news that my tumor was shrinking. The relief - immediate! And Colleen and I now had something to build on looking forward. And ... I freely admit it - I immediately did countdowns on just about everything related to the illness and cure. How many more chemo IV sessions; how many radiation treatments; how many days for this/weeks for that... How many more plastic bottles of fine, vintage Boost/Ensure to accompany my main courses of pudding or chicken broth??

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Chilling Observations

Hot Topics, Obama, Politics-National

By this time Tuesday I'll know whether to worry or not. Monday's Journal has several things that I must comment on.

Page One, the undecideds. I consider myself very informed on the presidential politics and it really baffles me how anyone can continue to be undecided. Now, I don't know this fine young family and I do remember when Pat and I were that age with a couple small children, we were too busy trying to survive to worry about politics. However, thirty years later there is a wealth of information out there. The only difficulty is sifting through all the snippets, incomplete stories and outright lies. Forget what they say. Look at their records. Oh, some don't have a record? Well, then look at their character and acquaintances. Perhaps look at the money raised by the candidates. Which party has the money? Where does the money come from?

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an honest man

politics

.Abraham Lincoln: President, Emancipator, Martyr

Years from now when my grandkids are regularly electing women or minority presidents, and the occasional minority woman president, I'll remind them that I voted in this historic election.  

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Obama, fix the credit system!

Hot Topics, Obama, Politics-National

I like to read news from England via the BBC news feed. One article is about massive unemployment in China due to the credit crunch.

The time is past for pointing fingers on who is responsible for the recent financial disaster. The question is how fast can it be fixed and fixed fairly. We know about the mortgage mess. I've not seen anything about unsecured credit card problems. Just like too loose of mortgage requirements, people have been bombarded with credit card offers for years. One very unfair tactic that these credit card companies are allowed to do is to change the rules when they desire and it is usually right when it can hurt consumers the most!

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Way To Go Barney!

Obama, Satire

Being a dog lover, I don’t encourage or tolerate biting. That being said, Barney, President Bush’s Black Scottie Terrier nipped at a reporter when the reporter reached down to pet the dog. I’ve heard all sorts of things about the behavior of the dog and the approach of the reporter. Having seen a video of the incident, anybody that knows dogs can see that Barney didn’t want any part of the reporter. Obviously a refection of above average canine intelligence! However, the whole incident is a wonderful ending metaphor for the press relations that the eight years of the Bush administration has had to endure.

 

There is talk of President-elect Obama getting a puppy for his daughters. May I suggest something that reflects how his administration will be. Perhaps something along the breed of, say, a Neapolitan Mastiff?

US Should Bail Out Automakers

Electric Car, Hot Topics, Hybrid, Politics-National

I'm what you could call a GM baby. Dad was an engineer for GM at the old AC Spark Plug turned Delco Electronics plants once in Milwaukee by North and Farwell and then in Oak Creek. As a child I remember Dad bringing home pamphlets. Some I would read, some were of no interest to a child. A child never thinks about it but now that I am a grandfather and my parents have passed on, I realize how well GM took care of their employees. Even after Dad passed away, GM continued to take care of Mom. And this is why GM and Ford are in the trouble that they are in now.  Toyota, Subaru and others never had the long term relationship with employees or benefits negotiated by labor unions. Not strapped with pensions and US automaker level benefits, it was not a level playing field and we as a country have suffered for it while we drive these cars build by foreign owned companies.

GM and Ford did for their employees what the country has voted for the government to do for all. The same can be said of Chrysler though they have been sold twice. Bailing out the automakers is not without precedence! Republican President Nixon in effect bailed out Harley Davidson when he put a tarriff on foreign motorcycles that competed with Harley-Davidson. If not for that, The Motor Company would not be in existance and would be but another ghost of American industry.

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breakdown of Freedom

The Navy's first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS-1), was commissioned in Milwaukee today following the Veteran's Day Parade. Built in Marinette Wisconsin, it is the first ship commissioned in Milw. and the Navy's fastest ship.USS Freedom Littoral Combat ShipUSS Freedom

Littoral ships are designed to defend coastal waters and rivers from mines, submarines and surface attacks. They have turbines instead of propellers and have a relatively shallow draft. The Freedom is unique in that it can be quickly outfitted with different modules, depending on the mission, making it efficiently flexible for multiple tasks.

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unmasking the raccoon

St. William

Today is America Recycles Day so I visited the Waukesha County Materials Recycling Facility to see what was going on at the open house.

A year and a half ago I had my first tour of the facility and enjoyed it so much that I returned for more. Maybe it was because our small group was the last of the day - we weren't feeling rushed - but we asked so many questions that I had to ask yet one more: Has anyone asked more questions than us?  answer: YES! You get a group of 30 cubscouts and there's no end to the questions.

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Not missing it this time

Carroll, UWW

This is concert season in Waukesha when we can look forward to decent, affordable music expertly performed by students of our universities and high schools. Last December I bemoaned missing the annual Christmas at Carroll, the best Christmas concert ever. I'm not going to let that happen again! The concert is Dec. 6th and 7th, so I have plenty of time to get tickets.

