It's that time of year again - Spay Day USA 2009 is February 24th.
In conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States' (HSUS) national Spay Day USA on February 24, HAWS is offering free spay-neuter services to qualifying Waukesha County residents. To offset the costs, we're also seeking donations from the community to "Sponsor a Spay."
Is it next week already?
All of you have been so patient while waiting for the answer to that last blog and I figure I owe you guys an apology for making you wait as long as I did, but I was enjoying everyone’s guesses.
My Don Jacob's Subaru showed five degrees in the dash board as Kanook and I pulling into the dog park parking lot at Minooka County park. The clear night allowed the moon to illuminate the whole area, eliminating the need for a flashlight. The snow is packed and makes walking easy yet allowed the cleats of my Wolverine hiking boots to grip safely on the slopes that surround the crown plateau by the entrance. Standing still, the steam from breathing hung in the air, no breeze present to drift it away. Venus to the west even seemed to add to the brilliance of the white landscape.
Kanook shows no signs of his health event of last week and was running around checking out whatever pee-mail was left here and there. Last night he got a bonus of doing some additional exploring when the outer gate at the exit was not shut tight by the last user and he used the opportunity to enjoy some freedom outside of the fenced area. He knew he was getting away with something, but I knew that he wouldn't go far and would soon come back. He always has.
Been too busy driving further, working harder, longer and for less pay to take blog for regular walks lately. Just as well, Sir Fido got his hair cut and doesn't want to spend a lot of time out in these temps anyway. I put in around 70 hours last week, including Saturday and Sunday, with no extra pay for the overtime. If I sound like I'm complaining it's only because all last week I was also fighting a cold. With all the layoffs I've seen of people more capable than me, I'm just happy to have a job - any job.
I've been taking the freeway lately because the frost heaving on Hwy. K was giving me a headache driving on it. So I don't quite mind so much leaving early and staying late if it helps to avoid rush hour traffic.
11:01 PM. Knock knock knock..... "Water utility, we have to turn off the water because there's a water main break in the street." Oh, ok, thanks for letting me know!
Thus started a restless night for my wife who had trouble sleeping with the sound of engines and jack hammers digging down to the broken pipe that was bubbling radioactive water to the surface and helping to flush the leaves from the storm drain system. Me? I guess the sound kept me awake for five more minutes than usual but once my lights were out, it would take either a gas explosion or Kanook woowing to go outside that would awaken me.
Another Valentine's Day will be upon us shortly. But no matter what you're got planned – whether it’s an exciting night out or a delicious, intimate home-cooked meal – beer can play a part in your Valentine’s Day festivities. Here are a few ideas.
Red Beer and Red Roses
You may already have plans to get your better half a boutique of long-stemmed, beautiful red roses for Valentine’s Day – but that doesn’t mean you should stop there. Expand on the color theme of your gift by adding a six-pack or two of some great red beers. Some of your options include Leinenkugel Red or George Killian's Irish Red
Beer and Chocolate – Obvious and Irresistible
Many of the natural complexities of full-bodied beers are echoed in rich, flavored chocolates and vice versa. Much like how dark-roasted coffees and chocolates pair well, the roasted malt flavor of stouts and porters parallel the deep tones of dark chocolate, a known aphrodisiac. For a great gift, combine a few varieties of Godiva or Ghirardelli chocolate in a basket with and a six-pack of Bell’s Java Stout. Other options to pair with chocolate include Beamish Irish Stout and Negra Modelo.
Pairing Beer with Aphrodisiacs
We’ve covered chocolate, so the next obvious and available aphrodisiac to pair with beer would be oysters. It’s best to fry the oysters, say experts. That way, the beer’s carbonation and fizz will temper the oysters’ oily richness, for a unique, flavorful experience. Oysters are great with porters or Stouts, so try them with a Bell's Expedition Stout,Breckenridge Vanilla Porter or Tyranena Black Hawk Porter.
I'd like to be writing more, but with being gone between 12 and 15 hours daily for my "8" hour job there just isn't the time. Don't have the time and not much more than just the work to write about. Fortunate to not be one of the many laid off, but so much busier having less people to do the work. In my line of business, with supply and vendor problems related to the economy, we're required to do more with less.
This economic situation will make us more efficient, less wasteful. It can't last forever, and when it turns around we will be more productive and, I hope, more compassionate and helpful toward one another.
Last week Pat and I went to the NARI Home Improvement show at State Fair Park. We've been in dire need of some bathroom repairs and remodeling so that was our primary target as we walked the aisles while munching on candy roasted almonds from a vendor. Being in the heating and cooling trade, I would come across some acquaintances from time to time and we'd spend a few moments exchanging niceties. My secondary target was something to reduce the need to clean out the gutters once or twice each year. Doing that isn't fun on a single level ranch house and I can't imagine doing it on a two floor house. There's a variety of methods out there. I need something that will shed the maple seeds and walnuts.
