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Guitar Heroes

1) sound of music

One of the more interesting discoveries in Waukesha this weekend was a group set up and playing decent tunes outside Martha Merrill's. The idea of Guitars For Vets started just a year ago when Dan Van Buskirk, a Vietnam Vet with PTSD, related his relief and the healing he felt from music to Patrick, his guitar teacher. In a rather short period of time, through donations and sponsors, this incredible organization now provides six guitar lessons and a guitar to U.S. Military Vets who've suffered trauma and are receiving treatment through the VA system. They are currently working with VA centers in Milwaukee, Madison and Tomah but hope to expand to the Midwest and around the country by next year.

This is taking off so fast because there was nothing else like it and it is helping. Veterans are happier and some are requiring less medication. Picking up a new skill gives them something to practice and improve at. It has tangible results with the possibility they'll maybe share their joy with others. It's "meditation in motion." It's full circle: a vet with PTSD plays music and teaches other vets to play as therapy for himself. The student learns a new skill and enjoys theraputic benefits of music. The new student brings joy to others by performing.

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my banner says "thank you"

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things


If I could hang a banner from an overpass it would read "Thank You". I'd want to show appreciation to the tens of thousands of Harley riders who joined in the celebration of the 105th making it a huge success, and making many businesses in Waukesha very happy.

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Weekend In Waukesha Review

Hot Topics, Motorcycle

I am a motorcyclist. So I enjoyed the weekend. The question is, how did the people in the downtown area who are not motorcycle enthusiasts feel about it?

I rode my Gold Wing downtown several times to get a feel for things. I eyed up the bikes parked along the road, looking for non-Harley brands. I'd say it was around 1%. Some of the custom motorcycles are hard to tell. There are so many replica engines available to the custom market that to the untrained eye, what appears to be a Harley may not have so much as a single item from them.

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Brien Lee turns 18 today!

It's Brien Lee's 18th birthday today. My oldest son is now a man.

Happy birthday Bri. You're a good kid and we love you.

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a series of fortunate events


It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling so I'll tell the story.

Bought a set of cargo straps at Walmart Monday to replace the ones claimed by the Fox in April. 

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the fuzzy line between form and function


The Nineteenth Annual Waukesha Art Fest couldn't have had a better weekend. The weather was as gorgeous as some of the works. With cool temps and a breeze it was perfect bike riding weather, so Schwinn and I swerved our way past multiple potholes to see what was going on in Cutler Park yesterday. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety. Forty artists from Wisconsin, and one each from Florida and Illinois. Eleven diverse areas of creativity; glass, fiber, painting, etc. Much of what we saw was useful as well as beautiful. The copper ornamental garden sprinklers of Jerry Ross - nice to look at while an attempt was made to bring back the trampled grass at Cutler Park. The plaque with nicely-lettered, thoughtful poetry that's also a picture frame. Clothing as art and, of course, ceramics - nice to display on a shelf, but also fun to use as bowls, candle holders, etc.

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shower time for Swiss swine

Thanks to a new 175 page animal rights law in Switzerland pigs now have a legal right to shower and freshen up after getting muddy. What about privacy? Will they have individual stalls along with their choice of scented beauty bars? Next time this law comes up for review maybe someone could suggest aromatherapy and bubbles in the bathwater.

I'm not making this up; Fishermen can no longer use live bait or practice catch and release in Switzerland either. I suppose the worms would feel too much pain when the bluegill bites into it.

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Waukesha Safe From Pharmacuticals?

Water Issue

News item, Drugs found in drinking water. So it has been found that when drinking water is retrieved from the same source that sewage is discharge into, prescription drug traces are being detected. I don't find that fact too surprising. I also don't find it surprising that Milwaukee water only tests for traces of nicotine. Probably from bubba's cigarette that fell into the treatment containers while he was overseeing the processes.

I'm not going to do an analysis of large bodies of water versus smaller reservoirs and rivers, but I do believe that this report has special meaning to us in Waukesha. It is said that our water has been traveling underground for many years. That's one of the reasons that it picks up radium. I have to question now, if this is actually a good thing? It has been argued that the trace amounts of radium have not translated into any increased cancer cases, though so called experts say otherwise, even though there's no evidence showing that to be the case. This might have to be reexamined based on this new information.

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runnin' on red

St. William

My oldest says people in Waukesha sure run a lot of red lights. I said that's nothing compared to Milwaukee.

A co-worker recently purchased a beautiful new 2008 car after years of mechanical problems with their old one. This morning he told the story of getting hit last night on the way home from work. A woman ran a red and clipped the front of the car on his side. His wife was driving. The woman didn't think police should be called but a witness from a nearby auto dealership suggested they do it anyway.

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apple pie anyone?

festival, helping, Retzer

I'll be selling apple pie slices from 9:00 to noon next Saturday the 20th at Retzer Nature Center's 22nd Annual Apple Harvest Festival, and you're invited to buy some. Keep me busy.

Last year the weather was great and a good crowd turned out for this applicious event. There will be all sorts of crafts for kids, horse drawn hayrides, planetarium show, over 50 varieties of apples and cider.  A couple of concerts are lined up: Folk group Apple Jam from 11:00 to 1:00 and Celtic ensemble Tairis from 2:30 to 4:30. There also will be Johnny Appleseed, scarecrows, essay and apple pie judging and a silent auction.