A little closer to home, and all free, are UWW's concerts, the first of which is tomorrow, Nov. 17th. The Hand Bell Choir and Brass Ensemble performs tomorrow at 7:30 in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Jazz Ensemble performs in the dining area Wed. the 19th at 7:30, and Symphonic Band, Friday the 21st, in the theatre.

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Leaves Everywhere!

Global Warming, Plowing, Politics-Local, Satire

Tonight the salters came out and I felt the all wheel drive kick in on my Subaru while heading to the Minooka Dog Park. Earlier Kanook and I were at Brookfield's Mitchell Park where the northwestern sky turned dark grey and soon a blizzard of snow pellets lashed down at us. People that I met muttered something about global warming.

Back home, there are still some leaves hanging on to the branches of my maple tree. Saturday I hauled a few trash cans of chopped leaves to the dump where I was chastised for not putting them against the wall. Sorry, I'm not a mind reader and all the leaves in the pile seemed like they would welcome some more.

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Dolly Parton slept here

Dolly Parton slept in our garage!

Monday, while Milwaukee was shoveling out from it's whopping 1" snowstorm, Dolly was performing at the Riverside. Sounds like she put on a pretty good show too. I wonder how many people were late because of the roads. Took me 2 hours to get home Monday.

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Minooka Dogs Get A Water Park

Dog Parks

In the year old Minooka Dog Exercise Area there is a depression called a seasonal pond. This last winter with record amounts of snowfall and spring rains, it filled that area and more. It was in the original dog park drawings to improve the pond and the County Parks workers have been doing just that for the last few weeks as time and weather permitted. Today, Friday, the area was finished in sloping the area towards the pond, seed was laid and a fence put around the area to keep foot traffic out.  The upper portion of the old campgrounds, below and alongside of the restrooms have also been seeded but are not fenced off. Eventually the pond will be permanently fenced off and gated so only people wanting their dogs to splash around will have entry.

Dog owners will have to make a effort to avoid the area as it seems that the dog's curiosity has them finding ways to get into the fenced off area. The first found that they could slide under the plastic mesh fence. Some found a way around the ends of the fence and a large hound just jumped over it a couple times! One Husky owner walked away saying that he was afraid his might learn how to jump a fence. Indeed, my first Husky, Kanuck could jump over a standard height chain link yard fence pretty easy. One small dog wandered around the fence and couldn't find it's way out and became scared. A helping hand raising the fence bottom solved that.

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"The end of chemo...and a new phase"

Family, Observations

 (Note: On September 5th, 2008, I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Tongue Cancer - Stage 4. Following is the 9'th blog on my journey)

First - My apologies. When I pledged to writing this, my commitment was to keep it fairly current without resorting to dragging out the smallest details. It's now about been about 2 1/2 weeks, but that leads me to the newest phase of my experiences - "It's pretty well become all about me."

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It's Almost 11:00AM Again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been told that admitting you have a problem is one of the first steps toward recovery.

So today, here on this very blog, I am going to admit that I have a problem- in hopes that by telling all of you, I will find the courage, strength, and support necessary to overcome my issue.

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if the only prayer you say is "thank you" ...

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

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." Meister Eckhart.

I thought this was an appropriate quote for the day before Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.

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A butterfly causes a tornado...

Politics-National

It has been said that all things are affected by even the slightest action. The flutter of a butterfly in the right place at the right time could be the cause of air currents ending up into a tornado. It is also so, that government meddling with business can have unexpected consequences.

The US automaker leaders were chastised in Washington for flying in on corporate jets. Will the flutter of the lips of politicians cause a sell off of corporate jets so that the correct image, the politically correct image, is portrayed by businesses? Will Washington slap some kind of "excess tax" on corporate jets?

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Warmth of the Christmas Parade

full of hot air

Sunday's weather for the Waukesha Christmas Parade was chilly but not unbearable, if you were dressed for it. A very large, appreciative crowd turned out for it and tossed candy was flowing.

The guy with the whistle who rides inside and outside that huge wheel is always a crowd-pleaser. But the entry that got the most and loudest cheers was none other than my friend, Ken Walter, with WindDancer Balloon Promotions. Ken rode in the wicker basket at the back of his chase vehicle and warmed up the air with 20 foot bursts of propane-fueled flame. The crowd went wild.

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in the red on Black Friday

dripping blood

While many folks were elbowing their way through Black Friday crowds, I went downtown Waukesha for a little peace and quiet. We don't have stores here that sell big screen TVs or the latest toy must-have, so it's no surprise that lines didn't start forming in the Thursday night cold. No surprise that most, if not all, downtown Waukesha stores opened at their regular hours instead of 5:00 a.m.. 

The first place I visited could have used, no, needed more people. I was only the second person visiting in the hour and a half since they had opened at 7:00. The blood drive had been advertised for months, many stores had the notice in their windows. The notice was in the papers, WaukeshaNOW and on a thousand fliers handed out at the Christmas Parade sponsored by the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

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