With the economic conditions, things are changing even for those fortunate to still have a job. I have one that often requires traveling. I've flown across the country for work and driven as far as Atlanta. Historically, a company provides a vehicle for business use. I've enjoyed such an arraignment for years, but that is changing. Where I work, I've been told that the lease is up on my vehicle and I will be getting a vehicle allowance and will have to provide my own means of transportation.
A co-worker bought a Toyota Yaris. It's a little egg of a car that gets very good gas economy and is rather inexpensive to purchase outright. As both of our cars in the Bukosky garage have over 100,000 miles on them, I've considered whether to buy another for work or not. Our older Pontiac just had some major work done at Elder's Garage on Arcadian. As every GM car that I've owned, it has never failed to start or get me where I've needed to go. It just likes to leak fluids like a dog marking it's territory. My Subaru has had regular manufacturers suggested servicing and seems to run as good as the day I bought it, April 1, 2002, April fools day. Both vehicles get about the same fuel economy with the Pontiac actually doing better on long trips. All wheel drive has a gas guzzler penalty to it.
In honor of the Fourth of July start to the 96th Tour de France, and Lance Armstrong's return after a four year retirement, I began the day Saturday with a bike ride to Wales on the Glacial Drumlin Trail. Though I was by no means the only one on the trail this gorgeous morning, there was no peloton and I wasn't racing.
Somewhere along the way I stopped to photograph a hawk on it's perch. A sparrow must have known the hawk was eyeing it's nest, because the sparrow attacked the hawk... and won. This is the first time I've seen the sparrow draw a hawk off it's perch and practically land on it's back as the prey chased the predator. The best part was something I always miss when witnessed from inside a car: the huge hawk's screech. It was a phenomenally loud sound I'd never heard in the wild. The hawk was being led away by a bird much smaller than herself and she let everyone know she didn't care for it. My imagination let me hear a bald eagle's screech as it echoed through the Badlands of South Dakota. Not a bad thing on Independence Day, and not what I expected out of my bike ride.
According to Kim Kalczynski, HAWS Volunteer Coordinator, “The guys are loving it and they’re doing a great job! They don’t hold back - they are motivated, and very good dog handlers.”
PHOTO: Cardiac Friends members Ole, Charlie, Bob and Dick with HAWS adoptable dogs.
By the way - we can always use volunteers! Just come to one of our orientation sessions to get started.
I was ready to crew again. Made sure to mention I was off work a couple days in the event something came up. The opportunity arose bright and early this morning and eagerly did I work, without pay, on a rare day off. It was the best of vacation days.
The gentleman flying the United Van Lines balloon was in Illinois for an event and stopped here for a public relations flight or two. His full time job is as a hot air balloon pilot, and he occasionally inflates the huge van-shaped one I remember seeing about 9 years ago at the County Fair.
Another friend and community leader is gone, so my first blog post rolls with the punches and completely changes its focus. Welcome to 'Home Port.'
Waukesha is a community that cares about its kids, and demands alot of its parents and caretakers. In our schools, high expectations are the norm. Students often attain astonishing results, individually and as teams. Some achievements even blare like a trumpet. Waukesha West's Academic Decathlon blue ribbon in 2002 and consistently high national decathlon rankings are the best examples. But the majority of achievements happen on a smaller, quieter, more local scale -- throughout Waukesha, in dozens of neighborhoods, in individual schools.
The weather has been cooler and air conditioning has not been used as much. That, not energy conservation, is why WE Energies is looking for a 7% rate hike. Being in the air conditioning business, I KNOW that air conditioners are running less. Business shows it.
I've seen a few letters complaining about the price hike. Come on people! Where is the outrage over what is REALLY going to make the electric rates soar? I'm talking about Obama's CAP and TRADE bill.
Anyone know who this building is or where he can be found?
The morning walk took us to the community gardens over by the County Huber facility on Northview Road. The plantings are coming along nicely in full exposure of the sun. There's quite a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables. You can just as easily find plots planted by 4-H groups, families stretching their food budget, or even those who have set up little retreats with lawn chairs and ornaments, bird baths and houses.
From the gardens, there's a path that guides us north through mature oaks, long weeds and thick mosquitos. The wide, mowed path leads to a large, manicured opening with a memorial as it's focal point. It's the memorial for the old poor house cemetery which used to be located nearby a hundred years ago. It's a beautiful memorial in a secluded spot. The old cemetery probably never looked so good.
