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Toy Story 3: Loyalty Above All Else

Toy Story 3, movie, Oscars Movie Waukesha Marquette, Review, Waukesha, wisconsin, Film, Critic, Blog

Toy Story 3 is the third in a trilogy of movies about animated toys who take on distinct personalities when their owners leave the room. Beginning in 1995 with Toy Story and 1999 with Toy Story 2, viewers have watched a boy named Andy grow up with his toys, unaware of the chicanery and drama that takes place behind his back. In this installment Andy is a high school graduate who is confronted with the perplexing choice of what to do with his childhood toys when he leaves for college. Through a series of miscues his toys end up in a daycare where they are unfortunately placed in the toddler room. The toys are not age appropriate  for toddlers and find themselves beaten senselessly on a daily basis. They request a tranfer from the mob boss of the toy world, Lotso the teddy bear, who informs them that they will be imprisoned there permanently so that toys with more "seniority" can avoid being abused by the toddlers. The rest of the movie chronicles their creative attempt to escape the security measures Lotso has put in place and return to Andy.

This movie is one of a series by Pixar and Disney which centers on the theme of loyalty. This theme is central to other productions of theirs such as Up, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 2, just to name a few. While loyalty is certainly an important virtue that parents want to instill in their children, one has to wonder why Disney and Pixar continue to hammer away at it in film after film. One has to wonder if they've simply run out of interesting things to say to children. My guess is that loyalty is a safe theme that most everyone can appreciate. Safe themes make for safe investments by movie studios. But I don't go to movie to see something safe, and neither do most children. The best films are those that challenge the viewer to see the world in a different way. This film doesn't. It's an attempt by the studios to breathe life into an old idea without having much new to say. The fact that they are offering it in 3-D adds something more to its appeal. Your children will love the movie, don't get me wrong. But adults who go with them will most likely experience deja vu all over again. I give it three stars out of five.

crew times two

helping, full of hot air, St. William, St. Vincent, Waukesha Food Pantry

Being unemployed has kept me pretty busy. I helped with two hot air flights yesterday, Friday. The morning flight was the couple's 22nd wedding anniversary. Great timing for a great time. So happy to have shared the occasion with them.

In between balloon flights I helped three hours at the Waukesha County Food Pantry, fourth time this week. The volunteers at the Pantry are the friendliest. I have to recommend the Pantry if you have time to help with it. They're doing a wonderful service for the community, something I may appreciate more myself later if I don't find work soon.

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Life, Liberty and the pursuit of big explosions

1) sound of music, 2) raindrops on roses, 3) whiskers on kittens, 4) when the dog bites, 5) when the bee stings, 6) when I'm feeling sad, 7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things, art, Carroll, Clinton Street Gallery, counting cranes, Culver's, Dad, festival, Freeman, full of hot air, helping, John Schoenknecht, J-S, Les is more, let us pray, Moxie, politics, Retzer, say uncle, Sprizzo, St. Patrick, St. Vincent, St. William, Tim, Waukesha Food Pantry, Waukesha Tattoo, Workforce


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Let's Settle The Lake Michigan Water Issue

Politics-Local, Water Issue

I have a simple question and suggestion about the escalating divide that seems to be tearing our city apart. Ok, granted that having Lake Michigan water is the surest solution to our supply and quality woes. But what good does all this planning do if the governing bodies of the great lakes does not approve our application? Further, is OUR DNR working with us or against us?

For you who like conspiracy theories, is this a Rahm Emanual moment of taking advantage of a crisis? Is the Doyle administration seeing this as an opportunity to force Waukesha to be beholden to Milwaukee? A step closer to tapping into the wealth of the county? I see that Milwaukee's now charging 6.1% sales tax.  As odd as it sounds, we may not make any favorable progress until Governor Walker shakes up the state government, for the better.

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the reason Sunday's Journal Sentinel was so large


Normally a holiday paper would be smaller; most ads having appeared in weeks leading up to it. Not my Sunday paper. Thirteen CVS ads!

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What's Happening: Jul 6 to Jul 12

Menomonee Falls Farmers Market

Sunday's Farmers Market start of season - runs through October. Main St. just west of Appleton Ave.; 9:00 - 2:00; 262-251-8797;

Badgerland Water Ski Show

Weekly 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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Is Mayor Scrima looking for the "Deus ex machina" in his Waukesha tragedy?

Community, Observations, Community Happenings

Deus ex machina...A deus ex machina (Latin for "god from the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new character, ability, or object.

Let's recount Jeff Scrima's first 3 months in office as Mayor of Waukesha:

  • You alienate City Administrators, paid City consultants, Committee Chairs, many of the Common Council, and polarize (read the "Comments" following any article on Mayor Scrima in JSOnline) a large part of the Community
  • You tape record, without permission, a meeting with 2 of the City's top Administrators
  • You send the print media copies of internal memos from you to a Department Head
  • You promise, again and again and per your campaign promises, alternates to the City's planned request for Milwaukee water. No feasible plan produced to date!
  • You are caught using a Milwaukee bloggers exact statement and using it as if your own
  • You are "suspected" of responding to criticisms under other names (exact verbiage was used in those responses matching your own earlier published statements)
  • You have completely discounted outside petitions authored by many Community Business Owners and Leaders asking you to reconsider your water stance
  • You unquestionably had a "major difference of opinion" with the City Administrator whereby she has been taken out of your sphere of control. And based on the Common Council's decision and end result - you and/or your actions were the reason for this action.
  • You discount these same leaders with a coy, all-encompassing "They don't live here..."
  • You hire a non-Waukesha business to paint your Waukesha Mayor's office
  • You put Waukesha in a negative light  in editorial comments - as recently (and extremely well put) as a July 15th JS editorial 
  • And the list goes on.....

