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June 1-June 5, 2010

06/01/10- 06/10/10

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Waukesha Steak 'n Shake closed

Steak 'n Shake

The Steak 'n Shake restaurant on Kossow Road in Waukesha closed Friday after just a few years in operation. The area's only other Steak 'n Shake, on N. 124th St. in Wauwatosa, remains open.

The Waukesha location was the second franchise unit for Joe Denis, who operated both locations. The Wauwatosa restaurant, next to Lowe's Home Improvement center, opened in 2007.

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Shrek Forever After: Read the Fine Print

Waukesha, Movie, Film, Critic, Blog

Shrek Forever After is a sequel to the highly successful Dreamworks Shrek series. The first three movies built on Shrek the ogre's rise to power from anonymity after saving Princess Fiona. Shrek is in line to become king of the kingdom named "Far Far Away" after Fiona's father dies. He later passes the kingdom on to a rightful heir of the king and spends his time living blissfully in his swamp with his wife and children. But the ravages of middle age bring on an unbearable level of monotony for Shrek as Shrek Forever After begins. Shrek grows weary of the pedantic life he thought he wanted and pines for the days when he was feared by the people of the kingdom. He longs for the "freedom" of not having a wife or children. This longing leads him to a chance encounter with Rumpelstiltskin, who promises him the freedom and ferocity of his youth for one day if he will only exchange one day of his own life. Shrek happily signs the agreement without reading the fine print.

His life is magically transformed into his youthful self, replete with terrified townspeople and utter freedom. While he relishes the return of days gone by, Shrek fails to realize that Rumpelstiltskin chooses Shrek's day of birth as the day of exchange. Since Shrek then has no day of birth, the day to which he has chosen to return will be his last. Through a chance meeting with Donkey, who has no knowledge of their friendship, Shrek becomes aware of the exit clause in his contract: if he kisses his one true love, the contract is voided. Unfortunately his one true love, Fiona, has no idea of who he is either. Instead she has grown to a position of leadership in an ogre resistance which has designs on taking Rumpelstiltskin down. Shrek joins the resistance as a foil for trying to get a kiss from Fiona and end the debacle, but even that solution is more complicated than he realizes.

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ain't gonna study war no more

1) sound of music, 2) raindrops on roses, 6) when I'm feeling sad, 7) I simply remember, let us pray, YouTube

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. 

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High Speed Rail Doesn't Fix Roads

Economy, Development and Growth, Hot Topics, Motorcycle, Politics-Local, Politics-National, Public Transportation

It’s amazing how news goes from hot to cold. Heard much about high speed rail lately?

I’ve been doing a lot of motorcycling lately. I bought a new motorcycle that is more fun to ride than my Honda GoldWing and gets around 10 mpg better. But that is another story. The tie-in to high-speed rail is much. After all, people have to get to the railroad station, right?

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Friday night in Waukesha

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, Freeman

 Last Friday was great, but last night was even better.

A week ago we took the RE/MAX balloon to Burlington for a windy flight late in the day. Trust me, the chase was exciting. Ken did manage to fly right over the Chocolate Festival but, getting late and still quite windy, he needed someone on the ground when he came down. Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the tracks when a freight train ran through town! Fortunately everything did work out, so we packed up and made it back to the local realtor's party before the fireworks started.

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thunder bay

I was fishing by Pewaukee Lake yesterday when lightning struck across the way. The crack of thunder echoed loudly around the lake with no buildings or trees to absorb it. Someone behind me exclaimed "thunder bay", so I'm borrowing it because it makes a good blog title.

I spent both days trying to catch something from Pewaukee Lake. It was free fishing weekend for those too cheap or unemployed to get a license. I had a can of crawlers I dug from the garden and a huge box of lures, but still couldn't catch a darn thing in two days. The water was weedy but everyone but me, it seemed, were at least catching panfish.

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Chinese Electric Car To The Rescue

Various Topics, Electric Car, Economy

It was a coincidence that I was reading about Billionaire Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway investing in a Chinese battery maker turned automobile maker, known as BYD on the Chinese stock market ticker. This company makes batteries for many cell phones that we use and also has become China's largest automaker. They are making an electric car that is similar to the Chevrolet Volt in that it too runs on electricity and when the batteries drain out, a small gasoline engine generates the power to continue driving.

