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Happy New Year!

YouTube, water

I thought it was a little crazy to see a lawn mower yesterday when the temperatures were in the 50s. That doesn't compare to the crazy thing I did today when water temps were in the thirties, air temps in 20s and a 30 mile an hour wind with a one degree wind chill.

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What's Happening: Jan 3 to Jan 10

Happy New Year!

One-of-a-kind Jewelry Bonanza Sale

Start the year right with a gift of jewelry for yourself- River's End Gallery, Historic Downtown Waukesha, 262-896-8875,

Waukesha County Citizen's Cross Country Ski Race

Race categories include: Children 10 & Under, 1 mile race; Youth & Adult 5K and 12.5K Race.Advanced registration encouraged. $15 per person or $30 per family. Awards will be given to the top 3 finishers in each age category- Nashotah Park, 262-548-7790,

West Allis Ham Radio Fest

Waukesha County Expo Center, 262-896-8490,

Y2K and

Y2K Returns

Various Topics

As you may have read in the Journal yesterday, many people across the planet had their Apple iPhone and iPod alarm function fail. It appears to be a software glitch reminiscent of the Y2K concerns of 11 years ago. I knew nothing about this problem until Monday morning when I woke up late to find that mine did not wake me. I made it to work on time, no thanks to Apple. As the volume can be turned up or down, I figured that I had it down too low and that after a while of alarming, it reset itself.

During the workday, while on a break and reading the paper, I noticed the story on the second page which explained that indeed my iPod did fail to work. However, the story said that the problem was over the weekend and it should be corrected by Monday. Which Monday? Today or next Monday? To be safe, I did an App update and it said all were current. I then made a test alarm for a few minutes later. The alarm went off as it should. I went to bed confident that it would awaken me as it should.

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True Grit: A Young Woman's Quest for Justice

critic, Film, movie, movie, Oscars Movie Waukesha Marquette, review, Waukesha, wisconsin, wisconsin movie

The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have again produced one of the best dramas of the year. Though True Grit lacks an equivalent set of compelling characters as in No Country for Old Men and Fargo, the film makes up for its lack with incredible scenery, great dialogue, and a couple of very strong performances by lead actors. The film tells the story of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) as she seeks justice for her father's killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Mattie is a fearless girl who is sent by her mother to settle her father's affairs (at age 14, mind you) in the rough and tumble territory of rural Arkansas, near the lands still belonging to the Choctaw.  

Through clever negotiation and a fearless pursuit of justice, Mattie hires a US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) with a reputation for breaking the rules of engagement in his pursuit of outlaws. Cogburn is a drunk and a womanizer, but Mattie is somehow convinced that his skill set makes him the perfect Marshall for the job. She meets a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who is also pursuing Chaney for crimes he committed in Texas. Although she is convinced that her father's murder is more deserving of a court's attention than whatever Chaney did in Texas, LaBoeuf ends up traveling with Mattie and Cogburn through the Indian territory to hunt for Chaney.

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It's News to Me.

Over the holidays, I took a break from the west coast and headed home to visit friends and family.

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nine is fine

full of hot air, YouTube, 8) my favorite things

Nine hot air balloons got together for a Sunday afternoon of winter flight before the Packer playoff game. Enjoyed a little tailgate chili and met up with friends I hadn't seen in months. It was a very good day.

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What's Happening: Jan 10 to Jan 17

NOW- 06/06/11
Memories of World War II

Waukesha County Museum, 262-521-2859,

01/14/11- 01/16/11
Bob & Rocco Gun Show

Waukesha County Expo Center, 262-896-8490,

"About Face" A Portrait Exhibit

A portrait exhibit featuring the works of Chuck Weber and Dint Sweitzer
Show runs from Jan 1st to Feb 15th- 342 W Main St. Waukesha 53186, 262-542-1522,

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Reflecting back while looking ahead...

Family, Observations

The Holidays are now fading in our rear-view mirrors while at the same time we resume our trudge moving toward Spring. For our family, the memories are surprising...

Decorating trees and the house, shopping, prepping to host parties, attending gatherings, eating far too much of the "wrong" foods, shopping some more, Church, and going from house to house on Christmas - Sound familiar? And all the while working to come up with the perfect Christmas gifts which we hope will be both personal and remembered. Our family tradition is to gather in the (now 20 years and counting) same seating arrangement early Christmas morning as we open gifts and thank each other for their generosity... 

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Mike McCarthy NFL "Coach of the Year"? Hardly - It's Ted Thompson's team...

Observations, Community Happenings

OK...There is a real chance that Mike McCarthy will be "NFL Coach of the Year". That simple sentiment raised a rancorous yet bemused debate recently.

Truth be known (and I was not on his bandwagon early) - Ted Thompson has given McCarthy something so rare, so unique, that it would take a complete bonehead to screw-it up (and McCarthy has tried on several occasions). 

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North Street Fire Raises Questions

Fire Department, Politics-Local

While driving back from the new Walmart on West Avenue, I was on Saint Paul Avenue when I saw activity around the fire station. I thought a drill was going on until I realized that they were indeed fighting a fire, nearly right behind the station. As I understand it, a mattress caught fire and spread. I would have liked to have found out more but bloggers don't have the same privileges that the full press have. I continued driving rather than add to the commotion.

As it did seem to be a rather bad blaze, at least lots of smoke, it made me wonder. You can't have better response time than having a fire department across the street from you. How much different would the damages have been if the fire station were beyond that magical seven minutes away? While a person could have run from the station to the fire in less than a minute, there are the matters of reporting the fire, dispatching it and other actions before the overhead doors are raised. Then there is the time upon arriving which is spent assessing the situation and forming a plan. Once all that is done and hose is activated or an extinguisher has it's pin pulled, does the drive time make all that much difference in the outcome? I'm not convinced that it does.