There's lots of other things that need to be done around the house and I'm sure the same can be said for any house in Waukesha that's been home to people since the 1960's. I also imagine that many people are like me. I've got much less money in my retirement account and withdrawing any of it for repairs or improvements would be insane. Money that is needed to pay for these things will be done on credit. These types of needs are what provides jobs to our neighbors. In turn the material they use provides jobs for people working in factories around the country. Home improvements, if materials and fixtures are American made, will help our country recover.
It just has to be another bad dream....
The Federal Government offers a new $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. On the surface - this should, along with low interest rates, stimulate sales volume. More buyers will be able to afford the purchase of a new home. Furniture, home remodeling, and home repair stores and trades will find new business and this is, I believe the intent of the Stimulus Plan - Hooray!!
I like to visit the Mequon/Thiensville website and read Warren Stumpe's blog from time to time. He has a good deal and variety of life's experience under his belt and it makes for thought provoking opinions. I suggest you check him out too.
His most recent blog is an observation that the more removed the representative is from the constituents, the more freely the representative spends the tax dollars. Washington DC is a long way from Wisconsin. Our representatives generally are pretty steady people, partisanship aside. So it makes sense that the goofy ones are furthest from Washington. Harry Reid is from Nevada and Nancy Pelosi is from San Fransisco. President Obama is from Hawaii. Hmm. Yeah, I know Alaska is really far away but Sarah isn't in a Federal office, yet.
Mayor Larry Nelson has told me that the city's application to the DNR and the other Great Lake states to acquire Lake Michigan water won't happen as quickly as he had hoped.
Several months ago, Nelson said he had hoped the application would be ready for Common Council vote by this month or March. He's not sure when it will be ready.
The House Rabbit Society and Petfinder.com are promoting rabbits as pets, using this month to show what a house rabbit is really like. People often don't think about rabbits as house companions because they remember them from childhood as being kept in a hutch in the back yard. Or maybe they saw them at the fair in a tiny cage in a pile of shavings, cute but uninteresting. In truth, with the right handling and socialization, they can be wonderful, interactive and loving companions.
Seems I can't get enough of work, even working on my day off. Worked the polls yesterday 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., (yes, there was an election Tuesday). Getting paid was never as much fun.
Even working can seem like a vacation if it's less stressful than your regular job. With only one position up for election, and 154 voters in thirteen hours, this was a very low-stress job. We made jokes about being bombarded by long lines the one or two times we had 4 people at once! The three of us handled three wards without being too slow or too busy. It was a good break from November's presidential, and without that stress I felt we did a better job keeping track of everything.
Underwater conveys a more urgent situation than the term "upside down". I'm referring to the new term being used for owing more on a house than it is presently worth. Being upside down on a loan isn't unusual. It is actually typical. Unless you pay typically 20% down on a new car, you are immediately "underwater" the moment you sign the papers. Just take it next door to the other brand dealer and ask what they will give you in trade for one of their shiny new unionmobiles. Anything you buy on a credit card is immediately "underwater". Try and sell your new 72" high definition TV, still in the sealed box, to a shopper for one, and try to break even. Unless it has suddenly become rare, like a new PlayStation or WII at Christmas time, you know you'd be lucky to get 2/3 of what you paid for it.
What troubles me is the notion of someone walking away from the house and loan responsibilities. They did not have the situation forced upon them anymore than if they took a trip to Pottawatomie and lost the food and mortgage money on gambling. Apparently the credit consequences of walking away from load responsibilities are not tough enough. On the other hand, I don't have a problem with interest reduction and loan extensions to help keep people in their homes and able to maintain them.
The test was multiple choice and I have a feeling I passed. Often, it seems, plays in Waukesha fall on the same weekend. Today four plays in the city were ending their runs, all at 2:00, and I hadn't seen any of them. Waukesha Civic Theatre was performing Wit, North's Northstar Players presented Antigone, West's West End Players performed Little Shop of Horrors and Carroll University's Carroll Players offered "Proof".
Not to be outdone, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy was hosting their 33rd Annual Military School Band Festival this weekend, with entrants from around the country. The military school concert and jazz bands were scheduled to perform for free at, you guessed it, 2:00 Sunday.
Stimulus is back!
Once again our government is going to pump the United States full of money it doesn’t have in hopes of staving off an economic collapse.
In 2006, when the second to last dog track in Wisconsin closed it's doors to racing in Lake Geneva, HAWS joined with greyhound rescue to help house and promote the breed and the unique situation they face. We took a break for awhile, but now...
I caught our moon waxing Venus tonight around 8:00. The young moon was only 8.89% full tonight, 15.95% full Saturday. It waxes it's way up to full by March 10th.
I've always had a thing for moon-planet alignments. It happens rarely, so this time I wanted to catch the image to preserve it. Trees and houses blocked most of the views from my house and I didn't feel like heading out to the country away from city lights. This photo was taken from the sidewalk in front of the house.
Was off today and yesterday, planned around the kids' school vacation. Today I made an appointment to donate a double dose of red cells at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. As probably mentioned earlier, I like doing double red because the donation interval is 16 instead of 8 weeks. It means less trips to donate.
The donation went well, but the best part was the two free tickets offered to me for the Auto Show. Today was the last day they were valid, which was OK because I had off and the kids had off.