It is interesting that Buffett wanted to buy 25% of the business but the owner would only allow 10%. Needless to say, Buffett wants these cars in America!

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What's Happening: Jun 8 to Jun 14

Caregivers Chat

Interfaith Senior Programs & Your Caregivers Connection, Becky Homan of The Interfaith
Senior Programs of Waukesha. The Caring Place, Waukesha; 4pm-5:30pm; 262-542-6388 or 262-928-2314;

Waterfront Wednesday Concert- The Danny Miller Band

This free musical series is held weather permitting. Join each week for a variety to music. Pewaukee Lakefront; 6-9:00pm; 262-695-9735;

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Don't Get 'Em To "The Greek"

Get Him to the Greek is the latest film from Apatow productions, the folks who brought you Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express. If you've seen either of those films then you know what to expect from Apatow. This film reunites Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, both of whom starred in Sarah Marshall. Brand plays a very similar character in Greek, Aldous Snow, the partying rock star who answers to no one and doesn't care whom his actions affect. Snow also has a softer side. He lives with his mother and becomes very insecure when someone offers an honest critique of his music. Hill plays a very different character in this film, portraying Aaron Greenburg, a recording company agent who is charged with the duty of reviving the company's flagging sales by bringing the has-been rocker Snow from England to a show at the Greek Theatre in LA for a concert that may revive his career and the company's numbers.

Greenburg's task is complicated by the fact that Snow abuses both alcohol and drugs constantly as a way of soothing his pain over the loss of his ex-wife Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), whom he still loves. Greenburg is also at a crucial point in his long term relationship with his girlfriend Daphne Binks (Elizabeth Moss), who has just been offered a job in Seattle. The tension between Aaron's love for Daphne and his reticence to move out of state is heightened as he engages to some extent in Snow's partying lifestyle as a way of getting Snow to go along with the program. His efforts are also complicated by the meddling of his demanding boss, Sergio Roma (P.Diddy), who constantly and openly tries to manipulate Aaron into thinking that Snow's debauchery is his resonsibility.

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Tick...Tick...Tick...The new Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima could be a time bomb!

Community, Observations, County News

Let me start with, I heartily endorsed past Mayor Larry Nelson for a variety of reasons

My follow-up is - regardless of which individual is Mayor, I want them to succeed mightily. Waukesha needs strong, focused, Community leadership to continue moving forward.

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10 to 1, had some fun

YouTube, Retzer, counting cranes, 8) my favorite things

 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.

We learned about the management of the marsh. There are separate flowages separated by dikes. Drawdowns and northern pike, as well as "carp catchers" help keep the undesirable fish from preservation areas. Huge snapping turtles sometimes get caught in the carp catchers and have to be freed. There are several ways to control cattails: burning after a water drawdown, or spraying with chemicals from a helicopter. There were DNR representatives out on the marsh at 5:30 this morning counting and recording birds for conservation purposes. . .

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The Karate Kid: Gets Back Up Again

Waukesha, movie, film, review, wisconsin, Karate, Kung Fu, Critic

When the trailer for the latest incarnation of The Karate Kid started appearing in the media, it struck me as a cliched version of the original movie starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. Because Macchio was closer to my age I could really identify with his struggle for acceptance and his reliance on self discipline to help him overcome the obstacles in his life. The newer version didn't seem anything like that from the trailers. I figured it would be hard to identify with a middle schooler moving to China (how many people do you know who have been transferred to China?) as opposed to identifying with Macchio moving to the west coast. The casting of Jackie Chan as the boy's instructor also seemed like a cliche, whereas Morita was not a type cast Kung Fu actor. It sounded like the equivalent of casting Bruce Lee in Morita's role.

On all accounts this movie proved my suspicions to be misplaced. The movie followed the plot of the original very closely: only son of single mom gets bullied by martial arts students after moving to a new town; Boy befriends aging Asian man who still grieves for his dead wife; Asian man saves the boy from a fight and agrees to teach him martial arts; Asian man enters boy into a tournament in which he must face the bullies, who happen to be students of a rogue instructor with no respct for the rules; boy falls in love with a girl who supports him through this process;  boy does miraculously well in the tournament despite dirty tricks by the rogue instructor's students. It even ends with a kick the boy has never tried before.  All those plot twists and more are the same.