What's Happening: Jan 17 to Jan 24

NOW- 06/06/11
Memories of World War II

Waukesha County Museum, 262-521-2859,

The Tortoise and the Hare Race Again

"If only..." has been the story of Rabbit's life ever since he lost that race to Tortoise. He's sure he could win if they raced again, and with the help of his forest friends (who are all tired of hearing the same old story about why he lost the 1st time.- UW-Waukesha, Lunt Fontanne Theatre, 262-521-5212,

01/21/11- 01/23/11
Winter JanBoree

Celebrate winter with activities for all ages throughout the city of Waukesha.- City of Waukesha, 262-522-9356,

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Fox Bluff fire

6) when I'm feeling sad

It looks like a candle started the apartment fire on North Street Saturday. Fortunately no one was killed or seriously injured. The building, by far the nicest of the three apartment buildings on that stretch of North Street, appears to be a total loss. One has to wonder how, in this age of sprinklers and smoke alarms, could something like this get so out of control so fast. Fortunately many residents were away at the time, but so were the nearest firefighters. Fire Station One is just a block away but they were on another call at the time.

I didn't hear about the fire until the next day because I was watching the Packers beat the Falcons instead of the news. There was plenty of coverage though. It's very sad. To go from living comfortably one minute to losing everything including a place to stay the next. It's a 30 apartment building and most all of them were rented at the time of the fire.

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Living the Dream

Waukesha Food Pantry, Salvation Army

I debated travelling to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event near 15th and Vliet today. It was the first time in the 25 years of the holiday I had off work because of it. I didn't want to waste it sitting at home doing nothing, but 20 miles is a long way to drive in a winter storm like today's. There had to be something closer. I Googled it. I scanned the papers. Located something in Saturday's Freeman about a luncheon at WCTC. Thirty dollars and reservations had to be in a week ago.

I called the number and she said I should come, enjoy the speakers, and observe. I should plan on doing the bus tour too, it's free.

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the best way to stay warm


With wind chills in the double digits below zero today it may warm you to know that today is National Hugging Day.  Being as it's also the start of Waukesha's Janboree with many events outdoors there should be lots of hugging going on. Maybe hugging could be added to the list of events whenever temps dip below zero.

I hope it's not too cold for fireworks at 8:00 tonight. That would be ironic.

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Janbrrrrree puts Win in Winter

1) sound of music, festival, Janboree

In Pulse warmed things up at Waukesha North last night to kick off Waukesha Janboree. The concert featuring the Children's Choir of Waukesha was loved by all who filled the R. G. Hein Auditorium. Even though the price was right; free thanks to many generous sponsors, I was not sure adults were a target audience. The tickets were offered only at the Childrens Library...

Fortunately the children's librarian was there welcoming concert-goers because when I explained I didn't have a ticket she told me it was my birthday, go on in. As no one was there to dispute that fact, I found a seat and sat back to enjoy the first of two songs with the Children's Choir. In Pulse said it was the first time they performed with a children's choir and that the kids picked up the tunes in just a half hour. I was impressed! I enjoyed the whole concert at least as much as anyone. . . and they all loved it.

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Biomass Burning Is Green?

Global Warming, Petroleum, Politics-Local, Politics-National, Pollution, Satire, Flora and Fauna, Economy, Development and Growth

Perhaps the proponents of Doyle's biomass boilers in Madison failed to explain the process adequately. As I understand it, and I'm in the boiler and fuel business, Biomass consists of grass clippings, wood chips and other organic matter. Uh, isn't that garbage? Oh, I also read that we can GROW stuff to burn in a biomass boiler. Sure, right between the rows of corn that is being grown for ethanol.

Ok, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps someone has found a way, cost effective, to burn garbage cleaner than other plentiful organic fuels, natural gas, fuel oil and coal. If so, how about the benevolent feds giving us some money to snap one of those filters on our own incinerator that we were forced to shut down. Then we can resume hauling our grass clippings to the dump, along with our bags of biomass.

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What's Happening: Jan 24 to Jan 31

Waukesha Winter Faculty Recital

Join us as our talented UW Waukesha faculty members Craig Hurst, Nancy Van Brunt and Tom Patterson perform a variety of music for their respective instruments with piano, accompanied by Jennifer Van Brunt
Admission is FREE! UW-Waukesha, Lunt Fontanne Theatre, 262-521-5481,

One of a Kind Jewelry Bonanza Sale

Start the year right with a gift of jewelry for yourself- River's End Gallery, Historic Downtown Waukesha, 262-896-8875,

football and all

It was a great game Sunday, obviously. My number one man Greg Jennings played flawlessly. The game could have gone either way which makes it more exciting. The Bears had quarter back trouble but seemed to come back with their third choice. Urlacher played very strong. Very glad Rodgers stayed uninjured. Am looking forward to the Super Bowl in a couple weeks.

Not sure if he was a football fan, but after 96 years the world lost a fitness guru Sunday. Jack LaLanne did his last push up after probably millions. I can't even do a one armed push up now much less hope to in my 70s and 80s.

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What's Happening: Jan 31 to Feb 7

02/01/11- 06/06/11
Memories of World War II

Almost two hundred reporters and photographers fanned out around the globe to cover WWII. for The Associated Press. The best of these images make up for important exhibition. Waukesha County Museum, 262-521-2859,

Wisconsin Wind Orchestra concert

Concert by Carroll's resident professional ensemble.- Humphrey Memorial Chapel, 262-524-7182,

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