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Time To Up The Ante For Drinking?

Drunk Driving

News article about cost of prison and drunk drivers. If you didn't read the news article in the preceding link, please do. It affects every taxpayer in the city and the county.

I cannot express the grief that my son, our family and Jenn and Sophia and Courtney's friends and students have suffered since their death at the hand of a drunk that should never have been driving a vehicle that horrible day. Would it surprise you to know that upon reading that news article that I felt a twinge of shame? It is a double edged legacy that the Bukosky family name will be remembered for. The good edge is that lives of people will likely be saved. One of those lives could be you or someone you know. The bad edge is the cost of dealing with those refusing to drink responsibly.

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Six million Harleys and 80 billion people descended on our little town for Harley fest a few weeks ago, and it was enough to make me (and the blog) go on a little hiatus for a while.

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defending your right to make a difference

helping, politics

I spent 16 hours in a library a week ago and didn't pick up a single book... For you.

I was a Fourth District poll worker from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. A long day, but worth it. Getting in practice for November 4th, where the hours are going to be even longer and could even be slightly busier.

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Waukesha Walmart

 "I'm Sam Walton and I approve this message."

You can all breathe a sigh of relief now- the overprotected and semi-threatened Butler’s Garter Snakes living in the grass lands at the corner of Hwy. 59 and West Avenue are going to have a new home soon, and it’s going to look a lot like this…

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The DOT Gets F In Education

Development and Growth, Hot Topics

PSA stands for Public Service Announcement. All levels of government could do a whole lot better in continuing education for the masses. Case in point are the roundabouts that are being mandated by the DOT and meeting heavy resistance from many of the people. I'm finding more of them in the Chicago suburban area and theirs differ from most in that they have a stop sign at the entrance to give people a moment to observe traffic and plan their route. While one of the reasons for a roundabout is to eliminate stop signs, it is a worthwhile consideration and the stop sign can be removed and replaced with a Yield sign in due time.

Colorado has heavy use of them especially along Interstate 70 through the mountains and into ski resorts. Once I encountered three roundabouts connecting each other  while exiting the interstate and looking to take a break. See them here. They do work. However, they are not intuitive and there is a learning curve. Stop signs at the entrance is part of that but a public education program is needed across the state to teach people both the history of roundabouts, why they are being incorporated within the state and how to maneuver through them. I got my first encounter with them in Colorado. It was a bit unnerving but I quickly got the idea.

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a golden delicious Saturday for Retzer's festival

8) my favorite things, festival, helping, Retzer

The weather was Prima. Thousands of happy people came to Retzer Nature Center to celebrate the apple harvest with a Royal Gala... or a Honey Crisp, Cortland or Molly's Delicious.

We started the day by slicing hundreds of apple pies and crisps, and had people asking for it before we were done at 9:00 a.m.. After that it was a steady stream of customers, which soon stretched out the door and down the hall. I felt the prices were very fair for what they got, and happily took their money until I was relieved as cashier around 1:00. 

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Hotel's finally open!

The boutique hotel is open. A little late for Harley's 105th, but getting the tax credits and rehabbing a 100+ year old building took more than planned. Parking has been tight the last few months but the wait's finally over.

On my short tour this morning I was impressed by all the old, restored, recycled and reused items in the hotel. The pool table from the 1800s is beautiful. Bar tables with used gears for the base, chairs recycled from an architectural school. An apothecary cabinet, old toys, a cathedral's window. Most impressive is how well the elements of the building were incorporated into the hotel's theme. Even the building's porticos lended their design to the hotel's insignia. Sliding doors and dock doors were refinished and prominent, as is brickwork and wood floors. 300 to 400 year old hemlock beams were saved as-is or remade into furniture. 

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"Jay Walt - You have Tongue Cancer - Stage 4..."

Family, Observations

 At 1:45 PM on Friday September 5th, 2008, my future changed.

Actually, my future had been altered sometime earlier this year. I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. Being 55, I have gotten used to the bumps, lumps, and irregularities which accompany  the aging process. As Summer wound down, I visited my long-respected Dr. Dan Thompson for a routine physical...and a check of the now growing, disregarded bump. He ordered CT scans which showed "some mass - probably a cyst". Dr. Dan suggested Dr Bruce Campbell, a Director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at Froedtert Hospital.

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The Great Spirit's money problems

let us pray

I've been to the Congregation of the Great Spirit a couple times since I documented my first visit here almost two years ago. I think about them every time I'm running late for mass, which is 9 times out of 10, because their service doesn't begin until everyone gets there. Something mine should consider.

A national radio report on the Congregation this morning interested me because one of my short-term goals is to get there again, soon. We're told the Congregation is the nation's first Catholic parish to combine Native American traditions with Roman Catholic ceremony; hard to believe when you consider the Catholic missionary work in this country going back hundreds of years.

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"Alone...With Cancer..."

Family, Observations

(Note: On September 5th, 2008, I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Tongue Cancer - Stage 4. Following is 2nd blog on my journey)


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