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The A-Team: They Brought Their B+ Game

Blog, Critic, film, movie, Oscars Movie Waukesha Marquette, review, Waukesha, wisconsin, A-Team

The A-Team is a movie version of a cheesy TV series from the 1980's that honestly did almost nothing for the quality of American entertainment than to raise the profile of Mr. T and give Rocky an opponent worthy of another sequel. Choosing to make this series into a feature film was a real risk for that reason. But the producers made some excellent choices in terms of casting, script and cinematography which raised the entertainment value of this film far above that of the series. Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) leads a truly ragtag team on an mission which was only authorized by his commander, General Morrison (Gerald Rainey) and CIA agent Lynch (Patrick Wilson), despite being ordered not to undertake the mission by Capt. Charisa Sosa (Jessica Biel), a former girlfriend of one of his team members, "Face" Peck (Bradley Cooper). He gathers the other two members of his team, B.A. Baracus (Quentin Jackson), and Murdock (Sharlto Copley), and successfully thwarts a counterfeiting operation in Baghdad. They return to find that a military contractor has murdered their commander and colluded with some unknown entity to take the printing plates for the $100 bills from the base and begin printing bills in Germany. In the process the A-Team are exposed for conducting an unauthorized operation and placed in federal prison.

Agent Lynch arranges for each team member to be broken out of prison in an attempt to have them go after the counterfeiters. Sosa is alerted to their actions and begins following them because she was originally responsible for the printing plates. Although they are apparently successful in outsmarting the contractor and retrieving the plates, it is only then that they realize Lynch's ulterior motives to steal them for himself. They survive Lynch's attempts to eliminate them and take the plates, then hatch a plan to expose his actions to the public.

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Pure Color

YouTube, art, contest, Clinton Street Gallery

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.

Located between The Steaming Cup and The Clarke Hotel, the Clinton Street Gallery's new location has much more space, natural lighting, and traffic than the old place a block to the south. I love the taller ceilings and clean look of the walls and floor.

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What's Happening: June 15 to June 21

Waterfront Wednesday Concert- Crazy Man's Basement        
This free musical series is held weather permitting. Join each week for a variety to music.. Pewaukee Lakefront; 6-9:00pm; 262-695-9735;

Positively Pewaukee's Run to the Park
Adult 5K run/2 mile walk and a kids fun run at 6:30 pm. Cost is $17.00 if pre-registered. Pewaukee Village Park; 7:00pm; 262-695-9735;

Badgerland Water Ski Show
Waterski show featuring pyramids, barefoot waterskiing, jumping and chorus lines on the water. Great FREE family fun. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show.. Frame Park; 7pm; 414-640-6361;

Jazz in Cutler Park
Kevin Hayden Band performs at Cutler Park in Historic Downtown Waukesha 7pm-9pm.

Civic Band Concert
Civic Band Concert Sponsored by Merrill Hills Manor & The Waukesha Musicians Assoc. Music Performance Fund. Cutler Park; 8:00 - 9:00 pm; 262-524-3737;

Pewaukee Lake Water Ski Show
Free Water Ski Show! Families welcome. Colorful costumes, music and live announcer. Barefooting, pyramids, comedy and more! Donations generously accepted. Concessions available.. Lakefront Park, downtown Pewaukee; 6:45 p.m.; 414-350-8713;

Comedy Tonight Family Night
Local comedy and improv artists. Waukesha Civic Theatre; 8:00 pm; 262-547-0708;

06/17/10- 06/20/10
Love Letters II by A. R. Gurney
An evocative epistolary account. In less than two hours, we see Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner over a period of 50 years, as the author carries them from second grade through the trauma of adulthood, marriage, divorce and middle age. SummerStage - Lapham Peak State Park; 7:30-9:30; 262-391-3110;

06/17/10- 06/20/10
WI USA Track & Field Outdoor Meet
Track & Field. Carroll College; 262-675-2605