The Bukosky home has quite a collection of sick room items from over the years. Shortly after moving to town, I was in a plane crash. The crutches that I needed have served several people over the years since then, including during a second surgery from the crash and later a heel surgery. My wife, Pat, has also had orthopedic surgery a few times and among other items, obtained a walker. Walkers are frequently seen in use.
During my heel surgery, I was non-weight bearing. Fortunately I was pretty good with crutches. That's a good thing because a walker is useless unless you are good at hopping on one foot. Pat just had some foot surgery and is non-weight bearing too. Crutches can be difficult until you get the hang of them. After having general anesthetic, it can be a few days until one's strength is regained. That leaves the good ol' wheelchair for mobility. Most city homes are not wheelchair friendly. Some of the twists and turns prevent using one. Wheelchairs are also cumbersome to use to be out and about too.
My dread of the days before and after July 4th were not so bad this year. I'm betting that people don't have money to burn due to the economy. I did hear fireworks from the usual neighborhood sources however. Just not as many as prior years. One year it was so bad that I had fireworks end up in my yard. I later found bottle rockets on my roof when cleaning the gutters one fall.
Shifting to Cudahy, we now learn that security cameras caught what is being called a military flare being shot onto the roof of the meat company. I don't know how it can be identified as a military flare and not a run of the mill firework that anyone with a (wink wink) permit can buy. Just a good old boy having some independence day fun.
For the record, I am in favor of health-care reform. When my personal website was up, I devoted a section of it to the need of reform. I don't think that health-care should financially ruin people. But I also don't think that health-care should ruin the country either! Let's think through a few aspects of health-care that is sure to come out and become a HUGE issue sooner or later.
Many health-care issues are self inflicted.
Spent one dollar for a great time opening day Wednesday at the fair. Spent another five after parking on the street Sunday. The discount ticket got me in for the truck pulls and I came back later for REO Speedwagon.
By some stroke of luck my son Nick scored a job as a stagehand during the fair. He was operating one of the four large spotlights for the REO concert when I was there. By helping out he was able to meet famous people, get some free stuff, watch the bands up close, and get paid for it! He was also able to furnish me with a reserved seating wrist band.
In the news today, Morgan aircraft is planning to build manufacturing headquarters at Sheboygan airport. The airport has committed to doing $3,000,000 in infrastructure work and the state has included $30,000,000 in incentives.
I'm an aviation enthusiast and a pilot myself, but hold on. There hasn't even been a prototype made yet and the design looks extremely questionable! A picture shows, a jet propelled airplane that uses four ducted fans to raise the vehicle vertically and supposedly allow it to land vertically too. This technology is very shaky at best! It has been used for many years as the Moller Flying Car but has not flown any distance and without a safety tether. It is similar to the famous Hawker Harrier Jump Jet. This jet uses ducted jet engine exhaust to allow vertical takeoff and landing, but has had quite a few accidents and is strictly a military plane requiring intense training.
The big news this week was the 40th anniversary of our first lunar landing. What an amazing feat that was! The Apollo Project as a whole was an enormous enterprise, and yet somehow at the right moment thousands of people played like one orchestra. And then, like magic, we were all moon walking!
To me, however, my father's emigration to the United States during this same July week, back in 1924, is far more poignant and personal. Eighty-five years ago, the soon-to-be seven year old boy who would become my father in 1952 joined his strong-bodied Mother Ragna (Rog'-Na), two blonde younger sisters Solveig and Alphilda (Sole'-vague & Aal-fill'da), and a baby brother Kjell (Kell) on a long journey. After packing all their personal belongings into a rosemaled hopechest, they boarded a passenger boat in their home port of Bergen, Norway, with an initial stop in Southhampton, England -- from there they 'set sail' for New York City.
Last night, President Obama was unfairly baited into a mess when responding to a question completely unrelated to the topic of the press conference.
The subject of Professor Gates being arrested after having to force his way into his own home has been wildfire on the Internet. I’ve read what news I can on the matter and not having the benefit of actually seeing what happened, have come to a conclusion that will surprise many that know me. I believe Officer Crowley is in the wrong.