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What's Happening: July 13 to July 19

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;

Waterfront Wednesday Concert- Hattrick

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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"Grown Ups" Stretches the Definition

"Grown Ups" is the latest offering from director Dennis Dugan. Given Dugan's penchant for juvenile comedies starring Saturday Night Live graduates, the viewer should be clued into the genre long before the first frame begins to roll. The plot revolves around a reunion of five childhood basketball players after the death of their awe inspiring coach. Though the viewer is given an image of each player's personality during adolesence, and though they remain fairly true of the character of their youth, the viewer is struck by just how different each turned out. Adam Sandler (who else?) plays Lenny Feder, the biggest agent in Hollywood with the trophy wife (Salma Hayek), the huge house, and two spoiled sons (they actually text their order for hot chocolate to the maid while playing a video game). Kevin James stars as Eric, the family guy with a wife who still nurses their four year old; David Spade is Marcus the womanizer; Chris Rock portrays Kurt the henpecked husband of the very pregnant Deanne (Maya Rudolph); and Rob Schneider plays Rob the hippie with the wife who probably qualifies for the senior menu at the local diner.

Each of these characters has one or more moments of clarity regarding the meaning of life during this brief stay with their buddies and their families. And they all come away from the experience with a renewed appreciation for the important people in their lives. The movie awkwardly ambles toward a climax in which they have an opportunity for a rematch against the team they beat for the state championship when they were young. The movie has a number of funny moments, most of which involve the revelation that none of them have their lives completely together. Unfortunately the writers attempt to parlay friendly normal male trash-talking (AKA bonding) into a race to see how many jokes they can insert within a short span of time. In other words, they tried too hard to be funny. The result was some rather tiresome stretches of film. What does work is the fact that the characters did not end up taking themselves so seriously. They were goaded reluctantly into this rematch and winning doesn't end up being as important as the relationships they have developed. I also was glad that the writers elected not to go for an easy feelgood ending where Deanne suddenly goes into early labor, thus forcing everyone to discard their differences. Rudolph is funnier as a domineering pregnant working woman.

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left the blog in a hot car...

Waukesha Tattoo, art, Carroll, full of hot air, Waukesha County Museum

Gotta get motivated to write. This humid weather doesn't do much for me or the blog. All this warmth and rain is great for crops though. My corn is tasselling already!

Forgive me reader, for I have slacked. My last blog was a week and a half ago...

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Waukesha city administrator leaves school as husband joins

Waukesha schools, charter schools

The Waukesha School Board approved hiring the husband of Waukesha City Administrator Lori Luther for the district's new STEM Academy at its Wednesday night meeting.

The vote came after Luther had submitted a letter resigning from the STEM Academy's governing board, effective the same day as the vote, said Jack Bothwell, the district's executive director of human resources.

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Mark Neumann, Step Aside Honorably!

Politics-Local, Hot Topics

One man does not a race make. Historically, several people running for a single office is a good thing until it degrades to negatives and exaggerations. In my perfect world, a candidate is kept in a vacuum from knowing their fellow candidates, puts forth their best arguments for their election and is judged on those merits.

However, the race for governor is far from usual. Extravagant spending without considering the long term consequences, spending federal money like it is manna from Heaven and not understanding the "free puppy"* consequences of it and a failure to understand how high taxes, fees and excessive regulation costs jobs, make this election far from usual.

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The Ugly Years

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

We can all relate, can't we?

Mine?  Sixth - ninth grade; a time of great upheaval.  Not only was I navigating the murky waters of adolescence; with my family's disassemble by divorce and reassemble via remarriage, but I hated the way I looked.

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When Harold told me this morning there was no drinking in his Mini I thought yeah, no problem. No drinking and driving. No problem. He seriously didn't want me drinking in his 2002 baby; his Mini Cooper with 385,000 miles on the odometer, so I ditched the coffee. I really wanted the ride.

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this rest area temporarily out of order

politics, J-S, water

One of Sir Fido's favorite p-mail servers crashed last night. One less place to leave an instant message. 

Too much drinking? Evidence points to something more potent than radium-tainted Waukesha water. 

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Anonymous Comments

Politics-Local, Water Issue

WaukeshaNow is about what is going on in Waukesha. Having said that, nowhere is the controversy about our water situation so heated as on the op-ed pages of the Waukesha Freeman. That is not to say that JSOnline does not have it share of information and comments about the situation either.

My observation is the plethora of comments that are anonymous. That includes nicknames that serve in no way to identify the writer. Observing the writing style of many of these verses of vitriol, I see enough in common that I question if most of them are from but a few people writing under the different nicknames and the cloak of anonymity? I think the Freeman is using poor journalistic judgment and I have written them saying so.

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What's Happening: July 19 to July 26

07/19/10- 07/23/10
Queen of 'Arts' Camp

Waukesha County Museum; 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; 262 521-2859;

07/19/10- 08/06/10
A.C.T. Summer Session

WCT's Theatre Arts Education Program. Waukesha Civic Theatre; Varies; 262-547-0708;

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the hematologicopter has landed

dripping blood, contest, Waukesha Food Pantry

Flight for Life had it's second annual blood drive at their Waukesha hangar today. Fairly good turnout too. Around forty donors including me.

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Clocks, Barrels, Signs, and Murals.

 The clock tower is no longer "hands free".

Over my past few years of living downtown, I have become accustomed to the sound of church bells sounding the hours of the days as they pass.

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What's Happening: Jul 27 to Aug 2

Waterfront Wednesday Concert- Kojo

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

Read more

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