Freeman Friday Night Live
Freeman Friday Night Live Music Festival is live music rain or shine on five stages throughout the downtown every Friday from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The schedule of performers changes weekly.. Historic Downtown Waukesha; 6:30pm-8:30pm; 262-547-1060

06/18/10- 06/20/10
Life with Father
This humorous story is about a rambunctious, overburdened Wall Street broker who demands that everything be perfect. This Tony and Oscar Award winning story is still the longest running play in Broadway history.. Waukesha Civic Theatre; 262-547-0708;

06/18/10- 06/19/10
SE Wisconsin Book Festival
The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books is a free community-wide event organized by the UW-Waukesha Foundation in cooperation with community groups that include the Waukesha County Federated Library System, the Waukesha Public Library, the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha and Martha Merrell’s Bookstore. The Festival will be held June 18-19, 2010 at the UW-Waukesha campusUW Waukesha; 262-547-1060;

06/18/10- 06/20/10
Rocco Memorial Gun Show
Waukesha County Expo Center; 262-896-8490;

Waukesha Farmers' Market   
Weekly Event! Waukesha Farmers' Market products are grown, raised, or made in WI. Market-goers can expect to find in-season fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, plants, breads, jams, hand made soaps, artisan cheese, naturally raised meats and more!. Riverfront Plaza East of 332 Riverfront Plaza Waukesha, WI; 7am-noon; 262-549-6154;

Midsummer Magic
Old World Wisconsin; 262-594-6300;

06/19/10- 06/20/10
Waukesha Firebirds Summer Sizzle Tournament
Baseball. William R. Oliver Sports Complex & Saratoga; 414-861-4750;

06/19/10- 06/20/10
Pewaukee Jr. Pirates

Baseball. Village and Balmer Park; 414-303-6901

"Main Street Meats" Auditions

Local production company is auditioning for various roles in an upcoming film. Auditions held at Sprizzo Gallery Caffe. 11am- 4pm. "There are several roles available for all ages / genders. The film will be shot primarily on weekends throughout the summer and fall 2010 in and around Madison.
Non-equity, non-union, no pay. Please bring headshot and resume. If you are under 18, please bring a parent. "
for more information click here.

My Life With Fathers

For more information, please go to We'd love to have you join us!

What does the word father conjure up in your mind?  In mine, there are three distinct father experiences and too many words to define them here.  Two of my fathers were a combination of things both good and the not-so-good.  Only the third is perfect.

Father #1 - my biological father was fun when he was around; however, because of his own past and hang-ups, he wasn't such a good dad.  His anger and impatience were volcanic; bubbling just below the surface.  One never knew when he'd erupt.  When he did, it was scary.  By the time I was nine, he'd already vacated our family emotionally and finally, physically.  After my parent's inevitable split, my father moved to California.  During the ensuing years he drifted in and out of my life.  Mostly out.  When I was twenty-eight, he made a more concerted effort to remain.  While I welcomed him in, called him Dad, shared many of the same interests, loved him and prayed for him regularly and am thankful for his re-entering; I'd say the definition of father - at least for him - was loose at best.

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More of What's Happening Downtown.

It’s about time we caught up on a few things…

For starters, Downtown Waukesha’s iconic clock tower is currently missing its faces.

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What's Happening: Jun 21 to Jun 28

06/21/10- 06/25/10
Mad Hatter's Science Camp

Mad Hatter's Science Camp: natural history, archaeology, architecture, water science, machines.. Waukesha County Museum; 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; 262 521-2859;

Badgerland Water Ski Show

Waterski show featuring pyramids, barefoot waterskiing, jumping and chorus lines on the water. Great FREE family fun. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show.. Frame Park; 7pm; 414-640-6361;

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What's Happening: Jun 28 to July 5

06/28/10- 07/31/10
Seven Painters of Summer 2010

Lake Country Gallery presents a great mix of seven painters, Fred Bell, Susan Hale, Gretchen Mayo, Jim Meissner, Lynn Rix, Marie Siegrist, Janet Tenneson-McCarty. Lake Country Gallery; 262-691-3800

Badgerland Water Ski Show

Waterski show featuring pyramids, barefoot waterskiing, jumping and chorus lines on the water. Great FREE family fun. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show.. Frame Park; 7pm; 414-640-6361;

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